Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Joe Biden for President?

Don't mistake the title of this post as an endorsement. Far from it. Just pointing out an article from Newsweek, titled The Case for Joe Biden. I doubt I agree with Sen. Biden on many (if any) issues, but unlike most of his fellow senate Democrats he comes across as a likeable guy. Even when he says something I completely disagree with he doesn't say it in a hateful manner. I could see him being a formidable candidate in 2008. There was an item in the article that I didn't know about Biden.
A far more important measure of his character happened in 1972, five months after he was elected to the senate, when he lost his wife and daughter to a car crash. From then on, he commuted home by Amtrak every evening to raise his two boys. He was never linked with actresses, models or late-night carousing.
As I said this is NOT an endorsement, but there are worse folks considering running.

Links and comments for a Tuesday

Lots of stuff going on today. In no particular order here are some articles and comments.

Alan Greenspan will be relieved as Chairman of the Federal Reserve by Ben Bernanke. Some people have been critical of Greenspan and feel he has gone too far in raising interest rates in the past. Personally, I think he has done well. It is easy for critics to look back and say they would have stopped earlier. However, those people forget the Fed Chairman isn't responsible for ensuring a robust stock market. His job is to fight inflation and create an environment for full employment. By those measures, he has been very successful.

Judge Alito should be confirmed today as Justice O'Connor's replacement on the Supreme Court. Here is a man who based on his qualifications should be nearly unanimously approved and he'll be lucky to get 60 votes. I'll guess 59 votes for confirmation.

This evening, President Bush will deliver the State of the Union speech. I have only one request. Don't try to buy friends by overpromising future spending.

Here is an article about Democrats being unhappy with how Howard Dean is managing party funds as Chairman of the DNC. They really shouldn't be too surprised based on how he blew through funds when he was running for president.

Thomas Sowell has an interesting column on Ken Blackwell's campaign for governor and how inept Republicans are when courting black voters.

David Limbaugh gives a strong recommendation for Kate O’Beirne’s new book "Women Who Make the World Worse."

Lastly, Coretta Scott King, widow of civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King Jr., passed away. Rest in peace.

Local sheriff bills feds for housing illegal aliens in jail

The main complaints that conservatives have with the Bush Administration is failure to address the illegal alien problem and the out of control federal spending. Here is an article showing how our sheriff is expressing his anger at having to deal with illegal aliens.
An Ohio sheriff has billed the Department of Homeland Security $125,000 for the cost of jailing illegal aliens arrested on criminal charges in his county, saying he's angry that the federal government has failed in its responsibility to keep them out of the United States.
Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones yesterday said that although the government may not be legally obligated to pay the three bills he has sent since November, he intends to send similar ones every month until the federal government gains control of the border.
This isn't some Democrat looking for a way to hurt the president's standing on this issue.
He said, "While I love President Bush, I give him an F-minus in immigration," noting the administration has not done enough to control the U.S. borders. "If I accomplish anything, I hope I get more people talking about the problem," he said. "I just hope our elected officials start listening."
The Hispanic population in Hamilton, the Butler County seat, has grown by 500 percent since 1990. Overall, the county -- in southwestern Ohio, 25 miles north of Cincinnati -- has one of the region's fastest-growing Hispanic populations.
"The thousands of dollars it costs to house these illegal aliens must be paid by each and every taxpayer in Butler County," Sheriff Jones said. "This is money that could be put to much better use in our county."
I think I'll call Sheriff Jones' office today and thank him for his efforts.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Chafee to vote no on Judge Alito

Sen. Lincoln Chafee (Rino-RI) has announced his intention to vote against Judge Alito's confirmation as a Supreme Court justice. Chafee is the first "Republican" to come out against Judge Alito. Can anyone explain why the Republican National Committee is supporting Chafee against Mayor Steve Laffey in the upcoming primary? Anchor Rising has Laffey's response to Chafee's decision.

Here is a link to ElectLaffey, the official website for Steve Laffey's campaign.

The New York Times vs. The Bush Administration

When I read this article, NY Times Indicts, Prosecutes and Convicts Bush I started to get angry about how a supposedly objective journalism outlet has become so blatantly partisan. However, I realized it is better for my health to laugh so I looked at this chart.

Over the last two years as the New York Times has waged a war against the current administration their stock price has dropped nearly 40%. People aren't buying a paper that only gives one side of the story.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A response to the anti-military column

Last week I ridiculed Joel Stein of the LA Times who wrote a column titled I DON'T SUPPORT our troops. Today, another Stein, responds to this character. In a column titled Saints in Armor, Ben Stein (Yes, the guy from the TV show Win Ben Stein's Money) explains why he supports our troops.
Do I support men and women who are fighting Nazis who call themselves insurgents or Islamic militants? Do I support men and women who offer up their lives to fight the very same terrorists who killed three thousand totally guiltless Americans on 9/11? I support them, pray for them, am humbled just to be on the same planet with them. With every morning I wake up, every meal I eat, every walk I take in freedom, every night I sleep in peace, I ask God to look after the men and women who guard the ramparts of this blessed island of peace and decency called America.

Another argument against divorce

When a marriage fails it isn't just the spouses who are affected. The entire extended family suffers. Most however deal with it better than this lady:
Man Fatally Shot by Ex-Wife's Grandmother
Witnesses reported that Reyes appeared to be having a casual conversation with his ex-wife and her grandmother, Jeane Ellen Allen, on the front porch of their home, when Allen allegedly pulled out a gun and fired, said Amormino. "There was no argument," he said. "She just pulled the gun out and started firing."
Got to be more to the story.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Why is the United States funding terrorists?

When I see an article with this title, Bush warns US may cut aid to Palestinians, my only thought is why are we giving them any money.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States warned on Friday it may cut back its $234 million aid earmarked for Palestinians this year because the militant group Hamas was expected to form a new Palestinian government.
I've heard all the arguments for foreign aid and don't buy any of them.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Baseball Milestones in reach

Here is a little baseball talk to warm up the winter months. Dayn Perry of FOX Sports has a neat column discussing various career milestones major leaguers could reach this year. Here's one read his article for the rest.
1. Mike Piazza and 400 home runs

Piazza is already the all-time home run king for catchers, and he's only three dingers from becoming the 41st member of the 400-homer club. Piazza's presently without a contract, but there's bound to be a team who can use a lefty-mashing DH who can also catch in a pinch.

Chance of happening: 90 percent

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Second Democrat to support Alito Nomination

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) announced his intention to vote for confirmation of Judge Sam Alito to the Supreme Court.

Sen. Bob Byrd (D-WV) realized he is up for reelection and decided it's in his best interest to vote for confirmation. Byrd didn't just say he'll vote for confirmation, but also sharply criticized how the Judiciary Committee conducted the hearings.

Father of the Year?

I don't know why we don't see more cases like this one.
TAMPA -- An angry father who marched into a classroom and punched a teacher's assistant in the face said Wednesday he was protecting his 15-year-old daughter, who had accused the man of inappropriately touching her.

Dave F. Swafford, 42, was charged with felony battery on a school employee after he hit the 35-year-old aide in front of a class full of students at Lakewood Ranch High School near Bradenton Tuesday morning, authorities said. He was also named ``Father of the Year'' by a local radio station for his actions.
We hear lots of cases of abuse of children but don't hear of many instances where a parent takes direct action in response.
``If some other parents would do this, maybe some of these pedophiles would crawl back under rocks where they belong,'' Swafford said.

This apple didn't fall very far from the tree

Today we have the story of a teenager beating up his grandmother for not buying him beer.
"When the victim arrived back home she locked all of the doors," deputies reported. "The defendant arrived back home and kicked the front door in. "Once inside the defendant grabbed a two foot 2x4 piece of wood and hit the victim numerous times on the back. The defendant then grabbed a three foot piece of 3 inch PVC pipe and hit the victim on her head, back, and legs numerous times. The defendant's case worker arrived on scene and was able to hold him until law enforcement arrived."

