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The Donnybrook
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
As If Enough Weren't Going Wrong Already

This has nothing to do with American efforts or bad contracting or the security environment. The dam near Mosul, north of Baghdad, was built in Saddam era. And built very well. Except that it was built on a bed of gypsum, which is water soluble and is seeping crumbling beneath the superstructure. The Iraqi "government" has tried to quash the Army Corps of Engineers warnings for over a year now. No problems! Move along, now. Sure, there is a screwed up repair contract - but what contract re: Iraq is NOT screwed up, full of fraud-waste-abuse? The fundamental problem is that they built the dam on WATER SOLUBLE GYPSUM. Stupidity. Fatal stupidity. Only a question of when.

An Administration of Idiots

Add this to the dope who faked a FEMA news conference (and rightfully lost his job and an upcoming promotion) and you have the picture of the Administration of Dopes, who all work for the Doofus in Chief. How fitting. This administration brought us an expansion of executive power, a reduction in individual liberties, Alberto Gonzales, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Laurita Doan, etc. January 21, 2009 cannot come soon enough.

It's A Simple Question

I waterboarding torture? If you think the answer is No, the SAY SO! So Mukasey pledges to "..... study the issue if confirmed...". Sorry, Mr. Mukasey, if you cannot do your homework before the confirmation hearing, then maybe you aren't the guy to replace even the embarrassing Gonzales. To say that "I don't know what's involved in the technique," is disingenuous at best. What it really is is a lie. And that does not depend on what the definition of "is" is. Vote no, any Dems with a spine. This is just another schill for the Bush-Cheney jaunta. He cannot even bring himself to criticize or defend a practice that was ended two years ago. Not AG material. Vote no.

Me-Angelo Cannot Keep His Trap Shut

Even for $50-large. Why the Falcons were willing to forgive half his fine for the same sort of head-case childishness that has come to define Me-Angelo, I don' t know. They should have fined him more for this latest outburst and let him appeal that. Look for the Falcons to wipe the slate clean of VA Tech players - they have not been served well by Tech players.

Red Sawx.....the New Yankees

I'm not really a baseball guy, but damn are those Sawx fans annoying. The Sawx are nothing but the new Yankees - a team based primarily on buying talent other teams cannot afford. Perhaps they spend there money more wisely than the Yanks and manage the team better, I don't know. I do know that there is nowhere near the financial level-ish playing field that exists in the NFL and the NBA. Bring a hard cap to baseball salaries or expect this sort of ending more years than not. *yawn*

Sunday, October 28, 2007
Face it, America: Iraqi's Don't Want Unity

Each group want to rule the other any damn way they please. Trying to reconcile Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds is a fools errand. A costly, bloody fools errand. Yes, it will still be bad when we leave. That is the hole we have dug for ourselves. But when you realize you have dug a hole and you want to get out, the first thing you do is stop digging.

Enough is Enough?

Even some Evangelicals are getting tired of the religious-political right.
Self-righteous indignation begins to wear on some people after a few decades.

In a related set of circumstances, Oral Roberts tries to rescue his shambles of an organization.
Televangelists are snake-oil salesmen and I hope that Pat Robertson will end up the same way. More on him in future posts.

Import Workers, or Import Food

Misplaced outrage at the immigrants who harvest our crops puts the U.S. at a global disadvantage.
I'm not pushing amnesty, but I want non-enforcement until or unless we have the workers in the U.S. to fill these jobs.

We are nation of laws - badly written and selectively enforced. This crackdown on immigrants is misplaced, misguided, emotionally-driven politics and is simply bad policy. If there were Americans who would do this work that'd be another thing. If these immigrants are stealing jobs, where are the Americans who are supposedly being stolen from? They don't exist.

Monday, October 22, 2007
I'm simply not a good enough writer to explain what I'm feeling right now...

...so let me just start by saying that Kerri and I sincerely appreciate the kind words and concern that you guys have shown for our family.

Kerri has been an amazing example of courage, bravery and strength throughout, and I can only sit in quiet awe of someone so wonderful and compassionate.

I'm pretty sure that in my 30 years, I've only actually seen the face of God on three occasions. The first was at my wedding, the next was at my confirmation into the Catholic Church.

Last Wednesday morning at 12:17 and 12:18 AM, I saw Him again...That's when I met these two miracles...

Fiona Marie Anderson

Declan James Anderson

The Anderson twins...

...and the happy family...

On This Issue, the Two National Parties Agree

Even if their State counterparts don't. Some politics are left-right. Some are geographic. Some are national vs. local. We have the latter here. Should be interesting political theater.

