Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Obit: Robert Goulet

For a split second I actually mistakenly thought "Benson" when I read the headline (that's Robert Guillaume). Then I realized, "Aw, man, Robert Goulet—love that guy, he was a fucking badass!
Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Goulet, the singer whose rich baritone voice and classic tall, dark, dashing good looks made him a star on stage and television, has died. He was 73.

That's nice, but what did Robert Goulet do that was so great as to be eulogized in this fine establishment? Only a series of the finest television advertisments ever produced.

Back when ESPN was good, before college hoops became the NBAs farm system, and the sidelines were paced by a veritible Mount Rushmore of larger-than-life coaches, the Worldwide Leader™ needlessly blew the budget to remind me what I already knew—park my ass on the couch Monday and Wednesday nights...in January, not just March.

Here's a taste...

Goulet's website has high-quality videos of all sixteen ads—they're a total flashback to a carefree time of watching ungodly quantities of sports for me, and you should at least check out numbers 5, 9 and, oh...15, I guess...fuck it—they're all great. Dig.

Nobody was more smooth than Mr. G., baby. So smooth he had a candy bar, capische?

Tacoby Bellsbury

You better believe I was collecting on the free taco. Thanks Jacoby!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Baseball: Red Sox (Domi)Nation

Congratulations to the Red Sox, who swept their way to their second title in four years. I'm just sorry I can't watch as often as I used because this was an enjoyable team to watch. At times frustrating, and they certainly made things interesting in the ALCS, but they had a plan, and they came out every night and stuck to it, and it worked.

It's a good thing I'm not the GM, because if I was, I'd be handing out ludicrous contract extensions along with the champagne last night. This team got gutty performances from nearly everyone that was on the roster, from Beckett to Kielty, but especially from the guys whose contracts ran out as they donned the celebratory goggles—Curt Schilling, who showed he has something left in the tank, Mike Timlin is simply a freaking warrior, and Mike Lowell* was a deserving Series MVP and a class act all the way. Wherever you guys end up next year, you'll be Sox for eternity with me.

Special congratulations to J.D.Drew and Julio Lugo, who turned in valuable contributions after suffering through diifficult seasons and plenty of doubts, all is forgiven and let's move on from here.

And Terry Francona who just did a phenomenal job. He is 22-9 in the playoffs, and 8-0 in the World Series. He had a stubburn approach through the season that at times seemed too slow to adjust, or too cautious, but he was managing for the long haul and it showed this postseason—when other pitchers and teams seemed out of gas, the Sox were still throwing it. A fantastic job, and he should never hear any shit from fans in Boston as long as he stays.

Oh, and I'm going to really enjoy the Beckett Era.

*UPDATE: Please re-sign Lowell and spurn the preening two-headed egomonster Boras-Rod. If Lowell has to play the last two years of his contact in a wheelchair it would make me happier than having A-Rod on this team.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Baseball: Game Three Time-Delay Blogging

Yes, that's right, watching the game on TiVo. Getting ready for Kid F's birthday party tonite, and it's time to unwind. the fun starts in the comments...

Baseball: Roamin' Holliday

Perhaps the biggest play in Game 2 was when Matt Holliday got picked off first base by Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon in the 8th inning. It might have seemed like a fluke, or a lucky play—but the truth is, Holliday was out before he even got the hit...

David Pinto excerpts a fascinating story about how advance scouting led the Rockies to think they could steal on Papelbon, and how the Sox outguessed them—picking Holliday off in a key situation where they would never normally try. Check it out, really, really interesting look at the game behind the game.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Game Two: Random Thoughts

In no particular order... "Shut the fuck up, McCarver." (repeated ad infinitum) ... "What the hell are you talking about, Buck?" ... "I guess Pedroia's wrist is feeling better." (predicted line that didn't materialize) ... "That bank robbery ad is a good one. And that new Malibu looks promising." ... "So, Chris Myers, do you regret leaving a post as respected, serious ESPN guy to become the jackass in the stands for FOX Sports?" ... "Papelbon is a downright embarrassing on-field celebrator."

