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The Donnybrook
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Pissing Off Your Most Loyal Voters 101 with your Professor, Arlen Specter...

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) has won seven Pennsylvania Senate races because of the strong support he receives in Philadelphia and its suburbs.

If there's any way for him to piss off about 99% of the population of that area, I think he's found it...
Sen. Arlen Specter accused the National Football League and the Philadelphia Eagles of treating Terrell Owens unfairly and said he might refer the matter to the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.

Specter said at a news conference Monday in Harrisburg it was "vindictive and inappropriate" for the league and the Eagles to forbid the all-pro wide receiver from playing and prevent other teams from talking to him.

"It's a restraint of trade for them to do that, and the thought crosses my mind, it might be a violation of antitrust laws," Specter said, though some other legal experts disagreed.
Good guy. Bad cause. Not sure what he was thinking here.

Apparently, he didn't either since it took him less than 24 hours to distance himself from his own comments...

Who's Your Favorite Sports Figure Of All-Time?

I'm curious to see where everyone goes with this question.

I've always found it to be a somewhat daunting question since I've always had plenty of favorite teams, but almost never a favorite player. I guess I've always put the team way ahead of the player with regard to importance and level of (let's call it what it is) worship.

Being a Philadelphia sports fan, my choices have always been a little sparse.

The Phillies had greats like Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton, but Schmidt was so obviously an asshole as a person, I could even sense it as a small child. Carlton was as dynamic as particle board, and therefore a little hard to rally around.

The Flyers' heyday back in the 70's came about 3 years before I was born, so I missed the boat there. In the 80's they had great players like Tim Kerr and Brian Propp and even semi-entertaining thugs like Dave Brown, but hockey players also suffer from an almost crippling lack of personality. When Eric Lindros came along in the 90's, it seemed like an entire generation of fans had found it's new poster boy. We all know how that turned out.

The Eagles have had amazing players for years, but almost none of them really resonated with me. Once again, team comes before player.

Which brings me to what is arguably my least favorite of the Philly teams, the 76ers. Here you find more than a few players that had both ability and personality: Charles Barkley, Moses Malone, and my personal #1: Julius Erving.

Dr. J was (and still is) the epitome of class in the NBA. A true sportsman that will always be respected not only for his skills but for the way he played the game...

A Putrid Editorial From NewsMax Reveals The Darkest Side Of Modern "Conservatism"...

How's this for a headline? "John McCain: Torture Worked On Me"

A quick sample:
Sen. John McCain is leading the charge against so-called "torture" techniques allegedly used by U.S. interrogators, insisting that practices like sleep deprivation and withholding medical attention are not only brutal - they simply don't work to persuade terrorist suspects to give accurate information.

Nearly forty years ago, however - when McCain was held captive in a North Vietnamese prison camp - some of the same techniques were used on him. And - as McCain has publicly admitted at least twice - the torture worked!
Not only does the online conservative "news outlet" make the case that McCain has no right to speak out against the kind of brutal tactics that were used against him, but it also implys that the United States should not hold itself to higher standards than those employed by the Viet Cong.

This editorial proves one very large point to me: If the Republican party is, in fact, this far off the tracks, there's no way in hell that McCain will win the party's nomination in 2008.

He's just too sane for them...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005
The Colts' Dilemma...

The Colts are now 11-0 after beating one of the best teams in the league last night.

They'll probably wrap up home field advantage in the playoffs in 1 or 2 weeks, so their last 2 or 3 regular season games will probably mean absolutely nothing other than furthering their efforts for a perfect 16-0 season.

The question is this: Do they pull their starters and go on auto-pilot once they clinch home field, or do they keep up the intensity in the hopes of having a perfect season?

I say they shut down the starters. A 16-0 regular season means NOTHING if the Colts don't win the Super Bowl.

If Peyton Manning or Edgerrin James got hurt in a meaningless Week 17 matchup against the worthless Arizona Cardinals and the Colts lost in the playoffs as a result, how would that perfect season look?

