He is not stepping down from Congress out of any shame or in response to any wrongdoing – he seems certain that he’s doing God’s work. Meanwhile, there was Osama Bin Laden’s former bodyguard, interviewed in Yemen for this past Sunday’s ’60 Minutes.’ Calm, at peace – quite an appealing fellow, really – until you realized he was talking about how much he hoped his child would grow up to be a suicide bomber. Not to equate the Hammer and the Bodyguard, except in the way both are supremely confident they are doing God’s bidding.

The good news of course is that ‘our God is bigger than their God’ . . . though this has led more than one commentator to wonder why, then, Bin Laden is still alive. (Obvious answer: God works in mysterious ways.)

Do I believe our use of torture is more justified than theirs? Absolutely. That our shock and awe is more justified than the shock of their beheadings? Sure. We are the good guys! Still, I’m thinking God may not be really happy with us either – or even with Tom DeLay.


According to the Alliance for Justice:

On March 17, the Sixth Circuit issued a split 2-1 decision allowing the state of Tennessee to discriminate against the political views of some if its citizens. The two Republican appointees (appointed by Reagan and Bush II) in the majority said it was OK for the state to produce “Choose Life” license plates requested by abortion opponents, but to refuse to produce pro-choice license plates requested by reproductive rights supporters.


This is a pretty cool map. (Thanks, Frank McClendon.)


Dan Flikkema: ‘Actually Dick Cheney told his colleague on the senate floor to ‘go fuck yourself’ not to ‘fuck off.’ A small difference to most of us perhaps but I imagine it’s not an insignificant one among manly men.’

$250,000 WIDOW

Tobias Brown: ‘Regarding the ‘mother in law’ with $250,000 to invest, you might want to suggest Vanguard inflation protected annuities, which pay about 20 percent less than non-inflation protected annuities and may make a great deal of sense for someone with good genes who may live a long time. I have corresponded with Warren Buffett on the subject of BRK offering an inflation protection option on their stable of annuities and he has responded that as of yet they haven’t had any luck structuring something that works for the customer and for them. So Vanguard is the only sensible option I am aware of. To boot, I think the Vanguard inflation linked annuity product is widely underpriced.’

Elliot Raphaelson: ‘Another option is for her to invest the majority (say 90%) in a high yield corporate bond fund, either PIMCO, or Vanguard. My guess is the income would be almost as much as the annuity, and she would have more flexibility and be able to leave an inheritance. The other 10% could be invested in an income oriented low-cost, no-load common stock fund. When I retired at age 59, I looked at annuities and found that the income from a high yield corporate fund (I chose Vanguard) was just as much as an annuity, and I would still have control of the asset. It’s been 10 years and I have never been sorry.’


Howard: ‘Don’t sell those puts. Click here.’

☞ This links to a report that Nitromed has laid off 30 members of its R&D team. How can that not point to a bright future? Meanwhile, weekly sales figures have topped 1,500 . . . though that works out to an annualized figure of $13 million against expenses that are probably still running six or eight times as high. Why is this company worth more than $300 million?


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