Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ashcroft and Gonzalez 

So, both Attorneys General under Bush committed perjury (and probably Contempt of Congress and maybe some other criminal acts) during their confirmation hearings. Great.

Brief Post 

(1) Exxon. Maybe this makes me a bad Democrat, but why are we supposed to be upset that they are making a huge profit? They have something that everyone wants, and people are willing to pay them a shit load of money for it. What's the problem?

(2) Alito. Nice work America. I don't blame the Democrats for this - what could they do? Some on the left are mad they didn't filibuster, but the Republicans have already announced how they would use the nuclear option. I don't get what good a filibuster would have done, but that's just me.

America chose a President who promised to appoint radical conservatives "like Scalia and Thomas" to the court. I believe he has now done so. So, enjoy the new America where when women are raped they have to be kept in prison or supervised by the police until they give birth to a baby they don't want. That is apparently what Americans want, so I guess we can't complain.

Also, reading news reports on this reminded me how a Democratic majority confirmed Clarence Thomas. Nice work, Democrats.

(3) Without knowing the facts, this post by Kos (who I think has been terrible lately) strikes me as right on. It's long, so I just linked to it. I do not understand why we would ever listen to or trust the Democratic establishment, since for 11 years they have presided over the complete disintegration of the Democratic party.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Dumbest Thing Ever Posted on The Corner? 

This might be the dumbest thing ever posted on The Corner, and that's saying something. Corner Poster and According to Jim writer Warren Bell makes the following observation:
K-Lo suggests that Kiefer Sutherland's win in the SAG awards might be a case of Hollywood finally catching up on the war on terror. In fact, "24" co-creator Joel Surnow is openly conservative and part of the reason that the show has a more realistic view of the world than, say, "The West Wing."
As someone who started watching "24" again this year, I can assure you that this just might be the dumbest thing that has ever been written in the history of the world. It's dumb on so many levels that it might even loop back around to smart, but then loop BACK around to dumb again. Amazing.

Drugs for Radiation Poisoning and Other Adventures in Intellectual Property Law 

Last night on 60 Minutes there was a story on Hollis-Eden, a California biotech company whose most-developed product is Neumune, a drug to combat radiation poisoning that victims would take in the aftermath of nuclear/radiological incident. According to the Department of Defense, the drug is best option currently available for preventing the lethal bleedings and infections caused by radiation poisoning.

The point of the 60 Minutes piece was that the government, which should be purchasing possibly millions of doses of this drug and helping to finance the clinical trials, which are currently in Phase I,* is only purchasing 100,000 doses--not nearly enough. 60 Minutes put the blame on HHS and the head of Project Bioshield, Stewart Simonson, the Mike Brown of terrorist threats.

Overall, I think its hard to disagree with the general thrust of this story--assuming this drug is our best current hope, we should be trying to develop it and get it to the major population centers that will be most likely the target of a radiological terrorist attack. My problem lies in how the piece assumed the government should be funding and purchasing this drug from Hollis-Eden. The argument over how much the DoD or HHS will pay to develop this drug is important, but the larger issue is how the government can ensure that drugs like this are developed and stockpiled.

Dean Baker, hero of the Social Security debates of last year, has a post on Maxspeak explaining how patent law distorts drug prices. The post in general is accessible to lay readers, and you all should read it--it is about Tamiflu, but many of same issues arise with Neumune. Baker's conclusion is that we should publicly finance all drugs:
Just for the record, the U.S. government already spends $30 billion a year on biomedical research, primarily through the National Institutes of Health. Everyone (including the pharmaceutical industry) claims that this is money very well spent and the appropriation always enjoys deep bi-partisan support. Why shouldn’t we believe that if we doubled this appropriation, to replace the $25 billion that the drug industry claims to spend on drug research (two-thirds of which goes to research copycat drugs) that we would end up with at least as good progress in developing drugs as what we have at present?

