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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tapscott's Copy Desk Has Moved to Examiner.com!

Tapscott's Copy Desk bowed in the Blogosphere to somewhat less than unanimous and thundering acclaim Nov. 16, 2004. Many posts later, what might be called the "Blogger phase" of Tapscott's Copy Desk - because I've stayed with the Google program despite much frustration - ends tomorrow, Dec. 4, 2006, with a move to Examiner.com.

Go here to see the new digs.

Examiner.com is the web site of Clarity Media, which publishes The Washington Examiner where I toil happily as editorial page editor, as well as editions in Baltimore and San Francisco. More editions will be coming online in various cities across the nation in years to come.

The three hard-copy editions collectively reach more than a million readers six days a week, while Examiner.com is drawing more than a million visitors a month. Numbers like those should make it clear why I am so enthusiastic about moving from an independent blog to a publishing platform with vastly more circulation and immense potential for awesome growth.

This original incarnation of Tapscott's Copy Desk will remain here as an archive. Thank you so much to everybody who has spent time at this site, posted comments, emailed suggestions or otherwise contributed to the modest success I enjoyed with this humble site.

See ya at Examiner.com.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A Most Important and Impressive Fifth Blogiversary

No, not for Tapscott's Copy Desk but for Bill Hobbs of Tennessee who has a great story because he's one of the earlier Right bloggers. And still one of the best. Here's how he describes it:

Fifth Blogiversary

It passed yesterday without me noting it here on the blog, but yesterday is the fifth anniversary of my blog's creation. I first posted these two items on Nov. 30, 2001, at my blog's original website. The blog was created as a way to provide additional material for readers of my weekly column that I was writing for the Nashville City Paper. (You can see a full list of links to all my NCP columns here.) I moved the blog to this site on January 1, 2004. Since then, according to SiteMeter, it has been visited more than 1.46 million times. According to AwStats, my blog gets about 22,000 unique visitors per month. If half of them dropped a dollar in the tip jar once a month, I could do this full time...

And now, on to year six.

Monday, November 27, 2006

ProfBainbridge.com Unveils Redesigned and Much Expanded Site as Portal to a Blog Magazine

Prof. Stephen Bainbridge of UCLA is among the most widely read law profs due in no small part to the fact he covers a wide variety of topics ranging from business and law issues to politics, wine and cars. He's also a member of The Examiner Blog Board of Contributors.

Bainbridge has now unveiled a massive redesign of his blog, but the overhaul is not simply to how profbainbridge.com looks. Bainbridge has changed the underlying concept of how he uses his blog. It is now actually a portal to a blog-based online magazine divided into three distinct sections, or blogs.

ProfBainbridge.com is now "the front page of a blog magazine in three sections." His Prof Bainbridge's Journal, for example, is where he covers politics, cars, non-business law, political incorrectness, dogs or whatever else strikes his fancy. Check out this post on a new study that indicates those sky-high CEO compensation packages may also result in higher pay for the folks back down the management line.

His Prof. Bainbridge's Business Associations Blog is where you will find his scholarly work, as well as posts concerning the work of others in business law that he finds worthy of comment. Check out this post on investor activism in, of all places, China.

The third section is Prof. Bainbridge on Wine. You will find much more than the results of the UCLA prof's most recent wine-tasting tour. Betcha didn't know there were First Amendment issues involved here. Check this out.

Congratulations to the good professor and let it be noted here that I expect ProfBainbridge.com could quite possibly be followed by a bunch of smart bloggers intent on directing the highest form of flattery in his direction.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Alaska "Seafood Waste" Earmark Shows Lengths to Which Advocates Go to Conceal Their Handiwork

A congressional insider provided the following account of an earmark contained in the proposed 2007 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Are not the senators and staffers who practice the following legislative concealment gulity of some form of fraud?

Here is just one example of the trickery that goes into hiding earmarks in appropriations bills and the hours of detective work necessary to find basic information about how tax dollars are being spent by Congress:

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Agriculture Appropriations bill contains a $2,009,878 earmark for a "seafood waste" project in Fairbanks, Alaska. Neither the bill nor its accompanying report contains a description of the purpose of this project, its intended goals or the actual amount of the earmark.

The purpose and actual amount of this earmark is a "hide and seek" exercise that requires extensive detective work.

The earmark is contained within a list of "Program Continuations" in the bill report, which states "the Committee directs the Agricultural Research Service to continue to fund the following areas of research in fiscal year 2007 at the same funding level recommended in fiscal year 2006."

The FY 2006 Agriculture appropriations conference report states that "The conference agreement includes increased funding in fiscal year 2006 to expand" the seafood waste earmark project by $75,000. The report again does not state what the purpose of the research is or what the total amount of the earmark is.

The Joint Explanatory Statement for the FY 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act published in the Congressional Record states a “further increase” is provided for "Seafood Waste, Fairbanks, AK (U of AK), $160,000 (of which $50,000 goes to the State of Alaska)."[1] Again, the actual amount and purpose are not provided.

