Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for November, 2010

So Much For GOP Smears Vs. Keith Ellison

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 30, 2010

Wikileaks reveals that Keith Ellison, the representative for Minnesota’s Fifth US Congressional District, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Binyamin) Netanyahu in Washington in the spring of 2009.

Since the Wikileaks site is currently being slammed by conservative US hackers, here’s the Google cache link (h/t to David Brauer, a true man among men):

¶9. (C) Representative Ellison, noting that he is the first
Muslim to be elected to Congress, said he visited Gaza in
February and met with NGO representatives who could deliver
assistance without the credit going to Hamas. He urged
Netanyahu to consider opening the Gaza crossings, adding that
Gazans he had met told him they want peace and would like to
get their jobs back in Israel. Netanyahu responded that he
is looking at ways to balance Israeli security with enabling
Gazans to have a normal life. The flow of money and weapons
to Hamas remains a problem since Hamas is extending the range
and payload of the rockets it possesses. In response to
Representative Ellison’s comment that Israel should allow
USAID to return to Gaza, Netanyahu said he thought that it
might be a good thing to have USAID operate in Gaza.

Uh-oh! Wait until AIPAC sees this! Allow actual aid to Gaza? Sheldon Adelson will stamp his billion-dollar feet when he hears of Bibi’s blasphemy.


Posted in Gaza, Islam, israel, Keith Ellison, Middle East, Minnesota | 4 Comments »

Time For Another Blogger Ethics Panel

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 30, 2010

Good news: StarTribune and national-media’s go-to pundits pick up on Sally Jo Sorensen’s Bluestem Prairie story about Jeremy A. Giefer, the sex offender given a Pardon Extraordinary by Governor Tim Pawlenty, and who is now facing charges of incest.

Bad news: They somehow, ah, forgot to credit her or BSP.

I’m starting to lose track of the number of times some legacy-media outlet snarfs up a story first broken by a blogger and then fails to credit the blogger. At least we try to hat-tip or link to the sources for our stuff, when we pass along something someone else discovered.

Posted in blogger ethics, blogs and blogging, media, Media machine, mediawhores, Minnesota, real journalism, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples, Tim Pawlenty | 2 Comments »

One Good Thing About the MN Recount

Posted by MEC on November 29, 2010

The insightful and entertaining winerev is providing detailed accounts of the Recount Follies.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

So Much For Emmer’s Taking The High Road

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 29, 2010

Before this morning, Tom Emmer had put on his Boy Scout uniform and sworn to be thrifty, brave, clean, reverent, and to respect the will of the people once the recount was done.

Of course, as Sally Jo Sorensen points out at Bluestem Prairie, that lasted, oh, maybe half a nanosecond once the recount actually started.

At nine o’clock am CST today, Emmer and Company promptly ditched the Boy Scout uniform to reveal their Sith robes underneath, and started making frivolous challenges at an insanely fast clip. As The UpTake would Tweet this afternoon, referencing Dayton recount director Ken Martin: “98% of all frivolous challenges and 90% of all challenges have come from Emmer.”

And what has been accomplished by all of these frivolous challenges, other than to slow down the vote recount? Not very much, if you’re an Emmer fan. Again, per Ken Martin via The UpTake: “21% of votes in state have been counted with a net gain of 37 votes for Dayton: (Dayton receiving 88, Emmer receiving 51)”.

Give it up, Tommy.

Posted in 2010, Minnesota | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Honduran dictatorship, Day 323

Posted by Charles II on November 29, 2010

I wish I had time to listen in detail to and analyze the reaction to the Wikileaks revelations on Honduras, but here’s what I have time for.

Tiempo gave it pretty straight coverage, with the main piece being headlined Military, Courts, and Congress Conspired to Deliver the Coup d’Etat Against Zelaya (the article mistakenly says that the Llorens cable came one week after the coup). Tiempo also replays the interview Zelaya gave to Telesur, in which he denounces the duplicity of the US, and promises to denounce the US before international tribunals as a human rights violator which knew what was going on was wrong and covered it up. And it has an editorial on press freedom and impunity of the elites which manages to get deep into discerning God’s will without explaining exactly what the thunder and lightning is about.

