click here to skip the menu and go to the page content
about | archive rss | atom

rebecca's pocket

.: 2004 --> november


@ Geez. It's like the night before Christmas, isn't it? But barring a riot or something, there won't be any real news until tomorrow night. All day tomorrow, desperate reporters (and bloggers) will expend thousands of words trying to make a story out of voter turnout and predicted outcomes. Meanwhile, you go vote (and offer a neighbor a ride while you're at it, or invite your co-workers to walk with you to the polls), and then ignore the news organizations until the returns are in. It's going to be very interesting.
[ 11/01/04 ]

@ Here we go. From [more...]

Here are some things to remember about voting. Read carefully. Your vote could decide this election.
  1. Find out today where your polling place is by calling your county clerk or checking
  2. Alternatively, call 1-866-MYVOTE1 to find your polling place.
  3. Check the hours the polls are open with your city or county clerk.
  4. Print the League of Women Voters' card in English or Spanish and put it in your wallet or purse.
  5. Bring a government-issued picture ID like a driver's license or passport when you vote. Some states require it but if there are problems, you will certainly need it. If you have a cell phone, take it to call for help if need be.
  6. As you enter the polls, note if there is an Election Protection person outside the polling place.
  7. If you are not on listed as a registered voter, try to register on the spot. Some states allow that. Otherwise, talk to the Election Protection person if there is one or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for instructions. If neither of these helps, ask for a provisional ballot, but you will need a picture ID to get one.
For other election resources, see the League of Women Voters website. Your vote counts. Don't let anyone take it away from you.

[ 11/01/04 ]

@ Getting Out the Vote: Why is it so hard to run an honest election? In short, secrecy, complexity, speed, and infrequency.

If you're a voter this year, your options are fewer. My advice is to vote carefully. Read the instructions carefully, and ask questions if you are confused. Follow the instructions carefully, checking every step as you go. Remember that it might be impossible to correct a problem once you've finished voting. In many states -- including California -- you can request a paper ballot if you have any worries about the voting machine.
And be sure to vote. This year, thousands of people are watching and waiting at the polls to help voters make sure their vote counts.

[ 11/01/04 ]

@ A report from the trenches: early voting in Florida.

We hardly lost anyone. People stood outside for an hour, in the blazing sun, then inside for another four hours as the line snaked around the library, slowly inching forward. It made Disneyland look like speed-walking. Some waited 6 hours. To cast one vote. And EVERYBODY felt that it was crucial, that their vote was important, and that they were important.
And there were tons of first time voters. Tons. [...]
The best of all was an 80 year old African American man who said to me: "When I first started I wasn't even allowed to vote. Then, when I did, they was trying to intimidate me. But now I see all these folks here to make sure that my vote counts. This is the first time in my life that I feel like when I cast my vote it's actually gonna be heard."

Voting: It's not just for white people anymore![ 11/01/04 ]

@ Thank you for voting. I am very pleased that so many people voted in this election, although I am very disappointed in the results. I did not think I was in the minority, though this 'minority' comprises nearly half of the voters in the country.

It would seem, from the analysis I saw last night, that, more than the economy or terror or the war in Iraq, "moral issues" were the big motivator for the people who voted for the incumbent. I believe that must be code for gay marriage.

And, I think lots of people just like George W Bush. When you like someone, you tend to trust them. I think the press has enabled this to a large extent, with its unwillingness to clearly indicate when the President and his surrogates have misled or even lied to the American people, but maybe that wouldn't have made as much of a difference as I think.

In a way, this is fitting: Bush will have to deal with all of it himself now. I can guarantee you that if Kerry had won, this morning the right would have awakened with strong concerns about the deficit, the fact that we haven't yet captured Osama bin Laden, and the quagmire in Iraq. On the other hand, without re-election looming in four years-- and with a Republican congress--I fear that George W. Bush's agenda will become more radical than it has been, and his actions even more irresponsible.

Buckle up. It's going to be a bumpy four years.
[ 11/03/04 ]

@ A survey of Internet Use for Political Information. Has the Internet affected your political knowledge, perceptions, and involvement? Tell how.
[ 11/05/04 ]

@ Men, meat, fire: Burgoo. Part of NPR's 13-part series, Hidden Kitchens, which started October. You can listen to the series every Friday on Morning Edition, or you can listen online. (thanks, alaina!)
[ 11/05/04 ]

@ Hewn and Hammered is a new weblog dedicated to any and all aspects of Craftsman, Mission, Prairie and related architectural and design styles. (via a whole lotta nothing)
[ 11/05/04 ]

@ So are you.
[ 11/10/04 ]

@ Here's a chart of election night predictions, state-by-state and network-by-network.
[ 11/10/04 ]

@ One thing this election reinforced to me was my concern about the Internet's power to effortlessly and invisibly create echo chambers. [more...]

