SocraticGadfly: 3/8/09 - 3/15/09

March 14, 2009

Cedar Hill-DeSoto basketball state title game

DESOTO is your state champs!

0:23 4Q - CH finally fouls Bennett (my vote for MVP, and I think everybody's). He hits both, and its 57-45. Glover scores with 10 ticks.,but Dandrigeresponds.
0:55 4Q - Glover hits a jumper, while Washington has good body control to avoid a foul. 54-41. Jourdon Isom then steals the DS inbounds and scores. But, remember, DS is in the double bonus, as the Horns then foul. Cedar Hill is still three fouls freom even the 1-and-1.

1:06 4Q - Longhorns finally foul after DeSoto spread the floor. Doesn't look like Cedar Hill's going to pull out a third straight last-minute win.

2:00 4Q - Gipson fouls Washington with a wrap-up after he can't wrestle up an offensive rebound. A bit of a look of frustration on his face. 53-39 DS, and they're in the double bonus now on fouls. Spreading the floor on offense.

2:30 4Q - Eagle fans start the "Hey, hey, my, my good bye," chant.

3:02 4Q - Tanner Milson fouls Bennett outside. DeSoto's shooting the bonus from here out.

4:20 4Q - Bennett responds with a jumper from about 17 and DeSoto had its biggest lead of the game at 47-37. Gipson is stripped in the post and DeSoto takes a timeout with 3:47 left. DeSoto spreads the floor on offense, before Bennett hits another tough runner. 49-37.

5:00 4Q - Dandridge scores, CH misss, then Terrell hits an NBA-distance 3. Timeout Cedar Hill. 45-37 DS. That may have been a big shot.

6:28 4Q - Well, Washington gets HIS No. 3 now too, on what might have been a clean block on Gipson. One of two free throws make it 40-37.

7:19 4A - Gipson draws foul No. 3. Look for DeSoto coach Chris Dyer to pound the rock inside to Washington now.

7:36 4Q - Oliver Wells scores, draws foul, but misses FT. 38-34.

END 3Q - Alex Wilson hits an NBA-distance 3 at the buzzer. 38-32 DS.

0:40 3Q - Milson hits a 3, misses two, then Gipson is called for a walk, instead of a possible push by Washington.

1:10 3Q - Bennett another eyes-closed shot. 35-29 DS, and Milson calls a CH timeout.

2:00 3Q - Gipson hit a FT, then a hook on his next trip. 31-29. But Bennett hit a 2 in the lane, 33-29.

4:00 3Q - Bennett hits a 3, then Gipson responds with a putback, 31-26 DS. Washington was careful not to reach and get a cheap foul.

4:30 3Q - Anthony Wilson makes runner, 28-24 DS.

6:20 3Q - Bennett hits an eyes-closed shot. 27-22. Milson then called for a charge, and third Q start shaping up like start of game. Gipson then picks up his second personal.

7:10 3Q - Terrell hits a 3 after Tanner Milson sags to help on Washington. Ensley then scores, and its 25-22 DS.

Second half is about to start, and here we go...

Halftime notes: Evan Washington sitting down with his second foul was huge. Gipson took it inside against Keith Davis with confidence. When the Eagles were on offense, they resorted to an outside motion offense, but didn't get any good looks at the basket.
If Washington picks up No. 3 early enough in the third, it could be serious.

Stay on this URL and refresh this post. I'll be blogging a running feed here rather than separate posts.

For more detailed postgame coverage from the Best Southwest, visit Today Newspapers, with more coverage and photos in our hardcopy papers for March 19.

0:30 2Q - Glover hits put-back , and its 22-20 CH at half, as the Red Army makes plenty of noise.

1:32 2Q - Gipson scores and draws a foul on Washington's replacement, Davis. FT is good and CH has its first tie at 20-all.

2:00 2Q - DS slows the ball down after Washington sits and Glover cut it to 18-17. Ensley scores.

3:54 2Q - Wilson responds with a shot and drawing a foul on Washington. FT is good and it's 18-15. Washington is sitting, presumably for the rest of the half.

4:10 2Q - Bennett another 3, 18-12 DS.

6:22 2Q - Washington called for o-foul on massively moving screen that obliterated Tanner Milson.

7:30 2Q - Gip finally scores. Will need to do that.

7:49 2Q - Washington draws contact from Gipson and scores. FT makes it 15-8.

1:15 1Q - Darius Terrell DS 3, its 12-8 DS. And the quarter ends that way.

1:50 1Q - Gipson finding he just can't body Washington when Gip gets the ball in the low post.

4:10 1Q - Gipson returns block favor, then Glover scores for Horns. Wilson hits a layup at 3:40.

4:48 1Q - Washington obliterates a Gipson turnaround. CH still ice cold.

5:05 1Q - Ensley drives and hits a short runner. 9-0 DS and Milson calls a Longhorn TO.

5:35 1Q - Bennett hits 3 for DS to open scoring. Ensley then has a 2 Then Washington scores over Gipson.

Here we go... Longhorns win tip, Derico Dandridge steals pass, but goes out of bounds.

Cedar Hill and coach David Milson are here for the second time, having lost in the finals in 2004. DeSoto and coach Chris Dyer are here for the third time, having won it all in 2003 and lost in the finals in 2005.

Cedar Hill, with two last-second wins in a row, versus what could be called an overachieving DeSoto team, offer other plots for the game story.

Matching up? Inside, Cedar Hill's Thomas Gipson and DeSoto's Evan Washington will do battle for sure; outside, if the Longhorns can keep the Eagle guard duo of Derico Dandridge and Dominique Bennett in control, they have a good chance to win.

Cedar Hill's on the floor, with 19 minutes left before tip. DeSoto's still on its way from the locker room. The Longhorns certainly have a vocal Red Army contingent here; we'll see what reception the Eagles get in a minute.

And, about two minutes later, out come the Eagles. Not quite as noisy a welcome, but still enthusiastic. Ditto on crowd noise during introductions.

No love for Gordon Brown in Europe, either

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says further economic stimulus programs should come from individual nations and not a united G20.

Is Gordo looking more and more like a beggar, perhaps one from a Dickens novel?

Beyond that, the rebuke, by Germany as well as France, was directed at the U.S. as well as the U.K. It follows on suggestions yesterday that Obama needs to re-regulate banking first, THEN worry about spending more money.

Don’t read too much into Obama ‘no enemy combatant’ decision

Groups such as the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights says it means little to moderate difference from BushCo policies, so far.
“It appears on first reading that whatever they call those they claim the right to detain, they have adopted almost the same standard (as) the Bush administration ... with one change, the addition of the word 'substantially' before the word ‘supported,’” the Center for Constitutional Rights said in a written statement. “This is really a case of old wine in new bottles.”

This is yet another thing that the MSLBs won’t tell you, though.

Anyway, let’s see actions match verbiage.

Obama continues government by ad-hoc committee

I’m all with President Obama’s plans to upgrade the Food and Drug Administration with more inspectors, more inspections, etc. I am not so much with him forming a special ad hoc cabinet-level working group to study other ways to improve the food safety and supply, etc.

First, when you put multiple cabinet secretaries together, you’re pretty much guaranteed turf battles. Second, Ag and HHS are pretty much guaranteed not to see eye-to-eye on many of the issues involved.

Obama’s learned too many of the wrong ideas of governance from Jack Kennedy, the first president to really start the idea of ad hoc executive government.

You thought SAILING the Northwest Passage was crazy?

How about driving it? A research team plans to do just that, to test ice thickness.

China unease only part of global economic worries

European G20 countries are telling the U.S. to re-regulate banking first, THEN worry about spending more money.
”The issue is not spending even more but to put in place a regulatory system to prevent the economic catastrophe that the world is experiencing from being repeated,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this week.

It’s a sentiment with which I agree.

Barney Frank has talked about, and is working on, something. I say no more “stimulus” until U.S. financial institutions get reined in.

No more secret Swiss bank accounts

The Swiss government, worried about the country officially being placed on an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development tax evasion blacklist, Switzerland is opening its bank account privacy doors. Switzerland says it will hand over information on account holders suspected by other countries of tax evasion.

But, it's not the only such haven, not even the only one in Europe. The autonomous British island of Jersey is another.

March 13, 2009

Liveblogging Cedar Hill-SA Wagner state semifinal

GAME 61-58 CH - Milson 3 at buzzer. (For any people reading this, I will be blogging the state title game, too.) Get detailed wrap-up information at Today Newspapers.

0:40 4Q - Oliver wells hits 1 of 2 FTS, then Clarkson hits another 3. 57-56 CH.

1:10 4 - Clarkson scored to cut it to 54-53. Wells then responded to make it 56-53.

2:10 4Q - Devonte Hill a 3 for Wagner.

2:26 4Q - Wagner misses, then Glover hits a shot with 2:35 left and Wagner Coach Ellis calls tiomeout.

3:05 4Q - Clarkson a tough shot to cut it to 49-48. But Gipson converts another 3-point play to make it 52-48.

5:50 4Q - Gipson converted a three-point play to push the Longhorn lead to 48-40. But Wagner hit back-to-back baskets to cut it to 48-44.

7:21 4A - Two Longhorn baskets to start the fourth quarter, the second by Glover, lead to a Wagner timeout. 45-38.

END 3Q 41-38 CH; a six-point run to end the quarter.

1:21 3Q 38-37. Gipson hits two FTs for CH; Wagner going to press on D.

2:22 3Q - Wagner biggest lead of game at 38-35 with Devante Hall 3.

3:48 3a - 33-all and Wagner about to go to the line after we come back from the first CH timeout of the game.

5:40 3Q - 31-all. CH had the first bucket the half, but Wagner came back to tie.

