Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bring it On Home

What a difference a week makes... Last weekend it seemed like the Sox were on the verge of throwing it all away, and now they have reasserted themselves. Well, they certainly managed to make things much more interesting than they needed to, but congrats to the Red Sox who won the AL East the other night, and clinched the best record in the AL tonight. They now get to choose an 8-day or 7-day ALDS series. The team with the best record gets home field throughout, and an option to have an extra day of rest in the 5-game Division series.

I'm hoping they choose the shorter Series. The Sox face the Angels who don't have a deep staff, and even their ace Lackey has been manhandled by the Sox this year. Schilling is skipping his start Sunday, setting him up to open the Series, with Beckett going in Game 2. This saves Beckett to open the ALCS, and pitch at least twice in that Series. But more importantly, picking the short Series forces the long Series on the Indians and Yanks. If they go the distance they will each have to use their top two starters twice. First, the Yanks facing Sabathia and Carmona two times is a serious challenge—they are the two best pitchers in the League—and is the best chance of eliminating them. I do NOT want to play the Yanks. Assuming the Indians prevail, Sabathia and Carmona can't open against the Sox and will need to go on short rest to pitch more than once. This is true of whoever you think the Yanks top two are as well (Wang and Pettitte?) should they advance.

The Sox really stumbled, but over the last several days seem to be picking things up on the offensive side. Manny is back and hitting, Drew and Lowell remain hot, and David Ortiz is a man afire. The pitching remains good enough to keep them in most games, it's the scoring that's been inconsistant, and that looks vastly improved. If only Francona would bury Varitek in the 8-hole...

Anyway, keep the offense rolling..."LET'S GO SOX!"

UPDATE: They opt for the extra day off and the longer series...I suppose with the nagging injuries for some guys this is prudent, and I may have been overanalyzing a bit above. Hopefully they take care of business, while the Yanks and Tribe beat each other senseless. Oh, and I did NOT realize Lackey was 19-9 with the now-AL-leading ERA of 3.01. He had not looked nearly that good against the Sox, guess you have to throw him into the Cy Young mix with those numbers...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Good Morning!

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I mean besides the fact that we have a bunch of crap spilling out of the garage and that Joe needs to clean his gutters...Look closely...

Anything missing? Like my fucking CAR!!! Yes, folks this is the view that greeted me this morning at dog-walking time. "Hmm, did I park around the corner? Did somebody bor—" Looks down and sees this (hint: it's not mine)...

"Somebody stole my fucking car."

Right from the fucking driveway. And look closely, the door to Mrs. F's car is slightly ajar, they were in there as well...which is almost more disturbing to me than my car being gone. Jesus. Fucking. Christ. Didn't happen when we gone on our trip, it happened with all of us home, asleep in the house. When we were gone the car was locked and the keys were in the house.

Of course, the degree of theft difficulty was lessened by the fact that last night, the car was NOT locked, and the

It's true, this is not uncommon in the Furious household. We often leave the keys in the cars. If we are parked alongside the house (ie: not in back by the garage, closer to the street) we are pretty adamant about locking and/or bringing the keys inside. But back there? It's like the "green zone"... At least they didn't get a house key too. Because there isn't one on my key chain. Because we don't always lock the house...

Fuck that. It's going to be Fort Fucking Knox around here now. Those stupid creaky garage doors that hardly open and close? Adios. Getting replaced or re-sprung, with openers installed. New locks all around on the house too. Post haste.

As for me? I'm not even sure what to think about all of this. You'd think I'd be all Derek Vineyard about it, but I'm not. I haven't had the car long enough to be too attached too it, and my anger is mitigated somewhat by the feeling of sheepish stupidity for having left the keys in the car. But somebody DID sneak up my driveway and violate our space. Taking away one of our most valuable and personal possessions. So, no, I am not happy this morning. To say the least.

And it had twenty fucking gallons of gas in it too. Fuck.

UPDATE: Car recovered (see comments).

