Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wait 'til Next Year...

Well, that wasn't pretty. The post-season for the Tigers played out just like a condensed version of the regular season—the bats falling silent just like the last few weeks of September. Over the last month of the regular season, the Tigers had an annoying habit of scoring a few runs early in the game, very early, and that's it. Against even teams like Kansas City, if you let the opposition hang around, you're asking for trouble. Do that in the playoffs? You will lose most of the time.

The Tigers still pitched well, but holding the other team to three runs a game only works if you can score more than two. The Tigers couldn't. And to make it worse, the Tigers gave the Cardinals half their runs with Steve Sax throws to first and third.

The patience at the plate the hitters showed against the Yankees and A's disappeared. Credit is due to the Cards pitchers throwing strike one, but clearly the Tigers hitters were unable to adjust. It was late September all over again. They won't use it as an excuse, but I will. I was worried about the week off before the Series started, and I believe it had a lot to do with the problems at the plate. I thought the Tigers still pitched well, but their hitting was screwed. And the inexperience and youth of the team showed in the fielding miscues. Nearly every error by a pitcher was a straight-up yip due to nerves.

I don't have a lot of second-guessing. I thought pulling Casey for a runner would end up costing the Tigers last night, but in the end it didn't matter. Not starting Rogers last night? Irrelevant. I do think Bonderman and Verlander should have been flipped in the rotation, but over the Series, starting pitching really only cost this team Game 1. Leyland's lineups? Aside from the inexplicable lack of ABs for Marcus Thames, no complaints. Leyland did his job, the players didn't do theirs. The hitters didn't hit, and the defense was brutal.

The good news? This team is young. Very young. All of the pitchers except Jones and Rogers are under 30. Bonderman, Verlander, Miner and Ledezma are all 25 or under. Zumaya is 21. Most of the position players are between 27 and 32—the prime of most careers. Everybody but Casey is signed for next year.

I've been saying it all year, this team, with its pitching, has the makings of a contender for years to come. Yes, they have some holes, but the only glaring one is the lack of a lefty power hitter, but Detroit is now an attractive free agent destination, and they can now compete for those players.

They've had their taste, and next year they'll be hungry.

RANDOM SHOTS: Yadier Molina looks like some kind of a weird drag queen... I cannot stand Eckstein. I hate the whole forced hustle act and the oversized hat schtick. FireJoeMorgan is all over G. David Eckstein (the G. stands for Grit)... I've always really like Edmonds, and I am glad to see him get his ring. Same for Pujols. It would've sucked for him to become the next Marino, Bonds, etc.—great player who never won the big one... St. Louis fans are dorks, but they know how to make some professional-ass signs... The Tigers have the best looking road jerseys in baseball... Fernando Rodney is closer to taking over for Todd Jones than Zumaya... Billy Ray Cyrus? Are you kidding?... For some reason, the Ann Arbor radio station was giving me the ESPN radio feed, so I listened to a lot of John Miller and Joe Morgan. I enjoy those guys immensely. It's too bad I can't synch up the radio with the DirecTV so I don't have to endure McCarver.

photo: Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press

Friday, October 27, 2006

Are You Part of This Kakistocracy?

Got an email from the Raconteurs today:

Hi Everyone,

From now until November 1st, you can watch The Raconteurs' performance at the Electric Ballroom in London for Radio 1's John Peel Night by visiting: BBC Electric Proms

You can also watch a live webcast of The Raconteurs set at Vegoose tomorrow at 3:50 pm PST by visiting: ATT Blueroom

The Raconteurs newsletter team

Listening to the first show right now. Sound quality isn't too great, but the boys are tight.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Can't You Feel the Recovery?

Today's headlines...
Home price drop is largest in 35 years
WASHINGTON - The median price of a new home plunged in September by the largest amount in more than 35 years, even as the pace of sales rebounded for a second month.

