Quote of the week

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) on Larry Craig: You don’t toss off, er, over, a friend of that duration … There’s been a lot of favorable talk about Larry in the cloakroom.” About how everyone in the Senate thinks he’s a fine upstanding member, no doubt. Quoted in the Washington Post.

Katrina and the waves

So it’s a total disaster in New Orleans. Three levees are breached, one of them has a hole over 150 meters across. 80% of the city is under water up to 6 meters deep. The entire city is without electrical power or water supply. It’s estimated that it will be 9–12 weeks before they can even get rid of the water, much less get the city habitable. Interstate 10 is broken chunks of floating concrete; there’s no route into the city for trucks and other major vehicles.

In case you missed it…

Authorities have located weapons of mass destruction. Actual weapons of mass destruction, enough illegal chemical weapons to kill thousands of Americans. The weapons were located on American soil. For years, William Krar lived with his common-law wife Judith Bruey in New Hampshire. Krar first came to the attention of police in 1985, when he was arrested in New Hampshire for impersonating a police officer. In 1989, he started fighting back against the Federal government in the traditional New Hampshire style—he stopped paying taxes.

Well, fancy that!

Between 1993 and 1998, the stock portfolio of the average household gained, on average, 1.4% less than the market as a whole. That is, most people’s portfolios grew by a bit less than (say) the SP 500. Corporate insiders did better, managing to get gains of 5% above the market average. Regular stockbrokers without inside knowledge are lucky to match the market; only about quarter of managed funds beat index funds.

Ask not for whom the bone bones, it bones for thee

Well, the disaster is playing out as my black, pessimistic heart knew it would. Kerry the two-faced weasel has won a bunch more primaries, and Dean has yet to win any. Why is this bad? Because I’m convinced Kerry is less electable than Al Gore. The problem is, Kerry picks up the votes of the DLC faithful, the ones who believe that the path to success is massive quantities of special interest money, preaching liberal values, and voting for whatever the opinion polls tell you to vote for.

Kindler, gentler RIAA

Hilary Rosen has stepped down as head of the RIAA, to be replaced by (Republican) Bill Frist’s right-hand-man Mitch Bainwol. Will this lead to a kinder, gentler approach by the RIAA? Will they try enticing people to buy downloadable music, rather than suing 60 year old grandfathers for hundreds of thousands of dollars? Well, to get the likely answer to that question, consider that Bill Frist was a medical student at Harvard.

I’ve got a little list

Senate votes and House votes for bombing Iraq whenever Acting President Bush feels like it. Voting yea for war in MA: John Kerry, Stephen F. Lynch, Edward J. Markey, Marty Meehan. While we’re at it, both MA senators voted for the USA-‘PATRIOT’ act (aka USA Act for the Senate vote), as did Lynch, Markey and Meehan, as well as Richard Neal and William Delahunt. I sent e-mail to Kennedy at the time expressing shock that even he voted for it.