Friday, December 30, 2005

I'm Not Old...

King Arthur: Old woman.
Dennis: Man.
King Arthur: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
Dennis: I'm 37.
King Arthur: What?
Dennis: I'm 37. I'm not old.

Upon awakening on my most recent birthday, this was the first thing I thought of, which means a) I need to reduce my intake of British comedy and b) I guess I have a sense of humor (at least) about the whole aging thing. Got my hair cut yesterday, there's a few silver threads in the weave but not too many at this point.

I've lost about 35-40 pounds this year, I'm in considerably better shape this birthday than last, though more activity in 2006 will be in order since I have a basically sedentery job. It's the eternal struggle, I suppose, until the Eternal Rest. Either way, it's a good ride.

Save Farris!

This guy gets points for adaptability, initiative and luck, but probably sets a new record for lack of judgement. Kid hops a flight to Kuwait, tries to get into Iraq, fails, calls his parents, flies to Lebanon and spends a week with family friends, then flies into Baghdad and presents himself at the AP offices "to work". Sixteen years old.

The AP calls the MPs, and Farris gets bundled on a flight back to the US this morning.

Quite an adventure, but not really the brightest move ever.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

What did I get for Christmas? Addicted!

Hope all you folks are having a great holiday. We've seen almost all of our family on both sides, and enjoyed each other's company immensely. As far as I know, everyone has either gotten what they wanted or something better, so that's a pretty good score on the Gift Index.

Maddie got clay and art materials. Ross got the Mace Windu ForceFX Lightsaber. Ellie got a drum set. Marci got lots of cleaning equipment, body armor and earplugs (actually, she got an iPod Nano). What did Daddy get?

Well, besides some books and a game or two I wanted for the PSP (and some clothes that are on backorder -- "Ships within 24 hours" my foot), I got Guitar Hero. Sounds lame, you say? Well, that was what I thought, too.

First, I'm a techno-snob, and the PS/2 is getting a bit long in the tooth. The XBox is really a more sophisticated system, and both the XBox and the PS/2 are pocket calculators next to the multi-CPU 3.2 Gigahertzness that is the XBox 360. I had mentally written off the PS/2, and even though I take magazines like Game Informer, PS/2 titles didn't draw my interest. The PS/3 will be out this spring/summer, and the PS/2 is a legacy now. I had vaguely read a review or two about this game, the capsule review is "Dance Dance Revolution with a Guitar", and since I was awful at DDR that was all I needed to know. NEXT!

Then a couple of Saturdays ago we were in Best Buy (known in our house as 'The Daddy Store') and Guitar Hero was the demo game. Not wanting to dismiss the game entirely until I had played it, I picked up the half-size guitar with a strum bar and five fret-buttons, cued up "More Than A Feeling" by Boston and I. ROCKED. OUT. MAN.

The buttons you're supposed to press slide down a video fret board to you, and you have to strum to hit the right "notes". If you're on time and on the right note, the guitar part in the song plays and sounds like you're expecting. If you're not on time or if you hit the wrong note, you get the plaintive "ploink" that all beginning (or in my case retired beginning) guitar players know and hate -- the Muffed Note Of Failure.

Aaahh...but success is the closet thing a lamer like me with a barely-functional left hand (I'm just clumsy, not handicapped) will ever come to playing in a band and making music. I was hooked immediately, and would have bought it then had BB had any in stock. They didn't so I 'had' to go back several times last week to 'see' if they had any more -- and play 'Smoke On The Water' and 'I Love Rock & Roll' a few more times.

Yes, I know this is ridiculous, and that point was brought home to me while standing in the aisle at Best Buy, proud of myself for finishing a song and not getting booed offstage, when Platnium-selling Country Music Artist Neal McCoy walked down the aisle behind me, smiled and waved. That kind of put it in perspective, sort of like playing Schroeder's piano really well in front of Van Cliburn. Stick to reading films, buddy.

Nevertheless, I finally found the game at Circuit City, opened it last night and I think I'm getting calluses from the non-existant guitar strings, and probably carpal tunnel, too. I've beat it on 'Easy', and now I'm just a few songs away from beating it again on 'Medium', with 'Expert' and 'Hard' left to go. The 'Easy' level only used combinations of three keys, Medium uses four of the five fret keys and a slightly more frenetic pace, which I assume will become close to impossible at the higher levels. Funny thing is, the less I think about what to do the better I perform...go figure. I guess the music interpretation and rhythm prediction portions of my brain are not used to taking the foreground.

