Another feather in our hat…

Missouri’s Roy Blunt has been voted one of the most corrupt legislators

In 2003, Rep. Blunt divorced his wife of 31 years to marry Philip Morris (now Altria) lobbyist Abigail Perlman. Before it was known publicly that Rep. Blunt and Ms. Perlman were dating – and only hours after Rep. Blunt assumed the role of Majority Whip – he tried to secretly insert a provision into Homeland Security legislation that would have benefitted Philip Morris, at the expense of competitors. Notably, Altria is Rep. Blunt’s largest campaign contributor, having donated more than $270,000 to political committees tied to him.

In 2003, Rep. Blunt helped his son, Andrew Blunt, by inserting a provision into the $79 billion emergency appropriation for the war in Iraq to benefit U.S. shippers like United Parcel Service, Inc. and FedEx Corp. Andrew Blunt lobbies on behalf of UPS in Missouri, and UPS and FedEx have contributed at least $58,000 to Rep. Blunt since 2001.

By pushing for legislation that would benefit Philip Morris and UPS, and, as a consequence, his then-girlfriend and his son, Rep. Blunt may have violated federal law and House rules.

Family connections have also helped Rep. Blunt’s son, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, who received campaign contributions from nearly three dozen influential Missouri lobbyists and lawyers when he ran for governor of Missouri in 2004, half of whom had provided financial support to his father. In addition, in 2000, when Matt Blunt was running for Secretary of State, Rep. Blunt was involved in an apparent scheme to funnel money through a local party committee into Matt Blunt’s campaign committee.

Yup, we sure have some winner representatives here in Missouri.  Frankly I’m surprised that we only had one on the top 20 list.  I guess Akin is so much of a unmotivated-in-the-box-thinking-rubber-stamper, that the only way he could make the list is by following Bush and the rest of his party.  I knew I didn’t like Matt Blunt as governor, but until now I only suspected that his dad was a slime-bag.

hat tip – Ed Brayton

Arrrrhhh it be cold today

Arrrgghhh, I should ‘a been know ‘n that today be talk like a pirate day.
tlapd.jpg

Arrrgghhh, with a14/9 degree drop ‘n the low and high tempARRture from the previous day, who’d be ARRRguing that pirates reduce global wARRRRming now?

The Friday Groaner

Two guys, Bill and Fred, are golfing behind two women who are playing incredibly slow.  After a few holes, Bill says, “I can’t play like this, I’m going to walk up and ask them if we can play through.”  He walks about halfway up the fairway, then turns around and walks back. 

“What happened?” asks Fred. 
“When I got close to them, I realized one was my wife and the other was my mistress,”  says Bill.
“No problem, I’ll ask them,” says Fred.

Fred walks halfway there and then walks back and says, “Small world.”

Friday – iPod Random 10 + 1

  1. Avalanche (New Order – Republic)
  2. Something to Do (Depeche Mode – 101 Disc 1)
  3. All My Life (Echo and the Bunnymen – Echo and the Bunnymen)
  4. Have you Ever Been to Hell – (Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers – Conscious Party)
  5. The Planetarium Scene (The Ocean Blue – Just Say Anything)
  6. Bible Dreams (The Wild Swans – Just Say Yo)
  7. Put Down That Weapon (Midnight Oil – Diesel and Dust)
  8. Hot Dog (Martini Ranch – Just Say Yo)
  9. Running to Stand Still (U2 – Joshua Tree)
  10. Theme from Flood (They Might Be Giants – Flood)
  11. Not Sleeping Around (Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – Are You Normal)*

* Two of the songs were pretty short, and Not Sleeping Around came on while I was typing – how could I not include it.

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Richard Dawkins

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin’s song Selfish was playing itself in my head this morning – songs do that some times – and one line jumped out at me; “The selfish gene in me, has finally come into being“.  And this sparked another memory, biologist Richard Dawkins book, The Selfish Gene.

At this point I had to stop and wonder, is Richard Dawkins a Ned’s Atomic Dustbin fan, or are the members of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin remarkably well read.  I was initially guessing the former.  Despite what you may think, scientist have lives and often like music that you wouldn’t expect them to like.  But it this was the case, then Richard Dawkins key achievement was inspired by an alternative rock band.

That seemed unlikely.  But was it more unlikely than a member of a Ned’s knowing about basically a biology book, well enough to have the lyrics in line with the books thesis?  Sure the book was a best seller, but it’s  not like it was a mass market paperback or anything that I remember in the news.

Well I didn’t give Ned’s enough credit.  Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene was published in October 1989.  Neds song Selfish was released on the album God Fodder in July of 1991.

The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins
Our genes made use. We animals exist for their preservation and are nothing more than their throwaway survival machines. The world of the selfish gene is one of savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit. But what of the acts of apparent altruism found in nature – the bees who commit suicide when they sting to protect the hive, or the birds who warn the flock of an approaching hawk ? Do they contravene the fundamental law of gene selfishness ? By no means: Dawkins shows that the selfish gene is also the subtle gene. And he holds out the hope that our species – alone on earth – has the power to rebel against the designs of the selfish gene. This book is a call to arms. It is both a manual and a manifesto, and it grips like a thriller.

Selfish – Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
be careful, you might hear something
you don’t want to hear
be careful you might say something
that you really mean
you say “take things easy,
go and have some fun”
but my mind is hazy
about times i’ve spent alone
so be careful, you might feel something
you don’t want to feel
be careful, you might learn something
you don’t want to know
i’ll take things steady
go on and be alone
i hope your head’s aching
from having too much fun
if i don’t know what’s cool
will you call me a loser?
if i don’t bend the rules
will i stay a loser?
the selfish gene in me has finally come into being
he’s teaching me how to be mean
but that’s a sorry, sorry state to be in
stop yawning, stop yearning
and wake up
what you wanna do is wake up