Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Tim Russert is a wuss.

There's just no other way to put it. He's a spineless toady. He pretends to ask tough questions; but, his idea of asking a tough question is to gently dance around a tough question, then let his interviewee spew whatever load of crap it wants in response without so much as blinking while it flings its feces in his face. Here are some excerpts to demonstrate my point (full transcript of Sunday's Bend the Press Over and Kobe It here):
MR. RUSSERT: As you well remember back in October of 2002, Congress voted to authorize the president to attack Iraq if he decided that that was in the best interest of the United States. The primary rationale provided by the administration was that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. Nearly 180 members in the House of Representatives cited the nuclear threat in their speeches as they voted to vote for authorization. I want to go back and show you what you said in October of 2002 about Saddam. "...once a madman like Saddam Hussein is able to deliver his arsenal, whether"--it's--"chemical, biological or nuclear weapons"--there's--"no telling when an American city will be attacked at his direction or with his support. ...the threat from Saddam Hussein's terrorist state. ...Only regime change can remove the danger from Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. Only by taking them out of his hands and destroying them can we be certain that terror weapons will not wind up in the hands of terrorists."

Why haven't we found significant stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction? And was the country, the world, misled in the suggestion that Saddam possessed biological and chemical weapons in the imminent--and the risk was imminent?

REP. DeLAY: Well, first, Tim, I don't accept your premise. The president didn't overemphasize weapons of mass destruction as the only reason to go into Iraq. And in my own remarks, if you had given the entire remarks, you would have seen that I went through a complete list of things that this--Saddam Hussein has been doing, that has been proven to have been right. First and foremost, he used weapons of mass destruction against Iran, against Kuwait, against his own people. So we knew that he had the--at least chemical weapons of mass destruction because he had used them in the past. He was violating U.N. resolutions for 10, almost 12 years. He violated every agreement that he made after he lost the war in Desert Storm.

He lied to the American people. He lied to the world. He supported terrorists. We have proven that to--to be the case so far. He had weapons of mass destruction. I think we'll still find them. But it wasn't the only thing. And I--we have found that he has supported terrorists in Israel. He had missiles aimed at Israel. He supported terrorists around the world. It was in his best interest to do so. So I think we did the right thing in the war on terror and that is to go after the terrorist Saddam Hussein, and we got him.

MR. RUSSERT: President Bush, former President Clinton, even the Germans, the French said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. If, in fact, we do not find significant stockpiles, has this been a colossal intelligence failure, and should there be an aggressive, bipartisan attempt to find out what may have gone wrong?
This is the kind of deceipt I thought Spinsanity would be all over (they're too busy playing Fair and Balanced and trying desperately to nitpick at Dean and Moveon.org to notice this stuff, I suppose) and I haven't got the energy or the ability to control my rage long enough to point out what should be obvious to every sentient being about DeLay's soulless mendacity, I just want to draw attention to Russert's blithe acceptance of DeLay's response, his failure to question a single statement made by that hypocritical troll, then his little tapdance to support the idea that everybody thought Saddam had WMD, and his opening the door for a little Clinton bashing which, if you follow the link, you'll see DeLay wasted no time in proceeding with. Fine, we know what DeLay is, he is a lying politician without a shred of moral or intellectual credibility. We expect him to trot out the party line. Russert is supposed to be a journalist; Russert's job is to investigate, analyze, interpret, and basically help reveal the truth. He clearly has no desire or intention to do any of those things.

OK, so it looks like I decided to proceed with the Airing of Grievances after all. The So-Called Liberal Media has let me down the most in the past year.

For the Rest of Us

Happy Festivus!

My wife got me a GameCube for Festivus, so I can skip the Airing of Grievances and move directly to Feats of Strength. Where's Mega at?

Friday, December 19, 2003

Bam Bam Must Go!

Bloggers have been asleep on this one ... there's an orangutan (which some are apparently mistaking for a chimp) that plays a nurse on a daytime soap? Why am I only hearing about this now?! And he plays a nurse named Precious? Bam Bam needs a better agent. Somebody page Scott Boras.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

No Deal.

Ch. 4's Bob Lobel is reporting the A-Rod deal is done. I'm waiting for confirmation from a second source....

Update: ESPN reporting deal not done. Ch. 7 says they've got A-Rod after the commercial....

Update: Ch.7 hyped a clip from earlier this morning ... still no confirmation. They are reporting the Ordonez deal is off. I'm thinking we're standing pat.