"Curt Schilling, why do you have to be a Republican jackass, it's the first thing I think of when I see you." ... "No, of course they are not taking Manny out for defense in a one-run game, with his spot due up in the ninth, McCarver you stupid jackass." ... "Oh...busting out a second White Stripes tune..." ... "I hate these hi-tech vented batting helmets that the Rockies are wearing, I'm glad the Sox (and Yanks) have not made the switch." ...

"Sitting Ortiz or Youk in Colorado really is a Sophie's Choice." ... "That said, I think I'd sit Ortiz in Game 3." ... "I can't believe I just thought that. But, it's true." ... "Dice-K is going to get lit up in Denver." ... "OUCH!" (as Drew hits the canvas after taking fastball on the ankle) ... (watching stupid Verizon ad) "Do some (non-Apple) laptops really require that retarded external wireless card/antennae thing?" ... "J.D. Drew is officially off the hook for his crappy season." ... "What's with Manny and the helmet flipping." ... "The Rockies are going to be kicking ass in the sucky NL West for years to come." ... "What the hell was Holliday doing?" ... "Look at Manny's ridiculous uniform pants...I love that freak."

"How crazy must it be to have Manny Ramirez as your dad?"

(at left) Boston Red Sox's Manny Ramirez hugs his oldest son Manny along with younger son Manny Jr. during the team's batting practice before Game 2 of the baseball World Series against the Colorado Rockies. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

"Why am I not surprised that Manny named both his sons Manny..."

Um, yikes?

Time-lapse photography from NASA of this winter in the Arctic.

I'm not really sure what to make of that.

It came from Andrew Sullivan, but without a link or attribution. I assume it's real, but I don't know. If it is real, somebody's losing their job over collecting the data, never mind releasing it—the Bushies like their NASA neutered and working on Mars Missions, not underscoring Al Gore.

But there's no context to that video. Is that a typical seasonal shift? Can you show me a video (or simulation) from ten years ago? Twenty? More? It almost looks like a third of the ice cap melts, how is Manhattan still above water?

I hate to sound like Bush, but, I think I need more info on this...


Job posting I saw today...
Art Director
Publication or Company: The Washington Monthly
Industry: Graphic Design/Art Direction, Magazine Publishing
Job Location: Washington, DC USA
Salary: Under $30,000

LOL! Are they fucking serious?!? In D.C.?!? Who do they think's taking that job? Johnny Tremain's not walking through that door... Do you seriously think the right-wing rags pay that shittily? I'm speechless. No wonder the Left gets its ass kicked.


Deep in an unrelated thread (on sleep) at Toast's place, the topic of television was raised. It started with "Greatest Sitcom of All time" and became a general debate on television in general. I thought I'd sit down for a moment and throw my thoughts down.

First of all, it should be noted that between my Kids' Bedtime Duty, and my freelance workload, I hardly watch television at all right now. Even with the Sox in the Series, I am TiVoing, and/or catching games online, not always live. So any judgements on current television are going to be speculative or based on year old data (at best).

Sure-fire shows I would watch if I had the time: The Daily Show, Colbert Report...um...that's about it.

Shows I enjoyed recently, but may have slipped: The Shield, Rescue Me, Definitely Slipped: Grey's Anatomy, 24, Scrubs, Without a Trace

Shows I've heard really good things about that I wish I could see: The Wire*, The Office, Heroes, Deadwood*, Battlestar Galactica, 30 Rock, Prison Break, Jericho

Fantastic (recent) shows I mourn the loss of: Arrested Development, Firefly (which I never saw, but I loved "Serenity"), actually good Simpsons

Recent guilty pleasures: Everwood, Bones, Grey's Anatomy, Dancing with the Stars

Shows that seem to me to be utter crap/overrated: South Park, Family Guy, CSI: Miami, Entourage

All-Time Favorites: Homicide, good Simpsons, The X-Files, Seinfeld, Star Trek (original and TNG only)

*I imagine all these HBO-type shows are good, but I will NEVER pay for them, so if I ever see them, it will be on DVD from the library.

So that's all I can think of off the top of my head. Feel free to have at it in the comments, and I will add things as they occur to me...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Resting On My Laurels

So, here I am feeling all good about myself for riding my bicycle to work, and losing ten pounds, but the truth is, I'm really have another ten to lose, and I've been stuck in the mid-170s for probably a month or more. And now we head straight into the toughest stretch of the year: cold weather (less biking) plus Halloween, birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (more chowing) equals return to Huskyville...

The state of my complacency was brought to vivid light with this morning's bit of trivia from Mrs. Furious: with her steady erosion down to a fantastic 113 pounds, I now weigh more than the rest of my family combined.

By one pound.

Did I mention I have two kids? At least it doesn't include the dog.

Future weigh-ins will take place at the playground. On the see-saw. Mrs, Kid and Baby F on the other end...which way does it go?

BONUS: Searching for the photo yielded this funny post.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Last Post on the War

Go read this story and guess what I'm most annoyed by / sick to death of. Go ahead, it's not long. I'll wait...

What? Too fucking lazy to click? Okay. Here are the choices:
Bush wants another $42 billion for wars
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration on Monday asked for an additional $42.3 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the 2008 request for total war funding to $189.3 billion. [blah, blah, blah]

"Congress should not go home for the holidays while our troops are still waiting for the funds they need," he said.

This tired shit again? Jesus. Sure, that's a bunch of crap, but this pisses me off more:
Minutes after Bush spoke, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, warned the president not to expect Congress to "rubber-stamp" the latest request.

"In the coming weeks, we will hold it up to the light of day and fight for the change of strategy and redeployment of troops that is long overdue," Reid said.

Oh, just shut the fuck up already, Harry. Please. I've had i t with this bullshit. Do everybody a favor and just rubber-stamp it. Stop pretending. We all know you're gonna cave. Just be honest about from the start—I'd rather the new Democratic strategy just be "Here. Finish your fucking war, Bush. This is all on you. How much do you need? A twenty? Just take it and stay out all night if you want. Because next year you're out and shit's gonna change.*"

* In theory. I'm not even confident a Democratic President will change anything anymore.

Baseball: Open Enrollment

An email I received today...This kind of thing goes back and forth annually in the Northeast, but this one is newly updated and has some good lines.

It's long, so I'm putting it in the comments. Enjoy or inflame—your choice.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Aaahhhgg! Mutherfu..."

That has been the number one thing coming out of my mouth as I too have been crippled with the same mysterious hand pain as Mrs. F today. It happened to me this morning while simply reaching for the baby sling (carrier) off the coat rack.

Me: "Aaaahhhhowwwwww!"
Mrs. F: "What's wrong?"
Me: "My hand. I was just reachin--"
Mrs. F, finishes the sentence, "...up like this? And it hurts in here...?"
Me: "Yeah. Is this what you have? Oh, shit."

Mrs. F said it feels like her hand is broken. It doesn't. I broke my hand two years ago. This is worse.

There's never been much question who around here is the stoic and who is the pussy...and let me just say, I have a new respect for Mrs. F after today.

It seems we have the exact same situation with the radiating pain in the thumb/forefinger area, that just kills with one false move. Caused by a pinched nerve in the shoulder, to which I am assigning blame to that fucking Baby Sling.

How else would we each have the same freak nerve injury?

Piece of shit.

I hope this is better tomorrow. Mrs. F's had it for days at a time before, and I might be too big a wimp to handle that...

If I could make a fist, I'd knock that smile off your face Sling-Lady...


I've been hoping for it all month. A chance for J.D. Drew to erase a season of disappointment with a big postseason. Putting your team up 4 in the first inning of an elimination game does just that. Two out, bases loaded...exactly the kind of situation he's NOT come through on all year. Each time Drew's been in one of these spots, I'm talking to the TV, "Come on, J.D., now's your chance!" Only to have the weak cut at strike three or the 4-3 groundout.

The Sox are alive for Game 7, and J.D. Drew is the reason why. Nice to see you smile...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

We Interupt This ALCS...

...For a political post I started earlier in the week. Not to worry, there'll be more Sox posts to come. I can feel it.

Let's start with this great quote from a reader at Andrew Sullivan's...
If worst comes to worst, we might get a president like Hillary, who is that girl nobody really likes but everyone wants in their project group anyways because they know she is smart and will do all the work.

