Sunday, November 30, 2008

What the hell??!!!!


The Steelers are playing the Pats and I gotta watch the fucking Broncos-Jets suckfest??? All week I've been waiting for this awesome game and now I get stuck with this steaming pile of crap!

Fuck you, CBS.



Saturday, November 22, 2008

A word on Obama’s picks


Aside from then inevitable micro-screening and idiotic commentary from the MSM regarding any and all of Obama’s picks, there has also been a significant amount of hand-wringing in the progressive blogosphere. Rahm Emmanuel, WTF? But, Dean’s 50 state…..Hillary, WTF? Their one big disagreement was foreign pol…..and so on.

I have a slightly different take on it. This post starts with a comment that I left over at Comrade Physioprof’s post expressing his concerns with the Gaithner pick.

I think Obama has shown during his campaigns that he knows not just how to put together a decent plan but also how implement it brilliantly. One way of looking at the current crises is that it may be damn near impossible for an outsider to correct things given how fucked up they are. There is very little time, and it may be best to get people somewhat familiar with the filth to begin changing it. I'm not worried about Obama's players as much as I'm concerned with his game plan. I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for the first few months. He is one smart fucker---the Lieberman bailout for instance was, in my opinion, a superior move. This change is not gonna come in a flower and rainbow-filled isolation dome that is absent of politics. Rather, it has to come from right in the midst of the mire.

I think Obama can get Rahm, Hillary, Gaithner or anyone else to do what he wants them to do, instead of what they may have previously wanted to do. In an ideal world, Obama could bring in an army of fresh faces and minds and change everything to everyone’s fucking satisfaction. But there isn’t enough time to have newbies get accustomed to the game now. There is another important point regarding the economic crisis---Read Krugman’s column Lame-Duck Economy---The financial crisis needs to be dealt with fast and with some sensitivity, because the greatest crisis is the one in the credit markets. Whether you like it or not, this vague and annoying phrase “confidence in credit markets” is ruling shit right now. This is a terrible problem---Obama’s administration has to change things in a financial sector where a lot of powerful fuckers don’t want anything to change. The only way to achieve this is from inside out, not outside in. The person in charge here needs to be someone familiar to the easily-spooked, one who can hold their hands, caress their heads and tell them everything’s gonna be OK while gently but swiftly changing the way things are done. Let’s be clear on this---things are not going to change because someone comes in and smacks people around and enforces his or her will. Not gonna happen. Like it or not, most of these crises have been created by politicians and you cannot address them successfully without a superior political strategy.

To me “change we can believe in” involves progressive change in fucked-up systems. I don’t give a flying fuck who is involved in making that happen, as long as it is made to happen. If things can be changed with the same people, and the people's views be changed positively alongside, better and better. I think Obama has the vision for progress and the guts and strategic skills to implement it. He knows he has a mandate and knows that he doesn’t have to claim it on TV to use its awesome leverage. I have no doubt that he knows how to use it discreetly, as and when necessary, to get his plans implemented. I’m willing to sit back a bit and give him some time.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A coupla football thoughts...


I knew well before their game against San Diego began this past Sunday that it would be a tough game for the Steelers from an officiating standpoint . The reason was pretty simple. In Week 2, San Diego was robbed of a win over Denver because of a horrendous call by Ed HGH-ochuli. Despite all the ruckus and the apologies that ensued, the fact remained that the refs had cost SD a potentially crucial division win. Then, last week when SD played Kansas City, with time running out and KC driving, SD was victimized by a horrible pass interference call that gave KC the ball at virtually the SD goal line. Of course KC scored the TD and (eerily reminiscent of the Denver game) went for a two-point conversion. Had KC made it, SD would have lost the game---KC didn’t and SD dodged a bullet, and the bad interference call didn’t get too much play in the subsequent media analysis. However, I’d bet anything that someone from SD was chewing off the ears of the NFL officials all week, demanding to know why SD is being victimized by not just bad calls, but “critical fail” bad calls that clearly cost them one division win and nearly cost them another! Unless you’re completely na├»ve, you’d have to figure that the refereeing in upcoming SD games, certainly in the immediate future, would tend to give SD a bit more of the benefit of the doubt. Not out of any grand conspiracy or hush-hush NFL edict, but simply as a result of human nature. The next zebra to make a really bad call against SD would face some serious heat all around; naturally all the refs would be gun-shy when calling something on SD. So it comes as no surprise to me that Pittsburgh was penalized thirteen times while SD was penalized only twice. This kinda shit just happens every now and then.

