August 29, 2004

Personal injury lawyers in Florida

This turns out to be a highly competitive Adwords keyword set. Interesting isn't it? Do you think that a search by zip code and proximity might be of interest to folks? Is there an easy way to figure out who to choose? Would people be interested in a forum where you could discuss and rate each lawyer? Sort of the - hot or not of law.

Here are the rest of the 50 states by cost per click:

70.00 personal injury lawyer Missouri
32.07 personal injury lawyer Florida
30.05 personal injury lawyer New York
30.00 personal injury lawyer New Jersey
26.01 personal injury lawyer Georgia
25.07 personal injury lawyer Illinois
25.01 personal injury lawyer Connecticut
23.00 personal injury lawyer Michigan
20.00 personal injury lawyer Colorado
16.01 personal injury lawyer California
15.35 personal injury lawyer Texas
15.01 personal injury lawyer Massachusetts
15.00 personal injury lawyer Pennsylvania
12.00 personal injury lawyer Oregon
11.00 personal injury lawyer Vermont
10.04 personal injury lawyer Nevada
10.02 personal injury lawyer Ohio
10.01 personal injury lawyer Kentucky
10.01 personal injury lawyer Minnesota
10.01 personal injury lawyer Rhode Island
10.00 personal injury lawyer Hawaii
10.00 personal injury lawyer Louisiana
10.00 personal injury lawyer Utah
10.00 personal injury lawyer Virginia
10.00 personal injury lawyer Washington
10.00 personal injury lawyer Wyoming
9.23 personal injury lawyer Mississippi
9.11 personal injury lawyer Maryland
6.51 personal injury lawyer Alabama
6.50 personal injury lawyer Arizona
5.07 personal injury lawyer Nebraska
5.01 personal injury lawyer Indiana
5.01 personal injury lawyer Maine
5.01 personal injury lawyer Tennessee
5.00 personal injury lawyer Arkansas
5.00 personal injury lawyer Delaware
5.00 personal injury lawyer Idaho
5.00 personal injury lawyer Iowa
5.00 personal injury lawyer Kansas
5.00 personal injury lawyer Montana
5.00 personal injury lawyer New Hampshire
5.00 personal injury lawyer New Mexico
5.00 personal injury lawyer North Carolina
5.00 personal injury lawyer North Dakota
5.00 personal injury lawyer Oklahoma
5.00 personal injury lawyer South Carolina
5.00 personal injury lawyer South Dakota
2.00 personal injury lawyer Alaska
1.50 personal injury lawyer Wisconsin
1.28 personal injury lawyer West Virginia
I'm not sure why it is so high in Missouri, but this is certainly worth a closer look!

Posted by torque at 12:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 27, 2004 AWS 4.0 Web Services

It's out! And the new REST format makes quering the database extremely easy. Unlike the SOAP interface, REST allows you to get information from Amazon simply using a URL (with GET no less).

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a method for programmers to access Amazon's massive database of books, software, music, etc. and their corresponding prices and reviews. You can even use it to post products (such as books). And the best part? It's free! All you need to do is sign up for an AWS account.

To the REST of the story (ok, ok, I couldn't resist). REST stands for Representational State Transfer and was developed by Dr. Roy Fielding.

REST allows you to make calls to AWS by passing parameter keys and values in a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). AWS returns its response in XML (Extensible Markup Language) format. You can experiment with AWS requests and responses using nothing more than a Web browser that is capable of displaying XML documents. Simply enter the REST URL into the browser's address bar, and the browser displays the raw XML response.

Posted by torque at 4:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 23, 2004

Paying for nostalgia

My wife had a great line today as I momentarily considered a $20 video of old Timex 'takes a licking and keeps on ticking' commercials.

That's great but $20 for nostalgia is not worth it.
Incidentally, the announcer's name was John Cameron Swayze.

