Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for August, 2014

Anglo-American policy in the Middle East explained

Posted by Charles II on August 31, 2014

I received this from a friend.

Just in case you are confused by what is going on in the Middle East, I have obtained this simple explanation of the UK Government’s apparent position:

We support the Iraqi government in the fight against ISIS. We don’t like ISIS, but ISIS is supported by Saudi Arabia whom we do like.

We don’t like Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but ISIS is also fighting against him.

We don’t like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIS.

So some of our friends support our enemies, some enemies are now our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, whom we want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win.

If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they could be replaced by people we like even less.

And all this was started by Blair siding with Bush and invading a country to drive out terrorists who were not actually there until after we went in to drive them out.


Posted in Conflict in the Middle East, Iraq war, Just for fun | 4 Comments »

Good News You Likely Haven’t Heard From CNN Or The NYT

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 30, 2014

Here’s some good news you probably won’t hear from most nationally-focused US media:

— Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium (aka the guy who got all the 2012 Senate races right along with the Presidential race) has been saying that the Democrats have at least a 70% chance of keeping the Senate (today’s current snapshot gives them a 75% chance, with a longer-range Election Day forecast of 65%). How does he do it? By using poll data and not “secret sauce” (aka (And the only reason I know about this is because of the cartoon in this Daily Kos post.)

— Mitch McConnell, who has been in a very tough race with Democratic candidate Alison Grimes, just took a big blow when his campaign manager, Jesse Benton, resigned today. Seems that back in 2012, when Benton worked for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign, he was involved in getting Kent Sorenson, then an Iowa state Senator, to switch his endorsement from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul, a move which Sorenson, on pleading guilty to Federal bribery charges Wednesday, says the Paul campaign paid him $73,000 to make. (Benton, by the way, is married to Ron Paul’s granddaughter, Valori Pyeatt.)

A town in West Virginia, where King Coal normally rules without question, has developed a useful funding model for converting to solar power.

So what’s the good word in your parts this week?

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Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on August 29, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging

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

Germany Ramps Up Solar And Wind Use, Its Power Grid Gets Stronger

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 25, 2014

Dirty-energy lobbyists claim that adding solar and wind power to a nation’s electrical grid will somehow make it less stable and reliable.

Germany has just proved them wrong:

Check out the whole story and pass it on.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on August 22, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging

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

DFL HQ Joins Aaron Rupar In Ripping Off Bluestem Prairie

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 21, 2014

This little thing from the DFL’s crack messaging staff appeared under my e-mail transom today:


Aug. 21, 2014


Three strikes, their out: Out of state groups continue to mislead, distort Congressman Collin Peterson’s record

Last night in a TV interview, Sen Torrey Westrom refused to condemn websites that have been called misleading by Minnesota newspapers, the third time that out of state groups have used misleading tactics to target Collin Peterson. “Misleading attacks and distortions aren’t the Minnesota way but Sen. Westrom refuses to stand up to his own party,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin. “The contrast couldn’t be more clear between Collin Peterson, who puts Minnesota’s farmers first regardless of the politics, and Sen Westrom, who has refused to stand up to his own party and condemn these desperate and misleading attacks.”



NRCC Used Fake News Website Criticizing Congressman Peterson. In 2014 the Twin Cities reported: “The new websites, even though they’re designed to look like local news sources, are actually advertisements – two of at least 20 targeting Democratic candidates for the U.S. House, and paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee.” [Twin Cities, 8/14/14]

  • Headline: GOP Creates Look-Alike News Sites Targeting Minnesota Democrats [Twin Cities, 8/14/14]
  • Headline: NRCC Launches Fake News Sites to Attack Democratic Candidates [National Journal
  • NRCC Used Fake Peterson for Congress Website to Solicit Donations. In 2014 the Star Tribune reported: “A Republican campaign group that set up fake 2014 election websites for Democrats, including Minnesota’s Collin Peterson, has tweaked the sites to make clear that donations sent through them will benefit the GOP. The National Republican Congressional Committee recently made the changes after Washington, D.C.-based watchdog groups raised concerns about the sites possibly violating Federal Election Commission rules.” [Star Tribune, 2/17/14]
  • Headline: GOP group tweaks its ‘Collin Peterson for Congress’ website [Star Tribune, 2/17/14]
  • Headline: Ethics Complaint Filed Against Head of NRCC for Fake Campaign Websites; Congressman Peterson one of NRCC’s Targets [Politics.MN, 3/12/14]
  • NRCC Used Minnesota Twins to Attack Congressman Peterson. In 2013 the City Pages reported: “In a new radio spot, the National Republican Congressional Committee uses audio from the Twins’ dramatic
    1991 Game 7 World Series win against Collin Peterson, the Democrat who has represented southern Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District since that same year.” [City Pages, 12/13/13]
  • Headline: Republican attack ad uses Minnesota Twins against Collin Peterson [City Pages, 12/13/13]
  • Headline: DFL blasts Republicans for politicizing Minnesota Twins [City Pages, 12/16/13]

Ellen M. Perrault

Communication Director

Minnesota DFL

First off, somebody needs to read up on the difference between “their” and “they’re”.

Second off, the Torrey Westrom interview aired August 18, not “last night” (August 20).

Third off, the reason I know this is because Bluestem Prairie broke that particular wrinkle of the story (Westrom’s refusal to disavow the fake site) on August 18, right here:

Not only that, but Bluestem Prairie was the first media in Minnesota to post about the fake website back in February 2014, in NRCC creates fake Collin Peterson site “to lure” voters, CNN special investigations unit reports.

Last week, Bluestem posted about yet another fake site from Westrom’s Beltway Republican supporters in MN07: DC-based national Republicans launch fake news website against Collin Peterson.

