October 29, 2005

Babs Boxer's New Novel
— Ace

Sounds like the next Faulkner. Or Jacqueline Susanne. Whichever.

Josh and Ellen become Left Coast do-gooders. Greg becomes a sociopathic neoconservative journalist, the go-to guy for character assassinations conjured by a right-wing California senator. Boxer said that although she didn’t intend for the characters to represent the American political equation, “I hope people will understand the issues I raise about why people are blue or red or purple.”

Boxer said the novel explores “why people become liberals and conservatives. We explore the battle between liberals and conservatives at so many levels.”

The feting she gets from celebrities, who claim to have read her book (celebrities don't read books, or even scripts; they only read "coverages") is pretty amusing.

Posted by: Ace at 08:47 AM | Comments (29)
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Making National Security Fun
— LauraW.

Constant appeals for vigilance have a shelf life, its true. So how do you exhort commuters to keep an eye out for bad guys, when their eyes are glazed over from orange alert, yellow alert, etc.?

A little word play may be in order.

Five hundred Washington buses and about 90 subway cars now carry advertising posters with creative dictionary definitions of made-up words urging commuters to keep an eye out for danger and respect fellow travelers on the busy "Metro" system.

"Sumpnspicious," -- a play on the slang pronunciation of "something suspicious" -- is defined as "n. (noun) unattended package or odd, unusual behavior that is reported to a bus driver, train operator ... station manager or Metro Police."

Other definitions include "PlanBdextrous: ... adj. (adjective) able to plan an alternate route home in case Metro is inaccessible due to unforeseen circumstances."

"Tariq'scellphoneiswiredtohisduffelbag: what you might say to the police when you report 'sumpnspicious'"

OK, that last one was not in the article.

Posted by: LauraW. at 04:42 AM | Comments (13)
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October 28, 2005

Descendants Of Bubonic Plague Survivors Resistant To AIDS?
— Ace

I think this may be kinda old, but very cool nonetheless.

Local Eyam lore tells befuddling stories of plague survivors who had close contact with the [bubonic plague] bacterium but never caught the disease. Elizabeth Hancock buried six children and her husband in a week, but never became ill. The village gravedigger handled hundreds of plague-ravaged corpses, but survived as well. Could these people have somehow been immune to the Black Death?

Stephen O'Brien of the National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C. suggests they were. His work with HIV and the mutated form of the gene CCR5, called "delta 32," led him to Eyam. In 1996, research showed that delta 32 prevents HIV from entering human cells and infecting the body. O'Brien thought this principle could be applied to the plague bacteria, which affects the body in a similar manner.

Thanks to Kevin.

Posted by: Ace at 03:34 PM | Comments (13)
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Did The Left "Celebrate" The Death of the 2000th Hero?
— Ace

Look at the pics. They seem to be whoopin' it up to me, having a grand old time.

Two-thousand zero-zero
party over, whoops, out of time
so tonight I'm going to party like it's 1999...

If the left doesn't want to be accused of delighting in the deaths of soldiers (aka "mercernaries"), maybe they shouldn't treat "vigils" for the dead of war like it's a tailgate party outside a fucking Phish concert.

Posted by: Ace at 02:08 PM | Comments (69)
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What's An Economy Gotta Do To Get A Table Dance?
— Ace

Third Quarter Annual GDP Growth Rate a Frisky 3.8%

- Economic activity expanded at an energetic 3.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter, providing vivid evidence of the economy's stamina even as it coped with the destructive forces of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The latest snapshot of the country's economic performance, released by the Commerce Department on Friday, even marked an improvement from the solid 3.3 percent pace of growth registered in the second quarter.

Growth in the third quarter was broad-based, reflecting brisk spending by consumers, businesses and government.

"Holy Katrina! The economy weathered two major hurricanes and in spite of that showed accelerated growth," said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics. "I think what this shows is that fundamentally the economy was and is in really good shape."