Cass was charged with domestic aggravated assault, two counts of domestic aggravated battery, attempted robbery, and kidnapping.
That's it? Why wasn't he charge with attempted murder?

Separately, why was this thug living with grandma instead of his parents?
His mother is in prison on cocaine possession and sale charges, and his father is serving a 15-year prison sentence for manslaughter after choking a prostitute to death in 2002.
Sounds like time for a family reunion.

As the Senate debates Alito

C-SPAN yesterday had hours of senators explaining why they would be voting for or against confirmation of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court. I haven't bothered updating the vote tally since Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NB) is still the only Democrat to be voting for Alito and no Republican senator is voting against his nomination. Today we have a couple articles about the political considerations at play.

In What price Alito?, Bob Novak examines how a vote against Alito may affect reelection propects for senators in states President Bush carried in 2004.

The Wall Street Journal deitorial page declares that the confirmation of both Chief Justice John Roberts and Judge Alito marks the most important domestic success for President Bush since his 2003 tax cuts. I would say Roberts and Alito are arguably much more important than tax cuts since the cuts have expiration dates.

What now for Palestine?

This can't be good: Hamas To Take Power This morning Israel must be feeling like we would if Monday's elections in Canada had resulted in an Al Qaeda party coming to power. Nothing like having your neighbor elect an avowed enemy.

More Kelo backlash

At least one major corporation has noticed the wrongness of the Supreme Court's Kelo Decision.
NEW YORK, Jan 25 (Reuters) - BB&T Corp., a large U.S. southeast bank, on Wednesday said it will not lend to commercial developers that plan to build projects on land seized from private citizens through eminent domain. The policy change by Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T, the No. 9 U.S. bank, covers lending for such projects as condominiums and shopping malls.

"The idea that a citizen's property can be taken by the government solely for private use is extremely misguided," BB&T Chief Executive John Allison said in a statement. "In fact, it's just plain wrong."

It was not immediately clear whether other banks might adopt similar policies.

BB&T adopted its policy on the heels of a controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision last June upholding the taking by New London, Connecticut, of 15 properties to make way for a hotel and condominium project.
It's a start. If only five supreme court justices understood right from wrong as clearly as the CEO of BB&T.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

World Worst Dictators

Via Right Wing News we get's annual listing of The World’s 10 Worst Dictators. Much to my kids surprise, I didn't make the list. In fact I didn't make the list of runners up, Meet the Contenders: Dictators 11 to 20. Pretty informative biographical sketches of each of the bad guys. While we are all very familiar with Castro and some of the other dictators, this list was educational about some of the lesser known despots.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Democrats outside Washington see clearer than those inside the beltway

Ed Rendell is the Governor of Pennsylvania and a lifelong Democrat. In fact, Rendell is former head of the DNC. This morning he was interviewed on FOX news regarding the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Judge Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court. He struck me as reasonable and completely different from his fellow Democrats in the Senate. Bench Memo's at National Review online has a partial transcript.
HEMMER: Do you believe Sam Alito's qualified to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, sir?

RENDELL: I believe he's a qualified judge. He sits on the third circuit court of appeals in Philadelphia. I don't know if you know this Bill, my wife is a third circuit court judge.

HEMMER: I'm aware of that. It should give you pretty good knowledge of him?

RENDELL: Right. She has a high opinion of his integrity and his academic standards. She doesn’t agree with him on a number of cases and agrees with him on some. I disagree with a lot of his positions on cases, but I think the tests should always be one party wins the election. As long as the Supreme Court justice is appointed who has high academic qualifications, significant integrity and Judge Alito certainly does, we should confirm him regardless of our disagreement on the way he may interpret one aspect of the law.

HEMMER: How do you think your Democrat colleagues did in this process? Were you proud of them?

RENDELL: I wasn't pleased. Certainly some did well and some didn't. I wasn't pleased at the nitpicking. I think we need to go back to the days one party wins. No one fought harder for John Kerry than I did, but they won the election,

Leftist columnists says they shouldn't support the troops

There is common refrain used by the left before saying something negative about the war effort. "I support the troops, but . . . . " I suppose some actually do support our troops but just have an honest difference of opinion about a particular policy. However, today Joel Stein a columnist for the LA Times drops the facade of supporting our troops.
I DON'T SUPPORT our troops. ... I do sympathize with people who joined up to protect our country, especially after 9/11, and were tricked into fighting in Iraq. I get mad when I'm tricked into clicking on a pop-up ad, so I can only imagine how they feel.

But when you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you're not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you're willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism, for better or worse. Sometimes you get lucky and get to fight ethnic genocide in Kosovo, but other times it's Vietnam.

I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades.
What an jerk, but Dems on the Senate Judiciary Committee probably consider Stein to be more mainstream than Judge Alito. Stein is on par with Harry Belafonte saying that if the Jews spoke out against Hitler then the Holocaust wouldn't have happened.

Disclaimer: The fact that Belafonte is a nut has nothing to do with Stein being an ass. I just didn't feel like doing two separate posts.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Mayor Mallory promises before finding out if he can deliver

Cincinnati's new mayor, Mark Mallory, hired a chief of staff at a salary considerably higher than authorized. However, he says it isn't a problem since she hasn't been in the job long enough to reach the current maximum salary. His excuse for not requesting authority sooner is a doozy. Basically, it's all the Bengals fault.
Mallory said the announcement of Walker's hiring was delayed a month because his office has been so busy. During that time, his staff sent out numerous press releases about the Bengals' winning season and first playoff appearance in 15 years.
So, if the Bengals had sucked as usual he would have requested a change in the rules earlier? I have to throw the BS flag. He should not have promised her more than he was legally authorized to offer her.

New owner shaking up the Reds

Just heard on the radio that the Reds new owner, Robert Castellini has fired Dan O'Brien as the team's general manager. Here is the Enquirer's article on the firing. Key line from the article:
“I want someone in this job who is my choice,” Castellini said in a press release.
Jerry Narron better hope the Reds don't get off to a slow start. Castellini is a big fan of Lou Piniella, the last Reds manager to win a World Series.

Didn't get his job based on his math skills

Some baseball fans mock sportswriters for refusing to use new statistical measurements, such as OPS, to evaluate players. In his column today, Bill Madden demonstrates that even basic math is beyond his level.
Who knows? Maybe McGwire's presence on the ballot will prompt those remaining 10% holdout writers to vote for Jim Rice, who may have hit 201 fewer homers than Big Mac but had 826 more hits and a 35-point higher batting average - and did it all legitimately.
If there were only 10% of writers not voting for Rice then he would already be elected since a player only needs to be listed on 75% of the ballots. 100% minus 10% equals 90%.

Super Bowl XL

The Pittsburgh Steelers will face off against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL on 5 February 2006. I'll discuss that matchup when we get closer to kickoff. Today I'll tell you why it is those two teams in the big game.

There is a simple explanation for why those teams will be playing in the Super Bowl instead of the Broncos and Panthers. Turnovers. Both Denver and Carolina committed multiple turnovers. A team might overcome mistakes like that to win a regular season game. However, you don't throw three interceptions and win a playoff game. Denver's coach Mike Shanahan has all off season to think what went wrong, but it seemed to me that he abandoned the running game immediately after Pittsburgh got a 3 point lead. Carolina also had no running game, but for a different reason - injuries. Nick Goings was starting due to injuries to the Panthers first and second string running backs. Then, Goings suffered a concussion minutes into the game. If you can't run the ball you won't be able to throw the ball.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Jeffrey Maier wants another 15 minutes of fame

10 years ago as a 12 year old fan attending a baseball game, Jeff Maier affected the outcome of a playoff game between the Orioles and the Yankees. Basically, he reached out and grabbed a ball hit by Derek Jeter and pulled it into the stands. The umpire called it a home run and the Yankees went on to win the game and the series. Today, Maier is playing college ball and hopes to be drafted by the pros in June.
Ten years later, Maier is making a name for himself once again--but this time it is on the field. A senior third baseman at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., Maier is poised to help the Cardinals vie for a New England Small College Athletic Conference title and a spot in the NCAA Division III tournament while putting himself in position to be taken in June's draft.

