Tuesday, September 30, 2008



The Cell was the place to be the past three days. After two dreadful losses against the Indians - which themselves followed a gut-wrenching sweep at the hands of the hated Twins - the Sox were put in a position where they needed to win three successive games against three different divisional rivals.

With three pitchers each of whom was pitching on three days' rest.

And they did it in the first-ever 1-0 "extra game" in MLB history. And their first 1-0 victory all year.

And during a BLACKOUT.

No, this wasn't *quite* as amazing as what the Rockies were able to accomplish at the end of the 2007 regular season (although if they beat the Rays and somehow win the ALCS, it could be). But given the team dysfunction (Vazquez stinking up the joint against the Indians, Cabrera saying his team didn't care and then not really doing anything to show he did, Swisher dissatisfied with his new role on the bench), how great for Ozzie, Kenny, and (love him or hate him) Jerry, and especially Konerko, Dye, Buehrle, Pierzynski, Uribe, and Jenks. Our holdovers from 2005 gutted out a really, really tough season, and in the end, showed their Sox pride. (Oh, Crede too - wish you had a different agent and better back, brother... Oh, and Contreras!) Thanks to the newcomers Quentin (get well immediately), Ramirez, Cabrera (yes, you), and Floyd, who made this year possible. Congrats to Thome and Griffey, who still have that chance at that elusive ring. Awesome job, Denks, pitching the game of your life at the most crucial time. Swish, Wise, THORNTON, the rest of the shaggy bullpen. It's time to turn it around, and make the next few weeks memorable.

Great job, Sox!

Finally, as much as I've grown to dislike the Cubs, I have to say, it's pretty amazing that both Chicago teams are in the playoffs (for the first time in 102 years, so they say) - while NEITHER New York team is there. (Note: both LA teams are in as well. For what it's worth.) It would be pretty neat to meet in the Series. So long as we win.


Friday, September 26, 2008


please stop him before he hurts himself

I'm a fool.

Remember way back a couple of weeks ago, when I said that Ruben Navarette of cnn.com had written "the most humiliatingly awful article"? About his wish that he could vote for an Obama/Palin ticket?

Well, I guess I should have added the words "to this point," because beyond all reasonable expectation, he has just written an article even MORE humiliatingly awful. This time about McCain's decision to "suspend" his campaign to focus on the bailout bill.

Some key quotes:
Some in the Obama-friendly media were quick to dismiss McCain's move as a political stunt. I don't know. It's not like launching one's candidacy in Springfield, Illinois, in the hopes of conjuring up comparisons to Abraham Lincoln, or moving one's convention speech to a football stadium to accommodate a larger crowd.
First of all, is he saying the media is "Obama-friendly" or is he saying that it was those in that section of the media that is friendly to Obama were the ones calling this a stunt? It's absolutely unclear (though really irrelevant). Call an editor, stat.

Second, can he really compare Obama's decisions about locations for holding speeches that every presidential candidate/nominee always gives to McCain's decision to unilaterally cancel a debate - or did he? - in order to inject himself into a situation in which nobody asked for him, and to which he apparently has little if nothing of substance to offer (let alone leadership or expertise)?

Especially given the fact that McCain has obviously NOT suspended campaigning, despite his protestations to the contrary.

Especially especially given the fact that McCain just a week ago seemed to believe beyond all evidence to the contrary that "the fundamentals" of the economy were strong and that despite the fact that this crisis has been looming for months upon months, McCain had yet to offer any sort of leadership on this issue until now. Wasn't he like *the* most absent senator over the past two years?

Obama's "stunts" were about injecting themes and an image into his campaign. It's what every politician around the world does, some more successfully than others. McCain's insane-o scheme is about ... well, who knows what it's about, other than drawing attention to himself. Frankly, I think that's what the Palin pick was about, too. John McCain is desperate for attention, and he can't stand the fact that Obama commands more of it.

There's a word for what McCain's doing: grandstanding. And it is by far the least effective way to actually solve a crisis.

More Ruben:
After all the doom and gloom, pundits were then surprised when McCain decided to temporarily suspend his presidential campaign
(while still running ads, keeping all his campaign offices humming, accepting donations, meeting with Lady de Rothschild, giving interview after interview after interview after interview, and giving his stump speech to the Clinton Global Initiatives crowd)
and return to his day job in Congress, where he tried to work out a bailout deal with his colleagues.
Well gosh, THAT went well.
Unfortunately, [Obama] also looks like someone who is so focused on what he hopes will be his next job that he has lost interest in his current one.
You have got to be kidding me. And you still haven't explained why McCain didn't return Obama's phone call about issuing a joint statement, why he didn't simply ask for the debate to be shifted to economic issues, and why his campaign thought it would be a good idea to also postpone the Vice Presidential debate.

So, to summarize: McCain (1) pretends to suspend his campaign, (2) doesn't, (3) is completely useless in the negotiations over the bailout bill, (4) tries desperately to get the press to believe he's somehow putting the needs of his country over his campaign, (5) gets a total of ONE dummy to actually believe that (our Ruben), and (6) then agrees to debate after all.

