The Electric Commentary

Monday, October 03, 2005

Weekend In Review

1. Bush seems to have brought both parties together with his nomination of former Texas Lottery Commissioner Harriet Miers to the US Supreme Court. The left doesn't like her because she's a Bush crony, she appears to be unqualified, and because they don't like anything he does.

Conservatives don't like her because she's clearly a crony, she appears to be a "diversity" pick, and they don't know what she thinks about anything.

I'm looking forward to these Senate hearings immensely. It's one thing to have Senators asking stupid questions to a smart, qualified guy like Roberts. Adding another politician to the mix and it could be absolutely hysterical.

2. In football news, Peter King is right. I watched the Lions-Bucs game yesterday, and I must confess that I originally thought Pollard was out of bounds. However, after watching the replay many times, I now believe that Pollard was in bounds, and, as King points out, there was certainly no indisputable visual evidence to overturn the call on the field. So the Lions were screwed.

Also, I can't help thinking that ESPN's Len Pasquarelli doesn't write his "Morning After" column until he reads Peter King's MMQB column. He conspicuously starts this week's effort by stating that the call was correctly reversed, as if he's responding to King's assertion. Len is wrong. Peter is right.

3. NFL Call of the Day:

From NFL ref Jeff Triplette, attempting to explain that the defense is being called for a penalty for causing the offense to false start (From memory. I may be a bit off, but I definitely have the important part right):

The defense committed unnatural acts which enticed the offense into moving early.

Let me tell you, that was a very exciting game indeed.

4. That reminds me. If you're British, try not to get prostate cancer:

In most countries with national health insurance, the preferred treatment for prostate cancer is ... to do nothing.

Prostate cancer is a slow-moving disease. Most patients are older and will live several years after diagnosis. So it is not cost-effective under socialized medicine to treat the disease too aggressively. This saves money, but at a more human cost.

Though American men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than their counterparts in other countries, we are less likely to die from the disease. Less than 1 in 5 American men with prostate cancer will die from it, but 57 percent of British men and nearly half of French and German men will. Even in Canada, a quarter of men diagnosed with prostate cancer die from the disease.

That's from the Cato Institute's Michael Tanner, via Cafe Hayek.

5. I'm not a big fan of the economic term "rent-seeking." Tyler Cowen suggests some foreign alternatives including:

SOKAIYA Japanese

A man with a few shares in several companies who extorts money by threatening to come to the shareholders' meetings and cause trouble.

6. Paul Krugman screwed up his facts in a column in which he claimed that Gore won the 2000 election by all recounts. This is simply not true, which Pauly K should know, as his paper participated in at least one of the recounts that would have given the election to Bush. He has refused to run a correction, so editorial page editor Gail Collins did it for him. And, as Ann Althouse points out, she didn't even do a very good job. Of course, since no one reads Krugman anymore (thanks, TimesSelect!) it doesn't really matter.

7. I thought the Minnesota Vikings were going to get their act together this week with Mewelde Moore running the ball. I was wrong. They're just not very good.

8. Brian Baldinger and Kenny Albert, or Steve Albert, or Herp Albert, or whatever, were responsible for the worst 20 minutes of football that I have ever seen in the final half of the Vikings/Falcons fourth quarter. It was a blowout, and even though it wasn't a Bear game the network would not switch to the exciting Eagles/Chiefs game. They stuck with it and Baldinger and Albert made OC jokes, made excuse after excuse for Culpepper, and stated several times that the Vikings could still be a dangerous playoff team. It was a travesty, and Albert (we all know how he got his job) needs to be fired.

9. Here's a solution for cities below sea level:

There are 37 houses strung along this branch of the Maas like a row of beads. At first glance, they seem quite unremarkable. Two storeys high, semicircular metal roofs and yellow, green or blue facades - hardly any clues let on that these are The Netherlands' first amphibious houses. The cellar, in this case, is not built into the earth. Instead, it is on a platform - and is much more than a mere storage room. The hollow foundation of each house works in the same way as the hull of a ship, buoying the structure up above water. To prevent the swimming houses from floating away, they slide up two broad steel posts - and as the water level sinks, so they sink back down again.

10. The Packers are going to win tonight.


  • The thing about instant replay is, the NFL sold us a bill of goods when they gave it to us. They assured us that the delays would be no more than 90 seconds and it would only overrule the most obviously mistaken calls. Yesterday's review in the Lions game lasted more than 90 seconds and it overruled a call that was correct on the field. Yes, I'm a Lions fan. But I defy anyone who saw the great technical work ESPN did last night to dispute that Pollard had the ball and his knee was down in bounds.

    If replay actually were limited to delays of 90 seconds, and if it actually did overturn only the worst of calls, I would favor it. Because it isn't and doesn't, I don't.

    By Blogger MDS, at 2:27 PM  

  • We had the same problem with the Vikings game here in Nashville. I was wondering if they were counting us to be in the Atlanta market somehow, but I guess you had the same problem. I was forced to watch the Titans-Colts game followed by the Vikings game. Dreadful.

    By Blogger Mike, at 3:22 PM  

  • Your prediction of an exciting nominee hearing may be correct, but not because Miers is a politician. Apparently she is know for being very tight-lipped and basically has been in administrative positions for a long time. What might make it exciting is if the political support is weak enough so that it requires her to actually have to say something to try to win confirmation, unlike Roberts, who was guaranteed to be appointed as long as he didn't say something inflamatory.

    Floating houses sound neat. Of course, when they are old enough for poor people without cars to live in them, they probably won't be capable of floating anymore.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 5:21 PM  

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