Monkey With a Typewriter

"...Look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty."
- Groucho Marx in Monkey Business, 1931

Monday, September 26, 2005

It doesn't get much better than this...

3-0! bengals are in sole posession of first place. And the schedule's looking fairly soft until week 7, when they'll face some angry Steelers.

Bask in this, Cincy fans!

In other news, I've found a new agency to query, so I'll be preparing seom things feverishly over the course of the week. it's time to start shopping the books around again, because (hopefully) when pitch season starts, I'll be far too busy for it.

Cross the fingers now!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Now we're rolling!

Working on a Spec series is fun... trying to sell one will probably be ... not as much fun. We'll see. I'll keep you posted as we get closer, but will have to be mostly crytpic regarding what the show is actually about, since that would be giving ideas away before their time...

In other news, it's week two in the NFL and guess what?

Yeah, that's right! Bengals: STILL #1 and undefeated! How long can this last? I'll enjoy it while I can. As a bonus, Da Bears are doing okay too!

Back to work...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

This is nice to see.

From the AP:
WASHINGTON - President Bush said Tuesday that "I take responsibility" for failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and that the disaster raised broader questions about the government's ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq. "To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility."

Honestly, with his numbers in the polls this is a necessary step, but a very refreshing one considering how he's handled his other blunders. Let's hope this is a step in the right direction, and further, let's hope Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco follow suit and apologize, followed by every state and local politician.

Don't hold your breath. They'll have the levees rebuilt before we'd see such a move.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Quick note...

I know I shouldn't get too excited about this, since the season is so young, but I haven't seen this for some years, and it's not likely to be around for long...SOOOooooo:

You can mock me ten weeks from now when the season has taken its inevitable turn for the worse.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

PS for the day...

White House spokesman Dan Bartlett said, "The president will not let any form of bureaucracy get in the way of protecting the citizens of Louisiana."

And yet, here we are...


Again, it's never too early for fingerpointing. The longer we wait, the longer the gestation period for mega-spin and political rhetoric.
So now, quite literally, it's literally a he said she said thing.
And guess who loses?

Urge your media (like it will do any good...): Don't let anybody off the hook!

This from the Washington Post:

Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state’s emergency operations center said Saturday.

The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. “Quite frankly, if they’d been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals,” said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.

A senior administration official said that Bush has clear legal authority to federalize National Guard units to quell civil disturbances under the Insurrection Act and will continue to try to unify the chains of command that are split among the president, the Louisiana governor and the New Orleans mayor.

Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said.

Aaaaaand this from the Al Franken Show (AirAmericaRadio) Blog:

We also played audio from BBC2's NewsNight with Jeremy Paxman's roundtable with Pippa Malmgren, former Bush economic adviser, and Sidney Blumenthal. Take a gander:
MALMGREN: I think the key here question is, what was the responsibility of the officials at the local level, as well.

PAXMAN: You're not agreeing, then, with the proposition stops with the president.

MALMGREN: Not on emergency response. The bottom line is the president begged the governor of louisiana to declare a federal emergency. She declined. They declared a state emergency instead. This raised all kinds of issues in the federal government. It has been illegal since 1872 for the president to send federal troops into a state, unless the government requests their presence.

PAXMAN: Sidney Blumenthal, Technically, that's correct, isn't it?

BLUMENTHAL: No. It's not only technically not correct, it's factually incorrect. On August 26, Governor Blanco of Louisiana sent a letter to President Bush asking him to federalize the emergency. On the next day, August 27th, he sent a letter back confirming that he had indeed federalized the emergency. So, that indeed is what has happened.

PAXMAN: At that point, technically, the president was in charge, and he could have done what he wished.

BLUMENTHAL: He was in complete charge, and the governor had requested that he be in complete charge.

Who's fault was it? Look in the mirror...

Some interesting things to ponder as we examine whose fault this disaster was (it's never too early to start). I found a quote from the AP on August 28th as the storm was moving in...

"Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding. "There doesn't seem to be any relief in sight," Blanco said."

Which simultaneously seems to implicate the State and Federal Government. The local authorities could have organized an assertive rescue effort to bus people out. Check this article out about how they handle things in Virginia. Now, of course, everything that happened in VA was on a smaller scale, and only a success because of help from FEMA. But still, if the government isn't listening to you, then do something yourself! New Orleans had the resources...

but they obviously weren't used. President Bush urged an evacuation, so he knew what was coming. Why wasn't help poised nearby and ready to go? Check this out from Even FoxNews, of all outlets, pointed out government ineptitude (well, Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera (!) did, while Sean Hannity tried to spin away...). Plus get bonus Kanye West footage. I can't say he's right on, but he's damn close. And Mike Myers reaction is classic! Kanye shook up those Hollywood fakers who went on the air to read pre-scripted banter so they could go home and feel better about themselves. Kanye demanded answers and pledged action. That's the real deal.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Save the Big Easy!

Our website ( is now active. My wife has two wonderful photos from our recent trip to New Orleans, and we're selling prints for charity:

We watched helplessly as New Orleans flooded and its people were stranded. Although we only visited the city once in 2003, we were impressed by the architecture, history, food, music, and above all, by the warmth of the people of New Orleans. Since it was founded in 1718, the city has survived hurricanes, fires, and disease. The story of the city's resilience is told in its architecture.

To help all victims of Hurricane Katrina, we are selling 8 1/2 X 11 prints of two photos and donating all profits to the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. Each print costs $25 plus $5 priority USPS shipping and handling. We can only ship to addresses in the continental U.S. Secure payment can be made online with credit cards using PayPal. Please contact us with any questions.

There are many wonderful charities out there helping with relief efforts. Please give where you can.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Aftermath...

Watching the news becomes more and more difficult as the extent of Hurricane Katrina's damage becomes clear. It's been a week now, and it looks like the response is finally where it should have been on day one. There will be plenty of time for finger pointing afterwards, but suffice it to say, Congress dropped the ball big time on this. All of the 9/11 readiness drills, all of the alerts, the government telling us we're ready to react in the face of a cataclysmic event... well, now we can see how ready we were. Most chilling of all is this article from December 2001 edition of the Houston Chronicle, which proves a lot of people knew about this and were told to prepare not months, but YEARS in advance. If you don't have time to read to whole article, consider this quote

"...earlier this year the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranked the potential damage to New Orleans as among the three likeliest, most castastrophic disasters facing this country.The other two? A massive earthquake in San Francisco, and, almost prophetically, a terrorist attack on New York City.The New Orleans hurricane scenario may be the deadliest of all.In the face of an approaching storm, scientists say, the city's less-than-adequate evacuation routes would strand 250,000 people or more, and probably kill one of 10 left behind as the city drowned under 20 feet of water. Thousands of refugees could land in Houston.Economically, the toll would be shattering.Southern Louisiana produces one-third of the country's seafood, one-fifth of its oil and one-quarter of its natural gas. The city's tourism, lifeblood of the French Quarter, would cease to exist. The Big Easy might never recover.And, given New Orleans' precarious perch, some academics wonder if it should be rebuilt at all."

The New Orleans we knew will never exist again. It will be rebuilt, gentrified, maybe better than before, but the soul will not be the same. And the media has all but ignored the smaller cities and towns like Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, which have been wiped from the map. This has affected millions of people. If you can give money, please give money. My wife and I are developing a website ( where we will sell prints from our 2003 trip to New Orleans, with all proceeds going to charity. It should be up and running by Monday night. You don't have to help through us, but before you log off to go enjoy your meal, or your sofa, or do your laundry, or pay your bills, remember how lucky you are to have those things