Assorted Links 7/8/09


USO Girl Training- TSO v. Uncle J

  • Drafting Effective Federal Legislation and Amendments, July 29, 2009
  • Preparing and Delivering Congressional Testimony, July 30, 2009
  • Advanced Federal Budget Process, August 3-4, 2998
  • Advanced Legislative Strategies, August 5-7, 2009
  • A Sunni-Israeli Alliance? – “According to the Times of London, Saudi Arabia has quietly given Israel permission to use its airspace on the way to Iranian nuclear weapons facilities. ”
  • The right side of history … and of the energy lobbyists, too – “The Waxman-Markey climate-change bill that passed the House two weeks back had the strong backing of some major players in the energy industry. Duke Energy, AES, and General Electric are the leading proponents of a cap-and-trade scheme for greenhouse gas emissions, but power company Entergy has also long been a player in the greenhouse-gas allowance lobbying game.

    In 2008, Entergy petitioned the Supreme Court to declare CO2–the stuff you and I (and even Entergy’s attorneys) exhale–a pollutant. The company is a leading nuclear power provider, and it also has already invested in carbon credits. A cap-and-trade scheme means profits for Entergy.”

  • Loan Mod Frauds – “The scamsters are thriving …”
  • The Politicians and the Founders – “Maybe each week there should be three national radio broadcasts: one from the incumbent president, one from the other big-government party, and one reflecting the views of the Founders.”
  • Obama WH; we don’t need no stinking Senate! – “[E]verything Obama does is hasty, rushed and performed under a big, flashing red sign that screams, ’emergency; no time to discuss, no time to read, no time for bothersome procedure…just do what I want, and trust me, we’ll be fine…three minutes to critical mass…'”
  • Sweeten it, but don’t read it – “After passing the cap and trade bill in rush, we are beginning to see what was included in the last hours prior to the vote. According to the Washington Times, the final 300 page amendment to the 1,200 page bill appears to have been filled with sweeteners for wavering congressmen. … Of course, one of the biggest problems is that we were given under 24 hours to read these 300 pages of obscure language. So, we are brought reporting after the bill is passed teasing out the actual contents, which appear to include vote-attracting sweeteners. No one could have realistically known what was in the bill, and inserted for whom, before the vote took place.”
  • Big Banks Don’t Want California’s IOUs – “A group of the biggest U.S. banks said they would stop accepting California’s IOUs on Friday, adding pressure on the state to close its $26.3 billion annual budget gap.
    . . .
    State officials said they were disappointed by the banks’ decision. Garin Casaleggio, a spokesman for [California State Controller John] Chiang, said: ‘We don’t want anybody to suffer who can’t redeem them when they need cash.'” Uh, then California ought to pay with … cash, not IOUs. Sheesh.
  • How Many Jobs Does a Playground Make? – “[Norfolk, VA] wanted to spend $50,000 in stimulus funds on a playground, but the feds said that really wouldn’t do much for job creation. … [So the City Council] moved the same amount of money out of the drainage project and into swings and slides. ‘In other words, you take money out of your left pocket and put it in your right pocket,’ Vice Mayor Curtis Milteer Sr. said.”
  • Kmiec Chosen for Ambassador to Malta
  • Endangered at the mall – “In the baby boom era, when I grew up, it was normal for young children to play together outside without any supervision. We had no malls, but we’d walk to the park or explore the ravines when we were six, seven or eight years old.”
  • Data Dump Day at TTAC: They Think It’s All Over – “one wonders who’s going to get the goodies as Chrysler continues to tank, and GM follows suit.”
  • Ruins of the Second Gilded Age – Photo essay of “the physical evidence of the real estate bust in the United States.”
  • Buyer’s Remorse Hits Vegas Project – “You have 1,500 condo buyers right now who wish they’d never put this thing into contract and most of them have some kind of relationship with MGM Mirage,” said one buyer who put a $600,000 deposit on a $3 million unit, and would like to get his deposit back. “It’s tricky for MGM Mirage. You make your best customers angry.”
  • This Recession Isn’t Over: Now for the Hard Part – “… the hardest part of the cycle is likely ahead of us.”
  • CNBC Interview with Bryan Marsal, CEO of Lehman Brothers Holdings – “This applies to all kinds of debt – extend and pretend – that sounds like most of the residential loan modifications! But eventually many of those same loans will reach the ‘send’ phase.” (As in, “Send in the keys.”)
  • Markets in everything: convert the atheist, on Turkish TV
  • State of the Airline Industry Chart Compares Airline Service Fees
  • The Big To-Do Over To Do’s – “My needs are relatively simple: I want to follow the general principles outlined by David Allen in GTD and have all my lists be: a) searchable, b) cross-platform, c) mobile and d) private. … I haven’t been able to find one that sticks. But now I think I have finally landed on an outstanding combo: Taskpaper, pictured above. This is a Mac app but it also has an nearly identical Windows cousin called ToDoPaper. Both are super. A web service powered by Google Appspot is coming soon to Taskpaper.com as is an iPhone app.”
  • Desperate-to-leave LinkedIn users rename accounts “delete delete delete” (see the comments)
  • Prepare Yourself For iPod Video – “If Apple added cameras to its line of iPods, there would be another 3+million of them hitting the market per month, and the low end of the digital video camera market could be crushed.”
  • Creatine: Not just for muscle heads – “A study of creatine supplementation in men, average age 70 years, demonstrated that, when creatine was combined with strength training, it increased muscle mass 250% better than placebo (7.26 lb muscle vs 2.86 lb muscle), along with improved leg strength and endurance. The same group also demonstrated 3.2% increased bone density (measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) after 12 weeks in participants taking creatine with strength training, while the control (no strength training, no creatine) group decreased by 1.0%.”
  • The Luckiest Boy at Morse Pool – “What made him lucky in my mind was the mom he got, who showed such exquisite patience in the face of monumental challenges. This mom also made me see up close, for the first time, how the parents of the severely disabled face extreme isolation from other parents.”