If you have a PS/2, get Guitar Hero. Bring your guitar to my house when you come visit and I can stomp you (unless you're David or Todd, in which case I'm probably in over my head) in Head-to-Head Mode. It ROCKS!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Corollary to Godwin's Law

For any of you that are political message board junkies like me, you've probably heard of Godwin's Law, which states that:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.

This has become such a fact of life on the Internet that an appeal to Nazism (also known as reducto ad Hitlerium) has become the rhetorical equivalent of waving a white flag.

But there is some push-back, because sometimes a comparison to the Nazis is apt and sometimes it's not just a "Bush=Hitler!" statement but a parallel to economic conditions, etc. I am observing behavior online among some internet veterans that leads me to believe that Godwin's should be expanded thusly:

Duvall's Corollary:

The longer a political thread goes on without reference to Hitler or the Nazis, the probability of the mention of Stalin approaches 1.

I think this about covers it. People too smart to mention Hitler and subject themselves to ridicule now find themselves Hitler's stunt-dummy Stalin to substitute for the horrific excesses of the Nazis -- which, as bad as they were, were actually a mediocre effort compared to Stalin's Great Terror, his mass purges and planned starvation of Ukraine. Hitler killed millions, Stalin killed tens of millions AND outlasted Hitler.

So there you have it. I have submitted my entry to Wikipedia, we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What I Did AFTER My Hawaii Vacation

Consider this a prequel to my upcoming Hawaii Vacation Post.

I still need to download some of the pictures off my phone for our Hawaii trip last week -- we had a great time and I had the best of intentions of updating the blog as soon as I got home, but an evil force had other plans....

(Did you ever notice that the scrolling text at the beginning of each Star Wars movie had four periods -- I mean, the dialogue written by Lucas was nothing compared to Serenity but come on, TYPOS? Bah. Lucas jumped the shark with SW:TESB)

After landing in Dallas, rousting the family back to Nanny's house in Irving, picking up the dog and repacking the car for the 145 mile drive home on Saturday morning, I just didn't feel right. Then I got really, really cold, which worried me. The first part of me to go offline when I get sick is the old hypothalamus, and I can't get or stay warm. (Cue creepy music).

Then, it hit me.

I don't want to veer any farther into TMI territory here, but suffice it to say that my abdomen began making noises approximately the same volume, duration and pitch of a humpback whale during mating season. In a dramatic twist, all of my intellect, drive and initiative has been focused for the past 72 hours down to a single, unitary imperative:

Avoiding the shart.

This has, understandably, interfered with work to a considerable degree. Had I been hanging out with the boys in my son's second-grade class, the gales of flatulence that followed the roaring in the belly would have earned me tons of 'Funny Dad' cred. In reality, each event has been approached with the care, planning and forethought of a bomb disposal tech hovering over a ticking backpack nuke. That and I felt like a dishrag, my only diet consisting of the recommended banannas, rice and toast, washed down with Gatorade for rehydration and electrolyte balance. All to no avail. I treated myself conservatively, expecting this to be a viral GI infection, but apparently the bug had other plans.

I have no idea how I got sick, the fact that three full days have gone by without any respite led me to seek professional help, in the form of Perry Lewis, Gastroenterologist Extraordinare. Whatever the unwanted inhabitants of my GI tract, thanks to Perry they'll be having 500mg of Levaquin and 1500mg of Flagyl to contend with each day for the next week, the oral antibiotic equivalent of WMD. Take that, haha! Perry's thought was that it could be giardia (a parasite), a nasty variant of E. Coli, or possibly salmonella, but he figured we'd just use the old Defender 'Smart Bomb' approach and kill everything on the threat screen. I'm cool with that, unless I get antibiotic-associated colitis. We'll burn that bridge when we get there.

I already feel better after the first dose, and there may just be a silver (literally) lining to this story in that my multiple trips to the loo have allowed me to finish a whole issue of Fortune while at work, so if I can process that information into a good stock purchase or two I could get a large financial reward for my unwanted downtime. I'm sorry to inflict this on you gentle readers, but hey, it's significant to me so I'm going to tell you about it.

