Thursday, May 03, 2007

AC Milan 3 - Manchester United 0

AC Milan's Kaka (C) and Gennaro Gattuso celebrate at the end of their Champions League semi-final second leg soccer match as Manchester United's Darren Fletcher (R) leaves the pitch at the San Siro stadium in Milan May 2, 2007. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini (ITALY)

AC Milan and Liverpool will meet in a rematch of the 2005 Champions League final on May 23rd in Athens. Milan trounced Manchester United yesterday. The Mancs were missing three of their four starting defenders (Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, and Patrice Evra) but I thought the game was won and lost in the midfield where Gattuso dominated play.

BBC: AC Milan 3-0 Man Utd (agg 5-3)
Mighty Milan destroy Man Utd AC Milan - Manchester United: AC Milan Player Ratings AC Milan - Manchester United: Manchester United FC Player Ratings

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Liverpool 1 - Chelsea 0 - Liverpool Advance on Penalties, 4-1

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard celebrates after team-mate Dirk Kuyt scored the penalty that clinches victory for Liverpool against Chelsea during their European Champions League semi final second leg football match at Anfield, Liverpool. Liverpool won on penalty kicks after the two teams were tied 1-1 on aggregate after extra time.(AFP/Carl De Souza)

Independent (uk): Liverpool have the final say as Mourinho falls to nemesis again

Independent (uk): Liverpool 1 Chelsea 0 (1-1 on agg, Liv. win 4-1 on pens): Reina saves best until last as Liverpool take road to Athens

Monday, April 30, 2007

Food Blogging

I never thought I'd become a food blogger, but so many stories have food in them today.

(1) Save Chocolate! Due to popular demand (meaning the FDA got slammed) the consumer comment period on Big Food's petition to be allowed to substitute vegetable fat for cocoa butter has been extended to June 25, 2007. Don' has a sample letter you can use in composing your petition to the FDA. I don't want to buy a bar of Crisco, do you?

(2) Pizza. Resigned-in-disgrace AIDS Czar Randall Tobias, patron of the DC escort service, said this in his defense:

[ABC Investigative Reporter Brian] ROSS: Well, David, I talked to him one day before he resigned and told him that we had found his name and personal phone number on a list of clients of the so-called DC Madam’s escort service in Washington. And what he told me was that he in fact had been a customer of the service, but that he had not had sex. He had had what he called gals come over to his condo to give him a massage. He claimed there was no sex but that he was stunned by the fact that we were aware he was a client and that was his conversation. I asked him if he knew any of the young women, their names. He said he didn’t remember them at all. He said it was like ordering pizza.

I don't even know what to say about a comment like that.

(3) Melamine. Apparently our food supply is awash in the stuff, much of it coming from China. It's ground up and added to feed and grains. When a food is tested for nutritional value, melamine looks like protein, so it 'boosts' that number. It's all part of the scientific breakdown of food into scientific categories or nutrients, which has had a disastrous effect on the American and the world diet. Read this article from the Times magazine a few months ago: the best diet is to eat food your grandmother would recognize as food. Mostly plants, and nothing reconstituted in a factory. Most of it tastes like crap, anyway.

NYTimes: Filler in Animal Feed Is Open Secret in China

Genarlow Wilson Update

He's still in jail (over two years and counting), but

(1) Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has taken up his cause:

Personally, there is no chance I do business in the state of Georgia beyond the committment the Mavs have to play the Hawks until Genarlow is out of jail.

(2) Today the New York Times editorialized on his behalf: Georgia's Shame

Every day that young Genarlow Wilson remains in prison for consensual sexual activity is a further indictment against the prosecutors, lawmakers and judges of the Georgia legal system. Lawyers for Mr. Wilson have applied for a writ of habeas corpus to challenge his cruel and unusual 10-year sentence. The Superior Court should grant it.

When he was 17, Mr. Wilson received oral sex from a 15-year-old girl. For that, he has served over two years of a strict minimum decade-long prison term. He was convicted of aggravated child molestation, a charge intended for adult sexual predators. If Mr. Wilson had engaged in sexual intercourse with the same girl, it would have been a misdemeanor under an exemption for contact between minors. Oral sex was left out. Legislators have since corrected the unintended trap. If Mr. Wilson engaged in the same action today, it would be a misdemeanor.

