Archive for the 'Law & Politics' Category

John Quincy’s Oath

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Imagine a president-elect doing this today: “John Quincy Adams, according to his own letters, placed his hand on a constitutional law volume rather than a Bible to indicate where his fealty lay.” —Slate

My Fellow Americans

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

the Obama logo

Please get out there and vote! I’d love to see record turnout numbers.

Things I’d also like to see, in order of importance:

  1. A Barack Obama win (of course)
  2. A Prop 8 (CA) loss
  3. An Al Franken (MN-Sen) win
  4. A Michelle “anti-American” Bachmann (MN-6) loss

Tonight, I’ll either be on the fringes of Barack’s Grant Park party — or staring at DirecTV channel 352.

The Vet Who Did Not Vet

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Clever little YouTube video: The Vet Who Did Not Vet.

Voter fraud? Please.

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Registration fraud does not equal voter fraud. (So “Mickey Mouse” registered. How’s that going to affect an election?) And all this ACORN whining? Give me a break.

Make-Believe Maverick

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Long, but illuminating: Rolling Stone on John McCain.

Barack Obama + iPhone

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Nerdery + politics + good branding = the trifecta! Hot. (via df)

Did I Hear That Correctly?

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

So I know that Sarah Palin doesn’t interview well and seems to lie effortlessly and frequently. It’s a shame, but I understand it.

Even with all that, I’m still stunned by this (see from 0:36):

I watched [Tina Fey’s impersonation on Saturday Night Live] with the volume all the way down, and I thought it was hilarious, she was spot on. … It was hilarious, again, didn’t hear a word she said, but the visual — spot on.

So let me see if I understand this correctly: a famous actress parodies you on a show watched by millions of people, and you don’t even listen? Where was this, a bar? On the street outside an electronics store? The trading floor of the NYSE? (No, wait, that’s closed Saturdays… and possibly weekdays, soon enough.)

How could she not have heard it, if not then, later? She has friends, neighbors, aides, kids. They’ll all have heard about it, probably even e-mailed her the Web links if she can’t be bothered to spend 20 seconds searching online for the video. And even if they didn’t, why wouldn’t she seek it out on her own?

No, this is patently ridiculous. She didn’t just happen to miss it, she chose to — or claims she did. Therefore she’s either criminally incurious or she can’t take criticism, even from professional comics. I’m not sure which is worse.

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

I know Mike Bloomberg, who recently ditched the GOP, has homes in New York and Bermuda. I wonder if he keeps a place in my aunt’s building:
List of access points, the last being 'GuiltyRepublican'

OK, probably not. But that’s OK — that means at least two people have some shame.

Would You Fire This Man?

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

The continuing clusterfuck that is this whole U. S. Attorney scandal has been a fascinating look into yet another ugly face of the current administration. And when I say “ugly face”, I’m using metaphor, but others are being a tad literal. Consider this photo of Wisconsin U.S.A. Steven Biskupic (from this J-S article):

Steven Biskupic

You’re telling me that they sent a staff photographer (the photo credit is to “Jack Orton”, no wire service) down to this guy’s office and that’s the best photo they came up with? I shudder to think what didn’t make the cut…

Don’t Know What to Say

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

All of our efforts in Iraq, military and civilian, are handicapped by Americans’ lack of language and cultural understanding. Our [Baghdad] embassy of 1,000 has 33 Arabic speakers, just six of whom are at the level of fluency. In a conflict that demands effective and efficient communication with Iraqis, we are often at a disadvantage. There are still far too few Arab language–proficient military and civilian officers in Iraq, to the detriment of the U.S. mission.

Iraq Study Group Report, p92 (emphasis added)

Six people in the embassy can speak the language. Six. I sure hope they’re all straight…

But the GAO also noted that nearly 800 dismissed gay or lesbian service members had critical abilities, including 300 with important language skills. Fifty-five were proficient in Arabic, including Copas, a graduate of the Defense Language Institute in California.

