SocraticGadfly: 2/2/20 - 2/9/20

February 07, 2020

NBA trade cold takes: Dubs and Grizz are officially dumb;
Rockets and Heat don't look as bad as hot takes said

So the Warriors think they can rehab Andrew Wiggins, trading with the TWolves and sending back not just D'Angelo Russell but also Omari Spellman as well as Jacob Evans? Yeah, you got a No. 1 back as well, with only light protections, and also next year's second. But now, the Wolves have impetus to actually compete. Given how bad the East is, if they get out of the bottom eight, this is a definite win, and that's a definite possibility. More on this below.

I see Spellman as a stretch-4 with potential who could take off now. Evans is good enough at PG for them, I guess, since they've long been saying they wanted to upgrade there.

Meanwhile, the Clips get expiring player Marcus Morris with the Knicks getting a so-so return in a three team trade, after they got greedy and supposedly wanted Danny Green AND Kyle Kuzma? There's a reason the Knicks are the Knicks.

Not a bad deal for the Clips, for now, shoving in the chips further. Stretch-4 who also has playoff "muscle."

Meanwhile, we're all still digesting the four-team trade from earlier that has, at core, the Rockets dumping Clint Capela and adding Robert Covington. My quick thoughts. I get that D'Lo might have been redundant when Klay came back. But? You ain't rehabbing Wiggins and after dumping Iggy in the offseason to get him, you look like capologist idiots.

Knicks are Knicksing.

Good short-term move for the Clips and not horrible for the long term.

Rockets? Everybody laughed at that at first over the "who's playing center" angle. But the Dubs played Draymond Green regularly in their death lineup at center. B-Ref actually lists him an inch shorter, but 20 pounds heavier.

Now, has Covington actually played center to any degree? No. Did Green play center that much in the playoffs? No. Did he ever face AD? No. OTOH, Mike D'Antoni now has a new chance at playing his eight seconds of hell offense from Suns days. That would then lead to the question: Has AD ever guarded a Covington on the wing for 30 minutes?

Two of these trades are connected, in a disconnected way.

The four-team trade between the Hawks, Rockets, Timberwolves and Nuggets was originally going to have the Warriors as the fourth team, and with Wiggins and Russell reportedly going to be part of that trade. For various reasons, it fell through. The biggest reason is that the Warriors still likely had too big of an ask, and the rest of the league knew it.

Looking more at most the trades? The biggest long-term winner might be the Wolves. They dumped Wiggins, got somebody at PG, can see what they have in D-Lo, and got some depth in the four-team swap. Between the Eastern and Western conferences, there are half a dozen teams no more than four games ahead of them. This upcoming draft year is generally regarded as fairly thin. If the Wolves can rise to No. 10 in the draft, or fall, depending on how you see it, then that draft pick isn't that valuable.

The biggest short-term winner is the Clippers.

Second-biggest long-term winner is the Nuggets, IMO. They got depth, got rid of players competing with Michael Porter, and they're just looking solid. Second-biggest short-term winner is the Heat.

The biggest loser?

I was originally going to say the Dubs, but if the final mix on the Iggy trade put the Grizz over the cap for next year, as Hoops Rumors says, then they're the Biggest Loser both short- and long-term.

This might also make the Heat tied for second-best long term winner. People laughing Thursday at Pat Riley, when the first bare bones were announced on this trade, can stop laughing now.

Anyway, on losers, still, the Dubs are second. They have no short-term focus with their injuries, but I'm still going with the Warriors on the long term. I will give credit for Wiggins upping his shooting percentage, especially on 2-balls, enough this year to have a positive VORP. But doesn't that itself speak volumes? This is the first year he's had a positive VORP, and his defensive metrics still haven't improved.

Here's another way of looking at it, to again tie two trades together with a third from the offseason.

From last summer to now, the Dubs dumped Iggy for cap space plus a draft pick plus Julian Washburn and dumped KD for D-Lo and a lowball draft pick. D-Lo has been traded for Wiggins and those draft picks, but ... at a loss of cap space.

But what do I know? I'm not a serf-pay sports blogging genyus like Fansiders saying Dubs fans should kiss the ring of Bob Myers for delivering Wiggins. (This nutter site has since doubled, tripled and quadrupled down on a Wiggins bromance. I didn't click links after the first.)

Impeachment failed: Why, and a retrospective

First, of course it failed in the narrow sense because Republicans control the Senate.

But, it failed for broader reasons, too.

First, why the Ukraine issue?

An ethically stronger issue, in my opinion, was Emoluments Clause violations. Given that an appellate court recently reinstated, and remanded back to district court to resume proceedings, on an Emoluments Clause lawsuits by several state attorneys general, House Democrats already had a roadmap. And, members of Congress filed their own suit, though the DC appeals court just bounced it today. (I agree on the grounds for that ruling; individual members, or a group of members acting individually, don't have standing.)

Politically stronger, IMO, was good old "misprision of funds" over the border wall. And, given injunctions filed over that, House Dems could have learned legal strategies, etc.

Each would have been easy to explain by analogy to the general public.

Emoluments Clause? You tell the average American this is no different from putting the logo of whatever company they work at on personal products they sell on Amazon or eBay.

Misprision? You tell them this is like a spouse or other relationship partner raiding the family budget, for families that do an actual budget.

Plus, misprision of funds or the functional equivalent of or similar? Congress can't do that. It passes a budget and that's that. Only the executive can do that.

Emoluments Clause? Members of Congress CAN violate that, or their version of that, though; that's why old friend Greg AtLast wondered if many national Dems were worried about bits of their own dirty laundry airing. Or, given that the lawsuit mentioned in the first link was more than 40 Democratic Housecritters and 15 Senatecritters short of the plenum joining the suit, maybe support for impeachment on this grounds was that weak.

No matter.

Still less likely than Joe Biden family laundry coming out on Ukraine.

That's why I have to agree with Peter Beinart that, beyond the impeachment process benefiting Trump, it actually hurt Biden. It kept Hunter's name in the news, Biden looked weak in response and more.

I'm not sure I agree with Beinart that Biden was the best Dem candidate against Trump a year ago. At the same time, I don't necessarily agree with Berners that, then at least, Bernie was either.

So, why?

I don't consider this a conspiracy theory; I don't think it can really be proven or disproven.

I think some national Dems wanted to boost Biden, were worried about Hunter Biden coming up anyway, and sought to "insulate" Joe.

Anyway, after almost three years of doing nothing in general, ignoring calls for impeachment by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Al Green and others, it's pretty "amazing" that Ukraine was decided on as being impeachable, and the relative speed with which things happened. Not a conspiracy theory, but empirical facts.

And it backfired. Blew up in their faces, even.

Other national Dems, like John Bolton, actually planted their flag on the semi-coup at the Maidan, and everything else Russophobic. This by no means was the hill to die on, especially since the Trump-Putin collusion claims were untrue and the Mueller Report petered out like Bob Mueller was two Viagras short of shooting a real wad.

Biden has now imploded in Iowa, as has the state Democratic party over the caucuses, with Trump running out a triumphalist State of the Union on the heels of all of this.

So, no, certain Twitterers, whether Joe, Bernie, or Liz is your candidate, it won't be easy to beat Trump.

Also empirical fact? An impeachment case on either the Emoluments Clause or misprision could have been started much earlier than Ukraine, and thus, for better or for worse, been out of the way before the Iowa caucuses. You also wouldn't have had the same problem of new information of importance popping up after the impeachment vote in the House but before the Senate trial.

(Howie Hawkins, in his piece on his campaign website rejecting Chomskyites' call for the Green Party to run a "safe states" strategy, lists campaign financing and other impeachable matters besides the ones above. I don't think everything Howie lists is impeachable, but some of it certainly is.)

A few other bits and pieces.

Of COURSE Rick Scott wants to raise the threshold for impeachment. Whether the grifting is financial or non-monetary, he's never missed a grifting angle within the wingnut world.

