Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for August, 2012

Phone hacking ticks on

Posted by Charles II on August 31, 2012

Lisa O’Carroll, The Guardian:

The former head lawyer at the News of the World has categorically denied any involvement in the commissioning of phone hacking.

Tom Crone, who was arrested at 6.45am at his home in south London on Thursday, was released on bail late Thursday night after being detained by Scotland Yard detectives on suspicion of unlawfully conspiring to intercept communications.

The Metropolitan police said that he was bailed until mid-October.

Posted in Rupert Murdoch, wiretapping | Comments Off on Phone hacking ticks on

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on August 31, 2012

Except for the shaved tummy (from getting an ultrasound), it’s as if he’d never been sick.

Friday Cat Blogging

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 3 Comments »

Beware what you wish for

Posted by Charles II on August 30, 2012

Kim Vallez, KRQE:

”I told Chuck we would be polite and enjoy a free lunch and then say goodbye…but we talked about issues,” Martinez said. “When we left that lunch we got in the car and I looked over at Chuck and I said [I’ll] be damned…we are republicans.”

There were tweets out there Thursday with people talking about putting that phrase on t-shirts.

I’ll look forward to the T-shirts that say, “I’m a Republican. I’ll be damned.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Beware what you wish for

Your tax dollars at work

Posted by Charles II on August 30, 2012

Allison Flood, The Guardian:

Ray Bradbury was investigated by the FBI during the 1950s, with government agents interviewing his peers and putting him under surveillance before concluding that despite being critical of the US government in his writing, the celebrated writer was never a member of the Communist party.

The 40-page cache of the late science fiction author’s FBI files was obtained by the Daily Beast following a Freedom of Information request, and shows the extent to which the FBI had Bradbury in its sights in 1959. “Raymond Douglas Bradbury, a freelance science fiction, television and motion picture scenario writer … has been described as being critical of the United States Government,” the FBI wrote on 8 June 1959, before laying out its issue with Bradbury’s classic collection of short stories, The Martian Chronicles. The stories “were connected by the repeated theme that earthmen are despoilers and not developers”, according to the FBI.

[An informant said] “the general aim of these science fiction writers is to frighten the people into a state of paralysis or psychological incompetence bordering on hysteria which would make it very possible to conduct a Third World War which the American people would seriously believe could not be won since their morals had been seriously destroyed”.

Look, there’s a pretty simple line that any police agency should follow. If something is a crime, it should be investigated. If it’s unpopular, leave it the f— alone. Criticizing the government or, for that matter, membership in any political organization is not a crime.

Posted in FBI, wrong way to go about it | 1 Comment »

What Do Floridians Think Of The Romney-Ryan Kill Medicare Plan?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 30, 2012

Not very much, as it turns out:

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Do Floridians Think Of The Romney-Ryan Kill Medicare Plan?

Where is Culture of Truth when we need him?

Posted by Charles II on August 29, 2012

Republican chant: “We bilked it! We bilked it! USA! USA!”

The Republican National Convention definitely needs to be given the CoT treatment. His comments are here, but I would phrase it more like this:

Ann Romney: Women want to be loved, and Mitt’s a lover!
Chris Christie: Fahgeddabout love! Women want respect! And I respect ’em. Except teechurs.
The Hucksterbee (then): Mitt Romney doesn’t have a soul.
The Hucksterbee (now, donning Clinton mask): We can do better than Barack Obama. Like this Mormon guy.
Rice: Fortunately, you’re so well-indictrinated that you’ve forgotten that my husb…er, boss caused all this wreckage.
Rice: Thank goodness the Canadians are willing to trash their country so that we can trash the world.
Rice: GW Bush? Who’s that?
Rice: I could be president after Mitt loses.
Susana Martinez: Let’s not talk about Mitt. Let’s talk about me! I could be president after Mitt loses.

Please add your own.

