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The Mariners Take an Insurmountable Lead

[ 0 ] December 17, 2005 |


I like Washburn a little bit more than most stat-heads; three of his last five years have been genuinely good, two have been mediocre. There are reasons to be concerned about his performance last year, regardless of his 3.20 ERA. He’s just really, really not the kind of pitcher you want to on the hook for 4 years and $36 million. I mean, when you’ve gone and spent that, how much more could Millwood cost? Or Clement, who the Red Sox are dying to get rid of?

This is a bad offseason. It will be hard for the Reds to match this; they’re already pretty far behind on the Womack/Everett comparison, the Casey trade was actually a GOOD move, and there aren’t that many free agents left out there to waste money on.

The Tyranny of Mrs. Clinton

[ 0 ] December 17, 2005 |

This really gets to the rub:

There’s only one way to scare the craven apologists in Category II: remind them of the very real possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidency in 2008 with unlimited powers against perceived terrorists, foreign and domestic. You mean you believed that all of those executive orders magically expire when your anointed security sock-puppet exits the White House as the worst executive ever?

The paranoia that conservatives regularly display regarding the Clinton presidency and the potential second Clinton presidency is astounding. Recall that Bill O’Reilly, for example, believed that the IRS was auditing him at the behest of the Clintons. And who could forget the Clinton murder list? How many of those who have leapt to the defense of the Bush administration on this one would be among the first to assail Hillary Clinton as a tyrant if she tried the same thing?

It’s not even that hard to construct a scenario through which these state tools might be used against conservatives. Imagine that an Oklahoma City style attack happens on a larger scale, or that several Oklahoma City style attacks occur in a short period. Then imagine that the President of the NRA says something as stupid as he said the last time a Federal Building was bombed. If I were a paranoid right-winger and a member of several legitimate (and maybe not so legitimate) right wing organizations, I would be very concerned about the ability of the executive to do just about anything it wanted with me.

Clearly, Bush supporters do not lack the imagination to come up with such a scenario. What they lack is the intellectual honesty to accept the consequences of their arguments.

In other news, Glenn Reynolds is a hack. Shorter Glenn:

The fact that elements of GWB’s legislative agenda have been defeated demonstrates that he is not a tyrant. Power would be within his grasp, were it not for those weak-minded fools in the Senate. They should be crushed without mercy…


[ 0 ] December 17, 2005 |

AG does some nice work on the Army’s commitment to FCS, or Future Combat Systems. I remain ambivalent about FCS, much in the same way that I’m ambivalent about DD(X) and the LCS.

FCS promises a lot; dominance anywhere on the combat spectrum is a lot. Whether it can deliver is in more question. There are two things that I find very problematic about it. First, FCS is being sold as a system; all of its constituent elements need to be delivered as a brigade unit. This doesn’t suggest a lot of continuity within a unit or a lot of inter-operability between units. If things don’t work quite right, or if some of the technologies don’t come through, there are problems. Now, this represents to some extent a marketing decision on the part of the Army, as it wants everything. It is likely that many or most of the technologies associated with FCS would find their way into the Army regardless of whether the system as a whole is pursued.

My second issue regards dominance across the combat spectrum. In short, I just don’t buy it. I think there are lots of good reasons to think that some of the technologies that increase our capabilities at the high level of the spectrum (extra firepower, centralized command based on information dominance, tight air-ground cooperation) actually REDUCE our capabilities at lower levels on the combat spectrum. In other words, the tactics and the technologies that work really well at killing a lot of people in a short amount of time don’t work so well when the task is to make friends and find insurgents.

Now, most worrying about the above report is that the Army is willing to sacrifice (at least) six National Guard brigades in order to save part of the money needed for FCS. For obvious reasons, this sounds like a terrible idea to me. It’s a bad idea with legs; bad now, bad for the future. While there are a lot of indications that the Army specifically and the Pentagon more generally are getting serious about counter-insurgency and stability operations, this suggests that they are willing to sacrifice counter-insurgent capability now and in the future for the FCS system. That’s a real problem.

Dittosfan is indispensible regarding FCS issues.

Down with Louisville!!!

[ 0 ] December 17, 2005 |

I am pleased.

The Alito Files

[ 0 ] December 17, 2005 |

Note the collected Alito posts in the right sidebar, below the ads.


[ 0 ] December 17, 2005 |

We done went and got us some notice from the Gray Lady. I have a warm fuzzy feeling all over.