Second, the Salt Lake Trib may call Mittens Romney a hero, and within the circumscribed moral world of today's GOP and also of politics in general, he may be. But, 1868 Kansas Sen. Edmund G. Ross is not, contra its analogy. There's pretty good evidence that all of the "sinful seven," speaking of grifting, got some patronage type payola from Andy Johnson.

Meanwhile, the animosity, and the issues on both halves of the duopoly caucus, continued into that SOTU address. And, it's percolating down.

At the start of local candidates forum hosted by county GOP women (no Dems running in any primary in a local race), organization members  talked about the State of the Union address and about Speaker Nancy Pelosi tearing up a copy of Trump's address. Hey, wingers, it was neither illegal nor unethical.

Is this a constitutional issue? So they claimed. It isn't that, either.

But? Pelosi fired the first snub gunshot, arguably, not using traditional SOTU language to introduce Trump.

February 06, 2020

A very good article about Utah hypocrisy and the
Mighty Five national parks falls short of greatness
with a steaming chunk of capitalist hypocrisy of its own

A very good but not quite great article by Mark Sundeen about the crowding at Utah's Mighty Five and Park Service issues in general, along with Utah state gummint hypocrisy, caught my eye earlier this week.

It talks about the crowding, or overcrowding at Utah's five National Parks, labeled the "Mighty Five" as part of a marketing campaign a decade ago. It talks somewhat, but not as much as it probably could, about the state of Utah's hypocrisy.

But beyond that? I said very good but not quite great. It falls short because, near the end, Sundeen tells an outright lie:
As Grand County’s Kevin Walker pointed out, national parks are built and managed to handle people, and despite the continuous budget cuts over the past two decades, they’ve done a good job of it, even if the only solution at Arches, for now, is to simply shut the gate.
No, they haven't done a good job of it, and I let him and the mag know that in a detailed five-tweet stream.

Let's post those tweets and then go beyond that.
And, bullshit it is. Sorry, Mark, no other word for it. And, everything I list in subsequent tweets, and beyond, you surely know about. (He actually liked this Tweet on Twitter.)
As for the non-paved roads? Per my recent blog post about my first visit to Big Bend in more than 8 years, Grapevine Hills has gone downhill, going by memory. When I told a visitor desk ranger about driving Pine Canyon in a 2wd car, he was almost agog. That was 15-plus years ago, and I'm sure the road has gone downhill since then. And, the waits at visitor center desks.
I mean, Mark, I could write a whole blog post in response to you JUST about how budget cuts have made the Yosemite experience worse. You know I could, too.

So, maybe your comment was a throwaway line, or an attaboy one for the Park Service? I don't care. It doesn't make it any less untrue. Let's continue. We'll go back to Zion.
As I noted on that post, more money would also allow replacing current propane fueled buses with electric ones. Given the amount of solar panels Zion already has, it would be relatively easy to recharge them.

And, not mentioned on that post, but an increasing problem? People flying drones inside NPS units. And, the problem of patrolling and policing for that, with ongoing budget cuts.

And, it's not just these parks. About 18 months ago, I visited Rocky and Mesa Verde, the latter for the first time in years and quite possibly the last time ever. As I separately blogged, at Rocky and definitely at Mesa Verde, budget cuts have caused real problems, and at Rocky, have even worse, caused rangers to plug concessionaires.

So, Mark? Throwaway line or not, this was a lie. Period. And blatantly. You owe readers an apology. Not that you're likely to give one. That's in part, I'm sure, because Outside depends on ads — from places like concessionaires inside these national parks, tour guide groups in the cities next to them and so forth. (And read just how much Outside tracks your ass with cookies, analytics, Facebook, etc., if you don't wear lots of online condoms on your browser to protect yourself. And that page notes that, for browsers like Firefox, "do not track" signals are ignored.) Definitely, since your park reviewers at places like Joshua Tree or Zion plug outside businesses in their stories, you don't want to write anything that discourages visitors.

Also, "shutting the gate" at Arches? (I've been by the entrance when it looked like the park was going to be closed at any second.) It's not a "good" solution; it's the "least bad" solution.