Posted by torque at 1:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Konica Minolta Dimage A2

I saw this baby at Costco this morning. It is nice - especially the anti-shake feature. If you are interested, you should take a look at Amazon, it goes for $760-some. It says "too low to display" for the price, probably because the Amazon price is even lower than the used price. At Costco it was nearly $1000. I have to say though, that the Minolta site is really poorly designed. It took 10 minutes before we actually located the sample pages. Once you get a sample image, if you don't have the toolbar, you need to point your mouse at the white boarder and right click on Back. (If you use my 'sample pages' link you shouldn't have this problem, but you will have it if you go through the Minolta link. You then click on 'Take a Tour'.)

The A2 anti-shake is neat because the adjustment is made on the CCD position rather than on the lenses. That means that it'll be in operation no matter what lens you are using.

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August 19, 2004

NNTP servers

Great resource I found at

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August 18, 2004

Converting dates between MySQL and PHP

Thanks Simon, for the tip. "You can use MySQL's UNIX_TIMESTAMP() and FROM_UNIXTIME() functions to convert Unix timestamps to MySQL date types as part of your SQL queries." For example,
  entries.*, UNIX_TIMESTAMP(added) as unixtime
  title = 'The title', 
  added = FROM_UNIXTIME(1057941242),
Yay! No more INT(11) for me.

Posted by torque at 11:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 16, 2004

Securing websites at Stanford using SSL

This probably will apply to other servers, but here what needs to be done to make sure that content is secure. First of all, transfer needs to be restricted to https so that no one can get to them unencrypted (via http). To do this, in .htaccess, place the following line
SSLRequireSSL on
Next set permissions so that no one else on the server can access the files except for the www server
% fs setacl dir system:www-servers read
% fs setacl dir system:anyuser none
% fs setacl dir system:authuser none
For more details, visit ITSS.

Posted by torque at 11:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Changing compliance (CMPL) value

I always forget this. I guess I'm not the only one, since Keithley has even published a FAQ on it.

Press the green EDIT button (upper left hand corner) twice to access the compliance values. Use the UP, DOWN, LEFT, and RIGHT arrow buttons to change the displayed value. Press the ENTER button when you reach the desired level.
Very unintuitive.

Posted by torque at 5:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a generic term for the protocol by which programmers can access particular features of previously written code. This can be within your own computer, or, as is increasingly common, on the internet. The latter is most interesting, because it allows you to tap computational power outside of your own computer. It also allows the API provider to offer its tools to external developers without exposing the underlying code.

There are a number of fun API's to work with on the web. Here are a few of the more notable examples:

  • Google Web APIs - With the Google Web APIs service, software developers can query more than 4 billion web pages directly from their own computer programs. Google uses the SOAP and WSDL standards so a developer can program in his or her favorite environment - such as Java, Perl, or Visual Studio .NET.
  • Amazon Web Services - Amazon Web Services provides you with direct access to Amazon's technology platform. Using AWS, you can access catalog data, create and populate an Amazon shopping cart, and even initiate the checkout process. As an Amazon Associate, you can use our catalog data to create rich, highly effective sites featuring full product data, including accurate and timely product pricing and availability. As an Amazon Marketplace Seller, you can use AWS to get competitive pricing information, list your products on Amazon, and check the status of your listings.
  • Paypal's Instant Payment Notification - Instant Payment Notification (IPN) is PayPal's interface for handling real-time purchase confirmation and server-to-server communications. IPN delivers immediate notification and confirmation of PayPal payments you receive and provides status and additional data on pending, cancelled, or failed transactions.
  • eBay API - The Application Programming Interface (API) is the heart of the Developers Program. Normally, users buy and sell items using the eBay online interface, interacting with eBay directly. But with the eBay API, you communicate directly with the eBay database in XML format. By using the API, your application can provide a custom interface, functionality and specialized operations not otherwise afforded by the eBay interface.
  • Blogger API - For independent developers and partners who are interested in hooking into Blogger with other programs, interfaces, or environments.
Why do companies make APIs available to the public? More importantly, why would I develop software and make it available to other software developers? The answer, as they say, is in the paperwork. In some cases, the money making portion of the company, but in what the software allows you to do. For instance, the eBay API facilitates posting and bidding on eBay. When other developers make software, this only encouraging more posting and more bidding. It is really an enhancement of an affiliate program. In other cases, like the Google APIs, usage is fairly limited, i.e., you only get a certain number of queriers per day. Once you get above that threshold, you probably have a viable business model, in which case, licensing discussions commence. You see how this works. If anything, APIs allow the ambitious programmer or developer a chance to work with powerful tools, increasing public awareness of your product and enhancing the interfaces to your own software. If they develop something really good, you might just buy them. That's what happened to Picasa.

