DC Intern Diaries

I'm a female 24 year old DC permanent intern. You name it and I've probably interned it. I'm also a graduate student in DC.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Not So Much Solitude

So, I was wrong. Went to see the tree with J tonight and thought we'd go to Old Ebbitt Grill. Man was it packed! Lines of people waiting out the door. So even though 60% of DC is gone, all the tourists are here so good tables without reservations aren't as easy to come by. Don't tourists know they're supposed to come during the summer? Or before/during Christmas? So it's a half-victory. So I get a seat on the metro, but I can't walk down the street without walking into some slow walking tourist who's walking and stopping and talking and staring at a map all at the same time in front of me.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Solitude of December in DC

DC feels so empty this week. I have gotten seats on the metro to and from work, which never happens!! This morning I chose to stand on the metro and there was tons of room (despite sending a 4 car instead of typical 6 car train). So of course a guy stands right by me, practically on my toes. Seriously dude give me my personal space back! Ughh...that just annoys me. There were so many other places to stand rather than intrude in my corner!

If I had time or money after all my Christmas shopping, this would be a great week to go to dinner. Since there aren't that many people in DC, it would make it easier to get reservations and to get actual service without having to be a Senator or lobbyist or Republican.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Commenting on Lunch and Courtesy

It always sorta annoys me when people walk by and say things like "that doesn't look appetizing" about my low calorie frozen dinner lunch. I don't generally comment on things other people's food. I cwouldn't tell something what they are about to eat looks "unappetizing" or "gross", etc. I mean they're about to EAT it. It's because it's frozen right? I mean if I made a crappy looking sandwhich or brought leftovers I cooked, would people feel as free to comment?

I hear stuff like this all the time. Probably 1 time out of 3 when I am eating a frozen dinner for lunch, someone in the office says something negative about it.

Personally, I'm proud of myself for ignoring the yummy fattening lunch delights of ABP (their sandwhiches all seem to be 500+ calories, and their salad dressing has 200-300) or getting a cheeseburger, pizza, or fat filled burrito. My lunch has 230 calories, and I'd be eating at least 500 calories if I went to ABP, Baja Fresh, Cosi, our the other assorted sandwhich, hamburger, taco, and pizza places. And I'd feel full and tired after.

I shouldn't have to feel embarassed about my lunch at work, right?

Inauguration Parties and Events

Which party to attend? Creative Coalition's party with Macy Gray sounds fun, but $1000 is certainly out of my price range...

TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2005 VENUE EVENT DURATION
SALUTING THOSE WHO SERVE The MCI Center 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
CHAIRMAN’S RECEPTION Mellon Auditorium 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
YOUTH CONCERT The Armory 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2005
CHAIRMAN’S BRUNCH Mellon Auditorium 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
A CELEBRATION OF FREEDOM The Ellipse 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
CANDLELIGHT DINNER #1 Union Station 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
CANDLELIGHT DINNER #2 The Washington Hilton 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
CANDLELIGHT #3 National Building Museum 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2005
ST. JOHN’S CHURCH SERVICE St. John’s Church 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
OATH OF OFFICE CEREMONY US Capitol 12:00 p.m.
INAUGURAL PARADE Pennsylvania Ave. 2:00 - 4:30 p.m.
CONSTITUTION BALL Washington Hilton 7:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
FREEDOM BALL Union Station 7:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
INDEPENDENCE BALL Convention Center (A) 7:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
TEXAS WYOMING BALL Convention Center (B) 7:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
LIBERTY BALL Convention Center (C) 7:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
DEMOCRACY BALL Convention Center (D) 7:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
PATRIOT BALL Convention Center (E) 7:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
STARS AND STRIPES BALL Convention Center Ballroom 7:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF BALL National Building Museum 7:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 21, 2005
NATIONAL PRAYER SERVICE National Cathedral 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.



Michael Moore Goes After Easy Targets

FDA and pharmaceutical bashing is becoming a sport. Before the Vioxx scandal I think the only people concerned about the FDA were big business and lobbyists. Now even Moore is interested. I wonder what he'll find that Congress and the regular media won't. There seem to be plenty of information already exposing the FDA's shoddy follow up and that they're in the pockets of lobbyists and big business (what government agency that regulates an industry isn't???) I'm just surprised that this is considered such "new" news that FDA officials might speed up processes to help out their big business pals and that big companies might fudge or hide data. Where does all this confidence in big business come from anyway to begin with?

