Congressman Charles Taylor Votes for Sham Ethics Reform

{pic courtesy of Jim Jenkins}

In the immediate wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal, Congressmen all over America ran about announcing how they were going to tackle tough ethics reforms. Instead of any meaningful changes on lobbyists' power in Congress, the House of Representatives narrowly passed HR4975 ("Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act"). This bill, called a "sham", "diluted snake oil", and an "insult to voters" was approved by a 217-213 vote.

Bipartisan energy pandering misses the point

The energy pimps in the national Republican party - and the Dems are just as bad - stooped to new lows with their pandering to the public on gas rebates and tax holidays. Even Joe Six Pack knows the jig is up on cheap gas, and no amount of publicity stunts in Congress will make a bit of difference. If you're looking for a good geo-political summary of why we're totally screwed - thank you Dear Leader - this article is one of the best I've seen. The bottom line is this: Don't get your hopes up.

Markos and I are Just Good Friends

Enough outrage already. I need help.

And no, Vernon Robinson is not funny.

Okay, I admit that I laughed out loud the first time I heard Robinson's radio ads. And I agree with getmeoutofdixie's diary on Friday that Robinson's "recap" of my "life as a hippie radical" was pretty funny. My real life seems pretty boring by comparison.

And if you're wondering about Markos and me, we're just good friends. Well, we're good friends considering that we've never actually met.

But last week I talked to a friend who was with his daughter in the car when a Robinson ad came on the radio. His daughter is in elementary school and has Hispanic playmates. He explained to her that the ads were contrary to the values he had taught her. My friend knows that for the next six months, his daughter will see television ads and hear radio ads that are filled with hatred for gays, for Latinos, for who knows who else.

Flag daze

I wish Walter Jones would spend half as much time fighting to make America once again symoblize something honest and good as he does worrying about the flag for which it stands. This from his latest email pandering.


WASHINGTON, DC - Third District Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC) this week introduced H.R. 5255, the American Flag Display Protection Act, a bill that would prohibit a school from receiving Federal funds if the school prevents a student from displaying or wearing in a respectful manner a representation of the flag of the United States.

Asheville Drinking Liberally: Primary Hangover

What if you threw a party, and only 16% of the invited guests showed up? That's what happened Tuesday, as District 11 voters stayed home in droves, foreiting their opportunity to mark a paper ballot in Buncombe or puzzle out the electronic machines in McDowell. Have the voters been disenfranchised, or did they stay home to make a statement? Drinking Liberally, that weekly gathering of left-leaning voters, activists, conversationalists, and alcohol afficianados, will meet at Jack of the Wood in downtown Asheville to sift through the primary results like tea leaves, trying to divine meaning from the meager numbers who actually showed.

Free Market Tyranny!

As soon as I heard about the Bill Clinton-brokered agreement to keep sugar soft drinks out of schools, I knew we'd be hearing complaints from the free market crowd—even though the deal was worked out in the marketplace by market actors. Well, we didn't have to wait long. Witness this tantrum in response to a professor who thinks that the industry might have gone farther:


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