Yeah, that's probably true, and I could live with that. There's no doubt that Hillary is preferable to any possible Republican candidate and would be a dramatic shift form the previous Administration. But she is locking horns with Biden for the last Democrat I actually would personally want in the Oval Office. I have a whole host of specific issues and complaints about Hillary, and I'll get into them at some point, but it really boils down to this: Change. Or, in Hillary's case, lack thereof...

I want change. I want as much change as possible—not just Anybody But Bush. She's too much "more of the same." More Washington insider. More DLC. More triangulation. More retreads hanging on from the 90s. More Chris Matthews and everyone else and their bullshit—and they're the "liberal" media.

Hillary as President will mean that two families have been in the White House in some capacity for 32 years (starting with Poppy as VP). Even if she were a great candidate, I don't think I could get excited about her for that reason alone. And she is NOT a great candidate. In fact, she's far worse as a candidate than she actually will be as a President.

And by crappy candidate, I don't mean crappy campaigner—she has exceeded expectations there—I worry about her negative impact based only on who she is. Candidate Clinton could actually rally Republicans to turn out for whichever chump they nominate. Enough to cost us the White House? I don't want to find out. But she will also hurt down-ticket as well. Every Republican motivated solely to vote against Hillary will also vote Republican down the line. I want those people staying home. We need to increase our hold on Congress, not slip.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Baseball Tonight

3 Ws, 26Ks, 1 BB, 1.17 ERA. Is there anything else that needs to be written about Josh Fucking Beckett? This is a Bob Gibsonesque performance. In fact, Gibson had it easy. Three postseason wins? You've already got your ring back in the 60s. This is vintage Pedro stuff. Beckett's three games have been utterly dominating. He can't win the ALCS for this team by himself, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Beckett come in from the 'pen to pull Dice K's ass out of the fire in game 7 and have the Indians collapse into a collective fetal position at the sight of Commander Kick Ass striding to the mound.

Thank God, he's swinging at a .500 clip and carrying half the offensive weight of the team or Manny might get under my skin. No, not for his comments the other day that had all the morons in Boston all fired up. Manny was refreshingly honest when he noted that losing "isn't the end of the world." It's not. And recognizing that is probably why he stays loose, and is the all-time leader in postseason HRs, and rides a fifteen game hitting streak (tied with Pete Rose for the all-time record) into Game 6.

Should Manny have gotten down on the play at the plate early last night? Absolutely. When David "Already Scheduled My Knee Surgery" Ortiz hustles 270 feet to score from first, should Manny have made more than 90 feet of baserunning progress? Absolutely. Has his showboating crossed from mildly amusing to actually embarrassing? Yes.

But as long as Manny's producing like this: .440 BA, .611 OBP, .960 SLG with 4 HRs and 12 RBI in 8 playoff games, I'll pretty much forgive anything. I love that goddamn goofball.

At risk of being labelled a concern troll, I'll throw my two cents in on l'affaire de Torre... No, I don't think the keys are Torre's for as long as he wants them—his contract is up, and by the (unrealistic) standards of his employer, his performance has been a disappointment, and nobody should be "manager for life."

I think the time was right, with the team headed into a bit of a youth/rebuild-on-the-fly mode, for a new manager. But the whole way Torre was handled this postseason was pretty disgraceful. This is a man who has presided over a stretch of success unmatched since the days of Casey Stengle, and in a much, much more difficult environment in every way. He has been nothing but professional and gracious and deserved to be treated with a lot more respect than the corpse of George Steinbrenner and his two douchebag sons gave him.

Not that I wouldn't wish this anyway, but I hope the Yankees suck next year. Specificallly, I hope they hire Mattingly, fail to make the playoffs, and Cashman finds himself without a job next October.

Here's Torre's press conference. Classy even after flying down to Tampa to get slapped in the face.

I hope Mark Cuban buys the Cubs. No group of tired old owners and douchebag Commissioner could deserve an in-your-face guy like Cuban more.

FANTASY A REALITY (or vice versa)
Speaking of greedy motherfuckers running baseball, a federal appeals court denied MLB their ridiculous attempt to restrict other entities from using player's names and statistics for fantasy leagues. In its infinite closeminded- and shortsightedness, MLB tied to create a monopoly and shut down all the other fantasy operators. As if the advent of fantasy baseball isn;t the greatest thing that's happened to that sport in a generation. Morons.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kick in.