The Commerce Department reported that the median price for a new home sold in September was $217,100, a drop of 9.7 percent from September 2005. It was the lowest median price for a new home since September 2004 and the sharpest year-over-year decline since December 1970. The weakness in new home prices was even sharper than a 2.5 percent fall in the price of existing homes last month, which had been the biggest drop on record.

Jobless, wageless, now your over-mortgaged home is worth less. Exactly who is the "great economic recovery" working for?

Oh, thats right...
Exxon posts $10.49B profit; shares up
DALLAS - Oil industry behemoth Exxon Mobil's earnings rose to $10.49 billion in the third quarter, the second-largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly traded U.S. company. Its shares briefly rose to a 52-week high.

The report Thursday comes as high crude prices this year have fueled record profits in the oil industry, triggering an outcry from consumers who were being asked to pay about $3 a gallon for gasoline in early August.

The largest quarterly profit ever was Exxon Mobil Corp.'s $10.71 billion profit in the fourth quarter of 2005.

The company may beat that next quarter, said Howard Silverblatt Standard & Poor's Senior Index Analyst. "Then in all likelihood they will be at that $40 billion mark for the year."

That would put the company on track for the highest annual profit ever by a U.S. company. Exxon Mobil holds that record with a 2005 profit of $36.1 billion.

BONUS CONSPIRACY THEORY: I disagree with that projection by the way. They will exceed the $36.1 billion record, but they will fall short of $10 billion for the 4th quarter and $40 billion for the year. Why? Because I really think they've agreed to take a hit for the GOP this fall, and lower gas prices. ExxonMobil has maintained it's $10 billion margin for over a year now, if the next quarter comes in "short" at $8 or $9 billion, still huge, I think it proves my point.

The Church of St. Derek

Something smells alright, and it's not citrus and sandalwood.

We all know that Joe Buck and Tim McCarver hold each other gently while crying themselves to sleep in their king-size Holiday Inn bed because the Yankees and Mr. Driven are sitting at home and they have to stoop to once again covering a World Series outside the Bronx.

We all know how happy that makes me. That the Tigers eliminated the MFYs and went on to the Series is just icing. So what do I have left to get pissed off about? The forthcoming Derek Jeter Coronation and Awards Spectacular.

Everyone pretty much concedes that Jeter will win his first MVP this season. He had a fine season. Arguably an MVP caliber season. But I think he wins this award more on reputation and less for what he actually did, and for what happened around him—namely the Sox imploding and David Ortiz literally putting his heart into the game, and the fact that the two other (more?) deserving candidates, Joe Mauer and Travis Hafner toil in relative obscurity. To reiterate what I've already stated...
FOX continued to hype this Yankees team as one of, if not THE greatest lineup in history. If that's true, Jeter does not deserve the MVP. Even with the loss of Sheffield and Matsui. Sorry, they still had five guys score a hundred runs. Jeter is an MVP caliber player to be sure, and this may have been his best season, but I still think Joe Mauer deserves it more. He hits in a lineup with one other big stick. He won the batting crown over Jeter. People talk about the grind of Jeter playing short. Mauer plays catcher. Shortstop is a physical and mental vacation compared to catching.

But apparently, Derek deserves the 2006 MVP as some bullshit Lifetime Achievement Award. As if his rings and undeserved Gold Gloves aren't enough. But, this season, they say, he had to "carry" a team through the "adversity" of only six other All-Stars and MVPs in the lineup instead of eight. Please. And his leadership? Please. I think it’s pretty clear that Jeter left A-Rod hung out to dry and continues to do so. His behavior over the last season or two regarding A-Rod should pretty much unravel the overhyped captain myth.

And as Seth Mnookin points out...
The endless articles celebrating Jeter’s desire to play in the World Series are ridiculous. Yes, we know Jeter likes the Series; that’s about as far from unique as is possible. And yes, we know he, along with the rest of the Yankees, he thinks of the Series as more of a right and less of a privilege; that’s the unique part. If you want to point something out, focus on that.