"My first priority is to the team," Maier said. "I believe we have the tools to compete and win the NESCAC. But as soon as I hang up my spikes at Wesleyan, the first thing I am going to be doing is waiting for a phone call from somebody saying they would like to take a chance with me and see what I can do (in pro ball)."

The 22-year-old emerged as a key player at Wesleyan as a sophomore, when he led the team in hitting with a .409 average and was named first-team all-NESCAC.
Can't speak for the other teams, but I'm fairly sure the Orioles will not be drafting Maier.

Indians trade Coco Crisp to Boston???

ESPN is reporting that Coco Crisp has been traded from Cleveland to the Boston Red Sox for 3B prospect Andy Marte and RP Guillermo Mota. There hasn't been an official announcement and apparently the deal is contingent on the Tribe pulling off a separate deal. The rumor is that a relief pitcher is to be traded to either the Phillies or the Braves for OF Jason Michaels or OF Ryan Langerhans respectively.

If this deal is completed I think the Indians get the better package of talent in the long run. Crisp may provide more to the Red Sox this year but from what I've seen of him I think he is about as good as he is going to get. I'd prefer Langerhans to Michaels even though Michaels has more major league experience. My main problem with this trade is that we are filling the most glaring weakness for a team we may be fighting for the Wild Card this season. There are supposedly other players involved in this trade and often the throw-in players end up making the deal. For example, Grady Sizemore was the last piece included in the Bartolo Colon trade.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Why don't we negotiate with terrorist hostage takers?

Some have criticized the United States policy of not negotiating with terrorists and not paying for hostages. The policy has always made sense to me. If a terrorist knows they will get paid large sums of money (or be able to influence U.S. policy) for hostages they will just be encouraged to take more hostages. Here is a story which gives another reason not to pay off hostage takers.
BERLIN (Reuters) - Part of the ransom money alleged to have been paid by the German government to win the freedom of Iraq hostage Susanne Osthoff last month was found on Osthoff after her release, the German magazine Focus said on Saturday. Without citing its sources, Focus said officials at the German embassy in Baghdad had found several thousand U.S. dollars in the 43-year-old German archaeologist's clothes when she took a shower at the embassy shortly after being freed. The serial numbers on the bills matched those used by the government to pay off Osthoff's kidnappers.
Several of the people kidnapped over the last couple years have been sympathetic to the cause of the insurgency. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that more than a couple of the "kidnappings" were staged and that the "hostage" was paid for playing a convincing and sympathetic hostage.

Definition of chutzpah

Dante Culpepper, coming off his worst season performance wise which ended prematurely due to a career-threatening knee injury, is asking to renegotiate his contract for more money. Did he even notice that his team played better after he was injured and replaced by Brad Johnson? Besides his poor play, Culpepper is also in trouble off the field due to his involvement in the Vikings infamous love boat episode. My guess is we will never see him play for Minnesota again.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Performance matters

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the general consensus was that FEMA Director Mike Brown failed to get the job done. He was allowed to resign, but was basically fired. VADM Thad Allen took over the recovery efforts and was considered very competent and confident in leading the military and civilian efforts. Apparently, someone noticed.
The White House announced today that Coast Guard Chief of Staff Vice Adm. Thad Allen will serve as the service’s next commandant.

A few links and comments for a Friday morning

While demented Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez rants about how bad things are in the United States, here is a story of a Venezuelan family choosing to be Americans. Ozzie Guillen, manager of the reigning World Series champs, his wife and son will be sworn in as citizens today.

Cleveland smartest city in the United States?
Researchers at a New York think tank that studies high-tech trends are convinced that Northeast Ohio is the most intelligent region in the United States - and one of the seven smartest in the world.

Browns sideline reporter, Casey Coleman is a good guy. Anyway, Coleman has been battling cancer for the past year. Here is a heart warming story about how his relationship with his parish priest was strengthened by their work with recovering addicts.

Here is a story of a Navy Sailor on liberty saving the life of a teenage girl who was in a car that plunged in the marina.
He said he doesn't think anyone saw fellow yacht club member Michael McCarthy drive his Cadillac into the marina. People were calmly talking about the damage that happened to other cars that must have happened when McCarthy's car struck them. Then came a report that a car was in the harbor. They thought it was across the street. Cummins spotted bubbles and a white shape in the water next to him.

"I didn't think nothing about it. I was like, 'There has got to be somebody in that car. Got to go check,'" he said. Cummins made several dives, finding three locked doors. In darkness he finally opened the driver's door and felt around in the blackness. "I'd go up take another breath, go back down and go back in a little further. To be honest with you, I was a little worried about going in too far," he said. "I kind of reached up over the back and that's when I felt some hair and I just grabbed it." It was a 15-year-old girl, McCarthy's step granddaughter. She was unconscious. He surfaced with her.
Here is a link to an article about the girl calling 911 from her cell phone while trapped under water. Shame that Mary Jo Kopechne didn't have a cell phone.

The three candidates for the House Majority Leader position were interviewed by a group of conservative bloggers yesterday. I don't think I've seen one positive article on Roy Blunt (here are some negative ones: Q and O, RWN, Outside the Beltway, and Michelle Malkin. Normally, it wouldn't mean a hill of beans who holds that position. However, with the current atmosphere I think a fresh face is very important to send the message that it won't be business as usual.

A few links and comments for a Friday morning

While demented Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez rants about how bad things are in the United States, here is a story of a Venezuelan family choosing to be Americans. Ozzie Guillen, manager of the reigning World Series champs, his wife and son will be sworn in as citizens today.

Cleveland smartest city in the United States?
Researchers at a New York think tank that studies high-tech trends are convinced that Northeast Ohio is the most intelligent region in the United States - and one of the seven smartest in the world.

Browns sideline reporter, Casey Coleman is a good guy. Anyway, Coleman has been battling cancer for the past year. Here is a heart warming story about how his relationship with his parish priest was strengthened by their work with recovering addicts.

Here is a story of a Navy Sailor on liberty saving the life of a teenage girl who was in a car that plunged in the marina.
He said he doesn't think anyone saw fellow yacht club member Michael McCarthy drive his Cadillac into the marina. People were calmly talking about the damage that happened to other cars that must have happened when McCarthy's car struck them. Then came a report that a car was in tnt to send the message that it won't be business as usual.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Alito vote announcements

Senators are starting to declare whether they will vote for Judge Alito's confirmation as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court. Here are the ones I've seen so far. There are 55 Republicans who are assumed to be voting in favor of Alito. Every Republican who votes against and any Democrat who for confirmation will subtract or add to the 55 vote total. I'll add to this list as I see announcements. If the senator is voting differently than he did for Chief Justice Roberts I'll note that fact. No surprises so far.


Sen. George Allen, (R-VA)
Sen. Conrad Burns, (R-MT)
Sen. Diane Feinstein, (D-CA)
Sen. Mel Martinez, (R-FL)
Sen. Ben Nelson, (D-NB)
Sen. Arlen Specter, (R-PA)
Sen. John Warner, (R-VA)

Sen. Max Baucus,
(D-MT) - Voted for Roberts
Sen. Dick Durbin, (D-IL)
Sen. Splash Kennedy, (D-MA) - Did he even need to make an announcement?
Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-VT) - Voted for Roberts
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, (D-MD)
Sen. Ken Salazar, (D-CO) - Voted for Roberts
Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-OR) - Voted for Roberts

UNDECIDED (ie: not sure how it will affect me politically yet)

Sen. Bill Nelson, (D-FL) - Voted for Roberts & up for reelection this November in state Bush won in 2004

On a separate note, Baseball Crank has a great post about the Advise and Consent process. He came up with seven basic models a Senator can follow in making and justifying their decision.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Bob McEwen officially announced today that he is going to challenge Rep. Jean Schmidt for Ohio's 2nd Congressional District. McEwen formerly represented Ohio's 6th Congressional District. After losing the 6th District seat to Democrat Ted Strickland, McEwen has twice competed in the Republican primary for Ohio's 2nd Congressional District, losing to both Rob Portman and Jean Schmidt. In the intervening years, McEwen has worked as a lobbyist. While lobbying isn't automatically a negative, it certainly isn't a positive either considering the current atmosphere in Washington.