And there are some pictures you'd rather read a thousand words to avoid.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Amazon Associates

I, like Matt Ritchie (see link beside, great blog now and great guy if he's still the same dude I remember from college) hereby and officially notify you that I have applied to the Amazon Associates program so that I may better inform you, the four readers of my site, of the current reading, viewing, gaming and listening content that is shaping the bizzare and sometimes downright goofy thoughts this blog expresses, in the form of cool little pictures of all the stuff I use/consume in terms of media and nifty gadgets in the sidebar that link to the Amazon site. Any purchases made through this program will be most likely accidental on your part, though Todd I do promise to buy some of your records through Amazon if you get a cut, and now that I know what they are I'll probably buy them anyway.

The opinions of the blogger do not reflect the opinions of or any of its other associates, unless I say something really profound and cool that forms a meme that changes world mindsets toward universal peace and harmony, at which point they will say at cocktail parties and other social gatherings that they approved my application because they knew I would be an Absolutely Awesome Amazon Associate. They have been informed not to hold their breath about this one, though.

I anxiously await the decision of the, er, Amazons, on this subject, and if they turn me down I'll do what I always do and kludge something togther.

Note: Yes, the pictures aren't coming up. No, I don't know why. If you're curious, click on the box and see!

Update: Ian and Warren on the Amazon Associates help site were quick on the job and helped me out. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This Bird Flu Thing

Not to be sensationalist, but this could be exceptionally bad.

This is a good catch-up of recent events. Most worrisome is the genetic analysis of the H5N1 strain found in birds in Vietnam that shows mutations progressing toward giving the virus the ability to survive and thrive in mammals. That's not the same as being able to reproduce freely in humans, but it's bad enough.

This abstract shows that the H5N1 series of viruses is exceptionally good at causing a cytokine and chemokine response in epithelial cells. Translating from the original Geek for the nonmedical readers, that means that infection by this virus makes the cells that line your respiratory system scream like an '80s hair band singer, and your immune system comes a-runnin' when those signals are sent, bringing with them a cellular beat-down on any infected cells, as well as a lot of extra water. Water is good, except when you're supposed to be breathing air and the water is where the air is supposed to be. That's the lethal pathogenesis of influenza -- it gives you a wicked viral pneumonia, and in an effort to kill the viruses your immune system tears your lungs apart. It's a condition called Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS, and besides trying to kill you the efforts paradoxically make it more likely that you'll develop a bacterial pneumonia, because the lining of your bronchi (breathing tubes deep in your lungs) are supposed to eject the mucus and other gunk that builds up in your lungs. That doesn't happen so good when your lungs are getting a Malachi Crunch from the virus and your own immune system's efforts to get rid of the virus, and without the ejection the bacteria have the opportunity to set up shop and start causing trouble of their own.

Also paradoxically, "normal" influenza tends to kill the very old and the very young, people whose immune systems can't deal well with the viral onslaught that causes most of us to miss a week of work and then go on about our business. The 1918-9 epidemic of influenza killed primarily those with extremely strong immune systems, the majority of fatalities were in the 20-40 age range. This is probably because a strong immune system overreacts more strongly to this type of virus, causing even more ARDS.

A few questions you may be having about H5N1:

I've had the flu before. Am I immune to this one?

Almost assuredly not. Humans haven't seen H5N1 before, therefore we're starting from scratch at developing antibodies to it. A few people in the population may be immune through an immunological freak of nature, but 99.99%+ of people WILL get the virus if exposed to it.

I get the flu shot. Doesn't that help?

No. The flu shot is formulated depending on what current influenza is expected to be, not on H5N1. No flu shots today contain any assistance for dealing with H5N1. Flu shots give you fragments of viral protein, dead viruses or live but very weak viruses to act as a tackling dummy for your immune system, and when the real virus shows up your body knows what to do.

So they're going to have an H5N1 flu shot at SOME point right?

Right. The problem is that we don't know precisely what the virus will "look" like at an immunological level when it gets to humans, so we can't really hit a moving target. There is an experimental virus for the bird-type H5N1 that rarely infects people, but that may not be overly useful when the Big One hits the human population. Expect six months to a year AFTER the virus hits to see a vaccine...which unfortunately means we have to live with the virus for six to twelve months, and treat it rather than prevent it.

What does H5N1 mean, anyway?

