Law: Fantasy Gunner

September 30, 2007

  • So yesterday while sitting around watching college football (and confusing U-Dub for ND multiple times, just what Ty-Will was going for I think) a discussion of college football fantasy occured.  Now, before I continue, I should let everybody know that yes, I play fantasy college football.  On pretty much any night of the week (Tuesday and Wednesday exlcuded) there is a good chance I have some fantasy interest in some event somewhere (this doesn’t include my fantasy congress league). 

While this was being discussed, one of the 3L’s on my floor brought up the fact that he had been involved in a fantasy gunner league.  He then ran through the rules, which were interesting.  This led me to thinking, fantasy gunner, that sounds like fun!  This revelation brings me to the point of today’s post:  Clegals official fantasy gunner rules.

The rules are as follows:

In order of snake draft, each person picks two classmates.  Each contest lasts one week and is scored in a cum points format.  At the end of each week, “Standing points” are awarded so that the person with the most points for that week is awarded “First place points” equal to the number of teams.  Second place receives the number of teams minus 1, etc until the last team receives 1 point.

This scoring continues untill the end of the semester. 

At the end of each week, the person that picked first picks last and everybody else moves up one. 

Points are awarded on the following basis:

1.  Every time someone raises their hand (1 point)

2.  Answering a question unsolicited (2 points + bonus)

3.  Asking a question at the end of class that holds the class over (5 points)

4. Referencing additional outside research (5 points, max once per week)

Comment Bonus Points

  • Professor treats comment as filler and/or has no meaningful reaction (0 points)
  • Professor considers comment and offers hypothetical (1 point) 
  • Professor agrees with comment or acknowledge’s its value in some way (2 points)
  • Question clearly alters course of discussion (3 points)
  • Professor disagrees with comment/question openly and dismisses it as having little value (-3 points)

 Optional:  Bonus points for annoying or pretenious word use

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Law: Journal Work

September 26, 2007

So this week starts the first round of subciting for journals at HLS.  I got my first article assignment for the Journal on Law and Public Policy (an academic journal largely tied to FedSoc) and began reseaching. 

 Thankfully, my piece is fairly small, but let me just say, you have not experienced boredom until you have subcited for a law journal. 

For those of you that have never had this particular joy, let me explain how it works.

 You meet your supervisor who gives you a copy of an article and an assignment of cites.  You then find all of the sources (some easy some silly hard) and proceed to make copies of those sources for a source binder (though I am told this part varies from journal to journal).

 You then pull out your Bluebook and make sure the citations are perfectly formatted (note:  This means according to blue book academic rules, not the short simple rules near the front).

By the time this is complete, you will already have logged a large amount of time.  You are now supposed to LINE EDIT the article to find typos, logical flaws, and similar issues. 

Finally, you go through and look for propositions that are unsupported by facts and then find sources to support those facts.

 I have finished bluebooking.  I now have to line edit and then find two sources, I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

For those of you that are interested, the one thing that really suprised me was the quality of the article, I am unimpressed by my particular piece.  The logic flows but it is a basic point that I have heard many times over.  The only significant thing the author “adds” in taking the methodology and saying “we should apply it to this specific type of first amend. case.” 

This may sound interesting, but the point has aready been made concerning applying the same methodology to other similar cases, so this doesn’t seem like much of an “academic contribution” but whatever, I got a short article so I’m happy. 

Med: CHIP Follow-up

September 25, 2007

EDIT–EVEN MORE:

I decided not to make this a brand new post. But to go even further, Bush today requested roughly $200 billion for wars in 2008. $200 billion. That’s $170b more than the Dems want to expand CHIP.

Requests $200b to kill other people. Will veto $30b to provide health insurance to kids falling between medicaid and private insurance. Talk about being “the decider!” And we let this man run our country? I’m quite proud to say he did not get my vote.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20991580/ 

————

Original Post:

Well, the House voted tonight on the CHIP bill…it passed 265-159. A substantial margin, yes, but not enough to override a veto (The Senate is predicted to pass it by an overwhelming amount–more than 2/3–but without the house this is inconsequential). So if the president goes ahead and vetoes it…it remains dead in the water for now.

But you know what? In the long run, this may just be better for the Democrats–and those in need of healthcare assistance. For those following politics, it’s no secret that the Dems have been pushing for some type of national healthcare system…whereas the Republicans want absolutely nothing to do with the healthcare debate. And unless they change that mindset, they will find themselves in trouble during the 2008 election:

“Despite the expected veto, many congressional Democrats welcomed the SCHIP debate as a way to open a second political front — in addition to Iraq — on which they feel Bush and his allies are out of step with voters.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20975190/

So while the CHIP veto may be a losing battle, it just may be a major boost to the Dems pursuit of the White House–and perhaps universal health care.

So recently Yale lost its COA appeal questioning the constitutionality of the Solomon Ammendmant.  For those of you that don’t know, in 2002 the DOD starting interpreting this Ammendment to mean that if schools don’t allow military recruiters on campus, they can be denied federal funding. 

Now, Yale is private, but like all private schools, they receive a considerable amount of federal funding.  Apparently Yale believed that as a Private school they were somehow special and should get federal funding (yes, they believed public funding for private school was a right) despite their refusal to comply. 

I had a lot of respect for Yale when they stood up and said we don’t want to have recruiters so we wont.  I lost some respect when they sued to get their money anyway (to have their cake and eat it too).  I lost further respect for them today when I found out that, after loosing their appeal, they will not allow recruiters on campus.

I don’t care one way or the other about the recruiters issue itself.  What I do care about is the fact that what Yale essentially said with their actions is that their values can be bought.  As an institution they decided not to have recruiters, but apparently only if that doesn’t cost them.  The minute this “principled stand” cost them, they backed off.

Way to go Yale, way to set the tone for your students that values are more important than money.  Oh wait, nevermind.

Yet more proof that despite its reputation as a warehouse for young academics, even mighty Yale, that loves to throw sticks at its more successful Ivy league bretheren for being “sellouts” and worrying too much about sending graduates to Wall Street can be bought. 

Yale sucks. 

SCHIP

September 23, 2007

So normally I start my titles with the phrase “Law:” and file them under some law title.  Today I don’t feel like doing that because, well, I just don’t think its appropriate. 

 I’m going to talk a little about SCHIP, per Kurzman’s request. 

Before I do this, I was to say I have spent a total of about twenty minutes learning about the program, much less than many (Kurzman included) but more than most of the population I’m guessing (though not this blog’s readership).

 What I find strange about this bill isn’t the threat of veto, its the reasons that are given. 

If you want to veto SCHIP, don’t call it an expansion of socialized medicine or whatever line the President tried, that is no longer a phrase of strength for the Republicans.  Where claiming that Dems once wanted to socialize medicine used to be good for a bump in support for the republican position, it is now seen for what it is, a different way to say nationalized medicare which, although I don’t personally support, has broad support from the voting public.

If you want footing for this veto, point to the other parts that have been left out in much of this reporting, namely that the bill (though mainly funded from a cig tax, which I have no issue with) cuts funding for the elderly somewhat and is largely covering the children of illegal aliens. 

Now, certainly my last statement is begging the question, “is there something wrong with expanding coverage to children of illegal aliens?”  That is another hot button political issue for another time, and one that Bush has thus far not mentioned.  I know Republicans have a mixed record on immigration issues, so I don’t know how much of a factor this is in reality, but I do believe if I walk up to a representative sample of Americans and said, here are two health care plans that increase cigarette taxes to held fund healthcare for children” then presented then with one plan that covers all children below a certain income, and other plan that covers all non-alien children below a certain higher income, most people would pick the second plan (even if it covers significantly less children). 

I think what is really happening is that this is an immigration issue.  A huge chunk of this money is going to the children of illegals.  I want to provide a cite for this, but all I did was read some of the congressional summary notes on the bill, and I don’t have an effetive cite for that, so I will have to leave it to you to look for articles covering the bill in more detail.  That said, we judge politicians on what they say their reasons are.  Bush’s reasons here are weak.