A "good solution" would be the city of Moab and its former Arches staffer mayor creating a shuttle bus from town to the park, in combo with the park starting one inside the park.  Kind of amazing that Sundeen didn't think of that. (For that matter, the park starting one inside the park would itself be a huge difference. Supposedly it was considered four-five years ago but deemed "not reasonable." Bullshit there, too. The one-road system [not counting the dirt road going out the NW end of the park] is EXACTLY like Zion Canyon.)


In that blog post, and to follow on it? If we look at the old Parks Pass being $50 and the Access Pass being $80, but almost all of that extra $30 going undeservedly to BLM, USFS and USFWS? Make the Parks Pass $65 and you've helped funding right there.

And, in this piece, Outside comes off as close to GangGreen, even though Mark himself outside of that may not be. But he may be. 

He does admit selling his soul out for magazine story cash by revealing secret hot spots for a story. And he adds the background that he was living in New York City then, which I would say is a sellout itself. If you hadn't been living there, you wouldn't have been cash-flow poor.

Also, not a bad, but also not a good thing, he misses a beat. He doesn't pick up on, when Gov. Herbert expanded the original campaign, he didn't include Natural Bridges National Monument. Maybe that's because Natural Bridges, unlike Bears Ears and Grand Staircase, has been around for some time, and is an NPS unit, not BLM.

February 05, 2020

Cheating Pete Rose whines for reinstatement;
sad trombones time for him and his stanners

So Pete Rose thinks that because the Astros cheated on sign-stealing, he deserves reinstatement from Commissioner Rob Manfred on baseball's eligibles list and thus a vote in the Hall of Fame.

Ain't happening.

Cooperstown recently crushed using a loophole to let Shoeless Joe Jackson be eligible again because he's dead.

Rose, 30 years on, remains more unrepentant than Astros players like Dallas Keuchel, former players like former Red Sox manager Alex Cora, or long ago Astros defending them like Lance Berkman. It took you 15 years just to admit you bet on the Reds, and even that without real apologies. (And I'm still betting MLB might have had evidence you bet AGAINST them — evidence that got eighty-sixed. Investigator John Dowd said in 2002 he thought this was likely.)

Besides, Rose mischaracterizes this with his reinstatement plea, which says:
"There cannot be one set of rules for Mr. Rose and another for everybody else."
A. Commissioners are dictators, so sure there can.
B. Different issues demand different rules, to get to the heart of the matter, so there are.

Go away, Pete. And you wasted 20 full pages on this? Other than to reinstate the allegedly permanently banned for roids Jenrry Mejia. That said, even Steve Howe's permanent ban became impermanent after he won a legal battle only to get killed while he was high; contra Wiki. Ferguson Jenkins' ban was technically "indefinite" and not permanent, but still.

And take all your stanners on Twitter with you.

Ahh, the stanners.

What would a piece like this be without a few Twitter callouts?

The biggest Pete Rose stanner is of course Pete Rose. So, let's start there:
And another noogie for Pete:
And that's that.

Now, to other stanners, starting with this:
And this:
Then this:
Followed by this:
Then this:
And wrapping with this big enchilada observation:

Well, not quite.
NOW I'm done.

Well, no, cuz there's an update.

Yet one more reason to keep Rose OUT of Cooperstown? Trump wants him in.

Rick Carlisle, the Mavs, Porzingis, 3-balling and potential

ESPN's Seth Greenberg said recently he believes they can. I am inclined to doubt it after the Dwight Powell injury. Willie Cauley-Stein is a "nice" addition, and that's that, and I addressed that more at this piece about Powell's injury.

Beyond working around that — and for the team's longer-term future — they have to address other issues. Well, no, one big issue, AND how that issue is being coached.

Luka Dončić and Kristaps Porziņģis must learn to play together more and a certain head coach, Rick Carlisle, learn the best way to make that happen.

Part of this is the Unicorn still knocking bits of rust off plus adjusting to a new team. I know that without anybody at Red Satan telling me. But, he shot much better during Luka’s recent ankle-sprain absence.

Spacing is surely part of the issue.  But shot selection is too. Let's look at that in detail.

