Sunday, February 26, 2006

Meet The Poodle

Highlight of the day so far: Watching Schwarzenegger sit silently on screen when Tim Russert asks him if he has any response to Bob Mulholland's comment about him being a French Poodle.

Also of note: Schwarzenegger keeps hammering on the Hydrogen Highway, yet he kicked pre-Kennedy era highest ranking horseshoe resident Terry Tamminen to the curb. The Highway was his baby. The Guv is a punk.

Conflicts Ahoy

So about this whole UAE ports deal, Bush says:

"This is a company that has played by the rules, that has been cooperative with the United States, a country that's an ally in the war on terror, and it would send a terrible signal to friends and allies not to let this transaction go through."
So let me just make a list of things that bug me about this whole plan. A list of conflicting information we've received from our loyal, steadfast President since 9/11/2001, along with some bits of factual information that always seem to get in the way:

1.) States that sponsor terrorism are bad. They're off our Christmas card list.
2.) We've got to police the boards like rabid dogs. Especially Mexico because maybe terrorists will come through Mexico. Oh, and we should also watch that Visa Waiver Program because special relationships we may have with countries should not be considered, nor should common sense or, say, the facts of any situation.
3.) Iraq is a state that sponsors terrorism (never mind that its former leader had zip to do with 9/11).
4.) Confused talking TV heads wrinkle their brows in consternation over the notion that we're supposed to be fine with this ARAB nation taking over our entire Eastern Seaboard’s worth of ports.
5.) Modern terrorism operates free of any particular state, taking only from some the kind of economic benies that we take from not-so-nice countries like, say, that enemy of the First Amendment, China.
6.) Dubai is a state, and a friendly one at that. Our naval ships dock there and our sailors enjoy liberty on its shores and in its deserts - availing themselves of this new jet-setter's vacation destination.
7.) The article links above and says some of the terrorists flew from Dubai to the US. Okay, but really, once they were here, they flew around and learned to fly from American instructors, let's not get all blame-game with Dubai, eh?
8.) So it seems to me, then, that the MSM's main problem with this, justifiably, is that it makes no sense to paint the Arab world with such a broad brush and then turn over port control to a state owned country. But going back to points 5 and 6, aren't we being, well, racist assholes to look at Dubai, as a state and as a participant in the market, and think "terrorist threat?"
9.) And speaking of point 8, looks like Bush has been successful in convincing us that They are all bad and we should fear Them and regardless of whether any "state" sponsors terrorism, we should just assume they come from everywhere, like Iraq who had nothing (everything! everything! be afraid!) to do with 9/11. And we're using that lesson to mess with your Presidency.
10.) I think the idiom we're looking for here is, "be careful what you wish for."

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Someone Hand This Woman A Shovel

Via LA Observed, I found this gem of a writer who seems hell-bent on acceptance and stardom in her pseudo-native Los Angeles - if only she could stop crapping all over it.

Oh, but doesn't she just love San Francisco. It's so pure and unaffected. So true and nonmaterialistic. Such a load of poo on its own.

I swear, if someone wants to slam LA, be my guest. But try to come up with an original complaint and not the same, tired movie industry cliches and snark about the air quality which is factually inccurate as well as annoying.

No! But I Just Randomly Saw Him At The Hub!

That post title is an inside joke that will make sense to only about 10 people who don't read this site, but at least I know it's there.

It refers to this article, which has the best pre-set text ever: Actor Don Knotts dies at 81; made being a nerd OK

He will be missed.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fin

And now that that's done, we're on to something else. Whatever that is.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

As-it-happens Updates Available At Phubar

In case you're interested - there's news about today's bar exam over at Phubar. If you aren't interested, watch this space for my return to actual, relevant blogging in a few days. Few days plus recovery time, that is.

Reminder: all friends, fans, and non-dangerous stalkers are welcome to join the crew at Chops on Thursday evening. But you really should RSVP if you can (email me), just to be polite to party planners Amanda and Crystal.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

And This Is News How?

RAND says all those lines and crowds of people are still an attractive terrorist target. Uh-huh. And? So are the crowds at Disneyland. The State Fair. Any other airport. 3d Street Promenade. The Oscars.

