diet coke for breakfast


Saturday, January 31, 2004

Posted by Jake


Posted by Tanstaafl
MikeRoweSoft settles for an Xbox | CNET News.com:

'I have a budget of about $1,000 to spend on lawyers, while Microsoft has a billion. If I happened to lose, after everything, I would have to pay the lawyers myself, which would make the rest of my life horrible,' he said.

I like this kid.



Friday, January 30, 2004

Posted by Jake
FEC Curbs 'Endorsement' Ads (washingtonpost.com)

The FEC, responding to an inquiry from the Bush campaign, ruled that such 'endorsement' ads will be considered a financial contribution to Bush by the candidates being endorsed -- and therefore will require reimbursement from Bush's campaign to make them legal. Such ads, which Bush used to great effect during the 2002 midterm elections, would still be legal but would be far more complicated to execute under the ruling, based on the new campaign finance reform law.

In an advisory opinion approved yesterday by a vote of 6 to 0, endorsement ads appearing within 120 days of an election would be considered "coordinated communications" and therefore would be "in-kind contributions" to Bush by the candidates who paid for the ads. Those appearing more than 120 days before an election would be exempt.


The ridiculousness continues.

James-- I'm curious what the "reformers" will do when the NRA buys radio stations and gets around McCain-Feingold through the media exemption. Will they outlaw some media outlets from political activity? At that point won't the Supreme Court HAVE to step in and stop this parade into insanity?

Brian-- But, if Dean or Kerry wins the nomination (which one of them likely will), what incentive does the NRA have to do such things? After all, Dean is a gun-advocate, and Kerry an avid hunter... Will we have to endure this for another 4 years??



Thursday, January 29, 2004

Posted by Tanstaafl
DOWD!!:

I don't do a lot of Fisking, mostly because I don't have time... but this article requires it. I don't exactly know what possesed me to read a Maureen Dowd rant; I should know better. I guess I thought from the headline that MAYBE she had some constructive advice about who should have the #2 spot on the Republican ticket. That was WAY too much to hope for. Anyway, here it goes.

The awful part is that George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein were both staring into the same cracked spook- house mirror.
Thanks to David Kay, we now have an amazing image of the president and the dictator, both divorced from reality over weapons, glaring at each other from opposite sides of bizarro, paranoid universes where fiction trumped fact.
It would be like a wacky Peter Sellers satire if so many Iraqis and Americans hadn't died in Iraq.


Quick reality check to dispel ANY moral equivalence: Saddam killed over 300,000 OF HIS OWN PEOPLE. Since 1976, Texas has executed 314 people. Now, some may consider acid baths and human shredding machines the same as lethal injection, but even allowing for that, Texas is off by a factor of 1,000 (and only a fraction of those were on Bush's watch). Sorry Maureen, those are totally different "paranoid universes".

These two would-be world-class tough guys were willing to go to extraordinary lengths to show that they couldn't be pushed around.

Maybe, just maybe, Bush was worried about some mixture of WMD and the welfare of the Iraqi people. You've already admitted that he was lied to, so maybe he believed the lies and wanted to do something about the perceived threat. This isn't as "school-yard law" as you make it out to be Ms. Dowd.

Their trusted underlings misled them with fanciful information on advanced Iraqi weapons programs that they credulously believed because it fit what they wanted to hear.

Actually if you read Kay's testimony, the American "underlings" didn't tell Bush that there were WMD because that's "what he wanted to hear." Kay's fairly clear that the CIA reported the WMD existence because they made bad assumptions, not because they were pressured into it.

Saddam was swept away writing his romance novels, while President Bush was swept away with the romance of rewriting the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf war to finish off the thug who tried to kill his dad.

Ya know, it's not like his dad is just any other guy. Frankly, trying to assassinate a US President (sitting or former) should be the last action anyone makes.

The two men both had copies of 'Crime and Punishment' ? Condi Rice gave Mr. Bush the novel on his trip to Russia in 2002, and Saddam had Dostoyevsky down in the spider hole ? but neither absorbed its lesson: that you can't put yourself above rules just because you think you're superior.