I can see an intelligent argument against this bill (the expanded version), I can actually see an intelligent argument for how this in congresses fault (something along the lines of, Keep the bill the same, dont cover more people including a large portion of illegals and then play chicken with the money) though I don’t think its a persuasive argument, but none of this matters, because it isn’t the reason that Bush is giving.  In fact, the only Rep I could find with the guts to say this on the record was Rep Sali from Idaho’s first district. 

If you think children and children and we should fund them reguardless, then its a good bill.  If you believe politicans should be judged by the reasons they give (as I do) than think W is an idiot, but I do see an intelligent argument against this bill:  Why tax working class (largely lower income working class) Americans to generate money that will be funed in a pretty considerable flow to the children of illegal aliens?  Or, if you like a Cig tax (as I do), why not spend the money on something that will help legal citizens?

Look, I’m a charter member of the “what part of illegal don’t people understand” club, so I have a lot of sympathy for the opposition here, but I think Bush’s reasons are terrible, and I think that the PR war has been won here and this has been framed as a childrens issue and nothing more.  Would I rather see the bill limit the benefits to children of legal citizens?  Yes very much so.  Do I think anything Bush said makes sense as Kurzman said? No.  Would I vote in favor of this bill?  I don’t know. 

Med: Too pissed to study…

September 22, 2007

As we’ve stated before, Clegal and I are situated on quite opposite sides of the political spectrum. He is our resident conservative, so I guess that makes me the tree-hugging hippie. We’ve also said that despite this separation, this blog was not going to be about our political differences but rather about medicine and law; however, sometimes they all overlap. And this is one of those cases.

Right now I’m having a hard time studying for histology because I’m just too pissed off at something that I just read on CNN.com–President Bush has vowed to veto a bipartisan children’s health care bill that provides funding for kids in families that slip between the cracks. As described in the article:

“At issue is the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a state-federal program that subsidizes health coverage for low-income people, mostly children, in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private coverage. It expires September 30.”

President Bush claims that the Democrats–forgetting of course that this has pretty widespread Republican support–are being “irresponsible” for pushing this program that he says is too costly…irresponsible because they should know he will veto it. He goes on to say, “Members of Congress are risking health coverage for poor children purely to make a political point.” WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS MAN? How is CONGRESS risking health care coverage for children when HE is the one that is going to veto this. I’m generally not a stupid person, so I’m going to go ahead and declare that the flaw in logic is on W’s end and not mine.

President Bush says that the funding–which is coming from an increase in a cigarette tax–is “too costly.” So what is this HUGE number? Let’s try $35 billion.

Yup, that’s right. President George “$400 billion Iraq War” Bush thinks that $35 billion is too much money to provide health coverage to children in families having household incomes that fall in the gap between “Medicaid” and “Can afford Private Insurance.”

Can someone explain to me how this makes any fucking sense?

Granted, I shouldn’t be directing too much anger toward Clegal, considering he MUCH PREFERS domestic spending over ANYTHING overseas (even including the Iraq War). But seeing as that he’s our conservative blogger on Malpractice, I’d really like to hear his opinion on this matter. Also worthy of discussion is that fact that…IN GENERAL, the USA is spending way too much money–I’m not going to deny that. But how can we spend $400b on an unjust war, and then deny $35b for insuring children’s health?

This is why I can’t stand it when people claim “It’s ok that there weren’t WMDs…Saddam was still a bad leader and we did right to remove him from power.” FINE…but at what cost? We sure could have funded a lot of domestic programs with that $400 billion.

Read the article for yourself here:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/09/22/radio.addressses.ap/index.html

EDIT (From FactCheck.org):

Bush’s False Claims About Children’s Health Insurance

The president mischaracterizes congressional efforts to expand the SCHIP program.

Summary

President Bush gave a false description of proposed legislation to expand the 10-year-old federal program to provide health insurance for children in low-income working families.

He said it “would result” in covering children in families with incomes up to $83,000 per year, which isn’t true. The Urban Institute estimated that 70 percent of children who would gain coverage are in families earning half that amount, and the bill contains no requirement for setting income eligibility caps any higher than what’s in the current law.