It's Not Just Waxman Who is Sick of Blackwater

The Secretary of Defense's suggestions for oversight seem to have had gained some traction.
Of course, Waxman's presence has helped greatly. No Republican-majority committee would ever have seen fit to meet it's responsibilities for oversight where Iraq is concerned. Now, it appears that Blackwater - unlike competitor security firms - does what it can to screw it's employees and avoid taxes.
Prince denies it all, again. No, his family's deep connection with the Republican party NEVER helped him get contracts and avoid oversight. NEVER. Keep it up, Henry.

Worst of the Worst?

It has to be Miami in the NFL. Sure, the Rams are awful, but this is getting ridiculous for Miami. They lost their only good offensive player and one of the last real safeties they had for the season. Those perennial suck-jobs, the Raiders, must be happy right now. Even though they suck yet again, they aren't even the second-worst team in the league. Given the Jets and the Falcons, they may be only the 5th worst team. And hell, I may have forgotten someone. The Raiders may not even be bottom five!

Adande Calls It

Even though he is writing about the NBA, the statement applies to athletes and many people in general:
Not a healthy mix. And don't suggest your sport is free of it either. It comes with the territory.

Microsoft Agrees to Play By the Rules in Europe

In a victory for consumers world-wide, Microsoft finally says uncle and drops its' nine-year fight with European courts. Instead of charging almost 6% of company's revenue for access to MS codes that make other programs interoperable with MS, the company will now charge on 0.4%. The article notes that MS saw the negative publicity implications of challenging further and welcomes the chance to shift the legal spotlight to Google, Inc., and its acquisition of DoubleClick. The MS decision to give in should lead to more competition for computer applications and better prices for consumers. MS profit margins may come down, but the company obviously feels that the alternatives would be more expensive.

Home of Ugly People?

________ is home to the least attractive people in the United States, a survey of visitors and residents showed on Friday. The city of more than 1.5 million people was also found to be among the least stylish, least active, least friendly and least worldly, according to the "America's Favorite Cities" survey by Travel & Leisure magazine and CNN Headline News.

If the shoe fits.... ;)

Sunday, October 21, 2007
Ignorance, Prejudice, and Fear Walk Hand-In-Hand

Careful what you wish for, ye xenophobes.

We have this labor here because we need it. There are too many Americans who won't work for these wages and many who simply can't do these jobs as well. The more stupid laws like these that pass the more economic harm we do to ourselves as a nation.

Saturday, October 20, 2007
The Year Parity Came to Roost

I cannot help but love it whenever Spurrier loses. Although he is my favorite coach of the Washington NFL team (who either embrace a really racist moniker or are named after a potato), Spurrier is hard to like. The SEC, clearly the best of the major conferences in the NCAA this year, has seen KY beat LSU and now SC loses to Vandy and TN loses to Bama. Parity is here. Do any of you sports fans/aficionados/writers (Dr.Masse) think that the toothpaste will go back into the tube easily? If there is not going to be a playoff, and face it realists - it is not coming anytime soon due to $$ - there should be no pre-season rankings. But that, too, is a pipe dream because the networks who televise the stuff would commission their own polls to help hype games and pay for the huge $$$ they pay the NCAA for broadcasting rights. I just take some comfort in seeing parity wreak havoc with the established orthodoxy of the joke that is college football rankings and national titles.

Friday, October 19, 2007
Congratulations, Kerri and Brian!

Welcome, Fiona Marie and Declan James. We are all very happy for the four of you!

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Looking to Avoid the Anti-Republican Blowback in November 2008

Hastert to resign sooner to let the GOP stand a chance to retain the seat.

Good-bye Denny, sorry we ever knew ye.

Donnybrook Poll: What Commonly Used Phrases Get On Your Nerves?

The two that immediately come to mind for me are:
  1. "It's All Good" - No, it isn't. What the hell are you looking at that makes you think it's all good? What sort of Pollyanna are you? War, disease, hatred, suffering......the lesson of human history is that it is most definitely NOT all good.
  2. "I'm Over It" - Nobody uses this phrase unless they are still pissed/annoyed about whatever "it" is. As in, "My girlfriend keeps bringing over her stupid friends. I am so over it." Get over it and get a different phrase.
Nominate a few phrases....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Yes, Virginia...You Could Have Two Democratic Senators

  • Democrat Mark R. Warner holds a large early lead over either potential Republican opponent in next year's race for Virginia's open U.S. Senate seat, according to a statewide poll. The survey also reflected a generally favorable view of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's performance in office and the overall direction of the state, but was not as charitable toward the General Assembly.
Mark Warner gets 51% in this poll and both Repub challengers get 27%. (Gilmore and Davis). Significantly, "in a match up with either man, 12 percent of those who identified themselves as Republicans said they would back Warner."

