Saturday, August 02, 2008

I'm With Papi

David Ortiz paid tribute to Manny Ramírez by wearing No. 24 on his wristbands last night. The Red Sox DH went 0 for 5. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)

Boston Globe: Ortiz tries to make best of it

Asked if he's heard how happy the Yankees were that Ramírez was no longer in the American League East, Ortiz smiled wearily in acknowledgement of the fear and loathing Ramírez's presence had caused the Bronx Bombers in his 7 1/2 seasons with Boston. "Well, we would be, too," he said. "I guess."

While general manager Theo Epstein said the trade seemed to improve the atmosphere in the clubhouse, it didn't seem to have the desired effect on Ortiz, who clearly was feeling Ramírez's absence. Ortiz, sitting in front of his locker, took a long draw from his energy drink.

"I need to calm myself down now,"
he said. With that, he waved off any more queries.

Take That!

Telegraph (uk): A Chinese boy poses in front of a billboard featuring Fuwa Huanhuan, one of the Beijing Olympic Mascots, in Beijing, China (AP)

The Olympics starts next week!

I just love this photograph.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Images of Manny

From the website Sons of Sam Horn.

No More Manny

This blog is officially in mourning today. After a two-week express train of quotes bandied about, media frenzy and the media meme "He's gone too far; he's hurting the team; Manny has to go", Manny Ramirez has been traded to the Dodgers.

This season's hurting the team numbers: .299 average, .398 OBP, .529 SLG, .926 OPS, 66 runs, 109 hits, 22 doubles, 20 homeruns, 68 RBIs. Oh, yeah, the guy was fucking killing us.

I don't see where trading our best hitter for the past 8 years (.312 lifetime average with the Sawx), one of the only three hitters hitting well after the All-Star break (Youk & Pedroia are hitting, too, and the rest of the team are swatting at flies) helps the Red Sox very much. The pitching staff except for Lester has been shaky; the middle relievers worse; this doesn't help any of that, except that Jason Bay may be a slight improvement in left field. Once he figures out how to play the Monster which will probably take until next season.

Well, all the media haters are wicked happy. They got their man. Gerry KKKallahan at the Herald (he of the METCO gorilla yukfest, the guy wears his racism on his sleeve) and the CHB, aka the Shank, Dan Shaughnessy at the Globe, and Peter Gammons of ESPN who has been particularly vitriolic towards MBM. They're all gleeful today.

These gasbags have all mentioned at some point during this road to disaster that they want someone who will play the game "right". They'd be happier with a .220 hitter who hustled down the line into all his 6-4-3 double play groundouts. Well, they got rid of their man, and they may just have gotten their way.

Me, I loved Manny's Joy of Sox, how he enjoyed himself, how he never got down after a bad at bat or a flub in the field. My favorite play of this year was that crazy one in Baltimore where he caught a ball on the warning track, leaped into the stands to high-five a fan, then turned around and threw the ball in to double the runner off first. (Here's the sequence in photos.) Priceless MBM moment.

And the other thing about Manny was that because he never took anything too seriously, these kinds of scuffles with management never lasted. He could ask to be traded and hit a home run in his next at bat. The whole "he has to go" thing is made up out of whole cloth, because these kinds of situations have happened repeatedly during Manny's time with the Sawx, and he just kept hitting and producing in the clutch.

I have to take the way I feel this morning with a grain of salt, because this is the way I felt after we traded away Nomar in '04, and we all know how that worked out.

I read lots of Sawx blogs last night, and this is the line that stood out for me, from Jere at A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory:

The Red Sox' historic efforts to be the first team to successfully trade their best player for no reason continues. Next thing you know, the media will convince us that we're rooting for gas prices to reach 10 dollars per gallon. "I just can't take low gas prices' antics anymore!"

Farewell to the MVP of the 2004 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. I for one will miss you.

Boston Globe Photo Gallery: Manny Through the Years

Boston Globe Photo Gallery: Manny's Moments

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Tree Grows in Downsville

Flickr: Northern Magnolia

I found this lovely photo of a star magnolia while perusing Flickr for photos tagged "Downsville".

Yes, it's Coach Mom's back yard.


New Political Ad:

What do you think? It's good, but I would have mentioned Exxon's record profits AND the fact that the oil companies already own the rights to drill on over 40 million acres of public land that they aren't drilling on.

New Political Ad: Barack Obama

What do you think? Seems kind of defensive to me. I'd prefer to attack McCain.

Off Day

John McCain & his $520 Ferragamo loafers feel Exxon's pain.

Tired today, won't be posting much as trying to get some work done.

Here's some stuff to read:

Exxon had the largest corporate profit in history. And their shares fell. WTF?

The St. Petersburg(FL) Times is not impressed by McCain's campaign, especially now that the Karl Rove minions are running the show into the gutter: From 'straight talk' to smear campaign

Glenn Greenwald collects some of the media's obedient recitation of the Karl Rove "arrogant" and "presumptuous" attacks on Obama. (Or in the racist term that preceded them, Uppity. Presumptuous and arrogant are racist dogwhistles (must read post by Digby); you can't say uppity anymore, just like you couldn't say nigger but you could talk about state's rights if you were Reagan and all the racists knew what you were talking about.) The guy running McCain's campaign now, Steve Schmidt, is famous for these gutter tactics. (another Digby gem)

Joe Posnanski's list of foods you loved as kids that are horrible when you eat them as adults. (He calls them Pixifoods, like Pixie Sticks, which I loved as a kid and haven't eaten in 35 years.)

The story of Kermit Washington's remarkable redemption.

The trail of Republican hypocrisy leads to Las Vegas, where "Family Values" Texas Congressman Jeff Sessions held a fundraiser in a strip club: more like g-string values than family values, it seems.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So Hard To Distinguish

From last night's Daily Show, how do you distinguish rappers from Republicans? What's the difference?

A Week In John McCain's $520 Ferragamo Shoes

Hilarious. Go to HuffPo for all the pictures. What a man of the people.

Isabel Wilkinson, HuffPo: A Week In John McCain's Shoes — His $520 Ferragamo Loafers, That Is

What better way to show his American pride than to tour the country in Italian leather?

Senator Toobz Indicted

via Jaunted

Long-time Republican Senator Ted Stevens was indicted yesterday. Who knew that accepting more than $250,000 worth of renovations on your primary residence would be considered bribes?

Hopefully Mr. Bridge to Nowhere is now on the bridge to federal prison.

WaPo: Sen. Stevens Indicted On 7 Corruption Counts
Longest-Serving GOP Senator Is Accused of Making False Statements About Money From Alaska Oil Firm

Texas Justice: Not So Just

One of the many reasons to oppose the death penalty: so much of the criminal justice system is wrought with corruption. Henry Wade (of "Roe v. Wade" fame) was the DA in Dallas for 36 years. Now under a black DA, nineteen cases Wade's office prosecuted have been overturned in the past seven years when DNA evidence reexamined proved that the wrong person had been convicted and imprisoned. A cautionary tale.

Grand Junction Daily Sentinal: After Dallas DA's death, 19 convictions are undone

DALLAS — As district attorney of Dallas for an unprecedented 36 years, Henry Wade was the embodiment of Texas justice.

A strapping 6-footer with a square jaw and a half-chewed cigar clamped between his teeth, The Chief, as he was known, prosecuted Jack Ruby. He was the Wade in Roe v. Wade. And he compiled a conviction rate so impressive that defense attorneys ruefully called themselves the 7 Percent Club.

But now, seven years after Wade's death, The Chief's legacy is taking a beating.

Nineteen convictions — three for murder and the rest involving rape or burglary — won by Wade and two successors who trained under him have been overturned after DNA evidence exonerated the defendants. About 250 more cases are under review.

