Thursday, November 01, 2007

If You Lived In Iowa or New Hampshire: Barack Obama

Not a bad ad except for the "Social Security has a problem" framing. That's the right wing message. The Democratic/progressive message is "There is no crisis."

Anucha Browne Sanders and Sudden Fame

NYTimes: Browne Sanders Is an Inspiration After Winning a Lawsuit
This heightened public profile has become its own trial for Browne Sanders, a fiercely private woman who is used to blending into the back row of a basketball team picture or a corporate group photograph.


In conversations with others who have been thrust by circumstance into the public eye, Browne Sanders has sought answers to one of the few questions left unanswered during her three-week trial: How can she be a symbol without sacrificing her personal life?

“You wonder what the reason is that you were identified as the person to go through this,” she said last month in Midtown Manhattan at a lunch interview conducted in the presence of one of her lawyers, Karen Cacace.

Her conclusion? Perhaps, she ventured, it was to validate the substance of her life while slightly altering the course of it toward public advocacy.

“I was talking to Coach Stringer,” Browne Sanders said, referring to C. Vivian Stringer, whose Rutgers women’s basketball players were the subject of racist and sexist remarks by the radio host Don Imus. “She was saying how much work remains to be done. She kept driving home the point that there is so much unfinished business.”

Bush Administration Reinstates Draft

wikipedia: Fall of Saigon

For Foreign Service Officers, that is. State Department Foreign Service Officers are being informed that because of a shortage of diplomats at the US Embassy in Baghdad, they are being ordered to go to Iraq. Of course, this means living in the Green Zone which is shelled daily by the Iraqis who want us out of their country. Essentially, they are being asked to live in the place where George Bush is afraid to go; his last few visits have been in secret to other parts of the country. And some of them must have in mind the way the embassy emptied at the end of our last imperial war.

At a town hall meeting in the department's main auditorium attended by hundreds of Foreign Service officers, some of them criticized fundamental aspects of State's personnel policies in Iraq. They took issue with the size of the embassy -- the biggest in U.S. history -- and the inadequate training they received before being sent to serve in a war zone. One woman said she returned from a tour in Basra with post-traumatic stress disorder only to find that the State Department would not authorize medical treatment.

Yesterday's internal dissension came amid rising public doubts about diplomatic progress in Iraq and congressional inquiries into the department's spending on the embassy and its management of private security contractors. Some participants asked how diplomacy could be practiced when the embassy itself, inside the fortified Green Zone, is under frequent fire and officials can travel outside only under heavy guard.

Service in Iraq is "a potential death sentence," said one man who identified himself as a 46-year Foreign Service veteran. "Any other embassy in the world would be closed by now," he said to sustained applause.

WaPo: Envoys Resist Forced Iraq Duty
Top State Dept. Officials Face Angry Questions

Papelbon on Letterman, Updated

For those of you who, like me, fell asleep on the couch waiting for Papelbon's appearance on Letterman. Transcript; video:

hat tip on the video to Cursed to First

: Centerfield has Papelbon's appearance on QVC hawking World Series gear. The guy who interviews him is a total QVC tool; see if you make it any farther through the video than I did (about 2 minutes!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wait 'Til Next Year

Listen to the Captain - Re-Sign Lowell. (Actually the sign says "RESIGN LOWELL", kind of like "SURRENDER DOROTHY", but I know what it means.)
Boston Globe

The baseball season is officially over. The rallying cry in Red Sox Nation used to be "Wait 'Til Next Year". Doesn't really seem appropriate any more. How 'bout "Let's Go 3 For 5!" It's so....positive...and so unlike the old Red Sox mentality.

Some final Red Sox goodness:

Tom Verducci's great article summarizing the Sox season, with this prize nugget:

Or maybe, just maybe, they won it when a very large, angry man cleared the clubhouse of everybody but Red Sox players after Game 3 of the American League Championship Series in Cleveland, which Boston had lost to the Indians to go down 2-1.

"Listen," designated hitter David Ortiz began, "we're not just a good team. We're a great team. And don't you f------ forget that. And let's go play one at a time and go prove that. Because let me tell you something...."

Ortiz pulled on the sides of his gray road jersey. "There's a reason why you wear this Red Sox uniform...."

Ortiz paused for a beat, letting the suspenseful silence fill the rapt room.

"Because you're a bad mother------."

Now I ask you, who among us does not love Big Papi?

Boston Globe photo galleries:

Papelbon (that boy is crazy); Rolling Rally; the plane ride home.

