Saturday, July 12, 2008

Scrappy-Do Dustin Pedroia

Boston Globe

Boston Herald: Even foes get a kick out of Pedroia

Worcester Telegram: Dustin is tops since Doerr

Springfield Republican: Second to none

ProJo: Pedroia is every bit the deserving All-Star

Saturday Reading

Or did I want birth control? I can't remember.
dailykos via laughing squid

Carol Kreck, the librarian kicked out of a McCain event, speaks: McCain = Bush

McCain called the way Social Security has worked for over 70 years to keep American seniors out of poverty "A disgrace. An absolute disgrace." But it's unlikely that the television-watching public knows that, as none of the three networks covered that stunning statement. Make sure to tell your friends, because the media isn't doing their job. BBQ with sprinkles, anyone?

Guinness is becoming less popular in Ireland; the piece has this priceless description of a pub conversation:

At Davy Byrnes [pub], the conversation has moved on to whether John McCain inappropriately placated his Vietnamese captors ("He sang like a canary," Winter declares); the mass suicide and massacre of Jews in York in 1190; Stalin's execution of top army officers in the run-up to World War II; and a song by the Waterboys on a similar subject. Someone tries to remember how it goes. An argument ensues over whether the Waterboys ought to be considered an Irish band, or Scottish, or English.

KBR (the Halliburton subsidiary) electrocuted American soldiers through its grossly negligent profit-seeking behavior. Have a nice day, Dick Cheney.

Former White House Press Secretary and Fox News host Tony Snow and famed heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey have died.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A-Rod! The Musical

Act 1
July 24, 2004 Fragments from A-Rod! The Musical

hat tip to Art Martone at ProJoSoxBlog

Red Sox Rap

It's kind of .... white.

And I say that from a melatonin melanin-challenged position.

But funny.

Jacoby Rules

yahoo photos: Jacoby Ellsbury (L) of Boston Red Sox slides safely into home plate for a run ahead of the throw to Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer in the first inning of their MLB baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts July 8, 2008.

That's what I named my fantasy baseball team after Jacoby Ellsbury hit .400 in the World Series last year, after starting the 2007 season in Double A. While he may not win the AL Rookie of the Year award (Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Secular Rays is also having a fantastic season, and has posted some pretty impressive numbers) Ellsbury has been pivotal to the Red Sox this season. Check out Art Martone's take at ProjoSoxBlog; he calls Jacoby "The Catalyst" (go to his original post for links to sources):

THE CATALYST: When he hits .339 -- with a .411 on-base percentage and a .489 slugging percentage -- they win. When he hits .194 -- with corresponding numbers of .257 and .248 -- they lose. And when he doesn't play, their winning percentage is .333.

While it's a truism that virtually all players hit better in wins than in losses -- that's one of the reasons teams lose individual games, because the players don't hit in them -- the numbers for Jacoby Ellsbury are particularly striking. ( (Compare them, for instance, to Dustin Pedroia's, or Manny Ramirez' or J.D. Drew's.) Steven Krasner takes a closer look at Ellsbury's importance to the Sox' offense and talks to various people about how he jump-starts the attack. And there's plenty of evidence that his down periods coincide with the team's . . . such as the recently concluded 3-7 road trip, when he hit just .225 with a .279 on-base percentage. (Baseball Musings' Day By Day Database)

All of it indicates just how important Ellsbury has become to the Sox in the short time he's been with them. And it's one of the reasons why the controversy we all anticipated if Coco Crisp wasn't traded hasn't developed. While it's true that various injuries have given the two of them adequate playing time, more than could have been anticipated had everyone stayed healthy, no one can reasonable argue that Crisp, he of the .259/.309/.410, OPS-plus 87 line, deserves to be in lineup over Ellsbury.

Economics + Whining + Barry White: Genius

hat tip to Talking Points Memo.

Messy Desks

Maybe mine isn't so bad, after all.

aol: My Messy Life: Q&A with Josh Freed

hat tip to Suburban Guerrilla.

We're All A Bunch of Whiners

So sez the loathesome Phil Gramm. That's John McCain's TOP ECONOMIC ADVISER. Don't worry, be happy! I'm rich, why aren't you?

I guess he thinks we regular folk who don't have Gulfstreams and millions are kind of bitter about the economy. The media talked about that for weeks. Do you think our whiner status will merit the same?

Don't hold your breath, kittens.


Who was Manny talking to during the pitching change on Wednesday?

Caption suggestions here.

I just like the fact that the photo frames him within the word "LOST", and looking happy as a clam. MBM.

The Many Lies of John McCain

My friend, there are more where that came from! (nudge nudge, wink wink)

See the linked posts below to read about McCain's 50 policy flipflops, his 10 gaffes this week, and get this, he lied about the dates of his divorce and his second marriage (to cover up his infidelity and the stunning betrayal of his first wife) in his own autobiography. The Rethugs have got a brass-plated liar for their candidate. Read the entire posts for all the gory details. McCain is not a nice man.

Oh, must add my favorite lie of the day. Yesterday in Pennsylvania, after 30 years of saying that while in the Hanoi prison camp he gave his captors the names of the Green Bay Packers as his squadron mates, yesterday he claimed he named the Pittsburgh Steelers. How convenient while campaigning in Pennsylvania! Will he name a different NFL team in every state he campaigns in? College teams in states that don't have NFL teams? Huggy PanderBear strikes again. Will the media pull their heads out of the BBQ trough to notice? Spread the word about the lies of John McCain, because you must do the media's job.

dailykos: 50 Flip Flops Of John McCain

Privatizing Social Security, Iraq Troop Withdrawal, Tax Cuts, Judges, Torture, Negotiating With Hamas, Bush Third Term, Agents Of Intolerance, 527s, Gramm's Whiner Comments, Economic Expertise, Illegal Wiretapping, Habeas Corpus, Everglades Restoration, Gay Couple Legal Contracts, GI Bill, Military Service Exploitation, Roe v. Wade, States Rights On Abortion, ANWR, Offshore Drilling, Role of States in Drilling, MLK Holiday, Windfall Profits Tax, Filibustering of Judges, Confederate Flag, Civil Unions, Constitutional Ban On Gay Marriage, Yucca Mountain, Undue Lobbyist Influence, Abortion Exceptions, Defense Cuts, Waterboarding Mandatory Caps, Citizenship for Immigrants, Flying the Confederate Flag, Bush Tax Policies, South African Divestment, Alternative Minimum Tax, Estate Tax Repeal, NOrth Korea Negotiations, Iraq + Stay The Course, Creationism, Time of Offshore Drilling, Campaign Finance Reform, Immigration Act, Fidel Castro, Pakistan, Bush's Pioneers, Occupying Muslim Lands.

HuffPost: The Week That Should Have Ended McCain's Presidential Hopes

1. McCain unambiguously called Social Security "an absolute disgrace."

2. McCain's top economic policy adviser calls Americans a bunch of "whiners" for being worried about the slumping economy.

3. Iraqi leaders call for a timetable for U.S. withdrawal, McCain gets caught in a bizarre denial and flip flop.

4. McCain's economic plan to cut the deficit has no details and is simply not believable.

5. McCain's deficit plan includes bringing the troops home represents a major Iraq flip-flop.

6. McCain campaign misled about economists support. I

7. McCain makes a joke about killing Iranians.

8. McCain denies, flatly, that he ever said that he is not an expert in economics.

9. McCain distorts his record on veterans benefits in response to a question from Vietnam Veteran, who then proceeds to call McCain out on it.

10. McCain demonstrates he knows nothing about Afghanistan and Pakistan.

LATimes: McCain's broken marriage and fractured Reagan friendship

In his 2002 memoir, "Worth the Fighting For," McCain wrote that he had separated from Carol before he began dating Hensley.

