November 20th, 2005

Chris Keeley

Scanlon that Abramoff infamously referred to members of one tribe as "monkeys." In another exchange

Witness May Have Pivotal Role in Probe of Alleged Corruption
By Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, November 20, 2005; A08

Before he hit his mid-thirties, Michael Scanlon played enough roles to fill a lifetime: lifeguard, press aide to a powerful congressman, multimillionaire public relations entrepreneur.

Now the sandy-haired, buttoned-down Republican -- author of e-mails detailing wildly brash schemes to make money in politics -- is likely to take a turn as a star witness for the prosecution in the Justice Department's investigation of lawmakers, lobbyists, Capitol Hill staffers and executive branch officials.

Scanlon's help could be important to the probe, which focuses on the activities of former influential lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Scanlon was Abramoff's closest business partner at the height of the lobbyist's power, joining in an enterprise that collected $82 million in fees from Indian tribes between 2000 and 2004.
Collapse )
Abramoff, polished and soft-spoken in public, often showed contempt for his clients in private communications with his young partner. It was in an e-mail to Scanlon that Abramoff infamously referred to members of one tribe as "monkeys." In another exchange about a new client, the Tigua tribe of Texas, Abramoff said, "Fire up the jet baby, we're going to El Paso!!" Replied Scanlon: "I want all their MONEY!!!" Said Abramoff: "Yawzah!"

Abramoff turned to Scanlon when he wanted to disguise the origins of money from foreign entities, including the Malaysian government, e-mails and records show -- another area of likely interest for prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service. Scanlon set up the American International Center, a Rehoboth Beach foundation that claimed on its Web site to be "a premiere international think tank."

Scanlon, who friends say never shook off the lure of summer days in the lifeguard stand even when he was making millions, staffed it with two longtime beach buddies -- one a former lifeguard and another a yoga instructor.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company
Chris Keeley

Art scholars and critics often claim that markets for art are irrational, and that the value an arti

The Best Living Artists: An Economist's View
The art establishment says the art market is a poor way to judge artistic quality. University of Chicago economist David W. Galenson begs to differ. He's just released his list of the greatest living artists, based on the number of their works that have sold for $1 million or more at auction. He says the names on his list bear a marked similarity to those whose work appears most often in art history textbooks.

"Art scholars and critics often claim that markets for art are irrational, and that the value an artist's work brings at auction is unrelated to the real importance of that artist's work. These claims are wrong," Galenson, who studies the economics of the art world, asserts in a working paper published last month by the National Bureau of Economic Research. "The most valuable art is made by the greatest artists."

Best Sellers

Ranking of living artists by number of works sold at auction for $1 million or more*

Artist ... Number

Gerhard Richter ... 53

Jasper Johns ... 39

Cy Twombly ... 28

Jeff Koons ... 20

Lucian Freud ... 16

Robert Rauschenberg ... 14

Brice Marden ... 9

Ed Ruscha ... 8

David Hockney ... 7

Artist ... Number

Ellsworth Kelly ... 6

Andrew Wyeth ... 6

Maurizio Cattelan ... 5

Chuck Close ... 5

Frank Stella ... 5

Miquel Barcel ... 4

Damien Hirst ... 4

Bruce Nauman ... 4

Georg Baselitz ... 3

Artist ... Number

Claudio Bravo ... 3

Marlene Dumas ... 3

Sigmar Polke ... 3

Robert Ryman ... 3

Wayne Thiebaud ... 3

Fernando Botero ... 2

Louise Bourgeois ... 2

Fourteen others with one work each

*As of September, 2005. Source: "Who Are the Greatest Living Artists? The View From the Auction Market" Working Paper 11644. National Bureau of Economic Research
Chris Keeley

Highly Amusing

BEIJING (Reuters) - Irked by a reporter who told him he seemed to be "off his game" at a Beijing public appearance,     President George W. Bush sought to make a hasty exit from a news conference but was thwarted by locked doors.

The final reporter he called on critiqued Bush's performance earlier in the day when he stood next to Hu in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square to deliver a statement.
"Respectfully, sir -- you know we're always respectful -- in your statement this morning with President Hu, you seemed a little off your game, you seemed to hurry through your statement. There was a lack of enthusiasm. Was something bothering you?" he asked.

"Have you ever heard of jet lag?" Bush responded. "Well, good. That answers your question."

The president then recited a list of things of that he viewed as positive developments from his Beijing meetings, including cooperation on North Korean nuclear disarmament and the ability to have "frank discussions" with his Chinese counterpart.

When the reporter asked for "a very quick follow-up," Bush cut him off by thanking the press corps and telling the reporter "No you may not," as he strode toward a set of double doors leading out of the room.

The only problem was that they were locked.

"I was trying to escape. Obviously, it didn't work," Bush quipped, facing reporters again until an aide rescued him by pointing to him toward the correct door.
Chris Keeley

Daily Kos on Marine Colonel Bubp--11-19-05

Who is Col. Danny Bubp?

     by mbw <>

       Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:07:37 AM PDT

Crossposted at Wampum
Yesterday, as all the blogosphere, Left and Right, now knows, first-term
Ohio Congresswoman Jean Schmidt offered these words as she stood in the
well of the House:

   Ms. Schmidt: Yesterday I stood at Arlington National Cemetery
   attending the funeral of a young marine in my district. He believed
   in what we were doing is the right thing and had the courage to lay
   his life on the line to do it. A few minutes ago I received a call
   from Colonel Danny Bop, Ohio Representative from the 88th district
   in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a
   message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman
   Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do. Danny
   and the rest of America and the world want the assurance from this
   body - that we will see this through.

Of course, as we all know as well, Schmidt's personal attack on the Hon.
Congressman (and two-time war *veteran* from Pennsylvania) sent the
House floor into a well-deserved meltdown, with Democrats shutting down
the body until Schmidt withdrew her words.

Collapse )