April 4, 2006

Toughest Job in Ohio Today: Spinning This Poll If You’re the One Down 25

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:00 pm

….. and running on an issue that appears to have no traction.

Now I’ll be the first to say, given the history of Ohio polls, especially the disastrous Reform Ohio Now polls by The Columbus Dispatch and the Ray Bliss Institute last October, that it’s always healthy to be skeptical. And of course, any non-presidential primary election is ultimately about turnout.

That said, I’d rather not be the poor fellow who has to explain why, if your guy is the one shown running 25 points behind, this poll is nothing to worry about (HT NixGuy). Lack of name recognition certainly can’t, or at least shouldn’t, be offered as an excuse.

On a more than a little related matter, here’s a “Dear Congressman Murtha” letter (HT Large Bill) that should give pause to those who think that Jean Schmidt’s House floor speech in November and its aftermath will, or even should, be her undoing:

(a lawyer in Knoxville, Tenn., a West Point graduate and previously an infantry platoon leader in Vietnam, where he earned four Bronze Stars–Ed.)

I SAW YOU ON TV recently. With all the venom and bile you could muster, you pronounced, “This is George Bush’s war.”

I understand fully what you were saying. You were telling the country and – more importantly – our enemies, that this is not your war, that you do not support it.

More than that, you were saying that it is not your party’s war. And, you were telling Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Osama bin Laden and their jihadist allies that it is not America’s war: “This is George Bush’s war!”

You are wrong, congressman. Dead wrong. You are wrong on three levels: institutional, historical and moral.

On the institutional level, Congress voted to authorize this war. Virtually every prominent Democratic politician spoke in favor of its objectives – Hillary and Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Madeleine Albright and Joe Lieberman, to name just a few.

Many now conveniently ignore or seek to rationalize their vote. A few courageously stand by it.

But, it is not Congress’ war, either. When Congress voted to authorize the war and the commander-in-chief gave the order to initiate it, it became our war. Ours: yours, mine, the country’s. Our war, sir, not George Bush’s.

You are wrong, too, about history – past and future. You were referring, of course, to the Iraq “war.” However, history tells us that this is one battle in a larger war against radical, fascist Islamic fundamentalists who seek to conquer.

Read the whole thing. Jean Schmidt is indeed fortunate in who the other side picked to be the face of their antiwar efforts.

Final Proof, As If We Needed It, That Windows OS Malware Is Out of Control

Filed under: Business Moves,Consumer Outrage,Privacy/ID Theft — Tom @ 1:31 pm

….. and apparently beyond control.

This is really sad:

Microsoft Says Recovery from Malware Becoming Impossible
April 4, 2006

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.—In a rare discussion on the severity of the Windows malware scourge, a Microsoft security official said businesses should consider investing in an automated process to wipe hard drives and reinstall operating systems as a practical way to recover from malware infestation.

Offensive rootkits, which are used (to) hide malware programs and maintain an undetectable presence on an infected machine, have become the weapon of choice for virus and spyware writers and, because they often use kernel hooks to avoid detection, Danseglio said IT administrators may never know if all traces of a rootkit have been successfully removed.

He cited a recent instance where an unnamed branch of the U.S. government struggled with malware infestations on more than 2,000 client machines. “In that case, it was so severe that trying to recover was meaningless. They did not have an automated process to wipe and rebuild the systems, so it became a burden. They had to design a process real fast,” Danseglio added.

Danseglio, who delivered two separate presentations at the conference—one on threats and countermeasures to defend against malware infestations in Windows, and the other on the frightening world on Windows rootkits—said anti-virus software is getting better at detecting and removing the latest threats, but for some sophisticated forms of malware, he conceded that the cleanup process is “just way too hard.”

“We’ve seen the self-healing malware that actually detects that you’re trying to get rid of it. You remove it, and the next time you look in that directory, it’s sitting there. It can simply reinstall itself,” he said.

“Detection is difficult, and remediation is often impossible,” Danseglio declared. “If it doesn’t crash your system or cause your system to freeze, how do you know it’s there? The answer is you just don’t know. Lots of times, you never see the infection occur in real time, and you don’t see the malware lingering or running in the background.”

God help us if that “unnamed US Government branch” was Homeland Security. Why would I not be surprised if it was?

Other cheerful news from Redmond covered by eWeek:

I just hope all the IT departments are looking at Total Cost of Ownership, including the periodic wipes and reinstalls that are now apparently required to keep Windows systems going, when evaluating whether to stay with Windows or to move to Linux or Mac systems.

The old saying back in mainframe and minicomputer days of the 1970s and 1980s was that “nobody ever got fired for recommending IBM.” That evolved to “nobody ever got fired for recommending Windows” by the mid-1990s when Windows 95 made its debut. I wonder if the conventional wisdom will hold up in the face of what is for all practical purposes a Microsoft-recommended periodic surrender to the bad guys.

This economy is way too dependent on Microsoft and Windows, and we may in the middle of paying a serious price for that dependence on a company that is shirking a serious minimum-expectations responsibility.

Tom Delay, Former House Majority Leader and Renowned McEwen Web Site Historical Revisionist, to Resign

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:45 am

S.O.B. Alliance member Large Bill nails it on Delay, who strangely decided to have a lengthy interview with Time Magazine on his decision (what, Newsweek was too busy looking for Korans in toilets?):

I’d like to claim that Delay fought tirelessly for conservative causes. However, in the long run he became an advertisement for term limits. I believe he fought harder for conservatism when Republicans were in the minority in the House. In the area of government spending, the Republican controlled House of Representatives has been hardly any better than the previous decades of Democrat control.

I think Delay sealed his fate as a serious leader on Capitol Hill when he infamously claimed that there was nowhere in the mammoth and bloated federal budget where spending could be reduced.

Closer to home, the tragedy in this is that only other known human being in history besides Bob McEwen to go on the record calling what every other human being knows as “The House Bank Scandal” of 1991 and 1992 the “Democrat Bank Scandal” (and what I have decided to call “The House Pickle Relish Scandal,” a name that is now every bit as authoritative as Mr. Delay’s appellation), will no longer be in elected office. For the sake of historical accuracy, and to preserve a small part of Mr. Delay’s legacy, I suggest a name change at Mr. McEwen’s campaign home page to “The Tom Delay-Designated Democrat Bank Scandal.”

Porkopolis Fisks George Will on Immigration

Filed under: Immigration,News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:25 am

It shows you just how tortured the logic of Bush Administration apologists on immigration is that even the normally lucid George Will twists himself into positions he can’t get out of.

S.O.B. Alliance member Porkopolis catches Will at his worst, and fisks. It’s not a pretty sight, but it’s necessary and well-done work.

NixGuy Takes on Battleground PAC’s Bubbleheaded Endorsements

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:16 am

David Smith and Bob McEwen. Except for the age differences, two peas in pod.

S.O.B. Alliance member NixGuy looks at an organization that has endorsed both, and fisks. And then fisks some more.

What’s doubly odd (or worse) is that Tim Holloway of Battleground PAC wrote up Bill Pierce very favorably in early January (also noted at Pierce’s blog). Since then, David Smith has ZERO wins and one tie in county endorsements while Bill Pierce has two wins and two ties.

Yeah, with those results, it makes all the sense in the world that Battleground PAC would switch horses. (/sarcasm) As Nix said, none of it makes sense, and this PAC, while perhaps well-meaning, can’t be taken seriously.

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (040406)

Filed under: Business Moves,Privacy/ID Theft,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:51 am

Free Links:

  • Basic Instinct 2 is a Flop, and It’s Bush’s Fault (HT S.O.B. Alliance member Large Bill). Even the most casual of TV watchers will be surprised to learn what the BI2′s director claims: “Anything that is erotic has been banned in the United States.” More likely: the director lost his, er, touch after the first Basic Instinct, the best evidence of that being the 1995 alltime classic stinker Showgirls (during the apparently erotic Clinton Administration).
  • A University of Texas professor says the Earth would be better off with 90% of us dead. While he is the most extreme in his numbers, it’s important to note that Professor Eric Pianka is not some lone crank wishing for a radical reduction in the earth’s population. Here’s Ted Turner (father of 5) in a February 1999 speech in Washington noted by Media Research Center:

    Mr. Turner recalled a discussion many years ago with Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich, whose 1968 book “The Population Bomb” predicted that hundreds of millions of people would starve to death in the 1970s and ’80s as a result of global overpopulation.

    Mr. Turner said he asked Mr. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne, what the ideal world population would be. “They told me about 2 billion,” Mr. Turner said. World population is now 5.9 billion, but the world could reduce its population to that ideal, Mr. Turner suggested. “We could do it in a very humane way,” he said, “if everybody adopted a one-child policy for 100 years.”….

    Other indicators that there are many out there who believe in radical population reduction are here (conclusion near bottom of page — the earth’s “carrying capacity” is less than 2 billion people, vs. about 6.5 billion now) and here.

  • Identity Theft Supposedly Isn’t as Bad as Portrayed — The quibbling is over 3.6 million households as victims in a recent Department of Justice report vs. the 9.3 million individuals reported by the FTC. Given that the average household has two-plus people, there’s not as much controversy as the article would indicate, and there certainly isn’t any reason to think that ID theft is a less-than-serious problem.
  • S.O.B. Alliance member Porkopolis e-mailed me an interesting story: “Teamsters union members will begin returning to work Wednesday after voting Sunday to approve a new contract with helicopter-maker Sikorsky Aircraft that involves terms similar to those they overwhelmingly rejected six weeks ago when they walked off the job.” Maybe the change of heart had something to do with observing the fates of thousands of Delphi workers in the Midwest.
  • And speaking of the auto business Detroit had another bad month (GM and Ford down 14.6% and 4.5%, respectively, with Chrysler up 2%), while most of the foreign transplants were in positive territory.

Positivity: “Closed-Heart Surgery” A Less-Invasive Alternative

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:06 am

Though it’s still in the experimental stage it has worked, and has awesome potential: