Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July, 2015

So… let’s hear your real plan

Posted by Charles II on July 30, 2015

Caty Enders, The Guardian:

Environmentalist Bill McKibben said that while Clinton’s support for solar was necessary, it was far from a comprehensive energy policy. “Much of the impact of her climate plan was undercut the next day by her unwillingness to talk about the supply side of the equation,” he said. “Ducking questions about the Canadian tar sands or drilling in the Arctic makes everyone worry we’re going to see eight more years of an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy, which is what we do not need to hear in the hottest year ever measured on our planet.”

McKibben is not alone in criticizing Clinton’s energy policy for sounding like too little too late.

“It’s just plain silly,” said James Hansen, a climate change researcher who headed Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies for over 30 years. “No, you cannot solve the problem without a fundamental change, and that means you have to make the price of fossil fuels honest. Subsidizing solar panels is not going to solve the problem.”

Posted in climate change, Democrats, global warming | 5 Comments »

The candidates on hunger

Posted by Charles II on July 30, 2015

Bread for the World got some of the candidates to talk about poverty. Jeb! Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly, Hucksterbee, Martin O’Malley. and Bernie.

Jeb! is for vouchers and attracting businesses
Ben Carson is for putting the time machine in reverse to go back to a time when people cared for each other
Ted Cruz thinks that volunteers will produce loaves and fishes for the hungry masses
Bernie is for infrastructure

It’s a start. Maybe next time they can get the Republicans to say something sensible about poverty

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More fiddling around while Europe burns

Posted by Charles II on July 27, 2015

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (of Whitewater/Vince Foster fame; who else?), the London Torygraph:

Varoufakis reveals cloak and dagger ‘Plan B’ for Greece, awaits treason charges
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis claims he was authorised by Alexis Tsipras to look into a parallel payment system

A secret cell at the Greek finance ministry hacked into government computers and drew up elaborate plans for a system of parallel payments that could be switched from euros to the drachma at the “flick of a button”.




Well, but, see, that’s not what happened:

4h ago14:08

And here’s the official statement from James Galbraith, the US economist who worked with Varoufakis on his continency plan:

I spent five months from early February through early July in close association with the Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, and was part of the Working Group that did contingency planning for potential attempts to asphyxiate the Greek government, including aggressive moves to force the country out of the euro.

Since a great deal of public confusion has now arisen over this effort, the following should be stated:

    1. At no time was the Working Group engaged in advocating exit or any policy choice. The job was strictly to study the operational issues that would arise if Greece were forced to issue scrip or if it were forced out of the euro.
    2. The group operated under the axiom that the government was fully committed to negotiating within the euro, and took extreme precautions not to jeopardize that commitment by allowing any hint of our work to reach the outside world. There were no leaks whatever, until the existence of the group was disclosed by the former Finance Minister himself, in response to criticism that his ministry had made no contingency plans when it was known that forces within the Eurozone were planning the forced exit of Greece.
    3. The existence of preliminary plans could not play any role in the Greek negotiating position, since their circulation (before there was a need to implement them) would have destabilized government policy.
    4. Apart from one late, inconclusive telephone conversation between MP Costas Lapavitsas and myself, we had no coordination with the Left Platform and our Working Group’s ideas had little in common with theirs.
    5. Our work ended for practical purposes in early May, with a long memorandum outlining major issues and scenaria that we studied.
    6. My work in this area was unpaid and unofficial, based on my friendship with Yanis Varoufakis and on my respect for the cause of the Greek people.


Why is Ambrose Evans-Pritchard still employed?

