Friday, December 10, 2004

Kerik withdraws; AP gets vapors

The AP is reporting that Bernard Kerik has withdrawn his nomination as Secretary of Homeland Security, citing a potential "nanny problem", similar to the ones that killed the nominations of Zoe Baird, Kimba Wood, and Linda Chavez. (Baird and Wood were Clinton nominees, and Chavez was a George W. Bush pick.) What caught my eye was this groundless swipe:

But the only moderately troubling information uncovered about Kerik so far had been news that Kerik had earned $6.2 million by exercising stock options he received from Taser International, which did lucrative business with the Homeland Security Department, [a Bush administration] official said.

Kerik was not involved with DHS at the time that the options were exercised; in fact, there was no indication that the position would be available, let alone offered to him.

This appears to be another attempt to smear the Bush administration by attempting to portray profits from private sector activities as rapacious greed (see Richard Cheney and his deferred compensation from Halliburton, see George W. Bush and his profits from the sale of the Texas Rangers; there are other examples). Unlike the Democratic Party politicians, who disappear into academia, the media, or NGO's during the interregnum between their administrations, the Republicans tend to enter the private sector, where they sometimes (gasp) MAKE MONEY from business deals. Kerik's background is military, he ran a police force, and he is a consultant to the Baghdad police. Undoubtedly, he was aware of Taser's products, and whether or not the company had growth potential.

Most of the fuss is over the fact that he has sold several milliion dollars worth of Taser International stock. most of it in the last month. It obviously didn't occur to the AP reporter to mention that Kerik would need to sell the stock to avoid a conflict of interest, since it is likely that DHS will continue to do business with Taser. It is similar to the firestorm surrounding Cheney and his Halliburton stock in the fall of 2000. Cheney was forced to sell his stock before the inaguration, but came under media scrutiny (pushed by the Democrats) when Halliburton stock dropped in value over the next few months.

(Link nicked from Instapundit.)

posted at 09:43 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

O Christmas Tree


(click for larger image)

It would be nice to see every blogger's Christmas Tree (or Menorah, as Meryl has been doing.) Maybe I can start a meme here...

posted at 02:27 PM | permalink | Comments (0)


Since everyone else seems to be doing it, Horologium does its first Friday catblogging.

I don't have cats, but my housemate has two of them. In general, I'm not a cat person, but these two are affectionate, clean, (mostly) well-behaved, and DECLAWED. The last is important, because their favorite attention-getting technique is to use one's leg as a scratching post, so you will rub their cheeks.

This is Belle. She is the princess of the household. She is elegant and dignified, except when she's being silly. She was basking in what passes for sunshine here.


This is Roz, the bread slayer. He is the only cat I have ever met that will chew through a plastic bag to eat hot dog buns (which he has done on at least three occasions). He is the alpha kitty, but Belle has been known to stand her ground when he gets too aggressive. In this picture, he is eyeballing the rye bread I am getting ready to eat. I had set it down to grab a soda from the mini-fridge upstairs.


(click on pics for larger images)

posted at 02:19 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Basketbrawl—10 face charges

The Detroit Free Press reports that the Oakland County (Michigan) District Attorney is filing charges against five Indiana Pacers basketball players and five Detroit Pistons fans for the melee caused at the November 19th game at the Palace at Auburn Hills.

For the athletes and four of the fans, the charges are relatively minor (one or two misdemeanor assault charges each), but if ANY of the athletes go to jail, even for the relatively short maximum of 93 days, it would be a first, and a sorely needed start. As I have opined before, the fans cannot be held solely responsible for the brawl, but the Free-Press article seems to imply that the fans are getting a raw deal. I disagree; I feel that all five of the fans should be permanently banned from any sporting events held at the palace (or any NBA event), and I do mean a lifetime ban. Likewise, the players should be booted from the league (and also the CBA, the minor league affiliated with the NBA). Neither is likely to happen, but that's because of our kinder, gentler legal system.

(Link courtesy of The Volokh Conspiracy.)

posted at 10:16 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

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