Sunday, May 30, 2004

So marathons are funny things. If you don't pay them the proper respect, they humble you. Last November I ran the New York City marathon and got crushed ... started out way too fast on a hot day and spent the last six miles dragging my sorry ass to the finish line. People were passing me left and right.

This morning I ran the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington. I had no specific time in mind as a stubborn right calf injury had hampered my training. In fact, I went into it thinking I could always drop out if the calf acted up. (I woulda toughed it out as much as I could, but didn't want to aggravate the injury).

Anyway, I started out slow - about 9 minute miles - and my calf didn't act up. At about mile 19 I started cranking- not completely sure of the splits but I'm guessing my last seven miles were about 8:30 pace. Passed lots of people.

Final time? 3:52:45 ... 36 seconds slower than my November 2003 NYC marathon time. Considering the amount of training I missed from the calf injury, I'll glady take it...

The course itself was beautiful -- ran the streets of Burlington, along the lake, through various bike paths ... quite a nice race. It was sunny, but only got hot toward the very end. I have pretty distinct tan lines on my shoulders though - thankfully I wore a sleeveless shirt!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

More Wonkette/Washingtonienne photos...

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Okay, this story is kinda last week, but here is a link to Wonkette and Washingtonienne's Fox News appearance.

Monday, May 24, 2004

It looks like my Extra appearance will be tomorrow night.

Note to self: Probably not a good idea to show up at television studio for interview when you're coming directly from the gym and are still sweating a bit.

I'm going to be on Extra again! This time to discuss Bill Clinton's success on the South Beach Diet! I imagine it'll air tonight, but didn't ask.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Another Washingtonienne photo

The Reliable Source also has more excerpts from Bill Cosby's speech last week:

"I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol? And where is the father? . . .

"The church is only open on Sunday and you can't keep asking Jesus to do things for you. You can't keep saying that God will find a way. God is tired of you," Cosby declared to loud applause.

"I wasn't there when God was saying it, I am making this up, but it sounds like what God would say. In all of this work we can not blame white people. White people don't live over there; they close up the shop early. The Korean ones don't know us well enough, so they stay open 24 hours."
"With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail. Brown versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem. We have got to take the neighborhood back. We have to go in there -- forget about telling your child to go into the Peace Corps -- it is right around the corner. They are standing on the corner and they can't speak English."
On teenage sex: "Five, six children -- same woman -- eight, 10 different husbands or whatever. Pretty soon you are going to have DNA cards to tell who you are making love to. You don't know who this is. It might be your grandmother. I am telling you, they're young enough! Hey, you have a baby when you are 12; your baby turns 13 and has a baby. How old are you? Huh? Grandmother! By the time you are 12 you can have sex with your grandmother, you keep those numbers coming. I'm just predicting. . . .

The Wonkette (Ana Marie Cox, left) and the Washingtonienne (Jessica Cutler)!

Saturday, May 22, 2004

The Washington Post's Richard Leiby also has an interviewwith the Washingtonieene, Jessica Cutler:

"Everything is true," Cutler told us in an interview. "It's so cliched. It's like, 'There's a slutty girl on the Hill?' There's millions of 'em," she said, laughing. "A lot of my friends are way worse than me."
She seemed blase about having six regular [sex] partners, telling us: "You know, there's seven days a week."

Here's an old picture of her


Thursday, May 20, 2004

Hurray!!! New York One's Rebecca Spitz, seriously injured in a car accident, is back! Get back to work soon Becky!!!

For several hours after the twin towers were collapsed on 9/11, New
York City's black deputy mayor ran the city while Rudy Giuliani was
trapped in a building, writes Stanley Crouch. Rudy Washington
arranged air cover, ordered the bridges closed and started with the
cleanup - and had the situation "as well in hand as possible" by the
time Giuliani got back on the scene, according to Crouch.

"Washington remains the forgotten man of 9/11 because he hasn't wanted
to be seen as a grandstanding opportunist about a day when some 2,800
people were killed. But enough time has passed. Hereis his story."

Here'sfull Washingtonienne archive ... the WP's WPs Reliable Source has something on it today, as did the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

This briefing transcript, conducted today, has everything you need to know about a military justice and court martial procedures. The thing to note is, it is entirely "on background," meaning the presenter's name is not noted. (reporters can only identify him as a "senior military lawyer").

This is actually not all that extraordinary - I've seen a couple of similar background briefings from various Cabinet-level agencies on the web like this. But it is kinda weird, and shows how tought it is for Washington reporters not to use anonymous sources in their stories.

This is funny...

My old friend Kate M. has finally got ablog! I worked with her in New Hampshire ....

Jeez -- doesn't it seem like all the most interesting blogs disappear after getting a little publicity? Via Wonkette, here are the sordid sexual escapades of "Washingtonienne", this supposed young Capitol Hill staffer ...

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Eesh. The hits just keep on coming. Two Iraqis working for Reuters sayU.S. forces forced them to "insert a finger into their anus and then lick it," as well as forced into demeaning gestures and threatened them with deportation to Guantanamo.

Says Baghdad-based cameraman Salem Ureibi: "When I saw the Abu Ghraib photographs, I wept. I saw they had suffered like we had."

Ureibi says the soldiers told him they wanted to have sex with him, and was afraid he would be raped, the article states.

There are a lot of weird conspiracy theories floating around the Internet regarding Nick Berg's murder. (See here and here, for example).

