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102 posts from July 2005

July 31, 2005

Schmidt's link to Noe



We've already established that Jean Schmidt had dealings with Thomas Noe through the Ohio Board of Regents. However, it appears that Schmidt may also be connected through other channels. Here's what I've been able to find out so far. Links and additional details later. I've got to go out now, so I'm putting these tangatlizing fragments up in the hopes that other bloggers will investigate these leads further. Distributed processing is power!

Jean Schmidt's campaign manager is Brett Bureck. Bureck is married to Jessica "Scottie" May, the Vice President of Hicks Partners consulting. Scottie testified before a Grand Jury last year in connection with Thomas Noe and Coingate. The photograph, above, shows Scottie and her husband Brett at the Toledo courthouse where the grand jury was held.

Brian Hicks runs Hicks Partners. The Bush/Cheney team hired Hicks Partners to coordinate the now-notrorious 2003 luncheon with President Bush addressed the party faithful the Hyatt Recency in Columbus, Ohio. That fundraiser, at which Noe was a "table sponsor" netted $1.4 million for the Bush/Cheney reelection war chest.

Brian Hicks is also under investigation for "renting" Thomas Noe's home in Florida for a fraction of market rates.

Sunday Sermonette: Mark Twain

Today's Sermonette is a special edition for a special election in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District.

Draws on the cautionary tale of Jean "File Card Memory" Schmidt, whose encyclopedic recall for names and faces didn't extend to Coingate's Tom Noe or, even more unfortunately, to the paper trail connecting Noe and Schmidt.

Some people ask why we should be good without God. Secularist Mark Twain offers one of the many good reasons to be moral whether you believe in a higher power or not:

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.--Mark Twain

Jean Schmidt and Tom "Coingate" Noe

This morning Republican congressional hopeful Jean Schmidt told the CBS 12 "Newsmakers" program that she had never met Tom Noe, the Republican activist who stole millions from the state of Ohio in the "Coingate" scandal.

Bob Brigham of the Swing State Project explains:

In an effort to cover up Jean Schmidt's involvement in the scandalous culture of corruption, Schmidt said she didn't know Tom Noe. Schmidt said she'd never met Tom Noe. Schmidt said she had never even heard of Tom Noe. [Emphasis added.]

Schmidt's assertions are preposterous. As an Ohio state legislator, Schmidt chaired the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. During the same period Tom Noe was a member of the Ohio Board of Regents.

Official state documents dated March 21, 2002 show that Jean Schmidt had met with the Ohio Board of Regents the day before. Noe attended the March 21 meeting of the Ohio Board of Regents when the following report was delivered on the Jean Schmidt's involvement with the Board:

Yesterday, the Inter-University Council Presidents and the Ohio Board of Regents had a retreat and the focus was on how we communicate the higher education message to legislators, business entities and influencers. We invited Rep. Jean Schmidt to our committee meeting for the purpose of gaining her perspective on how the Legislature sees higher education and the initiatives in which we are interested. [...] There are a number of areas where we are totally lined up with her thinking. In any event, the conclusion is that we need more contact, more often.

Additional official state documents establish that Tom Noe testified before Jean Schmidt's committee on March 18, 2003.

Never heard of the guy, eh? How stupid does Jean Schmidt think we are? Typical Republican hubris.

July 30, 2005

Mass a-peel

Q: What do you get when you combine The New York Daily News, Hoboken, and a slow summer news cycle?

A: The cheesiest "miracle" in recent memory...


Scores of faithful Christians converged on Hoboken, N.J., yesterday to get a firsthand glimpse of a plaster statue of Jesus that enraptured witnesses say opened one of its eyes. "It's an absolute miracle," said Peggy Dyer, 41, a traffic attendant, as she gazed into the 2-foot statue's brilliantly blue right eye.

South Park Republicans, meet Dem-isto-crats

I'm looking forward to seeing The Aristocrats, the new documentary by Paul Provenza an Penn Jillette. The premise is intriguing. The movie consists entirely of comedians telling their versions of a very old joke known as The Aristocrats (Wikipedia).

