sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Thursday, September 29, 2005

....White Sox clinch A.L. Central.

As I was flipping this afternoon, I caught WGN's coverage of the clubhouse celebration. I wondered how the Sox, with a three-game lead, could clinch in an afternoon gamewith Cleveland yet to play the Royals and a final head-to-head series looming.

Note the somewhat complexity of the clincher:

"Chicago clinched because Cleveland can at best tie the White Sox, and no team can finish second in another division with 96 wins or more. If the AL Central is decided by a tiebreaker, it would go to the White Sox, who beat the Indians 11-5 in the season series, and Cleveland would be the wild card."

Granted, Cleveland's presence certainly impacts the Red Sox-Yankees series. But the above formula still doesn't sound like a real pennant race to me.

.....Visit from in-laws and potential buyer, closing, work, cookout. The N&R says (still loading the article) the air's nice and clean, which is a good thing in case I start hyperventilating.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

.....Cone rips the N&R a new one for what he perceives as lame coverage of the T&R commission.

I think he's expressing sheer frustration over the sheer clumsiness of the paper's effort. I'm curious about the editorial decision to have its lead investigative reporter sort of "wrap-up" the hearings when some of the most compelling testimony could come yet this weekend. Why the urgency?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

.....Negotiations on two properties take all the brain power I've got......Which is a perfect setup for a brief tribute to Don Adams.

Here's this morning's N.Y. Times obit, while this AP write-up contains some interesting notes about Maxwell Smart's real life.

According to Barbara "99" Feldon, Adams had an 'amazing memory' that allowed him to take an unususal approach to filming. Instead of learning his lines ahead of time he would have a script assistant read his part to him just once or twice. He invariably got it right but that didn't stop people from placing bets on it...."

Would you believe......

"In 1941, he dropped out of school to jon the Marines. In Guadalcanal he survived the deadly blackwater fever and was returned to the States to become a drill instructor, acquiring the clipped delivery that served him well as a comedian."

Monday, September 26, 2005

....More football

Chargers rip the Giants, hopefully inspired by this snide N.Y. Times article. When I was reading it in yesterday's print edition, I had to flip back to the front page to make sure I wasn't reading an opinion piece.

The implication, of course, is the Chargers screwed up by dealing away Eli Manning. But what gets me is the fact that Lee Kenkins comes down hard on the players (Philip Rivers, Nate Kaeding, Luis Castillo and Shawne Merriman) involved in the deal, not the organization that made the deal:

"They have spent much of their time trying to explain themselves. Rivers is stuck behind the Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees. Kaeding was kicking on a slick field in that fateful playoff game against the Jets..... Castillo has tested positive for steroids. Merriman has become the rare rookie to stage a holdout during minicamp."

OK, the criticism of of Merriman and Castillo is justified. But Kaeding should never have been in the position to win or lose the playoff game against Jets because his team executed the fundamentals so poorly. The blame for the Chargers' loss, in my opinion, rests squarely on the shoulders of Marty Schottenheimer, a solid NFL coach who's never been able to get it done in the playoffs.

As for Rivers, he was simply beaten out for the starting job. Did Manning not start last season on the bench behind the more-seasoned Kurt Warner? Had Warner come out firing, is it not possible Manning would find himself holding a clipboard this season?

I just hope Rivers gets his shot as a starting quarterback in the future.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

...Coverage of the State-Carolina game glosses over the key play: the late hit on Mike Mason when he was clearly out of bounds following a key reception. Without the extra 15 yards from the personal foul, the Heels have a tougher time scoring the go-ahead touchdown. Right?

.....So city council candidate Dave Howerton had (still loading) 19 criminal counts against him in 1999 alone. But how about the record of Vincent Brown, a candidate for mayor of Durham:

"A statewide criminal records search turned up more than 100 charges over the past 15 years that matched Brown's name, current and prior address, and the two birth dates he has used.

"Most of the charges he has faced are misdemeanors: writing worthless checks, simple assault, fraud, trespassing, providing fictitious information to a police officer, possessing a weapon on school grounds, violating probation, failing to pay income tax, and driving while impaired."

Full disclosure: Brown is a "Republican in a town traditionally dominated by Democrats."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

.......The Sugar Bowl will be played in the Georgia Dome.