To its credit, El Heraldo seems to have played it reasonably straight (I haven’t parsed it in detail, but it seems to me they soften the edges of Llorens’ comments)

Zelaya has released a letter, printed at Vos. Vos also reprints La Jornada which has this interesting claim about the Wikileaks documents: “details about ‘certain movements of the US’ during the coup which displaced Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, as well as confirmations of the dimplomatic hostility in Washington toward the governments of Hugo Chavez in Venelzuela and of Cristina Fernandez in Argentina.” (emphasis added). Lllorens’ memo is not a “movement” nor does it describe any movements.

Radio Globo at this hour is mostly going on about military movements, presumably having to do with the violence being inflicted against peasants in Bajo Aguan, for which see Adrienne (300-400 soldiers sent to Colon; a report of many campesinos murdered by Miguel Facusse’s forces).

Democracy Now, oddly, had almost nothing to say about Honduras, just a short squib in the headlines.

Continuing an unbroken string of many months, the State Dept said nothing.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | Comments Off on Honduran dictatorship, Day 323

Honduran dictatorship, day 322

Posted by Charles II on November 28, 2010

Via Adrienne, the conscious involvement of the US in the establishment of a dictatorship in Honduras has been unmasked by Wikileaks. This cable from US Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens was published in El Pais:

1. (C) Summary: Post has attempted to clarify some of the legal and constitutional issues surrounding the June 28 forced removal of President Manuel “Mel” Zelaya. The Embassy perspective is that there is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch, while accepting that there may be a prima facie case that Zelaya may have committed illegalities and may have even violated the
constitution. There is equally no doubt from our perspective that Roberto Micheletti’s assumption of power was illegitimate. Nevertheless, it is also evident that the constitution itself may be deficient in terms of providing clear procedures for dealing with alleged illegal acts by the President and resolving conflicts between the branches of government. End summary.

2. (U) Since the June 28 removal and expulsion of President Zelaya by the Honduran armed forces, the Embassy has consulted Honduran legal experts (one cannot find a fully unbiased professional legal opinion in Honduras in the current politically charged atmosphere) and reviewed the text of the Honduran Constitution and its laws to develop a better understanding of the arguments being parlayed by the coup’s supporters and opponents.

Arguments of the Coup Defenders

3. (SBU) Defenders of the June 28 coup have offered some combination of the following, often ambiguous, arguments to assert it’s legality:

— Zelaya had broken the law (alleged but not proven);

— Zelaya resigned (a clear fabrication);

— Zelaya intended to extend his term in office

— Had he been allowed to proceed with his June 28 constitutional reform opinion poll, Zelaya would have
dissolved Congress the following day and convened a constituent assembly (supposition);

— Zelaya had to be removed from the country to prevent a bloodbath;

— Congress “unanimously” (or in some versions by a 123-5 vote) deposed Zelaya; (after the fact and under the cloak of secrecy); and

— Zelaya “automatically” ceased to be president the moment he suggested modifying the constitutional prohibition on presidential reelection.

4. (C) In our view, none of the above arguments has any substantive validity under the Honduran constitution. Some are outright false. Others are mere supposition or ex-post rationalizations of a patently illegal act. Essentially:

— the military had no authority to remove Zelaya from the country;

— Congress has no constitutional authority to remove a Honduran president;

— Congress and the judiciary removed Zelaya on the basis of a hasty, ad-hoc, extralegal, secret, 48-hour process;

— the purported “resignation” letter was a fabrication and was not even the basis for Congress’s action of June 28; and

— Zelaya’s arrest and forced removal from the country violated multiple constitutional guarantees, including the
prohibition on expatriation, presumption of innocence and right to due process.

