Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for August 6th, 2009

Jane Hamsher Needs Your Help

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 6, 2009

Short and not-so-sweet: She’s being punished for being TOO effective:

I mentioned the other day in the comments that we’d been getting a bit of funding from an organization, and that they let us know last Friday night that we’d had our funding cut.  We have been working crazy hours with an intense sense of commitment to put together the calendar of events for the month of August and suddenly had to scramble so people could still be employed come Monday morning.  We would have had a list of searchable events and targeted events up earlier, but we were thrown for a loop at the last minute.

Members of Congress called the organization and told them not to renew our funding because they didn’t like Mike Stark asking them questions on the Hill.  Which we knew. The organization told us, however, that it was because they had “run out of money,” and then today we learned that they’re actually accepting proposals for things similar to what we were doing.

It’s crazy that we were the first organization to get an August events calendar up with a widget that anyone could embed on their site, and we did it in the midst of scant resources and tremendous pressure.  It certainly says something about the way the health care battle is being fought — or not, as the case may be.  But we’ve been the ones collecting information day in and day out, having asked readers here and at Daily Kos to crowd source the information and enter it into our event reporting tool.  We’ve had a small, underpaid staff working until the wee hours of the morning doing rapid response on things like the Pelosi/Polis/DeGette event last night.

As I said the other day, we’ve raised a little over $66,000, both from contributions made by individuals and the funds that came from the organization.  We need to raise $150,000 total to keep everything going through the end of October.     We’ve got an amazing team working on this, including organizers and bloggers and programmers who have been doing a fantastic job.  Mike Stark’s videos have been all over the cable news networks, and so far we’ve managed to get 15 members of Congress to publicly pledge to vote against any health care bill that has co-ops or triggers — something that organizations with $40 million budgets have failed to so. 

It hit me right in my gut on Friday night when I was told that on Monday morning, there would be no more money to pay these people.  We need your help.  

Can you help us get to $150,000 so we can continue our campaign until a health care reform bill is passed?

Compare results: Jane’s spent well under $100,000 and is nearly halfway to the goal of getting forty progressive Democrats to take the pledge not to vote for any health care reform bill that doesn’t have a public option. That’s pretty good bang for the buck — and better than what a lot of groups, which seem to exist to serve as sheltered workshops for the rellies of legislators, have done!

Posted in corruption, health care, heroines | Comments Off on Jane Hamsher Needs Your Help

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 14

Posted by Charles II on August 6, 2009

The police invasion of the National University is described in English by RAJ, who points us also to Mimipalabra (here, and video here)

Our Department of State:

QUESTION: There’s a similar report on Honduras, actually, about it this morning that a assistant secretary has written Senator Lugar to say that the U.S. is softening its stance on the Honduras coup and does not want to place any sort of lasting penalties on the Honduran Government – the interim government. Is that true? Or how would you best characterize the position —

MR. WOOD: The best way I can characterize this, Kirit, is that we are not softening on our position with regard to Zelaya. We have been – as you know, we have been working hard to try to get both parties to take up seriously the San Jose Accords. We think it’s the best way forward for resolving the political situation, political crisis in Honduras. We believe this is the best mechanism for it. And we’re going to continue to try to convince both parties and go from there. But a coup took place in the country, and –

QUESTION: Well, you haven’t officially legally declared it a coup yet.

MR. WOOD: We have called it a coup. What we have said is that we legally can’t determine it to be a military coup. That review is still ongoing.

QUESTION: Why does it take so long to review whether there’s a military coup or not?

MR. WOOD: Well, look, there are a lot of legal issues here that have to be carefully examined before we can make that determination, and it requires information being shared amongst a number of parties. We need to be able to take a look at that information and make our best legal judgment as to whether or not –

QUESTION: It seems to be taking a very long time.

MR. WOOD: Well, things take time when you’re dealing with these kinds of very sensitive legal issues. So we want to make sure that –

QUESTION: Have you made a decision on whether to impose additional sanctions on the de facto government?

MR. WOOD: No decision has been made to do anything right now, other than support the San Jose Accords and the mediation process.

QUESTION: No, I understand. But have you made a determination whether – whether – not to impose sanctions? I mean, this report and this letter to Senator Lugar suggests that you’ve made the decision not to impose sanctions.

MR. WOOD: Look, I’m certainly not going to talk about the details of the correspondence that we have had with a congressperson or senator. I’m not going to do that from here. I can – what I can tell you is that the United States is doing everything it can to try to support the return to constitutional democratic order in the country. And we’re going to do what we think is best to try to move that process forward.

QUESTION: But my question wasn’t about the letter. My question was whether you’ve made the decision not to impose new sanctions on Honduras?

MR. WOOD: And what I’m saying to you is that where we’re focused right now is on supporting that process and trying to get the two parties to come to some sort of a political settlement. But beyond that, I don’t have anything to add on that question.

