Sunday, September 28, 2008

REDSKINS TO DIAL UPSET IN DALLAS

Career douchebag T.O. hangs head in disgrace, Romo plays little spoon to Jessica Simpson. Dallas Cowboys, 12 point favorites, embarrassed in final TTTexas Stadium upset.

UPDATE: COUNT IT !!!!!!!.

Related:

When You Cheer for the Washington Redskins, You Cheer for America

You Know It Could Be a Tie

The election, we mean. Dig this scenario we came up with (link to map). Basically what would happen:

Obama wins all the states he is supposed to, McCain wins all the states he is supposed to, and then, among the tossups:

Obama wins NH (Dems have been polling well here; John Sununu a big target, and very unpopular.
Obama wins NM (Al Gore won this state in 2000, and Democratic efforts + polls there have been favorable. Plus the Richadson boost)
Obama wins NV (A large population increase of Hispanics will help him here).
Obama wins PA (Biden boost + Clinton eventually gets her act together and starts campaigning in this state, strong turnout in Philly plus squatters (have been foreclosed upon) shuffle from the abandoned building the polling place across the street and decide they don't want McCain to have another giant house come January).

McCain wins FL (outpolling Obama there now, has had strong organization on the ground for months).
McCain wins VA (Close one, but despite valiant efforts Dem. organizers are not able to pull out a victory as McCain smeaer adds convince bible-thumping rubes to turn out in force, Repub. establishment successfully turns away enough black voters at the polls as they did in Florida in 2000).
McCain wins OH (Bush won this state by 200k votes in '04, the Palin bounce gets enough disaffected women to vote for Obama and even Clinton's belated appearances can't make up the gap. White folks clinging to guns and religion, et seq, deliver for McCain in another close one).

Then it's 269-269. Obama wins the national popular vote (his victories will be massive, whereas McCain's will be very close, esp. in states like Virginia, and less than expected in places like Colorado and Indiana, where voter registration efforts and Dem. campaigning have caused voter turnout to surge). House of Representatives makes BHO the first black President.

Of course, it's really a sad commentary on the human condition that this election is even close, but what are you going to do - we'll take.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A UVA Law Blog Investigative Report: Who's At the Library at 10PM, Saturday Night

1) Undergrads.  Presumably from Copely, often of Asian decent.  You can tell they are undergrads because of their glossy textbooks, with colorful pictures.  Also present is the TI-89 scientific graphing calculator, which made us nostalgic for our college days where we (for a while) majored in physics.  If you get close, the conversation will turn to stress about "Mid-terms," whatever those are, and how tough it is to have a single exam that counts from 25% to 1/3 of your entire grade.  There might also be a subset who come to the law library because they think it's the "cool" thing to do.  Don't worry, pretty soon the librarians will put out those menacing "This Space Reserved for Law Students" sign, and you all will be on your way . . .  or not.  

2) Dude Reading a Novel.  I don't know who it is that, on a nasty day with some solid college football match-ups going on, decides to hall it up to North Grounds to read his novel, but I'm guessing it's an undergrad too.  Let us know how Confederacy of Dunces turns out, will you? 

3) Law Review Kids.  You'd think there'd be a break in the Easter bunny's wake.  THINK AGAIN.  These guys go hard all the time.  

4) 1Ls.  Remember the guy who said that if you didn't have your outlines DONE (and I mean HYPERLINKED AND EVERYTHING) by October you would be on a straight shot to four B-'s?  Well, somebody believed him, and he/she is here, slaving away at the library on a Saturday night, going over the Torts case book with five different color highlighters and an equal number of sticky tabs.  I guess we should concede that some people 1) have midterms and 2) want to get things done before foxfields tomorrow.   Plus, you can't take any chances . . . *especially in this economy*.  Like the undergrads they cluster.  Unlike the undergrads, they are not giggling and loudly consuming odorous snacks and beverages. 

5) A single student librarian. Just saying, if someone were intent on stealing books or stuff from the Lexis Lab (boxes and boxes of candy), he or she could do it pretty easily.  Thank G-d for teh honor code.

6) Other People Stuck with a Cite Check.  We mean secondary journal people, which someone once described as a pyramid scheme of misery.  Just xerox some stuff from a few different books, throw a paper clip on it, put everything in small caps, and use the track changes comments feature to (randomly) insert "Consider rewording" or "Does not follow" above the line (your Articles Editor will love you). 