Separately, McEwen still has a case pending with the Ohio Elections Commission regarding allegations of violating Ohio election laws during last years campaign.

I didn't know that about Ken Blackwell

Of the three people running for the Republican nomination for this years Ohio governors race, I find myself most closely aligned with Ken Blackwell. I like what I've heard about his position on issues, particularly his opposition to taxes and his unapologetic pro-life stance. Steven Malanga of City Journal has a very informative article, Ronald Reagan’s Unlikely Heir, which showed me how little I knew about Blackwell. Read the article yourself, but here a few things I didn't know:

- I was aware he had played football, but didn't know it was at Xavier University (heck, I didn't know Xavier had ever had a football program).

- I didn't know that Rosa Blackwell, the new Superintendent of Cincinnati School District, is Ken's wife of 35 years.

- I didn't know that the tragic stampede at a rock concert which killed 13 people happened on Blackwell's first day in office as Cincinnati's mayor.

- I knew Blackwell was not always a Republican, but I didn't know he made his decision to join the party after President Reagan told him the story of his own political conversion.

(H/T to Betsy for the link)

Texas Women are just a little tougher

This story stands on its own without any comments.
HOUSTON - A firefighter took a promotion exam just 12 hours after giving birth because of a state law requiring all promotion candidates to be tested at once. Beda Kent gave birth Jan. 10, slept for a little more than two hours and popped some painkillers before taking the exam. She scored 104 out of 110 and expects to return from maternity leave in March as a captain with a $6,000 raise.
Good for her.

How to fail Political Damage Control 101

Political Damage Control 101 is usually a fairly easy course. Say something stupid. Realize you said something stupid. Then either claim you didn't mean it or were quoted out of context.

Political novice and erstwhile U.S. Senate candidate from Ohio, Paul Hackett handled step one very well.
Asked to define being pro-gay-rights, Hackett said anybody who tries to deny homosexuals the same rights, including marriage, as every other citizen is un-American. Are you saying, he was asked, that the 62 percent of Ohioans who voted in November 2004 to constitutionally deny same-sex marriages are un-American?

"If what they believe is that we're going to have a scale on judging which Americans have equal rights, yeah, that's un-American. They've got to accept that. It's absolutely un-American."

The Republican Party has been hijacked by the religious fanatics that, in my opinion, aren't a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden and a lot of the other religious nuts around the world," he said. "The challenge is for the rest of us moderate Americans and citizens of the world to put down the fork and spoon, turn off the TV, and participate in the process and try to push back on these radical nuts - and they are nuts."
So, if you disagree with him you're un-American - and on at least one issue 62% of Ohioan who vote disagree with him. He also believes if you go to church and believe in God then you're not much different than Osama bin Laden.

Well, he got step one handled real well. However, he missed the boat on steps two and three.
Hackett was unapologetic Tuesday for the comments in a newspaper story, "I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it," he said.
Hackett's primary opponent, Sherrod Brown knows a little something about politics and realizes that if his opponent is making a fool of himself there is no need to get in the way. I think Hackett's biggest failing is he doesn't understand his target audience. In California or other coastal states he might seem close to mainstream. In Ohio he sounds like a raving lunatic. He should have learned from his congressional race of last year. Even Ohioans who are not fans of President Bush disapproved of Hackett calling the president an SOB.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Indians sign RHP Riske to one-year deal

This is good news. Nothing good comes from going through the arbitration process so I'm glad to see them avoid it with Riske.

Al Gore demonstrates why we should be thankful

When Al Gore makes a public speech he is also reminding us just how thankful we should be that he was not elected president in 2000. Yesterday, he gave a screed decrying the fact that the current administration has taken action to detect potential terrorist attacks prior to the attack being carried out.
Former vice president Al Gore accused President Bush of breaking the law by authorizing wiretaps on U.S. citizens without court warrants and called on Congress yesterday to reassert its oversight responsibilities on a "shameful exercise of power" by the White House. "The president of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and insistently," Gore said in a speech at Constitution Hall in Washington. "A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government."
Each time a Democrat goes off and complains about NSA listening to terrorists' phone calls they send a message to voters not to trust them with national security.

Here are a couple other articles on Gore's speech:
Byron York of National Review Online
From the Associated Press Gonzales Rejects Gore's Criticism
In the Wall Street Journal, Pete DuPont has an informative historical look at presidential power.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Nothing like a little racism to celebrate MLK Day

In New Orleans, Mayor Ray Nagin was speaking at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration and declared that New Orleans will be "chocolate" again.
It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans - the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans,'' the mayor said. ``This city will be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans.''
Pat Robertson would be proud of Nagin for his ability to discern God's will. Imagine if a white mayor of a major city declared that their city needs to become predominantly caucasian again. No city should be run by a clown like Nagin.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A weekend of horrible officiating

Three of the four games in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs were marred by very poor officiating. I say three of four advisedly since I missed more than half of the Seahawks/Redskins game and the officials may have screwed up in that game as well. Before I describe the problems, I want to be clear that the officiating was not the primary reason the games turned out the way they did. The Patriots lost because they fumbled twice late in the second quarter. The Steelers won because they had relentless pass rush the entire game. In the Broncos' win over New England a key pass interference call gave Denver the ball in great field position. On the play in question, the Denver receiver ran right over the defensive player. In the Colts' loss there were several missed calls including two instances of face masking by the Steelers and at least one failure to call pass interference. In the Bears/Panthers game there were also a couple cases where pass interference seemed like a very obvious call but no flag was thrown. I was left wondering if the The lack of interference calls on Sunday was partly due to criticism of the phantom call on Saturday. I know the league reviews each games officiating and hopefully they will improve the system. The appeal of professional sports depends on a trust in the officiating.

Why the outrage over the Kelo decision?

Some didn't understand why the Supreme Courts decision in the Kelo case so angered other people. Read this article about how eminent domain was abused and you should get a better understanding.
A year after Los Angeles seized three acres from a private company to construct a public building, a city councilman wants to sell the land to another private firm for a commercial development. Both companies are furniture manufacturers. But executives with the company that would buy the land have political connections and have made $17,600 in campaign contributions to key city leaders.
Hmmm, give money to politician and he will take land from your competitor and sell it to you. Last week's confirmation hearings would lead one to believe that the Supreme Courts only area of concern is infanticide but they actually rule on many other matters that could affect any of us.

Another use for the internet

Many people assume the internet is just for porn, sports and politics. Nope. The internet is also a haven for online cheating on college applications. Here is an article by someone who started out proofreading and editing admissions essays and was "promoted" to actually writing the essays for students.
College admissions officers around the country will be reading my application essays this month, essays in which I describe personal aspirations, academic goals -- even, in one case, a budding passion for the sitar. What they won't know is that I actually graduated from college more than a year ago, and that the names attached to these essays are those of my duplicitous clients.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Steroids and the 1999 Royals

In a radio interview, Mike Sweeney indicated that in 1999 some of his friends on the team offered him steroids but he declined.
As bad as the Royals were in 1999, that team did perform well offensively, batting .282 with a then-franchise-high 856 runs scored.

“We were good offensively because we had some talented guys,” Sweeney said. Sweeney added that he made his remarks about turning down steroids not to instigate a witch hunt of his former teammates but to demonstrate to youths that a player such as him can be successful without steroid use.