Honestly - what airport doesn't have crowds of people queued up at predictable times of the day?

(h/t)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Questions For Franz

So, that whole getting shot thing, not half as important as getting the right spin on it, right?

The cartoons didn't run recently. But they did recently get a better publicist. And now we have this. Protests in London? What, pray tell, for?

Is indignation as righteous if it's expressed on a delay?

'Sphere Love

As I've mentioned over at Phubar, supportive people are coming out of the woodwork and I can't thank anyone enough for the calls, emails, comments, and links. Nothing makes a blogger feel better than links. And emails. And calls.

Dear world: you rock.

Did you know . . .

That one of my favorite things to do in the whole world is grocery shop? It's true!

Here's an article about the mid-century development that is the modern supermarket.

Supermarkets are my labyrinth. No, not the muppet-filled movie - the meditative, zen kind. All those rows of shiny products. Eight-hundred kinds of vinegar. How can you not love so many choices under one roof?

The Young And The Ugly

What do you do with this study?

"We find that unattractive individuals commit more crime in comparison to average-looking ones, and very attractive individuals commit less crime in comparison to those who are average-looking," say Naci Mocan of the University of Colorado and Erdal Tekin of Georgia State University.

Mocan and Tekin analyzed data from a federally sponsored survey of 15,000 high schoolers. One question asked interviewers to rate the physical appearance of the student on a five-point scale ranging from "very attractive" to "very unattractive."

These economists found that the long-term consequences of being young and ugly were small but consistent. Cute guys were uniformly less likely than averages would indicate to have committed seven crimes, including burglary and selling drugs, while the unhandsome were consistently more likely to have broken the law.

Friday, February 17, 2006

96-ish Hours

Until I begin to end the Bar experience.

Take out 32 hours for sleep (as if I get a solid 8), leaving 64.

Take out another 8 hours for miscellaneous tasks (like showering and eating) = 56.

Take out another 4 for the amount of time I'd really like to spend - at a minimum - in the gym between now and then = 52.

Take out 6 for packing, preparing, and driving to Sacramento, as well as checking in and going grocery shopping = 46.

Take out 2 for panicked phone calls to my parents, my boyfriend, my best friend, and my bar-passing friends = 44.

Divide 44 hours by 12 subjects = 3:40min/subject of hard cramming time.

And now the number manipulation:
Subtract another 9 hours from sleep allocation and divide them by remaining practice pefromance tests.

Subtract 1 hour from gym time to contemplate whether or not more MBEs at this point are helpful or hurtful and end hour deciding hurtful and move on.

So there you have it. Life planned to the hour. And I'm already 10 minutes behind schedule.

And by the way: it's a 176.5-ish hours until the fun actually starts.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Congress Shall Make No Law . . . .

Congress Chides 4 Companies Over China:

"Your abhorrent actions in China are a disgrace," said Rep. Tom Lantos, the top Democrat on the House International Relations Committee. "I simply don't understand how your corporate leadership sleeps at night."
My guess? On piles and piles of free-market-produced money. Oodles of cash. Scores of equity shares. In fact, I think I can hear them snoring now.

But in their defense, they feel really bad:

Yahoo's senior vice president and general counsel, Michael Callahan, said his company was "very distressed" at having to comply with Chinese law.
I'm sure a lot of places are very distressed about having to comply with American law, so that seems fair.

I mean, think about it. I'm not suggesting that content-based filtering is admirable, but c'mon. China is like what? A huge trade partner with the US? We overlook those pesky human rights violations. Our markets are open to their goods. And you're going to get all uppity over THIS? It's commerce kids. It has an informational aspect, but just like TV is eyeballs to advertisers, so is the net.

Give me an f-ing break.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

In Defense Of Valentine's Day

I spent today studying at a cafe in Cole Valley - one of my absolute favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco - and, in fact, in the world generally. I joined a few neighborhood cats on the wood deck out back, next to the gently flowing water feature, and we sunned ourselves until the afternoon winds blew in from the sea.