This effect is so obvious to me that I'm flabbergasted at the smart people who can't see it. The sources of information you have access to matter much less than the ones you access. Confirmation bias guarantees that even the wide reader will unconsciously give more weight to the things he already believes than the things he doesn't want to believe. Repetition is the oldest advertising technique in the world. Hearing the same, attractive view parroted over and over again is bound to reinforce the 'truth' of that view in anyone's mind.

Greg Knauss thinks it's even worse than that. He's written a great piece on the power of the Web to distort one's view of the world.
[ 11/10/04 ]

@ This criticism of political blogging would be more convincing if it weren't so defensive and dismissive. Much of Mr. Engberg's criticism is true. I think the political blogosphere does severely overestimate its impact and erudition. But how can you take a guy seriously whose writing--and thinking--revolves on such hackneyed cliches? Bloggers in pajamas? Most of us blog naked! [more...]

It's definitely true that political bloggers are in a learning curve, and no reasonable person could expect it to be any other way. I disliked that so many blogs posted exit poll results. There are good reasons professional news organizations have finally refrained from doing the same. But my main point of contention with this piece--and with many other bloggers--is that comparisons of blogging with journalism always miss the point. Blogging is different from journalism, and any attempt to understand weblogs in terms of journalism--or hold them to journalistic standards--will always fail.
[ 11/10/04 ]

@ Bruce Schneier: The Problem with Electronic Voting Machines.[more...]

Every machine can fail: a poll worker told me about opening up one of the old mechanical lever machines to discover that none of the votes had been recorded. It seems to me that voting should have three components: ballots should be human readable; machinery should be designed to fail obviously (so you know if it's broken); and electronic components should be as dumb as possible, so as to reduce the possibility of manipulation. Even an electronic machine that gives you a piece of paper recording your vote is no real assurance that it was recorded accurately unless the vote is recounted by hand every time.

Bruce mentions problems with optical scanners in his article, and I wish he would elaborate on that, because they are my current favorite solution to this problem. It seems that paper ballots plus optical readers just might provide the ideal marriage of speed and unimpeachable auditability.
[ 11/10/04 ]

@ Ben Stein: How to Avoid Living Like a Poor Student at Age 70. Read it, learn it, live it. And consider living below your means. (via dangerousmeta)
[ 11/10/04 ]

@ Kuro5hin: How to learn a language.
Wikipedia: How to Learn a Language.
Creativity techniques. (via dangerousmeta)

[ 11/10/04 ]

@ Domain owners: pay attention! [more...]

Domain names could become easier to hijack as a change in domain transfer rules takes effect Friday. Under new rules set by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), domain transfer requests will be automatically approved in five days unless they are explicitly denied by the account owner. This is a change from current procedure, in which a domain's ownership and nameservers remain unchanged if there is no response to a transfer request.

Consider moving your domains to a registrar that will allow you to 'lock' them. (Pairnic is one, and I will vouch for their reliablility and excellent customer service.)
[ 11/10/04 ]

@ Veteran's Day. Pause for a moment to remember those who have served and are serving.
[ 11/11/04 ]

@ The Library of Congress American Folklife Center's Veterans History Project collects and preserves the extraordinary wartime stories of ordinary people. The coolest part? You can participate, too. The site includes options to submit your stories online, and you can download Tips for Interviewing Veterans, Tips for Writing Memoirs, take an Online Course on Recording Veteran's Histories, and more. This is important work, a people's history of our military conflicts.
[ 11/11/04 ]

@ I'm sure you've heard all the talk about Red and Blue states, and what the outcome of this election means for us all. This view of a dissected America is wildly inaccurate, caused in part by the media's structural biases. In particular, narrative bias seeks simple stories to describe complex situations, and unconsciously settles on a master narrative without realizing there are other versions that might fit the situation as well. Our electoral system itself is structurally biased to binary thinking. Winner takes all, and states change color based on the majority vote, no matter how close an election. [more...]

That's not necessarily an accurate reflection of the electorate or of the tenor of the country. Purple America is the map I'm most interested in, and in this election the map is very purple indeed. Cosma Shalizi has put together a wonderful compilation of electoral college maps and cartograms. Here's another informative view of the election results which I haven't seen anywhere else. Terrific information design all around.