He also said the program was “meant to help poor children,” when in fact Congress stated that it was meant to expand insurance coverage beyond the poor and to cover millions of “low-income” children who were well above the poverty line. Under current law most states cover children at twice or even three times the official poverty level.

The president also says Congress’ expansion is a step toward government-run health care for all. It’s true that some children and families with private insurance are expected to shift to the government program. But the Congressional Budget Office estimates that such a shift is relatively low considering the number of uninsured these bills would reach.

http://www.factcheck.org/bushs_false_claims_about_childrens_health_insurance.html

Med: Anyone?

September 21, 2007

Is there a single medical student in the country that enjoys histology? Because if there is, I have yet to see them. All of my friends in medical school–both at UIC and all my dukies or high school friends at different schools–just DREAD this course. To quote a friend at Miami, “I love how everybody’s away [message] is how much they hate histology!”

I have my histology exam on wednesday, and studying for it has been like torture. There’ll be no attempt at honoring this course…I’m aiming for the “just pass” here.

Med: Exams & Such

September 19, 2007

Well, I’ve managed to make it through the initial med school exam blitz–3 tests in 3 weeks. I actually DO have another test next week to make it 4 tests in 4 weeks, but given that it’s not until Wednesday (rather than all the others that have been weekend-ruining monday exams)…it hardly feels urgent at this point.

The 3 tests have consisted of two biochemistry exams, and one in physiology. In general, I found them to be quite fair and not ridiculously difficult; furthermore, they’re all multiple choice–a nice change from Duke’s free-response exams hell. At least with multiple choice you have a fighting chance on every question–the correct answer IS on the page in front of you. If you’re taking a free response and don’t have a clue, you’re pretty much fucked (plus, free response = takes longer to grade = less questions = each question is worth more = lose points FAST).

One interesting aspect of these exams is that they are “Choose the Best Answer” and not “Choose the Right Answer.” Translation: more than one of them are correct…one is just more correct than the others. For example, on our last biochem exam, one clinical question seemed to list two interventions that would work; however, it was an emergent situation, and one of the “correct” answers was more suited to a long-term/sustainable solution, so I went with the other answer. And to add another quote from Dr. Ho:

“Multiple-choice is very good for a med school test. Not every diagnosis you make is going to be right…but you start crossing off all the wrong choices until you get the right one–just like our test. Except you can only take our test once.”

We just took biochem #2 this past monday so we haven’t yet received test scores, but we have gotten our scores for the first two. Given that there are probably at least a few of my fellow classmates reading, I don’t really feel comfortable giving my actual scores…but suffice to say I am QUITE happy with them–it’s nice to once again feel successful after four years of feeling mediocre. If you really care to know, just send me an IM and I’ll be happy to discuss them further.

But for now, I’m going to go waste time on the internet…i have a whole week before my next exam (Then again, it’s histo…should probably start soon). I’ll leave you with a clip from The Office instead…season premiere in a week!

Law: Um?

September 18, 2007

Somethings need to be passed.  http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=3616977

 I can’t for the life of me tell if the kid is a victim or criminal.

 Here’s the video clip for those of you that haven’t seen it.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=6bVa6jn4rpE&mode=related&search=

Law: Homeworking

September 15, 2007

My Saturday morning has been about doing assignments.  Last week we got our first memo, which I finished a few days ago.  Today I proofread the memo and made some small changes to arrive at what I considered my “complete” first attempt. 

 Additionally, today I had my first Civ Pro mini assignment.  For these, we download a question, have two and a half hours, and must put together an answer that is no more than 600 words.  I’ll tell you more about that at the end of the week, for now I don’t want to post about an “examish” question that most still may not have looked at.

Suffice to say, as positive as I felt about Legal Writing is as negative as I felt about Civil Procedure.  I didn’t feel like I had a solid grasp of the issues (although I do somewhat feel like I put together an ok answer) and I completely flipped what I was saying about halfway through the paper. 

I’ll let you know how it goes, but as of now, I’m not nearly as confident as Kurzman was about his performance on his first set of assignments.

 I’m already working my butt off, I clearly need to pick it up, but I’m not sure how.