Friday, August 29, 2008

Can We Get Back to Talking About Me Now?

Patricia Reid reviews Breaking Cover at

Highly recommended for readers who want a great story, a wonderful character and plenty of action.

check out the whole thing...

And thank you, Pat!


Gustav Threatens GOP Convention Plans

And Karl Rove is there to put it all in perspective:

“The Republicans can’t seem to get a break when it comes to August and when it comes to the weather
,” said Rove, a FOX News analyst. “I know this is being thought a lot about in Washington and at the White House and discussed and I suspect they will monitor it carefully and figure out what to do.”

Yeah, why does this stuff always seem to happen to the poor Republicans?

So Much For the Whole "Ready to Lead?" Strategy

Okay, so John McCain's core strategy is painting Barack Obama as inexperienced and not "ready to lead." Then he picks someone to be a heartbeat away from the Oval Office whose experience is as mayor of some little town in Alaska no one's ever heard of and half a term as Governor of a state with a population of less than 700,000?

There's only one explanation for this: John McCain knows he's going to lose. So he's making a symbolic pick.

UPDATE: From a previous interview with Palin: As for the prospect of her being vice president, Palin told Kudlow that she could not answer the question of whether she wanted the job “until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day."

This should be fun.

John McCain (Who Was a POW) Takes His Revenge On Your Humble Blogger

Looks like Honorable John is announcing his VP pick at noon, thus bumping me off the radio...but I've been rescheduled for Thursday the Fourth.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Face That Was Made For Radio Returns Again

Today at 12:00 noon EDT, I'll be appearing on North Carolina Public Radio's The State of Things. Even if you don't live in Nawth Ca'lina, you can listen, if you're so inclined, through the streamy magic of the Internets. C'mon and listen!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Reviewing The Evidence

Ayo Onatade reviews BREAKING COVER at
an excerpt:

BREAKING COVER is a brilliant novel. Vivid, fascinating and action packed, this is a thriller that will no doubt leave one wanting more. Tony Wolf is a determined, charismatic guy who only wants to be left alone. But realises that unless he does something himself, he is not going to be.

This is certainly a book that will give the reader an adrenaline rush. Those who like their thrillers to be thought provoking and with bullets flying will love it. Let's hope that we get to see much more of Tony Wolf. Like name, like nature.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

McCain's Turning Into That Guy From Memento.

The next day:

Hillary criticized Obama and that's why she's not on the ticket, so you shouldn't vote for Obama. Biden, who IS on the ticket, criticized Obama, so you shouldn't vote for Obama.

Since we know McCain (Who Used to Be a POW) is an honorable man, we can only conclude he's suffering from some kind of severe short term memory deficit.

It's sad, really. I mean he used to be a POW and everything.

Tiny Terror

Latest Newspaper Column
James Robinson is a frequent flier. Although he's a native of California, he has family members on the East Coast whom he visits on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, air travel isn't as easy for James as it used to be.

Three years ago, when trying to do the convenient curbside check-in, James was directed to the ticket counter. There he was quite surprised to learn that he would not be allowed to do curbside check-in or get a boarding pass online or use any of the services airlines provide these days to try to streamline the travel experience.

He was even more surprised to discover the reason for this: His name appeared on the "terrorist watch list," maintained by the Transportation Safety Administration to single out potential suicide bombers and terrorists for special scrutiny at the airport.

James was particularly surprised to find himself on the list because he was 5 years old at the time. Three years later, his family reports, they still get flagged every time they take little James to the airport to go east to visit Grandma.

Now, I'll confess, I've been in movies, supermarkets, and yes, even airplanes with toddlers and small children whom I'd cheerfully see shipped off to Gitmo. And I suppose it's possible that little James is some sort of madrassa-trained midget al-Qaida sleeper agent with a pound of C-4 in his teddy bear.

When asked by a CNN reporter if he's a terrorist, James gives the somewhat shifty reply, "I don't know." This, admittedly, is the sort of answer a confused 8-year-old might give. But it's also the exact sort of thing a Hamas suicide bomber might say! We should probably subject the little guy to "enhanced interrogation" just to make sure. I'll set up the waterboard.

At least he's not alone. There's another James Robinson, this one an adult, who's also flagged as a potential terrorist. This James Robinson is a retired Air National Guard brigadier general. He's also a commercial pilot for a major airline, who's authorized to carry a gun onto a plane and even into the cockpit if he can just get cleared at the ticket counter.

Yes, you're reading this right. One of the pilots is a suspected terrorist. Apparently someone is worried that he might get control of an airplane.

Yet another James Robinson who's been pulled aside is a former U.S. attorney and a retired law school dean who holds a high-level security clearance from the U.S government, at least one part of it. But another part of that government says nope, pull him out and screen him again.

Or at least that's what's implied. The TSA refuses either to confirm or deny whether anyone is on the watch list, and in fact has threatened to fine airline employees who tell people why they're being subjected to scrutiny.

TSA employees are, however, apparently permitted to provide forms for people who are stopped and who deny terrorist connections to fill out, asking that they be removed from the watch list. That's how Little James Robinson's family found out their tot was on the list.

Think about that for a moment. They're not allowed to tell you you're on the list, but they are allowed to hand you the forms to get off of it.

Not that it's going to do you much good. James Robinson the former U.S. attorney says he filled out all the forms and sent them in with copies of his passport, his driver's license, his voter registration card, and anything else he could think of. That was in 2005. So far, he says, he's heard nothing. But see, they wouldn't be able to let him know if he's off the list, because it's a crime to let him know he was ever on it.

This is the sort of thing that's simply beyond parody.

As for Little James, his mom, Denise, told CNN that they've come up with their own solutions. They either tip the skycaps heavily or just book him through as "J. Pierce Robinson." Likewise, Jim the Pilot just books himself as "Jim Robinson" or "J.K. Robinson" and breezes through.

Recently, political correspondent Drew Griffin found himself on the watch list after writing articles critical of the TSA and the Federal Air Marshals Service. He's wondered aloud and in print if this was done in retaliation for his criticism. Others, such as wingnut bogeyman Sen. Edward Kennedy and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, have wondered the same thing after they encountered problems.

But I've got to tell you, after reading stories about an 8-year-old and a pilot ending up on the list, I'm perfectly willing to accept sheer random bureaucratic stupidity as an explanation.

Don't you feel safer now?