Posted in Republican National Convention, Republicans | 3 Comments »

GOP Cuba hypocrisy

Posted by Charles II on August 29, 2012

DemocracyNow:

AL FOX: You know, there could be no better example of the tragedy of the issue of United States-Cuba relations than the position that Paul Ryan now takes. It’s simply about money and pandering. That’s it. An aside, also Mitt Romney, when he was the governor of Massachusetts, supported diplomatic relations with Cuba. And the issue is that you have a handful of people in Miami that are driven by vengeance and hatred. The policy of the United States towards Cuba has absolutely nothing to do with Fidel Castro, human rights violation, political prisoners. It has everything to do with vengeance and hatred and cheap political money. And the minute that Ryan was tapped for this position to be Mitt Romney’s running mate, a lot of us said, “Well, we’ve lost Ryan.” And, to be fair, that happens about as often in the Democratic Party, as well.

AL FOX: I mean, many people think that the Democratic Party is better in—or more progressive view on U.S.-Cuba politics. That’s the perception. The reality is not. You only have to look at the head of the Democratic Party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, congresswoman from South Florida. Her position on Cuba is now exactly like Paul Ryan’s position.

AL FOX: … What the state senator [Anitere Flores] doesn’t tell you is how personal this is for so many there. Mario Diaz-Balart, the congressman, and his brother, a former congressman, they’re Fidel Castro’s nephews. They never tell you that. These congressmember’s, they are Fidel Castro’s nephews. They never tell you that. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s father was a major in the Batista army. They never tell you that. Gloria Estefan’s father—very famous singer—her father was chief of security for Fulgencio Batista. What’s the point? For them, it’s hatred and vengeance. It’s like the Hatfields and the McCoys. It’s personal for them.

AL FOX: …And Marco Rubio, some of the things he said, I mean, they’re just outright lies. I mean, he is a creation of the media. Ted Cruz said his father was brutally beaten and tortured in a Cuban jail. The implication was that it was in a Castro jail, OK? Well, Ted Cruz’s father came to the United States in 1957, and I’m trying to—I think he was 17 or 18 years old…. if his father came here in 1957 as a 17-, 18-year-old student to attend the University of Texas, when was he brutally tortured in the Cuban jails? When was it? When he was 12 or 13 or 14? And was he fighting with Fidel against Batista when he was 12, 13? They make great stories. But the thing is the same way it is with Marco Rubio’s family, OK?

Posted in Cuba, Republicans acting badly | Comments Off on GOP Cuba hypocrisy

Ohio Republicans Won’t Let Democrats Vote Before Or After Work

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 28, 2012

This is for all you ALEC Voter ID law fans out there:

Earlier this month I reported how Ohio Republicans were limiting early voting hours in Democratic counties, while expanding them on nights and weekends in Republican counties.

In response to the public outcry, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who intervened in favor of limiting early voting hours in Democratic counties, issued a statewide directive mandating uniform early voting hours in all eighty-eight Ohio counties. Husted kept early voting hours from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays from October 2 to 19 and broadened hours from 8 am to 7 pm from October 22 to November 2. But he refused to expand early voting hours beyond 7 pm during the week, on weekends or three days prior to the election (which is being challenged in court by the Obama campaign)—when it is most convenient for many working Ohioans to vote. Rather than expanding early voting hours across the state, Husted limited them for everybody. Voter suppression for all!

[…]

Why do Ohio Republicans suddenly feel so strongly about limiting early voting hours in Democratic counties? Franklin County (Columbus) GOP Chair Doug Preisse gave a surprisingly blunt answer to the Columbus Dispatch on Sunday: “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban—read African-American—voter-turnout machine.” Preisse is not some rogue operative but the chairman of the Republican Party in Ohio’s second-largest county and a close adviser to Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Like Pennsylvania House majority leader Mike Turzai, who said his state’s voter ID law “is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania,” Preisse said publicly what many Republicans believe privately—keeping turnout down among Obama supporters is the best way for the GOP to win the 2012 election. That’s why, since the 2010 election, Republicans have devoted so much energy to voter-suppression efforts like limiting early voting hours, restricting voter registration drives, passing voter ID laws, disenfranchising ex-felons and purging the voter rolls.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

So How Will Republicans Handle This New Orleans Hurricane?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 27, 2012

In a post on soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac, David Dayen states the following:

This has already had a political impact for the leaders in the states affected. Governor Bobby Jindal has pulled out of the Republican Convention, joining Florida Governor Rick Scott (the Republican Governors of Alabama and Mississippi were not scheduled to speak). Jindal had a speaking slot in the 8:00 hour on Wednesday.

