Since the Porkbusters effort launched just five weeks ago, the blogosphere has had great success in raising the visibility of pork spending in the media and in Washington. Where just a month ago Tom Delay felt perfectly comfortable saying there was no fat left in federal budget after years of Republican rule, now, the political climate has changed, and there actually seems to be a real chance to change the culture of fiscal irresponsibility that has become the norm on Capitol Hill.
To that end, Porkbusters is shifting its focus from raising awareness of pork to calling attention to specific legislation that actually starts eliminating pork. The first bill that we are focusing on is sponsored by seven Senators who have styled themselves the “Fiscal Responsibility Team”: Tom Coburn, Sam Brownback, Jim DeMint, John Ensign, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and John Sununu.
I had the pleasure of being invited to a conference call with Senator Coburn last week. I was impressed by what appeared to me to be his sincere desire to confront the idiocy involved in our current fiscal policies, even if it meant pissing off his fellow Senators.
Last week, Coburn and six other Senators released an “offset package” aimed at identifying budget cuts to pay for hurricane relief. The key provision in the bill for our purposes is that it would elminate all “offsets” ( i.e., pork) in the highway bill — wiping away a vast chunk of pork in a single stroke.
In addition, the proposal goes further, including the following:
Meryl Yourish is looking for a job:
To prospective employers:
I have an extensive background in publishing, both print and electronic. I have years of experience as a typesetter (Atex, AM Varityper) , a desktop publisher (Quark and Pagemaker), a web developer (HTML, Claris Homepage and Dreamweaver), and now I have experience on Vignette Portal and a proprietary content management system. I have experience with many of the major blogging tools (Moveable Type, WordPress, Blogger) and have been writing this weblog (until this year, in Dreamweaver) since April of 2001.
She’s a good one, so grab her while you can…
Denny Hastert: Legislator. Speaker of the House. Adorable Little Rodent.
Welcome to the blogosphere, Mr. Speaker!
Here’s a few tips to get you going:
– You can see who’s linking to you by checking this page
– If you sign up for one of these, you can actually count, minute by minute, who’s visiting your blog.
It’s all just like polls, really, but you can check them all the time. You’ll love it!
Update 10/29:: Egads! The man is evolving before our eyes: he’s up to Marauding Marsupial…
Does anyone else find Apple’s use of Rosa Parks’ death as marketing fodder a bit crass, or is it just me?
In case they move it, as of now, the image below is on the Apple home page.
If you want to commemorate her life and achievements, fine, I guess. But slapping your corporate logo and slogan on the image is a bit over the top, no?
Apple’s about the only company I can think of that can get away with this stuff…
Today     october 25, 2005
Farenheit (The Indigo Prophecy) – Mundo Geek » Vida inteligente en la geekosfera (6)
Cheerleading, Washington Post style – Power Line (5)
AL FRANKEN IS CRACKING UP – Michelle Malkin (4)
What To Ask Miers? – Captain’s Quarters (4)
Hewitt v. Hewitt: – The Volokh Conspiracy – – (4)
Rosa Parks – The Volokh Conspiracy – – (4)
PlameGate – Now That's News! – Wizbang (4)
Remembering the Original Rosa Parks – Wizbang (4)
Rosa Parks – The Jawa Report v3.0 Beta (4)
World Shaker – Billmon (4)
Yesterday     october 24, 2005
SEN. HUTCHISON'S BLUNDER – Michelle Malkin (30)
Ben Bernanke, economist – Marginal Revolution (28)
Hutchison Flip-Flops on Importance of Perjury – Think Progress (23)
Inline trackbackation? – NIF (23)
Carnival of the RINOs (10/24/05) – Louisiana Libertarian (22)
Ben Bernanke – Marginal Revolution (20)
Red Ensign Standard, Mark XXX – Quotulatiousness (18)
The Vetting Process Resumes, Sort Of – RedState.org (17)
Inline trackbackation? – NIF (16)
MICROSOFT WORD: It's not a bug – Instapundit.com (15)
In case you haven’t found it yet (and I have little faith in our MSM cousins to actually provide you a link), here’s Fed nominee Ben Bernanke’s home page at Princeton.
And here’s his c.v.
Meryl Yourish, who longtime readers of TTLB know is an old, old friend of mine (in friendship-time, not years: she’s eternally 28 as far as I can tell) is looking for information on Tamarac, Florida, which was hit by Wilma. Her mother resides there and thus far Meryl has not been able to contact her.
Please help her out if you can…
Congratulation to Ben Bernanke on his nomination to replace Fed Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
As is traditional with such nominations, he also receives an arguably even greater honor: his own topic page at TTLB…
Mickey points out a New York Times press release which crows about the wonderful success of the NYT’s web site:
NEW YORK, Oct 20, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The New York Times Company reported that for September NYTimes.com achieved record traffic of 21.3 million unique visitors worldwide, a 49% increase from September of last year, according to internal data. NYTimes.com generated 561 million page views, up 17% year over year.
Mickey rightfully notes that somehow, the “stunning success” of the pay-for-punditry TimesSelect service seems to have been left out of the release. But if I were a NYT stockholder (and I’m sure glad I’m not) I’d be asking what they’ve got to be so proud of in the numbers they are reporting.
