Saturday, 30 June 2007

In Passing

JayReding gets his new iPhone, starts "Jobs for Emperor" committee

It's amazing how Apple can make anything work well. Activating the thing took less than 5 minutes, including the time downloading all the data. Activating my last smartphone took about half an hour, and that's with a Cingu... err... AT&T drone frantically typing away. At this point, I'm ready to vote Steve Jobs in 2008. Imagine how easy it would be if Apple ran the IRS. First of all, it would be the iRS, and all the relevant information would already be filled out, and the whole process would take less than a minute. A geek can dream, can't he? - linky

UPDATE 070702 17:28: Unfortunately, some folks (38%?) are having issues with AT&T.   More (last added 070714).

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Friday, 29 June 2007


William Bennett on not teaching history is a double tragedy: a) our children no longer know their country’s history and b) the story they do not know is the greatest political story ever told.
Read the whole thing.

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In Passing

My bill wuz pwnz0red by teh internets!

Note:  This post represents the worst of internet "inside baseball" stuff.  Readers who are not geeks or obsessive usenet denizens should probably avoid...

Mary Lu Carnevale's post-mortem on the immigration bill at the Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" weblog included– and later modified– this rather paranoid (and silly) comment:

Hot Air Network’s Web ad, viewable at left, urged “conservatives fed up with Republican scheming on this bill, [to] do something about it...” Just who sponsors Hot Air’s ad, and other similar ads popping up across the Internet, is unclear. [Note: Original text, later changed. Bolding and preservation by Ace.]
Needless to say, this raising the possibility of some dark conspiracy behind Hot Air's "expensive" production met with much amusement [see the "Important Update"] and derision, including some (worthy of a Tim Blair thread) in the WSJ post's own comment thread.

Well, at least I found them amusing. So knowing that WSJ links tend to disappear, I've preserved the relevant comments below the jump.

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Thursday, 28 June 2007


Welcome to Boston, Senators. Have some tea!

(O.G. scribbles a few notes about What Happened and What It All Means. Links added and grammar & spelling corrected as time permits.)

  • Another Reagan moment? Breakdown of old political alliances. 20 years ago, who would have predicted the AFofL-CIO and National Review on the same side of a domestic issue! (Or any Republican Presidential candidate and Ted Kennedy.)
  • Reaction much bigger than just the conservatives. Conservatives + talk radio listeners + other malcontents = still not enough callers to crash the Senate's switchboard. Where'd everybody come from? Who are they? (Political: Is this a coalition looking for leadership? Could it elect a president?)
  • Bloggers.triumphant, justifiably. They blew the whistle on the Memorial weekend sneak-through, then provided the support (analysis, encouragement, expertise, linkage) to make the opposition fly. Mad props for beating out the D.C. establishment, but beware overreaching-- blogs didn't create the issue or the coalition that opposed it (see above), and the next issue will be different.
  • Again, bloggers and talkers grabbed control of the terms of debate (inside the proponents' and the MSM's decision cycle, c.f. Rathergate). Usual accusations of "racism", attempts to define issue as opposition to ALL immigration, failed miserably. Can anything overcome the Army of Davids? (Effectively infinite manpower and infinite knowledge.) Next political contest: Blogs -vs- blogs, with the MSM three news cycles behind?
  • With no question about the polling data, MSM smelled the coffee before the Senate did. Noted with amazement a couple of "bad consequences of illegal immigrants" analysis pieces on CNN Monday night. Also hysteria on WSJ's editorial page ("Immigration and the GOP") yesterday.  Also overnight articles indicating the bill was in trouble.
  • How much did Kaus's called-for videos scare the politicians? Will the next McFeingold require shutting down the net 30 days before elections?
  • Senate's ugly legislative process dragged into daylight. People knew it was there, but still didn't like what they saw. Multi-hundred-page bills voted on before they were even written, let alone read?
  • Greater sophistication of the discussion: When earmarks were discovered in the bill, everybody already understood the issue. (And said, "Oh look, there's one for Ted Stevens, as usual!")
  • One more step in a continuing process. Most presidents since Nixon have run against "the mess in Washington." Most voters have exempted "my delegation" from the overall mess. Will this change things?
  • New paradigm: Internet-organized ad-hoc national efforts to defeat particular congresscritters. Would a similar campaign elect anybody?
  • Risk-rewards ratio for the Republicans still seems way off. WTH were they thinking?
  • Sen. DeMint: “When the U.S. Senate brought the Amnesty bill back up this week, they declared war on the American people.” Welcome to Boston, Senators. How would you like your tea?
  • Somebody called the process "very European," and not in a flattering way. Insty calls 'em "inhabitants of Incumbistan."
  • Next battle the People vs The Establishment? 1968 Redux? Liberals wanted "another Viet Nam."  Now they're the establishment. (Be careful what you wish for!)

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A question that still needs answering

LocoPunk: Immigration Politics: Where's the Dark Matter? (excerpt)

If there's any one attribute that characterizes Republican members of Congress, it's gutlessness... The Republican side of Congress has been meek and almost silent during the prolonged stretches of time when George Bush needed their support on the war, Social Security reform, over-the-top partisan charges of lying and corruption, and other controversies...

