Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Tort Reform for Thee but Not for Me 

I've always said that opponents of abortion rights (many, not all) are of the variety of "abortion for me but not for thee." That is, they want abortion to be an option for themselves and for their upper-middle-class children, but not for anyone else. So, you have policies like the "global gag rule" and the parental notification laws and such.

Now, we see, that conservatives feel the same way about the ability to sue doctors and companies that harm them. It's find for conservatives to do it (IOKIYAR--It's Ok If You're A Republican), but for everyone else we need tort reform. Via Josh Marshall, and 1999 article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
WASHINGTON -- A Virginia jury last night awarded the wife of Sen. Rick Santorum $350,000 in damages after she charged in a lawsuit that a Virginia chiropracter's negligence caused her permanent back pain.

Deliberating more then six hours after a four-day trial in which Santorum, R-Pa., testified, the Fairfax County Circuit Court jury unanimously ruled for Karen Santorum. She had sought $500,000 against Dr. David Dolberg of Virginia, because of pain from his 1996 treatment of her.

"Mrs. Santorum has been vindicated," said her Pittsburgh attorney Heather Heidelbaugh. "She was injured permanently through the actions of a chiropractor who acted negligently."

Heidelbaugh, with the Pittsburgh law firm of Burns, White & Hickton, said Mrs. Santorum has "permanent back pain" and "permanent numbness" in one leg.

Throughout the trial, Santorum aides declined to provide details. Yesterday, they issued a brief statement from the senator saying: "The court proceedings are a personal family matter. I will not be offering any further public comments, other than that I am not a party to the suit. But I am fully supportive of my wife."
For more examples, including Tom Delay and George W. Bush using those blood-sucking plaintiff's lawyers, see here. GOP hypocrisy--the gift that keeps on giving.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

An Excellent Reason to Give a Man $26 Million 

I've been meaning to make fun of this for a few days. As you are no doubt not aware, the Bengals recently resigned running back Rudi Johnson to a long term deal for $26 million or some such amount.

Here is the first part of the article about it on the Bengals' web site:
Maybe the turning point in the deal came on one of those myriad of calls to the Bengals’ offices while Peter Schafer was on hold listening to the stream of radio highlights from the Marvin Lewis era. That’s when Rudi Johnson’s agent realized his client is on a first-name basis with all of Bengaldom.

It would be, “Carson Palmer drops back to pass,” or “Chadjohnsonwideopentouchdown.” But with Rudi Johnson, it is always, “Rudi up the middle, touchdown,” or “Rudi gets a big hole and busts it for the first down and more.” And, of course, there are always the “Rudi, Rudi,” chants from analyst Dave Lapham.

“Any time you have a connation like that, the player should stay where he is,” Schaffer said as he and Johnson soaked in Wednesday what has been reported as a five-year, $26 million deal.
Clearly, Bengals fans have singled out Rudi Johnson as the best player, and this is the only reason his first name is used and chanted. Why, we've taken to him to the same way Notre Dame fans took to that scrappy player who was able to walk on and play for them after being on the practice squad for years. What was his name again?

(Although, FWIW, I think this was a good signing.)

Questions for Dean 

I was going to put this in the comment thread below, until I remembered that this is actually my blog and that I could put it in a post.

(1) The recently passed Bankruptcy Bill was apparently unpopular on both the left and right. Democrats did not mount a public campaign against it until the very last minute. Why?

(2) Large portions of the American public are homophobic. How do you plan on dealing with this without betraying the basic principles of our party (and common decency)?

(3) This question involves multiple sub-parts. In answering these questions, please refrain from listing mistakes that are in fact not mistakes at all such as "I was too passionate" or "I paid too much attention to my critics."

During the last Presidential campaign, a popular theme put forth by Democrats was that the President refused to admit his mistakes. What mistakes have Democrats made? Specifically:

(a) What mistakes did you, Howard Dean, make that prevented you from winning the Democratic nomination? (As an aside, do you think the huge lead you were enjoying in the polls was real or illusory?)

(b) What mistakes did John Kerry (and the leadership of the Democratic party) make that caused him to lose the 2004 election?

(c) What mistakes did Al Gore (and the leadership of the Democratic party) make that caused him to sort of lose the 2000 election?

(d) What mistakes did Bill Clinton (and the leadership of the Democratic party) make that caused the Democrats to lose control of Congress in 1994?