****
The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that at least six drug companies have released internal communications telling employees to be wary of filmmaker Michael Moore.

Moore's targets have included General Motors ("Roger & Me"), the gun lobby (the Oscar-winning "Bowling for Columbine") and President Bush ("Fahrenheit 9/11").

Moore, normally seen sporting a beard and a ball cap, has now set his sights on the health care industry, including insurance companies, HMOs, the Food and Drug Administration and drug companies.




Thursday, December 23, 2004

Aww...Poor Rummy

Rumsfield admitted yesterday that his feelings got hurt when people accused him of being insensitive to the fact that he arrogantly sent his troops into a sinkhole of carnage - a vicious, persistent insurgency - without the proper armor, equipment, backup or preparation.

His disgraceful admission that his condolence letters to the families of soldiers killed in Iraq were signed by machine - "I have directed that in the future I sign each letter," he said in a Strangelovian statement - is redolent of the myopia that has led to the dystopia.

By the way, strangelovian is my word of the day. Problem is, I can't find a definition of it. I particularly love the sentence "is redolent of the myopia that has led to the dystopia." Love it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Washingtonienne

In response to my post about being bored at work, someone posted the Rosen article "Your Blog or Mine" about Washingtonienne...like my blog is even nearly as spicy as Washingtonienne's...not even close!!! And I'm not on the Hill anymore, so my life isn't as gossipy and I'm not as noticeable. The Hill is the most bizarre frat because it has all the qualities of a frat plus gossip, naked ambition, pretentiousness, extreme sucking up, stepping on anyone you can, politics, wonkiness and dorkiness all mixed in. It's much harder to remain unnoticed and anonymous outside of that environment. And at this point, I try to avoid it as much as possible. I used to be in love with the Hill, but seriously the competitiveness and the fratiness just were to much for me. I'd rather be somewhere where my hard work, and not "who you know" or "who you are sleeping with" is valued.

Another difference - Washintonienne told her friends about the blog. I haven't told the vast majority of my friends. What if I want to gossip about them?

I also don't gossip about work. I wanted to when I started this blog, and then I read the whole Washingtonienne thing, and I've worked WAY too hard to get fired. Sure there are plenty of tidbits I'd like to chat about, the comments I've heard from Congressmen, gossip about federal agency leaders, etc. But, I'd be shooting myself in the foot to be to descriptive about work. And probably violating all those documents they made me sign about confidentiality during most of my jobs since much of that information I learned during my job. Unlike Washingtonienne, I am extremely ambitious, and being a Playboy centerfield is not my idea of ambition or having a career. Sure she has money now, but at what price? I plan on making money the good old-fashioned way - working my butt off to get into elite schools and then getting a high paying job at an elite firm.

Some similarities in personalities though. We were both in gifted programs as children and have very high IQs. I do have a steady boyfriend that I love but sometimes feel "bored" with, even though I can't rationally explain it. Because like Jessica, I am bored constantly. I am also attracted to men with power and money. I also enjoy money. I never had it growing up; one of the most awful moments in my life was when I was beat up and pushed into the mud (down a muddy hill actually) in junior high because I only had one pair of old hand me down jeans that I wore all the time, and it feels great to be able to buy stuff and have several pairs of jeans in my closet (although of course only one pair fits well).

Like Jessica, I have left, and once been asked to leave, a menial job. It's hard for intelligent people with high IQs to answer phones all day. I know you have to work your way to the top, but I worked throughout college (30-45 hours a week) and earned good grades, and I thought that it would get me above 20k or a legislative correspondent job on the Hill at least. And I too was frustrated after college, where I earned honors from a top school, to only find low level, low paying jobs where I was treated like a secretary, even though that was not my job title or in the job description (which was much more policy and legislatively focused). Unlike Jessica, even though I had interned several times on the Hill and for several Members I couldn't get an entry level staff position. I was "too qualified" for staff assistant and "not qualified enough" for "legislative assistant." And so on it went until I decided to quit and go to school again. I think I would have been a great staff
er. I get "A"s (which is like top 5-20% depending on the prof) in all my legislation and administrative law classes because I'm good at it.