Friday, September 21, 2007

Abusing the Sub

David Kurtz appears to be filling in for Josh Marshall at TPM this week, and he misses the boat on the benefit of forcing the filibuster...
Lots of readers have written in to urge that Democrats actually force the Republicans to filibuster, not merely cave at the threat. The prospect of a presidential veto is, in part, what makes that a pointless exercise for the Democrats. So for all the frustration about not being able to achieve a 60 vote majority, remember that 67 votes is the real bar to overcome.

And that was what he wrote in response to a reader who pointed out perfectly why this makes the Dems look bad. Kurtz seems to think along the lines of "if you're going to lose anyway, why bother?" He even takes it to the next hypothetical, arguing that even if you get the 60, you'll never get the 67.

Kurtz must be auditioning for a Democratic strategist job.

Fortunately, the TPM readers take him to school. Kurtz is wrong, and the readers are right. They pretty much say what I said yesterday minus the over-writing and the expletives...and make a few good points I missed.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Grabbed a copy of The New York Times on my way into the building today (working at a college has a few perks—free NYT is one). I was curious how they were going to treat yesterday's failures in the Senate. Would they give it proper placement? And, would they treat it as a blanket Senate action (like most media seem to be doing) or as Republican obstructionism?

The story and headline was front-page, above-the-fold, upper right corner (in descending order of size/boldness):

Vote Ends Democratic Bid to Alter Leave Plan for Troops

Not perfect, but at least they addressed two major points without having to read the details of the story. In fact, given the strategy actually employed by the Democrats, they cannot complain about this story much. The NYT notes right up front that a GOP minority blocked the bill, and that it was a Democratic plan. I'd have preferred a headline like "GOP Minority Blocks Democrat's Plan to Stop Screwing the Troops" but saying an effort was made and failed was better than some lines I've seen. Let's read on (emphasis mine):
A proposal that Democrats put forward as their best chance of changing the course of the Iraq war died on the Senate floor on Wednesday, as Republicans stood firmly with President Bush.

With other war initiatives seemingly headed for the same fate, Senate Democrats, who only two weeks ago proclaimed September to be the month for shifting course in Iraq, conceded that they had little chance of success.

They said their strategy would now focus on portraying Republicans as opposing any change and on trying to chip away support for the White House as the war continued.

The proposal that failed Wednesday fell 4 votes short of the 60 needed to prevent a filibuster and would have required that troops be given as much time at home as they had spent overseas before being redeployed.

There were 56 votes in favor, including 6 Republicans — one fewer than the 7 Republicans who joined the Democrats in July, when the measure, by Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, also fell 4 votes short

First of all, stop "conceding." Period. Ahead of time…After the fact…Fuck that noise. That's a giant "we don't really mean it" signal to Bush and the GOP—and your own constituents.

The key here is above in bold—this is where the Democrat's own strategy fails them—twice. Not only do they lose the vote, they lose the news cycle as well. While it's made clear in this story Republicans are at fault for the bill "dying on the floor" this was never really brought to a vote. This was NOT and up-or-down vote on the proposal, it was a vote to end debate. The Republicans won despite being outvoted by 13, because the Democrats let them. I've already covered this ground:
Because Reid isn't making the Republicans "filibuster" anything. He counts heads and has a cloture vote, which brings debate to an end artificially, and they move on to the next item. Bullshit. MAKE. THEM. ACTUALLY. FILIBUSTER. Make these assholes actually go to the podium and speak. I don't care if they argue their positions or read the phone book, make them earn it. Reid is letting them off easy with an "implied" filibuster. Fuck that.

That's exactly what happened here. All that happened was the Democrats fell short of the 60 votes to prevent a filibuster and end debate. What does Harry Reid do? Throws up his hands and calls it a day. THAT IS FUCKING BULLSHIT! Caving because the Republicans say they are going to prevent the vote and continue debate is exactly what Reid and the Dems should want. As I said in June, MAKE. THEM. ACTUALLY. FILIBUSTER.

Want to cut past the non-stop O.J. coverage and make sure everyone knows what's happening? Make Republicans take to the podium for 24 hours and explain why they don't want the troops to have time at home. Nobody even knows what the fuck happened yesterday.

