July 15, 2005

Little Green Futbol [III]: In the wake of last week's bombings, British authorities fear this alliance, between soccer hooligans and anti-Muslim hate groups. Of particular concern to authorities is the opening-day match in England's Championship (ie., AAA-livel minor) League between Millwall, which is notorious for its racist, out-of-control fans, and Leeds. [link via OffWing Opinion]

July 14, 2005

Claiming that he could run for reelection and defend his honor, but not do both at the same time, Randy "Duke" Cunningham announced this afternoon he would not seek another term. I suppose the next question is whether he will resign before his current term expires.
Ziffel's on the Take: Meanwhile, back on Planet Hollywood, the LA Times is reporting that the Governor of California, the man who holds what is arguably the Second Toughest Job in America, agreed to become a paid consultant for a number of fitness magazines. In exchange for his consulting, the governor is set to receive up to $8 million, firmly cementing his place in the party of Tom DeLay and Duke Cunningham.

More suspiciously, Ahnolt vetoed a bill last year that would have regulated the prescription of "dietary supplements" to high school athletes, which would have directly impacted the business of the principal advertisers to said magazines:

Schwarzenegger's two muscle magazines are crammed with ads for performance-enhancing dietary supplements promising chiseled bodies and surges of energy. The 257-page August issue of Muscle & Fitness contains 110 pages of ads for supplements, from creatine ethyl ester to anabolic/androgenic "absorption technology."

The governor used his regular column in the June issue of Muscle & Fitness to defend the supplement industry. He vowed to oppose any effort to restrict sales of the products in California, writing that he is "so energized to fight any attempt to limit the availability of nutritional supplements."

An article in the August issue of Muscle & Fitness said Schwarzenegger had "lent his support" to a new lobbying group that would work to promote nutritional supplements. "The governor also made it clear that he will remain a phone call away as the coalition progresses," the magazine said.

Gives a new meaning to the phrase, "pay to play"....
Good primer on the underlying story in RoveGate, ie., the accuracy of the conclusions drawn by Joe Wilson following his trip to Niger, from Bloomberg News.

Among the rhetorical excesses in our current politics that I find most annoying is the habit of calling people you disagree with "liars". A lie is an intentional or reckless misstatement of fact, made in an attempt to mislead or deceive others. It is not simply making a false statement; the liar has to either know that the statement was false, or be indifferent to its accuracy (in fact, it's even theoretically possible to "lie" when making a true statement). Scott McLelland stating that Karl Rove was not involved in the Plame leak two years ago is only a lie if he had reason to know, at the time he said it, that Rove was the leaker. Joe Wilson denying that his wife recommended him to her superiors at the CIA is a lie only if there's proof he knew at that time she had done so.
Et tu, Rupert?: Even FoxNews hasn't bought the latest spin about Karl Rove being an intrepid whistleblower. {link via AmericaBlog}

July 13, 2005

From the Beeb:
The NHL and the players' union say they have struck a deal in principle that will finally end their labour row.
"Labour row", eh?
Prothonotary Warbler Revisited: Are the various apologias by GOP spindoctors and their acolytes in the blogosphere for Karl Rove beginning to sound nauseatingly similar? Maybe that's because those are actually real-life, honest-to-goodness "talking points" they're parroting...btw, is there any evidence that Joe Wilson has ever claimed he was personally sent to Niger to investigate by Dick Cheney or the V.P.'s office? The original N.Y. Times column that he wrote (ie., the column at issue at the time his wife's position was betrayed) asserts that he went to Niger at the behest of the CIA. Josh Marshall and Tim Grieve also answer no, while professional media scourge Bob Somerby says, well, maybe, kind of, he did.

Much of the talking points center around the argument that what Mr. Rove told Time Magazine (and possibly others) was true, and/or that he was motivated by the desire to dissuade them from publishing an inaccurate story. Such an argument does Mr. Rove no favors. In cases involving espionage, treason, or the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, the "truth" is not a defense; in fact, it happens to be an element of the crime. If Alger Hiss or Aldrich Ames had knowingly passed on information to the Soviets that was false, it is highly unlikely that they would have been prosecuted for anything. If Ms. Plame had never been employed by the Company, Karl Rove would still be resting on his comfortable perch, regardless of what he leaked.

July 12, 2005

YBK [Part 10]: U.S.A. Today has an interesting primer on how the changes in the bankruptcy law effect the ability of businesses to seek Chapter 11, along with the now-routine prediction that we will see a greater increase in such filings as we draw closer to October 17. To put it simply, the new law imposes mandatory time limits for compelling a company to assume or reject leases, and allowing a debtor to propose a reorganization plan, which will necessitate almost immediate access to credit post-petition. Actually, these changes, which aren't all that bad, as a whole, have little to do with the YBK problem, which deals with the unholy conjunction of increased consumer filings with the collapse in the housing market, but it is yet another worry for the economy as the fall months draw nigh.
Vote of Confidence: Turd Blossom is toast....
Terrific column denouncing racial discrimination at the college level, concerning the lack of black coaches, by former Auburn head coach Terry Bowden:
There are 117 colleges participating in Division I-A football and there are only three black head coaches. You don't have to be too smart to know how stupid this looks.

Let me lay it out for you:

Fifty percent black athletes leads to 25 percent black assistant coaches leads to 3 percent black head coaches.

Fifty percent white athletes leads to 75 percent white assistant coaches leads to 97 percent white head coaches.

A profession that so desperately seeks a level playing field offers nothing close to one for the black athlete who aspires to rise to the pinnacle of the college coaching profession.

Plainly and simply, folks, this is discrimination. More precisely this is one of the last and greatest bastions of discrimination within all of American sports.

In college football, we are winning games, building programs and making millions of dollars with the sweat and blood of African-American athletes. I should know. In the last dozen years, my family alone has made more than $30 million as Division I-A head football coaches.

At least once a day, I get asked, "When are you getting back into coaching?" Heck, schools don't need to hire me. They need to hire from the untapped talent that exists within the pool of black assistant coaches.
[link via Salon]
It now appears likely that none of the London bombers last week got out alive.

July 11, 2005

To paraphrase Mr. Rove, liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers; conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared to ruin the career of one of the country’s spies tracking terrorist efforts to gain weapons of mass destruction -- for political gain.

Politics first, counter-terrorism second -- it’s as simple as that.
--Keith Olbermann
Fire Rove: The groupings for the first-ever Baseball World Cup have been announced. The U.S. is paired together with Canada, Mexico and South Africa (!) in the first round. Still up in the air is whether Japan and Cuba will participate.

UPDATE: Not up in the air is whether Gary Sheffield will participate:"My season is when I get paid," Sheffield told the New York Daily News. "I'm not doing that. ... I'm not sacrificing my body or taking a chance on an injury for something that's made up." Damn--I'm sure every American baseball fan wanted to see the colors represented by the likes of Sheff.

July 10, 2005

A defense of Malcolm Glazer, from the editor of World Soccer magazine. He, too, is somewhat confused about the animosity surrounding the Bucs owner, and asserts that the pathetic efforts to boycott the club by various Man United fanclubs are motivated by "pure xenophobia" against a "funny-looking septuagenarian".
A Cold One: Along with the very helpful tips at the end of this post, I would add that one should never drink Anchor Steam from the tap after partaking of Sierra Nevada, or any IPA. Lets just say the hoppiness doesn't contrast well....
"...Four small bombs....": Thanks for putting last week's attacks in perspective, Mr. Samgrass. What a dick.