7) Rule 12 f.  No life, plus a fast connection to the interwebs.  Also, gunning up a storm. 

8) The UVA Offense.  At least, they didn't bother to show up in Durham

PS: We took the image from the library website, no implication that those people - whoever they are - are here right now. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Subtle Battlestar Galactica Trolling on NYT

[Jump to CALLBACKS]

If you're bored, dig Gail Collin's column titled "Bring on the Rubber Chicken":

. . . [A]s Sarah Palin told Katie Couric on CBS News last night: “Not necessarily this, as it’s been proposed, has to pass or we’re gonna find ourselves in another Great Depression. But there has to be action taken, bipartisan effort — Congress not pointing fingers at this point at ... one another, but finding the solution to this, taking action and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.”

So say we all.

So basically, recent market troubles = nuclear apocolypse. In other news, I hope you (and your kids, and their kids), enjoy paying off this $700 BB. Just remember, it sucks, but it's only 1/4 the cost of the Iraq war. *Goes and buys non-durable goods*

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

UVA Law Weekly on ATL

Whatever awesome reporter did the Law Weekly Article on Chen Zhi Zhong, it got coverage in Above The Law.

Nice. And only three weeks late.

Previous Coverage:
Foreign Media Circus Descends on the Law School [Law Weekly]
Chen-Zhi-Zhong: The Coolest 1L We Never Got to Meet

Wal-Mart Violates State Labor Laws . . . 2 Million Times

This is why we don't shop there:

On Tuesday, after a three-month bench trial, a state court judge in Minnesota ruled that in failing to provide rest breaks, Wal-Mart broke state labor laws more than 2 million times. (The ruling is available here.) Judge Robert King, Jr., awarded $6.5 million in compensatory damages to the class, which consists of about 56,000 Wal-Mart employees in Minnesota.

Should have asked for a jury trial - then vor dire it so you can get a lot of the NASCAR people who basically live there. Anyway, now for the appeals, along with two like judgments in other states. . . woooooo

Related Coverage:
Wal-Mart Loses $6.5 MM in Wage-and-Hour Class Action in Minnesota [American Lawyer]

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So It's Come to This: Cavaliers +7 (not a typo) @ Duke

[Jump to Callbacks]

UVA Law Blog was all set to write an epic post about a matter that will surely interest everyone who loves America in our post-Foxfields-stupor: the Washington Redskins heading to down to Dallas to take on the Cowboys for the penultimate time at Texas stadium. With the Skins at +11.5 last time I checked, the upset would be a colossal one. Last time (at Texas stadium, we mean), the difference seemed to be the lack of Sean Taylor, who was recovering from injuries and would never play again. This time, it's another star defensive player - Jason Taylor - whose going to be on the bench, so that should give Dallas the edge. Still, if the rest of the Redskins defense - especially the secondary - stay healthy, it's a game that Washington can win.

Sadly, something else caught our eye. We're usually scoping Sports.com early Monday morning, looking for a weekly license to print money, so we're not sure how we missed this until a friend alerted us about it: UVA is favored to *lose* by seven points at Duke. O RLY? Just how far have the Cavaliers - who were 9-3 last year - fell from grace? (Or, as a loyal reader asks, how TTT is UVA Football this season - adding that "third tier" may be generous):

- In "real" games - that is, games against division I-A ("BCS") opponents, UVA has been outscored 97-17. When one includes a cupcake, it jumps to an impressive 97-33.



-UVA was able to eek by a win over perennial piedmont powerhouse the University of Richmond. In related news, U of R Law Sutdents also looked on to UVA Law's OGI with envy.

-UVA is 119th in Div-1-A play in total yards and 117th in rushing yards. The Cavaliers are also an impressive 118th in total points scored. There are 119 Div-1-A teams. Duke is at least 50 spots ahead in all of these categories.