Oh, and what else happened yesterday? That's right…the Republicans did the exact same thing regarding upholding Habeus Corpus. The NY Times didn't even fit that on the front page. Toast has that one covered.

Why the hell is Reid scheduling these votes on the same day? And what two votes could possibly be more important than restoring a bedrock principle of democracy dating back to the Magna Carta and, short of ending the war, at least making sure troops get to come home for a decent amount of time between tours?

Another consequence of this fake filibuster shit? Creating the impression that it takes 60 votes to pass legislation. It doesn't. It takes 50+1. The Republicans have hijacked the process, and Reid has let them. All the public knows now is "56 votes falls short." It doesn't—56 votes is fucking bipartisan support with room to spare. Reid IS working with a majority! He even had 7 Republicans cross over! If Bush and 40 Republican partisans and one chinless dickweed want to work hard to screw the country, they can do it. But Reid is letting them have it without breaking a sweat.

What unfolded yesterday convinces me the Democrats are NOT serious about any of this shit. None of it. Yesterday was not a "defeat," it was a revelation. It was Congress, the democratic leadership in particular, exposed.

Only one thing will change my mind, Harry—Bring it back. Attach it to the Defense Bill. Force the vote. Make the Republicans filibuster, and then make them vote. Pass the bill and make Bush veto it. Only then will I "concede" defeat, because we don't have the 2/3's to overturn a veto. but by the time that happens the Republicans own it. The Republicans filibustered it. The Republican President vetoed it. It's on them. But barring that, Reid is letting them get away with it.

Next fall do you think anybody is going to remember what happened yesterday? That the Democrats did anything at all? No. Even the next day, most people never heard about it, and those that did, just heard, "Senate Blocks Troop Leave Bill" They lost the vote, lost the news cycle, lost the public's opinion, failed the troops, failed to uphold their oath to defend the Constitution, and they fucked their own electoral strategy.

All in a day's work.

“It means that Congress will not intervene in the foreseeable future,” said Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, the Independent who has voted with the Republicans on war issues. “The fact that it didn’t get enough votes says that Congress doesn’t have the votes to stop this strategy of success from going forward.”

Strategy of success? Fuck you, Joe. And I hereby give Chris Dodd one-day immunity to come down the hall and beat the shit out of you for your Habeus vote, you GOP sell-out. Your ass should be booted from every fucking committee for your two votes yesterday.
For now, the failed Webb proposal is the closest Democrats have come to bipartisan legislation that would force Mr. Bush to change his strategy. And with Republicans solidly behind the plan outlined by Mr. Bush and Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander in Iraq, Democrats have retreated to a firm antiwar stance.

They are no longer entertaining the kind of compromise measures that some Democrats had proposed this month as an attempt to woo Republican defectors, and they said they would instead seek opportunities to hold votes that would more starkly contrast Republican support for the president with Democrats’ demands for withdrawal.

“The Republican leadership and the White House is getting them all to march in line,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, who ranks third in the party leadership. “But it is marching further and further away from where America is. We just keep at it. It’s all we can do.

"Retreat to a firm stance?" Whatever the hell that is. This is "all you can do," Chuck? Not by a fucking long shot. It's what you have determined is prudent for the election, which is as disgraceful as any action the Republicans have taken. You've decided that proposing DOA legislation and losing cloture votes to "starkly contrast" distinctions is a way to govern. It's not. It's a cop-out and it's a way to cover your asses and that's it.

Oh, and what's the first thing on today's agenda? A resolution to condemn's stupid Petraeus ad. If that passes I think I'll just shoot myself in the head.

Fuck you guys. I'm done.

UPDATE: Welcome Benenites, and I added a link to my previous post about Mark Kleiman's Defense Bill plan.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Avast, me hearties!" *

Arrggh! Bilge water! I forgot! I canna believe 'tis already been a voyage since Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Evil Jim Rackham be me name an' I be here t' tell ye that ye be havin' t' Talk Like a Buccanneer oince a year, an' today be th' tide.