1:00 2Q - Milson again on a 2; 10 points this half. 27-24 after a Wagner score.

1:44 2Q - 25-20 CH; Gipson had a big slam followed by another Milson 3. Wagner calls TO.

3:20 2Q - 20-all. CH is blocking several Wagner shots, but they're all going back to Wagner, which is getting a few offensive boards, too. A "bounces" game.

5:47 2Q - CH in foul trouble; already in bonus and Gipson has two. Game 16-all, getting a bit chippy.

14-all end 1. Andre Roberson hits 3 at buzzer for Wagner.

1:14 1Q - 14-11 CH; Milson has 7.

2:11 1Q - Wagner gets first lead at 11-10, but Shawn Glover right back for CH.

3:33 1Q - 10-6 Cedar Hill; Wagner scrappy on offensive glass; both teams a bit cold right now. Just keep refreshing this page every few minutes for updates.

7;07 1Q Tanner Milson 3-ball to start game. 6:46 Milson hits Gipson with a feed on a break. 5-0 and Wagner time out.

The game has started and the Red Army obviously traveled well.

8:43 PM and about 4 minutes before tip.

In case you haven't yet heard, DeSoto won this afternoon, setting up a possible all-Best Southwest 5A final tomorrow.

McCain gets his Interior panties in a snit

When digging up an old comment by David Hayes, nominated for the No. 2 slot at Interior, that told the truth about Ronald Reagan.

Liveblogging DeSoto-Jesuit Strake state semifinal

Just ready to start here in Austin. About 10 minutes late of actual gametime schedule. Expect the other BSW game, with Cedar Hill, to start about 9.

And, one half of a possible all-Best Southwest final is in the bag.

48-44 is your final, as DeSoto erases a six-point deficit with less than four minutes left in the game. Scroll down for game narrative.

Strake on board first with backcourt steal by Steven Rogers.

For Eagle fans, Strake had only a couple of wins by less than 10 points until a 2-point win in its regional final.

In game action here, Coach Chris Dyer is pounding the ball inside to Evan Washington DS is drawing fouls; Wes Williams has two early for Strake. DS is now up 6-2 at 4:33.

Strake's NO. 1 option is 6-5 guard Joey Brooks, who will post up as well as play outside.

STrake is now in a zone at 6-5.

9-5 with Alex Wilson 3.

Both teams cold, cold early. Strake is quick and aggressive on D. 11-9 DS and Washington blocks Brooks. Strake has six personals.

14-all early in second as Wilson hits 3.

Being next to the Eagle bench for the first time, I have to say that Coach Dyer rides refs hard and sees each actual or potential foul one way only. That sais, it may be working a bit.

Derrico Dandridge great move to cut it to 23-18. Strake may be quick and tenacious on D but they have not a lot of offensive speed after the first step. That includes Brooks.

That said, Keith Davis just broke a 7-point Strake run with a slam. We're now at 23-16 Strake, 4:25 second.

Wilson completes a 3-pt play; we're at 25-23, 1 minute left, and a Strake travel.

In the third, both side played a little cautious. Strake forced Dyer into a timeout fairly early in the quarter.

Derrico Dandridge drains a big 3 to give DeSoto a late fourth-quarter lead.

Are CAFO hogs making us sick?

Per Nicholas Kristof’s column, it sure looks like it; humans are getting MRSA infections from mass-market,concentrated animal feeding operations hog farms. And, it may at least contribute indirectly to some deaths.

Can Google knock off Skype?

With the release of Google Voice, which promises to unite cell and landline phones and bring new benefits to users in other ways. it sure plans to try. More on everything Google Voice offers, from cheap international calls to free teleconferencing and more, is here.

The American ancien regime slipping away?

In a relatively non-political column, Peggy Noonan has some very good thoughts about how Americans’ current anxieties seem to reflect long-term as well as short-term concerns, and social as well as financial worries.

Not sure how facetious Ted Rall is this week

IF, IF, you’re not being 100 percent facetious in this column, Ted, and just partially facetious instead, I disagree with you on a couple of things:

1. As a newspaper editor myself, my general take is that small town rural papers are the most likely to survive, not a “leaner, meaner, SF Chron” (or Houston Chron, for that matter, since Hearst owns both). I expect the entire McClatchy chain to go belly-up. And, that’s going to further depress wages at alt-weeklies, smaller papers, etc.
The small town papers that are generally more healthy are out in the conservative heartland. Wunderbar.

2. A newly empowered big-paper media, with a more open FOIA, won’t necessarily go after Bush. And, as a writer about “presidentialism” yourself, you know Obama won’t.

Anyway, read for yourself, and make your own facetiousness quotient estimates.

March 12, 2009

THIS is why Six Flags wants to sell beer in Texas?

Because its about to go bankrupt; it’s got a BIG debt payment due in August.

So, folks in the DFW Metroplex, when you go to Arlington this summer, you know just what you’re paying for with your $7 “Six Pukes Over Texas” beers.