"I spent as much time with Cindy in Washington and Arizona as our jobs would allow," McCain wrote. "I was separated from Carol, but our divorce would not become final until February of 1980."

An examination of court documents tells a different story. McCain did not sue his wife for divorce until Feb. 19, 1980, and he wrote in his court petition that he and his wife had "cohabited" until Jan. 7 of that year -- or for the first nine months of his relationship with Hensley.

Although McCain suggested in his autobiography that months passed between his divorce and remarriage, the divorce was granted April 2, 1980, and he wed Hensley in a private ceremony five weeks later. McCain obtained an Arizona marriage license on March 6, 1980, while still legally married to his first wife.

Yahoo Photos
I see buyer's remorse and a lot of plastic surgery (note the widely stretched joker mouth).

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wuzz Happenin?

Today's cave, from wikipedia:
Photo by Dave Bunnell showing stalagmites, stalactites, and draperies by a pool in Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico

Today is the day the Senate sells out the Constitution. It's just the fucking constitution, after all, no biggie, just the founding source of law and order for this once-great country. Congress now has a pre-1776 mentality. King George the Tyrant can now outsource violations of the law. Smirky McConstitutionFucker can order a private entity to violate the Constitutional prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures and Congress will say hey, no problem, whatever, it's OK by us, we had our spines removed a decade ago, just do it. And the private entity can invoke the Nuremberg defense: They were just following orders. Javold, Herr Bush.

Here's what Congress is going to pass

H.R. 6304, THE FISA AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2008 (6/19/2008)

The ACLU recommends a no vote on H.R. 6304, which grants sweeping wiretapping authority to the government with little court oversight and ensures the dismissal of all pending cases against the telecommunication companies. Most importantly:

H.R. 6304 permits the government to conduct mass, untargeted surveillance of all communications coming into and out of the United States, without any individualized review, and without any finding of wrongdoing.

• H.R. 6304 permits only minimal court oversight. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) only reviews general procedures for targeting and minimizing the use of information that is collected. The court may not know who, what or where will actually be tapped.

• H.R. 6304 contains a general ban on reverse targeting. However, it lacks stronger language that was contained in prior House bills that included clear statutory directives about when the government should return to the FISA court and obtain an individualized order if it wants to continue listening to a US person’s communications.

• H.R.6304 contains an "exigent" circumstance loophole that thwarts the prior judicial review requirement. The bill permits the government to start a spying program and wait to go to court for up to 7 days every time "intelligence important to the national security of the US may be lost or not timely acquired." By definition, court applications take time and will delay the collection of information. It is highly unlikely there is a situation where this exception doesn’t swallow the rule.

H.R. 6304 further trivializes court review by explicitly permitting the government to continue surveillance programs even if the application is denied by the court. The government has the authority to wiretap through the entire appeals process, and then keep and use whatever it gathered in the meantime.

H.R. 6304 ensures the dismissal of all cases pending against the telecommunication companies that facilitated the warrantless wiretapping programs over the last 7 years. The test in the bill is not whether the government certifications were actually legal – only whether they were issued. Because it is public knowledge that they were, all the cases seeking to find out what these companies and the government did with our communications will be killed.

Members of Congress not on Judiciary or Intelligence Committees are NOT guaranteed access to reports from the Attorney General, Director of National Intelligence, and Inspector General.

Of course, FISA is just the tip of the government's abrogation of the Fourth Amendment; every branch, every agency, every law enforcement entity, they're all spying on us.

Tiny ray of light: Judge in Guantanamo case tells the government, no, you're not getting any more postponements, you've had these poor men in jail for six years. If you've had enough evidence to keep them in jail for six years, you're ready for trial right now. Go.

Hire these losers: Mark Penn starts a consulting company with Karen Hughes. Really.

I'm going to the studio to make pears. Reality is too depressing today.

What Happened in China in 2007?