Finally, I want to emphasize again that that web-based APIs allow companies to get open source like development without revealing the underlying source code and without losing control.

Posted by torque at 10:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 13, 2004

Organic implies non-GMO

Thanks to my lovely wife for pointing this out to me. Once you find something organic, you don't have to worry about it being genetically modified.

"In addition, as mandated in the USDA's National Organic Standards, products labeled organic cannot be grown from genetically engineered seed or made with genetically engineered ingredients. Therefore, choosing any product labeled organic in any supplier's label in the Trader Joe's stores is another way to choose foods and beverages that are not genetically engineered."

Note that the converse is not true. If you find a product advertised as non-GMO, it certainly doesn't mean that it is organic. It may well be loaded up with all sorts of undesireable chemicals. Hmmm... speaking of "converse", where do you think the name Converse for the shoes came from?

Posted by torque at 12:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2004

Someone turn off my D2

Betterhumans reported today on some astounding new research from the US National Institute of Mental Health (Bethesda, MD). According to Dr. Barry Richmond, we procrastinate because of a properly functioning reward learning system. When the reward is far off or difficult to attain (as in, completing a thesis) we slack off - well, at least I sometimes do. As the reward becomes closer and more sure, we then pick up the pace.

Here's the experiment. A bunch of monkeys are trained to release a lever when the spot on the monitor changes from red to green. If they do good, the status bar gets closer to the goal. When they get to the goal, they get a juice treat. The researchers based their research on the fact that untweaked monkeys had fewer errors as they got closer to getting the reward. They then injected the monkeys into the rhinal cortex (straight into the brain) with a molecule which shuts off expression of a gene encoding receptor called D2 for several weeks. The result? Tweaked monkeys became "extreme workaholics" attaining a consistent low rate of error. Hmm...

How does the molecule work? It appears that the molecule is a genetic mirror image of the area which produces the relevant protein - DNA antisense. I can see this becoming the new drug of choice.

Posted by torque at 5:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 11, 2004

Are press releases public domain?

I've always wondered this... here's what I found.

Small market newsletters, magazines and newspapers will often use your press release in entirety to keep the ads from bumping together. Many of those publications cannot afford to pay for editorial content and welcome press releases as public domain work -- which they are.
A rather dated newsgroup post claims that it is so, but where can one find a more official source?

According to Yale and Carothers [1],

Once that press release or PSA is sent out, you cannot take it out of circulation, and you can't control its use. It has been publicly distributed, and it is probably public domain under the copyright law. Anyone who has it can use it for any purpose. [emphasis added]
Bryman [2] has this to say
Companies (and indeed organizations generally) produce many documents. Some of these are in the public domain, such as annual reports, mission statements, press releases, advertisements, and public relations material in printed form or on the World Wide Web. [emphasis added]
Cairncross [3] mentions "information that has always been in the public domain but was previously inaccessible to most people - because it was held in some special place, or released only to specialists. Press releases, for instance, once landed only on the desks of journalists. Now anybody can read press releases on a company's Web site." [emphasis added]

I think it is pretty clear, press releases are in the public domain. Enjoy!

[1] D.R. Yale and A.J. Carothers, The publicity handbook : the inside scoop from more than 100 journalists and PR pros on how to get great publicity coverage : in print, online, and on the air, Chicago, Ill.: NTC Business Books, 2001, p. 66.
[2] A. Bryman, Social research methods, Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 376.
[3] F. Cairncross, The death of distance : how the communications revolution is changing our lives, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2001, p. 80.

Posted by torque at 10:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 10, 2004

Organic tofu - no GMO!

It probably shouldn't go under "organic" but, for what it is worth, Mori-Nu Tofu is made exclusively with non-GMO soybeans.

Mori-Nu, like you, is concerned about the genetic modification of foods. That's why every package of Mori-Nu Tofu is made only with Non GMO soybeans. We bring you the freshest, purest, and safest foods possible and guarantee your complete satisfaction. It's our commitment to you, your health, and the environment.
Now, but what about the pesticides?

For those of you not in the know, Mori-Nu has a patent on aseptic tofu making. The aseptic box, based on a Tetra Pak patent, lets the tofu last for years without refrigeration.

Packaged aseptic soya bean curd containing no bactericidal agents is manufactured by a method which comprises continuously sterilizing a soya bean juice by maintaining it at a temperature of 128 DEG to 150 DEG C for 1 to 6 seconds and cooling to room temperature; homogeneously mixing said sterilized soya bean juice with a sterilized coagulating agent-containing solution in an aseptic atmosphere continuously or in a pipeline; continuously filling the resulting liquid mixture into a container in an aseptic atmosphere and sealing it; and dipping said sealed container into a water tank heated to 70 DEG to 95 DEG C for 20 to 60 minutes in order to coagulate the mixture.
I found it... organic non-GMO Mori-Nu tofu. It costs a fortune though, $2.15 for 12.3 oz.

No, no, no. Don't buy it there. Buy it from Amazon! Remember that there is still shipping. They charge $28.50 for a 24 pack. I think shipping will be about $13.50. So $1.75 per box... not bad. No tax right? Here's the link: Mori-Nu Silken Organic Firm Tofu, 24 pack. And here's a gratuitous image:

Posted by torque at 9:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Elliott's updated affidavit

The Boston Globe reported last week that one of the SwiftVets had recanted his position. That turned out to be a misquote. Elliot filed a new affidavit where he maintains that "John Kerry has not been honest about what has happened in Vietnam."

Posted by torque at 3:45 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Vanadium dioxide

Vanadium dioxide is a semiconductor which undergoes a first-order metal-insulator phase transition (MIT) at 340K. First observed in 1959 by Morin, the increase in conductivity has been observed to be as much as five orders of magnitude. At temperatures above the critical temperature, each vanadium atom is located at the center of an oxygen tetrahedron. At lower temperatures, the structure is distorted as vanadium atoms pair up and are alternately displaced from the center of oxygens. The transition mechanism is still not well understood. See [1,2] for more detailed information.

[1] N.F. Mott, Metal-insulator transitions, London ; New York: Taylor & Francis, 1990, pp. 185-9.
[2] S. Luryi, J. Xu and A. Zaslavsky, Future trends in microelectronics : the nano millennium, New York: IEEE : Wiley-Interscience, 2002.

Posted by torque at 11:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 9, 2004

The deepest pit

CNN today reported on explorer's finding the world's deepest hole. Located in inside a mountain range in central Croatia, the cave weaves for 203 feet and then plunges down 1,693 feet, said Ana Sutlovic Baksic of the Velebit Speleological Soceity. Spelunking is apparently quite popular in Croatia. You might wonder what might be at the bottom of such a pit, should you ever accidentally fall in... would you believe, one of the largest known colonies of subterranean leeches? Great. I wonder what they eat down there... fish?