Excellent sea dog translation t'anks t' this place.

Find ou' yer pirate name here, here or wit' a horkin' quiz here.

Get started now, ye horn swogglin' scurvy cur — or taste me cold steel!

UPDATE: Arrr, twenty nine thin's t' say today at work Gar, Where can I find a bottle o'rum?

* Blatantly cut an' pasted from last voyage. I be slammed today, but needed t' get this ou' thar. Hopefully more t' come.

UPDATE: Inspired by Rickey in the comments...Pirates Versus Ninjas

Friday, September 14, 2007

You Just Can't Make the Stuff the President Makes Up, Up

At some point in last night's speech, the President thanked "the 36 nations who have troops on the ground in Iraq and the many others who are helping that young democracy." Apparently one of those counties helping us make this an international effort is Iceland. You know, the Iceland that doesn't even have a military—somehow they are helping us with "troops on the ground"...

Did I say "troops?" I meant troop. As in one soldier. And by soldier, I mean spokesman. And he's leaving Iraq in two weeks. For good. [link]

Sounds Like a Plan

Mark Kleiman lays it all out for the Democrats:
Iraq strategy for the Democrats

There's been lots of hand-wringing about what Senate Democrats should do about Iraq, all of it premised on the idea that they need either a filibuster-proof (60-vote) majority or a veto-proof (67-vote) majority. To which I can only say, "Huh? Howzzat again?"

Anything that can be ridden on the Defense Appropriations bill (or on a continuing resolution) doesn't need 60 votes in the Senate. It needs 51 votes in the Senate, or 218 in the House, that will stand firm.

Take, for example, the Webb Amendment, forbidding troops from being required to serve tours in Iraq longer than the spells between tours. If passed, it would force a troop drawdown by spring.

The Democrats should offer the Webb Amendment when the Defense Appropriation comes up. If the Republicans want to filibuster, fine. Don't pull the amendment. Just let them keep filibustering. As long as the amendment is on the floor, there can be no vote on the bill itself. Keep calling cloture votes, one per day. After a few days, start asking how long the Republicans intend to withhold money to fund troops in the field in order to pursue their petty partisan agenda.

If the Republicans in the Senate hold firm, it's their stubbornness that's holding up the bill. If they fold, and the bill gets to the President's desk and he vetoes it, then pass the same damned bill again. And start asking how long the President intends to block funding for troops in the field in order to pursue his petty partisan agenda.

As of October 1, there's no money to fund the war. So the usual move is to pass a continuing resolution, which keeps the money flowing until the appropriation passes. Fine. Pass a continuing resolution with the Webb Amendment attached. If the CR runs into a filibuster or a veto, ask how long ...

Really, this isn't very hard. With the voters overwhelmingly interested in getting us the hell out of Iraq, the Democrats can make full use of the power of the purse without worrying about a backlash, especially with Webb as the public face of the campaign.

He makes it sound so simple. Is there something he (or I) am missing here? Make it fucking happen, Dems. Or, I'll be forced to believe Mike when he comes over and comments that you don't really want to do anything...

O/T: Know what my favorite thing about blogging is? Starting with a serious topic, searching for a photo or quote, and coming across stuff like this and this. Good times.

"I grow fatigued..."

The fact that I can hardly get worked up about the War, among other topics, anymore due to Outrage Fatigue won't stop me from letting somebody else point out what crap Bush's "address to the nation" was. Take it away, Hilzoy:
In a move that caught all of Washington by surprise, President Bush announced tonight that he will begin drawing down troops at almost exactly the rate that he must draw them down unless he is prepared to extend troop rotations or institute the draft. In another startling move, he described this drawdown not as forced on him by deployment schedules, but as a "return on success": the tremendous success of the surge. In so doing, once again, our President shows himself to be a true visionary: seeing things invisible to ordinary men and women. Where we see only a country in the process of falling apart, our more discerning President sees success. Where we see millions of people fleeing their homes, he sees 'civil society taking root'. And, somehow, he sees "a young democracy" where we see dead people.