Nicely put, Seth. And this one from Chad Finn bears repeating as well...
It's hard to pin any of this on Teflon Jeter, who at least looks like he sincerely gives a damn and always plays his ass off 'til the last drop . . . but at some point, doesn't all the talk about the "businesslike" clubhouse and the 25 players, 25 private planes mentality reflect a negative light on the Yankees' captain? Rather than unifying this team, in tough times he always seems to go out of his way to make the point that this is a "different group" than the 4-time champs, almost as if he's disingenuously distancing himself from the mess. He's a wonderful player, but the more I see, the more I believe his leadership is entirely by example - at best.

As we all know, the MVP votes are already counted, but we won't find out who wins 'til next month. If yesterday's announcement of Derek Jeter winning the Hank Aaron Award is any indicator, Mr. Driven has it in the bag. Let me point you to this breakdown of the top AL hitters and where Jeter fits in the list. There are a slew of stats to back up this conclusion:
Travis Hafner is a better hitter than Derek Jeter. So are lots of other people. Jeter might deserve the MVP, because he put up his very very good stats from the SS position, which makes those stats very very valuable. But the Hank Aaron Award is not the MVP.

So there you have it, folks. Derek Jeter. Winner of the Hank Aaron Award for being the first-or-second-best-hitting SS in the AL, and probably like the third- or fourth-best hitter on his own team.

That's what we give the award out for, correct?

I don’t even know what the fuck "SecA" and "IsoP" are, but I know Jeter sure as hell didn’t deserve this award. There is nothing “intangible” about the Aaron Award. It is hitting and stats. Period. Jeter didn't actually lead the League in anything except perfume sales. And looking closely at the obscure stats as that post does, choosing Jeter as the winner looks even worse. This is the one award where a guy like Ortiz should be able to say, “So what if I’m a DH. Hand it over.”

I guess Jeter should just clear a space on his mantle for his MVP now. At this rate, leave room for another undeserved Gold Glove and, what the hell, give him the Cy Young and a freaking Grammy as well.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'm Back

I've been on vacation for a week and blissfully unaware of the events of the outside (non-Disney) world.

It does a body good.

Not until the last couple things I saw at Epcot did politics begin to reenter my mind... Little things just kept creeping in like how all of the good things and advances in our civilization seem to come from a liberal mentality rather than capitalist or conservative. It all hit home after watching the "Circle of Life" video hosted by Simba the Lion channeling Al Gore, that Republicans might, in fact, be evil. At least as evil as a Disney villain anyway...

I am now slammed with backed-up freelance work, so posting might continue to be light for a while. But I am back

Monday, October 16, 2006

Corrupt Republican of the Day

You don't even need to read the article. The photo caption pretty much sums it all up...

In this Feb. 15, 2005, file photo, Lester M. Crawford talks to FDA employees in Rockville, Md. Crawford, the former FDA chief, was charged Monday with lying about his ownership of stock in companies regulated by his agency. (AP Photo/Stephen J. Boitano)

He's pleading guilty, so I guess we'll miss the round of right-wing whines about how George Soros and the Dems are really behind this. The way things are going, immediate guilty pleas may be the best thing Republicans can do. Try to get it out of the papers before anybody notices...

[h/t Balloon Juice]

Saturday, October 14, 2006

They're Grrreat!

The Tigers finished off the sweep of the A's tonite. It was a tight game with plenty of tension and a dramatic walk-off finish. During the Rogers game last week against the Yanks, it just seemed like the Tigers might not lose again. They haven't. They've now won seven in a row and await the winner of the NLCS. The way the AL has dominated the NL lately, plus the way this Tigers team is pitching, hitting and picking it, I think they will make a meal out of whoever they face in the World Series.

