September 2008


As Congress and the White House attempt to create a plan to bail out failing financial giants, perhaps a review of the Bush Administration’s fiscally irresponsible past is in order.  And, lo!  Think Progress has put together just such a list of financial missteps.  Read it and weep.

The pond water is hiding my tears,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel

The Morrison County Record has published a story about the United Way of Morrison County on its website and in the pages of the this week’s print edition.  There’s more to this story, some of which can be found at the Live Un-tied website maintained by Jody Scott-Olson.  The site includes Scott-Olson’s original press release, in which she calls for the resignation of the Executive Committee members of the Morrison County United Way.  It also has a copy of the resignation she was asked to sign, complete with its offer of money in exchange for silence on financial matters of the organization.  For those of you unaware of how nonprofit organizations are supposed to operate, they are required by law to maintain transparency of their operations, including financial information.

Watching this story with a wide, goggly fish eye,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel

When it comes to Sarah Palin, what matters most is not that she’s a woman.  It’s how she will assist in leading the country.  Or, rather, how she will lead the country, if she figures out what the Vice President does and how Dick Cheney has ramped up the power of the office.  Here’s an article from the New York Times that details how she has behaved as a leader in Alaska.  In short, she finds ways to get rid of government employees that aren’t absolutely loyal to her.  While this might be good practice for setting up a White House cabinet, it’s not good for building useful working relationships.  Perhaps what’s most disturbing is Palin’s habitual policy of conducting government business using private email accounts so that her decisions, dealings, comments can’t be tracked.  (She really does sound like a female Dick Cheney, doesn’t she?)  When it comes to our government, the public has a right to know what’s going on.  Absolute secrecy is dangerous for a democracy.  If Palin is willing to do this on the state and local level, you can bet that this habit will follow her to the White House if she’s elected.  Is this a path you want your government to continue to take?

As a bonus, here’s a blog post from Mudflats that discusses the giant “Alaska Women Reject Palin” Rally that took place September 14, 2008.

It’s easier to see in a transparent pond,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel

Reported earlier by Minnesota Public Radio

Obama poked fun of McCain and Palin’s new “change” mantra.

“You can put lipstick on a pig,” he said as the crowd cheered. “It’s still a pig.”

“You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It’s still gonna stink.”

“We’ve had enough of the same old thing.”

He was clearly referring the McCain campaign… despite Sarah Palin referring to herself as a “Pitbull in Lipstick.” Nothing like sifting gnat dropping for a sound bite.

On the front page of this week’s Morrison County Record is an article about the Rec’s redesign of its website.  Well, this fish just had to swim on over for a look-see.  I have to say, it definitely is more attractive than the old design.  The organization of the current main articles seems more logical, too.  I like the changing banner photo and the running slide show on the home page.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the menu bar at the top of the page will be the same one you see at the bottom of the page (the standard for most websites).  The menu bars are different, so if you aren’t seeing a link you expect to see, check the bottom menu.

The Rec has entered the blogosphere, offering two blogs by staff members.  The blogs, including Ranting Is All the Rave by Matt Perkins and Chatter That Matters from Tina Snell (so far), can be found under the Viewpoints menu.  I wonder if the Record will be able to stomach the sometimes caustic comments that are thrown around the blogosphere.  (And, yes, a comment can be caustic, but not libelous, so we’ll have to see whether the folks at the Rec can handle profanity, or if they’ll sanitize things for the most sensitive of readers.)

The one thing that hasn’t changed is the Rec’s search feature.  It’s always been difficult to use because you have to have the dates right and not every article published in the printed Rec shows up online.

According to Tom West, the Rec’s General Manager, the newspaper’s website has seen a growth in readership of over 45% in the past 6 months.  While the folks at the Rec may not want to hear this, at least a smidge of that readership has come from Fish Wrap.  For all the times we have linked to articles in the Rec and gotten a hover-over warning for our “malicious behavior,” our WordPress blog stats show that our readers have clicked those links and gone over to the Record’s website to view articles.  That’s both the beauty and the poison of the internet.  It’s all wide open and sometimes negative news can be good for the stats.

Sharing the pond,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel

I found this in the Daily News, they confirm or deny many of the scandal theories swirling around Sarah Palin, unfortunately for her almost all of them are true…even the book banning story. Yike!

My money is on the hockey player getting fed up with all the B.S. and spilling the real dirt, he’s present but not looking like he is necessarily happy to be there. It reminds me of a dog and pony show.

P.S. Principal at Bristol’s hometown high school did confirm that Bristol was withdrawn last year and attended a different school until the end of the school year. He said he was never given a reason.

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