-UVA's starting quarterback for the year, Peter Lalich (above), was dismissed from the team for "violating the terms of his probation" by drinking alcohol. He was on probation from an earlier offense that invovled . . . drinking alcohol. Isn't violating the terms of a probation agreement technically "cheating" and therefore a violation of the honor code, since you sign a thingy saying you won't do something and then do it? Kind of like "I swear I have not recevied any outside help on this exam?" So why isn't the honor committee taking off after Peter Lalich? Or, they could go after a lying charge. Said Lalich outside JPJ, "I have not smoked or done any drugs while on my probation.” Ooops. It's "any lying, cheating, or stealing," champ. Point: The honor code is basically (sadly) a joke. All this after the previous UVA quarterback, Jameel Sewell, decided he was "too cool for school" and simply DID NOT ENROLL in classes for entire semester. Again, classy. This is why we take Ivy League football over the ACC any day. This would never happen at a school like Cornell - who edged arch-rival Bucknell last weekend, 21-20. No players were kicked off the team in the victory, and, incidentally all are enrolled in classes. All will make progress toward their degree and virtually all will graduate - far more than can be said for Al Groh's program. Hopefully Lalich can focus on academics, since his football career appears to be over.

- The replacement, Marc Verica, went 20/32 against Big EasTTT powerhouse Conneticuit, and threw an interception. While this is not terrible, it's not great since a lot of the positive numbers came after Conneticuit had basically decided that it was not worth continuing to pull the appendages off the disable daddy-long-legs that was the Cavaliers.

- Duke has historically been really bad.

- But, UVA had a lot of trouble beating Duke at their home opener last year, and in the end, eeked out a sloppy win.

- But, again, Duke this year has shown some promise. The Blue Devils beat semi-respactable Navy and kept even-more-respectable-Northwestern to within four points. Duke's QB Lewis has 5 touchdowns and 700+yards, and the Blue Devils are 2-1. They also convincingly beat James Madison University, so pummeling people from the Commonwealth should be second nature.

-Thomas Jefferson's University ironically does not allow free speech at its stadium; the Blue Devils presumably do.

-UVA is coached by Al Groh, who . . . well, if you know, you know. Because of the previous point, fans are powerless to voice their dissatisfaction with Groh, who takes in $1.7 million dollars annually while the rest of the University is strapped for cash and raising tuition across the board. UVA Law Blog calls shenanigans on that.

How did we get here? We're talking about a team that was one game away from playing for the ACC championship last year to . . . this. We think the Hoos have a solid shot on Saturday, but it's hard to see anyone getting excited about watching the Cavaliers grind it out with Duke in any place other than JPJ.

NB: One commenter notes,

Actually, there have been many UVA football players dismissed from the team for cheating and other honor violations over the years. Sewell was probably one of them. Under FERPA, though, the school can't release that information, so you wouldn't actually know that it happened.

Fair enough, fair enough. But what about all the players who just show up for four (or five, or six years?) of workouts and fall Saturdays and have no intention to make any progress toward their degree or graduate?

Related Coverage:
UVA v. Duke Preview [ESPN]
Guys at My High School Used to Get Blown Out by Pac-10 Teams All the Time, It Was No Big Deal

Monday, September 22, 2008

Soviet-like-efficiency

Email 200+ people every time you want to switch your oral argument.  Guess putting email's next to your number would spoil the "anonymous" aspect of it - but what if you just promised not to look up to what the random string of letters and numbers in the uva default email addy corresponded?  

Here's hoping we get to see some more good signature lines . . .

Friday, September 19, 2008

OGI Post # 11 OPEN THREAD: Round II Callbacks

You guys know the drill - post the firm, and office:

Arnold Porter (DC)
Baker Botts (Dallas)
Brown (Raleigh)
Carter, Ledyard & Milburn (NY)
Cleary Gottlieb (DC)
Davis Polk (NYC)
Duane Morris (Philadelphia)
Fenwick West (SF)
Fish and Richardson (DC)
Goodwin Proctor (Boston, SF)
Jackson Walker (Texas)
Kirkland (DC)
Kelly Drye (DC)
Milbank Tweed (NYC)
Paul Hastings (SF)
Paul Weiss (NYC, DC)
Proskauer Rose (Boston)
Quinn Emanuel (SV, SF, LA)
Rose & McKlein (Billings)
Weil Gotshall (NYC)
White and Case (DC)

SPOTTED: Professors Taking Swag

Just thought you'd should do a post on a certain [edited] professor taking a bunch of swag from firm hospitality suites. Like a bouncy ball and a water bottle. Does this mean he's going to talk up DPW in his next lecture?? Is that allowed??

Our take: those little bouncy balls are for the masses.