QUESTION: What’s the reaction to President Zelaya’s statement in Mexico? He called the response to the U.S. weak. And also, the criticism in Latin America and by the presence of military bases in Colombia.

MR. WOOD: Well, first, to address your question on the U.S. response in Honduras, we have been (inaudible) I mean, I just don’t agree with that characterization. We have been very robust in our criticism of what took place on the ground in Honduras. It was clearly a coup. We condemn that. What we’re trying to do now is to restore democratic and constitutional order.

We’re working through the OAS, which is the appropriate mechanism to do that, also giving support to the Arias mediation effort. And that’s where we are focused. But I would take issue with that characterization of our response being weak.

The second part of your question, the United States has no plans to put bases in Colombia.

I wonder when they will officially rule that their pants are on fire.

Posted in Latin America | Comments Off on Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 14

Oh. My. God.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 6, 2009

There’s really not much else to say in response to this:

Honest. This isn’t a joke. The president of the United States, in a top-secret phone call to a major European ally, asked for French troops to join American soldiers in attacking Iraq as a mission from God.

Now out of office, Chirac recounts that the American leader appealed to their “common faith” (Christianity) and told him: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.”

This bizarre episode occurred while the White House was assembling its “coalition of the willing” to unleash the Iraq invasion. Chirac says he was boggled by Bush’s call and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.”

After the 2003 call, the puzzled French leader didn’t comply with Bush’s request. Instead, his staff asked Thomas Romer, a theologian at the University of Lausanne, to analyze the weird appeal. Dr. Romer explained that the Old Testament book of Ezekiel contains two chapters (38 and 39) in which God rages against Gog and Magog, sinister and mysterious forces menacing Israel. Jehovah vows to smite them savagely, to “turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,” and slaughter them ruthlessly. In the New Testament, the mystical book of Revelation envisions Gog and Magog gathering nations for battle, “and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

In 2007, Dr. Romer recounted Bush’s strange behavior in Lausanne University’s review, Allez Savoir. A French-language Swiss newspaper, Le Matin Dimanche, printed a sarcastic account titled: “When President George W. Bush Saw the Prophesies of the Bible Coming to Pass.” France’s La Liberte likewise spoofed it under the headline “A Small Scoop on Bush, Chirac, God, Gog and Magog.” But other news media missed the amazing report.

Subsequently, ex-President Chirac confirmed the nutty event in a long interview with French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice, who tells the tale in his new book, Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai (If You Repeat it, I Will Deny), released in March by the publisher Plon.

Oddly, mainstream media are ignoring this alarming revelation that Bush may have been half-cracked when he started his Iraq war. My own paper, The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia, is the only U.S. newspaper to report it so far. Canada’s Toronto Star recounted the story, calling it a “stranger-than-fiction disclosure … which suggests that apocalyptic fervor may have held sway within the walls of the White House.” Fortunately, online commentary sites are spreading the news, filling the press void.

I don’t know what’s worse: That Bush did this stuff, or that the GOP/Media Complex refused to tell us about it — just as they refuse to tell us that the Pittsburgh shooter, George Sodini, was a hardcore right-wing racist nutjob.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, Iraq war | 3 Comments »

Things The GOP/Media Complex Won’t Tell You: Pittsburgh Shooter Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 6, 2009

While watching the various TV news accounts of George Sodini, the guy who invaded a fitness center and shot dead three women before shooting himself, I kept waiting in vain for someone to describe any hint of a motive. It was mentioned that he’d had a Facebook page, and had even planned out the whole thing last year but decided to postpone it a few months until after Barack Obama was elected, but that was it.

Now, thanks to Greg Mitchell, we find out what the GOP/Media Complex won’t describe to us — namely, evidence that he was a right-wing racist and misogynist nutjob:

The diary focuses on his severe problems with women (surely his biggest motivator in the slayings) and other worries related to family and layoffs. But it also includes comments about the “liberal media,” the “Obama economy” — and it opens with remarks about last fall’s election, the election of “The Black Man” and jokes about black men bedding white women.

All of this was left out of the AP excerpts and nearly everywhere else, including a new New York Times account.

Furthermore, Sodini was posting anti-Clinton messages online as early as 1994, so his far-right nuttiness was of long standing. Yet all of this was swept under the rug by the same press that hounded Ward Churchill, Bill Ayres, and Jeremiah Wright without mercy or pity for little or no good reason, simply because they could be used as clubs with which to beat up on liberals or Democrats.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, rightwing moral cripples, sexism | 2 Comments »

Fire Eric Holder

Posted by Charles II on August 6, 2009

From Bradblog:

Feeney Reportedly Off Hook in Abramoff Probe
DoJ said to have dropped two-year investigation into corrupt former Florida Rep’s lobbyist-funded trip to Scotland…

The Holder DoJ is incapable of prosecuting Republicans, but continues to pursue Don Siegelman and Paul Minor.

Posted in Department of Injustice, DoJ, Don Siegelman, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

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