Nice piece from Basegirl about the joys of watching the Sox win it all, with family; and another one from Sawxblog about taking his dad to Game 1 of the World Series.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

World Series Heroes

After several signature moments in the World Series, Jacoby Ellsbury took time out to have his teammates sign his jersey.

(Globe Staff Photo / Stan Grossfeld)

Hope he is enjoying the parade today. Every local TV station is showing it live. Papelbon is dancing up a storm. Varitek is holding a "Sign Lowell" sign that must have been passed to him from the crowd. Boston loves their Red Sox.

I went to the Celtics championship celebrations in 1984 and 1986 and those were pretty special, but I bet there were 1/20th there compared to the huge crowd of people at this rally. Maybe 1/100th. This is a one team town. We love the other teams when they're successful. but everyone is a Red Sox fan, no matter whether they're world champs or 86-76 (that would be last year, folks).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Oh, 'Bama: I'm So Disappointed In You

Image from

Wow, Barack Obama is trying to kill his own campaign. I didn't see this one coming.

First, Obama picks an anti-gay pentacostal minister and gospel singer to participate in a fundraising tour in South Carolina. Progressives called him on it -- you can't say you favor equal rights based on sexual orientation, and solicit money from those people, and turn your back on them. To put it more directly: You wouldn't have a Klan member raising money for you, would you. Then don't use a gay hater.

OK, maybe that's just a stupid decision that they didn't really know how to get of, so they punted. But the second mistake is HUGE. Obama is now saying that there's a Social Security crisis and it needs to be fixed.

Oh. My. God. Hello, Mr. Harvard-Law-School-educated, supposedly smart guy Senator, THERE IS NO CRISIS. That's a right-wing message used by Republicans who want to, you know, GUT SOCIAL SECURITY. They hate it. HATE it. DIdn't you pay attention to GWB's "I'm going to use my political capitol" anti-Social Security crusade? Or that it got beaten down by smart Democrats?

My candidate is shooting himself in the foot. I'm hobbling. See why I haven't been blogging about politics? One little issue and I'm so mad I keep turning on the internet scream, ALLCAPS.

Atrios, Mr. Pithy, says it best with his post title: Anti-Gay Bigots for Social Security Reform

Krugman shot down the Social Security stupidity on ABC yesterday.

C'mon, Barack, get your head out of your ass and pick a real issue. Healthcare, Iran, torture, there are important things going on in the world. Right the ship and get back to work. No more money from this supporter until you get it together.

BTW, good work on MTV tonight. But those kids don't vote. Social Security voters vote.

Peter Gammons Calls Out A-Fraud

The dean of baseball reporting rips A-Fraud a new one live on SportsCenter last night for announcing his contract opt-out in the middle of the World Series (which, as Gammons says twice, Rodriguez has never played in). Sweet.

hat tip to Red Sox Monster

Sox Sweep 2007 World Series 4-0

Again, I am exhausted by another exciting, nail-biter of a game. Congratulations to the Red Sox and their organization. I was also really impressed by the Rockies fans who never gave up on their team. They were still cheering lustily with two outs in the bottom of the 9th.

Mike Lowell wins a well-deserved post-season MVP. Perfect. He was the regular season MVP, and he did everything right, especially in those two close games. You'd think he was fast from the way he ran the bases. But he was better than fast -- he was fundamentally sound and he took every inch the Rockies gave. Please God let the Sox resign him. At least don't sign the odious A-Fraud. Please, please, I'm begging you, don't sign him. Just step away.

Reason 728 why I love Jerry Remy: On the postgame show on NESN he is asked about Alex Rodriguez's agent announcing during the 7th inning of the World Series that Rodriguez is opting out. Remy spits out: "It's disgusting....disgusting and despicable." And of course the dopes at Fox were happy to hijack the attention from the Sox to the attention whore Rodriguez.

Like most of Red Sox Nation, I would be physically sick if the Sox signed the pretty loser, PayFraud. Although it would be fun to see how he gets along with Mike Timlin. I can see Timlin impaling him with the bullpen rake if they really got into it. Why would the Red Sox, a team that prides itself on character, associate the franchise with the hooker-patronizing StrayRod? And it's not like you'd be getting him for post-season production, 'cause he disappears when the stakes are high. Do you need to know more? That's why fans last night were chanting two things: "Re-sign Mike Lowell" and "Don't Sign A-Rod." Good advice, Theo. Take it.

Oh god, I'm pulling a Fox and getting distracted by He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. Done with that.