When VA could provide two Democratic Senate seats, droves of House Republicans are retiring - we are up to 11 or 12 I think - and the Republicans will have to spend money and time to keep a Senate seat in IDAHO, you know there has been a sea change. Nobody is better qualified than Dems to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but the trend here is broad based. Add to this the queasiness of Republican donors , and you have a historic chance for Dems to display their amazing ability to miss opportunities. My longer term concern is that Dems will get used to having the Tom Foleys , Toe-Tapping Senator Wide-Stance, and the current Doofus-in-Chief to run against. That will not last with a White House victory and Congressional gains in '08, should that come to pass. Be thinking about governing, not just campaigning.

Neutering the Watchdogs

A bipartisan proposal to beef up the independence of Inspectors General in federal agencies is opposed by the White House. In fairness to Republicans, this is not a George Bush issue. This is an Executive Branch vs. Legislative Branch issue. Executive authorities don't like oversight - they want unfettered power unchecked by "beancounters" who represent the people via their elected Representatives and Senators. No matter whom is Prez, he (soon to be she?) sees all Congressional inquiry as meddling and partisan sabotage. Tough shit.

In fairness to reality, this administration has more to hide than any since Nixon, and maybe more. (We won't know until or unless documents are declassified in the future.) Most President's would rather not have independent watchdogs in each agency. They want their politically appointed agency head to be able to keep a lid on bad news. But that is not conducive to good government.
The key issue is whether the IG's can submit budgets directly to Congress. When the agency head can trim budget requests, the IG remains vulnerable to powerlessness.
Tough shit, Mr. President. Let the IG's loose....future Democratic occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will be subject to the same standards. Your (and Dick[head] Cheney's) pursuit of the imperial of the Office of the President is beyond shameful. But you don't have even the capacity for shame, do you?

Update: Republican Senator Grassley Accuses GSA Chief of Making False Charges Against the GSA Inspector General

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Who is the most "polarizing" Presidential candidate?

The answer might surprise you.

Here's exactly how the question was phrased by ABCNews/Washington Post:

"If [see below] wins the Democratic/Republican nomination for president would you definitely vote for him/her in the general election for president in 2008, would you consider voting for him/her or would you definitely not vote for him/her?"

Now, here are the percentages of respondents that said they "definitely would not" vote for each candidate:

Barack Obama -- 39%
Hillary Clinton -- 41%
John Edwards -- 43%
Rudy Giuliani -- 44%
John McCain -- 45%
Fred Thompson -- 54%
Mitt Romney -- 57%

So, in spite of all the talk about Hillary's high negatives and inability to appeal to voters, she is actually less polarizing than every major Republican candidate.

Something to ponder...

Monday, October 15, 2007
Greatest male athlete with a chick's name?

Watching Devin Hester and Adrian Peterson have incredible games this past weekend got me to thinking about this topic.

I'll go with Gale Sayers, but Lynn Swann is running a fairly close second.

Any others???

A recipe for a great Sunday in the NFL...

The Eagles head to the Meadowlands and come out with a win...

...and the Patriots hang 48 points on the Cowgirls at Texas Stadium, shutting T.O.'s big mouth in the process...

P.S. The Jets' New York Titans throwback unis were straight-up money. An awesome look, and they were bad luck to boot!

UPDATE: Any of you chaps that honestly thought the Romo-led Cowgirls had a chance at beating Tom Brady really should've read this graf from The Sports Guy before the game...
Tony Romo has started 16 games in the NFL. He looked great in five of them, good in three of them, mediocre in three of them, lousy in three of them and abysmal in two of them. Should I trust Romo in a gigantic game ... or should I trust Tom Brady, who has a 127.2 QB rating and three Super Bowl rings? You tell me.

One of the more damning headlines I've ever read...

This guy may not have much of a case...

Dentist claims breast rubs appropriate

A dentist accused of fondling the breasts of 27 female patients is trying to keep his dental license by arguing that chest massages are an appropriate procedure in certain cases. Mark Anderson's lawyer says dental journals discuss the need to massage the pectoral muscles to treat a common jaw problem.

Police say Anderson said during recorded phone calls that he routinely massaged patients' chests to treat temporo-mandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, which causes neck and head pain.

Attorney Robert Zaro told administrative law judge Jonathan Lew at a hearing Thursday that he should let Anderson keep his dental license while disciplinary appeals proceed. Anderson would be supervised by two assistants and would no longer do the chest rubs, Zaro said.