EDIT: What is the . . . er . . . protocol on taking stuff when you're not interviewing with the firm?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We Think We Just Made a 160k Bad Investment . . .

Now, where's our bailout? Seriously, 85 billion dollars!? Why . . . we could occupy Iraq for a few months for that much scratch . . . . And if we listen to Gregg Easterbrook (yea, brother of that guy on the Seventh Circuit), it's will be we (younger people) who are going to have to suck it up:

In 1976, the entire U.S. national debt was about $800 billion, converted to today's dollars. Last summer, Congress without debate and with barely any notice added $800 billion to the national debt ceiling -- raising that ceiling by an amount equal to the entire debt a generation ago. With no debate! The U.S. national debt was $5 trillion in 1997, and has doubled to almost $10 trillion since. Why aren't the young outraged? The old are acting irresponsibly -- spending like crazy but unwilling to tax themselves, then handing the bill to the young. If the young were spending borrowed money like crazy, the old would be lecturing them. How come in Washington, the old can get away with behavior that would be called reckless for the young?

At any rate, the moment another $800 billion worth of borrowing was authorized, supposedly for "emergency" purposes, lobbyists got to work trying to seize every penny now. The big three automakers are now asking Congress for $50 billion of that $800 billion, supposedly to retool to build the fuel-efficient vehicles they had no way -- just no way on Earth -- of knowing they would ever be required to build. As Paul Ingrassia pointed out in last week's Wall Street Journal, when Congress bailed out Chrysler in 1980, the deal was structured so that if the company recovered, taxpayers got most of their money back. But what's being asked for now is pure subsidy -- money taxpayers will never see again, and that will be used in part to fund the bonuses of overpaid auto executives who got their companies into trouble in the first place. (The Journal opposes the bailout, though the $50 billion would go to Corporate America.) Ingrassia further notes that when Chrysler's Lee Iacocca tried to weasel out of the deal and keep the money that was promised back to taxpayers, Ronald Reagan stood firm and would not budge. Contrast Reagan's sense of civic responsibility to the current president and Congress, both of which just cannot wait to give away other people's money.

That was written a few days ago - before the AIG bailout announcement! Call us crazy, but we're just not getting why we're covering for AIG/Bear Sterns/Fannie Mac/Freddie Mae's (Lehman too? Give it time . . . ) bad investments. We thought the whole point of capitalism was that when you take a risk, you get to reap the reward, but you also have to . . . you know . . . bear the risk? If the government is going to bail out a mega-company everytime it screws up, wouldn't be better to just regulate up front? It would certainly be cheaper, in any event.

This, incidentially, is why Obama needs to lift the payroll tax cap and raise the highest marginal tax rates. It's not that he has has a radical program of new spending (just a shift in priorities from war and corporate welfare to fixing our national infastructure), it's also that he needs to curb the ballooning debt that keeps getting worse under Bush.

Yes, we *know* that some dems are behind the bailout. But the same people who are throwing up their hands and sighing. And not everyone was in favor of the idea:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly criticized the rescue, calling the $85 billion a "staggering sum." Ms. Pelosi said the bailout was "just too enormous for the American people to guarantee." Her comments suggested that the Bush administration and the Fed would face sharp questioning in Congressional hearings. President Bush was briefed earlier in the afternoon.

Hrmmm... Do the feds no longer get to use Bank of America as their preffered lender either?


Related:
Tuesday Morning Quarterback: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Week 2 [ESPN]
Socialism , 21st Century Style [NYT]
U.S. Seizes Control of AIG with $85B Emergency Loan [WaPo]

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Without Struggle There Is No Progress

We Received it in Email 27 Times. We Believe It. That Settles It. Amen.

Fan Mail

The following queries have actually been sent to us. Some through email [rule12f @ uvalawblog.com], some have relayed to us in personam by various minions, and no doubt there are probably a few that just plain made up but were probably questions you all were thinking about asking, so don’t fret. And remember, this blog isn’t run by a single person. In fact, it’s probably not even run by a group of people. It’s more a state of mind, a conduit, as it were, through which truth and justice flow.

That said . . . .

1) RULE 12 B 6 [sic] WHY DON’T YOU UPDATE YOUR BLOG MORE??? ALSO WHY DON’T YOU RITE ABOUT FEB CLUBS AND BAR REVIEW AND DANDELLIONS?