“I took a stand, and when I speak to kids — to the D.A.R.E. program or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes — I tell them, ‘Look, I’m drug-free and I mean it when I say it,’ ” Sweeney said.
Problem with that statement is that Sweeney, while certainly a very talented player, misses considerable time each season due to various injuries. A kid could get the wrong message that Sweeney would be in the lineup a lot more if he had taken the supplements.

(H/T Ben Maller)

Ben Maller also posted a link to the 1999 Royals roster. Do your own guessing about who offered steroids to Sweeney. Jeremy Giambi has already been implicated in the steroid mess but Sweeney's comments were of multiple players. I'm sure this is not the last of these type stories that we'll see.

Alternative sentencing

I'm usually a fan of judges being creative in sentencing especially if it saves the tax payer from paying room and board for a non-violent criminal. Here is a local story of a judge giving a defendant a choice of sentencing.
A judge gave Brett Haines a choice Friday: Go to jail or go to church.

The Anderson Township man, convicted of disorderly conduct, immediately chose six weeks of Sunday worship over 30 days in the Hamilton County Justice Center.

But there’s a catch.

Haines, who was accused of using racial slurs and threatening a black cab driver, must attend services at any one of Cincinnati’s predominantly African-American churches.

“It seems readily apparent to me that you don’t like black people, Judge William Mallory Jr. told Haines. “That's OK with me. But you have to understand that you are at the whim and authority of a black judge.”
I wonder how the goofs at the ACLU who are always crying separation of church and state feel about this sentence.

A reason to be thankful Putin is in charge of Russia

There are certainly concerns about how Putin is running Russia. However, he seems like a real prince compared to the alternative.
Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky can easily be called the biggest jackass in the Duma, which is no small feat. Today, in an exclusive interview with Pravda, he blames Condoleezza Rice's sex life for her tough stances against Russia. Some of what Zhirinovsky said:

"'Condoleezza Rice released a coarse anti-Russian statement. This is because she is a single woman who has no children. She loses her reason because of her late single status. Nature takes it all. Condoleezza Rice needs a company of soldiers. She needs to be taken to barracks where she would be satisfied. On the other hand, she can hardly be satisfied because of her age. This is complex. She needs to return to her university and teach students there. She could also deal with psychological analysis.

In the past, Zhirinovsky has wanted to take back Alaska, reunite the Soviet Union by force, and blow nuclear waste into Germany with large fans. Most recently, he advocated Russians shooting every bird they see to prevent avian flu. He's a big anti-Semite, yet changed his name from Eidelstein at age 18.
(H/T to GOP Vixen - She reads Pravda so we don't have to)

Friday, January 13, 2006

A couple Bushes make the right decision

No, not a political post. Back to football.

Reggie Bush of USC announced that he is applying for the NFL draft as a junior. I can't argue with his decision. He will be one of the first couple picks in the draft and instantly worth millions. Another year in college could do nothing to enhance his reputation and every game he would be risking injury which could cost him millions.

Michael Bush of Louisville announced he is returning to school for his senior year. Bush is a talented running back, but this is a very strong class of running backs which would likely cause him to fall to the second round.

Separately, that sound you hear in the background is USC falling in the early polls for next year. They are losing their starting quarterback, two running backs who will both go in the first round of the draft and today guard Fred Matua declared himself eligible for the draft weakening their offensive line.

Another round of Alito columns

I don't know what op-ed columnists will find to write about after these hearings are over.

Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times Despite left's rhetoric, Alito's just not that scary

In Liberal Groups Vow to Dig In Ronald Brownstein of the LA Times looks at liberals grasping at straws and also looks at how this nomination is related to this Novembers elections.

For some reason, these hearings are even being covered by the Fashion section of the Washington Post. The Alitos: Well Suited, And Dressed For Duress

David Limbaugh in Alito's open mind offends Democrats sums up why Dem's fear Alito.
The only ones who think they know for sure how Judge Alito would rule are the scoundrels interrogating him, as they readily project onto him their own willingness to rewrite the Constitution to conform to their policy agenda. Because of the flaws in their character and principles, they are apparently blinded to the gems in his.

Republicans say Alito personal jabs went too far from the Washington Times

E. J. Dionne Jr of the Washington Post writes in A Hearing About Nothing that Alito will move the court to the right on several issues. That is based on a misperception that Justice O'Connor is this mythical "swing vote." Reality is O'Connor has been a fairly reliable conservative vote over the last 25 years. Besides the fact that she voted with Chief Justice Rehnquist over 80% of the time, one example I'd point to is the strong dissent she wrote in the wrongly decided Kelo case of last year.

Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal writes The Battle of Princeton -
Borking has lost its bite
. You can only cry wolf so many times before the townsfolks will ignore your cries.

On a somewhat unrelated note, a Kennedy cousin lost an appeal of his murder conviction yesterday. If that case reaches the Supreme Court, would Alito (and Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Souter) need to recuse himself based on past negative treatment by a relative of the guilty party?

Taking the "It's all Bush's fault" idea too far

The left has increasingly gone with a tactic of claiming any problem, whether man-made or natural disaster, is Bush's fault. Well, here is an article showing that on the west coast that idea has really sunk in.
A United Airlines flight from Eugene to Denver was diverted to Salt Lake City on Wednesday after a University of Oregon graduate student with no criminal record got into a physical fight with another passenger and lunged toward the cockpit, an FBI spokesman said. She then began yelling that "she had a baby named Jesus, she was impregnated by her uncle and President Bush was behind it all," charging papers said. She then attempted to take off her shirt and started to throw items at other passengers, the documents said.

The pilot diverted the plane to Salt Lake City International Airport. During the landing, she allegedly ran toward the cockpit and was stopped by flight attendants, with whom she got into another scuffle. She eventually was subdued by other passengers. As she was departing the plane, she allegedly tried to flee and made a bomb threat, Kiernan said.
So, now in addition to world domination and destroying the ozone apparently our president is finding time to order this girls uncle to knock her up. Just as a side note, she is described as a graduate student at 35 years old???

Thursday, January 12, 2006

All Alito all the time

Okay, the title "All Alito all the time" is a bit over the top, but it does seem like I'm posting nothing else. That's partly because it is the main event currently taking place but it's also due to the fact that football season is over and baseball is a couple months away. Anyways, here are a bunch of articles about the hearings after day three.

I'll start with the best, Ann Coulter's Fork replaces donkey as Democratic party symbol

In Fear of Borking Lets Alito Coast on Bromides, Margaret Carlson opines that the ineffective Democratic questioning of Judge Alito can be attributed to the treatment of Bork (and subsequent nominees)

Bob Novak has Shooting Blanks at Judge Alito

Tim Chapman (another good Browns fan) writes Dems Sinking to New Low which includes a telling quote:
Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ), perhaps the most avid observer of Senate Judiciary matters in the House of Representatives concurs, “It has become a debate between those who have some respect for the truth and those who are not constrained by it at all.”

Alito Disavows Controversial Group by Dale Russakoff of the Washington Post examines the only issue the Dems have - Alito's Membership in a group called Concerned Alumni of Princeton.

In Senate Smackdown, Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post covers yesterday's theatrics.

Lastly, the Associated Press has an article titled Sen. Biden Suggests Scrapping Hearings
. Biden's stated reason to scrap the hearings is nominee's aren't going to answer their questions anyway. My own guess is that televising the hearings are not having the desired effect. Instead of being able to impress future voters with all the tv face time they are ending up looking foolish by trying to please the special interest groups. The only senator who has raised his stature this week has been Arlen Specter for his even handed conduct of the hearings and more importantly for strongly dealing with Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Mrs. Alito leaves hearings upset at husband's treatment

Last night, I remarked half in jest to my wife, "you know who has it the worst in these hearings, his wife and family. She has to sit behind him and listen to all sorts of aspersions on his character without letting any of her feelings reflect on her facial expressions."