Obviously, it can't be played in the Superdome on Jan. 2, so Sugar Bowl officials are looking at alternate sites. There's been no official announcement at this time. But, based on a conference call on which I eavesdropped last night, it's apparent Atlanta is the only real solution.

Baton Rouge is the other solution, and Sugar Bowl executive director Paul Hoolahan said he wanted "in every way possible to conduct our event in the state of Louisiana."

But he also added they would "have to do a tremendous amount of logistical juggling to make this work." And that logistical juggling won't necessarily make Baton Rouge a viable alternative, giving the size of the city and the lack of available hotel rooms, transportation and general infrastructure to support the crowds.

There are logistical issues with the Georgia Dome as well: the Peach Bowl will be played on Dec. 30 and the Falcons will play on New Year's Day. But Hoolahan said officials assured him that the field had been turned over in one day before and there should be no problem doing it again....

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

.....A simple tap on the horn is enough to let me know the light's turned green......

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

......True crime, yesterday and today....

Interesting (unposted) article on Truman Capote by James Wolcott in this month's Vanity Fair.

Wolcott discusses Capote in the context of two new movies, Capote (with Philip Seymour Hoffman in the title role) and Have You Heard? (with British newcomer Toby Jones supported by the likes of Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow and Isabella Rossellini).

Wolcott asks:

"Why now? What magnetic force is being exerted to make the saga of In Cold Blood worthy of double exposure? One obvious answer: the lasting theatrical aura of Capote's flamboyant persona, a flamboyance twirled like a toredor's cape to ward off the pain and ridicule of growing up cast off and queer, his wee physique and singsong, almost falsetto drawl setting him forever apart.

It's also the 40th anniversary of the publication of "In Cold Blood," which struck a considerable nerve with readers during a time of social unrest. If the Clutters could buy the farm in an act of random violence, then anybody could.

"In Cold Blood" also broke considerable literary and pop culture ground. Without Capote, there might not be the likes of Joe McGinniss, Jerry Bledsoe, maybe not even a revitalized Norman Mailer, who went on to write "The Executioner's Song." CSI and its various spin-offs might not be ruling the tube today without "In Cold Blood."

But while forensic evidence (Perry Smith's bloody bootprint, the discarded shotgun shells) played a major role in the investigation of the Clutter murders, the climax of "In Cold Blood" is Smith's graphic account of the murders, revealed after Capote had formed what Wolcott describes as a "homerotic bond" with him.

But McGinniss did not have that luxury in Fatal Vision, because Jeffrey MacDonald pleaded not guilty of the murders of his wife and children.

The breakthrough in the case — and the highlight of McGinniss' book — is forensic evidence uncovered by investigators. MacDonald and his family members each had a different blood type, allowing investigators to track movement in the house based on where blood spots were found.

Interesting stuff.....At least to me.

....N.Y. Times obit on Donn Clendenon, MVP of the Miracle Mets 1969 World Series victory.

Interesting note on his life after baseball:

"Clendenon grew up in Atlanta and graduated from Morehouse College in 1956. He obtained a law degree from Duquesne University in 1978, then practiced law in Dayton, Ohio. But at age 50 he became addicted to cocaine.

"'I was 49 turning 50; that was kind of like a birthday present for me,' he told William C. Rhoden of The New York Times in February 2000, recalling his descent into drug addiction. 'I was hooked immediately.'

"He eventually entered a drug rehabilitation facility in Ogden, Utah, then moved to Sioux Falls, where he was general counsel for Interstate Audit Corporation and worked as a chemical dependency counselor. 'I had to go to a place where I could change my environment, my associates and everything else,' he said."

Monday, September 19, 2005

.....Gosh darn it, dad gummit, I now have to go through a registration process to read Bob Herbert and Paul Krugman.

But I'll do anything so those uplifting individuals can make me feel good about myself and my country.

.....Good comments on the "importance" of musicians from my friend Jeff regarding this post. As for the impact on society, I'd objectively say The Beatles still rank as the single most important musical group.

We're approaching the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's murder. I've had this nagging thought for some time: If Lennon were still alive, his intellectual curiosity, his working-class roots and his supposed contempt for phoniness would have converted him to conservatism by now......