And, if the research funding all took place upfront, then the patents could be placed in the public domain. This would allow all drugs to be sold as generics. It would reduce drug prices by approximately 70 percent, saving approximately $150 billion a year. Half of these savings would go to the government (mostly through paying less for the Medicare prescription drug benefit), which would more than recoup its additional spending on drug research.
I've not thought about this enough to say it should be the case overall, but it certainly has appeal for drugs with major public-health implications, such as Tamiflu or Neumune. So, why is 60 Minutes doing a piece that states that Hollis-Eden is the good guy and the government is the myopic bad guy? The upshot of the piece is that we need Neumune, not that we need Hollis-Eden stockholders to get a solid IRR on their investment. The government shouldn't pay Hollis-Eden to develop and manufacture Neumune, it should pay Hollis-Eden for Neumune, straight up. It should even use its power of eminent domain. There is no reason the government should be paying Hollis-Eden monopoly rents for this drug (it should be noted that, like most drugs, this drug was not developed by Hollis-Eden--according to their SEC filings, H-E licensed it in 1999 from a doctor at Virginia Commenwealth University. This is not to say H-E doesn't have significant R&D expenditures--they do (about $19MM in 2004)

This is really just one of many areas where our intellectual property regime is just not up to snuff. Matthew Yglesias has said the following about copyright law, but it applies to all IP:
Record companies and their movie studio allies have managed to convince a shockingly large swathe of opinion that the purpose of intellectual property law is to prevent copyright infringement. In fact, the purpose is to advance the general welfare of society.
This is important--we needn't be too deferential to the IP rights of either Hollis-Eden or Roche (company that owns Tamiflu). The point of IP law is to promote the general welfare, not to protect the holders of IP rights. And I'd say ensuring that millions don't die from Bird Flu or radiation poisoning is trump here.

Another place where IP law gets in the way is in the copyright of performances. The New York Times has an article from Saturday about the rights a director may or may not have in the performance of a play. Lots of interesting issues, all of which I think are ill-suited in one way or another to be solved by copyright law as we know it.

*note for FDA-semi-literate readers: Because of the ethical problems involved in dosing humans with radiation to test the efficacy of the drug, Neumune is being developed under a rule which can give marketing approval based on safety on humans and efficacy on animals--efficacy on humans need not be demonstrated.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

It seems I owe Jack Goldsmith an Apology 

Not that he knows who I am, as I never had him in class. Nonetheless, I always grouped him with John Woo Yoo as one of those people responsible in no small way for our current lawless executive branch. It seems that's not the case.
Goldsmith was actually the opposite of what his detractors imagined. For nine months, from October 2003 to June 2004, he had been the central figure in a secret but intense rebellion of a small coterie of Bush administration lawyers. Their insurrection, described to NEWSWEEK by current and former administration officials who did not wish to be identified discussing confidential deliberations, is one of the most significant and intriguing untold stories of the war on terror.
This Newsweek article is worth a read--I myself have only skimmed it so far. And, it seems Goldsmith and Deputy AG James Comey both declined to comment for this article. So, a quick comment here is that, at least now that this article is out, let's hope both these individuals start commenting--if John Woo Yoo can write op-eds defending his view of delicious fascism and authoritarianism, Comey and Goldsmith should publicize their side. Hopefully I'll comment more after I read the whole article.

UPDATE: Corrected, as I don't believe the OLC ever advocated a theory of film involving increasing the number of bullets in each successive action sequence by a set ratio; nor has it ever taken a position pro or con on the use of slow-motion images of doves flying.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

5-Second Movie Blogging 

While both the 40-Year-Old Virgin and Wedding Crashers are funny, Wedding Crashers is clearly more funny.

Teh Funny 

The Buffalo Beast gives us the 50 Worst People of 2005. Some fairly random excerpts:
48. Larry the Cable Guy

Charges: The absolute nadir of the American South’s baffling cultural hegemony. A middle-class Nebraskan, raised in Palm Beach, whose parents sent him to private school, masquerading as an Appalachian mutant and making millions off the nine-toed cyclopes in his audience by calling his material “blue collar,” when it’s really just a celebration of proud ignorance. The latest in a long line of “entertainers” propagating the lie that real talent is elitist. The South has risen again—just long enough to grab the rest of the nation by the legs and pull it back down to its Lovecraftian depths. Isn’t even “bad funny.” Makes Jeff Foxworthy look like Chris Rock.

Exhibit A: Ostensibly ‘humorous’ catchphrase translates into “complete the task.”

Sentence: Sent back in time for the sole purpose of having Mark Twain’s cigars extinguished on his face.


41. Charles Krauthammer

Charges: Considered an intellectual authority among neocons, Krauthammer, like his colleagues George Will and Tony Blankley, really only presents a passable facsimile of gravitas, substituting vocabulary for intelligence, mischaracterization for argument, and intolerable haughtiness for authority. The fact that this wanton fascist’s opinions are not only considered fit for mainstream consumption, but among the cream of the conservative crop, is a maddening indictment of both the media and conservative movement.

