Monday, September 24, 2007

One Night Stand

Lately work has been nuts, client renewals, audits and inspections have kept me & my staff very busy. Adding to my schedule are the Nov. 6 election and my family.

The funky news is a dear friend of my daughter & her fiancee' picked up a rare virus and died. The eighteen year old was the son of my future son in law's employer. The father owns a mid-size landscaping and contracting firm.
He has been incredibly supportive of my future son in law. (Believe me.) His kindness speaks to his character.

What is truly sad about this situation, his son had the best medicine money could buy. My prayers go out to the grieving.

My favorite uncle was released from the hospital to the loving arms of his first wife, to the dismay of his current girlfriend. No drama there. He had problems with his pacemaker. More problems lie ahead...

In the middle of my schedule, I managed to sneak in some fun. Since we had to renew an account in western PA, a friend provided tickets to the Steelers-San Francisco game. Steelers tickets are a premium, this was huge. When I shared our good fortune with my associate, I thought he would do a backflip. The last time I saw this side of him was the birth of his child.

We dined with my friend and his family of five kids at wonderful Italian restaurant Saturday night upon our arrival.

The next day we began our day with breakfast at the Steel City Diner, which was around the corner from our hotel. It was there where the magic began. We watched this slow ripple to then the tidal wave of black gold stream down the street.

We had no clue how close we were to the stadium. Watching this sea of people heading to the stadium at 10 am was unbelievable.

What is different than what I have seen is Philly was the foot traffic. Along the "parade route" were vendors selling Steelers stuff. My associate knew that I fell in love with football during the Bradshaw, Stallworth, Greene, Swan era. I switched to the Eagles in college, to this day I'm not sure why.

After parading the mile & half to the stadium, the sights, sounds and smells from the tailgating were amazing. A high school band performed. The local radio station had a huge barbeque and the reps were dragging people to their tent.

A local charity was collecting money for the homeless. Their buckets were full of cash. What was absent were the local police.

I was stunned at the multi-generations. I would never take my dad or my grandson to an Eagles game at their current ages.

Our seats were in the club section on the FIFTY YARD LINE. Wow. It was cool. It was like Christmas in September.

It was sooo exciting. The fans were fired up and LOUD. I don't know how the either team could hear the plays being called. Even though it took Big Ben three quarters to get it together, they were more supportive than critical. Wow.

After the game, we lingered in the stadium soaking up our experience. My associate turned to me with a quizzical look and said, well? I shook my head and said "no baby, I still love my Birds."

I slipped into the colors and cheered with the hometown crowd. But like a discreet and brief love affair, I have returned home to the comfort of my Eagles.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Breeding the next generation of terrorists

"President Bush may not be aware of this. In his televised address to the nation he warned that a pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq could cause a “humanitarian nightmare.”

A trusted aide should take the president aside and quietly inform him that this nightmare arrived a good while ago.

When the U.S. launched its “shock and awe” invasion in March 2003, the population of Iraq was about 26 million. The flaming horror unleashed by the invasion has since forced 2.2 million of those Iraqis, nearly a tenth of the population, to flee the country. Many of those who left were professionals marked for death — doctors, lawyers, academics, the very people with the skills necessary to build a viable society.

The Iraq Ministry of Health reported that 102 doctors and 164 nurses were killed from April 2003 to May 2006. It is believed that nearly half of Iraq’s doctors have fled. The exodus of health care professionals in a country hemorrhaging from the worst kinds of violence pretty much qualifies as nightmarish.

While more than two million Iraqis have fled to other countries, another two million have been displaced internally. According to the Global Policy Forum, a group that monitors international developments:

“Most of these internally displaced persons, or I.D.P.’s, have sought refuge with relatives, or in mosques, empty public buildings, or tent camps. ...I.D.P.’s live in very poor conditions. Public buildings are particularly unsanitary, often overcrowded, without access to clean water, proper sanitation and basic services, in conditions especially conducive to infectious diseases.”

Iraqis are enduring most of their suffering out of the sight of the rest of the world. International relief organizations and most of the news media are largely kept at a distance by the insane levels of violence.

Access to safe drinking water is a problem in much of the country. (The World Health Organization was asked to help with a recent outbreak of cholera in parts of Kurdistan that is believed to have been caused by polluted water.) Sanitation facilities are routinely crippled by violence and sabotage. The economy, like the country’s infrastructure, is in shambles.

The worst aspect of the nightmare, of course, is the rain of death that has descended on Iraq since the U.S. invasion. Controversy has surrounded virtually all attempts to estimate the number of civilian casualties, but no one disputes that the toll is staggering.

The U.S. government has behaved as though these dead Iraqis were not even worth counting. In December 2005, President Bush casually mentioned “30,000, more or less” as the number of Iraqis killed in the war. The White House later said there were no official estimates of Iraqi deaths.

We shouldn’t be so cavalier. Based on all available evidence, it seems unreasonable to believe that fewer than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed thus far. Many very serious scholars believe the total is much higher.

As for the number of wounded and disabled Iraqis — men, women and children who have lost limbs, or been paralyzed or otherwise maimed in air, rocket and bomb attacks — no one has a real grasp of the size of the problem.

“Just considering the number of the dead and the number of displaced, this is probably the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world,” said James Paul, the executive director of Global Policy Forum, which recently compiled an extensive report on the war and occupation. “This is the biggest displacement of people in the Middle East in a very long time.”

The effect on children of the carnage, the dislocations and the deteriorating quality of daily life has been profound. Conditions in Iraq were dire for children even before the war. One in eight died before the age of 5, many from the effects of malnutrition, polluted water and unsanitary conditions.

Now, more than four years after the invasion, huge numbers of Iraqi children are finding themselves orphaned, homeless, malnourished, and worse.

According to Unicef, the U.N.’s children’s agency: “Many children are separated from their families or on the streets, where they are extremely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Most children have experienced trauma but few receive the care and support they need to help them cope with so much chaos, anxiety and loss.”

These are just a few of the things you won’t hear much about from the American officials in Washington who profess to care so deeply about the people of Iraq." -Bob Herbert


As pointed out in Krugman's 9/14 piece, it is evident the only folks Bush is concerned about are his greedy bastard corporate buddies.

I guess corporate handout are just fine.

The children are going to grow up under these conditions will not look upon are democracy with much affection.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Follow the money

A Surge, and Then a Stab
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: September 14, 2007
To understand what’s really happening in Iraq, follow the oil money, which already knows that the surge has failed.


"Back in January, announcing his plan to send more troops to Iraq, President Bush declared that “America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.”

Near the top of his list was the promise that “to give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis.”

There was a reason he placed such importance on oil: oil is pretty much the only thing Iraq has going for it. Two-thirds of Iraq’s G.D.P. and almost all its government revenue come from the oil sector. Without an agreed system for sharing oil revenues, there is no Iraq, just a collection of armed gangs fighting for control of resources.

Well, the legislation Mr. Bush promised never materialized, and on Wednesday attempts to arrive at a compromise oil law collapsed.

What’s particularly revealing is the cause of the breakdown. Last month the provincial government in Kurdistan, defying the central government, passed its own oil law; last week a Kurdish Web site announced that the provincial government had signed a production-sharing deal with the Hunt Oil Company of Dallas, and that seems to have been the last straw.

Now here’s the thing: Ray L. Hunt, the chief executive and president of Hunt Oil, is a close political ally of Mr. Bush. More than that, Mr. Hunt is a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a key oversight body.

Some commentators have expressed surprise at the fact that a businessman with very close ties to the White House is undermining U.S. policy. But that isn’t all that surprising, given this administration’s history. Remember, Halliburton was still signing business deals with Iran years after Mr. Bush declared Iran a member of the “axis of evil.”

No, what’s interesting about this deal is the fact that Mr. Hunt, thanks to his policy position, is presumably as well-informed about the actual state of affairs in Iraq as anyone in the business world can be. By putting his money into a deal with the Kurds, despite Baghdad’s disapproval, he’s essentially betting that the Iraqi government — which hasn’t met a single one of the major benchmarks Mr. Bush laid out in January — won’t get its act together. Indeed, he’s effectively betting against the survival of Iraq as a nation in any meaningful sense of the term.

The smart money, then, knows that the surge has failed, that the war is lost, and that Iraq is going the way of Yugoslavia. And I suspect that most people in the Bush administration — maybe even Mr. Bush himself — know this, too.

After all, if the administration had any real hope of retrieving the situation in Iraq, officials would be making an all-out effort to get the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to start delivering on some of those benchmarks, perhaps using the threat that Congress would cut off funds otherwise. Instead, the Bushies are making excuses, minimizing Iraqi failures, moving goal posts and, in general, giving the Maliki government no incentive to do anything differently.

And for that matter, if the administration had any real intention of turning public opinion around, as opposed to merely shoring up the base enough to keep Republican members of Congress on board, it would have sent Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, to as many news media outlets as possible — not granted an exclusive appearance to Fox News on Monday night.

All in all, Mr. Bush’s actions have not been those of a leader seriously trying to win a war. They have, however, been what you’d expect from a man whose plan is to keep up appearances for the next 16 months, never mind the cost in lives and money, then shift the blame for failure onto his successor.

In fact, that’s my interpretation of something that startled many people: Mr. Bush’s decision last month, after spending years denying that the Iraq war had anything in common with Vietnam, to suddenly embrace the parallel.

Here’s how I see it: At this point, Mr. Bush is looking forward to replaying the political aftermath of Vietnam, in which the right wing eventually achieved a rewriting of history that would have made George Orwell proud, convincing millions of Americans that our soldiers had victory in their grasp but were stabbed in the back by the peaceniks back home.

What all this means is that the next president, even as he or she tries to extricate us from Iraq — and prevent the country’s breakup from turning into a regional war — will have to deal with constant sniping from the people who lied us into an unnecessary war, then lost the war they started, but will never, ever, take responsibility for their failures."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Not only is it cheating, it's stupid

"Legal spying, stealing signals, the cat-and-mouse gamesmanship -- that's done by every team. But illegal spying through the use of videotape? Not common at all, according to sources who wished to remain anonymous. Most teams adhere to the strict policies in the league's Game Operations Manual that prohibit video recording devices on the field, in the coaches' booth and in the locker room during games.

"There isn't a team in the league that doesn't try to steal signals [but] I haven't heard about teams recording footage like the Patriots were," said one longtime NFL assistant coach. "But you can bet everybody is trying to steal in some way. In fact, you can go to any NFL game and you'll find some coach whose sole job is to look for defensive signals."

Added one NFC personnel director: "What the Patriots did is extremely rare because it's against the rules. It's one of those things that if it's not Bill Belichick involved, you wonder if the coach survives something like that. What is more normal is something like a guy sitting in a press box trying to steal signs by looking at the coaches. That's why the home team usually has its back to the press box when they're in their own stadium."

While it may be difficult to believe Belichick's Patriots are the only ones using the latest video technology to their advantage, the fact is they're the only ones who have been caught. If other teams knew opponents were illegally videotaping their signals, they'd likely alert league and stadium security, much like the Jets did Sunday at the Meadowlands.

This is the first time I've heard of somebody doing what New England did," one AFC personnel director said. "It wouldn't surprise me if somebody else has tried it in the past but the bottom line is that it's illegal. We all get the same memos from the league each season telling us what we can't do."

Added an NFC general manager: "The accusation far outweighs what is actually happening. This isn't rampant throughout the league. Now, the arrogance of thinking you could get away with it? That is the beauty of this. … It's the height of arrogance."

An AFC executive suggested that Belichick "probably got greedy and let whatever issues he has with [Jets coach Eric] Mangini get the best of him."

Another current assistant coach said the legal stealing of signals is just "good coaching. But when you start using video equipment to steal signs, you're off the reservation. I think that's a whole different matter. That goes against everything we've been taught as coaches."

That's one reason illegal videotaping of signals isn't widespread. Here's another reason: It may not be worth the risk of getting caught.

Sources say there is only so much that can be gained by stealing signals. Generally, coaches want to know only two things about the defense: (1) When a blitz is coming; and (2) What kind of coverage the defense is going to play. That type of information can be gleaned easily from other forms -- legal forms -- of spying.


Mangini worked for Belichick. His shema is similar to Belechick's. A) They better suspend Belichick. B) They better fine the team. C) Mandatory annual ethics classes.

Andy Reid give Bill Belichick your dumb ASS of the week award....

Happy New Year!

Stepford Employees

Wow h/t to natasha@ pacific views

The goal of most employees is to survive to the weekend. When you arrive at work, you hope that your access key/code still works.

Whew! Cleared that hurdle.

Then if you are lucky you run the gaunlent to your office.

Whew! Cleared that hurdle!

Sit down and your log in still works!

Whew! Cleared that hurdle!

Then you spend the day responding to the gazillion e-mails from clients and upper management.

Whew! Cleared that hurdle!

Find time for food and a potty break.

The check arrives the 15th & the 30th. The name of the company changes weekly, but as long as your name is on and it clears, its all good.

Hopefully, your commute isn't too painful but for most it is a daily grind.

But you are supposed to be grateful that your gig has benefits and has not been outsourced......

Greedy Old Party

"I never thought that the GOP posed a threat to the well-being of our nation. But these days, I no longer recognize my old party.' Anonymous

John Dean has written another book about this administration. If an eyewitness to the Nixon administration who is appalled by this gang, I am terrified.

We all should be.

Impeach Cheney First!

The Price of having Dorks in charge

The problem with major franchises being managed by the dorks who were never picked FOR ANY SPORTS is they make decisions like throwing anyone in a jersey on the punt return team. They are moving players around like chess pieces. If they actually played SOMETHING they would know every TEAM MATE has a role.

Welcome Home Mahe, I hope they paid you a nice bonus.

Eagles Management dumbass' of the week.

The Larry Craig Syndrome

"The other day, I was in a restaurant and excused myself to take care of business. When I entered the restroom, there was Latin music playing. I love Latin music. I actually took conga lessons in Cuba a few years ago. All I wanted to do was tap my foot to the beat.

But I didn't do it. That's precisely what got Sen. Craig into trouble. I used all my willpower to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground. As I approached the urinal, I stared straight ahead. I didn't move my head or eyes at all, not an inch. I didn't want to be perceived as trying to catch the eye of anyone, certainly not a cop, or Sen. Craig for that matter.

I kept my feet close together, fearful I might step on someone's toes or accidentally touch his shoe. As for my hands, I didn't check for dust under the stalls, on the sink, under the sink, or anywhere else. I kept them where they belonged.

Truth be told, I was paralyzed with fear - totally focused on what I shouldn't do rather than what I came to do. In fact, when I finally I returned to my table, I realized . . . I'd forgotten to go.

So thanks, Sen. Craig, for my latest neurosis. I hope the next time you go to the restroom and assume the "wide stance" - as you described it to the police - you split your damn pants. *----Phil Goldsmith

I have nothing to add.......

Rape and Torture in West Virginia

"Crimes You Won't Hear About From O'Reilly
Dave Neiwert at Orcinus nails it in this post. In the past few months the right has been obsessing on terrible crimes that minorities (usually illegal immigrants) commit against whites, but Neiwert bets this crime will not appear anywhere on their TV programs or blogs. In fact it will probably get little if any play in the MSM. A black woman in West Virginia, kidnapped and held for a week, stabbed, forced to eat dog and rat feces, and repeatedly called the N-word, and more, much more.

The point Orconus is making is that people are capable of great cruelty. The fact that whites tortured this black woman should not be an indictment of all white people, just as the fact that some illegal immigrants have harmed or even caused the death of some American citizens should not be used to indict all illegal immigrants.

As an aside, my wife and I spend a lot of time in West Virginia where we have a cabin. A year or so ago I asked my wife, who is African American, if she is completely comfortable when we go to town (which for all practical purposes 100% white, as is the entire region). She said most of the time it's okay but when she's alone she has heard derogatory comments. I wasn't aware of that and I asked why she hadn't told me before. She chuckled and said she only tells me things that are unusual."

--Trakker

God bless my buddy Trakker. Clearly he loves his Nubian Queen and has so for a long time. The racism that the average minority experiences on a daily basis when they simply are trying to get through the day is not noteworthy. Have things gotten better? My goodness yes. But it never ceases to amaze me what people say out loud and see no harm in it.

White is always the color of choice.

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a family gathering on my Dad's side of the family. When you look to around you see the ignored middle class BLACK America. We have a Federal Judge who is married to a college ENGLISH professor. One cousin has at least 100 patents and has seen parts of the world in his corporate travels that most folks don't know exist. Another worked in research and development for DuPont. Hewitt & Packard recognized the operational talents of another cousin. We all use humor to mask the hurt that we have all faced in attempts to climb the corporate ladder. We laugh at how quickly we can receite our CV's. In not so subtle ways, our expertise is always challenged. We have to be better than our peers.

We are not aberrations in our community. Our stories are simply not sexy. We don't fit the profile. We all grew up in rural America, went to church, fought for a fair education and our parents were married. Our parents and grandparents were involved in our lives, we have command over the English language.

Our ancestors paved the way for us. But the painful reality is that if my male cousins took over a neighborhood, it is assumed the property values would go down. The fact that they all have degrees and make upper five to six figures is meaningless.

People see color first. White is automactically acceptable. Blacks have to prove their value.

It stopped being amusing long time ago.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Petraeus Hearings, Talking Loud and Sayin' Nothin'

"John McCain was standing behind Mr. Biden, waiting to sit down for the next hearing — the Armed Services Committee — with the witnesses.

First, the Republican presidential candidate smiled archly at having to cool his heels as the Democratic presidential candidate yakked — sniffing at the Surge that Mr. McCain supports. Then Mr. McCain turned to his G.O.P. colleague Susan Collins and flapped his fingers in the universal hand sign for yakking.

It pretty much said it all.

For months, everyone here has been waiting with great expectations to hear whether the Surge is working from the top commander and top diplomat in Iraq.

But the whole thing was sort of a fizzle. It’s obvious that the Surge is like those girdles the secretaries wear on the vintage advertising show, “Mad Men.” It just pushes the fat around, giving a momentary illusion of flatness. But once Peaches Petraeus, as he was known growing up in Cornwall-on-Hudson, takes the girdle off, the center will not hold.

And it was clear from their marathon testimony that the Iraqi politicians are useless, that we’re going to have a huge number of troops in Iraq for a long time, that there’s no post-Surge strategy, that they’re just playing for time, hoping that somehow, some way, things will look up in the desert maze of demons that General Petraeus referred to as “home.”

The strategy is no more than a soap bubble of hope, just as W.’s invasion of Iraq was based on a fantasy about W.M.D.’s and an illusory view of Iraq.

Even though it was 9/11, Osama was barely mentioned all day.

Republican Senator John Warner, freer than ever now that he’s announced his retirement, turned the screw on the two witnesses.

Do you feel, he asked the general, that the Surge “is making America safer?”

“Sir, I don’t know actually,” Peaches replied. “I have not sat down and sorted out in my own mind.”

The Surge Twins seemed competent and more realistic than some of their misbegotten predecessors, but just too late to do any good. They’re like two veteran pilots trying to crash land the plane.

Ambassador Crocker has expressed a darker, more rueful vision in background briefings with reporters, and he emanated a bit of Graham Greene yesterday.

He noted that the Iraqis know that “they’re going to be there forever,” while we will not.

Pulling troops out too soon, he fears, could “push the Iraqis in the wrong direction. It would make them, I would fear, more focused on, you know, building the walls, stocking the ammunition and getting ready for a big, nasty street fight without us around.”

Asked by Senator McCain if he was confident that the Maliki government will get the job done, the ambassador said dryly: “My level of confidence is under control.”

The star witnesses gave shell game answers, trying to make the best of a hideous hand.

“It’s a hand that’s unlikely to improve in my view,” Hillary Clinton — one of five senators running for president on the two panels — told the Surge Twins. “I think that the reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief.”

Hillary’s plan is to posture and criticize W.’s war all the way to the White House. But then President Clinton will be stuck with figuring out how to pull out the more than 100,000 troops still there policing a lot of crazy sectarian street fighting.

The Republicans seemed happy that the witnesses’ calm presentation bolstered the president’s case for continued war funding. In his speech tomorrow night, W. will be able to accept the recommendations of the Surge Twins, who are only recommending what he wants to hear.

Republicans seemed oblivious to the fact that they may have scored points short term while laying the groundwork for disaster long term. W. won’t care because he’s not running, but it will be political suicide for Republicans entering the campaign with 130,000 troops still in Iraq.

As Lindsey Graham joked to the witnesses about Congress, referring to the talk of the dysfunctional Iraqi government, “You could say we’re dysfunctional and you wouldn’t be wrong.”

Worst Parents in the World

I read Tim McGrath's article with horror and delight. He was dead on in describing what good intentioned parents are doing with their children. Society has changed a little since we were kids. I could identify with section when he spoke of the neighborhood kids getting together to play ball. We kids organized the teams, gathered "equipment" and set agreed upon rules.

The only time a parent's voice was heard was when you were called to dinner or to complete chores.

Most of us were involved in some sort of organized activity, church or school choir, community or school team. But our parents did not schedule every waking moment of our time. Its funny, when I run into friends from the neighborhood, the self-organized activiites are the items of pleasant discussions.

I started to see the trend of over scheduled kids when my daughter was growing up. Mind you she was pretty busy but she had down time. She chose her all of her activities. The only rule was that she had to complete the season.

Her senior year I attended a ton of banquets from her soccer to the band. It was like working a second shift. These events were unbelievably long. Why? Each kid received a certificate on stage.

In the dark ages when I was growing up, only the gifted or star kids were given special recognition. Everyone else on the team stood up when their name was announced. The certificated were dispersed the next day.

Too me, that was sane. By dragging all those kids on stage it makes everyone feel special. (Disclaimer, my daughter was good in the band, choir, track, TV station etc. She was exceptional in soccer but she chose to cheer. So she fell in the certificate group.)

EVERYBODY IS NOT SPECIAL ALL THE TIME. You respected those around you. You sad quitely in church, assemblies, in restaurants, stores and theaters.

A second installment of McGrath's story should involve the grown kids. Employers are stuck with the end product. It took me two years to break my staff of their tattling habit or making my office the local dump.

Given the opportunity, the average person can work through any situation. I will be retired by the time this latest generation of brats hits the work place.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bad joke

I found this gem on Suburban Guerrilla.

Unfortunately, the joke is on us, the taxpaying citizens.

Oh what have we done?

Great post by clammyc.....

Dear God, Six more months...

"In a poll of Iraqis commissioned by ABC News, the BBC and the Japanese network NHK -- released yesterday before Petraeus's testimony -- 31 percent of Iraqis said security in their local areas had worsened over the past six months, as opposed to just 24 percent who said it had improved. A full 61 percent said security had worsened in the country overall, against only 11 percent who said it had gotten better. Only 22 percent said things in general were going well in Iraq (down from 44 percent in November 2005), and just 23 percent thought things would get better over the coming year (as opposed to 69 percent in 2005).

Some 63 percent of Iraqis polled said the U.S. invasion was wrong, 47 percent said that coalition forces "should leave now" and 57 percent said attacks on U.S. forces were "acceptable."

Never mind what the Iraqis think. On with the new new strategy, which is to bypass the national government and work from the bottom up, making deals with local power brokers. That should be good for, what, another six months?"

The Generals were like terminal patients bargaining for more time. Like the terminal patients, death for some will come.
How sad.....

False Fantasy

"A lot of people more thoughtful than Oscar Goodman believe that prostitution should be legalized as a way of protecting and empowering the women who go into the sex trade. I’ve lost patience with those arguments, however well meaning. Real-world prostitution, in whatever guise, bears no resemblance at all to the empowerment fantasies of prostitution proponents. I have never seen such vulnerable, powerless women as those in the sex trade, legal or illegal."

Burrell finds his heart and his swing

I guess it was after the Phillies couldn't unload his erratic bat and expensive salary. Burrell grew tired of being the punching bag at Citizen's Park, in the newspapers and radio. Or maybe he got mad or simply accepted that he was going to work in Phildelphia. Who knows?

Since the all-star break, he has been hitting the crap out of the ball, in critical situations. The boos turned to cheers.

After a six year slump, I never thought that I would put Burrell and clutch in the same sentence, EVER. The Phils are 1 1/2 games from securing a playoff berth. Considering our bull pen has been just wretched, it is clear that a whole lot of offense will overcome a shaky pitching staff.

Burrell has found his heart and his swing, welcome home, we missed you.

Road to Cluster

Bush as he has done his entire life, has created messes for people smarter than he to clean up. Unfortunately, quite a few bright people have not provided sane HazMat policy for Iraq.

The chess pieces are young and not so young people who joined the military. It is those citizens who are on their second and third tour of duty. It is emotionally and physically impossible to expect more from these heroes.

The generals concede that they don't know what a win looks like. If you can't define a win how can define a loss.
Lee handed his sword to Grant. From whom do we received a sword?

On the six anniversary of 9/11 we have to ask, are we as a nation better off now than we were six years ago?

We must get Bush out of office before he starts world war III.

JR Reed

Young Mr. Reed has entered Philly sports lore. He has joined the ranks of Herm Edwards, Bill Bergey, Harold Carmichel and Randal Cunningham. Unfortunately, he will not be looked upon with much affection.

Being a true believer, I was convinced that the Eagles could manage to pull a win out of their collective backsides Sunday. The defense played well. The offense was not offensive.

What killed the Eagles was their special teams. For years, our special team was not sexy, except for David Akers if you talk to my daughter, but just a quietly productive unit.

For reasons known only to Reid and Jesus, our special teams unit are suddenly suspect.

It is understood that the punt returners are like fire fighters. It takes a truly unique individual to run into a burning house. A punt returner has to have the presence of mind to know when to go after a ball, field it all the while ignoring, a pack of 300 lb men running toward you at full speed. That is a whole lot of physics.

It was painful enough watching Greg Lewis who has NEVER served in this capacity try to keep his legs from shaking as he was just terrible. Then it got worse.

I didn't even know we had a JR. For what was to become the last play of the game, Reid served up JR REED. GB punted the ball poorly, Reed called a fair catch. No problem. Then the wheels fell off the Eagles bandwagon. He started toward the ball.

It was like a guy explaining to his girlfriend that she didn't gain that much weight. You are screaming stop, stop, STOP.

Well, you know the rest.

Coach Reid, go find a punt returner or two before the next game, PLEASE.

On a very serious note, football is a violent sport. Just ask Buffalo's Kevin Everett. He has been earning a living playing a sport that he loves. He has provided entertainment for people like me who love this sport. Believe it or not, I never get used to seeing guys get carted off the field, even Cowboys.

Everett is in a hospital fighting for his life. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Made in the USA, Boycott Mattel

We outsourced manufacturing jobs to ensure low, low prices. Our reward has been the loss of working and middle class jobs and toxic toys.

To compound the problem this administration reduced our taxes. Those low, low taxes guaranteed a smaller government. The problem with this incredibly flawed appproach is no governmental oversight resulting in bad food, unsafe work places and shaky infastructure. Furthermore, CEOs have record breaking salaries and the average citizen's salary has failed to keep pace with the CPI.

Before we raise taxes, we need to look at where the money we are sending to DC is being spent.

When was the last time that you received more than a 3% raise?

The debt is off the charts, our food and toys are not being inspected. Relying on businesses to police themselves is naive and lethal.

Here is plan, if the toys are more expensive and safe, your kid will SURVIVE is they don't have as many. In the meantime, boycott Mattel until they clean up their act.

We need to think more like citizens and less like consumers.

Leave Right

"Both views of Iraq are right: the situation is awful and, four years on, cleverer U.S. commanders are winning a few. The enduring horror counsels a swift exit. The positive shifts bolster a catchphrase Cordesman found doing the rounds in Baghdad: “strategic patience.”

I side with the latter, provided the patience is indeed strategic and not just a means to kick the mess into the post-Bush world. That strategy should involve the following elements.

First, continue bolstering Sunni power and allegiance through aggressive use of aid and local security deals. A rough balance of power between the main Iraqi communities — Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish — is in the interests of Iraqi stability.

Second, while accepting that Iraq’s central government will at best be a respectable fig leaf and that strong provincial authorities are essential, pressure the weak Shia-dominated coalition to share oil money, power and space. Stronger American-backed Sunnis and fewer U.S. troops may help focus Shia minds.

Third, establish, with United Nations help, a regional framework for talks between the neighboring powers. Use this to reach out to Iran. Tehran wants America to fail in Iraq but not to the extent that Shia gains are reversed. That provides some leverage.

Fourth, recognize that all Middle Eastern problems — Israel-Palestine, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq — are tied and that the U.S. needs a coherent diplomatic strategy for containing jihadist fanaticism through ideological persuasion. An uncritical embrace of Israel does not help. And whatever happened to Karen Hughes, our invisible public diplomacy czar?

Fifth, protect the countless Iraqis who have helped America and are vulnerable. The U.S. urged Iraqis to rise up in 1991 only to abandon them to slaughter. Never again should be our policy.

The above may just avert the worst: a regional war in which a disintegrating country’s neighbors are drawn into carnage that makes current bloodshed pale.

Some see Iraq as the ultimate demonstration of the demise of American power. Fast withdrawal is in that view’s logic. But if you believe, as I do, that global stability still hinges on the credibility of that power, “strategic patience” is the least bad of the terrible options Bush’s now amnesia-clouded incompetence has bequeathed."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Obama not so pure

"It’s not his experience that excites people, but his brainy √©lan. We don’t know about his judgment: good on Iraq, bad on Rezko.

The joke on Obama is that the only experience that has served Hillary well has been the experience of raw, retail politics — the kind he turns up his nose at — which has allowed her to seem authoritative and professional and singularly unwhiny in speeches and debates.

She first tripped up Obama by making him think that every time he fought back he was falling off his pedestal. As one of the Washington pundits Obama has scorned put it, with a grin: “That’s why you have two hands, one to graciously greet your opponents and one to stick the shiv in.”

By conjuring a scenario where Hillary is the deft insider and he’s the dewy outsider, Obama only plays into her playbook again."

Monday, September 03, 2007

How much more damage can he do?

Bush and company terrify me. My hope is Booman and Suburban Guerrilla are WRONG. My intellect knows otherwise.

Dual Impeachment.

Is Rep. Lamborn the one who is lying?

"We felt very threatened and intimidated, and quite frankly, scared," Anna Bartha said. "It was just not anything we would ever anticipate an elected official would pursue or a way that an elected official would conduct himself."

When asked whether his messages were threatening, Lamborn said: "No, that is ridiculous. My hope, I failed, but I had hoped to meet with them privately and confidentially because lying is a serious matter. "

When asked what he meant when he said there would be "consequences," Lamborn said: "When someone tells a lie, it just has bad consequences."

Three days after leaving the messages on the Barthas' voice mail, Lam born wrote an open letter to Greg Garcia, chair of the El Paso County Republicans, asking him to investigate.

"In an open letter to the party on Aug. 8, Garcia said the local party would not tolerate false or misleading statements in campaigns.

"That's a lot of what I'm thinking of when I talk about 'there are consequences,' because Greg Garcia had said earlier that there is going to be a punishment if people tell lies in the course of a campaign," Lamborn said.

As a private citizen, Bartha has the right to question an elected official's actions.

Federal records show that Lamborn received a $1,000 check Jan. 30, 2007, from the IGT PAC. Records also show receipt of $500 from Murphy last summer.

Lamborn said he has returned both contributions, but he could not say when that was done.

Nancy Brown, a spokeswoman for Jones Vargas, a law firm in Reno, Nev., that represents IGT, said the company's PAC sent a $1,000 contribution to Lamborn in January. She said Lamborn returned the check, although she could not provide the date of the return.

Federal records do not show that the check was returned."

So just who is lying?

Wild Wild West

Rep. Doug Lamborn did not like a letter to the editor written by a politically connected couple. Instead of writing a response, he felt compelled to leave threatening messages on their answering machine.

Are you kidding me?

My other question is why do assholes wrap their arguments in Scripture?

Lamborn is too stupid to remain on the public payroll.

Dumbass.

Bush visits Iraq

" President Bush arrived at an airbase west of Baghdad Monday on an unannounced visit, the White House said.

He plans to meet face-to-face with top military commanders, the U.S. ambassador, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and provincial tribal leaders.

Air Force One touched down under the blazing sun at an airbase in Anbar province. The White House said the base was chosen because of the "remarkable turnaround" in the province.

The president stopped in Iraq en route to an economic summit in Australia and ahead of a briefing in Washington September 15 by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeous."

The timing coincides with the British pull out last night. My guess is they used this trip to seize the headlines. The MSM is providing the much needed cover.

Bristish troops pull out

Our strongest ally has pulled back in Basra turning over the area to the Iraqis. They left in the middle of the night. It sounds like Art Model leaving Baltimore under the cover of darkness.

This is more evidence, Tony Blair has left the building.

I 'll respect you in the morning

Krugman continues to be the rare sane media voice in what has been a huge snow job. The Bush adminstration would not have ventured into Iraq and Iran is next without the help of the mainstream media.

The Petraeus report will have as much value as Powell serving as a marketing rep before the UN. Independent voices? Bullshit.
Both are loyal soldiers. They just follow orders.

The sad reality is more civilians will be killed for no particular reason other than we have a maniac in the White House and spineless jerks in the Congress.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Why?

Why do the Phillies play to the level of their competition? Maybe they are drained from the week of Mets?
Who knows?

They are killing me...

Rookie hurls no hitter in Second Start

Oh man, I wish I could have watched it. There is a certain energy that emerges when everybody senses what is happening.

Even the other team respects what is unfolding before their eyes. There was no doubt a hush in the crowd around the sixth inning. No one dared to speak on it for fear they would jinx it. Even though Bucholz was in just his second start, he has been around the game long enough to "just know."

Surrounding him are players who dig inside themselves and focus.They watch the ball coming off the bat. Each routine play is in slow motion. They hold on to the caught ball just a little longer.

Who wants to be responsible for screwing up a no hitter?

I'm convinced all you heard in the dugout in the ninth inning were the buzzing of lightning bugs. I'm getting excited just thinking about it.

Hooray for Bucholz. He joined a small club of seventeen rookie pitcher who threw a no hitter. This is what the game is all about!

Tag Banned

In sane environments, recess is the forum of self governance. Kids pick teams, clubs without adult intervention. Kids know who can run fast, who can hit the ball, who can sing and who can't. Is it a popularity contest at times? Ah, yes.

There are times when a child is not picked. OH WELL. The greatest advice my Dad gave my daughter, who very upset about not being picked to join a recess club, was for her to form her own club. Who the hell likes to be rejected? Nobody, but that is part of life.

What is happening now is parents are reliving their childhoods through their children. The result is children do not learn how to work issues out with their peers.

Fast forward to the work place. Employees who were raised in the trophy generation, (Every kid gets a trophy for just showing up.) do not learn how to work matters out with their peers. Worse, they tattle and pout when they don't get their way.

By the time these kids from Colorado enter the workforce, I will be retired or dead and I will not have to deal with them.

Owens wants McNabb????

TO is clinical. It would kill him not to throw his current quarterback under the bus. I'm just glad he found his way to the Cowboys (BOOOOOO).

They will never win anything with that bonehead prancing around.

h/t Bob Glauber

Craig forced out

Believe it or not, there is a smart part of me that feels sorry for the now former Senator Craig. His found out quickly how many friends he did not possess.

Not surprising, the Repugs have determined homosexuality to be a far more egregious than prostitutes and bribes. Go figure.

The only person who seemed to be surprised by the speed of his departure was Craig.

It will be interesting to see what Craig does in the final stages of his life. Now that he managed to strip one layer of his facade, maybe he will be able to embrace who is really is and find peace.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Long Sad Goodbye

Craig is outta here September 30, 2007.

It was a great week to be a Phillies Phan

Monday evening, I had just settled in to watch the contest between the Phillies and the Mets. It was critical for the Phillies, to at least, split the series to secure a playoff spot.

The ring of my cellphone was a mild intrusion. On the other end, was a very dear friend of mine. "Hey where are you?" he asked without a hello. Why? was my knee jerk response. "In my living room, I finally acknowledged.

"I just remembered that I have tickets to the game. Wanna go? I'll pick you up in ten minutes. With zero arm twisting, I took a quick shower and prepared for the game, needing all ten minutes.

Since everyone was at the game, there was no traffic. We arrived to our great seats at the bottom of the third inning. My companion like all of my friends is very smart and funny. An attorney by profession, a baseball geek by passion. Throughout the game, he provided a running commentary on the players and their stats. The couple in front of turned around, and thanked us for being there. "We are tired of sitting in front of people who do not know the game."

Little did we know at the time with the win, the Phils would sweep the Mets and continue to win.

Come on join me in my fantasy...Phillies in the Fall Classic??

A day in the life lower class Republican

The future is now but the lower class Republicans are too stupid to see it............

A wonderful piece by Ian_rd.........

Republican Decimination Day, Weekend

Booman strikes again....

Define Handout

To say the climate at my gig recently is amusing is an understatement. The gentleman, whom I affectionately refer to as the Chief Executive Producer's official title is Mentor Producer. He doesn't even know what that means. Find that title on a normal org chart.

MP joined our company approximately two years ago as COO. His mission was to change the footprint of our division. The only change he managed to produce is the reduction of staff, clients and ruined morale. Eventually, he lost his title, some income and a whole lot of corporate respect.

He brought in two bozo who were contracted to streamline the process and ensure his new footprint was realized. They simply stole money and completed nothing. By the way, the bozos are part time DC based academics which is important to this little tale.

In a reflective moment, he decided his vision was good, the execution was a disaster. Yes, he even admitted to voting for Bush, twice.

I digress.

He determined the bozos have that academic DC "handout mentality." He further opined "they expect to be paid without doing anything."

Fact: MP is a 61year old white male degreed buddy of our president.

Fact: While he suffered a 40K pay reduction, he still makes 165K plus benefits.

Fact: Corporate only recognizes folks who have managerial duties or a book of business tied to their name/salary.

Fact: To protect his buddy, the president handed him my division's clients as a "book."

Fact: MP is the producer on accounts that have never met him.

As he was droning on, I began to laugh hysterically. He was generally stunned by my reaction. What's so funny? he inquired.

"I guess handout in is the eyes of the beholder," I offered. Suddenly, I only heard crickets on the end of the phone.

With that I informed him, I had to service his clients.

Labor Day is Important

“I just don’t think that as a country we’ve conceptualized that this is not our father’s or our grandfather’s economy,” Mr. Stern said in an interview. “We’re going through profound change and we have no plan.”

The feeling that seems to override all others for workers is anxiety. American families, already saddled with enormous debt, are trying to make it in an environment in which employment is becoming increasingly contingent and subject to worldwide competition. Health insurance, unaffordable for millions, is a huge problem. And guaranteed pensions are going the way of typewriter ribbons and carbon paper.

“We’re ending defined benefit pensions in front of our eyes,” said Mr. Stern. “I’d say today’s retirement plan for young workers is: ‘I’m going to work until I die.’ ”

Unless you inherit a nice trust fund, my daughter's soon to be obtained college degree will only increase her debt. We as a national are in a bad place.

When this is articulated by the liberal community, the Repugs scream that we are pessimistic. If you go to work everyday and do not fear for your job or benefits, this is not a issue.

Our true concerns should be the shaky economy not the portrait Guiliani and Bush continue to paint. One week of money currently being dumped into Iraq could be spent on affordable education and a sane health care delivery system.

We all should pay attention to Labor Day.