Friday, February 29, 2008


They’re inadvertently making a powerful case in favor of net neutrality.


Changing the tone

Not just in Washington, but throughout the United States.
In a lawsuit filed in January, former Prosper Inc. employee Chad Hudgens accused his former boss, Joshua Christopherson, of waterboarding him in May 2007 while instructing other employees to hold him down. Prosper does not dispute that the incident took place, but said it was voluntary and that Hudgens was fully aware of what the exercise would entail when he volunteered for it.
And because the attorney general can’t figure out if waterboarding is illegal, I guess there won’t be any criminal charges.

Thanks BushCo!

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Monday, February 25, 2008

What kind of Mickey Mouse operation is this?

You gotta be kidding me. Here’s $800,000 of taxpayer money at work.
Fifty medical workers -- doctors, nurses, therapists and administrators among them -- sat in a room at Walter Reed Army Medical Center gazing at a slide of Donald Duck on a screen.

The oft-cranky Disney cartoon character, wearing his blue sailor jacket and cap, was in a palpable rage. His webbed feet had lifted off the ground, his beak was gaping, and his white-gloved hands were tightly clutching an old-fashioned two-piece telephone.

"We can clearly see he's frustrated," said Kris Lafferty, a trainer for the Disney Institute who was leading workers at the Northwest Washington hospital last week in a four-hour seminar on customer service. "Why do we think he's frustrated?"
But I guess anything is better than this.

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Best Documentary

The Oscar goes to “Taxi to the Dark Side.”

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Siegelman blackout

It appears that 60 Minutes' highly anticipated story on the persecution prosecution of Don Siegelman, the former Democratic governor of Alabama, continues to be highly anticipated in many parts of Alabama because local broadcasters there blocked the story, airing nothing but a black screen during the segment.
People from Northern Alabama and Mobile - very southeast - are letting me know that the show was blocked - black screen - during the Siegelman segment of 60 Minutes ONLY.
WHNT, channel 19, the CBS affiliate in Huntsville, claims it was a problem with a receiver. Seems rather convenient that it failed during an story that examined White House ties to the prosecution of a former Democratic governor of a red state, and that the problem was fixed in time for the rest of “60 Minutes” to air, huh? WHNT said it was going to air the segment during the 10 p.m. news broadcast and included a link on its site where people can watch the segment. Fine, but let's not pretend that airing the segment after 10 p.m. on Sunday night and setting up an obstacle like making people go online to the WHNT Web site and find and click through a link means the same number of people will see the segment as would have if the station had simply aired the segment shortly after 7 p.m.

All this certainly lends credence to Karl Rove's off-camera denials made through his attorney in the story, huh?

Another problem with the bad receiver explanation is that CBS says it isn’t true.
The broadcaster is Channel 19 WHNT, which serves Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee. This station was noteworthy for its hostility to Siegelman and support for his Republican adversary. The station ran a trailer stating “We apologize that you missed the first segment of 60 Minutes tonight featuring ‘The Prosecution of Don Siegelman.’ It was a techincal problem with CBS out of New York.” I contacted CBS News in New York and was told that “there is no delicate way to put this: the WHNT claim is not true. There were no transmission difficulties. The problems were peculiar to Channel 19, which had the signal and had functioning transmitters.” I was told that the decision to blacken screens across Northern Alabama “could only have been an editorial call.” Channel 19 is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners, who can be contacted through Rhonda Barnat, 212-371-5999 or Oak Hill Partners represents interests of the Bass family, which contribute heavily to the Republican Party.
Lest you think this is an isolated incident, search Google News for mention of the Siegelman story not airing in Alabama during the “60 Minutes” broadcast. No MSM outlets have anything on it. All the hits are blogs. And people wonder why blogs are gaining in popularity and “mainstream” news outlets are losing. It just might have something to do with MSM outlets being beholden to their corporate ownership and other deep pockets.

