Saturday, October 20, 2007


Open Thread

It is time for you to thread up!

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Friday, October 19, 2007


Hear Her Roar

Peggy Noonan with a rather reasonable, charitable, view on the opportunities and obstacles Hillary faces -- both as a "woman candidate" and as herself.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times zeroes in on yet another example of Hillary's "Chinese Take-out" problem. Yep, for the third (fourth? fifth?) time, a Clinton campaign operation finds itself dealing with questionable contributions from Chinese-born individuals.

These are people who seem to either be giving beyond their needs -- or who can't all be found when the relevant regulatory authorities start nosing around. The more things change....

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Be Like Mike

David Brooks makes the case for Huckabee.

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In a New York Times Minute

... the stock of the Old Gray Lady gets dumped by its second largest shareholder like Sen. Craig at a fundamentalists' fundraiser.

Amazingly, the NYT held out for the longest on making people pay to read their "Select" portions, which meant paying for the, uh hum, privilege of reading hackneyed, washed-up columnists and their (often baseless) opinions. To paraphrase an old saying, opinions are like *ssh*les and everyone's got one, along with their own blog. Did you really want to pay actual money to read Dorothy Parker wannabe Maureen Dowd?

As for "traditional content," i.e. "news," some of the best scoops these days come from willing or unwilling "amateurs" armed with cheap and plentiful digital cameras, cellphones, laptops, and Wi-Fi connections. Think Saddam Hussein's hanging, or Michael Richards imploding at a comedy club. Furthermore, with direct access to news makers, scientists, economists, researchers, government agencies and foreign nationals---many with their own web sites and cyber-P.R.--- who needs traditional journalism?

The Times may still be the record of note to beltway and fellow print journalists who don't know any better. As the Comic Book Guy (no, not our gracious host) on The Simpsons recently said, "I get my news from the Internet---like everyone else under the age of 70!"

Of course, the inevitable video link below. NOT one of my favorite Don Henley songs (that would probably be "Get Over It" from Hell Freezes Over). Maudlin enough, though, for the NYT's current fortunes:

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Thursday, October 18, 2007


Bye, Bye, Joe

Torre is out.

Thanks for twelve great years.

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Don't Play It At All, Sam

Alas, poor Brownback; we hardly knew him. He will reportedly quit the race tomorrow.

I interviewed Brownback a couple of times. He's always struck me as a decent, straightforward guy (though certainly more doctrinaire conservative than I). He was one of the few Republicans truly interested in foreign policy in areas other than the Middle East (and Mexico) -- notably, Africa. Unfortunately, he just didn't have the ability to turn his intellectual pursuits and basic decency into a compelling campaign message.

So it goes.

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Pigskin Pick'em - NFL Week 7 Picks

For all you weekend warriors out there, if you feel like skipping the NFL games this weekend to get some yardwork done, here are the final results BEFORE they happen. Well, at least a reasonable facsimile of them (my picks in red as usual):

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills: If you don't like offensive shootouts, this is the game for you. Blackbirds over Bills.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions: I'm not sure which Lions team will show up, but even the "good" Lions should have a hard time with the Bucs.
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans: For football purists, AFC South matchups are always fun to watch. Along with the Monday night game, this is definitely a weekend for football purists. I'll take the Titans to win by a tiny margin.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins: No-brainer of the week. With the Fish trading away their best wide receiver (Chris Chambers), I think it's safe to say they will be mailing it in for the rest of the season. Unfortunately for them, the mail won't be delivered this Sunday.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: So the Saints DO know how to win! That's bad news for the Falcons.
San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants: This will be a good test for the G-men.
Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins: The Cards go with two quarterbacks who weren't on NFL rosters a few weeks ago. Sounds like they're about to get plucked.
New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals: The only team the Jets have beaten this year is the Dolphins. The only team the Bengals have beaten is the Ravens. I'll take the team that beat the Ravens.
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders: Homer pick alert! Seriously though, the Chiefs are quite beatable.
Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys: Even an Adrian Peterson sighting is NOT going to save the Vikes. The Boys should be sufficiently ticked off by the spanking they took from the Pats last week.
Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles: This one is just a gut feeling.
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks: Take the Hawks to fly circles around the Lambs.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos: If the Steelers win this one, I will have a ton of respect for Mike Tomlin. I lean towards the Steelers pulling it off.
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars: There are two teams I won't pick against this year, and one of them is the Colts. But I won't be surprised if the Jags pull the upset.