No other county in America — and almost no state, for that matter — has freed more innocent people from prison in recent years than Dallas County, where Wade was DA from 1951 through 1986.

Current District Attorney Craig Watkins, who in 2006 became the first black elected chief prosecutor in any Texas county, said that more wrongly convicted people will go free.

"There was a cowboy kind of mentality and the reality is that kind of approach is archaic, racist, elitist and arrogant," said Watkins, who is 40 and never worked for Wade or met him.


The new DA and other Wade detractors say the cases won under Wade were riddled with shoddy investigations, evidence was ignored and defense lawyers were kept in the dark. They note that the promotion system under Wade rewarded prosecutors for high conviction rates.

In the case of James Lee Woodard — released in April after 27 years in prison for a murder DNA showed he didn't commit — Wade's office withheld from defense attorneys photographs of tire tracks at the crime scene that didn't match Woodard's car.

"Now in hindsight, we're finding lots of places where detectives in those cases, they kind of trimmed the corners to just get the case done,"
said Michelle Moore, a Dallas County public defender and president of the Innocence Project of Texas. "Whether that's the fault of the detectives or the DA's, I don't know."

John Stickels, a University of Texas at Arlington criminology professor and a director of the Innocence Project of Texas, blames a culture of "win at all costs."

"When someone was arrested, it was assumed they were guilty," he said. "I think prosecutors and investigators basically ignored all evidence to the contrary and decided they were going to convict these guys."

Ron Fournier: The Rat We Smelled Is Indeed A Rat


Ron Fournier was for sale before he took over the Washington Bureau of the AP. He interviewed with the McCain campaign in 2007. We should not be surprised at how biased of his coverage of the 2008 campaign is. We've seen his ideological slip, and it's conservative Republican.

We were right: AP Must Fire Ron Fournier

Politico: One of Fournier's job options: McCain

dday at Hullabaloo: Media Industrial Complex

dailykos: Ron Fournier (AP Hack) Was Negotiating McCain Campaign Position

You can not negotiate with a campaign for a job, then report on it as a "neutral observer" unless you have no standards at all. We should apply pressure on the AP to do the right thing and fire him now. More importantly, his colleagues in the profession should be leading this fight. He not only writes, but assigns stories.

Everything the AP says and does between now and November is utterly tainted by Fournier not disclosing his conflict of interest.

Another Chunk of Ward Ice Shelf Disappears

Canadian Ranger Samson Ejanqiaq looks along one of the gaping new cracks in the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, the largest left in the Arctic, in April 2008.

BBC: Canadian Arctic sheds ice chunk
A large chunk of an Arctic ice shelf has broken free of the northern Canadian coast, scientists say.

Nearly 20 sq km (eight sq miles) of ice from the Ward Hunt shelf has split away from Ellesmere Island, according to satellite pictures.

It is thought to be the biggest piece of ice shed in the region since 60 sq km of the nearby Ayles ice shelf broke away in 2005.

Scientists say further splitting could occur during the Arctic summer melt.

Globe & Mail (CAN): Huge chunk snaps off storied Arctic ice shelf
Break marks latest in erosion that has whittled 9,000 square kilometres down to 1,000 over past century

Toronto Star: Ice break ominous, Arctic scientist says
North's ancient shelves `are retreating and they are not coming back,' researcher warns

Summer Museum Trip: Grounds for Sculpture

Huge sculpture collection (35 acres) on view in Hamilton, New Jersey, about 75 minutes south of New York City. Right now there's a ceramic sculpture exhibit that looks fascinating.

“Untitled” (1988) by Toshiko Takaezu.

NYTimes: Masterful Sculptures, Formed of Clay

Grounds for Sculpture, a 35-acre sculpture park and museum on the site of the former New Jersey State fairgrounds, is perhaps best appreciated in the fall, when the landscaped grounds are a paintbox of color. But the summer also holds appeal, when marquee exhibits open in two exhibition spaces, known as the museum and the domestic arts building.

