I confess to being a little obsessed with Todd Collins. Who is Todd Collins you may well ask? At present, he a backup QB for Washington’s NFL team, where he is being paid $3 million per season over the next three years to not play football.
Collins has, I believe, the unique distinction of spending an entire decade in a major professional sports league without ever seeing a single minute of meaningful action. During this time he was paid approximately $8 million to not play football.
From the end of 1997 until December of last year, Collins appeared in a handful of games (he had no less than four seasons in which he literally never stepped onto the field once), but all his appearances were limited to very brief garbage time play in the last few minutes of blowouts (he threw a total of 27 passes over the course of ten years, i.e., an average of one every five months).
Then last season a series of injuries thrust him into the spotlight. He started Washington’s last four games, and played very well, leading the team into the playoffs. For this he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month, and rewarded by Daniel Snyder, Washington’s spendthrift owner, with a three-year $9 million contract. He then returned to holding a clipboard on the sidelines. He is, in my view, a genuine American hero.
This is his blog.* Appropriately, it hasn’t been updated since March.
*Not really. It’s a parody , proving I suppose that there’s no fetish, no matter how exotic, that doesn’t have it’s own internet site (the purported live blogging by Collins during his games last December is actually sort of funny).
Prominent Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter who recently married a very elderly billionaire, thus becoming an expatriate Baronness, endorses McCain, while decrying Obama’s elitism.
OK, to be fair it turns out she was already very rich herself before she married into the billionaire leagues. Unlike her preferred presidential candidate.
This may be an extremely naive question — I’m sure it is — but how is it exactly that the U.S. government can essentially nationalize a firm with $100 billion in sales and one trillion dollars in assets in a matter of hours, with no legislative action of any kind other than a phone call to Harry Reid?
I mean do they just go to a big ATM or something?
As Atrios notes, in real dollars this rescue operation is more than 25 times larger than the infamous 1979 bailout of Chrysler, when both Congress and the presidency were in the hands of socialists, if I remember the history course I took from Newt Gingrich and Phil Gramm correctly.
That took an act of Congress. But in this wondrous new age everything — from multi-trillion dollar wars, to the sudden covert nationalization of whole industries (what justification will there be now for not bailing out the automakers, especially given their pension liabilities?) — goes straight onto the national credit card, with hardly any visible input or oversight from our elected officials.
Or, to put it another way, in America today profit is privatized but risk is increasingly socialized. It’s a form of crony capitalism that would make Russian oligarchs blush.
24 hours ago
one of McCain’s chief economic advisers announced that talk of serious economic trouble was all the fault of Barack Obama frightening everybody for crass political gain. This morning McCain wants a 9/11-style commission
to investigate why greedy Eastern financiers have been allowed to rob America’s workers blind.
McCain on MSNBC: “I was talking about the fundamentals of America, which is the workers, their productivity, their innovation, their incredible performance for many, many years. And what I was saying is and it’s clear if you look at my remarks and that is that Wall Street has betrayed us. They’ve broken the social contract between capitalism and the average citizen and the worker. And workers are paying a very heavy price while a lot of them are not only emerging unscathed but some of them are left with packages of a hundred million dollars or so. This is a result of excess and greed and corruption. And that’s exactly what is plaguing Americans today. And we got to fix it and we’ve got to update our regulatory system. We have to have a 9/11 commission to find out what went wrong and to fix what’s going to happen in the future so this never ever happens again. And as president, I guarantee you, it will never happen again.”
I’m surprised the Cross of Gold wasn’t in there too.
Tomorrow: John McCain marries Rudy Giuliani in a Wiccan river ceremony and names Bootsy Collins Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Increasingly, that seems to be the choice. The weird insistence on sticking to the obviously false claim about saying “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere is beginning to look like a pattern. Tonight at a fundraiser in Ohio, she re-told an already debunked story about her teleprompter not working during her VP acceptance speech. That story was fed to righty blogs by McCain’s people on the night of the speech, and flew around the world a couple of times before being definitively shot down by a bunch of first-hand witnesses, who were watching the teleprompter during the speech.
The possibilities seem to be:
(1) There was a slight glitch in the teleprompter at some point that was so subtle that none of the journalists following the speech on the teleprompter noticed it, but Palin noticed it, mentioned it to the McCain people, and now two weeks later is still making a mountain out of a molehill because she’s enjoying the hero worship this kind of thing engenders.
(2) She got nervous during the speech and thought the teleprompter was malfunctioning at some point when it wasn’t. Otherwise, same as (1).
(3) She’s a sociopath and made the whole thing up.
I guess we’ll find out, especially if she becomes president . . .
At least there are some signs that some of the media are beginning to get uncomfortable with the possibility of somebody who may be sort of nuts may get to run the country without ever holding a press conference or answering a real question from a real journalist.
Ned Yost has been fired, with his team tied for the NL wild card spot and 13 days left in the season. Can’t think of any precedent for something like this off the top of my head. I don’t follow the Brewers at all so I have no idea what’s going on.
No it isn’t.
Denver Broncos Coach Mike Shanahan was clearly having a Herm Edwards moment Sunday. You play to win the game, but Shanahan’s decision to go for a 2-point conversation for a victory over the Chargers instead of an extra point to tie the score should teach a few other coaches a lesson: stop being so conservative.
