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Saturday, April 27, 2002

Pinning the Claudometer-"Motorcycle Clubs Have History of Run-ins with Law Enforcement "-No kidding, Sherlock!

A Chauvinist Pig?-I haven't seen anyone take a cheap shot at Jesse Helms having a pig valve replaced in his heart. That's a James Brown curveball; it hangs there saying "Hit Me!!" However, no one's touched it as of yet. I'd expect somebody to say he's a pig at heart or something to that effect, but no one has as of yet.

Lots of Corner hits for Emily Stimpson, Mark Shea and newbie Anne Wilson. I'm one click away from a lot of traffic. Interesting.

Midday musings Another good family essay from Possumblog on child manners. A kid who says "thank you", "please" and "sir" and knows where the can-of-whuppin' is stashed is one to be prized. Quick question-how far back does the "can of whupp-a**" phrase go? I first heard it in a bowdlerized version in the Bracketville adds two years ago, where an elderly gent comes into Bracketville Hardware asking for whuppin' in a can. I've seen it quite a bit in the original form since, with even Jonah talking about Mohammed getting out a clay urn of it in this column. Even The West Wing's used it, as McGarity put the cocky British ambassador in his place by mentioning that we use a big can of it at Yorktown. [update 4/29-MacDara Conroy reported that it was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin about '96 who popularized it] Ben has a good piece on the Vanishing Gentleman. The first part is a vivisection of the morals (or lack thereof) of The Bachelor, but hang in there for the second half, it's not just another take-down of Hollywood sleaze. Chris Johnson < jaw drop> agrees with a SL Post Dispatch editoral </jaw drop> on applying RICO to Operation Rescue. The liberal-leaning PD is worried, since it stifles civil disobedience on the left as well as the right. Susanna Cornett has a good essay on forgiveness and consequences of one's actions as relates to the Pervy Priest issue. She also has the details on Federal District doofus Judge Rakoff's current legal stunt on the dealth penalty. Added a few newbies to the links. Kevin James, Ben Kepple,Martin Roth, Matt Rubush, Mark Shea the Volokh Brothers and Anne Wilson are new additions to the list.

Reparations Part III- Just Say No, Gray (But We'll Have Fun if You Do Say Yes). What pulled my chatty-ring on this topic was this piece on Gray Davis toying with the idea of reparations. He would have to be very stoopid to go anywhere near proposing any significant payment. Since California's only 6.4% black, there's not a huge political advantage for Davis to be running on this issue. In fact, he should be running from this issue. However, Davis may be stuck playing identity politics, afraid of ticking off the black vote. This won't help the big Latino population, since it will be out of everyone's pocket that a settlement will be paid, not just Anglos. The best he could in the line of racial damage control is say, "It would be nice to do that someday, but not now. We don't have the money." That gives a rhetorical bone to the Sharptons of the world while not committing himself to anything. However, that will give Simon's friends a great sound bite for an attack ad. I'd suggest an independent group run the ad, since it would be rather radioactive (but effective) to pointedly accuse Davis of playing the race card and kissing Jesse's backside. The gutsy move would be to say, "That was two centuries ago, we need to move on." He'd get more brownie points with the general population than he'd lose from the Afroweenies. However, if Davis has half-an-eye out for 2004, he may want not to tick off a big block in a Democratic primary. He's playing with fire if he does give lukewarm endorsement of reparations, but there are plenty of pyrophiles in the Donkey Clan.

Reparations Part II- Is this what we really want? Let's start from the point of a twenty-trillion dollar settlement for slavery, given the round figures of four million slaves as of 1860 with five million in damages for each. There are roughly 35 million Americans of African descent. If divided evenly, each would get about $570,000. Sounds good, a black couple or single mom and child household's are now millionaires. Fair payback for the two centuries plus of crap they've had do deal with? I'd like to do a top-of-the-head economic analysis of what the 20 trillion settlement would do to the economy. I'll in all likelihood be leave a few things out, but let's take a quick-'n-dirty on what this would look like. My first question is-"where does the money come from"? Let's assume for the moment that the federal government issues debt for the amount. Each black person would get $570,000 in 30-year treasury bonds. Since there are only 19.5 trillion dollars (as of February) in total US debt, this would flood the debt market, driving interest rates up dramatically. 20% interest rates wouldn't be a bad estimate of what the long-term bond market would look like. Since there's only 8 trillion in cash available to buy these bonds, the Fed would have to have a hugely expansionary monetary policy. A three-fold increase in price levels wouldn't be out of the question, and is likely very conservative. This could result in some very nasty hyperinflation that could have hundered-fold increase in price levels, but I'll stick with 200% inflation for now. The $570,000 will become worth $190,000 with 200% inflation. Picture a flock of blacks each with hundreds of thousands in assets, snapping up houses, cars, furniture, etc. Taxes would go up. Assuming a 20% interest rate for the new debt, a four trillion dollar interest payment would be due each year on the debt. This isn't counting refinancing existing debt at higher interest rates. Even adjusted for our inflation, that would be 1.67 trillion. Taxes would have to roughly double to cover the debt payments. Interest rates would rise further to reflect 30% income tax rates on the working class and 80% taxes on the wealthy. The economy would go in the tank under the burden of the high taxes. Other developed countries would see an influx of capital, as Americans tried to flee the stagnating economy. To make the reparations plan feasible, the total payout would have to be a lot less than the $20 trillion mentioned above. However, anything much less than that would be sneered at as only a token payment for what the slaves went through. We can't begin to repay that debt. We can set up policies that help the poor of all races get a good education and set up policies that make it easier for people to have access to capital, but the price tag for truly compensating the descendants of slaves is too high, and would do Americans of all races a disservice.