I can't answer all of them, but jeez, I don't think it's surprising there's so few records about Berg's company, Prometheus Methods Tower Service. It was very small and was headquartered at his foreman's 11-acre farm. I talked with someone who worked with Nick after the memorial service.

Also - the Berg family wasn't allowed to meet his remains at Dover Air Force base (I'm not sure if they wanted to), but his body was indeed turned over to their funeral home after it arrived. The Wikipedia statement that his family was "not permitted to view the body" is false.

Yes, it's an odd coincidence about Berg sharing his laptop with an acquaintance of Zacarias Moussaoui - but after talking with people who have known Nick for years, I'm sure that's all it is - a coincidence.

This is just bizarre:

"Well, we've had some guys fill in very nicely for us," Johnny Damon told the Hartford Courant. "Even Kevin Youkilis has come in and done a great job. [Cesar] Crespo's been doing a great job. We miss the big home runs every now and then. Trot was especially big in those last year. Great clutch hitting. We have a spot for Trot right away, but we're going to have to finagle the lineup a little bit to get Nomar back in there because Pokey [Reese] and [Mark] Bellhorn have done a great job. But I think we mostly miss Trot."

Cesar Crespo???

Monday, May 17, 2004

I was in West Chester, Pa. reporting on the horrible Nick Berg story last week. He seemed like quite a guy. It sounds kinda flip saying this (I don't mean it to) but myself and a few of the other reporters there toasted Nick and drank to his honor after-hours.

Some of our coverage:

How about this for a powerful, well-written column?
From the U.K. Mirror:

Tony Blair fooled me. He told us we were fighting for freedom, democracy and national security in Iraq.

I see now that it was all a pack of lies.

While this newspaper took an anti-war stance on Iraq, this column - to my eternal shame - acted as a craven cheerleader to Tony Blair and his grotesque, misbegotten military adventure.

And now 16,270 Iraqis are dead. There are 1,203 British and American servicemen who have given their lives for a cause that was not worth dying for.

There is an ever-growing mountain of misery - little Ali Abbas with his arms blown off in a US air strike and the thousands of unknown maimed children like him - and a loathing for this country in the Arab world that will last for a thousand years.

The column has a great kicker, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone...

Sunday, May 09, 2004

It gets worse ...

My brother Adam has set up a website to document his sword collection ...

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Worth reading from from Riverbend...

Baghdad Burning: "People are seething with anger- the pictures of Abu Ghraib and the Brits in Basrah are everywhere. Every newspaper you pick up in Baghdad has pictures of some American or British atrocity or another. It's like a nightmare that has come to life.

Everyone knew this was happening in Abu Ghraib and other places? seeing the pictures simply made it all more real and tangible somehow. American and British politicians have the audacity to come on television with words like, 'True the people in Abu Ghraib are criminals, but?' Everyone here in Iraq knows that there are thousands of innocent people detained. Some were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, while others were detained 'under suspicion'. In the New Iraq, it's 'guilty until proven innocent by some miracle of God'. "

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Here's a good story on Lynndie England, the girl at the center of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal:

Lynndie England, 21, a rail worker's daughter, comes from a trailer park in Fort Ashby, West Virginia, which locals proudly call 'a backwoods world'.
She faces a court martial, but at home she is toasted as a hero.
At the dingy Corner Club Saloon they think she has done nothing wrong.
'A lot of people here think they ought to just blow up the whole of Iraq,' Colleen Kesner said.
'To the country boys here, if you're a different nationality, a different race, you're sub-human. That's the way girls like Lynndie are raised.
'Tormenting Iraqis, in her mind, would be no different from shooting a turkey. Every season here you're hunting something. Over there, they're hunting Iraqis.'
In Fort Ashby, in the isolated Appalachian mountains 260km west of Washington, the poor, barely-educated and almost all-white population talk openly about an active Ku Klux Klan presence.

This is pretty funny - by a NY Post business writer:

"Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Media (But Were Afraid To Ask)
If I'm writing a negative story about your company and I call you at 5:30 in the evening, giving you thirty minutes to respond before my deadline - yes, I planned it that way."
I just want a quote for my story. Tell me what I want hear and get off the phone.
You're talking too fast for me and I can't write down everything you're saying. But it's ok, I'll just pick a few things you said and use them out of context.
I'm basically mad that you're not kissing my butt right now. Don't you know who I am? Don't you know my paper's circulation?

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

From Healing Iraq:

Now, regarding the disgusting images from Abu Ghraib that the whole world had witnessed in the last few days. They didn't come as a surprise at all, we have been hearing stories about the abuse of prisoners for a long time from released detainees and from humanitarian organisations. It doesn't shock me at all that some American soldiers are so sick and devoid from any humanity. You need to have a cousin pushed off from a dam by some in order to learn that. What surprises me though are people saying "Saddam did worse", or the soldiers responsible claiming they were 'never taught anything about running a prison', and 'No one gave us a copy of the Geneva conventions'. We have a saying for that over here, "An excuse uglier than the guilt".

They may be just a few soldiers, it may be an isolated case, but what's the difference? The effect has been done, and the Hearts and Minds campaign is a joke that isn't funny any more.

Bah! The New York Observer reports that the Times is dissolving its Saturday Arts & Ideas section and instead "incorporating 'ideas' stories into the rest of the paper." Okay, I guess I'm in the minority about this, but I really liked the Ideas section....