I wonder if they noticed that the review in question is not actually about the book in question… In fairness, it does touch on many of the same themes.

[ 0 ] December 16, 2005 |

Friday Cat Blogging… Flounder and Squeak

In My Universe, Earl Warren was a Democrat…

[ 0 ] December 16, 2005 |

Check out this fine post from Confederate Yankee on how the Republican Party is now and always has been a friend to the black man. Read especially the comments; they’ve achieved a level of false-consciousness usually only associated with Derek Jeter fans…

You know with a name like Confederate Yankee it has to be entertaining. I assume that those Confederate battle flags up on his site are all about the heritage…

Bad and Worse

[ 0 ] December 14, 2005 |

Last week, my new NL team traded for Tony Womack. They didn’t give up anything of consequence, and the Yankees picked up part of Womack’s salary. The downside is that they now have Tony Womack.

This week, my AL team signed Carl Everett. There is no upside.

It’s going to be a long year.

UPDATE: Giving it some more thought, I think that the Everett signing is actually worse than the Womack trade. The Mariners have managed to acquire a DH who, next year, is likely to hit like a league average shortstop. Worse, they’ve pushed their previous DH back into left field, where he’s likely to be the worst defensive outfielder in the league. One year, three million would be a bad deal if Everett were paying to play. Add to that the fact that Carl Everett is a thug, and you’ve got a genuine disaster on your hands. Great work, Bill. At least it looks as if the Reds are only going to use Womack as a utility player.

Last Kaus this Week

[ 0 ] December 14, 2005 |

I apologize in advance…

Mickey is trying to correct the impression that he just doesn’t like homosexuals:

If a gay man, say, goes to see “Wuthering Heights,” there is at least one romantic lead of the sex he’s interested in! In “Brokeback Mountain,” neither of the two romantic leads is of a sex I’m interested in. … My wild hypothesis is that more people will go see a movie if it features an actor or actress they find attractive! If heterosexual men in heartland America don’t flock to see Brokeback Mountain it’s not because they’re bigoted. It’s because they’re heterosexual. “Heterosexuals Attracted to Members of the Opposite Sex”–for those cultural critics wondering what a commerical disappointment for this much-heralded movie will Tell Us About America Today, there’s your headline. …


If I’m reading this right, Mickey thinks that the box office of a film depends on the attractiveness of its stars to the opposite sex. The reason Mickey (and his hypothetical American movie going audience) doesn’t want to see Brokeback Mountain isn’t because gay sex makes him uncomfortable, but rather because there are no women involved. Mickey, you see, watches movies because he likes to think about having sex with attractive actresses. This explains why he was just as skeptical about the box office chances of, say, Master and Commander (no female characters) as he is about those of Brokeback Mountain. No women, and guys won’t want to see it. Or so I assume; I haven’t actually checked back into his archives to find out. Also, I invite you to examine the 2005 box office list, and tell me how much the success of these films depended on the attractiveness of their stars to the opposite sex, as opposed to story, setting, acting, writing, directing, and so forth.

I can see why Mickey feels resentful about all this. Damn dirty liberals like Frank Rich are trying to make him feel bad about not wanting to see Brokeback Mountain. Well, they’re not actually trying, but Mickey suspects that they might. Sexual preference, you see, is genetic, and Mickey is a confirmed, genetically determined heterosexual, meaning that he can’t enjoy a movie in which men have sex with one another. Worse, if Mickey did find the sex scenes…interesting… then he would be forced to ask awkward, uncomfortable questions about himself. Since we are all genetically determined to like either men or women, Mickey might be forced to wonder about which way his genes actually pointed. I can see how that would be difficult for him.

Have no sympathy for Mickey. If he had written that he was reluctant to see Brokeback Mountain because Ang Lee is a hit or miss director, I wouldn’t be harassing him. If he were reluctant to see it because films on such topics often take on an Afterschool Special quality, I wouldn’t harass him. If he were reluctant to see it because he doesn’t care for cowboy romance films, I wouldn’t harass him. Mickey has been quite specific, though; he doesn’t want to see it because it’s a gay film, and thinks it will fail commercially for the same reason. That he may be right about the second doesn’t excuse the first.

UPDATE (from Scott): Roger Ailes finds the only film of the last half-century that Kaus could like.

Counterinsurgency is Hard

[ 0 ] December 13, 2005 |

Fine post on counter-insurgency from Kingdaddy.

Via AG.

America Meets America

[ 0 ] December 13, 2005 |

Duss has a nice post.

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