Hey now. We – editorially speaking – are just like the average 2L only slightly dumber and with a much higher bench press. What does that mean? Well, it means we are like you, drowning in journals and moot court briefs and getting our schedules thrown off by ever-reccurent trips inside the beltway and up through Gotham. We weren’t AT dandelions because were too busy hustlin’, and bar review seems like it has become a thing of the past (rule 12 f was the charming, goodlooking crew in the corner, FYI). We’re busy and that means some days we won’t be able to wax lyrical about vagaries of the law school experience (and as they intersect) the mysteries of the universe. We can’t be up and up on every little rumor and sometimes we’d rather watch the Redskins grind it out on a Sunday afternoon than report for the ump-teenth time how stressed everyone is.
Still our dedicated eds put a lot of work into it, and we are looking for contributors. Email us if interested. 

2) HEY WHEN ARE YOU ALL GOING TO DO A POST ON *OFFFERS* (AS OPPOSED TO CALLBACKS) FROM LAW FIRMS?

*looks at watch* uhmmmm . . . how about never? 

3) WHY NOT?

Oh, so many reasons. One, do you have any practical way to gather that information? We know what people want to hear – callback at Wachtell on Tuesday, offer on Thursday (or two weeks later, or on the spot, or a rejection or whatever), but the truth is we’re not nosy enough (amazing!) to solicit that sort of information from people, and whatever sort of stuff were voluntearily submitted might be prone to bias/inaccuracy/not-showing-the-full picture. What we WILL do, eventually, is post some people (with their permission et cetra) callback experiences – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Another problem is that we feel that there are significant privacy issues at stake here. Anyone with a computer and iphone outside Communist China can access this blog, and that means firm employers. If a student posts that she got interviewed on Wednesday and dinged on Friday – well the firm might not have to narrow down too much as to who that student was – not that it would be big news or anything, but you see where we’re going and we don’t want to type anymore.
Finally, stop stressing about mmmkay??? You’ll all most of you will get jobs at firms according to career services even if the economy is bad. And if you don’t, sue the uvalawblog corporation on reliance theory – this website has the potential to be worth 10 dollars a year in google ads (minus an annual 10 dollars of operating costs to register a domain). Seriously, there are three types of people. Type one is that the type of person that gets a job – hooray for you. Type 2 is the type that does not get a job, but also voted for George W. Bush and therefore had a hand in the awful economy that we’re stuck in right now. We have no sympathy for you, you made your bed now sleep in it. Type 3 is the type who did not vote for Bush but also has no job – for you we are truly sorry but we are also sure something will come up, if worst comes to worst suck it up and do some public interest work and try again next time when President Obama has ushered in a new era of peace and prosperity. 


4) YOUR BLOG SUCKS AND IS BORING 

Well, that’s not really a question but we’ll answer it anyway: start your own then.


5) SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS WITH ALL THE POLITICS / FOOTBALL – I THOUGHT THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT UVA LAW.

We’re not a gossip column, and we’re not going to exclusively the minutae and witiness of the law school experience. Ever read ANG? Well OK then. Part of a vigorous and canterkous media is diversity of coverage area. Right.


That’s all for now, keep it up.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Beanie Wells to POTUS?

OK, probably not. But it's still worth noting that the election is going to be close in a lot of the "Big-10" states, and that being the case, Obama would do well to remember that in some parts of this country, college football trumps politics

[A]s was the case four years ago, it is becoming more likely that this election will be decided in Ohio. So as much as “Change You Can Rely On” or “Country First,” an equally helpful slogan for both campaigns could be “Go Buckeyes.”

Seriously.  All Barack Obama has to do to win is show up at the Colloisium this weekend (when the #5 Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the #1 USC Trojans) with some Red and White on, and it's game over.  Of course, an endorsement of the Buckeyes could mean trouble in Michigan - where the currently unranked Wolverines are Ohio States main rival. 

However, I think that the OSU endorsement would still do more good for Obama than harm.  First, consider that the Michigan-Ohio State game won't take place until some weeks after the election, so any tension arising from an Obama/Biden endorsement of the Buckeyes in Michigan wouldn't come to a complete head until the last week of the Big Ten schedule, by which point it won't matter for political purposes. 

Second, consider that the football allegiances among the Michigan hoi polloi are split between the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans. A lot of people from Michigan pull for the Spartans and actually hate the Wolverines. 