Anyway, this article too is a great source of Washingtonienne gossip -
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54736-2004Aug10.html

Is the Don, Donald Trump a democrat or republican?

Because I'm such a big Apprentice fan and it's over, I have to find something to occupy my time. So because I like politics, I thought I'd look at Donald Trump's political contributions.

2004 Presidential Election - even money for Kerry and Bush in the primary - playing it smart and hedging bets....doesn't sound as risk-taking and determinative as the Don likes from his candidates...sounds pretty wishy-washy to me, and on the Apprentice the Don doesn't seem to like wishy-washiness...even if for political expediency...this one is dissapointing...

2004 Senatorial races

Spector (R-PA) - but he's pretty moderate, particularly on the Judiciary Comm
Schumer (D-NY)
Daschle (D-SD) - interesting that the Don tried to keep Daschle in power....didn't think he was as good for
big business
Kenendy (D-MA) - hmm...helped the bleading heart liberal
Dodd (D-CT)
McCain (R-AZ) - no surprises here, McCain seems like someone Trump would have on the Apprentice
Reid (D-NV) - always a good investment to invest in leadership

2004 House Races

Kelly (R-NY) - a relatively moderate woman
Rangel (D-NY) - liberal NY democrat
Shaw (R-FL) - hmm...don't know about this one...personal friend? seems sorta random
Kennedy (D-RI) - he likes those Kennedys
Lobiondo (R-NJ) - NJ...hmm...
Foley (R-FL)...another Florida Republican
Fossella (R-NY)

Groups:
25,000 to the DSCC - the Don supports a democratic Senate
1000 to the Reform Pac - not sure what this is

In the past, in 2002, the Don gave money to Americans for a Republican Majority, the RNCC, the DSCC, and a variety of Democratic Senators, including The Hillary, Bowles, Biden, and Hollings.

In conclusion: The Don isn't as decisive in the realm of politics and takes the safe stance of hedging his bets on the presidential election. BUT, he appears to support a Democratic Senate and a Republican House, although he has a few Democratic House favorites, mainly New York incumbents (don't want to piss them off) and Kennedys. Interesting that he would go for a divided Congress. So in his ideal world, the Republican House passes all the tax plans and corporate deals that are helpful to him, while the Senate deliberates and applies democratic policies to things like international affairs and judicial candidates.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The tyranny of boredom

When will work end?? There's nothing to do during the day during the holidays b/c no one's around! It's like everything stops. I mean, I even had a place to stand on the metro this morning that wasn't under someone's armpit!! The past couple months when I had spare time I'd read for class or look at the law firm websites I was interested in and try to make a decision on which one to go to (which I did a few weeks ago now), and in the past couple weeks I would study for exams, but since my last final was last week (yeah!), I have nothing to do. Except order classic novels on Amazon, look at vocab websites, read more blogs and blawgs then I ever have, check out boots on sale at Nine West, and read the Washington Post cover to cover.



Apparently I'm not the only person who can't get decent housing in DC....

Jenna Bush and three girlfriends, with whom she wants to share a home, coveted a 4,500-square-foot, four-bedroom house in the charming Cleveland Park section of the city. But they were rejected.

The owners? New York Times Paris bureau chief Elaine Isoline and her husband, lawyer Andrew Plump.

They had no political problem with the young Republican. But reports of Jenna's partying while in college was not a big plus for the Paris-based pair, our source claims. The necessity for a Secret Service presence with electronic surveillance may not have been a hit either, the source adds.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/gossip/story/263729p-225816c.html

Associate Clobbered on "Apprentice" Finale

I was so hoping for a female lawyer to win....

New York Lawyer article, available at: http://www.nylawyer.com/news/04/12/122004j.html

"In the end Jennifer Massey didn't just lose, she got slaughtered."

And on and on it went, as Massey's abrasiveness and weak win-loss record came back to haunt her. The 30-year-old associate from the Palo Alto office of Clifford Chance was forced to watch her own dismemberment on a TV monitor, her fixed smile wavering only a little. The drubbing got so bad that another contestant objected to her getting "thrown under the bus" during the three-hour show, part of which was held before a raucous audience at Lincoln Center in New York City."