Going back a year earlier, a "further increase" of $180,000 is provided for "Seafood Waste, Fairbanks, AK (U of AK)" in the FY 2004 Consolidated Omnibus Appropriations bill.[2]

The FY 2003 Consolidated appropriations bill report states,"The conferees have agreed to increased funding for… Seafood Waste, Fairbanks, AK" by $200,000.[3]

The term "seafood waste" does not appear in the FY 2002 Agriculture appropriations conference report. The conference report does, however, state:

"The statement of the managers remains silent on provisions that were in both the House and Senate bills that remain unchanged by this conference agreement, except as noted in this statement of the managers. … The House and Senate report language that is not changed by the conference is approved by the committee of conference. The statement of the managers, while repeating some report language for emphasis, does not intend to negate the language referred to above unless expressly provided herein."[4]

There is no reference to "seafood waste" in the report for the FY 2002 House-passed Agriculture appropriations bill.

The FY 2002 Senate Agriculture appropriations bill, however, states:

"Seafood waste - While seafood is attractive now as an alternate food source, the disposal of seafood waste continues to be a national and international problem. Discarded fish waste and its other uses could potentially provide an additional source of revenue for seafood processors. The Committee provides an increase of $900,000 for fiscal year 2002 for ARS to develop a program with the University of Alaska on feedstuffs generated from materials usually wasted during processing of seafoods."[5]

There is no reference to "seafood waste" in the FY 2001 Agriculture appropriations bills or reports passed by both the House and Senate.

Anyone interested in knowing the purpose of this earmark would have to search back through five years of appropriations bills. Finding the amount of the earmark is even more complicated since the base amount is never provided, only the amount that the project is to increase each year.

A clerk from the Senate Appropriations Committee disclosed that the actual amount that the Alaska "seafood waste" earmark is to receive under the FY 2007 Agriculture appropriations bill is $2,009,878.

[1] CONGRESSIONAL RECORD - HOUSE, November 19, 2004, H10413.

[2] CONGRESSIONAL RECORD - HOUSE, November 25, 2003, H12448.

[3] "MAKING FURTHER CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL

YEAR 2003, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES CONFERENCE REPORT TO ACCOMPANY H.J. Res. 2," House Report 108-10, Page 556.

[4] "MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES PROGRAMS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2002, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," House Report 107-275, page 47.

[5] Senate Report 107-41 to accompany S. 1191, page 35.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Would It Be Different Among U.S. Journalists?

Normblog describes a recent event in Wales that captures the sorry state of affairs visavis freedom of speech in the United Kingdom. Aussie journo Andrew Bolt isn't surprised. What is significant about this occurrence for those of us in the former North American colonies, however, is that it could easily be duplicated here in America.

HT: Instapundit

Friday, November 17, 2006

Whither the GOP? Now the Debate Gets Serious

Rep. John Boehner, R-OH, and Rep. Roy Blunt, R-MO, have been elected House Minority Leader and House Minority Whip, respectively, and both by wide margins of the House GOP caucus.

Thus, both the Senate GOP, which earlier this week elevated Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, and Sen. Trent Lott, R-MS, and the House GOP have opted for familiarity and continuity instead of radical change in the wake of last Tuesday's massive election defeat.

As always happens when a majority party is thrust into the minority, a great debate is now gathering momentum within the GOP and the Right side of the Blogosphere about what to do next, especially whether or not to stay within the party or seek greener electoral pastures elsewhere.

The key issue here is whether the GOP can ever be a reliable tool for advancing the principles and programs that America's moderate conservative majority have supported for decades. I remain open to persuasion otherwise, but my view is the leadership decisions made by the Senate and House GOP provide abundant evidence that conservatives, libertarians and faith-based traditionalists should look elsewhere.

Mine is a minority view, at least for now. Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters has been especially pondering these questions since the election and is beginning to arrive at some conclusions.

Today Ed focuses on the need to find and recruit top quality conservative candidates:

"Given that our choices of leadership have become so constrained that Trent Lott represents the lesser of two evils to some, then it is incumbent on conservatives to start finding better choices for these offices.

"Over the next few weeks, I'll be dusting off my Not One Dime More domain and developing some initiatives designed to do just that. I'm tentatively calling this the First Principles Project, and I'll eventually need plenty of help from the CQ community."

Go here for more from Ed.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

DO NOT MISS HAM NATION!

One of the great things about the Internet is how it is giving voice to so many young conservative stars-in-the-making. Like Mary Katharine Ham. With each succeeding edition of "Ham Nation," you can see her confidence growing and an influential, entertaining, thoughtful personae emerging.

If you doubt me, just watch the latest edition and MKH will explain why Democrats are the "psycho ex-girlfriend of American politics" and the GOP is the porkrind-gorging ex in denial "sitting on the couch eating Ho-Hos."

I'll bet Chris Matthews and Tim Russert had no idea Ho-Hos could have political implications!

Go here. Enjoy.

Milton Friedman, RIP

Economist and Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman has passed away today in San Francisco at age 94. Cause of death was heart failure, according to a Bloomberg report quoting his daughter.

His "Capitalism and Freedom" was one of the first handful of serious books I read as a young campus conservative way back in 1969 and from then on he has been a dependable fixture of a giant in the intellectual universe.

May he rest in peace from labors that bore fruit we will all enjoy for generations to come.