09 June 2008

This Week's Hacks

Big Brown accelerates like Deion Sanders, his trainer woofs like Deion, and I'm glad they didnt win. Not because Dutrow and the owners are jerks, but because racing immortality should be earned and the Belmont field was lamer than Barbaro. Dont let Secretariat's 31 lengths fool you - he demolished some fine thoroughbreds - and Affirmed was stalked by another champion.

Speaking of athletes with crap for competition, a look at today's standings reveals the real price of the Dbacks' tailspin. By losing thirteen of nineteen (that's a .315 clip, folks), the Dbacks have democratized MLB's worst division from an April landslide to a two party battle in May, to a four way free for all in June. The all but forgotten Padres have reeled off five in a row and find themselves 6.5 out with a hundred to play - the Giants, uniformly ridiculed this spring, are a mere five games back.

Watch out for Kerry Wood. He whizzed through the ninth at Dodger Stadium Sunday, with a free and easy motion tossing 98. Bad news for the National League.

Thanks to Price Waterhouse, I have the names of both VP candidates. The envelope please. For the Democrats: Jim Webb. And for the Grand Old Party: Carly Fiorina. I think it'll be tough for McCain to win with another Republican man on the ticket; he has to attract a sizable chunk of the women's vote. Obama should resist the overwhelming temptation to select a like minded woman, like AZ Governor Janet Napolitano, and seek out military gravitas instead. Why? Because under the harsh light of a presidential campaign, in the crucible of televised debates fighting for the nation's substantial midsection, Webb > Fiorina, but Fiorina > Napolitano.


Jeff said...

I like Webb too. I like Warner more. Neither are Clintons, so I think Obama will have a hard time messing this up if it comes down to one of the two.

What a shame about Big Brown. B.B. reminds me of this year's edition of the Detroit Tigers: Lame.

PAUL said...

You got the Jim Webb thing from me ya' plagiarist.
Did you feel someone strangling you telepathically last night just as Mark Reynolds's shot went sailing off into the picnic area at Shea? If you did, it was me. I confess.

Matt said...

You got the Jim Webb thing from me ya' plagiarist

Well, I did read your post, but I read a bunch of other things too - like a detailed breakdown in the May 9th Huffington Post, touting Webb as the frontrunner. Perhaps we both owe Arianna a hat tip.

I thought of you on Reynolds' bomb and was hoping you didnt fling your last frosted mug of Heineken Light through the picture tube.

And what's with the attendance at Shea? They keep announcing 45K but the place is half empty - even before Tuesday's styrofoam and wax paper maelstrom sent locals scurrying back to their cramped apartments.

PAUL said...

Didn't you get the memo? The Mets are dysfunctional in all aspects of the organization. They're driving me away from the Heineken Lights and toward the hard stuff. There's some dark rum in my cabinet from when I made tiramisu. Gonna hafta bust it open to ease the pain.
I still think of Arianna as the extreme right-winger she once was.

PAUL said...

One thing that confuses me about the Dems is this insistence to break out guys who've been integral parts of losing campaigns and placing them in important positions. There's that Bob Schrum who wrote that book "Serial Campaigner" or whatever and was involved with Jimmy Carter and John Kerry---two losers; then there's this Jim Johnson who just resigned. Much was made of him being part of the VP searches for Kerry and Walter Mondale. Ohhhh kaaaay....were John Edwards and Geraldine Ferraro such inspired picks that he would be an important voice for a candidate that is poised to win like Barack Obama? One would think they'd want some of the Clinton people or disillusioned Bush people to come on board and help out rather than these guys who have a reputation for whatever reason, but only deliver losers.

Matt said...

lol on the tiramisu.

I dont think I can solve the Democratic Party's problems, but when you think you have better ideas or values and you keep losing elections, I imagine it becomes fashionable (and comforting) to blame 'handling'. We just couldnt get our message out. The voters didnt see the real "us". Blah, blah, blah.

The last Dem to win 50% of the natl vote was Jimmy Carter(50.1%) thirty two years ago, which suggests a more fundamental disconnect with the American voter. Since Reagan & Gingrich, I think many Americans view the GOP as the party of ideas (right and wrong) while the Democrats have been characterised by a self-serving, wishy-washy pragmatism. They've stood for 'handling', basically.

The Initial vote on Iraq is an example where the mainstream of the party (Kerry, Edwards, Clinton) didnt vote their conscience to further their political aspirations. Schrum said as much in his book. If Kerry stood up to Bush in 2003, which would've been a huge political risk, he'd probably be president today.

PAUL said...

I'd love to hear what a veteran pragmatist like Jim Baker says about his involvement with "the son" and how he was instrumental in getting him into the White House. My guess is he'll regret it for the rest of his life even if he never says so publicly.

PAUL said...

And my tiramisu is surprisingly good.

PAUL said...

What Baker says in private, I meant to say...

Matt said...

I was very surprised when Baker and the old guard (Kissinger, Shulz, etc) annointed the son, who to me, most closely resembled Alfred E Neuman. In Democratic circles, he was in over his head and would be a puppet of the old guard. Republicans insisted GW was a young man of principle and conviction.

Neither side had it completely right.

Nevertheless, Baker is an extremely accomplished player (the man most responsible for stealing the 2000 election) and I cant imagine he's thrilled with what GW has done to all of their legacies - let alone to the country or world.

PAUL said...

Did they really "steal" it or did the Dems blow it? No one could have known what havoc Bush was going to wreak on everything from the constitution to the economy to the US status around the world. And how long was the "hanging chad, dimpled chad, voter intent" stuff going to be allowed to go on? There had to be a resolution and that turned out to be George Bush wins via the electoral college. Did Al Gore actually win based on voter intent and screwed up ballots and all that other stuff? Probably, but that doesn't do anyone any good now. And I still think Gore went to the wire looking and listening to W and wondering to himself and to intimates, "How am I losing to this imbecile? Don't people see listen and see right through him?" That was his downfall more than Ralph Nader or the supreme court or Katherine Harris could ever have been.

Matt said...

There had to be a resolution and that turned out to be George Bush wins via the electoral college.

There had to be a resolution and that turned out to be George Bush wins via the Supreme Court, split 5-4 along party lines in the most devisive decision since Roe v Wade.

I wouldnt say the 2000 election was stolen from the Democrats, because as you say, they made lots of mistakes that contributed to outcome. Besides, they more or less invented this type of thievery. Nevertheless, the election was stolen from the American public, by a host of partisan insiders - openly political operatives like Baker, and officials sworn to put law above politics who failed to do so.

Michael Norton said...

In all fairness to Bush, he was, like the entire nation, traumatized by 9/11. Remember when he wanted to be remembered as "the education president"? The most appropriate scene to describe what happened to the Bush presidency is that look on his face while he was informed of the terrorist attacks while reading to school children.

He wasn't up to the job, but then we knew that when we "hired" him. More of the "peace dividend". To give credit where credit is due, we haven't been attacked since 9/11. Who would have believed that possible on 9/12/2001?

The problem is what was done to accomplish that feat. But then, again, we all knew Bush was a "deer in the headlights" kind of guy from his campaign speeches.

One of these days we will learn. At least Clinton II was averted--for now.

Ironically, George Allen, who Webb beat for the senate seat here in Virginia, was a front runner for the Republican presidential nomination until he had his macaca moment.

Thus spoke the Raven: "Nevemore". Ah, bullshit. He said: "Macaw, Macaw!"

Michael Norton
Some Clubhouse

PAUL said...

Just letting you know I've started a simultaneous blog on Blogspot which is a cut and paste of my regular blog. It took me complaining to the Blogosphere to get them to put a link from their front page to those that were commenting about the firing of a big market manager in a sudden way that could be construed as...I dunno...inappropriate, maybe? They had some innocuous promotional bit for generic interleague matchups for much of the day; at least they changed it after I complained. We'll see if my traffic increases.

PAUL said...

It's a bizarre system in which we live when an unqualified, lifelong failure like Bush can just decide one day to be president and actually have the ability to make it happen, but whaddayagonnado? The irritating thing is when he's compared to his father and tries to "fix" his father's mistakes by re-invading Iraq. The younger Bush has pretty much ruined the elder's reputation in which he was: a war hero; a congressman; director of the CIA; an ambassador and the V.P. It's a shame.