Contra Carlisle, a post-up is NOT a bad shot in today’s NBA. Shot charts tell us that the effective field goal percentage is best for inside 15 feet and outside the 3-ball line. Inside 15 feet is three things: dunks, layups and putbacks, and post-ups. So, the Zinger shooting an 18-19 foot midrange? No. The Zinger (with his slightly greater bulk this year) putting his butt on the blocks more? Yes. From there, with his height and court sense, learning to pass more, and better, out of double-teams should flow next. This is particularly true for times when Luka is not on the floor with him and he faces lots of doubles.

I mean, his eFG is below 50 percent. Not acceptable. Only player on the team below that mark. Zinger himself has said he's uncomfortable shooting that many 3s.

That said, this is part of what the Mavs got with him. He's never been above 50 percent on 2-point shooting. And, as cackling Knicks fans pointed out a week ago after getting the season sweep against the Mavs, right now, he's down to 40 percent. And somebody needs to fix that. I know that his high center of gravity and relatively slender build, even with some bulking, means he'll never be a Shaq, referring to one big man who, along with Round Mound Barkley and Chris Webber, has criticized him for not posting up more. And their criticisms come from a legit place; both led the league multiple time not only in 2-point FG percentage but also overall eFG. But, look at how well Tim Duncan played in the post without being that bulky.

And, Timmy had plenty of 3-ballers surrounding him. Manu, Danny Green, and Kawhi come immediately to mind. And Duncan normally shot 50 percent or better on 2's.

I think it's a reasonable goal for Carlisle to get the Zinger to be shooting twice as many shots from inside 15 feet by the end of next year as he is now, and to have a .525 2-point shooting percentage.

That said, drawing double-teams in post-ups would also require the Unicorn to become a better passer than he is now. Zach Lowe recently lamented his lack of skill there. Sounds like another Carlisle project for the next offseason. (Another way of phrasing this is that his assist percentage rate is half of Duncan's.)

And don't even get me started with Embiid, as Lowe's Red Satan cohorts Goldsberry and MacMullan try to do. And the idea that Embiid automatically drives every time his man tried to come too close to him? That's simple. A wing (or two) collapses and strips the ball from him. Embiid is NOT Nikola Jokić.

I have ZERO desire to see the Unicorn trying to imagine himself as a new Ralph Sampson, point forward. And, if Brett Brown had a brain in Philly, he would have the same worries about Embiid. Besides, you still can't get Ben Simmons, an actual, nominal guard, to shoot the 3-ball as much as you like, Brett.

Part of the Zinger's discomfort comes from an observation he made. Nobody expected, when they traded for Porziņģis that Luka would take off like this in his second season. It's Luka's team now.

But, at some point, Lowe and Carlisle need to challenge the Zinger to truly be the Unicorn, not an over-height 3-and-D guy.

Tim McMahon says the Mavs are atop the league in offensive efficiency. Doesn't mean they can't be better, does it? And, reality is that they're 10th in 3-ball percentage, among team stats. (They are fourth in 2-point percentage.)

Also, if you ARE going to be a coach asking a big man to shoot more 3-ball, why aren't you teaching them how to shoot more corner 3s, like the stereotypical "stretch 4"? Again, that's on Carlisle with the Zinger and Brett Brown with Embiid.

There's another advantage to pushing corner 3s out of your big men, rather than wing 3s or ones from up top, if you're the coach. Having the baseline on one side will constrain dribble penetration thoughts by big men on a corner 3 if they they think about pump-faking then driving. A one- or two-step drive might be acceptable. But after traffic will close in on you and pin you on the baseline.

In turn, that will force big men to either pop and shoot or pass back out, and to do either one quickly.

There you go, Carlisle. Your work is cut out for you.


And, just as I say this, Red Satan has a new piece on how Pops has finally gotten LaMarcus Aldridge to shoot the 3-ball —and he's being successful!

On the third hand, per eFG, and even more, per FT percentage, LA has long been a decent shooter.