(e) This is the most important sub-part. Please compare the answers to (b), (c) and (d) (and to a lesser extent (a)). To the extent that any mistake appears on more than one of these lists, why are these mistakes being repeated? What will be done to prevent the Democrats from making the same mistakes in 2006 and 2008?

(Obviously, I understand that this question could be asked in a face to face meeting, but you get the idea.)

(4) To what extent could and should the Democrats use the "Contract With America" and the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress as a model for becoming the majority party in Congress again?

(5) Joe Lieberman. What the fuck?

That's all for now. If I think of more later, I'll put them in this post.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Questions for Howard Dean 

A friend of mine will be meeting with Governor Dean on Monday in Washington for, supposedly, a whole hour and half. I'd like to use this as an open thread so readers can suggest questions. What should my buddy ask the new Chairman of the DNC?

Good Lord 

Apparently I picked the wrong time to document Stupid Shit Done by Legislative Bodies, as today it is the gift that keeps on giving even if you don't want anymore gifts. However, this one is not merely ridiculous but is also frightening and tragic. Jesse:
Schiavo Ghraib
This may be the worst abuse of any Congressional power I've ever heard of.
Washington lawmakers continued the struggle this morning to prevent doctors in Florida from removing a feeding tube this afternoon from a severely brain-damaged woman.

Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee and the Senate majority leader, issued a statement saying that the woman, Terri Schiavo, and her husband, Michael, were being invited to testify in a Congressional inquiry into the matter later this month.

The statement pointed out that Federal law protects witnesses called before Congress "from anyone who may obstruct or impede a witness's attendance or testimony."

The maneuver is the latest step by lawmakers determined to keep Ms. Schiavo alive to prevent her feeding tube from being disconnected, scheduled for 1 p.m. today.
Honestly, this goes beyond a slap in the face to the intent of the law to inviting Chuck Graner in the room and telling him that the law is Iraqi.

UPDATE: Via the Orlando Sentinel, we get this quote:
"It is a contempt of Congress to prevent or discourage someone from following the subpoena that's been issued," David Gibbs, the attorney for her parents, said. "What the U.S. Congress is saying is, 'We want to see Terri Schiavo."'
"The family is prayerfully excited about their daughter going before the United States Congress for the whole world to see how alive she is."

He said that despite her brain damage, she would be able to travel. A statement from the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., on Friday said the purpose of the hearing was to review health care policies and practices relevant to the care of non-ambulatory people.
They want to see her in person? What the HELL?
While I haven't followed this story closely, I've always assumed that Terri's parents actually loved and cared for her. I no longer think that.

Remember the 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Bump n' Grind 

Yesterday I mentioned how worthless it is for Congress to be regulating steroids because of some phony outrage about Major League Baseball. In that post I racked my brain for some area of public life that would be more stupid to regulate than steroids in baseball. I wasn't really happy with what I came up with, as the idea was to be clever and funny, and my post was neither.

But, then, as always, truth and reality come to the rescue when fiction and imagination fail. Perusing the Internets, I see and article entitled "Lawmaker Seeks to End Sexy Cheerleading." Holy shit.
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Friday night lights in Texas could soon be without bumpin' and grindin' cheerleaders. Legislation filed by Rep. Al Edwards would put an end to "sexually suggestive" performances at athletic events and other extracurricular competitions.

"It's just too sexually oriented, you know, the way they're shaking their behinds and going on, breaking it down," said Edwards, a 26-year veteran of the Texas House. "And then we say to them, 'don't get involved in sex unless it's marriage or love, it's dangerous out there' and yet the teachers and directors are helping them go through those kind of gyrations."

Under Edwards' bill, if a school district knowingly permits such a performance, funds from the state would be reduced in an amount to be determined by the education commissioner.

Edwards said he filed the bill as a result of several instances of seeing such ribald performances in his district
Clearly, we need to prevent youths in this great country from "breaking it down." Such behavior simply will not stand! Also, it should be noted that the editors of this article allowed the writer to use the words "bumpin'" and "grindin'".

There's dumb, and then there are conservative bloggers 

To wit, Hugh Hewitt. Kevin Drum reads the conservative blogs so we don't have to, and he finds the kind of abject stupitidy not often found outside of the subset of humanity consisting of individuals who call into sports radio shows:
THE CONSERVATIVE MIND....Conservative blogger Jim Miller weighs in on the question of women on the op-ed page:
On the average, moderate and conservative women, such as Anne Applebaum, are the best columnists. The worst, on the average, are leftist women — and you can probably think of your own examples.

[Explanation for this theory omitted. Click the link if you can't stand the suspense.]