In related news, Paul Krugman just tried to hang himself, but he was too f'n' short to reach the noose.

He blames Karl Rove.

Posted by: Ace at 01:40 PM | Comments (25)
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Beset By Boundless Bad News, But We Still Boast Bbeck's Bountiful Boobage
— Ace

Just to improve morale. Content Warning. more...

Posted by: Ace at 12:52 PM | Comments (81)
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Quote of the Week
— Ace

Mr. Wilson's original claims about what he found on a CIA trip to Africa, what he told the CIA about it, and even why he was sent on the mission have since been discredited. What a bizarre irony it would be if what began as a politically motivated lie by Mr. Wilson nonetheless leads to indictments of Bush Administration officials for telling reporters the truth.

From the WSJ, culled from FreeRepublic.

It's time for Congress to make a criminal referral to the Justice Department regarding Joe Wilson's serial perjury in his hearings. Although he admitted lying to the media -- calling it a "little dramatic flair" -- I do believe he continued to maintain his wife had nothing to do with sending him to Niger.

If we're going after perjurers, let's start with Perjurer Zero.

Posted by: Ace at 12:37 PM | Comments (30)
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Scientists Discover Dyslexia Gene
— Ace

Neat.

The correct genetic sequence is supposed to read A-T, C-G, A-T, A-T. But in dyslexics it reads T-A, G-C, T-A, T-A.

A geneticist was quoted as saying, "Well, I guess that kinda figures, right?"

Posted by: Ace at 12:23 PM | Comments (6)
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CNN Continues Referring to Plame as "Undercover," "Female James Bond"
— Ace

As of last night's report.

Now that Saint Fitzgerald has said, essentially, he cannot say that Plame was covert, will CNN stop referring to her as a "covert" "undercover" "spy"?

I rather doubt it.

Posted by: Ace at 12:13 PM | Comments (5)
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Trick or Groping?: ACLU Protects Sex-Offenders' Right To Participate In Kids' Holiday of Halloween
— Ace

It's "unconstitutional" to preclude convicted sex-offenders from dispensing candy to children?

The ACLU's beef is, of course, that it's "unconstitutional" to continue heaping punitive punishments (not as redundant as it looks) on ex-convicts. But there are a lot of civil restrictions on ex-cons. Does the ACLU likewise support ex-cons' 2nd Amendment right to buy as many guns as they like?

I don't know the answer to that; it's possible that the ACLU's love of criminals trumps its hatred of guns, and maybe they actually do think that convicted armed robbers, killers, and rapists should have free access to handguns and shotguns.

But whatever their stance is-- it is not a criminal punishment to restrict the behavior of ex-cons as regards certain hazardous activities and purchases. It's a kind of regulation, really-- and liberals love regulation, don't they?

Banning convicted child molesters from participating in Halloween is not like denying them any place to live or any ability to work at any job. It's one day a year, a minor holiday, and one intended chiefly for children. Perverts can take the day off and save themselves the hassel of having to buy all those bags of miniature Clarke bars and just spend the night in the basement watching porn.

Posted by: Ace at 12:09 PM | Comments (10)
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Miller Mystery Solved?
— Ace

The Volokh Conspiracy speculates--

On an entirely speculative front, Miller and Cooper might have refused to testify because they knew Libby had lied to investigators and the grand jury, and therefore knew that their testimony would directly contradict Libby's and lead to obtstruction and perjury charges. That might explain Judith Miller's reticence to believe that Libby had released her from her duty of confidentiality: Why on earth would Libby volunteer to let Miller hand over evidence that would lead to his felony conviction?

Two mysteries solved, really. 1-- Why Miller wouldn't testify, despite Libby's supposed release of her to do so. (While hoping she actually wouldn't.)

And 2-- Why Maureen Dowd and the New York Times despises her so. She knew that Libby didn't really want her to testify, so she tried to avoid doing so. And they wanted her to sing like a canary, baby, confidentiality of sources be damned.

