Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

April 26, 2005

Homespun Best Of…

Filed under: General — Bunker @ 12:04 pm

Best Of… is up for the week. One post from a Homespun Blogger you might find interesting is a review of Microsoft’s entry into the blogosphere.

The rush for cover

Filed under: Politics — Bunker @ 11:32 am

Let’s say you’re a lobbyist who wants to do something special for a Congressman who sits on a committee which might, in the future, investigate you. Or perhaps that committee develops the wording in legislation that could affect you. While Congressional rules prohibit your paying for a trip to Mexico for that Congressman, those same rules to not prohibit the trip being funded by a non-profit organization. What is a lobbyist to do?

I’d say the simple answer is to donate money to that non-profit with the stipulation that it is to pay for the Congressman’s trip, with a little extra to sweeten the pot–let’s call it a handling fee.

Oops. You’ve already paid for that trip, but now Congress is beginning to look at such things and you’re worried your Congressman may get his hand slapped? Don’t worry. You can still get away with it by giving the non-profit some cash and asking them to “pick up the tab” anyway. Now everything is all nice, and your Congressman is even more pleased. You’ve actually managed to make him look good.

That’s how one Congressman handled the problem.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) even asked the ethics committee to investigate him after a reporter for the newspaper Roll Call pointed out that a travel disclosure form from 2001 listed the lobbying firm Rooney Group International as paying for a $1,782 trip to Boston, which would be a violation of House rules.

Abercrombie’s aides said they have since determined that the lobbying firm’s expenses were reimbursed by the nonprofit group that Abercrombie addressed on the trip, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts.

All of this has our “representatives” scrambling like cockroaches caught in the light. Surprise! Tom DeLay isn’t the only one who may be ethically-challenged. Whodathunkit?

The PoliticalMoneyLine study reviewed 5,410 trips taken by 605 members of the House and Senate. Democratic lawmakers had the edge, taking 3,025 trips, to 2,375 trips for GOP members.

The No. 1 trip-taker in dollar terms was Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Sensenbrenner took 19 trips valued at $168,000.

In contrast, DeLay finished 28th by taking 14 trips valued at $94,568.

Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn., took the most trips – 63. But Ford’s less expensive domestic jaunts only totaled $61,000.

Of course, the best way to get around all these restrictions, and manage to avoid the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold) at the same time is to start your own non-profit organization. Problem solved.


Filed under: Military — Bunker @ 6:23 am

I missed posting about our friends in Oz and NZ. They were in my heart and mind, but I couldn’t put together words to fit the moment. And I would have linked to this earlier, but Kev’s site was under attack and he was fending off the bad guys, so his link was in peril.

Today, however, I want each of you to visit and read A letter to Ray.

Ray, I remember the day you died in that shitty country. You felt no pain mate, but we did.

The bond between men who have been through combat together is unmatched.

A Special Message to My Fellow Golf Bloggers

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 6:22 am

I’ve taken a big first step for all of us, I hope. It isn’t an original thought on my part. Others have suggested doing this. I simply took it up a notch.

I mailed a letter to the Chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club suggesting that they credential a golf blogger for the Masters each year. I also decided I could make the sacrifice and be first. In fairness, I explained that the blogger attending should be someone different each year to keep the experience fresh. My goal, as I explained to the Chairman, is to present the tournament to readers as a vicarious visit to the grounds, with all the wide-eyed wonder of a first-time patron rather than as a typical sportswriter who knows all the players and has walked the course many times in the past.

A wonderful touch to your already-impressive web site would be real-time coverage on the internet. We already have coverage, with minimal commercial interruption, on television. But while the networks cover the leaders and extraordinary shots repetitively, it becomes like a vapor and diminishes with time. The written word does not. And someone coming late to the telecast misses something. Newspapers and magazines bring us the story–after it is done. I would like to be the first to change that by live-blogging the 2006 Masters Tournament.

I don’t know that I’ll even get a response, but I mentioned it to Jay Flemma, and he believes it can’t do anything but improve our opportunities in the future.

So, that becomes something of a challenge to you all. If there is a tour event in your neck of the woods, see if the organizers are willing to give you press credentials and allow you to wander to course with a notebook computer and wireless access. Maybe we can turn this into a regular feature of the Tour. Contact me via email, and I’ll provide you the text of my letter to Augusta as a template for your own request. If we build a network of golf bloggers and share experiences in both writing for permission and how we cover and blog a tournament we can enjoy up-close access and provide our readers with an experience unique in sports.

And we’d compete each year for the Majors!

April 25, 2005


Filed under: General — Bunker @ 2:21 pm

Our “little” group of Homespun Bloggers has grown to over 200. We each carry a blogroll (below left, here) in our links section which is continually updated with the freshest posts at the top.

All of that is simply prelude. I use that list to check the new folks out, and to return to the old reliables that I don’t keep in my ready list at the top. And I really enjoy finding someone new to the crowd, or simply new to me. HerWryness is one of those.

Her tagline is

Blogging With Intent To Uplift, HerWryness Has Written

Bolton hearing monkey biz

Filed under: Politics — Bunker @ 6:29 am

I seldom link to Mark Steyn’s work simply because I assume all my readers also check out his outstanding prose. This is one I felt obliged to tag:

I’ll bet Pope Benedict XVI is glad that his conclave doesn’t include either Cardinal Biden or Cardinal Voinovich, or his church would be pontiff-less indefinitely while they ”investigated” last-minute rumors that he’d been off-hand to some guy in seminary 55 years ago. I had no strong views about the new pope one way or another, but I’d have voted for him just for the pleasure of seeing him drive the U.S. media bananas


Filed under: International — Bunker @ 5:45 am

Epidsode 26. Arthur continues to provide the best compendium of all the positive things happening in Iraq.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress