Friday, April 04, 2008

 

Open Thread

Thread lightly, thread safely.

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Boulder Bound

So, I'm flying out to Colorado this weekend to participate in the Conference on World Affairs, held annually at the University of Colorado. I will be immersed in several panels, sitting side-by-side "Simpsons" writers, lead singers of old punk bands and the occasional conservative think tank type. Follow the site above to find out exactly what panels I'll be on.

We'll be discussing everything from civil liberties to torture to evil Hollywood to feminism and so on.

I will try to weigh in every now and then from Boulder, but to guarantee that there will be fresh content at RT next week, some guest-bloggers will drop in. RT regular, football maven and all-around Brett Favre-hater, Ed McGonigal will be offering some of his political insights (probably dissing Barack Obama as much as he can). And, for the first time here, my friend David Bernstein (who is not the same guy who blogs over at the Volokh Conspiracy) will weigh in on something or other. David is a long-time veteran of the publishing world; his latest venture -- among many hats -- is The New Pamphleteer.

Please treat them as you would...ah, who am I kidding? You'll do what you'll always do -- get feisty and say what's on your mind!

And we wouldn't have it any other way!

Ed and David, thanks in advance! Have fun while I'm away.

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That $5 Million Hillary Loaned Her Campaign...

... doesn't really amount to a whole lot in a $109 million universe, right?

Hey, I'm a capitalist. Not bad work if you can get it.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

 

No Bowling For Dollars...

...but the Obama money train rolls on:

Clearly, Obama's campaign is on the ropes. His fundraising dropped off by about 25 percent!

Of course, when your previous month was a record $55 million, you can afford a little "slowdown." Which, of course, this isn't. Another 218,000 first-time donors. HRC, meanwhile, is expected to raise about $20 million -- but owes nearly $9 mullion to vendors who are getting a bit antsy
over late payments.

Wonder what they have to say about the new Clinton ad
invoking an economic "crisis" and "home forclosures mounting" and "markets teetering"?

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

 

Black Men Can Think; ESPN Can't

LZ Granderson has an excellent column over at ESPN.com's Page 2, discussing race in sports. More accurately, the column is about the media's view of race in sports.
Could you imagine what would happen if Hollywood released a comedy about football entitled "Black Men Can't Throw"? Rush Limbaugh would be sitting in the theater chuckling with a box of Ho Hos in his lap as movie execs tried to explain to Jesse Jackson and/or Al Sharpton why he/they should not be offended.
Yet men and women of both races who are otherwise intelligent not only embrace
the notion inherent to "White Men Can't Jump," but it is spoken about as if it's scientific fact.
This is true in the barbershop.
This is true at the local Y.
Apparently it's true on national television as well.
Just last week I watched a pair of journalists dismiss the pro potential of both Tyler
Hansbrough and Kevin Love for no other reason than their skin color.
"The last time a big white guy from college especially went from a big-time star to a
big-time star in the NBA, I think there were still laces on the ball," one of
them said.

What was both brave, yet ultimately disappointing, about Granderson's piece is that the "journalists" that he was taking to task worked for ESPN. Yep, it's true: The conversation occurred last Friday on ESPN2's "First Take" morning show. In the regular segment "First-and-10", host/moderator Jay Crawford, regular Skip Bayliss and Robert Parker (who is black) had the above described discussion. Indeed, it was Parker that made the laces comment.

Not one of them stopped to consider how racist the discussion was -- the subtext being that none of these white college players have much of a shot in the NBA.

One of the things that stunned me was that in this conversation, no one mentioned that a white guy has been named NBA MVP for three years in a row -- Steve Nash twice and Dirk Novitski. Furthermore, the second best player on San Antonio is, arguably, Manu Ginobli. The Lakers went from a part-of-the-pack team to legitimate contenders when they got Pau Gasol.

Are we then to say that because these players are all non-American that they aren't "white"?

Granderson himself often sits in the "First-and-10" chair opposite Bayliss. Thus, the disturbing part of the piece is that either he felt compelled not to "out" his colleagues in this column -- or was told by higher-ups at ESPN.com that he couldn't. On the face of it, I can't believe an editor would allow a writer to get away with saying "a pair two journalists were talking about so-and-so" -- without identifying the participants and the show in which the discussion took place.

If so, that's even more troubling. It suggests that ESPN is happy to use its power to have "journalists" trade in offensive stereotypes -- but are unwilling to take the heat when one of their other writers calls them on it.

Well, good for Granderson for going as far as he could.

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Monday, March 31, 2008

 

Batter Up!

Ah, chill in the air or otherwise, Opening Day in Major League Baseball is finally here!

Sorry, Sawx fans, but the two-game interlude last week in Japan doesn't count (yes, the Japanese like the sport, but baseball is still our national pastime).

Sorry, Nationals fans, but your nice debut in your new stadium last night doesn't count (a one-game series!?!? And, besides, DC isn't a state, right?).

But, today is the real day. An historic season as the New York Yankees open one last season in the classic Yankee stadium, against the Toronto Blue Jays, before moving across the street for a new park in '09. The Mets open on the road in Florida (before beginning their final season at Shea Stadium next week). Fading into the past are last season's disappointing end for both Big Apple teams and a tumultuous off-season -- especially for the Bronx Bombers, who endured a change in managers for the first time in twelve years and had to deal with the Mitchell Report's information on the Yankees' role in the Steroid Era.

Nope, today spring officially begins; change and hope (not the Obama variety) are in the air and all things are possible!

Baseball is back!

Play ball!

UPDATE: Or don't play. Ya win some; ya lose some -- and some get rained out. Let's hope the weather is better in Florida!

UPDATE II: And, yes, the weather is better. And Johan Santana was great: The Mets win!

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