December 22, 2007

Couldn’t Help But Notice (122207)

The Federal Elections Commission is in shutdown mode:

The federal agency in charge of policing the torrent of political spending during the upcoming presidential primaries will, for all practical purposes, shut its doors on New Year’s Eve.

The Federal Election Commission will effectively go dark on Jan. 1 because Congress remains locked in a standoff over the confirmation of President Bush’s nominees to the panel. As a consequence, the FEC will enter 2008 with just two of six members — short of the four votes needed for the commission to take any official acti

William Wilson at Townhall likes the shutdown. The Wall Street Journal (link requires subscription) doesn’t.

My reaction: How convenient. Someone should be looking at what’s pending before the Commission, who’s involved, and what they might have to gain by the forced delay,

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There has been major backtracking on the originally highly-visible charges against Rudy Giuliani relating to expenses while he was mayor charges, and this item at the New York Times appears to be the extent of the interest (HT The Corner).

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This is a victory“?

Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides. As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and Think Secret will no longer be published. Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret’s publisher, said “I’m pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits.”

More from Information Week:

Apple accused Ciarelli, who was also an editor at the Harvard Crimson, of “inducing” company employees to break their confidentiality agreements with the company by disclosing trade secrets. The complaint argued that Ciarelli obtained the information illegally by posting a request for people with inside information to contact the site.

I understand why the Mr. Ciarelli settled, as he needs to get on with his life. I believe that Apple lost a round or two in court on this, but I don’t know whether those results are enough to establish any form of precedent that will protect bloggers and other so-called “non-journalists.” I hope so.

I can’t resist asking how the press would have handled this story if a company like, oh, let’s see, Halliburton had conducted itself this way.

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This is not good enough, Harry Reid (as summed by Drudge):

REID NOW SAYS IRAQ SURGE HAS HELPED

‘…the surge certainly hasn’t hurt. It’s helped. I recognize that’ — Sen. Harry Reid, 12/21/07.

Six words, pal — Repeat after me: “I was wrong. I am sorry.”

Positivity: Thanks for the Gift of Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:58 am

From Waukesha, Wisconsin:

Two families connected through an organ donation will meet
December 3, 2007

Brenda Tetzlaff admits it’s been a difficult year, but she said it’s ending on a high note.

“What a perfect way to end the year but to spend time with the people who saved my life,” said Tetzlaff, the recipient of two organs this year.

On Saturday, Tetzlaff, 40, will meet the family who made the decision to follow through on a son’s wishes to donate his organs.

Sandy Noriega of Elgin, Ill., said her family wanted to respect her brother Luis Noriega’s wishes to donate his organs if he should die. They were forced to make that decision this spring.

Luis Noriega, 25, was beaten by students outside of a bar in DeKalb, Ill., over a drink, said Tetzlaff, who went into surgery April 16 at University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison to receive a kidney and the pancreas from Luis Noriega.

Brenda Tetzlaff said she feels the organs saved her life and she wants to say thank you to the Noriegas.

“I have to meet these people. They saved my life,” she said.

The Noriegas are equally excited.

“We’re really anxious to meet her. It’s been a couple of months of writing letters back and forth,” Sandy Noriega said.

Sandy Noriega, 24, and Tetzlaff believe a lasting relationship will come out of the meeting that will be held in the Noriegas’ home in Elgin.

“We lost a brother, but we know that she’s going to be part of the family,” Sandy Noriega said.

“We’re excited and anxious and overwhelmed at this point,” Tetzlaff said. “I think this is just the beginning of a continued relationship and a lifetime friendship.”

Jason Tetzlaff will accompany his ex-wife on the trip to visit the Noriegas. The couple divorced before Brenda Tetzlaff’s kidneys began to fail. Her illness, operation and recovery, however, brought the couple back together and they plan to remarry in the near future. They currently raise their two sons together.

Jason Tetzlaff was supportive of Brenda through it all.

“It was scary, but we were so confident in the doctor,” Jason Tetzlaff said. “It was never a point of will she make it, but will it be successful.”

“I was more afraid for my family and the people who had to wait for me than for myself,” Brenda Tetzlaff said. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.