Reperations Part I- Ex Post Facto-I remember a textbook problem in one of my Managerial Finance texts, where a low-level functionary exclaims "A trained monkey could do my job!" The (tongue severely in cheek) exercise was then to see where replacing the cubicle rat with a trained monkey would have a positive net present value. Of course, when you have capital equipment, you need to factor in the salvage value (what the equipment will be worth at the end of the time frame). I remember saying something close to "I'm not a animal-rights type, but having a 'salvage value' for a living being seems wrong. I'm glad we didn't have to calculate NPVs during slavery." One of my Afro-American students took offence, even though I was recoiling from the idea of having to deal with human beings as property. Right now, if MegaMart was using trained chimps to be stockboys, it would be legal. Chimps aren't human, aren't legal persons and can be owned. Fast forward to 2075, and chimps have been granted personhood. Can the descendents of Bobo and Chippy sue MegaMart for enslaving their grandparents? Can an insurance company be sued for including Bobo and Chippy in MegaMart's property insurance? That sounds a bit like an ex-post-facto law. While you can't apply criminal law retroactively, tort law can be applied retroactively. There is likely better case law to cite from, but I did find this this Sixth Circuit case stating that "ex post facto principles have no application in civil contexts, but instead apply only to punitive legislation." Yes, Bobo's grandchimps could file suit. Afroweenies have taken inspiration from the lawsuits against companies that benefited from slave and POW labor in Nazi Germany and have started to sue companies that were involved in slavery-related economics. There weren't too many incorporated plantations, so there aren't many legal persons who were slave-holders to sue. However, many big insurance companies of today were around at the time, writing policies on slaves and other property. The trick will be to show how the remote act of writing insurance would contribute to the cause of slavery. I don't think the lack or presence of insurance policies would have had much effect on slavery in the south, but if you can say it had a 1% effect, that could be a huge effect. There were just under four million slaves as of the 1860 census. If each slave was awarded five million dollars ( a fair guess of what a jury might award) for his pain and suffering, there would be a twenty trillion dollar settlement. Just 1% of that would be 200 billion dollars, more than enough to wreck the insurance industry. This is why this issue could sneak in under radar and cripple the economy. For the hard-core Marxists on the left, wrecking the economy is a goal, which is what this would do.

Law to be Kicked Upstairs- It looks increasingly like Cardinal Law will be assigned to a Vatican position. That will be a good face-saving move as long as the new position in the Vatican is seen to be "being kicked upstairs." If his new post has any significant power, then they're better off giving him early retirement.

Quip du jour- "It is better to lend a hand than to lend sympathy"-Last night's fortune cookie Edifier du jour- "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:16 Front Page Haiku Reggie catches, spins Buzzer-beater an airball Pacers down 2-1

Friday, April 26, 2002

Dove Rundown- Here's a list of the nominees and the winners. This piece in Christianity Today's blog questions why some of the top selling albums were dissed. Well, Manheim Steamroller's not a Christian group to the best of my knowledge, so Smitty has more of a following among voters. The O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack may have looked more bluegrass than Christian to the voters. Here's a quick take of the catagories I can speak with some clarity about. Pick on Hokie Pundit if you want an informed take on the rock catagories. Song of the Year-I Can Only Imagine - Solid choice. I'd have voted for Above All Male Vocalist- Mac Powell- I'd have gone with Steven Curtis Chapman, but Powell's not a bad choice. The Third Day leader brings some fresh blood to the award. Female Vocalist- Nicole C. Mullen -no problems there Group- Third Day - no problems there- Come Together's one of the albums I don't have that I will be getting in the near future. I like Avalon and Point of Grace better overall, but not for this year. Artist of the Year-Michael W. Smith - His musicianship on Worship gets the award. Powell may have the more evokative voice, but Smitty's still the better all-around musician. New Artist - ZOEgirl - no real contest there Pop Song -I Can Only Imagine- I'd have gone with Call on Jesus, but that would be my second pick of the lot. Inspirational Song- Above All- I said it was an instaclassic. Pop Album-Declaration- no compaints there-I've got the album in the collection. Praise and Worship Album- Worship- Let My Words Be Few's in my collection, but Worship's is in my car's CD player right now.

Read the whole text, Mark, not just the sound bites- Ben points out that the anti-pedaphile wordage is stronger than it seems.
2) We will propose that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recommend a special process for the dismissal from the clerical state of a priest who has become notorious and is guilty of the serial, predatory, sexual abuse of minors. 3) While recognizing that the Code of Canon law already contains a judicial process for the dismissal of priests guilty of sexually abusing minors, we will also propose a special process for cases which are not notorious but where the Diocesan Bishop considers the priest a threat for the protection of children and young people, in order to avoid grave scandal in the future and to safeguard the common good of the Church.
I jumped all over part #2 and didn't even see part #3. Mea culpa. This may work after all. If the bishop thinks the priest's a threat to the kids and the Church, yerottahere. However, getting the bishops to pull the trigger on such defrockings will be the trick.

"If you can't be anything else, you can always be ... a bad example."- Chretien shows how not to do damage control.
In a rallying call to his government, Mr. Chrétien defended his MPs in the House of Commons and told them in a caucus meeting that it is time to "go ahead and fight the press" and tell the nation "we're honest."
Anytime a politician has to proclaim he's honest, you know he's in a massive pile of ethical doo-doo. In the most recent case, it's Heritage Minister Sheila Copps is getting big campaign contribtions from a benefactor of her department. I'm not sure why the charm offencive is going down. The Liberals have at least three years left before they have to go to the polls. The could be in CYA mode so that the provincial Libs don't tank in the process.

Europop?-Kevin James has a good essay on how France should go about getting rid of the Euro, titled "There must be 50 ways to leave the Euro." With max appoligies to Paul Simon, here's the chorus to the song
Go with the buck, Chuck A new currency board, Gord Link to the yen, Ben Just get yourself free. A link to the pound's sound No loonies that are round Just let it float free, Lee And get yourself free.
In all seriousness, James has laid out a solid framework for transitioning the Franc Nouveau (now that sound like some sort of Techno band) away from linkage from the Euro.

Battle Axes-We've had a week-and-a-half of blogfire over guitars in church. Mark Butterworth has a good essay on the issue, as does Bryan Preston, who has gone mano-a-mano with Louder Fenn's bro Jimmy Tomato. Nothing like a good catfight to get things rolling. While I'm over at Mr. Butterworth's he makes a nice riff off my Ivory Soap reference from yesterday.