Young football players don't dream of the day they'll get to beat the Arizona Cardinals to go 16-0 in the regular season. They dream of the day they get to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy, even if it is in Detroit in February.

I could be wrong, though. I still think Peyton Manning will fold in the playoffs no matter what happens in the regular season...

Monday, November 28, 2005
Black Sabbath Finally Makes It Into Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame...

It's about freaking time!!!
After snubs that drove Black Sabbath lead singer Ozzy Osbourne to dismiss the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame vote as “totally irrelevant,” the heavy-metal pioneers are finally in, joined by Miles Davis, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Sex Pistols and Blondie.

Ozzy’s 1970s group was first nominated in 1996. But until Monday, the panel of musicians, industry professionals and journalists who vote on inductees kept the door barred. Except for Led Zeppelin, the hall has largely ignored metal since the organization was founded in 1987.
A few nagging issues:

1.) Does anyone really think of Led Zeppelin as "heavy metal"?

2.) Does anyone consider Miles Davis a "rock n' roll" artist?

3.) Do Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillian also get inducted as former singers for Sabbath?

Republican Congressman To Plead Guilty To Tax Violations...

That's right, to our collective horror another elected Republican is about to go down in flames for his (lack of) ethics.
Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham will plead guilty to tax violations, a person close to the investigation of the California Republican has told The Associated Press.

Cunningham has been under investigation since his sale of his home to a defense contractor at an apparently inflated price in 2003 attracted the attention of federal investigators.
In related news, water is wet, the sky is blue (not Carolina blue), Celine Dion is painstakingly annoying, Fran Drescher's voice is an FDA-certified dick-shortener, and I will probably die from a massive heart attack while watching a Philadelphia Eagles game. I'm just not sure when...

UPDATE: Cunningham has officially plead guilty to "conspiring to take bribes in exchange for using his influence to help a defense contractor get business." Oh, and one count of tax evasion for good measure...

2nd UPDATE: The "Duke" has resigned from the Congressional seat he's held since 1991. Good riddance...

Friday, November 25, 2005
Pat "Mr. Miyagi" Morita dies at 73...

"We make sacred pact. I promise teach karate to you, you promise learn. I say, you do, no questions."
--Mr. Miyagi to Daniel LaRusso
Remember, these celebrity deaths come in threes, so if Morita's level of celebrity is any indication, I'm guessing that the fat guy that played Al Delvecchio and the legendary Billy Zabka had better get their annual check-ups a little earlier next year...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Now I Know Why You Conservatives Have Been So Miserable Lately...

...and I think it has a lot to do with the graphic to the right.

I know the desperation of feeling like your opinions are dismissed as being "outside the mainstream" by a vast majority of the people in this country.

I felt that feeling when I was making the case that going to war in Iraq just wasn't necessary. Most of my fellow countrymen disagreed. I still have that feeling when it comes to the issue of gay marriage, and probably will for quite some time.

It's a bad feeling. When you believe strongly about something, but no one seems to care.

I can commiserate, but I think you've been acting out recently because you now see that the national tide has turned against the "philosophy" that you hold so dear. When that map was strongly red back in 2002 and only slightly less so in 2004, you guys felt like you were on top of the world.

"We backed a winner!!!" was the sentiment of the day, and you wanted anyone who dared not kiss the GOP ring to know about it.

Unfortunately for you, the public is waking up to the fact that they were sold a bill of goods, and in spite of the reality you're confronted with, you don't want to give up that high.

Having 65% of your fellow Americans thinking you're out of touch is quite an uncomfortable feeling, isn't it?

I think that's why dust-ups like this have been happening more frequently as of late. It's gotta be tough to look at that map and see a grand total of seven "red" states remaining.

The good ol' days have clearly come and gone for the Republican party and it's hangers-on...

P.S. Before you start jumping up and down screaming "Bush isn't running for anything!", allow me to remind you that the Republican-controlled Congress regularly scores worse than Bush in public opinion polls, and those folks are running for something very soon...

UPDATE: Regarding the "Democrats in Congress are also unpopular" argument, I must say that this is true. However, if you take a look at any 2006 generic Congressional polling, you'll see that Democratic candidates are beating Republican candidates in every poll taken...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005
JFK Assassination Was 42 Years Ago Today...

...and as Josh Marshall points out, I haven't heard a single thing about it.

For a long time, this was one of the defining cultural events of modern American history, now it's not even mentioned when assassinations are in the news.

Take a look at the front pages of Yahoo, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. Not a single word...

John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1917-1963

Iraqi Leaders Want Timetable For Withdrawal...

Paul Bremer, 5/14/04:
"If the provisional government asks us to leave we will leave," Bremer said, referring to an Iraqi administration due to take power June 30. "I don't think that will happen, but obviously we don't stay in countries where we're not welcome."
Iraqi leaders, 11/21/05:

Iraqi leaders, meeting at a reconciliation conference in Cairo, urged an end to violence in the country and demanded a timetable for the withdrawal of coalition troops from Iraq. In a final statement, read by Arab League chief Amre Moussa, host of the three-day summit, they called for "the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces.'' No date was specified.
Is the new Iraqi government just a bunch of surrender monkeys, too???

(Good pickup, MyDD...)

UPDATE: Look at this Washington Post article on the same topic. In it, Iraq's top brass not only call for a timetable for US withdrawal, but they also make it sound like they don't see violence against our troops as an act of terrorism.

Think of that from the standpoint of the American soldier...

I imagine it's hard to lay your life on the line for a country that not only doesn't grasp the sacrifice you're making, but in fact, is coming dangerously close to approving of the attacks that are killing your fellow troops on a daily basis.

Rep. Murtha had the troops' best interests at heart last week when he called for a sensible withdrawal in a reasonable amount of time in order to end the sense of a US occupation in Iraq.

More and more, his position is looking like the right one...

Greatest Song Of All-Time?

At the urging of The Great One, I'll go ahead ask one of the more over-asked questions in pop culture history.

What is that one song that you simply couldn't live without if you could only choose one?

For me, it's gotta be "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen.

A masterpiece from start to finish that only gets better as time goes by and more shitty bands fall by the wayside.

Have at it...

Monday, November 21, 2005
What Are Some Movies You HATE?

An idea that Atrios snagged from another blogger, but still a worthwhile topic.

Here are a few of mine in no particular order:

"Grease" Just...just fuck this goddamn movie. Every time two dorky chuckleheads get up at a karaoke bar and start doing "Summer Nights", I die a little more inside. And yes, a guy that frequents karaoke bars can feel that kind of pain...

"Shag: The Movie" When I moved to North Carolina for college, my fat toad of a freshman year roommate watched this movie and the aforementioned "Grease" constantly with his judgmental hag of a girlfriend. This movie is huge reason why I still am very skeptical of Southern culture and probably always will be...

"Mars Attacks" I made it through almost an hour of this shit salad in the theater. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. If you haven't, you've been warned...

"Rudy" I love an underdog story as much as the next guy, but this movie can go fuck itself. This thing is so chockful of cliches and Notre Dame-ass-kissing, it gets hard to breathe about 20 minutes in. Sean Astin definitely didn't help matters, either. Am I the only person that wanted to see him get absolutely laid out a la Corey Haim at the end of "Lucas"?

"America's Sweethearts" I can't remember too much about this one, except that it was full of self-referential Hollywood bullshit. That and Julia Roberts, too. Yuck...

P.S. You conservatives can't say you hate Michael Moore's movies because I know you haven't seen any of them, so don't start...

UPDATE: Since I can't comment on the thread, I'll say it here:

Jeff, if you hate Jane Fonda so much, why are you watching her movies?