Posted by torque at 11:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

An encouraging thought from sweetie

God does not judge you by your CTR.
Posted by torque at 10:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


It takes a good chunk of time to load 2500 data points into the 6430 to do a sweep. If you will be reusing the sweep, you don't need to reload it. All you need to do is to issue the following command before you run :INIT again:

where should be replaced with the number of readings, 2500 maximum.

Posted by torque at 10:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


The timestamp function of the Keithley 6430 is based on an internal oscillator with a frequency of 8.192kHz. Ticks occur every 8.192kHz/8 or 1024 a second, which means a system tick occurs every 0.9765625. The reported timestamp value is thus off by 24 ms every second. To obtain a more accurate timestamp value, we must multiple the timestamp by a factor of 0.9765625. Hmmm....

Posted by torque at 10:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 7, 2004

Federal Reserve discount rate

The discount rate at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco effective 6-30-2004 is 2.25%. This means that the maximum interest you can charge someone per year without being usurious is 10%. So how do those money advance places work? My understanding is that the annualized rate ends up being hundreds of percent. Here's more information from the Attorney General. Apparently, pawn brokers are exempt from such laws... as are banks, credit unions, etc.

Posted by torque at 11:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 3, 2004

Micah's idols

Judges 17-18 is, in my opinion, among the most bizarre stories in the OT. It opens with Micah, saying to his mother, that the eleven hundred pieces of silver stolen from her about which she utters are curse, were actually stolen by him. When she hears this, she blesses him. He returns the silver and she in turns dedicates the silver to the Lord to make a graven image and a molten image. (What an image is exactly I'm not sure...) Micah sets up a shrine, makes an ephod, puts together some idols and appoints one of his sons to be the priest.

Some time later, a young Levite, an "official" priest by blood, leaves Bethlehem in Judah to basically find a place where he can hang out. He stumbles onto Micah who, realizing that he is a holy man by blood, invites me to be "a father and a priest" to him, pays him, gives him clothes and takes care of him. Micah then says, "Now I know that the LORD will prosper me, seeing I have a Levite as priest."

It gets even stranger...

Enter the Danites. The Danites, i.e., a tribe of Israel descended from Dan, send out five men to scout for land to possess, since an inheritance had not yet been alloted to them. These five guys end up lodging not far from Micah's home where they then recognize the young Levite's voice. Realizing that he is a holy man, and a priest, they ask him to ask God if they are going the right way. He says, "Your way in which you are going has the LORD'S approval."

So, the five men continue on and find some people living in quietly and securely far from everyone else. So, they come back to their brothers and say, we've seen the land, it's good, let's take them. On the way there, the entourage of six hundred men "armed with weapons of war" come to Micah's house. The priest meets them, and while he stands at the gate with the six hundred men, the five guys go into the shrine and heist the graven image, the ephod the household idols and the molten image. The priest says, "Hey, what are you doing!" They say, "Be silent, put your hand over your mouth and come with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be a priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?" That seems pretty reasonable to the young priest, so he takes off with them.

Shortly there after, Micah and his neighbors catch up to the Danites. The Danites say to Micah, "What is the matter with you?" Micah says, "How can you say 'What's the matter with you?' You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and have gone away, and what do I have besides?" The Danites basically threaten him, and Micah seeing their numbers, goes home. They eventually get to the land and wipe out the population, taking over the city and setting up the graven image. This graven image becomes their idol for years, as the good book says, all the time that the house of God was at Shiloh.

Judges 19 is even more crazy... why does Judges have such bizarre stories? It is to show what happens when every man does what is right in his own eyes - Judges 17:6. Isn't that the theme of the day? Every one should decide what's right for themselves.

Posted by torque at 10:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bank fraud

Ok, most of you probably know this already, but if you get something like this in the mail, for goodness sake, DO NOT click on the link.

Dear U.S. Bank valued customer,

Due to concerns, for the safety and integrity of the online banking community we have issued this warning message.

It has come to our attention that your account information needs to be updated due to inactive customers, fraud and spoof reports. If you could please take 5-10 minutes out of your online experience and renew your records you will not run into any future problems with the online service. However, failure to update your records may result in your account suspension. This notification expires on August 10, 2004.

