Saturday, April 28, 2007


Open Thread

Another Annapolis weekend, so thread away, confreres...

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Friday, April 27, 2007


Chicks & Balances

In the debate, Hillary won by not losing. Obama lost by appearing a bit too glib. Dennis Kucinich won by having Mike Gravel on stage, thus appearing moderate & sane..

In the other big news of the week, ABC lost in letting Rosie O'Donnell leave "The View". Was she biased, boorish and onoxious? Yep. Yep and Yep.

And when did ANYONE talk or care about "The View" before Rosie showed up? She made a women's gabfest water-cooler conversation -- primarily by adding the attitude and aggressive sensibility usually found in the blogosphere.

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NFL Draft Challenge

Instead of the usual Friday Trivia, today we will test your NFL draft prognostication abilities.

The rules for the NFL Draft Challenge are simple: list the first 10 players taken in the NFL draft tomorrow, in the order they are taken. Just post your picks before the start of the draft tomorrow (Saturday) at noon. You only have to show the draft order, the player's name, and their position (although I am showing a little more information below).

Now for my picks:

1. Oakland (2-14)- JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
All the experts and talking heads say the Raiders will take JaMarcus Russell, and I cannot call that a bad pick. However, how many quarterbacks have the Raiders drafted that have gone on to have a great career with the Raiders? Just Kenny Stabler (and he was a 2nd round pick). As a Raider fan, I would rather see them take Calvin Johnson, who is a sure thing.

2. Detroit (3-13)- Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
Expect the Lions to trade this pick away, probably to Atlanta. If Matt Millen drafted another wide receiver, the Detroit fans would shoot him (in Detroit, literally).

With all of the issues "dogging" Michael Vick lately, the Falcons drafting the best wide receiver in Atlanta's history (not to mention Johnson has a tremendous work ethic on top of his freakish abilities) would be a major "catch" for them.

3. Cleveland (4-12)- Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
How many quarterbacks state before the draft that they WANT to play in Cleveland? Bernie Kosar is the last one I remember, and he turned out ok. The Brownies desperately need a quarterback (Charlie Frye is NOT the answer), and Quinn could be the guy.

4. Tampa Bay (4-12)- Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
The Bucs need offensive line help, and Thomas is the best in this draft.

5. Arizona (5-11)- Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
It is safe to say the Cards will pick a defensive player, but which one? Adams is arguably the most highly rated defensive prospect.

6. Washington (5-11)- Laron Landry, DB, LSU
Washington has already said they are taking either Landry or DT Amobi Okoye. Since Landry is probably the better of the two, and since Adam Archuleta has been released by the Skins, expect Landry to be the pick.

7. Minnesota (6-10)- Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
Expect the Vikings to draft some secondary help later in the draft. For now, this team needs some offense. Chester Taylor was solid last year, but not exceptional. Also, don't be surprised if another team trades up to this spot to get Peterson.

8. Atlanta (7-9)- Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
With the Lions trading down to this spot, expect to see a defensive player picked here. Anderson could give the Lions a much needed pass rusher.

9. Miami (6-10)- Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
The Dolphins could also go with DT Alan Branch, but Okoye has more upside.

10. Houston (6-10)- Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
With Houston's awful pass blocking, and less than stellar run blocking, offensive line help is desperately needed here.


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Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Rudy's '08 Identity

Andrew Sullivan poses the right questions of the current GOP front-runner.

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"No Snitchin'" Is Worse Than "Bitchin'"

Russell Simmons and Ben Chavis' declaration of their intent to clean up rap is fine as far as it goes in the post-Imus world:

"We recommend that the recording and broadcast industries voluntarily
remove/bleep/delete the misogynistic words 'bitch' and 'ho' and the racially
offensive word 'nigger,' " Simmons and Benjamin Chavis, co-chairmen of the
advocacy group Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, said in a statement.
"These three words should be considered with the same objections to obscenity as
'extreme curse words,' " it said.
This may be something of a start, but the cultural corruption sparked by hip-hop has spread far beyond uses of the B-, H- and N-words. That was clear from the truly eye-opening segment on 60 Minutes last week, on the breakdown of basic social norms such as helping police solve crimes "Stop Snitchin'"):

The truth is, people having been walking away for years. In 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas; the crime remains unsolved. So does the 1997 shooting of the rapper Notorious B.I.G.

Rap star Cameron Giles, known as Cam'ron or "Killa Cam," got shot in both arms in 2005. The shooting occurred in front of members of Cam'ron's entourage, but to this day, neither they, nor he, have cooperated with police.

Asked why, Cam'ron tells Cooper, "Because with the type of business I'm in, it would definitely hurt my business. And the way that I was raised, I just don't do that. I was raised differently, not to tell."

"If I was shot, I would want to know who did it. I would want the guy to get caught," Cooper remarks.

"But then again, you're not going to be on the stage tonight in the middle of, let's say, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, with people with gold and platinum teeth and dreadlocks jumping up and down singing your songs either," Cam'ron says. "You know what I'm saying? We're in two different lines of business."

"So for you it's really about business?" Cooper asks.

"It's about business but it's still also a code of ethics," Cam'ron replies.

Asked if he thinks there is any situation when it's okay to talk to the police, Cam'ron tells Cooper, "Yeah, definitely. Say 'Hello, how you feel, everything alright?' Period."

