August 03, 2002

It's only an exhibition game, but football is back tonight, which also means the real season starts in five weeks, the first college game is three weeks from today, and baseball can go to hell, for all I care, at least until the playoffs start. For about 2 1/2 months every year, between the end of the NBA/NHL playoffs and the first NFL game, baseball has a practical monopoly on the attention of sports fans, and its always the least interesting part of the season, when players and teams seem to run on fumes. This year, with the threat of a players' strike, the owners engaged in their usual lying and racketeering, and the commissioner deciding to call the All-Star Game b/c the managers didn't know how to utilize their rotation properly, I have decided to place baseball on the level of priority that I put MLS games: as a time-killer until something more interesting comes on, like pre-season football or The Iron Chef.

August 02, 2002

You can tell this article was written by a Boston sportswriter; there is no way it would have been published if the subject was a white athlete...
Just two days after I announced the start of my campaign for SF Valley mayor (oops, sorry, announced the formation of my "exploratory committee"), another blogger has decided to seek election to be mayor of D.C. This guy might have an easier race; the incumbent wasn't able to generate enough signatures to get his name on the ballot !!!

August 01, 2002

The incomparable Henry Raddick has a new book review out.
Once again, Mr. Bolkcom wins the month in the Home Run Pool. For the first time since April, I managed to stay out of the cellar.
Ohmigod !!! He wore a toupee. Who knew??
Did Rush Limbaugh honestly say that "liberals hated the sight of the rescued mine workers". What a turd.
I am without a car today (long story), so I'm not going to post much the next few days. However, some of you might be interested in this link, which presents a "sneak preview" of the next Ann Coulter book.

July 31, 2002

Tom Tomorrow picks up on the Clash-Jaguar relationship here.
Keith Olbermann has an interesting piece in Salon about "taking responsibility", the gist of which is that Ann Coulter is at least partially responsible for 9/11, due to her incessant appearances several years ago on the cable news channels over Monica Lewinsky. Although I have taken a pretty hard-line approach to the writings and wisdom of Fraulein Goebbels in the past (see here and here), I can't buy the argument that 9/11 happened because the nation was distracted by ephemera, just as I couldn't agree with the far right's claim last year, that it was all Clinton's fault. By Olbermann's standard, Jon-Benet Ramsey, Elian Gonzalez, and Gary Condit (and the media whores who exploited those stories; damn you, Dominick Dunne !!) are responsible for 9/11 as well, since they also distracted a nation's attention from the pressing goal of confronting international terrorism (in any event, why blame Coulter, who never appeared on his MSNBC show; a more apt villain would be Christopher Hitchens, who was practically a regular during the Lewinsky scandal, and blasted Clinton's going after Bin Laden in September, 1998, as a phony, "wag the dog" threat used to distract the country).

What really bothers me about the Olbermann article, though, was his attack on Pete Rose for denying he bet on the Cincinnati Reds at the beginning of the piece, asserting "Rose is about to complete Year 13 of his nonstop insistence that he didn't do it -- bet on the baseball team he was managing -- even if he signed a document saying he did." O.K., my interest is piqued; when did Pete Rose sign a document admitting he bet on the Reds. Where is that document now, and why hasn't it been released to the public? As far as I know, the document Rose did sign with then-Commission Giamatti explicitly stated that there was no finding he bet on baseball games, much less an admission he bet on Reds games.

July 30, 2002

I guess it was too much to hope that more than three days could go by without another knuckleheaded Maureen Dowd take on "Hollywood" and California politics. She's often a good writer, but one without a clue about what's going on west of the Adirondacks.
Some random thoughts:

1. With the SF Valley secession vote looming in November, the supporters of the movement ("the seceshers") have scheduled elections for Valley Mayor and the City Council, just in case lightning strikes and the dang thing passes. With the initial polls looking rather gloomy for the cause, those races are having a hard time attracting serious candidates; most of those who've announced so far are perennial GOP candidates for legislative and congressional offices, and even a political junkie like myself hasn't heard of any them. Which gets me to thinking: why not resurrect one of the most significant movements in mid-1980's campus politics at Berkeley, "a Boring Party". I mean, its not like I don't have a lot of free time (eg., this blog), there's little chance the secession vote will pass anyway, and, if I might cast aside my usual humility, I think I might have a little more appeal to the voters than some of the Rotarians, babbitts, and boosters who are running for these other offices. So, without further adieu, I hereby give the go-ahead to my friends Carolyn Hampton, Christopher Parsons, and Matt Cairns to establish an "Exploratory Committee" for my campaign.

2. If this blog is ever published as a "Book on Tape", I want Robert Evans to narrate.
I think I first heard about this idea, which is to re-do old scripts from TV shows with an ensemble cast, a few years backs during a writer's strike. Except they were going to do the episodes straight....
I couldn't resist posting this sob story, written by Cokie Roberts, about how federal judges making $150k a year are underpaid. The kicker is when she complains that judges have lifetime appointments, and, at least on paper make a good salary, but they still have to send their children to college, and besides that, $150k is less than what first-year associates at large firms make. Well, Cokie, everyone with kids has to worry about coming up with the scratch for college, including people who don't have an honorific before their name, and first-year associates, unlike federal judges, sometimes have to work more than four days a week, six hours a day, and usually without the benefit of a team of law clerks paid for by the tax payers. Hey, if a "low" salary gets Manual Real, Royce Lambirth or Lawrence Silberman off the federal payroll, I'm for it.
As I noted over the weekend, the bankruptcy bill has stalled in the House over the abortion issue. If it doesn't get passed this term, don't expect this bill to be revived in its current form by the next session of Congress. God is great.

July 29, 2002

In defending his hypothesis that welfare reform has led to an increase in interracial marriages between white men and black women, Kausfiles argues, "you don't have to be on welfare, or poor, or black to be influenced by the welfare-conditioned culture of the urban poor -- any more than you have to be poor or black to be influenced by the ghetto-based ideas of NWA and other rappers whose music fills headphones in Scarsdale and Montecito." NWA? Good contemporary reference, old man; I enjoy blasting NWA out of my walkman every day, along with Public Enemy, Husker Du, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and Guns N Roses. It sure as hell beats anything coming out from Paula Abdul or the Pet Shop Boys. And how about that Kirk Gibson blast !!!
Oy! One of the more troubling aspects of a Gore Presidency would have been the fact that this wholly-owned subsidiary (by the way, is that redundant?) of the insurance and accounting industries would have become Vice President. I can't imagine any dumber political advice right now than to be critical of the Democratic Party for not sucking up to corporate America enough.

July 28, 2002

Dreadful, embarrassing column by MoDo in the NY Times this morning, it regurgitates every stereotype the East Coast has about California politics. The theme of the article is about how the front-runners for the 2006 governorship are the Terminator and Rob Reiner, which is exactly the sort of conclusion that someone whose entire knowledge of California comes from Woody Allen and Nora Ephron movies would draw. C'mon, if Arnold wouldn't challenge an incumbent with as much baggage as Gray Davis, why is he going to have more courage in 2006? And Rob Reiner? One of the reasons the GOP nominated and elected George Murphy and Ronald Reagan in the 1960's is that there was almost nothing else to choose from in the state GOP back then. A party as strong as the California Democratic Party right now doesn't need to nominate a celebrity.