Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for January, 2014

A truly useful product.

Posted by Charles II on January 31, 2014

Leave it to the Japanese to know what we need.

Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian:

The stakes are getting increasingly high in the battle for the weirdest piece of wearable tech. After wifi-detecting hats and smartphone-charging wellies, it was only a matter of time until it all turned to sex – with the arrival of vibrating knickers, dresses that turn transparent, and a Google Glass app that lets you imagine you’re having sex with yourself.

Now, saucy Japanese lingerie brand Ravijour has upped the ante with a bra that pops open when you discover true love. Like a chastity belt for the social network age, the bra remains firmly locked shut most of the time, to defend its wearer from the hordes of sleazy menfolk trying to weasel their way in. But as soon as Prince Charming arrives, it dutifully bursts open with a gleeful spring, saving clumsy fumbling in the bedroom – and potentially taking his eye out in the process.


Posted in Just for fun | Comments Off on A truly useful product.

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on January 31, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Friday Cat Blogging, Mia | 1 Comment »

Iraq War Cost Would Have Paid For A 100% Renewable Power Grid

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 28, 2014

How much has the invasion and occupation of Iraq cost us? (Not to mention what it’s cost the Iraqis?)

Enough to have paid for America to switch to a 100% renewable power grid.


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Iraq War Cost Would Have Paid For A 100% Renewable Power Grid

Bluestem Prairie: Where You Can Read Next Fortnight’s City Pages News Today

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 27, 2014

On January 14, 2014, Sally Jo Sorensen did a post on the hypocrisy of one Stewart Mills III, of the Mills Fleet Farm family, currently running as a Republican against Rick Nolan in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District — and she provided detailed proof, discovered by her, that Mills’ anti-Cash-for-Clunkers attitude is of extremely recent origin:

While the headline of Renee Richardson’s 2009 report about the program in the Brainerd Dispatch was lukewarm, the Mills employee interviewed for Car program had a few clunkers of its own states that “there is no question that it was a success”:

Thinned ranks of automobiles on area dealership lots attest to the popularity of the Cash for Clunkers program.

“It worked very well for sales,” said Rick Goble, Mills Motors director of operations. “It was a challenge to administer. There was a great deal of confusion but it was certainly a boost to business.” . . .

. . . Goble quoted the National Automobile Dealers Association’s report that the program started with 30 federal employees and about 200 contract workers, which grew to nearly 5,000 in the last two weeks.

“They started with far too few of people,” Goble said. “Overall, there is no question that it was a success and nobody could have estimated the kind of demand there was, and everything got overwhelmed that’s just the way it was.” . . .

This isn’t the first time Bluestem has seen a split between Three’s anti-government statements and the amount of public investments he puts in his pockets.  Check out last July’s Hurdles, barriers & handicaps: Mills Fleet prince hates ’em, forgets about millions in subsidies, wherein Bluestem looked at the tax breaks and subsidies that Mills Fleet Farm stores have received.

On January 27, 2014, Aaron Rupar of City Pages ran the same story, without crediting Ms. Sorensen:

In light of those statements [attacking Cash for Clunkers], it’s interesting to note that Rick Goble, director of operations for Mills’s car business, Mills Automotive, said back in 2009 that Cash for Clunkers “worked very well for sales… it was certainly a boost to business.”

Furthermore, a July 2009 Mills Automotive ad refers to the company as your “Cash for Clunkers Headquarters!”

And yes, I took a screen shot.

This is not the first time Rupar’s done this sort of thing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Open Letter To The 85 Richest People

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 25, 2014

Following up on Charles’ post of yesterday, I thought I’d link to this:

Responding to the Oxfam report that concluded that the world’s 85 richest people own the same amount as the bottom half of the entire global population, self appointed spokesperson for the global elite, and celebrity Judge on the reality show The Shark Tank Kevin O’Leary,applauded the news, stating that is  “fantastic news (…) the motivation everybody needs (…) it inspires everyone to want to be like the 1%” and scoffing at the idea of “re-distribution of wealth” stated, “ I celebrate Capitalism.”

His remarks inspire this open letter to the 85 Richest People In The World.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The Real War on Poverty

Posted by Charles II on January 24, 2014

The Urban Institute and Brookings Institute have a discussion panel here on the role of tax policy in the War on Poverty.

Posted in our tax dollars at work, poverty | Comments Off on The Real War on Poverty

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on January 24, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 4 Comments »

Steve Stockman’s Skeevy History

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 23, 2014

As the air is filled with more stories of his current antics, I thought a little refresher on Texas congressman Steve Stockman’s history might be in order.