For context, here’s a table of the NYT’s September daily visits compared against those of some top-tier bloggers:
|Go Fug Yourself
I don’t know about you, but “NYTimes.com: we’re slightly more popular than that Kos guy!” doesn’t strike me as a huge boast for a $3.3B media company. Maybe stick with “The New York Times: eight times more popular than those chicks that can’t stand Kirstin Dunst’s outfits.”
The Miers nomination is reaching a critical point, with rumors of her withdrawl swirling and conservative fixtures such as Jonah Goldberg and George Will coming out in opposition.
Recognizing that the Supreme Court is deliberately designed as a non-representative part of our government, I’d still like to hear clearly from bloggers as to whether they give Miers a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.
So let’s make this simple: if you want to have your position noted, post your argument and include one of the following exact phrases (quotes and formatting are not required):
“I oppose the Miers nomination.” – If you believe the nomination should be withdrawn or, barring that, she should be voted down in the Senate.
“I support the Miers nomination.” – If you believe Ms. Miers should be confirmed.
“I am neutral on the Miers nomination.” – If for whatever reason, you either have not yet made up your mind, or do not plan to take a position either way.
(For group blogs, you can also use the appropriate phrasing “We oppose”, “We support”, and “We are neutral.”)
I will implement some code this weekend to search for the phrases above, and generate a running list of bloggers for, against, and neutral on the nomination. This will be much more interesting than a standard online poll, as it will ensure “one-blog-one-vote”, and avoid the usual ballot-stuffing silliness of online surveys.
(And yes, for me to scan your blog properly you will need to be registered in the Ecosystem, which is painless, free, and can be done right here.)
I’ll let you know when the tracking page is online, but it will be tomorrow at the latest. So start declaring!
Update: The tracking page is done and is now online here.
Please note that your position will not show up immediately, as the scans are run regularly every evening. While I am personally online today, however, if I notice that you’ve stated your position I’ll update your position manually.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: don’t mess with the little creatures. They’ll bite your ankles.
LONDON, England (Reuters) — A rat released on a deserted island off New Zealand outsmarted scientists and evaded traps, baits and sniffer dogs before being captured four months later on a neighboring island, researchers have said.
Scientists from the University of Auckland in New Zealand released the Norway rat on the 23.5-acre island of Motuhoropapa to find out why rats are so difficult to eradicate.
They got more than they bargained for…
Despite all their efforts, including fitting the rat with a radio collar, they couldn’t catch the crafty creature.
After 10 weeks on the island the rodent decided it had had enough. It swam 400 meters, the longest distance recorded for a rat across open sea, to another rat-free island where it was eventually captured in a trap baited with penguin meat several weeks later.
From the department of you-have-got-to-be-friggin’-kidding-me:
U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said on Wednesday he plans to propose a $3 billion subsidy program to ensure older television sets still work when the transition to better quality, digital broadcasts is completed.
Stevens, an Alaska Republican, said the estimated cost of a box to convert the new digital signals back to analog so existing television sets continue to work is $50 each and he proposed the government subsidize $40 of that amount.
Senator Stevens, you are just not getting it.
Go directly to Budget Jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $3 billion.
P.S.: What the hell is it about Alaska?
I’ve just set up the promised tracking page for tomorrow’s GOP blog row event: you can find it here.
So far, it is a bit empty: Matt Margolis, Ian Schwartz, and Eric Pfeiffer are the only confirmed attendees that I am aware of. If you’re going and would like to be listed, please speak up…
The top posts page has a brand-new layout, which I think provides a much clearer and more interesting view of the current hot posts being linked across the blogosphere.
Please check it out, and let me know your feedback on whether you like this layout, or the old one, better…
PS: I am strongly considering switching the Topics pages, and potentially even the Community pages, to a similar layout. So feedback is most definitely welcomed…
Congressional Republicans look like they are beginning to get with the Porkbusters program, which is a good sign. And, they’re reaching out to bloggers, with a Capitol Hill blog row event planned for tomorrow:
For the first time ever, Bloggers are invited to meet directly with House Members and blog from the Capitol. Members will be stopping in throughout the day to meet with bloggers and discuss the House Republican record of successful economic policies, their commitment to fiscal responsibility, and the details of the historic proposed budget amendment that is expected to reach the floor later this week.
I got the invite, but being a left-coaster with a day job, won’t be able to make it. I also suggested to the organizers that they combine the in-person event with an open conference call (a speakerphone stuck in a corner of the room that Representatives could wander by would do) — they took this as a good suggestion, but the latest word is they don’t think it will be feasible for this week’s event.
So with both Glenn and myself not able to attend, it would be great if we could get some of those bloggers who are going to take advantage of this face-to-face opportunity to ask the Representatives about Porkbusters and what they’re willing to do to cut pork in their districts.
So if you’re planning on attending the event: please consider yourself a de facto Ambassador of the Porkbusters effort…!
Update: Matt Margolis has posted a contact form where you can submit questions you’d like bloggers to ask at the event.
Update Again: I’m going to set up a dedicated topic/community page for the event tomorrow which will show posts from those bloggers in attendance. If you are planning on attending, please let me know…
At long last, I’ve added a helpdesk support system to TTLB.
Going forward, please submit helpdesk tickets for Ecosystem, PorkBusters, or other issues/questions you may have, rather than sending them to me via email. This will help me organize my support efforts, and more quickly and effectively respond to issues.
This is just too cool for words.
I take back most of the nasty things I’ve ever said about the U.N. never accomplishing anything of value.
Hat Tip: Bill in DC