Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for the ‘priorities’ Category

Write your own headlines

Posted by Charles II on April 16, 2011

My friend and co-blogger, Phoenix Woman, thinks that the White House is putting out the meme that Nancy Pelosi is irrelevant. I think it’s one more shiny object thrown out by the Beltway media to keep people’s minds off of what matters. The press did something similar for Bill Clinton in 1995, as we may recall, asking him directly whether he was irrelevant.

What does matter? Well, this story for starters:

Hungerfast, an effort launched March 28 … now has over 35,000 Americans involved in fasting, including 28 Members of Congress. Fasters are demanding that the budget deficit not be resolved by slashing programs targeting the vulnerable at a time of economic distress…

The women Members of Congress fasting this week are Representatives Karen Bass (D-CA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Susan Davis (D-CA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Laura Richardson (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Terri Sewell (D-AL), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).

Now, the guy who started this effort is not exactly a friend of mine. He leads a theocratic, Third way movement. But fasting to protest the budget cuts is a substantive response to wrongdoing by the powerful. It reminds those who fast that they stand in solidarity with the powerless. If the devil himself were leading such an effort, I’d say that it was the right thing to do.

This is the story we should fill our news with: the story of a few good Democrats. This is the story we should be telling our own congressmen, if they aren’t one of those fasting already, that they should join it. As somebody famous once said, “Let the dead bury the dead.” The Beltway journalists who obsess over who’s-up-who’s-down stories are surely among the long-deceased. The people who care about the poor have better things to do than hang around the morgue.

Added. This was my comment to Congress:

I was pleased to see that 28 members of Congress have joined a fast to protest the cuts in the budget deal that will burden the poor while doing nothing substantive to reduce the deficit. If nothing else, fasting reminds those in positions of responsibility that they stand as the only protection that the powerless have.

When will Representative […] join the fast?

Posted in Democrats with spines, priorities, theocrats | 2 Comments »

Hold Onto Your Hats

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 1, 2010

Remember Jeremy Giefer, the guy who a) knocked up a 14-year-old, b) married her, then c) started molesting the daughter he sired off of his child bride? And the guy who d) got a Pawlenty pardon for the first molestation even though e) Pawlenty said he’d never ever pardon sex offenders?

Well, there’s an f) to all of this, courtesy of City Pages’ Nick Pinto:

One reason Giefer wanted his record cleared [via the pardon Pawlenty gave him]? His wife wanted to open a childcare center in the house where they live–the same house where Giefer allegedly molested his young daughter throughout the six years prior.


As it turns out, Giefert’s wife — the woman he pled guilty to statutorily raping in 1994 — had already opened a family childcare center next door to their Vernon Center home two months earlier, according to state licensing information.




Do I even have to tell you all about how predators seeking to molest children love to try to get daycare permits?




Posted in priorities, Tim Pawlenty | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Thursday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 5, 2009


— If the Gang of Fourteen Plus Lieberman really hates earmarks as much as they say they do, then how come the effort to strip some from the budget bill just failed?

— Contrast this silly posturing with President Obama’s putting the war profiteers on notice.

— I love Margaret and Helen.

— Oh, and somebody must have threatened to use force of arms to get Turdblossom to show up and testify before Congress.

— Meanwhile, Sasha and Malia can now play on a new swing set while their daddy watches them from his home office.

Posted in 111th Congress, Ben "Lieberman" Nelson, Blackwater, Blue Dogs, Congress, Constitution, Constitutional crisis, corruption, hypocrites, Karl Rove, President Obama, priorities | 1 Comment »

Funny How That Works

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 16, 2009

Even as John McCain is talking incoherent smack about President Obama’s stimulus plan — which passed both houses of Congress and is on the way to the president’s desk to be signed — Atrios notes that one of McCain’s top economic advisors is praising the plan to the skies.

Posted in 111th Congress, economy, infrastructure, John McCain, President Obama, priorities, Silly Republicans | Comments Off on Funny How That Works

The Past Twenty-Four Hours

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 21, 2009

Alex Ross' take on Obama (click on pic to order T-Shirt)

Alex Ross' take on Obama (click on pic to order T-Shirt)

A by-no-means-complete list of what President Obama has been doing since being sworn in:

— working on closing down Guantanamo

stopping the show trials going on at Gitmo

giving unjustly-fired USA David Iglesias the job he deserves

—  halting implementation of last-minute BushCo edicts.

—  engaging Middle Eastern leaders WRT Gaza.

Does this man ever sleep, or what?

[01/22/09 UPDATE: Thanks to Elayne Riggs and Stormcrow for correcting me on the artist’s name — it’s Alex Ross, not “Alex Jones”.]

Posted in Barack Obama, Constitution, Guantanamo, President Obama, priorities, Rule of Law, terrorism | 9 Comments »

A Real President

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 21, 2009

This is what a Real President does:

President Obama has ordered an abrupt halt in the Gitmo Show Trials. From Peter Finn at the Washington Post:

In one of its first actions, the Obama administration instructed military prosecutors late Tuesday to seek a 120-day suspension of legal proceedings involving detainees at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — a clear break with the approach of the outgoing Bush administration.

The instruction came in a motion filed late Tuesday with a military court handling the case of five defendants accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The motion called for “a continuance of the proceedings” until May 20 so that “the newly inaugurated president and his administration [can] review the military commissions process, generally, and the cases currently pending before military commissions, specifically.”