Speaking of San Diego, I fail to understand how Norv Turner can take that much talent and manage to lose so many games. I thought this guy would be the anti-Schottenheimer, as in he’d kinda suck in the regular season and have SD limp into the playoffs but then he’d end up winning a championship just because all those studs on the team would find a way to get fired up and make plays despite Norv’s leadership during the playoffs. But it looks like SD may not even make the playoffs! And spare me the whine about injuries etc---you give Jeff Fisher the SD team as it is today and they’d never lose. Heck, Fisher’s got a rag, tag and bobtail outfit by comparison in Nashville and they still don’t fucking lose.

By way of clarification, I should add that I think Schottenheimer kicked ass as a coach and that if he‘d been kept on with SD they’d be a dynasty now. Marty almost always got his players to over-achieve and got teams into the playoffs that most others wouldn’t. Of course, lack of talent eventually catches up with you; Marty got beaten in the playoffs more often on talent than on coaching. In his last year in SD, when he had all the talent and had them firing on all cylinders, they lost to a pretty good Pats team because his receivers could not hold on to the damn ball when it mattered. Quick, name one franchise QB, RB or WR that Marty had in KC (and aging Montanas or Marcus Allens don’t really count. In any case he did take KC to the AFC championship game with Montana and lost to Buffalo--but which AFC team in those days didn‘t lose to Buffalo?). How many players left Marty’s KC to go on to great careers with other teams?
I’m not saying he’s the greatest coach who ever lived. Just saying that his playoff record rap is a bit unfair and that the end of his tenure at SD was ludicrous.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Managing the Game


I must have missed the memo. When did “he is just being asked to manage the game” become an acceptable euphemism for “he is a mediocre quarterback”? Now, I am no Professor Emeritus of Bristol University but I am pretty fucking sure that “managing the game” is the premise of every quarterback, and that the good ones do it well. Management involves authority and competence. When Joe Montana ran the 49er offense, he was managing the game better than most QBs could dream it. When Jim Kelly ran the Buffalo no-huddle offense and called his own plays, he was managing the game better than most QBs did. When (insert legendary QB here) was leading his team to (legendary win with time running out), he was indulging, above all, in a practical demonstration of the sublime art of managing the game.

So, if a coach prepares a super-conservative game plan for his mediocre QB, he is doing the equivalent of Crash Davis telling Nuke LaLoosh, “Don’t think. You’re only hurting the ball club”. If he doesn’t want his QB to throw a 20-yard pass it is not because the QB can’t physically throw it over the LBs, under the safety and away from the DB. Heck, pretty much every NFL QB has the ability to throw a ball effectively on most normal pass-trajectories, which is why they get signed in the first place. The trick is in figuring out what throw may be called for on any given play after reading the pre-snap defense, and then given the unfolding response of the defense if that (or any, for that matter) throw is warranted given the evolving circs. So a conservative game-plan implies that a coach doesn’t trust the QB to read the defense to accurately figure out where the LBs, DBs and safeties are going to be at the time he flings the pill---in other words, he does NOT trust his QB to manage the game.

Speaking of QB play, yesterday in the AM I tuned into Mike and Mike and they had Kordell Stewart (who is evidently now an analyst for the NFL network) critiquing the QB play of Ben Roethlisberger. Seriously, do we need to expose our impressionable children and youth to this nonsense? Pro-Football gives me the following info: In Stewart’s eight-year career with Pittsburgh (five as a starter) he threw for 70 TDs, threw 72 INTs and had a career QB rating of 72.3 (with his highest season-long rating being 81.7 in 2001). By comparison in his four and a half seasons as the Steeler QB, Big Ben has won 70% of the games he started and thrown for 94 TDs and 65 INTs. His career QB rating currently stands at 90.1, with his worst QB rating (in 2006) being 75.4. Plus he has led the team to a Super Bowl win.

Kordell, I know it is your job now to comment but when asked to opine on the play of someone who has shown a better appreciation for the QB position from his first day than you did in your entire career, how about you go for something like “Ben knows how to play the position. Sure the recent INTs are a problem but I’m betting he and the team will figure it out”.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.


I think that is what Joe Lieberman hopes is the translation of this:

"President-Elect Barack Obama doesn't "hold any grudges" against Senator Joe Lieberman for opposing his presidential candidacy...."

But who are we kidding? Fredo Lieberman knows he's finished.

For now, Obama's magnanimity is merely something on the lines of: "Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But, until that day, accept this justice as a gift..."