February 04, 2020

Ben Carson checks in from Iowa

A lot of people are making fun of Trump's HUD Secretary Ben Carson for riding on Trump's campaign plane back from Iowa in a position that is not QUITE the "wingman":

Well, Carson is not taking this lying down, as he has shown on his Twitter responses to some of the people.

First, he said he was in the middle of the action:

And NOT "the back of the bus":
That's that.

Second, to anybody implying he was a token, he Tweeted:
THE black one, Carson should have capitalized.

Next, he said he had good reason for that spot:
And dain bramage is a real thing.

Next, he went after the "uncle Ben" comments:
Just like that.

And this:
There's more at that account.

Where's this come from? Jealousy, Carson said:
And, who wouldn't be jealous of Ben Carson, of course?

Update. Carson now tells us he found out why he was on that plane.

Sorry, Ben.

Texas progressives read Iowa tea leaves

Texas Progressives this week ponder the Iowa caucus tea leaves and look ahead to the New Hampshire along with other events.

And, speaking of, those tea leaves, per the Old Gray Lady, seem to indicate Sanders and Buttigieg battling it out. Even more, they show that Klobberer Klobuchar actually slipped from Round 1 to Round 2, meaning that she didn't pick up hardly anybody from the first-cut candidates' support. Lizzie Warren didn't do much better. Nor did Sanders. Mayo Pete, at least in the earlier going, looked like the major "backup plan" candidate.

Unfortunately, the tea leaves took an extra-long time to steep. Reportedly, that was due in part to problems with a vote-counting app. Said app was created by Robby Mook. I'm sure you #StillWithering Clintonistas know him. If not, let me remind you:
After much more clusterfuckery and things like #CIAPete and #MayorCheat trending on Twitter, Sanders eventually appeared to have won. But we don't really know, and in that opening, the DNC lost, and Donald Trump is trying to exploit a win for himself.

Now we can get to the rest of the roundup.

Texas politics

Paging Robert Francis O'Rourke, I mean Bob on a Knob, I mean Beto. The Texas Observer reviews a new book talking about how old white families control El Paso politics.  To be fair to Beto's background and real estate grifting, the book does note most of these old white families are Republicans. But to be honest about Bob on a Knob, former El Paso City Council member, the book also notes that council members (including him in the past) have gone along with these old, money-endowed Republicans — or at least, non-Hispanic members have.

Even though Dennis Bonnen is going away from the state House and Speakership, he's still intervening in GOP primaries. The recipients of his largesse are a mixed bag on their past relationships to Bonnen.

Beto's new money and PAC couldn't help flip HD 28 to Dems in a special election. The spinners are already saying don't blame him.

Off the Kuff analyzes the latest poll of Texas, which is also the first poll we've gotten for the state in 2020.

Mustafa Tameez says the road to the majority in the Texas House goes through the middle of the electorate.

Robert Rivard notes that SBOE member Ken Mercer (who represents a district Hillary Clinton carried in 2016) is big ol' peddler of wingnut dishonesty.


Could the push for full-blown online voter registration lead to a lawsuit, if motor voter in Texas isn't improved?

Google's parent wants to bring self-driving semis to Texas. Texas Monthly looks at the risks to both driving and jobs.

Renters continue to gouge Texans.

Is illegal duck hunting driving down bald eagle numbers at Lake Buchanan, a top roosting site?


A civil judge wants to add implicit bias instructions to jurors to civil cases. Her pilot project has been OKed for Round 2.

Dallas County Community College District wants to merge its seven campuses into one college — not one physical space, but one college — to make it easier to get those AA degrees.

Jim Schutze once again calls out former Observer peer and now Dallas Snooze flunky Robert Wilonsky. Schutze actually has several good recent columns, and has gotten away from fellating the police.

But, speaking of? The Snooze reports on the Dallas PD disciplining a number of cops for racist and other bad comments on social media. Let's see if Jim's doppelgänger and Amber Guyger lover, #OKJim, writes about this.

That said, contra #OKJim, I'm sure the Snooze's local editorials suck just as much as state and national level ones.

The DMA is one of several museums with allegedly stolen Nepalese art.