Well, I turned out to be rather prophetic as Mrs. Alito left the hearings in tears this afternoon.
One senior Republican in the hearing room said of the situation: “After three full days of attacks against her husband’s character, Mrs. Alito had enough. Democrat behavior during this hearing has not only been wrong, it’s been embarrassing. Ted Kennedy is nothing but a bully.”

Lots of articles regarding the Judge Alito confirmation hearings today. General consensus is that Judge Alito is performing ably and nothing negative being throw at him is sticking.

The New York Sun - Alito Called 'Pretty Amazing So Far

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post - A Day of Q's and A's -- and a Few Z's

John Podhoretz of the New York Post - ALITO & THE CLOWNS

Bench Memo's of National Review Online
is live blogging the hearings.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


No, the title of this entry isn't what you think. SOB is an abbreviation for the Southern Ohio Bloggers Alliance, of which I am now a proud member. There will be links to posts by other SOB's in the right side bar. Check 'em out from time to time.

Bruce Sutter elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

The Baseball Writers Association of America announced the results of the Hall of Fame balloting this afternoon. The lone selectee was Bruce Sutter. Sutter was a very good to great closer for 8 of his 12 years in the majors. He pitched 1,042 innings, saved 300 games and had an ERA of Sutter is the first pitcher elected without starting a single game. The requirements for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame are not well defined and the history of closers being elected is even less defined.

I'm not to argue against Sutter's worthiness but will question how the voters decide who merits enshrinement and who doesn't. Jeff Reardon lasted on the ballot one year and was dropped despite numbers that match up fairly well with Sutter's. Reardon saved about 20% more games (367 to 300), pitched 12% more innings (1,132 to 1,042) and garnered a grand total of 24 votes. Sutter's ERA is lower (.283 to .316), but ERA is not a very good metric for measuring a closer's effectiveness.

How about Lee Smith? Smith saved 59% more games (478 to 300) and pitched nearly 25% more innings. Once again Sutter's ERA is lower (.283 to .303), but Smith's is very good.

Or consider Goose Gossage. Gossage saved a few more games (310 to 300) and pitched almost twice as many innings with an ERA of 3.01.

I'll throw one other pitcher in the conversation, a starter named Bert Blyleven. Blyleven won 287 games and pitched 4,970 innings with an ERA of 3.31. Is 1,042 innings pitched by Sutter more valuable than nearly 5,000 innings from Blyleven?

Jim Rice is the positional player with the most votes coming in second to Sutter and 53 votes shy of election.

Albert Belle was soundly rejected receiving only 40 votes. I have to think Belle was omitted from many ballots based more on his inability to get along with the writers than on his performance.

Bernard Planche - Rest of the story

Often we hear a short blurb about a news event without getting the full story. Such is the case with Bernard Planche. Planche's name probably doesn't ring a bell, but his story should. He was the French contractor who was kidnapped in December while working in Iraq. Last week I saw on television that he managed to escape and run to American forces. Now, as Paul Harvey would say, for the rest of the story:
The former hostage then insisted on staying with US troops for six hours to help them hunt for his former captors.
In the past, I, like many, have made silly jokes about French cowardice. While we have had strong disagreement with the French government over their conduct prior to the invasion of Iraq, the reality is there have been French citizens supportive of a free Iraq who have worked with the reconstruction effort. Part of the strategy of Al Qaeda in Iraq is to disrupt the efforts to restore the infrastructure. They know they can not defeat us militarily and their only hope is to instill fear in both the Iraqi people and the people from around the world who are working to rebuild that country. We need more people like Bernard Planche, regardless of nationality.

Alito hearings - Day one

A few rambling thoughts from the first day of the Senate confirmation hearings on Judge Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court.

My first reaction to the proceedings is the process needs to be seriously streamlined. There are 18 senators on the Judiciary Committee. Yesterday, the hearings started with opening statements from each and every senator for 10 minutes to bloviate about their positions on various issues that may come before the court and what they want these hearings to cover. Today each senator gets to question Judge Alito for 30 minutes. I'd recommend either reducing the number of senators on the committee or having both the Republicans and Democrats appoint one or two senators to make opening statements. It is somewhat ironic that a senate that recently passed legislation prohibiting torture of terrorists would turn around and conduct a session like what we witnessed yesterday.

My second reaction was how repetitive the comments were in the opening statements. I suppose Kennedy gets some credit for originality since he made up a new name for the nominee. It seemed to me that each of the Democrat senators made some mention of the "fact" that the justice Alito will replace, Sandra O'Connor, was the decisive fifth vote in a certain number of 5 to 4 decisions. Does the Supreme Court announce after each ruling who got to be number 5 on that decision? Even if she is the "swing vote" she is described to be, is that necessarily a good thing?

Several of the senators made pointed comments about Judge Alito replacing the first female justice and that his joining the bench will reduce the female vote by 50%. Except showing that Sen. Schumer can do fourth grade math, why does that matter. Personally, the comments saying that a woman's point of view is represented by O'Connor or Ginsburg is actually very insulting to the two justices' judicial integrity. They should be ruling based on the applicable case law and the facts at hand. For some senator to allege that they have been ruling based on their gender is extremely demeaning to their professionalism.

The final event in yesterdays hearings was the nominee's opening statement. I don't know if I'd be able to form a complete sentence after having to listen to the senators babble all afternoon. Judge Alito did very well. Like Chief Justice Roberts, Alito did not refer to notes and spoke extemporaneously. He did seem fairly nervous at the beginning, but got into a flow and relaxed as he went on about his family history. Also repeating a theme from the Roberts hearing, Alito emphasized the importance of impartiality. His key point is that a judge has no client but the law and he's right.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Race to replace DeLay

With Tom DeLay's decision to relinquish his position as House Majority Leader, a replacement will be needed. According to Hugh Hewitt, there are four primary candidates for the position: John Boehner (R-OH), Mike Pence (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Tom Davis (R-VA). I'm not going to dump on Tom DeLay other than to say his replacement should be a very different type of Republican. In my view the biggest failure of Congress over the past decade of Republican control has been refusing to control the excessive spending. A few months back DeLay actually had the audacity to declare that we have a won "an ongoing victory" over spending. My local Congressman, Boehner, has a strong anti-pork barrel reputation and would lead them the right direction. However, I am not foolish enough to believe his spending addicted cohorts would follow his lead. These positional battles don't follow any rules of seniority and often come down to horse trading of votes so don't be surprised by whomever is selected. One key consideration which should not be overlooked is whether the next majority leader will be able to deal with the Abramoff fall out.

Since I wrote the above, Mike Pence has bowed out of the competition. Rep. Boehner states his case for the job. (h/t NR Online)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Alito Hearings

Confirmation hearings will take place next week to consider the nomination of Judge Sam Alito to replace Justice O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. There are a couple articles out today regarding the hearings.

The first is an op-ed written by Howard Dean. Not surprisingly, Dean is opposed to Judge Alito's confirmation. Instead of stating a valid reason the judge should not be confirmed, such as a lack of qualification, Dean danced all over the place from Jack Abramoff to Halliburton. He cites a few former cases of Alito's attempting to frame them in a bad light. However, the cases or conflicts of interest Dean alludes to all came up in November and were debunked at that time. This op-ed clearly shows why no one should take Dean seriously.

The second is an article by Maura Reynolds of the LA Times titled Both Sides Warming up for Alito Hearings. It appears to be a relatively balanced look at those in favor or opposed to Alito's confirmation. The article opens by acknowledging that the American Bar Association rated Alito "well-qualified." Before quotes from someone from the People for the American Way the article rightly described it as a liberal advocacy group. That's progress, usually, only conservative groups or think tanks are labeled by their ideology. The article showed some bias in who they selected to quote for the pro-Alito camp, Rev. Jerry Falwell. What, was Pat Robertson unavailable?