I'm sorry, what rules was Bush above? Truthful testimony under oath? Nope, that was somebody else...
Oh right, "Bush Lied"... no, again I think Ms. Dowd has established that others lied to Bush...
I guess going to war without the UN's blessing? So were Haiti and Kosovo outside the rules?

When Dr. Kay spoke these words on W.M.D. ? 'It turns out we were all wrong, probably, in my judgment, and that is most disturbing' ? both America and Iraq learned that when you try too hard to control the picture of reality, you risk losing your grasp of it.

All I can say is read this to wash Maureen out of your brain

More to come later... (I'm only half-way through this).

UPDATE:

Ok, here we go, round two:

In interviews, Dr. Kay defended the war with Iraq, saying that the U.S. "has often entered the right war for the wrong reason," and he defended Mr. Bush, saying, "if anyone was abused by the intelligence, it was the president." He also told Congress "there's no evidence that I can think of, that I know of" that Saddam collaborated with Al Qaeda.

His job wasn't to look for links to terrorism, his job was to look for WMD.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday, the ex-C.I.A. weapons sleuth used a metaphor that was perhaps inspired by Martha Stewart, comparing the C.I.A. with a lousy stockbroker.

"If I were your broker," he told Senator Jack Reed, "and you were investing on my advice . . . and at the end of the day, I said Enron was the greatest company in the world, and you had lost a substantial amount of money on it because it turned out differently, you would think I had abused you."


Ummm... why even mention Martha Stewart here? He's not discussing insider trading, he's discussing bad stock advice. Martha didn't get bad stock advice, she got advice to trade illegally. Buying Enron stock wasn't illegal, it just turned out to be a bad investment.

Certainly the C.I.A. has a lot to answer for. For a bargain price of $30 billion a year, our intelligence aces have been spectacularly off. They failed to warn us about 9/11 and missed the shame spiral of a deranged Saddam, hoodwinked by his top scientists.

Sure, they may have messed up. But, I bet that $30 Billion has bought us a whole lot of security that Maureen knows nothing about. That's the curse of working as a spook: your failures are public, but your successes are classified.

They were probably relying too much on the Arabian Nights tales of Ahmad Chalabi, eager to spread the word of Saddam's imaginary nuclear-tipped weapons juggernaut because it suited his own ambitions ? and that of his Pentagon pals.

I don't know that Ahmed Chalabi did much talking about the WMD, I think that he talked more about the oppression. Plus, as someone who was exiled from Iraq, I doubt he was CIA's source. Sorry though Maureen, the CIA's not going to reveal their sources to you unless you, and Robert Novak, and any other self-righteous reporters reveal your sources. Oh, and one final difference, your sources might go to jail if they are outed... the CIA's sources get hanged if they're discovered.

But while he is skittering away from his claims about Iraqi weapons, President Bush is not racing toward accountability. It's an election year.

The Times's David Sanger wrote about an administration debate "over whether Mr. Bush should soon call for some kind of reform of the intelligence-gathering process. But the officials said Mr. Bush's aides were searching for a formula that would allow them to acknowledge intelligence-gathering problems without blaming" the C.I.A. or its chief.

The president wants to act as though he has a problem but not a scandal, which he can fix without rolling heads ? of those who made honest mistakes or dishonest ones by rigging the intelligence.


As much as it pains me to say it her, Maureen might ALMOST be on to something. I think that there are probably improvements that can be made to the CIA and NSA organizational structure, but there should probably also be some human accountability. It might be time for Tenet to move on to private life.

Dick Cheney, who declared that Saddam had nuclear capability and who visited C.I.A. headquarters in the summer of 2002 to make sure the raw intelligence was properly interpreted, is sticking to his deluded guns. (And still trash-talking those lame trailers.)

No, Cheney said that Saddam was working toward nuclear capability and that if we waited until he got it, then it would be too late. Tel Aviv might be reduced to a sheet of glass. As for "those lame trailers", I can only assume you mean the mobile bio-weapons trucks we found. Yeah, I'm sure that they had a legitimate purpose. Big Pharma was probably using them for all of that cancer drug research that they do... on the go... in the desert... camouflaged.

The vice president pushed to slough off the allies and the U.N. and go to war partly because he thought that slapping a weakened bully like Saddam would scare other dictators. He must have reckoned there would be no day of reckoning on weapons once Saddam was gone.