Yet... numerous Republicans in both the Senate and the House look almost fearless in their defense of a legislative compromise with Teddy Kennedy (of all people!) for the purpose of ramming a carelessly written time bomb of an immigration bill through the United States Congress... Lindsey Graham blithely tosses around terms like 'bigotry,' John McCain gets in the face of rank-and-file Republicans in New Hampshire with a challenge to propose a better idea or shut up... All this in the context of the fact that the polls do NOT show a universal mandate for passage of some kind of a comprehensive immigration bill, no matter how half-assed and fraudulent its enforcement provisions are...

What lobby or combination of lobbies is so omnipotent as to transform lifelong political cowards into reckless gamblers who sneer right in the faces of the voters who put them in office? Where's the benefit that outweighs the enormity of the risk? What's worth the potential cost of giving the opposition a generation-long veto-proof majority in Congress?
Dark Matter. The stuff we can't see that has to be there anyway.

UPDATE 070628 22:43: Theories floated at AOS.

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The "Six Year" Party

"The Cranky Neocon" at Six Meat Buffet proposes a platform, and calls for volunteers:

Give us six years at the helm of our Great Republic and we promise the following:
  • We shall accept no money from any business or activist group. Only individual donors.
  • We shall not bring money back to our home districts except that which has been clearly specified in a publicly accessible spending bill.
  • We shall do away with useless government programs.
  • We shall do away with Peanut and excessive farm subsidies.
  • Each elected official in our party will run for one and only one term.
  • We shall not be personally involved in any real estate, arms procurement or other business transactions that would benefit any friends, family or associate.
  • We will fund a real, tangible border fence.
  • We will craft a real and healthy immigration policy that provides for inexpensive agricultural labor.
  • We shall not craft any feel-good legislation that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
  • We shall not craft any social engineering legislation which federally recognizes a homosexual civil union as “marriage”.
  • We shall defund any costly symbolic programs like the “War on Drugs"
Not a bad start... Of course, the devil is always in the details.

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Wednesday, 27 June 2007

In Passing

Bring in the engineers

Laura Landro's "Informed Patient" column in today's Wall Street Journal[no link, I read the hard copy] is all about "crossed-tube" connection errors, and how hospitals are scrambling to do something about them.

...the risk that someone will inadvertently hook the wrong line to the wrong device or medication is a nightmate scenario: An air hose accidentally connected to an intravenous line can create an air bubble that leads to a fatal embolism, or an infant's feeding solution inadvertently infused into the bloodstream... can cause severe brain damage and death.
Further into the article, there's this shocker:
The main concern... is the use of a universal connection system known as a Luer fitting... to join together a broad range of devices with totally different functions... Patients are at risk, for example, if they are receiving fluids through a vein, feedings via a stomach tube, and getting air through an oxygen mask. 'Nearly all tubings have the same connection...'" [bolding mine - o.g.]
The hospital's situation is analogous to what you'd face at home if manufacturers used the same two-blade connector to hook up your table lamp, your ethernet cable, your telephone, your stereo speakers, and your air conditioner. Recipe for disaster, or at least for releasing lots of magic smoke.

It appears the medical-care industry has been slow to take action for the "usual" reasons:  Denial+convenience+ cheap+ "we've always done it that way"+ bureaucracy.  Doctors and nurses are trained to check and re-check ("we don't make mistakes"), the Luer fitting is common and readily available (so it was  convenient to use it in new applications), bean-counters don't like having a lot of different inventory items to track, and suppliers have been reluctant to rock the boat by producing products that don't match with existing items. Then there's the usual problem of getting federal ("even if you want to do something, you still have to get it past the feds first") approval.

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Mark Steyn

"[A] textbook definition of "bipartisanship": both parties gang up on the electorate."

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The Examiner ducks the issue

Instapundit links an editorial about reviving broadcasting's "fairness doctrine":

Why do liberals like Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., keep trying to tell the rest of us what political opinions we must listen to in the media?

Feinstein says she is “looking at” reviving the Fairness Doctrine to counteract the decidedly conservative bent of talk radio...

She wants to bring it back because she thinks “one-sided programming” pushes the American people into “extreme views” — such as their current opposition to the Bush/Kennedy/McCain immigration bill. She wants “an opportunity to present the other side” by forcing radio stations to offer more liberal fare.

What Feinstein really wants is for federal bureaucrats to decide what political opinion programming we should hear. She presumes to know better than listeners what is “fair.”
Dear me, examiner, so close-- but no cigar!

Anyone with half an eye can see that this is not about "fairness." It's about suppressing anything Feinstein doesn't like, by wrapping it up in bureaucratic red tape. Reimpose "fairness," and you can bet that the Usual Suspects will be right there, jumping in to make life miserable for the owners of any station that broadcasts anything that deviates in the slightest from the standard lefty-PC norm. Feinstein doesn't want "balanced programming," she wants station owners to throw up their hands and go back to playing Mantovani records.

Too bad examiner's editorialist lacked the guts to call her on it.

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Tuesday, 26 June 2007

In Passing

More Republican fun in California

Now it's illegal aliens, too:

Michael Kamburowski, an Australian immigrant who served as the California Republican Party’s chief operating officer, abruptly resigned Sunday — less than 24 hours after The Chronicle reported he had been ordered deported in 2001, jailed in connection with the order, and now has a $5 million wrongful arrest lawsuit pending against U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials. -- San Francisco Chronicle
Note that Kamburowski is not the H1B Canadian mentioned in my earlier post.
HT: Michelle

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