Russ Douthat: Just.Another.Conservative.

Anybody who thinks he’s a kinder, gentler conservative pundit on core issues like Steve Benen at Washington Monthly, needs to STRONGLY think again.

What IS it with Treasury nominees?

George Stephanopoulos reports that Deputy Treasury Secretary nominee H. Rodgin Cohen has withdrawn over a vetting issue that’s not even been revealed. further illustration, per a British civil servant quoted, of the need for parliamentary government.

Rick Perry REALLY hates the unemployed

He’s officially refusing to accept the part of Obama’s stimulus that covers extended unemployment benefits.

I hope Congress addresses this by making clear it’s all-or-nothing on the money.

New Skeptics' Circle is up

It’s here, including my recent post on Schroedinger’s Cat.

More of why the Net won’t save papers

This post could be subtitled, “Why online advertising is e-junk mail.”

The L.A. Times reports on the latest hideousness in Internet advertising ideas.

Basically, the Online Publishers’ Association is saying, if you won’t look at banner ads, we’re going to get even more in your face. And, major media such as the New York Times and ESPN are already signing up.

But, online technology is a form of warfare when it comes to advertising.
“Sdies show we ignore banner ads,” said Jose Castillo, a new media consultant in Johnson City, Tenn. “Making them bigger and more intrusive won’t work. We will tune those out as well.”

In short, they’re the electronic form of junk mail.

And, here’s where the electronic warfare comes in.

If you’re using Firefox, not IE, or Google Chrome (I hope you have made the right choice), of course, you have your ad block settings. You also have your controls to turn off both JavaScript and Flash.

If you don’t have the plug-ins to do that, get them. If you don’t have them activated, do so. If you don’t have them turned “on” to stop JS and Flash, do it.

Trick No. 2, if you don’t know about it? A hosts file. PCs come with a basic one; Macs with an even more rudimentary one.

Basically, it’s a list of websites and other Internet addresses, all preceded by “,” which is the “home” address for your computer whenever you’re online.

Your computer and ISP treat every URL on that hosts file as already downloaded and cached, so it won’t load “again.”

Find the URL sources for these annoying new ads, and add them to the hosts file.

That, then, is why Internet advertising won’t save old media.

Anyway, here’s a precreated hosts file, updated just last month. Or another, updated today.

The second hosts file has info on how to use it with OS X Macs, too.

Google for more.

Palin’s Deceptions gets a spoof blog

And, I don’t know how Audrey, of the actual original website and blog, is handling the parody/refutation site. That said, though I still have questions about Trigg’s birth, the parody website producing pictures of Bristol with Tripp, from a Fox interview, it pretty much shoots Audrey’s idea that there would be an actual birth, at the time there was, right in the foot.

(Unless Audrey thinks that’s a borrowed baby or something.)

In other words, it’s awfully hard to argue now that Bristol Palin was actually Trig Palin’s mom.

Therefore, unless somebody can produce some damned good evidence Tripp Palin wasn’t born just over two months ago, I’m dropping the idea that Bristol was Trig’s mom.

That said, I DO think Sarah’s been a horrible mother to Trig starting from the birth. I also still think she’s lying about something; why else hasn’t she produced a birth certificate?

It’s also interesting that Audrey herself hasn’t had a blog post in almost a full month, and her acolytes tell the faithful to have patience, the next Mass will be conducted shortly, and rumors and rabbit trails will be transubstantiated into grand theories. (The Flu [sic on capitalization] doesn’t keep you from blogging for nearly a month, either.)

Interesting that the last post Audrey did herself was on the SAME DAY that the Fox interview referenced by the parody blog, in which Bristol had Tripp in hand, took place.

In other words, IMO, Audrey is stalling and spinning.

That said, as I blogged before, If Sarah is indeed Trig’s and gave birth last April as she claims, a commenter at Celtic Diva has a VERY interesting insight.

Sweet Lucy 47 says:
Palin had become a Pro-abortion Pro-Lifer.

She really didn't want this baby, she had the amnio, found out then the baby was "damaged" and really realized she didn't want it...then denied she was even pregnant for months, until she could deny it no longer, so had to own up to it. Then, in Texas realizing she had a serious problem, made a fateful decision to travel as she did, in the hopes that God would take over and she wouldn't have the baby. Cynical?? Yes, maybe I am...but it all fits in with your explanation, and it all fits in with what happened and it explains the reasoning behind her actions.

Fits to me. It does accept Palin at her word (which ain't worth much) about the legal facts of the birth — and nothing else.

Sarah Palin is ultimately about Sarah Palin, religious beliefs and all. Whether this was a fully conscious mindset or not, it sounds reasonable — and quite perturbing.

For the best refutation of the “Sarah is not Trigg’s mom” nuttery that I long-ago abandoned, held only by people who are cultists of the Palin’s Deception blog, beyond the comments above, visit this post at Celtic Diva.