Fortunately, I am not beholden to the Bass family. Those of you who were held hostage by these fascists can view the segment above. There’s something to be said for independence.

fas·cism (fāsh'ĭz'əm) n. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

Just a reminder.

UPDATE: I guess American-style democracy has arrived in Pakistan after all.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Style vs. substance

When you choose the former over the latter, this can happen:

To avoid ending up like State Sen. Deerinheadlights, click here and here. And you probably should read this too.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Another Republican accused

Perhaps it’s time to just start making Republicans register as sex offenders.
Robert A. McKee, a long-serving Republican delegate from Western Maryland, announced his resignation yesterday after authorities, who say they are conducting a child pornography investigation, seized two computers, videotapes and printed materials from his Hagerstown home.

First elected to the House of Delegates in 1994, McKee was chairman of the Western Maryland delegation and sponsored legislation to protect minors from sexual predators. McKee, 58, also resigned yesterday from his post as executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County, a child mentorship program where he has worked for 29 years.

"For me, this is deeply embarrassing," McKee said in a statement. "It reflects poorly on my service to the community."
Gee, ya think? It reflects poorly on his humanity too, by the way.


Thursday, February 14, 2008


Wow, what a piece of shit the Washington Times is.

I know this isn’t news, but I am still amazed that some people look at this assrag and call it journalism.

Take a look at this story. The headline: “McCain refuses to pander.” I guess the Times missed the senate vote on the Intel Authorization bill, noted in a post below, in which McCain voted against making the interrogation rules in the Army Field manual apply to U.S. intelligence personnel.

So I’m reading this steaming pile, and it appears to be about Huckabee’s refusal to drop out of the race, not about McCain’s refusal to pander.

But then, just as I was about to give up hope of reading about McCain steely resolve against pandering, I got to the 12th graf:
He also disputed the sentiment from some conservatives that Mr. McCain needs to make a specific gesture to conservatives, such as selecting a vice-presidential nominee they can be excited about, to win their support. Instead, Mr. Davis said the important move is conservatives joining the McCain campaign, including defense, economic and social conservatives.
And there it was, more than halfway to the end of the story, and after the virtual jump: A passing reference to the subject brought up in the headline.

This is followed by a couple of grafs describing McCain’s pandering-free asking of conservatives for their votes. And then we get to this:
Mr. McCain yesterday held a closed-door meeting with House Republicans to consolidate his support and begin unifying the party's elected leaders behind him.

Even though many of those Republicans have fought Mr. McCain bitterly on immigration, campaign finance reform and other issues, Mr. Davis said the meeting was so congenial it was “almost like a rally.”
And that, of course, is almost like cheerleading. And from an unbiased source like McCain’s campaign manager, at that.

And just to hammer home the point that McCain refuses to pander (and that the Times isn’t wasting its time propping up McCain because here’s why he can win. No, really), we finish up with
Mr. Davis said there's plenty of room to undercut Mr. Obama's support by pointing out information such as his ranking by National Journal as the most liberal senator in 2007.
And, as we all know, playing on conservative fears and biases connected to the word “liberal” isn’t pandering.

pan·der intr.v. pan·dered, pan·der·ing, pan·ders To cater to the lower tastes and desires of others or exploit their weaknesses.

So to sum up: What this story does is state in large type that “McCain refuses to pander” in the hope that you will read that and nothing more. But, just to be on the safe side—and to avoid looking like the wrong headline is on the story, the lede repeats the ballyhoo, quoting none other than McCain’s campaign manager. Of course, that’s exactly what you’d expect any candidate’s campaign manager to say, but it serves its purpose: It gets the words “McCain” and “will not pander” in the same sentence, in the lede. The story then immediately veers off into a discussion of Huckabee’s curious continued presence in the race. It’s at that point that the editors expect you to stop reading.

I have some bad news for Times readers: The editors of your paper think you’re stupid.

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Douchebag of the Week

I know it’s only Thursday, but I think we have a “winner.”