H and N refer to two proteins in the influenza virus, hemagglutinin and neuranimidase. There are variations in the H and N proteins, the H5N1 variant has H type 5 and N type 1. No human influenza virus has ever shown this type of combination, and so the immune system is unaware of its existance. The rare person that is immune to it probably developed antibodies that will bind to the virus "by accident" during a previous infection. Most everyone has no immunity to this virus.

So if I get sick, do I get Tamiflu?

If you can find it. The first people to get H5N1 will look like they have normal flu until they get much, much sicker than everyone else. H5N1 will be circulating with all the other normal influenza viruses, if H5N1 hits during a normal flu season it will be hard to tell except that all of the sudden your hospital starts filling up with pneumonia patients. Tamiflu is in short supply now, and the ability to crank it out in large amounts is limited by the feed stock for the drug, which believe it or not is the seed pods from the Chinese Star Anise plant. Already 90% of Chinese Star Anise production is bought by Roche for use in making Tamiflu. There are other ways to get the starting molecule (called shikimic acid, if you care), but at this point nobody in the world can snap their fingers and have Tamiflu appear in mass quantities.

Gee, this sounds like a big poop sandwich!

Indeed. A few more mutations and things will get very bad, very quick. No matter where you are, you're only about 48 hours from any other point in the Earth these days. The hope is that the outbreak will begin in some remote area where nobody other than the WHO goes, we can build a giant fence and quarantine the place, hose it down with Tamiflu and get a sample of the virus back to the lab to make a vaccine. That is somewhat unlikely to happen. If the wildtype virus appears in a big city like Jakarta or Shanghai or Beijing, it will begin spreading along the commerce routes back to the US and everywhere else in the world. SARS was much harder to catch than influenza, and it made it all the way to Canada within a couple of months.

The risk of influenza is not that you personally will die -- even the killer 1918 flu only had a 2% mortality rate, before ICUs and antibiotics. The risk is our fear of each other, and the fear of gathering in big bunches. School will be out for the duration in affected areas, and even something like shopping will become a potentially dangerous undertaking. All those people in Japan that wear masks will look prescient instead of goofy, and hand sanitizer companies will make a FORTUNE.

My advice -- have some extra food on hand. Have an extra bottle or two of hand sanitizer, don't touch your eyes (easy to spread viruses that way) and pay attention to the news. I don't think this is an "if" thing anymore, this is a "when".

Oh, and read The Great Influenza by John Barry. Superb book. Our society is much better able to handle something like this from a medical standpoint than it was in 1918, but it won't be a peach. And when it does happen, don't act a fool.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Rodney King Goes To France

I have always heard that, "you should make your words soft and sweet, for you may be forced to eat them some day." Well, how do you say "Here's your helping of crow" in French? I'm sure that of all the gastronomes in the world somebody in France could whip crow into an appetizing dish and charge you $75 for the treat, but right now the attention of the French is directed elsewhere -- like trying not to get their stores, cars and schools (schools!?!) torched. Well, the comments about Katrina and, almost 15 years ago, the LA riots are now prime examples of The Other Other White Meat, and most of France is having to take a bite.

The French media and intelligentsia have largely maintained that their harmonious socialist society is better in nearly every way than our "Anglo-Saxon" (read: rampant capitalism) society: rampant capitalism exacerbates class and race divisions, leading to a disharmonious society. Who needs EuroDisney when we have Paris, the real EuroDisney and without the pesky rat in a tux?

Recent events have shown pretty clearly that their socialist approach has been just keeping the lid on a simmering pot of discontent that is boiling over pretty fiercely for the last couple of weeks, beginning in the northern Paris "Projects" and now spreading all over the country. Theodore Dalrymple, a fave author of mine, wrote a prescient article on the French immigrant towns back in 2002, and pretty much everything he documented there is coming to pass in spades. Prescience is a good quality, and Dalrymple nailed this one. Back in 2002 the Paris PJs were no-go zones for the police, and the "causative event" having to do with the police that began this issue would seem, from the article, to be particularly provocative.

I do think Fox and other news sources are overplaying the Muslim issue rather badly, this seems less like a Muslim uprising than an explosion of pent-up anger. To be honest, it would be better for the French to deal with the Muslim issue now before the inexorable tide of demographics turns Europe into Eurabia, but they won't deal with it. The original "infraction", the electrocution of two teenagers who hid in an electrical substation from police they believed to be chasing them may explain (but not justify) one neighborhood's unrest, but this is now a national conflagration and the original issue has certainly been obscured by the clouds of burning Renaults and Peugots all over France. This is now about economics, crime, opportunity and integration, and the lack of or prevalence of each as may be appropriate.