March 11, 2009

Cheney’s killer thugs exposed

I thought I had heard it all about Dick Cheney, but as Sy Hersh now says, we hadn’t heard the half of it up until now.

Hersh tells us Cheney had direct oversight over what he calls an “executive assassination ring.”

The comment was almost inadvertent, at a University of Minnesota forum. Hersh later said he’s nowhere near being able to write a book on it.

More here, from Eric Black, including MP3 of the whole colloquy, which also had Walter Mondale, among others.

And, the first link, from Raw Story, says it may be vaguely related to nefarious Special Ops work in A-stan, only even worse.

Tripp Palin now a bastard child for sure

Sorry, Grandma Sarah, but that’s the language folks of your persuasion use as moral talk on the issue of unwed mothers.

And since Bristol is breaking off her engagement to Levi Johnston, Tripp’s gonna be a bastard child.

And, Levi’s sister said Sarah called him “white trash” regularly.

Well, if THAT ain’t the pot calling the kettle white trash …

Obama signing statement and ‘presidentialism’

President Barack Obama so little liked the Congress’ omnibus bill that not only did he sign it in private, he issued his first presidential signing statement.

Obama had this to say in his statement:
Numerous provisions of the legislation purport to condition the authority of officers to spend or reallocate funds on the approval of congressional committees. These are impermissible forms of legislative aggrandizement in the execution of the laws other than by enactment of statutes. Therefore, although my Administration will notify the relevant committees before taking the specified actions, and will accord the recommendations of such committees all appropriate and serious consideration, spending decisions shall not be treated as dependent on the approval of congressional committees.

To me, rather than railing against Congressional pork, or else nobly defending the constitution, he’s railing against Congress trying to hamstring the office of the President, in most these cases.

The foreign policy purse-string controlling MIGHT have constitutional issues. The one on international commanders of U.S. troops in peacekeeping forces maybe does.

The rest, specifically the part in the pull quote? Nope.

Read the complete signing statement to judge for yourself.

JPMorgan head sees recovery, welcomes regulation

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says he sees “modest signs” of economic recovery.

He also said he welcomes a federal government systemic risk regulatory agency, like Rep. Barney Frank is proposing.

Can newspapers save themselves?

First of all, despite claims to the contrary, Internet advertising is NOT very likely going to save newspapers. Not anytime soon.

My analogy is that Internet advertising is like the Red River in West Texas in summer – it’s a mile wide but only an inch deep.

Here’s the bottom line.

The failure is ultimately trying to apply a hardcopy business model to the Net. Papers, and mags, HAVE TO, even if the barn doors are already open, start charging for online content. Ads alone, in the online world, WILL NOT make a paper profitable.

Walter Isaacson says microcontent sales are the ticket, unaware that that’s already doable, and showing that Isaacson himself doesn’t have an answer.

Even readers of small dailies, semiweeklies and weeklies have gotten used to getting stories for free, off the Net.

The AP is going to have to revisit contracts with Google, Yahoo, etc., especially with Google selling its own ads on newspaper-linked stories now. It’s that simple.

Some non-dailies have pretty good websites, and I don’t just mean metropolitan alt-weeklies. And they sell ads well. Many other papers don’t. Even people at my level of newspapers demand more and more free content all the time.

Note to TPM – Obama has only himself to blame for ‘bitten off too much’

MSLB Talking Points Memo goes in the tank to refute this latest bit of scuttlebutt.

BUT… Obama’s own White House used the claim “he was too tired” to explain the clusterfuck of his first meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Can’t have it both ways. Either the Messiah gave Gordo the back of his Messianic hand, or, like his disciples, he fell asleep because he bit off too much.

That said, William Galston at TNR says Obama needs to focus to avoid being Jimmy Carter.

Once again, Alan Greenspan absolves himself

This time, over the housing bubble. Surprised?

And, that said, Greenspan’s self-defense appears to be a perfect reflection of his position as an acolyte of hyper-rational neoclassical macroeconomics, whereas, rightly or wrongly, people’s critiques of him have an emotional edge as narratives.

Bagram – Obama’s Gitmo?

Well, if President Obama is planning on expanding the prison at our Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, aas Salon reports, hell, yes, it’s his Gitmo.

Especially since he seems ready to run it the same way Bush ran Gitmo.

Israel fear-mongering on Iran refuted again

Once again, despite Israeli claims to the otherwise, Iran does NOT have highly enriched uranium to make a bomb.

You think Tel Aviv would get a clue by now that Shrub left 1600 Pennsylvania nearly two months ago and that Joementum Lieberman is focused on domestic policy in the Senate.

Maybe it, plus the Israel lobby here, thinks it still has big britches after driving Chas Freeman to remove himself from nomination as Obama’s intelligence czar. Freeman, however did not go quietly.

And, “change we can believe in” may not apply that much to foreign policy.

Chuck Schumer, who has replaced Al D’Amato as Sen. Pothole, claims he got the White House to force Freeman out.

March 10, 2009

Tin-foil hats in suburban Dallas

In citizens’ comments at the March 10 Cedar Hill City Council meeting, John Lockridge of Duncanville spoke about mandatory microchipping of dogs, as required by city ordinance at the Tri-City Animal Shelter. He claimed that it was against his religious beliefs to have a dog microchipped, and that the procedure could cause cancer in as many as 10 percent of dogs.

Tin-foil hats a-plenty at Politico

And, Ben Smith’s is on wayyy too tight, as he sees evidence of a vast “left-wing conspiracy.”

It’s true that, via John Podesta’s connections to President Barack Obama, there are ties between the Administration and the Center for American Progress.

But, as Jane Hamsher notes, people like her don’t need to be coordinated with CAP or anybody else, anyway. And beyond that, plenty of truly liberal bloggers, from famous ones like Glenn Greenwald down to people like me, have been openly critical of Team Obama on a number of issues

Maybe A-Roid won’t pass Bonds anyway

Gerry Fraley, looking at folks such as Adrian Beltre and Bo Jackson wonder just how well, or not, Alex Rodriguez will bounce back from his hip surgery.

He says Brian Cashman was right in wanting to dump A-Roid when he opted out of his contract in 2007.

Clemens-steroids evidence link on McNamee items

Federal authorites have found “performance-enhancing substances” on various paraphernalia that his former trainer, Brian McNamee, had kept squirreled away for year before surrendering it. Clemens DNA has already been found in blood residue from a McNamee syringe.

Clemens’ big-mouth legal mouthpiece, Rusty Hardin, claims in the story that McNamee planted it. Hmm, wonder exactly how he’s parsing that. Would love to see McNamee sue Hardin as well as Clemens and shut his fat ass up.

And, despite Hardin “worrying” about chain of custody of the evidence, a go-to legal expert “in the story” says a typical judge would likely rule the evidence admissible.

ESPN legal eagle Lester Munson also says Clemens should worry.

It is easily enough to get him indicted. Plus, some nice physical evidence like syringes are always fun for a jury to handle.

Read BofA CEO Ken Lewis’ lips not his bank wallet

The Bank of America CEO, in denying there’s a bunch of bad banks in a bylined WSJ column, would prefer you do NOT read an actual news story about the financial status of his bank.

McClatchy reports that B of A, along with Citibank, HSBC Bank USA, Wells Fargo Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase, has a current potential loss exposure to derivatives of nearly $600 billion.

Now, that’s potential, not actual.

But that figure jumped nearly 50 percent in 90 days.

AND, worse yet for Mr. Lewis, it DOESN’T include the corpse-like Merrill Lynch “assets” that B of A bought.

Do read that an actual news story, though. It’s an eye-opener.

Obama the stem cell ‘hero’

I’m not a big fan of linking to conservative blogs, but when one busts Team Obama naming a stem-cell research bill signing photo as “hero,” exposing the Messianic side some left-liberals and the press (briefly) worried about last summer, not just wingers, the guy’s going to get my link.

Here’s the actual original photo – linked from the White House website itself. Look at the link info and believe for yourself.

(The photo was No. 1 on a four-picture loop as of 3 p.m. CDT March 10.)

“Holding out for a stem cell hero,” anyone?

DST: May save energy, certainly affects health

The verdict is still somewhat out as to whether or not Daylight Savings Time saves energy or not (I’ve blogged before that it probably “LOSES” energy, through shoving more heat later into the day, when more people are at home, not work).

But, it clearly disrupts sleep and may cause more serious health problems.

Dreams mean – what you want them to

That’s the bottom-line answer from the latest social science research into the field.

We may still not know WHY we dream, but as to what dreams mean?

Well, the research tells us our actual emotional state, beliefs, biases, etc. lead us to determine in advance of any “interpretation” which dreams we consider important and/or true, and which ones we don’t.

Anyway, this is the final nail in the coffin of Freudian, pseudo-Freudian and Jungian dream interpretation

Neoliberalism is ruining academia

Running with a standard, academic-eye definition of neoliberalism, Stanley Fish makes a great argument that, especially at state universities,

It’s great until near the end, where Fish pretty much tells the increasing number of contract instructors to “lump it.”

After that, he jumps off the rails and becomes Stanley Fish.

But the first three-quarters is very good. Give it a read.

The Great Wall – of Silence – surrounds Tibet

On the one-year anniversary of Tibetan civil liberties protests, and the 50th anniversary of the current Dalai Lama’s flight from the country, Beijing has put the entire region under a cone of silence. Landline phones are largely down. Inside China, even websites that previously had official imprimatur have been shut down.

Read the full story for details.

What’s the next paper to fold?

At Time, Justin McIntyre guesses it’s the Philadelphia Daily News, the weaker of Philly’s JOA-paired papers. Others are listed at the link, including one here in Texas.