In the legal field, this is known as an act taken “in the interests of justice”. An incredibly welcome move by an administration literally only hours into its initial term. You have to hand it to President Obama, Guantanamo is a sensitive topic, especially with the neocon screechers, yet he proved the courage of his convictions and acted immediately upon being sworn in.


We have a Real President. After eight long years, we have a Real President.

Posted in Afghanistan, anti-Muslim, Barack Obama, Guantanamo, Iraq war, political prisoners, President Obama, priorities, terrorism | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Two Neat Things That Would Be Neat Together

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 21, 2008

Have a room with a south-facing window that could use a little extra heat in the winter? Check out the solar windowbox heater:

This is a demonstration model of a solar windowbox air heater.

You can build it from a sheet of insulation board, some clear glass or plastic, and a furnace air filter painted black.

When the sun shines, the black absorber inside the insulated windowbox gets hot, heating air which rises into the room behind the window, and drawing cooler air from inside that room past the absorber in a thermal loop that lasts until the sun goes down.

At night, the cold air sinks to the bottom of the windowbox and closes off this thermal loop so there is no additional night time heat loss.

Increase the efficiency of the windowbox solar air heater with a solar electric, photovoltaic, PV fan.

This demonstration model uses a repurposed solar car window ventilator. Only when the sun hits the PV panel does the fan move air, an automatic solar circuit thermostatic control.

The windowbox solar air heater is a supplemental heater for one room with a south-facing window and can be modified to provide increased ventilation and cooling in the summer as Edward Sylvester Morse’s 1881 solar air heater design did.

Cost for a 2 foot by 3 foot insulation board solar windowbox air heater is around $100. PV fan car vents are available for as little as $5. One recently built windowbox has heated air by at least 20º Fahrenheit, from 65 to 85º, and will do so all winter.

I’ll bet it would help heat a Tumbleweed Tiny House rather nicely — they start at 65 square feet and only go up to just under 800 square feet. Dee Williams of Olympia, Washington already uses a couple of solar panels to provide electricity for her own 84-square-foot house, and a propane tank for her stove; a solar windowbox heater/cooler would probably cut her already-minimal heating bills to nearly zero.

Posted in Good Things, priorities, renewable energy, saving the earth, solar, sustainability | Comments Off on Two Neat Things That Would Be Neat Together

Mutiny: It’s not just for American troops

Posted by Charles II on May 11, 2008

Jonathan Owen and Brian Brady, London Independent:

A highly sensitive internal report into the state of the British Army has revealed that many soldiers are living in poverty. Some are so poor that they are unable to eat and are forced to rely on emergency food voucher schemes set up by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). …

Pressure from an undermanned army is “having a serious impact on retention in infantry battalions”, with nearly half of all soldiers unable to take all their annual leave as they try to cover the gaps.

The Tories will doubtless use this as an issue against Labour, just as our “conservatives” used their systematic underfunding of enlisted salaries/benefits against Clinton– and then did nothing except make the misery of the troops worse. Sure the right supports the troops… right after cutting taxes and maintaining the culture wars and paying off big business and pretending to be pious while sleeping with anything that moves, and….

Posted in priorities, rightwing moral cripples, supporting the troops | 1 Comment »

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968

Posted by Charles II on January 21, 2008

DemocracyNow has a good presentation. The TV footage is particularly good. It wasn’t just southern policemen using excessive force. Not to diminish the power of his speeches, but the most memorable quotes go to our liberal media:

Time magazine called the speech [in 1967] “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi,” and the Washington Post declared that King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.”

Plus ça change…

Posted in Media machine, mediawhores, poverty, priorities, racism, Vietnam | Comments Off on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968

Bill Haney Is My Hero

Posted by MEC on October 31, 2007

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In the Detroit Free Press, Bill Haney dismisses the anti-tax fanatics.

Why should I complain about paying my fair share for protection by firefighters and police officers? Or for maintenance, and even upgrading, of our rutted roads, crumbling bridges, leaking water pipes, and rotting infrastructure? Why should I grumble that the government is confiscating my hard-earned money to pay for schools neither I nor my descendants will attend, when I had no problem accepting education at schools and colleges my parents and grandparents provided for me with their Depression-era sweat?


You get what you pay for. Or not. Unless you are exceptionally lucky. So it’s best just to remember that those who came before you built the schools and the roads and put out the fires and caught the bad guys, and some of those ancient taxpayers had to leave their families and jobs and put on uniforms and take up arms and go away to lands whose names they couldn’t pronounce. Some of those long-ago taxpaying soldiers left parts of their bodies where they fought, and some of them came back in boxes with crisp American flags draped over them.

Would I like to see more value for my tax dollars? You bet. Would I like to see our government waste less? Most certainly. Would I like to see a reordering of priorities to raise the prospects for my grandkids living in a cleaner, safer, saner, more civil country? Oh, would I, would I.

And am I willing to give back more in taxes from the bounty this great nation has given to me, from what it has let me earn and what it has let me become through the taxes and sacrifices of generations before me?

It is my honor, and, yes, you’re damned right I want to pay higher taxes.

More like him, please.

Posted in priorities, Real Americans, taxes | Comments Off on Bill Haney Is My Hero

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