Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Tuesday, June 07, 2011 :::

A federal judge sentenced the former head of a biotech company to six months of home confinement this spring and fined him $20,000. His offense? Issuing a single press release about a drug.
I don't find that appalling in itself, if the press release involved serious fraud, but the fraud in this case consisted of communicating results from a study that could have been an artifact of data mining. Even if the deception was blatant, that comes awfully close to criminalizing differences of opinion.

Speaking of questionable prosecutions, Fred Thompson has some comments on the John Edwards case. Salient facts are in dispute in that case, but ignore that. The likelihood that serious jail time could hinge on the distinction between giving money to a friend to protect his public reputation and giving money to a friend to protect his political viability has to be considered a flaw in the law, doesn't it? The political should often be separated from the personal, but especially for a politician, there's a limit to the extent to which that can actually be done.

Speaking of scumbag politicians (Edwards, not Thompson), my Twitter feed suggests that I missed the greatest press conference in the history of western civilization this afternoon, in no small part because of its opening act. I haven't watched any of the Breitbart video, nor of Weiner's speech taking responsibility so long as that doesn't mean he actually suffers any further consequences.

I do think there's a plausible reason that Chris Lee's improprieties warranted resignation while Weiner's worse ones didn't: they are married to different women. I don't think either has(d) a duty to his constituents to resign, though both developed legitimate campaigning points for any future opponent. But if Lee's wife wanted him to come home, I think it reasonable of her to expect that of him. If Weiner's wife doesn't, that's her call.

UPDATE: Also, Chris Lee may himself have some self-respect, while Weiner probably does not.

::: posted by Steven at 12:47 AM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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