Saturday, November 19, 2005
I Need An Answer From You Uber-"Patriotic" Republicans...

If this is a call to "surrender to the terrorists", then what is this?

P.S. I also wanted to add that if you approve of what Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) said about John Murtha last night on the floor of the House of Representatives, you're a piece of shit and I hope you stop crudding up my site with your rotten prescence...

Friday, November 18, 2005
Fantasy Football Friday

Since I can read all the comments via Haloscan's website, but still am unable to actually respond to any of you, I've essentially become a lurker on my own website. Creepy.

Nevertheless, it's Friday and we're getting close to Fantasy playoff time, so use this thread to hash out your tough calls for Week 11.

My only question is this:
At WR, do I start T.J. Houshmandzadeh against the Colts or Ernest Wilford against the struggling Titans?
Best of luck!

Thursday, November 17, 2005
"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion."

Rep. John Murtha, a conservative Democrat and Vietnam veteran says it's time to leave Iraq...

The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We can not continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.

General Casey said in a September 2005 Hearing, “the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency.” General Abizaid said on the same date, “Reducing the size and visibility of the coalition forces in Iraq is a part of our counterinsurgency strategy.”

For 2 ½ years I have been concerned about the U.S. policy and the plan in Iraq. I have addressed my concerns with the Administration and the Pentagon and have spoken out in public about my concerns. The main reason for going to war has been discredited. A few days before the start of the war I was in Kuwait – the military drew a red line around Baghdad and said when U.S. forces cross that line they will be attacked by the Iraqis with Weapons of Mass Destruction – but the US forces said they were prepared. They had well trained forces with the appropriate protective gear.

We spend more money on Intelligence than all the countries in the world together, and more on Intelligence than most countries GDP. But the intelligence concerning Iraq was wrong. It is not a world intelligence failure. It is a U.S. intelligence failure and the way that intelligence was misused.

I have been visiting our wounded troops at Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals almost every week since the beginning of the War. And what demoralizes them is going to war with not enough troops and equipment to make the transition to peace; the devastation caused by IEDs; being deployed to Iraq when their homes have been ravaged by hurricanes; being on their second or third deployment and leaving their families behind without a network of support.

The threat posed by terrorism is real, but we have other threats that cannot be ignored. We must be prepared to face all threats. The future of our military is at risk. Our military and their families are stretched thin. Many say that the Army is broken. Some of our troops are on their third deployment. Recruitment is down, even as our military has lowered its standards. Defense budgets are being cut. Personnel costs are skyrocketing, particularly in health care. Choices will have to be made. We can not allow promises we have made to our military families in terms of service benefits, in terms of their health care, to be negotiated away. Procurement programs that ensure our military dominance cannot be negotiated away. We must be prepared. The war in Iraq has caused huge shortfalls at our bases in the U.S. Much of our ground equipment is worn out and in need of either serious overhaul or replacement. George Washington said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” We must rebuild our Army. Our deficit is growing out of control. The Director of the Congressional Budget Office recently admitted to being “terrified” about the budget deficit in the coming decades. This is the first prolonged war we have fought with three years of tax cuts, without full mobilization of American industry and without a draft. The burden of this war has not been shared equally; the military and their families are shouldering this burden.

Our military has been fighting a war in Iraq for over two and a half years. Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty. Our military captured Saddam Hussein, and captured or killed his closest associates. But the war continues to intensify. Deaths and injuries are growing, with over 2,079 confirmed American deaths. Over 15,500 have been seriously injured and it is estimated that over 50,000 will suffer from battle fatigue. There have been reports of at least 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.

