Late Edition

A member of Congress has been caught helping a bank she has ties to receive Federal assistance – I think that’s the very definition of corruption. California congresswoman Maxine Waters apparently had fiscal ties via family to OneUnited, a bank whose head requested up to $50 million in special bailout funds.

Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, requested the September meeting on behalf of executives at OneUnited, one of the nation’s largest black-owned banks. Ms. Waters’s husband, Sidney Williams, had served on the bank’s board until early last year and has owned at least $250,000 of its stock.
Ms. Waters declined on Tuesday to comment on the meeting, or to say whether her husband still owned shares of OneUnited. Her staff released two letters that showed the meeting had been initially called to discuss industry concerns broadly.

Really. I’m sure it’s just some kind of giant misunderstanding. Honest.

Finally, Barack Obama is facing charges of caving to pro-Israel lobby in the selection of members of his government. Charles Freeman, forced out of the selection process for a top cabinet position because of his lack of a pro-Israeli bias, says this:

“Tactics of the Israel lobby plumb the depths of dishonour and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the wilful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods and an utter disregard for the truth”.

Several but by no means all Israeli lobbyist and interest groups have labeled him various flavors of “arabic agitator.” (Which doesn’t come from the Guardian article but somewhere. I’ll post the link if I can find it.) I love how if you’re not totally for everything Israel does to these people you are clearly some kind of ideological Arabic sympathizer … thing. That kind of “it’s us or them” mentality is part of what’s wrong with Israel in the first place.

Meanwhile, final Gaza toll shows 960 civillians killed

Why so serious A U.S. Army specialist allegedly dressed up like the Joker, stabbed and stun gunned a fellow soldier, drove 200 miles with his girlfriend only to be shot dead by police after aiming a scattergun at them.

The President’s recent action on stem cell research apparently worries some scientists who fear funding from philanthropists might be cut off. (Philanthropists don’t generally involve red tape and oversight – which is about the only issue I can see here.) Beyond that…what could they possibly be bitching about? Or has the bitching just become routine after eight years of a Bush White House?

An apparently suicidal man survives a trip over Niagara Falls – which is sad or ironic depending on your perspective I suppose. He is only the second man to survive such a trip over the 50+ meter drop.

As Augustus Hill on HBOs Oz would put it – Census is senseless. The 2010 census will continue the practice of pretending that families comprised of two or more non-heterosexual family members do not exist. Not terribly surprising but still damned irritating. From a practical perspective this pretty much sabotages any attempt at gathering accurate demographic information for study or analysis….which is, of course, pretty much the bloody point of taking a census now isn’t it?

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~ by Auntie Ranty on March 12, 2009.

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