Psycho Babble

Apparently there is a line that talking heads at FOX cannot cross. No, not Hannity, "Five in the Noggin" Gibson or O' only applies to sportscasters... The annoying Steve Lyons was fired by FOX after Friday's game when he made a "racially insensitive comment" in the booth...
Later, Piniella said the A's needed Thomas to get "en fuego" -- hot in Spanish -- because he was currently "frio" -- or cold. After Brennaman praised Piniella for being bilingual, Lyons spoke up.

Lyons said that Piniella was "hablaing Espanol" -- butchering the conjugation for the word "to speak" -- and added, "I still can't find my wallet."

"I don't understand him, and I don't want to sit too close to him now," Lyons continued.

FOX executives told Lyons after the game he had been fired.

That sounds pretty bad. And that's the way I read the news at David Pinto's site, but there is actually a plausible excuse for what Lyons said. Sort of...
In the second inning of Friday's game between Detroit and Oakland, Piniella talked about the success light-hitting A's infielder Marco Scutaro had in the first round of the playoffs. Piniella said that slugger Frank Thomas and Eric Chavez needed to contribute, comparing Scutaro's production to "finding a wallet on Friday" and hoping it happened again the next week.

Without the context of Piniella's earlier wallet analogy, it looks pretty bad for Lyons. But I believe him when he says he was kidding...
"If I offended anybody, I'm truly sorry," Lyons said in a phone interview. "But my comment about Lou taking my wallet was a joke and in no way racially motivated."

It was a joke about Piniella, not a joke about Hispanics being pickpockets. I won't miss Lyons in the booth because I found him annoying (though his replacement today was actually worse), but he deserved to be fired for being a tool and a shitty analyst, not for being a trumped-up racist.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Night Videos

Here's the video for what will presumably be the next single from The Raconteurs—"Level." Good choice. It's one of my favorite songs off the best album of the year. Quicktime link

I've already watched/listened to this video at least five or six times today. It's everything I want in a music video. Namely, the band playing. And instead of synching to the album, the boys just invited some fans to an old warehouse and played live for the cameras. My only complaint is too much Jack and Brendan and not enough drummer. You can never show too much drumming.

My great regret is that I bought this album on iTunes instead of the physical CD. Otherwise, I'd have mailed everyone I know a copy.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

FRT: Read it and Weep...

1. "Crooked Teeth" - Death Cab Pretty good tune. I'm happy to see a solid band like this make headway into the crapstorm that is popular music. 7

2. "Street Fighting Man" - Stones Since this is a "Hot Rocks" and radio staple it's easy to dismiss this song as overplayed. It's been a while since I've heard it, and, damn, this is good shit. Songs like this are the reason why I always rank the Stones ahead of the Beatles. 10

3. "I Walk the Line" - John Cash The Man in Black. 'nuff said. 8

4. "Dollar Bill" - Screaming Trees The Guinness Book Twins back for an encore. 7

5. "Ball and Biscuit" - White Stripes Is it blues? Rock? Whatever. It kicks total and complete ass. Jack and Meg at the top pf their game. 10

6. "Perfect Strangers'" - Deep Purple For the crunchy blues riffs of "B&B" to transition straight into Jon Lord's majestic keys? "Oh, yeah..." 9

7. "Oh!" - Sleater Kinney Always a big fan of good chick-rock. File under Magnapop. Another one from the well-stocked AA library. 7

8. "4 Degrees" - Tool Starts out eerily like a Stone Temple Pilots tune, then shifts into typical Tool. Which is a good thing. 8

9. "Juicebox" - The Strokes Another fake-out. Opening bassline fools me into thinking it's Tad's "Jack Pepsi" every time.... 7

10. "Police and Thieves" - The Clash When you hear a song like this, it's easy to forget this was considered a punk band. Sort of. Well, they had mohawks. At least Joe Strummer did... 9

8.2 average. Kneel before Zod.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"Let's Go To The Videotape..."

Watch this. One of those (many) clips that leaves me cringing, "I cannot believe this fucking moron/penis is our President." No wonder everything's so screwed.

Seriously, after watching something like that I can almost understand why, and forgive the press for not asking Bush the tough questions. It's quite clearly a fucking waste of time, and has to be immensely frustrating. Malveaux doggedly keeps after Bush, yet he just leans over the podium, takes cracks at her, lies, and then makes utterly no sense at all.

If I were her, I'd have thrown my mike at him and walked out of the room after about ten seconds of his bullshit.

[h/t C&L]

UPDATE: When checking the link, I realized this exchange took place in July. His moron/penisness still stands. And since then he's been proven wrong as well.

Test a Dud? Doesn't Matter.

It seems to some experts that certain signatures of the "event" in North Korea indicate a failed rather than a successful nuclear test [link]. There was an exposion, radiation and a meaasurable seismic impact, but none of those was as big as it should have been. This is undoubtedly good news, for now, but we are unlikely to get much confirmation one way or another, since all parties concerned are served by the scare factor of a nuclear NK: Obviously Kim Jong-il want everyone to think he was successful—badly enough to blow up a giant pile of "dirty" TNT to claim a nuke? And on this side of the ocean, a high-profile pursuit of nukes by NK plays right into Bush's rhetoric, and will be a major plank for him in his bullshit platform supporting Congressmen for the rest of the election cycle—he certainly won't be walking the "threat" back. When all you have is fear, use fear itself...

If North Korea's test was a fake or a bust, you might expect me to calm down from my post yesterday. Not blood-y like-ly. Everything I wrote still holds true regarding Bush's failure, and even if the North Korean half of the equation is postponed, I'd just be writing the same post in another 12-18 months. Once the election passes, Bush will stop his tough talk and go back to fucking off in regards to North Korea, and no progress will be made as a result of this event.

This latest foreign relations "opportunity" will be a washout just like all the rest.

UPDATE: Title modified. Cartoon added to replace previous art.

Monday, October 09, 2006

This Year's Boogey-Man: Now With Nukes!!

By now you probably know that last week, North Korea announced it would test a nuclear weapon sometime "in the future."

Well, the future was last night.

Much of what I've read online this morning is "awaiting confrimation" on this nuclear test. On my way into work, the BBC said the Russians have confirmed it. Exact time, location and exposive yield. It is "definitely nuclear."

Otto Man over at LLPON points us to a good post by Josh Marshall...
For the US this is a strategic failure of the first order.

The origins of the failure are ones anyone familiar with the last six years in this country will readily recognize: chest-thumping followed by failure followed by cover-up and denial. The same story as Iraq. Even the same story as Foley.

[...] President Bush came to office believing that Clinton's policy amounted to appeasement. Force and strength were the way to deal with North Korea, not a mix of force, diplomacy and aide. And with that premise, President Bush went about scuttling the 1994 agreement, using evidence that the North Koreans were pursuing uranium enrichment (another path to the bomb) as the final straw.

[...] All diplomatic niceties aside, President Bush's idea was that the North Koreans would respond better to threats than Clinton's mix of carrots and sticks.

Then in the winter of 2002-3, as the US was preparing to invade Iraq, the North called Bush's bluff. And the president folded. Abjectly, utterly, even hilariously if the consequences weren't so grave and vast.

Threats are a potent force if you're willing to follow through on them. But he wasn't. The plutonium production plant, which had been shuttered since 1994, got unshuttered. And the bomb that exploded tonight was, if I understand this correctly, almost certainly the product of that plutonium uncorked almost four years ago.

So the President talked a good game, the North Koreans called his bluff and he folded. And since then, for all intents and purposes, and all the atmospherics to the contrary, he and his administration have done essentially nothing.

[...] The bomb-grade plutonium that was on ice from 1994 to 2002 is now actual bombs. Try as you might it is difficult to imagine a policy -- any policy -- which would have yielded a worse result than the one we will face Monday morning.

[...] The Bush-Cheney policy on North Korea was always what Fareed Zakaria once aptly called "a policy of cheap rhetoric and cheap shots." It failed. And after it failed President Bush couldn't come to grips with that failure and change course. He bounced irresolutely between the Powell and Cheney lines and basically ignored the whole problem hoping either that the problem would go away, that China would solve it for us and most of all that no one would notice.

Do you notice now?

Marshall is right on. Something similar to this (but far more concise) should be be flowing freely from every Dem today. They should try and get out in front on this as much as possible and HAMMER Bush. He dismantled a successful accord that had been keeping NK's program inactive simply because Bill Clinton had brokered it. They then spent the last four years alternating between ignoring the problem, calling Kim Jong il names, and making bellicose, but empty, threats.

Remember the "Axis of Evil?" When Bush made that ridiculous speech, NONE of those three countries was actually a threat to the U.S. Now? Iraq is in complete turmoil, Iran is thumbing its nose at the world and we can do nothing about it, and now the worst of the three actually seems to have nuclear weapons. From
North Korea's own interests in getting a bomb are clear, and they have little to do with the fact that its leader is a bit of a flake. Kim's diplomats have clearly said for years that they learned a lesson from the wars in Iraq (those of 1991 and 2003): If you want to keep America from attacking, get some nuclear weapons. They also learned much from Pakistan's nuclear test in 1998, after which the country was transformed in American eyes from "outlaw state" to "strategic partner." In other words, Kim may think that he can wait out the pressure.

Exactly. A nuke is the ultimate trump card.

What has also gone unsaid in every thing I've read is what is actually the worst part of this story—proliferation. North Korea is a desperate country with a proven history of selling whatever they can. At this point they have no way to deliver a nuclear weapon via a missle, but they now have the technology an material for the true nightmare scenario—selling a weapon to terrorists.

This cycle will quickly turn and Bush has the bully pulpit—he could go on TV tonite before Monday Night Football and lie his ass off, blame Clinton, and pretend only the Republicans can protect us. As Bush likes to say, "Make No Mistake..." the Republicans will be out in force declaring the world an even more dangerous place and the Democrats cannot be trusted to protect us.

Democrats have one chance to define this as a Bush failure and pin it on him, and the window is already slamming shut.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

". . . And Whoever's Playing the Yankees"

There's an old T-shirt you'll see in New England that declares, "My two favorite teams are the Red Sox and whoever's playing the Yankees." Those are words I live by. But for this series, I actually have a genuine interest and connection to these Tigers, so this was so much more than just rooting for the Yanks to go down in flames...

I moved here to Michigan when the Tigers sucked. Sucked hard. But I still followed this team fairly closely. More closely than the Sox over the last year or two simply because I listen to most of the games on the radio. I've followed these young players as they've come up. And this season, until the last month, was one of the most exciting baseball seasons I can remember. It's an extremely likeable team. A gorgeous ballpark. And there are real Tiger fans here in Michigan. They've waited a long-ass time for this, and happy to be here to be part of it.

Going in, the way the two teams were playing, I didn't give the Tigers much of a chance. I thought my boy Nate Robertson might steal one, and then the Yanks would get pissed and steamroll. After game one, I was worried about a sweep. Should-be ROY Verlander was gutty in the rainout game, and the bad-ass bullpen finished the job.

I'll confess, Kenny Rogers scared the shit out of me for Game three, but he shocked me along with everyone else. He gave the most dominating pitching performance I've seen against the Yankees since Pedro's 17K one-hitter. Rogers made them look positively silly. He somehow came up with a fastball in the 90s to go with his usual slop. He was blowing guys away. Talk about redemption for Rogers. I can only imagine the smack the Vinnies in New York were talking going into that game. Rogers answered that.

After that game, I knew the Yanks were done. And, man, did I smile today when I saw that A-Rod was hitting in the 8-hole. Panic in Detroit, indeed.

After I filled my yard with cars for the Michigan/Michigan State game, I came inside to park myself on the couch. Watching Bonderman mow down the first six hitters it was clear he was on, and this "lineup for the ages" was checked out. In the 4th inning, Bonderman had thrown only 36 pitches, 30 for strikes. Damon, Jeter and Abreu alone often see that many pitches in any given inning. I actually started to think Bonderman was going to throw a no-hitter. That's how feeble the Yanks looked.

Good pitching does indeed stop good hitting.

A couple things...FOX continued to hype this Yankees team as one of, if not THE greatest lineup in history. If that's true, Jeter does not deserve the MVP. Even with the loss of Sheffield and Matsui. Sorry, they still had five guys score a hundred runs. Jeter is an MVP caliber player to be sure, and this may have been his best season, but I still think Joe Mauer deserves it more. He hits in a lineup with one other big stick. He won the batting crown over Jeter. People talk about the grind of Jeter playing short. Mauer plays catcher. Shortstop is a physical and mental vacation compared to catching. Sorry, Mr. "Driven", but you will still walk straight into Cooperstown with plenty of hardware and a fresh, citrus-y scent. Be satisfied with the couple Gold Gloves you don't deserve, your four rings (and not counting) and your ROY trophy.

That said, Jeter and Posada are the only guys who showed up in this Series. New York is going to be killing A-Rod, and deservedly so. But everyone else sucked too. Randy Johnson and Mussina did not earn their combined $35-Mil this week. The pen is just brutal, and the defense was awful.

Next year, I will be shocked if A-Rod is in pinstripes. He was 1-for-the Series and failed in spectacular fashion. Sriking out with the bases loaded, grounding into an almost-DP today when the Yanks had a chance to get back into the game. He tossed in an E to go with his collar. He was terrible. I do not think he can ever redeem himself in that City. If he comes back, they will be selling A-Rod jerseys with ".071" on the back.

As for my adopted Tigers? Bring on the A's.

UPDATE: Seth Mnookin piles on ... Go here to gloat ... Nomar failed to have his Kirk Gibson moment—Mets advance. ... Surviving Grady

SECOND UPDATE: Chad Finn weighs in, and really calls Jeter out:
It's hard to pin any of this on Teflon Jeter, who at least looks like he sincerely gives a damn and always plays his ass off 'til the last drop . . . but at some point, doesn't all the talk about the "businesslike" clubhouse and the 25 players, 25 private planes mentality reflect a negative light on the Yankees' captain? Rather than unifying this team, in tough times he always seems to go out of his way to make the point that this is a "different group" than the 4-time champs, almost as if he's disingenuously distancing himself from the mess. He's a wonderful player, but the more I see, the more I believe his leadership is entirely by example - at best.

He's right.

Here's a great column from ther Bergen (NJ) Record that lays out the A-rod sitch perfectly. [via TATB] ... Torre to pay the ultimate price? ... This is cool: Nate Robertson, Cliff Floyd and Barry Zito have playoff blogs ... Oh, and don't forget these:

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

FRT: Don't Call it a Comeback

Was the Last FRT really in June? I guess I was reeling from all the abuse I took for giving the Power Station a "9." It took all day for me to hear ten songs today, but here they are:

1. "Big Train" - Mike Watt
2. "Across the Universe" - Rufus Wainright
3. "Prophets of Rage" - Public Enemy
4. "Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago" - Soul Coughing
5. "The Hardest Button To Push" - White Stripes
6. "Give Blood" - Pete Townshend
7. "Divorce Song" - Liz Phair
8. "Monkey Man" - Stones
9. "Living After Midnight" - Judas Priest
10. "Julie Paradise" - Screaming Trees (pictured)

Mr. Speaker, Welcome to the Pasture...

Hey, Big Denny, you can put on a brave face and keep fighting it, but the more we find out, I don't see how you can avoid it...
Aide says he reported Foley 2 years ago

By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer 8 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - A senior congressional aide said Wednesday that he alerted House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office in 2004 about worrisome conduct by former Rep. Mark Foley (news, bio, voting record) with teenage pages — the earliest known alert to the GOP leadership.

Kirk Fordham told The Associated Press that when he was told about Foley's inappropriate behavior toward pages, he had "more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest level of the House of Representatives asking them to intervene."

The conversations took place long before the e-mail scandal broke, Fordham said, and at least a year earlier than members of the House GOP leadership have acknowledged.

[...] The longtime Capitol Hill aide said he would fully disclose to the FBI and the House ethics committee "any and all meetings and phone calls" regarding Foley's behavior that he had with senior staffers in the House leadership.

"The fact is even prior to the existence of the Foley e-mail exchanges I had more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest level of the House of Representatives asking them to intervene when I was informed of Mr. Foley's inappropriate behavior," Fordham said.

Hole. Dig. Repeat.

While reading the WaPo article on the Foley press excuse conference, a couple things jumped out at me. First, this:
"I was disgusted by the revelations and disappointed that he [Foley] would violate the trust of the citizens who placed him in office," Bush said at an elementary school during a campaign swing in California.

President Partisan Douchebag will never be accused of "feeling anybody's pain." Read that statement carefully. Foley only betrayed the Republican voters of his district, Mr. President? Or, how about, he violated the trust of parents and citizens everywhere regardless of political affiliation. He abused and betrayed the trust of children entrusted to work in his office. He violated the trust of society

Like everything else in this disgusting scandal, these shitheads cannot see beyond their own party and interest. Ever. Even after the fact, in supposedly thoughtful and conciliatory statements. They cannot help themselves. Throw. Them. All. Out.


Here's another interesting and disturbing wrinkle inspired by a comment in the thread at The Carpetbagger Report...

We all know Foley's lawyer announced yesterday that 1. Foley is gay. 2. Foley was molested as a child by a priest.

Of course that information struck me initially as crap. Impossible to prove or disprove, and a poor attempt to garner sympathy for Foley and excuse his behavior..." He was drunk!, and molested as a child!"

Now, I am aware that molestation as a child often has far-reaching effects and does make one more likely to repeat the abuse. But is that really what Foley, his lawyer (and Republican handlers) are getting at? OR are they trying to conflate Foley's childhood molestation with his being gay?!?

In other words, Being molested by a priest isn't an excuse for Foley later molesting others, rather, it's the reason he is gay. And once that happened, the next thing you know, he molests boys...'cause those gays can't help themselves...

I suspect the information was released/framed that way, because they are only too happy to let some jump to that conclusion.

Of course, in the final analysis thinking about this too hard only makes the cover-up look worse. Molestation and sexual abuse does have a profound effect on children for the rest of their lives, and can lead to continuing the cycle of abuse. And if you follow their warped logic, even if it meant "turning some pages gay." Which, of course, if followed to their illogical conclusion, guarantees Foley's victims go on to molest children themselves. And so on.

Yet they were willing to look the other way. All to protect one House seat. Now that is a violation of trust, Mr. President.

Corrupted absolutely, indeed.

[Cross-posted as two posts at]

UPDATE: Welcome Daou Report readers, and thanks for the vine, Steve.

Make About 400 Copies of This...

It would be nice if Democrats could articulate a compelling reason to win back Congress on their own merits, but absent that, they should take what the Republicans are handing them and pound them into the ground with it. Patty Wetterling (MN's 6th) has the first Page Scandal ad I've seen. It's good.

Watch it here

[h/t The Carpetbagger]

Monday, October 02, 2006

PageBoyGate: Foley Out of Frying Pan...

You know you're in a scandal when checking yourself into rehab so you can plausibly claim you must have been drunk to be seducing your underage male subordinates sounds like a plan.

Popcorn, please.

UPDATE: Wow. Just go to Glenn Greenwald's and scroll...