"That's it?" Cooper asks.

"There's nothing really to talk about with the police, I mean, for what?" Cam'ron says.

"If there's a serial killer living next door to you, though, and you know that person is, you know, killing people, would you be a snitch if you called police and told them?" Cooper asks Cam'ron.

"If I knew the serial killer was living next door to me?" Cam'ron asks. "No, I wouldn't call and tell anybody on him. But I'd probably moveā€¦ But I'm not gonna call and be like, you know, 'The serial killer's in 4E.'"
The segment also touches upon how Busta Rhymes has adopted the same credo by refusing to help the cops track down the murderer of his own bodyguard.

And so, crimes remain unsolved and killers get to go on and kill again. All the banning in the world isn't going to address this sort of metastasizing nihilism. If this attitude is adopted by the heroes of hip-hop, what's the effect as it sinks down to the young people in the 'hood?

Your move, Mr. Simmons.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Feed Your Head

RAGGED readers will note a new addition to the site -- a news feed courtesy of The default is to political news, but there is also a tab for general news. One hopes that this will help make RT an even more popular destination for the political and other-news junkies out there.

Because of the News Feed, we'll probably be adding more "Open Threads" to the blog, in case our madcap band of regulars (irregulars) feel the need to pontificate on a particular item from the feed that catches their eye!

Have fun!


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Monday, April 23, 2007


RAGGED Weekend, Pt. 2: WHCA

After croquet, your RT correspondent headed west on Route 50 for the White House Correspondents Association annual bash. Some juicy items can be found in this Washington Post report.

Here's some flavor, courtesy of your RT correspondent.

This is the lovely -- though blatantly liberal -- actress Kerry Washington. She portrayed Ray Charles' wife Della Bea Robinson in Ray. Ironically, she plays blind sculptress Alicia Masters, love interest of The Thing in the next Fantastic Four movie. She's pictured with Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page and his wife Lisa.

Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher was busy making the rounds: The guy with his back to the camera is American Idol castoff Chris Sligh.

A number of people seemed to want to get their picture taken with this young man with the unusual hair style, but I'm not sure what the big deal was.

Now, I was sitting at the table right next to the guy in this picture. There seemed to be a parade of females of various ages coming up to get their picture taken -- including the aforementioned Teri Hatcher who made sure that she got a photo with him before she walked over to the dais to chat up the president of the United States! Who is the lucky young fellow? His name is Zac Effron, star of Disney's High School Musical. He is apparently the bees knees with the pre-teen set -- and others.

On-screen, the principal "entertainment" of the evening, Rich Little. This relic of the '70s was brought in because of the controversy that erupted
over Stephen Colbert last year. The WHCA wanted someone who wouldn't be too edgy or potentially offensive to the president. Well, they got that from Little. They also got someone who created bipartisan agreement from the crowd: Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, moderates, etc., all agreed that Little was awful. There may have been one joke that couldn't have been delivered 15 years ago, but that was about it.

As one wag put it at the end of Little's routine (which, of course, was a Richard Nixon impression), "Our long national nightmare is over." That wag, of course, was yours truly.

On the other hand, David Letterman's "Top Ten George W. Bush Moments" -- a compendium of malapropisms and faux pas -- was rather amusing. That's available here:

Is this the eventual GOP presidential nominee? Could be. After all, Republican Arthur Branch managed to be elected district attorney in heavily Democratic Manhattan, so the sky's the limit!

Protestors outside the Washington Hilton (where the WHCA dinner is held every year) are clearly confused: The media doesn't "buy" Bush's war. We sell it. There is a crucial difference.

Heading to the afterparty are Bloomberg administration Deputy Mayor and political capo Kevin Sheeky, Chris Taylor, Jessica Loeser, Bloomberg Press Secretary Stu Loeser.

The Bloomberg Party.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), a candidate for New York City mayor in 2009, holds court.

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RAGGED Weekend, Pt. 1: Croquet For All

A busy weekend for your RT host, as he took an early morning train south on Amtrak. We got off at the BWI Airport station (closer to Baltimore than DC), hopped into a rental car and headed to Annapolis for the 25th Annual Croquet Tournament between the United States Naval Academy and our alma mater, St. John's College.

It was a most beautiful day -- the loveliest of the year, with the temperature hitting 80. Images below.

A wonderful day on the St. John's College lawn.

The tournament started in 1983, with members of the Class of '84 taking leading roles. Appropriately, they had their own tent.

Much like the Kentucky Derby, Croquet Day in Annapolis means much more than the sporting event itself. Food, for example is quite important.

As is, uh, champagne. Cheers!

Guess which are the members of the Navy team and which is the Johnnie!

Outside of the SJC alumni welcominng tent. Croquet weekend has become something of a Spring homecoming at the college.

Some esteemed students of the U.S. Naval Academy watch the proceedings.

The mids try to do their institution proud.

Croquet's not the only game played on the lawn... we can see here with the...

...Beanbag Match!

And, of course, there has to be a little dancing at Croquet. (A waltz party followed in the evening.)

Oh, yeah, the Johnnies won (again), though I don't remember the score. But as you can tell, the atmosphere is more important than the matches themselves.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007


Open Thread

Thread away, thread away, Dixie land...

A late one this weekend!

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