Douglas Henry, D-Memphis, Tenn.
“Rape, ladies and gentlemen, is not today what rape was. Rape, when I was learning these things, was the violation of a chaste woman, against her will, by some party not her spouse. Today it’s simply, ‘Let’s don’t go forward with this act.’ ”
Even though this happened last week, I felt it would be unjust not to recognize Henry’s extraordinary effort.


Washington drift

Yesterday’s senate vote on the Intelligence Authorizaion bill, which would make the Army Field Manual the standard for interrogations for intelligence organizations — essentially banning torture by any U.S. personnel, produced some interesting results.

To its credit, the senate passed the bill, 51-45. Naturally Bush will veto the bill because he doesn’t want torture to be outlawed.

What was interesting was how the presidential candidates handled the issue. Ex-maverick John McCain, he of the famous anti-torture amendment, voted against the measure to sure up his conservative bona fides and show The Base that he shares their craven bloodlust.

Meanwhile, neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama cast a vote on this measure. This is what they call “drifting toward the center,” a time-honored practice of trying to attract the votes of moderates, fence sitters and maybe even some supporters of the other party. Both candidates apparently want to avoid looking soft on terrorism. For Clinton, this is another in a series of actions that she’s had to mold talking points to explain away—the first being her vote in 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq, the next being her September vote in favor of a resolution designating part of Iran’s military as a terrorist organization.

Clinton might argue that she didn’t vote because she is in Texas fighting to save her foundering campaign, but that hardly justifies missing votes on issues as important as torture being carried out by the United States government and immunity for companies acting as accomplices in warrantless spying on American citizens being carried out by the United States government.

For his part, Obama voted in favor of stripping immunity language out of the FISA bill, but he didn’t participate in the torture vote. And, like Clinton, he can’t cite the importance of the Wisconsin primary as a reason for skipping his day job, especially when an issue as significant as torture is on the table. Sure Bush is going to veto the bill, asshole that he is. However, if Obama is really looking past Clinton to McCain, he had a golden opportunity to distinguish himself from the likely GOP nominee. But instead of distinguishing himself from McCain, it appears that Obama was looking to siphon some voters from McCain by not casting a vote that could be make him look weak on terror — an issue that McCain supporters perceive as one of their man’s strengths.

That’s the thing about candidates who take a firm stand squarely in the middle: It’s hard to distinguish one from the other.

If there’s a vote to override the veto, let’s hope that Obama and Clinton show up and do their jobs. And it would be nice if McCain stopped the pandering and voted to override as well. It would be nice to see a little action behind their rhetoric.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Healthcare in America

Where money is valued more than life itself.
[Brittani] was only 15 years old, when she started chemotherapy for Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer that attacks the bones. She lost her hair, had the cancerous bone in her pelvis removed, and then her lungs started to deteriorate.

She lived through her 16th year with an oxygen bottle her closest companion, as her lung function approached a mere 20% of normal capacity.

In May of 2007, she was only 17 years old, when she finally had a double lung transplant, to replace lungs killed by interstices lung disease, brought on by the chemotherapy which saved her from the bone cancer.

When her health insurance is canceled later this year, it will be canceled with the simple explanation that she has reached her "lifetime maximum benefits."

And she has just turned 18...
What can I say? The way we treat our sick is a dark a stain on our nation. This is absolutely shameful. And this is just one of thousands of stories of sick children who have been left for dead by a healthcare system more interested in profit than in healthcare.

To make a donation to help with Brittany’s care, follow the link above or click here and scroll down to the “Donate to Brittani” link.

We are better than this. Aren’t we?

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Fucking cowards.

The Senate today -- led by Jay Rockefeller, enabled by Harry Reid, and with the active support of at least 12 (and probably more) Democrats, in conjunction with an as-always lockstep GOP caucus -- will vote to legalize warrantless spying on the telephone calls and emails of Americans, and will also provide full retroactive amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms, thus forever putting an end to any efforts to investigate and obtain a judicial ruling regarding the Bush administration's years-long illegal spying programs aimed at Americans.