......If his wife would allow it. We still don't know who had the real control in that partnership.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

.....Medved had as his Friday afternoon guest Dr. Ben Marble, the guy who told Vice President Cheney to go f*** himself during hids visit to the hurricane-stricken Gulf Coast.

This article portrays Dr. Marble as a hero. But quite frankly, he was extremely arrogant and practically incomprehensible during the Medved interview. When Medved and his callers would respectfully challenge his views, he ponied up the standard liberal responses, lowered to a 10 year-old's level. Finally, he did the really mature thing and started chanting "Baa-baa Bush" before hanging up in the middle of the interview.

The interview brought back interesting memories for me. I admit I was a Clinton-hater in the mid-90s, and I said a few things about our president (and the first lady) that I don't brag about today. As a sign that my conscience was bothering me, I had several dreams during that time I was meeting both Mr. and Mrs. Clinton in person. Did I say the same things to their faces that I said behind their backs? Of course not. Today, I try to repectfully address both President Clinton and Sen. Clinton even as she makes her run toward the White House in 2008. (And don't think that's not going to happen.)

I guess some might credit Dr. Marble for having the "courage" to say the same thing to Vice President Cheney's face that I'm sure he says about him behind his back. But he is the vice president, and is he not owed a mimimal amount of respect in public?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

.....I'm sitting here watching the Braves-Mets game and Mike Piazza just hit a home run. He still hass that great stroke.

It's pretty much a given that Piazza will leave the Mets at the end of this season. It's true he's struggled this season. But if he goes to American League team as a DH, free of the physical burden of catching, I believe he can be a dangerous hitter for several more years.

Friday, September 16, 2005

.....Interesting sideshow at last night's county commissioners meeting: Chairman Bruce Davis cuts the mike E.H. Hennis after Hennis calls Sheriff B.J. Barnes a liar and a crook.

Later, the commissioners spent a fair amount of time with county attorney Jonathan Maxwell trying to figure out how they could fix the meetings so they wouldn't have to listen to guys like Hennis. Unfortunately, there's no easy fix. Commissioners will just have to sit there and take it. It's only three minutes.

.....With Bill Clinton and Condoleeza Rice sitting onstage in an "Oprah-like format," Tony Blair pooh-poohs the Kyoto treaty.

James Pinkerton writes:

"Blair, a longtime supporter of the Kyoto Treaty, further prefaced his remarks by noting, 'My thinkinghas changed in the past three or four years.' So what does he think now? 'No country,' he declared, 'is going to cut its growth.' That is, no country is going to allow the Kyoto treaty, or any other such global-warming treaty, to crimp — some say cripple — its economy."

.....The NFL dishes out fines for the brawl before Monday night's Eagles-Falcons game.

"(Eagles linebacker Jeremiah) Trotter joked about the punishment, saying he was going to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court.

"'Any of you know Matlock? Give me his number. I hear he's never lost cases,' Trotter said."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

...Busy, busy day.....

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

....In my research for the previous post, I came across President Bush's major political donors.

Among the more interesting names:
Troy Aikman
Jerome Bettis
Ernest Borgnine
George Brett
Dean Cain
Glen Campbell
Rick Dees
Clyde Drexler
Donald Fehr
Jeff Foxworthy
Sammy Hagar
Lou Holtz
Hootie Johnson
Don King
Loretta Lynn
Karl Malone
Peyton Manning
Dan Marino
Wink Martindale
Al Michaels
Jim Nantz
Rafael Palmeiro
Sam Raimi
John Roberts
Nolan Ryan
Jerry Seinfeld
Paul Tagliabue

....But the most interesting name: Ray Nagin, mayor of New Orleans.

...I've got high-speed cable running to my computer, and still it takes forever for the N&R web site to load. Sure don't have that much time.

At any rate, N&R editor Doug Clark is shamed again for his (still loading) column on his former boss, the late High Point Enterprise publisher Randall Terry.

Clark's column "is the most pathetic excuse for journalism I have ever read," writes Sherri Staton of Archdale. ".....Terry is not here to defend himself or explain his actions or comments. I felt I was reading the nasty sound of bitter revenge."

Funny, I've felt the same way reading editorials about President Bush lately. At any rate, both letters to the editor chastizing Clark have swayed my opinion. Between Clark and Ogi Overman, Terry handed out 29 years' worth of paychecks, not an insignificant transfer of funds. But hey, money talks, bullshit editorializes.