Around me, various couples came and went. And yes, couples. All over. With the handholding and the over-lunch bonding. An amazing number of these couples and various other seemingly non-romantic pairings dedicated an excessive amount of their conversations to Why Valentine's Day Is A Made Up Holiday That Doesn't Matter And Why Should This Be The One Day That People Feel Compelled To Avow Love Just Because Hallmark Says So.

To which I say: Fah!

Valentine's Day, or Saint Valentine's Day is based on the feast of a saint. So it is at least based on a legitimate celebration. Has it been inflated a bit by American consumerism? Sure, maybe. But so have a lot of other things still worth enjoying and celebrating.

And about this whole "why should I/he/she be compelled to declare love today just 'cause?" Well, anyone should be compelled to declare love any day they feel it. What the world needs now is . . . whatever, you see my point.

And the gender-bias supporting the V-day naysayers is unbearable. Guys have orchestrated their way right out of compliance based on an improperly founded assertion of anti-capitalistic idealism. Who carries most of the weight for the other holidays? Chicks, that's who. We bake your damn Christmas cookies, more likely than not we plan your holiday parties, pour the vodka into your 4th of July watermelon, etc. So if women and Hallmark have colluded to amplify a minor Catholic holy day, I don't feel bad. Guys should be making reservations, sending flowers, gushing their gushiest of all gushy gush, and jewelry shopping - which, my friend DS would like every male to be reminded, can be accomplished from the comfort of your own lazyboy via the net without ever stepping foot in a Big Scary Jewelry store.

So please, save the stock arguments against Valentine's Day and get thee to Hallmark. Buy the sincerest or the funniest card you can and treat your sweetie right. We carry the emotional weight of the relationship for the other 364 days a year. Today should be our day off, our day of reinforcement, and the one day we get to be free of disabling self-doubt or general i'm-too-mushy self-consciousness.

So quit your bitching, boys. And quit supporting their bitching, girls. Keep card writers and florists in business and jump on the opportunity to love. Is it really such a bad thing to do?

Reader Poll: as in, do I still have any?

Cross posted from Phubar (damn, I've done that twice in one week now, laaaaame):

Following Amber's lead, in lieu of valentines - which I still love, for the record, I too will accept adjectives via this little personality typer thingy.

I fear it will only prove how few readers I have, but who knows, maybe some of you will come out of the wood work. I bet this belongs on Phoblog where there might be more readers. Is cross-posting this too self-centered? Only one way to find out!
Conclusion: yes, too self-centered. But I take the bar in ONE WEEK. I'm allowed some slacker-blogging. Anything to stay on your RSS radar!

Dick Cheney Is Ready And Waiting

Bald eagle may fly on its own / Delisting could extol federal species act but hurt protection

Monday, February 13, 2006

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Local News Story Headlines You Just Can't Make Up

"How giving your Valentine roses helps fight drug traffickers."

I'm really curious, but just can't stay up long enough to find out . . . .

Phubar Jurisdictional Crossover

A story so amusing it's hard to know where to blog it: A teeny LA city that's had the same council forever, votes to cancel elections every 4 years, and may have authorized some highly, highly suspect action against would be candidates.

Amusing. Kinda. But really - does this work?

There are fewer than 60 registered voters in Vernon, and almost all are either city employees or related to a city official. All five council members have served at least 30 years in office.

"It's kind of a fiefdom," said Philip Reavis, 65, a former Vernon Chamber of Commerce president who ran for office in the city's last contested election — in 1980. "This place is a little anomaly that exists, kind of by accident. In the whole state of California, there's nothing like it."

In the 1980 election, as in this year's, Vernon officials sought to disqualify a candidate by evicting him.

By strictly limiting who can live in the city, Vernon officials handpick their constituents, said Roy Ulrich, a lawyer and former Vernon property owner who has clashed with city officials. "They only allow people who are city employees. Anything that smells like residential property, they disallow."
Seriously, though, if you issue spot this article you get: Con Law, Professional Responsibility, Property, more likely than not some torts, Remedies, and eventually there'd be Evidence also. Jackpot!

