Friday, April 22, 2005

Ethics investigations all around!

From a story in the Washington Times today:
House Republicans yesterday called on Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to provide documentation to prove that a Washington lobbyist firm did not pay for a trip she and other Democrats took to Puerto Rico in 2001.
"We feel that such lingering questions undermine the integrity of the institution and we hope [the questions] will be cleared up as soon as possible," wrote Republican Reps. Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia.
Hold your laughter, it gets better...
The questions also come after months of claims against Majority Leader Tom DeLay, accused of accepting a trip paid for by a lobbyist. Mr DeLay and the nonprofit group he listed as the trip's sponsor insist the lobbyist did not pay the bill.
Mrs. Pelosi has called for a full investigation into that matter, which is an inconsistency, say Mr. McHenry and Mr. Westmoreland.
"If you are serious that the mere allegation that a lobbyist paid for member travel warrants a full ethics investigation, it would seem that a member actually disclosing it as fact would more than merit it," the Republicans wrote.

Sure it merits an investigation. Let's get the ethics committee right on it! In fact, let's have investigations into DeLay's golf junkets, Pelosi's Puerto Rico trip, and any other ethically dodgey actions by any other congresspersons. Of course, we'll have to repeal the rules changes passed in January, that essentially killed the committee's ability to commence investigations, but I'm sure the morally upright Republicans will have no problem with that, right? Right? Hello...? Is this thing on...?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Supporting the troops, my ass

As the Senate began to debate President Bush's request for more than $80 billion in supplemental military spending on Monday, senators seized a chance to pack pet projects into an unstoppable bill, adding provisions dealing with oil drilling, forest services, a new baseball stadium for Washington and economic assistance to Palestinians.
Senator Thad Cochran, the Mississippi Republican who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, called the draft "a straightforward bill" that "meets the needs of our fighting forces overseas" and "addresses emergency requirements here at home." (emphasis added)

-from yesterday's New York Times.

Being a more or less cultured and well bred type, I try to keep the cursing here to a minimum, but are you fucking kidding me?!
"[E]mergency requirements here at home" such as a goddamned baseball stadium? Senator Cochran and I are clearly operating under different ideas of what the word "emergency" means. You want to tell this guy's family why there's a dime in an emergency military spending bill for anything but direct troop support and protection? How about this guy's family? Or how about this one?
Astounding. Pulling this kind of crap while flapping your lips about supporting the troops is so disgusting as to beggar belief. $42 million to build a baseball stadium is a stupid use of public funds under the best of circumstances, and as we all know, the best of circumstances these ain't. Major League Baseball is a business, and as such, should be made to pay for their own facilities. The military, needless to say (or so I thought), is in a different boat. When we withhold money from them, they go without armor and they die.
Thanks, Senators. You're a real bunch of douchebags patriots.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Here's a gem for you:

"So I'm saying to the left: Stop bad-mouthing your own civilization; get over it, you little twerps. I'm saying to the religious far right: If we are defending Western civilization, as you claimed in the incursion into Iraq, then you'd better realize it's much more than Judeo-Christianity and the Bible. You'd better get real and accept that we have a Greco-Roman tradition of literature and art that started in 700 BC. And yes, some of it deals, quite frankly, with sex and the body; you must deal with it and allow students to deal with it, because that is part of the brilliant strength of our arts. I'm demanding that conservatives support the arts and that liberals stop being so snobby about art and quit celebrating art that is simply cheap sacrilege of other people's beliefs."

-Camille Paglia, from an interview in yesterday.
Quite so, Ms. Paglia, says I. Even though they make you watch an ad, do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Worth attention

Say what you will about Marshall Wittman, self-styled Bull Moose, DLC fellow, and erstwhile McCainiac (I know I and others have had some choice words), but he has been doing a fine job lately of keeping his eye on things that actually matter. Namely, the ongoing genocide in Darfur. Today's post contains this doozy of a passage:
We live in an age when more attention is devoted to a celebrity child molestation trial than the mass slaughter of innocents. One can only conclude that this incongruity is explained by either the numbing banality of the times or a racist indifference to the massacre of Africans. Perhaps, it is both.

I'd add imperial decadence to that list, but the point is right on. To that end, I commend to your attention the Coalition for Darfur blog.
For info on another of Africa's ongoing catastrophes, the reign of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, check out Democracy Arsenal. Both have been added to the list of sites more interesting than this one.
After all the usual inanity the media bombards us with, it's refreshing to read about something that's actually worth paying attention to, even if it makes me feel sick and saps what little faith I left left in humanity.

Friday, April 01, 2005

I've gotta get me a gubmint job!

If I was asked to do something crazy like perform my prescribed duties at work, and responded with "yeah, yeah...I'm exhausted," I'd be politely told to cram it and get to work. And my job doesn't involve killing people.

Not George Tenet. He says he's too exhausted to make sure the info we're using to invade a sovereign nation is legit, and he gets a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Nice work if you can get it.