Archive for July, 2007

Um, WTF? I don’t remember this from the confirmation hearings. What if the Chief Justice dies today? Who will preside over the impeachment trial for George W. Bush? There is nothing in the Constitution about who steps up as Chief Justice if the current one can’t do the job… the President has to nominate a new one, and the Senate has to confirm a nominee. And This Senate sure as hell isn’t going to just confirm any old yokel that Dubya comes up with to replace Roberts, not after the fiasco that’s still going on under Bush-nominee Gonzales at DOJ.

Sure, it’s not like Roberts has his finger on the button or anything, but how are we supposed to know that he’s not severely brain damaged now? And imaginge the confirmation hearings if the headlines had been, “President nominates man with history of seizures to be Chief Justice?”

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Divorced adulterer and disgraced former congressman Newt Gingrich is still pretending that he might run for President.  Since Frederick of Hollywood and RUDY RUDY RUDY have both survived their failed marriages (er, to be fair, Rudy has survived two marriages, so maybe the third time’s the charm?), Newt would be in fine company.  But this sort of rhetoric won’t help his chances:

We should basically fundamentally replace the Detroit school system with a series of experiments to see if they’ll work.

And for all those kids who are part of the “experiments” that fail?  Well, since we’re talking about Detroit, I’m sure Newt thinks that they’ll either get shot, arrested, or they’ll run away to Canada before they’re old enough to vote.  No big loss.  This obviously has nothing to do with Newt’s longstanding feud with unions or his love affair with charter schools.   And it can’t be a result of his quiet racism, or bad blood with Detroit in general (Hey Newt, what kind of car do you drive these days?)  As we all know, the government has our best interests in mind, and Newt would naturally work hard to continue in that great tradition.

Besides, who needs to win Michigan when you can steal Ohio?

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IRS and FBI are currently searching Ted Stevens’ (R-AK) house.

Federal investigators and a grand jury looking into public corruption in Alaska have been asking questions about a 2000 remodeling project that more than doubled the size of Stevens’ home — particularly the involvment of the oil field services firm Veco. Three contractors who worked on the project told the Daily News that their records had been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury, and others connected with the work and with Stevens had been interviewed.

One of the contractors who worked on the job said he was hired by Veco CEO Bill Allen for the job, and while his bills were paid by Stevens and his wife, Catherine, invoices were reviewed first by Veco.

Allen and a Veco vice president pleaded guilty in May to bribery, extortion and other charges connected with paying off state legislators.

Of course, Stevens is guilty as hell.  The problem here is that this guy Bill Allen has already pled guilty to bribing him.  I realize that there is an issue of mens rea, and it is possible that Stevens didn’t realize that he was being bribed.  After all, there is some history of his questionable intelligence; Stevens is best-known to those of us who aren’t lucky enough to be represented by him as the chowderhead who infamously described the internet as a “series of tubes.”

But bribery is a crime with two perps- the one who gives the money, and the one who receives it.  When the giver confesses, the other guy has already lost the prisoner’s dilemna.  The only question now is, is there any money left, and will the FBI find it?

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I’ve been waiting four months to read these words.

Resolved: That the Committee on the Judiciary shall investigate fully whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to impeach Alberto Gonzales for high crimes and misdemeanors.

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Of course the really damning thing is that just about everyone did anticipate this moment.  That cartoon is from March of 2007.  The yield curve on US treasuries has been predicting a stock market crash for at least the last 15 months.  Thursday and Friday we began to see the first evidence of the “correction.”  I’m sure that the market has farther to fall before it bottoms out.  I’ve been reading about the “housing bubble” for two years or more.  I used to live in the SF Bay Area, so perhaps I’m more sensitive to this than the rest of the country, but the point is sound: when you’re on a 2-year ARM loan and your mortgage “re-prices” itself after two years, your surprise is not convincing.

Likewise, when Bear Stearns loses ten billion dollars’ worth of their investors’ money in a matter of weeks because they gambled it all on the unlikely chance that all of those losers with sub-prime loans would actually make their payments, they have no one to blame but themselves.

And sure it sucks to lose your house.  But that doesn’t mean you get to act surprised about it when it happens.

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We read about this concept in torts class.   I guess I thought I would never see it outside of a casebook.  Thanks to rotten.com, it is possible to see the sort of news that even Fark won’t print.  This is terrible for all of the parties involved- for the child, who has a “normal life expectancy” but will spend the next 76.2 years as a vegetable; for the doctor, who apparently failed to diagnose a problem in what was supposedly his area of specialty; for the parents, who now must suffer the agony of having TWO children afflicted with this grevious disorder; and for the state of Florida, whose legislators will surely decline to pay the balance of the $21,000,000 judgement awarded to the parents.

Daniel and Amara Estrada claimed in the lawsuit that if their first child’s condition — a genetic disorder called Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome — had been correctly diagnosed, a test would have indicated whether their second child would also be afflicted. If they had known, they would have terminated the pregnancy.

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Three bullet holes in the forehead doesn’t really leave any doubt about how it happened.  The only questions left are: 1. was it regular military, or a mercenary?  and 2. did the murderer do it on his own initiative, or did someone order him to do it?

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