Bad 'Zags

Basketball fans asked to stop yelling "Brokeback Mountain"

Gonzaga fans have managed to chant that? A)I applaud your rhythmic abilities. B) Why? That doesn't even make sense. C)If you can't appropriately chant "Scoreboard," then you should shut up because you're losing. D) It's just lame.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Wow, It's Almost Like They Don't Even Try Anymore

And that they don't even need to.

Seems in an effort to fill screen time while covering the non-attack that didn't hit the "Liberty Tower" in Los Angeles, Fox News - that fortress of goodness, truth, and the American way, illustrated what might have been with clips from the movie "Independence Day."

Kinda makes you want to grab the nearest bucket and hurl, don't it?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

It's Just A Kids Book About A Monkey

Don't you dare muck up Curious George.

That article makes me weep over all the political correct crap tossed at our fuzzy little friend.

However, I do give the writer credit for making me laugh out loud - sincerely - at the The Man with the Yellow Hat leaving George in the morning when he went to work, "making him just another latchkey money with no discernable supervision."

And this quote from a conservative commentator on the upcoming film's changing TMWYH from a hunter to an archaeologist has to make you pause:

"If we are to carry this perspective of Western man as world exploiter to its ultimate conclusion, isn't it just as offensive for the Man in the Yellow Hat to be an archaeologist despoiling the material culture of spiritually enlightened primitives? After all, isn't it inherently worse to take someone else's property than some monkey that doesn't even belong to anyone?"
Um, well, crap, I can't even answer that . . .

As for other cinematic liberties:

Sending George to jail "just raised too many questions," O'Callaghan said. "Why would you send a monkey off to a human jail with other humans? In the '40s that was probably OK, but not now. It would involve too much explaining."
No, I think it kids then, and today, just kinda went with it. If we want to ride the literal pony here, the movie also depicts a cartoon monkey running around in, like, the world. That doesn't require explaining?

Um, Yeah, And?

From the Chron:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office acknowledged today that a former staff member had edited the California Democrat's entry on the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, as well as altered entries about her husband Richard Blum's Chinese investments in 1997.

A former staff member "independently went on to Wikipedia to correct some material he felt was not appropriate," said Feinstein spokesman Howard Gantman. "The senator was not even aware of it."

The changes to the biographies of members of Congress, allegedly by their staffs, have again raised questions about the credibility of the online encyclopedia that has become an authoritative source for millions of Internet users.

The disclosure by Feinstein's office today was the latest admission from a handful of senators' offices that staff members had been beautifying their bosses' biographies on Wikipedia.
Well, for one thing, duh. And for another thing - hey, guys, it's a free internet website where people can add or amend stuff at-will. Caveat Surfer.

As Jack Pitney would urge: Consider the source.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

For The Love Of Everything Holy . . . You MUST Be Joking

Isn't US News & World Report enough of a standardized test?

It sure seems to be what the current powers that be at my beloved CMC live and die by.

But Noooooo, our esteemed President has appointed a commission to explore "whether standardized testing should be expanded into universities and colleges to prove that students are learning and to allow easier comparisons on quality."

Where to begin . . . .

I defy anyone to compose a true test for evaluating and comparing a liberal arts education. I doubt, however, that Bush et al get the whole liberal arts thing, nuance not being their strong suit.

Charles Miller, a business executive who is the commission's chairman, wrote in a memorandum recently to the 18 other members that he saw a developing consensus over the need for more accountability in higher education.

"What is clearly lacking is a nationwide system for comparative performance purposes, using standard formats," Mr. Miller wrote, adding that student learning was a main component that should be measured.

Mr. Miller was head of the Regents of the University of Texas a few years ago when they directed the university's nine campuses to use standardized tests to prove students were learning. He points to the test being tried there and to two other testing initiatives as evidence that assessment of writing, analytical skills and critical thinking is possible.
"Accountability in higher education, eh? So how will you impose a standardized test? Tie it to federal funding? That's the only way I can think of to hamstring private colleges and universities.

Do you think Miller and the commission know that there are different colleges with different educational methodologies and internal metrics to measure student accomplishment.