I'll let you know what I think. A.O. Scott raves about the movie. [NYT permalink]

Dead Frog has an Aristocrats Joke Database--post your own version of the joke and rate other people's submissions.

Click here to see Eric Cartman tell The Aristocrats. (WARNING: not safe for work, sound comes on immediately.)

3quarks Ball tonight


The polymathic blog 3quarks Daily is celebrating its anniversary in style:

Place: Flux Factory
Date: July 30, 2005
Time: 9:15 pm
Dress: Semi-formal
RSVP: In the comments area at 3quarks

Drinks/Dancing/DJ Dan Balis...

Plus, Amazing Live Music!

Attention, Ashkenazi jazz fans: Michael Brecker needs your help


Renowned tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker has been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Michael urgently needs a bone marrow transplant and no suitable donor has been found.

Michael's wife Susan is appealing to family, friends, and the community at large. I have included a copy of her email below the fold-- it includes instructions about how to get tested for compatibility with Michael specifically, how to get onto the national bone marrow donation registry, how to organize a bone marrow drive, and how to contact Michael's manager for more information.

If you're not a registered bone marrow donor yet, please consider joining the registry. The most likely matches for Michael are Ashkenazi Jews. I happen to know that lot of Majikthise readers are Ashkenazi jazz-lovers. So, if you've got stem cells to spare, please consider getting tested.

Continue reading "Attention, Ashkenazi jazz fans: Michael Brecker needs your help " »

July 29, 2005

Stuck with "P.A.T.R.I.O.T." (sic) Act

Happy Friday, folks:

WASHINGTON, July 29 - The Senate voted unanimously on Friday to make permanent virtually all the main provisions of the law known as the USA Patriot Act, after Republican leaders agreed to include additional civil rights safeguards and to forestall any expansion of the government's counterterrorism powers.

The House passed a bill of its own last week that would also extend the law's surveillance and law enforcement powers, which the Bush administration considers critical to combating terrorism. While the House and Senate bills are not identical, the differences are modest enough that Congressional officials said they were confident that they could work out a compromise. [...] [NYT]

Conversational implicature

My god, why didn't you say so!

This is LONDON
29/07/05 - News section

Shot Brazilian's visa 'had expired'

The student visa of Jean Charles de Menezes expired more than two years before he was shot by police, a Home Office spokeswoman has said.

The Government also issued a cautiously-worded statement which appeared to indicate Mr de Menezes had a forged stamp in his passport.

The spokeswoman said: "Mr de Menzes ... applied for leave to remain as a student. This was approved on October 31, 2002, and he was granted leave to remain until June 30, 2003.

"We have no record of any further application or correspondence from Mr de Menezes.

"We have seen a copy of Mr de Menezes' passport containing a stamp apparently giving him indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

"On investigation, this stamp was not one that was in use by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate on the date given."

Food science question

Collective hivemind, this one's for y'all...

Tonight I defrosted two largish chicken breasts from the same Fresh Direct bulk frozen chicken breast bag. I had bagged and frozen individually about two weeks ago. The two were simultaneously defrosted for 1:40 in the microwave on the "defrost boneless poultry" cycle. Both were brined for approximately 20 minutes in a 2:1 brine of iodized table salt and sugar. I added crushed ice to maintain food safe temperatures throughout. The chicken pieces dredged in all-purpose flour, salt, and ground black pepper. Then I sauteed them in a preheated cast iron pan with olive oil for >5 minutes per side (these are large pieces).

So, why did the one on the left exude >3 tablespoons of opaque whitish fluid while its partner exuded nothing? (No dirty jokes, please, this is a serious question! I mean, dirty jokes are always welcome, but mostly I want to know whether my chicken is likely to kill anyone, specifically me. I am too cheap to throw out an apparently good chicken breast and too ethical to feed such a thing to my beloved and trusting Thad.) I'm going to assume that the exuding one is safe to eat because I've cooked it to a safe temperature, according to my digital thermometer. Am I being foolhardy?