Exhibit A: Posed a hypothetical scenario involving 9/11 ‘architect’ Kalid Sheikh Mohammed to advocate legalizing torture, when the actual Kalid Sheikh Mohammed was actually tortured without any such legislation.

Sentence: Lockheed-designed bionic exoskeleton he receives from Dick Cheney in exchange for opposing stem cell research goes berserk, ignoring Krauthammer’s excited protestations as it uses its powerful titanium arms to pulverize his loved ones and donate his life savings to Hamas.


17. William A. Donohue

Charges: If Jesus Christ were alive today, Catholic League president Bill Donohue would regularly call him a faggot in casual conversation. Purports to somehow defend Christianity by attacking nearly everybody on the planet in a perpetual frenzy of hateful, red-faced rage. As far as Donohue is concerned, the main focus of Catholicism is to stamp out homosexuality and Hollywood Jews who “like anal sex.”

Exhibit A: When a liberal blogger posted an “O’Reilly Factor” parody transcript wherein Donohue launches a campaign against responding to sneezes by saying “gesundheit” instead of “God bless you,” many failed to get the joke, because, well, it’s just plain realistic.

Sentence: Actually judged by true Christian god.
As they say in bloggerworld, read the whole thing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I do not have time to post now, but I cannot have my good name associated with a blog that says positive things about the Steelers without adding my two cents. I hate the Steelers right now more than I hate myself.

I cannot agree with Goldberg's comments that they would be good teammates.

Exception: Ignoring recent developments, I have never really hated Cowher and he does seem like someone I would want coaching my team. I hate Bettis, but it's mostly hate out of respect, because he has always CRUSHED the Bengals. That said, if his career had ended on a devastating fumble, it would have been the highlight of the year for me.

However, the other people Goldberg names below are scum, are worse than Hitler, etc. Ben Fatlisburgerpieceofshit or whatever his name is: actually, I have thought for over a year that he is an awesome, very underrated QB. However, he is the epitome of a whiny little bitch. He complains about EVERYTHING, regardless of whether his team wins or loses, and according to my sister he was not a good guy in college - so there.

Porter is an asshole, and he says things that are beyond stupid.

Hines Ward is just a piece of human feces. If I was as big and strong as NFL players, I don't know how I could resist punching him in the face. God, I hate him. I'm not even going to say why, he doesn't deserve it. If Hines Ward was starving to death, and all I had to do was wipe my ass to give him a loaf of bread, I would go without wiping my ass for a year just to screw him over.

I don't have time to edit this. Busy at work. I may delete it later, so you probably want to save it for your records.

UPDATE: HA HA HA. I just read (I won't link, it might not be true) that someone vandalized the house of the referee who made that interception call. That's TWO houses vandalized in one season by Steelers fans. GOOD LORD! Even Browns fans have the decency to keep their throwing of things at the stadium.

Porter should have to go clean it up, in lieu of paying a fine.

Hamell on Trial 

I believe I've posted on Hamell on Trial in the past, although I'm to lazy right now to search and find out. He was supposed to play a residency at a place here in New York City in October and I was all jazzed up to go, until I got the following email from a friend:
But I just called the club, and they cancelled his residency 40 minutes into his first gig because "he was saying very rude things in the microphone and harrassing one of the waitresses from the stage."
Anyway, it seems Hamell has made the blogospheric BIGTIME, as his song about Ann Coulter has been linked to by Atrios. It's a decent song. More importantly, Hamell will be back in New York City in February and March, not just doing concerts, but performing a one-man theatrical show (including music) called "An Evening of Politics, Polemics and Pills" and done in connection with his new album produced by Ani DiFranco, "Songs for Parents Who Enjoy Drugs." Should be great. I'll be here at one of the March dates.

Oh, and going around his website, I found this interview, which, besides being generally good and interesting, had this great quote: "Anyone whose favorite band is Wilco should really listen to more music."