There's a story even the purple map doesn't tell. My husband decided to take a different look at the Purple map by filtering it into it's component parts--and as you can see, most of America is red...and most of America is blue. On election night, I remember one reporter who had travelled with the campaigns noting that the various towns he visited across the country were more alike than different. The country's perceived polarity, he suggested, might be more accurately described as parity.

There's another story no map can reflect: the purple people. These people may have been dissatisfied with both candidates, but decided that one of them more closely reflected their own views. Others may have voted on one or two overriding issues, whether or not they were in agreement with the rest of the candidate's platform. How many people across the country harbor an unsettling suspicion that they voted for the wrong guy?

In any case, the President George W. Bush has finally been elected to office. I remind those who, in their initial disappointment, cried out that he isn't their president: he is your president, otherwise you wouldn't have a problem. Now is the time to work harder than ever to influence the votes of your Congress, that branch of government which is designed to be most responsive to the will of the people.

And to those who are considering moving in light of the recent decision, I say: go for it. I suggest Ohio, Florida, or any other swing state. Get out among the people and talk to them. You might learn something, and in 2008 your vote may help tilt the election to the candidate of your choice.
[ 11/11/04 ]

@ How to Talk Like a Conservative (If You Must). An interview with George Lakoff. [more...] If Bush wins, what do you think liberals should do? Should they be focused on keeping their base intact, or undermining Bush's support among conservatives?
GL: First, they have to get their act together. Democrats have to unite. I think the Democratic Leadership Council has to be thrown out. You have to stop this thing about moving to the right and following the polls instead of leading in them and so on. Some united progressive movement has to be formulated, with complete framing on every issue and with a characterization of what a unified Democratic party ought to be. I think movement building is the first order of business. And building a real party that has a vision, that has values, and has political principles that people agree on is the very first thing that has to be done. We have to get ourselves together. We'll also have to fend off the conservatives very powerfully and we'll have to do both at the same time. I think what will happen is that the people who have organized for this election are not going to go away. We've never seen a progressive organization like this since the '60s.

Excerpt from Don't Think of an Elephant!, Lakoff's new book: Framing 101: How to Take Back Public Discourse.
[ 11/11/04 ]

@ Then again, maybe it's just a matter of time.
[ 11/11/04 ]

@ Herein endeth commentary on the election.
[ 11/11/04 ]

@ Kevin Drum points out how far the gerrymandering of the nation has progressed and makes a modest proposal. I fully concur. Gerrymandering and campaign finance abuses are the two things that, in my view, most threaten the vote, one of the bedrocks of our democratic process.
[ 11/11/04 ]

@ The rise of alternate reality games.

I Love Bees is the latest in a series of so-called alternate reality games--immersive, endlessly intricate hybrids of scavenger hunts and role-playing adventures. The genre began with The Beast, an online mystery loosely connected to the 2001 Steven Spielberg film "A.I." [...]
Part of the appeal may be that, unlike many of its antecedents, I Love Bees could not be played just by sitting in front of a screen. Over the Internet, players were able to work together on puzzles, usually hidden in corrupted image files on Those answers were just starting points, however. Players then had to use them to respond to the mysterious calls that rang at hundreds of pay phones across the country every Tuesday.
When enough players gave the correct answers, the producers posted the latest installment of a 10-hour audio drama that formed the heart of the I Love Bees narrative about Melissa, a creation of artificial intelligence from the 26th century, who "crash-landed" on the Web site of an unsuspecting Napa Valley beekeeper.

Sounds more addictive than weblogs.
[ 11/11/04 ]

@ Do you know what I want? A TiVo for the radio. Not a radio VCR, but one I could program for shows, not times. Surely it wouldn't be difficult for Tivo to add a radio receiver to their existing units--though getting radio metadata might be a problem. Then I could set it to record radio shows in different levels of granularity: anything from All Things Considered every day, to only those segments done by Dr Weinberger.only those segments done by Dr Weinberger. TiVo! Are you listening?
[ 11/11/04 ]

@ You may remember my enthusiasm for Laura Schenone's A Thousand Years over a Hot Stove. Well, it won a James Beard award this spring, and now Laura is doing a bit of a promotional tour for the paperback version, just out. She will be at the San Francisco Main Library 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 18. Come say hi.
[ 11/12/04 ]

@ Bio-Pirating News: The European Patent Office has revoked Monsanto's patent on a strain of wheat bred by Indian farmers to improve its baking qualities. From the start, activists claimed Monsanto was 'out to make "monopoly profits" from food on which millions depend.' [more...]