All which brings me to another thought. I have a liberal friend who recently got a freelance editing job with Greensboro-based Pace Communications. She's relatively new in town, and I'm not sure if she's knows about Pace's charismatic CEO Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, a key Bush fundraiser who, needless to say, is in an interesting position right now.

I'll bring up Bonnie's political activity only if it comes up. If it does, I have a feeling my friend won't resign her position in protest. she, like most writers, needs the money

....Thank you, George Will.

Friedman may be angry, but Will says some things that need saying, as only he can do it.

In response Sen. Barack Obama's comments regarding government's "historic indifference" to poverty (the contemporary manifestation of which is President Bush), Will writes:

"The senator, 44, is just 30 months older than 'the war on poverty' that President Johnson declared in January 1964. since thewn the indifference that is as bad as active malice has been expressed in more than $6.6 trillion of antipoverty spending, strictly defined. The senator is called a 'new kind of Democrat,' which often means one with new ways of ignoring evidence discordant with old liberal orthodoxies about using cash — much of it spent through liberalism's 'caring professions' — to cope with cultural collapse."

I would include the mainstream media as one of those "caring professions". Another thing that has bothered me about the media hatred of President Bush is their implication that he is responsible for the pre-Katrina plight of those stranded in New Orleans. "The rich keep getting richer and poor keep getting poorer" — if I had a nickel for every time I've heard that in the past two weeks, then I'd be rich.

After $6.6 trillion in antipoverty spending, I would think there wouldn't be any more poor people in existence. Yeah, I'd say something went wrong.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

...Hilarious N.Y. Times article on crowded delivery rooms:

"Just a generation after fathers had to beg or even sue for the right to be present, the door to the delivery room has swung wide open. Even the most traditional hospitals now allow multiple guests during labor, transforming birth from a private affair into one that requires a guest list."

Hey, if you want to sue to be in the delivery room, more power to you. Personally, I was considering a lawsuit to stay out of the delivery room. Besides, my mother-in-law, my sister-and-law and my wife's best friend would be there to help....

.......We're moving........across the street. Bigger house, office space. I will no longer be blogging from my dining room. But lucky me, I get to clean out the basement this morning before the appraiser comes to look at the humble abode we've called home for for almost five years.....

Monday, September 12, 2005

....Dr. Sanity doesn't know what to make of the Bush-Berger deal.

.....Army parachutist injured during stadium jump before the Washington State-Nevada game:

"Chief Warrant Officer Dave Larson of Hurst, Texas, broke a hip and an arm.........Larson had made more than 2,000 jumps in his career......He was coming in fast, then pulled up slowly near the top of the stands before the wind appeared to drop out of the parachute and he fell about 60 feet and landed on his side. Paramedics attended to him on the field for about 10 minutes before he was taken to Washoe Medical Center in Reno."

I had a similar experience over the weekend-— sort of. Parachuting? Of course not. Mountain biking out at Owl's Roost, a place where I've ridden many times. Conditions were dry, which make for an excellent ride. I was coming down a hiil at a high rate of speed when I hit a loose patch and went down. Hard.

Of course, I've busted before at Owl's Roost, and on the way down I was telling myself it was just another crash. But I was shocked at the force with which I hit the dirt. The dry conditions also made that section of the trail as hard as concrete.

I scraped my hip, elbow and knee up pretty bad. But what could I do? I sucked it up and finished the ride.

It just goes to never know.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

.....Andy Griffith donates papers and memorabilia to the University of North Carolina:

"....The collection includes every script of 'The Andy Griffith Show' — used and marked up with pencil......"

It would be fascinating to get a glimpse at the creative process behind the show that, in my opinion, is still the closest television has ever come to an art form.

.....OK, so who's responsible if the death toll is lower than expected?

.......Those darned old litigious greens.

Friday, September 09, 2005

..... In memory of Bob Denver, my buddy Glenn and I ran down episodes of Gilligan's Island while hanging out at Fisher's last night.

How about the one where the Russian space capsule crashes in the lagoon, and the Professor helps the cosmonauts fix the radio transmitter? The cooperation between East and West during the Cold War was a wonderful thing to watch.......until the Russians double-crossed the castaways. Commie bastards.

