Monday, October 31, 2005

Don't believe the hype!

So there's been a lot of talk the last few days, since Scooter Libby was indicted, that Karl Rove is still in legal danger. Let me preface this by saying that I know absolutely nothing about Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation except what I read in the newspapers, but having sat on a federal grand jury, I find it highly unlikely that Rove will face any kind of indictment. Here's why:
Now that the grand jury Fitzgerald was using has been let go, he would have to basically start again from the beginning with a new grand jury. Every piece of testimony relating to Rove would have to be presented once again to the grand jury, either by reading transcripts, bringing FBI agents and witnesses to testify again, etc. It seems like a lot of work for a guy who said he was looking forward to getting back to Chicago. If he really wanted to indict Rove, I think he would have done it last week. Remember--grand juries really will, as the cliche goes, indict a ham sandwich, so he must not have had enough evidence to have won a case at trial.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Wow, they had it even worse than I did!

I was amazed this morning to read a little about the grand jury hearing the CIA leak investigation. Earlier this year, I finished serving on a 18-month federal grand jury (which was extended to 20 months) which met once a week. But the CIA grand jury has already served 24 months and meets twice a week! I thought I had it bad. Then again, I usually read the newspaper because my grand jury was so boring. I would have been a lot more excited to drive to the federal court in Greenbelt if Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Judy Miller and Tim Russert had been testifying.....

A couple other notes: Many liberals are saying the withdrawal of Harriet Miers shows that the "far right" has won and controls Bush, etc. I'm not sure exactly who the "far right" is, but any definition has got to include a guy like James Dobson, and he was in favor of the nomination, wasn't he? The most outspoken against this nomination were people like Bill Kristol, George Will, Charles Krauthammer and David Frum, people who are certainly strong conservatives ideologically, but pretty mainstream on the right.

Oh, and nice job, Fox and MLB. You topped yourself last night by starting Game 4 of the World Series at 8:41, so you could show us the "Latino Legends" team and lots of commercials. (I have nothing against the Latino Legends team, but should a "legends" team be mostly made of people still playing, many still in the prime of their careers? Is it really that exciting to see Pedro Martinez and Alex Rodriguez introduced? We just saw them playing a couple weeks ago.) So the game last night didn't end until midnight, when many on the East Coast had likely gone to bed. If they had started the game at 8:10, maybe people would have stayed up until 11:30. But I'm sure those baseball owners know what they're doing...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Great work, Fox and MLB!

Yes, last night's World Series game still would have ended really late, but why was the first pitch not made until 8:39 p.m. last night? Did we really need the performance by Wynonna Judd, Michael McDonald, Eric Benet, a choir, etc. of Wynonna's new song before the national anthem?

And most amazingly, with 39 minutes of pre-game, Fox still couldn't fit in showing Nolan Ryan throwing out the first pitch live, but had to show a brief snippet on tape. I'm no Astros fan, but it does seem that seeing one of the most famous Astros ever throw out the first pitch at the first World Series game in Houston might be a little bit more interesting than a pre-game concert to most baseball viewers. (Although there probably were a number of viewers who enjoyed saying, "Hey, that's the guy that cheated on Halle Berry" when Eric Benet came on the screen.)

I thought when the problem of late starts and even later endings first came to the surface in the late 1990s, Major League Baseball agreed to start weekend playoff games by 7:30 and weekday games by 8:15. I guess they forgot about that. But of course, the baseball owners are the same gang of incompetents who still haven't gotten around to selling the Washington Nationals, more than a year after the team was awarded to the city. And this morning, a story in The Washington Times reports that the holdup, according to city sources, is that MLB wants some kind of clause not making the owner pay rent if the team can't play in the stadium because of natural disaster or terrorist attack. Talk about greed--the lease payments are only $6 million a year, which is a whole lot of money in my world, but not much in the world of baseball. And when you look at Tom Benson of the New Orleans Saints, who is reportedly using Katrina as a way to move his team out of the city, I can't blame the District for not giving in. Especially if the team ends up with an outsider like Smulyan. But that's a rant for another time...