A) Cheney's not stupid... he knew that there would be questions if we didn't find WMD.
2) I don't understand why France and Germany are still called our Allies. France wasn't interested in Peace, or Security, or anything that enlightened. They were interested in countering ANYTHING the US wanted to do in order to promote their own place on the global stage. I don't know about anyone else, but when someone decides to boost their own stature by tearing me down, I stop considering them a friend.

So it had to be some new definition of chutzpah on Tuesday, when Mr. Cheney, exuding more infallibility than the pope, presented him with a crystal dove.

Wow, talk about chutzpah. To quote Barney Coopersmith, Maureen "let me ask you something, have you ever been wrong about anything?" Ms. Dowd, before you wind up to hurl a stone off at Mr. Cheney, you better check out the glass walls of your own house.





Posted by Tanstaafl
Meet the inventor of 'CtrlAltDelete':

'I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous,' Bradley said.
Gates didn't laugh.


Bill needs a better sense of humor.



Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Posted by Jake
Kay: 'We Were Almost All Wrong' (washingtonpost.com)

As for the view that 'analysts were pressured to reach conclusions that would fit the political agenda of one or another administration,' Kay said, 'I deeply think that is a wrong explanation.' He said that 'innumerable analysts' had apologized to him about their faulty estimates of Iraq's capability, but none had said, 'I was pressured to do this.' Instead, Kay said, the explanation usually was that 'limited data' had led to their conclusions, and that they now realized there was another explanation.

'And you know, almost in a perverse way, I wish it had been undue influence, because we know how to correct that,' Kay said. 'The fact that it wasn't tells me that we've got a much more fundamental problem of understanding what went wrong.'


We were all wrong to assume that because Saddam was so intrasigent in his defiance of the UN, he most assuredly had the weapons we thought he had. We and the President need to be honest about that.

We were not in disagreement with the majority of the Western world and two previous administrations in our analysis. We were not wrong in our assessment of the depravity of Saddam's regime.

Our bad...but the world is still better.

Furthermore, I think that this should really shut up the Democrats peddling the Bush LIED!!! line. Kay is the analyst. He admits that the analysts were wrong. The Bush administration listened to them and believed them. This may have been in part because they wanted to find a way to remove Saddam, but to be perfectly honest we needed to find a way to remove Saddam. There are no lies here.

James-- Just because we may have been mistaken in hindsight does not mean that we were wrong to assume that Saddam had WMD. Life is full of ambiguity. Despite the old addage about assumptions, it is very rare that anyone has complete information. We often have to make decisions based on incomplete data and therefore must fill the gaps with assumptions and educated guesses. Of course we should identify gaps in our data collection procedures and plug them, but with the information we had, we made reasonable assumptions at the time.




Posted by Jake
www.AndrewSullivan.com - Daily Dish..

The BBC takes it in the ass in the Hutton report causing the chairman to resign. This is a big win for Blair. I doubt it will help Bush now that the Kay report has come out, but it is good that one of the most biased and vociferous critics of the war has been brought to task.




Posted by RFTR
Dean Replaces Campaign Manager: "``Governor Dean asked Roy Neel to join the campaign as CEO and Joe Trippi resigned as campaign manager,'' said Tricia Enright, a campaign spokeswoman."

Interesting...




Posted by Tanstaafl
CNN.com - Inquiry faults BBC over WMD report - Jan. 28, 2004:

A BBC report that the British government 'sexed up' its dossier on Iraqi weapons to justify going to war was 'unfounded,' according to the judge leading an inquiry into the death of a British weapons expert.

Not that this will silence critics.




Posted by Tanstaafl
Kerry claims New Hampshire primary...


... and hands Dean another drubbing.

39-26 at last count. That might change, but not by a lot since most precincts are reporting.

Dean was still pretty arrogant in his post-election speech... but at least he didn't yell or screech this time (that is... from what I saw... I couldn't stomach the whole thing).

I did make another observation though. I've heard Dean mention speeches that he's given to campaign volunteers several times now. I'd like to offer some free advice. Stop giving speeches to your volunteers; they're already voting for you, and many of them aren't even registered in the state where you're competing. Start giving speeches to undecides. They're the ones who will guarantee victory.