Zaro said Anderson, 48, of Woodland, needs to keep seeing patients so he can feed his seven children and pay for his defense.
My creepy quotient has been fulfilled for the week...

Sunday, October 14, 2007
Joey Porter, Asshole Thug

Best that can be said of him is that he's not as bad as Vick. More of a hot-head thug, but not as bad. Talk about your LOW standards.

Inherently Flawed

It's foolish to think that an Inspector General can really root out corruption, fraud, waste and abuse with impunity if he/she works for the very person(s) being investigated. While there are many agency heads who value the IG work and don't retaliate over negative findings on their agency operations, it's clear that the CIA Chief, Michael Hayden is not among them.

In an investigation conducted in 2003 and 2004 at the request of [now] Chairman of the Government Oversight Committee, it was discovered that:

How about we establish a simple standard for appointment and confirmation for future IG's: substantive audit experience necessary, others need not apply. Any political connections should be scrutinized heavily and IG's should recuse themselves from cases that involve investigating their buddies. Now, conservatives will no doubt attack the claims' source, Henry Waxman. That is to be expected. Let's see if they attack or refute any of the findings.

Don't hold your breath...

Senator Mitchell has Something to Report...

...just not yet.
Given the glacial pace of his investigation thus far, I wouldn't expect anything too soon. But it sounds as though a whole slew of cheating baseball players will be named. Baseball has been piling up it's dirty laundry for some time now, and the airing-out process will not be pleasant.
Get 'em all. Name them, shame them, fine them, shun them...

Saturday, October 13, 2007
Yet Another Foreign Policy Home Run for Bush

Remember, Bush looked into Putin's soul and assured us it was fine. What a disaster you have been, W.

1/21/09, kum-bay-yah. Oh Lord, kum-bay-yah.

Flute Legends

As Matt Molloy, traditional flute legend, jams out on the Bucks of Oranmore, note that it's James Galway sitting on the side listening. Unusual.

Soul-Filled Electric

Sirs Vai and Popper. This is the stuff. Rock meets soul meets blues. No singing necessary.

Friday, October 12, 2007
Separated at birth?

The Wake Forest Demon Deacon...

...and TV's Michael Rappaport?

Think about it...and get your Week 6 NFL picks in!!!

Contrary to popular opinion...

There was actually a time when Ben Stiller was creative, funny, and even slightly offbeat. A long, long time ago...

Thursday, October 11, 2007
Racist Fox News anchor "knew" Cleveland school shooter was white...

This is worth mentioning because John Gibson is not presented as a conservative pundit a la Sean Hannity. He's presented as merely an anchor.

Anyway, here's his reaction to yesterday's school shooting in Cleveland:

Yes, I know the shooter was white. I knew it as soon as he shot himself. Hip-hoppers don't do that. They shoot and move on to shoot again.
Black kids = "Hip-hoppers"...Got that???

As McEnroe Might Say, "You CANNOT Be Serious!"

Some athletes cheat, some politicians cheat. It's not often that politicians cheat in athletic contests.
Madrazo says he didn't cheat and didn't intend to finish. Check out the photo and see if you believe him...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The baseball playoffs got me to thinking about some of the great clutch performers I've been fortunate enough to see in my lifetime. I have a ton of respect for players that perform their best when in the biggest games. It's one thing to be a Mr. April like A-Rod, it's another to be a guy that elevates his play as the games get more and more important.

Here are some of the greatest clutch players I've seen in my lifetime. Who are some of yours?


Curt Schilling: Easily the best clutch pitcher I've ever seen. The guy is money in the big games and he just takes it to another notch when the games count the most. Remember the Bloody Sock game? He is 9-2 in his postseason career with a 1.93 ERA and was just about untouchable during the 2001 playoffs when he helped the Diamondbacks win the World Series as well as in 2004 (minus the game where he got hurt), allowing just one run in his last two starts in the ALCS and World Series. If I have to pick one pitcher to win a big game, Schilling is the guy I want on the mound.

David Ortiz: Here's the anti-A-Rod. A guy who is great in the regular season and even better in the playoffs. Ortiz has career .320 postseason batting average with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs. he was on fire against the Angels in the division series this year and in his last five playoff series his worst batting average has been .333. He was amazing in 2004 when he won three straight Red Sox games, including elimination games against the Yankees in Game 4 and 5, with walk-off hits. Two of those walk-off hits were home runs.

Some others I like in the clutch: Derek Jeter, Orel Hershiser, Josh Beckett, Dave Stewart.


