As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Quick Hits

Couple things I'd like to get out of the way:

• Ann Coulter: felon?

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter has refused to cooperate in an investigation into whether she voted in the wrong precinct, so the case will probably be turned over to prosecutors, Palm Beach County's elections chief said Wednesday.

Knowingly voting in the wrong precinct is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Elections Supervisor Arthur Anderson said his office has been looking into the matter for nearly nine months, and he would turn over the case to the state attorney's office by Friday.

I know exactly what the conservosphere reaction will be to this, that "they're singling out one person for election fraud when the Democrats do so much more," which shows that they don't care about the rule of law or voting fraud in anything other than political terms. That's a straw man that I'm certain will be filled with a live human within minutes. Et viola!

• George Bush complains about the nasty tone in Washington and then goes on the air with a guy who mocks victims of Parkinson's disease and claims they're faking their symptoms.

• So, Santos Cardoza was a dog handler convicted of crimes of abuse at Abu Ghraib. He's out of jail and the military sent him back to Iraq to serve. Are we out of our friggin' minds? Felons convicted of abusing Iraqis returned to work with Iraqis?

• More on Republican hypocrisy: they screamed when the DCCC put up an ad showing flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq. Now, two ads from the NRCC, the Republican campaign committee for the House, show flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq. Irony, thou art dead.

Great story from Salon. The culture of corruption extends to the judiciary:

At least two dozen federal judges appointed by President Bush since 2001 made political contributions to key Republicans or to the president himself while under consideration for their judgeships, government records show. A four-month investigation of Bush-appointed judges by the Center for Investigative Reporting reveals that six appellate court judges and 18 district court judges contributed a total of more than $44,000 to politicians who were influential in their appointments. Some gave money directly to Bush after he officially nominated them. Other judges contributed to Republican campaign committees while they were under consideration for a judgeship.

Hey, free speech, judges can give money to whoever they want. But the timing is ridiculously obvious. As they were up for a promotion, they were handing out cash to those who were in a position to promote them.

Iran's giving out money to US tourists who visit. I'm sure they'll chip in a few bucks to the US government for helping them further their nuclear program by posting secrets on the Internet for them to read.

• Another story that makes me somewhat hopeful due to technology, although I'm sure the intelligence agencies will find a way to screw it up: They're using wikis to collectivize information on their cases.

The system, dubbed Intellipedia because it is built on open-source software from Wikipedia, was launched earlier this year. It already is being used to assemble intelligence reports on Nigeria and other subjects, according to U.S. intelligence officials who on Tuesday discussed the initiative in detail for the first time.

After being criticized for downplaying dissenting views on Iraq's alleged weapons programs, "we're trying to transform the way we do business," said Michele Weslander, a senior official overseeing the initiative for National Intelligence Director John D. Negroponte.

We need better intelligence and this seems to be a step in the right direction. The question is, how long until they make it public inadvertently and give away secrets to the rest of the world?

• And finally, a cringe-inducing story from CNN, where they look at the views of a FICTIONAL CHARACTER and relate them to current politics. What would Alex P. Keaton say about stem cell research? I don't know, let's ask the writers who created him and then throw the videotape in the trash can where it belongs! CNN - The Most Irrelevant Name In News.