Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for October, 2013

A Test

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 31, 2013

I’m proposing a test.

The test:

1. Go to .

2. Try to comment in the comments threads, using facts and cites to websites.

3. See how long it takes before your comments automatically wind up in “moderation” even when you don’t put any URLs in them.

Report back to me via the thread attached to this post.


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

NSA Documents Prove Bush White House Ignored Pre-9/11 Warnings About Bin Laden

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 30, 2013

Just a little reminder:

On Tuesday [June 19, 2012], the National Security Archive released a trove of 120 previously secret documents concerning the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. With revelations about the CIA’s budget concerns in 2000 and the unheeded warnings in 2001, the picture they paint isn’t a pretty one for either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush. But for President Bush, the papers constitute an especially damning indictment. After all, the 9/11 documents clearly belie Bush White House claims that nobody “no one could have anticipated that kind of attack.”

Among other things, the Hart-Rudman Commission report is mentioned.

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Snowden Legal Defense Fund Launches

Posted by Charles II on October 29, 2013

Via Joanna Leon at DK, the Snowden Legal Defense Fund website is up.

BTW, Joanna does a great roundup of left news and pretty pictures. One tidbit today: Alterman bashing Max Blumenthal; Jeremy Scahill counterbashes.

Posted in NSA eavesdropping | 1 Comment »

Avidor Beat MJ’s Mariah Blake’s Bachmann “Scoop” By Four Months

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 28, 2013

Today, Mother Jones readers were breathlessly told by Mariah Blake about a Hot! New! Development! in the twisted saga of Michele Bachmann:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has quietly returned campaign contributions from an ex-con who lured investors for one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in US history—and on whose behalf the tea party lawmaker sought a presidential pardon. According to campaign finance reports, last quarter Bachmann’s campaign committee paid $14,000 to a bankruptcy trustee for Frank Vennes, a former North Dakota pawnshop owner who was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison for aiding and abetting fraud.

What she doesn’t mention is that Ken Avidor published this news back on June 16, a good four months before she did.

What she also doesn’t mention is that Avidor and the late great Karl Bremer are the persons who have done the most work on this story, a story she presents as if she had legworked it all herself. She doesn’t even mention their names.

UPDATE: Avidor reminds us that Our Miss Blake has done this sort of thing before, and even more blatantly:

You’d think jet-setting, East Coast reporters would have learned a lesson about plundering homegrown media in flyover country for content after Matt Taibbi got caught ripping off G.R. Anderson’s City Pages profiles of Michele Bachmann.

Now, The New Republic’s Mariah Blake thinks she can Google-up a whole bunch of articles by local reporters and cobble together a flawed, confusing, unfocused article.


The TNR cover claims the article tells the “untold story” of the Tom Petters Ponzi scheme – what horse crap!. That story was told by every major news outlet in the state, the news wires and national business news outlets. I covered the trial of Tom Petters for the City Pages and kept a blog titled Petters Info. I even won an SPJ award for my nightly video reports of the trial (sadly, swept away by Bradlee Dean’s You Tube take-down with only one remaining). Beth Hawkins wrote a long article for Minnesota Monthly in 2009 titled “Trust Me” and covered the trial for Bloomberg. There were many articles about Petters in the Strib, PiPress and on radio and TV. The trial and conviction of Tom Petters was one of the top Minnesota news stories of 2009 and the last decade. Untold? Really?


POSTSCRIPT: TNR left their fingerprints at the scene of the crime… They stole a photo without credit that appears on Karl Bremer’s Ripple in Stillwater blog and nowhere else. I was at the courthouse when Karl took that photo. It captures Vennes in full flight from reporters with Karl in pursuit. Karl ran after Vennes for several blocks snapping pictures of the fleeing felon. That’s the sort of effort real reporters put into getting a story.

Karl sued and settled with the New Republic for an undisclosed sum.

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Jim Crow In Israel: Max Blumenthal’s Goliath

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 27, 2013

From Truthout’s interview with Max Blumenthal, author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel:

Having covered the radical right in this country and attended white nationalist conventions, I was emotionally and psychologically prepared for a lot of the scenes I would witness and the statements people would make to me in interviews. But one of the things that was surprising to me was the extent to which groups and figures, remarkably similar ideologically and psychologically to the radical right in the US and to neo-fascist movements across Europe, controlled the heart of Israeli society and the Israeli government. I was surprised at how far right the Israeli government had gone and how strong a base this government had within Israeli society at large.

For example, I present many scenes in my book where I’m hanging out at nationalist rallies where people are calling for the expulsion of Arabs from their neighborhoods and for the expulsion of African asylum seekers just south of Tel Aviv, calling them a cancer, chanting “nigger, nigger, you’re a son of a bitch,” while members of the Knesset, Israel’s deliberative body, are on stage inciting them.