MoveOn.org is going to run the Bethany ad (below). You can contribute here.

The vote to override the veto is tomorrow (Thurs 10/18).

Unfortunately they are going to have to cut the ad down fo fit a 30-second slot, but it should still be good.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Heartbeat of America

Wow. This quite simply the most powerful, provocative, and (hopefully) effective advocacy ad I've ever seen.

There is not a parent alive (except Michelle Malkin) who would be unfazed by that.

Will I be surprised if the right-wing tries to smear this family too? No, but I think they do so at their own peril. If this ad gets the exposure it deserves, the S-CHIP battle is over. If Bush wants to continue to fight the inevitable and hurt his party in the process, let him. This is a good program that works, and this is the best way to put a face and positive results out there.

[h/t: Carpetbagger]

UPDATE: That video is produced by TrueMajority.org, but I can't find anyway to contribute to getting it on the air. Their site allows you to "send to your friends" but I want that thing on prime time. Or during Oprah. Or something.

Rather than chest-thumping, base-placating, self-affirming bullshit ad buys like "General Betray-Us" and other MoveOn-type stuff, this video is one of the rare cases where I think an advocacy ad might actually be impactful and effective—and not only on this issue, but in framing the debate and the GOP going forward. I'd feel much better parting with cash to get that ad on during "Dancing with the Stars" than donating towards some oblique "$100K for Peace."

I just wrote TrueMajority and urged them to mount a campaign. Make it fucking happen, Ben.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

ALCS Game 2: Tape-Delay Blogging

Gonna give the old liveblogging-the-game thing a shot. But of course, I'm not doing this live, and nobody is going to be reading it, but I don't care. I wanna rant about shit, and I'm gonna do it. At least until I get bored...

Since the front page already has about forty-five column inches of baseball, I'm going to do this in the comments. Come on in...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mr Furious Heartily Endorses…

The old-school Pink Panther cartoons are great stuff. Stumbled across these a month or two ago on Boomerang™. Saturday mornings at 11 are a date for me and The Kid. A pleasant childhood flashback for me, sure, but in may ways they're even better than I remember—great Mancini soundtrack, classic sound effects, inspiring graphic design and typography and, best of all, the slapstick violence absent from the neutered 'toons of today. The pure, unbridaled laughter that rolls out of Kid Furious during these cartoons is just so fulfilling. Throw in an "Ant and Aardvark" or "The Inspector" to keep things interesting and you're talking pure entertainment. Plenty of these on YouTube—but stick to the ones from '60s...

It's a documented fact that the greatest snack food on Earth is the classic Hostess cupcake, but those bastards are like 500 calories or so. But now there are these 100 calorie packs that contain three mini cupcakes (they're about the size of those Mini Muffins if you've ever had those) that are pretty damn good, and plenty satisfying. I'm a fan of all these new 'portion control" products. That's my problem—I am completely unaware of how much I eat in the moment, and could easily pound down six cookies (or whatever) and the accompanying 600 calories without even knowing it. These products give me a finite quantity and a stopping point.

Early results on this are good. I've only used it one time, but I love it—the best post-shave product I've ever used. I'm loving the packaging/design as well. Get it at Target.

It fucking works. Mrs. F lobbied for one of these after reading about it around Earth Day, and I was pretty damn skeptical. Well, we got one, and it's a success. For everyday laundry, we simply don't use detergent anymore, and clothes come out totally clean and fresh. For tougher laundry we stain-treat or use a small amount of detergent, but this thing rocks. No, we will never save enough on detergent to make the thing cost-effective, but if you can afford it, it's a good move environmentally and supposedly really good for your clothes as well. No detergent means no abrasives, which (additional bonus) also means almost NO lint in the dryer.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Frost "Estate"

[photo: Baltimore Sun]

Pretty much exactly what I was picturing from my wanderings around Bal'mer. The fact that Malkin could drive up to that stoop, look at it, and then go home and write the fictitious smears she did just boggles the mind.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Oh, the humanity"

Noted without comment: Suzyn Waldman cries during the Yankees postgame show the other night...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dick of the Week: Michelle Malkin

Yes, the age-old question answered...the D.O.W. can be a woman.