And to top it all off, where we see a President determined to keep our troops in harm's way for as long as possible, hoping that the civil war unleashed by his folly will unfold on someone else's watch, he sees a chance, "for the first time in years, for people who have been on opposite sides of this difficult debate to come together." Although why he thinks this is so novel escapes me: it has always been possible for both sides to come together if all those who disagree with George W. Bush simply abandon their positions, and this is not the first time he has suggested that we embrace this sort of bipartisanship.

The President also said this:

"In the life of all free nations, there come moments that decide the direction of a country and reveal the character of its people. We are now at such a moment."

Here, for once, I agree completely. We have had clear evidence that our policy in Iraq is unworkable for some time. We need to decide what to do about it. And we have, essentially, two choices. On the one hand, we can face up to this fact, as unpleasant as it might be, and figure out the most honorable way of extricating ourselves. On the other, we can continue to defer the moment when we have to realize that we have failed, and go on sacrificing good and decent men and women to our unwillingness to face the truth.

This will, as President Bush says, reveal our character as a people. I would much rather it reveal some capacity for maturity and decency than a willingness to ask people to die so that we can pretend we haven't lost.

Following up on the President's quote above...This is actually the only part I saw (after the fact, online) and I had to stop it right there before I hurt my pretty new monitor. What the fuck to you mean "we", white man? Whatever has been happening in Iraq, and what comes next has no reflection on this country or the character of its people. The rest of us left you and your retard-base and your fucking abomination of a war in the dust quite a while ago.

Your "moment of truth" is nothing but a bullshit soundbite in your vast narrative of lies. you are pretending to bring troops home, when all you are really doing (and not even committing any numbers, btw) is going back to the same unacceptable number of troops we had before this stupid surge. 2008 will end with the same amount of troops that 2006 did.

Last night's speech was the same as any of the other ones—you continue to fool all 28% of the people all of the time, cow Congress into supporting you, and punt the ball down the field and expect the next President to deal with your fucking mess.

Nicely done. You are full of shit, but it's working. That is your only success—your brain-dead supporters clap, the morons in the media trumpet your "compromise," the Republicans point to this fake success, and the Democrats roll over for whatever you want.

Fuck you, Mr President. And fuck the rest of you too. In fact, you can all suck down one of these...

Extra points for whoever identifies the title quote. Full quote, "I grow fatigued, Captain."

UPDATE: Sullivan, good NYT Op-Ed, Carpetbagger,'s Kaplan

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Oh, was I supposed to write something special for 9/11? Sorry folks, it's really just like any other day for me. I feel for my good friend who was deeply impacted by the events of the day (lost his FDNY brother), but other than that I am pretty detached. If anything, I've been forced by politics of the day into a cynical posture where I just expect hype and bullshit from the Right as they glorify their touchstone, and bad attempts by the left to relate or appropriate some tough stance.

Me? I mostly remember that I was actually boarding a plane to NYC that morning, and that had we not moved to MI the month prior, I would have watched all happen before my eyes from my office in Brooklyn.

I read something fantastic here, and some shit that pissed me off here. You chose.


I don't care about the death of Alex the supposedly famous, but heretofore unknown, talking parrot. NPR ruined my drive home the other day with a big waste of time story on it, and so have several of my otherwise favorite bloggers. Move on, people.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Patriot Games

[ESPN link] NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has determined that the New England Patriots violated league rules Sunday when they videotaped defensive signals by the New York Jets' coaches, according to league sources.

Here's my take—if you are calling your defensive plays in from the sidelines with hand signals that your players on the field, the Patriots sideline and everyone in the stadium can see, I do NOT consider deciphering those signals cheating. Period.

If The Hoodie is smart enough to crack that code in real time and burn you with his offense—advantage Patriots, and quit yer bitching.

