What's in the news

By Jason Wojciechowski on January 19, 2006 at 4:16 PM

Here're the articles I read today.

  • At CleveScene.com a story about an Ohio Supreme Court decision that allows insurance companies to get their money back if they pay out to cover injuries that, it turns out, are covered by some other insurance. In the case at hand, a girl was hurt in a car accident and the other driver's insurance company paid up. The family's insurance paid something as well, but when the total bills turned out to be covered by the other driver's insurance, the family's insurance company demanded its money back.

    The paper, of course, blasts this as being unfair "to the little guy." I'm not sure. Clearly, it hurts for the injured. That said, if the medical bills are covered, what's the justification for another company to pay when there are no more bills?

    What's sketchy about the whole situation is that the Ohio Supreme Court is an elected body, and this decision overrules earlier law by a one-vote margin, with the swing vote provided by the newest judge, Maureen O'Connor, who received $400,000 in campaign contributions from doctors and insurance companies.

  • At CNN.com, a story about legislatures looking into potential political bias in universities and colleges. Most of the schools in this country are obviously unbalanced politically. The question, though, is whether that has an actual adverse affect on the education of conservatives.

    The answer might be hinted at by considering the fact that plenty of conservative politicians and public figures went to top schools and got top grades at those schools. A huge number of Congresspeople from both sides of the aisle went to Harvard Law, for example, which as an institution is probably less liberal than Harvard University as a whole, but is still unlikely to be compared to Bob Jones University any time soon.

    That's not conclusive, of course, and I'm certainly biased in an obvious way, but my inclination is to think that the whole thing is overblown, a corollary of the constant cries of "liberal media bias" that have decimated the ability of those media outlets perceived as liberal to have any kind of credibility to criticize a conservative regime.

  • Also at CNN.com, I see that the new Virginia governor, Tim Kaine, will deliver the rebuttal to Pres. Bush's State of the Union address. It's an interesting choice, given Kaine's status as a newcomer and his relatively small national profile. I can't find a list of who's given the rebuttal in the past, but as an example, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, far more veteran than Kaine, delivered the speech last year.
  • Here's a review at the Dallas Observer of Marah's album If You Didn't Laugh, You'd Cry. The album sounds interesting, if you can get past the tiresome whining about the state of music today, why people should appreciate albums instead of just listening to shuffle, and so on.
  • At the same publication, Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley has released a solo album which sounds right up my newfound musical alley: "Lewis pulls off a convincing turn as an old-timin' country/soul singer rather than a generic singer-songwriter."
  • At the Deseret Morning News, a Utah man acquitted of murder 15 years ago has confessed, which is certainly backward from what it usually is. If you're squeamish at all, I'd avoid the story, which involves a semi-graphic description of the murder of a small child.
  • Something that'll make approximately one person I know happy: Everwood will be back next year.
  • Denny Neagle could be helped out since the officer who arrested him for solicitation didn't read him his rights before Neagle made some statements that could have been damaging at trial. Those statements will be excluded as a result.
  • The Wizards have bought out ex-Laker Chucky Atkins's contract, allowing him to try to find a place where he can play more minutes. Atkins started just two games this year and was averaging under 20 minutes per game.
  • I'm only linking to this relatively routine meth conviction story because it happened in good ol' Monterey County, where I grew up for ten years before going to college. Finally, I have a response to the "It's beautiful there" I always get from people when I tell them where I grew up. "Yeah, but they got mad meth."
  • The government's going up against Google, trying to get them to turn over information in some of their databases
  • Laura Bush called Hillary Clinton's "plantation" remarks "ridiculous": "I think it's ridiculous. It's a ridiculous comment -- that's what I think." Apparently, that's all she said, because that's the only quote from her in the story, which is pretty weak. I think my favorite response so far, though, is Scott McClellan coming off like Tony Soprano with his "way out of line" comment.