[Of course, I can't help but think about CMC powers trying to shoe-horn Stags and Athenas into someone else's metrics, but dammit, dealing with one misguided attempt is enough - must we be made to battle the feds as well?]

And, speaking from personal, current experience, let me say this as plainly as possible and doing my best to restrain my use of the caps lock button: standardized tests don't test the efficacy of education, they test the ABILITY TO PASS A STANDARDIZED TEST.

With the exception of perhaps 5% of the material I'm cramming into my head right now, EVERYTHING else on the bar, if used in everyday practice, would get my ass sued for malpractice faster than you can say violation of the duty of competence.

And squeaking through life on SAT or LSAT knowledge won't get you far either unless you find a job with the ulter-exclusive Institute for the Creation of specialized analogies which, I'm pretty sure is as hard to get into as . . . .hell, you finish the damn joke, I'm too mad.

Mr. Miller says he would like the commission to agree on the skills college students "ought to be learning:"

like writing, critical thinking and problem solving — and to express that view forcefully. "What happens with reform," he said, "is that it rarely happens overnight, and it rarely happens with a mandate."
Gee, I didn't know our collleges sucked so bad. But I suppose this is just another clever way to pave over Bush's failures in improving secondary education. If American kids learned, oh, say, ANYTHING in high school, maybe they could be competitive in the world without going to these - now apparently suspect - institutes of higher education.

College is not compulsory. It's not a guaranteed right. What in the hell business is it of the federal government to look down this avenue of faux-reform?

If Miller and the commission are concerned about students' failure to learn life skills NOW, wait until they start gearing their education to the passage of an arbitrary, dumb-enough-for-government-work-and-to-avoid-litigation exams.

Monday, February 06, 2006

History Lessons

Today's SF Chronicle read poll asks the question, "Do you sympathize with Muslims over the Danish cartoons?"

The answer options are:

-Yes, drawings a slap to their religion
-No, satire is part of the modern wold
-Protest peacefully only, please.

The "No" option is winning easily with 76% of the vote.

I have to object to that answer choice however.

"Satire is part of the modern world?" Well, yes, if you define "modern" as post-Lucy era. If modern is everything after man invented spoken and written language.

Satire isn't new, guys. I know, I know, people didn't notice it until Jon Stewart took over the Daily Show, but even before Craig Kilborn, I assure you, satire existed.

I'm betting even in Islamic societies.

Papers Please

(Updated)

While sharking a parking spot this morning, I caught KQED's California Report. This morning, the report focused on new efforts in Orange County to employ local police in immigration enforcement.

Some are understandably concerned about this. Check the link above later to see if the show is available online (it wasn't yet as of this posting)[Update: here it is].

Foreseeably, MAPA, MALDEF, and others argue that such a broadening of enforcement would have a detrimental impact on the value of community policing and would lead to racial-profiling. On the other side of the debate, those fine patriots who've taken border patrol into their own hands, the Minutemen, and the Orange County sheriff. The sheriff says the program - which would, if I am remembering the story correctly (please listen to it and fact check me when it's up), is available to local jurisdictions under existing ICE law/regulation, would mean OC law enforcement would merely focus on getting repeat offenders out of the country - those who come here, do bad things, and keep coming back for more.

So, what do you do when you pull someone over, they aren't a repeat offender, they have no criminal record, but they're here illegally? Let them go until they do commit a crime? Put them on a watch list. Stick them on a cattle car and drop them off on the other side of the border, just like in the good old days?

And to avoid charges of profiling, wouldn't the city attorney or county counsel in any jurisdiction demand the citizenship checks be conducted ministerially, with no measure of discretion, on every suspect/everyone in the jurisdiction?

How could you not?

As it turns out, for at least part of the time he was here, my boyfriend should not have been - unbeknownst to both of us. Had he been pulled over, what then? Of course, he has no criminal record, but how could you write an enforcement policy that tells local cops to let go people who shouldn't be here? That would make those Minutemen pretty upset wouldn't it? Might seem a bit hypocritical, no?

I've only just obtained a passport. I don't carry it with me on a daily basis. What happens to me? Lucky for me, my ethnicity shows up in print and not so much on my pale skin, but what if I were browner? Oh wait, there's no profiling, so I guess, well, yikes, who knows.