Joe Montana: Like Schilling, if I have one game I have to win this is the guy I want quarterbacking my team. Four super bowls and three super bowl MVPs (the only player to do so) speak for themselves. What's amazing is that in four Super Bowls, Montana never threw an interception in 122 passes. He also threw 11 touchdown passes. Montana also was one of the masters of the fourth-quarter comeback and his game-winning 92-yard drive in Super Bowl XXIII stands as the greatest drive in Super Bowl history. The Niners trailed 16-13 and had about three minutes to go and he goes 8-for-9 for 103 yards (they had lost yardage during the drive due to penalties). His only incompletion on that drive was a throwaway. He also orchestrated the game-winning 89-yard drive when the Niners trailed 27-21 in the 1981 NFC championship, setting off a great dynasty. Last but not least, in his first year with the Chiefs, Montana led two fourth-quarter comebacks against the Steelers and Oilers to lead the Chiefs to their first title game since 1969. One last thing, Montana also led Notre Dame to a national championship and ended his collegiate career by bring the Irish back from a 34-12 fourth-quarter deficit.

Tom Brady: I've said on here before that I think Brady is Montana's long-lost son because he plays so much like Montana. when the stakes are highest Brady is at his best as he has shown with his two game-winning super bowl drives against the Rams and Panthers and his two super bowl MVPs...not to mention his 12-2 postseason record. Three times in the playoffs, Brady also has helped the Patriots knock off the AFC's top seed. He's done it four times in the NFL playoffs when you throw in the 2001 Rams having the league's best record.

Jerry Rice: The anti-Marvin Harrison. As great as Rice was in the regular-season he was even better in the playoffs unlike Harrison who is at his worst in the playoffs. (look it up if you don't believe me). Rice had 14 100-yard games in the playoffs and in his three super bowls with the 49ers his WORST game was a 7-catch, 148-yard, 3-touchdown effort against the Broncos. In his first Super Bowl he was the MVP with 11 catches, 215 yards and a touchdown and in his third he had 10 for 149 and three touchdowns...with a separated shoulder. Even as a Raider at the age of 40, Rice caught a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.

Some others I like in the clutch: Terrell Davis, John Elway, Michael Irvin.


Michael Jordan: As a Pistons fan I hated seeing this guy win so many titles. But damn, I never saw a player hit so many clutch shots time after time after time. Didn't matter who it was, Jordan always found a way to hit the big shot when it was needed most.

Kobe Bryant: He is my least favorite player, but the guy can hit the big shots with the best of them. He's hit a ton of game-winners in his career and a lot of them have come in the playoffs. I couldn't deny the guy's greatness or deny how good he was going to be when, in the Lakers first title year, he carried the team in overtime in Indiana after O'Neal had fouled out and it looked like the Pacers were going to even the series 2-2.

Robert Horry: They don't call him Big Shot Bob for nothing. If they had a clutch shooting hall of fame this guy would be one of the first inducted. With the Rockets, Lakers, Spurs, it doesn't matte, if you leave him open in the final seconds he will burn you. Just ask the Kings and Pistons for starters. I remember watching Game 5 of the 2005 finals when my beloved Pistons were clinging to a two-point lead. As soon as Horry got the ball I threw my arms up in the air in disgust and said we (it's always "we" when your team does well!) just lost. That's how certain I was that Horry would hit the shot. And he did....he always does.

Some others I like in the clutch: Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Hakeem Olajuwon.

Any Victory for Civil Liberties Under This President is Worth Note

This President, a fear-mongering blight on our national soul, will likely veto the bill and have the votes to sustain. We are all the less for it.

The gains will be paltry and/or symbolic, the loss of liberty and freedoms we cherish as being central to being American are being slowly chipped away. 1.21.09, come soon.

Isaiah Expect Love From the NY Crowd

He may get it, but if he does it speaks really poorly of the NY fans. Do they really want to slip to the level of Philadelphia fans? ;) This sexist, racist SOB should be booed out of the Garden. If not for his sexism (see the recent verdict) or his racism (his comments about white players in the NBA while he was still playing, hell he is the black John Rocker) , then his pathetic performance as GM and then coach should be enough. But don't expect that from NY fans, they are nearly as angry and cynical as (many, though not all) Philly fans.

Turks: Guilty of Genocide in WWI?

Notice that the White House does not defend Turkey's actions nor deny it is genocide. They know it was. Many Turks feel the same way, but Armenian-Turk hatred runs really deep. And the PKK is taunting the Turks. But the real concern for the White House and supporters of Iraq is the effect this could have on the current US course in Iraq. As Sir Sullivan might say, the money quote:

Gates said that 70 percent of U.S. air cargo headed for Iraq goes through Turkey, as does about a third of the fuel used by the U.S. military in Iraq. “Access to air fields and to the roads and so on in Turkey would very much be put at risk if this resolution passes and Turkey reacts as strongly as we believe they will,” Gates said. He also said that 95 percent of the newly purchased Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles are flying through Turkey to get to Iraq.