I just recently visited Anbar Province Iraq in order to assess the conditions on the ground. Last May 2005, as part of the Emergency Supplemental Spending Bill, the House included the Moran Amendment, which was accepted in Conference, and which required the Secretary of Defense to submit quarterly reports to Congress in order to more accurately measure stability and security in Iraq. We have now received two reports. I am disturbed by the findings in key indicator areas. Oil production and energy production are below pre-war levels. Our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by the security situation. Only $9 billion of the $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent. Unemployment remains at about 60 percent. Clean water is scarce. Only $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects has been spent. And most importantly, insurgent incidents have increased from about 150 per week to over 700 in the last year. Instead of attacks going down over time and with the addition of more troops, attacks have grown dramatically. Since the revelations at Abu Ghraib, American casualties have doubled. An annual State Department report in 2004 indicated a sharp increase in global terrorism.

I said over a year ago, and now the military and the Administration agrees, Iraq can not be won “militarily.” I said two years ago, the key to progress in Iraq is to Iraqitize, Internationalize and Energize. I believe the same today. But I have concluded that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress.

Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, Saddamists and foreign jihadists. I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraqi security forces will be incentivized to take control. A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis. I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice that the United States will immediately redeploy. All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free. Free from United States occupation. I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process for the good of a “free” Iraq.

My plan calls:

To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
To create a quick reaction force in the region.
To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines.
To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq

This war needs to be personalized. As I said before I have visited with the severely wounded of this war. They are suffering.

Because we in Congress are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle, it is our responsibility, our OBLIGATION to speak out for them. That’s why I am speaking out.

Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME.

More on the story here...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Let's Talk Sports!

Sports-related threads usually bring about the best conversations here at the Donnybrook (along with music threads), so let's just do one big catch-all sports post.

Bring whatever you want to the table, just don't take things off it.

I'll throw out the first topic:
If he retired tomorrow, would Priest Holmes deserve Hall of Fame consideration?
Give me your answer, then present a topic. Let's see how this works...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Giving The Tar Heels Their Due...

Wow. ESPN.com is running a "Best of the NCAA Tournament" bracket where top college programs' greatest players from across all time periods are matched up against each other.

Look at UNC's lineup:
G Phil Ford
G Michael Jordan
F James Worthy
F Billy Cunningham
C Bob McAdoo
That's just sick...

Here's NC State's all-time tournament team:

G Rodney Monroe
G David Thompson
F Tom Gugliotta
F Kenny Carr
C Tommy Burleson
Something of a difference there. Man, I fucking hate the Tar Heels...

Monday, November 14, 2005
A Great Democratic Idea...

That's "Democratic" with a big "D".

Check out H.R. 4110, the "American Parity Act of 2005".

The bill has a simple stated purpose, as stated by North Carolina's own congressman Bob Etheridge:
"This year we will spend three times paying the interest on the national debt what we will invest in education at the federal level. That shortsightedness is an example of misplaced priorities. I strongly believe that if we spend billions of dollars to build schools and other infrastructure in Iraq, which I voted for, we can find a few dollars to invest in important priorities like schools here at home..."
The bill was introduced by Congressman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois and has already been co-sponsored by 41 other congressmen, ranging from the very liberal Marty Meehan of Massachusetts to the very conservative Gene Taylor of Mississippi.

Ask any of your friends if they think it's fair that the US government expend as much effort improving the United States as it does rebuilding Iraq.

I'm guessing they won't have a problem with that.

Then tell them to call their congressman or woman and see if they plan on supporting H.R. 4110...

So Now You CAN Get A Cold From Chilly Temperatures???

It's official. I can't figure anything out...
Mothers and grandmother have long warned that chilling the surface of the body, through wet clothes, feet and hair, causes common cold symptoms to develop.

But much previous research has dismissed any link between chilling and viral infection as having no scientific basis.

Now researchers in Cardiff, Wales, say they can prove drops in temperature to the body really can cause a cold to develop.
I'm done listening to ANYTHING the medical community has to say.

I say this because I'm fairly certain that over the next few years of my life, milk and eggs will be determined to be good and/or bad for me on about 50 different occasions, and about 15 new types of "good" fats and cholesterol will be discovered.

