Five years of blogging

Yep, it’s five years since I changed history, and the very course of human evolution itself, with the launch of the LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® blog.

Does it ever feel as if I work for the blog, rather than the blog for me?

Yes.

But in fact this is the way of everything that is worthwhile.

It has been worthwhile.

Will it always be? Would I blog about law at all if it didn’t do great things for my practice?

I don’t know.

But five years in, it seems, so far, to have been time well spent.

Best of 2009: “The Specter circus”

This was first posted on May 7, 2009.

Oh, man. Okay, let’s say one more blog post on this Arlen Specter for the week. Check this out — a rundown of primo Specter humiliations from the Washington Post:

• Specter pronounced that he would be keeping his seniority when he announced his party switch last week — maintaining that his ability to deliver for the state would not be diminished in any way shape or form by his move across the aisle. Except, that wasn’t exactly right. The Senate’s approval of Specter’s junior status on a series of committees led to a “he said, he said” between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and the newest member of his caucus. Asked about the back and forth by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, Reid stood his ground saying simply: “He is a person who’s been in the Senate since 1980. I think he should be able to handle himself.”

Now, that’s a caucus you want to join, eh! “I want to thank you all for your hospitality and for welcoming me to your — hey! Where’s my wallet?!” Next:

• In a sitdown with the New York Times’ Deborah Solomon, Specter said he was hoping that the Minnesota courts would do “justice” and declare former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman the winner in the contested 2008 election. Whoops! Specter tried to walk the comment back [and] told Reid that he briefly “forgot what team I was on.”

Whoops! Come again? Here’s the actual report in the Times:

He voted against the Democrats in his first two big votes since the switch, opposing the Democratic budget and helping defeat a measure to allow bankruptcy judges to modify mortgages for troubled homeowners.

And on Tuesday night, he retracted a statement, made in an interview, in which he said the Minnesota courts should rule in favor of the Republican, Norm Coleman, in the state’s disputed Senate race.

Republican press releases snipe at his every misstep.

And the comment about Minnesota, where Democrats need Al Franken to become their crucial 60th vote in the Senate, prompted the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, to confront Mr. Specter on the Senate floor.

“Arlen,” Mr. Reid said in his trademark low-volume growl, “What’s going on here?”

Mr. Specter replied that he had forgotten “what team” he was on. Later, he told a reporter: “I conclusively misspoke.”

Because it’s the team you’re on that tells you which side of a court case is in the right. Did I ever mention to you he used to be a prosecutor? The last one of the trifecta, from the Post story, is this:

• Specter has done little to back off his initial assertion that his decision to switch parties was based almost entirely on political calculations and had little to do with ideology. While most party switchers are almost certainly guided by personal political concerns (what politician isn’t?), most don’t come right out and say it because it is a turnoff for voters who want to believe that their politicians believe in, well, something.

It’s just that open and obvious.

Has it become pathetic? It has. In so many ways.

And I feel sorry for him, frankly. I guess that’s why I’ll never be reliable politically. I always find it pitiable to watch a man fall from grace, regardless of whether he brought it on himself, as Senator Specter surely did. And no matter what else, and no matter how much he wishes he hadn’t done this — and I bet that now he actually does wish he hadn’t, because a man in the service of his ego alone cannot be enjoying this one bit — it can’t be undone. Quite unlike Arlen Specter himself.

Bombs and Dollars and All-American Bloggers!

I have really been so unhappy with political blogging lately, and busy and otherwise engaged, that I can use all these reasons as an excuse for why I hadn’t known about a blog called Bombs and Dollars until this:

As a resource to my readers and others who are interested in exploring new blogs, I have assembled my personal list of my favorite conservative blogs. I took a lot of factors into consideration, including: influence, entertainment value, information-value, frequency and regularity of updates, and personal interest.

These are my own rankings of blogs that I follow, and I know I missed some, so I apologize for those I missed, but I did the best I could.

Which is all one can ask.  One-hundred and thirty-three of them, to be exact!  This is not newsworthy at all, of course, unless you are already a fan of Bombs and Dollars (whose subtitle is, “America’s Top Exports” — very much in line with this recent post of mine, actually!) or, of course, you are one of those 133 lucky bloggers!  Which I am.  In fact I am number 90!  So he didn’t have to go up to 133 at all.

Now I still wouldn’t have known this, except for this link from another blog I should have known about called All American Blogger:

I received an e-mail from Mitchell Blatt from Bombs and Dollars that read:

just wanted to let you know that your blog ranks on my list of the top 133 conservative blogs

Hmm.  I don’t know why I didn’t see that link in the first place, and I also don’t know why I didn’t see that email from Mitchell Blatt, except that maybe he stopped at 85, or 89.  But I am grateful for the notice, especially considering how slack it’s been around here, and I thank Mitchell for perhaps incentivizing me a bit, and that’s one more reason to be thankful, I guess, on this Thanksgiving eve!

It ain’t me, babe

Revolt in Westchester!  Walter Olson explains in an email, “Defeated Democratic incumbent Spano acknowledges the housing lawsuit as one of the three local issues on which the GOP ran, along with taxes and security-detail spending, and also describes his thumping defeat as ‘just an aberration — it has nothing to do with me, as far as I’m concerned.  Really? Nothing at all to do with him?”

Well, Walter, kind of.  Only in the sense that it has nothing to do with him because he’s an elected official — and, hence, it’s really all about him.  That’s a bad thing?

Love hurts

They took away my gall bladder a couple of nights ago.  Ouch!

Observations along the way:

  • For some reason the most callous people in the hospital are found in the emergency room.  Is there some deep wisdom at work here?
  • Yes, nurses do make a huge difference!
  • So do the English language skills of the nurse assistants.
  • Some food is not technically poisonous, but should be against the law anyway.
  • Somehow, some way, someone in the best of hospitals will do something really, really stupid and at least somewhat harmful to you if you let down your guard.
  • It is no easy task not to let down your guard once opoids enter the picture.
  • It is no easy task to sleep when you’re miserable in the hospital but the Yankees are keeping everyone else up all night.
  • It doesn’t help if your “roomie” falls asleep with his (loud) TV on and you’re lying there awake being too “tolerant” to ask him to lower it a smidge.
  • The semi-private room being the best most of us can ever expect to experience in a hospital, imagine just how dismal it must be, and have been, to be in an open hospital “ward.”
  • If the choice in “your” hospital, Mrs. Imus, is between a “toxic” bathroom cleanser and one whose smell makes sick people feel even sicker every time they go in there, after two (thank God, short) hospital stays in the last few years I am voting for “toxic.”
  • If you’re good with one-liners, the hardware-strewn, peopled path from your hospital bed to the moment when they knock you out for surgery is pure bliss and almost makes the whole thing worth it.
  • Almost, that is.
  • Calls from friends are very much appreciated, but those returns decline rapidly after the first 90 seconds on the phone.  You need to let them know it’s cool to wind it down without being ungrateful-sounding; they need to be listening.
  • T-Mobile is great — good pricing, lovely customer service — unless actually using your cell phone to talk to people or get emails is a priority for you.
  • Why do half the buttons (on beds, TV controls, walls) with words on them describing what they’re for not do what they say?
  • If you don’t take a punch in the gut from God as a firm suggestion to make a spiritual accounting, what more of a “message” do you expect to get and still be able to respond to?

The FTC, and me, and thee

Ever notice how some people never pay you any attention at all?  It’s still the high school cafeteria, isn’t it?

I have a decent B-level-blogger existence on the Internet, but it does gall sometimes.  You can’t have all the Instalanches you might like, but I have nothing to complain about; and in general I have gotten my props.  But no question there are some cliques you just aren’t breaking into if you’re me.  There are certain bloggers who absolutely refuse to acknowledge the existence of anything I write,  or even my existence at all, even when it would appear that, on the merits — for all sorts of reasons that these calculations are based on — they ought to.  I could name them, but dignity does have to step in at some point.

And even then you’ve got other people paying attention to all the wrong things about me altogether!  Can’t win for losing, you know.

Well, Walter Olson (who certainly does pay me enough attention) has rounded up some notable posts, and his own thoughts, on the outrage of the new FTC power grab over blogger “disclosure,” a topic that I first got excited over two years ago by publishing this piece in LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® back before I had this blog and that one had to contain a broader range of topics.  Both Patrick of PopeHat and Glenn Reynolds have seen fit to link back to it, longingly, and as Patrick says, “Ron Coleman called this.”

If only anyone had paid attention to it then!  But, you know… no-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o.

Attorney Ronald D. Coleman