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Archive for September, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lord Nelson

[ 13 ] September 29, 2008 |

Today marks the 250th birthday of Vice-Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.

It is also the third birthday (observed) of Lord Cat Nelson.
A common infirmity is not the only connection between Vice Admiral Lord Nelson and Lord Cat Nelson; no few Manxmen served in Vice Admiral Lord Nelson’s fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar.

LGM Baseball Challenge Final Standings

[ 0 ] September 29, 2008 |

After a long, bitter fight, the LGM Baseball Challenge Challenge has been decided. The lead changed numerous times this week, including several times yesterday; finally, the Yankees pitching staff produced enough points in the second half of the doubleheader to deliver the championship to the Lexington Bearded Ducks by three points. Better luck at the track, Hickey.

Rank Team & Owner 1st Half 2nd Half Total
1 Lexington Bearded Ducks, R. Farley 4700 3254 7954
2 Headless Thompson Gunners, S. Hickey 4325 3626 7951
3 Sluggy McSlugs, C. Moore 4525 3262 7787
4 The Rev. Josh Fields, A. Katz 4374 3153 7527
5 kodos423, k. crockett 4274 3215 7489
6 JacobyRules, P. Smith 4231 3189 7420
7 KY Colonels, R. Payne 4200 3195 7395
8 Theibault Moor Orioles, J. Theibault 3926 3057 6983
9 Austin Electric Chairs, E. Loomis 4080 2763 6843
10 Sprained Mitochondria, P. McLeod 3783 2869 6652
11 Wild Loose Comma, C. S 4015 2591 6606
12 MutiliatedLittleLady, K. Houghton 3823 2721 6544
13 Lungless Wonders, E. Udall 3907 2550 6457
14 Robertson, E. Robertson 3593 2684 6277

The Sexism of the Palin Pick

[ 0 ] September 29, 2008 |

This gets it right:

In election season, there is a price for being turned into a symbol. When actual journalists, with a rep to protect, show up, they are going to do their job. Which brings me to the sexism of John McCain. He knew full well what Sarah Palin was going to face if he nominated her. He knew that reporters would go through her past, that they’d quizz her on the present, that she would need to be ready, and he shunted concern aside, and tossed her to the wolves. Think on that for a mement. For one last run at the White House, he risked a future star of the party he claims to call home. How do you do that? I don’t meant to rob Palin of agency, certainly she is also a victim of her own calculations and ambitions. But where I am from the elders protect you, and pull you back when you’ve gone too far, when your head has gotten too big.

Of course the irony of all this is how conservatives have, for years, lampooned the liberal pursuit of multiculturalism/identity politics. But here’s the thing, even when done haphazardly, awkwardly, and imprudently, the fight against bigotry and ignorance has rewards. But when you decide to not be a leader in the fight against sexism/racism and simply criticize those who do, you rob yourself of political experience. Put differently, there is a price–bigger than the black vote–to be paid for disengagement. You become ignorant of a growing sector of the world. They expected Hillary. And if it were a black man, they never even knew it could be someone like Barack Obama. So these guys go to the well one more time, and ressurect the old spectres of “Us against Them.” But the fools haven’t been paying attention–the “Us” has changed. This isn’t Alabama, and it ain’t 1968. There is a whole class of educated, working women, themselves, the children of educated working women. And this is what McCain has to say to them, “I don’t care if you know a thing about foreign policy. I don’t care if you know a damn thing about the economy. Here is what you are to me–breasts, hair and a lovely smile.”

And, of course, the campaign’s determination to cordon her off from all but rare and highly controlled media appearances is even more egregious. The Drama King’s recent claim that it’s dirty pool to report statements from her public appearances gets us to the full reductio ad absurdum.

Embarassing Admissions

[ 0 ] September 28, 2008 |

On the way into Shea yesterday, I expressed with my agreement with metsgrrl’s partner, believing that since the Mets would probably have to win two games anyway it would have been better to start Santana on full rest and try to get through Saturday with the kid. I was very, very happy to be extremely wrong in terms of result. That was just amazing pitching. (However, I was completely right when I wrote repeatedly at the beginning of the year that Ramon E. Martinez and Robinson Cancel would be key players in the last week of the season. Unfortunately, these posts were erased by the same people who hacked Joe Lieberman’s website. They also seem to have written a fake post under my name that said that you should take the Tampa Bay under at 76 and the Twins would finish last in the AL Central. Damn those shrill dirty hippies!) Now I wonder whether the Mets will bring in Tom Glavine to throw out the ceremonial first seven runs in the top of the first today.

It should probably be noted that while Santana may not get it because sportswriters are almost as obsessed with W-L records as they are with RBI, but in a rational world he would be the Cy Young winner. I’d also like to thank Brian Cashman for not trading talented pitcher who may throw 100 major league innings one day Phil Hughes and vaguely adequate fourth outfielder Melky Cabrera for him, leaving us free to acquire him for an even more underwhelming package. (And, while we’re at it, thanks to the Yankess for passing on the game’s best CF, too. It’s frightening how bad the Mets would be if the Yankees had made smarter decisions on these guys.)

Open thread for last scheduled regular season day…we’d better get at least one play-in game this year.

…the DFHs also seem to have deleted my confident prediction that on day 162 I would be lamenting the injury to Fernando Tatis because it would mean playing an significantly inferior player in left field…

John McCain: America’s Most Butch Passive-Aggressive Drama Queen

[ 18 ] September 28, 2008 |

From this morning’s ABC chat show:

Stephanopoulos: “What role did you play? How were you helpful do you believe in the process?”