Fuck it. I'm done.

I like walking in the rain, not wearing a coat and eating hamburgers.

Sometimes all at once...

I've Finally Figured It All Out...

After all these years of just assuming that I was smarter than the average bear, I now have my proof.

Take a look at this to see what I mean...

Friday, November 11, 2005
GOP House Doesn't Want To Hear From Veterans' Groups Anymore...

Just in time for Veteran's Day, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives has a big FU for America's veterans groups...
A proposal to end the long-standing practice of veterans groups addressing a joint session of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees is an insult to all who have fought, sacrificed and died to defend the Constitution, according to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). And in a strongly worded letter to House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Steve Buyer (R-Ind.), the DAV has urged him to continue the joint hearings as an invaluable tool in formulating public policy toward America's veterans.

Chairman Buyer recently announced that veterans service organizations will no longer have the opportunity to present testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees.

"The tradition of legislative presentations by veterans service organizations dates back to at least the 1950s. And the timing of this announcement -- just before Veterans Day -- could not have been worse," said DAV National Commander Paul W. Jackson.
Keep on honoring those troops and veterans, GOP'ers!!!

The Hill has more on this patriotic turn of events and how it came about...

UPDATE: I'm bumping this back to the top because it's Veteran's Day, and I think it's important to see how the GOP-controlled House is choosing to screw over the very veterans we're supposed to be honoring today...

Casey Widens Lead Against Santorum...

This just seems too easy.

Bob Casey, Jr. now leads the 3rd ranking Republican in the Senate by a comfortable 16 points.
Casey (D) 51%
Santorum (R) 35%
Apparently, Santorum is so flustered at this point that even he is trying to distance himself from President Bush.

We all know better...

UPDATE: Rasmussen has Casey beating Santorum by a cool 20 points...

2nd UPDATE: ABC News has a good piece up about Santorum's medical malpractice hypocrisy. Enjoy...

Thursday, November 10, 2005
The Worst Of The NC GOP Goes Down In Flames...

I almost missed this piece of good news amid the celebration of all the other Democratic triumphs on Tuesday.
Vernon Robinson set to lose council post

Vernon Robinson, a hard-nose GOP voice on the Winston-Salem City Council for eight years, was headed to a sound election defeat yesterday to Democrat Molly Leight.

The election of Molly Leight, a political newcomer, would give the Democrats a 7-1 advantage on the council. With 11 of the 13 South Ward precincts reporting, Leight had about twice as many votes as Robinson.
Vernon Robinson ran for US Congress last year, but lost in the GOP primary to Virginia Foxx, another bonafide political gem.

The Winston-Salem Journal said this about Robinson:
"Jesse Helms is back! This time he is black."
Honestly, I don't know who makes out worse in that comparison.

For a nice listing of Mr. Robinson's assorted viewpoints, take a look at the "Issues" page from his campaign website, and breathe a nice sigh of relief that the black Jesse Helms has about as much clout politically as the white one...

Wednesday, November 9, 2005
Truer Words Were Never Spoken...

There is nothing worse than a set of blue balls...

(From Rocketboom)

It's A Great Day To Be A Democrat!!!

Where do I begin???

2006 can't get here soon enough!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Do Your "Sports Self" And "Political Self" Peacefully Co-Exist?

A fascinating topic brought up by Chuck Klosterman, ESPN's resident pop culture vulture...

Klosterman has a bit of trouble reconciling Chuck, the progressive citizen of the world and Chuck, the reactionary sports fan. Take a look:
Within the context of life, I am the centrist pragmatist who doesn't even vote; within the context of sports, I am a potential war criminal. I wish Kenesaw Mountain Landis were still the commissioner of baseball. When John McEnroe insists that men's tennis should allow only wooden rackets, it sounds totally reasonable. Whenever I talk about the Colts, I inevitably refer to them playing in Baltimore, and it always makes me vaguely mad when I realize this is no longer the case (and has not been for 22 years). No matter what he does, I somehow find myself supporting Bob Knight in drunken arguments; Knight could jam the face of a Texas Tech guard into the gears of a John Deere combine for failing to get back on defense, and I would eventually find myself in a bar saying things like, "Well, modern kids do need discipline."
It's a fascinating paradox to be sure, and I must admit my liberal views in the politcal world don't exactly match up with my views on the sports world, which are (on certain points) a mixed bag.