Our oh-so-tolerant Saudi “ally

It’s not 40 lashes with a wet noodle, but 40 real lashes and deportation it’s for a Saudi woman “convicted” of having two unrelated men in her house.

Oh, did I mention? She’s 75 years old.

March 09, 2009

Milbloggers would get more respect if they earned it

At Mudville Gazette, Grayhawk says Obama needed to have a Stryker brigade in Iraq appear more needed in Afghanistan, even if that Stryker unit had 10 months of now-useless Arabic training, and even if it means moving another Stryker unit from Fort Lewis, Wash., to Iraq, ahead of schedule.

He’s got some interesting, even good points.

Grayhawk may well be right to fault the claim of a moved brigade that’s being replaced part of the “drawdown.”

And, in my original post, I said I agreed with him:
As a left-liberal who voted Green the past two elections, this doesn't totally surprise me. I doubt Obama will have all troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011, and, of course, his plan only includes Army and Marines; says nothing about USAF.

But, I added:
That said, the nutbar "conservatives" here fulminating about the pseudo-liberal media are good for a laugh. Time to put your tinfoil hats back on.

But, try to talk even halfway sense, and you get accused of calling soldiers mouth-breathers and worse.

As I posted in a second comment, it seems like a lot of people in wingerland have a big-time martyr complex.

And, on the other hand, a commenter there noted that troop rotations don’t just pop up out of nowhere; the claim that the goofy rotation, and the wasted Arabic training, was all Obama’s initiative, is ridiculous. Troop rotations are planned in advance and this started in the Bush Administration.

Ken Salazar shows his true colors; so do Gang Greeners

The man who, as a pre-Senator private citizen, threatened to sue U.S. Fish and Wildlife if it gave the black-footed prairie dog Endangered Species Act protections, has delisted Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem wolves in Idaho and Montana.

Last year, the Bush Administration delisted both those wolves and the ones in Wyoming. The decision was later overturned by a federal judge.

In a half-victory at best, Salazar did not delist the Wyoming wolves, but wolves don’t read state line announcement signs.

Of course, one “Gang Green” national environmental group is already asking for money to fight the latest round of lawsuits; Gang Green, in general, welcomed Salazar’s nomination two months ago.

Other Gang Greeners have asked for more money to help Obama push his carbon-control agenda. What would they do if Dems had a filibuster-proof Senate majority?

U.S., Mexico and Turkey?

That’s the question.

The answer is: What are the only three of the top 30 world economies NOT to offer universal healthcare.

That’s as our undeservedly “vaunted” system pays half again as much or more per person on healthcare as the wealthiest European countries.

Geithner still stalls on banking overhaul details

Planning (there’s no other word for deliberateness like this) to not have a detailed plan for the April G20 summit of developed and top-tier developing nations is not blamable on staffing shortages or anything else.

It’s Geithner still trying to run out the clock on what is, from his neocentrist perspective, the least appealing of his options.
“Their huge problem is that the American public is not willing to accept large losses for large financial institutions,” said Vincent Reinhart, a former Fed official and senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative research and lobbying organization. “Everything they are doing is about having the smallest possible footprint on the federal budget. They don’t want to engage the Congress and they don’t want to engage the American people in that discussion.”

Tis true, even if the problem stems to fair degree from AEI pals of Reinhart.

Update on a related issue. The first choice to be Geither’s deputy, Annette L. Nazareth, did NOT withdraw because of tax issues. Rather, she was, rightfully, afraid, she’d be grilled on her past with the SEC, as a commissioner, given the SEC’s laxity, above all with Bernie Madoff.
“Much of this is of Obama’s own making,” said Professor Paul Light, an expert on the White House appointment process who teaches at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. “We’re now seeing a dramatic pendulum swing. This administration used a lot of political capital for getting some people through, and that created an issue for Republicans and late-night comedians.”

She never should have been considered in the first place

March 08, 2009

Brits were torturers too?

Binyam Mohamed, the British national recently released from Gitmo, claims MI5 took its whacks at him, not just the CIA.

No wonder Gordon Brown’s government had no problems last month going along with a Team Obama request to squelch a bunch of “intelligence” information.

Brits were torturers too?

Binyam Mohamed, the British national recently released from Gitmo, claims MI5 took its whacks at him, not just the CIA.

No wonder Gordon Brown’s government had no problems last month going along with a Team Obama request to squelch a bunch of “intelligence” information.

GOP ready to close DC purse for GM

And, I think they’re right. Forcing GM to file bankruptcy is probably the best way of getting a firm handle on government money going to it.

On the other hand, some Rethugs, like Dick Shelby (Sen-Antilabor) have their own agendas, in fearing what could happen without a guided bankruptcy:
“Short of that, the UAW will run those (Big Three) companies and run them into the ground.”

Of course, you know, that’s another way of tackling the bank “nationalization” issue, too! Because, short of that, the insider reinvestors Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is trying to line up will run them into the ground.

