Monday, September 19, 2005(0) comments
I heard on the news this morning that a train in Chicago crashed.
CHICAGO Sep 19, 2005 — A commuter train that jumped the tracks near downtown, killing two people, was traveling nearly 60 mph above the speed limit, the acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board said.
Mark Rosenker said Sunday that the Metra train was traveling 69 mph and should not have been going faster than 10 mph when it switched tracks at a crossover before jumping the tracks Saturday.
"Sixty-nine miles an hour is very, very fast when you're dealing with a 10-mile-an-hour restriction," he said, adding the information came from a preliminary reading of one of the train's three "black boxes."
Not to make light, but it reminded me of this Seinfeld quote,
Newman: There's no way I can handle 8 [mailbags] in addition to my ususal load of one!That quote is one of my favorite lines. It sounds funny and it makes me laugh out loud almost everytime. But the mathematician in me must deconstruct this and point out that it actually shouldn't be funny. If in fact it takes a whole day to deliver one mailbag, as it seems to, then Newman has an 8 day backlog. But the point of the joke is to make it sound as if the task of catching up isn't a big deal. So funnier, in fact, would be, "There's no way I can handle 8 in addition to my ususal load of 31!"
Thank you. I'll be here all week. Tip your waitresses.
Bob Montcalm, mathematician, comedy assassin.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Wonkette has some interesting thoughts on Bush's comments accepting blame for the federal gubment's bungled Katrina response. It made me think of a fun game though, albeit one with serious consequences. It has to do with trying to guess or anticipate what republican strategists have up their sleeves next.
After having the democrats hammer the administration for two weeks, Bush accepting blame for everyone and everything kind of takes the sting out of any future criticisms. After all, why continue to play the blame game, as it is called, when Bush has already said, not unlike my dad everytime the family goes out to dinner, "yo, it's on me." You say we should convene a independent commission to figure out what went wrong? Why waste the effort? Bush will tell you (and continue to remind you, no doubt, because repeating shit is his forte) that he's to blame.
So what next? This starts the game, and I'll open. What do politicians who have fucked up do best? They "pull a Brownie"; they resign or retreat. Wouldn't it be a brilliant move for Bush to resign the office? Then he'd not only get quit working so hard all the dang time, but Cheney'd be able to take over 3 years early, setting the stage for his run in 2008.
How else could we have played this game in the past?
Thursday, September 08, 2005
By now, I assume everyone has heard about how Bush, McClellan and others in the administration are saying that it isn't the right time to "play the Blame Game". This post is the result of hearing Scott McClellan say that now is not the time to discuss failures and what went wrong.
I take exception to that and here's why.
He's the goddamn press secretary for the White House. His job is to hold a daily press conference and then, well, that's it. What else? He has the memorizing of the talking points - I forgot that part.
So while we probably shouldn't be all up in the grills of the first responders in NOLA, asking them what went wrong, because, you know, they have shit to do, maybe McClellan could spend some time thinking about this stuff and talking about it. He's not answering the questions not because it isn't the right time, he's not answering them because he doesn't want to. Duh. Obvious.
But it is the intellectual dishonesty and basic disrespect for both the press corps and the American people they represent that bugs me the most. It isn't like the press are taking up McClellan's valuable time and that McClellan will have his tie off even before he's outside of the briefing room on his way to board a helicopter to go flying rescue sorties. HE HAS NOTHING BETTER TO DO than sit around with the press and discuss, ad naseum, what went wrong. These two things (the blame game and the rescue/cleanup/relief) can be done simultaneous because they aren't being done by the same people.
So why should we put this off for later? Again, the reasons for that suggestion are obvious.
update (2:06pm) Media Matters for America