Friday, August 16, 2002

BLACKMAIL, ANYONE?

A lot of Blogs, icluding Media Whores Online, are making major play of this story of the Firefighters turning on President Bush. What utterly kills us is the first sentence:

The International Association of Firefighters caused a furor yesterday by voting unanimously to consider boycotting President Bush's October speech honoring the 343 FDNY personnel who died in New York.

They voted, unanimously mind you, TO CONSIDER boycotting Bush's speech.

Those Firefighters are a whacky bunch, and they are just nutty enough to actually do it.
THOMPSON TO 'LAW AND ORDER'?

Rumors are flying that Senator Fred Thompson is negotiating with Law And Order to take over the role of District Attorney, a role currently filled by Diane Wiest. Luckily, we have a friend at NBC who has secretly risen to a level such that he can over-hear actual big shots, and he tells us that a shake up is in the making. The whispers from inside NBC are that Dick Wolf thinks the biggest mistake he's ever made was bringing in Wiest, who he feels is more suited for motion pictures. They have discussed Fred Thompson, but apparently a deal is not imminent. What is imminent, we are told, is that Wiest is gone.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

FINISH HIM OFF, SON

Roman Sunday, Sr. had a problem. His son was a little bit of a sissy, and Mr. Sunday racked his brain to come up with a way to toughen him up. The plan he finally decided on? He encouraged his 13-year-old boy to shoot dead a 12-year-old neighbor after the neighbor had been handcuffed and beaten. Sunday should have 25 to life to consider whether he did the right thing, according the the SF Chronicle report.

IS IT THAT TIME AGAIN?

It's getting that you can set your watch by The Rittenhouse Review. At least once a week, amid all of their smart and interesting posts, The Review writes something really way off base. Today, The Review smacks down Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins for (gasp!) having opinions!

It's not that Rittenhouse doesn't agree with Sarandon and Robbins, (they do), the big problem is that they are afraid of the reaction of the right wing to the opinions of the actors. Rittenhouse also goes on to write:

Thus, like any intelligent person (sic), we pretty much ignore political observations and prognostications coming out of Hollywood.

Now regardless of what that grammar does to the contention of it being written by an 'intelligent person', The Rittenhouse Review is flat out wrong. Actors, actresses and even Bloggers have the right to opine in this country, and when people start worrying about the reactions to their heartfelt opinons, they have already lost the argument.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

THAT SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT

Here's a hillarious passage from David Lazarus' column in this morning's SF Chronicle:

But Bush repeatedly told forum participants that he didn't have time to delve into complicated issues and would instead look over summaries of the topics discussed.

"Life of the president, always have to go," he told one group of executives before departing the room.

The Associated Press described Bush at another session as gazing off into space as a speaker read from prepared remarks.


Can't you just feel that economy rebounding now?




WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE SERIAL KILLER?

One of us got hit with that question at a party, and frankly, we didn't have an answer. Now, having time to think about it, we can finally announce our top 5 serial killers of all time:

#5) Son Of Sam---Turned New York into a crazy place in the mid-seventies.
#4) John Wayne Gacy---Burying victims under his house and garage scored creativity points.
#3) Henry Lee Lucas---The Gold Standard when it comes to volume. Claims over 600 victims.
#2) Jack 'The Ripper'---Never caught, but sloppy work kept him from top spot.

And the number one serial killer of all time is:

The Zodiak Killer---Never got caught, used different types of weapons, taunted the police, and continually wrote letters to the editor of the local papers.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

COME TO THE LIGHT, EDWARD

Ted Barlow has long been one of our favorite reads, and not just because he was the first Blog to link to us. (Well, maybe it’s kinda because of that, but not primarily.) Sadly, Ted has yet to see the light in the Medical Privacy Rules debate, and in fact is still supporting the new Bush regulations.

Ted makes three basic points in support of the new Medical Privacy Rules. The first is a bit of a red herring, and easily disposed of. Ted maintains that in the case of a medical emergency, the current laws would prevent an ER doctor from examining the patient’s records without the patient’s permission. So, if the patient were unconscious, he couldn’t give his permission…etc. In that sort of situation, legislation and judicial decisions all support a doctor doing everything possible to save a patient. If the patient can’t tell the doctor NOT to look at the records, then the doctor legally could examine the records if he felt it would help the patient.

But as Ted points out, this is, for the most part, meaningless as a patient’s record’s aren’t available to be transferred immediately to, say, an ER. Yet.

Ted’s second reason to support the new rules is that the patient may fill out a few less forms. Make no mistake; there WILL be forms to be filled out, but maybe 6 less. Hardly a reason to give up personal rights, we think.

The third point is the sale of the info. Ted has a source that says they can’t sell the info, and we have a source that says they can. Frankly, we are looking for more info, but as of now, we don’t know who is right.

But, the point Ted seems to be missing is that these new rules mean LESS privacy for us. Ted may have no problem with his medical records being transferred from his hospital, to his HMO, to his insurance agent, to his employer; to his…well you get the idea. And, make no mistake about it; these records will make the rounds. But, what if somebody didn’t want his or her personal medical information possibly ending up on The Smoking Gun? Well, he’s outta luck now.

Ted is also missing what exactly we are talking about. Medical records are far more than forms, and charts, and x-rays. They contain everything your doctor ever wrote down. They contain the information of an abortion a wife kept secret from her husband. They contain information of a doctor “suspecting” a wife was being beaten by her husband. They contain information that flat out doesn’t need to be on some bureaucrat’s desk at some HMO in South Dakota if the patient doesn’t want it to.

