A Lobbyist? 
Forty-eight Republicans and seven Democrats voted to strip the requirement in lobbying reform bill that would make some bloggers register as lobbyists. Link

One thing that didn't make sense was how they would determine who should be a lobbyist and who shouldn't. For example, I don't know if I have 500 readers of my blog or not. Sure, I can see my site stats and the traffic and what parts of my site are being viewed but that doesn't give me the number of people who read my blog. My site's stats do show which country my readers come from too. If I comment on an issue and someone in Germany reads it, is that still considered a grassroots cause? Additionally, the blog is just one part of my site and I comment on a range of topics, not just politics, so I wasn't sure what the ruling on that would be.

The other thing about this proposed item was that it would have created more lobbyists. It seems to me that a big problem in Washington is too many lobbyists to begin with. Adding more would be crippling, that is if things can actually get worse than they are. If anything, a lobbying reform bill should contain one provision and one provision only - to ban lobbyists.

Well, luckily it's a dead issue right now. It will probably make a comeback soon enough though.

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100 Million still Afflicted 
Information Week reports that downloads of IE 7 have topped 100 million and almost all of them are upgrades from IE 6. It's a shame that so many people are vexed by a new strain of this contagion. The cure can be found here.

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From a recent column by Jonah Goldberg:

The New York Post recently compiled a list of the things that the New York City Council tried to ban not all successfully just in 2006 alone.

The list: pit bulls; trans fats; aluminum baseball bats; the purchase of tobacco by 18- to 20-year-olds; foie gras; pedicabs in parks; new fast-food restaurants (but only in poor neighborhoods); lobbyists from the floor of council chambers; lobbying city agencies after working at the same agency; vehicles in Central and Prospect parks; cell phones in upscale restaurants; the sale of pork products made in a processing plant in Tar Heel, N.C., because of a unionization dispute; mail-order pharmaceutical plans; candy-flavored cigarettes; gas-station operators adjusting prices more than once daily; Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus; Wal-Mart.

NYC really leads the way in trying to infuse government control into all aspects of the private citizen (with San Francisco a strong number two). It's come to this: if someone doesn't like something, then it's banned. It seems like the more liberal the city, the less rights one seems to have. The focus is on the negative rights - what one can't do because it may harm, inconvenience, anger, insult, or isolate someone - instead of the positive rights - what are one can do; yes there are still some of those around. Regulating the harmful may be all well and good and with good intent but when government, at any level, wishes to regulate whether an adult can buy tobacco or whether someone cannot use a cell phone, that reduces government to a sinecure; it has no more useful function yet it still takes our money. Government has no business regulating actions that merely inconvenience or anger someone. Let the restaurant ban the cell phone. Let the paying customer decide if the circus is bad for animals.

Ironically, many people want the citizenry to live like the animals in a circus - free meals, free housing, free health care, being watched night and day, yet they only see the harm it causes the animals, not the people.

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Dream Team 

Of course, this would never work, but I can speculate. Aside from the scientific and ethical barriers to cloning and the changes in warfare since each man last donned a uniform, it's unlikely that Grant, Sherman, and Patton would be able to use their expertise in dealing with terrorism.

Grant would be in charge of all forces in Iraq. Patton would be in command of the Third U.S. Army and Sherman would be in command of the Army of the Tigris. Each man would report directly to Grant. Sherman's command would include Baghdad and the eastern and northeastern theatres. Patton's would handle the western and northwestern theatres. The tanks of the Third Army could control the wider area while Sherman's infantry could handle Baghdad and secure all paths of entry from Iran.

First, let's talk about Grant. To be blunt, Grant was a failure in both civilian and his first stint in the army. Any talk of giving a major command to someone like Grant nowadays would be met with major resistance. Grant's strategy was basically to deprive the enemy of the resources needed to fight. Today, we cannot do that. Instead, we are supposed to negotiate with those whom provide the resources. Aside from calls to negotiate with Syria and Iran, we would have to negotiate with our own media who just loves to fan the flames, just as they did in 1864. Grant often complained about how the Northern press downplayed any Union accomplishment while exaggerating and extolling any Union setback or Confederate action. Not much has changed.

Then there's Sherman. He also fought to deprive the enemy of their resources and will to fight. Sherman was a master of intelligence and preparation. Before he began his march through Georgia, he had gathered all the information about each county in Georgia - what each grows and how much - in order to maximize his living off the land and depriving the enemy of that. He also utilized all trains and wagons that supported his march solely for transport of anything that could not transport itself, in other words, if it had feet, it walked. Sherman would quickly put a barrier between Iraq and Iran with an attempt to halt the flow of arms and personnel. Any intelligence gathered by Sherman would be called fabricated by the media and they would certainly whine and howl if Sherman didn't tell them anything.

Patton would use all resources available to him to inflict harm on the enemy. However, in the 1940's, when the media was a more patriotic, he still fell under a lot of criticism and calls to Marshall to remove him. Today, he'd be castigated almost as much as Dubya. Letting loose with everything we have is discouraged and Patton would not be able to fight a politically correct war.

For better or for worse, the nature of warfare has changed. The great generals of yesteryear would not be able to function and do what they were trained to do. Today's microwave society views every setback as utter failure and it demands instant gratification. Both the Civil War and WWII were fraught with setbacks and events really didn't go our way until the very end. However, there was a desire to win at any cost and that desire has disappeared. Terrorism isn't going to go away if we decide to stop fighting it. Nazism didn't disappear until it was defeated. The Confederacy did not disappear until it was defeated. We need to stop defeating ourselves and look at the long-term possibilities if we disengage from our current fight. We could use any one of these three men today. Let the military do what it's trained to do and they'll succeed.

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New Format and Host 
I am planning on moving from Blogger and, also, a new format. I need ideas on color combos that will look neat. What I have right now is too dull.

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