Football Blogging--Post-Divisional Edition 

First thing I'll do is, I think, probably piss off the Bears fan readers. All year this was 2001 repeated, in only a slightly different form. In 2001, the Bears went 13-3, but, as you will recall, there were a couple miraculous victories in that bunch--some hail marys, some improbably Mike Brown interception returns. Like this year, that division had two teams with 5 or fewer victories. And like this team, that team had a great defense, surrendering 203 points (the 2005 Bears gave up 202 points). And, both teams gave up serious points in their playoff losses--33 to Philly in 2002, and 29 to Carolina in 2006.

All this by way of saying that both teams, in my opinion, were paper tigers. Now, I don't remember the Chicago-Philly playoff game in 2002, but I do remember this weekend's Carolina game, and, well, that Bears defense was no Ravens 2000 defense (or Bears 1985 defense, but I don't remember that, either). So, there you go.

Now, on to the other Sunday game, Pittsburgh at Indy. This game has pretty much been analyzed to death (and for good reason!), so I'm not going to waste your time. I do want to link to King Kaufman in Salon yesterday, as he talked about something I was screaming about Sunday--namely, that a catch is a catch if the guy catches it, and we needn't spend time worrying about "football moves" and all that bullshit. Similarly, "down by contact" really just means "tackled", so I don't understand why annoucners and officials harp on those magic words, either. And, in general, instant replay has somehow begun sucking royally, and either needs to be fixed or just done away with.

This weekend, we have Pitt at Denver and Carolina at Seattle. All of sudden, after hearing for weeks how great the home teams have fared thoughout playoff history, it's now cool to pick the road teams, especially these two road teams. To be sure, these teams seem to have figured something out about playing on the road, but to win in Denver in January--that's a pretty tough task.

Anyway, on a more personal note, a weird thing that's happened is that I have some sort of real rooting interest in the Steelers, and, well, that just shouldn't be. I'm a true-blue Browns fan, and therefore should hate the Steelers. I think there are three reasons for this, though: (1) I like the Steelers at the individual level--Bettis, Roethlisberger, Ward, Porter, Cower--I mean, those are guys I'd like to have on my team; (2) for three years in college Cleveland had no team and the guy I watched football with almost every Sunday was a Steelers fan, and unlike, say, watching Bears games with my Bears fans friends, doing this didn't make me like the team less; and (3) with Cleveland so bad all these years, how can I really get all that worked up about a divisional rivalry?

Predictions: I really have no idea. Maybe everyone is right and both road teams will win. Or maybe not.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Football Blogging, Trick Play Edition 

Why did Pittsburgh use that awesome direct-snap-to-randle-el-across-field-lateral-to-big-ben-deep-pass play against Cincy, in a game they were in the process of putting away, instead of save it for use against the Colts?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Abramoff Story is Corruption, Not Lobbying 

Lobbying is a pretty slimy area, at least a lot of the time. It is, however, legal. Corruption and bribery, of course, is not. That's really the story here. All this "lobbying reform" talk is bullshit--it's the politicians, not the lobbyists, who are the real bad actors here. Mark Schmitt makes the case:
Please, Don't Say "Lobbying Reform"

Democrats and Republicans are falling over each other to introduce "lobbying reform" bills -- requiring lobbyists to disclose contacts with legislators, banning trips, etc. By the end of next week, we will have between two and four lobbying reform packages, and will enter a ridiculous debate about which bill would leave fewer loopholes.

Can I take this Sunday evening calm to plead with Democrats not to go down this road. Where’s George Lakoff when we need him??? Please don’t reinforce the frame that this is a "lobbying scandal" and the villain a "lobbyist" named Jack Abramoff. That’s the other side’s frame. This is not a lobbying scandal. It’s a betrayal-of-public-trust scandal. Lobbyists have no power, no influence, until a public servant gives them power. That’s what DeLay and the K Street Project was all about. What they did was to set up a system by which lobbyists who proved their loyalty in various ways, such as taking DeLay and Ney on golf trips to Scotland, could be transformed from supplicants to full partners in government.

Abramoff did lots of terrible things and should go to jail, but never forget that every single criminal and unethical act of his was made possible by a public official. On his own, Abramoff had no power. At another time -- say, 1993 -- he would have been a joke.

But every time we say "lobbying reform," we reinforce the idea that it is the lobbyist who is the wrongdoer. Sure, many lobbyists are slimy and aggressive. (Others, in my experience, can be helpful and informative, as long as you understand that they represent only one side of an argument.) But no one forces any legislator or staffer to accept lunches, trips, or favors from a lobbyist. And the reason not to do that is that the legislator risks surrendering some of her power, which is a public trust, to these private interests.