Fredo you shameless fucking rat, make yourself useful to the new Don real quick and maybe you won't get whacked right away.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Some post-election thoughts


It wasn't by design, it just worked out that way. I was following the election night coverage primarily online. I had the TV on in the background mainly on MSNBC but channel-cruised every now and then. After they called Ohio for Obama/Biden, I knew that the national result was pretty-much a formality and got even more preoccupied with the Indiana outcome (which was a nail-biter all night). And so it was that I happened to channel-flip, purely by chance, at the correct time and land on Comedy Central just a few minutes before Jon Stewart looked into the camera and said, " eleven o’clock Eastern Standard Time, the President of the United States is Barack Obama".

It occurred to me only the next morning that it was altogether appropriate that I heard that historic pronouncement from Stewart and Colbert, as their shows have done more for the causes of truth and journalistic integrity than any major news outlet over the past eight years. Like most people who followed the results that night, I will never forget where I was or how I felt at that historic moment when the race was called in favor of Obama/Biden. The way it worked out, I don't have that memory tainted by the voice of some corporate shill masquerading as a journalist. The voice that brought me that sweet, historic, news was the same one that had consistently fought, in its own way, on behalf of the American public---at a time when most prominent professional journalists had sold out the public trust. The fact that I derive such satisfaction from having heard this historic news from Stewart and Colbert---hosts of parody/satire shows---will also forever keep the record of Dubi-ya's presidency (and of the fourth estate, during that time) in proper perspective in my memory. Sometimes, things just work out so well by pure chance---I am particularly glad for the way that one worked out.

I saved Obama/Biden campaign paraphernalia because I view them as beautiful pieces of history that I want to preserve. I don't think I'll save any newspapers from Nov.5th though. I don't think any of them reported the truth well enough over the past eight years to have earned that privilege. Well, maybe I'll save a copy of the NYTimes if I can get my hands on it. Maybe, but I'm not even sure of that.

I don't give McCain any credit for his concession speech. I see that a lot of people were falling over themselves to comment about how gracious he was and how that was the real McCain and all that bullshit. Stop it. What the hell else was he going to say? He'll probably want to be a senator for another 4 terms (like Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms both of whom, from the tone of his campaign, were evidently his role models) and so he does the politically necessary and expedient thing and appears magnanimous and bipartisan after having his ass handed to him. Big fucking deal.

I think McCain showed his character (or the lack of it) during the race itself when he consistently tried to portray Obama as a radical, dangerous and un-American candidate. There is no redemption for that. It was comical to watch the crowd during his concession---for a while they booed and jeered at anything gracious, and McCain had a hard time quieting them. For months, he ran a campaign that portrayed Obama as a commie terrorist who was dangerous for America, so is it a surprise that the people who drank that Kool Aid by the bucket are damn near-uncontrollably hostile toward the new president-elect? Not that I am exonerating his legions of ignorant and bigoted followers of their personal responsibility in being assholes, but McCain now shoulders some of the responsibility for the bigotry and divisiveness in this country. Of course, Palin advanced the 'bigotry and ignorance' platform exceptionally well, but again, without McCain recklessly giving her this national stage she would have only been an insignificant minor-leaguer (single-A at best) instead of becoming the current big-league all-star of the bigotry/ignorance trailer-trash league.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Greetings from Blue Indiana


Final tally according to MSNBC this morning:

President-elect Obama: 1,352,356

Senator McCain: 1,329,370


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President-elect Barack Hussein Obama


They just called it!

I can't see properly....the room's all blurry and shit. Something in the air...


Update at 1.42 am:

I have to call it a night now. It doesn't matter in the larger scheme of things but, as I turn in, these are the numbers for Indiana:

99% of precincts reporting;

Obama: 1,348,276

McCain: 1,325,513

It bothers me that they haven't called it yet. But I am hopeful that I will wake up tomorrow to a 'Blue' Indiana.

Regardless, I am very happy that I will wake up to an America that just voted in President-elect Obama.


Obama takes the lead in Indiana!


With 94% of the precincts reporting,

Obama: 1248932

McCain: 1238955


Now we wait.


Polls are closed in my neck of the woods. We went door-to-door to get out the vote all day.
All I can say, from my experiences over the past few days, is that the support for Obama/Biden in these parts is far more than I would have imagined. Question is, is my microscopic sampling representative enough of the state as a whole? The polling over the past week has shown an incredibly close race----Will Indiana go to Obama/Biden?
We'll know soon.
Either way, I think that the Obama campaign has fundamentally changed the political landscape in Indiana. Yeah I know there are huge factors such as the economy responsible for the support that Obama has here. But regardless, Democrats are a force in Indiana again. The challenge is to now maintain the network and gameplan that the Obama campaign has put, and helped bring, together.