Archive for March 22nd, 2007

Wait… What?

Michael Kinsley leads off his latest “The Attorney firings were totally cool! And besides, Clinton did it too!” post at Swampland with this head-shaker:

David Brooks has an excellent column today, and not for the usual reasons that liberals praise Brooks (and he drives conservatives crazy): because he comes halfway toward us.

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! I have fallen into a burning ring of stupid!

(h/t Atrios)

2 comments March 22nd, 2007 at 10:33pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

URL Of The Week

22postal_lg.jpg
Nick Ut/Associated Press

In today’s NYT:

In collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd., which owns the copyright to the character, the post office has transformed 400 of its 280,000 blue collection boxes in 200 cities into R2-D2 look-alikes.

Those boxes, made to appear like the droid by a covering of adhesive wrap, are intended to generate buzz for the sale of a first-class commemorative stamp coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the release of “Star Wars.” The sale date will be announced at the March 28 unveiling of the design for the stamp, or stamps (the Postal Service is being coy about that point).

Although “we do all different kinds of promotions pretty routinely,” said Rod DeVar, the Postal Service’s advertising and promotions manager, this is the first time the agency’s collection boxes have been altered for one. The temporary boxes are also marked with a Web address about the promotion, www.uspsjedimaster.com.

Personally, I think they missed the boat. I would have gone with www.jedipostmaster.com. (It’s still available in case they change their minds…)

Um, does anyone else find it odd that their advertising and promotions manager’s name is an anagram of “Vader”?

(Cross-posted at Mia Culpa)

2 comments March 22nd, 2007 at 10:14pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Movies,Weirdness

The Uniter

Well, at least someone knows how to reach out…

In a new video posted Thursday on the Internet, an al-Qaida militant who escaped from a U.S. prison in Afghanistan urged Sunni militants in Iraq to join the terror group and claimed the U.S. military’s security plan for Baghdad has failed.

Abu Yahia al-Libi, who broke out of the U.S. prison at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul in 2005, said it was the sacred duty of all mujahedeen, or holy warriors, to “stand steadfast together.”

He called on militant groups known as Ansar al-Sunnah, the Islamic Army in Iraq and the Army of the Mujahedeen to “hurry up and respond to the call of the Quran to become one and … join the Islamic State in Iraq,” an al-Qaida affiliate in the country.

Islamic terrorists are just about the only group that Dubya can unite these days.

March 22nd, 2007 at 10:01pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Afghanistan,Bush,Iraq,Terrorism,War

Catch-18

Here’s a neat bit of irony: Bush’s best defense in the US Attorney firings investigation may be to claim that he did know about them.

Of course, that does pose a few problems of its own…

March 22nd, 2007 at 09:34pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Republicans,Rove

Riiiight.

DOJ spokesman on the 18-day gap in e-mails:

To the extent there was a lull in communications concerning the U.S. attorney issues, it reflects the fact that we have found no responsive documents from that time period, which included the Thanksgiving holiday.

Of course, it makes perfect sense that “Hey, Karl, does this US Attorney purge list look okay to you?” wouldn’t generate any e-mail traffic at all…

Then again, maybe everything was handled by phone just in case Karl “math” for the 2006 election turned out to be off. But even so, there should have been some routine administrative e-mails floating around. They didn’t even try to make it look good; they just hoped no-one would be interested in seeing e-mails from the time between when the purge list was sent to the WH, and when the firings occurred…

(h/t Josh Marshall)

UPDATE: TPM Muckraker points out that “the really interesting email traffic in this period would have been within the White House,” which has been outside the scope of the document dumps so far, but I’m not sure I buy this completely. Certainly, the juiciest e-mails probably were the ones zooming around the WH, but it’s hard for me to believe that there wasn’t any e-mail feedback from WH to DOJ during that timeframe or (I think) ever.

March 22nd, 2007 at 09:18pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Politics,Republicans,Rove,Wankers

It’s A Trap!!!

This sounds good, but consider who we’re talking about here…

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter yesterday joined a top Senate Democrat to call for the creation of a multibillion-dollar public financing program for congressional races.

Mr. Specter, R-Pa., made the announcement one day after confirming that he already has started preparing to run for a sixth term in 2010, citing the exploding costs of modern campaigns and the need to raise tens of millions of dollars to be competitive.

“That time ought to be spent on our official duties,” he said yesterday, standing alongside Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

Mr. Durbin’s office estimates that the average cost for the most competitive Senate races in 2006 was $34 million per campaign, double what it was four years before. To keep up, candidates often turn to interest groups for money.

(…)

“People who say the public shouldn’t pay for elections are missing the point. We already pay for elections,” Mr. Durbin said. “We pay when special interests are literally allowed to write their own bills.”

The public financing system would provide about $2.8 billion nationwide for each two-year congressional cycle. It would be voluntary.

(…)

Some of that money would go to vouchers for television air time, the largest cost for most campaigns.

Mr. Durbin said he expected resistance from both the television industry and many colleagues, who may be reluctant to give up their fund-raising advantages as incumbents. He said he would try to address their concerns.

“This really allows a senator to be a senator and spend less time on the road raising money,” he said of his bill.

(…)

Nick Nyhart , president of the nonpartisan group Public Campaign, praised the proposed legislation, calling it a “historic opportunity for every elected official in Congress to say ‘no’ to the politics of big checks and the endless money chase and ‘yes’ to putting voters first.”

I cannot understate how hugely important this would be, for all of the reasons cited in the story. Allowing de facto corporate sponsorship in our electoral system has crippled representative democracy by allowing wealth to usurp votes as the source of political power.

It might not affect Republican politicians much, as corporations and wealthy individuals are their natural constituents, but it might allow the Democrats to finally cut ties with the pro-corporate DLC and establish themselves as a more progressive, people-powered alternative.

Which is why I can’t believe that a two-faced toad like Specter would have anything to do with it. Either he calculates that it has no chance of passing, much less overcoming a filibuster or veto (and I think it’s going to face bipartisan resistance) and wants to burnish his bogus moderate credentials, or else the Republicans plan to use it as a velvet straitjacket on Democratic campaign spending (i.e., Democrats forego their own fundraising to opt in, and it turns out to be perpetually underfunded or slow to disburse, and the media vouchers are only valid between 2AM and 4AM…).

If Specter’s genuinely on board and can swing some Republican votes, good for him, that makes him 2-for-his-career (stem cells being the other, and probably only because he had cancer), but I have three words of advice for Durbin: WATCH. YOUR. BACK.

March 22nd, 2007 at 11:29am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Politics,Specter,Wankers

A Titan Falls

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

R.I.P. Larry Bud.

1 comment March 22nd, 2007 at 07:50am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: TV

More Oakland Photoblogging

Some more random Oakland pics:

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Fraternity or sorority house.

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Just some random shadows.

* WPG2 Plugin Not Validated *
Steam vents at the campus police station.

2 comments March 22nd, 2007 at 06:43am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh


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