The Dodd/Feingold amendment to remove telecom immunity from the bill just failed by a whopping vote of 31-67 -- 20 votes shy of the 50 needed for a passage.

Click here to see who voted to give the Bush administration and its co-conspirators a Get Out of Jail Free card.

Since not everyone will click through, and because these spineless swine deserve as much light on them as possible, the following Democratic senators violated their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution: Bayh, Inouye, Johnson, Landrieu, McCaskill, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Stabenow, Feinstein, Kohl, Pryor, Rockefeller, Salazar, Carper, Mikulski, Conrad, Webb, and Lincoln. All of the Republicans -- every single one -- also voted this way, of course.

Interestingly, Sen. Hillary Clinton did not vote. On a matter of such significance, on an issue important to voters, she couldn't be bothered to show what she stands for. And tomorrow she will continue asking Americans to make her the next president of the United States. My question to her: Why should we? When her critics say she is a triangulating careerist interested only in her own professional advancement, this is exactly the kind of thing they're talking about.

Fortunately, the House can reject this travesty of justice. Click here to sign a petition urging House members to reject this disgrace.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Taxing thought

It always struck me as odd that there's an entire industry designed to shortchange the government of tax revenue by ensuring its clients contribute as little as possible.

And not only is that OK, now the so-called president of the United States is using that fact as justification for not placing the burden of a tax increase on the shoulders of those who can most easily bear it.

If they’re going to say, oh, we’re only going to tax the rich people, but most people in America understand that the rich people hire good accountants and figure out how not to necessarily pay all the taxes and the middle class gets stuck.
Watching Bush's mind work is like watching an engine filled with sludge try to turn over.

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Is this what chickenhawks are talking about when they say the surge is "working"?

A suicide car bomb detonated Sunday evening near a market in Balad, killing at least 25 people and wounding 40 others, an Interior Ministry official said.

The bomb exploded near an Iraqi army checkpoint outside the market in Balad, north of the capital.

The bombing came as U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit.
So the security situation in Iraq continues to improve, but nearly five fucking years after the invasion, Bush administration officials still can't even announce their visits to the country in advance.

Talk to me about improved security when one of these tools puts his -- or her (I'm looking at you, Condi ) -- money where their mouth is.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Schill’s shoulder

Curt Schilling is having shoulder trouble. He will miss at least half the season and his career may be over.

Dr. Craig Moran, who has twice performed surgery on Schilling’s shoulder, thinks a third surgery is needed. The team’s medical staff thinks Schilling’s rotator cuff can’t withstand another surgery and is recommending a less aggressive approach that includes rest and rehab.

For his part, Schilling, who had a cortisone shot today, is following the advice of the team’s medical staff.

But Moran sounded alarm bells in an interview on EEI, warning that Schilling won’t be able to pitch without the surgery, but acknowledged that there’s no guarantee Schilling would be able to even with the surgery.

Now before you go thinking that this is bad timing and the Sox missed out on Johan Santana, remember what the Twins wanted for Santana: Jacoby Ellsbury, John Lester and Clay Buchholz. Plus, the Sox would have had to sign Santana to a long-term deal. He threatened to walk away during negotiations with the Mutts and ended up getting $137.5 million over six seasons. Keep in mind that Santana will be 29 years old before he throws one pitch next season and will be 34 years old entering the last year of this contract. How would you feel about the Sox being on the hook for nearly $23 million for a 34-year-old pitcher? A 34-year-old lefty pitching at Fenway, at that? How’s that contract the Stinkins gave Johnny Damon looking these days?

Sure, the Schilling injury hurts, but a rotation of Beckett, Dice-K, Lester, Wakefield and Buchholz isn’t so bad, is it? And maybe they’ll pick up another starter before the season begins.

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Biofuel bust

They appear to be creating more problems than they’re solving.
Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these “green” fuels are taken into account, two studies being published Thursday have concluded.
And when you also consider this, suddenly biofuels don’t sound like such a good idea.