I saw a great comment on an internet message board I frequent, which was, "There is a difference between a protest and a riot, and the rioters need to be stopped so you can deal with the protesters." Here is where the French Government finds itself. There are probably some legit grievances (lack of jobs, lack of opportunity) and some less-legit ones (the cops are interfering with the free flow of drugs), but right now the issue is to stop the violence. All joking aside, the French can put a serious smackdown on people when needed, they're the best anti-terrorist country in Europe and they have the strength to stop this, but apparently not the political will.

Chirac is dangling a carrot: better living quarters, more money and 20,000 more jobs, but ultimately the people still burning cars after two weeks don't eat carrots. They won't be getting those jobs, they won't see any of that money and if they were interested in better living quarters they wouldn't have started by torching their current ones. Nicholas Sarkozy, the Interior Minister (chief law enforcement guy, apparently) is being cast as the bad guy here because of comments he made referring to the people doing these acts as "scum", he's being called a "cowboy" by French media (read: American) for being bold and calling for, of all things, civil order and enforcement of the law.

For all the supposed superiority of the French socialist system over rampant capitalism, rampant capitalism does provide opportunity and jobs, which are in short supply in France. If you can get hired there, it's awful hard to lose your job, so there's a vicious cycle of French businesses having extremely high government-mandated costs to hire possibly unproductive workers and French voters, most of whom work and who don't want to see the government-mandated work protections eliminated. What these mutually-reinforcing interests produce is a wall around jobs that the immigrants don't have the connections or skills to scale, and as a result French unemployment is 10% now, and 30% or so in immigrant youth populations. There is hardly a more destructive force than aimless young men with a taste for violence and no responsibilites, and as a result we see the flaming pyre of French immigration policy, socialism and automobiles.

This has become a huge broken-window issue and the failure to effectively control the original outbreak has spread all over France and is spreading into other countries. Continued flaunting of the law will beget further flaunting of the law. Sarkozy may be too American for his French compatriots, but he's the closest thing to Giuliani they have and this situation needs to get under control, brutally if necessary. Chaos isn't a theory right now in France, it's reality, and it's time to restore order. And eat that crow.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Alito is a good pick

Besides being voted "Most Likely To Be Mistaken In Public For Rick Warren", Justice Samuel Alito is a very smart guy. Bush didn't go with the woman like I thought he would, but then again that was because I though Bush would bow to pressure to keep 2 women on SCOTUS, good for him that he picked the best person and not the best woman. Nice to show a little backbone now and then.

I haven't gotten into all the lefty complaints about Alito's "record" of impairing minority rights and limiting right to sue by raising the bar for successfully presenting suit, but if that criticism is as weak as his supposed snti-abortionism, then that's likely a load of horse puckey as well. He comes across as someone interested in applying the law fairly, which for some people means he doesn't seek to apply the law to address past grievances and therefore he's a bigot. Whatever.

I think the Democrats in the Senate won't be doing themselves any favors by pushing his supposed extremism on abortion as a reason to disqualify him, because the counter is that he was also part of a unanimous three-judge panel that struck down a New Jersy law banning partial birth abortion. Surely a zealot would have found a way to dissent. Ah ha! Not so fast! A truly brilliant zealot would have concurred to have exactly this opinion in his back pocket should he ever be nominated to the Supreme Court! CONSPIRACY!

The attitude about who's a conservative whacko that is displayed by the left reminds me of the helicoper door gunner in Full Metal Jacket who shot at anyone on the ground. When asked how he could tell which people were the VC, the gunner responded, "If they run, they're VC. If they stand still, they're very disciplined VC." In essence, anyone credible nominated by Bush is the VC, and Door-Gunners Ted, Barbara, Dianne and Chuck are going to lock and load.

Fortunately, John Roberts was smarter than the rest of the room combined at his hearings, and I belive that if Alito is any less bright or well-versed in the issues than Roberts, it's not by much. It's a lot of fun watching the Dems twist themselves into pretzels of rage while the nominee sits there pleasantly, watching an adult make a fool of himself so NARAL will send a check for the next campaign cycle.