....My review of Trent Lott's Herding Cats, no matter how politically insignificant it is:

Along with North Carolina’s own Jesse Helms, Trent Lott is the second southern Republican to publish his memoirs. Like Helms’ Here’s Where I Stand, Lott’s Herding Cats: A Life in Politics is drawing notice for addressing sensitive racial issues.

But while race was a subject that hung over Helms’ entire 50-year career in politics, Lott’s 30-year political career was damaged by a single “innocent and thoughtless remark” that set off a firestorm leading to his resignation as Senate majority leader in December 2002.

Just to refresh your memory, Lott uttered these infamous 40 words at a party honoring South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond:

“I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”

That statement angered civil rights activists and many Democrats, who viewed it as an endorsement of Thurmond’s segregationist platform when he ran for president in 1948. Lott maintains he was trying to boost the spirits of the 100-year-old Thurmond, who, we know now, had just turned the calendar on the last year of his life.

The remark was made in front of a large audience and broadcast live on C-SPAN. But as word spread second-hand — mainly though the Internet on liberal blogs, the story began to gain steam.

But the story really took off when former Vice President Al Gore — an old political enemy of Lott’s — criticized him on CNN, saying Lott’s words were “the very definition of a racist comment.”

While Lott characterizes is remark as “innocent and thoughtless,” he also blames the media for treating the incident as a “hanging offense.” Resigning his post would be the only way to return to a normal life.

Lott does have kind words for many of his Republican colleagues who didn’t exactly rush to his defense.

President Bush, who continues to take heat for not reacting quickly enough to difficult situations, finally called Lott several days after he resigned from the leadership post:

“He said he felt bad about rumors that the administration was undermining me, and was proud of how I handled my decision to surrender my office,” Lott writes. “I will always remember my response clearly: ‘Thank you, Mr. President, but the rumors did hurt me and you didn’t help when you could have.’”

Nor does he have kind words for Sen. Bill Frist, who became Senate majority leader following Lott’s resignation.

“I consider Frist’s power grab a personal betrayal,” Lott writes. “When he entered the Senate in 1995, I had taken him under my wing. He was protégé and I helped him get plum assignments and committee positions.”

While the light Lott shines on this political spectacle is interesting, the rest of the memoir is relatively unexciting.

Lott grew up in a working-class family in his native Mississippi.
His father, Chester Lott, scraped out a living as a pipe fitter, crane operator, sharecropper and store manager while his mother worked as a schoolteacher. His father battled alcoholism for years, a problem that would eventually result in divorce after the younger Lott left for the University of Mississippi, where he quickly became a big man on campus.

Lott went on to study law at Ole Miss, where he encountered liberal, Yale-educated professors whose mission, in Lott’s view, was to “lead these poor, barefoot Southern boys out of the wilderness.”

“What those young professors did was create a backlash,” Lott writes. Instead of making us more liberal, they helped create a generation of thoughtful, issue-oriented conservatives who grew up to run Mississippi politics,” he writes.

It was while he was working for a Democrat, Rep. William Colmer, that Lott embraced the Republican Party. He ran as a Republican — and won — following Colmer’s retirement in 1972, claiming victory in a district that was 90 percent Democratic.

Lott could sense a movement brewing following the 1978 Congressional elections when a new breed of conservatives — including Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich — won election to the House.

The movement was really ready to launch following Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980. Things went swimmingly for a while, with Lott serving as House minority whip. But creeping deficits and the Iran-Contra scandal caused the Reagan administration to stray from its policy of fiscal responsibility.

By the late 1980s, Lott sensed something wasn’t quite right with the president.

“During one visit to the Oval Office, I remembered speaking to President Reagan, and he looked like I didn’t know who he was,” Lott writes. “I had no details, of course, but I knew he was having memory problems. His troubles had obviously begun.”

Lott’s election to the Senate in 1988 was engineered by none other than Dick Morris, who went on to become the mastermind behind Bill Clinton’s successful presidential campaign. Clinton was difficult to work with, Lott says, because he was constantly making conservative overtures while obviously being pulled back to the left by Gore and first lady Hillary Clinton.

One example is the proposed tobacco settlement, on which Congress and the Clinton administration believed they had reached a deal.