My Christmas List

1. Diamonds
2. Beamer convertible (silver)
3. Something from Kate Spade, Coach, Dooney, Louis, Gucci, or Fendi
4. Manolos or Jimmy Choos
5. World Peace

Think that covers it...

2004 Judicial Hellholes

1. Madison County, Illinois
2. St. Clair County, Illinois
3. Hampton County, South Carolina
4. West Virginia (entire state)
5. Jefferson County, Texas
6. Orleans Parish, Louisiana
7. South Florida
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
9. Los Angeles, California

"Judicial Hellholes are places that have a disproportionately harmful impact on civil litigation. Personal injury lawyers seek out these places because they know that they will produce a positive outcome – an excessive verdict or settlement, a favorable precedent, or both." - ATRA

I generally do not buy into many of the tort reformers claims, I think that there are serious problems and deterrence issues with limiting damages and limiting plaintiffs ability for their day in court. However, some of the medical tort reform is necessary at some point - because I agree with the conservative think tanks that too much medical litigation is driving the cost of insurance too high and driving doctors out of those regions - which is very harmful to the citizens of those areas. As ATRA points out, Philadelphia’s court is driving physicians out of Pennsylvania. In 2001, 704 medical school residents stayed in Pennsylvania after completing their residency training. In 2003, that number fell to 285. One orthopedic surgeon who left Philadelphia for Maryland, which has limits on damages saw his insurance rates fall from $103,000 to $8,000.

The common good of having doctors in a region is ultimately more important that one plaintiff making $10 million in punitive damages from a doctor. However, I think that punitive damages still serve an important role in the legal system and shouldn't be capped so much as to be worthless and ineffective.

2004 DC state of the legal market

The Washington DC region has rebounded and now exhibits a much better legal job market than 2002 and 2003. Of course, some practice groups are doing much better than others and the firms are still demanding to see candidates with strong academic credentials and solid experience.

The region still enjoys one of the lowest, if not the lowest, unemployment rates of any major region in the United States. But the legal job market has not enjoyed the incredibly low unemployment rate seen in other sectors. In fact, it is said often that the current high unemployment rate has been more severe on white collar workers, such as lawyers.

The last three months have certainly shown an increase in demand for well-credentialed lawyers. In fact, we have had more job orders from law firms and more candidates interviewing during the month of December in 2003 than 2002. January got off to a roaring start, and we believe it will continue for the rest of 2004.

As detailed in our last state of the market report, the creation of a new federal agency, the enactment of the Medicare Bill, and the recent crises in the energy market has caused firms to look for candidates with specialized expertise. But the engine of the legal market recovery has been litigation and securities law practices. We have multiple listings for commercial litigators and those with enforcement and regulatory experience in securities law. Again, most of the firms demand strong academic success and solid experience. There are several firms looking to add insurance coverage litigators as well. IP litigators with electrical engineering background are still sought after.

Because of the unique position of the DC legal market, which is home to various government regulatory agencies, certain practices have begun to see more of a demand for strong candidates, including healthcare, energy and, again, securities law. There also is some interest in employee benefit lawyers. International trade lawyers with experience on representing foreign entities will find their services are also in more demand than in recent past.

Although corporate and M&A associates will still find the market challenging, openings in these areas have started to trickle in. Because there so few jobs in these practice areas, firm can afford to be highly selective and would only entertain hiring someone who has an outstanding resume.

One practice area we have had success in placing people in recently is internet privacy law, which has been a part of the trademark practice in the past. This is a specialized field and only those with actual experience, in addition to academic success, are being considered by firms.

Of course, partners with a significant book of business are always in demand. We have some firms who will consider partners with $500,000 or less in business. Of course, partners with at least $1,000,000 in portable business will find a firm of their choice. In some practice areas that are currently experiencing difficulty attracting work - such as corporate, M&A, capital markets, project finance, and telecommunications - the required book of business is quite modest. Because the trend in the law firm marketplace is consolidation, we would suggest that now is the right time for those partners inclined to move to do so.

practicing my new years resolution

I want to improve my lagging vocabulary. I find myself speaking and writing and find it hard to believe I am the same person who earned an 800 on the verbal section all those years ago. Work and post-college schooling have made me dumber, more terse and concise and unimaginative in my writing, and more focused on politics and law, rather than well-rounded, scholarly, and intellectual, as I was in high school/college. Damn my elitist college for making me think I could actually be an intellectual or creative or think in the real world!

