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December 31, 2004

have some, yahoo

Yahoo Box O' Headlines: day late and a dollar short.
• House to consider relaxing ethics rule

I know, I should be grateful, having so many eyeballs glance across the headline of a story that only yesterday I was griping deserved prolonged public scrutiny.  And this is the biggest newsday of the year, you know, people quickly reading up on the issues of the day so they have something to talk about while they drink their faces off on New Year's Eve.

Though, will they talk about cowardly Republicans, or will they talk about the immediately subsequent headline?

• Internet sites allow gift card exchanges

Internet sites allow gift card exchanges?  Shoo, what will they think off next?

Posted by mrbrent at 11:37 AM

December 30, 2004

that would be the ends of them means

Today is the day that I discovered that there is a clear and logical progression in the action of the Republican majority.  It goes like this: be corrupt, get caught, get investigated and then change the rules so that the original transgression is retroactively permitted.

I mean, really, it was easy to predict.  Check this shit out.  Short version: stung by the House Ethics Committee's rulings on Majority Leader and Right Asshole Tom DeLay, the majority party is proposing to make it harder to bring ethics charges against representatives, and to replace Rep. Hefley, current (Republican) chairman of the Ethics Committee.

You and I call this cheating.  However, while we do this, Denny Hastert is lobbying the editors of dictionaries to have the definition of "cheating" revised to reflect that, as in the card-game of euchre, you are only cheating if the end-goal of the cheating is not achieved.  Nobody is calling the Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution cheating, now, are they?  Nor will they call it cheating when attempts are made to repeal it.

And maybe I'm naive to get all outraged by this so-called "cheating", but I can't help it -- my values of right and wrong were formed by watching pro wrestling in the late 70s, back when good guys never cheated.  And the bad guys, who developed into the more culturally interesting characters as history progressed, pretty much universally bragged of the motto, "Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat."  I appreciate a take-no-prisoners style politics as much as the next citizen, but it seems that a sustained public scrutiny of spineless rules maneuvering and ethical hypocrisy and prevarication might change the minds of some of the vaunted 51%.

But, I am an optimist.  Realistically, there's not really many organizations that would undertake any kind of sustained public scrutiny, now, are there?

Least I can do: Those motherfuckers are some cowardly asshole motherfuckers, and I can only surmise that there are some moms pretty embarrassed to be moms.

[The link is via World 'O Crap, which I highly recommend for your bookmarking pleasure.]

Posted by mrbrent at 5:07 PM

empire and its discontents

Continuing the dialogue between me and Kev in the UK, I had responded to him with the thought that "atoning for the sins of Empire" would be a useful concept to introduce to Americans, someday.  And isn't it interesting to consider the differences and similarities of the British Empire and our current arms-length, "pay no attention to the empire behind the curtain" empire.  You know, wonkery.

Kev's response:

Don't knock the British Empire: we gave them cricket, a functioning civil service & the notion that democracy is the least worse option, and we got reggae, safari suits & curry as the national dish. It's about even if you discount slavery & all those massacres.

What has America given us: THE HAMBURGER.

Face it: our international goodwill has diminished to the point to where they even begrudge our cardboard flavored fast food.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:47 AM

December 28, 2004

catching up

Spent the past few trying to catch up on news I missed over the holiday timez.  It seems either that no news happened other than tectonic catastrophe or sports or that the news that did happen was so intransigent that it left no footprint.

So, either my newshole coincided with a national newshole, or I am entering the post-Christmas and pre-New Years Twilight Zone drastically uniformed, no better than a television reporter.

Get it?  Uninformed ike a TV reporter?  You guys are great.

But, past few days I watched me a bunch a West Wing, I tell ya whut.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:23 PM

December 27, 2004

thank you, washington times

Great bait and switch in the New York Times this morning.  Not that you read the NYTimes, or that you should read the NYTimes.  In fact, not that I read the NYTimes either, except for the Funnies, which, as they say, are funny.

Big ol' article on the North Brooklyn waterfront, called "City Sees Way To Get Mix Of Homes On Brooklyn Waterfront".  You see, if (due to the geographical limitations of the Internets) you've never been to North Brooklyn, there is this frontage on the East River (I know, I know -- not really a river, rather a tidal estuary) mostly consisting of burnt out lots and waste transfer stations.  Back in the good old days, the empty lots were where people of the neighborhood would hang as the summer sun went down.  Whole families would back their cars up, unload the lawn chairs and have themselves a BBQ as the sun set over Manhattan.  This stopped ten or so years ago, as the lots were developed into power plants, or just fenced off for killjoy purposes.

And then the Trustafarians started pouring in, but that's a whole nuther.

Basically, some developers want to turn the waterfront into fifteen to twenty-five story luxury condo towers, because they like making money, and there's no better place to get money than by developing city land and selling it to rich people.  Naturally, community interests (healthy mix of Latino, Italian, Polish and Hipster) are opposed, as it would uproot jobs and affordable homes, destroy traffic patterns and put a two hundred fifty foot wall between them and the sunset.  Of course, little kids of the neighborhooods are behind the developers because of the developers' inherent charm and goodness.  You are getting the idea.

At first glance, the article is exciting.  "Hey, they're writing about us and our problem!  Help is surely on the way!"  But no.  When in the article does she mention the fact that the community board rejected the proposal that is the "Way" the "City Sees"?  The thirty-second paragraph.

Out of thirty-six.

MOE one paragraph.

So, Diane Cardwell (who wrote this piece o' work), once you've climbed out of the developers' hottub and made yourself presentable beyond the appearance of biased reporting, maybe you should go work for a place more deserving of your reporting talent, like "All In".

Posted by mrbrent at 9:20 AM