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Tonja Carter: Ethical Protector Or Moneygrubbing Sleazoid?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 26, 2015

Joe Nocera in the NYT lays out the story so far with regard to the “Go Set a Watchman” debacle:

The Ur-fact about Harper Lee is that after publishing her beloved novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” in 1960, she not only never published another book; for most of that time she insisted she never would. Until now, that is, when she’s 89, a frail, hearing- and sight-impaired stroke victim living in a nursing home. Perhaps just as important, her sister Alice, Lee’s longtime protector, passed away last November. Her new protector, Tonja Carter, who had worked in Alice Lee’s law office, is the one who brought the “new novel” to HarperCollins’s attention, claiming, conveniently, to have found it shortly before Alice died.

If you have been following The Times’s cleareyed coverage, you know that Carter participated in a meeting in 2011 with a Sotheby’s specialist and Lee’s former agent, in which they came across the manuscript that turned out to be “Go Set a Watchman.” In The Wall Street Journal — where else? — Carter put forth the preposterous claim that she walked out of that meeting early on and never returned, thus sticking with her story that she only discovered the manuscript in 2014.

But the others in the meeting insisted to The Times that she was there the whole time — and saw what they saw: the original manuscript that Lee turned in to Tay Hohoff, her editor. Hohoff, who appears to have been a very fine editor indeed, encouraged her to take a different tack. After much rewriting, Lee emerged with her classic novel of race relations in a small Southern town. Thus, The Times’s account suggests an alternate scenario: that Carter had been sitting on the discovery of the manuscript since 2011, waiting for the moment when she, not Alice, would be in charge of Harper Lee’s affairs.

Note also that this is a Murdoch Family Empire production.  Carter went to the Murdoch-owned HarperCollins, the successor firm to J.B. Lippincott which originally published To Kill a Mockingbird, and offered up the manuscript.  Favorable pieces by and about her then ran in the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal.  Unlike in 1960, there was no Tay Hohoff around to help Harper Lee turn an unpolished early draft into a masterpiece – and it’s debatable whether Lee — whose power of attorney is allegedly now held by Carter, who has also allegedly kept a lot of Lee’s friends from seeing her ever since she took over Harper’s care from her now-deceased sister Alice — is in any condition to do rewrites, or would have any interest in doing rewrites, especially as up until very recently she has firmly been on record as saying that she would never write nor publish another book.

It’s not as if Harper Lee doesn’t have any money.  At last report she was worth $35 million, assuming none of her current assigned protectors have screwed her out of it all.  There was absolutely no need for this to happen.  But it’s making the Murdochs that much richer.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

The harvest

Posted by Charles II on July 26, 2015


These are actually the seconds and the ones that are still ripening. And they continue to pour in.

Thanks be to God!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Why the US can’t stop ISIS

Posted by Charles II on July 25, 2015

George Joseph, The Intercept, via bobswern at DK:

Exclusive: Feds Regularly Monitored Black Lives Matter Since Ferguson

July 24 2015, 12:50 p.m.

The Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since anti-police protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri last summer, according to hundreds of documents obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The documents, released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Operations Coordination, indicate that the department frequently collects information, including location data, on Black Lives Matter activities from public social media accounts, including on Facebook, Twitter, and Vine, even for events expected to be peaceful. The reports confirm social media surveillance of the protest movement and ostensibly related events in the cities of Ferguson, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and New York.

They also show the department watching over gatherings that seem benign and even mundane. For example, DHS circulated information on a nationwide series of silent vigils and a DHS-funded agency planned to monitor a funk music parade and a walk to end breast cancer in the nation’s capital.

When a government has to expend this much effort on repressing dissent by its citizens, it is unable to confront external threats. This is why dictatorships fail.

Posted in racism, totalitarianism | 2 Comments »

FTNYT, those FFs

Posted by Charles II on July 25, 2015

Kurt Eichenwald, Newsweek:

What the hell is happening at The New York Times?

In March, the newspaper published a highly touted article about Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account that, as I wrote in an earlier column, was wrong in its major points. The Times’s public editor defended that piece, linking to a lengthy series of regulations that, in fact, proved the allegations contained in the article were false. While there has since been a lot of partisan hullaballoo about “email-bogus-gate”—something to be expected when the story involves a political party’s presidential front-runner—the reality remained that, when it came to this story, there was no there there.

