August 31, 2001

Florida License Plate

Florida's current license plates are broken up into two groups of three alphanumeric characters: group one is a letter and two numbers, while group two is three letters. The license plate also features a Florida orange in the center. So, the funniest license plate I've ever seen is apparently both real and accidental.

[warning: sexual innuendo and trust me: you don't want to see anything else from the site hosting this image.]

Posted by wasylik at 07:33 PM

August 22, 2001


Geocaching is so eight months ago.

Posted by wasylik at 05:50 PM

Terry McAuliffe is an Idiot

Terry McAuliffe is an idiot. He feebly attempted to blame President Bush for having only the second-largest surplus ever.

The Democrats, in eight years, created a great surplus. It took George W. Bush eight months to blow it.

McAuliffe's fantasyland ignores the reality that the revenue and spending levels for 2001 were determined last October - before Bush took office. This President's budget won't be enacted until Ocober or later, and tax cuts will be phased in over the next ten years. So the blame for the shrinking budget belongs not to President Bush, but squarely on his predecessor.

Incidentally, we should ask McAuliffe what his plan would have been. Since I've never heard a Democrat advocate spending cuts, I'd be willing to bet that McAuliffe's plan includes a tax hike. When the voters realize that, "blow it" will have a new antecedent - the Dems' last feeble chances at the ballot box.

Posted by wasylik at 05:18 PM

August 20, 2001

Trading Spaces

Like Missy, Dineen has gotten hooked on Trading Spaces. Unfortunately, this means she must watch it when I'm around. It fascinates me like a gruesome car crash, but if any of people from that show ever come near my house, I will repel them with crossbows and boiling oil.

Brown felt? On the walls?? That's not design, it's revenge.

Posted by wasylik at 01:01 AM

August 19, 2001

Chinese Emissions

So, if China were made part of an international global climate agreement, would they continue to lie about their production of greenhouse gases?

Posted by wasylik at 06:07 PM

August 14, 2001

Chuck Schumer, Gun Nut

Recycled LinkChuck Schumer is a gun-toting maniac. Of course, CBS only showed you his hands. Link from Thinkhole.

Posted by wasylik at 10:58 AM

Steve Ballmer Loves His Company.

Steve Ballmer loves his company. Steve Ballmer is still a dork. [warning: large mpeg (movie) file]

UPDATE: I guess I'm a little late on this one, but if you haven't already seen it, enjoy.

Posted by wasylik at 10:41 AM

August 08, 2001

Decoding Code red

What do you do if another computer, infected by the Code Red worm, attacks your machine? You could:

NOTA BENE: Some of these tactics may not be legal where you live.

Posted by wasylik at 09:54 AM

August 03, 2001

Fuzzy Aroung the Edges

Al Gore, fuzzy around the edges.

Posted by wasylik at 10:47 AM

Six Feet Under

Thought I'd share a thoughtful essay on my new favorite TV show.

Posted by wasylik at 10:46 AM

Remember Al Gore droning about

Remember Al Gore droning about the Dingell-Norwood bill in last fall's debates? The President scored a huge legislative victory this week by bringing Charlie Norwood, one of that bill's sponsors, to a compromise on the Patient's Bill of Rights. The House of Representatives backed the compromise version, breaking last week's logjam.

Since both parties agreed on virtually 90% of the proposed protections, the compromise bill has only a few significant differences even from the proposals backed by liberal expansionsists like Senator Kennedy. Unlike the Democrats' proposal, the compromise version isn't an unlimited bonanza for trial lawyers - c'mon, did you really think patients would ever see a dime from lawsuits? - it's got an upper limit of one-and-a-half million dollars on non-ecomonic damages, with another possible $1.5 million for punitive damages.

"Non-economic" is an important word. That means there's no cap on economic damages, like medical bills, lost wages, and so on. The $1.5 milion cap limits only intangible claims like "pain and suffering," with another possible $1.5 million for punitive damages. The article in the local rag conveniently obscures that fact, but it's significant, and here's why.

I used to work for a firm that defended medical malpractice cases. Every once in a while, we'd get a wrongful death case. Even in the wildest dreams of the plaintiff's lawyers, those claims never sought more than two million, usually closer to one million, including economic and non-economic damages. A million, rarely two, for the ultimate bad ending. Most of that million or two would come from economic damages - lost income from a supporting spouse, medical bills incurred trying to save the patient, and so on. So the limit on non-ecomonic damages proposed in this compromise bill should be more than ample for just about every case where an HMO makes a serious mistake.