Intrepid investigative reporter Michelle Malkin is doing her best to defend America from the fraudulent propaganda forced into our pinned-open eyelids by the omnipotent Democrat Party and their Army of Twelve Year Old Stormtroopers! Leaving no stone unturned no dark alley uninspected Malkin exposes the lies and deception...

Oh, you mean she just uses her highly trafficked right-wing bully pulpit website and tv appearences to make baseless smears and charges against a 12 year old boy and his family because they dared speak up about SCHIP? That's the right-wing merchant of bullshit we all know and loathe.

Apparently while I've been too busy to post about anything but baseball, this has been a real hot topic...Well, there's no more baseball for a few days, and this the big, fat, hanging curveball I need to get my fury swing back in shape.

It seems the Democrats had a twelve year old boy make the response to Bush's radio address a week or two ago, and he told the story of his family's struggles with health insurance and experience with SCHIP. You know, the thing President Compassionate Conservative vetoed..."I don't know why President Bush wants to stop kids who really need help from getting CHIP," young Graeme Frost said, referring to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Always eager to please the Dark Lords of the GOP Sith, Malkin and her ilk jumped at the chance to savage these perfectly ordinary American citizens in the public arena, claiming (like Karl Rove) that they are "fair game." That's right, opening your mouth in a free society opens you up to personal destruction. I hope this wench was careless enough to tread across the line into slander and libel territory.

Here's Malkin:
Update 2:50pm Eastern: I just returned from a visit to Frost’s commercial property near Patterson Park in Baltimore. It’s a modest place. Talked to one of the tenants, Mike Reilly, who is a talented welder. He said he had known the Frosts for 10 years. Business is good, he told me, though he characterized Frost as “struggling.”

[...] I also passed by the Frosts’ rowhouse. There was an “01-20-09″ bumper sticker plastered on the door and a newer model GMC Suburban parked directly in front of the house. I’ve seen guesstimates of the house’s worth in the $400,000-plus range.

Bet you didn't know Michelle's a real estate appraiser in her spare time... She "guesstimates" the house is worth over $400,000? Even if the house IS worth that much, my first question was, "When did this family buy it? What did they pay?" Did MM ponder this as well? Of course—she's not stupid, just dishonest. Better to make it sound like these Frost characters are living high on the hog in a half-million dollar "remodeled" brownstone. USA Today checked:
Bloggers said the house was worth more than $400,000. It turns out it was bought for $55,000 in 1991 in a Baltimore neighborhood where "there were drug dealers and prostitutes on our street," Bonnie Frost said. Halsey Frost, a woodworker, did most of the renovations, which are "still not done," Bonnie said.

Oh, and a carpenter who drives a truck? The audacity!

Next up? Go after the kids' school—here's Malkin:
The family is not as destitute as the MSM has made them out to be. FreeRepublic member icwhatudo (oh, so clever!) asks the tough questions the mainstream media won’t ask. Like why a “working family” in need of government-subsidized health care can afford to send two children to a $20,000-a-year-private school.

She then blockquotes "icurfullofshit":
…One has to wonder that if time and money can be found to remodel a home, send kids to exclusive private schools, purchase commercial property and run your own business… maybe money can be found for other things…maybe Dad should drop his woodworking hobby and get a real job that offers health insurance..."

Hoo boy, I'm not done with that motherfucker yet...but here's USAT on the school part:
Bloggers said Graeme and Gemma go to private Park School, where tuition costs about $20,000. Graeme gets a scholarship, while Gemma's brain injuries were so severe that the city pays to educate her at a school for children with disabilities.

Did I forget to mention that the thing that sent this family into a medical bill death spiral and put them on SCHIP was a terrible car accident? No matter, the brownshirts show no mercy.

