February 14, 2003

My first article at Off-Wing Opinion is up and presentable, and can be found here. Lots of pressure, now having to write something that more than a dozen people are going to read.
Los Angeles' worst sportswriter, Bill Plaschke, has decided to go after one of the last Los Angeles Dodgers with any heart, Kevin Brown, in his column this morning. Plaschke, who ran the Dodgers' best everyday player of the last twenty years, Gary Sheffield, out of town, and who attacked Game 7 hero Garret Anderson as a choker during the World Series last year, has now chosen to pick on Brown for wanting to pitch through injuries, and for selfishly pushing his team's interest ahead of his health. What makes this column historic, however, is that Plaschke has, for the first time, decided to attack a white athlete, rather than perform fellatio on him. It's so sad; he misses Eric Karros.

February 13, 2003

The Senate will recess tomorrow with no action on the Estrada nomination. Without at least the threat of keeping the Senate in session and forcing the Democrats to actually filibuster, there is nothing to compel weak Senators from caving in and agreeing to a vote on the nominee. The genius of Leahy's strategy has been to make the issue the non-cooperation of the White House with Democratic requests for background memos drafted by Estrada, rather than his ideological views. The White House has shown no signs of compromising (why would they, when they not shown any willingness to share other communications within the executive branch), so the nomination is close to death. Estrada was a relatively unknown pick, so the threat of a filibuster will be even greater the next time, when it's someone like Pickering (or better yet, a Supreme Court nominee).
Great Kinsley article about the Estrada nomination, and the increasing use of the "Fifth Amendment" by controversial judicial nominees who wish to hide their positions. Let's keep up the pressure, kids.

February 12, 2003

Some housekeeping to take care of: the college sports blog that I edit, Condredge's Acolytes, is shifting its focus from commentary on games and teams to longer pieces on college sports in general. Anyone who would like to contribute should drop me a line. I have also been invited to contribute to Off-Wing Opinion, which is only the best general sportsblog going nowadays. That offer was too good to pass up, so I will be offering my two cents on West Coast basketball on that site.

February 11, 2003

A certain amount of political hyperbole is to be expected, but this comparison is truly odious. The phrase, "weapons of mass obstruction" smells like it came straight out of a Karl Rove power point demonstration. In the meantime, another DLC favorite, Mary Landrieu, has come out in support of the filibuster.
It's official: Andrew Sullivan has discovered that there are gays in Hollywood.
First he claims to be a "war hero". Then he "discovers" a Jewish ancestor. Now he "contracts" prostate cancer. Will John Kerry ever quit reinventing himself?
Believe it or not, this is not a story from the Onion.
Today is the day Tom Daschle is supposed to announce whether the Democrats plan to filibuster the Estrada nomination. So far, only three members of the caucus are off the reservation, and the GOP's clumsy attempt to make the nominee's ethnicity his sole qualification for the position has backfired; what was a longshot last week is now being seriously discussed by Democrats, whether they have the yarbles to prevent the capture of the judiciary by an ideological fringe. The best way to help Democrats like Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Fritz Hollings, and Evan Bayh overcome their natural predilection for following the path of least resistance is to call, fax, and e-mail them 'til they surrender. And while you're at it, drop Charles Schumer a line thanking him for the brave stand he has taken on this issue.

UPDATE: The decision has apparently been made to filibuster. The battle is joined !!!
The Oscar nominations were announced this morning. It's too early to pick any of the winners with absolute certainty, but there is a quick and easy way to handicap a couple of the awards. For best supporting actress, pick the nominee who is most likely to fade into mediocrity within one week of the pageant. For best actress, go with the person most likely to embarass herself with a narcissistic, maudlin speach that goes on forever, and is interrupted several times by uncontrolled sobbing. I see Queen Latifah as the one who can best follow in the tradition of Marcia Gay-Harden, Mira Sorvino, Whoopi Goldberg, and Mercedes Ruehl. And I'm sure Renee Zellweger's acceptance speach will be one for the ages.

February 10, 2003

It's almost Tuesday, and the Senate has still not confirmed Miguel Estrada. Let's keep up the pressure....
If Melanie Lynskey can have a fansite (actually, two), then why doesn't Phoebe Nicholls have even one? Still, I'm not complaining; having seen the Kiwi starlet's absolutely wicked performance in The Shield a few weeks back, I might start one of my own.
Years ago, my parents decided to do a "family tree" for my grandparents on the event of their 50th wedding anniversary. Among the things we discovered was at some point, about three generations before my grandfather, most of our ancestors began to have names like Levi, Moses, and Aaron. I wasn't sure what it proved, if anything; five generations is going back awhile, and I've had a hard time identifying with my mother's faith, much less my great-great-great grandfather's. But it sure was groovy fun informing my late granddad, who was somewhere to the right of your average Republican congressman on issues of race and ethnicity, of our research, while also serving to remind the rest of the family that the answer to the question, "where are you from?", is, as for most Americans, likely to be more complex than we may have originally thought.

Now, apparently, it's John Kerry's turn to be eviscerated by the Alpha Girls, this time over whether he has taken too much pride in the fact that a recent geneological investigation of his family turned up a Jewish grandfather. The notion that this is somehow a character flaw strikes me as nothing more than thinly-disguised anti-Semitism, certainly more poisonous than anything likely to be dreamed up by Al Sharpton on the campaign trail, but it seems to be the conventional wisdom in the media. In some respects, it is not dissimilar to the racist glee the far right had for years about rumors of Clinton's black "love child". For a particularly crude anti-Semitic take on this, check out this "investigative story" in the Boston Globe, which seems to be particularly offended that Senator Kerry, actually visited a synagogue in Florida recently. Or this piece, where the writer all but accuses the junior Senator from Massachusetts of being a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty. Since the man is currently the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, we must resign ourselves to the fact that this will be the level of political discourse over the next year and a half.

February 09, 2003

Caught Catch Me if You Can this afternoon. A nice way to kill 2 1/2 hours, but it kind of irritates me that I have to spend between $15-20 for an afternoon at the movies. If I can spend less than that per month for cable, then I better get something special, something better than The Shield, or The Sopranos (at least, the first three seasons), or Alias, or even 24; the latter two shows I don't even have to pay for. The problem with the movie I saw today was that there was absolutely no reason for it to have been shot as a film. It could have easily aired as an original cable movie and lost nothing artistically, and I (and other patrons) would not have been out $20. And the annoying thing is, it was actually a pretty good flick.
If I didn't think my comparison was so obvious as to be banal, I would swear another blogger had ripped off my nickname for Ann Coulter.