And the talk of a filibuster -- heh, don't make my day. This ain't the guy you want to filibuster. He has 15 years of cases, 300 or so published opinions, a couple of thousand cases under his belt. He's not stealth anything, and he's eminently qualified by any rational standard. Assess his record, and do your duty and vote. Calling a filibuster on this one will effectively eliminate the judicial filibuster, I DARE them to do it.

Bigger fights loom over the replacement of Ginsburg and the other liberals on the court, fights that may not happen while Bush is President. I don't see Bush insisting on fairness and putting a dyed-in-the-wool liberal on the court to replace Ginsburg. If you think the Miers flap was bad, wait until he picks some yahoo off the 9th Circuit who's slightly to the left of Karl Marx and tries to sell it to the GOP as "uniting not dividing". I think the White House has learned a lesson about how passionately conservatives feel about the Supreme Court and how effective the organized opprobrium of the conservative apparatus can be.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Five charges but no answers

Obstruction, false statement (x2), perjury (x2).

Indictment is here in PDF.

Not a WORD about mishandling classified information or violation of FSIA. Which is one of the reasons I think the 'Independent Counsel' or 'Special Prosecutor' concept is wrong -- 22 months and millions of dollars later we have alleged liar. Wow, that's a threat to national security there. Not to excuse the behavior in any way, but this just seems kind of nickel-and-dime compared to what some on the left were calling 'TREASON!'

Rove may get the hammer for the revelation of classified information, but at this point if Libby hasn't been charged then it's unlikely Rove will be either, in my completely uninformed opinion. That should be the simplest thing to prove of all.

Further charges are always possible, if so it's likely that Fitzgerald simply can't prove them yet, but this is a disappointing denoumont for everyone but the far-left Bush haters who want a pelt, any pelt, on the wall.

One Ball, One Strike

No, I don't care about baseball, we're back to the Rove-Libby-Fitzgerald triangle that is playing out like some mutated version of a daytime soap. Word (right now, 7:42am) is that Libby will be charged with something, Rove won't be charged with anything but will still be investigated.

Come on. Twenty-two months of investigation of what turns out to be a not-complex thing and we need to empanel ANOTHER Grand Jury to keep this up? I'm imagining the food service for federal Grand Juries isn't just the best in the world, this seems like needless extension. To get any more out of Karl Rove after FOUR trips, they'll have to televise his colonoscopy. This isn't that hard, Fitz. Let it go.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miers takes a dive

Probably the best thing that could have happened, when you can't get support from the Right or the Left you're pretty much sunk for SCOTUS. Had John Roberts been a less-stellar pick, she might not have suffered so much by comparison, but in truth she's never been welcomed by the Right, she opens Bush up to charges of cronyism at a time when he is vulnerable in that area, and she's not part of the conservative farm team in the Judiciary that the Right has been building for decades.

My guess is that Edith Clements will be the next choice, though she had face-time with Bush (allegedly) when Roberts was nominated and didn't impress enough for Bush to pick her over Miers this go-round. Not really sure of the strategy with this Miers thing, I imagine that Karl Rove repaired to the office and took a couple of Advil when Bush told him that Miers was his pick.

It's also possible that the Bush team knows that Rove or Libby is going to be indicted and wanted to get the Miers issue off the table to avoid dealing with two public relations disasters at once without Rove around to help. I hope not, I don't see someone that goes to the Grand Jury FOUR times as being evasive, and I don't think Plame's identity was even protectable under the 1982 law that was the genesis of Fitzgerald's investigation.

Saw a talking head lawyer from Chicago on Fox this morning talking about how much of a straight-arrow non-political guy Fitzgerald is, there seems to be an effort to lock in his credibility as a Crusader for Truth and Justice prior to any indictments being handed down. Were I running things on the Democrat side, I would feed the 24-hour news beast as many people that "knew" Fitzgerald, up to and including his 3rd grade teacher, who would say he is completely above reproach, especially if some of the elves in the process had let slip the precise indictments that were coming down. The guy this morning didn't even claim to know Fitzgerald personally, he did parrot the line that Fitzgerald is apolitical and above reproach.

Tomorrow may be even more interesting than today. Were I Karl Rove, I would be hanging out near the Courthouse to avoid the perp walk as much as possible, Joe Wilson is a documented liar (Senate Intelligence Committee, bipartisan no less) and I would do whatever it took to avoid the 'frogmarch in handcuffs' Wilson wanted to see. But I assume that Rove being Rove, he already knows that.