Brian -- They're the ones who will guarantee victory.
Sorry James, but I have to disagree. I think that very little can "guarantee" much more than an also-ran spot for Dean. No, he's not out of it yet, but his chances aren't looking good. Also, I'm surprised we're not hearing more about Edwards. If he pulls of a strong victory in Carolina (as I discuss here) I think he's got a good shot at the nomination still, and if I were Bush, I'd be more scared of Edwards than Kerry. I need to try and find the quote, but I think it was Carville I heard describe Edwards the other day as being "better at working a room than possibly even Clinton."

James-- I realized after I wrote that last night that "guarantee" was too strong. I don't think that Edwards is that much of a threat. As Naomi Wolf put it last night on the new Dennis Miller show, Edwards is TOO hopeful. With the threat of terrorism looming over us ALWAYS, we want someone just a BIT more grizzled. Give him 10-15 years and he'll be a force to reckon with.



Monday, January 26, 2004

Posted by Jake
danieldrezner.com :: Daniel W. Drezner :: John Kerry, political idiot

I could see Kerry asking Edwards to be VP, but after this gaffe I don't know if that will be enough.

"Everybody always makes the mistake of looking South," Kerry said, in response to a question about winning the region. "Al Gore proved he could have been president of the United States without winning one Southern state, including his own."

"I think the fight is all over this country," Kerry said. "Forget about those red and blue states. We're going to change that now, and we're going to go out there and change the face of America."




Posted by Jake
TIME.com: The Nanny in Chief -- Feb. 02, 2004

I think Sullivan may be being unnecessarily harsh (I am not that certain the Democrats would be any better either). This article does raise some disconcerting issues though. First, if you want government to be limited, you are sort of screwed this election. Bush has not shown up for his promises and the Democrats are even worse. Second, Bush is facing a bit of a revolt by part of his base. The social conservatives may be peachy keen, but if he continues to spend he is going to have trouble get fiscal conservatives to show up at the polls.



Friday, January 23, 2004

Posted by RFTR
OpinionJournal - Jack Welch
There's a reason this man rose so high -- Great piece.



Thursday, January 22, 2004

Posted by RFTR
Mirror.co.uk - F*** THE NAZIS, SAYS CHURCHILL'S PARROT
This is the coolest bird in the history of the world.




Posted by Jake
2 Senators Counter Bush on Immigrants (washingtonpost.com)

I have to say that I am in favor of anything that would bring legal status to these people, and I don't especially think that we should make them go home. We need to fess up to the fact that large parts of our economy (see California agriculture) are based entirely nearly entirely on migrant workers. These aren't jobs that most Americans want. I also think it is unlikely that most people are going to be willing to register for this if there is not some pathway to citizenship. I know that they will work out the details, but I think that the Daschle-Hagel bill might work better.

They would have to have lived in this country for five years and worked here for four years, including one year after enactment of the bill. They would have to pass national security and criminal background checks, pay federal taxes, demonstrate a knowledge of English and American civics, and pay a $1,000 fine.




Posted by Jake
2004 NH Democratic Tracking

Kerry rising, Dean falling. If Dean loses NH, I think he might be done. There has been quite the backlash to his angry speech in Iowa. I think people have finally realized he won't win.




Posted by Jake
danieldrezner.com :: Daniel W. Drezner :: The persistence of U.S. soft power

Protestors around the world might be vociferously anti-American but that doesn't change the fact that everyone wants what we have. Check out this study posted by Daniel Drezner.




Posted by Tanstaafl
Magazine directs climbers over cliff:

Guy Procter, the editor of Trail, acknowledged the magazine had inadvertently erased the first of two crucial bearings needed to get off the summit. He said that happened during the editing process.

Oops!




Posted by Tanstaafl
Judicial Nominee

So let me get this straight... you're with holding your support because of the possible views of someone this man used to work for? Well that's very meritocratic of you.



Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Posted by Tanstaafl
local6.com - News - Fla. Couple Told To Remove Flag From Window:

The couple's lease, though, is clear, Fullam said. Renters aren't allowed to alter their apartments in any way. This includes hanging banners, streamers or even curtains so they are visible outside the apartment, Fullam said.