This idea would also predict that male moderate and conservative columnists would be better, on the average, than their leftist counterparts. And I think that's true, too.
So: Lefty women are lousy columnists. And lefty men are lousy columnists too. In other words, all lefties are lousy columnists! QED, you liberal bastards, QED.

Still, even this isn't quite as absurd as last week's observation from Hugh Hewitt, a man whose conservatism is so hackishly slavish that even the gang at NRO have their occasional doubts about him:
After two days of conversations in DC with leading conservatives and officials, it is clear to me that the GOP is the party of expertise and achievement abroad and innovation and new ideas at home, always the superior position in politics.
Gee, Hugh, were you unsure about this before your trip to DC? I guess it's a good thing you were open minded enough to hear out all your fellow conservatives before drawing any hasty conclusions.
Seriously, could any of you say something this dumb if your life depended on it?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Looks like those Clowns in Congress have done it again. What a bunch of clowns. 

The title of this post is taken, of course, from the DJ3000 machine seen in the greatest episode of the Simpsons ever ("Bart Gets and Elephant") but is in response to this, and article about how Congress, looking back at 20+ years of the Drug War and seeing it was good, thinks we now need a stronger national steroids policy. Great idea, guys. Solving non-existent problems should clearly be at the forefront of any legislative session. Next up, a law prohibiting Billy Joel from performing anywhere outside of the Hamptons.*

On a different note, I've started watching Season 1 of the Wire, a show I've heard great things about but never watched. Uh, it's quite possibly the greatest TV show of all time, and clearly has the best use of profanity ever used in a TV show. It's nearly a perfect show. Watch it.

*This, in fact, would be a good law. Maybe a better example would be Congress pushing for national policy mandating that all ATMs have swipe-card features as opposed to the ones that suck your card in. Wait, that too would probably be a good law. Anyway, you get my point.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Tax Reform Done Right 

By the Center for American Progress. I would add that we should replace the various earned income tax credits with a single refundable credit that would further simplify the system for low-income filers, but this is a tremendous start.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Deadwood Blogging 

At the risk of losing this post, because blogger has been on the fritz for a few weeks now (which gives us a great, if untruthful, excuse for our paucity of posts), here's some Deadwood Blogging:

I enjoyed this episode much more than the season premier. Maybe that's just because, like reader jk, I have the hots for Calamity Jane. Doubtful, but possible. The only worry I have is that the show is getting too plot-dense and therefore in a 13-episode season there won't be enough time for the show to breathe. We shall see.

But, back to last night's episode: Gratuitous post-blowjob wipes-mouth-with-hand shots aside, I liked both the feel and the substance of this episode: Charlie and Seth discussing life at the camp, Al mentally talking things out while getting the aforementioned fellatio-related program-activity, etc. Unfortunately, I don't really have any wise analysis of any of this. Hopefully some of you may.

Oh, and on the politics front--the fact that I, a semi-literate advanced degree-holding lawyer took a total bath on mutual fund (did my taxes yesterday) in 2004 clearly means that we must privatize social security right now so everyone can gain those guaranteed returns you get when investing in equity securities.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Hillary Clinton 

Steve G. has some wise words about Hillary, who is now supporting a bill to curb "sex-and-violence-drenched TV shows and video games." He writes:
People are beating John Kerry stupid over at Kos for suggesting an alternative to Bush's SS bill. Now, Kerry deserved the knockdown, because he's obviously manuvering to get to the white House. If I fell 119,000 votes short, I'd run again. But because of sins imagined and real, people curse his name as a loser.

But you know, in 20 years of closely following politics, I NEVER once read a story about John Kerry working with Rick Santorum to limit free speech. Yet, like Van Cappelle, many rush to defend her trangulating ways. Hillary Clinton is selling us out, step by step, and the only reason she's a serious presidential contender is celebrity. She's supposed to be some kind of liberal, but every time you pick up the fucking paper, she's telling everyone how moderate she is. I don't hear John Kerry talking about how the Iraqi elections are great or how we need to find middle ground on abortion, and I certainly don't hear that from Howard Dean.

Chuchk Schumer, he can say what he wants. His job is to get pork for NY. Simple as that. But we elected Hillary Clinton to have some kind of conscience. Yet, Kerry, who has been consistent, if not as aggressive as some people would have liked, is supposedly being tossed aside for Clinton, who acts like it's 1996 and Al From has something useful to say.

I live in New York, and I'm growing increasingly frustrated with her stands on issues.

