Thursday, June 19, 2008

New At The Guardian

My take on John McCain's energy policy. One thing I didn't mention is McCain's support for building new nuclear reactors, which would be a good thing.

Also, there's someone called "Barak Koffler." My son is a time-traveller?


And Now, The Grim Reaping

Interesting tidbit from The Hill's piece on Donald Rumsfeld refusing to endorse John McCain for president:
Rumsfeld declined to comment any further. He also declined a follow-up request for comment on the issue to his personal office.

“He has focused his energy on the Rumsfeld Foundation,” said his aide, Keith Urbahn. One of the foundation’s goals is to encourage young people to participate in public service.

Rumsfeld, a staunch Republican and defense secretary under Bush and President Ford, may find himself in a hard place come Election Day.

Rumsfeld, a former four-term congressman from Illinois and a mentor to Vice President Cheney, has not completely stayed out of politics this year.

“Mr. Rumsfeld is a Republican. He has been helping Republican candidates for decades and he continues to do so this year,” said Urbahn.
I've learned from various inside sources (like a certain Meith Murbahn*) that the population of Rumsfeldland feels completely betrayed by the Bush administration and loathes John "[Rumsfeld] is one of the worst SecDefs in history" McCain even more. Even so, I really, really hope they are not Obamacons.



Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Bright College Years

I swear I wouldn't be posting this if I'd ever won anything like it before. ('Ov' means overseas not-EU.) Notice the female to male ratio. We're worse than physics!

Friday, April 11, 2008

End Of The Long Lonely Road

Yesterday, about 12:30 pm GMT:
Daniel Koffler
Sent by email to:

706 Ogden Ave.
New Jersey 07666

Ref. ISF0809_CB_

10 April 2008

Clarendon Fund Scholarship

Dear Dan,

Congratulations on your admission to the University of Oxford. I am delighted to offer you a Clarendon Fund scholarship to study for the full-time BPhil in Philosophy at Oxford University from October 2008 until September 2010. The Clarendon Fund was established in 2001 and makes awards to the most academically able international graduate students to study at the University of Oxford. Around 100 awards were made in 2007/08, which represented less than 5% of the total number of applicants to this prestigious scholarship.

Your Clarendon Fund scholarship will cover the following:

100% of the tuition fee for both of the two years of your course

100% of the college fee for both of the two years of your course

A full grant for living expenses for both of the two years of your course (£12,940 in 2008/09)

If you decide to undertake a DPhil upon completion of your BPhil degree, you may apply to the Clarendon Fund for a scholarship to cover the cost of your doctoral studies. The Humanities Clarendon Award Panel looks favourably upon such applications.

Today, about the same time:

Dear Dan,

Many thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Further congratulations are in order as I am now able to confirm that Exeter College have decided to accept your application and to award you their Peter Thompson Scholarship to be held in conjunction with the Clarendon scholarship. Well done on being awarded two prestigious scholarships! As such, I have issued a revised offer letter that is attached to this message.
It's been a hellish year. Here comes the sun, as they say.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

New At The Guardian

Forgot to mention this. Last week I had a new piece at CIF on the state of the FISA debate. This thing changes almost daily, but my basic contention, which I think stands no matter what happens from here on out, is that Harry Reid and the Senate Dems missed a huge opportunity to gain the upper hand, and risked losing everything needlessly. Money quote:
After six years of the administration using terrorism as a bludgeon against domestic opposition to its national security and foreign policies, the returns on that particular rhetorical trope have terminally diminished. The American people oppose warrantless wiretapping by a 3-to-1 margin, including a majority of Republicans. By a similar 3-to-1 margin, they want Congress, and not the president, "to take the lead role in setting policy for the country".

The Democrats should have been able to parley that massive structural advantage into an easy victory on Fisa by throttling retroactive immunity for telecoms and toothless oversight provisions in their legislative cradles, putting forward a bill to modernise Fisa that includes robust safeguards for civil liberties, and daring the White House and congressional Republicans to take a stand on whether national security or extra-constitutional claims of executive power are their top priority.

The events of the past week leave no doubt that Harry Reid has a surfeit of confidence in his dexterity as a parliamentarian. If only he had the backbone to match.
Also, I'm now blogging with Michael Weiss at Snarksmith.



Whatever happened in this Superbowl, there were going to be a bunch of assholes gloating. Either it would be a cast of old cranks headlined by Mercury Morris, plus the Manning family, or else the entire state of Massachusetts and most of the rest of New England.

As with Rudy Giuliani going down, disaster has been averted.



Sunday, January 20, 2008

Go Chargers!

Their three best players are hurt, they're a slow-starting team against the best front-runners ever, they're a SoCal team playing in frigid New England --- what could go wrong?

Five minutes to kickoff. Go Chargers!

UPDATE (3:35): 3-0, can't lose now.

UPDATE (4:32): 14-6, Chargers driving inside the 25 with 18 seconds before halftime. Stall. About to kick a field goal. The San Diego defense has been very impressive containing the Pats. Take away the interceptions, and it's a very close game.

UPDATE (4:45): Halftime. Shannon Sharpe's take on the NFC game: "You want to play man-to-man, talent against talent. Unfortunately, some woman showed up, and that's mother nature." It's true; chicks ruin football. Also, Dan Marino's cell-phone went off three times during the halftime report. Jesus H. Christ, laces out, Dan.

UPDATE (5:17): Cromartie intercepts Brady with NE on the 2 yard line. The San Diego defense is pwning New England. The offense is playing damn well too. Just fucking finish a drive.

UPDATE (5:55): Goddamn. Once again, New England looks beatable, isn't beaten.


Friday, January 18, 2008

New At PJM

I have a piece up called "Hillary Clinton's Democracy Problem," about the New York senator's attempt to prevent Obama-supporting casino and hotel workers from voting in the Nevada caucuses. I wrote the piece just before the ruling came down throwing out the pro-Clinton lawsuit, so there are a couple of seams in the tenses, but basically it all stands.

One argument against the Nevada teachers union suit I didn't mention, and should have, is that the Democratic Party of Nevada is a private organization, the caucuses are its meetings, and it has a right to organize them any way it wants to. If the Nevada Dems wanted to awarded 99% of the delegates to the winner of the World Series of Poker, and the remaining 1% to winner of the statewide vote, that would be their right.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

New At The Guardian

At the Democratic debate in Las Vegas the other night, all three candidates pledged to support the odious Solomon Amendment. No one seemed to notice, including Tim Russert, who asked the question. I did notice, though.


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