Groaner du jour- from the new Kesher Talk contributer
I am Rami Genauer, an expatriate Seattlite living in New York and currently writing for The Forward newspaper. There, as here, I am the token Orthodox Jewish guy, a position I love. I am a political conservative, and yes I do know how silly it sounds to be an Orthodox Conservative (In fact, if I ever get around to starting an organization for like-minded people and then we need to change something, you could call that Orthodox Conservative Reform. Sorry, I should have saved that until we knew each other better.).
No appoligies needed. That OCR sure is Hebrew, since it reads from right to left.

Clusteritis-Interesting piece from Capt.' Clueless on the clusterization of blogspace. People tend to link to likeminded people and you will tend to get clusters of like-minded people.
The new cluster I just stumbled on is the Catacomb (my name). It's Christians, concerned with issues of religion and how it affects life and politics and things like that. Some examples of this cluster are Amy Welborn and Eve Tushnet and Mark Shea.
The Catacomb seems to be the Catholic cluster rather than a pan-Christian cluster, which seems to be a bit more insular than some other sectors; I seem to be an honorary member. There is a cluster of Evangelical Politicos that form a second Christian grouping who deal with each other and have frequent links to the Secular Conservatives. The Catacombs and the EP make up my Posse. Some people fit neatly into one sector, while others fit in many categories. I seem to hang out with the Catacomb, the Evangelical Politicos, the Secular Conservatives and the Classic Warbloggers. I might give a cluster analysis of these categories tomorrow morning.

Sky-crapers-I just got a Google hit looking for stuff on a "Milan Skycraper." Sure enough, I had left off the second s in skyscraper in my post-I just fixed it. Got a good chuckle out of the image of guano-bombing pigeons. The typo was weird enough, what's weirder is someone searching for my typo. I was thinking back to a car ad a half-decade back where a flock of talking pigeons were on a "bombing run" with the background music of Top Gun's Danger Zone- "Dirty Bird to Sky Rat. Have acquired target." That pre-dated the Falcon's Super Bowl run, as I had my MS Golf character named Dirty Bird in honor of the pigeon in the ad prior to that.

Smokin' Economy- First Quarter GDP stats just were released this morning, showing the US economy growing at a 5.8% annual rate. This more-than offsets the 1.3% drop in the third quarter of last year. The big number may be short-lived, as one take I've heard suggested that the growth was due to a restocking of inventories that have been kept low post-9/11. However, it looks like were back on a growth track and returning to normal. If we can avoid any oil shocks in the next six months, the economy will look rather rosy going into the mid-terms. Democrats will have to pray for idiocy to hit the oil sheiks to have a bad economy come November.

In Praise of Jail Bait?-The Canadian Alliance wants to raise the age of consent from 14 to 16. Most places in the US that I know of have it at 16 or higher. Of course, not everyone in blogdom agrees with this proposal. Let me get this straight. The libertine crowd wants to be able to be able to seduce a Grade 9 (it's Canada, so they say Grade X rather than Xth Grade) girl and be perfectly legal. I don't think so. There's too much predatory sex, where adult males will look at innocent early-teen girls as easy targets without looking at the damage that can be caused to a young lady's life by pregnancy and disease, let alone the emotional scars that will typically come. In my job here at Hurley, I get to see a lot of paperwork for teenage moms and their babies. One for a twelve-year-old came across my desk this week. While I'm only dealing with the statistics of all these Medicaid teenage moms, each one has a young life changed for the worse and I'm only seeing the ones who carry their babies to term. There are enough adult ladies to scrotch your crotch with, guys. Leave the schoolgirls alone.

The Big Bounce?- One of the advantages of the Big Bang theory is that there had to be something (or Someone) to be the first cause. It brings God back into the equation as the First Cause-"In the begining, God ...." The issue of a First Cause puts naturalists on the defensive. Now those naturalists are making a counterattack. I heard an NPR piece yesterday on this Steinhardt-Turok theory of a "Big Bounce" (my line), where the universe has went through an infininte series of Big Bangs, growing apart and then eventually back together only to explode back out in another Big Bang. The theory is plausable enough to stay in the debate for a while, as their "dark energy" that makes the theory go is not easily tested nor easily disproved. This will give the atheistic crowd a tool in their quiver to mess with the minds of the faithful.

Quip du jour-"There's no such thing as a rich Democrat-they're just poor Democrats with lots of money."-anon. Edifier du jour-"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich."-2 Corinthians 8:9 Front Page Haiku Keffiyehs, Stetsons Abdullah at Dubya's ranch Couple of Oilmen

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Heal our Church-The Catholic cardinals are floating the idea of a national day of prayer and penance for the current mess. Emily Stimpson has agreed with the call, while Amy Welborn thinks its the offending priests that need to be praying, not the church as a whole. Why's this Bapticostal chiming in? I'm not just an interested observer, I'm a fellow member of that Body of Christ, albeit not a Catholic. The name of Christ has been sullied by all this, not just a handful of perverted priests and the hierarchs that look the other way. The Catholic Church as a whole has been hurt by this, and Christianity in general as well. We all, pastors and laity, Catholics or not, need to be praying that this mess gets cleaned up in as complete and godly as way as possible. The classic that comes to mind is 2 Chronicles 7:14-"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." None of us is 100% pure; even Ivory Soap has 56 basis points of impurities. Let's ask the Lord to heal our churches and our land.