This summer is no different. Currently on display is “Masters in Clay,” a thoughtful two-part exhibition of contemporary American clay artists. In the museum are works by Toshiko Takaezu and Peter Voulkos, two of the most important and widely admired 20th-century American artists working in clay. In the domestic arts building next door are works by five other contemporary clay artists who have been influenced in different ways by Mr. Voulkos and Ms. Takaezu.

Grounds for Sculpture

Collection: List of Artists Exhibited at Grounds for Sculpture

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Commander In Chief Test

Given to John McCain by Humanitainment (you may remember watching an earlier video of theirs that we posted here, The Empire Strikes Barack) Funny!:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Novak Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

Chicago Sun-Times: Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak says he has brain tumor

Maybe he really didn't realize he hit the homeless man with his car last week.

Trailer for Oliver Stone's "W"

If only it was just fiction.

Congratulations to Kristine Lilly

She had her baby, a girl named Sidney Marie Heavey (6 lbs. 13 oz.), born July 22nd.

That's Kristine Lilly's birthday. And my dad's! Best wishes to the new parents.

USWNT Blog: Congrats to Kristine!

John McCain's Daily Bald-Faced Lie

McCain has a new campaign ad out attacking Obama. It's getting a lot more attention in the media than he's paid for, as it is only running in a few markets:

“Barack Obama never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan,” the ad’s announcer says. “He hadn’t been to Iraq in years. He voted against funding our troops. And now, he made time to go to the gym, but cancelled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn’t allow him to bring cameras. John McCain is always there for our troops. McCain: Country first.” It concludes with the candidate’s voice: “I’m John McCain and I approve this message.”

Of course, Obama has attended more Afghanistan subcommittee meetings in the last two years than McCain.

Both McCain and Obama have voted against troop funding bills that contained provisions they didn't like.

It was McCain came out against the new GI Bill and its increased educational benefits for veterans, then didn't bother to vote when the final bill passed, while Obama made a special trip in from the campaign trail to vote for increased funding for veterans.

McCain voted against improved health care for disabled veterans.

McCain is against the very concept of VA healthcare and wants to shunt veterans into the private healthcare system where they will stand in line with (or behind) the rest of us.

Obama only canceled the hospital visit at the last minute after the Pentagon said at the last minute that he could only go with Senate staff (nothing was said about cameras, and Obama had visited wounded troops a couple of weeks ago at Walter Reed -- with no cameras present.). Since Obama was on a campaign visit and traveling with campaign staff, that was impossible.

(And on a related note, when John McCain was in Europe in March, he didn't go to the hospital in Landstuhl either, even though he was just as close to the hospital as Obama was.)

On the whole, the lowest point yet of a very low campaign.

hat tip to
Carpetbagger Report: When the going gets tough, McCain gets disgraceful
where I got a lot of these links.

An actual truthful headline from the corporate media: New McCain Ad Bashes Obama for Not Visiting Troops Using Footage of Obama Visiting Troops (credit where credit is due, it's Jake Tapper of ABC News).

Action Alert: Don't Let The Fascists Steal The Election Again

dailykos: Call to Action: Voter Rolls in several States purged!!!

In swing-state Colorado, the Republican Secretary of State conducted the biggest purge of voters in history, dumping a fifth of all registrations. Guess their color.

In swing-state Florida, the state is refusing to accept about 85,000 new registrations from voter drives – overwhelming Black voters.

In swing state New Mexico, HALF of the Democrats of Mora, a dirt poor and overwhelmingly Hispanic county, found their registrations disappeared this year, courtesy of a Republican voting contractor.

In swing states Ohio and Nevada, new federal law is knocking out tens of thousands of voters who lost their homes to foreclosure.

Robert F. Kennedy and investigative journalist Greg Palast are teaming up to get this information out into the public eye. They're fundraising here; you can get copies of Palast's DVDs and books for certain levels of giving.

If giving money is not your thing, isn't this the perfect topic for your weekly letter to the editor of your local paper?

We Love Lists

John McCain's 70 policy flipflops (as of right now, more are added on a daily basis)

The Carpetbagger Report: Jukebox John keeps changing his tune

McCain never met a principle he couldn't change on a dime, or a whim, or in an instant.

Corporate Media Misleading

Third World Traveler

I've briefly summarized these posts about the horrible media coverage of politics we get here in the old U S of A. Click on the links and read the entire articles because I'm just giving you a flavor of these pieces.

Here's something you'd only read from the international press: Obama impresses a reporter for the Jerusalem Post; while McCain & Bush are surrounded by aides when interviewed, Obama goes solo and understands the nuances of Middle East issues.

Devastating critique of the media by Digby; these two passages are my favorite:

After watching them have a mass four year orgasm over George W. Bush standing on a pile of rubble with a bullhorn saying "Ah hear you. And the people who did this are gonna hear from us real soon! yuk, yuk" like he was reciting Shakespeare's Henry V St Crispin's day speech, it's a little bit hard for me to take seriously the idea that they have anything but a bias toward cheap, shallow ignorance (which naturally favors movement conservatism.)
The problem with our media isn't that they like or dislike a politician that we also like or don't like. It's that they treat politics like a celebrity game show and it makes it very difficult for the people to even know what their interests are, much less who best represents them.

In a ridiculous article spammed out to all the media outlets who use AP, two "journalists" declared that the U.S. is winning the war in Iraq. JurassicPork at Brilliant at Breakfast let's 'em have it:

I read the news today, oh boy. The Yankee army has just won the war.

Imagine my surprise when I clicked on this article entitled “Analysis: US now winning Iraq war that seemed lost” that began with this breathtakingly ballsy sentence: “The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost.” Well, gee, there are very few people who would like to believe that more than yours truly. Still, I wanted to see who’d drawn up this analysis but after several paragraphs it was obvious that this “analysis” was cooked up by the same two guys who wrote this article, Robert Reid and Robert Burns.

Indeed, the breezily optimistic opening line was immediately deflated with the next sentence: “Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years.” Considering that our involvement in World War II lasted just over four years against two awesome war machines across two continents, it would seem to me that this 5½ year-old war isn’t close to being over if we have several more years of terrorist and insurgent activity to look forward to.

Yet, to Burns and Reid, the insurgency is (let’s all say it together, people, with feeling and harmony) in its last throes. So how have we beaten or won over the insurgency that we’d created by disbanding the Iraqi Army?

They launched the insurgency five years ago. They now are either sidelined or have switched sides to cooperate with the Americans in return for money and political support.

So we’re buying their loyalty with cold hard American taxpayer dollars and political favoritism. Yeah, that’s certainly a firm foundation for a lasting, peaceful alliance.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

John McCain's Daily Bald-Faced Lie

YouTube is not John McCain's friend. Today on This Morning with George StephaFlagPinHypocriteopoulos, McCain claimed he didn't use the word "timetable" during his Friday interview with Leslie Blitzer on CNN. Except he did. From my new favorite blog, The Jed Report, the evidence:

John McCain Raking In Big Oil Bucks

Since John McSame changed his position to George W. Bush's position: in favor of off-shore oil drilling, the oil companies gave him over $750,000. Big Oil will profit if off-shore drilling is allowed, not American consumers.

Another flipflip by McCain, this one for the cold, hard cash.

John McCain: Four more years of Bush. Bush has tripled gas prices during his term. Want $12/gallon gas? Vote for John McCain.

WaPo: Industry Gushed Money After Reversal on Drilling

Campaign contributions from oil industry executives to Sen. John McCain rose dramatically in the last half of June, after the senator from Arizona made a high-profile split with environmentalists and reversed his opposition to the federal ban on offshore drilling.

Oil and gas industry executives and employees donated $1.1 million to McCain last month -- three-quarters of which came after his June 16 speech calling for an end to the ban -- compared with $116,000 in March, $283,000 in April and $208,000 in May.