SocraticGadfly: 9/25/05 - 10/2/05

September 30, 2005

But we want to see you fingerprinted and cuffed, Tom!

The AP reports that Tom DeLay’s first scheduled court appearance is Oct. 21.

The story includes this laughable tidbit:
DeLay's lawyers have said they do not want him to be handcuffed, photographed and fingerprinted when he appears in Austin.

Ahh, Tom, this isn’t K Street. You can’t buy your way out of this MasterCard-level priceless photo op.

But, it’s not torture!

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once said the Abu Ghraib photos a judge just ordered released show acts “that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane.”

But, it’s not torture!

Therefore, “rape and murder” must not be torture. Breaking people’s legs with a baseball bat, as done elsewhere, at Camp Mercury, is also not torture.

Iraq actually worse than Vietnam in at least one way

I just got down watching the PBS show on the ’60s, and it included Uncle Walter Cronkite interviewing soldiers during his famous 1968 trip to Vietnam. One junior officer responds candidly on national TV that his area is much less secure than it was before Tet.

If that happened today, Rumsfeld would be demanding that 1st Looie or Captain get hung up by their thumbs. And his go-to sycophant, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers, and a number of top Army brass, would probably already be acting before Rummy spoke.

(Oh, BTW, the series was great. I'm 41, so I grew up in the ’70s, but, with three older brothers, got some late ’60s spillover.)

So how hard of a bargain did Judy Miller drive?

The liberal blogosphere probably should not get too excited about Judith Miller agreeing to testify before the Valerie Plame grand jury, Editor and Publisher reports.
One lawyer involved in the case told the Washington Post today that Miller’s attorneys reached an agreement with Fitzgerald that may confine prosecutors’ questions to her chats with Libby. Under one scenario, Miller won the right to not implicate others she may have talked to about Plame.

It's even possible that it was Fitzgerald who ultimately “cracked,” eager to produce indictments but with the grand jury session wrapping up without Miller's key testimony on Libby. Or, on the contrary, Miller might have finally blinked, fearing that the prosecutor would extend the life of the grand jury, leaving her behind bars for many more months.

Given that E&P’s intro story said her testimony would be “extremely limited,” I’d say that Fitzgerald did at least a partial blink. At the same time, I don’t think Miller went blinkless.

Has DeLay’s indictment maybe made her think the sands might be shifting, even though that’s a state-level case? Or, have the twin hurricanes shoved her far enough below the fold that she actually did begin to despair?

September 27, 2005

Those damned lying, distorting, fluffing, overhyping ...

Dallas TV weathermen.

You thought I was going to say BushCo officials? Not this time.

The typical Dallas weatherman will hype a winter storm that might deliver half an inch of snow into the mother of all storms.

The purpose is twofold: A) To drive their personality and get viewers focused on them to the exclusion of other TV weathermen, and B)to consequently drive their TV station ad ratings.

Well, it is not just winter storms that get the treatment, it is also late summer cool fronts getting blown up into early fall cold fronts.

By Sunday night, when we knew Hurricane Rita was going to move off east, we were being told that we would be hit be two fronts. The first would be a mild one and the second would drop us 15-20 degrees from the temperatutes currently giving us the hottest September on record. The second front was supposed to be here by Wednesday evening.

No dice. The second front will not be here until Thursday, and on the nighttime lows side, it will have a maximum effect of 12 degrees if that much.

Unfortunately, though I already knew this about Dallas TV weathermen, and I also know that those who have been here long enough should know that themselves, I still bit.

Could you sue a TV weatherman for emotional duress?