The Great Commission- Sursum Corda was giving thought to the daily reading on Matthew 16:15-20
Some Catholics have a negative reaction to the word “evangelization,” perhaps because they associate it with aggressive proselytizing. Many of us have had the experience of being cornered by someone who wants to know whether Jesus Christ is our “personal savior.” To me, this has always sounded a bit too much like “personal banker,” and so I am wont to reply: “Well I usually let Saint Anthony handle my account, but I can get the Big Guy on the phone when I need to.”
There are many ways to spread the Gospel. Writing a godly blog is one of my tools. I'm a mediocre evangelist in the flesh, as I'm too shy to be a classic cold-call evangelist. Most people are turned off by the brimstone-merchants that seem to show up in the campus quad, so a quieter, 1-on-1 witnessing is often more effective. Putting in a plug for Jesus where you work and live is evangelizing as well. I'll take slight issue with Mr. Nixon on the "personal savior" part. God has no grandchildren. Each person needs to make that decision (with the Holy Spirit's leading) whether they will accept Jesus as their Savior. Having godly parents or belonging to a good church aren't enough. Other religions have a impersonal God, we don't. Jesus addressed God the Father as "abba", translated best as "daddy." As joint heirs with Christ, we can call upon God as daddy as well. That's not losing respect for Him, but understanding that He loves us as His child, not as a hireling.
Evangelization is part of the “job description” of being a Catholic Christian. It is as important as the other aspects of our faith: prayer, the mass, the sacraments, reading scripture, works of charity and justice. Our faith is a great gift that we are obligated to share with others.
We don't leave evangelism to the outgoing types. It's also the job for us wallflowers. Here's a good line of thought- "What's the best thing that's ever happen to you"- Jesus loving me enough to die for my sins "What the best thing that could happen to your friends/coworkers/family-see above "Why not share that best thing with them?" We're not going to be Billy Graham or John Paul II in our oratory, but the Holy Spirit will be there to fill in the gaps where we don't have the words.
This doesn’t mean, of course, that we should all pick up a Bible and head down to the Town Square to preach at the top of our lungs. Saint Francis of Assisi once said: “Preach the Gospel ceaselessly. If necessary, use words.” Often, the most effective evangelists don’t have to say very much. Their lives become their testimony. People ask “What is it about this person? What do they have? How can I get some?”
That doesn't mean say nothing about God, but our lives should show the fruits of the Spirit.

Bedtime Musings-I was too busy going over wedding invitation lists to watch, but the Red Wings went up 3-2 in the series by shutting out Vancouver 4-0. Everybody in Hockeytown can breathe a sigh of relief after being down 0-2. The Dove Awards (the Christian Grammies) are up this evening. I'll give it a rundown tomorrow when I got a final list. I don't have a good link on this story yet, but a cheeky federal judge in NY is refusing to apply the death penalty in a drug-dealer murder case unless the prosecution can prove that they won't be killing an innocent man. Your honor, I thought that's what the trial and appellate process is for. I'm not a fan of the death penalty, but I'm also not a fan of idiotarian judges that give the middle-digit sal-oot to the Supremes. Quick question- should there be a higher level of "reasonable doubt" in a capital case? I think so but I can't quite define it. My future brother-in-law, Uli Heitz (he's married to Eileen's sister), made his first start on the third-tier Hooters Tour today. Uli's tied for 104th at +5, three shots off the cut, after the first round of the Fayetteville, Arkansas tourney.

That's Mall, Folks- Good Bleat today on the Mall of America. I've not been in the Twin Cities since my teens, and came across this line
Should the Mall get bombed, you’ll need to know a few things. It will be held up as a symbol of Urban Sprawl, the relentless Malling of virgin farmland on which goats gamboled and bees buzzed in bowers of sweet hyacinths. Actually, it was a hockey arena, a baseball stadium and a parking lot. Before the Mall the land generated few tax dollars, since the stadium was unused and the hockey team had left town. Now it’s home to a dense, multipurpose, taxpaying business well-served by public transit, which is supposedly what New Urbanists want.
So that's what happened to the Met? The hallowed site where Carew and Killebrew swatted the horsehide and the Purple People Eaters had home tundra advantage got turned into a mall. Of course, I knew they moved downtown to the Metrodome, arguably the ugliest of the domed stadia (with the Kingdome down, the case is a lot clearer) but I never heard what happened to the Met. Definition of a (dare I say middle-aged) sportsfan- when they hear "the Met", they think of the Vikings and Twins rather than Pavarotti.

Remember the Privates, Not Just the Generals-Martin Roth writes a moving tribute for ANZAC Day, as the war dead of Gallipoli are remembered. This reminds me a bit of the hallowedness of D-Day, except that the Allies won on D-Day and the Commonwealth troops lost at Gallipoli. My knowledge of the incident was limited to the fact that it was a big boo-boo and that it set back Churchill's (who was in charge of the British Navy at the time) career a decade. This is a good write-up on the botched amphibious invasion that killed 15,000 troops from Australia and New Zealand. When we think about going to war, things like Galipoli should give us momentary pause.

In Defense of Canada and the Pistons- I'm not about to defend the jerks that booed O Canada on Sunday, for whom constitutional protections against cruel and unusually punishment (a gauntlet of 72 Canadian hockey enforcers, led by Bob Probert, comes to mind) are a unfortunate cost of our system of government. This boorishness obscures the exploits of a good Pistons club that has attitude without having an attitude. They won ugly with the help of a trey-spree by Stackhouse in the fourth, 95-90, to go up 2-0 on Toronto. The sportswriters had some props with the end of season awards, with Corliss Williamson getting Sixth Man of the Year honors and Ben Wallace winning Defensive Player of the Year honors. Jon Barry (they should give the Kings a #1, not get one in the Cleaves trade) and Zeljko Rebraca (who they stole from the Raptors for a second rounder) and waiver-wirer Damon Jones add to the best bench in the league, while Stackhouse has turned from a score-first star to a team leader and Cliff Robinson is a quiet scorer and leader. The Pistons haven't gotten much respect, and likely won't until they reach the finals. Don't take out your frustrations on those booing jerks on these guys.

Shoah Show Trial-The BBC gets a brownie point for this headline- "Palestinians 'jailed' for minister's killing." Note the quotes around jailed. The perps got from 1 to 14 years. Was that for failing to take out the rest of the cabinet as ordered? Guys, if you're going to pull a PR stunt, make it good enough so that the Euroweenies don't put quotes around the word jailed. This points out the general cluelessness of the Palastinians.