Once you have updated your account records your internet banking service will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.

Please follow the link below and renew your account information.

U.S. Bank Internet Banking

This piece came from (HELO ( which remarkably bears no resemblance to U.S. Bank. It costs $21.95 per month to get an account on winshop internet. Let's help them not even break even by NOT clicking on their email.

Posted by torque at 8:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 2, 2004

Rev. Faris Toma's ulcerogenic comment

Following the brutal attacks on Christian churches in Iraq, Rev. Faris Toma, pastor of St. Peter and Paul, had the following comment:

"Why do they kill all the Iraqi people?" he asks in exasperation. "Why don't they kill the Americans? They are the occupiers. We are innocent." [1]

I understand that he is grieving and I can appreciate his frustration, but this comment is just plain ulcerogenic. I hope something was lost in the translation. To be fair, if we didn't go into Iraq and destablize the political environment, they probably would not have been targeted, at least, not to this extent.

Why did he think the Christian community had been targeted? "This is the question which we are all asking." Then echoing the reaction of many Christians across Iraq, he added of the perpetrators: "It seems that having failed to divide Sunnis and Shia Muslims, they now want to cause problems between Christians and Muslims. I do not believe this will happen." [2]
At least he doesn't hold a grudge, at least, not against the terrorists...
"We cannot understand why or how they could do something like this," he said. "All we can do is ask God to give them forgiveness and grant us peace." [3]

[1] S. Baldauf and D. Murphy, "Iraqis decry attacks on Christians," The Christian Science Monitor, August 3, 2004.
[2] D. Macintyre, "Baghdad's Christians bear brunt of association with the West",, August 3, 2004.
[3] A. Blomfield, "Iraqi Christians pray for their attackers", Telegraph, August 3, 2004.

Posted by torque at 8:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 1, 2004

ADA Liberal Quotient

Kudos to Ryan for this one.

Every year, the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), "America's oldest independent liberal lobbying organization", grades members of Congress on how aligned they are with ADA based on 20 votes. Each vote is worth 5 points for a maximum of 100 points. They state themselves, that "the Annual Voting Records have served as the standard measure of political liberalism" since the ADA's founding in 1947. You can see the drill down on last year's results (2003) to see how this works. So, what's the scoop?

The scoop is that John Kerry is not as moderate as you might think. (Though maybe you never thought that... it sure sounded like it during the convention.) Although his liberal quotient in 2003 was 85, the 15 points were not votes opposed to the ADA's position, but rather abstentions. His lifetime rating is 92, 2 points higher than Ted Kennedy. I have to admit though, in the Senate people bbasically vote along party lines.

The 20
1. Cloture on Estrada Nomination. Motion to limit debate and vote on President Bush's nomination of Miguel A. Estrada to be a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Motion rejected 55-44. A three-fifths majority - 60 votes -- is required to invoke cloture. March 6, 2003. A no vote is a +. Kerry voted no.

2. S 3. Late Term Abortion Ban - Roe v. Wade Support. Harkin (D-IA) amendment that would express the sense of the Senate that the Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion in Roe v. Wade was correct and should not be overturned. Adopted 52-46. March 12, 2003. A yes vote is a +. Kerry voted yes.

3. S. Con Res 23. Fiscal 2004 Budget Resolution -ANWR Oil Drilling. Boxer (D-CA) amendment to kill language in the resolution that would authorize oil drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. Motion adopted 52-48. March 19, 2003. A yes vote is a +. Kerry voted yes.

4. S. Con Res 23. Fiscal 2004 Budget Resolution - Child Care. Bingaman (D-NM) amendment to increase mandatory childcare spending by $4.6 billion over five years and $9.1 billion over 10 years. The spending would be paid for by decreasing tax cuts. Rejected 49-50. March 25, 2003. A yes vote is a +. Kerry voted yes.

