Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

GOP’s E-Ghazi Committee Stored Hillary Clinton’s Emails On Unsecured Network

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 21, 2015

That popping sound you just heard was that of yet another anti-Clinton FauxGate bubble bursting, courtesy of HRC’s new press secretary Brian Fallon (NYT via DailyKos):

“Just as an aside, for the I.G. to now declare the material as classified, since it was provided by State to the House Benghazi committee earlier this year in unredacted form, presumably that means that members of the House Benghazi committee may have unwittingly handled classified material on unclassified systems within the House of Representatives,” Mr. Fallon said.

“Now, I don’t think that anybody here at the Clinton campaign is going to say that members of, say, Chairman Gowdy’s staff should have their computers confiscated for having possibly trafficked in classified material,” he said. “I don’t think we would say that. But that is, fundamentally, the same logic behind the I.G.’s referral to the State Department with respect to Mrs. Clinton’s server, since she was at worst a passive recipient of unwitting information that subsequently became deemed as classified. Let’s raise that as an aside.”

And guess what?  Fallon was right:

A spokesman for the Democrats on the committee, who make up the minority, said in an email that the documents the committee received were not marked classified, adding, “Like Secretary Clinton, Committee members and staff could not have known to treat the documents as classified when we received them, because it was not marked or easily identifiable as classified information.”


Of course, the Beltway media hate the Clintons so much that they will likely wait until Monday, then try to reinflate the popped FauxGate as if this had never happened.  Because the Clinton Rules are still and always will be in effect.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Start your day with a song

Posted by Charles II on August 21, 2015

How about Ça Ira

I was reading, in a book about the early American Republic, that this was a song favored by the democratic republicans in their opposition to the American Tories (now known as Republicans)

Also listen to La Carmagnole, written in honor of Marie Antoinette (Madame Veto):

Very peppy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The harvest

Posted by Charles II on August 16, 2015


Let’s just say that, in this part of the north 40, things did not go as planned.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Hydropower From City Water Lines

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 14, 2015

This system, currently being used in Riverside, California, and Portland, Oregon, is a brilliantly good idea:

Gregg Semler, president and CEO of LucidEnergy, said his team originally went into the business of hydropower by looking at ways to capture energy from streams. But they soon realized that it was difficult to predict the flow of a stream, and that generating hydropower could be environmentally degrading. Pipes, on the other hand, are existing-man made infrastructure, so equipping them to be power producers doesn’t present any environmental concerns. They also pump water daily at a fairly constant rate, which allows for a consistent flow of energy.
“What’s really interesting about Lucid is this is a new source of energy that’s never really been tapped into before,” Semler said. “You take the best of hydroelectricity and put it in the pipe.”

Riverside’s small-scale pilot project is working so well that the city uses it to power its streetlights. Portland’s project is a bit bigger: four turbines in fifty feet of pipe produce enough power to run 150 homes.

The system can’t work in all pipes, as it relies on gravity to work. But it can work in enough situations to be a valued part of a municipal energy infrastructure.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

The U.S. Justice system

Posted by Charles II on August 13, 2015

Ed Pilkington, The Guardian:

Chelsea Manning, the US army soldier serving a 35-year military prison sentence for leaking official secrets, has been threatened with indefinite solitary confinement for having an expired tube of toothpaste in her cell and being found in possession of the Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair issue, according to her lawyers and supporters.

Now that makes sense.

Somewhere in a galaxy far, far away.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The Digital Domesday

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 10, 2015

I’d been waiting for this for ages:

Open Domesday

That’s right, kiddies – the UK’s oldest public record is online, obviating the need to plunk down a few grand for the printed copies.

Poring over it is great fun.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Voting Rights: Holder DOJ 1, Texas Republicans 0

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 5, 2015

Score one for the American people, as well as Eric Holder’s and Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department:

A federal appeals court in Texas has struck down one of the nation’s strictest voter ID laws, siding with the Obama administration’s argument that it would keep hundreds of thousands of eligible voters from casting ballots.

The Wednesday decision was a victory for the president, who has directed the Justice Department to try to beat back a movement in several Republican-led state governments to implement ballot-box restrictions.

Democrats and civil rights advocates have been fighting the Texas law since it was passed in 2011. After early success, opponents of the law had to change tactics when the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 struck down a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act.

I had thought the VRA was totally gutted. Thank you, AGs Holder and Lynch, for proving me wrong.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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 »

%d bloggers like this: