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.”

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