Princess Synergy?-The news that AOL Time Warner took a 54 billion (yes, with a b) write-off on it's purchase of Time-Warner is bracing to many. Patrick Ruffini comments that most of the big corporate mergers of the late 90s haven't panned out as planned. Well, I'm not as up on the current stock market as I could be, but Dr. Byron's ready to weigh in on this one. The problem with mergers is that companies will have to pay a premium to buy a company outright. The current stock price is the price at which the supply of stock to be sold matches the demand. The per-share price for the whole company will be greater than the 10-20% of the company an investor can get via a "street sweep" of buying the available shares a few hundred or thousand shares at time on the stock market. There are people who aren't interested in selling and a higher price (often 25-50% extra) will need to be paid for the right to control the company. Why pay extra for control. "Synergy" is the magic word in the merger business, the idea that 1+1>2. In theory, two complementary products, such as cable TV and an ISP, might be better off combining, as they could market their product better as a package deal. In an intra-industry merger, back-office savings (you may need smaller credit or international finance or R&D departments when joined) and (if regulators let it slide) oligopoly profits from less price competition can justify a merger. A third legendary possibility is the target company is mismanaged, just waiting for the managerial kiss of the acquiring CEO to turn the company around. The classic critique came from Warren Buffett argument in his company's 1981 annual report, questioning such optimism thusly
Such optimism is essential. Absent that rosy view, why else should the shareholders of Company A(cquisitor) want to own an interest in T at the 2X takeover cost rather than at the X market price they would pay if they made direct purchases on their own?" "In other words, investors can always buy toads at the going price for toads. If investors instead bankroll princesses who wish to pay double for the right to kiss the toad, those kisses had better pack some real dynamite. We've observed many kisses but very few miracles. Nevertheless, many managerial princesses remain confident about the future potency of their kisses-- even after their corporate backyards are knee-deep in unresponsive toads."
In addition, corporate chiefs are paid more if they are running a larger company, so they have a vested interest in getting a bigger company. This may explain why some of the founders of Hewlett Packard are fighting hard to block the merger with Compaq. They don't want to see a multi-billion dollar write off. Already a clash of corporate cultures is apparent, as the more conservative HP people are trying to blend their culture with the more loosy-goosy Compaq crew. The upper management of the acquired company will often take off, as they're frequently not in the mood to play second banana. Add these problems to the fact that the acquirer "overpaid" to get to manage the new company and it leads to more problems than investors originally imagine. This is another reason why investors are better off in the long haul to be weighted more towards small-cap stocks who aren't big enough to think about these mega mergers and are more likely to be the pursued frog than the hunter-princess.

Quip du jour-"[M]any managerial princesses remain confident about the future potency of their kisses-- even after their corporate backyards are knee-deep in unresponsive toads."-Warren Buffett. Edifer du jour-"May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations." -Psalm 67:1:2 Front Page Haiku Fifty-four billion? I thought only Washington Had that much red ink.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

It takes Serial Child Abuse?It looks like the Pope wimped out on this one, setting up guidelines that will defrock a preist who is "notorious and is guilty of the serial, predatory sexual abuse of minors." OK, so you have to have more than one (how many more than one) documented case of predatory (define predatory) sexual abuse and the priest has to be notorious (if you cover it up, the guy doesn't get any bad rep). Am I the only one who thinks they are off-base here? They should move more towards a one-strike-and-your-out, getting proven abusers out of the way until they have a track record of long standing that shows that they've changed their ways for good. [update 4-26. I only had part of the story. Ben supplies a fuller text, and it's much better than my first take indicates]

Everyone and his uncle layed into Krugman on his last dump. He's #3 on Blogodex, right behind the LPGA picture.

Today's Foxblog from Alex Rubalcava covers the topic of brokerage recomendations and NY AG Spitzer's crusade to clean up the issue. Here's his original take on his blog. Good to see people other than myself chiming in on this one.

Raging Moderates-Mickey Kaus points out the links between neocons and neolibs, bouncing off of a surprisingly good American Prospect (it does seem like an oxymoron) piece on the New Republic's new financiers. Neolib "Mr. Vestigial Presence" Kaus opines that
There's a new neolib-neocon combo waiting to happen -- Tomasky calls it "velvet conservatism," a name I hope doesn't stick. Bill Kristol is quoted admitting that "there's a reform Republicanism that can marry up fairly comfortably with the sort of center-right Democrat." What neither Kristol nor Tomasky note is that this would be John McCain's natural constituency.
Mickey, it's been waiting to happen for decades and most likely won't happen anytime soon. Two decades ago, you could substitute Anderson for McCain and Ross Perot tried it a decade ago. The first-past-the post electoral system makes sure that a centrist party is very hard to form. If the Republicans catered to their Bombers-Bidness-'n-Bibles core and the Democrats were equally wedded to Labor-Luddites-Lesbi-Latino-Leroy-'n-Libertines, then a sensible centrist party could emerge that appealed to a Euro-American secular "middle-class" constituency. However, both parties dance between running on what they want and running on what the swing voter likes. Political expediency will cause the two main parties to play to the center, thus not allowing a centrist party the political ecology to become a major force.

Universal Nativism-Newbie Aussie David Morgan's Elitist blog has a good translated analysis of le Pen's political base. Morgan closes with this line, "My fellow Australians: does any of the above sound familiar? " For all the talk of David Duke, George Wallace and the other nativists on the Continent, I totally forgot about Australia's One Nation party, whose founder, Pauline Hanson, makes Pitchfork Pat look like a multiculti. The nativists are Down Under as well.

Quip du jour-"The slickest way to lie is to tell the right amount of truth - then to shut up."-Robert Heinlein Edifier du jour "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." -2 Corinthians 6:14-16 Groaner du jour- Had a Chinese Zodiac placemat at the local restaurant a while back and noted that Eileen ('73) and I ('61) are both oxen. Not that I take any stock in the stuff, but it does point out that we are equally yoked. Front Page Haiku Old age, treachery beats inexperienced Kings Stocktontomalone

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Ari's Gotten Hitched, Karen's Headed Home-Ben notes the engagement of Ari Fleischer, stating that "single women everywhere weep. Something tells me that sales of pint ice cream are going to jump tonight." I didn't know Ari was a Washington Sex God. To GOP wonkettes, maybe. Karen Hughes is leaving the White House and heading back to Texas. The bench will be a bit less deep.

Whither Iraq?-Jonah had a good piece this afternoon making the case, in his signature over-the-top (a bit less so now that he's married?) style, for taking out Saddam. I agree with him that the Palestinian issue is a red herring. However, Jonah seems to fall prey to the "I'm attacking the Middle East from East Africa with three dice" school of geopolitics; send the Marines, the 101st, a couple of carrier groups and a couple of infantry divisions and take out the son-of-a-pup. Before we forget, there are people who will bleed and die in the process on both sides. The use of the Ledeen Doctrine assume that there's a flea-bait country worthy of whomping upside the head. Kevin Holtsberry points out the weaknesses of the historical analogies and the Ledeen Doctrine. It's the job of Dubya and his national security team to lay out to the world the case why the carnage needed to get rid of Saddam is justified. When Bush 41 called off the dogs twelve years ago, he weighed the benefits of getting rid of Saddam and felt it wasn't the geopolitical and human cost of going to Baghdad (and the rest of Iraq) and installing a friendly government. With 20-20 hindsight, it was a bad call. It was a reasonable call at the time and Bush 41 shouldn't be raked over the coals for it. Since 1990, Saddam has repeatedly given the middle-digit salute to the international community, kicking out inspectors and playing cat-and-mouse with a near-clueless Clinton team. Given the likelihood of his possesion of WMDs and the increasing likelihood that he or a allied terror group will use said weapons against us in the future, I think a very defendable case can be made that it is worth the carnage to get rid of Saddam, doing unto others before they do unto us. I don't think President Bush will take this personally and say in effect,"My name is Inigo Dubya. You shamed my father's name. Prepare to die." He simply has to make the case that a beligerant, nuke-packin' Saddam can not be allowed to stand.

Bring Me the Ghost of Anthony Lewis-James D. Miller's got a better site layout (those orange print on a black background beasts are hard on the eyes) and a high-blood-presure-inducing link to Freddie Krugman latest steaming pile, equating Dubya to le Pen. There always quite a few writers on the left who want to equate conservative politicians with the most racist and/or objectionable person on the political non-left ( David Duke, militia types, Pat Buchanan, ...). The recent Bogeyman du jour was the Taliban. However, they are so 2001. Krugman, who seems to be fronting for Anthony Lewis these days, is trying to start le Pen out as the new Bogeyman to equate the right with. Miller's dead on that le Pen has more in common with the left (remember Nazi was short for National Socialist) than the right.

Economics for Dummies- Megan does a good and fun turn with the Nash Equilibrium and Coase's Theorem. I'm waiting for her textbook to come out.

Supreme Folly- William Sukic points to a 6-3 Supreme Court decision arguing that a temporary development moratorium isn't a taking.It might sound real obscure, but this could be a tool that anti-development people could use to get around the takings clause. They could just filibuster a proposed development with moritoria and studies. If the developer had to wait six years to get started, that reduces the value of the land by about 40%, as any benefits from the property are six years off. Rehnquist's dissent points out that
Respondent decides to take a 6-year leasehold over petitioners’ property, during which any human activity on the land would be prohibited, in order to prevent any further destruction to the area while it was deciding whether to request that the area be designated a National Park.
Rehnquist goes on to point out that government has paid for such leaseholds when borrowing property for wartime efforts in the past. Congress should step in and state that, beyond a certian time frame, the blocking body shall pay compensation for the delay. I'll be interested to see Sulik's take.

Scientists Find That Water Flows Downhill-This one isn't the least bit suprising. Liberal groups are setting up a "Progressive Donor Network" to be a proxy-DNC for fundraising in anticipation of a ban on party soft money. The money flows downhill; if blocked from going to parties, it'll head to other political outlets. The Republicans don't have an RNC proxy up yet, but rest assured that they will. Next project-getting around the free-speech limits in the last two months of an election, assuming the Supreme Court doesn't swat it down before '04.

Austin's Power of Analysis-Charles Austin ruined my Googlewhack on "Pepe Le Pen" and took my Le Pen as George Wallace thought and ran with it. Good writing, sir.

A Call to Spiritual Arms-Veitas has a good post on the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. He stresses the need for good doctrine as a requirement for good morals. Morals flow from God, which morph into optional ethics without God at the center. Understanding who God is and what he wants is key. Burgwald concludes with this call to spiritual arms.
Returning to the Reform of the Church in the sixteenth century, Fr. Lortz states matter-of-factly, "The saints are the ones who save the day". Continuing this line of thought, he writes this amazing line: the Saint does not leave the world so that he can watch the world go by; he leaves it so that he can properly assess it and then return and conquer it." Yes! How purely true! We as Christians are called to separate ourselves from the world, but not simply to sit back and judge the decadence and errors of the world, as some would have it, but in order to prepare and train ourselves to return to the world and save it as Christ's instruments! Fr. Lortz's insight here reminds me of a book by Hans Urs von Balthasar entitled Razing the Bastions, in which Balthasar argued -- writing in the 1950's before Vatican II -- that the Church had to tear down the ramparts it had erected since the French Revolution (and even the Reformation) to protect itself from the world and its ways. While this defensive measure was necessary at the time, now -- having sufficiently assessed the situation from behind those castle walls -- the Church has to engage in a grand offensive to take back the world from the secularism which has swept across it. And that's precisely what Vatican II called for, and precisely what we -- Catholic or not -- must do. Engage the world, assimilate what is true therein, and then proclaim the Gospel in a language understandable in our day and age.
We tend to be "Defenders of the Faith" (Sorry Charlie of Wales wants to take out the definitive article-NOT!) rather than spiritual warriors advancing our faith. I was led to call up Ephesians 6:11-18
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
These are all necessary to do spiritual battle. We aren't dealing with just people, we're dealing with Ol' Sloughfoot and his minions. Spiritual battles need spiritual defense contractors. Here's the shopping list. Belt of Truth-Knowing God's truths keep the enemy from catching us with our pants down, both figuratively and literally. Breastplate of Righteousness- Being right with God and able to approach him with confidence will protect us from body blows, as the enemy wants to cut to our hearts and separate us from God. We may not be perfect, but through the blood of Jesus, we have been declared "Not Guilty" by the Judge. We have a secret weapon; the defense council already took the rap for us. Helmet of Salvation-Knowing that our Redeemer lives and died for us will keep the enemy from messing with our head, wondering if God really is there for us. Shield of Faith- While armor will protect the wearer from lethal blows, they only diffuse the blow, still often leaving bruises. Faith gives us an active defense against the enemy's weapons. Sword of the Spirit-Word Up! The best defense is a good offence. We shouldn't be afraid to use the Word of God as we take on the world. We need to bring our intellects to the party, but having the Word in our hearts and minds is key for spiritual warfare. Praying in the Spirit-This is the artillery of spiritual warfare. While the individual is a foot soldier, there will be others praying for him, providing spiritual close air support to beat back the enemy's defenses. There's no Boeing, GE or General Dynamics you can get these from. The Holy Spirit's got the contract and your local church is the subcontractor in this war. Cheer up, Butterworth, we've both read the end of the book andthe good guys win. "It is written: "`As surely as I live,' says the Lord, `every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" Remember that as we go to battle.