Question: Do we really want to adopt that 'pirating' meme? It's pretty potent, but it rests on assumptions about intellectual property that are being robustly challenged by technology. Since Greenpeace's primary stance is that genetic material should never be subject to patent, this may ultimately work against their cause.
[ 11/12/04 ]

@ A little weekend reading: In a fight against trade standardization, agribusiness, downsizing, and unintended crossbreeding of genetically modified seeds, one of America's foremost food historians, William Woys Weaver, is preserving human culture and history by saving seeds. [more...]

"It's a seed garden," Weaver explains without a hint of apology in his voice, "not a Martha-Stewart-kind-of-beautiful garden." [...]
The garden is rich in both history and geography. Weaver shows me a white ovoid vegetable: the original eggplant brought from India to England where it received its English name. I try a citrus-accented ground cherry that comes in its own papery wrapper. There's a little purple potato from Switzerland, a sprawling cardoon of Tours, his own breeds of tomatoes and dahlias. Colonial Williamsburg and other historical recreations routinely hit up Weaver for authentic produce of the period, such as an 18th-century squash grown from seeds passed down by a Delaware community descended from the Nannacoke Indians. [...]
"Seeds represent entire civilizations, miniaturized to fit into the palm of our hand," he says. When a venerable seed variety perishes, as with the loss of a valuable manuscript, human culture dies by degrees.

And I love this: 'Jane Lear of Gourmet magazine....likens [Weaver] to a culinary Google.' That phrase seems like an odd mix of cultures, but I guess Google can now be used as a clear term for 'encyclopedic knowledge'.

Much of Weaver's writing is devoted to the context in which food is grown and eaten, so he is particularly attuned to political contexts. He has written about the boycott recipes of 19th-century American abolitionists who refused to use ingredients produced by slave labor; the challenges of writing about Polish national cuisine in a Marxist country; and the nonviolent approach to nature of the Quakers. His approach to food, like that of MFK Fisher before him, embodies a culinary ecology whereby nothing edible is wasted, which in part explains his fondness for the sausage-like scrapple. But much of his writing inevitably returns to that essential kernel of truth: the seed.

Now I want to read all of his books.
[ 11/12/04 ]

@ Seed Savers Exchange; Seed Savers Network; a long list of seed saving resources; Google search: seed saving.
[ 11/12/04 ]

@ Heritage Gateways: Mormon wagon trail pioneer cooking.
[ 11/12/04 ]

@ Food Science: The Ketchup Conundrum, Malcolm Gladwell. I'm not even going to try to describe this article, except to say that it is premium Gladwell: a superb account of several related stories aligned to explain the properties of America's most common condiment. You will love it.
[ 11/12/04 ]

@ The ultimate butter cake. (Update: No, I haven't tried it--I was just intrigued with the idea of it. Having already read a number of recipes on the site, embarrassingly, I didn't realize that this recipe wasn't also available for free--I thought the class was a separate deal. Sorry.)
[ 11/12/04 ]

@ What WalMart Knows About Its Customer's Habits.

A week ahead of the storm's landfall, Linda M. Dillman, Wal-Mart's chief information officer, pressed her staff to come up with forecasts based on what had happened when Hurricane Charley struck several weeks earlier. Backed by the trillions of bytes' worth of shopper history that is stored in Wal-Mart's computer network, she felt that the company could "start predicting what's going to happen, instead of waiting for it to happen," as she put it.
The experts mined the data and found that the stores would indeed need certain products - and not just the usual flashlights. "We didn't know in the past that strawberry Pop-Tarts increase in sales, like seven times their normal sales rate, ahead of a hurricane," Ms. Dillman said in a recent interview. "And the pre-hurricane top-selling item was beer." [...]
By its own count, Wal-Mart has 460 terabytes of data stored on Teradata mainframes, made by NCR, at its Bentonville headquarters. To put that in perspective, the Internet has less than half as much data, according to experts. [ed. note: !!!!!!!!!]
Information about products, and often about customers, is most often obtained at checkout scanners. Wireless hand-held units, operated by clerks and managers, gather more inventory data. In most cases, such detail is stored for indefinite lengths of time. Sometimes it is divided into categories or mapped across computer models, and it is increasingly being used to answer discount retailing's rabbinical questions, like how many cashiers are needed during certain hours at a particular store.