(emphasis added)


According to DK poster m16eib, Wikileaks has requested:

How to discuss the US Embassy cables: If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for so…cial networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference

Blogged at DK. Lord, give me patience for dealing with some of the Kossacks, who simply refuse to read the detailed analysis I prepared before telling me that there’s no evidence of US involvement in the coup.
Note to self: Relevant US law forbidding the provision of aid to a country in which there has been a military coup is HR 2764

Posted in Honduras, State Department | 5 Comments »

Might blindness

Posted by Charles II on November 28, 2010

Michael Corcoran did a piece for Truthout documenting how the US media pick and choose which countries it denounces for human rights abuses. In particular, Honduras has received almost no attention from the media, despite extensive documentation of human rights abuses by Human Rights Watch and other organizations. Now, I would say that HRW and other international human rights organizations have done their best to ignore and minimize what has happened in Honduras. But Corcoran documents a pattern of very selective blindness, wherein anything that happens in Venezuela is front page news, while anything that happens in Honduras is… non-existent. Oddly, this precisely mirrors the US State Department position about which government is good and which is bad.

These serious accusations have been largely ignored by the United States mainstream press, leaving the American public in the dark about the true color of a regime that now has the support of US diplomats. Amnesty International released three reports about various abuses to the public and to journalists between August 2009 and June 2010, yet none received any notable mainstream media attention in the United States. [VII] One such report, written by a delegation sent to the country, even gave chilling firsthand testimony from those who were abused; nonetheless, the US press still did not take notice. “We were demonstrating peacefully. Suddenly, the police came towards us, and I started running,” said a 52-year-old teacher named “Fernando,” who was quoted in an August 2009 report. “They grabbed me and shouted ‘Why do you [all] support Zelaya’s government? Whether it’s by choice or by force, you have to be with this government.’ They beat me. I have not yet been informed as to why I am here detained.”[VIII]

Human Rights Watch, the largest human rights organization based in the United States, has released 20 publications — a variety of reports, press releases and statements — documenting a wide range of abuses in Honduras between the date of the coup and September 10, 2010. [IX]

Amazingly, elite national publications in the United States have paid no attention to these reports….

But the Times, it seems, is rather selective when it comes to reporting on the alleged abuses of world leaders – ignoring them when they are done by allies who share the economic worldview of the United States, and amplifying accusations against those who oppose the Washington Consensus. In fact, even when the Times did manage to mention the accusations against Lobo, they did so in the softest possible terms. Since Lobo’s presidency began, the Times has mentioned human rights abuses in Honduras twice on their news pages.

You could say that the US media has a special form of blindness whenever the use of the might of the US is involved.

Posted in Honduras, Media machine, mediawhores, State Department, Venezuela | Comments Off on Might blindness

Wikileaks Cablegate’s First Fruits: State Department Privately Debunked Netanyahu’s Iran “Info”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 28, 2010

Hear that loud, large boom? That was the rationale for nuking Iran taking a huge hit amidships, right below the waterline:

Didi Remez
DidiRemez Didi Remez
ISR Ch 10 TV on @wikileaks #cablegate docs: US diplomats wrote Bibi’s Iran nuclear info was “unsubstantiated & aimed at exerting pressure.”

Posted in Iran, israel | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Wikileaks Cablegate’s First Fruits: State Department Privately Debunked Netanyahu’s Iran “Info”

Truthglimpse into the dark heart of American empire

Posted by Charles II on November 28, 2010

One of the gutsiest journalists ever, Kevin Pina, jas made a documentary about the coup against Aristide. It will be available on Pay Per View today (November 28th) and on DVD. You can see the trailer here.

We Must Kill the Bandits Poster Art

Posted in Haiti, wrong way to go about it | Comments Off on Truthglimpse into the dark heart of American empire

Why Is Norm Coleman Not After Michael Steele’s Job?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 28, 2010

This is interesting:

[Norm] Coleman said in a C-SPAN interview scheduled to be broadcast Sunday that he would not challenge Steele if he decides to run for a second term. “I am not here to do any battles with our chairman; he is a friend,” Coleman said.

Considering that Norm’s been angling for the job for years, even before he lost to Al Franken, this is a rather noteworthy volte-face.

What made Norm decide not to go for it? Would the name “Kazeminy” be a clue? Or “Blo-and-Go“?

Posted in Norm Coleman, Republicans, RNC | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

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