Then, on Thursday night, the Times dropped a bombshell: Two government inspectors general had made a criminal referral to the Justice Department about Clinton and her handling of the emails. The story was largely impenetrable, because at no point did it offer even a suggestion of what might constitute a crime. By Friday morning, the Times did what is known in the media trade as a “skin back”—the article now said the criminal referral wasn’t about Clinton but about the department’s handling of emails. Still, it conveyed no indication of what possible crime might be involved.

In our hyper-partisan world, many people will not care about the truth here. That the Times story is false in almost every particular—down to the level of who wrote what memo—will only lead to accusations that people trying to set the record straight are pro-Hillary. I am not pro-Hillary. I am, however, pro-journalism. And this display of incompetence or malice cannot stand without correction.

And to other reporters: Democracy is not a game. It is not a means of getting our names on the front page or setting the world abuzz about our latest scoop. It is about providing information so that an electorate can make decisions based on reality. It is about being fair and being accurate. This despicable Times story was neither.

I’m not pro-Hillary either. But I wish the NYT would expose her role in Honduras, or her corporate coziness, or any of the many ways in which she has put the comfort of the wealthy above the needs of ordinary people. Framing her for something that never happened is something from the McCarthy Era.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, Hillary Clinton, liars, Media machine, mediawhores, pseudoscancals | 1 Comment »

China Turns Its Back On Coal

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 24, 2015

As I’ve said before, and as others have noticed, China’s bound and determined to wean itself off of coal and accelerate its transition to clean and renewable energy:

China was responsible for some 80 percent of the growth in global demand since 2000. …

China, however, has completely reversed its strategy of coal-intensive growth as Climate Progress has been reporting since the U.S.-China climate deal was announced in November. The driving force of this reversal is the terrible toll coal pollution has taken on the health of Chinese citizens in urban or industrialized areas — combined with the growing realization at the highest levels of China’s government that climate change will devastate China and that it must become a leader in avoiding the worst impacts. …

First, they are working to aggressively take market share away from coal and accelerate the transition to low-carbon and zero-carbon sources — natural gas, nuclear, wind power, solar power, and hydropower.

Second, on the industrial side, they are transitioning away from the coal-intensive and energy-intensive industries that have been driving growth and speeding up the transition to a more balanced economy, with much more service sector growth. Many of the Chinese climate and energy experts I spoke to during my trip last month used the word “sustainable” to describe the economy that the leadership would like,

Now if India can do something similar, we could truly put an end to King Coal’s dirty reign within my lifetime.

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Bird-Friendly Wind Turbine Design Looks Promising

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 24, 2015

A Minnesota company is testing a wind turbine design that is safer around birds and needs far less in the way of wind speeds in order to generate power.

Check it out:

Yet another potential game-changer.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Why Do Non-Voters Stay Home? Not Out Of Ideology.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 22, 2015

One thing progressives tell themselves over and over again is that the reason most non-voters don’t vote is because they don’t like the issues or the candidates available for their vote. But is that really true?

In 2008, a U.S. Census Bureau study showed that 26.4% of those non-voters polled said that they didn’t vote because they weren’t interested or didn’t like the candidates. That’s barely a quarter of all the non-voters polled.

For 2012, the Census Bureau split out ideological non-voters (those that didn’t like the issues or candidates) from the merely apathetic (those who just plain weren’t interested). This showed that just 12.7% of non-voters polled – one-eighth of them – didn’t vote because they didn’t like the issues or candidates. Even more interesting: For 2014, the Census Bureau found that the percentage size of this group of non-voters had dropped to 8%.

Even if one continues to lump the apathetic in with those who don’t vote for ideological reasons, three Census Bureau studies show that at most, less than a third of the non-voters polled over the past three election cycles fall into this category.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

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