Archive for November 28th, 2005

Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke Of Jail…

One down, 200-something to go…

Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy and tax charges and tearfully resigned from office, admitting he took $2.4 million in bribes to steer defense contracts to conspirators.


Cunningham answered “yes, Your Honor” when asked by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns if he had accepted bribes from someone in exchange for his performance of official duties.

Later, at a news conference, he wiped away tears as he announced his resignation.

“I can’t undo what I have done but I can atone,” he said.


“He did the worst thing an elected official can do — he enriched himself through his position and violated the trust of those who put him there,” U.S. Attorney Carol Lam said….

The case began when authorities started investigating whether Cunningham and his wife, Nancy, used the proceeds from the $1,675,000 sale to defense contractor Mitchell Wade to buy the $2.55 million mansion in Rancho Santa Fe. Wade put the Del Mar house back on the market and sold it after nearly a year for $975,000 — a loss of $700,000.

The last paragraph is my favorite:

Cunningham’s pleas came amid a series of GOP scandals. Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas had to step down as majority leader after he was indicted in a campaign finance case; a stock sale by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is being looked at by regulators; and Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff was indicted in the CIA leak case.

I hope this is a sign that the Republican teflon is finally wearing off, but we need more like this. Much more. I want congresscritters to be a lot more wary about whose money they take and what they grant in return, and I want ethics rules with some teeth. Frankly, even if some Democrats go down, I don’t really care. I just want someone to clean House. And Senate.

3 comments November 28th, 2005 at 04:32pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Republicans

Just Call Me Wanker Of The Morning

Ugh. Yet another reminder of why I can’t stand conservatives.

Today’s NYT has an op-ed piece by National Review writer John J. Miller, who starts out eulogizing the conservative, recently-liquidated Olin Foundation and what structural and strategic lessons it offers the liberal foundations trying to emulate it.

Okay, so far, so good. But then he abruptly puts the wank pedal to the metal:

So, is it possible to create a liberal version of the John M. Olin Foundation? I have my doubts. The success of any idea certainly depends to some extent on whether it can muster financial support, and it may also benefit from effective marketing. But in the end, not all ideas are equal. Some are simply better than others. After all, if money were everything, then liberalism would have nothing to worry about: the Ford Foundation’s coffers alone dwarf the combined resources of the conservative grant makers.

Conservatives never would have risen to prominence without their compelling critique of the welfare state, their faith in the power of free markets to create economic prosperity, and their belief that religion can play a constructive role in the public square.

The economist Thomas Sowell once joked that Hank Aaron was a lucky man, because he was always stepping up to the plate when a home run was about to be hit. Likewise, conservative ideas took flight not because wealthy philanthropists were suddenly willing to finance them, but because they identified actual problems and offered sensible solutions.

If liberals now want to create a counter-counterintelligentsia, it’s going to take more than money; what they truly need is a set of really good ideas.

Oh yeah, those conservative ideas are great. They’ve worked out really really well for us. Much better than silly liberal notions like Medicare and Social Security and not blowing up other countries for no damn reason. Arrrrgggh.

1 comment November 28th, 2005 at 09:12am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Welcome To My Nightmare

Last night I dreamt that I was walking home and I saw this absolutely spectacular view of the full moon lighting up the clouds in the night sky like they were a stage. I ran the rest of the way home to grab my camera to get the shot, and when I got there, I realized that my camera was sitting face-up with its lenscap off. When I took a closer look, sure enough the lens had all kinds of crud on it, and when I tried to gently brush it away, it left greasy streaks so that the lens would need a thorough cleaning, by which time the beauty moon/clouds shot would be long gone.



(Look at me; I’m so traumatized I can’t even make a joke about shudder speeds…)

And before anyone asks why I didn’t have my camera with me, there are certain occasions where I don’t bring it along, like if it’s raining, or I’m getting groceries, or I’m snooping around a secret underground complex trying to copy data about aliens onto my USB flash drive.

November 28th, 2005 at 07:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weirdness

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