Back to the Freeper asshat, icwhatudo: "...if time and money can be found to remodel a home"—This family home was a dump they bought sixteen fucking years ago when that part of Baltimore was a slum, and he fixed it up himself—let me state first-hand, this is not always laying around in hammock with a beer while paint dries—working on your house can really be hard and time-consuming, and I do it because I can't pay somebody else to. (I have a screen door in my garage that I primed in May that have yet to paint and re-hang—perhaps it'll be ready by the time screen season rolls around again. What's my problem? I have just two kids and none of them have severe disabilities.)

And this crap about him "running his own business"... As if this guy is some kind of tycoon or George "Arbusto" Bush running an oil business into the ground on the Saudi's dime. "Owning a business" more often equals a constant struggle than unbridaled wealth, morons.

I "own my own business."—guess that makes me "a CEO" in the eyes of a frothing pundit. At a certain point, paying for health insurance for my family became too expensive for me and my "business" to support. So, I got a day job, one I am vastly overqualified, and underpaid for, but it has great benefits. Here's the problem—it took me over a year to get it. And I didn't have a couple of my kids in the Brain Injury Clinic. And that job on its own does NOT pay our normal bills, so I still dabble with my "hobby" at night to make ends meet. This can be tough, and perhaps not a viable option for this family. Something that loudmouths in the world of subsidized opinon-spewing probably can't really relate to.

Malkin goes on to criticize the Maryland SCHIP program as lax for "not impos(ing) an asset test on applicants." But Maryland DOES means test, and the Frosts are well within range:
[USAT] The couple — who have four children in all —earned about $45,000 last year, well below the $55,220 limit for a family of six set under the original SCHIP program...

The original program. Yes, these thieving Frosts aren't even one of the new "too rich for a hand-out" families Bush likes to dishonestly use as pretext for his veto. But Michelle and others on the right think they should have to sell their home to meet an assets test even though it would destroy the family's future?


All of that said, I'm not sure I completely support the Dem's strategy here, and I do not think that there should be total insulation from any kind of scrutiny if you offer yourself up for a publicity stunt like this. But it was quickly clear this family met the requirements for the program, and found themselves even in that position only due to tragic events, and they should have been left alone at that point. They are now pawns caught in the middle of two forces much bigger than them, who are really more interested in advancing agendas than them or their particular needs, and that's the sad part.

Can we please just quit this fucking dance and get on with National Healthcare already?

MORE: Digby, Ezra, Firedoglake, John Cole. Cole follow-up

UPDATE: One of the other assholes Malkin quotes in her screed claims the Frosts could get health insurance if they really wanted it:
A check of a quote engine for zip code 21250 (Baltimore) finds a plan for $641 with a $0 deductible and $20 doc copays.

First of all, I find that almost impossible to believe. When we paid for our own insurance four years ago, it was more than that for any decent plan, and the only way we got under that amount was to decline maternity coverage—which (gasp) meant we couldn't have the baby if Mrs. F got pregnant. Probably not a position the right wing wants to support.

Also left out of this guy's "analysis" is the fact that this family has pre-existing conditions no insurer would want to touch. My daughter would put us in the same situation. IF we didn't have good insurance her medical issues over the last two years would likely have bankrupted us. And if I needed to to purchase my own insurance now her conditions would jack the rates through the roof.

Medical conditions are often genetic (bad) luck of the draw, and exactly the kind of thing a civilized society shares the burden of—not tosses to the gutter. There is no way I could have "budgeted" for the tests and procedures my daughter went through, and if they had happened while I was dependant solely on "my business" it would have ruined us. This is exactly what happens to families all over the country—medical bills are the largest cause of personal bankruptcies. And the Republican Congress in it's infinite "compassion" made sure it was even more difficult to declare bankruptcy a few years back.

I am at a berserker rage level of hatred and anger right about now.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Walk-Off. And Off™

The long wait for J.D. Drew to come through is over, as he plated the first two runs for Boston tonight in exactly the situation he's come up short all season...and after a season of substandard performance, and a night where Papi walked four times, Manny made K-Rod and the Angels pay. Starting to look like a team on a mission.

Meanwhile the Yanks are down 2-0 and suffered a plague of locusts...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mister(s) October

Final Score: Boston 4, LA Angels of Anaheim 0

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Josh Beckett threw a four-hit shutout, retiring 19 batters in a row at one point, as the Boston Red Sox beat the Angels, 4-0, in the opener of their American League Division Series.