So my resolution is to start thinking again and find time to read non-school related books - classics (I like 20th and 19th century Brit and Russian lit, I am going to try to get into some French lit as well) and some philosophy. It may seem like more studying on top of next semester's courseload, but damn it, I am going to find my brain again!

Another part of my resolution is to start working on my vocabulary, buy one of those Princeton Review or Webster vocabulary guides and use a new word a day. I think it's deleterious to allow my former mastery of english vocabulary and grammar to fritter away and I will be tenacious about recovering it.

This week's practice word is importune: to plead or urge irksomely, often persistently.
Ex: I importune my boyfriend to be more romantic.
Ex2: I importune my boyfriend to buy me diamonds for Christmas.
Ex3: I importune my boyfriend to....well you get the point.

Things to Do Before Bush's Inauguration

http://trebz.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=347

1. Get that abortion you’ve always wanted.
2. Drink a nice clean glass of water.
3. Cash your Social Security check.
4. See a doctor of your own choosing.
5. Spend quality time with your draft age child/grandchild.
6. Visit Syria, or any foreign country for that matter.
7. Get that gas mask you’ve been putting off buying.
8. Hoard gasoline.
9. Borrow books from library before they’re banned: Constitutional law books, Catcher in the Rye, Harry Potter, Tropic of Cancer, etc.
10. If you have an idea for an art piece involving a crucifix, do it now.
11. Come out, then go back in: HURRY!
12. Jam in all the Alzheimer’s stem cell research you can.
13. Stay out late before the curfews start.
14. Go see Bruce Springsteen before he has his “accident.”
15. Go see Mount Rushmore before the Reagan addition.
16. Use the phrase, “You can’t do that; this is America.”
17. If you’re white, marry a black person; if you’re black, marry a white person.
18. Take a walk in Yosemite without being hit by a snowmobile or a base-jumper.
19. Enroll your kid in an accelerated art or music class.
20. Start your school day without a prayer.
21. Pass on the secrets of evolution to future generations.
22. Learn French.
23. Attend a commitment ceremony with your gay friends.
24. Take a factory tour anywhere in the US.
25. Try to take photographs of animals on the endangered species list.
26. Visit Florida before the polar ice caps melt.
27. Visit Nevada before it becomes radioactive.
28. Visit Alaska before “The Big Spill”.
29. Visit Massachusetts while it is still a state.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Inaugural party details tomorrow

The Presidential Inaugural Committee plans to announce the bands that have been selected tomorrow (although we already know Virginia Tech and a DC school are included) tomorrow along with such inaugural celebration details as the theme, the schedule of events Jan. 18-20 and the locations of the nine official inaugural balls.



Inauguration treats for rich republicans

I'm sure all those poor red state "faith" based voters will be enjoying these inauguration festivities. Oh, wait. Those people were stupid enough to vote against their economic interests so that the people who actually benefited from Republican policies could stay for $150k at the Ritz for the party.

***
Several of Washington's leading hotels have put together packages catering to inauguration attendees, ranging from a lavish $150,000 stay at the Ritz-Carlton to a more modest $5,000 visit to the Hotel Monaco.

The Ritz-Carlton package includes travel on a private jet, a new set of Louis Vuitton luggage, a personal butler and massage therapist, two tickets to one of the inaugural balls and an Hermes tie and scarf for him and her each month through the next inauguration.

"We expect anyone who purchases this is a Washington-insider type -- a person or couple who wants to have the ultimate experience of an inaugural in Washington, D.C.," said Colleen Evans, a Ritz-Carlton spokeswoman.

Just down the road from the Ritz, the indulgences continue at The Fairmont hotel, which is offering a $10,000-per-day package that will land you in the Presidential Suite, which will be stocked with Beluga caviar and Dom Perignon. Also included is a Rolls-Royce with a personal driver and two bodyguards acting like Secret Service agents.


