2009-11-26

Open link in Google Docs

Since hearing about the way to link to a page in Google's Document Viewer, I've been using it enough that I want a quick way to do it. So I added this to the end of the [Link Popup Menu] section in the menu/standard_menu (1).ini file that Opera created when I made a custom menu setup:

Item, "Open link in Google Docs"= Go to page, "http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=%l"

Very handy for browsing Government websites, where most of the useful information is hidden inside Word files.

2009-11-16

Mark Coughlan on political donations in Ireland

This is a wonderful article, although the content is somewhat sickening. I can add this to my short list of political litmus tests, along with support for the Taoiseach's Eleven (e.g. pages 47-48 of the 2004 Report on Seanad Reform), the Voteless Dáil (moved by Mary Hanafin), and the Unnumbered Envelopes.

2009-11-11

Job titles

During this morning's Leader's Questions in the Dáil, Éamon Gilmore accidentally coined the fortuitous phrase back bensioners, a portmanteau of back benchers and pensioners. Sadly, the official transcript only records his immediate correction of back benchers.

In case it isn't obvious: Government back benchers arrive in the Dáil chamber long enough to press a button according to the Chief Whip's direction. Once upon a time they would have insisted that they know what they're voting for, but that's untenable now that the Order of Business routinely include orders to have a single vote on whichever amendments a Minister wants.

So, Government backbenchers do no work but they continue to get paid well. Back bensioners indeed.