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Douchebag of the Week

Larry Liston, R-Colorado Springs, Colo.
A Republican state representative in Colorado has apologized for calling unmarried teenage parents "sluts."

Larry Liston of Colorado Springs was talking at a GOP caucus meeting about teenagers who have babies and expect the government to support them.

"In my parents' day and age, they were sent away, they were shunned, they were called what they are," Liston told the caucus. "There was at least a sense of shame." He then used the word "slut," adding, "I don't mean just the women. I mean the men, too."
Because the person in the post below is charged with serious crimes, he is ineligible. This contest is for idiots who have done something thoughtless, small-minded, ignorant and/or stupid, but that involved no physical harm to anyone. To include someone charged with or guilty of serious wrongdoing in this contest would trivialize their actions, alleged or otherwise, and that ain’t how I roll.


Another day

Another scumbag with GOP ties.
Floridians were shocked last week when police announced that the spokesman for the state's Department of Children and Families had been arrested and charged with peddling child pornography. But buried in news accounts of the case was a curious detail: the official in question had listed the state's current Republican Governor, Charlie Crist, as a reference when he applied for his post in 2005.
What I find shocking is that Floridians still have the capacity for shock. You know, after this and this and, of course, this.


Feeling safer yet?

Your government at work.
For more than seven months, the nation’s top public health agency has blocked the publication of an exhaustive federal study of environmental hazards in the eight Great Lakes states, reportedly because it contains such potentially “alarming information” as evidence of elevated infant mortality and cancer rates.


The Center for Public Integrity has obtained the study, which warns that more than 9 million people who live in the more than two dozen “areas of concern”—including such major metropolitan areas as Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee—may face elevated health risks from being exposed to dioxin, PCBs, pesticides, lead, mercury, or six other hazardous pollutants.

In many of the geographic areas studied, researchers found low birth weights, elevated rates of infant mortality and premature births, and elevated death rates from breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer.


“This research is quite important to the public health of people who reside in that area,” [retired rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service and former assistant administrator of ATSDR Barry] Johnson said of the study. “It was done with the full knowledge and support of IJC, and many local health departments went through this in various reviews. I don’t understand why this work has not been released; it should be and it must be released. In 37 years of public service, I’ve never run into a situation like this.”
For those of you who may have missed it, the CDC’s job has been changed. Its job now is to do everything in its power to avoid embarrassing the Bush administration or publishing information that might lead to regulations, legislation or enforcement detrimental to the financial interests of the administration’s backers. This includes keeping vital information from millions of Americans about significant health threats, making it impossible for them to make informed choices that could impact and well-being of themselves and their families.

Seriously, how the fuck do you defend this with a straight face and a clear conscience?

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Mittens quittin’

Due to the recent credit crunch, Mitt Romney is unwilling to loan his campaign any more money.

McCain is the GOP nominee, unless Huckabee ...

Nah. McCain is the GOP nominee.

Ya think Mittens is angling for a VP or cabinet nod by getting out now?

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Quote of the day

Well, duh.
“It seems that Pfizer’s No. 1 priority is to sell lots of Lipitor, by whatever means necessary, including misleading the American people.” — John Dingell, D-Mich.
Hey, at least he isn’t hassling the NFL over bullshit at the behest of his biggest campaign donors, like some people.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

$3 trillion

Ladies and gentlemen, the Bush budget.
The record $3.1 trillion budget proposed by President Bush on Monday would produce eyepopping federal deficits, despite his attempts to impose politically wrenching curbs on Medicare and eliminate scores of popular domestic programs.

The Pentagon would receive a $36 billion, 8 percent boost for the 2009 budget year beginning Oct. 1, even as programs aimed at the poor would be cut back or eliminated. Half of domestic Cabinet departments would see their budgets cut outright.

Slumping revenues (the result of Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the wealthy — Dr. S) and the cost of an economic rescue package will combine to produce a huge jump in the deficit to $410 billion this year and $407 billion in 2009, the White House says, just shy of the record $413 billion set four years ago.