As a "sports progressive", I'm all for instant replay in football and the wild card in baseball. I don't mind end-zone dances in the NFL, and I think it's silly for the NBA to institute a dress code. I also think Bob Knight is a hypocritical, undisciplined scumbag.

On the other hand, the sports traditionalist (conservative???) in me thinks the designated hitter rule descended (or is it rose?) directly from the mouth of Hell, that Penn State's football team still has the greatest uniforms in all of sports, and that fighting is an essential part of hockey.

Oh, and that soccer sucks. There's no debating that one, no matter what your political stripe...

Another GOP Rationale For War Was Bullshit...

Add this to the ever-increasing list of garbage claims used to justify Bush's war...

US military intelligence warned the Bush administration as early as February 2002 that its key source on Al-Qaeda's relationship with Iraq had provided "intentionally misleading" data, according to a declassified report.

Nevertheless, eight months later, President George W. Bush went public with charges that the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein had trained members of Osama bin Laden's terror network in manufacturing deadly poisons and gases.

These same accusations had found their way into then-secretary of state Colin Powell's February 2003 speech before the UN Security Council, in which he outlined the US rationale for military action against Iraq.

It gets better. As John at AmericaBlog points out, Colin Powell worked this little beauty into his presentation at the United Nations:
"I can trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these weapons to Al-Qaeda," insisted the secretary of state, who now says he regrets voicing many of the charges contained in that speech.
Powell can regret making these statements all he wants, he didn't have to pay for those false statements with his life...

Monday, November 7, 2005
...and starring George W. Bush as Bill Lumbergh...

Borrowing a page from the "Office Space" playbook, Dubya is requiring White House staff to attend ethics classes...
President Bush has ordered White House staff to attend mandatory briefings beginning next week on ethical behavior and the handling of classified material after the indictment last week of a senior administration official in the CIA leak probe.

According to a memo sent to aides yesterday, Bush expects all White House staff to adhere to the "spirit as well as the letter" of all ethics laws and rules. As a result, "the White House counsel's office will conduct a series of presentations next week that will provide refresher lectures on general ethics rules, including the rules of governing the protection of classified information," according to the memo, a copy of which was provided to The Washington Post by a senior White House aide.
When I first heard about this over the weekend, my face probably looked a lot like Tommy Shaw's after Dennis DeYoung first told him his idea for "Kilroy Was Here". Just sheer bewilderment...

"If you could go ahead and not leak the identity of any more covert CIA operatives, that would be greeeeeeat..."

Friday, November 4, 2005
I'm Bored...Let's Do A Movie Quiz!!!

And let's do it 80's-style!

You know the drill: Tell me the movie the quote came from, no Google, don't look at other people's answers, don't be a dick, etc...

Good luck, this should be a tough one!

1. "Tito Puente's gonna be dead, and you're gonna say, 'Oh, I've been listening to him for years, and I think he's fabulous.'" --Stripes (1981)

2. "Larry Bird doesn't do as much ball-handling in one night as you do in an hour!"--Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)

3. "You can't really dust for vomit."--This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

4. "I'm Sorry I'm late, I had to attend the reading of a will. I had to stay till the very end and I found out I received nothing... "--Spies Like Us (1985)

5. "This is pure snow! Do you have any idea what the street value of this mountain is?"--Better Off Dead (1985)

6. "I mean, he went from totally geek, to totally chic!"--Can't Buy Me Love (1987)

