July 24, 2004

Like most Angelenos, I tend to believe that the baseball season doesn't start until sometime after the Lakers' playoff run has ended, so it took me until the end of July to see my first game of the year at Chavez Ravine. Largest crowd ever for a regular season game at Dodger Stadium last night, and perhaps the loudest, most rambunctious group of fans I can remember since the early-80's, we saw the home team defeat the Padres, 3-2, on a walk-off home run in the ninth by Adrian Beltre. Most impressive was the fact that hardly any of the fans left early; being able to time our exits for the most apt point before the final out has always been a matter of pride for the locals, a symbolic act that placed the fan in control of his fate, not the team, but the fact that the Dodgers have perhaps the most dominating closer in the history of the game has reversed the equation. The whole point of going the last few seasons has been for the anticipation of seeing Mr. Game Over himself, Eric Gagne, so the natural order of things has been thrown askew; now, we have to stay til the ninth inning.

Another factor in the behaviour of the fans might well be the fact that we have access to two forms of rapid transit (the Red Line and the Gold Line) that have stops near the stadium. Both lines offer shuttles on Friday night that take you right to the Stadium, so the convenience of not having to fight the traffic (or pay for parking) now exists if you live in Pasadena, Hollywood, or the East Valley. Tickets have always been ridiculously cheap for games, so the fans tend to be less upscale than Lakers, and the crowd in the upper levels of the stadium (where I sat) is demographically similar to what you might get at a Magic Johnson theatre on a Saturday night. The ever-present transistor radio is now more likely to blare Jaime Jarrin than Vin Scully, an unqualified cultural blessing for those of us who eagerly yearn for the day when the Anglo minority can finally assimilate into the melting pot that is Southern California.
The decision tonight to permit the defense to introduce evidence that the accuser of Kobe Bryant had engaged in sexual activities with other men in the seventy-two hours prior to her medical exam, including a partner in the brief period after her encounter with the Laker franchise player, should bring this matter to a head in the next few days.  The judge's decision is the correct one, and further attempts by the prosecution to beat this dead horse have more in common with pre-1965 attitudes concerning miscegenation than any desire to seek justice.   

July 21, 2004

The controversy over Sandy Berger took another turn this morning after White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan admitted that the White House counsel's office was informed of the pending criminal investigation into Berger just before it was leaked to the press on Monday.  With the investigation pretty much dead in the water (the FBI hasn't even bothered to interview the "target", and reportedly has no plans to do so), this should probably go from being a comedy of errors starring an absent-minded bureaucrat, to yet another example of the Bush White House leaking confidential and/or classified information to the media for base political ends.
The Arabian Candidate:  Another excellent Krugman column, on how Al Qaeda was able to get the Supreme Court to select their sleeper candidate for President four years ago.  And yes, if he hadn't been dead two years, I could see James Gregory playing W in the movie.

July 20, 2004

Any doubt that Kerry didn't receive a boost from the nomination of John Edwards should be cast aside by the results of this poll, which shows him now leading the President in...Arizona (!) What's next, a poll that shows him within single digits in Texas? [link via Daily Kos]
My annual three-week bout of semi-casual interest in cycling being nearly at an end, can someone tell me why the hell Jan Ullrich is considered to be a "rival" to Lance Armstrong. The two of them aren't the Ali-Frazier of cycling; more like the Ali-Quarry (or even Frazier-Ellis) of their sport. Oy, I gotta wait eight f****** weeks til football starts....
Simonizing Berger:  I'm not a mystery writer, but my instincts as an occasional reader of John Grisham novels (not to mention the pamphlets of Lyndon LaRouche) tell me that there may be several explanations for Sandy Berger's "absconding" copies of classified documents from the National Archives:
1. The documents in question detail the nefarious role that he and other Arabists within the State Department played in the Oil for Food Scandal;
2. He was attempting to cover up John Kerry's actions in fomenting anti-Semitic attacks in Paris;
3. His notes proved conclusively that a collaborative relationship existed before 9/11 between the four most evil men on the planet: Bill Clinton, Yassir Arafat, Osama bin Laden, and of course, Joseph Wilson;
4. It's the Mullahs, Stupid; and/or
5. He's  objectively pro-fascist, desperately trying to hide the green light he gave Saddam for the Mass Graves.
Or, as Uncle Ho used to say back when I was a radical at Berkeley, L'enfer, c'est les autres.