I'm sure over the weekend we will see many articles regarding the upcoming hearings. I'll collect and post the ones I see. As far as the hearings go, I expect the questions will be very similar to the ones thrown at Justice Roberts during his hearings. Some, like Captain Ed, believe the Abramoff scandal will cause congress to act more responsibly during the hearings to restore their image. I disagree. While the reputation of congress as an institution has been soiled, I don't think any of the Democratic Senators on the Judicial Committee are in any political danger or care how they come across. Does anyone honestly think Ted Kennedy will treat the nominee decently just because Americans in general hold congress in low regard? Additionally, senators are elected for 6 year terms which further insulates them from ballot box repercussions.

Here are some more Alito related articles.
Alito may be the worst choice by Robert Kuttner of the Boston Globe. This character is out there.
THE ALITO HEARINGS by David Reinhard of the Oregonian talks about two avowed liberals who support Alito because they know him well and believe he decides cases based on the facts not his ideological leanings.

I'm sure there will be more on Monday.

Off to the game - No blogging today

I'm heading in early for the Bengals vs. Steelers playoff game. As a Browns fan, I guess I'm rooting for a 0-0 tie. My prediction is the nice weather will open the passing game for both teams and we'll see a fairly high scoring affair. Final score Bengals 34 Steelers 30.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A little sanity drops in at a Move-on event

If you don't read Michelle Malkin's site daily you are missing some of the best political commentary on the web. Today she has video of a couple surprise visitors to a townhall type assembly in Virginia. Rep. Murtha (M-PA) and Rep Moran (AS-VA) were the main participants and they were expecting a friendly audience with softball questions since it was a Move-on sponsored event. The first one to catch the congressmen off guard was a Sergeant Seavey who recently returned from Afghanistan who strongly disputed the congressman's assessment of military morale. The second was retired general and Vietnam veteran who gave the congressmen whatfor and compared their actions to the efforts 30 some years ago to undermine our military during the Vietnamese war.

The congressmen showed up expecting a pro-defeat crowd and were clearly disappointed to hear from people who think we'll win despite their efforts. Maybe they need to hear from more people with actual experience and pay less attention to the nut jobs.

Friday, January 06, 2006

One school makes the right decision

Marcus Vick thrown off Va. Tech football team

I don't wish ill will on Vick. However, no institution can pretend to have any control if they issue "last chances" and then fail to follow through after the last chance is rejected. For Vick's sake hopefully this will serve as a wake up call. I don't have high hopes for him catching on based on his past actions.


Here is an article with Vick's response and decision to go pro.
It’s not a big deal. I’ll just move on to the next level, baby” he said when spotted at a Virginia Beach restaurant. Asked if that meant he would enter the NFL draft, he said, “Yeah, definitely.”
If I was an NFL GM the fact that he said getting thrown out of college was "not a big deal" would be reason enough not to draft him.

An idiot Republican

Just so you know I don't just pick on idiot Democrats, here is a story of an idiot who identifies himself as a Republican.
A state senator wants to force Missouri stores to sell warm beer. Under a bill by Sen. Bill Alter, grocery and convenience stores would risk losing their liquor licenses if they sold beer colder than 60 degrees. The intent is to cut down on drunken driving by making it less tempting to pop open a beer after leaving the store.
Yeah, that's the answer, moron. What we need is more government interference to solve the problem. Drunk driving isn't caused by the temperature of the beer. People drive drunk because of where they are when they drink as opposed to where they sleep. People who buy beer at a grocery store are buying it to take home and drink for the most part.

We have enough laws. Enforce the ones on the books. I can't speak for every area, but when I was in the Navy in Virginia I had to accompany many a junior sailor to court appearances and noticed a clear cut trend in how judges handle drunk driving. If the driver was honest and remorseful they were convicted of DUI. If the driver said nothing but paid a lawyer to speak, the charge would be reduced to reckless driving. Judges are all lawyers and it seems like they more harshly punish people who don't utilize their profession.

3 Sisters Give Birth on 3 Straight Days

This is a neat little story. Three sisters in Missouri go into labor and deliver children on three consecutive days. Sure makes things easier for scheduling future birthday parties.

More sneaky media bias

I've long maintained that the most prevalent media bias is in the omissions from stories. Specifically, party affiliation is often omitted in certain cases. If the story is negative and the politician is a Democrat then party affiliation is unimportant. However, if the crook in question happens to be a Republican then that appellation becomes a key element to the story. Here is just another example:

Here is a story from the Milwaukee Journal sentinel about alleged wrong doing by Gov. Jim Doyle.
Madison - A testy Gov. Jim Doyle on Wednesday refused to say whether he has been interviewed or approached by investigators probing a controversial travel contract given to a company whose officers gave his campaign the maximum donation of $10,000 each.
Oddly enough, reading the entire article I found no mention of his political affiliation. However, I'd (almost) be willing to bet you can't find an article regarding Abramoff in the last month that doesn't call him a Republican at least three times despite the fact that he was an equal opportunity influence peddler.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

O'Reilly vs. Letterman

This is pretty funny. I'll admit I don't watch either O'Reilly or Letterman. Letterman stopped being all that funny sometime in the 80's and on O'Reilly's show he and his guests yell over each too much for me to understand what they're saying. Anyways, O'Reilly is on Letterman the other night and after they go back and forth a few times, Letterman says to O'Reilly that 60% of his show is crap. O'Reilly asks him for an example and Letterman says he can't give him one because he doesn't watch the show. Standard liberal - Doesn't need any facts to pass a judgment on others. Basically, he has heard from other liberals that O'Reilly is a conservative such and such and a shill for the Bush administration so that makes it so. Reality is O'Reilly is actually fairly liberal overall and often at odds with the administration.

How to know when a judge has to go

How can you tell when a judge is no longer fit to serve on the bench? I'm sure there are several ways, but when they say something like this it's pretty obvious.
Judge Cashman also revealed that he once handed down stiff sentences when he first got on the bench 25 years ago, but he no longer believes in punishment. "I discovered it accomplishes nothing of value;it doesn't make anything better; it costs us a lot of money; we create a lot of expectation, and we feed on anger," Cashman explained to the people in the court.
HE NO LONGER BELIEVES IN PUNISHMENT! WHAT?! The judicial system may not only be about punishment, but it plays a key role. For what kind of case was the judge saying punishment is inappropriate? Was it a traffic offense? Was it a civil case requesting punative damages? Nah, nothing important like that. Just a minor case of some scumbag repeatedly raping a young girl from age 7 to 10. This rapist should not have lived to reach trial and the judge sentences him to 60 days in jail. 60 days! Unbelievable. This judge should be removed from the bench forthwith.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Does athletic talent trump misbehavior?

Marcus Vick is unquestionably a very talented athlete. Some have said he has more potential to excel at quarterback than his older brother Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons. However, for all his physical gifts, the younger Vick seems sorely lacking in good character. His career at Virginia Tech has been marred by several incidents. He has been charged with reckless driving and possession of marijuana. In 2004, he was suspended from the team for an incident which started out as statutory rape of a 15 year old but was reduced to a misdemeanor convictions for giving alcohol to a minor. When he was reinstated from that suspension the school president said he was on his last chance. Since being given his "last" chance, he has failed to represent his college positively at least twice. Earlier this year he saluted the fans in West Virginia with his middle finger. His most recent transgression was one of the worst acts of poor sportsmanship I have ever seen in college sports. In Monday's Gator Bowl game, after a play had ended Vick looked down at at an opposing player laying on the ground and then spiked the player in the back of the knee. A Large Regular has a link to the video of the spike. The spiking actually looked even more obvious from the other direction.

This morning the Virginian Pilot is rightly asking whether he has a future with the team (there is a poll if you're inclined to weigh-in). My own view is Virginia Tech would be best served by pulling his scholarship. Restoring the schools reputation should be more important than the number of games they win or lose next year. As far as Vick's future goes, caveat emptor is a Latin phrase NFL teams should remember before they turn this thug into a rich thug.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Breaking Browns news - Savage to stay & Collins is out

Last Friday, we heard various rumors that the Browns' highly regarded General Manager Phil Savage was being fired. Later the team claimed that he was not fired and wasn't going to be fired. Today, team president John Collins is out the door. I have to believe that Collins overplayed his hand in attempting to oust Savage. I think it is good to hear that Coach Crennel went to the team owner and argued for keeping Savage. That speaks well for a good working relationship in the future. Also, good to see Randy Lerner listen to his football people rather than the marketing guy (Collins).

