According to The Zero, people from both parties are saying that Oregon gov. Retread's presser yesterday, apparently intended to dampen the controversy surrounding him and his First Squeeze, likely had the opposite effect. Even their usually reliable lefty columnist, Steve Duin, got some digs in:
It came to this Friday morning: John Kitzhaber masqueraded as the clueless, helpless, rudderless fool he has long derided.
In the painful process, he begged us to believe Oregon's governor and Cylvia Hayes are both officially engaged ... and legally disengaged.
Even as Kitzhaber reaffirmed his love for Hayes at Friday's press conference - in response to the charge he has long been blinded by it - the governor clumsily moved to distance himself from her on various legal, political, and tax-evasion issues.
Man, when you've lost Duin....
But over at Willy Week, Nigel Jaquiss has probably been "unfriended" because he keeps finding stuff:
State records show that the nonprofit, Rural Development Initiatives, saw its state funding grow from $25,000 in 2010 to more than $214,000 in 2011, the year Hayes went to work there.
RDI saw its state funding fall to just $2,500 the year after Hayes left.
The new information adds to the growing list of questions about all the ways Hayes has benefited from her relationship with her fiance, Kitzhaber.
According to Retread, his Squeeze is in Sweden, or maybe Berlin, right now. She might be looking for an offshore account to stash some of the cash she got from her "green energy consulting" gigs. Or she might be trying to land another "green energy consulting" gig. Or she might just be trying to get as far away from the west coast of the USA as she can; the other side of the planet's about as far as she can get for now.
Jim Moore, director of the Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation at Pacific University, calls the timing of the non-profit's funding increase “suspicious.”
“You’d have to ask yourself, what did taxpayers get for that $215,000 of state money?” Moore says. “The amount going up and down when this independent variable Cylvia Hayes shows up definitely requires some explaining.”
Moore says it would require an investigation to find out what really happened.
“Unless there’s a smoking gun, we won’t know if Kitzhaber was involved in directing the money,” he says. “If it’s not Kitzhaber, then it’s probably somebody on his staff or in the bureaucracy who thinks it's a good idea to funnel money to wherever Cylvia Hayes happens to be.”
At present, it appears that the Oregon Ethics Commission is investigating, but they can't really do much. Of greater interest is that the FBI has reportedly launched a criminal investigation into Hayes' activities, although there's presently no word as to whether or not they've included Retread in their examination.
One interesting slip from Retread during yesterday's presser: he said that he had hired lawyers for his First Squeeze and himself, which is at odds with earlier reports. Since this is going to cost Retread several tens of thousands of dollars, his Squeeze may need to report a large gift on her tax return.
But then, she's just a girl with a box of tissues; she can't be expected to know how these things work.
They don't seem to have any ILWU thugs to deal with when ships come calling at Astoria Anchorage, but businesses in town and in nearby Warrenton get a boost from shopping crew members; everybody from water taxis to cabs to the local shops and restaurants benefit as they open their wallets.
The rest of Oregon, however, isn't so fortunate, as ILWU thugs continue to disrupt commerce. They've walked off the job twice again this week, and they're doing a remarkable job of making the case for their replacement with automation.
One Hanjin vessel abandoned plans to call at the Port of Portland this week after repeated delays in loading and unloading another cargo ship already in port. The Port of Portland confirmed the vessel had turned away from Portland.
Stayton's Mastercraft Furniture shut down for over two weeks this month because fire retardant material required for product construction failed to arrive thanks to ILWU interference. 180 employees lost their paychecks as a result. Farmers are losing out as well, as their agricultural products sit on the docks.
What is needed here is not "mediation" between the thugs and the Pacific Maritime Association; what is needed is exactly what President Reagan did to the airline traffic controllers: the ILWU needs to experience a massive firing. For the time being, the jerks need to be replaced with people who are actually willing to do the work, and the PMA needs to devote serious attention to automating those jobs.
Robots don't walk out, they don't slow down, and they don't engage in sabotage. Better yet, they don't require lunch breaks and health insurance.
Let the ILWU thugs flip burgers for a living.
Now it's going nationwide. Gov. Retread held a rare presser today at 10 a.m., and managed to make it a whopping 20 minutes before his staffers cut the thing short. Retread was described as looking pale and having a shaky voice, and at one point he asked for a glass of water to wet his windpipe. Mostly, all he said was the same thing over and over: the ethics committee will decide.
He sounded like a weak version of that Sea-Chickens football player who kept saying that he was at the presser to avoid a fine.
He also claimed that she won't serve as an "adviser" this time around. Right. Depending on who you want to believe, his First Squeeze is either in Sweden or Germany, supposedly "on vacation" (she just works so hard, you know).
There are so many stories about this now that really the only thing to do is put the links below.
It seems that we've come full circle: last year, a bit of litigation seeking to have a chimpanzee declared eligible for all human rights in Vermont was shot down, but a similar case involving an orangutan in Brazil met with success. And as it happens animals have a long history of involvement in litigation.
