Friday, June 03, 2011
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
I’m sure Weiner cares, and I’m sure his wife cares. But the only thing that is of moderate interest to me is the fact that a significant portion of the right side of the blogosphere is so firmly convinced that Weiner (a man of the liberal persuasion) is at fault here that almost no amount of proof could convince them otherwise. And I am just as firmly convinced that, if the parties were reversed, it would be the left side of the blogosphere doing the same thing, and that it would be an even bigger story in the MSM.
And I’m also moderately certain that part of the attraction to the story is the Congressman’s last name, plus the fact that the whole thing occurred on Twitter, a word that seems to bring to mind a combination of “titter,” “twit,” and “titillate.”
I am also aware that politicians are unusually susceptible to the seductions of seduction coupled with power. But I have come to the point of not caring, unless (and the following list is not necessarily all-inclusive, but it’s all I can think of at the moment) (a) the act involved is with an employee and constitutes some sort of abuse of power; and/or (b) it is accompanied by coercion or violence, as with the allegations about Strauss-Kahn (remember him?); and/or (c) the recipient of the attentions is underage; and/or (d) the perpetrator is a crusader against the acts in question (especially if such acts are illegal), such as Eliot Spitzer using call girls.
If you read this blog enough you know that I am a big proponent of don't ask, don't tell. Frankly, I don't want to know who Meredith Baxter, Bob Dole, Hugh Hefner, Rosie O'Donnell, Kevin Spacey, Ricky Martin, Lady Gay Gay or anyone else is having sex with. Actually, the whole thought of most people having sex with anyone makes me want to jab a red hot poker into my brain.
But if you read this blog, you also know that I have a theory that with politicians it's not the things they tell you that empowers them but the things they won't. Barney Frank is gay. Has that stopped him from being elected? But when Larry "give me three taps" Craig is trolling department store bathroom stalls, he loses his job. Why? Because if you are so ashamed of your sexual conduct that you will do whatever it takes to protect it's privacy, you are now the target of extortion and blackmail in public office.
What if a lobbyist has pictures of Weiner's weiner in a compromising position and he is willing to be blackmailed into supporting their agenda to keep his wife from finding out?
That's why it matters.
Trust me, I don't seek out pictures of some guy's junk for shits and giggles. But just watch Weiner wiggle and tell me what he will or won't do to protect his sexual proclivities from being exposed?
Plus the whole name thing makes it too funny.
Limousines, the very symbol of wealth and excess, are usually the domain of corporate executives and the rich. But the number of limos owned by Uncle Sam increased by 73 percent during the first two years of the Obama administration, according to an analysis of records by iWatch News.
Most of the increase was recorded in Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
Obama administration officials said most of the increase reflects an enhanced effort to protect diplomats and other government officials in a dangerous world. But a watchdog group says the abundance of limos sends the wrong message in the midst of a budget crisis. The increase in limos comes to light on the heels of an executive order from President Obama last week that charges agencies to increase the fuel efficiency of their fleets.
Passengers calls are for the little people.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
A new survey shows strained relationships between senior career federal managers and executives and the political appointees they work with.
In the survey, respondents rated Obama appointees lower than those in previous administrations. Obama appointees earned a C average, or 2.0, compared with a 2.3 for those in the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations. More than 30 percent gave Obama appointees a D or an F for overall job performance, while only 20 percent awarded past appointees such low marks.
The study, conducted in April by Government Executive's research division, the Government Business Council, involved surveying 148 Senior Executive Service members and GS-15s about their attitudes toward current challenges and Obama administration initiatives.
The survey revealed skepticism about the ability of current political appointees to improve agency performance. One respondent said, "The role [of senior leadership] has increased, but the effectiveness, skill and knowledge has dramatically decreased."
Obama officials lack functional and agency-specific knowledge, according to survey respondents. Nearly 60 percent of respondents gave Obama appointees a grade of C or lower for their functional expertise, with less than 37 percent giving them A or B grades. Many believe appointees don't understand human resources and procurement rules, saying they presume the "institution is there as an obstruction" and attempt to "break organizations."
Cheyanna Wilson graduated from Chicago’s Curie High School with a 3.0 grade-point average that included a B in a “College Algebra” class.
At Malcolm X College, where she enrolled to earn an associate’s degree in accounting, she did not meet basic math requirements. Before she could take accounting classes, she needed to take — and pay for — a non-credit remedial math course.
“I’d be in the math class I need to graduate now” if not for the remedial class, said Wilson, 21. As many as one-third of students entering higher education need to take some sort of remedial or developmental course, a class in the basics of reading, English or math covering material they should have learned in high school, according to a recent report by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington, D.C.-based policy group. While most four-year private and public universities offer remediation, the bulk of remedial work is done by community colleges, whose doors are open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED.
“It’s like a track meet where you have [students] run another lap to get to the start line instead of moving toward the finish line,” said Bob Wise, Alliance president.
“There’s just no data to suggest this is an environmental disaster,” said marine scientist and former Louisiana State University professor Ivor van Heerden, who also works as a BP spill-response contractor. “I have no interest in making BP look good - I think they lied about the size of the spill - but we’re not seeing catastrophic impacts. There’s a lot of hype, but no evidence to justify it.”
These observations came not a year after the Deepwater Horizon blew up, but a mere three months afterward, making them all the more blasphemous at the time. By now they’ve been amply vindicated, making the Obama team’s “moratorium” and more recent stonewalling on Gulf of Mexico drilling permits all the more preposterous.
I grew up in southern Louisiana and spend most weekends along the Louisiana coast hooking, spearing, gaffing, blasting and otherwise assassinating the raw ingredients of family meals. So I have more than a casual concern with the BP oil spill.
The reasons this “disaster” fizzled out are many and were apparent to non-hack scientists from the get-go.
“People don’t comprehend how so much oil could break down in such a short time period,” explains LuAnn White, a toxicologist with the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine who also serves as director of the Center for Applied Environmental Health. “But we have natural oil seeps in the Gulf, and over 200 genera of microbes that break down oil already exist there.”
I'm not a Facebook or Twitter junkie even though I have an account so maybe I'm missing something here that the general news media understands.
What the hell is Anthony Weiner doing "following" so many young women he's allegedly never met?
Gateway Pundit has a list of the women (including a porn star) Weiner is "following". Now none of the women seem to be of the type to have a worthwhile take on human rights in the Sudan or balancing the budget or the Voting Rights Act or Defense Strategy. So why would Weiner be following any of these babes?
In fact, many of these women bear an uncanny resemblance to Snooki and it's not like she's spewing an in depth world view.
I don't know what his marriage is like but I can tell you that if the lovely Mrs. Gekko saw a whole bunch of twenty somethings I was following on one of these accounts there would be some serious splainin' to do.
Despite his denials, the fact that he's not using his power to find out who's responsible for this hacking is an indication that he's the one responsible.
I wonder how many in the national media will give this the attention they gave Larry Craig?
Regardless, this day doesn't pass for me without some momentary thought about the people who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country.
At the risk of being attacked for practicing jingoism, I still believe that it means something to be an American; and it's something pretty great.
But none of that can happen without people dying for that greatness.
So in the midst of having a few beers on a day off, I hope all of us take a moment of reflective time to recognize our great country and the people who died defending our values.