More important than that, viewers tuning in for the convention can expect a split-screen of Republicans whooping it up over small government plans in Tampa, while government evacuation and emergency efforts persist to the west in the Gulf. The hope is that all emergency efforts go smoothly and there’s no bad news to report. But thanks to the response to Katrina in 2005, the optics of a Gulf hurricane are now a net negative for the GOP. They will have to deal with that juxtaposition in imagery.

“The optics of a Gulf hurricane are now a net negative for the GOP.” Here’s how I imagine the GOP thinks about this situation:

Option 1. They’ll just do what they did last time and blame the Democratic governor and mayor. Oh, wait — one of those people isn’t a Democrat this time around.

Option 2. They’ll trust everything to work out because they know that the new pumps will work just fine. Oh, wait — those were defective ones made by a company in which Jeb Bush was a business partner. And the pumping facilities still aren’t up to the job.

Option 3. They’ll just do what they did last time and use email smear forwards and other methods to imply (or state outright) that the residents of New Orleans are just a bunch of stupid lazy black people who should never have put their homes where they did and who are too stupid to evacuate themselves properly. Doesn’t matter how often these smears are debunked, the GOP’s racist crazy base will eat them up.

And there you have it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

MN Voter ID: Costs Million$, Keeps 1000s Of Legal Voters From Voting, Useless As Anti-Felon Tool

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 26, 2012

Sally Jo Sorensen passes along the following:

Faribault Daily News staff reporter Joseph Lindberg reports in Pricetag for voter ID in Rice County could surpass $120,000:

If Minnesota voters this November approve a
constitutional amendment requiring a valid photo ID to cast a ballot,
the equipment election officials would use to verify voter data could
cost more than $120,000 in Rice County alone.

Electronic “pollbooks,” a term
that generally refers to hardware and software used to process voter
information, would likely be used at the county’s 31 voting precincts at
an estimated cost of $4,000 each, according to Fran Windschitl, Rice
County auditor/treasurer. . . . .

The county’s cost hinges on how much time the amendment, if passed,
would give counties to process provisional ballots cast by those who
don’t bring ID to the polling place but cast a vote and verify their
personal data later.

Even if a longer time period is approved — other
states range from three to 14 days — and pollbooks aren’t needed, the
staff time to process ballots would be considerable, Windschitl said.

Sorensen goes on to note that back in 2009, when Democrats proposed sensible election reform legislation that, unlike the ALEC-sponsored voter ID amendment, have actually worked to keep felons from illegally voting, and done so far more cheaply and with far less bureaucratic hassle, the Republican then-governor Tim Pawlenty vetoed it.

Now, Rice County isn’t the smallest of Minnesota’s eighty-seven counties, but it’s also not the biggest. Extrapolate Rice County’s experience to the rest of the state, and it’s obvious that we’d be looking at a minimum of $10 million being spent to enforce a law that has as its main effect keeping tens of thousands of legal voters from being able to vote and which would do nothing to stop felons from illegally voting.

Minnesotans shouldn’t be too surprised by this. As we’ve seen from the glacial and sometimes questionable response of the Republican Party of Minnesota to requests for payment by the various counties whose staffs the RPM forced to work overtime on a recount that wound up confirming Mark Dayton’s win, Minnesota Republicans have no problems with sticking the counties of Greater Minnesota with the bills for GOP-caused voting expenditures.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »