Archive for June 22nd, 2012


Jake Tapper has seen Aaron Sorkin’s new show, and he didn’t like it…

June 22, 2012

Jake Tapper is the ABC News Senior White House Correspondent. He has been one of the few in the While House press corps to ask serious questions instead of sucking up to the press secretary as he spoons out the disinformation week after week. So, I have more than a little respect for him.

I have a weird love-hate relationship with Aaron Sorkin’s work. I’ve not seen his Facebook movie, but I watched all of “The West Wing” and “Sports Night” and even the few episodes of “Studio 60” that made it to air. I liked “A Few Good Men” and I liked a lot about “An American President,” even if I didn’t like the politics (and as I got older the whole plot about the President’s girlfriend sleeping over at the White House made me more uncomfortable).

I felt Sorkin’s handling of liberal and conservative sides of issues in “The West Wing” was more even-handed than I ever expected. Sometimes he actually wrote something that got me to think. And his writing style was captivating. Not so much the walk-and-talk dialogs that became his trademark, but the rapid-fire exchanges between characters that always left me wishing I could be that clever that fast. (Of course, the characters only are because Sorkin and his writers spent hours and hours writing that kind of dialog, but you know what I mean.) Once Sorkin had fallen out of favor with NBC and he was taken off the show, I felt the dialog lost its sparkle and the show lurched harder left.

Anyway, when I saw HBO had a new Sorkin show coming out, another of his “behind the scenes” ideas, I sort of looked forward to it. I didn’t like the promo I saw of it…but I couldn’t separate if I really didn’t like the promo or just Jeff Daniels, who has never been one of my favorite actors.

Jake Tapper just posted a review on the website for The New Republic and it makes me sad. I was hoping it would be a good show, at least somewhat even-handed politically. But from the way Tapper tells it, we’re going to get more conservative-bashing instead. If I want that I can look for Nancy Pelosi speeches on YouTube.

I may still watch it, just to see if I perceive it differently. But if Tapper thinks it’s partisan, I tend to believe him. Oh, well. Back to reruns of “NCIS” for me, I guess.


Beautiful video of an Atlas 5 launch

June 22, 2012

I’ve been critical of United Launch Alliance, not because of the quality of their work but because of what I perceive as a sweetheart deal with NASA and the Federal Government in general that they were able to wrangle by spinning off the Boeing and Lockheed Martin space launch units into one “joint venture.” However, I have to say that they have this launch thing down. This video is a montage of an Atlas 5 launch last week of a National¬†Reconnaissance¬†Office classified satellite. It doesn’t have the solid strap-on boosters, so it doesn’t have the jump off the pad like the one I saw when we were in Orlando in May. Instead, it has one of those graceful, smooth liftoffs that give you time to appreciate what the machine can do. I wish I had been there to see it! I did get to see it on a live streaming video feed on Spaceflight Now. Check them out. They do the best job of documenting current space flight that I’ve seen on the web. The YouTube video was put together by ULA.