The Board of Pardons and Paroles is legally prohibited from granting clemency for this offense. And the State Senate adjourned for the year without taking up a bill that would have allowed judges to review sentences in cases like Mr. Wilson’s.

The behavior of the district attorney, David McDade, requires particular scrutiny. He charged Mr. Wilson with raping a different girl at the same party, and a jury acquitted him in 2005. Mr. McDade has distributed a graphic videotape of the events in that case to legislators as part of a lobbying effort at the State Senate against Mr. Wilson’s release. And Mr. McDade went on television last month and said, referring to Mr. Wilson and others involved, “Six young men basically gang-raped a 17-year-old.”

At best, this is irresponsible considering that Mr. Wilson was acquitted of the charge. It demonstrates poor judgment not by a minor, but by an adult who should know better.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Last Word on Arkville Standoff

New York State Police investigators survey damage to a farmhouse in Arkville, N.Y., Thursday, April 26, 2007. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Fred LeBrun, Albany Times-Union: Death penalty clamor is red herring for State Police mistakes

After last week's tragic shooting death of a state trooper, Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno asked the right question:

"What is more important than protecting the lives of law enforcement officers?"

Then he proceeded to hammer home the wrong answer. In a shameless bit of opportunism, he thundered about the need for a death penalty bill as a response.


In light of what we know now, did our state troopers in harm's way get the protection they deserved from their own police agency? Who gave the command to storm a house where the subject of the manhunt was known to be hiding?

Could better State Police procedures have saved David Brinkerhoff's life?

These are the question the senator and others should be thundering about at the moment. Bruno should be holding hearings on the State Police, not advocating for the death penalty. This is the second time within a year that State Police procedures deserve to be questioned and examined in a very critical and public way. The "Bucky" Phillips debacle in western New York last summer also cost a trooper his life, and wounded another. What did the State Police learn from that in terms of protecting their own? Arguably, not enough.

Maj. Kevin G. Molinari, commander of Troop C in Sydney, told the Times Union Thursday that the operation that took the lives of Brinkerhoff and Travis Trim, the subject of the manhunt, "was well-planned, well-thought-out and well-executed."

I'll bet that's a smug statement Molinari wishes he had never uttered.

A State Police K-9 unit had determined there was a high probability Trim was hiding inside a house owned by a New Jersey cop, who used it as a hunting base. Trim was inside, they were outside. There was no surprise involved from either side.

Everybody present knew that Trim already had fired point blank at another trooper.
Trim was probably well hidden, in a good defensive position watching it all, and well armed.


What remained completely unanswered, however, after Felton's otherwise revealing press conference, was whether the house needed to be assaulted at all. Given the circumstances, the inclination, resources and positioning of the shooter, any police storming the house had a high probability of drawing fire. Was that necessary, considering that the house was surrounded, dozens if not hundreds of law enforcement were on the scene, and there was no deadline or hostages involved?

During the press conference, Felton emphasized how well trained the men were who stormed the house, and how they "followed established procedures."

What he didn't answer is whether those procedures were worth a damn and will be critically reviewed. Make no mistake, this is another black mark on the State Police, and they are adding up.

Can't Compromise With Crackpots

Short Digby: You can't compromise with crackpots. The anti-intellectuals who oppose abortion, evolution and gay marriage are just plain wrong.

Just go read Digby.

On The Media

Our prostrate corporate media

A round-up of news about the corporate media and a few glimmerings of change:

Digby at Hullabaloo reminds us of what happened to Ashley Banfield of MBNBC when she criticized the media's coverage of the Iraq war.

Greg Palast in the LATimes on how the corporate media in the US no longer do investigative reporting.

Bill Moyers's new show on PBS aired Friday night; it featured Jon Stewart of the Daily Show and Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo. Watch it here.

Frank Rich gets off Imus's couch (because Imus doesn't have a couch any more, ha ha) and attacks David Broder of the WaPo for going along with Bush and the neocons. (All The President's Press, TimesSelect Wall; also here and here). (I have to take any whoo, isn't Frank Rich great feelings with a grain of salt, as Frank Rich was a frequent guest of Imus, so all that racist and sexist crap didn't bother him so much, and also, he was one of the people who pilloried Al Gore for being boring, and helped give us Chimpy McFlightsuit who is a DISASTER. So I don't have the love for Frank Rich. Wary, yet.)

On a happier note, Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe, who wrote the story about Bush's use of signing statements, won the Pulitzer Prize. Go Charlie go.