Ted, less privacy for citizens may help streamline our visit to the hospital (and that’s debatable), but at what cost?
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

Now that Jessica Cortez is back home safely, the race to get her on TV has begun. Today Show producers, fresh off their coup of getting 17-year-old Jacqueline Marris together with Katie and Matt, quickly offered up a FAO Fun Barbie®. Not to be out done, producers from Paula Zahn's squad threw in Barbie, and a Camille Sunbathing set. Donahue's people added an Elegant Doll Canopy Bed to their package. Cortez' parents seem to be holding out for a family trip to Disneyworld and free therapy for Jessica.
THE CARL LEWIS OF BLOGS

The ever-vigilant Mickey Kaus is all over the latest Doris Kearns Goodwin flap. Yesterday, August 12th, Mickey gave us 493 urgent words taking Goodwin to task for another helping of plagiarism, based on the actual reporting of Peter King. Of course Mickey's post linked to an August 7th LA Times article which is actually only a letter to the editor concerning King's article which appeared August 4th. It merely took 8 days, but Mickey was able to manufacture some outrage towards a better writer. Well done, Mickster!

In future days, Mickey promises some 'incredible, mind-blowing revelations' concerning the Iran-Contra Affair, promises to let us in on who shot JR, and predicts Roger Maris' home-run record may be broken someday!




Monday, August 12, 2002

HERE THEY ARE!

The top 25 greediest executives!

1 Qwest Communications $2.26 billion Philip Anschutz
2 Broadcom $2.08 billion Henry Samueli
3 AOL Time Warner $1.79 billion Steve Case
4 Gateway $1.27 billion Ted Waitt
5 Ariba $1.24 billion Rob DeSantis
6 JDS Uniphase $1.15 billion Kevin Kalkhoven
7 i2 Technologies $1.03 billion Sanjiv Sidhu
8 Sun Microsystems $1.03 billion Bill Joy
9 Enron $994 million Lou Pai
10 Global Crossing $951 million Gary Winnick
11 Charles Schwab $951 million Charles Schwab
12 Yahoo $901 million Tim Koogle
13 Cisco Systems $851 million John Chambers
14 Peregrine Systems $818 million John Moores
15 Sycamore Networks $726 million Gururaj Deshpande
16 Nextel Communications $615 million Craig McCaw
17 Foundry Networks $582 million Bobby Johnson
18 Juniper Networks $557 million Scott Kriens
19 Infospace $541 million Naveen Jain
20 Commerce One $531 million Thomas Gonzales
21 AT&T $475 million John Malone
22 Network Appliance $470 million David Hitz
23 Inktomi $431 million Paul Gauthier
24 Priceline $417 million Jay Walker
25 Vignette $413 million Ross Garber

Needless to say, our C.E.O. is miffed that he didn't make the Fortune list.
WHEN DID JON KARL BECOME A SENATOR?

CNN's Inside Politics had an interesting exchange that is yet another example of the liberal-leaning media. On the Subway Series, Senator Bill Frist (R.-Tenn) was discussing the possible net change in the Senate after the upcoming election.

SENATOR FRIST: We'll probably pick up about one net seat and that's our goal...

JONATHON KARL: Your goal is to get us back to 50-50?

Remember the days when reporters at least tried to be objective? Yeah, us either.

TED BARLOW JUST DOESN’T GET IT

Sometimes, when we see the inane press releases coming from the Bush Administration, we wonder whom they are fooling. Well, it looks like recently they fooled none other than one of our favorite Bloggers, Ted Barlow.

Our pal Ted has fallen victim to the Bush spin concerning the new rules concerning the medical privacy regulations. In March, Ted swallowed the White House press release concerning the release of personal medical records, and wrote this:

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which was completed at the tail end of Clinton's second term, puts some strong restrictions on patient privacy. In particular, patients are supposed to give written permission every time their records are passed on to someone else. This is, indeed, a swell way to protect patient privacy. However, there are times when a third party has a legitimate reason to access patient records. A pharmacist might want to know what medicines you're taking, or an ER doctor might want to know your medical history. If you're incapacitated, you aren't able to tell them.

Ted, you were wrong twice there. First, if you are INCAPICATATED, is your pharmacist your biggest concern? And if you are INCAPICATATED, then that would be an exigent circumstance and a ER doctor would be able to take ANY steps necessary to save your life, including looking at any and all medical records available, whether you have approved or not.

What concerns us more about this situation is Ted is still defending the new plan. Today he wrote that the Bush Administration was right on this one. And even though he linked to his older post, he must not have read it. In the older post he writes:

I'm looking at the press release right now, and it looks like they can't share patient information for marketing purposes without the specific authorization of the patient.

Here is a quote from Saturday’s LA Times:

The Bush regulations also allow health-care providers, pharmacies and drug companies to profit from the use of patient records, giving them broad leeway to use medical information to market their health-care products.

So even though the new rules will allow something that Ted thought was wrong, he still thinks it’s a good idea. Ted, now’s the time to do something that the Bush Administration would never do; Admit you’re wrong on this one and move on.
YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING

Nick Cage and Lisa Presley got married over the weekend. While we wish them all the best, for some reason we think their marriage is going to make Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie look like Ozzie and Harriet.