Friday, January 18, 2008

 

Rudy Meltdown Watch

Giuliani takes the fifth. Fifth place in California, that is.

The RAG prediction that Rudy doesn't win a Super Tuesday state outside of New York and New Jersey is looking pretty good right now (though NJ could prove me wrong yet).

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DeLay of Game

John McCain is by no means a perfect person or perfect person candidate. He's been on the wrong side of a couple of issues. But he's responsible for "betraying" the conservative movement?

Right.

Ask anyone who might have been paying attention back in 2006 what they thought were the main reasons why Republicans lost the House and Senate. Yes, the Iraq War was part of it. But so too was Republican overspending -- and rampant corruption (particularly in the House). What role did John McCain play in any of that? On the contrary, he was the one always decrying the GOP's profligacy.t

Conversely, how much did the legal troubles of
The Indicted Hammer (AKA former majority leader) contribute to the ethical cloud that hovered -- continues to hover? -- over Republicans?

And this man -- now running a brand new operation called the Coalition for a Conservative Majority and
whose former aides almost single-handedly helped spread the Jack Abramoff corruption infection throughout the party -- has the nerve to accuse John McCain of "betraying" conservatism?

Pathetic doesn't quite describe this.

Tom DeLay isn't qualified to pass moral judgment on anyone -- and certainly not John McCain.

UPDATE: First sentence now corrected.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

 

Open Thread

After having so much fun the last couple of days with that nasty flu bug going around, your host isn't quite up and running for daily blogging yet. So, consider this an early thread to share a couple of things that might have been missed.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

 

Pigskin Pick'em Playoffs - Divisional Results/Championship Preview

Time to give Bill Barker some kudos (try to keep your breakfast down people): Barker aced last weekend's games. On the other hand, Mark English swung for the fences and struck out. Here are the playoff results so far:
Bill Barker - 7
Audio Dave - 6
EdMcGon - 5
David Stefanini - 5
Robert A. George - 5
J. Mark English - 1

With only three games left, it looks like a Barker vs. Audio Dave horse race, with the rest of us as the "Fred" (as in Thompson) in the race.

Here are my picks for this weekend's games (with other pertinent info):

San Diego Chargers at New England Patriots (Sunday at 3:00 p.m. EST, game temperature estimated at 22°F): The paradigm of recent times versus possible all-time perfection?

The Chargers represent the "paradigm of recent times", where a team follows up an outstanding season where they failed in the playoffs with a good season where they win the Super Bowl. Last year, the 12-4 Colts won the Super Bowl after going 14-2 the previous season and losing in the playoffs to the 11-5 Steelers, who had gone 15-1 the previous season. Ironically, the 15-1 Steelers lost in the AFC Championship to the Patriots, who were the last team to win consecutive Super Bowls.

The Chargers went 14-2 last year, losing to the Patriots in the Divisional Round. Is this year's 11-5 Charger team good enough to keep the paradigm going, or will they fall to the Patriots' pursuit of perfection?

There is one important difference between the Chargers this year and last year: Norv Turner. That alone may be enough to keep the Chargers from going any further in the playoffs.

While the Chargers surprised a lot of people, me included, by beating the Colts last weekend, that game was clearly a case of the hungrier team winning. The Colts did not have the "fire in the belly" after winning the Super Bowl last year.

As for the Patriots, they have busted paradigms before by being the last team to win consecutive Super Bowls. They busted the 30+ year-old "perfect season" paradigm this year. Another paradigm goes down this weekend.

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers (Sunday at 6:30 p.m. EST, game temperature estimated at 10°F): The best road team this year (outside of New England) versus the ultimate home field advantage (aka "The Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field"). But the fact the Giants are 7-1 on the road while the Packers are 7-1 at home is more of an interesting statistic than a deciding factor in this game.

Both teams are almost statistically identical on defense. Offense is where this game will be decided, and the Packers rate the edge there. While the Giants are better running the ball, the Packers are better at passing. In a game that figures to come down to the end, who would you rather have at quarterback with two minutes on the clock? As much as I rag on Favre, he is the clear choice. Manning may keep the Giants in the game, but Favre will win it.