The Broncos’ rookie receiver Eddie Royal beat San Diego safety Clinton Hart to score a two-point conversion and give Denver a victory with 29 seconds left in the game.
NFL coaches are famously reliant on charts that prescribe when to take timeouts, when to kick extra points, sometimes even when to kick field goals or to go for it on fourth down. But Shanahan’s channeling of a riverboat gambler flew in the face of every chart and every shred of logic.
If he goes for the gimme extra point, he almost certainly sends the Broncos into overtime. Last season, N.F.L. kickers missed just 13 extra points in 1,178 attempts. Then again, he probably had little faith in a defense that had yielded three second-half touchdowns.
Just twice before had teams converted successful 2-point attempts while going for a victory since the play was added in 1994. And last season, N.F.L. teams converted just 30 of 61 attempts, a paltry .492 rate of success. Shanahan’s own career record with the Broncos before Sunday was only slightly better — 15 of 28 (.535).
“I just felt like it was a chance for us to put them away,” Shanahan said.
Ummmm . . . how tough is this to figure out? If the NFL average for converting 2-pointers is 49%, and Shanahan’s average is 53%, and you’re in a game where the teams have scored 75 points so far, and your opponent’s defense is exhausted and demoralized because for among other reasons the refs have just blown a call that should have won the game for them, and you assume that the odds of winning in overtime are 50%, then how does going for two fly in the face of “every shred of logic,” as opposed to being, say, the obviously correct decision?
My favorite aspect of this is how the writer gets the statistical analysis totally wrong, and therefore concludes that going for it is sort of crazy, but then recommends that coaches ought to make lots of similarly crazy decisions because this one happened to work. I mean how many ways can you be wrong in 200 words?
Still, props to Shanahan for going against the conventional wisdom, when failure would have gotten him excoriated by every TMAWS in America.
This WAPO op-ed from chief McCain economic adviser Donald Luskin may set some kind of record for unfortunate timing. Shorter Luskin: unless you happen to be among the few million wretched refuse of our teeming shores who purchased a subprime mortgage things are still pretty good so quit your bitching (I guess that’s not that short. It’s my first try at doing the blogger shorter thing, so spare me your elitist latte-sipping elitism about how it’s not very good. I am trying to become aware of all internet traditions).
In regard to the substance of Luskin’s argument, I know almost as little about economics as John McCain, but I do know this: Over the past 30 years median household income in the United States has barely risen, from about $40K to around $46K. At the same time, the gross domestic product has increased by about 120% (all of this in constant dollars. If GDP had remained the same per capita it would have increased by about 40%). In other words, the wealth of the nation has nearly doubled in real terms per person, yet the typical household is pretty much where it was 30 years ago. Which means, of course, that the typical household is vastly worse off relative to the top 5%, and 1% and especially top .1% of its neighbors.
Furthermore, in recent centuries American culture has been constructed around conspicuous consumption, constant televangelizing for the gods of consumerism, and media celebrations of fantasies of unlimited wealth.
So why is Donald Luskin surprised when the peasantry rattle their pitchforks?
Looks like Lehman is going to be liquidated. Merrill may be next.
Remember all those glossy paens to investment bankers and hedge funds and CDOs and the frictionless magic of the market in an age of global capitalism and how government regulation of our financial institutions and their newfangled complex financial instruments that nobody really quite understands but which sure do manage to make some people very rich very quickly just gets in the way of progress world without end amen?
Update: Good morning, gentlemen. This is a twelwe-story block combining classical neo-Georgian features with the efficiency of modern techniques. The tenants arrive in the entrance hall here, and are carried along the corridor on a conveyor belt in extreme comfort and past murals depicting Mediterranean scenes, towards the rotating knives. The last twenty feet of the corridor are heavily soundproofed. The blood pours down these chutes and the mangled flesh slurps into these…
. . . is because of the injuries he suffered as a POW?
I mean have they?
h/t Jason Zengerle.
I don’t know whether it will be dozens or hundreds, but my friend Steve the atmospheric scientist is pessimistic. He says that people aren’t sufficiently frightened of Ike because its maximum winds aren’t that high, but that it’s an enormous storm in terms of its total wind field, which means it’s going to create a huge surge. On the hurricane’s present path the surge will certainly top the Galveston sea wall, and he estimates that if the path holds your chances of living through the night if you’re still on Galveston island are probably less than 50%.
Check out the headline and lede for this story:
Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 In Talk to Troops in Alaska
By Anne E.
KornblutWashington Post Staff Writer Friday, September 12, 2008; Page A01
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 — Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would “defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”
The idea that the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein helped al-Qaeda plan the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a view once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself. But it is widely agreed that militants allied with al-Qaeda have taken root in Iraq since
the U.S.-led invasion.
Now that wasn’t so hard was it?
Update: Wingnuttia is naturally in an uproar, and in fact the headline and the story were softened a bit between the on-line and print editions.
Kristol’s defense is typically mendacious. There’s no doubt that what Palin said was intended to convey the idea that the U.S. invaded Iraq to destroy the people who planned and carried out 9/11. As Kornbult points out, the Bush administration pushed this line for years before being forced to discard it.
I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if Palin actually believes this, although no doubt her “handlers” are even now employing flash cards or whatever to keep her from going too much further in this vein.