5. S 1054. Tax Reductions - Unemployment Insurance Extension. Kennedy (D-MA) motion to waive the Budget Act and extend unemployment benefits by 26 weeks, with an additional 13 weeks for workers who have exhausted federal benefits. It also would fund unemployment compensation for part-time and low-wage workers. It would be paid for by slowing up implementation of cuts in the top income tax rate. Motion rejected 50-49. A three-fifths majority - 60 votes -- is required to waive the Budget Act. May 15, 2003. A yes vote is a +. Kerry voted yes.

6. HR 2. Tax Reduction. Passage of the bill that would reduce taxes by $350 billon over 11 years, exempting 50 percent of dividend income from taxes in 2003, and exempting all dividend income from 2004 through 2006. From 2003 through 2007, businesses investing $400,000 or less annually could write off up to $100,000 of those expenses. Individual income tax rate reductions already in place would be accelerated. Taxes on corporate overseas income would be reduced by 85 percent for one year. States and localities would receive $20 billion for fiscal relief. The child tax credit would be increased to $1,000. The measure also would curtail the use of corporate tax shelters and exempt more people from paying the alternative minimum tax. Passed 51-49. (Before passage, the Senate substituted the text of S. 1054, as amended.) May 15, 2003. A no vote is a +. Kerry voted no.

7. S 14. Energy Policy - Nuclear Power Plants. Wyden (D-OR) amendment that would kill loan guarantees covering half the construction costs of about seven new nuclear power plants, allowing the Energy Department to buy electricity from those plants. Rejected 48-50. June 10, 2003. (No new nuclear power plant has been ordered in the U.S. since 1978, a year before the Three Mile Island accident.) A yes vote is a +. Kerry voted yes.

8. S 1 Prescription Drug Benefit. Passage of the bill to authorize $400 billion over 10 years to create a prescription drug benefit provided by private insurers for Medicare recipients beginning in 2006. Medicare recipients would be allowed to remain in the traditional fee-for-service program or switch to a preferred provider program that includes prescription drug coverage. The Center for Medicare Choices in the Department of Health and Human Services would award two-year regional contracts for providing drug coverage to private insurers. If a region had fewer than two qualified bidders, a federal "fallback" drug coverage plan would be in place for one year before new private bidders would be sought. Enrolled beneficiaries would pay an average monthly premium of $35, a $275 deductible, and a 50% co-payment up to annual drug costs of $4,500, after which benefits would stop until the beneficiary's out-of-pocket drug costs reached $3,700, when the insurer would pay 90 percent of drug costs. Beneficiaries with incomes below 160 percent of the poverty level would be eligible for additional assistance. Passed 76-21. June 27, 2003. A no vote is a +. Kerry DID NOT VOTE.

9. S 925. Fiscal 2004 State Department Reauthorization - HIV/AIDS. Bingaman (D-NM) amendment to express the Sense of Congress that the global HIV/AIDS bill enacted this year (PL 108-25) should be fully funded, even if doing so would exceed the funding allowed by the fiscal 2004 budget resolution. Adopted 78-18. July 10, 2003. A yes vote is a +. Kerry voted yes.

10. HR 2660. Fiscal 2004 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations - Overtime Pay Regulations. Harkin (D-IA) amendment that would prohibit using funds for any regulation that would take away any worker's eligibility for overtime pay. Adopted 54-45. September 10, 2003. A yes vote is a +. Kerry voted yes.

11. HR 2660. Fiscal 2004 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations - Financial Aid Eligibility. Corzine (D-NJ) amendment prohibiting use of Department of Education funds to change financial aid eligibility formulas depriving 84,000 students of their eligibility for Pell Grants for the 2004-05 school year and many middle-income families from eligibility for Stafford federal direct and guaranteed student loans. Motion adopted 521-44. September 10, 2003. A yes vote is a +. Kerry voted yes.