So will this encourage those anti-war Representatives and Senators? If they have any sense they will back off - anyone who can be even slightly portrayed as screwing troops in the field is dead on election day. It's one thing to be against the war and want to pull out soon, it's another to try to force it while hiding behind a resolution that would indirectly harm troops in the field. Don't get me wrong -the Turks slaughtered many thousands of Armenians, the Turks have good reason to want to invade Kurdistan (N. Iraq). It is just the wrong time to be taking this stance. Why now, 90 years later? No good reason to support this now. Like wetting your jeans when it's freezing out - feels good and warm for the first minute, but the mess and discomfort to come make it a fools move.

Creative political fundraising for you Red Sox fans...

Kreese, this one's for you...

Take Me Out to the Red Sox Game With Chris Dodd

There's something magical about playoff baseball under the shadow of the Green Monster, the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square, or the fact that if you squint hard enough you can almost make out Ted Williams patrolling the outfield or Cartlon Fisk waving that ball inside the foul pole.

So let's go to Fenway Park... I've got two extra seats -- great seats -- to Game Six of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians. And I believe they have your name on them.

Next Thursday at 5 P.M. Eastern, we're going to pick one entrant at random, live and online, to attend Game Six with me that Saturday. I'll put up the two tickets, $600 towards airfare for you and your guest, and a hotel room in Boston.

Here's how it works. You make a minimum contribution of $20.04 (in honor of the last time the Red Sox won the World Series, 2004) and you have as good a shot as anyone else to attend the game.

Bush's buddies in Saudi Arabia are releasing our terrorism suspects...

...and giving each of them $2600. How's that grab ya?

The Saudi Arabian government will temporarily release 55 prisoners recently transferred from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and will give each of them about $2,600 to celebrate the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz granted the temporary releases from detention centers in Saudi Arabia so the prisoners could spend time with their families during the holiday in mid-October, the Okaz newspaper reported.

They will return to police custody after the holiday and will be referred to Saudi courts at end of this month for upcoming trials, the paper said.
Care to comment, Mr. President???

Justification for the immediate relocation of any sports franchise...

If you can't sell every single ticket to every single playoff game, your city does not deserve to have a franchise.

I'm talking to you, Arizona Diamondbacks...

At last count, 12,000 tickets were still available for Games 1 and 2 at Chase Field.

Past history shows D-back fans will turn out for the games -- it's just that they haven't traditionally rushed out for postseason tickets.

In 2001, the club didn't sell out a postseason game until the World Series.
The Diamondbacks should immediately be moved to Portland, a town that is starved for pro sports.

They should also forfeit their 2001 World Series championship. This is a pathetic statement about an even more pathetic insta-franchise...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Good job on the NFL picks this week!

Talley and Kreese both snagged 12 points while your truly took in his 2nd weekly victory with a near-perfect 13 correct picks!

Keep 'em comin'!!!

Thompson: "dumb as hell" but "friendly."

At least according to Tricky Dick.
Eh...right. He's just another actor who wants play President. Next he will be doing ads sitting in a red pickup. And a bunch of idiots will fall for it.

I Wonder If MADD and the Military Could Agree on This One?

Raise the service-eligible age and lower the drinking age - both to nineteen. That's not the proposal in the article - it deals only with a group looking to lower the drinking age to 18, but they use the military service argument. How can one not be persuaded that if old enough to die for your country that you cannot drink there legally? But the practical effects would be ugly (recruiting becomes much harder and alcohol-related accidents go up) and that is why we have such dissonance between policy and philosophies/ideologies. What about keeping it at 21 but making active duty military exempt? There would be howls of "unfairness" at that proposal, but I'd be more than willing to support it. Guard/Reserve folks would be exempt when called up to active duty. Just pondering..

A new CD for Alter Bridge...

Very exciting to see their second album, "Blackbird", finally coming out.

Here's the first single, "Rise Today".

Be sure to notice the plethora of PRS guitars being played/displayed throughout...

Bush Administration loses vital info on al-Qaeda...

...while trying to make itself look good.

A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.

Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company's Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.

The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group's communications network.
Let the spin begin...

UPDATE: Wanna take a wild guess as to which news network the Bushies went running to with this classified info?

Fox News, of course!

"I've never seen a guy get picked up by his testicles before."

But now, thanks to Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), I have.

Watch as he wipes the smugness off of Republican tough guy Joe Scarborough's face...

Monday, October 8, 2007
Worst jersey to be seen wearing in public?

