Singing the Bite Me Song


Games


September 29, 2005

I'm not allowed to read this, but I think "Find the Brownie" is a great game

The New York Times has seen fit to take its own columnists out of circulation, a move of such peculiar logic that the columnists themselves must be dumbstruck at the 16 people each day who are actually paying just to read their words.

My bet is that they will become virtually invisible in the link-currency of the Internet within two weeks, and [PREDICTION ALERT] the Times will suspend the ridiculous policy due to its utter stupidity by Halloween. I pick Halloween not because I really think it will take that long for the company to realize the depths of its blunder, but because I think pride on business/shareholder/management side will force the editorial folks to suffer the humiliation long enough for some bean-counters to make doubly sure they won't be vindicated on a cold day in hell. As if anyone else has any doubt.

Meanwhile, I have no intention of paying retail. Nor will I ever give those bogus newspaper personal info-harvesting machines masquerading as "free registration" ANY honest personal information. I just LOVE messing with data, and those papers are selling that aggregate bogus info to spam marketers and making probably five whole cents on each registration. I hope that helps them sleep better.

So do I even want to give Paul Krugman credit for the "Find the Brownie" meme? To be more accurate, it appears he cribbed it from Monty Python's "Spot the Loony."

Still, as a viral idea, unbound from the absurdities of TimesSelect firewalls, the enterprise has legs. I can see some future web site, totally devoted to an expanding roll call of embedded "Brownies" unearthed in Bush administration political appointments.

No offense to the Girl Scouts of America, but a "Brownie" is named for Michael Brown, the criminally incompetent director of FEMA who clearly owes his appointment, along with those in several of the positions under him, to political patronage.

Krugman and many others believe that the ranks of the Bush administration are filled with many "Brownies." It remains to be seen if the actual "Brownie Count" approximates the notorious Chicago machine politics under the first Mayor Daley, or other exemplars from the era known for its "boss politics." Or perhaps the count will reach the levels of the righteous "fascists" as the movement was taking off in Europe, the people like Franco and Mussolini who had the gall to champion the corruption of crony capitalism. Now that would be something to be proud of, eh?

I must be feeling my oats today because Tom DeLay was indicted today. Ooh, I was doing the Snoopy dance, yes indeedy.

Krugman, this will probably be the last time I quote you, until after Halloween or so. Don't get too cold in that icebox, OK? Watch the DVD of "The Invisible Man" over and over again, if it makes you feel better.

Link: Star-Telegram | 09/28/2005 | Folks, we've got games for the whole family.

Posted on Wed, Sep. 28, 2005

Folks, we've got games for the whole family

By Paul Krugman
The New York UN-Timely Times

For the politically curious seeking entertainment, I'd like to propose two new trivia games: "Find the Brownie" and "Two Degrees of Jack Abramoff."

The objective in Find the Brownie is to find an obscure but important government job held by someone whose only apparent qualifications for that job are political loyalty and personal connections. It's inspired by President Bush's praise, four days after Katrina hit, for the hapless Michael Brown, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." I guess it depends on the meaning of the word heck.

There are a lot of Brownies. As Time magazine puts it in its latest issue, "Bush has gone further than most presidents to put political stalwarts in some of the most important government jobs you've never heard of." Time offers a couple of fresh examples, such as the former editor of a Wall Street medical-industry newsletter who now holds a crucial position at the Food and Drug Administration.

[...]

OK, enough joking.

The point of my games -- which are actually research programs for enterprising journalists -- is that all the scandals now surfacing are linked. Something is rotten in the state of the U.S. government. And the lesson of Hurricane Katrina is that a culture of cronyism and corruption can have lethal consequences.

September 29, 2005 at 02:02 AM in Best Essays, Current Affairs, Democracy, Favorite Links, Games, Intellectual Property, Media & Journalism, News to Note, Politics, Singing the Bite Me Song | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 15, 2005

The sneaky manuevers behind the anti-lynching resolution

Smells to high heaven, literally! This House of Bite Me wouldn't claim a bad smell like that.