A state district judge says Harris County's suit against Exxon can proceed, thus cutting one round of Kenny Boy Paxton grifting off at the pass.

A Twitter type on a smartphone, almost surely. But Kim Off is much better for Harris DA than Kim Ogg.

Houston Justice Coalition shows how they're registering voters who are currently in county jail.

Justin Miller analyzes the HD 28 special election runoff.


SocraticGadfly saw the Chomskyites ask likely Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins to run a "safe states" strategery, and he loudly applauded when Hawkins essentially told them to STFU.

Brains offered his run-up to Iowa take on Dems 2020.

Carl Beijer says its time for progressive Democrats to get behind Sanders and avoid the risk of a brokered convention and the possibility of Joe Biden. (The brokered convention, especially with hints of desires for rule-changing on superdelegates, is a possibility. The likelihood that Democrats would rally behind Biden rather than either pseudoprogressive Elizabeth Warren or Daddy Warbucks Mike Bloomberg seems slim, though.)

Texas Monthly interviews new FDA head Stephen Hahn, former chief medical guy at MD Anderson, who offers political weasel answers to the tougher questions.

A friendly sports world reminder that Kobe Bryant wasn't quite as nice as his hagiographic fellators claim, and also that management at the Bezos Post sux.

A friendly non-sports world reminder that Rush Limbaugh, if a god existed, would need prayers for contrition and repentance more than for his lung cancer.

Nonsequiteuse thanks the Houston GLBT Political Caucus for listening to members who asked them to hold lawmakers who have been credibly accused of sexual harassment to account.

February 03, 2020

Pray for Rush? For what?

So, Rush Limbaugh, hypocrite, has lung cancer. And, beyond being a hypocrite on religious values, he's a hypocrite in other ways, which I list near the bottom. And he's a hypocrite on the issue of his health, which we'll get to in just a minute.

But, first, an update. From one pilonidal cyst to another, Trump is giving old Rusty the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

(As for Rush's lack of religiosity, or at least lack of church participation? Not just me; a hardcore denizen of Wingnutistan like Crunchy Con Rod Dreher has called him out.

And as for Trump's lack of religiosity, he's probably praying for more wingnut icons to get sick so he can reward them this way during campaign season.

"Dear God, if Hannity gets the coronavirus, I'll give him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.")

First, let's read Almighty God himself pointing out ol Rusty being hung by his own petard on what's the issue at hand.
Add this, of related hot take:
There you go.

Now, a few more from yours truly.

First, who doesn't like Twitter polls?
And, yes, his "god," if any, is ultimately the god of Ayn Rand and of social Darwinism. So, I guess ol Rusty isn't the fittest? That poll is open for a week of the time of blogging this.

Per the cigar mag guy, I offer this:
There you go.

And, if you want REAL snark:
As longer-term online and meatspace friends know, I can snark with the best.

Then, one of many from the non-reality based community;
Seriously. Get a life. And if dittoheads act toward me like Kobestanners did toward Sonmez a week ago?

Meanwhile, this person wants a nonexistent entity to help Rush's cancerous lungs get pneumonia, I guess:
THAT's snark.

In reality, as a secularist, I don't pray for anybody.

If there were a god, looking at alleged Christian morality, I would pray for him to bring Limbaugh to the proper humility that would lead to repentance for his many various sins.

Besides his divorces, his mean-spiritedness and his Eighth Amendment violations, I would pray to such an entity for Rush to be enlightened from the sin of willful ignorance, or even the sin of pseudoscience. Besides the above on cancer, and his well-known stance on climate change denialism, Rusty has also been a flirter with the antivaxxer world. More here.

He'll probably go to Mexico for laetrile or some other pseudomedicine, if he can't find it here. And, if he can't stand the pain, will his opioid addiction pop back up? That's among the many other hypocrisies in his life, per RationalWiki.

Sad trombone times for DFW and Houston pro sports?

ESPN regularly runs a "misery index" about how much suffering fans of different teams have. Dallas and Houston fans in general aren't the Cleveland Browns, but? Cleveland as a city has won a title in one Big Three sport (sit down, hockey) and gone to the big dance in another more recently than anybody from Dallas, and more recently than anybody not banging a trash can in Houston.