StraightCashHomey.net is a funny site. They catalog photos of people walking around wearing random sports jerseys.

It's a very cool idea, but some of these jerseys are downright embarrassing, like this one...

..which brings me to my question:

What jersey would bring the most genuine shame and humiliation to the person wearing it? Let's avoid Michael Vick/OJ/Rae Carruth and any other nefarious athletes who've run afoul of the law.

Let's limit this strictly to on-field atrocities.

I'm going with Shawn Bradley's #76 with the Philadelphia 76ers.

It's just downright obscene...

Great song from a band I simply do not get...

The Talking Heads still get heaped with a kind of praise that I just don't understand.

What the hell is so great about them??? I DON'T GET IT!!!

Anyway, here's "Wild Wild Life".

P.S. This is the exact same way I feel about Radiohead. Why should I care???

Saturday, October 6, 2007
Happy Birthday, Bier Garden

I will be celebrating ten years of the Bier Garden today with beers and brats outside by the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth, VA with a couple hundred friends. Do you have a current or former watering hole that was more than just bar to you? What is it called and where is it?

(Thanks to s'kat and the food for the pics.)

Friday, October 5, 2007
Illegal Americans Arrested

It's one thing to be for lowered taxes....that is fair game. Refusing to pay is altogether another. It makes you "illegal" . Go to jail, do not pass go.

Watch What They Do, Not What They Say

Because they lie.
"After telling us and the world that torture is abhorrent . . . it appears that under Attorney General Gonzales they reversed themselves and reinstated a secret regime by, in essence, reinterpreting the law in secret," [Senator]Leahy said, referring to administration officials.

So give up the documents, Mr. President. You act as though you are above the law. You are not king, you are a President in a nation of laws. Act like it, even if it doesn't come naturally.

LeBron James: Sports Bigamist

I hate this stuff.

All in all, it doesn't bother me that LeBron wore a Yankees cap to a game played in Cleveland, the city that has embraced him as it's #1 sports figure. I regularly wear my Flyers colors to Carolina Hurricanes games here in Raleigh, after all.

This is the part of the story that really pisses me off:

James admits he's always been a front-runner. During his teen years, that meant latching on to the NBA's Chicago Bulls, the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and, indeed, the Yankees – all of whom captured multiple championships. He's sworn allegiance to more college teams (Ohio State one year, Florida State the next) than anyone can remember.
I've known more of these people than I can remember. People that come up with the douchiest reasons to support sports teams...

Oh, I liked their colors!

Oh, my dad bought me a (fill in the blank) shirt on a business trip when I was a kid, so they're my team!

Hey, they were the best team when I was a kid!
If you cite any of these reasons for your support of a particular team, you suck as a sports fan.

Truth be told, there's only two true reasons to be a fan of a professional sports franchise: Proximity and family. You pull for the local teams and-or the teams your family pull for, and that's it.

If you grew up in South Dakota, tough shit. Go race cockroaches...


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Guilty pleasures, musically speaking. What is your latest?

Where is the Hallowed Ground?

Do we stand for anything? I think the answer is yes. Our President and his recently-departed AG disagree with me on what the basic principles are. I think think that to torture is to fall to the terrorists' level and begin to become him. Not good. The sooner this administration of rabid nuts leave, the better.

(Thank you, Andrew Sullivan.)

1.21.09, where are you?

What a Great, Classy Gesture

There is much that is wrong with sports, but there is also so much that is good.

Add to the List of Cheaters

Marion Jones (proving her ex-hubby wasn't lying) joins Bonds, Sosa, McGuire and all the other "record" holders in infamy. I have left out many other cheaters.....name a few for us.

I'll get you started...Ben Johnson...Floyd Landis...

Knuckles Turning White, The Idaho Hypocrite Holds On

Larry Craig vows to stay in office for the rest of his term.
If Republicans have to spend time and money defending Idaho in '08, things cannot be looking good. Add this to Domenici's retirement, the problems facing the Alaska Republican crooks, Virginia potentially trading a Repub Warner for a Dem Warner, and the potential Senate numbers start to look good.

Moments when you realized that you "married up"?

This morning, I had the quintessential "How the hell did I land this chick?" moment.

My wife, who hasn't been sleeping too well now that she's 34 weeks pregnant with twins, was up watching TV when I got back from the gym around 6:30am.

I flipped on VH1 Classic to find Paul Young's "Everytime You Go Away" playing.

What followed was pure comedy gold:

Me: What woman does this guy look like?

Kerri (without missing a beat): Paul McCartney?
At that point, I simply lost my shit. This certainly wasn't my first time realizing that I married far higher than my own level, but I had to share my amazement that someone in that amount of discomfort could still be a comedic genius before 7am.