Sounds like the only player on the USWNT who acquitted herself well in the L'Affaire Ryan/Solo/Scurry was Carli Lloyd, a smart Jersey girl. The Sports Illustrated article below (and Andrea Canales take, after that) lays out more of what really happened behind the scenes when Hope Solo was banned from the team after saying, hey, I would have made those saves. (She couldn't be charged with slander, because It. Was. The. Truth.)

I blame Greg Ryan, but clearly the rest of the team had a warped idea of "team". I mean, isn't the reason you stick together as a team that you want to win? I never understood them all going along with Greg Ryan's moronic bootball tactics. I guess there wasn't anyone on the team that understood that it was not the beautiful game they were playing. And they thought it was more important to be nice to each other than to win. Hey, put in the old goalie that can't kick the ball and hasn't played in a competitive game in six months. Take out the hot kid with two clean sheets under her belt. It's OK, we're a team! Dumb. I'm so disappointed in the juvenile attitudes of these athletes. Maybe with age will come wisdom. Hard Return
Her World Cup outburst violated the team-first ethos of women's sports and made her an outcast. Now Hope Solo is the U.S. goalie once again, bound for Beijing—and still trying to figure it all out

Sideline Views (Andrea Canales): The Feminine Mystique

P.S., Kristine Lilly is due on July 19th.

OMG Could He Be Any Stupider

John McCain thinks Social Security is a disgrace. I guess if you're married to a multi-millionairess, the thought of paying taxes so retired people don't live in poverty is revolting. Watch the video:

As Josh Marshall says:

People say a lot of things about Social Security -- a lot of it nonsense. But I haven't heard something like this in a long time. John McCain says that Social Security, as originally conceived more than 70 years ago, is an "absolute disgrace."

McCain told a townhall in Denver on Monday, "Americans have got to understand that. Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace and it's got to be fixed."

It's really a disgrace? That's how the system was designed to operate. And it's served as financial bedrock of retirement security in this country for going on a century.

And yesterday John McBush joked that selling cigarettes to Iranians would kill them faster. Har-de-har-har.

John McCain: Four More Years of Bush. Egad.

How To Be Creative

Interesting meditation on creativity by public radio's Ira Glass:

Last night in the studio someone asked me, why are you making so many pears? This is really the answer. Making lots of work is how you get better at what you do.

Hat tip to Jeannette Zeis Vessels & Wares

He's Still Big, But He's Not Red Anymore

And there goes one of the great chants in sport.

"He's big, he's red, his feet stick out the bed, Peter Crouch, Peter Crouch"

He's big, he's blue, etc., doesn't have the same ring.

Unlike Rafa, Harry will play him. So it's a good move for Crouchie. All the best; YNWA.

BBC: Crouch agrees terms with Pompey
Liverpool striker Peter Crouch has agreed personal terms with Portsmouth and will complete his move upon passing a medical within the next 48 hours.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Updating the Blogroll

The Deer Lamp (always lit, on top of Grandma's TV, now on top of mine)


Tzvee's Talmudic Blog Blogrolled me, a wicked sense of humor, and my blogroll needed more from The Tribe.

Removed, for not posting enough. I still love them both, but...bloggers must post. :

Art Pottery, Politics and Food

Don To Earth Again

McCain Will Keep This Country Safe From Librarians With Opinions


Watch this unbelievable video of a 61-year-old librarian being given a ticket for trespassing and escorted out of the line waiting to get into a John McCain rally. Her crime? She was holding up a sign that said 'McCain = Bush'.

This is what the cop tells her:

You have two choices. You can keep your sign here and receive a ticket for trespassing, or you can remove the sign and stay in line and attend this town hall meeting.

Since when is holding up a sign trespassing? This is simply suppression of free speech.

McCain hates the 1st Amendment as much as his pal Bush.

Maybe she could express her opinion to John McBush if she had a Gulfstream and had given him buckets of money.

McCain Versus The Teleprompter

The teleprompter wins every time! I can't wait to see this guy debate Obama.