AP joins the economic fearmongering team

The AP story saying that, if the current recession last past April, it will be the longest in post-World War II history technically isn’t in accurate, but does a lot of “bending “ of reality.

It compares the current recession with 1981-82 only, failing to note that that recession was itself the second, and sharper trough of a double-dip recession that started in 1980.

That’s why on tags for this blog, you’ll always see “1980-82 recession.” I’m guessing, as I’ve blogged before, that AP writer Deb Riechmann is under the age of 40, perhaps under 35.

The story also ignores that, although the primary trough technically ended in 1982, serious job losses continued into 1983.

Rush Limbaugh = Jesse Jackson

That’s what conservative insider David Frum strongly argues, after presenting his bona fides as a conservative insider.

Frum says the comparison holds true even down to the insatiable drive for headline-grabbing, in speaking of Rush’s famous quote about President Obama, “I hope he fails”:
Notice that Limbaugh did not say: “I hope the administration’s liberal plans fail.” Or (better): “I know the administration’s liberal plans will fail.” Or (best): “I fear that this administration’s liberal plans will fail, as liberal plans usually do.”

If it had been phrased that way, nobody could have used Limbaugh’s words to misrepresent conservatives as clueless, indifferent or gleeful in the face of the most painful economic crisis in a generation. But then, if it had been phrased that way, nobody would have quoted his words at all — and as Limbaugh himself said, being “headlined” was the point of the exercise. If it had been phrased that way, Limbaugh's face would not now be adorning the covers of magazines. He phrased his hope in a way that drew maximum attention to himself, offered maximum benefit to the administration and did maximum harm to the party he claims to support.

For more of Frum’s takedown of the bloviating Rush (who looks more bloated than the Ted Kennedy he recently mocked ever did) read the full story.

PhD candidates latest casualty of recession – in Texas, too

Don’t expect an automatic postdoc after you get done with a PhD, even in fields where it’s expected. And, after you’re done with either one, definitely don’t expect a tenure-track teaching slot.

That’s especially true in the humanities, where already about half of positions are part-time.

And, staying in school right now? Tight credit makes it tough.

And, don’t expect it to get any better:
“It’s been obvious for some time — witness the unionization movement — that graduate students are caught between the old model of apprentice scholars and the new reality of insecure laborers with uncertain employment prospects,” Andrew Delbanco, the chairman of the American studies program at Columbia University, said. “Among the effects of the financial crisis will clearly be shrinkage both in graduate fellowships and in entry-level academic positions, so the prospects for aspiring Ph.D.’s are getting even bleaker.”

Especially since two of the students who were interviewed are from here in Texas, and all the more ironic, given Gov. Helmethair AND the Lege deregulating higher ed, read the full story.

Having taught college classes in English and the humanities in the past on a contract basis myself, I can vouch for its dog-eat-dog nature.

Jackson Diehl makes ridiculous Obama-Bush comparison

What is with Washington Post editorial writers?

Editorial page editor Fred Hiatt not only remains an unrepentant war hawk on Iraq, he defends columnists’ stupidity and mendacity, such as George Will’s lies about climate change.

Now, along comes Jackson Diehl, claiming President Barack Obama is in the same spot President Goerge Bush was after 9/11.

And, he claims Obama is doing the same things wrong, starting with his proposed funding for housing and healthcare not requiring more “sacrifice” of Americans.

Excuuuusssseeee me?

1. We’re in a recession; jobs and earnings are being sacrificed for many of us right now?

2. Healthcare? That’s already been cut, or outrightly sacrificed, for many of us by our employers.

Diehl then goes on to blame Obama for the lack of bipartisanship.

Even by WaPost standards, this is diving in the drained shallow end of the pool.

Another sign Obama to keep Bush presidential power grab

Saturday, Obama gave a half salute to Bush, via kudos to Bush minions former CIA head Michael Hayden and former Director of National Intelligence for Bush, in essence, allegedly “cleaning up his act” on things like should-be-illegal indefinite detentions.
Obama said that by the time he got into office, the Bush administration had taken “steps to correct certain policies and procedures after those first couple of years” after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Sure it had.

The clearest sign yet that Just.Another.Politician.™ plans to surrender not an inch of President Bush’s power grabs?

Barack Obama needs to meet Bud McFarlane

That’s because President Obama’s idea about reaching out to alleged “moderates” in the Taliban in Afghanistan sounds as nutty as President Ronald Reagan’s national security advisory, Robert “Bud” McFarlane, having this idea of reaching out to alleged “moderates” in Iran in the mid-1980s.

Even more goofy? Obama can be both smart and honest enough to admit we’re not winning the war in Afghanistan, then turn right around and broach this nutty idea about reaching out to “moderates.”

Meanwhile, in the clearest sign yet that Just.Another.Politician.™ plans to surrender not an inch of President Bush’s power grabs, Obama said that Bush had been, in essence, “cleaning up his act” on things like should-be-illegal indefinite detentions.