But even those figures are optimistic since they depend on rosy economic forecasts and leave out the full costs of the war in Iraq.
Just how much is $3 trillion?
A person given $1 million a year to spend would need 3 million years to blow $3 trillion. One would have to circumnavigate the globe 120 million times to travel 3 trillion miles. Similarly, that would be some 17,000 round trips to the sun.
But somehow, there’s little room in a $3.1 trillion budget for programs that help the poor.

By the way, the “.1” in $3.1 trillion represents $100 billion. So to that example of a person blowing $1 million a year, add 100,000 years.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I know we’re ignoring it, but...

From Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States (remember that?):

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Doesn’t that make this guy ineligible?

Maybe a strict constructionist judge could explain it to me.

Just sayin’.


Saving skin

Good news.
Scientists in France have developed human skin which may reduce chemical testing on animals.

Cosmetics giant L'Oreal showed Sky News their new product called Episkin in an exclusive visit to their laboratory in Lyon, France.

The skin is grown from cells removed from donor skin left over after cosmetic surgery.

Tests have shown it gives more accurate results than animal skin.

The new skin has been cleared for use and will now be available to use in the cosmetic industry.

Dr Estelle Tinois-Tessonneaud, who led the research said: "It was very important because following regulation in 2009 the cosmetic industry will not be allowed to sell a cosmetic with raw materials that have been tested on animals so it was absolutely fundamental that we get this model."
What? Why that means that regulation led to innovation. Could somebody tell these guys? And these guys? And these guys? And these guys?

Anyway, there should be more animal-friendly cosmetics on the market soon. Make your purchases accordingly.


Dressing down dress codes

What century is this again?
A 35-year-old hiring exec admitted to looking askance at female interviewees who show up in - gasp - pants. His reasoning: women in skirts and pantyhose make better employees than those in pants.

"Certainly, no man is going to get offended if she shows up in a skirt and hose, but there are men who, like me, feel a pantsuit on a woman is a step down," he told the paper. "Why take that chance?"

This hiring manager, who wisely didn't give his name, is a throwback, a relic from the dress-for-success 1980s.


"I remember once being on a search committee with several men, and the group told me that the woman with pants should be disqualified," recalled Juliet Sallette, marketing director for LaBovick & LaBovick law firm, in an e-mail. "I couldn't get over it. They felt that the fact that she wore pants stated that her personality was too dominant. The person that was hired wore a skirt."


"Whether women wear pants or skirts in a professional setting has nothing to do with their ability and experience and, more importantly, getting the job done," pointed out Vicki Donlan, author of "HER TURN: Why It's Time for Women to Lead in America."
Doesn’t that truism apply to men as well? And if what people wear has nothing to do with their ability to do their jobs, why are so many employers still hung up on the outmoded notion of dress codes?

If a job requires an employee to have contact with the public or clients, requiring that person to present a neat, professional appearance is understandable. But if a position doesn’t necessarily require contact with anyone but co-workers, and if what employees wear has nothing to do with their ability to do their jobs, why bother with a dress code for those employees?

Khakis don’t make people smarter, and blue jeans don’t make them dumber.

I’m not suggesting that employers should ignore patently inappropriate attire like hot pants, tube tops or T-shirts bearing profane or offensive slogans. But if an employer is hiring adults, this usually won’t be a problem anyway. I’m saying that, absent some compelling reason for them, forget dress codes. The antiquated approach of “Dress like a professional, act like a professional” applies only if you’re hiring people who need to be fooled into acting like professionals. If you’re hiring professionals, you’ll get professionals. And if you treat them like the adults they are and allow them to make their own decisions regarding their wardrobe, you just might get happier employees. And as I understand it, that’s good for small details like productivity, employee retention and the bottom line.

Morale doesn’t have to cost anything. So I wonder why so many employers ignore it until it becomes a problem.