I’ll have more to say on specific proposals for reform in a day or two (hint: the best way to prevent these scandals is to put a watchdog on every member of Congress, in the form of an adequately funded challenger), but I just want to get this plea in immediately, to avoid the language that reinforces the idea that congressional leaders are helpless pawns of malevolent lobbyists.
Exactly. Here's a specific example provided by a commenter on Digby's Blog:
I think the simplest story that reveals the difference between what people perceive as 'big-business influence through lobbying" (which they relate to both parties) and the Culture of Corruption swirling around the Republicans is the one involving the Magazine Publishers of America.

Back in 2000 the magazine industry hired Abramoff as a lobbyist (he was then at Preston Gates Ellis) to help stem a proposed rise in postal rates. Now, most people can understand why the magazine industry would not want higher postal rates: it affects the bottom line of their business. Aside from printing, postage is one of their biggest costs. No one, of course, likes higher postal rates (and no one particularly wants magazine subscription rates to rise). But sometimes they are necessary to keep the postal system running. Nonetheless, it would seem perfectly legitimate for the MPA to hire a lobbyist to try to put their case before congressional members. One would assume the USPS would similarly be trying to jawbone legislators to present their side of the story, arguing FOR the need to raise postal rates. Senators and representatives should then duly consider the arguments from both sides and come to a decision about whether rates should rise or not.

This is not what happened. Mr. Abramoff was paid $525,000 by the MPA to seek a postal rate reduction in Congress. Did he make a heckuva case for them? Not exactly: he asked the MPA to give an additional $25,000 to a Seattle-based charity (slush fund) he'd helped found--and then he used that money (as well as another $25K from elottery) to help pay the salary for the wife of Tom Delay staff member Tony Rudy. It's called money laundering and bribery.

It's okay for lobbyists to collect money from clients to argue their cases before legislators. It's even okay (though problematic) for businesses or interests who have a stake in congressional legislation to try to elect the people they think can help them by donating to their campaigns, within the law. (Though I'd like to see changes in those laws.) What's not okay is money laundering and bribery. That is what a number of Republican Congressmen and their staffers are involved in here .... but no Democrats, to our knowledge.

The Democrats may be too tied to corporate contributions, and it's a problem that needs to be addressed. But we have thus far not seen any widespread shakedown, extortion, bribery, money-laundering schemes to which high-level Democrats or their staffers were party.

It's an easier story to understand than the baroque Indian tribe one (though smaller in scale). But it's been going on a long time, and DeLay and his staffers were at the very heart of it.

And yeah.... the Republicans are famous for defending their own until the fire gets too hot. The Democrats let go of Trafficante the moment his shenanigans hit the fan (it might even have been before), disavowing him. The Republicans have been trying to defend DeLay even AFTER his indictment. They got him to relinquish his leadership role, but they have in no way repudiated him formally.
The Traficant comment is a good one, too. That guy was ridiculously corrupt.

UPDATE: More fun Traficant info. Of course, it should be noted he was a lone wolf, and not emblematic of any systemic failures, unlike the current scandal vis-a-vis the Republican House.

Monday, January 09, 2006

NFL Prediction 

I am basing this partly on an overreaction, partly on some internet rumors (that I fear are well founded but that I will not link to), and partly on an educated guess based on reading basically every media report on the Bengals available on the internet during the last few years (and hence having some knowledge of the personalities involved).

Chad Johnson has played his last game for the Bengals.

I put my confidence level in this prediction at around 60%.

I'd write more, but I think I am now going to go vomit.


Although they are really only reporting on the existence of the rumor, and although the Cincinnati Enquirer is probably no better than a random web site, part of the reason for my prediction is reported here.

Football Blogging 

Just some quick blogging before I head over to barbri (yes, it sucks as much or more the second time around, btw [and no, I never failed a bar exam--I'm taking it in a new state]). First and foremost, let's sympathize with Guthrie and also hope that Carson Palmer is healthy for the 2006 opener. His getting injured was certainly no fun to watch and took away greatly from the game.

Other thoughts on that game: Should or should not, especially in the second half playing with a lead, Jerome Bettis be Pittsburgh's feature back in these playoffs? I say yes. I also say it's fairly unlikely they'll get the kind of grind-the-clock game where that can happen with the Colts, so who knows. That said, I don't count the Steelers out of that game.

