Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Poem of the Day and EBay of the Day

This poem was originally pointed out to me via a Slate article on Dan Rather's retirement (good riddance, looney toons), but I think it applies to the Blogoshere as the Blogger's credo:

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant

by Emily Dickinson

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant---
Success in Cirrcuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind---

And the E-Bay Item of the Day is the other grilled cheese sandwich. Not that Virgin Mary one that went for $28,000 to some online casino, but one of St. Hello of Kitty

It's good to be the groom

So I am here now at my future in-laws after a medium length plane ride and late dinner at a Chinese resturant. After we got back, I did some Contracts but now the course seems even worse than I imagined: there's a hidden math element. I know, adding and subtracting shouldn't be so hard, but they are for me.

Anyway, back to the point...Christina is scrambling to get family to leave in time for her appointment at David's Bridal to look at bride's maid dresses and flower girl dresses for my little cousins. Luckily, per custom I am not allowed to go. Not that I don't care, I just get terribly bored (b/c of ADD) and I have short Achilles tendons so my heals start to hurt if I have to stand around too much. You can see I have all my excuses down pat, including medical rationales.

Unfortunately, I have a two-hour Torts practice test and another 20 pages of contracts plus three restatements to read, but at least I am not standing around for hours looking at dresses I will see out of the corner of my eye for a day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Tort and Tax "Reform"

These are two GOP ideas whose time has come and gone. The proof is out and it isn't pretty, at least for Tort Reform.

A study was done for western states, looking at medical malpractice insurance costs and cross-tabbing that with states that had caps on "pain and suffering" damages. (see chart). Conclusion: in states with caps, insurers are more likely to charge premiums exceeding the national median than those in states without caps.

As you can see, states with caps still have pretty big increases in insurance cost.

As the Salt Lake Tribune noted
, "Even the nation's largest medical malpractice insurer, GE Medical Protective, admitted in a Texas regulatory filing that 'noneconomic damages are a small percentage of total losses paid,' and that capping them would save the company only 1 percent." And of course, such caps hurt only those who need the money to pay for their horrific injuries (because lawyers take a third of the damages in fees).

Now on to lame duck Governor Olene Walker's Tax Reform Package. Walker, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, "on Monday proposed eliminating corporate income taxes. To make up the difference, the state would begin taxing services - including everything from medical care to haircuts - and raising property tax rates. At the same time, every Utahn would pay a lower flat income tax of between 4 percent and 5 percent." Flat tax? Now that's a terrible idea. Walker wants to replace our regressive tax system with an even more regressive system. Flat taxes are always in vougue with Republicans but that's because they favor the rich who make up most of their campaign contributors.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Photo of the Day: Mononi

This great Utes fan dressed up like the Angel Mononi on top of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake and the Angel that, according to the LDS faith, spoke to Joseph Smith and began the whole faith.

Very funny picture, and I didn't get it at first.

US House=Bush's Hit Men

It doesn't surprise me that the Intelligence Reform Bill died. Bush pretended to support it after not supporting it for months. He never tried to push it, he never told his own administration to wholeheartedly support it, including the DoD and CIA, who had the most to lose. DeLay and his Lt.s just went ahead and killed it for Bush so that Bush could do the phony blame game again.

When ever a nasty piece of legislation comes down the pike that Bush wants to get passed or fail, he turns to the hyper-conservative House to do his dirty work, just like a mafia Don and Mob Hit Man.

The reason why Homeland Security passed was not that Bush thought it was a good bill (it wasn't), but that he could use it to beat the Democrats over their heads with union support. This time, there was no boogeyman argument to make and both sides were generally in favor of it, except those in the Intelligence Community that didn't want to lose their control of their turf.

Even the amazing 9/11 widdows couldn't do it. This is the second shameful vote GOPers in the House had to make this week. Dr. Marshall has been documenting who voted for the "DeLay Rule" which allows leadership to be indicted by state courts. Well, I guess Dr. Marshall also found the Istook amendment as well, which allows Committee Chairman to do a sneek-and-peak on Non-Profit groups's that makes three embarressing votes.

How can those guys sleep at night?