Cort McMurray, in his take on the Astros cheating, says that the problem is not just the cheating itself, but from a Houstonian point of view, washing away the goodwill the Astros built up. (Here's my long take.)

So, maybe there's some reverse schadenfreude among Texas pro sports fans? Certainly seemed that way during the NFC and AFC title games, as I noted on Twitter:
Yep, that's about right. Yes, I know some, per Brains, are trying to claim this was just a riff on the roots of the two teams in the 1962 AFL title game. Lemme see, December 1962 was FIFTY-SEVEN years ago. About 2 percent of Twitter users are old enough to have been alive, let alone old enough to remember, the original game. It's butt-hurt jealousy tweeting, no matter how much of the actual history you can present, if you didn't actually experience it.

(And, at least Dallas fans weren't tweeting "Dallas Texans" during the Super Bowl, at least not enough to hit trending on Twitter. But they WERE obnoxiously Tweeting after the game, with stupid tenuous pseudo-connections like the Cowboys going to SB V after the Chiefs won SB 4. I said the Las Vegas Raiders with Tom Brady had a better chance next year.)

But, let's look at the butt-hurtedness level of Texas sports fans.

After all, before that, the Stros only got to the World Series once, despite Albert Pujols' best efforts to block even that:

I never get tired of playing that, not just because I'm a Cards and a Phat Albert fan.

But, the crush-crunch-crouch of Brad LidgeRoger Clemens and Andy Pettitte kind o numbed out in the Astros dugout, at the 20 second mark, and the combo of deadpan and WTF on the face of Nolan Ryan at 25 seconds all make it worthwhile.

Before that, of course, the last time the Stros were close to winning it all, not counting the year before in 2004, or even getting close to the point of being able to win it all, was the 1986 when Ryan was No. 2 on the mound to Mike Scott. (Interestingly, 2005 skipper Phil Garner was Scrap Iron playing on the 86 team, too.)

OK, so the Stros have hurt, and the idea that they would lose their one winning team due to a stripped title is a fear indeed.


The old Oilers of Dan Pastorini and Earl Campbell were good in the late 70s, but the Terry Bradshaw Steelers twice blocked them in the playoffs.


The Rockets had their schadenfreude of The Beard and CP3 blowing a shot to take down Splash Bros Steph and Clay. Other than that, it's been a LONG time — 25 years now — since Hakeem the Dream, Clyde the Glide, Mad Max, second-year Sam Cassell (not yet with big balls) and coach Rudy T. actually lifted the Larry O'Brien trophy.

Now, to Big D.

The Boys haven't won it all since Barry Switzer coached Jimmy Johnson's accumulation of talent, namely Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, the Moose, Michael Irwin, Jay NovacekPrime Time/Neon Deion, Charles Haley and more, to a title that proved Jerry Jones kind of right on the coaching side, while the aftermath undercut him on his "socks and jocks" GM side. That's been almost 25 years — just one shy. And, speaking of Sam Cassell's big balls? It was Jimmy Johnson that pulled the trigger to trade Herschel Walker.


While the Mavericks have an untainted more recent title than anybody else, and while Luka and the Unicorn, and supplemental cast, offer hope for the future, Mark Cuban has an abysmal record of landing A-list free agents, and this was true even before Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, blast connecting to the past J.J. Barea, and team led them to the 2011 title.


The Nolan Ryan who was nonplussed by Albert Pujols in 2005 with the Astros was even more so in 2011 with David Freese ripping World Series victory from the Rangers' grasp (aided by Nelson Cruz showing why DH is a better spot for him than right field).

And let's watch both the triple and the home run, OK, Nolan and Rangers fans?

Since shortly after that time, of course, the Rangers haven't generally even been close to winning it all, though they have been in postseason as recently as 2016.

The fourth, tag-along sport? It's been 20 years and counting since the Stars won the Stanley Cup. Well, you're ahead of Houston, which hasn't had major league hockey since the WHA days 40-plus years ago and doesn't currently even have a minor league team.