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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

XXX: State of the Union

Man, I wish Ice Cube were giving the speech tonight instead.

Has anyone ever noticed that SOTU and STFU are very similar arrangements of letters?

I hope to be blogging more shortly.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

About that blog I used to write...

I won't be blogging much for a while here, please stand by.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I Agree with Bumiller!

Only saw a bit of the hearing today around lunchtime, but I noticed that Biden was terribly long-winded and didn't ask much in the way of questions:

The highest ratio of words per panelist to words per nominee was that of Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, who managed to ask five questions in his 30-minute time allotment.

"I understand, Judge, I am the only one standing between you and lunch, so I'll try to make this painless," he began, with some promise.

Mr. Biden then dived into a soliloquy on Judge Alito's failure to recuse himself from cases involving the Vanguard mutual fund company, which managed the judge's investments. After 2 minutes 50 seconds - short for the senator - Mr. Biden did appear to veer toward a question, but abandoned it to cite Judge Alito's membership in a conservative Princeton alumni group. Mr. Biden discoursed on that for a moment, then interrupted himself with an aside about his son who "ended up going to that other university, the University of Pennsylvania."

Judge Alito, who had been sitting without expression through Mr. Biden's musings, interrupted the senator midword, got out three sentences, then settled in for nearly 26 minutes more of Mr. Biden, with the senator doing most of the talking. With less than a minute to spare, Mr. Biden concluded, thanked Judge Alito for "being responsive," then said to Mr. Specter that "I want to note that for maybe the first time in history, Biden is 40 seconds under his time."

Didn't they all get to do their opening statements yesterday? (I didn't see any of that.) They really should be asking Alito some questions when they get the chance.

Stupid CNN

CNN is currently showing the Alito hearing in a screen split six ways--six ways!--including shots of the capitol dome and the front of the Supreme Court, where nothing is happening, while Joe Biden and Alito talk in their own little boxes. Watching on Fox is far preferable, since they only show the actual hearing, imagine that.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Robin Givhan on Abramoff's Style

Givhan says:

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff has had a full-blown aesthetic meltdown. He has leapt into an abyss of ill-fitting coats, mobster flourishes and Peter Pan headgear. The once high-flying dealmaker is going down, and there is nothing dignified about the descent.

I guess it took her a few days to polish her prose.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hockey Battle of the Sexes: Boys vs. Women

The boys won.

Swann Kicks Off Campaign for PA Governor

Are you ready for an excess of football metaphors applied to a political race?

Swannblog (link via InstaPundit)is a Red State production, tracking NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann's now-official run for governor of Pennsylvania. (Swann basically announced his political plans in his final sideline report during the closing moments of ABC's Sugar Bowl coverage the other night--what better time and place to make things official?) Here's the official campaign site.

In keeping with this blog's alleged theme of the intersection of sports and politics, I will be following Swann's campaign closely. Back when the Swann for Governor rumors picked up steam a few months ago, I had these thoughts:

ESPN is currently fronting a story on former Pittsburgh Steeler/NFL Hall of Famer/ABC sideline analyst for college football games Lynn Swann and his aspiration to become governor of Pennsylvania. Personally, I've always thought Swann sounds mildly retarded when he speaks on the TV, and I would've thought the Republicans had learned their lesson after the Arnold fiasco in California. I guess there's a great appeal to a guy who is the GOP's Next Black Hope, now that J.C. Watts has faded into obscurity after tiring of being the party's token black guy.

Should be a fun circus to follow.

Bush Chooses Sleep Over Watching Rose Bowl Finish

Dubya called Mack Brown at 6am to congratulate the Texas coach on winning the college football national title. I know the president is an early riser and all, but shouldn't such a self-proclaimed proud Texan have been up watching the game last night? And couldn't he have had a bit of consideration for Brown and called a little later in the day?

Bush's presidential role model, Richard Nixon, actually met the Longhorns in the locker room after they beat Arkansas in 1969 and gave them the national championship trophy in person.

Will Vince Young Succeed in the NFL?

In the wake of Vince Young's single-handedly winning the national championship for Texas last night, there's plenty of speculating about whether Young will enter the NFL Draft (he previously said he was coming back, but was noncommittal in the postgame) and if so, where he should be chosen. Has he surpassed Matt Leinart as the top quarterback prospect, and should he be the #1 pick, ahead of even the vaunted Reggie Bush?



A lot of people seem to be saying yes to these questions, many more than 24 hours ago.

I see two primary impediments to NFL success: continuing doubts about Young's throwing ability, and concern about having a quarterback that runs too much

First, on passing, here's Ivan Maisel:

Young ran for 200 yards and threw for 267, completing 30-of-40 passes with a motion that still makes NFL scouts reach for their Rolaids. But even the pickiest of scouts knows how to read a scoreboard.

Bill Simmons made the same criticism by comparing Young's throwing arm to Johnny Damon's.

Second, on running, I think it's obvious why no NFL team runs the option or has the quarterback running this much: teams don't want their QBs being killed (and NFL defenses are too fast). It's true that Michael Vick and Randall Cunningham put together impressive highlight reels in the NFL, but neither could get away with tucking the ball away on every other play like Young did last night. It's just not possible at the pro level, so Young will have to be more of a traditional downfield passer. Whether he can transform his game to match the NFL style is a question mark. How much of Young's passing success this year is based on defenses fearing his running ability to an extent that they won't on Sundays?

Young and the Texas fans probably don't care so much about this all right now as they savor the championship. I'm just giving you a heads up as to what Mel Kiper will be yammering about on ESPN in three months or so.