Something I should probably look for when I renew my lease.




Posted by Tanstaafl
Report: Cingular makes bid for AT&T Wireless - Jan. 20, 2004:

Cingular Wireless made an all-cash offer for competitor AT&T Wireless over the weekend in a bid to create the nation's largest cell phone provider, according to a published report.

Oh sure, just when number portability threatens to bring competition to the industry, all of the carriers are going to consolidate into one super-monopoly carrier. Maybe we could call it Standard Cell.

Brian -- What bothers me is, I'm an informed consumer. I shopped around and actually chose against cingular. Now I'm going to get stuck with them anyway?




Posted by Tanstaafl
State of the Union Address:

This nation will not go back to the days of simply shuffling children along from grade to grade without them [sic] learning the basics.

I absolutely shuddered when I heard this. In a sentence about the basics of education, it is CRITICAL to get the grammar right. "Learning" is a gerund and, as such, requires a possesive pronoun. Somebody in the speech-writing staff didn't do his or her job.



Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Posted by RFTR
Op-Ed Columnist: Keeping the Faith: "Conservatives sometimes say that Democrats want to go back to the 1960's of Woodstock and the peace movement. That's not quite right. The quintessential Democrat here doesn't want to return to the angry, disruptive long-hair style of the late 1960's. She wants to return to the confident, pre-counterculture short-hair mood of the early 1960's."

The problem is, if a candidate like Dean wins, that mood will be hijacked much the way it was in the mid-1960s, though to a more catastrophic result for the Democratic party.



Monday, January 19, 2004

Posted by Jake
Political Wire: Kerry Wins Iowa Caucuses

CNN projects Sen. John Kerry will win the Iowa caucuses. Sen. John Edwards finishes second with Howard Dean in third place.

Rep. Dick Gephardt will fly to St. Louis tonight and will drop out of the presidential race tomorrow.

The New York Times says the victory by Kerry "would mark a validation of the thoroughly unconventional campaign tact he took — to come to Iowa to replenish a candidacy that had been languishing in New Hampshire, and use an unexpected victory to power him back to life in his neighboring state."

"The result marked a serious setback for Dr. Dean, who had campaigned intensely across this state for more than a year, and was a clear disappointment to a candidate who just a week ago had been confident of victory here and in New Hamsphire."


Ouch. Who the hell knew that would happen? I would have put Gephardt as the most serious contender with Dean for the nomination. Looks like this election season is going to be more interesting than one would have thought.

Brian -- What do you mean who knew that would happen? We've known at least since my post on Sunday that this was a likely outcome... (see below).
Also, did anyone see Dean's "concession" speech last night? If not click here and scroll down to select the Dean one. He had just been whomped, and he actually thanked the Iowa people for "punching our ticket to New Hampshire." I think he really doesn't understand the he alone is the reason he's lost so much popularity, and if he doesn't change tracks, his side of this campaign will be wildly boring. Also, if you watch the video, make sure you glance down at the crowd--Last night was the FIRST time that the Dean campaign has distributed American flags to its audiences. Maybe if that doesn't work, they'll throw in crucifixes too...



Sunday, January 18, 2004

Posted by RFTR
DesMoinesRegister.com | News: "Kerry, Edwards surge
Iowa Poll finds surge by Kerry, Edwards"

This poll by the Des Moines Register finds Kerry with 26%, Edwards 23%, Dean 20%, and Gephardt at 18%. Unbelievable.




Posted by Jake
After 10 Months in Iraq, U.S. Marks 500th Military Death (washingtonpost.com)

The U.S. military death toll after 10 months of engagement in Iraq reached 500 yesterday, roughly matching the number of U.S. military personnel who died in the first four years of the U.S. military engagement in Vietnam.

Vietnam comparison watch.

The cumulative toll of 500 U.S. deaths was reached in Vietnam in 1965, the year when the U.S. deployment there rose from 23,300 to 184,300 troops. In Iraq, in contrast, the United States is rotating forces with the goal of reducing the total from 130,000 to 105,000 by June and also sharply scaling back its military presence in Baghdad.

Why not compare it to WWI? Or the Crimean War? I am certain that 500 people died in some period of time then.