Does anyone think this is, perhaps, a bad idea? A really, really bad idea? An unconscionably bad, unamerican, that-sound-you-hear-is-the-Founding-Fathers-spinning-in-their-graves bad?

I hate slippery-slope alarmism, but that cuts both ways here, doesn't it? Costa Mesa has won the dubious distinction of becoming the first place to employ local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws. You can tailor a carefully worded policy. You can direct the ICE-cops to look only at the worst offenders. But eventually, you're going to face the easily foreseeable issues at the bottom of the slippery slope.

One opponent to the plan said that programs such as this have been attempted before, but without "the Twin Towers as their big fig leaf." How sadly true is that statement . . . .

I'm going to read up on the issue more - but I encourage you to check the California Report site and listen for yourself - and keep listening this week (check local affiliate for times) as the series continues [correction: I believe the series continues weekly, so check next Monday].

I think it may be time to refocus on immigration law. I didn't think an area of law would become more personal to me than election law, but that seems like a hobby now. Immigration law - that's lives.

The Terrible Twos



In this time of bar-induced inattention to detail, inconsideration of others, and total blog slacking, I let slip past this site's second birthday which should have been celebrated on Friday, February 3.

So we've got two years, 1556 posts, and a fairly respectable amount of traffic - at least considering this whole project started as a "what the hell is a blog anyway" method of self-education. The result has been a body of work of which I am mostly proud - though I'm well-aware there are opinions in there that have changed, that should change, that will change, and that eventually I'll be made to regret ever having committed to pixels. Written records are as disfavored as they are demanded in politics - but here we are.

To those of you have read, linked, commented, or who just blurk out there in the 'sphere: thank you. I'm consistently shocked to learn anyone reads this thing at all. It's been my pleasure as well as a fantastic way to make it through countless hours of class (it's okay Mom, see, I'm graduated now).

In the coming weeks and months I'll still be an absentee blogger as I sit for the bar, recover from sitting for the bar, and do more than my fair share of traveling. And then, I suppose, I should find gainful employment (resume, references available upon request!) For those curious about the bar process, updates on the exam preparation and other navel-gazing posts are available at this site's little brother, Phubar.

Last year, I baked this site a cake. This year, there's little time for baking, but just enough time for photoshopping one, which, if you think about it, is probably more appropriate anyway.

Keep checking back - I may be quiet for awhile, but you know that won't last.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

What Is She Doing?

Again, I could understand Susan Kennedy working in the Horseshoe in an Ainsley Hayes, your state needs you, noble sort of way.

But her increasingly active, and well-compensated, role on the campaign? What the f*ck?

As she goes around the state -- from boardroom to business group, talking up Schwarzenegger's $222 billion Strategic Growth Plan -- the former top aide to Democratic Gov. Gray Davis is unapologetic about her chief priority these days: "To get Arnold Schwarzenegger re-elected.''

"And I truly believe that it needs to be a landslide,'' Kennedy said confidently during a recent interview in San Francisco, where she was addressing business groups. "Because marginal wins create paralysis.''
But Ms. Kennedy, you do realize what else create paralysis, right? Or worse, overcomes paralysis and ends in statewide policy fatalities?

Backing an unqualified, misdirected, failure of a governor.

People are increasingly angry about the ethics angle as well - taking $131k from the state and at least $25 so far in campaign consulting fees. There is an ethical component to the story, but for me, it's more about the way in which she's earning it than from whence it comes.

The new jobs, she said, come after years as a public servant and policy wonk -- and she is matter-of-fact about why now.

"I'm 45 years old; I got a mortgage to pay,'' Kennedy said. "And staying in state government was not in my plan. If I'm working 80 hours a week, why shouldn't I be compensated for giving strategic advice to the campaign -- just like the boys?


Oh don't you dare turn this into a woman thing. You sat there at our Emerge meetings holding the torch for women leaders for a Democratic future. And now you're working for public enemy number one? But the compensation angle of it is fine because you've made gains for women consultants everywhere?