The best way to examine power struggles like this is to ask yourself "What would happen if either guy was let go?" Savage would have had several teams ready to hire him. Collins will likely never work in the NFL again.

Prove Christ exists, judge orders priest

In today's news of the stupid, a judge orders a priest to prove the existence of Jesus Christ because of a silly lawsuit by an atheist.
AN ITALIAN judge has ordered a priest to appear in court this month to prove that Jesus Christ existed. The case against Father Enrico Righi has been brought in the town of Viterbo, north of Rome, by Luigi Cascioli, a retired agronomist who once studied for the priesthood but later became a militant atheist.
Believers and non-believers can have reasonable arguments over whether Jesus Christ was the Messiah, but his having lived is indisputable. Besides religious writings like The Bible, entries have been found in Roman records from that time frame that refer to Christ. I can not begin to fathom what "proof" the judge expects this priest to produce. The whole idea of faith is that some things are accepted without tangible evidence.

Who is in a bubble?

A few weeks back, Newsweek had a cover piece titled "Bush in the bubble." The line of attack in that article was that the president is too isolated and isn't getting multiple points of view before making decisions. Others have already answered the fallacies of that meme. Today I see two articles which continue the bubble idea but consider other inhabitants. The first article considers the media bubble protecting former president Bill Clinton from tough questions over the inconsistency between his current comments and his actions while in office.
Clinton is the one in the bubble, which protects him from any hard questions from the media about his outrageous claims and conduct.

Shielded by an adoring media that he can always depend on, Clinton is raking in cash faster than he can count it, taking in nearly $10 million in 2003, giving speeches for up to $400,000 a piece. Most recently, he told the U.N.'s climate conference in Montreal, Canada that President Bush is "flat wrong" to reject the Kyoto treaty, which calls on the U.S. to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases to seven percent below 1990 levels. That would be approximately a 30 percent decrease below anticipated emissions by 2012.

In 1997, Clinton and vice president Al Gore, a believer in the earth spirit, were deeply involved in promoting the Kyoto treaty. But the Senate wouldn't even consider ratifying it. They voted 95-0 against its provisions, saying the treaty would "result in serious harm to the economy of the United States."

Clinton's pro-Kyoto comments weren't as bad as Clinton going to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, and telling a group of students that the war in Iraq was "a big mistake." That was a major gaffe, ignored by the media, because the Clinton administration had indicted Osama bin Laden in 1998 because, among other things, "Al Qaida reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaida would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaida would work cooperatively with the government of Iraq." As he ordered the bombing of Iraq in December of 1998, Clinton insisted that "Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors." Just a couple months before he had signed the Iraq Liberation Act, calling for regime change—he is on shaky ground in condemning this war as a "big mistake."
The second article talks about a group of politicians in a bubble, Democrats in general.
Fond as Democrats are of the view that Mr. Bush lives in a bubble, they miss the point that they live in a bubble. In fact, we all live in bubbles. The question is whether we understand that fact and seek to pop them, for the sake of understanding what's really going on, or whether we just continue to self-select for good news.
If Mr. Bush's bubble is a close and loyal staff, the Democrats' bubble is the media culture to which they look for descriptions of political reality. Their main problem is that they don't understand the way the bubble acts as an echo chamber, repeating their preferred interpretation of what's going on back to them.
The fact that the majority of the media agree with their incorrect world view is taken as confirmation by Dems that everyone agrees with them. In some ways Republicans are helped by the fact that they normally deal with an adversarial press. Dems believing they are among friends tend to let their guard down.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Great game!

The Fiesta Bowl just ended and The Ohio State Buckeyes put on quite a show. People will rightfully talk about the great offensive performances by Troy Smith, Ted Ginn, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Pittman. However, whatever the efforts on offense, the real difference in this game was the dominating defense. Led by Senior linebacker A.J. Hawk, the Buckeye defense smothered the high-powered Notre Dame offense. Mike Kudla had 3 sacks and Hawk had two more leaving Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn stumbling for most of the game. The victory give this departing group of seniors a total of 43 wins tying the team record. The offense seemed to consist of big plays or nothing. The Buckeyes gained 50 or more yards on 4 plays after having only 3 plays of that lenght all season.

Coach Jim Tressel cemented his reputation as a big game coach. He has won his last 4 bowl games. Prior to arriving in Columbus, Tressel also won 4 national championships with I-AA Youngstown State.

A lot of great players to replace, but I'm already looking forward to next season and seeing Smith and Ginn hooking up on more big plays.

NFL Coaching Carousel

With the end of the NFL season yesterday, many coaching openings will emerge. If you're a coach who has been on the job for more than a year and finished out of the playoffs you hesitate to answer the phone this time of year. So far, the following teams are without a head coach:
Chiefs - Dick Vermeil - retired
Rams - Mike Martz - fired
Vikings - Mike Tice - fired
Packers - Mike Sherman - fired
Texans - Dom Capers - fired
Saints - Jim Haslett - fired
Lions - Steve Mariucci - fired (Interim coach Dick Jauron may be retained)

None of the firing is a big surprise, except Sherman being let go by the Packers. This was his first losing season in 6th years in charge of the Packers. Also, he had to deal with an incredible number of injuries. In some ways this may be an attempt by Green Bay management to push Brett Farve out the door.

While seven openings may seem like a lot, there will probably be a couple more added as the week goes on. Norv Turner is likely out in Oakland. Bill Parcells is reportedly mulling retirement. Dennis Green may be on shaky ground in Arizona.

All these moves will have a ripple effect on coordinators and position coaches. Hopefully, the Browns will be looking at some of the available talent to upgrade our coaching on the offensive side of the ball.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Browns - Last game

The Browns have not had a good season. After 15 games, they have 5 wins. There is no sugar coating that as the truest measure of a team is wins and losses. However, this is not a lousy team which was lucky to win 5 games. No, actually this is an average team which isn't good enough to win without catching some breaks. Five of the losses were by a touchdown or less, including three 3 point losses. Oddly enough, two of this seasons longest winning streaks were by teams that had just lost to the Browns. The Browns beat the Bears 20 to 10 in Week 5 followed by the Bears winning 8 straight games. Later in Week 11, Miami lost to Cleveland 22 to nothing and then went on a 6 game winning streak. The defense only gave up more than 24 point to two teams. Unfortunately, those two teams (Steelers and Bengals) play in the AFC North so we will see them twice each year. My final assessment of this season is that Coach Crennel has the team heading in the right direction. Biggest area to address in the off-season remains the offensive and defensive lines. Last weeks game against the Steelers clearly showed that the Browns can't win the battles in the trenches. If you can't hold your own on the line, it doesn't matter who your "skill" players are, you won't win many games.

Not getting off to a good start in the New Year

Maurice Clarett is officially done as a potential NFL player. I had not completely written him off thinking there was a slim chance he could rededicate himself and get another chance. Well, he ended all thoughts of a comeback this morning. Clarett wanted by police
Former Ohio State University running back Maurice Clarett was accused of using a gun to rob two people in an alley behind a bar early Sunday and taking a cell phone, police said.

Clarett, 22, who helped the Buckeyes win the national championship in 2002, fled when the bar owner or manager, who knew Clarett and the victims, came into the alley and identified him shortly before 2 a.m., detectives said.

According to police, he left the scene in a white sport utility vehicle with two other men and got only the cell phone from his alleged victims. Neither was hurt. Clarett is wanted on two counts of suspicion of aggravated robbery, police said.
This guy had a dream life ahead of him with his athletic talent. However, he wanted his riches so quickly he ended up with nothing. Every coach should talk to his entire team every year using Clarett as an object lesson.