All over Europe, throughout the middle-ages and right on into the 19th century, animals were, as it turns out, tried for human crimes. Dogs, pigs, cows, rats and even flies and caterpillars were arraigned in court on charges ranging from murder to obscenity. The trials were conducted with full ceremony: evidence was heard on both sides, witnesses were called, and in many cases the accused animal was granted a form of legal aid — a lawyer being appointed at the tax-payer’s expense to conduct the animal’s defence.
At one point, a group of rats were to be brought to trial for the crime of despoiling barley, but their barrister won them a dismissal over the objections of others who wanted them arrested for failure to appear in response to a summons. The barrister's argument appealed to judiciary's sense of justice: since the rats moved frequently, they may have been unaware of the summons, and even had they been, they were probably too frightened to obey, since as everyone knew they were in danger of being set on by their mortal enemies the cats.
The magistrate, unable to convince the villagers to keep their cats indoors for the duration of the trial, ordered the charges dropped.
In 1750 a man and a she-ass were taken together in an act of buggery. The prosecution asked for the death sentence for both of them. After due process of law the man was sentenced, but the animal was let off on the ground that she was the victim of violence and had not participated in her master’s crime of her own free-will. The local priest gave evidence that he had known the said she-ass for four years, that she had always shown herself to be virtuous and well-behaved, that she had never given occasion of scandal to anyone, and that therefore he was “willing to bear witness that she is in word and deed and in all her habits of life a most honest creature.”
These and other examples of jurisprudence may seem quaint, if odd, and people may attribute such cases to general ignorance that prevailed in the times. Yet this is precisely what animal-rights activists are seeking today. They believe that all animals are entitled to the same rights as humans - but with a difference: they don't believe that animals should be held accountable for their actions, which is what jurisprudence attempted to do in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
The Associated Press has gone into semi-auto mode:
Minutes after Apple released its record-breaking quarterly earnings this week, the Associated Press published (by way of CNBC, Yahoo, and others) "Apple tops Street 1Q forecasts." It's a story without a byline, or rather, without a human byline — a financial story written and published by an automated system well-versed in the AP Style Guide. The AP implemented the system six months ago and now publishes 3,000 such stories every quarter — and that number is poised to grow.
They say that reporters aren't in danger of losing their jobs; the technology supposedly frees them to delve deeper into subject matter in order to write smarter and more interesting stories.
Full automation began in October, when stories "went out to the wire without human intervention."
No word as to whether libel/slander laws can be applied to publications authored by software "without human intervention".
It's official: we won't have Mittens to kick around any more.
Washington (CNN)Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will not make a third run for president, he told supporters on a Friday morning call, saying he believes it's "best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity" to become the nominee.
It's well known that his wife, Ann, wasn't at all interested in hitting the campaign trail again.
Among the random email notes that arrive here, most aren't worth the time. Some, like Sam, occasionally send some interesting links to peruse, but most of it just goes into the trash. Penile enhancement? Really?
People that want me to run ads for them? Um, generally, no. I have one ad here, because they're pretty good at what they do. That would be the buildasign folks; we don't have a revenue-sharing agreement, I just like their work. Go there if you want a sign or some cards or whatever; they have quality stuff at reasonable prices.
But that's really neither here nor there: I linked the blog to Twitter some time ago, and so with each post, a "tweet" goes out with a link. I may have to re-think that.
I got a note this morning, noting that someone is now "following". That happens pretty often, actually, but this one was different:
Oh boy. I'm not sure this is good news.
That's what Oregon SoS Kate Brown claimed in a recent letter to the FCC that was ghost-written by a Comcast representative. After all, their "service" is Comcastic! And don't you dare try to disconnect from them:
Like many phone companies and ISPs, Comcast makes it frighteningly difficult to cancel an account. The company retains an army of retention specialists whose sole job is to keep you from signing off. Last year, the journalist Ryan Block recorded a Kafkaesque conversation he had with a Comcast retention specialist from hell.
But sometimes, even federal bureaucrats manage to get something right, as we see with yesterday's settlement between the FTC and TracFone:
Federal regulators are cracking down on mobile service providers that advertise “unlimited” data plans only to reduce the speed of data transmission if customers reach a certain limit on their data use. Slowed data speeds can make it difficult for mobile device users to browse the web or watch streaming videos.
On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced that TracFone Wireless, the largest prepaid mobile provider in the United States, had agreed to pay $40 million to settle agency charges that it deceived consumers by unfairly engaging in the practice, known as “throttling.”
The FTC is continuing to work on a similar case involving AT&T, which has also engaged in throttling while promising unlimited data plans. The problem, here, isn't that it interferes with streaming video - which the article stupidly cites as a concern - the problem is that it slows transmission of plain old data. That impedes your ability to access public information records, among other things.
Fortunately, I don't rely on phones to do that, but throttling, if permitted, would rapidly expand to other spheres.