But Gore influenced Clinton to pursue a Democratic version that that conceded the tobacco industry nothing. Without administration support, the deal collapsed, falling victim to “petty infighting and ambitious politicking in the Clinton White House.”

Semi-interesting stuff. Yet, one gets the feeling that, without the Thurmond incident, Lott isn’t as interesting — or polarizing — enough figure to warrant a pot-stirring, bestselling memoir.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

......Ogi Overman piles on, taking his own not-so-subtle shot at the late High Point Enterprise owner Randall Terry.

Geez, I'm starting to feel sorry for poor Randall now, wherever he is.........

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

.....N.Y. Times obit on Bob Denver:

"The Denver and (Alan) Hale interaction was modeled on that of Laurel and Hardy, with Mr. Hale focusing exasperated reactions into the camera, just as Oliver hardy had done."

"Gilligan's Island" was never based in reality, as evidenced by clean and neat appearance of seven castaways marooned on a desert island. It was one last shot at vaudeville, where audience members provided their own rim shot. You laughed, then you moved on. Quickly.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

....Guarino has a perspective on Hurricane Katrina that's worth reading.

....Perhaps President Bush is a bit slow to react.....

In his new memoir, Herding Cats: A Life in Politics, Sen. Trent Lott compalins about the president's response to the controversy surrounding Lott's infamous Strom Thurmond remarks:

“He said he felt bad about rumors that the administration was undermining me, and was proud of how I handled my decision to surrender my office” Lott writes. “I will always remember my response clearly: ‘Thank you, Mr. President, but the rumors did hurt me and you didn’t help when you could have.”

Sunday, September 04, 2005

.....Something's not quite right.....

......This from the scouting report on the Panthers in the N.Y. Times NFL Preview:

"The defensive line of Julius Peppers, Kris Jenkins, Brentson Buckner and Mike Rucker could be the NFL's best. Jake Delhomme is not a flashy quarterback, but he is effective. Mike Fox is an excellent coach...."

Saturday, September 03, 2005

...That's what I get for wasting my time and energy on the previous subject. When I sat down to my computer, the Reds were leading the Braves 1-0. When I get up from my computer, the Braves are leading 5-1......

....OK, my Kanye West post came off as a bit shrill. One Google search would have told me who the hell he is. The post was indeed more figurative than literal, although I really never had heard of the dude until his comments last night about President Bush.

Cone warns against blogging and drinking. We've also talked about the danger of making angry, hyper-caffeinated posts early in the morning. I violate both rules regularly.

But I'm truly disturbed about the equally shrill, conspiratorial, angry things being written and said about President Bush. It's tough enough viewing the images from New Orleans without having to put up without this overly harsh rush to judgment.

I find it hard to think of an instance when the mainstream media has sunk lower. It really cast a 9/11-type thundercloud over this beautiful morning.

Here's my question: Who the hell is Kanye West? I mean literally, who the hell is he?

Friday, September 02, 2005

...My other girlfriend has a part-time job as a performance artist.

......My girlfriend Dr. Sanity weighs in on the politicization of Hurricane Katrina.

....Anybody ever think the Hornets are a cursed franchise? It's too bad, because the franchise seemed to be on solid footing in the early and mid-90s. I saw two versions of the Hornets: the Larry Johnson-Mugsy Bogues-Dell Curry version and the Glen Rice -Anthony Mason-Dell Curry version. Both sets of teams played an exciting, team-oriented style of basketball. Then again, that style of play is long gone in the NBA.

I wonder if Chris Paul is re-thinking his decision to turn pro....

Thursday, September 01, 2005

.....Given the incredible devastation in New Orleans, I admit my Katrina vanden Heuvel post was in bad taste.

But so is this N.Y. Times lead editorial:

"George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life yesterday, especially given the level of national distress and the need for consolation and wisdom......It would be some comfort to think that, as Mr. Bush cheerily announced, America 'will be a stronger place' for enduring the crisis. Complacency will no longer suffice, especially if experts are right in warning that global warming may increase the intensity of future hurricanes. But since this administration won't acknowledge that global warming exisits, the chances of leadership seem minimal."

Cheap shot, NYT. Right out of the liberal handbook. I don't know any better than to trivialize a grim situation. Smart guys and gals like you should.


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