Bambi Alert! – Tips to avoid/survive deer accidents

  • Getting in Shape Can Help Your [Law] Practice – “Since starting our Wii program, I have noticed a positive change in our staff. Everyone seems to have a little more spring in their step. I myself have a little more energy coming into work. I am not as tired at the end of the day and find myself getting to the office earlier. And I feel like I’m getting more work done.”
  • The blue and the green – “Via my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen.” ht Kottke
  • Using Simple Technology isn’t Easy – “As I tried to explain to them that the technology they utilized, though pretty basic, wasn’t easier to use for someone unfamiliar with it, I struggled to find a good example. Today, I finally found one in the unlikeliest of places: an article by a teenager who gave up his iPod for a week and replaced it with his father’s 25-year-old Sony Walkman.”
  • CH Hanson 24″ Precision Ball Level – “Someone should have thought of this years ago. The aviation-style ball, which replaces a bubble vial, is both accurate and simple to read. Because the level is ball-style it can measure in two directions at once, just like the one in a plane. Plus, it measures angles in degrees or pitches.”
  • After Half-Century On the Hill, Beloved Trover Shop Comes To the Last Chapter – “According to Andy Shuman, business at the store took a turn for the worse two years ago when a fire at a neighboring bar, the Capitol Lounge, caused a half-million dollars in damage to the Trover card shop, which was just three doors from the bookstore. The losses were so extensive they closed the card shop and combined its merchandise with the bookstore. Now, with the economy in a slump and online booksellers chipping away at the customer base, Shuman says the store’s time is up.”
  • Disposable urinal: Travel John – “I’ve used these for several years, and they’re great when the need to urinate calls but no facilities are accessible. I’ve found them useful while flying in small planes that don’t have a toilet, and also when I didn’t want to leave my tent in the middle of a rainy night to relieve myself. … Keep some in your glove compartment. You won’t be sorry.”
  • Shock the Jocks – “A better than decent case can be made that the NCAA is a more invidious anti-competitive cartel than, say, the Standard Oil Trust of John D. Rockefeller, the Tobacco Trust of James B. Duke, the alleged (although in my judgment fictitious) Microsoft monopoly, etc. The NCAA monitors a system of exploiting thousands of workers (e.g., athletes); it has promoted a decline in emphasis on academics; its rules and regulations leads to graft, corruption and a decline in respect for higher education, etc., etc. I don’t even like the NCAA telling teams that their mascots or nicknames are inappropriate. In short, the NCAA, by and large, sucks.”
  • Answers to Common Excuses not to Travel Full-Time
  • Screen on the Green [DC] Sked Released
  • Young children ‘should be taught evolution so they don’t mistake Fred Flintstone for scientific fact’

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