But, if they are using video to record and analyze those signals over the course of a game, at halftime or whatever, it's a clear violation of the "no recording allowed" rule, and the Pats deserve a harsh penalty. Draft picks sound fair to me. Hell, give 'em to the Jets. A forfeit might be too much—this isn't why the Jets got their ass kicked Sunday—the Pats ARE that much better (and as such didn't need to cheat). Though I will say, a forfeit would be a hell of a deterrent—but what is the penalty if the cheating team loses? Set a harsh policy tied to picks and hefty fines.

Oh, and I don't want to hear any whining about them doing this in the past. If the Packers caught them last year and didn't do anything about it they can promptly STFU about it now. That means one of two things to me—they can't prove shit, and thus didn't actually "catch" anything OR they did, but didn't take it to the League because they, and everybody else, are doing it too.

UPDATE: Deadspin says, "why they would do such a thing is another matter ... it's like Lisa Simpson peaking at Ralph Wiggum's test answers."

Also, thanks to 100 Percent Injury Rate for the pic, and this: "I expected this guy to be like a Nam vet using a camcorder and be under a camo grass tarp. Not lugging a huge camera less than 30 feet from the coaches he was not so secretly taping. The guy might as well have had a sign around his neck that said "Suck it Jets, I'm videotaping you assholes."

For the record, that photo seems to leave little doubt. Pretty much red-handed.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Miscellany: Incendiary

Last year the Bush Administration failed to audit even half of the private Medicare insurers they are required to by law, and the ones they did audit scammed the gov't for $60 million that should have gone to beneficiaries. Once the "errors" were discovered, the Bushies took no action and let them keep the money. But, in the case where the gov't forgot to withhold prescription drug premiums from social security recipients, they are "vigorously pursuing money that it says is owed to insurance companies by Medicare beneficiaries." Un-fucking-yet-totally-believable. [h/t Hilzoy]

Last week the USAF accidentally flew a planeload of nuclear warheads across the country, and nobody on the plane knew they were nukes, and nobody on the ground knew they were missing. Oops! Or, maybe not a mistake, which is even worse... [Carpetbagger]

Cheney wants it both ways, and both are bullshit. has a copy of the official letter from the Office of the Vice President to Sen. Leahy's Commitee in response to his subpoenas—they are refusing to comply because he is not part of the Executive Branch, and not subject to Senate scrutiny, but they also assert Executive Privelege. It would have been quicker to Xerox Cheney's ass and send it to Leahy.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

"On Saturday we went to Applebee's..."

...and kicked some corporate ass! The Family Furious took it to the streets—that's Kid Furious and the missus "protestin' good in the neighborhood." Baby Furious is off-screen beating the shit out of an uptight prude. Mrs. F has the full story.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Say Hello To the New Attorney General

Restoring integrity to a damaged and overly politicized Department of Justice...
Bush Expected to Nominate Attorney General Next Week
Former Solicitor General Is Called a Leading Candidate

By Dan Eggen | Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 8, 2007; Page A02

President Bush is expected to choose a replacement for Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales by the middle of next week, and former solicitor general Theodore B. Olson has emerged as one of the leading contenders for the job, according to sources inside and outside the government who are familiar with White House deliberations.

[...] The persistent mention of Olson as a possible candidate has surprised and upset some Democrats, who view the well-known GOP attorney as a sharp-edged partisan who they contend would not be the best choice for a Justice Department accused of becoming overly politicized.

"A lot of Democrats up here would view that as a shocking and unwise choice," one Senate aide said.

But Olson, who represented Bush in the legal battle over the 2000 presidential election, also is widely admired by members of both parties for his legal skills and sharp intellect. nominating Reagan's lawyer during Iran Contra, a major player in the "Arkansas Project" which dug up dirt on the Clintons in the 90s, worked for the Starr Investigation, and finally, was the lawyer who represented George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore—putting Bush in office.

Oh, and while Solicitor General for Bush, he argued cases for the Administration on terrorism, wiretapping, PATRIOT Act, detainees and everything else that could possibly be a conflict of interest.

Sounds perfect. The only way Bush could be a bigger dick would be to nominate Karl Rove.

Place your bets in the comments on whether he ends up being the nominee, and whether the Dems block him. And if they actually DO block him (doubtful) Bush will recess appoint him. Where's my money? Read the title again...I'd LOVE to be wrong.

