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Archive for December, 2006

Two to the Fifth.

Today (or yesterday, from way over here in New Zealand), I’m 32.

Model Ford.

As President, my primary concern must always be the greatest good of all the people of the United States whose servant I am. As a man, my first consideration is to be true to my own convictions and my own conscience. My conscience tells me clearly and certainly that I cannot prolong the bad dreams that continue to reopen a chapter that is closed. My conscience tells me that only I, as President, have the constitutional power to firmly shut and seal this book.Gerald Ford, 1913-2006.

Portrait of the Cannibal as a Young Man.

Premiering today on Amazon, the new trailer for Peter Webber’s Hannibal Rising, with Gaspard Ulliel, Gong Li, Rhys Ifans, and Dominic West. Hmm….even with the Jimmy McNulty voiceover, I’m not enthused. What’s next, Hannibal meets the Wolfman?

Enter Edwards.

If we actually want to change this country and we want to move America the way it needs to move, we’re going to have to do it, all of us, together.” As telegraphed by his official site a day early, the John Edwards train leaves the station from the Ninth District of New Orleans. I thought highly of Edwards last cycle — and voted for him in 2004 — so I for one am glad to see him back around for 2008. Right now, with Feingold out of the picture, it’s a two-man race right now between him and Obama for my primary vote.

Ad Nauseum.

I’m really sick of celebrities being dug up from their graves to sell us products. I was similarly upset when Gap used the image of deceased rapper Common in a Christmas commercial. (What’s that you say? Common’s still alive? Sorry, but after making that ad, he’s dead to me.)” Old friend Seth Stevenson surveys the worst ads of 2006 for Slate.

No Rules, It’s Agrodome.

Hey all…checking in from the Turangi/Taupo/Rotorua district, where we’ve recently zorbed down a large hill a couple of times, taken in a sheep shearing show at the (world-famous?) Agrodome, kicked around the Tongariro National Trout Centre, wandered through a (Wai-O-Tapu) thermal wonderland, and ventured into the very fires of Mt. Doom, a.k.a. Mt. Ruapehu. All in all, not a bad couple of days to close out our few weeks of New Zealand exploring…

The Carcetti Dilemma.

“‘When the president talks about staying the course, he never mentions cost as a factor,’ Spratt said. ‘But it is a factor, particularly when you get costs over $100 billion a year.'” Facing very little room to work with, the Dems attempt to sort out the fiscal fiasco Dubya has created over the past six years and counting.

Interior Designs.

“These poor contracting practices have left DOD vulnerable to fraud, waste and abuse and DOI vulnerable to sanctions and the loss of the public trust.” In related news, new audits disclose that a procurement collaboration between Dubya’s departments of Defense and Interior has resulted in millions of dollars in waste and mark-ups. “More than half of the contracts examined were awarded without competition or without checks to determine that the prices were reasonable, according to the audits by the inspectors general for Defense (DOD) and Interior (DOI). Ninety-two percent of the work reviewed was awarded without verifying that the contractors’ cost estimates were accurate; 96 percent was inadequately monitored.

Murtha Gets PAID.

“‘It’s a real tangled web between the congressman, the nonprofit, the defense contractors and the lobbyists,’ said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group. ‘It’s hard to say where one stops and the others start.'” In troubling news that should test the commitment of the incoming Dem majority to real lobbying reform, the WP takes a long hard look at John Murtha’s lobbyist-tinged relationship with the Pennsylvania Association for Individuals with Disabilities (PAID…an unfortunate acronym, to be sure). “‘It sounds like DeLay Inc.,’ said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the Democratic-leaning Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.”

Omsbudsdog Emeritus

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