Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 1st, 2012

I have never heard of anything like this in the Democratic Party

Posted by Charles II on March 1, 2012

Lorraine Swanson, Oaklawn Patch (via t/o):

Arthur Jones, 64, a Lyons, IL, insurance salesman who organizes family-friendly, neo-Nazi events around Adolf Hitler’s birthday, hopes to be the Republican candidate chosen to run against Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District.

“As far as I’m concerned, the Holocaust is nothing more than an international extortion racket by the Jews,” Jones said. “It’s the blackest lie in history. Millions of dollars are being made by Jews telling this tale of woe and misfortune in books, movies, plays and TV.

I’ve left the link to Gauleiter Jones’ website off. If one believes that anti-Semitism is dead, it’s not. But the Israeli right-wing is certainly trying to destroy the credibility of charges of anti-Semitism. Very dangerous, when there really are people like Arthur Jones out there, waiting for a moment when people get tired of hearing, “wolf, wolf.”


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$700 Million Boondoggle Bridge: About What We Spent On New Orleans After Katrina

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 1, 2012

I see that Bachmann’s being allowed, in the wake of the Triumph of the Shill, to get away again with lying about the cost of the Boondoggle Bridge that is now going to destroy the scenic beauty of the Stillwater area as well as the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

The bridge “only” costs $200 million if you ignore the $500 million in ground work and roadway redesign needed to make it happen. As Karl Bremer says, it’s like claiming the Vikings stadium boondoggle will be dirt cheap — that claim only works if you leave out the seats, parking lots, walls, everything but the field.

$700 million. That’s what the Feds authorized to rebuild all of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and that’s what they’re now going to spend on a bridge that will in the year 2030 see at most 23,100 vehicles — less than one-fifth the current traffic of the new I-35 bridge, which cost under $250 million.

All of this to provide make-work jobs for workers who would be better used to fix the dozens of truly needy bridges that now won’t get fixed because the Boondoggle will suck up all the money that would otherwise go to fixing them — and (the key reason, I suspect) to please northwestern Wisconsin real estate developers who hope, despite all reasonable evidence, that the bridge will magically reinflate the 1990s property bubble. (The “traffic” argument is a dodge — there would be no “traffic” problem if MnDOT would have allowed the lift bridge schedule, which currently calls for far too many lifts, to be reworked — but of course MnDOT has bought into the Boondoggle Bridge, so its managers won’t do anything that might remove the perceived need for it.)

There are many, many bridges that are in far greater need of repair or than the Stillwater lift bridge, which was itself given a substantial overhaul in 2007. When these bridges fall apart because there was no money to fix them, will anyone remember that the Boondoggle will have been the chief reason why these bridges weren’t fixed?

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Living while Muslim

Posted by Charles II on March 1, 2012

From the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

From DemocracyNow :

AWUD WALID: Well, being in Michigan, and our national organization, CAIR—and we have an office in New York—we’ve joined other advocates in calling for [NYC Police Commissioner] Ray Kelly to resign. Ray Kelly, as well as his deputy chief, have completely trampled upon the spirit of the United States Constitution and wasted millions of taxpayer dollars with having agents even overseas, much less going through in Connecticut and New Jersey, spying on where Muslims eat kabob to bean pie. A

…Michigan is a very unique state, because under current law, the U.S. Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection has 100-mile jurisdiction from the international border in which they can stop anyone without predication and ask for them to produce proof of citizenship. Because of the Great Lakes being considered international borders, or part of the international border, the entire state of Michigan is within the jurisdiction of U.S. Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection. Therefore, we have instances in Southwest Detroit where Latinos, born and raised here in Detroit, have been stopped and been detained for hours and asked to provide citizenship. We have issues of Muslims at the border and re-entering the border, have been stopped by CBP and asked questions, such as, “Do you pray? How many times a day do you pray? Which mosque do you go to? Who is your imam?” even asking theological questions about how they believe or interpret certain verses of the—in our holy text. So we believe that Customs and Border Patrol—I mean, Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Border Patrol are completely out of order right now, and they are engaged in racial and religious profiling.[emphasis added]

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment is one of the most poorly understood bits of the US Constitution. For a discussion, see Cornell Law. Here, the US is clearly acting to inhibit the free exercise of Islam, which falls under strict scrutiny (i.e., the Court is more inclined to hear such cases than, e.g., a case of incidental aid provided to a religious school). The idea that people would be asked theological questions by government agents is mind-boggling. And since they can be stopped anywhere in Michigan by ICE agents, the whole (large) Muslim community in Michigan is subjected to what the rest of us experience in airports. Imagine the firestorm if such things were done to Christians or Jews.

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Great Moments In Irony, Rich Wall Street Whiners Division

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 1, 2012

If you read this blog, you’ve probably seen or heard about this Bloomberg story of the trials of the whining rich not getting as much bonus money as in recent years:

Schiff, 46, is facing another kind of jam this year: Paid a lower bonus, he said the $350,000 he earns, enough to put him in the country’s top 1 percent by income, doesn’t cover his family’s private-school tuition, a Kent, Connecticut, summer rental and the upgrade they would like from their 1,200-square- foot Brooklyn duplex.

“I feel stuck,” Schiff said. “The New York that I wanted to have is still just beyond my reach.”

The smaller bonus checks that hit accounts across the financial-services industry this month are making it difficult to maintain the lifestyles that Wall Street workers expect, according to interviews with bankers and their accountants, therapists, advisers and headhunters.

“People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress,” said Alan Dlugash, a partner at accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP in New York who specializes in financial planning for the wealthy. “Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?”

As David Dayen points out, bonuses are only down 14%. That wouldn’t be a terrible tragedy to a family that had managed its money wisely — but of course, the same Wall Street moral scolds that berate the poor for being bad with money are, as it turns out in the Bloomberg piece, bad with money themselves — they don’t save their money, but spend it faster than they make it.

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