Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for September 7th, 2009

A good idea on campaign finance reform

Posted by Charles II on September 7, 2009

Ralph Lopez has an extremely good idea for campaign finance reform: force corporations to donate only within the districts in which they reside. This could get around the perverse Supreme Court ruling in Buckley v. Valeo (money = speech) that effectively legalized political bribery.

A risk that Lopez doesn’t recognize is that poor districts could fall under the control of wealthy contributors inside their borders. However, if contributions up to $100 were allowed, that would break the monopoly.

Still, the best idea for reform is public financing. While that hasn’t made politics in, say, Britain, truly representative, it has substantially removed them from the outright bribery that is blocking healthcare reform and plunging the nation into impossible debt.

Posted in activist judges, corruption | 8 Comments »

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 46/updated

Posted by Charles II on September 7, 2009


The Honduran pretend-government has managed to violate yet another violation of international law (Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights): According to El Heraldo they “annulled” the citizenship of naturalized Salvadoran priest Andres Tamayo. And the Cardinal of Babylon, rather than backing up his priest, has barred him apparently not done a single thing to protest or prevent the banning of Father Tamayo from his parish. Or so it says. One can’t trust El Heraldo to report even the correct date.

Tamayo will be replaced by Joaquin Euceda.

Brother John has a post about Father Tamayo. Brother John mentioned in comments that the Cardinal of Honduras would not be the one to strip Father Tamayo of his parish. I don’t know how Honduras works, but in the US, Cardinals have intervened on the grounds that a priest has become “notorious.” This vague standard apparently applies to sex scandals and also sometimes to political incorrectness, as in the case of Father Michael Pflaeger. At any rate, Brother John’s article has some very good links our readers should follow.

Zelaya has formally invited Hillary to join him in Tegucigalpa to sign the “Accord of San Jose.” The pretend Ministrette of Finance, Gabriela Núñez continues to insist that Honduras will be able to use the IMF money. She says the IMF is disinformed. Zoe Zelaya Castro says that the charges of misuse of funds levied against her father are false and that anyone who wants to can look up the expenses under the Transparency Law.

Tom Hayden interviewed Zelaya for The Nation. The main takeaways are that Zelaya thinks that the State Department’s actions were sufficiently forceful and that Zelaya has equated the people who removed him from power with the American right-wing that is trying to block healthcare as an expedient to removing Obama from power.
Radio Globo is still down. Channel 36 says that the IMF funds are locked up, unusable by the coupistas. (At a later broadcast, they are having great fun with this, repeating it in stentorian tones a dozen times and then saying, “Breaking: Roberto Micheletti Lies!” They are reading off of an EFE article that can be seen at La Tribuna). The IMF issued a statement that it has no agreement with Honduras. CholuSat has footage of about a dozen of Elvin Santos’s men firing live ammunition. The incident appears to me to have begun with one of Santos’s men swinging a machete against the resistance. The announcer says that the Choluteca media are controlled by the mayor. They are calling this the “political fiesta.” The police, of course, do not move to arrest those who fired. Elvin Santos arrives by helicopter (it looks like a military helicopter) and someone throws something (a rock?) at it. The area is flooded with protestors chanting “Golpista” and “Urge Mel.” The wounded people were senior citizens, one 72 years old and the other 56 according to Tiempo. The military have automatic weapons and are not slow to point them at people. Moving on from Choluteca… there were were large caravans in Marcala La Paz (40 mi. west of Tegucigalpa) and other locations, one of them headed by Dona Xiomara. The announcer points out that contrary to Elvin Santos, they are greeted by no eggs and no rocks. It’s interesting to compare the account of Channel 36 (anti-coup) and La Tribuna (pro-coup). In La Tribuna, the resistance is masked… but the presence of masked paramilitary troops is not mentioned. In La Tribuna, the shots fired and a rain of rocks and machete(s) appear miraculously with no hand attached to them. Presumably pro-coupistas imagine that the resistance has guns and wields machetes, but the Channel 36 photos do not support that.

There was a fight between supporters of Elvin Santos and the resistance in Choluteca. Two were injured and five arrested. The resistance threw eggs, but this escalated in rock throwing by both sides. The diversion of police and military resources means that the drug trade is able to use Honduras unchallenged. The Superior Court of Assessors says that it will also investigate military figures in the handling of the $4.5M that were to be used for the survey on behalf of a constitutional convention. In San Pedro Sula, a man was beaten by two soldiers for shouting “Viva Mel.” Tiempo has photos illustrating the telephone piracy that is being blamed on Zelaya– and like most of these accusations, it turns out to be pretty ridiculous.

(Corrected:) The pretend-government was apparently reneging on $6M of debt, but has apparently understood how suicidal that would have been and is paying.

Flashpoints had a program on September 2nd interviewing Eva Golinger on Honduras and other topics.

Posted in Latin America | 17 Comments »

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