Army dismisses gay Arabic linguist, AP (via MSNBC, emphasis added)

Food Network, Perhaps?

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Monday’s Romenesko carried this blurb on a Hollywood Reporter piece (sub. req.):

Fox News to air “Daily Show”-like program that leans right

…There’s a possibility that it could become a weekly Fox News show. “It’s a satirical news format that would play more to the Fox News audience than the Michael Moore channel,” says Joel Surnow, an executive producer of the unnamed show. “It would tip more right as ‘The Daily Show’ tips left.”

I think a Fox* News Channel version has the potential for tons of unintentional comedy, but conservatism doesn’t otherwise strike me as a barrel of laughs. The other head-scratcher for me is the reference to “the Michael Moore channel.” Does Mr. Surnow refer to Comedy Central? Would anyone, anywhere get that reference out of context? Sure wouldn’t be my first guess that was my only hint.

* Surnow might refer to them as the “We Gave O.J. $3 Million” network.

A Bush (Product) Endorsement?

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

I swear just a few seconds ago W said in his press conference “it’s tough when people see carnage on their Dell television screens.”

Dell? Really?

Update [16:24]: Well, that was fast! Glad to see that I’m not alone, at least Kevin has my back (damn, Google is quick.) But alas, the official White House transcript disagrees:

And it’s tough in a time of war when people see carnage on their television screens.

No endorsement of the (Texas-based) (Republican-run) computer maker there. But I fear that’s just another case of a White House staffer wilfully ignoring reality. [7sec MP3]

The Wireless Speaks the Truth (Molly, Too)

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

It’s Election Day. Get out there and vote!

And for brevity, you can’t beat the name that popped up the last time I was scanning for wireless in a coffee shop:
Wireless network list; first says 'bush=deceit'

On the other hand, for content, there’s the unparalleled Molly Ivins (via TMW):

May I remind you what this election is about? Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, unprecedented presidential powers, unmatched incompetence, unparalleled corruption, unwarranted eavesdropping, Katrina, Enron, Halliburton, global warming, Cheney’s secret energy task force, record oil company profits, $3 gasoline, FEMA, the Supreme Court, Diebold, Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004, Terri Schiavo, stem cell research, golden parachutes, shrunken pensions, unavailable and expensive health care, habeas corpus, no weapons of mass destruction, sacrificed soldiers and Iraqi civilians, wasted billions, Taliban resurgence, expiration of the assault weapons ban, North Korea, Iran, intelligent design, swift boat hit squads, and on and on.

This election is about that, but much more — it’s about honor, dignity and comity in this country. It’s about the Constitution, which gives us this great nation. Bush ran on a pledge of “restoring honor and integrity” to the White House. Instead, he brought us Tom DeLay, Roy Blunt, Katherine Harris, John Doolittle, Jerry Lewis, Richard Pombo, Mark Foley, Dennis Hastert, David Safavian, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, Karl Rove and an illegal and immoral war in Iraq. People, it’s up to you.

I Wish I Could Kiss John Kerry Right Now

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Yes, you read the headline right. I’d like to give that ol’ codger some nice sloppy mouth-to-mouth.

I know: eww, right? Except I have a reason: I’ve spent the last 6 days holed up in bed with aggravated Strep throat (or “acute laryngopharyngitis” if you go by my discharge sheet) and knowing that the resulting infection would just shut him the hell up for a few days would please me.

Oh, and you’re voting, right? RIGHT?

Definitely, Dave

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

According to Bob Woodward, a military intelligence colonel wrote humorous haikus to describe how the Iraq war was failing.

Fine, but for my money if you want a funny/infuriating summary of how fucked our foreign policy is at the moment, you need look no further than Dave Letterman’s opening monologue tonight, which went something like this:

President Bush has pledged that he will not attack North Korea. Of course he won’t. They actually have weapons of mass destruction.