February 03, 2007

Super Bowl LXI: FWIW, the Chicago Bears owner, Virginia McCaskey, is a diehard Repubican, while Colts owner Jim Irsay has largely contributed to Democrats. The teams' stars go the opposite way: Peyton Manning was a Corker man in the last cycle, while Brian Urlacher's one contribution went to a Democratic congressional candidate two years ago. It appears that Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith are skinflints when it comes to politics, but Mike Ditka isn't; he has been a reliable GOP donor for years. [h/t via Daily Kos]


February 02, 2007

The phenomenum surrounding clubs that cater to under-21's is explored here, including a profile of Jim Smith*, proprietor of iconic hipster hangout The Smell in downtown Los Angeles.

*Brother of me.

February 01, 2007

We may be seeing the beginning of the end of the Vice Presidency of Dick Cheney. If this is true (and suffice it to say that FBI agents are trained to ensure they accurately account what they are told by witnesses), Cheney's top aide confessed that his boss told him the identity of a CIA agent, then aggressively lobbied to have her outed to the media on the most specious and petty of grounds. The Bush Administration is going to have cut this guy loose pretty soon or their whole closet is going to begin smelling.
Media Matters is a useful website, especially when it examines the assumptions behind many a false cable news report, but it would do a much better job if it got it's tongue out of the anus of the Democratic Party. A female Presidential candidate rhetorically asking how she is equipped to deal with "evil men," and alluding to the husband who was brutally disparaged by his foes while he was President, and who, on numerous occasions, betrayed their wedding vows, but whom she still loves, is being witty; it's taking a potential weakness (her marriage-of-convenience to Bill Clinton) that's on the subconscious of everyone in the audience, and making a self-deprecating reference that lightens the tension.

On the other hand, perceived references to "Ken Starr", "Newt Gingrich", "Dick Cheney", et al., aren't witty; they're banal partisan jibes. Regardless of what Hillary Clinton intended, the joke is only funny (and she did say she was trying to joke) if the "evil men" line refers to her husband. The Democrats already pay people whose sole responsibility it is to generate propaganda for the party, so unless Media Matters is getting a healthy stipend, it isn't worth it to be compromising it's integrity on something so silly.

January 30, 2007

You know you have an especially thin skin if you get all angry and emotional every time the President refers to the "Democrat Party." If it's a slur, it's an extremely petty one. More than twenty-five years ago, when I was working for a Democratic state legislator, we would "push poll" Republicans and identify our guy as the "Democrat candidate." It enabled us to inform the person at the other end of the phone that we were honest-to-goodness, rock-ribbed Republicans of the Bircher stripe, and thus made it easier to stick the shiv in when we asked if it would effect their vote if they knew the GOP candidate was a Klansman, or performed abortions, or whatever it was we wanted to communicate.

As Congressman Miller said, it's code, like flashing gang signals, that indicates the speaker is from the far right. It's not like being called the n-word, or using the word "Jew" as a verb or adjective, and the number of people who are so identified with that amorphous ideological blob known as the Democratic Party who could rightly take offense is so minuscule as to be irrelevant.
Far be it from me to criticize the sources of revenue for the local government, but the County of Los Angeles last year made a profit of $3.6 million in fees from online searches of Superior Court cases. Most judicial districts either give the info away for free as a public service, or charge a nominal fee. Sweet.

January 29, 2007

Resistance Is Not Futile: A good exegesis of the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act (BARF), here. It's a good take on what an honest judge can do to when confronted by a statute drafted by morons:
The problems with the 2005 Act are breathtaking. There are typos, sloppy choices of words, hanging paragraphs, and inconsistencies. Worse, there are largely pointless burdensome new requirements, overlapping layers of screening, mounds of new paperwork, and structural incoherence. These are dark days for all bankruptcy professionals and both judges and debtors' lawyers are on the front lines. Resistance is key to self-respect as well as necessary to keep the system operating in ways that catch abuses while providing bankruptcy relief, at the lowest possible cost, to those who need it.
The main problem with BARF, the article notes, is that it was drafted by the none-too-bright hired guns of the credit industry, who focused primarily on granting their clients' wishlists rather than designing an intellectually consistent (but perhaps politically less palatable) law. By enacting a poorly-crafted law, Congress gave judges the freedom to interpret the law in a manner different from how the credit industry lobbyists and their vassals in Congress may have intended, relying instead on the reasons stated for its passage, on the record (ie., to "protect consumers" and "reduce fraud").
A.A.R. sold, Franken leaves: The new owner is the brother of perennial New York candidate Mark Green. Franken's show was the only good thing about the network; about half the programming for the LA affiliate is non-AAR (ie., Stephanie Miller and Big Ed Schulz), and the few times I listened to the carwreck they aired in the evenings, it seemed little different than dittohead agitprop for lefties.

January 28, 2007

Apparently, St. Joseph's going to do the old "National Interest" thing in the next election. Pretty big of him, don't you think? What was Gore thinking....