January 06, 2006

The Guardian reports that George Galloway is a contestant on a British celebrity version of Big Brother. I think I'd rather have him as a housemate than Norm Coleman, but prefer him less to Hitch the Snitch. Actually, whichever of the three hogs the TV the least would be best, so never mind.

UPDATE: One of Gorgeous George's housemates, it turns out, is none other than the Worm.

UPDATE [1/13]: According to someone who has actually watched the program, the show also features actress Rula Lenska, most famous in this country (if that's the right word) for having done Alberto vo5 ads in the '70's, in which she was referred to as an "international film star", even though no one had actually heard of her. As a fan of obscure British TV actresses, I salute her.

January 05, 2006

Texas 41, USC 38: The computers nailed this one...but I'm still trying to figure out this analogy:
So the Trojans are denied a second straight championship. Not a third. USC and its fans have been talking a lot about a "three-Pete" -- as in Pete Carroll, you see -- because the Trojans were No. 1 in the final Associated Press poll in 2003.

But the 2003 national champion was LSU. The Bowl Championship Series is a lousy system, but it's the system USC signed up for. You can't agree to play for a championship under one set of rules, then, when you don't win the championship, say, "Well, we won the championship under these other rules."

Unless you think the accountants at Enron were straight shooters.
Huh?!? Does that go the same for people who think Raging Bull was a better pic than Ordinary People? I guess they're screwed too, since the Academy had the final say in 1981.

Last time I checked, there is no official "national champion" in college football, since, unlike every other Division 1 college sport, there is no playoff. The BCS has a system that's supposed to match-up the two best teams, and remove most of the controversy, but it didn't work out in 2003. The best-ranked team that year failed to make it, so the vast fraternity of college football fans outside of Baton Rouge, Lousiana, treated it the same way boxing fans have learned to ignore the machinations of the WBC when determining who the "real" heavyweight champ is. They went with the best team, the team that earned it on the playing field, phony system be damned.

In fact, the same writer observed at the time:
This is of course what's so great about the BCS: It's complete nonsense. It was supposedly designed to end these end-of-year arguments over who should be named the national champion by presenting a championship game between the top two teams. It does no such thing. But here's a shocking secret: That wasn't the real purpose. You mustn't tell anyone.

The BCS ought to be used in business schools as a lesson in how not to approach problem solving. The Cliffs Notes version is that the people trying to solve the problem have to have clear, attainable objectives, and they have to be free of conflicts of interest.

The professed objective of the BCS is to crown a true national champion. If that were really the goal, the plan would be to figure out a way to have a playoff system, same as they have in Divisions I-AA, II and III. Simple. But the real purpose is to crown a national champion using a system that increases profits and consolidates power for the six biggest conferences, the four biggest bowls and the TV networks, the parties that created the BCS. That's a very different thing, and an impossible one.
Two years ago, he was as apparently deluded as Enron's investors. Thank god Vince Young made it safe for him to jump on an another bandwagon. Not even Plaschke is this loathsome.
Although this may come as a surprise to those who watched last night's thriller, it has been scientifically proven that soccer is the most exciting spectator sport, sayeth the Beeb.
We're all MSM'ers Now: Kos has a point.

January 04, 2006

With the Rose Bowl coming up in 15 minutes, check out the site of USC's number one gay conservative blogfan.
The press will take the ABA's rating of Judge Alito as "Well Qualified" more seriously than it deserves. No matter the ideology, most of the candidates for this position are, by definition, exceedingly "qualified", that is, they have graduated from elite schools, worked at the right law firms, and held the standard jobs within government. The GOP's efforts of late to paint the nation's bar associations as liberal cabals ignores the plain fact that they're all old boys' networks, run by wealthy corporate shills and entirely comfortable with the status quo.

It's when they withhold the highest rating that there's a story. Once Clarence Thomas received only a "Qualified" rating from the ABA in 1991, his nomination was destined for trouble; it gave the fencesitters in the Senate, like Howell Heflin, a way to vote against him without having to fear any political repurcussions. The "Not Qualified" rating Janice Rogers received from the State Bar of California when she was first nominated for the state Supreme Court (based mainly on a lack of judicial temperament) has trailed after her ever since, symbolizing her as just another in a long line of empty suits the GOP trots out to prove they aren't racists. All Alito has done is clear a very low hurdle.
Texas 36, USC 34: Or so the computer says. The Longhorns win three-quarters of these match-ups, by an average margin of two touchdowns; in this one, they came back from an early 13-point deficit. And this doesn't take into account the fact that the Longhorns are a hungrier team, or that so much of the pre-game hype has been in the form of a victory lap for the Trojans. Ouch.

The real game is hours away....

January 03, 2006

Marc Cooper's out to lunch on this one if he thinks the Abramoff indictment is an indication that the stench of corruption in the Beltway is somehow bipartisan. Needless to say there are crooked Dems, but Abramoff was the money man financing the DeLay money machine, the K-Street Project, the objective of which was to shut out Democrats from the filthy lucre of corporate giving. This was a scam on a level quite a bit different from AbScam, the "House Bank", or the Keating Five. Who cares if a few Democrats also got a taste of Tribal Casino Booty.

By turning state's evidence, Abramoff has assured that the issue of corrupt, out-of-touch Congressmen will be front-and-center this November. Too bad for Cooper that it's always the party in power that gets bled to death over this sort of thing.
Blind Date with Ilsa? There's hope for me yet !!!
Much of the criticism of blogging from mainstream media sources has the tone and feel of pre-1960 criticism of Rock and Roll; the critics don't get it, they don't speak our language, so they end up looking like idiots. Michael Hiltzik, an LA Times reporter who also blogs, is an exception, as he shows here. His critique, while focused on conservative "media critics" in the blogosphere who cherrypick their way through the daily newspaper looking for any evidence that will support their position that biased reporters and editors are in cahoots with Satan, is equally valid against most of their counterparts on the left. As such, it is the type of "media criticism" that one would expect out of lawyers.