Associates at the elite NYC firms get lucky

New York-based firms have gotten into the holiday spirit, rushing to hand associates fat across-the-board bonuses.

But San Francisco Bay Area-based firms don't seem to be in any rush to match them -- at least, not yet.

The bonus boom started in October, when Sullivan & Cromwell announced it would pay associates an interim bonus of $10,000 to $20,000. Last week, Sullivan threw in additional bonuses of $20,000 to $30,000.

Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett came back with bonuses ranging from $30,000 for first-years on up to $60,000 for senior classes. Cravath, Swaine & Moore is also paying out bonuses between $30,000 and $50,000.

Consultants say big bonuses reflect rising revenues as well as renewed worries about hanging on to talent.

"I think the bonuses are strong, and it is a sign that firms are feeling confident about next year," said Peter Zeughauser, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based consultant. "It is a sign they are optimistic about the future."

"For some of the smaller and mid-sized firms, this isn't welcome news," added Blane Prescott, a shareholder with Hildebrandt International in San Francisco. "There are certainly segments of the profession that aren't doing as well.

"What you are starting to see now is a segmentation. There is a top end of the market that competes with the biggest firms ... and there are more firms that recognize they can't afford to compete."

Monday, December 13, 2004

Supreme Court Survivor

http://www.chander.com/survivor/survivor.asp

Blog of the Week - Anonymous Law Professor

http://anonlawprof.blogspot.com/

Is this guy for real?? Seems to me he's probably some pissed off 1L or bored 3L.

Leiter comments on the absence of Yale and Chicago Law

I believe I'd posted before about my surprise at the results, particularly the absense of Yale (although I hadn;t noticed Chicago) although as Leiter points out, obviously they are going to be skewered to larger schools like Georgetown and schools that send students to biglaw.

http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2004/12/law_schools_who.html

Weekend Recap

Friday night:

Went to Holiday Party 2, my summer employer's party. Very swanky, expensive place. Great food. Only one of the higher ups was there, the rest were on business or vacation elsewhere. The one I spoke with told me he was very busy and would love help with his work. Oh oh. I feel like I promised myself to some of the other higher ups.

Went to Holiday Party 3, J's other party (last weekend's was his FT job, this is where he is a consultant occassionally). Expensive restaurant, swanky table and menu. Didn't get to enjoy it though, because I wound up wasted by 10 pm. I know, that's VERY sad. I'd only had about 4 glasses of white wine between the 2 parties (about 4.5 hours). I can normally handle my alcohol, although realistically the days of splitting an entire bottle of raspberry vodka with female roomies before going out to the bars and doing shots and drinking several beers is over. I apparently was a wreck. I apparently couldn't hold my fork and kept annoying J, who sent me in a cab around 10:15pm home. I don't remember embarassing myself at least. And the president of the company drank so much he vomited, so at least I wasn't the drunkest one at the party.

Saturday night:
Finals next week, so low key night. Also was extremely hung over all day. We rented Dodgeball and I made dinner and we had a bottle of wine. J and I had some relaxing time together, which was nice. I never have relaxing times between work and school and trying to have friends and get to the gym, etc.

How romantic...and yet sadly ironic since it was for nothing...

Marine sacrifices finger to save wedding ring

VICTORVILLE, California (AP) -- When Marine Lance Cpl. David Battle learned he'd either have to sacrifice his ring finger or the wedding band he wore, he told doctors at a field hospital in Iraq to cut off the finger.

The 19-year-old suffered a mangled left hand and serious wounds to his legs in a November 13 fire fight in Falluja. Battle, who is recovering at his parents' home in this desert city 130 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Los Angeles, came under attack as he and fellow Marines entered a building. Eleven other Marines were wounded.

Doctors were preparing to cut off Battle's ring to save as much of his finger as they could.

"But that would mean destroying my wedding ring," he said. "My wife is the strongest woman I know. She's basically running two people's lives since I've been gone. I don't think I could ever repay her or show her how grateful ... how much I love my wife, my soul mate."

With his approval, doctors severed his finger, but somehow in the chaos that followed, they lost his ring.

Although Battle was disappointed, his wife, Devon, said she was honored.

"I can't believe he did that," she said. "At first I was mad when he told me, but then I realized how lucky I am to have him in my life."