Didn't you love Timlin's Ode to Wake, while standing right next to him, making them both cry? That was awesome.

Speaking of MVP performances, while I agreed that Lowell was the man, it was close. Coach Mom thought it would be Ellsbury. He did hit a scorching .438 in his first World Series, with an OBP of .500 and a SLG of .688. Those are just phenomenal numbers for our phenom. And he fielded every position they put him in like a pro, and his speed terrorized the Rockies pitchers and fielders. I wanted him to get MVP just so he could win the Rookie of the Year award next year after winning World Series MVP.

My friend G wanted Pedroia to get the award, but I think that was sentimental as much as anything. DP had a better shot at MVP of the ALCS. My favorite quote of the postseason by far is Julio Lugo in the clubhouse after the ALCS clinching game, speaking of Pedroia: "That little midget is THE MAN!"

The third player who should have gotten serious MVP consideration has to be Papelbon. Nails didn't give up a run, only 2 hits in 4.1 innings, with three consecutive saves to close out the four game sweep. He did get a lot of help from one Jacoby Ellsbury catch in the 9th inning last night at the wall. Can't wait to see Pap dancing on the duck boat tomorrow!

Final thought: People who weren't here for the entire season who deserve a full World Series share: Kason Gabbard -- his four wins while Schilling was out were huge, and Bobby Kielty -- the guy had one chance in the World Series and really had that one shining moment, a one-pitch home run that was the winning run of the clinching game. Seven years in the majors, four different teams, one pitch to win the World Series. Priceless.

Cloud Nine

Papelbon flies in triumph after closing out Game 4 for the World Champion Boston Red Sox.
(Getty Images Photo / Jeff Gross)

WaPo: Red Sox Have the World at Their Feet
Four-Game Sweep Clinches Second Crown in Four Seasons: Red Sox 4, Rockies 3

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I Should Have Bought a Couch

Our new hero.
Boston Globe

Exhausted by another very satisfying, very late night Red Sox win. I wonder how many other people are thinking like me -- I should have bought a couch! Because the Red Sox are going to win this Series going away, and all those people who bought furniture at Jordan's in April are getting their money back.

Those rookies at the top were simply amazing. Ellsbury will be Boston's starting centerfielder for a long time to come. You knew he was special when he scored from second on wild pitch in his very first game in July, but setting records in the World Series? Who could have predicted this from a kid who was carrying his own equipment in Double A In Portland, Maine in April? And how is it possible that he was the 23rd pick in the baseball draft in 2005? That's like Tom Brady being a 6th rounder; it just defies the imagination. 22 teams saw that blinding speed and mad skills and said, nah, we'll pass. (Just looked it up; Troy Trulowitzki went #7. I can justify picking him. What an arm.)

Fucking Fox is trying hard to ruin my World Series experience. We ignore their lame pregame (except for the lineup announcements) and mute the commercials, but to hear the crowd we are forced to listen to dumb and bum, Buck and McCarver. Why do they hate Manny Ramirez so? Is it because he's hitting the lights out in the postseason? I think it's racial racism (edited 10/29/07 to be more direct). He's not a tight-assed white guy like them and they just don't like it. Why were they going on and on about his helmet falling off as he rounded the bases in the third inning? They started talking about his dreadlocks obsessively. They were this close to calling him a nappy-headed ho. Hey, morons, he's got dreadlocks because that's the way his hair grows. Read Pam Spaulding's terrific piece on The Politics of Hair to see how all this white obsession with cornrows is just plain old discrimination against black people. STFU and stop exposing your KKK attitudes.

Back to single Ks. Dice K was awesome. Love that little butt waggle he does before he delivers. When he's really on he does it before every pitch. It's so cute! I don't think I'd have pulled him as quickly as Francona did, but it worked out so I can't complain. He gets his first major league hit -- and in the World Series no less -- so he not only pitched for the win, he had two RBIs and until next year at least, his World Series batting average is .333.

Tonight I'm rooting for cancer survivor Jon Lester to cap his year of amazing comebacks with a win in Game 4 of the 2007 World Series. Plus, I need to start going to bed before 2:00 a.m. I need a win tonight, boys.

Yeah, the angst is gone. This year, I'm not afraid to say: We're going to win it all. One of my friends reminded me last night that I predicted this in July. I don't remember that, but I'm old and I don't remember much any more. But I'm pretty sure I'll never forget the 2007 Red Sox.

Somewhere Sherm Feller is smiling. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to Fenway Park and your 2007 World Series Champions, The Boston Red Sox.