Makes so much damn common sense it's likely to be true.

Posted by: Ace at 11:28 AM | Comments (16)
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Russia Cautions Iran
— Ace

Yes, Russia still seems solidly in Iran's corner, so this is probably just make-nice-with-Bush window-dressing.

But still:

Iran should realize the risks of propagandist rhetoric and confrontational approaches to the situation in the Middle East, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

"We hope that Teheran realizes the danger of confrontational approaches and will demonstrated political foresight and pragmatism," the ministry said in a release...


Posted by: Ace at 11:10 AM | Comments (6)
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New Yorkers Alarmed That City Smells Nice
— Ace

Co-host Karol noted that there was a strong, syrupy smell in the air in Manhattan and some of the outer borroughs (aka, "fake NY.")

It's noted today on AP. The smell has been likened to freshly baked cakes, waffles, and other such sweets.

Actually, it's all just the preamble for the greatest practical joke I've ever pulled.

But, seriously, mystery smells, whether pleasant or not, are not welcome in the current Age of Sacred Murder.

Posted by: Ace at 11:00 AM | Comments (16)
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Early Thoughts On Libby Indictment, Fitzgerald
— Ace

Although my first reaction was a knee-jerk semi-defense of Libby and semi-attack on Fitzgerald, here are some second thoughts. Still tenative, still half-formed:

1) Libby is charged with misrepresenting, multiple times, under oath, the source from which he got the Plame tip. According to Fitzgerald, he repeatedly claimed he just got it from reporters-- under oath. According to Fitzgerald, too, he got the information from government sources, and he thinks he can prove that.

If this is true, then this is genuine perjury, and he's not being charged for merely having a hazy memory.

2) Fitzgerald answered my question regarding why the long investigation without any charges for the underlying crime (if one existed). He says (by analogy and implication) that he could not tell if Libby satisfied the criminal intent requirements of the laws against divulging classified information. (He says he's convinced Plame's status was classified, even if not covert.) Thus, while he seems convinced that Libby committed the "bad acts" of the statute, he cannot ascertain if he had the "bad motive" (crimnal intent, intent to harm the national interest, etc.) so that's why he couldn't bring charges against him on these grounds.

This would in fact be a fact-intensive inquiry, and would justify interviewing the relevant witnesses. So, if we take this as true, then Fitzgerald did not act in a partisan or overzealous manner by conducting this long, long, long grand jury inquiry.

So, as of the moment -- and again, assuming Fitzgerald is being straight with us -- Fitzgerald acted responsibily and Libby did commit some very stupid criminal perjuries, for which he should resign and be prosecuted.

I hope he can reach a deal; I don't really want to see him behind bars for a lengthy jail sentence, but, again assuming that Fitzgerald is being straight with us, he did commit the crimes he's charged with and must leave the government.

The Berger Precedent: Why is it that Democrats are offered sweetheart deals for serious, proveable breaches of national security, and Republicans are threatened with thirty years in the clink for perjury?

The Warden notes Libby should be offered...

A plea bargain, $50,000 in fines and removal of his security clearance for 3 years, just like Berger got. I'm sure this will be ok with the lefties, as they seemed satisfied w/Berger's sentence.

Won't happen. It's a Republican. Democrats get very generous benefits of the doubts, Republicans get the slammer.

Posted by: Ace at 10:47 AM | Comments (14)
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Bastards: New York Times Defiles Dead Hero By Selectively Editing His Last Letter
— Ace

The New York Times reports some of what Corporal Starr's letter said.

Michelle Malkin tells you what these cocksuckers left out.

Is this the way we honor heroes? But censoring their last letters in order to give a false impression of their true feelings?

Posted by: Ace at 10:39 AM | Comments (9)
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Drinking May Reduce Libido, Shrink Testicles
— Ace

More lies from the metrosexual gestapo at Reuters.

