Here are some nice bits of info I’ve seen over the last few days.
Ethics? We don’t need no stinking ethics.
As if ethics wasn’t already a huge item on the political landscape, and as if Texas wasn’t the center of that bullseye due to the egregiously shameless Tom DeLay, now the “Texas Ethics Commission” has announced that its state politicians don’t have to report gift size, just the gift itself.
Like, for instance, “Currency” or “A Check.”
Hm…who actually thinks this is a defensible position? Only politicians who are trying to pre-emptively cover themselves. Like DeLay, or William Jefferson in Louisiana, politicians who try and create laws to allow themselves unfettered access to cash are, in short, criminals.
The ruling outraged state Rep. Lon Burnam, who sued the ethics commission in April asking that "meaningful" descriptions of gifts be required.
Monday's opinion "clearly, obviously violates the intent of the law," Burnam said. "They deliberately, I think, misconstrued it and they are showing how utterly spineless and useless they are as an ethics commission."
Save the iPod, Save the World
In foreign affairs, apparently our foreign policy with North Korea has been reduced to this – we won’t sell them iPods or plasma televisions.
I find it amusing that North Korea – and any other country who gets a lot of mileage out of talking about the evils of the U.S. (see: the most profitable McDonalds franchise...in Paris) – would actually want the output of our economy, but of course, the United States leads the world in a lot of that. (Less than it used to, and given our educational system, that’s a trend that will likely continue, but that’s a posting for another day.) I also find the following quote from Maureen Healy, the head of the trade group for the Personal Watercraft Industry Association, downright hilarious:
The Washington-based Personal Watercraft Industry Association said it also supports the U.S. sanctions - although it bristled at the notion a Jet Ski was a luxury.
"The thousands of Americans and Canadians who build, ship and sell personal watercraft are patriots first," said Maureen Healey, head of the trade group. She said it endorsed the ban "because of the narrow nature of this ban and the genuine dangers that responsible world governments are trying to stave off."
Jet skis – a luxury? Heaven forbid! Those people skirting around lakes and oceans are patriots! Well, sure…but is there an actual practical application for a jet ski? Cause if not, it’s sort of a luxury by definition. Trade group folks are lobbyists and all they say is gobbledygook.
I’m not proclaiming to know how to solve the North Korea situation, but I suspect this isn’t it.
Outgoing Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who may have been the only person who ever thought he was a legitimate Presidential candidate, has taken himself out of the 2008 race. I find this to be a true shame, as I would have liked the sheer waste of money that would have gone into his campaign, while the world was reminded of his video diagnosis of Terri Schiavo, his shady financial dealings and the way he was rolled over repeatedly as Majority Leader. In sad related news, apparently Joe Biden is still delusional enough to be in the mix for the Democrats.
Quick, who had four months in the betting pool?
The latest news is that Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock, never a couple who seemed to have a terribly long shelf life, are splitting up after less than four months of marriage. Between rumors that they slept with other people on their honeymoon, to the fact that they both are sexually…adventurous, to say the least, the strangest part of this news – perhaps the only strange part, in fact – is that possibly the Borat movie is to blame.
Sources claim Kid Rock, real name Bob Richie, became enraged by his wife's role in the spoof film -- in which Borat, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, travels across America to get close to the blonde beauty….
"Bob started screaming at Pam, saying she had humiliated herself and telling her, 'You're nothing but a whore! You're a slut! How could you do that movie?' -- in front of everyone. It was very embarrassing.
I’ll just leave that one on its own, but somehow I thought the fact that Pammy was a slut and a whore was part of her appeal. At least…that’s the appeal for me.