Update: Ch. 7 just reported the deal is dead. Permission to continue negotiations has been withdrawn. Me, I'm glad Nomar's staying put. Let's hope all ruffled feathers can be smoothed or there are going to be some bad chemistry problems going forward. Millar must be wishing he kept his mouth shut.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The DaVinci Code

Popular for many reasons, I'm sure: light-n-breezy prose, very short chapters, and an interesting subject matter - codes, secret (and not secret) societies, and Grail lore - presented in easy to digest chunks. The thing with the subject matter is, as I was reading, I felt like there were parts that were lifted virtually word for word from somewhere else. The whole "Mary Magdalene was Christ's wife, she was pregnant with their child at the time of the crucifixion, fled to Gaul where she raised their daughter Sarah, and the bloodline of Christ has propagated through the ages protected by a secret society which knows the location of Mary's remains and the texts that tell her story. Her tomb and those texts are the Holy Grail. Etc..." I just can't place where I've read it all before. It's like it's on the tip of my tongue. When somebody tells me I'm going to clap my forehead like I shoulda had a V-8. Am I thinking of a Tim Powers or Neal Stephenson book?

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Red Mars

Red Mars on Sci-Fi in 2004. Despite Sci-Fi's glaring, huge, numerous flaws, missteps, and weaknesses as a network, they have gotten a few things right. Just enough to give me hope for mini-series based on Robinson's book. I'm curious if anyone knows whether James Cameron is involved in this? There was a bit of KSR movie buzz after Titanic when Cameron bought the rights to Red Mars but nothing ever seemed to come of it. I also haven't had any success unearthing casting news/rumors, rumors of any kind actually. This one item from June is all I've seen. Surely some progress has been made in the last 6 months? Locations? F/X company? Writers? Director? Anything?


I was 11 for 13 on belief.net's Ned Flanders quiz.


Strom Thurmond's daughter by his family's teen-aged housemaid never stepped forward because she had a deep respect for the man and didn't want to harm his political career. Despite the fact he considered the allegation that he had a "mixed race" child "too unseemly" to acknowledge. Sounds like she was a lot more compassionate than her old man.

Early Heinlein

More on Heinlein's unpublished first novel, written when he was a self-described "soft-headed radical." Puts the timeframe of the writing of the novel after his work on Upton Sinclair's failed California gubenatorial campaign and around the time of his own failed run at the state assembly.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Class in America

Popmatters review of The Simple Life has a couple worthwhile lines: "Democrats would do well to tape this show as evidence for any future hearings about the estate tax ..." is good advice. Observing that the girls are, as a result of their class and moral/intellectual cyborgism, virtually retarded is spot on as well. Please, please, please TV producers, make as many of these shows as you can. It's long past time for the rage of the working classes reach a boil; this stuff helps.

Friday, December 12, 2003


Republicans have been shown to tell the truth 1/4th of the time, lying at random 3/4th of the time. George, one of these very dishonest Republicans, makes a statement. The probability that it is true is, by assumption, 1/4. Then Bill, another very dishonest Republican, backs him up, saying George's statement is true. Given that Bill supports it, what is the probability that George's statement is true now?

The answer isn't difficult: First we ask how probable it is that George utters a true statement and Bill makes a true statement of support. Since they both tell the truth 1/4 of the time, these events will both turn out to be true 1/16 of the time (1/4 x 1/4). Now we ask how probable it is that Bill will make a statement of support. Since Bill will utter his support when either both he and George tell the truth or when they both lie, the probability of this is 10/16 (1/4 x 1/4 + 3/4 x 3/4). Thus the probability that George is telling the truth given that Bill supports him is 1/10 ( the ratio of 1/16 to 10/16).

The moral: Confirmation of a very dishonest person's unreliable statement by another very dishonest person makes the statement even less reliable.

(Adapted from the writing of John Allen Paulos. Partisanized by me.)

Damn Liberal Media!

CNBC's roundtable of financial geniuses just handed down the Street's feeling about Howard Dean. "Not enamored of him." So sayeth the fella from thestreet.com. Chuckles all around, as if it were possible a Democrat would be acceptable to the Street. Everybody knows it's going to take a Republican to finish the work of completely transforming the federal government into an efficient means of delivering corporate welfare to those who need it least, neutering any attempts at detecting corrupt business practices, and punishing the criminals, while bankrupting all the socially beneficial programs.

Tuesday, December 9, 2003


Battlestar Galactica
I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the style used in shooting the f/x sequences and how they used the same style in some of the non-f/x scenes. Reminded me of Firefly a bit, and of the recent Solaris remake. I don't remember much about the original, except Daggot, but this feels like a big improvement.
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