Also, it's known that alcoholic men can develop signs of low testosterone, including shrunken testicles and enlarged breasts.

Hmmm... well, if you drink enough, you get fat, so there's the "enlarged breasts" thing. (If you drink even more than that, you get skinny, so you just have to make sure you don't half-ass things. If you're gonna destroy yourself, get thin doing so.)

The big upshot seems to be that drinking reduces one's reproductive capacity, for both men and women, which would suggest -- you heard it hear first -- if you want surefire birth control, just get really sloshed and sleep around.

I'm guessing that most people would say that alcohol actually tends to increase the odds of pregnancy, especially of the surprise variety.

Posted by: Ace at 10:03 AM | Comments (15)
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Fitzgerald: Plame's Association With CIA Was "Classified," But Refuese To Say Either Way If She Was Covert
— Ace

So, obviously, she wasn't. Odd that he won't just say so.

If he's non-partisan, and he can't sustain the claim that she's covert, why does he not say so? Why, to keep that charge alive for the left, of course!

Posted by: Ace at 09:53 AM | Comments (41)
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Andrew Sullivan Outraged
— Ace

...at Instapundit calling this lame indictment either a "mouse" or, more charitably, a "large rabbit."

Self-righteous prick.

God, I hate Andrew Sullivan. What a fucking tool.

Thanks to Allah.

Posted by: Ace at 09:39 AM | Comments (12)
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Why No One Ages In The Marvel Universe
— Ace

Arthur hips me to this:

In the regular Marvel Universe (as opposed to Ultimate) they have a new, standard explanation for his and (everybody elses) lack of aging. The 15 year rule. The Big Event (the creation of the Fantastic Four when Reed & friends were exposed the cosmic rays) happened 15 years ago.

ALWAYS 15 years ago.

So for a comic taking place today, the BE happened in 1990. 5 years from now, in a similar comic, the BE happened in 1995.

I suppose there's some explanation for why that should be. That's just what they've always been sort of doing, without explaining it.

I think the DC Universe similarly restarted the clock and claimed (for some reason or another) that the previous continuity was scrapped and that Superman first appeared about fifteen years ago. Probably something to do with Crisis on Infinite Earths. It's the Big Cosmic Explanation that keeps on giving.

Meanwhile, James Bond just turned 118 years old.

Posted by: Ace at 09:14 AM | Comments (20)
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Libby Indicted On, Well, Nothing Involving National Security
— Ace

For making a false statement, perjury, and obstruction of justice... all charges which could very well arise from the same misstatement.


The Threshhold Question: The first question Fitzgerald needed to answer was whether or not there was even a possible crime committed, even assuming the facts to be the most harmful to Libby.

This is a question of law, not fact. You don't need to empanel a grand jury to decide if Valerie Plame was a covert agent, or if any of the various national security laws were broken.

This question could have been, and should have been, answered in the first month of legal investigation, using no greater investigative resources than a law library.

And yet, two years later, Fitzgerald apparently finds there was no violation of the IIPA, the Espionage Act, or any act involving the dissemination of classified information.

And during those two years he's had people in jail for contempt and questioned many witnesses before the grand jury.

Why was he doing all that when month's work of legal research should have told him there wasn't a crime committed?

And so here we are. No crime was committed BEFORE the investigation, so he indicts someone on five charges (?) for statements made in the course of the investigation.

Without an investigation, no possible crime, apparently.

Straight shooter? I don't think so. Andrew McCarthy says he's "non-partisan," and perhaps he thinks of himself that way, but I can't help thinking that he knew what the New York Times and the rest of the media & university-club swells would have said had he wrapped up the investigation after a month. Their opinions matter to him, so he kept at it for two years, until he finally came up with what I'm guessing will turn out to be a rather debatable and ticky-tack perjury claim.

Had these been Democrats under investigation, the inquiry would have ended a month in, as it should have.

Posted by: Ace at 08:21 AM | Comments (90)
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