12. S J Res 17. Disapproving FCC Media Ownership Rule. Passage of the joint resolution to disapprove Federal Communications Commission broadcast media ownership rule allowing media conglomerates to own more television stations. Passed 55-40. September 16, 2003. A yes vote is a +. Kerry DID NOT VOTE.

13. S 1689. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriation for Iraq and Afghanistan - Iraq's Reconstruction. Byrd (D-WV) amendment that would eliminate from the bill $15.2 billion of the $20.3 billion allocated for reconstruction of Iraq. $5.1 billion remaining could be spent immediately for public safety, national security and justice, and up to $5 billion more could be spent for Iraq's reconstruction before April 1. After April 1, the remaining $10.2 billion in reconstruction funding could be released as part of a separate appropriations bill - but only if the United Nations agrees to U.S. leadership of a multinational military force and political and economic reconstruction of Iraq, with the President providing a detailed reconstruction plan, including an estimated schedule for transferring sovereignty to the Iraqi people and withdrawing troops. Rejected 38-59. October 1, 2003. A yes vote is a +. Kerry voted yes.

14. S 1689. Conditional Release of Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Funds for Iraq and Afghanistan. Stevens (R-AK) motion to kill the Byrd (D-WV) amendment (above). Motion agreed to 57-42. October 16, 2003. A no vote is a +. Kerry voted no.

15. S 3. Conference Report on Late Term Abortion Ban. Conference report adopted to ban a medical procedure opponents refer to as "partial birth" abortion. The procedure would be allowed only if it is necessary to save a woman's life. Those performing the procedure would be subject to fines and up to two years in prison. Adopted 64-34. October 21, 2003. A no vote is a +. Kerry voted no.

16. HR 2989. Fiscal 2004 Appropriation for Transportation and Treasury - Competitive Sourcing. Mikulski (D-MD) amendment that would prohibit using any funds to implement Office of Management and Budget guidelines to open some government activities to competition between government and private sources. Rejected 47-48. October 23, 2003. A yes vote is a +. Kerry voted yes.

17. HR 2989. Fiscal 2004 Appropriation for Transportation and Treasury -Election Systems Overhaul. Dodd (D-CT) motion to waive the Budget Act to add $1 billion for grants to states for improving election technology and the administration of federal elections. Motion agreed to 63-31. A three-fifths majority -- 60 votes -- is required to waive the Budget Act. (Subsequently, the Dodd amendment was adopted by voice vote.) October 23, 2003. A yes vote is a +. Kerry voted yes.

18. Cloture on Pickering Nomination. Motion to invoke cloture, forcing a vote on President Bush's nomination of Charles W. Pickering, Sr. of Mississippi to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Motion rejected 54-43. (A three-fifths majority -- 60 votes -- is required to invoke closure. October 30, 2003. (President Bush later made a recess appointment of this ultra-conservative judge, despite rejection of Pickering in the previous Congress.) A no vote is a +. Kerry DID NOT VOTE.

19. Cloture on HR 6 Energy Policy. Motion to invoke cloture, ending debate of the conference report on the Administration's energy bill. It would authorize $25.7 billion in tax breaks over 10 years, authorize $18 billion in loan guarantees for a natural gas pipeline from Alaska, require ethanol producers to more than double their output by 2012, and protect makers of the gasoline additive MTBE from legal liability until MTBE production would be required to cease in 2015. The bill also would impose reliability standards for electricity transmission networks and ease restrictions on utility ownership and mergers. Cloture rejected 57-40. A three-fifths majority-60 votes-is required to invoke cloture. November 21, 2003. A no vote is a +. Kerry voted no.

20. HR 1. Cloture on Prescription Drug Benefit Conference Report. Motion to invoke cloture, ending debate on the conference report on the bill that would create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients beginning in 2006, and make structural changes to traditional Medicare, favoring private health plans. Motion agreed to 70-29. November 24, 2003. A no vote is a +. Kerry voted no.

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