This story was written by a Philly DN columnist who corresponded with sources by e-mail. An interesting detail to include in the column would’ve been what she was wearing as she worked on the column and whether she thought it affected the column. I’ve toiled in newsrooms in the past, where nobody gave a shit about anything but the finished product, so there’s a good chance she was wearing — or was surrounded by people wearing — denim and cross-trainers, nobody any less competent for it.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Specter to launch sign-stealing probe

An entry for Onion sports.

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., announced plans yesterday to investigate sign-stealing allegations that arose after a recent game in the Lansdale (Pa.) Little League.

Specter said he learned of the controversy after reading a one-paragraph summary of a game between Homestead Remodeling and Yocum Ford in the Lansdale Reporter newspaper. Homestead won the game, 14-3.

In the paragraph, Yocum player Timmy Parker accused Homestead catcher Ryan Clark of stealing Yocum's bunt sign because Homestead pitcher Andy Denny "totally threw the next pitch way outside," Parker said. Parker missed his bunt try, and baserunner Jake Bell was tagged out in a rundown between third and home.

Reached for comment yesterday, Parker said his alleagations are proven by the fact that he's "the best bunter on the team," and called Clark "a cheating doo-doo head."

Specter called the allegations "disappointing."

"There is no room for cheating doo-doo heads in America's pastime," Specter said at a press conference on the steps of the Capitol. "Children must learn the value of sportsmanship at an early age. They should also know that if they cheat, their actions, no matter how insignificant or irrelevant to the business of American government, will draw the full attention of this nation's elected officials."

Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said a re-evaluation of the league's antitrust exemption may be warranted by the allegations.

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Cheney now just going around demanding retroactive immunity

More fodder for my application to The Onion.

White House officials are expressing concern over Vice President Dick Cheney's recent behavior, specifically his growing number of apparently haphazard calls for retroactive immunity.

On Wednesday, Cheney once again called on Congress to pass a new FISA bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that violated the privacy rights of American citizens by participating in the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. It's a demand Cheney has made many times over the last several months.

"Those companies that may have helped us may have done so specifically at our request, and they may have done yeoman duty for the country," Cheney said in a speech to the American Enterprise Institue. "They are possible partriots. They may even be true American heroes.

"We all may owe these companies a tremendous debt of gratitude," he added.

Last week, in an interview on Fox News, Cheney called for retroactive immunity for Karl Rove, claiming that that Rove has broken no laws but that immunity for the former White House chief of staff is "of the utmost importance."

In addition, over the past several weeks, Cheney has demanded immunity for his wife Lynne, his gardner, the wait staff at The Willard Room restaurant and for his Fellowes C-380C Powershred document shredder.

"Dick is demanding immunity for just about everybody he has come into contact with over the last seven years," said a White House official on the condition of anonymity. "Some of the staff think he's crazy. Personally, I think he'd be crazy if he weren't doing it.

"I mean, let's face it..." the official said, his voice trailing off.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Bush bypasses Constitution with signing statement

Another in my ongoing public audition for The Onion.

President Bush issued a signing statement Friday declaring that he is not bound by the restraints placed on his office by the United States Constitution.

“Provisions of the Constitution purport to impose requirements that could inhibit the president's ability to carry out his constitutional obligations as commander in chief, to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, to protect national security, to supervise the executive branch, and to execute his authority as commander in chief,” the statement said. “The executive branch shall take such provisions under advisement and construe them in a manner consistent with the authority of the President.”

“In other words, the Constitution cannot be allowed to limit with my ability to do my job as president,” Bush said before boarding Marine One for his flight to Camp David. “Those candidates can go ahead and stop campaigning now,” Bush added, refusing to elaborate.

The White House later released a second signing statement, this one declaring that Bush doesn’t have to actually sign a law to issue a signing statement declaring his right to ignore it.

White House spokesperson Dana Perino said that Attorney General Michael Mukasey reviewed the signing statements and declared them “100 percent legal,” adding, “So you all might as well just shut up about it.”

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