[There is] no “accusation” with the phrase “moral and intellectual confusion.” In fact he’s talking about our military when he uses the phrase. “Moral confusion” is also found in the speech where he discussed the history leading up to WWII. However it is never addressed to the administration’s critics. [The AP said, “In unusually explicit terms, Rumsfeld portrayed the administration’s critics as suffering from ‘moral or intellectual confusion’ about what threatens the nation’s security and accused them of lacking the courage to fight back.” -ed.]
Additionally, “courage” is found one time in the speech and it is addressing something completely different (”And one day, a future speaker may reflect back on this time of historic choice Ã¢â‚¬â€ remembering the questions raised as to our countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s courage, dedication, and willingness to continue this fight until we have prevailed.”). Nowhere is anyone “accused” of “lacking the courage to fight back.”
And so on and so forth. The AP has now edited the story, by the way, eliminating the most egregious errors. But not before the writer’s (perhaps deliberate, or perhaps just unconscious but overwhelmingly biased) mischaracterizations and fabrications were read by hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Americans, on websites like CNN, Forbes, Yahoo, ABC, and yes, even Fox — and many, many others. (It’s a good thing all those big-media sites, unlike we pajama-clad bloggers, have fact-checkers!)
None of this is David’s fault, of course. It’s the fault of the biased AP writer and his overly trusting (and probably also biased) editors. But it is a good object lesson, not just for David but for all of us: NEVER BLINDLY TRUST A THIRD PARTY’S WRITE-UP OF A SPEECH — especially when that third party is an MSM reporter and the speech is given by a member of the Bush Administration or some other prominent Republican. (That said, it sometimes applies to non-Republicans too… like, for example, Julian Bond. Yep, I plead guilty: I haven’t always followed this rule either.) A speech says what it says; it doesn’t say what someone else says it says. Before you criticize a speech (or article, or other published work) on the basis of someone else’s write-up, find a transcript and judge for yourself — or, if you can’t find a transcript, at least load your analysis with caveats, because there’s an excellent chance they’ll be needed. (Hat tip: flicka47.)
P.S. It’s like, remember that time when Joe Lieberman said no one should criticize the president? Or that time Paul Wolfowitz said we invaded Iraq for oil? Or that time George Bush said terrorists aren’t a problem anymore? Or that time…
In case you missed it, Nadagate ended with a whimper. It turns out that the administration official who originally leaked Valerie Plame’s identity to Robert Novak was … [drumroll please]
Yes, that Richard Armitage — the one who has consistently been hailed by Bush administration foes as a friendly moderate and anti-neocon in the Colin Powell mold.
Stewart Mandel offers 20 reasons why college football is better than the NFL. I couldn’t agree more. I would simply add two more reasons (both of which, in fairness, fit under the umbrella of Mandel’s #20), and those two are:
Mandel also discusses a pair of substantive football-related topics of potential interest to Irish Trojan readers.
British women spend an average of Ã‚Â£36,903.75 and two years on their hair throughout their lifetimes, according to a new study. Which is a shame, because there are other things they might want to consider prioritizing instead… just saying… ;)
P.S. In an entirely unrelated story, also out of Britain, the world’s meanest cat has been cornered, collared and captured. Mrrrooowwww!
I’m not particularly fond of this.
He has been revealed as the Senator who is holding up a bill with bi-partisan support that would require the government to publish an online database of federal spending. Bloggers on both sides of the aisle have been doggedly pursuing the identity of the “secret senator” who was holding up the bill, urging citizens to contact their Senators and ask them if they were the one holding up the bill. Even Senate Leader Bill Frist blogged on his PAC website urging senators to answer the question when it was put to them.
Senator Stevens office claims this was never a secret and that the Senator has some concerns about the bill going forward. However Senator Coburn’s office claims that it took weeks of questioning for Stevens to admit to being the bill’s holder, and that Steven’s staff still has not met with Coburn’s. In addition Stevens sits on the commitee where the bill was considered and would have had ample opportunity to discuss it and have his questions answered if he had not skipped the commitee meetings.
Tropical Depression Ernesto is now centered roughly over Cape Canaveral, Florida, according to the latest radar loop.
Please be patient; the animation may take a moment to fully load.
