Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for September, 2012

Getting your just deserts

Posted by Charles II on September 30, 2012

Found on Huffington Post, this graph explains why work feels like a treadmill: it is.

We’re doing things more and more efficiently (meaning there’s less demand for labor), and all the credit for that since 1978 has gone to capital. Well, sure, capital is part of productivity, building plant and buying equipment. But people have increased their education and contributed on their own to working smarter. And I’m not just talking about Sam Walton and his (admittedly brilliant if sociopathic) improvement of the supply chain. Every dime of labor’s contribution to productivity has been sucked up by financialization. Life not only isn’t likely to get better. It hasn’t been getting better for over a generation.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Chris Kluwe For Anything, 2016

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 30, 2012

If not sooner.

The man is simply awesome, as shown again here and here.

Chris, your country needs you.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

More Republican Vote Fraud

Posted by Charles II on September 29, 2012

We should believe the Republicans when they say that there’s a problem with vote fraud, since they seem to be the main ones committing it. Brad Friedman, truthout:

The Republican Party of Florida’s top recipient of 2012 expenditures, a firm by the name of Strategic Allied Consulting, was just fired on Tuesday night, after more than 100 apparently fraudulent voter registration forms were discovered to have been turned in by the group to the Palm Beach County, FL Supervisor of Elections.

The firm appears to be another shell company of Nathan Sproul, a longtime, notorious Republican operative, hired year after year by GOP Presidential campaigns, despite being accused of shredding Democratic voter registration forms in a number of states over several past elections.

…The Palm Beach Post is reporting tonight that the firm received “more than $1.3 million” from the Republican Party of Florida “to register new voters.”

Moreover, the firm is also reportedly operating similar voter registration operations on behalf of the Republican Party, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, in a number of key battleground states this year, including North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado.

…a massive GOP voter registration scheme, which appears to involve the upper-echelons of the national party, begins to emerge…

We’ve reported on Sproul many times over the years, as the GOP operative, and former chair of the Arizona GOP and the state’s Christian Coalition, pops up again and again in each Presidential Election year. He is hired over and over by the Republican Party, despite years of fraud allegations in multiple states against his organizations, which are said to have routinely changed or entirely destroyed Democratic voter registrations.

If ACORN had done what Sproul does, they’d all be in jail.

Posted in corruption, crimes, frauds, impunity, Republicans as cancer | 3 Comments »

Via Melissa H-P

Posted by Charles II on September 29, 2012

Sorry about the commercial.

Posted in 2012, Obama Administration | Comments Off on Via Melissa H-P

Hint: when they’re laughing at you, you’re probably not convincing them

Posted by Charles II on September 28, 2012

So, here’s the original:

(Image from Jethro Mullen, CNN)

Here’s how they see you:

(Images from Umberto Bacchi, IBT)

(Image from DeSwiss)

Posted in Iran, israel, Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on September 28, 2012

Alex had a blood test last weekend as a follow-up to his pancreatitis, and the results were all normal. He’s as healthy as a 14-year-old cat can be.

And he wants tuna, now, please.

Friday Cat Blogging

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

Linda “Sunset” McMahon Declares War On Social Security

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 28, 2012

Would that Social Security, as opposed to corporate profiteering, really was the third rail of American politics — because then Linda McMahon would never have dared say this:

In little-noticed remarks at a Tea Party town hall meeting earlier this year, Republican Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon proposed introducing a “sunset provision” into the Social Security Act.

McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, has consistently dodged questions about cutting government entitlement programs in her two Senate runs.

Speaking before a group of Tea Party supporters in Waterford, Conn. on April 20, however, McMahon said she would consider making major changes to Social Security, from raising the retirement age to means-testing benefits. She also proposed introducing a “sunset provision” — the legislative term for putting an expiration date on a law unless it is renewed.

In a just world, this alone would doom her candidacy. But in this world, the truth needs a little assistance.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Linda “Sunset” McMahon Declares War On Social Security

Sparring over Senkaku

Posted by Charles II on September 27, 2012

For some time, I have been concerned about the strengthening of the Chinese navy. In 2009, there was a clash between the USS Impeccable and Chinese vessels. In 2010, there was an incident between the Chinese and Japan.

Now there is rising tension over the Senkaku (Chinese: Diaoyutai) Islands. Probably because of domestic factors, Japan has chosen to emphasize its claims to ownership of the islands and China, for its own domestic reasons, has chosen to respond with rhetoric so intense that some Japanese manufacturers in China have been forced to shut down. The islands are not inhabited, and are roughly 150 miles off of Taiwan and 230 miles off of China. However, thanks to the 200 mile exclusion zone granted by international law to territorial waters, whoever controls the islands, controls something like 25,000 square miles of seabed which might constitute a new Saudi Arabia. If there is a conflict, the US is bound by treaty to support Japan.

None of this would be an issue if China had not developed a blue water navy. But it has, and the purpose of that navy is probably, according to the Congressional Research Service, to fend off any attempt to rescue Taiwan from a Chinese invasion. Today, on CCTV, their first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was pointedly on display.

China has had a series of clashes with its neighbors, including Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan. India regards it as its primary rival. China, of course, seized a US aircraft during the Dubya Administration.

This is a dangerous situation and, I fear, part of a China that has gone from confident to arrogant, and prone to misjudgment. Whether the present kerfuffle over the Senkaku Islands will end in bloodshed is unknowable. My guess is, probably not. But as American power comes under increasing strain (thanks to our criminally incompetent military leadership), the emergence of an aggressive China is likely. Economically, the effect of open conflict could be as serious as war against Iran. Perhaps worse.

And the American media continue pouring out infotainment, and the American public remains oblivious.

Added: This column by Han Yi-Shaw presenting the Chinese point of view is useful, as are many of the comments. Personally, I think that the resources below the Economic Zone should be donated to the Palestinians and other people living under stateless conditions. Then the Chinese and Japanese can probably find an amicable resolution as to who owns the islands.

Posted in China, international, Japan | 4 Comments »

It’s a date! Murdoch phone hacking prosecutions

Posted by Charles II on September 26, 2012

Lisa O’Carroll, The Guardian:

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson have been told at the Old Bailey that they are not due to face a full trial until …. 9 September 2013 by Mr Justice Fulford, who is presiding over two batches of charges against them and 12 others.

Coulson, Brooks and six others have been charged with conspiring to hack phones.

Brooks is also charged with three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Apart from Coulson and Brooks, the others facing phone-hacking-related charges are Edmondson, Weatherup, Thurlbeck, former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner, ex-news editor Greg Miskiw and a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire.

Kuttner faces three charges, while Miskiw faces 10 charges. Edmondson 12 charges, Thurlbeck eight and Weatherup eight.

Posted in Rupert Murdoch, wiretapping | Comments Off on It’s a date! Murdoch phone hacking prosecutions

The Fiscal Cliff/Bobblespeak translation

Posted by Charles II on September 26, 2012

Bloomberg did an edition on the fiscal cliff and what it means in detail. A lot of it is bulls–t to persuade the reader of things that are wrong. So here it is run through the bobblespeak decoder ring.

Continues below the fold.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in economy, Media machine | 2 Comments »

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