John McCain: “I will let you and others be the judge of that. I did the best that I could. I came back because I wasn’t going to phone it in. America is in a crisis of almost unprecedented proportions. should be doing whatever little I can to help this process. I’m a Teddy Roosevelt Republican. I got to get in the arena when America needs it, and if that judgment wants to be made whether I helped or hurt, I’ll be glad to accept the judgment of history. But I’m never going to not get engaged when the taxpayers and middle class of America are in danger of losing everything literally that they’ve worked all their lives for. I’m going to be out working on it. I won’t claim a bit of credit, okay, if that makes them feel better. “

Except it turns out McCain was in fact quite literally phoning it in:

“Asked why Mr. McCain did not go to Capitol Hill after coming back to Washington to help with negotiations, Mr. Salter replied that “he can effectively do what he needs to do by phone.’’ (h/t Yglesias)

How many hours did McCain spend on Capitol Hill saving the Republic after he ostentatiously “‘suspended” his campaign? He spent Wednesday morning having tea with Lady de Rothschild. He spent Wednesday afternoon chatting up Katie Couric while blowing off David Letterman. He spent Wednesday evening in a New York hotel sitting in a specially designed Barca Lounger while eating Doritos and watching the replay of the Giants-Bengals game on the NFL Network (this latter assertion is speculative, but under the circumstances it would be irresponsible not to speculate).

He spent Thursday morning in New York City giving a campaign speech. He finally parachuted into DC on Thursday afternoon, where he attended a meeting at the White House with Bush and Obama, and promptly threw a monkey wrench into delicate negotiations which to that point he appears to have contributed exactly nothing. He flew down to Mississippi on Friday morning, flew back to Virginia on Saturday morning, spent all of Saturday at his Virginia condo, and then spent this morning doing the chat show circuit, when the bailout deal was being announced.

Did he ever actually go to Capitol Hill? I suppose even Sen. Straightshooter wouldn’t be brazen enough not to have put in a token appearance on Thursday evening. But assuming he did, that’s the sum total of what his crucial in-person contribution to the negotiations added up to. That he’s now emphasizing that he’s happy to not take credit for not doing things he didn’t do if it will make his critics happy just adds to the surreal Circus of the Absurd that is the McCain-Palin Clown Show.

[Edit: Thanks to aimai in the comments for the right title. I should also mention that the quote from the ABC interview was emailed to me and no doubt 10,000 other media types this morning by the McCain campaign itself. Apparently they want to highlight these comments!]

Kids Can Be So Cruel…

[ 38 ] September 28, 2008 |

Google Does the Right Thing…

[ 50 ] September 28, 2008 |

And, abjuring the wrong side of history, comes out against Prop 8.

This is Fabulous News…

[ 0 ] September 28, 2008 |

Maybe McConnell really is in trouble:

Here are some more numbers from the Mason-Dixon poll showing Mitch McConnell and Bruce Lunsford dead even.

McConnell – 41%
Lunsford- 41%

With leaners
McConnell- 45%
Lunsford- 44%

I wonder how much this has to do with Hillary’s visit to Lexington last weekend. She could do worse than spending the next five weeks shuttling across the Ohio River…

The Great One

[ 0 ] September 27, 2008 |

Paul Newman has passed away. As a Canadian male of a certain age my choice of image from a particular aesthetically minor film was inevitable, but the oeuvre is remarkable: The Hustler and The Verdict are among my favorite movies, and that barely scratches the surface. Like too many actors he didn’t get the roles he deserved late in his career — although he added real pleasure to throwaways like Twilight — but his accomplishments were already towering.

Extensive obit here.

…added by Rob:

Inept Wanker of the Day

[ 6 ] September 27, 2008 |

Chris Cox.

It’s Not on the Rubric

[ 21 ] September 27, 2008 |

Archpundit nails it. In reference to Palin’s interview with Katie Couric:

One of my various part time employments from time to time is grading AP exams for the Government and Politics Exam. Sometimes students who clearly don’t know what they are talking about back into a few points by hitting accidentally on the points in the rubric.

It hadn’t occurred to me before, but this is exactly right; Sarah Palin, in interviews, seems to perpetually be struggling to find “rubric” points, and consistently failing. She’s had a ton of unfamiliar stuff about foreign policy and national economic policy crammed into her head for the last month, but she can’t quite seem to retrieve. Rather, she does her best to noodle on for a couple of paragraphs, in the hope that she’ll accidentally stumble across a point or two. Of course, for readers this is the most annoying kind of essay; one that we actually have to read closely and pay attention to, but wherein the student clearly doesn’t have the faintest what she’s talking about.

In fact, now I’m looking forward to next year’s grading, such that I can say to my table neighbor “Damn. Another Palin. Can you read this mess and see if there are any points in there that I missed?”

Rubric explanation and context here.

NATO and Moral Hazard

[ 0 ] September 27, 2008 |

This diavlog is tagged “Liberal vs. Libertarian Foreign Policy”; I guess I’m not convinced that there’s such a thing as a libertarian foreign policy (seems all warmed over realism to me), but then again I tend to be suspicious of claims that the word policy can be accurately used to characterize the anything that libertarians come up with. In any case, Preble does seem to get the moral hazard aspects of letting Georgia into NATO correct. But then Hurlburt correctly points out that not every alliance results in reckless behavior; Preble doesn’t have much of a response to that.

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