Blog Ipsa Loquitur

I am morbidly fascinated by political theater. If there’s anything my generation has learned from Jon Stewart, it’s that you can spend your days pulling apart the inane things that come out of politicians’ mouths without ever (a) running out of material or (b) getting anything accomplished. In the spirit of pointless parsing, I offer the following.

Newt Gingrich on President (and First Lady) Clinton in 1994:

“He’s a very smart, very clever tactician whose core system of activity is a combination of counterculture and [George] McGovern. … They really are left-wing elitists and they really thought the country didn’t get it and therefore it was their job to give the country the government that they thought the country needed, even if they didn’t want it.”

Newt Gingrich on President Obama Monday:

“[he’s] a Harvard, Columbia, University of Chicago elitist from the most expensive private school in Hawaii, who lives in an elite, radical worldview in his head.”

Newt Gingrich on President Clinton Monday:

“[he’s] a very down home Arkansas kind of guy” with a “common sense understanding of the average person.”

I can understand having the same criticisms of the moderate Democratic president in 1994 and the moderate Democratic president in 2011, but I hope Gingrich doesn’t pay a lot for his speechwriter, because this is hardly new material. On the other hand, at this rate, Gingrich is likely to have very nice things to say about Obama in 2026, so I suppose the charges of “elitist” and “radical” can’t sting too much. 

When Gingrich does decide Obama’s an OK guy in 2026, (at Gingrich’s current rate of divorces and marriages) he will be on his fourth marriage, which will begin in 2019 with a woman 38 years his junior. He’s actually remarkably consistent in his selection of wives. Each is 15 years younger than her predecessor, and Gingrich marries once every 19 years like clockwork.

Credit to First Read, which came up with the quotes, but had the good sense not to crunch the numbers on Gingrich’s marriages.

Published on under Irreverently Irrelevant

From Neurobonkers:

The John Hopkins scientists defended their bonkers dosage by saying earlier ecstasy studies by the US National Institute for Drug Addiction (NIDA) injected monkeys with twice the dose they used, noon and night for 4 consecutive days. This dosage and timespan is so nuts that the fact that all of the monkeys in the study didn’t drop dead immediately should suggest ecstasy is a pretty safe drug.

Instead the NIDA study is one of the assortment of batshit studies used to support the claim that ecstasy causes brain damage. Of course ecstasy causes brain damage to animals if you inject vast amounts of it on a twice daily basis for days on end. Neither studies bother explaining why they are injecting the monkeys rather than using the normal method of oral administration.

Apparently, injecting massive amounts ecstasy into your brain nearly constantly only kills 20% of monkeys. Just great. Now I need to scrap my whole five-year plan.

Published on under Irreverently Irrelevant

Manhattan mom sues $19K/yr. preschool for damaging 4-year-old daughter’s Ivy League chances:

Nicole Imprescia yanked 4-year-old Lucia from the York Avenue Preschool last fall, angry the tyke was stuck learning about shapes and colors with tots half her age - when she should have been prepping for a standardized test.

[…]

Imprescia’s court papers suggest the school may have damaged Lucia’s chances of getting into a top college, citing an article that identifies preschools as the first step to “the Ivy League.”

Your first instinct may be to construct a doomsday device and crash the Earth into the Sun, preventing future generations from withering under such stupidity. However, there may be a pretty solid false advertising action, if the school claimed to structure their classes one way and actually structured them another way. If that’s the case, a refund doesn’t seem like the worst remedy in the world.

Of course, if the claim is bizarre tort like “interference with intellectual hypertrophy of toddler,” that might be a little bit more strained.  Read the rest of this positively riveting tale at NY Daily News.

Published on under The News

From Reuters:

Disability insurer Aflac Inc fired comedian Gilbert Gottfried as the voice of its iconic duck on Monday after a series of Twitter jokes about the earthquake in Japan, Aflac’s most important market.

Gottfried fired off a dozen jokes on [Twitter] over the weekend, all riffing in one way or another on the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami. One joke suggested Japan needed an urgent shipment of rubber ducks, though many tended toward the crude and sexual.

The company said his comments “were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac.”

I think you could have left it at “his comments were offensive, disturbing, and we don’t want to be associated with him.” Way to go that extra mile, though.

Published on under Irreverently Irrelevant

Microsoft and Apple are in a kerfuffle over the right to use the phrase “App Store” in conjunction with selling programs for mobile devices. This is a fight between two global electronics companies, which is to say that I don’t really care who wins.

But the way the fight is playing out is hilarious: Microsoft wants Apple to have to re-write its latest brief to the judge because the font Apple used was too small. I actually had to re-submit a brief in my legal writing class because I used improper margins, so I can sympathize with Apple here. Except not so much, because I didn’t have $60 billion in cash just lying around.

Published on under The News

A heads-up from the Madisonian: What’s New About Copyright?

Madisonian Bruce Boyden posted a three-part series at Prawfsblawg about what’s new and what’s old about the aggressiveness on the part of copyright owners that is a disconcerting feature of modern copyright law.

Part 1: Ballooning Statutory Damages in Copyright Law

Part 2: Are Meritless Claims More Prevalent in Copyright?

Part 3: Aggressive C&D; Letters: Turbulence in the Copyright Phase Transition

Published on under The News