UPDATE: I neglected to mention this originally, Olson's wife was killed in the 9/11 attacks (I believe she was on the Pentagon plane). I'm sure the Bushies regard that as a trump card and insulation—I regard that as a conflict of interest, and possible impact on objectivity and judgement. It would keep you off a jury, why shouldnt it prevent you from this job? Answer: It should. But there is NO chance any Dems will go there.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Drink up, Chuck

Last time I busted out the mug it was for Harry Reid's turn at Dick of the Week. I'll be brewing the STFU for whoever needs it, and that person need not be DOW. The first pour from the fresh pot goes to Chuck Schumer...
[link] Senators were too quick to accept the nominees’ word that they would respect legal precedents, and “too easily impressed with the charm of Roberts and the erudition of Alito,” Schumer said.

“There is no doubt that we were hoodwinked,” said Schumer, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

[...] In Friday’s speech, he said his “greatest regret” in the last Congress was not doing more to scuttle Alito.

[...]Schumer said there were four lessons to be learned from Alito and Roberts: Confirmation hearings are meaningless, a nominee’s record should be weighed more heavily than rhetoric, “ideology matters” and “take the president at his word.”

Hoodwinked? Please. You, me, Bush, Alito and everyone else knew exactly what was on the table here, what the President's "word" was worth, and what these confirmations meant—and you fucking pussies capitulated.

You got this part right:
“Alito shouldn’t have been confirmed,” Schumer said. “I should have done a better job. My colleagues said we didn’t have the votes, but I think we should have twisted more arms and done more.”

Yep. You did a shit job, and let the country down. but don't try and tell me you were "hoodwinked." That's crap.

"Say it Ain't So, Rick"

Saw this at rotoworld this morning:
Rick Ankiel-OF- Cardinals Sep. 7 - 3:55 am et
The New York Daily News reports that Rick Ankiel received a 12-month supply of human growth hormone in 2004 from a Florida pharmacy currently under investigation.
So much for what was arguably the best story of the year. If that was Ankiel's only foray into the world of PEDs, one could almost sympathize with him. Ankiel, still a pitcher at the time, had his 2002 and 2003 seasons wrecked by elbow injuries and was trying desperately to make it back. Still, he could have been cheating long before his elbow problems and there's no telling whether he's still using today -- MLB players are not tested for HGH. While a suspension for Ankiel isn't at all likely, we doubt this story will go away as quickly as the news regarding Gary Matthews Jr. did.
Source: NY Daily News

Dammit! This really casts a shadow on what is arguably one of the great sports comeback stories I can remember, period. Here's what I wrote about Ankiel when he first came up to the Cards last month, and the story had only gotten more incredible since—the guy had 7 RBI last night! In 23 games he's hitting .360 with 9 bombs and 29 Ribs. The Cards jumped on his back and climbed back into the race going 17-6 since his call-up.

As rotoworld said, this guy had such downfall—first mental, then physical—one can almost forgive the desperation he must have been feeling at the time. According to the story, he recieved one shipment, before MLB's ban on HGH took effect in 2005, and there is no indication he got any more after that.

What I'd love is for Ankiel to come clean, and make a heartfelt confession about what he was going through, and how he was willing to do whatever he could within the rules at the time to resurrect his career. Unfortunately, he can't do that because while MLB didn't ban HGH, he probably received it illegally. There's no way to know if he uses it now or anytime in between, because MLB does not test for HGH.

I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. For now. I'm also going to start getting used to the fact that just about everybody did some of this shit...

UPDATE: Deadspin editor and CArds fan Will Leitch has a good post up.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Urine My Space

This is probably the only men's room post on the entire internet written this week that is in no way connected to Senator Larry Craig.

On my floor there are two men's rooms. One has three urinals and one stall, the other has five urinals and two stalls. For a quick leak, I go to the smaller (closer) men's room. When it's time for, um, a sit down, I go to the two-stall bathroom which is farther down the hall.