You see, Stockman was a congressman nineteen years ago, too. He’d just been elected to his first term, and was a darling of the far-right Bircher-birthed militia movement, the ancestors of today’s Tea Party twits. Because he was so close to the militia types, he was the congresscritter whose office received a fax on the morning the Murrah Building was blown up in Oklahoma City:

About 45 minutes before the bomb went off on 4/19/95 in front of the Murrah
Building, this idiot’s office got a fax that the sender (who turned out to be one of
the “Michigan Militia” who knew McVeigh) had tried to make look like it came
from a Federal agency, warning of a bomb threat to a Federal building in Oklahoma City.

As the writer goes on to mention, all Federal employees and all congressional staffers are taught that whenever any sort of bomb threat is received, even if you think it’s a joke, it is to be reported, immediately, to Federal Protective Services and the FBI. Stockman’s people threw the fax into the recycling bin.

Eventually, after the bombing, somebody in Stockman’s office finally made the connection, retrieved the fax from the recycling bin, and told the FBI. (But not without passing it along to the National Rifle Association.)

There has been confusion about when the fax was actually sent. Stockman has claimed for years that his office received the fax after the bombing occurred, yet a Christian Science Monitor article written shortly after the blast shows that the issue of timing isn’t that cut-and-dried:

Less than four hours after the bombing, a woman in the Wolverine Productions office who called herself ”Libby,” told the Monitor that she had sent the fax to Rep. Stockman’s office, but that neither she, nor anyone else at Wolverine, had written the note.

Libby, whose full name is Libby ”Malloy,” according to Stockman’s office, explained that the message arrived first on her fax machine. She says she then made a copy of the note, wrote ”Wolverine” on it, and forwarded it on to Stockman.


According to Rep. Stockman, the fax his office received bore a time stamp of 8:59 Eastern time, suggesting it was sent well before the 10:04 Eastern time bombing.

WHEN asked why the fax she sent Stockman was timed before the bombing, Libby and Mr. Stadtmiller said they had neglected to set their fax machine clock forward an hour for daylight savings time earlier this month.

But on the day of the bombing, when asked to read the time stamp on the fax she received from the unidentified source in Oklahoma city, Libby said it read 8:48 a.m. Central time, 12 minutes before the bomb exploded.

In explanation, Libby said that the person who sent the fax must also have forgotten to change his or her clock. Libby added that she always sends relevant ”intelligence” to Stockman’s staff, whom she considers ”friendly.”

Now, if Libby was telling the truth about the timing, why in the world would she have sent that weird fax to Stockman’s office after the bombing?

On the other hand, it would make a lot more sense if, say, Libby and whoever sent her that fax were starting to feel guilty about a bomb plot they knew was about to be brought to deadly fruition, yet they didn’t want to rat out their fellow travelers in the militia movement, so they came up with this cockamamie plan to try and create a warning that looked like it was issued by a Federal agency and then pass it along to somebody who they figured was sympathetic to the movement yet would feel duty-bound to notify the proper authorities in time to avert the bombing.

(Crossposted to MyFDL.)

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Radically green

Posted by Charles II on January 22, 2014

Sydney Brownstone, Co-Exist

In the future, leather shoes won’t come from cows. They’ll be manifested out of petri dishes, or in green chemist Richard Wool’s vision, divined from chicken feathers, flax, and soybean oil.

Over the past two decades, Wool has figured out how to turn chicken feathers into computer processors and soybean oil into John Deere tractor parts. His latest project aims to capture the attention of catwalk watchers: Wool hopes to commercialize a new kind of breathable leather that’s made without the environmentally destructive chemicals.

The Blacksmith Institute, a nonprofit environmental think tank, regards pollution from leather tanneries in Hazaribagh, Bangladesh, as one of the top toxic threats in the world.

Posted in environment, Good Things | 1 Comment »

Deadbeat Sean Nienow: Arrogant, Hypocritical, Or Both?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 19, 2014

This from BSP is ironic:

Sean Nienow, who is being sued by the federal government for defaulting on a $600,000 Small Business Administration Loan, recently cried to KSTP’s Jay Kolls that a fix for Minnesota Care would be great:

Great, if it works! Number two: if does work, it’s still our taxpayer money!  Federal money doesn’t grow on trees!”

Sean’s cameo begins at 1:42 in the clip.  As Bluestem reported yesterday, Common sense money management” dude Senator Nienow was also sued in state court for a contract related to his purchased the same business, the National Camp Associaton, Inc.

Federal money may not grow on trees for health care, but if it’s his own defaulted federal loan? Apparently it’s just a little shrubbery to borrow from the federal government for a private business, even if that  doesn’t work out.

As BSP’s Sally Jo Sorensen goes on to point out, Nienow was also lending money to his own political campaign even as he was refusing to make payments on his SBA loan.

Now, right-wing professional government haters may approve of this behavior and call it “bleeding the beast”, but most sane and ethical persons do not like it at all.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Deadbeat Sean Nienow: Arrogant, Hypocritical, Or Both?

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