(Hat tip to
Foxsports.com for game info)

(For the rules, see
this post.)

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

 

RAG on NPR

Farai Chideya, Roland Martin and yours truly discuss the Clinton-Obama racial smackdown.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

 

Primary Colors II

In the "race war", that has broken out between the Clinton and Obama camps, there are two issues: The Obama forces are being way too sensitive on Hillary's "Martin Luther King vs. LBJ" point -- as well as Bill's use of the phrase "fairy tale" in the context of press coverage on Obama's opposition to the war (one doesn't have to accept the Clinton spin on how "committed" Obama was to recognize that Bill was referring to press scrutiny and not Obama himself as a "fairy tale.") . In just these two examples, it's fair to say that there is a bit too much sensivity coming from the black community.

On the other hand, there do seem to be a high number of these rather smarmy incidents coming from Clinton campaign surrogates. My comic acquaintance Baratunde Thurston has
created a wiki that chronicles the phrases that seem to pop up "accidentally." As Arsenio Hall once said, these are things that make you go, "Hmmm...."

One of those incidents is BET founder Robert Johnson's speech at a Hillary rally in South Carolina where he appears to allude to Obama's drug past.
Andrew Sullivan has the video. The "Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood -- I won't say what he was doing, but he said it in his book..." line is Baby Boomer cultural warfare sliming rhetoric at its best/worst. Johnson added that Obama was naive, thinking like the world was like a '60s movie:


"That kind of campaign behavior does not resonate with me, for a guy who says, 'I want to be a reasonable, likable, Sidney Poitier 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.' And I'm thinking, I'm thinking to myself, this ain't a movie, Sidney. This is real life.
If Obama wants this sort of thing to stop, he can't just whine about it. Whining is like explaining in politics -- if you're doing either, you're losing. This is something that Democratic presidential candidates (with the exception of Bill Clinton) never seem to understand.

Thus, Obama needs to turn this around: The response to Johnson's crack that Obama is taking racial cues from "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" is to say, "Well, I'd rather my daughters learned about race from a movie like that -- giving an optimistic view of society -- than from the trash Mr. Johnson's BET often inflicts on Black America with scantily-clad women shaking their behinds and gangstas rappers using N-, B- and H- words gratuitously. Does Mr. Johnson believe that that is 'real life'? Does Mrs. Clinton associate herself with the images of women that Mr. Johnson's network has been spewing for years now?"


These are some questions to which many of the women of South Carolina might appreciate hearing some answers.

Given everything else that is going on in the world, this is a stupid side-show discussion, but Obama had better realize that if he doesn't return fire in some fashion, he'll be in a bodybag and carted off the field before he even knows it.

UPDATE: Welcome, Andrew Sullivan readers! Thanks for dropping by.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

 

Separating the Manning From The 'Boys

Wow.

Who'd a thunk that the Manning brother going to Conference Championship Weekend would be Eli -- and not Peyton?

Who'd a thunk Eli (0 INTs) would outplay Peyton (2 INTs)?

Who'd a thunk that the two often-maligned QBs (Eli and Philip Rivers) traded for one another on draft day two years ago -- would make Conference Championship games on the same afternoon?

Who'd a thunk when the pressure was most intense, Eli Manning would outplay Tony Romo?

Who'd a thunk the New York FOOTBALL Giants would win 9 consecutive games on the road?

Who'd a thunk that the Dallas Cowboys would be the first NFC Number One seed to lose during the divisional round since the current playoff format was adopted in 1990? Record of all Number Ones before Sunday? 17-0.

And, oh yeah, it's now 12 years and counting since the Cowboys last won a playoff game.

Sweet.

UPDATE: Modified to reflect that the Cowboys are the first NFC Number One seed to lose in the divisional round. The Chiefs and the Colts, to name two, have been upset as Number One seeds in the AFC first round.

UPDATE II: Who'd a thunk that Terrell Owens (whom an ESPN analyst described today as someone who, "has destroyed the careers of more quarterbacks than Michael Strahan") would shed tears over the media treatment of Tony Romo? I'm guessing that no one had the heart to tell T.O. that the New Hampshire primary was already over -- that he had no chance to see if his "emotional moment" might elicit him a few write-in votes?

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