Quip du jour-"Earth First! We'll mine the other planets later."-anon. (Matt Groening?) (I saw that attributed to the Simpsons, but can't back it up) Edifier du jour-2 Corinthians 5:17-20
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
Front Page Haiku Too many gay priests Cardinals flock to see Pope Pope lays off the Law?

Monday, April 22, 2002

Blogging FAQ?-Aussie Newcomer Martin Roth sent an interesting e-mail, asking a number of good questions. I've decided to make my answers public, since some other newbies might benefit as well. How did I got into blogging?- I was a active reader of political web sites and found Instapundit via one of Glenn Reynolds' paying web endeavors (either Fox News or National Review). His bookmark has a October date on it. I followed some of his links to find other bloggers. Looking at my bookmarks, I had Samizdata, Natalie Solent and Moira Breen bookmarked by December. After reading these for a few months, I saw that I knew as much, if not more, than the other bloggers and decided to give it a try myself. How do I publicize my blog?- I don't do much at this point. I'm more of an introvert by nature, so I'm not a great salesman. I did e-mail some other bloggers to get some feedback in the early days, but now I only do that if I have something worth reading that is targeted to them rather than a general audience or they have a question they can answer. The hits are growing slowly but surely and I'd rather get traffic by putting out quality work and let the other bloggers that know me bring readers my way gradually rather than spamming Blogistan with a "check this out" e-mail. Is this a ministry?- In part. I bring a lot of varied interests to my writing. Some people read me for the theology, some read me for the political commentary, some people like my sports conversation, others like my international affairs coverage and some twisted souls like all of the above. I hope that the people who are here for the other stuff will read the theology and learn something and that the people who are like minded will be strengthened in their faith. I've gotten a few good theological conversations started and added to many others. I hope I'm not too cocky to say I'm doing the Lord's work in the Devil's cybercity. I write on what interests me, and God interests me a lot. So does politics, sports, geopolitics and a lot of other things. I do bring a evangelical perspective to politics and geopolitics, so the two nicely intertwine there. That will scare some of the more libertarian bloggers away, but I'm lousy at putting up facades; I'm more of a WYSIWYG kind of guy. I'd rather get 150 unique visitors a weekday being myself rather than get 500 trolling for hits by being confrontational. The Future of Christian Blogging- I've seen a growth of Christians in the blogosphere in the three months I've been on board. When I started blogging, Kevin Holtsberry, Bryan Preston and Christopher Johnson were the three evangelicals I knew of at the time and found Ben Domenech a bit later. Other evangelicals like William Sulik, Robert Bauer, Gary Petersen and Patrick Carver have come on board this winter. A good crop of faithful Catholics have added to the mix as well. Louder Fenn has been a frequent friendly sparing partner on theology. The last month has seen me find a big crop of Catholic blogpals such as Eve Tushnet, Chris Burgwald, Mark Butterworth, Emily Stimpson and Kevin James. While I don't have much give and take with them, Kathy Shaide and Amy Welborn are good additions to the cause of Christ from a Catholic perspective. Blogs are more of an intellectual endeavor, both for the writer and the reader. Christian blogs will be a subniche on the Web. Eventually, outlets like Christianity Today or Focus on the Family will have more links to the Christian blog community, just as The Corner and Fox's ongoing blog series will introduce general web readers to Blogistan. Who do I like? Check my links to the left. I wind up reading about 25-30 blogs a day, with another 30 or so getting every-other-day-or-so coverage. I'm a natural speed reader, so I can skim a page to see if there's anything new and interesting in a matter of seconds. I'll hit most of the blogs on the left on a daily basis and all of them on a no-worse than weekly basis.

The Art of the Runoff-Sasha Volokh has a very good breakdown of the French elections-nearly every topic has a house expert-and he happens to be a French hand of long standing. He points out the differences in the French electoral system, in that people vote their true preference in the first round, then pick the lesser of the two weevils in the second round. That isn't always the case. Louisiana has a non-partisan primary. If someone gets 50%, they win and the general election ballot is officially uncontested; if no one gets a majority, the top two go into a run-off. I remember a recent Senate race, where there were two Democrats and four Republicans running. The two Democrats were running in the mid and low twenties, while none of the Republicans were getting past 15%. At that point, the GOP powers that be rallied behind the leading Republican and got him past the weaker of the two Democrats and into the finals. In France, you don't typically see that type of strategic voting. The public was used to seeing the Socialists and either the Gaulists or the Republicans getting the other spot in the run-off. Le Pen wasn't running that much better than before, but Jospin was the victim of a fracture left vote with four other leftists getting 20% of the vote and the collapse of the centrist Republicans. This result may lead to some fence-mending on the left, so that they can avoid a double-conservative run-off.

Speaking of James Haney, he has an excellent piece commissioned by Patrick Ruffini comparing Northern Ireland to Palestine. The key difference-democracy.

More Le Pen Fallout-Airstrip One was off on one point in his take on European nativist politics. I agree with him that the Flanders Bloc in Belgium and the Pim Fortuyn movement in the Netherlands will make coalition governments a bit harder. A 15-20% natiivst block will either lead to a center-left grand coalition if the country doesn't want to get the cold shoulder from their brethern by bringing the nativists into a center-right coaliton. Right now, Sinn Fein's (I assume that's who Goldstein has in mind) a bit away from that clout in Ireland. Sinn Fein is a Marxist party, unlike to the generally economically conservative nativists on the continent. The Fianna Fáil-Progressive Democrat majority is fairly stable for now, but I don't see Sinn Fein getting much past 8%. Even if they do start gaining ground, it is likely to be from other leftist parties and not from Fianna Fáil, thus it won't change the political dynamics much. Am I off base, Mr. Haney?