Miasma

Link: Critics: Frist vetoed roll call | ajc.com.

Anti-lynching vote

Critics: Frist vetoed roll call


Senators were not required to go on record on issue

By SCOTT SHEPARD
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/15/05

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) refused repeated requests for a roll call vote that would have put senators on the record on a resolution apologizing for past failures to pass anti-lynching laws, officials involved in the negotiations said Tuesday.

And there was disagreement Tuesday over whether Saxby Chambliss, one of Georgia's two Republican senators, had supported the measure when it was approved Monday night.

As dozens of descendants of lynching victims watched from the Senate gallery, the resolution was adopted Monday evening under a voice vote procedure that did not require any senator's presence.

Eighty senators, however, had signed as co-sponsors, putting themselves on record as supporting the resolution. By the time the Senate recessed Tuesday evening, five other senators had added their names as co-sponsors, leaving 15 Republicans who had not.

[...]

The resolution was adopted under what is called "unanimous consent," whereby it is adopted as long as no senator expresses opposition.

But the group that was the driving force behind the resolution had asked Frist for a formal procedure that would have required all 100 senators to vote. And the group had asked that the debate take place during "business hours" during the week, instead of Monday evening, when most senators were traveling back to the capital.

Frist declined both requests, the group's chief counsel, Mark Planning, said Tuesday evening.

"It was very disappointing" that Frist handled the matter the way he did, Planning said. "Other groups have gotten roll call votes, so there was nothing new to this, nothing different that we were asking for."

Bob Stevenson, Frist's chief spokesman, said Tuesday evening the procedure the majority leader established was "requested by the sponsors."

The chief sponsors of the resolution, Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and George Allen (R-Va.), disputed that assertion.

[...]

Planning agreed that Landrieu and Allen "made every effort" to have the resolution debated during the day, when it would attract the most attention from the public, and with a formal roll call of the senators.

"We were very perplexed" that Frist would not agree to that, Planning said.

Jan Cohen, the wife of former Defense Secretary William Cohen and one of the key figures in the Committee for a Formal Apology, expressed outrage over the lack of a roll call vote.

"America is home of the brave, but I'm afraid there may be a few cowards who have to cower to their very narrow-minded and backward, hateful constituency," Cohen told ABC News. "They're hiding out, and it's reminiscent of a pattern of hiding out under a hood, in the night, riding past, scaring people."

And more emphatically, on AMERICAblog:

Link: AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth.

Frist now accused of trying to veto a vote on the anti-lynching resolution

by John in DC - 6/15/2005 02:00:00 AM

Okay, now it's getting good.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an article up (sign in as "dailykos" first name, password "dailykos", and email "kos@dailykos.com") pointing the finger at Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) as the man who refused to have a real roll call vote on the anti-lynching resolution.

Frist then tried to blame the debacle on Senators George Allen (R-VA) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), saying THEY didn't want a real roll vote to put Senators on the record. Not true, say Landrieu and Allen. They WANTED a real vote, but Frist would not allow it. He did NOT want Senators to have to go on the record. Nor did Frist want the issue to come up at all during daytime, because evidently he didn't want the resolution getting much media attention.

And why is that? Was the Republican leader of the Senate afraid that all 100 Senators would support a resolution opposing lynching, and that would be a BAD thing? God forbid America speak with one voice against lynching black people.

Or did Frist fear/know that far too many of his own party - 15 in fact - refused to endorse the resolution and may have voted against it if forced to actually vote on the record?

Either way, this stinks. Bill First, the Republican leader of the United States Senate, vetoed having a roll call vote on a resolution apologizing to victims of lynchings. He tried to hide the resolution in the middle of the night so no one would no about it.

It's high time we demanded to know why 27% of the Republicans in the US Senate refuse to come out in opposition to lynching. All the Democrats now support the resolution. So why not the Republicans? Or was Howard Dean right? The GOP is the party of far-right Christian WHITE people?

[...]

June 15, 2005 at 01:25 PM in Current Affairs, Democracy, Games, News to Note, Politics, Rhetoric, Singing the Bite Me Song | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack