Obama

I’m going to start picking fights about 2008 already. There’s just no way I can support Obama in the primary.

I’m fond of the guy on some levels. He was the commencement speaker at my law school, and it was a damn good speech. He topped it at the Democratic National Convention. But President?

Sure, he speaks well. His story is melting-pot Horatio Alger Americana to the core. But he’s a first term senator. His large margin of victory was mostly due to his opponent’s implosion and replacement by psycho-carpetbagger Alan Keyes.

I found his failure to support Ned Lamont despicable, but he was hardly alone in that regard. Also, my lack of support for him has nothing to do with his being black. I honestly don’t think that matters to the swing voter anymore. I’m not saying he’ll win in Alabama, but will any Democrat not named George Wallace?

Of course “first term senator” is only marginally less qualified than Hillary herself (if–big if–you discount the fact that she really did play an important role as a close adviser to Bill). Also, some of the most qualified people have made shitty presidents (Bush I, Nixon) or shitty candidates (Gore 2000, Nixon 1960, Mondale).

But it goes deeper than that. I feel like Obama is just a face and a talker. It’s soothing talk, and a good face, but I feel more and more that there’s not as much substance there. The Lamont defection partially showed me that, but so have some of his votes.

He’s just not ready to be on the top of the ticket. If he’d agree to run with Hillary early, I think that race is over, and Lieberman’s impending defection to join John McCain will lead to a battle royale.

Another Unnoticed Failure of "Small Government"

CNN claims today that 9 out of 10 emails are spam. This comes days after the EU says the number is half. I’m not sure if these figures are weighted for bandwidth usage, or if an e-mail is an e-mail regardless of size.

Either way, this represents a significant drain on the Internet, and is necessarily reflected in the bills you and I pay for Internet access. In addition, it consumes untold processor cycles (and therefore electricity—spam contributes to global warming!) running spam protection routines and software.

The government has passed a law here and there, including the “Can-Spam” Act, under which a grand total of one person has been prosecuted (it’s a race with the al-Qaeda prosecutors). But nothing has happened.

Smart-alecky commentators like me are supposed to proffer a solution—it’s one of the rules. I don’t have one. It’s not my job. I don’t work for the FCC or Congress or a major ISP. I just pay for them.

The best solution I can think of is a broad push by a very wide coalition of online presences to begin rejecting e-mail that comes from unconfirmed sources. Anyone who wants to use e-mail needs something similar to a very primitive digital signature. If MSN, Google, AOL, Yahoo! (just to start) offered their customers a free verified ID (attach it to a credit card?) e-mail, and places like eBay, Amazon, and a few major corporations started refusing e-mail that didn’t come in that form, we might be somewhere.

But those companies haven’t done that, probably because there’s money to be made somewhere by being the person to develop the standard. (BluRay, anyone?) So, it’s time for our leaders to lead. Do something. Solve a tangible problem for millions of people.

It ain’t Katrina, and it ain’t Iraq, but fixing spam is a step towards showing that good government is better than small government.

Quarter Season NHL Award Picks

Calder: Malkin.
Not much doubt about this one, if he stays healthy. He’s as fun to watch as Ovechkin, and, perhaps due to the language barrier, his mouth is less shitty than his teammate Crosby’s. Finalists: Kopitar, Stastny

Selke: Sami Pahlsson
Sami is finally getting the recognition he deserves playing on a team at or near the top of the standings, and I think he might pull this one out. He has shut down the best in the playoffs, including Sakic and Iginla. Finalists: Pandolfo, Brind’Amour.

Jack Adams: Lindy Ruff
I like to think this award goes to who does the most with the least or who does the best to turn a team around, and not just whoever happens to be sitting behind the bench of the top team. This year, two of those apply to Lindy. Finalists: Ted Nolan, Paul Maurice.

Hart Trophy: Scott Niedermayer
Scott is having a hall of fame season, but he’s likely to be overshadowed by the fact that Chris Pronger is on his team. It shouldn’t matter. Finalists: Nicklas Lidstrom, Joe Thornton.

Norris Trophy: Scott Niedermayer
Every time he is on the ice, the other team seems to lose its ability to score and the Ducks gain a chance. Finalists: Pronger, Lidstrom.

Vezina: Ryan Miller
This is a tight race. There is a lot of quality here, but I admire every cog in the Buffalo machine and their resilience and clutch play. Not only are they winning, but they are winning in ways that show me they will run away with the East. That is almost never true of the regular season champion. Finalists: Kiprusoff, Roloson.

GM of the Year: Doug Wilson
He’s not winning this award yet, but after the deadline, something tells me he will. Finalists: Brian Burke (Pronger trade), Lou Lamoriello (Cap magic).

Coaching Deadpool 1 for 3

Well, I nailed Hitchcock but I completely blew the Columbus (what was his name?) and Chicago firings. I didn’t see Chicago coming because they stuck with Yawney last year and started OK, and now they are losing because their best player is injured.

Hmph. I stand with my other picks.