But that's not good enough for the Democrats. Nowrwood asked them:

Isn't this what we have been fighting for all these years? What are you holding out for?

They are holding out for their trial-lawyer friends to have unlimited power to threaten deep-pocketed insurance comapnies. Mind you, if the Democrats have their way, I'll make a lot more money over the next several years, because when these lawsuits mushroom - like they did for nursing homes, but exponentially worse - any lawyer who can read a medical record will eventually get a piece.

Notwithstanding the Democrats' efforts to line my pockets, I think the cap is a good idea - one that should be extended to doctors as well.

Posted by wasylik at 10:31 AM

August 02, 2001

Senate Democrats Sink a Nomination

Senate Democrats sunk the nomination of Mary Gall to head the Consumer Product Safety Commission this week, in a straight party-line vote.

Her supporters characterized the opposition as based more in politics than substance, largely because her renomination to the commission -- by former President Clinton -- went unopposed in 1999. She also had the support of a Democratic commission member.

Let's get this straight - when Clinton appoints her to the Commission, not a single Senator votes against her, then when Bush nominates hear to chair the Commission, every Democrat - including some who voted for her last time around - voted to reject her? I guess that's what happens when you let the Party of Clinton play with legislative power.

Posted by wasylik at 02:22 PM

August 01, 2001

Three Cheers!

Recycled LinkThree cheers! There's a new blogger in town, and it sounds like he's got his head on straight: The Capitol Warning. This is great - I'm looking forward to adding another right-minded fellow to Weblogs-Social-DC functions. The two of us might be able to persuade the others of the inherent correectness of our views, where just the one consistently failed. Bookmark this guy - he's good.

Credit to Derek for the link.

Posted by wasylik at 11:49 PM

Virginia Democrats Scrape Bottom

Virginia Democrats, desperate for a victory, any victory, have resorted to dirty tricks in the governor's race:

Is Howard Stern a Mark Warner supporter, too? On Jim Gilmore's monthly radio call-in show yesterday, the Virginia governor gamely fielded snarky comments from "Jennifer from Alexandria" about Gilmore's handpicked candidate to succeed him, Republican Mark Earley. Listening to "Jennifer" ask Gilmore such questions as "Have you expressed concern to Mr. Earley to really kind of get his act together?" The Post's Craig Timberg thought he recognized the voice of Amanda Crumley, communications director for Democratic candidate Warner. Afterward, Crumley stopped just short of fessing up to the prank call, but conceded, "You've got to break up the monotony somehow."

The next day, Crumley wrote letters of apology to both Earley and the radio station, WTOP, said the radio station.

Posted by wasylik at 11:48 PM

Firefighters Die for Fish

The death of four firefighters in the Northwest reminds us that regulations are not free, and government actions have consequences. Personally, I'd trade every species of those fish to have those four people back, but my value system may not appeal to all.

Posted by wasylik at 11:34 PM

Bowden Interviews Walker

Terry Bowden interviews Randy Walker, coach of the Northwestern Wildcats football team.

I'll say this about [quarterback] Zak Kustok: I've seen guys and I've coached guys who throw it better, I've seen guys who run it better, haven't seen many smarter, but I know this -- I've never coached or been around a quarterback who, just by walking on the field, makes 10 guys better.

Part One Part Two

Posted by wasylik at 11:32 PM

Lott on Civil Rights

John Lott debunks the report of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, despite attempts to silence him.

The [Democratic] majority [on the Commission] has consistently acted to stifle debate. First, the commission report was leaked to the New York Times before minority Republican members were even given a copy. Then the majority refused to provide their data to the minority before a Senate hearing last month. As noted earlier, they are still unwilling to explain how they calculated their results. Despite promises to the Senate that the minority report would be disseminated by the commission, the majority decided two weeks ago to allow only the portions of the minority report that omitted any references to the research that I had done.
Because the majority refused to provide the minority commissioners with any resources for a statistical analysis, I agreed to do such work without compensation. Despite numerous precedents to the contrary, the majority now argues that only work by consultants paid by the commission can be included in any dissent. Amazingly, the minority is not even allowed to cite my work regarding the Florida elections. How then is the minority supposed to be able to produce any contrary evidence? What is the majority afraid of?

Rational debate. The wolf-criers are always afraid of rational debate since it detracts from their appeals to emotion. Lott may be a brilliant economist and statistician, but politically, he's a babe in the woods.

Posted by wasylik at 02:14 PM