I'll close with a quote from Deadspin: "it’s a shame that just seconds after Texas quarterback Vince Young became a college football deity on a supernatural fourth down touchdown run, he had to be attacked by a giant fuzzy cow."



UPDATE: Tons of articles on Young are coming out, of course. Mike Wilbon says Young should enter the draft, while Young told Jay Leno he's undecided. Another critic of Young's passing is Joe Theismann:

But Joe Theismann, the former N.F.L. quarterback turned television football analyst, said it would be "a big mistake" if Young decided to turn pro this year because he "throws the ball a little bit low," in a sidearm motion.

Spying on Christiane Amanpour

The Chimes at Midnight picks up on the Americablog report on NBC's scrubbed transcript and adds some important background:

Dunno what it all means, but a mere two weeks ago I opined that we'd soon find out that the President was wiretapping Senator Kerry and his campaign staff. We seem to a bit closer to that revelation after a mere fourteen or so days.

Amanpour is married to Jamie Rubin himself a former Clinton Administration Official and a Foreign Policy adviser to Wesley Clark and John Kerry....and reasonable tap on her communications would have to include material germane to his political activities last year.

More material for the Bush as Nixon comparison.

UPDATE: CNN has reported an administration denial of the story.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Rose Bowl Pick

Before they kick it off, I'm taking USC. I think it's a close game, but USC has superior offensive talent, which should get them to the winner's circle in the end (in other areas, Texas is just as good). We'll see if this turns out right in a few hours.

UPDATE: Wrong! But I was looking right for the first 55 minutes of the game or so.

Young Dancers Only

That's what the Super Bowl halftime wants, setting the age cutoff at 45 for the 2,000 people who get to be on the field for the 60-something Rolling Stones show.

The NFL says the reason for the age cutoff is that the job is physically challenging. Volunteers must enter and exit the field quickly and be on their feet for long periods. They will not have seats and will wait in a tunnel under Ford Field for most of the first half.

Participants also must attend up to five rehearsals that could last seven hours each.

Then there's the fact that young people also look better on TV... (Via an interesting SportsFilter thread on the Detroit festivities).

Paterno Wins Geezer Bowl

For those who missed the 1am postgame interview, the first thing the 79-year-old coach said was "It's past my bed time."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Abramoff Style



I predict that Jack Abramoff's attire for his court appearance today leads to another one of those stupid fashion pieces in tomorrow's Washington Post--we'll see in a few hours.

Redefining "Affordable"

Apparently in Boston a condo under $500k qualifies as "affordable" in the eyes of the Boston Globe, good lord.

What Ails the Celtics

The Celtics finished up a 1-4 road trip last night and, having spent time up in Boston, I watched a good portion of it. I think it's fairly obvious what is wrong with the team.

Here are the numbers of points the Celtics scored in the five games: 111, 109, 112, 111, 110. They averaged over 110 points per game! That should win you a few in today's NBA, one would think.

But here's the points they gave up in those same contests: 118, 111, 116, 92, 120. They somehow managed to give up more points in our of the five games, and they won the game in which they actually played defense, allowing only 92.

If the Celtics could defend even a little bit on a consistent basis, they could win some games.

All things Celtics here at the "top NBA blog" according to the sports blog awards.

Clarett Arrested

Maurice Clarett's arrest is another piece in a sad saga. Long-time readers may know that I wrote extensively on the injustice of the NFL keeping Clarett out of the draft, and when he was finally allowed to compete for a professional job, he could not make a roster because he had by then spent two years away from the game.

None of this is to say that Clarett is a good guy; his disciplinary problems at Ohio State and now the allegation that he robbed people at gun point certainly indicate otherwise. But how many young men, without football in their lives, would follow a similar path?

Ironically, Ohio State won the Fiesta Bowl again last night, three years after they won the national championship in the same game with Clarett leading them to the title.

Sports Blog Awards

Congrats to the winners. I find this useful mostly as a way to discover good sports blogs I have yet to read.

Alito Ads

Coming soon to airwaves near you. The liberal groups' ads are supposedly being unveiled on wednesday--here's hoping they turn out better than NARAL's effort in the Robert confirmation.

Also, it appears the War on Christmas is not over, despite the fact that Christmas 2005 is now over and done with:

And in Arkansas, home to two moderate Democratic senators whose votes are considered to be in play, another group, the Judicial Confirmation Network, is running Christmas-themed commercials beginning this week on African-American gospel radio stations. In them, the Rev. Bill Owens, a black pastor, urges support for Judge Alito to protect public displays of Nativity scenes and menorahs, and to uphold the right of schoolgirls to "draw pictures of our Savior, Jesus Christ, for class projects."

It will be a low moment if some senator begins asking the Supreme Court nominee about the relative merits of "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" during the hearings next week.

Monday, January 02, 2006

On Watching the Fiesta Bowl

What he said:

In a stirring subplot during ABC's 4-hour documentary about the relationship between Brady Quinn's sister and AJ Hawk, the Ohio State Buckeyes took down Notre Dame behind an incredible performance by Troy Smith.

Goodbye Wonkette

InstaPundit links a WSJ blog report that Ana Marie Cox is leaving Wonkette, which will continue under the authorship of Article III Groupie. I am sad that Cox is leaving; hopefully she has some other media gig lined up after her book tour that will continue to amuse the political dorks.

MORE: The New York Times reviews Dog Days.

Happy New Year

I've been under the weather and experiencing computer problems these last two days, not exactly the best way to ring in the new year. Despite this inauspicious start, I am looking forward to 2006 and I wish the best to all readers as well.