The couple, who met in the eighth grade, were married in June, just two weeks before Battle left for Iraq. He hopes to eventually return to the Marines, and to replace his wedding ring, but that will have to wait until he recovers.




Friday, December 03, 2004

How romantic!?!?

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed, 55, is finally giving up bachelorhood, having made up his mind about the woman he wants to marry: Julia Hart, 39, who works in the Republican-controlled Senate's interparliamentary services office. They were engaged last week after dating since August 2003. "I've spent 55 years trying to figure things out, and I guess I've figured out that you can't really know what attracts you to somebody," the Rhode Island senator told the Providence Journal. "She is the right person at the right time." Asked her political affiliation, Hart relied on an answer supplied by Reed's press secretary: "Catholic."

Okay, I can think of 100 better answers than "you can't really know what attracts you" and "she is the right person at the right time". What about she's my dream woman, the love of my life, my soul mate, even the trite and corny she completes me?? I mean come on how embarassing for her that that's what he said instead.

When did Catholic become a political affiliation? Most Catholics I know, both pro-choice and pro-lifers, are Democrats.

Local man competes to be next Arafat

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29870-2004Dec2.html?nav=hcmodule

Solomon Amendment Thrown Out - Law Schools Can Now Ban Military Recruiting

I think that the 3rd Circuit was right about finding the Solomon Amendment unconstitutional. It does restrict universities academic freedom. But I agree with Dionne's column today about letting the campus recruiters on campus. I read that Harvard law is going to start banning military recuiters now. Other elite schools will follow suit. I'm shocked U Michigan Law wasn't the first.

That's just wrong. Law students are entitled to make their own choices whether to apply for a JAG position. If every liberal lawyer boycotts the military than there's no one inside the military to advocate for change. Lawyers should be proud to join the military and support our country - not barred from interviewing. I think "don't ask don't tell" is stupid, but it shouldn't be the roadblock to the military getting the quality lawyers it needs.

The comment that "our all-volunteer force, for all its many virtues, is not representative of American society" seems a little misplaced in the article. How many Americans attend elite law schools??? So if we add 2 Harvard law and 1 Yale law graduate than the military would be representative, at least in the context of this article?? I think this statement relies on the assumption that elite law students are all upper middle class or richer and "privileged," which comes after the statement. This is an overstatement and incorrect for some proportion of the student body. I know I certainly am not rich or privileged. But I thank Dionne for saying so. I feel better knowing that I am considered privileged even though I worked my ass off to get where I am.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30182-2004Dec2.html

Even Bush's own people want to get out of the administration

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson resigned today. Which makes how many people willing to stay under a Bush presidency? Not many.

The Bush administration has seen the resignations of Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Education Secretary Rod Paige, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. And John Danforth, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, announced he will leave his post in January after less than seven months on the job.

Is it the awful six figure salary? Is it the constant explaining to Bush difficult concepts in fourth grade terms? Is it the get out now before your legacy goes to hell feeling?

Now if only the American people could leave the Bush administration too.


More on Missing SpongeBob

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Burger King really wants its SpongeBob inflatables back, and the burger chain is even willing to offer a one-year's supply of free Whoppers, salads or any other item on its menu as a reward for information leading to their safe return.

Anyone with information about the missing SpongeBobs is asked to call (305) 378-3998. If the tip leads to the safe return of the inflatables, the reward will be paid in "Burger Bucks," good for a year's supply of original Whopper sandwiches.

However, the reward only applies to SpongeBobs that were 'Spongenapped' in the month of November, the company said.



Is is surprising that 1 in 10 women is nuts?

WP: "One in 10 American women takes an antidepressant drug such as Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft, and the use of such drugs by all adults has nearly tripled in the last decade, according to the latest figures on American health released yesterday by the federal government."

Me: I bet this number is 1 in 3 in DC.



Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Princeton Review 2005 law school rankings

Interesting that of the most competitive students, there's only one top tier law school. Is that because students at lower tier schools need to work harder to compete for jobs? Or do they need more time to study (since competitiveness as defined is a function of how many hours they study)? Or do they not have lives? You'd think you'd study a lot and have a lot of serious competition at a top school, but apparently not.