Third, an OSU endorsement this weekend is unlikely to have any other negative effects.  California is already solidly in the Obama camp, and, anyway USC doesn't dominate college football allegiances in the state (there are several other reputable teams in California; including the cross-town rival U.C.L.A. Bruins and Cal Golden Bears).  As for other Big Ten states, 

Therefore, Obama and Biden should come out as Buckeye fans.  This is no problem for Obama - under the FFJ rubric of sports allegiances -  because Obama attended college at Occidental/Columbia and law school at Harvard - neither one of which have a division-A football program. Moreover, Obama's hometown of Chicago doesn't have a reputable program either (I'm not counting Northwestern as reputable, sorry), and so he is pretty much a free agent as far as allegiances go.  One could make the argument that he should root for Illinois over Ohio, but this seems like getting bogged down in minutiae because Obama doesn't have any connection with Urbana-Champaign or with the U of I. 

Now, Biden is a more complicated case. Biden went to college at the University of Deleware, whose Blue Hens are a solid FCS squad that did very well last year - however, like the Harvard Crimson and Columbia Lions they are not a division I-A team.  The problem is that Biden - despite almost being kicked out for plagiarizing an LRW assignment - did graduate from Syracuse University Law School.  Syracuse *does* have a Division-I A football team; however, they are almost unwatchably bad at the moment (despite being good in the past and producing such talent as Art Monk).  I think Biden can safely break with his allegiance to 'Cuse and choose one of the *competitive* Division I-A teams to endorse as his preferences would indicated.  For the aforementioned reasons, he should choose the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

How To Handle a Bad PD

Just watch the first few seconds, OK? 



"I just hit him."  Yessir . . . yes you did. 

Try Being Someone Else, Kid

I'm not trying to be Tom Brady, I'm just trying to be Matt Cassel - Matt Cassel

Dood, you won't get any supermodels that way.  FFJ suggested trying to be Tom Brady, and we agree.  That's pretty much what we do and it works just about every time.  Especially when you're going against Brett-he's-just-a-big-kid-havin'-fun-out-there-Favre, who will most assuredly not try to be Matt Cassel, but rather, Brett Favre, which is better. 

Speaking of Boston, on an unrelated note, here's an overheard from a friend at HLS:

"I heard that [a very large NYC firm] has a work-hard, play-hard mentality.  But I don't wanna play hard, I just wanna work hard and then go home and maybe surf the internet or read a book or something and then goto sleep." 

Yep, looks like FebClub is in the right spot. 

PSA: Do Not Put "Moot Court" On Your Resume

[Jump to CALLBACKS!]

Just trust us. 

On a related note, we're wondering if there's anyway all of the important moot court related emails we've been getting could be streamlined and put on one of those . . . blog things? We love sending and receiving mail, no doubt (we used to incessantly email section list-serves . . . about basketball) but, we're thinking when we finally start this (9 PM next Tuesday night), it might be a little much to wade through - maybe those sorts of things could go on the interwebs the way that the Law Review people did it for journal tryouts?  Also, the signature is not long enough. 

Previous Coverage:

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Chen Zhi-Zhong - - The Coolest 1L We Never Got to Meet

[jump to CALLBACKS - updated Sunday]
Anyone who picked up a copy of Friday's Virginia Law Weekly - or, alternatively, showed up at orientation (we were busy getting our hair combed and shirts pressed) - knows who Chen Zhi Zhong is (Chen Chih-Chung in the outdated romanization system).

Chen Chih-chung would not have been an ordinary first-year student. He is the son of Taiwan’s former President, Chen Shui-bian, who served from 2000 to 2008. After leaving office in May, he was indicted for his alleged role in a large-scale embezzlement and money laundering scheme.
The younger Chen missed the Law School’s orientation when he flew home to cooperate with an inquiry into whether he played a role in the alleged criminal enterprise. Chen Chih-chung has since been added as a defendant in the investigation. The entire Chen family has steadfastly denied that they have engaged in any illegal activity.


