Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ah, the flashbacks

Thank you, Mike Gravel, for keeping this presidential campaign interesting.

Power to the people, and give peace a chance.

More on Gravel's candidacy and background here.

Christian Girls Gone Wild

The next video ad for late-night TV, perhaps?

This sermon clip is poor quality, but it gives a hint where the CIA may be selling the good drugs these days.

"...a holy ghost enema right up your rear end, because God won't tolerate anything else."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chris Christie as media magician

Debbie Holtz at Politicker NJ put together a nice timeline on the fortuitous "leaks" -- again -- from U.S. attorney Chris Christie's office this week that bumped his class-action scandal to lesser news holes.

On Monday, 11/19, a spokesman for former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft responds to the Star Ledger's questions about the no-bid federal monitoring deal. By Monday evening, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie provides comments to the Ledger.

Monday, 11/19, Star Ledger, Internet, 10:01pm: $52M-plus payday for Christie's old boss

Tuesday, 11/20, Star Ledger, Print Edition: 52M-plus payday for Christie's old boss

Sometime before 9:00 am on Tuesday, an exclusive leak to The Record reveals an ongoing search being conducted at both the office and home of state Senator Joseph Coniglio. The Record arrives at both locations with a reporter, photographers and videographer to capture live footage of the raid.

Tuesday, 11/20, The Record: Federal agents search Coniglio's home

Tuesday, The Record, Live Video Feed of the event on 11/20: Feds seize documents from Coniglio's home and office

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Can you say "dollar store"?

I like the "dapper-dressed rabbits" and Bush as the ironically saluting squirrel.

And, "John Madden, how would your parents feel if they knew they gave birth to such an ass?"

Give thanks today to Bric-a-Brac Theatre.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Smooth move, future guv'na

I can't get over how starved people are for a political rock star that most of the public and the media don't see U.S. Attorney Chris Christie for the ever-so-partisan politician he is. He's smart, sure enough, but deceptive.

Last night, the Star-Ledger broke a peek at reality by reporting how Christie is using the $311 million settlement he got against the four biggest companies in the knee/hip replacement industry to kick back a record $52 million to his old boss, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, who could go on the campaign trail himself again in his home state of Missouri just as Christie is expected to be the Republican savior for the 2009 gubernatorial ticket here.

And Ashcroft's is one of several law firms the settlement is employing, which seems to leave little of that $311 left to compensate the actual victims.

The complexity of how this money gets laundered (my opinion, not a legal judgment) from the corporations to Ashcroft's bank account -- $750,000 of it literally -- is quite fascinating. I can't help but imagine this might have been a point of discussion in Christie's legal negotiations. Because of confidentiality of lawyers and investigators, I'm guessing we'll never know exactly how this deal went down, even though it was our tax money.

Watch for these companies and their top dogs as contributors to Ashcroft's or Christie's political campaigns down the road: Stryker Orthopedics of Mahwah; the Biomet division of Johnson & Johnson; Zimmer Holdings of Indiana; and Smith & Nephew, a British company operating here from Memphis, Tenn.

Oh, the irony of this settlement being to end "a probe into kickbacks" by these companies. The best place to hide something really is right under someone's nose.

Let's see how much each actual victim receives in the end. If it's like consumers in many class-action "settlements," it'll be pennies -- and will be paid only after the victim signs a convoluted indemnity contracts promising never to get wise and sue the companies on their own.

Hat tip and discussion over at Blue Jersey. Flickr photo by Steve Lubetkin.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Awesome first lady in waiting

Michelle Obama has struck me in every interview as being smart and unpretentious. She hit the nail on the head again in this interview with MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski

When Brzezinski related a personal anecdote about an African American flight attendant who had said Sen. Obama couldn't win "because he's black," the candidate's wife sympathized.

"That's right. That's the psychology that's going on in our heads, in our souls, and I understand it," she said. "I know where it comes from. You know, and I think that is one of the horrible legacies of racism and discrimination and oppression."
But she's confident husband Barack will overtake frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, even though Clinton polls higher in African American communities.
"Black Americans will wake up and get it," Obama said. "But what we're dealing with in the black community is just the natural fear of possibility. When I look at my life, the stuff that we're seeing in these polls is played out my whole life: always been told by somebody that I'm not ready, you know, I can't do something, my scores weren't high enough."
(Flickr pictr by lynnereneephoto)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Did you ever wonder ...?

Who makes up digital amusements like "Tater People" and why?

Why don't they sign it and get credit for their work? Maybe they create these things goofing around on company time. What do you think?