Ernesto is slowly edging its way off the Florida east coast, as you can see. When it’s finally back fully over water again, it could strengthen:
THE CLOUD PATTERN IS STILL ORGANIZED AND THERE IS A WELL-DEFINED CIRCULATION. THEREFORE…ERNESTO HAS THE POTENTIAL TO RE-INTENSIFY SLIGHTLY ONCE IT MOVES OVER THE ATLANTIC WATERS TONIGHT AS SUGGESTED BY GUIDANCE.
None of the forecast models or the official NHC forecast are calling for this to become a hurricane, though. The passage over Florida has weakened it to the point where it would take more time over water than Ernesto will have. It is possible that Ernesto will intensify very little, as happened when it popped off the coast of Cuba. The most likely intensity at its second landfall in South Carolina is 40-55 mph.
Mark Sudduth at Hurricane Track is a bit more bullish about Ernesto’s prospects. Charles Fenwick stays out of that debate, but takes an interesting look at how the various computer models performed in predicting the storm’s first landfall.
But getting back to Dr. Masters, he’s covering the real big tropical stories of the hour: Hurricane John and Supertyphoon Ioke, both in the Pacific. John is a Category 4 monster off the coast of Mexico, and is expected to “move parallel to the coast over the next two days, but close enough to bring hurricane force winds to the coast at times. Any slight deviation towards the coast will bring the hurricane’s dangerous core ashore, and would make John one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the Pacific coast of Mexico.”
But could John affect California? I haven’t heard any serious talk about a SoCal hurricane (or, more realistically, tropical storm) since 1997, when mighty Hurricane Linda threatened San Diego (but ultimately went out to sea). Now, however, Dr. Masters is talking about the possibility — though he thinks it’s unlikely:
Water temperatures along the Pacific coast of Mexico are 1-2 degrees C above normal all the way to the California coast, giving 2006 the possibility of allowing a tropical storm to reach California. It is very rare for an Eastern Pacific storm to move far enough north to affect the Arizona or California. Since 1900, only four tropical cyclones have brought tropical storm force winds to the Southwestern United States: an unnamed tropical storm that made landfall near Long Beach, CA, in 1939 (52 mph winds south of L.A.); the remnants of Hurricane Joanne in 1972; the remnants of Hurricane Kathleen in 1976 (76 mph wind gust at Yuma, AZ); and the remnants of Hurricane Nora in 1997. In addition, a hurricane just missed making landfall in October 1858 and brought hurricane force winds to San Diego and tropical storm force winds all the way to Los Angeles.
In order to affect California, a tropical cyclone would have to be moving quickly, so the the cold waters off the coast would not weaken it too fast. The alternative would be for the storm to barrel up the narrow Gulf of California, where water temperatures remain warm all the way to the end. [Such a storm wouldn’t actually make landfall in the U.S., but it would quickly cross into southeastern California or southern Arizona; see map. -ed.] To my knowledge, no such storm has ever been able to shoot more than half way up the narrow Gulf of California before dashing itself to pieces on the rugged terrain on either side. I’d be surprised if John manages to bring tropical storm force winds to the U.S.
Girl, walking on the quad, talking on her cell phone:
“You’re so hilarious, Jesus Christ. [pause] I shouldn’t say that here.”
Be careful what you say, kids…
Big Brother Holy Mother is watching you… :)
There are West Nile-infected mosquitoes in Newington. EVERYBODY PANIC!!! ;)
Tropical Storm Ernesto, which has proven thus far to be more of a soggy nuisance than a deadly threat, has officially weakened to a tropical depression.
Brian Neudorff is all ErnestoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ed out. FLhurricane.com says, “It will cause fair amounts of rain, but overall will not be a too serious event for the state.” NHC director Max Mayfield is surprised Ernesto didn’t strengthen as expected: “As a homeowner, I’m very happy. As a forecaster, I’m not very happy.” The Palm Beach Post’s Bob King, sounding a similar theme, proclaims, “Ernest-D’Oh!.”
Dr. Jeff Masters explains what happened:
Tropical Storm Ernesto waited until the final hours before landfall to finally put its act together, much to the benefit of South Florida. The pressure dropped from 1005 to 1001 mb as the storm came ashore about midnight, but the winds did not have time to adjust to the lower pressure, and Ernesto still had just 45 mph winds at landfall. A tropical storm in the developing phase is a fussy thing, and a number of ingredients have to come together just right for rapid intensification. I believe that the presence of Cuba to the south and the Florida Peninsula to the north, along with the particular pattern of upper air flow that existed, combined to create a turbulent air pattern with multiple vortices that made consolidation of the storm around just one central vortex difficult. One could see these multiple vortices in long radar loops last night, and it was not until just before landfall that Ernesto managed to consolidate around a single center and start to intensify. Had the storm had another 24 hours over the warm waters, it would have been a hurricane.