In schools that lean to the left, I was surprised that Berkeley was not there. Georgetown was in the top 10, which is interesting considering how many Republican corporate lawyers it produces and that it is a Catholic school. I would have probably put GW before Georgetown.

The "best career prospects" was very surprising. Chicago was number one. And Georgetown, ranked 14 by US News, beat out higher ranking schools Yale, Duke, Cornell, Stanford, Berkely, UVA, and NYU. The fact it was ranked higher than Yale and NYU is a bit baffling. Boston U was number 4 which was also surprising. It not only beat out higher ranked schools, but two higher ranked schools in its own state - Harvard and BC.

The stupidest men in Maryland

SpongeBob SquarePants wasn't doing anyone any harm.

A six-foot blow-up version of the Nickelodeon cartoon character had been perched on the roof of a Burger King in St. Mary's County for three days, his skinny legs dangling over the edge, his fists triumphantly in the air, smiling that goofy grin of his.

He was only trying to promote his animated feature film, "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," and maybe sell a few watches and kid's meals.

Then along came Steven Simon and his buddy Conrad "C.J." Mercure Jr., both 18, with no car and no clue what to do with themselves in the early hours of Nov. 19.

Mercure said he wondered aloud, "Hey, what if we were to steal that SpongeBob on top of the Burger King?" Seeking to do what others said couldn't be done, he and Simon set out to kidnap the giant cartoon sponge.

"We were like, 'That's gotta be a first -- stealing a giant SpongeBob off of the top of Burger King,' " Simon said.

Actually, it's not.

Burger King officials say stealing the inflatables from atop restaurants in the middle of the night has become something of a nationwide trend. Similar thefts have been reported in 10 states, they say. "And the number is going up every day," said a Burger King spokesman in New York.

Some of them are returned, but some have turned up on eBay, selling for up to $1,000. In one case, after a SpongeBob was stolen from atop of Burger King in Little Falls, Minn., workers found a ransom note: "We have SpongeBob. Give us 10 crabby patties, fries, and milkshakes."

The SpongeBob inflatables started going up Nov. 11 across the country, according to Burger King, which said just over 4,700 inflatables were ordered by franchise owners.

Simon said he went with Mercure to the Burger King in the 21600 block of Great Mills Road in Lexington Park about 2 a.m. Nov. 19. He said they went to the restaurant's dumpster area and used a trash can and several pallets to get to the roof.

Then it was just a matter of unplugging SpongeBob's air valve.

"We flipped him down on his back so no one could see him deflating," Simon said, adding that he and Mercure cut the ropes that held down the inflatable. He said the whole process took about an hour. "I was sitting there smoking a cigarette most of the time," he said. "When we got down, we were like, 'Yeah!' "

For their getaway, Mercure and Simon did what any other person who had just stolen an inflatable cartoon character from atop a Burger King would do: They called a cab.

Even police laughed about it. "They had to pay for three fares, not just two," said Cpl. John Shoemaker of the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office.

Soon, Mercure and Simon -- along with a bundled-up SpongeBob -- were on their way to Mercure's apartment in Lexington Park. "After we got it, we gave it to a friend's sister, and she gave it to her boyfriend . . . for his birthday," Simon said.

Bill Cocimano, general manager of the Burger King, said he was initially incensed when he found out that his SpongeBob was stolen.

He said that the next day, an employee said "somebody is running his mouth at Great Mills High School that he has SpongeBob in his bedroom. I told them, 'You get me a name, I'll give you 20 bucks.' " He said he soon turned over Mercure's name to police.

Within three hours, police had SpongeBob, Cocimano said. "They said, 'We have one of your employees down here. Come and get him.' " Cocimano said that when he tried to restore SpongeBob to his perch Friday, the inflatable was too badly damaged to hold the air.

Simon and Mercure were arrested Friday and charged with misdemeanor theft of goods worth less than $500 and released pending a court appearance Dec. 15, authorities said.

Although the offense is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $500 fine, Simon and Mercure said they're proud of their achievement.

"Once we got caught by the police, we were like, now we can tell everybody," Simon said.

Said Mercure: "It was a fun experience. I'm loving the attention."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23502-2004Nov30.html?nav=rss_metro