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 (otherwise known as "The Barker Rule"), 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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Fine "Young" Cannibal

Do Leftists eat their own? Apparently, at least one on the Left has turned on their last great president, Bill Clinton. Of all people, I was shocked to read the following from singer Neil Young (from
"In this country we had a bad group of events starting with Bill Clinton and leading up to Bush. Clinton was a catalyst for a lot of this stuff because he played out on a moral stage a very bad scenario. He lied directly to the American people about something that has to do with core family values.

"He's not a bad person; he made a mistake. but in lying he made a worse mistake. And although it was very human and people forgive him for doing that, he gave the other side, the conservative side, the aggressive side, a huge opening. If it hadn't been for what he did, Al Gore would have been president. We would have had a president who understands the environment. We would have had a smart man in there.

Neil, you're kidding right? Are you telling me that it was NOT some evil right-wing conspiracy that got Bush into the White House? It was NOT because Bush had the Supreme Court in his back pocket?

I wonder how long it will take before the rest of the Left throws Neil under his own tour bus.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Pigskin Pick'em - Week 6 Results

Last week's results:

bl - 10
David Stefanini - 9
Robert A. George - 9
SoloD - 9
EdMcGon - 7
FunkyPundit - 7
J. Mark English - 6
*Bill Barker - 1

The year-to-date results (with weekly wins in parentheses):

David Stefanini(1) - 52
EdMcGon(1) - 49
Robert A. George(1.5) - 47
J. Mark English(1) - 45
bl(1) - 35
Bill Barker - 34
FunkyPundit(0.5) - 33
SoloD - 28
Dave O'Leary - 21
Rigel - 17
Mike - 8

*Being the nice guy I am, I let Bill Barker have one this week, since he did get in the Monday night pick prior to that game.


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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Second Amendment Super-Soldier

The Star-Spangled Avenger returns. And this time -- he's packing.

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With hindsight and a dollar, you can buy a cup of coffee ...

I wasn't in the Army as long as I was the Navy, but one thing I noticed in my reserve career was that Admirals are a lot more upfront with their civilian superiors than Generals.

Take, for example, Admiral William J. Fallon . A consistent critic for good ol' common sense in the interplay of diplomacy and military force, he seems to be a man comfortable in his own skin (and position) regardless of who is in Washington and whatever pipe dreams they want puffed.

Now comes the Generals Sanchez and Abazaid, who say that, yes, our bid for Iraqi social change is a disaster. The late Col. David Hackworth wrote endless columns about such worthless proponents of false troop goodwill, skewering them as "perfumed princes" that were only concerned about retirement checks regardless as to what happened to their troops, and were not worthy of the legacy of real Army generals like Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton and others. With each passing generation of commissioned leadership, Hackworth's hymns are worth repeating more and more.

Of course, all the Marines, soldiers, airman and sailors that have died for their wonderful hindsight, which seemed to be missing when Generals like Sanchez and Abazaid were actually in a position to do something of substance other than bloviate, don't have the luxury of making pronouncements from comfy, cushy chairs with a nice fat retirement check ...

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Monday, October 15, 2007


Blue Days For The Red Party

How goes it for Republicans these days? Well, on Capitol Hill, not so well. Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey becomes the lates of prominent GOPers to predict that a certain person will win the White House next year. Hint: She ain't a Republican.

Meanwhile, the Wall St. Journal chastises
both Democrats and conservatives over the manipulation of children in the SCHIP debate. Alas, as the aforementioned Hill Republicans note, the bad PR will only accrue to the GOP brand. Well, they only have themselves to blame. If they had bothered to keep an eye on spending over the last six years, they wouldn't seem like Scrooges now by declaring that "children's health" is where they need to draw the line (understanding that the debate isn't really about "children's" health).

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