Friday, January 16, 2004

Posted by Tanstaafl
Robot pops into studio for acting debut

I don't know... Keanu Reeves has been "acting" for years.



Thursday, January 15, 2004

Posted by Tanstaafl
Woman pleads no contest to lying about lost lottery ticket

According to my calculations, if the woman believed that she had better than a 1 in 15,000 chance of getting the payout, then she had to take the shot.

This assumes that the lump sum payment would be $100 million (I don't know the actual amount).
I further assume that her time is worth $15 an hour. She may make more than that, but honestly, some time you're really just sitting around. On the other hand, I consider my sleep pretty valuable... so I'm open to argument on the correct hourly "wage".

That means that the potential cost of the worst possible sentence was
6 months X 30 days X 24 hours X $15/hour = $64,800 + $1,000 fine = $65,800.

If the expected value of the prize is greater than the penalty... then why not. So, $100mm/65.8K = 15,198.




Posted by RFTR
Yahoo! News - Moseley Braun to Drop Out, Endorse Dean

Politics baffles me sometimes... I saw Carol Mosely Braun on Crossfire YESTERDAY, and she specifically denied that she had even considered dropping out. Now, obviously that's a lie, but why would you go on Crossfire if you were going to drop out the next day??



Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Posted by Tanstaafl
The Bleat:

Funtime computer nightmare follows

I'm nearing the end of my two weeks of insanity at work. See the SEC likes to know everything that a major corporation does (which don't get me wrong was a good idea even before Enron, however, it means that I have a lot of work to do after year end, describing my little slice of the world to the powers that be). Anyway, I finally got a chance to go back and take a peak at the last few days of Lileks' Bleat, and the one from Monday had me rolling. In his computer rant section, I think I've experienced every one of the issues he describes, from Kinkos on down.



Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Posted by RFTR
Op-Ed Columnist: The Bush Democrats

An interesting David Brooks piece on the polarizing qualities of W and why they don't hurt his chances for reelection.



Saturday, January 10, 2004

Posted by Tanstaafl
Examining Berkeley's liberal legacy:

'If it is liberal, it's hard to tell because the demonstrations [here] are pretty weak, to be honest.'

I thought that they were both liberal and weak.



Friday, January 09, 2004

Posted by Tanstaafl
Cadaver arm prompts fainting spell in school:

A parent brought a human cadaver arm to an elementary school and opened it up during a discussion about surgery, causing a fifth grader to faint.

I heard this on the radio this morning. Jake, take this as a cautionary tale.




Posted by Matthew
Scientists Discover That Enzyme Degrades Mad Cow Disease Prion

[T]he new research, which tested the effects of a bacterial enzyme keratinase on brain tissues from cows with BSE and sheep with scrapie, showed that, when the tissue was pretreated and in the presence of a detergent, the enzyme fully degraded the prion, rendering it undetectable.


Neat stuff. Even if this can't lead to a "cure" so to speak, the real wealth may be in developing a process by which to de-prion livestock feed and feed production facilities. Jake, as our resident Bio-guy, do you have any interesting comments on this?

As a side note, I think the funniest thing about this whole "outbreak" (insert dramatic organ chord) is the American public's complete apathy to the story despite the media's best scare tactics. My personal theory is that the ascendance of the Atkins diet has muted any and all opposition to meat eating.

James- I 've got to believe it's also got something to do with the fact that they've still only found ONE COW! I don't know how many steaks, burgers, and tacos come from one cow, but with 285mm people in the United States, I think people realize that their chances of eating meat from that particular cow were never really high.



Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Posted by Tanstaafl
CNN.com - Schwarzenegger pushes bond issue bailout - Jan. 7, 2004:

'The use of the word 'bankruptcy' is probably not the right word, but we will run out of money unless we pass this initiative,' [State Controller Steve Westly] said.

Well, unless you just plan to stop paying your creditors, when you run out of money, you do actually need to declare bankruptcy... so maybe it IS the right word.



Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Posted by Tanstaafl
CNN.com - Fighters escort airliner from Paris to U.S. - Jan. 6, 2004:

U.S. fighter planes escorted an American airliner part of the way from Paris to Cincinnati Tuesday afternoon after wiring in a woman's heated jacket prompted security concerns, U.S. government sources said.

