Decline and fall

As of the time of this posting, here are the four top stories at “U.S. National – AP on Yahoo! News”:

What is going on in this country?!

Al and Fred and Michelle and Rudy

I argued last week that Al la Pundit at Hot Air had it in for Rudy Giuliani.  Now he’s responding to the charge that Hot Air is taking pot-shots at Fred Thompson, too, “just to prove he can.”

That certainly earns my “strange new respect.”  My impression had been that, like much of the rightosphere, he was in the tank for Fred and found Rudy unacceptable for his softness on social issues. But Allah says he’s an equal-opportunity slammer; as I said in my previous post, he’s sure no partisan hack.  He’ll slime whichever Republican sticks his neck out (even if he only sticks it out a little, as Fred is doing) for whatever he deems appropriate, writing:

[O]f course we’re not trying to Kos-ify him, not only because we don’t have anything remotely near the power needed to sink any major candidate (and neither does Kos, as Joe Lieberman could tell you) but no one has any reason to want to sink him. He may well be our best shot at winning. But if he’s done something wrong, we’re going to call him on it.

Okay, so as I said, I kind of get this.  He’s being a fair broker, calling them as he sees them, and perhaps even providing a service by defusing anticipated slams from less friendly correspondents — the way lawyers use their own witnesses to testify about their own prior weakness or inconsistency and thereby soften the anticipated blow from an adversary.

But, of course, the “jury” here is mostly on one or the other side of the wall of Good and Evil, unfortunately.  Allah will get no credit whatsoever for his evenhandedness; he works for Michelle Malkin, for heaven’s sake.  (She’s even-handed too.)  So what is he accomplishing?  I’m not sure.  Certainly it’s not his, or Michelle’s, job to parrot anyone’s party line or to be a hack.  On the other hand, there are ways to acknowledge the faults of candidates that are generally acceptable to you — and who you are likely to support in the general election if they are nominated regardless of your qualms — short of calling then demagogues (as Allah did with Rudy last week).

Or is just Hot Air’s policy to be all-belligerent, all the time?  That is, after all, the mode in political blogging, by and large.  But if that’s the game plan, denying that Hot Air is just another Daily Kos (which some conservatives already have, anyway) rings pretty hollow.  Almost, like, demagogic.

The trouble with old lawyers

Anonymous Lawyer explains the darned good reasons why big law firms have no use for second-career types — or anyone who catches on too fast:

It’s not my fault, or the fault of any of my colleagues, that you decided to go to law school. It’s not our fault you got into debt. It’s not our fault you want a job you can’t get. Baseball players can’t get jobs after age 40 either. It’s the same thing here. Your skills may or may not deteriorate (I can argue both sides of that), but your stamina certainly does. Your energy does. Your drive does. If you’re just starting out at age 40, you know you’re never going to get to the top, so why even try. You’re complacent. Not because you’re choosing to be, but because you’re too old and experienced in life not to be. Young people don’t have perspective. They don’t understand that the kinds of things we demand from them are pointless and not worth getting all worked up about. They don’t get that we’re not going to fire them. They don’t get that most of the pressure they feel to stay here all night is pressure they’re putting on themselves and that the consequences for living a normal life are all in their head. But older associates know it’s all a bit of a game. Older associates know I don’t really have the power to behead an associate in the guillotine I stole from the Studio 60 soundstage when we took the summer associates on a tour. But the kids don’t. They think it’s going to really happen. They think we’re really going to kill them if they don’t finish the document review by 6AM tomorrow morning. And that’s why we like them.

Maybe you’re willing to work hard. But you’re probably not willing to be humiliated, and honestly it’s a lot less fun to humiliate a 40-year-old, with 2 kids and 3 ex-wives and a mortgage and a limp than it is to humiliate a 25-year-old without any responsibilities except to the firm.

Bad day in human resources

This is not a good way to handle labor negotiations:

The owner of a car dealership killed two employees because they kept asking for pay raises, police said Tuesday.Milinavicius, who was having financial problems, told police he shot the two Thursday after they kept asking for more pay, said police in East Point, which is just outside Atlanta.

Milina-“vicious” is right.  Well, that’s one way to “send a message” to the rest of the staff.   I was going to say that he’ll make an easy transition from providing cars to providing license plates, but Georgia actually has a death penalty.  We will see what “message” that commonwealth sends.

What would we do without experts?

Instapundit links to this quote in USA Today:

Investors saw the launch of Amazon Prime as the latest manifestation of Bezos’ fixation on free shipping, a profit drainer. They hammered Amazon (AMZN) shares down to $30 two years ago after the Seattle company began offering the unlimited free two-day shipping service for a $79 yearly fee.”Wall Street hates it when we lower prices, give away free shipping, and offer Amazon Prime,” Bezos said in an e-mail interview. “But we know in our bones that siding with the customer pays off for everyone in the end.”

Now, Prime is starting to look like a linchpin to Amazon’s remarkable run of increases in quarterly sales — and investors no longer appear kerfuffled. After the online retailing giant last week reported a singularly sharp rise in sales for its second quarter, its shares shot up 25%, topping $86 — a seven-year high.

What does this say about the wisdom of “Wall Street”? Is Jeff Bezos such a visionary that he “sees” truths such as these that armies of investment house analysts — “Wall Street” — miss?

If so, well, I understand why Jeff Bezos makes a lot more than I do. But I don’t understand why Wall Street does.

UPDATE:  A lot of lessons can still be learned in The Market, it seems.

All you need to know about Ted Stevens

Three headline links on DRUDGE REPORT: It’s the third one that’s the charm.

  1. FBI, IRS Search Home of Sen. Ted Stevens…
  2. …links with an oil-services company
  3. Longest-serving Republican senator…

Absolute seniority corrupts absolutely. Term limits, now.

Attorney Ronald D. Coleman