Now that it’s over land, Ernesto is actually holding together fairly well, according to Adam Moyer at The Storm Track (which has a nifty new layout this morning). He explains: “This is most likely due to Ernesto moving over the Everglades, a swampy, warm water source. While obviously not as good as the Gulf of Mexico, it’s also not nearly as bad as moving over the mountains of the Greater Antilles.”
So, what now? Sayeth Moyer:
[I]t appears that Ernesto will be accelerating to the north-northeast this morning and early afternoon, most likely moving off the Florida coast between Daytona and Cape Canaveral. Once off the coast, Ernesto will have the opportunity to reintensify over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream before making another landfall near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. The computer models are in good agreement with this forecast, and the next landfall should take place Thursday night and into Friday morning.
The intensity forecast is slightly tricky. Most of the models have Ernesto coming ashore along the Carolinas as a moderate tropical storm, which is the most likely scenario. However, the warm waters of the Gulf Stream have been known quickly to spin up tropical cyclones. I’d give it about a 10% chance that Ernesto makes landfall as a hurricane in the Carolinas.
Meanwhile, Dr. Masters discusses the real monsters in the tropics, out in the Pacific:
The most serious situation in the tropics today is off the west coast of Mexico, where Category 3 Hurricane John is. John has just completed an eyewall replacement cycle, and is expected to intensify into a Category 4 hurricane today. The Air Force Hurricane Hunters are in the storm now, since it presents a serious threat to the coast of Mexico from Acapulco to Manzanillo.
Super Typhoon Ioke
The incredible Category 5 Supertyphoon Ioke continues to trek over the Western Pacific, and is expected to submerge tiny Wake Island later today. The entire population of the island has been eveacuated to Hawaii.
When I found out last week that the Eragon trailer had been delayed again, for the fourth time — count ‘em: 1, 2, 3, 4 — I didn’t even bother to blog about it. Honestly, I thought, who cares at this point? Who the heck knows when that darn trailer is actually going to come out?
But now, at last, some good news: the trailer has been leaked! Sure, it’s a crappy-quality, videotape-of-a-screen, soundless (well, dialogue-less) version, but it looks legit. See for yourself here! CanMag, my primary source for Eragon-trailer-related news, writes:
Sure, it isn’t the best resolution and it is video taped, but it features a f*ckin’ dragon people! [I have had it with these m*****f***in’ scales on this m*****f***in’ dragon! -ed.]
The best part is that the ‘teaser’ actually looks way better than I could have hoped considering that Fox keeps delaying the damn thing.
CanMag adds, “I would again like to point out that there is a chance that this is NOT the teaser trailer for Eragon or at least not a videotape of the finished version.” I guess we won’t know for sure until the trailer actually debuts, which at this rate, will probably be about a week before the movie opens. ;)
UPDATE: The above-linked trailer has been removed, with the explanation: “This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner Twentieth Century Fox because its content was used without permission.” Well, I guess that confirms it was legit! And now it’s available here, for the moment. Shur’tugal explains where it came from:
Shur’tugal fans from Germany recently attended the German Games Convention over in Germany where they were lucky enough to see the Eragon trailer (the same one that was shown to us at Comic-Con in July) being played on TV screens. Acting as any smart Inheritance fan would, they captured the video for all of the fans. Unfortunately, the video doesn’t have audio, but this version is unwatermarked. Big thanks to Norm!
Granted, the video clip is a little small, it has a digital hiccup on the word “alarmist,” and it ends a syllable too soon… but still, it’s proof, for those who missed it, that I really was in a Spike Lee movie. :)
Thanks, Toni, for recording it and sending it to me!!
P.S. New readers who came here via the movie: click here for relevant info.
P.P.S. Here’s the post that I read aloud in the movie. Here, here, here and here are discussions of why that “100,000″ number really wasn’t far-fetched at all, and it was only dumb luck that Katrina’s toll wasn’t far worse than what actually occurred.
P.P.P.S. If anybody has a higher-resolution video, and/or a clip of my self-identification/website plug at the end, please e-mail me at tips [at] brendanloy.com. Thanks!