HMMMMMMMM AGAIN: That “senior Bush administration official” is at it again, suggesting that Saddam may have destroyed his WMD before the war. The official “suggested that the sanctions and UN inspections probably prompted Mr. Hussein to dispose of much of his stockpile.”
CAMPAIGN FINANCE AGAIN: If you really care what the useless campaign finance decision says, the New York Times characterizes the holding in this way:
Constitutional: a ban on advertisements that attack or support candidates.
Unconstitutional: a ban on using soft money for other purposes, like increasing party registration or getting out the vote.
And if you simply must read the decision for yourself, you can do so here.
Later I will have a post on why this is all completely ridiculous.
THOSE RECORD COMPANIES: The New York Times reports here about some extremely aggressive steps being researched by the record companies to address the issue of illegal music downloading. Many of the proposed steps include loading the trading networks with computer programs designed to disrupt the computers of downloaders.
Some of the more interesting approaches being considered include a program called “freeze” which “locks up a computer system for a certain duration minutes or possibly even hours risking the loss of data that was unsaved if the computer is restarted. It also displays a warning about downloading pirated music.”
“Another program under development, called ‘silence,’ scans a computer’s hard drive for pirated music files and attempts to delete them. One of the executives briefed on the silence program said that it did not work properly and was being reworked because it was deleting legitimate music files, too.” Whoops!
The record companies have worked hard to earn the hatred that helped spur the illegal downloading phenomenon. I am happy to see that they are now working hard to win back the trust and respect of consumers — by unleashing computer viruses on them.
GOOD POINT: I don’t know if you’ve seen the latest ads for Las Vegas with the slogan: “What happens here stays here.” But I am wondering what the casino employees who leaked documents about Bill Bennett (as described in my post here) think of the new ad campaign.
(Courtesy of a reader of The Corner.)
CAMPAIGN FINANCE DECISION: If you’re looking to Patterico for clarity on the campaign finance decision, look no further. Not because I can provide it, but because nobody can. So stop wasting your time.
A friend e-mails with articles from MSNBC emphasizing what has been struck down, and notes that the Dog Trainer has emphasized the parts that were upheld. The bottom line is that nobody really knows. The media can’t even agree on whether the decision is 1500 pages, 1600 pages, or 1700 pages.
I am not even going to provide links to any of these articles, because you shouldn’t waste your time. Here’s all you need to know:
1. The only potential importance of a lower-court decision in a case as politically charged as this one lies in the factual findings. In this case, the three judges could not agree at all on the factual findings, which were not even based on live testimony. For these reasons, the members of the U.S. Supreme Court will not give this decision any deference whatsoever. Nor should they.
2. The decision is 1500-1700+ pages long. As a result, very few will actually read it.
The only reason anyone should actually get their hands dirty with this mess is if they have to seek or give actual practical advice on what the law is before the next election. We run-of-the-mill citizens should just wait for the Supreme Court decision.
WHOM DO YOU TRUST?: This article in the Weekly Standard, titled “Bad Reporting in Baghdad,” says that reporters in Baghdad have been exaggerating the amount of hostility to America in Iraq, and underreporting the gratitude of the Iraqi people. The article backs up its contentions with specifics, and makes a pretty convincing case.
I would like to see responses from the reporters accused of distortion. But I’m sure they consider themselves above that. They would likely simply sneer that the article appeared in the Weekly Standard, and they and their newsroom buddies would consider that a sufficient retort.
IT TAKES ALL KINDS: The world is filled with interesting people, including a guy with a web page containing over 50 pictures of various food items balanced on the head of a rabbit. (Not at the same time.)
SAD: Regardless of your opinion of the whole Israeli/Palestinian deal, a picture like this is very sad. (It is also graphic, so skip it if you can’t take that sort of thing.) It is hard to look at a picture of a two-year old child who has been shot in the head, especially if you are a parent.