David Ortiz belted a two-run homer and Kevin Youkilis added a solo shot for the reigning AL East champions, who also got an RBI single from Mike Lowell.

Beckett (1-0), baseball's only 20-game winner since 2005, was masterful in his first postseason appearance since a magical 2003 run as World Series MVP of Florida's victory over the Yankees. He finished that series with a shutout in Game 6, and on Wednesday he struck out eight without allowing a walk for his third career shutout in the postseason.

Beckett was dealing tonight. If he pitches like that through the post-season, he might get us five of the eleven wins needed for a Championship. His fastball had so much movement it looked like a breaking ball—a 98 mph curve! There are only four guys in history with three postseason shutouts—Beckett, Whitey Ford, Cristy Mathewson, and Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown. After this start, and the seasons he and Lowell put up, I don't want to hear any more Sox fans grousing about Hanley Ramirez.

What is there to say about David Ortiz? In nineteen playoff games since the start of the 2004 postseason he's hit .400 with 7HRs and 22 RBI. When you can do that, you can wear whatever the fuck leprechaun costume you want to the post-game presser...

Monday, October 01, 2007


Condolences go out to Rickey and Mike who had to endure a slow-motion car wreck of a collapse by the Mets over the last few weeks. I wouldn't wish that kind of agony on anyone. Well, except Yankee fans. And most other Met fans...

While I lived in NYC, I overcame my '86-based hatred of the Mets and adopted them as my NL team and used them as a proxy Sox to counter the Yanks. I even bought (limited) season ticket packages a couple years. Plenty of guys I liked on the team then, and even now. I was there for the raucous Todd Pratt walk-off game against the D-Backs sitting right behind the plate, but in the very top row, and I actually feared for my life the way that upper deck bounced.

As a Sox fan who for intermittant periods this September seemed to be on the verge of a similar collapse from the "best record in the League" all the way to blowing the Division, I can relate. But they got the job done. The Mets were brutal—top to bottom—with very few exceptions. Minaya never equipped this team with the pitching they needed—coasting on a big lead, and counting on a dominant return from Pedro was a foolish strategy. Almost as foolish as giving Pedro a 4-year deal. Now, I loves me some Petey, and he is one of the few guys getting a pass from me—he battled back from surgery and gave this team gutty performances and a chance to win every time he pitched down the stretch, and they wasted them.

Forget Scott Kazmir, think the Mets would like to have Brian Bannister still? They gave up an ALROY candidate for 23 innings of Ambiorix Burgos. Actually, don't forget Scott Kazmir: Tom Glavine gave up as many runs in the first inning yesterday as Kazmir did the whole month of September—seven. The Kazmir deal is bad on a Bagwellian level. Actually worse, because Bagwell was a fringe prospect, while Kazmir was a highy-regarded flamethrowing lefty. If he was pitching in Queens this season instead of on the worst team in the AL East, he'd be an Cy Young/MVP caliber ace. His performance in TB (13-9, 3.48, league-leading 230 Ks) this season would probably have been good for twenty wins and an ERA under 3 in the NL.

What am I getting at? I'm saying Omar Minaya did a shit job as G.M. Throwing too much money and too many years at guys like Pedro, Delgado, Alou, Green and a host of downside veterans. He has followed the old Yankees strategy and it blew up big time this year. This roster was riddled with injury-risks and potential cliff-diving collapses, and none of it should have been a surprise. After last year, they were complacent when they should have turned things over.

Randolph beat his bullpen every bit as badly as Torre, but he didn't have a Joba Chamberlain to save his ass. He relied too heavily and too long on under-performing veterans in many cases, though he was hamstrung by the tools Minaya left him with.

But the blame* really lies with the players who just flat out stopped playing when it mattered most. They didn't lose nailbiters, they got their asses kicked in all areas. This might look like a photo-finish with two teams tied going into the final game of the season, but the reality is the Mets were dead men walking for weeks.

Blow it up.

UPDATE: *Actual blame goes to Rickey's beard.

Toasted Joe (not to be confused with Toast) offered a Baldwinian challenge to the Mets the other day worth reading.

UPDATE 2: Fantastic rant from Metstrodamus.