At least with John Kerry, he stayed awake during his Con Law classes at BC. Hillary seems to have missed that entire bit of course work.

Alan, Rick Santorum is a bigot. He hates gays and god knows what he would do if he could do something about them. He doesn't need education, he needs a trip to private life. Lierberman? Well, the NRO supports him.

Study the effect on violent video games on kids for what purpose? To ultimately censor them? Why would Clinton tie herself to this kind of noxious legislation. But her fan club keeps cheering her on. Pretending she isn't moving to screw them in plain sight. Brownback and Santorum are theocrats. Simple as that. Anything they support is poison.

Yet, Hillary, delusionally, thinks she can actually run for President. The people who hate her, hate her with a passion, toss in sexism, and her campaign will flame out unless things change. What is going to lose her support is a relentless quest to make deals with the right to be seen as a moderate. facts don't matter to these people, only the lies they tell and get others to believe. Making nice with Santorum doesn't make you a moderate. It makes you a sucker.
Yeah, I know people hate it when I cut-n-paste, but, there you go.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Deadwood Blogging 

I had a pretty long post on the season premier of Deadwood, but blogger ate it. The point was, mainly, that I didn't much care for this episode because it focused too much on the ever-boring one-trick pony known as Sherriff Seth "Jim J." Bullock. Yeah, I get that he's a bit high-strung. Can't we do something else with his character, or else move him to the background, as they did the second half of last season? ugh...

anyway, I had much more written earlier, but, like the man says, blogger ate it. Oh well.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

More On Bankruptcy Bill 

Here is a letter signed by a whole slew of law professors, including law professor-cum-racquetball expert Douglas G. "The Douglas" Baird, that argues against the bankruptcy bill.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Incompetent Democrats, Terrible Republicans 

Explain this to me. I have received about 10 e-mails from loser John Kerry since he lost the election due to his loserness. Many of them focused on forcing Donald Rumsfeld to resign, mostly due to mistakes made in a war that we started more than two years ago and that John Kerry initially supported no matter what he says. Some of them talked about some health care bill of rights that has absolutely no chance of passing. Yet not one mentioned the god awful bankruptcy bill* that will almost certainly pass in the Senate today. Why?

I suppose some time in 2007 I will receive an e-mail demanding the resignation of Bill Frist because of this bill.

*By the way, I haven't had time to study this bill and it might not be that bad. But as pure politics, it seems like it should be Democratic gold - the GOP and some traitorous Democrats apparently voted down amendments to exempt very sick people and veterans, as well as amendments to end the "asset protection trust", which allows rich people to essentially avoid paying their debts - an option not open to the rest of the country.

As a good U of C grad, I realize that if credit card companies think that lower income people can declare bankruptcy to avoid paying their debts, they will simply stop lending money to such people. If people want to avoid having large amounts of credit card debt, might I suggest that they stop charging things on their credit card that they can't afford. Of course, a large number of these same people apparently voted for George Bush because they thought John Kerry was French looking and they didn't like the idea of the gays a marryin'. I have to be honest, I think it's awesome that some of the people who thought this when they voted last time might lose their house because of this bill (although I am sure their simple minds will still, somehow blame the liberal, Hollywood elite). It's too bad a lot of good people will suffer as well.

Apologies for the outburst. I'll go back to not posting for a month.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


so, work-related update--I just started the first deal where I actually get to supervise a first-year associate. I expect my days at this firm will be numbered.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


So, do we even have a blog anymore? I'm surprised our blogger.com privileges haven't been revoked it's been so long since we've posted (notwithstanding Guthrie's MJ-reenactment post). In any event, I was out in Montana last Thursday through Monday skiing (with, among others, frequent commenter, jk), and, well, I FUCKING loved it; it was FUCKING awesome.* We were out in Big Sky, Montana, just tearing it up (although one of my buddys fell about 3-400 yards (yes, yards) down Lenin from the top of the mountain, which was pretty hairy. Actually, in the first pic below, Lenin is the run off the top face of the mountain--the face of the mountain that's on the left. In any event, here's a couple of pictures:


I'd put up some more if I knew how to make the pictures a bit smaller. Hopefully normal blogging will resume shortly--right now I just don't have much to say on either sports or politics or anything else.

*apologies to my mom and anyone who may be sensitive to such language, but if you were in Big Sky with me, you'd know why I had to write that.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Michael Jackson Trial 

The Michael Jackson trial reenactments on E! are, simply, the greatest accomplishment in the history of Western civilization.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?