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Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for May 4th, 2007

Alaska’s Republican Party Is Imploding

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 4, 2007

Check this out:

State Rep. Vic Kohring, R-Wasilla, turned himself in to federal authorities this afternoon at the Juneau federal building, according to Eric Gonzalez, an FBI spokesman. He is charged with four counts of extortion and bribery.


Kohring’s arrest occurred just hours after former Alaska state legislators Pete Kott and Bruce Weyhrauch were arrested as a result of a federal indictment on several counts of extortion, bribery, wire fraud and mail fraud.

[…]

The charges against Kott and Weyhrauch involve the Legislature’s consideration last year of a natural gas pipeline and a petroleum production tax proposed by former Gov. Frank Murkowski. Kott, a former House speaker from Eagle River, is accused of seeking and accepting bribes to push positions favored by executives of a company that is not named in the indictment. Weyhrauch traded votes for the promise of a job, according to the charges.

The company is referred to throughout the indictment as “Company A” and is described as a privately owned company that “provided services to the energy, resources and process industries” and “took an active interest” in the Legislature. Amy Menard, an attorney for Veco Inc., said Friday afternoon that Veco is that company.

Why is this a big deal? Because as Ed*ard Teller, longtime commenter over at FDL, states:

Many more arrests are expected, including that of Veco Alaska CEO Bill Allen, the most powerful GOP behind-the-scenes player in the state, and of the former president of the Alaska Senate, Ben Stevens, son of US Sen. Ted Stevens.

Considering that Alaska’s Republicans have distinguished themselves by their nastiness and venality in a party where nastiness and venality are cherished, all I can say is that the people involved deserve everything they’re about to get, and then some.

 

Posted in abuse of power, corruption, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | 2 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on May 4, 2007

While Lady Lightfoot and Alex enjoy the spring weather in this parts…

alexlightfootwindow.jpg

Permit me to introduce you to this week’s guest cats: Big Gray Al, Frankie the Queen, and Melmo. (They’re not really Cats of the Damned, they just photograph that way.)

thethree.jpg

The trio’s catstaff is LaDeeVah of Salon’s Table Talk.

Posted in Alexander the Great, cats, Friday Cat Blogging, Good Things, Just for fun, Lady Lightfoot | 4 Comments »

Wow! E-paper!

Posted by Charles II on May 4, 2007

Bruno Giussani asked us to keep an eye on his blog, LunchOverIp.  Check out his thing on e-paper.

Imagine a newspaper that you could fold up to the size of a handkerchief. Have your customized news appear on it. Set in your favorite type face, at just the size you find most comfortable for reading. Update it by Wi-Fi as you walk along the street.

It won’t make the WaPo or the NYT any less irritating. But at least you won’t have to gather all those dead trees up for recycling.

Posted in Just for fun | 1 Comment »

More indications the economy is deteriorating

Posted by Charles II on May 4, 2007

Reading the latest economic data has been hard. As I have noted previously, they are mutually inconsistent. While the inconsistency can be explained by imprecision of measurement, here’s another red flag: non-farm payrolls rose only 88,000, less than expected, and enough to cause unemployment to tick up 0.1%. 10,000 of those are in social services, and health care and food services are a major component of the overall rise.

The business press is ok with this, says it makes for limited pressure by labor costs on inflation. To me, it suggests that the ISM manufacturing report was probably wrong, that what jobs there are are low-wage jobs that don’t help the trade balance.

But we’ll see.

Posted in economy | 5 Comments »

 
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