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The couple involved in Sen. John Ensign's affair decided to come clean this afternoon, after rampant speculation.  They are Cynthia and Doug Hampton of Las Vegas, both former aides to Sen. Ensign.

And it turns out the good Senator was a considerable cash cow for their family -- to the tune of $207,912 per year.

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Want "Change We Can Believe In"?

Well, how's this for starters?  From today's Wall Street Journal...

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration's new drug czar says he wants to banish the idea that the U.S. is fighting "a war on drugs," a move that would underscore a shift favoring treatment over incarceration in trying to reduce illicit drug use.

In his first interview since being confirmed to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske said Wednesday the bellicose analogy was a barrier to dealing with the nation's drug issues.

"Regardless of how you try to explain to people it's a 'war on drugs' or a 'war on a product,' people see a war as a war on them," he said. "We're not at war with people in this country." [Emphasis added.]

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OK, Ken Lewis still has a job.  And a very well-paid one, at that... CEOs don't exactly qualify for food stamps.

But the fact that a banking industry titan is finally paying a price -- and must now answer to an independent chairman -- is a satisfying development...

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) shareholders voted to oust Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis as chairman of the board on Wednesday after months of mounting criticism of his stewardship of the largest U.S. bank.

The bank's board "unanimously" expressed support for Lewis to stay in the CEO post despite the fact that shareholders "narrowly" approved a proposal to require an independent chairman.

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Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:20 PM PDT

ASU's Obama Scholarship

by That Anonymous Guy

This afternoon Arizona State University announced it would rename its largest and most prestigious scholarship program after President Obama.  

This has been greeted by full-throated mirth and derision from a good chunk of the Kossack community -- a communitywide judgment that, in essence, declares this scholarship to be a triviality awarded by a worthless university.

So perhaps it would be helpful if I explained exactly what the newly renamed Obama scholarship is... and what it means if you're a high school student in Arizona.

To get one of these scholarships is a really big deal.  I should know.  I have a college degree because of it.

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Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:53 PM PDT

The Yellow Sports Car

by That Anonymous Guy

I noticed him while driving home from work yesterday.  Bright yellow Dodge Vipers do have a way of catching your eye.

Then my eye landed on his back window and his political message to the world:

"Stop Whining -- You Voted For Him!"

The delusional neighbor with the penchant for expensive gas guzzlers strikes again.

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Today, CBS's Chip Reid lit into White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs for mocking former Vice President Dick Cheney.  Strangely enough, Reid had nothing to say about Cheney's constant attacks on the current president.

Last week, Glenn Beck and Chuck Norris began speculating that disagreement with President Obama's policies could be grounds for secession.  Just a couple of years ago, Republicans branded such talk treasonous when directed at President Bush.

And comparing Republican talking points from Minnesota '08 to Florida '00... hoo boy, is that a mind bender.

Confused?  Don't be!  It's the Republican's best friend, IOKIYAR.

It's becoming increasingly apparent that we'll be seeing much more of this neat little rule over the next four years, so I thought it would be helpful to provide everyone with a summary of the main principles of IOKIYAR. (While I've taken pains to be as detailed as possible, I apologize in advance for key omissions... IOKIYAR is a constantly evolving set of principles, and it's easy to miss out on its latest amendments.)

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Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 10:31 AM PST

Collecting on grief

by That Anonymous Guy

A few weeks back, I read a story about a rather chilling experience someone recently had with a large credit-card issuer.  

It's no secret that large banks are shameless when it comes to shaking down customers, but this was particularly ruthless even by their standards -- upon receiving a call that a credit-card holder had died, the bank (which I will not identify, as I cannot find the original source material) attempted to talk a relative into paying off the balance... even though the relative was not on the account, and had no legal obligation to pay.

Unfortunately, it appears that was no fluke.  From today's New York Times, one of the boom businesses of the Great Recession -- shaking down grieving relatives for the debts of the deceased.

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[Note: Forgive me if this has been blogged to death already; a search for it came up empty.  And this one is simply too priceless to go without sharing.]

Poor Rick Santelli.  Last week, he was the National Hero of the Right, embraced by all of wingnuttia for his off-the-hook rant against President Obama's housing plan on CNBC.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs proceeded to light him up like a Christmas tree.

Today?  Santelli's reduced to whining about how big, bad Robert Gibbs personally threatened him during last week's press conference.

Not even colleague Matt Lauer can swallow that load of crap, and hilarity ensues...

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Let's say you're at a bar with a group of people.  They've been working hard while everyone else is having fun, and they look pretty bored.

So you decide you'll be a mensch and buy 'em a round.

That'd be pretty decent of you, don't you think?

Ah, but this is our greatly esteemed national media we're talking about.  And the great defenders of the Republic -- specifically, CNN -- have proclaimed it an unacceptable sin that our President-elect attempted to purchase their affections with a Bud.

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It's the homophobe's favorite "Get out of Jail Free" card.

Vote yes on Prop 8?  Gain a reputation as a notorious basher of gay rights and equality? No problemo! Just trot out your magical gay friend, and all sins shall be washed away.  Heck, you might even get an invite to the inaugural.

Just ask Rick Warren:

"I have many gay friends. I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes. No church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church."

If we've heard it once, we've heard it a thousand times.  And I'll respond as I always do: Bullshit.

Why?

Because (confession time here, friends) I once was homophobic.  And what cured me of that illness was the friendship of my first LGBT friends.

If Rick Warren truly had gay friends, there's no way he'd ever be a homophobe.

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Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:47 PM PST

The GOP Must Be Destroyed.

by That Anonymous Guy

"You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" -- Joseph Welch to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, 1954

I once was a strong believer in the importance of a strong opposition party.

The Republicans might be enormously misguided in their political philosophy, I reasoned, but a healthy opposition could serve as a useful devil's advocate, forcing us to examine and defend our proposals, and consider alternatives we may not have originally considered.

I was all for defeating the Republicans. But to call for their dissolution was foolishness, I thought.

That was before Thursday, December 11, 2008.

That was the day the Republican Party decided to risk a global depression in an effort to score a political point against a long-time rival.

That was the moment the Republican Party proved it had not a drop of rationality left.

That was the moment I finally came to this conclusion: We may need an opposition party, but we can no longer afford to let the Republican Party exist.

For America's sake, the GOP must be destroyed.

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This is why I voted for Barack Obama.

Our nation is enduring one of the worst crises in generations.  Now, more than ever, we desperately need a dispassionate and reasoned president, one able to put ego aside and assemble a dream team capable of steering the United States back on track.

The last few days have made more confident than ever -- at this defining moment of maximum risk and peril, our nation picked the best possible person for this enormous task.

This is an exceptional Cabinet in waiting. And it tells me Barack Obama is going to be an exceptional president.

Poll

Best Cabinet pick so far?

30%75 votes
13%33 votes
8%20 votes
15%38 votes
3%8 votes
1%4 votes
10%27 votes
6%17 votes
1%4 votes
1%4 votes
0%2 votes
6%15 votes

| 247 votes | Vote | Results

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