New England vs. Denver certainly looks on paper to be the game of next week. I think I may have some social engagements Friday night--I just hope wherever I have to go will have a TV. I haven't seen Denver play in a long time, but I do recall thinking that they were the real deal at the time. Then again, if anyone can make Jake Plummer revert to being Jake Plummer before he acquired the Mustache of Football Understanding, it's Bill Belichick. That game may or may not depend on what Corey Dillon can do (because, whenever you think NE needs to run to win, they win without running). Also, back to Jake Plummer: mustachioed or not, it's Plummer vs. Tom Brady.

NFC games: I think Carolina has a great shot against Chicago; Washington, not so much. Maybe if Moss runs back a punt or something.

Friday, January 06, 2006


Playoffs. I haven't posted about the Bengals that much, because there hasn't been that much to complain about. That might change Sunday. But, for now, we are in the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. In other words, the last time the Bengals were in the playoffs, the internet didn't even exist as something that everyday people could use, George Bush was President and I was 13 years old. It's been a long time coming.

Everyone in the Bengals organization deserves congratulations, with the exception of the Brown family. I do not forgive Mike Brown, and he and his ilk deserve nothing. Since he stole fifteen years of my football life, he will only be forgiven AFTER the Bengals are competitive for fifteen straight years. (We will allow one or two 7-9 or 8-8 seasons to be thrown into that mix, to make up for similar seasons the Bengals teased us with during the Dark Ages.)

Because I am the better person, I am also going to allow Mike Brown the opportunity to shave years off the fifteen year probationary period. First, a full five years will be removed if the Bengals ever win a Super Bowl. If the Bengals win consecutive Super Bowls, an additional two years will be removed (for a total of twelve years). [Note, this only applies to forgiving Mike Brown. Obviously, the Sports Guy's five year rule - i.e., that you cannot complain about your team within five years of winning a championship - would still apply.] These two are non-negotiable - if the Bengals win the allotted Super Bowls and are reasonably competitive for a few years, Mike Brown will be forgiven.

There are other opportunities to lower the probationary period, but they are more discretionary. One half of a year will be removed if the Bengals play in an AFC Championship game but lose. Two full years will be removed if the Bengals win an AFC Championship Game but lose the Super Bowl. However, these years will not be removed if the Bengals lose the Championship Game or Super Bowl in a way that (1) is extremely depressing and/or (2) can be directly tied to Mike Brown's cheapness. (Example: we lose the game because Carson Palmer gets hurt on a practice field that would have been in better condition but for the Bengals' cheapness.)

In general, years can be added at my discretion even if the Bengals are competitive if Mike Brown does anything cheap or miserly or Republican-like that makes rooting for the Bengals miserable (e.g., starts owning slaves). However, this rule does NOT apply if the Bengals win a Super Bowl or Bowls. In other words, Mike Brown can cheat, lie and screw people over all he wants IF it leads to a Bengals Super Bowl. However, if he does these things and the Bengals fall short, I can and will at my discretion add years to the probabtionary period.

Note that the entire clock can be reset if the Bengals flat out suck for a year (and it's not clear that they're just rebuilding for a year or suffered catastrophic injuries).

Also note that this is a long term probationary period. In no way am I suggesting that THIS YEAR'S Bengals team must or will win any playoff games. That is highly unlikely. I'm actually counting this as year two of just competitive football - the two 8-8 Marvin Lewis seasons shall count as one year. Therefore, at this rate, Mike Brown would be forgiven at the end of the 2018 NFL regular season.

Until then, Mike Brown Sucks. If it's Brown, flush it down. Mike Brown, Step Down.

I strongly suggest that all Bengals fans follow this advice.

Finally, go Bengals. WHO DEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing Going On Here! 

Random headline on CNN:
NSA: Amanpour, other CNN reporters not targeted for surveillance
OK, it's not that random: you can see what the hubbub is about here (scroll down). But when an obscure blogosphere allegation is suddenly denied very publicly by the NSA, I can only draw one conclusion: Amanpour and other CNN reporters were targeted for surveillance.

This is the same reason that I am pretty sure Mike Piazza is gay. I had never thought about Mr. Piazza's sexuality one way or the other, then one day I saw a headline on ESPN that said something like "Piazza Statement: I Am Not Gay." Well, that pretty much convinced me that he was gay.

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