7. "Now I've seen a lot of bullshit... angel dust, switchblades, sexually perverse photography involving tennis rackets... "--Heathers (1989)

8. "Look, I'm very sorry I wasn't here this afternoon. What can I say? My wife was poisoned and taken to the hospital... Well, what would cut any ice with you?... A bribe? Sure, can you be here in a half an hour? All right. Cash, no problem."--The Money Pit (1986)

9. "Suck my fat one, you cheap dime store hood."--Stand By Me (1986)

10. "I'm gonna drop down to 168 and wrestle Schute."--Vision Quest (1985)

UPDATE: Wow. I thought you guys were up to the challenge. WRONG!!! The Great One is the winner with a paltry 3 correct answers. As his reward, he gets my complete and utter sympathy.

May God have mercy on your souls...

Thursday, November 3, 2005
Fantasy Football Friday Comes Early This Week...

In my big money league, I'm as dead as Don Johnson's singing career, so I have but one pressing question in my B-league:

I have three great RB's and can only start two of them. Who would you start?

Corey Dillon (NE) vs. Indianapolis: 401 yds rushing/7 TD's this season...
Rudi Johnson (Cin) @ Baltimore: 681 yds/2 TD's
Thomas Jones (Chi) @ New Orleans: 713 yds/6 TD's

As I see it, Jones is a lock against the struggling Saints in spite of being a little dinged up.

Dillon makes sense, but he's also dinged up and facing a very tough Colts defense. Rudi's numbers aren't as good as the other two, but he's facing a severely undermanned Ravens D...

Bush's Tailspin Hits North Cackalackey...

41% approval in our fine state, a mere 366 days too late...
President Bush's approval rating in North Carolina continues to decline, according to a poll released Friday by Elon University.

The poll found that 41 percent of those questioned approve of Bush's handling of the job of president. That is down from 45 percent in a poll Elon did in April and 52 percent from a poll the university did in March.
Timing is, indeed, everything...

Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Nutt Pulls Johnson, Inserts Dick Against Cocks...

Fayetteville, AR--In a surprising turn of events, Arkansas Razorbacks' coach Houston Nutt has opted to start redshirt freshman Casey Dick at quarterback against the surging Gamecocks of South Carolina instead of the more experienced Robert Johnson.

It's assumed that if Dick can get enough air under his balls, the Razorbacks should be able to score early and often.

However, the change raises a hard question: Are the Cocks ready to handle Dick's aggressive advances?

Nutt could come under fire if the Cocks can smother Dick and render him impotent. At the same time, Nutt seems concerned that Dick could reach his climax prematurely and eventually give way to the more experienced Johnson.

Only time will tell...

Whatever Happened To The Pet Shop Boys?


These guys made some awesome music back in the 80's and (to my knowledge) promptly disappeared.

"Domino Dancing", "What Have I Done To Deserve This?", "West End Girls", and a transcendent version of Willie Nelson's "Always On My Mind".

How many bands nowadays have 2 good songs, much less 4 great ones. And those are only the ones that I like!

Put simply, you can't beat a band with a singer who's British accent sounds so snotty, he makes Prince Charles sound like Forrest Gump.

Reading over it now, this post might be about as good an idea as "Silence of the Lambs: The Musical", but I felt very strongly that something needed to be said...

Tuesday, November 1, 2005
One Of My Valued Readers Starts His Own Blog...

Anyone that reads my blog with any regularity is familiar with Rich, a well-spoken fellow who describes himself thusly:
Rich, live in Vallejo, California, Moderate Conservative and I've left the Republican party to become a cynic.
Rich's blog, Wulfie's Wurld, addresses some of those tough questions that seem to unite/divide so many of us.

Clearly, his goal is to make people think about the hard issues facing our nation in a straight-forward and honest way.

Take a look and let your opinions be known. Rich has a lot of his own opinions to share...

Libby Heads To Court This Thursday...

Never mind the distractions, something still reeks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue...


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