If WalMart delivers you a value for that information, you may not care about the privacy implications. But you need to know what is going on. And for business trend watchers, there is this:

Eventually, some experts say, Wal-Mart will use its technology to institute what is called scan-based trading, in which manufacturers own each product until it is sold.
"Wal-Mart will never take those products onto its books," said Bruce Hudson, a retail analyst at the Meta Group, an information technology consulting firm in Stamford, Conn. "If you think of the impact of shedding $50 billion of inventory, that is huge."

Interesting times.
[ 11/16/04 ]

@ If this guy is in jail, how come my spam keeps increasing?
[ 11/16/04 ]

@ In a development that women with real bodies can only applaud, fat bottomed mannequins now make the fashion world go round.

Across the country, in the fashion district in downtown Los Angeles, Goddess already faces competition. Block after block of storefronts that sell clothes at wholesale prices not far from the Harbor Freeway display mannequins and pant forms with even more treacherous curves. Store owners point at the tight-as-a-glove fit of jeans and stretch pants around 38-inch hips, ultra-voluptuous by classic mannequin standards. Sales, they say, are up as a result.
"Anything we put on the mannequin, people buy it," said Fredy Shabani, who displays no fewer than three dozen of the curvier pant forms at his Via Metro clothing store. "The women love them. They see the pants look good."
He added: "Men like it. Some guys come in and buy the mannequins."

[ 11/16/04 ]

@ Knit yourself some fannish goodness. I added a dozen new free knitting pattern and a few crochet pattern links to my diversions page.
[ 11/16/04 ]

@ Very good point. Never mind the various translations.
[ 11/18/04 ]

@ You'll be as pleased as I am to know that the Columbia Journalism Review's excellent Campaign Desk has been reborn as the CJR Daily. It's a serial education in modern journalism and media literacy.
[ 11/18/04 ]

@ WWW Smackdown: Wikipedia vs. The Infography.

The Infography (in-fóg-ra-phy) serves as the antidote to information overload and qualitatively suspect sources. It integrates citations to books, Internet sites, journal articles, and other sources that provide excellent information. Each subject entry in The Infography refers the learner to six highly recommended sources of information, and most subject specialists also include a longer list of other worthwhile sources for further research.
This reference tool enables a student, librarian, or teacher to identify superlative sources of information about a subject of inquiry, viewed through the lens of expert opinion. The subject specialists who select the citations published in The Infography are professors, librarians, and other scholars who know the literature about their subjects of expertise, who know which information sources are seminal for research.

Collaborative expertise vs Expert advice. You be the judge.
[ 11/18/04 ]

@ The Matrix--in haiku.
[ 11/18/04 ]

@ Suffering the Pornographers: The No. 1 Christian Porn Site. [more...]

The two started their online ministry,, shortly after Mr. Foster's experience in the shower. Instead of posting Scripture online, they flashed, "Porn. Sex. Girls. Guys," in order to reach the people who wanted to see pornography, not ban it. Once the curious visit the site, they can download a free computer program called X3watch, one of several "accountability" programs designed for people who want to stop looking at Internet pornography but cannot do so on their own. Whenever a user visits a pornographic Web site, the program alerts his or her designated "accountability partner." [...]
"Filters don't work," Mr. Gross said, speaking of programs that block Internet pornography. "Kids are smarter than that. Filters don't bring up conversation. A filter avoids the topic. Accountability forces you and another person to talk about what you're looking at. That's hard. We would have more downloads if it was a filter."
Mr. Gross and Mr. Foster have also set up booths at pornography trade shows and handed out postcards that said, "Jesus Loves Porn Stars." They joined with a pornography director to produce a public service announcement aimed at keeping the materials away from children.
Then there is the Porn Mobile.

I'll bet 80% of the people reading this don't agree with some part of this ministry. But in my view, these guys get the Web--and popular culture--more deeply than nearly everyone else who shares their perspective.
[ 11/18/04 ]

@ Tools of Mass Construction: Howtoons!

Howtoons are one-page cartoons showing 5-to-15 year-old kids "How To" build things. Each illustrated episode is a stand-alone fun adventure accessible to all, including the pre-literate. Our Howtoons are designed to encourage children to be active participants in discovering the world through Play-that-Matters -- fun, creative, and inventive -- and to rely a lot less on mass-consumable entertainment.

[ 11/18/04 ]

@ Gothic Goodness: Step-by-step instructions to create a custom corset pattern.
[ 11/18/04 ]

@ Frugal Goodness: Recycle your old t-shirts into panties.
[ 11/18/04 ]

@ Comic book artist Molly Kiely's Abandoned Barbie Project.

