November 24, 2015

If I have this right, and I think I do, the part of Turkish airspace that Russia is accused of violating is a prong into Syria that is one to three miles wide. At military jet speeds, it wouldn't take more than a few seconds to cross. The Russians were flying a SU-24 swing-wing bomber, which can go low and slow for bombing runs, but still. The Turkish version suggests a prolonged intrusion, which is possible, but I note that the pilots and wreckage apparently fell into Syria.

Some say the event is a good thing because it draws a line that will better define expectations and make a safer space. I'm not sure, though I do think it's about time for someone to stand up to Mr. Putin. We wouldn't shoot down a MIG if it buzzed Disneyland.

November 24, 2015

Excerpt from this article on NBC News:

But in a sign the campaign and Trump himself may be at least a little concerned about the way his comments are perceived, the Donald made an impromptu call to NBC News Monday afternoon.

Offering reassurance that he had indeed seen video of the celebrations on television on and "all over the Internet," Trump said, "I have the world's greatest memory. It's one thing everyone agrees on."

November 23, 2015

I tried to watch some of the American Music Awards last night, but I couldn't stomach more than a few minutes. Maybe it's just pop music that's gone to hell. Maybe pop music never was that good. Oh, wait. The Beatles. The Beach Boys. Elvis. Hell, even Neil Diamond beats what was going on last night.

Unfortunately, I tuned in at about the time that One Direction performed. I can't imagine four more boring young gentlemen singing a more boring song. The crowd loved it. it was corporate. It was crap.

Paula Abdul and Jennifer Lopez? They're still around? Okay, J-Lo is still hot, but she's not exactly cutting edge. I think this person to the right should have hosted. She calls herself Z LaLa. She says she sings in 14 languages, including American Sign Language. I wish One Direction would consider that sign-language thing.

[Postscript: I just watched J-Lo's opening number (missed it last night) and I now retract any criticism regarding how long she's been around. Girl's still got it.]

Where was Mariah Carey? I missed her. Maybe she got stuck in something.

Wanting to do something to remember Paris (not a bad idea) the AMA chose Canadian Celine Dion singing Edith Piaf. Not just a clichè, a bad clichè. At least Dion did a great job imitating Piaf's intriguingly flat style, but why not bring in Françoise Hardy? (Because nobody in the room has heard of her and she's not backed by some monster music label.) Okay, keep it American for American Music Awards: feature Madeleine Peyroux, who was born in Georgia but moved to Paris and soaked it in. (But she doesn't dress in sequins and nobody knows her, either.) Oh, hell, let's just go with Celine.

I think I've lost the love for pop, except now and then. My most recent buys have been Walter Trout, Zac Brown and Adele. I guess Adele is pop, but not like Selena Gomez, who I think is married to Justin Bieber or something. Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber. I need a drink.

November 23, 2015

From the Washington Post's Daily 202:

— Ben Carson is in over his head: On C-SPAN last night, the retired neurosurgeon praised Thomas Jefferson for his role crafting the Constitution “in a way that it would control peoples’ natural tendencies and control the natural growth of the government.” Jefferson, as 202 readers surely know, was our ambassador to France during the Constitutional Convention and thus not involved in formulating the Constitution. He drafted the Declaration of Independence a decade earlier.

November 21, 2015

My, oh, my. Re my "Centcom" post below, the New York Times reports that Centcom has been blowing smoke about the effectiveness of its airstrikes against Daesh. You mean we didn't blow up 4,517 buildings?

November 21, 2015

This is a picture of Russian President Putin (in the balcony) visiting the new Russian military command center. He is there to watch airstrikes in Syria. He is on Russian TV. Very impressive. But here's the thing. Look closely at the picture (click here for larger). Can you spot anyone who is doing anything? Do those keyboards look like keyboards to you?