Who wears a "heated jacket"? Bizarre.

U.S. officials ordered the fighter escort because the Paris-to-Cincinnati fight had already left the ground before French officials notified their U.S. counterparts about the incident, according to U.S. government and aviation security sources.

And isn't it just like the French to not bother to tell us that there was a problem until after the fact.

Brian - The "heated jacket" is a motorcycle jacket. You can plug it into your bike so that you stay warm. Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.




Posted by Tanstaafl
CNN.com - Bradley endorses Dean - Jan. 6, 2004:

'The pundits say Howard Dean is an angry guy,' Bradley said, 'but I say that he's an idealist who's willing to be tough in pursuit of his vision. You can't use nuance with someone as radical as George Bush. You have to be blunt and relentless in telling the truth about what he has done.'

I'm not sure I understand the rush of conventional Democrats to endorse Dean. Then again, Bradley was effectively exiled from Democratic politics after he took on Gore in a primary challenge in 2000.



Friday, January 02, 2004

Posted by Matthew
The CFR Hypothesis

One hears a lot about media bias, quite a lot indeed, but the accepted formula goes like this:

The "Media," capital M, an imaginary monolith with a supposedly synchronized perspective, is saying things that I disagree with. The things that I believe are right, therefore these factual distortions are the result of some lens - a bias which is deeply ingrained, like a vein of rich silver.

That's all well and good, but let me propose the CFR Hypothesis, where CFR stands for "complete f***ing retards."

Video gamers and conservatives have something in common besides South Park Republicans I guess.




Posted by Tanstaafl
Let's trump up a scandal because his last name is Bush:

Unlike the ordinary investor who buys at the market price, however, Bush benefited from the fact that his stock purchase costs in some cases were minimal because he got a bargain, paying $13 a share when he exercised stock options that were part of his consulting compensation from Kopin. The company's stock price was selling for many times that amount during much of the time Bush was trading. The company granted him 20,000 stock options.


It's like they're trying to suggest that somehow stock options are unethical. "Unlike the ordinary investor"?!?!? First of all, ANYONE WHO WANTS TO CAN PURCHASE STOCK OPTIONS FOR A SMALL PREMIUM. Second, often small tech based pay employees and consultants with stock options, because they don't have cash flow to be be paying them wages. It doesn't say that his options were well below the stock price when they were granted, it says they were below the price when he was trading. THAT'S THE POINT OF A STOCK OPTION. It's the right to buy the stock later on at a given price. It's a bet that the stock will rise above that price, and that you will make a profit. The WSJ published an article about a deal the company made, the stock started rising, and Mr. Bush's financial advisor said, excercise your options. EVEN IF HE KNEW ABOUT THE DEAL AHEAD OF TIME, he didn't exercise his options or sell his stock until it was public knowledge. Insider knowledge is only illegal if you trade on it BEFORE IT BECOMES PUBLIC. Otherwise, executives could NEVER buy or sell stock in their own companies. I'm sorry, but this is a non-issue.




Posted by Tanstaafl
A Farce in Two Canvases (washingtonpost.com):

The purpose of protecting the identity of leakers is to encourage future leaks. Leaks to journalists, and fear of leaks, can be an important restraint on misbehavior by powerful institutions and people. This serves the public interest. But there is no public interest in leaks that harm national security, or leaks that violate the law, or leaks intended to harm blameless individuals. There is no reason to want more of these kinds of leaks. So there is no reason to protect the identity of such bad-faith leakers.


Subpoena's all around.
Seriously, Glenn Reynolds has suggested this a couple of times. Not all journalistic sources should be protected. Unfortunately, no one will subpoena Novak because doing so would be policitally distasteful.




Posted by Tanstaafl
SI.com - NCAA Football - USC downs Michigan in Rose, makes title case - Friday January 2, 2004 2:02AM:

Leinart capped it with a perfect 47-yard scoring pass to Colbert, who caught the ball with one hand near the 25 despite being interfered with by Jeremy LeSueur. Colbert then broke a tackle and jogged in for the score.

I watched a bit of this game. He didn't "jog" into the endzone. After breaking the tackle, he was SO wide-open, he WALKED the last 10 yards.



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