Friday, October 29, 2004

I was saddened today to hear of the passing of Vaughn Meader. His FIRST FAMILY album was perhaps the first time that I ever realized that anyone could actually make fun of the President of the United States. Done in such a good natured manner that even JFK was not offended.

Elayne and I, if memory serves, actually attended a party in NYC, following a performance by the Firesign Theatre, where Mr. Vaughn was in attendance.

My condolences and thoughts are with his family, friends and many fans.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

There is some amazing things coming out all over the place about the Administration's failure to safeguard the ammunition known to be Al Qaqaa. It's as if somebody at the Pentagon has decided that the "October Surprise" should be directed at G.W. & Co., rather than at Kerry. Of course, I suppose, there is the possibility that on election eve the Bush administration might come up with video showing Bin Laden in custody (or probably better for them, on a slab), but it doesn't seem like there is much they can do at this point.

Also, thanks to Mark Evanier for pointing out the article by Frank Rich which correctly states that some folks will vote for Kerry despite misgivings or disinterest. As I've stated before, if the election wasn't so close at this point I'd be tempted to vote third party, since I really can't get excited by Kerry. I really think we'd be better off with Edwards on the top of the ticket.

Frank Rich also brings up the point made by George Will (of all people!) that our current 'wars' have lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in WWI and almost as long as WWII (at least in Europe). Folks are just getting worn out by this thing and don't see an ending. Iraq has become Vietnam, at least in the minds of many Americans.
My poor father never lived to see this happen. I sometimes wondered if I would ever see the day myself, but it finally happened.


Of course, the NY Daily News felt it had to chime in with "See You Next Year!", plus a dig that the 'curse' was lifted just for this year. I mean can you really be such a sore loser? The Sox shoved the Yankees' face in the dirt, get over it. :-)

Let's see how much Steinbrenner will shell out next season for another group of overpaid stars who fold in the final stretch.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Back around 1972 I was dating a young lady, whom would eventually become my first wife. Unlike any other girl I’d ever known Betsy read and collected comic books. I’d been reading comics since around the age of six or seven, but had never really been aware of a ‘fandom’ of any sort. Maybe if I had grown up in a larger, metropolitan area it would have been different. Anyway, one day Betsy brought me a copy of a rather new publication called “The Buyer’s Guide for Comics Fandom”. It was on newsprint and filled with pages of ads & articles about comic books. To say that this was a revelation is an understatement.

It didn’t take me long to purchase my own subscription and even begin ordering some of the other ‘fanzines’ advertised in those teeny-tiny ads. (How zines came to change my life is a whole other story.) I had a subscription to TBG (later to be renamed “The Comic Buyer’s Guide” and going from monthly to weekly publication) on and off for about twenty years. The paper went through changes in editors, publishers and countless columnists over the past thirty years, but would still have been recognizable to those early readers. Then earlier this year Krause Publications, the current publisher, decided to radically change CBG. It’s now a monthly magazine, of close to three hundred pages. The new look features glossy pages, some color and is about the same size as your typical issue of COSMOPOLITAN.

Merlin Haas, a fellow member of the comics apa CAPA-ALPHA and its current Central Mailer, was kind enough to send me an extra copy of the September issue (#1596).

This cover features SPIDER-MAN 2, but also has some nice articles on the history of CATWOMAN on the screen, the decrease in words in comics (fewer balloons, captions and larger panels all contribute) and a nice overview of manga & anime in the U.S. by another fellow Capa-Alphan, Fred Patten. Along with these are reviews by Tony Isabella and others, a price guide (with additional mini-reviews and information on some titles), plus informative articles on trading cards, models and gaming. In addition Peter David, Craig Shutt, Heidi MacDonald and Allen Smith have articles, carrying over from the weekly publication.

Overall, I was really thrilled to see the changes, but even happier to see so many of the things I enjoyed about the old CBG continued and in some cases expanded. I think it’s time that I start subscribing again.

Could the BoSox actually be this close and blow it? The NY Daily News seems to hope as much with a backpage headline "What Could Go Wrong?" Maybe they should ask Joe Torre for advice? :-)

It will be interesting to see if a Red Sox win will be newsworthy enough to get the front page here in the home of the Yankees. I'm sure that at least the NY Times might give the Sox an 'above the fold' photo.

As I said yesterday the Cardinals are a very good team and I would be very surprised if they didn't come out tonight determined to use the home team advantage, if only for to keep the BoS0x from sweeping. Not that I wouldn't love to see it, of course!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

TEEN TITANS GO! (DC Comics) These are the last two comics I was able to pick up at the New York is Book Country festival earlier this month. For those of you unfamiliar with comics the original TEEN TITANS were the teenage sidekicks of adult DC heroes (Robin, Aqualad, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash & Speedy {this last the scarlet attired ward of the Green Arrow}). As the years (and popularity) went by the cast changed and eventually the group dropped the ‘teen’ from their name becoming the New Titans.

When the property was turned into the animated series on the Cartoon Network, the cast became a combination of old and new members. It now consists of Robin, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg and Beast Boy (who was originally a member of the Doom Patrol). The show itself is styled on almost pure Japanese anime, with the characters displaying strong emotion by comical facial distortion. The comic uses this same cartooning style, capturing the fun of the television series.

Issue #2 - "The Beast Who Cried Wolf" - Writer J.Torres does a take on the classic tale, with Garth (Beast Boy) playing tricks on his team mates, only to have it backfire. When a group of alien collectors come to Earth in search of the Dodo bird they are unable to locate one, so they decide to earn some extra reward by taking Starfire instead. Artists Todd Nauck and Lary Stucker capture the look of the animated series, inserting the manga-like ‘mini-characters’ on some pages to add further gags and poke fun at the story.

Issue #3 - "Lame" Features Cyborg, who is feeling sorry for himself, but learns a lesson from a group of kids who have learned to deal with their own handicaps. A nice story, without the moral being too heavy-handed and showing that this series is perfect for younger readers and their parents.

I give both issues a solid three stars and toss in an extra half star for some of the cuter gags in #2. Recommended for all ages, this is one of those books fans can suggest to kids who might not already read comics.

"Some people say that George Bush should be run down and sacrificed to the Rat gods. But not me. No. I say it would be a lot easier to just vote the bastard out of office on November 2nd."

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, over at the ROLLING STONE site.

Damn, you can't beat the good doctor when it comes to political insight. :-)

Monday, October 25, 2004

I know I shouldn't get my hopes up, since the Cardinals have proven themselves to be a very effective team. However, I'm going to go out on a limb and say BoSox in six games.

Curt Schilling was amazing once again and anyone who bad mouths the guy isn't a real baseball fan. He went out there when 95% of MLB players would have been sitting at home watching the game on TV.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Apparently when the number of American deaths in Iraq hit 1000 it was news. Now that the figure has risen to over 1100 it's not really worth the effort to report. Let's also ignore the over 7000 men & women serving overseas who have been wounded & maimed (sometimes loosing limbs). Guess it's more important to discuss how that damned Kerry 'outed' the VP's openly gay daughter.


Justice League Adventures #33 – “Disappearing Act” features a ‘guest appearance’ by Robin, who narrates the story (in much the same way as he does his own title). When Batman disappears, while working on a case, Robin decides he should contact the JL for assistance. Writer Matthew Manning does a nice job, keeping the all the heroes ‘in character’ and consistent with how they are portrayed in the animated series. The art team of Tim Levins and Robin Riggs does a good job, giving the individual heroes & villains their own look. (Aside to Elayne: I’m only used to seeing Robin’s work on the mainstream DC books, so it was a pleasant surprise to see how well he and Levins did with this type of comic. Is he the regular inker?)

While listening to Robin (the character and NOT the inker) detail what he knows about his mentor’s disappearance the JL learn the Dark Knight was looking into a robbery. Needless to say they are really surprised to discover that the perpetrator of the robbery may be their fellow League member, the Martian Manhunter. In short order, the team receives an alert stating that another member, Green Lantern, is also committing a robbery. It seems that both rogue heroes have stolen pieces of a talisman. This item is no ordinary artifact but may enable the person who assembles all three sections to command an ‘army of the undead’.

Before the story ends we discover that while Clayface may be the one impersonating the JL members, it’s yet another arch-criminal who is actually the one behind the scheme. We also find out what happened to Batman. A solid done-in-one story that will interest folks who enjoy the JL series, or for old timers like me who remember that comic creators used to be able to tell such stories in less than four issues. Three & a half stars.

Who would have believed this less then a week ago? The BoSox not ONLY come from behind to force a Game Six, but actually take four straight games from (even I have to admit) one of the best teams in the baseball. I was actually sitting at home last night until after midnight in my shorts Brooklyn Dodgers t-shirt & 'official' Boston Red Sox cap. Let me say it again....YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While I'd dearly love to see the boys win the World Series, just making the Yankees look hopeless in the final game was joy enough for this Connecticut kid. :-)

Oh, and congrats to the Cardinals for coming from behind to force the NL series into Game Seven as well. I don't really care which team wins but it certainly builds hope that this is going to be one incredible World Series.

On a conspiratorial note, I'm in agreement with Randi Rhodes that the problems Air America had broadcasting yesterday were indeed strange. I thought it was my walkman's batteries going, or I was just in a bad reception area. Glad to have them back on the air today.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004 brought it to my attention that the U.S. Navy is going to try out some new working uniforms. If you care enough you can check out the official Department of the Navy site and see a few photos. It looks as though they are going for the camouflage look. Why they feel this is necessary on a ship is beyond me, but then I was just an enlisted guy and didn't take officer training. :-)

Back when I was serving in the mid-70s the Navy tried another uniform change, which proved totally unsuccessful. They ended up going back to the traditional work and dress uniforms after making sailors spend hundreds of dollars of their uniform allotments on the new style (which of course, they could no longer wear). This time around they'll 'test' the outfits on several ships and land stations before having everybody hand in their dungarees. Wisely, they are NOT replacing the traditional dress blue outfit, which it known through out the world.

Personally, I have a feeling that the whole thing comes down to a political kickback of some kind. Rumor had it that that was what brought about the uniform change of the '70s.
I did promise a few comics reviews last week, but never got around to posting them. Here's an issue of the latest Scooby-Doo series from our pals at DC Comics.
Scooby-Doo! #87 (DC) - I’d be lying if I didn’t admit at the outset that I’m a huge Scooby-Doo fan. I have been since I first caught the show back when it premiered in 1969. Of course, being the SD ‘purist’ that I am, it’s really only the original foursome and their adventures which I hold as gospel. Those lesser shows with Scrappy and the “cousins” (whose names escape me) really don’t count. I think that I’m not the only one who feels this way as the folks who put the first SD film together demonstrated brilliantly.

Anyway, this issue of the comic was given away as a freebie at New York Is Book Country and I couldn’t resist (first, because it was FREE and secondly because I was curious how SD & Co. translated to the comics’ page). I believe there have been a few SD series from various publishers, but I don’t recall ever picking up an issue prior to this.

The first story “The Monster of Shoogy Cove” finds Mystery, Inc. visiting Shaggy’s uncle at the beach. Uncle Shoogy owns a small food stand (naturally!) and is being pressured by the larger hotels in the area to sell off his prime piece of real estate. While the gang is getting ready for some ‘sun & fun’ a mysterious shark monster begins terrorizing the beach. It’s up to the foursome to discover just who is responsible. Like the best of the cartoons the gang is all perfectly portrayed with all their trademark quirks in place. Writer Ivan Velee, Jr. does a nice job keeping the action and gags coming. The art by Robert Pope & Dave Hunt captures the look of the characters as we have come to know them. There’s nothing special here, but it’s true to the creations.

“Multi-Monster Mania” is a four page change of pace, which allows the reader to guess the identity of the bad guy by clues shown in the first couple of pages. John Rozum keeps the story short, just giving enough so the reader can play along. It was nice to see Joe Staton doing the pencils on this and the next story aided on both by Scott McRae with the inks. Staton’s cast is not exactly ‘on model’ as they say, but everyone is recognizable. His slightly cartoony style is perfect for this type of thing, although I miss his E-Man & Michael Mauser stuff.

The final story, “Unfair at the Fair”, by writer Robbie Busch takes us back to the classic type of SD story with the gang helping out Velma’s Aunt Gretchen. It seems that Gretchen’s medieval fair is being ‘haunted’ by a phantom jester. Could it be the work of her former employees the Razz Brothers, who have opened their own competing high-tech version of the fair nearby? Only the Mystery, Inc. gang can figure it out, and you know they will.

This is a fun title for kids and older fans of the cartoon show. Nothing classic or completely original, but that wasn’t why we all watched the show to begin with. It was just to spend time with that dog and his friends to see what mischief they could get in to, and then out of. Three stars.
You can say the "calls" went our way, but we'll take the win anyway. :-)

My naturally cynical nature will not allow me to get too upbeat about the BoSox chances of going four out of four with the Yankees, especially in the Stadium. However, it certainly does look like we have momentum going in. There have been a few late nights, but this has been classic baseball. Curt Schilling and the team will have no reason to feel bad, even if they do find themselves on the way back to Bean Town minus the pennant. What a great story for the book that Stephen King is currently writing!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

For the second night in a row David Ortiz came through when his team (and their fans) needed him. Man, that was one long a** game! I worked last night, so didn't get home until around 9:45pm. I figured that everything but the weeping would be over at that point, but the BoSox finally decided not to lie down and let the Yankees kick them around. Should have happened a couple of games ago, but we'll take what we can get. :-)

I'm cynic enough not to believe that the Yankees are going to go down twice more, but it would be wonderful to see it go for the complete seven games.

Btw, are the Fox commentators (Tim McCarver, especially) looking for gigs at the YES Network? The might as well have set up in the booth with Yankee pinstripes on! I know the networks would probably prefer having the Yankees in the World Series, since the rating would be higher, but at least pretend NOT to favor one team over the other.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Even reading the number of book reviews which I do each week, it's impossible to keep up with all the new material coming out. It's even harder to try and sample new writers. One way I try is by signing up for as e-mail book club.

Dearreader.Com was started by Suzanne Beecher allowing folks to sign up for a 'five minute' section of a book to be e-mailed to them Monday to Friday. By the end of the week you've usually read one or two chapters and have a good idea if that book would be something you'd like to eith buy or check out at the library. Suzanne has eleven 'book clubs', covering various genres, even one on audio-books. I've signed up for the "Mystery" and "Pre-publication" sections.

I've put a link to the book club site over on the left, but you can also check out Suzanne's new blog at which includes her personal observations.
Well, at least it won't be a sweep. I know my Sox well enough that I can't expect them to win the next three games. As I said last week, I just have to hope the NL team kicks butt when they get to Yankee Stadium.

Don't see the mainstream press talking about the resignation of two major RNC functionaries for election fraud. I guess that won't be a 'story' until Nov. 3rd when lawyers for both parties begin filing suits & counter-suits. Anybody think the Supreme Court WON'T end up involved in this one?

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Three items related to my TV watching last night:

1) ABC's new series LOST, continues to add twists and great back stories to the large group of characters. Donna and I both enjoy the show, which surprised me a bit, since Donna isn't really big on that type of thing (I mean the SF elements).

2) Once again, neither candidate really knocked down the other. Bob Scheiffer was pitching nothing but softballs at both candidates, not really allowing anything new to come forth. As an Agnostic I am a bit disturbed by all the talk of faith and G** we heard, but I'm probably in the minority. Best thing was Kerry getting Bush to deny he ever said he 'wasn't concerned' about Bin Laden. Let's go to the videotape! Also, it's creepy watching G.W. trying to make lame jokes when he doesn't have a filtered audience.

3) *sigh* I got a bad feeling, even with the series going to Boston for the next few games. It will be difficult for the Sox to comeback, especially given that thier two best pictures already beaten. It doesn't look like Curt will even be able to get back on the mound.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Adventures of Superman #628 – I haven’t read an issue of a SUPERMAN title in a few years. It was probably during one of those cross-over events, back when I was reading cross-over events in titles I didn’t generally read anyway. My knowledge of what has been going on in the DC Universe comes mostly from what I picked up from the titles I was buying until mid-April of this year or from comments made in Tony Isabella’s various columns. In other words, I was practically a new reader coming into the current Superman storyline.

This issue starts out with Supes looking down at the body (we have to assume from comments made by several characters) of Replikon. I gather that this is a reoccurring villain in the current DCU, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of him before. Then again, both DC and Marvel have a habit of bring back old villains (and heroes) under new names, so it’s possible that I would have been familiar with this particular character. Anyway, it is assumed by the SCU (the Metropolis police S.W.A.T. team which deals with super-powered menaces) that Superman killed Replikon during their battle. The SCU seems willing to let that go, but Superman, being the hero we know him to be (unless written by John Byrne in some cases) does NOT take life. Superman feels that Replikon had been ‘modified’ to some extent and that this change could have brought about his death. We learn later in the book that somebody is indeed behind this. (I get the feeling that regular readers may know or suspect who the behind-the-scene villain may be, because of the last page of the story. Folks like me haven’t a clue.)

We get the impression (and if Tony hadn’t mentioned this in passing I’d still be unsure) that Clark is not the top reporter for the Daily Planet that he once was. Again, thanks to no explanation by writer Gregg Rucka (who I generally happen to like) we have to guess at certain things by off-hand comments by other characters. Meanwhile, Lois Lane is being sent off to Umac (which, again from hints in the dialogue, seems to be the DCU stand-in for either Iraq or Afghanistan, or perhaps both) to cover the up-coming election. Clark (he’s actually Superman, but the reader probably knows at least that much) isn’t really happy about that, but Lois tells him that she’ll be careful. Clark/Supes tells Lois that he cannot get involved should something happen, because as the Man of Steel he must not seem to be involved.

The cover of the issue says that the book will ‘guest star’ Green Lantern and Wonder Woman, or rather that their chest insignia will appear somewhere in the issue, since that is what appears on the cover and not the actual names of the characters. Why does DC take it for granted that a new reader (totally unfamiliar with anything, except perhaps Superman’s Big Red “S”) would recognize the stylized “WW” or lantern design?

To be fair both characters do appear for short sequences. Green Lantern (the John Stewart version familiar to TV viewers at this point) shows up in an outer space scene, which I will assume takes place after the death of Replikon, but it isn’t made clear. Would it have ruined the page layout to have placed a small “Later that day….” caption somewhere, just to give the reader some sense of time? It’s possible that, given the ‘artistic’ cut between the last time we saw Superman to the next time we see Clark that the journey to Replikon’s planet is a flashback. Wonder Woman makes an appearance (even her butt gets a one panel close up, for no story purpose) to toss in some double-entendres (or perhaps I’m reading too much into what is said) and promises Lois that she’ll keep an eye on Clark during her assignment.

Rucka gives enough hints for the reader to see where the writer may be going in future installments. In my case, none of them are reason enough to pick up another issue. Many writers, probably with editorial urging, seem to be writing everything as if you are reading a trade paperback collection and not simply trying a single issue, which just happens to be part of a multi-issue story arc. As THE Tony Isabella has repeatedly reminded us, any issue can be somebody’s first. The old-timers kept this in mind.

Penciller Matthew Clark and inker (No first name given, or is this his first) Nelson do a good job on the art, even though the female characters do seem to pose quite a bit. They also don’t create enough facial differences between the women in the story, so it’s only the skin shades and hairdos which set them apart. If WW hadn’t been wearing her costume you would have been hard pressed to tell her from Lois during their scene together. George Perez, for one, is an artist who has enough skill and range so that you could almost always tell who was who, in costume or not. Sadly, too many artists have a half dozen or so faces which they use for every character.

Overall I’ll give the issue two and a half stars. If I’d been able to follow what was going on a bit better I might have given it three.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was able to pick up some ‘give aways’ from the DC Comics booth at New York Is Book Country. I’m going to try this week to review all those comics. It’s been a while since I’ve written any comics reviews here so bear with me while I try to get back into the swing of things.

CMX Manga Preview – 2004 (DC Comics): A digest sized sampler of the first few stories to be serialized in this manga (Japanese comics) line from the publisher. It’s been said before, but one of the most fascinating things is the wide-range of material that the Japanese comics industry is willing to put out. Unlike their American counterparts, who seem to believe that anything outside the super-hero/action genre is risky, the Japanese creators give free range to their imaginations. Everything from sports to gambling to dance and hobbies has their own comics devoted to them. CMX brings to the U.S. English translations of books which, in many cases, have not been available at all in this country.

Among the series are: SWAN tells the story of a young girl who dreams of being a great ballerina and how she goes about trying to bring her goal to realization; MUSASHI NUMBER NINE is about a secret organization fighting international terrorism, and features a member of the team passing herself off as a high-school student.; PHANTOM THIEF JEANNE features another high school girl, this one a reincarnation of Joan of Arc(kind of a cross between JOAN OF ARCADIA & BUFFY) who uses her supernatural abilities to steal paintings which house demons; and the adult-themed FROM EROICA WITH LOVE which features three operatives with super-natural abilities trying to capture the art thief Eroica, who is in actuality a member of British royalty, Dorian Red Gloria. Dorian is gay, as is at least one of the operatives. An odd mixture of romance & comedy, it will be interesting to see how a title featuring an openly gay protagonist sells in the States.

Manga seems to be selling pretty well in bookstores and in comic shops. Working in a public library, I get a lot of requests from kids and teenage patrons for just about anything in manga form. The American comics industry would be wise to not only republish the original Japanese titles, but to try and utilize the format for their own creations.
Okay, let's get it out of the way right off the bat. G**DAMN YANKEES!!!!!

*sigh* Thanks, I feel better.

Friday, October 08, 2004

I don't know if I'd missed it previously, or if it is new, but I heard the advertisement for Operation Truth on Air America this morning. Quite effective.

"This is the sound of an AK-47...this is the sound of a car bomb going off a block away...." followed by rapid clips of various Fox and pro-GOP talking heads. With the tag being these are folks advocating something they know nothing about.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I figured I'd join the other bloggers who have linked to Hey, if it's good enough for the VP, it's good enough for the likes of me. :-)

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I haven't anything to say about the debates last night, since I was attending a wake. By the time we arrived back home the thing was over. I didn't even find out about the playoff results until this morning. Naturally, I couldn't be happier about the results in both the Red Sox and Yankee games. :-)

Apparently, Cheney didn't fall about like his boss and both sides are claiming victory. It will be interesting to see if G.W. comes off better in the second debate. We'll have to wait and see.

Monday, October 04, 2004

It was a pretty hectic weekend around here, with both ups and downs.

The high point was the New York is Book Country fair, this year held in Washington Square Park. I have been trying to attend on an annual basis, since I first discovered the event while living in Westport, CT. This had to have been either 1980 or '81. The festival used to be held on the last Sunday in September (depending on the Jewish holidays), along Fifth Ave. Personally, I prefer the new location, which is more spread out and really has the feeling of a festival.

Had the opportunity, like last year, to get together with my ex (Elayne Riggs) and her friend & fellow blogger Roxanne. Elayne actually took a picture, showing my goofy self, with Roxanne wisely choosing to remain anonymous. We grabbed lunch at Japonica, which was a favorite place back when Elayne and I were married. The old location, now an Italian place I believe, was where I had my one and only fugu experience. Remind me to tell you all that one of these days.

I picked up a few books and magazines, plus some free comics (which DC was handing out). I'll review some of the goodies in the next week or so.

Sadly, the weekend also witnessed the death of a family member. One of Donna's cousins lost her husband of fifty three years. He had gone in for a heart by-pass operation and it was discovered that his heart was much worse than at first suspected. He leaves behind not only his wife, but also three children and several grandchildren. Mario was a nice guy and we'll miss him at family events. Rest in peace.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Even over at the Fox News site they can't come out and say that Bush won last night. Of course, they state that even though G.W. didnt' come off well, he was 'right' on the issues.

I wasn't able to catch the whole event, since I was on the subway during most of it. I did catch the last half or so and thought Kerry did an outstanding job. He was decisive and looked at ease, while G.W. looked like he wasn't sure why he had to be there with somebody who disagreed with him. If Kerry is able to maintain that manner in the next two debates, as well as in public appearances I think he may have a shot at actually swinging those undecided (which I really think is a much smaller group than some pollsters would have you believe, at this point).

Got to hear the line about 'leashing' his daughters, which is one of those jokes parents will say to one another, but seems odd coming from Mr. Family Values. As they pointed out on Morning Sedition, it also is borderline bad taste given what went on at Abu Ghraib.

It will be interesting to see how the Bush supporters spin this one (and you know they will), trying to convince us all that G.W. actually won the thing.

Now there all those stories about how the 'debate agreement' called for NO reaction shots. I figured with the folks at Fox working the cameras they would do exactly that. Guess they couldn't resist the split screen shots, but it may have backfired. You can bet there were phone calls from Rove to the Fox control room shortly after the handshake took place. :-)

This really should have been Bush's best shot, since he has shaped his campaign on his leadership in the War on Terror and as Commander-in-Chief. The upcoming debates on the economy, ecology and social issues are going to be more difficult. To use the phrase that you hear on Air America, "They got nothing!"