Ruben - you've been had. Why on earth does cnn.com continue to promote your insane ramblings? Oh wait, this is the same website that promotes t-shirts that say "Pig holds woman prisoner in her house." Nevermind.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


the single funniest thing I have read in a looooong time

After reading what the progressive blogs had to say about McCain's ridiculous decision to suspend his campaign in light of the current financial crisis, I decided I had to check out The Corner, just to see if there was anything they could possibly saying other than "this is the stupidest political gambit of all time, other than naming Sarah Palin as a vice presidential candidate."

And what do you know, here's Newt Gingrich:
This is the day the McCain-reform Republican Party began to truly emerge as a movement which puts country first, solutions first, and big change first.
as if it weren't also the day that, instead of meeting with economic advisers all day, McCain was actually meeting with Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild.

Newtie then goes on to bash Obama:

It is surprisingly irresponsible and politically dangerous for the Obama campaign to try and insist on a debate Friday night.
as if Obama hadn't been completely blindsided by what is so obviously a gimmick that cnn.com had a poll up within minutes asking people if they thought it was a gimmick. (The vast majority say yes. Obviously.)

But then there's Jonah Goldberg, who reprints an email from a reader, and then goes on to suggest that this gimmick might in fact be brilliant strategy. He even gives it a name -- "The Grant Gambit":

I think McCain should show up for the debate looking reluctant and disheveled. He could apologize for this condition, saying he had to rush back from doing the nation’s business. He could be like Grant having to apologize to the impeccably dressed Lee at Appomattox for showing up all muddy and in an old private’s coat. There was, after all, a war that needed winning.
Reading this suggestion made me cry. Not out of sorrow at the state of our political discourse, but rather because I was laughing so hard that my tear ducts responded by releasing actual tears of laughter.

So thank you, Jonah, for your part in brightening my day; and thank you, John McCain, for effectively ending the 2008 presidential campaign.

(Note: Perhaps McCain can ask his makeup artist Tifanie White to create this "reluctant and disheveled" look? Would she do it as part of the $5,583 he's already paid her for her services, or would it cost more?)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Barack the Sox!!!

Bah, the Obama/Sox logo doesn't work any more. Oh well, here's a photo:

and a shirt:

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Is the bloom coming off the rose?

Kos' poll released today indicates that the "Palin bump," if it ever existed, is receding, and that her favorables are below 50%. There's only so much "tightly controlled" Palin you can do in the next two months to mitigate against the inevitable national realization that she's a gimmick, another incurious empty suit, a bad choice for VP. To me, she's no dumber than Bush, but she's a FAR more problematic candidate in that:

* She has ZERO national spotlight experience compared to GWB, who at least had a full primary campaign, a family steeped in politics, time spent as his daddy's henchman, the whole "owner" of the Rangers business, and a full term plus reelection as governor of a huge state with plenty of Democrats and lots and lots and lots of media. So this bears repeating - Palin makes Bush look smart and experienced! Her "In what respect, Charlie?" quote in the ABC interview was a harbinger of worse things to come.

* She's not running for president, but could overshadow the actual candidate. One reason Barack didn't really consider running with Clinton is that it would have taken the focus off the candidate, which would have been interpreted as weakness. McCain has been hiding behind "Palinmania" for a couple of weeks and in doing so, lost control of his message (whatever the hell that was) and his campaign. Bad idea. But of course, he was in danger of getting blown out anyway, so I can't say it was a bad move.

There are dummies like Ruben Navarette at cnn.com, who wrote the most humiliatingly awful article saying he wanted an Obama/Palin "dream" ticket and was as yet undecided. Well, you can't have it (thank the Lord). You can have Obama - who has been in the spotlight four years and who is extremely well educated and who has written memoirs and who withstood the rigors of the most highly publicized primary in history; OR you can have Palin, who will have been in the spotlight for two months; who is currently under investigation in her remote, small state; whose term as mayor of a small town looks increasingly spotty (loyalty tests to the librarian?!), and whose own campaign is afraid to let her do a PRESS CONFERENCE.

The worst part about the Palin pick is that it was clearly a reactionary move by McCain. It was a move made of desperation, not one of inspiration. Yes, it's driven a lot of liberals/Democrats crazy, which as Atrios has pointed out is the only thing that gives conservatives/Republicans pleasure these days. My guess is that given the state of the country, in the next two months we'll see that the country realizes that it was an ill-considered pick and that, though the election will still be close, thanks to McCain's continuing gutter campaign, the enthusiasm of the GOP base, Obama's steady drama-free campaign causing conniptions on the left, and the country's uncertainty about pulling the lever for a black politician (particularly one so new to the scene, although not as new as Palin!). But in the end, I see Obama winning out in both the popular vote and the electoral college.

So thanks, John McCain and Sarah Palin, for making this stretch run far more interesting than it otherwise would have been. Best of luck in your future endeavors. I just don't think it's gonna happen this time around.

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