Root Causes of Le Pen-David Carr's had his thinking cap on over the showing of Le Pen yesterday. He points out that European multiculturalism coupled with a slow-growing statist economy have created the enviroment that has a string of nativists like Haider and Fortuyn rising in the polls across Europe. Bad economic times, especially when coupled with a lack of a moral compass frequently seen in post-Christian Europe, can lead many people to see the "other" as the problem. Just like the "white trash" in the US are targets for white power groups, the poor natives in Europe are hearing the siren song of the nativist populist. A better moral and economic climate in the US takes away some of the economic frustration and helps point out the sin of racism (yes, you have your share of church-going bigots, but it tends to help lessen racism) a bit better than in Europe.

You're Welcome, Matt. I had advised Matt Rubush to take Greek this fall after he had groused about his advisors trying to dissuade him from it. He posted his sked last weekend, thanking me. Well, now that I'll be an honest-to-goodness professor in the fall, I'll have to get use to people actually taking my advice. I feel a bit like Ainsley in the West Wing episode where she gives a position paper to Sam, who gives it to McGarrity who gets the president to sign off on it. After being shocked that her suggestion just became law, Sam replied: "We play with live ammo here." I'm not going to be able to take Greek myself this fall, since Greek's offered the same time as the Personal Finance class I'm teaching.

Red Wings on the Board-they just beat Vancouver 3-1 to get to 1-2 in the series. The Canucks were pressing well at the end, with Bertuzzi getting a penalty shot with thee minutes to go (the Dominator stopped it), then Bertuzzi got chippy and picked up an Anthony Mason, a four-minute double-minor, with two minutes to go.

Quip du jour-"There's no room for bigots and anti-Semites in the Le Pen campaign. Those positions were filled years ago." (an old Buchanan line that serves the day well) Edifier du jour-"And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe."-I Thessalonians 2:13 Front Page Haiku Le Pen beats Jospin French polity whomperjawed Parlez vous redneck?

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Ben and Jerry Cream Toronto-ESPN stole my "Ben and Jerry" idea (honest) in their NBA section headline. They dismantled Toronto 85-63. The Raptors managed just 30% shooting, with MoPete going an abysmal 1-13. Ben Wallace had a season-high 19 points and added 20 boards, while Stackhouse scored 20. With the exception of New Jersey, all of the home teams won this weekend. Game two of Indiana-New Jersey will be huge tomorrow night.

Le Pen is Mightier than Jospin If there's a racist undertone to a contest, the racist candidate will tend to underpoll, as people will tend to give a PC answer. Nativist candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen nudged out PM Lionel Jospin for second place. President Chirac got 19.5%, Le Pen got 17.3 and Jospin received 15.9. Chirac and Le Pen will go to a run-off on May 5th. Describing Le Pen as a hard rightist is a bit of a misnomer, as he has a strong statist streak as do most French candidates. He has campaigned on a law-and-order motif and advocated abolishing inheritance taxes. You can draw a fairly good analogy with Pat Buchanan, as a conservative that is not a dynamist. This result is very interesting, as the two establishment candidates could get only 35% of the vote. Big question, with two people nominally of the right running, who will the left back in this race? Somehow, my mind is picturing a '68 race with Wallace and Nixon. Le Pen could appeal to the blue-collar native Frenchman who wants to feel a step above the Arab immigrants in a race where the standard lines between right and left are blurred. Le Pen also has a anti-Jewish streak as well. This will be an interesting three week stretch.

McCain(I)- There's been a bit of verbiage this weekend on McCain's presidential aspirations and a possible Independent run for the White House as a "not crazy Ross Perot" Let's go back to 1992 as a baseline. If I recall correctly, the national numbers were 43 Clinton, 38 Bush pere and 19 Perot. While many people who voted in 1992 have died and a half-generation of new votes will be in the mix as of 2004, I think it might be useful to look at what those 1992 camps would vote for in 2004. Perot- I would venture to say that about 65% of the Perot vote would stick around. 15% would head to the democratic nominee, as the protectionist and nativist rhetoric that drew some blue-collar voters in would not be there. Likewise, about 20% would head towards Dubya as a lot of Perot's appeal to Republican leaning voters was a straight-talking assertive style that H.W. lacked. Dubya's a better leader. Bush Pere-Dubya keeps 80% of his dad's backers. I'll give the Democratic nominee 5% of the Bush voters, as Duyba will scare off a few moderates as being too conservative. Another 15% will head to McCain,. moderates that will see that sane Perot. Clinton- The Democrat keeps 75% of the Clinton vote. Leadership and character gets Dubya 10% of the Clinton vote while a sane, viable centrism gets McCain 15%.
2004\1992ClintonPerotBush412004 Totals
"Gore"32.252.851.937.0
Dubya4.33.830.538.5
McCain6.4512.355.724.5
I'd see Dubya winning a squeaker in that scenario. Would McCain want to make himself totally persona non grata within Republican circles to run as an Independent? I don't see him prying enough moderates from both parties to win the presidency. McCain would have to look to Jesse Ventura as a role-model for running as a maverick moderate. Ventura took on weak candidates from the main parties and could run to the right of Norm Coleman (the Republican nominee in '98) on taxes. McCain doesn't have an issue that he can steal core members of either party with. The base of each party will stick with their guys, leaving McCain very little room to maneuver. McCain might make some exploratory trips around the country (as an independent, he doesn't have to do the Iowa-New Hampshire routine) and see that the numbers up their are about right and pass on 2004. Against a weaker set of nominees in 2008, he might have a shot, but not this time. {Update-check out this quick HTML tutorial on tables-it got the table above working)

Quip du jour-"I've always said I wouldn't return until I was old enough to be an anchor on 60 Minutes."-Louis Rukeyser Edifier du jour-II Corinthians 4:6-7
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."
Front Page Haiku Harrington to Lions Is Joey the next Steve Young or Akili Smith?

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