C’mon, Ms. Perrault. It won’t hurt you to credit your actual sources. You know full well Bluestem exists.

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Rick Perry, Jim Stuck, Rosemary Lehmberg

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 20, 2014

Recently indicted Rick Perry claims that the desire to keep a state watchdog agency off his back was not why he pressured Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her DUI incident.

If that’s the case, why then was he far more lenient towards another state official with a DUI incident, Jim Stick?

As Progress Texas reports:

In 2011, Republican and former State Representative Jim Stick was arrested for drunk driving. He has since been appointed as chief legal counsel for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, earning an annual salary of $162,000.
Then, there are officials who held identical offices as Rosemary Lehmberg. Since Perry has taken office, two other District Attorneys have been charged with drunk driving, but Rick Perry made no calls for their resignation.

• In 2009, Kaufman County District Attorney Rick Harrison was found guilty of drunk driving after driving the wrong way in traffic.
• In 2003, Swisher County D.A. Terry McEachern was found guilty of a DWI.

What’s the difference between these District Attorneys and the Travis County District Attorney? It could be that they are Republicans. More likely, it’s that these district attorneys were not overseeing investigations of the governor’s signature project – the Cancer Research Fund – which has since resulted in a felony indictment.

The thing speaks for itself.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on August 15, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 1 Comment »

Solar Roadways Update: Bad News, Good News

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 14, 2014

Here’s the latest from Solar Roadways, as of Monday:

Hi Folks,

Julie suffered an acute gall bladder attack on Friday and had surgery on Saturday. She’s home from the hospital now, but her recovery is going to slow us down a bit. Thank you for your patience.

The perk fulfillment continues. We have over 4000 t-shirts, 6000 coffee mugs, 1700 tote bags, 15000 bumper stickers, etc., to process. We are also still shooting the $100 thank you videos most every night (until Julie’s surgery). We’ve filmed letters “A” and “B” of the group ($10 donation) videos and will be adding more each week. We’re working as fast as we can, but it is taking longer than anticipated. With over 48000 donors, we have our hands full. We’re not complaining: it’s a great problem to have!

We are also interviewing potential employees and just added Graphic Artist/ Wed Developer to our wish list. We are so grateful to you all for the opportunity to put our team together.

We’re trying our best to keep up with social media and responding to over 18,000 emails in our inbox. We are blessed with thousands of potential customers, potential employees etc. from all over the world. We just feel badly that it’s taking so long to get back to everyone. It’s important to us to respond to each message personally and we’ll get to each one as soon as we can.

The City of Sandpoint wants to become the first “Solar Roadways City” and we have five pilot projects lined up in Sandpoint for next year: we’re working with Amtrak to retrofit one of their train stations, the City of Sandpoint wants to retrofit their Welcome Center parking lot and some downtown sidewalks, the animal shelter wants to retrofit their parking lot, and the Sandpoint Airport wants to do 25 acres of tarmac!

There are many other potential customers that we are talking to, but not yet at liberty to discuss. We can say that many of them are really exciting and probably just what many of you have been wishing for! We’ll make those and many other exciting announcements as soon as we can – stay tuned!

These kinds of projects are perfect for us: they’re right in our own backyard and easy to monitor. If anything goes wrong, we’re only five minutes away. This will allow us the opportunity to get real world experience and see where any problems pop up. We’ll monitor these installations for one full year before offering our technology to the general public in 2016.

Thank you all again for allowing us the ability to move forward at this accelerated rate. We are so grateful!

Julie and Scott

Get well soon, Julie!

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Read these

Posted by Charles II on August 13, 2014

Blame Turkey for arming ISIS.

[This is not to say Turkey is primarily to blame. This sounds like a narrative to blame Turkey for something the US either approved or acceded to.]

How US destroyed Iraq

Patrick Cockburn on ISIS.

And especially this:

In the face of these failures Iraq’s Shia majority is taking comfort from two beliefs that, if true, would mean the present situation is not as dangerous as it looks. They argue that Iraq’s Sunnis have risen in revolt and Isis fighters are only the shock troops or vanguard of an uprising provoked by the anti-Sunni policies and actions of Maliki. Once he is replaced, as is almost certain, Baghdad will offer the Sunnis a new power-sharing agreement with regional autonomy similar to that enjoyed by the Kurds. Then the Sunni tribes, former military officers and Baathists who have allowed Isis to take the lead in the Sunni revolt will turn on their ferocious allies. Despite all signs to the contrary, Shia at all levels are putting faith in this myth, that Isis is weak and can be easily discarded by Sunni moderates once they’ve achieved their goals. One Shia said to me: ‘I wonder if Isis really exists.’

Unfortunately, Isis not only exists but is an efficient and ruthless organisation that has no intention of waiting for its Sunni allies to betray it. In Mosul it demanded that all opposition fighters swear allegiance to the Caliphate or give up their weapons. In late June and early July they detained between 15 to 20 former officers from Saddam Hussein’s time, including two generals. Groups that had put up pictures of Saddam were told to take them down or face the consequences. ‘It doesn’t seem likely,’ Aymenn al-Tamimi, an expert on jihadists, said, ‘that the rest of the Sunni military opposition will be able to turn against Isis successfully. If they do, they will have to act as quickly as possible before Isis gets too strong.’

It would be a really good time to cut a deal with Putin, Assad, Abbas, and Rouhani, and get back to the business of repressing the really dangerous people in that part of the world. Too bad we don’t have a Congress intelligent enough to see this.

Posted in Conflict in the Middle East, Iran, Iraq war, Russia, Syria, terrorism | 6 Comments »

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