What you may not know about is the extent to which the whole thing is continuing to stir up controversy (although it seems like it this point UVA may be basically off the hook . . . for now) - apparently some people are very skeptical of the money laundering prosecution thing of the ex-Pres, and even more skeptical of his son (Zhi-zhong), wife, and daughter's involvement, and even *more* skeptical of the university's involvement in the whole mess. Whoever wrote the article for the Law Weekly did a good job getting opinions of some of the current students:


[A]n LL.M. student at the Law School who hails from Taipei . . . said that he was not surprised that Mr. Chen’s withdrawal from the University has become a “big headline” in Taiwan. He said that many in Taiwan saw the indictment of the Chen family members as a political ploy. Huang expressed suspicion as to whether the charges against the former President were meritorious, much less those against his son and daughter-in-law.

[The student] also indicated that the chain of events seemed strange and unwarranted as a matter of course, given that Chen had already paid tuition and received his ID card. “Why revoke someone’s student status just because he or she doesn’t attend a speech in Caplin Auditorium?” he wondered.

Hey man, welcome to the last of the learned professions! Anyway, we have two suggestions for further coverage. First, when refering to this whole serious of events, could we please call it "ID-gate" or "Chen-gate", ty ty ty xoxo. Second, wouldn't this be the perfect opportunity for the school to offer a class on money laundering and the like? Seems like it would fit well under the "Law and Business" category.

If we can get it up and running in the next year, Zhi-Zhong could take it. Of course, he'd have to apply all over again . . .

Oh, the Law Weekly also had this good picture from Taiwanese TV of UVA VP for Public Affaird Carolyn Wood.
Our Mandarin is rusty, but we think the caption says: "We definitely never told [Zhi-Zhong] he was a student." But he did have an ID card and pay tuition . . . In fairness, though, the Zhi-zhong should get a few bar reviews and a base hit in softball under his belt in softball before he makes any claims.

Monday, September 01, 2008

We Live in a Golden Age of Televison, #2: Gossip Girl Kickoff

[jump to CALLBACKS]

Writing about William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, Frederich Engels wrote that "The first act . . . alone contains more life and reality than all German literature." Walter Cohen suggests that perhaps what Engels admired in the play was the "dramatization of the middle class as it is being formed out of social tensions and verbal distinctions, out of disparate and often contradictory elements."


To the extent that The Wire - which this blog has praised ad nauseum - accomplishes that goal in describing the "social tensions and verbal distinctions" of those who live in and around the misery of the drug trade and gang warfare of the urban environment, Gossip Girl - which premiers tonight (Monday) at 8PM - does the same thing for Manhattan elite, or, rather, a obviously ficticious and heavily satirized version of such an elite. The real genius of the show is not so much the fodder, recycled plot of teen romances and heart-breaks, family troubles and dissolutions, pseudo-existential crises and realizations (all topics that Schwarz incidentially handled better in Season 1 of the OC), but rather the extent to which Schwartz's depiction of UES'ers is a carefully and subtly constructed farce, meant not to necessarily reflect reality but rather toy with, exploit, and ultimately undermine the expectations of a half-jealous, half-critical, half-naive middle class audience (this is cable, after all) that might also be characterized as strivers in the sense that the presumed opulance and decadence of the UES'ers is appealing, but only insofar that the mishaps, and in some cases, lack of scruples of the main characters make them distinguishable; if you were there you would never be as cruel as Blair Waldorf or as treacherous as Chuck Bass . . . We think in this aspect GG is in top form . . .


It's really difficult for us to describe beyond the above why we love Gossip Girl. Some of it has to be the same sort of intangible Josh Schwartz "magic" that attracted us to season 1 of the OC, some of it has to be to chic wardrobe and cool locale in the Upper East Side of Manhattan (hey - won't some of you be living and working there this summer? Write off the time as "career research"), a part is certain the strong soundtrack (another Josh Schwartz main-stay), and finally we need to give credit to a sort of novel concept: a series that revolves around - and is indeed driven by- "gossip" insofar as it is pandered on a (yet-to-be-identified) student blog.


It's worth noting that GG is no longer available as a free stream; you have to watch it Mondays on the CW at 8, or, in the alternative, pay $1.99 to get from iTunes. Bastards.

After that, catch the rest of the Tennessee Volunteers taking on the UCLA Bruins in LA. The line for the game is Tennessee (who last year almost managed to beat national champions LSU in the national champtionship) by -7.5. We don't endorse gambling, but if we did, we'd recommend buying down to -7 and then taking the Vols.

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We Live in A Golden Age of TV (A Running Series)