More Oversight, Another Scandal

Since the mass media can only focus on one scandal at a time, you might have missed this:

The head of the General Services Administration, Lurita Alexis Doan, is testifying before Congress about using the GSA to specifically help Republican candidates, which would be a violation of the Hatch Act, a federal law that restricts executive-branch employees from using their positions for political purposes.

Apparently, she called a videoconference in January, with 40 regional administrators and J. Scott Jennings, the White House’s deputy director of political affairs (Rove’s deputy). Jennings gave a PowerPoint presentation on Jan. 26 of polling data about the 2006 elections, which included information on “Top 20 Democrat Targets of 2008”, and Doan closed by asking the assembled to figure out how they could “help our candidates in the next elections.”

There’s video of her testimony Here.

If you don’t have the time, I’ll sum up for you:

I don’t remember. I honestly don’t recall. I have no recollection of that. Nope. Nuh-uh.

I’m paraphrasing, of course.

This one probably won’t get much play on the nightly news — the corruption of this administration runs so deeply, that unless it involves high-profile offices, it won’t get any attention. There’s just so much of it, people can’t grasp the enormity of it all.

Highlander Roleplaying Game

The official announcement hasn’t been made yet, since the deal is only about a week old, but Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd (publishers of the Serenity and forthcoming Battlestar Galactica RPGs) will be producing a Highlander RPG.

A post from VP Jamie Chambers confirming this can be found here.


“The core game book will set up the world, offer the rules, and present things as seen through the eyes of the original Highlander film starring Christopher Lambert. It will be using the Cortex System, first seen for the Serenity Role Playing Game. While it may not be for everyone, it supports story and character emphasis and fast-moving action and has won multiple industry awards. The team we’re planning to put together for the game will include Highlander “experts” who are very familiar with the films and TV series, experienced industry game designers, and at least one expert in practical sword combat.

The planned follow-up products include a sourcebook covering the entirety of the TV series and the film Highlander: Endgame. Another will cover the new trilogy of films that continue the story of Duncan MacLeod. (Yes, for those of you out there reading this, we’re not currently planning to deal with any of the film sequels between the original and Highlander: Endgame.)”

Interesting. He’s also claiming that they’re also considering “possible secondary support from other game publishers who we’ll be working with for consistency and quality control.”

Hopefully they’ll be more responsive and on the ball then they were on Serenity. Barely any support was done for that, and offers Adamant made to produce pdf support for their website was met with approval, then communications delays, and then dropping off the face of the planet entirely.

I don’t have high hopes, but I’d love to be proven wrong on this.

Equal Rights

Yesterday, House and Senate Democrats reintroduced the Equal Rights Amendment, under a new name– the Women’s Equality Amendment — and vowed to bring it to a vote in both chambers before the end of the session.

About goddamned time. It only came three states short of ratification in 1982 — it’s long since past time to get this thing done.

Guess who’s against it? That’s right — the Republicans (who wanted to amend the Constitution to protect a piece of cloth, and amend it again to deny same-sex marriage). The right-wing blogs are going nuts, and 1970s wingnut antifeminist Phyllis Schlafly is flying around giving speeches about how the amendment would compel courts to approve same-sex marriages. (She’s the same kook who ranted about how it would cause women to be drafted into the military and lead to the proliferation of unisex public bathrooms, back in the 70s).

It’s the 21st Century, and I cannot believe that we’re still debating with these ignorant fundamentalist assholes that the following phrase is right, and deserves to have the force of law behind it:

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”