Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for June 24th, 2009

The Orient ex-Press

Posted by Charles II on June 24, 2009

Ben Holland and Kayat Kayakiran, Bloomberg

Turkish press mogul [who publishes Hurriyet] Aydin Dogan has counted many of the country’s movers and shakers as intimates — among them 55-year-old incumbent Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who used to address Dogan, now 73, as ‘agabey,’ a term of respect that Turks use for older men.

Respect seemed nowhere apparent in February, however, as the prime minister paced a stage under heavy snow during an election rally for local candidates of his Justice and Development Party, or AKP, in the central Turkish town of Yozgat. “Mr. Dogan, come to your senses,” Erdogan shouted. “This prime minister is different. You’re used to prime ministers who bow and scrape before you.” He also whipped up the crowd with a fiery admonition: “Don’t buy newspapers that print lies.”

The row between a prime minister who has won the biggest share of the popular vote of any candidate since 1965 and a press baron who as chairman of Dogan Yayin Holding AS controls more than half of the country’s newspaper market isn’t a mere parochial falling out among powerful men. The fracas has spooked foreign investors at a time when the country, a U.S. ally and member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, can ill afford it.

The short version: Dogan says that Erdogan has engaged in reprisals against him because Hurriyet published a story that might lead one to believe that Erdogan accepted money siphoned off from a charity. Erdogan says that Dogan is engaged in reprisals against him because he refused to give Dogan preferential treatment. Definitely a p–sing match of epic proportions for which the Middle East is justly famous, with consequences that could extend into Europe, where the EU is already asking whether Erdogan is using governmental power to muscle Turkey’s free press. Not to mention the chance of starting another financial panic. Erdogan’s constituents aren’t heeding his appeals for them to boycott Hurriyet, but he has cost Dogan a billion dollars, so the next step is probably a stand down, temporary or not.

Posted in media, Turkey, world news | Comments Off on The Orient ex-Press

How many layers of lies?/Updated– now with the real poop!

Posted by Charles II on June 24, 2009

The disappearance and reappearance and hopefully-soon re-disappearance of Gov. Mark Sanford is interesting only from the standpoint of how many people told how many layers of lies over the few days that this sordid, petty tale played out. This seems to be the rough sequence of statements issued about the Governor after his disappearance last Thursday.

  • His wife said he had some writing he wanted to do
  • His staff said he wanted to have some time alone
  • His wife said she didn’t know where he was
  • We were told his car was at the Atlanta airport
  • Sanford’s staff said they talked to him and he was fine
  • We were told he was hiking the Appalachian trail
  • Sanford’s staff denied that they had talked to him
  • His staff said he had told them where he was going
  • A federal agent said that he had been seen boarding a plane
  • On being greeted at the airport by a reporter, Sanford said he was in Argentina alone
  • Sanford said he was driving along the Buenos Aires coastline
  • Sanford said that this was his only time cheating
  • Sanford said that he wasn’t formally separated from his wife
  • Now, Sanford says he was on a tryst with an Argentine firecracker. There are two miles of industrial coastline to drive along in Buenos Aires. His wife kicked him out of the house and asked him not to come back, which would seem to mean he was separated from her.

    And we learn (thank you, PW) that the affair goes back a year or so. Not to mention that his love prose is at least as schlocky as that of the rest of us and probably more so.

    His wife was lying. His staff was lying. The state police were probably telling the truth. The federal agent was probably telling the truth.

    I would bet that Sanford is lying even still. If he hadn’t been caught at the airport, I’m sure he would be.
    Update 2: from Thomas Kaplan of Vanity Fair:

    Sanford brought his unique brand of fiscal conservatism back to South Carolina in 2003 when he became governor. The next year, the Republican-led state House overrode 105 of his 106 budget vetoes. In response, Sanford stormed into the statehouse carrying two piglets to protest what he called pork-barrel spending. It seemed like a good photo-op—until the piglets defecated on him, at which point it became a great photo-op.

    Sounds like the piglets knew who brung ’em.
    Update 3: La Nacion has identified the lady as Maria Belen Chapur, “a Buenos Aires executive.” Evidently, she worked as a reporter around the time of 9/11. I’m sorry for her teenage sons, for whom this has got to be slightly worse than death.

    Posted in Republicans acting badly | 3 Comments »

    The best healthcare system in the world. In the world!

    Posted by Charles II on June 24, 2009

    Thanks to Karen Tumulty of Time Magazine (via Christy Hardin Smith, via Avedon) for publicizing this C-Span clip of Robin Beaton, RN.

    Click here

    Posted in evil, health care | Comments Off on The best healthcare system in the world. In the world!

    A Mistake On The Régime’s Part?

    Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 24, 2009

    If the idea was to make it look like the US was backing the protesters, it doesn’t make sense to expel British diplomats. That just muddies the waters. Then again, the British oil companies were the main beneficiaries of the US-engineered coup overthrowing Mossadegh in the 1950s, so it’s not as if we and they haven’t ever before been allies together against the Iranian people.

    Posted in Iran | 3 Comments »

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