I have long thought the rules of engagement when faced with a bank of urinals is universally understood.

I am wrong.

Two days in a row, I have been first in, chose Urinal #3 (farthest one) and have been followed in by a student who faced with the choice of #1 or #2. Here's the scenario:

| 1 | 2 | 3 |
. . . . . . x

And they each chose #2—directly adjacent to me! WTF? This wouldn't be the first time moron students here have drawn my ire in the can.

Think you know The Rules? Take the test.

For those of you who missed Art History 101, the picture is of this.

In related news, at the library today, I used one of the crazy new waterless urinals. Saves 40,000 gallons of water a year. Per public urinal. Pretty good. Put that in the commercial building code, please.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

"the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat…"

I went upstairs to put Kid Furious to bed, I believe, in the 5th inning—I was aware the O's had no hits, but I never expected the no-hitter to hold. It was all over by the time I checked back in. My personal jinx was negated by my not following the game, so Clay Buchholz and all of Red Sox Nation can send me their regards. Chad Finn's been gushing about Buchholz all season, and along with Ellsbury, they are probably the only two guys I considered untouchable at the deadline. Thankfully, it seems, so did Theo.

HOF pitcher, Oriole broadcaster and underwear model Jim Palmer liked what he saw early in last night's start...
So when, as the story goes, [Palmer] banged on the glass to the Red Sox radio booth in the third inning last night to inform Joe Castiglione that the 23-year-old on the mound for Boston reminded him of himself, it was confirmation enough that, yes, Clay Buchholz has the substance to match the hype.

Six innings later, Buchholz and Palmer had the same number of career no-hitters: one.

This kid already had a bright future, hopefully this doesn't blow expectations way to high. He's 23, and sure to hit some rough patches as he develops. No-hitters take an immense amount of luck to go with dominance, and I hope everybody, Buchholz included, keep things in perspective. The morons on the radio in Boston are surely calling for Buchholz to start the rest of the year...I hope they don't do it. Take care of this young arm, and the no-hitter in game number two hopefully won't be the highlight of his career.

Let me start by stipulating that I don't really care about college football. Never have. But I am a sports fan, and I could get behind the team that plays right around the corner from my house chasing a national title, if once since I lived here they didn't shoot their season in the foot in September. Except for last year, U-M has lost an early game every season, which in the stupid, playoff-less system, means for all intents and purposes, your title chances are over as soon as you lose. They've lost every bowl game, and every game against Ohio State since I've lived in Ann Arbor. Proof again, perhaps of my jinx power (or Lloyd Carr's ineptitude).

Was I watching yesterday's game? No, I was re-hanging my porch swing (which my fat ass had yanked from the ceiling last week). But from the porch, I can hear the crowd in the stadium, and I could tell things were not going well. When my next- door neighbor walked back from the game, I asked, "What's going on over there? it doesn't sound good."

"They lost. As soon as the kick was blocked, I walked out. I'm not even sure if the guy ran it back or not." (He didn't. But he almost did.)

Then my other neighbor returned, "I'm glad that kick got blocked, because Michigan didn't deserve to win. I'd've been embarrassed if they did. They got outplayed in every facet of the game right from the beginning."

As I said, I don't follow closely, but from my casual observations, Lloyd Carr is a fucking travesty. That loss is 100% on the coach. Bad coaching. Bad preparation. Bad motivation. No adjustments. His teams seem to constantly let bad teams hang around, he fails constantly to make adjustments, and yesterday a Division AA team came into Michigan Stadium and completely outclassed them.

This was supposed to be one of the cupcake games—Carr picked this opponent. Well, his sacrificial lamb just drove the nail into his coffin, and this game will be etched on his headstone.

If Michigan is smart, they'll bring a coach from the hills of North Carolina in to take over for Carr. Appalacian State head coach Jerry Moore can obviously flat-out coach and motivate his players. His team has college's longest winning streak at 14 games, has back-to-back Division I-AA titles, and he just lead his undersized, overmatched Bad News Bears into Yankee Stadium and beat the shit out of the Yankees.