Saturday, October 13, 2007


Open Thread

Early to thread, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy and wise...

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Friday, October 12, 2007


JLA Integration?

Mad superhero geek that I am, I somehow missed this during the '70s. Thank God. I think.

As one of the commenters says -- both amusing and offensive!

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Inconvenient Timing

Congrats, Mr. Gore, on your Nobel Peace Prize win -- though it is something of a stretch to call "global warming awareness" an effort for "peace," as it is traditionally understood. (Madscribe delivered appropriate RT hosannas below).

But, before you give away all your prize money to further the cause, you might want to keep some in reserve to address this legal judgment on the accuracy of "An Inconvenient Truth," delivered on Thursday.
Judge Michael Burton ruled at the High Court of London that the movie is biased
and contains "nine scientific errors."
The film depicts a bleak future in which the world is threatened by climate change, which it claims is already responsible for everything from Hurricane Katrina to the disappearance of snow from atop Mount Kilimanjaro.
But Burton said the scientific community doesn't buy those claims.
The film dramatically warns that polar bears are drowning as they try to swim up to 60 miles to find rapidly disappearing Arctic ice.
But the evidence that came out in court says it's just not true, said the judge.
"The only scientific study that either side before me can find is one which indicates that four polar bears have recently been found drowned because of a storm," he said.
The film also claims the world's sea levels will rise up to 20 feet "in the near future."
The judge said scientists dispute this "Armageddon scenario" and say that the sea levels would rise that much "only after" thousands of years.

I'm sure you'll be jetting to London to appeal this finding on your way back from Norway!

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A Not-so Nobel Cause

Until people like Gore do something about changing the POLITICAL climate that generates the smog choking the rest of us average folk, who cares about Nobel prizes?

Are we really supposed to swallow the media poison pill that anything Gore has ever done (compared to real environmentalists who've toiled for decades without overblown fourth estate hype to spotlight their efforts) compares to actual efforts worthy of a Peace Prize like those of Ralph Bunche or Martin Luther King, Jr? Puh-leez. Hey Al, here's a hint: do something about youth, drugs and get your junkie son together, or ameliorate the effects of your own hypocritical activities, before preaching to the rest of us about "Change."

Anyway (because RAG seems to enjoy these links), below the only song about the environment that's worth a listen (unlike all the corn-pone musical retards from this year's Live Earth fiasco).

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Thursday, October 11, 2007


Pigskin Pick'em - NFL Week 5 Results AND Week 6 Picks

Call it a two-fer Thursday, cause you get two posts for the price of reading one.

So I had a busy week at work and I've been lazy about posting the week 5 results.

Anyway, along with the "two-fer" theme, we had two winners last week:

Robert A. George - 11
FunkyPundit - 11

David Stefanini - 10
EdMcGon - 10
J. Mark English - 9
bl - 9
SoloD - 7
Bill Barker - 6
Rigel - 6

The overall season results (with weekly wins in parentheses):

David Stefanini(1) - 43
EdMcGon(1) - 42
J. Mark English(1) - 39
Robert A. George(1.5) - 38
Bill Barker - 33
FunkyPundit(0.5) - 26
bl - 25
Dave O'Leary - 21
SoloD - 19
Rigel - 17
Mike - 8

And now for the second part of our two-fer, all the correct picks for this week's games (otherwise known as "my picks in red"):

St. Louis Rams at Baltimore Ravens: Hard to go with Gus on the road, but it still should be close.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears: I know the Vikes wished they picked up a quarterback in the offseason. When Brian Griese looks better than anything you've got, you're in trouble.
Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns: If the Brownies take the Fish lightly, they can lose this one.
Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers: I am not sure how good the Redskins really are, since they've had a fairly easy schedule so far.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags seem to be "in the zone" now, with three straight wins. I'll take the hot team in what should be a pretty good game.
Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs: As bad as the Bengals are, the Chefs are worse.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets: Two struggling teams trying to get their ships on course. The Eagles strike me as having just a bit more talent.
Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Both of these teams have lost to the Colts, but the Titans looked a lot more impressive against the Colts.
Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals: The Battle of the Backups. Carr vs. Warner. Doesn't it just get your heart pumping? I thought not.
New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys: The overhyped game of the week. Sorry, but the Pats walk away with this one easily.
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers: I have to make the homer pick here, but I can't go against my "first place in the AFC West" Raiders. I love the sound of that!
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks: Will the Saints show up this week? I'm not betting on it.
New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons: We know this game was scheduled for Monday night before Vick went to the dogs.

Pigskin Pick'em Rules:
1. Pick the straight-up winners of all this weeks NFL games (excluding any Thursday games). Picks will be accepted in the comments section of the following websites:
Politics and Pigskins, Ragged Thots, and American Legends. All picks must be posted by 1 pm Eastern Time on Sunday, or by the kickoff of the first NFL Saturday game on weeks when that happens.
2. The winner gets...bragging rights! (you weren't expecting money, were you?)
3. And new for this year: I will be keeping a running tally for the season, so the person who gets the most picks correct for the whole season, including the playoffs, gets...even BIGGER bragging rights! (and still no money)


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Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Will Wonders Never Cease?

I take just about everything Dick Morris says with a grain of salt. When it comes to Hillary, my BS-meter on Morris goes up to a ton. Basically, everything that he's predicted about her politically since 2000 has been wrong.

After seeing him speak in front of a Young Republican group back in 2001, I realized that he had such a visceral hatred of HRC (and a commensurate psychological love/passion for Bill's political charisma) that he was unable to separate his analytic abilities from his emotional involvement in the Clinton universe.

Anyway, even a stopped clock is right once a day. Morris strikes me as being exactly right in his view on why Democrats appear to be lining up behind Hillary:
Democrats today are seeking a warrior, a gladiator, not a president when they cast their ballots in their primaries and caucuses. Angered by the so-called defeat of 2000 and scarred by the upset of 2004, there is an intensity to their desire to win that dwarfs all other emotions and
considerations. They are not nominating a president. They are nominating a candidate. They are not interested in the credentials of a possible president in selecting their standard-bearer; they seek the characteristics of a fighter, a combatant, one who will win.

Hillary’s demonstrated ability to overcome adversity and triumph is the quality that most appeals to Democrats. Were she to star in a reality TV show, it would be “Survivor.” She has taken the worst the Republican machine can deal and overcome it. She has mastered the Karl Roves of our politics and earned the affection of her party’s voters for doing so.

Her battle scars are her accolades. Her ability to come back from Gennifer Flowers, healthcare reform, the loss of Congress, the grand jury subpoenas of Kenneth Starr, the denouement of the truth about Lewinsky, the ensuing impeachment, the carpetbagger issue as she journeyed to New York, the pardon and White House gifts scandals and her early support of the war in Iraq are the real items in her résumé that interest her party’s voters. They care less what kind
of president she would be and more that she probably can become the president.

When she says she can “hit the ground running,” she pretends that she is addressing her vast public policy experience. But it is irrelevant that she was in the White House for eight years. So was the pastry chef. But what is relevant, and inescapable, is that she did lead the president’s crusade to overcome the efforts of the “vast right-wing conspiracy” to bring him down, and
it is that experience which endears her to the base.

The "pastry chef" line, by the way, is a good example of Morris' psycho-babble when it comes to Hillary. He wants to have it both ways: Half his columns are about her power-hungry nature and how she screwed up health-care reform; the other half dismiss her as the functional equivalent of the White House pastry chef. NO first lady is that irrelevant/dismissable in a modern White House -- and Morris knows it.

Still, that aside, Morris' overall point is quite correct: Democrats want competence in their candidate -- not the sort of competence that might contrast with the "heckuva job, Brownie" of the current administration, but the competence needed to take hard hits in the campaign and return fire. Democrats believe that neither Al Gore nor John Kerry had that ability to know when they were under attack and respond to it. They think Hillary does.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Bartlett's GOP Quotations

That would be former White House communications director Dan Bartlett on the Republican presidential field. The big names anyway.

The former mayor of New York is the only one spared some tough commentary -- though the criticism of Huckabee is over his name.


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Debate Prep

Today's Republican debate starts at 4 PM Eastern time. CNBC will be covering it live and then MSNBC will rebroadcast it at 9. Chris "Hardball/Big Mouth" Matthews and Maria "Money Honey" Bartiromo will be moderating.

As I'm at work, I can't do this myself (yeah, right), but I think there is a great opportunity for a drinking game here:

One shot for every time Rudy Giuliani mentions 9/11 (
An extra shot for the furthest stretch between premise of question to "9/11" answer from Rudy, i.e. candidate explains how his view on taxes changed because of September 11.);

Three shots if Judy calls during the debate (extra shot if she's IN THE AUDIENCE);

One shot each time Mitt Romney uses the word "competence" or phrase "management experience";

One shot if Mike Huckabee asks electorate to "Take another chance on Hope";

One shot for every time Sam Brownback uses the word "life";

Three shots if anti-immigrant Tom Tancredo accidentally refers to the senator from Kansas as, "My friend Sam Wetback";

Two shots if Fred Thompson asks why the "audience applause-sign" isn't lit;

Drink into oblivion after the FIFTH self-serving reference to Ronald Reagan (will most likely occur within first 15 minutes).

Expel alcohol out through the nose in shock if a candidate mentions George W. Bush without moderator prompting.

UPDATE: A very talented reader sent this along. Absolutely hilarious...

Come listen to a story about a man named Fred,
A poor country lawyer, barely kept his family fed,
He was out one day, just a-hustlin’ for some food,
When along came a US Senator dude.
(Baker, that is. Howard. Dirksen son-in-law.)

Well, Baker found Fred so suave and debonair,
That he said, “young feller, move away from there!”
He said, “Capitol Hill is the place you oughta be!”
So they loaded up Fred’s truck, and he moved to D.C.
( Washington, that is. Lobbyists. Embassies.)

Now, Fred got involved with a thing called Watergate,
Tried to play both sides, nearly got his breakfast ate,
For just when he thought he was doin’ really swell,
The President told folks Fred was dumber than hell!
(Nixon, that is. Millhous. Tricky Dick.)

Fred had sideburns nearly down his chin,
And some folks said, “Fred, you’re uglier than sin!”
But Fred was sick of toiling at the bar,
So, against tremendous odds, he became a movie star.
(Film actor, that is. TV, too. Law & Order.)

So, thanks to Hollywood , ole Fred’s a millionaire,
Once again, folks are sayin’, “Fred, move away from there!”
They say, “In the White House is the place you oughta be!”
So he loaded up the truck, and hired Bill Lacy.
(Campaign manager, that is. Seasoned guy. Worked for Dole.)

So soon it may be time to say bye to Fred and lovely Jeri,
Now that Fred’s a candidate, things are startin’ to get hairy,
He’s got to hit a home run in his very first debate,
Or he’ll have the shortest run of any candidate!
(Exceptin’ Tommy Thompson, that is. He hardly even set a spell.)

Y’all come back, now!

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The Gospel of Paul (and Mike)

Some praise for Ron Paul from a relatively surprising source -- our friends at National Review Online, who have generally been pretty contemptuous of Paul's efforts.

Dave Kopel shares his experience with Paul at the Gun Rights Policy Conference:

Last Saturday night, at the buffet dinner and reception, the speaker was Ron Paul. The difference between Paul as a speaker in 1988 and in 2007 was startling. In 1988, he was perfectly competent. This time he was electrifying. In 1988, his campaign could do little more than leave some literature on a table. This time, he had volunteers to hand out literature, including (for the recipient audience) devastating material on Romney and Thompson. (Included among the materials distributed were Romney’s gubernatorial signing statement of the Massachusetts ban on so-called ““assault weapons,”“ and a copy of Sen. Russ Feingold’s letter to Senator Thompson after the passage of McCain-Feingold, with Feingold’s handwritten thanks, claiming that the bill never could have passed without Thompson’s help.)

Most impressive, however, was the large crowd of young people who showed up to hear Paul’s speech. They were enthused and energized, many of them sporting Ron Paul Revolution t-shirts. (The shirts are very clever, since they use “Revolution” to also say ““LOVE”,” which makes revolution seem a lot nicer.)

I did a lot of work in the Gary Hart campaign in 1983-84, while I was at the University of Michigan’s Law School. In terms of support from young volunteers, Paul is miles ahead of where Hart was before the Iowa caucus. After Hart finished second in Iowa, and then won New Hampshire, his campaign attracted a huge number of students, but not before. Paul, on the other hand, has what appears to be a staunch contingent of young supporters already.

The volunteers loved Paul’s speech, of course, and so did the large majority of the rest of the GRPC crowd. The GRPC activists are very wary of politicians whose pro-gun positions are a matter of convenience or calculation, rather than sincere dedication to the Constitution. The top tier of the Republican field obviously has a problem with candidates whose 2007 positions on guns or other issues are inconsistent with some of their past actions. You have to get down to Mike Huckabee before you can find a candidate who doesn’t have a consistency problem. (Huckabee’s record on the Second Amendment is perfect, and his statements clearly prove that he understands and believes in the issue, and isn’t just reciting platitudes and talking points.)
Kopel sounds like Huckabee is his second "favorite" among the GOP field. That's true for me as well.

Paul is doing better than Huckabee in fundraising (and, seemingly, in nationwide enthusiasm) -- but both are far behind the frontrunners in the polls.

Neither really has a chance of becoming the GOP nominee. Huckabee has a 50-50 chance of being the VP pick (greater if Giuliani is at the top of the ticket).

Still, today's debate, the first with the full, set-in-stone, GOP field may cause some movement. Huckabee
has crept up to third place in Iowa ahead of Giuliani and Paul's money can produce some ads that can resonate with independent-minded, gun-loving New Hampshire.

Stay tuned.

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End Of The Road

It's been a great run -- thirteen straight visits to the postseason, twelve with Joe Torre. But it's looking like the hammer is about to fall in the Bronx.

Well, thanks for running a great classy operation, Joe.


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