I rescue dolls from thrift stores and flea markets and tart them up a bit. [...] Once they're ready, I leave them places.

[ 11/18/04 ]

@ Hack Your Way Out of Writer's Block is guaranteed to get you back into the flow of things. If you ever have to write anything, bookmark this page.
[ 11/17/04 ]

@ Back in August, Chris sent me a link to a picture of some unusual clouds. Can this be real? Well, it turns out it is. A search for mattamus clouds brings up lots more like this, starting with the June 7, 2004 Astronomy Picture of the Day. They are caused by sinking cool air.
[ 11/18/04 ]

@ Schneier on Amtrak security.
[ 11/20/04 ]

@ The world's oldest man has died.

He was 12 days shy of his 114th birthday. Born December 1, 1890, Hale last month watched his lifelong favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, win the World Series again after 86 years.

[ 11/20/04 ]

@ Modern Day Loan Sharks: Increasingly, credit card companies are raising the rates of their most lucrative customers.

Mr. Schwebel, 58, a semiretired software engineer in Gilbert, Ariz., was not pleased that his minimum monthly payment jumped from $502 in June to $895 in July. But what really made him angry, he said, was the sense that he was being punished despite having held up his end of the bargain with MBNA.
"I paid the bills the minute the envelope hit the desk," said Mr. Schwebel, who had accumulated $69,000 in debt over five years before the rate increase. "All of a sudden in July, they swapped it to 18 percent. No warning. No reason. It was like I was blindsided." [...]
People like Mr. Schwebel, who carry balances from month to month and pay finance charges regularly, feel they should be the favored customers of the credit card business, which is now the most lucrative segment of banking. They make up the profitable majority of the 144 million Americans who have general-purpose credit cards. To a degree, they subsidize the 40 percent of credit card customers who pay in full each month without incurring any fees or charges.
But increasingly, they say, what should be a warm embrace has turned into a painful squeeze as lenders employ new tactics to extract more and bigger penalties for even the slightest financial transgressions. In the last few years, lenders have more frequently raised customers' rates because of slip-ups elsewhere, like late payment of a phone or utility bill, or simply because they felt a customer had taken on too much debt.

On November 23, Frontline will be showing Secret History of the Credit Card. Set the TiVo.
[ 11/20/04 ]

@ Things I haven't learned yet:

Things I haven't mastered yet:

Things I have learned:

[ 11/20/04 ]

@ Old timers may remember Infosift--one of 23 sites that made up the original weblog community. Yesterday, five years to the day he retired Infosift, my husband has unveiled his new weblog: Jesse James Garrett's Hidden Agenda.
[ 11/23/04 ]

@ The power of compound interest. (thanks, neil!)
[ 11/23/04 ]

@ As families across the United States join to celebrate Thanksgiving, it's PC help week. (via boingboing)
[ 11/23/04 ]

@ Hip Hop in the Holy Land (via randomwalks)

"He's an MC, I'm MC. We're all doing music. If we're Arabs - if we're Jews - that doesn't matter" - rapper Quami De La Fox.

[ 11/23/04 ]

@ In Congress, one-party rule means secrecy, payouts, and back room pork.

Dismayed that the technology company Accenture had located its headquarters in Bermuda, thereby avoiding paying hundreds of millions of dollars in US taxes, the House Appropriations Committee voted 35-17 this summer to strip the firm of a $10 billion Homeland Security contract.
It was a rare moment of bipartisan agreement and an important victory for those who decry corporate tax loopholes. But it didn't last long. The Rules Committee, the all-powerful gatekeeper of the Republican leadership, prevented the measure from reaching the House floor. In a further show of its power to pick and choose what the full House can vote on, the Rules Committee allowed the House to vote on a ban on future Homeland Security contracts to overseas companies -- but let the $10 billion flow to Accenture, which spent $2 million last year lobbying the government. [...]
With one party controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress, and having little fear of retaliation by the opposing party, the House leadership is changing the way laws are made in America, favoring secrecy and speed over open debate and negotiation.

[ 11/23/04 ]

@ Store your turkey leftovers safely. [pdf]
[ 11/25/04 ]

@ Recipes for leftover turkey: [more...]

[ 11/25/04 ]

@ And when the holiday is all over and you have a hankering for something savory, this might be worth a try: Sage Bread.
[ 11/25/04 ]


comments? questions? email me