Matt said...

an unqualified, lifelong failure like Bush can just decide one day to be president

Now you're talking my language. I never voted for W but I voted for his father once. The reason I didnt vote for him in 2000 wasnt ideology as much as I couldnt fathom installing a guy who was essentially a failed drunk til he was forty into the world's most powerful office. It's a nice personal story of recovery, but this isnt the race for town constable either. It bothered me that he didnt like to read books (let alone write one), as those activities are inconsistent with superficial thought, and it also bothered me that despite his general privilege and Dad's intl strings, the son showed very little interest in intl travel.

What some saw as decisiveness, I always feared was more superficiality and lack of inquisitiveness about the world. Of course I had no idea about 9/11, but that's exactly why I didnt vote for him then. That, and as a Yale grad, he often couldnt speak in complete sentences. Gore had credibility issues of his own and I would've voted Republican if that party fronted a better candidate.

This piggybacks nicely onto a comment Michael made from the conservative point of view:

He wasn't up to the job, but then we knew that when we "hired" him.

It's sad (and dangerous) when our politics has degraded to a point when any jackass can spout three or four buzzwords and garner 50% of the vote. For Bush, it was "lower taxes and Jesus" - I'm sure there's equivalent bromides on the other side.

If we elect bromides instead of people, people who's adult lives have been a crucible of challenges and growth, then we do so at our own peril - and that of the world.

Michael Norton said...

Of course I had no idea about 9/11, but that's exactly why I didnt vote for him then.

The lesson of 9/11 should be that we cannot afford to trivialize the presidency. Think about this: if silly Willy Clinton could have kept his thing in his pants there is no way even Al Gore could have blown the 2000 election. Booming economy, peace . . . a continuing Democratic administration was there for the taking. Bush was elected by the narrowest of margins because enough people wanted honor and dignity restored to the White House.

Too bad they didn't throw competency in there, too.

I was for McCain in 2000, and have not voted for Bush (I didn't vote for his opponents, either, in all fairness. I didn't like my options, so I sat those elections out). One of the wierd ironies of history is McCain was who we needed in the White House on 9/11. We shouldn't forget that is not the case in no small part because our self-righteous prez slimed him.

Now one of the queerer consequences is the question: is McCain the right man in 2008? Or are we fighting the last war, again?

Michael Norton
Some Clubhouse

Jeff said...

Pardon me for asking, Matt, but are you on vacation?

Tracy said...

Carly Fiorina? Hmm...I hadn't thought about her. She sure has been making the rounds schilling (pun intended) for McCain though.

Where in the world is Matt?

Matt said...


The 2000 election was obviously very close and one can assign any one of a number of things that swung it for Bush. As I recall, the economy was not particularly booming in 2000, and my own view is that Gore's inadequacies as a candidate and the fact Americans love a cowboy played a bigger part in Bush's "victory" than Clinton's sexual shenanigans. I suspect most swing voters easily distinguished between Clinton's personal foibles and the candidate Gore and that folks greatly concerned with restoring "honor and dignity" to the White House would've voted Republican anyway. But I dont know - you could be right.

In the historical context of the Presidency, I dont believe Clinton's blowjobs trivialized the office nearly as much as Republicans' furious campaign to turn a personal affair into a national one - and Clinton's subsequent decision to fight the witchhunt (ie lie, obstruct) rather than sacrifice some of his personal legacy for the good of the office. In that sense, I think both sides "trivialized" the Presidency for political purposes.


I'm not officially on vacation til late July, but it's a fair question. When I struggle coming up with fresh angles on things, sometimes I prefer not to write and instead read more and daydream about stuff. On second thought, maybe it is a vacation ;-)


With the women's vote (incl a huge block of disenchanted Clintonites) up for grabs, someone like Fiorina - a woman with a strong business background and a political outsider - could really expand the appeal of the Republican ticket, IMO. She's 53, looks younger, and is arguably more "accomplished" than Obama or Hillary. I know she had a tough go at HP, and I really dont know her,and I likely dont agree with much of her politics, but for a woman to rise to CEO of an outfit like HP, I assume she she has a helluva lot going for her.

Russell said...

Ahh the elusive muse! I ignore the fact that I can't think of any fresh angles and just churn out the same old stale ones.I find my readers to be a rather dull-witted group who really can't tell the difference.

As for Gore and Kerry I think the simple truth is that they weren't very good at campaigning, and whenever I saw them they never seemed to "connect" with an audience.

Now, back to churning out drivel for the uneducated proles.

PAUL said...

I think Matt needs bail money again. Let's hold a benefit.

Jeff said...

Come back, Matt!