Sunday, September 30, 2007

30 points? Are you kidding me?

If you would have told me we'd beat the Chargers in San Diego by two touchdowns two weeks ago, I would have thought you were crazy. If you would have told me that a few hours ago, at halftime, I would have thought you were crazy then, too.

But apparently it worked. It seems we had much more success with the pass. The defense came up big at times, too, but Dwayne Bowe is really proving himself as a very solid receiver. Larry Johnson got some yards, finally, but only after we made them start to respect our passing game.

We're tied for first in the AFC West, and San Diego is in last place, behind the Chiefs and the Raiders. i know it's only 4 games in, but it's crazy.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Hillary Clinton wants to give every child born in the U.S. a $5,000 bond to be cashed out when they turn 18.

From the article: "I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that downpayment on their first home"

Or they could blow it on a motorcycle, breast implants, or a really awesome birthday party, but hey, I don't want to rain on her parade with stuff like reality.

In a further display of blind optimism, "Clinton said such an account program would help people get back to the tradition of savings that she remembers as a child, and has become harder to accomplish in the face of rising college and housing costs."

I don't understand how giving free government money to people in exchange for being born teaches them anything about saving, but then again, I'm not insane. At least a matching program (up to $5,000) would ostensibly teach the kids something about saving.

I tried to figure out how much this program would cost per year. Unfortunately, my iPhone's calculator program ran out of digits. No joke. Anyone know what 2.000000000e+10 means?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Frivolous Lawsuits?

I'm a civil defense attorney. I deal with bogus claims all the time. You might suspect I support tort reform, right?

I do. But I oppose damage caps, the traditional tort reform weapon.

Damage caps do reduce payouts from civil defendants such as doctors, insurers, and large companies. However, they do so by reducing the maximum damage award that any plaintiff can obtain, whether his claims are legitimate or not.

This is a problem because it doesn't prevent frivolous lawsuits. It merely caps the value of any qualifying lawsuit. The fact that this reduces a jury verdict has huge secondary effects. If the maximum exposure decreases from $20 million to $250,000, settlement negotiations start WAY lower. This punishes the people with legitimate claims.

In some jurisdictions, if your 6 year old child is killed by a drunk doctor during a routine operation, your damages are capped far lower than if someone negligently burned down my house. Who is more culpable? Who suffered more damage?

Think of it this way: Teachers and coaches frequently punish an entire class or team, based on the misdeeds of a few. They do so to utilize peer pressure to encourage good behavior. This logic doesn't carry over to litigation.

First, even if the law did effectively cease all frivolous lawsuits, it would only result in punishing 100% of the valid litigants.

Second, the law doesn't offer any type of positive or negative reinforcement to those who file a bogus claim. Bogus claims can receive just as much as valid claims, even post-tort reform. It's just that all claims are capped.

I don't plan to vote for John Edwards, and I'm sure his plan has flaws. But requiring plaintiffs to establish that their claims have at least some basic level of legitimacy will prevent "frivolous" lawsuits far more than damage caps. More importantly, it won't have the huge fallout of robbing deserving plaintiffs of a legitimate recovery.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jared Allen Is Cool

He had a hell of a game. Too bad our offense still sucks. Dwayne Bowe looked pretty good though.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sunday, September 09, 2007

America, here we come.

I finally received my Southwest Airlines Companion Pass. This means Hillary can fly with me for free anytime I fly on Southwest. It works with my free flights, as well.

I fly Southwest for work as often as I can, and purchase most of my eBay inventory with a Southwest rewards card. Every time you take 8 round trips, or spend $16,000, you get a free flight. If you get enough points, you get a companion pass, allowing you to choose someone who can ride with you for free, anywhere you go.

This should open up some travel possibilities for Hillary and I. We're trying to choose between NYC, Washington D.C. or San Diego. Finding time will be the tricky part.

I love Southwest, largely because of its great customer service. I quickly reach a friendly, native English speaker every time I call. On the other hand, dealing with Delta this summer frustrated me greatly. I couldn't understand the CSR, and he couldn't understand me. He gave me bad information after a 45-minute wait. I had to call back and wait another 45 minutes to resolve my issue.

I highly recommend Southwest.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Suggestions

Check out "Brad's Suggestions" off to the right. I can quickly and easily post links to stories directly from Google Reader. I'll update it much more often than the actual blog itself.

On a related note, I now use Google Reader instead of NetNewsWire/Newsgator. I've used NetNewsWire for years, but I hate Newsgator on the iPhone. Google Reader works much better, and it's easier to use one RSS reader.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Old News...

...but some of you might find it useful.

TinyURL turns links like this:,126366-c,televisions/article.html#

into this:

for free.

Very useful.