Proving they can make equally boneheaded strategic moves? Oh, I'm so proud.

And of the ironic connections between her new boss and her old boss?

Kennedy dismisses the argument that even her former boss Davis -- the subject of a recall election in part for his aggressive campaign fundraising -- had a firewall that prohibited gubernatorial staffers from doing such campaign work.

"What did that buy Gray Davis?'' she asked. "It gave him the worst reputation as a pay-to-play governor in the history of modern politics.''
OH MY GOD, woman, lok around you. So it's just the reputation that's a problem, not the reality? Is this the kind of spin a projected $75k buys the Guv? Because the way I see it, Schwarzenegger has made Davis's fundraising look like a corner girl scout cookie racket. But she continues:

The former Democratic governor "had such a thick wall between the campaign people and the government people,'' she said, "that the government people did not know -- when they were presenting a bill to the governor -- that there was a fundraiser (on that issue) the next night."
Oh well, then, let's not educate the public about why, perhaps, Davis had the better system. Let's just tear down those walls and be very frank about the multi-million dollar dinners to fund ill-conceived special elections damaging to our fundamental system of government. Yup, no problem there.

I certainly don't agree with calls for law banning anyone paid with taxpayer money from campaign work on the side. For most people lower than Kennedy, it's a necessary way to supplement meager salaries. And, frankly, a certain level of shared experience between the two sides of public service is necessary.

But on a substantive level, Kennedy doing this work? Please. She's a lifelong Democrat who has chosen to play for the wrong team. A team with a proven record of failure. How can it be worth it? For any of us?

'I Don't Think Americans Elect Angry Candidates'

Ken Mehlman talking about Senator Clinton, potential presidential candidate, on This Week.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Please, Stop Explaining

Dude, you lied, move on and save the rhetoric and ineffective explanations.

This covers it: "'He keeps saying there's a great debate about fact and fiction in memoirs. But the only debate is in his mind. It's not really that hard; you just don't make stuff up.'"

'Women Sue Wal-Mart Over Contraception'

I applaud efforts to ensure that retailers with pharmacies stock the morning after pill, though I wish this news item didn't start with the words "backed by abortion groups," because it fuels the fire of ignorance burning in the minds of many conflating the morning after pill with RU-486 or abortive practices generally.

Say it with me: the morning after pill, or Plan-B as one brand is called, does not abort conceived babies.

Sadly, a google search reveals that those against science (maybe they don't have the passage in their bibles about God having given Doctors their talents, but whatever) have managed to climb to the top of the rankings page since the last time I checked into the issue.

As a public service - here's a link to a page that tells you how safely to fashion emergency contraception out of what you might have at home.

And here's a link to EC information generally.

Of course, the best thing is to avoid having that kind of Morning After by using reliable birth control each and every time. Abstinence works like a charm as well. But shit happens - so know the medical facts, know your rights, and know how to take care of yourself.

The Evolution Of Communication Claims A Victim

Western Union -STOP- Ends Telegram Service

How sad. Stop.

Congress 3:16

You know what - I'm going to go ahead and agree with the Capitol police's original actions in removing both Cindy Sheehan and a Reep MoC's wife for wearing message t-shirts.

It's the State of the Union. It's the United States House of Representatives. It is not the Superbowl. It is not the Superdome.

But since we in this country have lost all appreciation of nuance or power to distinguish in this country The Capitol police are doing the "whoopsie!" dance and using phrases like "good faith, but mistaken effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol."

If Congress is smart, they'll write down the rule and continue to enforce it.

Of course, the about-face likely has little to do with Sheehan and everything to do with the offending MoC's wife getting the boot.

As far as I know, it is still House policy to disallow what have been dubbed in this article as "expressive" buttons, pins, t-shirts, etc. So why wouldn't gallery guests be held to the same standards?

Time, place, and manner, kids. And we have concrete evidence that enforcement was viewpoint/content neutral. I don't think "Go Georgie" would've been allowed either. Would you like it to have been?

If Sheehan is smart, she'll stay on message and not pursue this perceived slight.

The First Amendment's free speech provisions may be under attack, but not from the Capitol Police.