Amazing...Sorry john, she's still married!

When did you guys (or gals) realized you married someone you probably didn't deserve?

The most counter-intuitive thing I could ever say to my Presidential favorite...

Gov. Richardson, please drop out of the race...

That probably seems like a psychotic thing to say, but allow me to explain. Yesterday, the word came down that New Mexico's semi-popular Republican Senator Pete Domenici will retire at the end of his term. This creates a sterling opportunity for a Democratic pickup in a state that has been trending our way.

Who's the best candidate to take the seat? Gov. Bill Richardson.

I readily admit that in spite of Richardson's spot in the top 4 of Democratic presidential candidates, he's almost certainly not going to get the nomination. For this reason, he should maximize the good that his experience and knowledge can bring to national politics.

He should do this by dropping his Presidential bid and running for Senate...

Fred Thomps-yawn

Underwhelming in Iowa.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Signs of Bush Fatigue, Even Among Coulter's "Brainy" Types

Some even have an Adam's Apple.

Par For the Course

Our illustrious leader will veto legislation that would strenghten oversight of federal agencies. Currently the Inspectors General of each agency work for the head of that agency. Conflicting interests are not too hard to imagine, much less cite example for.
Another responsible government initiative (to be) killed by the friends of big business...

No photo-op today, Mr. President?

For a president who has engaged in photo-ops while New Orleans drowned, while the towers burned, and even strutted across an aircraft carrier like a brain-dead peacock, Dubya was awfully secretive about vetoing a bill that would have expanded health insurance for poor children in America...

President Bush, in a confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance.

It was only the fourth veto of Bush's presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year's elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.

The White House sought as little attention as possible, with the president wielding his veto behind closed doors without any fanfare or news coverage.
Why so quiet, Mr. President???

Tuesday, October 2, 2007
If Women Had Adam's Apples, They'd Be Men

He's still The Boss...

This is the new single and it friggin' rocks...

"Radio Nowhere"

Monday, October 1, 2007
I'll Move Right, Said Fred

Perhaps taking his cues from Dobson's threat re: Giuliani, Thompson supports an amendment the Constitution to protect the social right from their fear of gays in the name of defending marriage. Heterosexual marriage is far more threatened by fellow heteros than gays. Think about it. Freddy "Red pickup" T. pretends to have struck a compromise with the far and more centered right. This is serious pandering, and he is willing to use the Constitution to do it. This lobbyist is not Presidential timber - even if he plays one on TV. Perhaps he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night..

Jimmy Rollins, 2007 National League MVP

It's a no-brainer.

The numbers are impressive, and even they don't tell the whole Jimmy Rollins story...

Games started 162 (Every...Single...Game...)
At-bats 716 (Led NL, 35 more than the guy in 2nd)
Runs 139 (Led NL)
Hits 212 (2nd in NL)
Doubles 38
Triples 20 (Led NL, 8 more than the guy in 2nd)
Home Runs 30
RBI 94
Stolen bases 41 (5th in NL)
Batting average .296
On-base percentage .344
Slugging percentage .531

Again, numbers are great, but the best players play their best when it's most important.

Take a look at Rollins' game-by-game log.

In the month of September, during the home stretch of their amazing NL East championship run, the Phillies played 28 games. Jimmy got a hit in 25 of them, including a game-breaking 2-run triple yesterday to help the Phils' clinch.

Oh, and don't forget that he was the guy who had the confidence in April to say that the Phils' were the team to beat in the NL East.

He was right, and he was the biggest reason why...

UPDATE: Jayson Stark has a great article on ESPN.com chronicling what was certainly one of the most interesting regular seasons in MLB history, including Jimmy Rollins' becoming only the 4th member of the 20-20-20-20 Club...

A Question of Liability (and Morality)

"They've kicked out about 22,000 troops who they say have pre-existing personality disorders. I don't believe that," [Kit] Bond said in an interview Friday. "And when you kick them out, they don't get the assistance they need, they aren't entitled to DOD or Veterans Administration care for those problems."

What a way to treat volunteer soldiers and Marines.

Thank God for David Letterman...

...for being the only person to press this spoiled, entitled bitch who's only famous because her parents are rich and because she blew a guy on film...

Rudy's "9/11 Tourette's" flares up again...

While trying to explain why he took a call from wife #3 during a speech to the NRA last month, Rudy had this to say:

"And quite honestly, since Sept. 11, most of the time when we get on a plane, we talk to each other and just reaffirm the fact that we love each other," he said.
How sweet!

The problem is, Rudy was still married to wife #2 on 9/11...


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