And this:

One of the darkest chapters in American history is the lynching of Emmett Till, who was accused of whistling at a white woman.

In Zion Square, the heart of central Jerusalem, where I lived for several months, there was a 19-year-old Palestinian guy named Jamal Julani. He was walking through occupied East Jerusalem, which has a large Palestinian population, and he was set upon by a mob of Jews chanting “death to Arabs.” They started beating him because a 15-year-old girl had spread rumors that he had made a pass at her, which turned out to be false. They beat him into critical condition. Zion Square is constantly crowded. There were many bystanders that stood by and did nothing. Some of the kids were caught, and they were unrepentant at their trial. They said they would do it again because they were proud of what they did. This goes to the heart of how Jewish youth are being educated in Israel and how reminiscent it is of the way Southern whites were educated and cultivated during the Jim Crow era.

There is a massive anti-miscegenation movement in Israel led by a group called Lehava. It’s founder, Benzi Gopstein, who is a member of the Kach terrorist group, was outside the courtroom where the kids who had beaten Julani were put on trial, and he praised them. Gopstein has organized anti-miscegenation coast guards who go to beaches and warn Jewish women not to date Arabs, who will kidnap them, beat them and make them prisoners to their primitive culture. They have a sister organization called Hemla, which runs a home for Jewish women who have supposedly fled relationships with Arab men. Hemla has received hundreds of millions of shekels in state support. Gopstein sits on the board of Hemla, so the anti-miscegenation campaign basically receives state support.

Go read the whole thing. It’s brutal.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Why We Cook: Cooking Destroys Antinutrients

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 26, 2013

Something to show to the next raw-food enthusiast you encounter:

Antinutrients are found at some level in almost all foods for a variety of reasons. However, their levels are reduced in modern crops, probably as an outcome of the process of domestication.[11] The possibility now exists to eliminate antinutrients entirely using genetic engineering; but, since these compounds may also have beneficial effects, such genetic modifications could make the foods more nutritious but not improve people’s health.[12]

Many traditional methods of food preparation such as fermentation, cooking, and malting increase the nutritive quality of plant foods through reducing certain antinutrients such as phytic acid, polyphenols, and oxalic acid.[13] Such processing methods are widely used in societies where cereals and legumes form a major part of the diet.[14][15] An important example of such processing is the fermentation of cassava to produce cassava flour: this fermentation reduces the levels of both toxins and antinutrients in the tuber.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on October 25, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 2 Comments »

Remember The Medicare Part D Rollout?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 24, 2013

TPM reminds everyone of the following:

A few weeks into the launch of the most sweeping health care reform law in a generation, John Boehner declared that the implementation was a disaster.

“The implementation,” the Republican leader said, “has been horrendous. We’ve made it far more complicated than it should be.”

Boehner, of course, was talking about the rollout of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit — known as Part D — enacted in 2003 by President George W. Bush. He discussed the implementation woes during a Feb. 6, 2006 appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” on his fifth day as House majority leader.

But did he want to repeal the benefit? No. The future Speaker soberly acknowledged the problems but saw potential in the law and called for improving it. “The good news is that the competition that’s being created has lowered premiums significantly below where Congress thought they’d be when we put the bill together, so the competition side is good,” he said. “I think the implementation side continues to need to be improved.”

It was a rough time for the law’s proponents. The soft launch was “anything but smooth,” according to the Washington Post, marred by at least two delays along with other, deeper problems. Upon launch, the Bush administration admitted to receiving “tens of thousands of complaints by seniors, pharmacists and others” about implementation failures. Health and Human Services vowed to “fix every problem as quickly as possible.”

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$15-An-Hour Living Wage: Even The Kochs Might Not Stop It

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 23, 2013

From Salon via Daily Kos:

Voters in SeaTac – a city surrounding and including the Seattle-Tacoma airport – will decide the proposal’s fate on November 5. If approved, the new law would require a wage of at least $15 for over 6,000 workers employed at the airport and surrounding hotels. Smaller airport employers and most SeaTac companies outside the airport and hotels would be exempted.

Wish them luck — the Kochs are bankrolling a campaign to stop them, though it looks like that might fail.

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1-800-318-2596: The Easy Way To ACA

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 22, 2013

Considering the ACA website was launched during the GOP’s shutdown (and it is the GOP’s shutdown — they planned it with their Heritage Foundation buddies such as Michael Needham back in January of this year, as a recent NYT article revealed) and the ongoing efforts by Republican governors and legislatures to sabotage the ACA, I’m amazed it’s at all functional.

What’s lost in all of this is that there is a phone number you can call to do that horribly primitive method of registering by phone: 1-800-318-2596. Alternatively, you can get local help at, which is especially important if you live in a state whose Republican governors and/or legislature did their worst to undermine the healthcare exchanges.

Pass it on!

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