Thursday, May 08, 2008

Apropos of nothing, here are three sports-related things that made me laugh, and one sports-related thing that made me sad:

  • The Onion News Network: NHL Star Called Up To Big Leagues To Play For NFL Team ("Reggie, when Ovechkin started out in the NHL, do you think he ever dreamed he'd be able to play sports professionally one day?")
  • Fire Joe Morgan: Heaven Is Reading This HatGuy Column ("Yes, 'twas a fine time. The baseball men would laze about, drunk on molasses moonshine, cheeks puffed with tobacco crabgrass. No coloreds were allowed, and the only women were the Lace Tutu Girls, whose sole purpose was to light your cigar and freshen your martini -- toplessly, of course. Ah, 1988.")
  • The Onion: Nationals Book It After Foul Ball Accidentally Smashes Capitol Rotunda ("Although McConnell had no evidence at the time that Zimmerman was responsible for the damages, he was the chief suspect, as he is the only National able to hit the ball farther than 300 feet.")
  • E:60: Down and Out? TCU defensive end Tommy Blake's struggle with mental illness absolutely destroyed his NFL draft value. The mental illness in question? Depression. "There are some teams that just won't deal with it," says former NFL GM Randy Mueller. Sad.

You tell 'im, Ernie.

(Via Wonkette.)

John McCain on the Daily Show (part I; part II). I'm not going to transcribe the whole interview, but here's a summary:

Stewart: Senator McCain, it's an honor.
McCain: Glad to be here.
Stewart's brain: Ask him about Hagee!
Stewart: You are... gosh, you are just swell, and I hope you know it.
McCain: Thank you, Jon.
Stewart's brain: No, man. Hagee!
Stewart: Have I ever told you about how I wish I could vote for you one million times every day?
McCain: You're very kind.
Stewart's brain: Okay, fine. Forget Hagee. Try to pin him down on exactly how long he's willing to stay in Iraq if American casualties continue.
Stewart: You're in my Facebook, you know.
McCain: Absolutely, Jon. Facebook, right, whatever.
Stewart's brain: What the fuck is the matter with you? Alright, here's one you'll like. Ask him why he said that Hamas endorsed Barack Obama.
Stewart: "There was one comment -- and this could have been taken out of context as well [it wasn't] -- you felt that Hamas had endorsed Obama. Did they officially..."
McCain [taken aback]: Well, a spokesperson from Hamas said that they wanted [blah blah blah].
Stewart's brain: Hey, way to go! An actual question. Now follow up, follow up!
Stewart: [Clever logical trap that McCain didn't actually catch until it was too late.]
McCain: [Wary agreement.]
Stewart's brain: Damn, yo!
Stewart: "So they don't really endorse Barack Obama. They just... they would hate anybody, because they hate our way of life."
Stewart's brain: Going for the jugular!
McCain: "That is true, but... [bullshit bullshit bullshit, glaring inconsistency]."
Stewart: Oh. Right. Good point.
Stewart's brain: ... So close.
Stewart: Want to come see my treehouse?
Stewart's brain: I hate my job.
Seriously, it was pathetic. McCain spent a solid fifteen minutes onstage, and Stewart spent fourteen and a half of those minutes utterly refusing to call McCain on anything. ("How do you differentiate yourself from George Bush" is not a confrontation; it's an invitation to recite a campaign commercial.)

Way to carpe the diem, Jon. Really, kudos.

Stop hurting America.

George Johnson, one of my favorite science journalists, bizarrely turned up on the Colbert Report last night. He was kind of a letdown, though, so for those of you who'd consider buying his book but found yourself turned off by his lackluster Colbert preformance, be sure to give him another chance.

John Sidney McCain, on why the North Carolina GOP oughtn't to have run its Obama ad:

We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. And that party, that Republican party... there's no room for this kind of activity.
Ah, yes. Ronald Reagan, bastion of tolerance. Do you think McCain maybe doesn't remember Ronald Reagan? Or is this just another example of McCain being awful at pandering?

Also, in vaguely related news (which is to say, both of these thoughts were inspired by the NewsHour): maybe Judy Woodruff is a great reporter, I don't know; but as a moderator, she is awful. (As I've mentioned.)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


In the delicate world of diplomatic protocol, mispronouncing a foreign leader's name ranks among the worst of faux pas. But that is lost on many Americans. Who can forget Hillary Rodham Clinton's verbal gymnastics after being asked by Tim Russert to name the new president of Russia? (Most transcripts cleaned it up as "Medvedev -- whatever.") Or recall the guffawing last September after a draft of President Bush's speech before the United Nations was found that included the phonetic spellings of several names of foreign countries and leaders. Among them: Harare (hah-RAR-ray) and Mugabe (moo-GAH-bee).

At a time when the United States is trying to improve its image abroad, mangling the names of foreign dignitaries does not help. Nowhere is this issue more sensitive than at the United Nations, where diplomats view the mispronunciation of names as a subtle if passive-aggressive form of U.N. bashing.
Couldn't agree more. The Clinton-Medvedev incident, in particular, was absolutely pathetic (mostly because I like to hope imagine pretend that Democrats are above that kind of petty ridiculousness). The one thing I would add, though, is that it's not just about U.N. bashing; they do it domestically, too. "Barack" is not the same word as "barrack," Pat Buchanan.

John McCain declares his distaste for "activist judges." Or, as they're known to anyone with a more-than-rudimentary understanding of the judicial system, "judges."

Kos, thinking big picture:

If Clinton were to drop out this week, we'd face an uncomfortable situation in West Virginia, with Clinton likely crushing Obama. That would look terrible for the presumptive nominee.

Better than that would be to garner enough superdelegate commitments this week, so that Oregon can push Obama past 2,024. That way, it isn't the supers who clinch it for Obama, but actual voters.

A rosy picture:

Clinton advisers acknowledged that the results of the primaries were far less than they had hoped, and said they were likely to face new pleas even from some of their own supporters for her to quit the race. They said they expected fund-raising to become even harder; one adviser said the campaign was essentially broke, and several others refused to say whether Mrs. Clinton had lent the campaign money from her personal account to keep it afloat.
She's in it to win it!

Update: The Times writes that "the conventional wisdom of the elite political pundit class that resides on television shifted hard, and possibly irretrievably, against Senator Hillary Clinton’s continued viability as a presidential candidate" [nice of them to notice], and reveals that "Clinton has lent her campaign more than $6 million over the last month," as her "options dwindle." Clearly the latte-drinking, can't-bowl-its-way-out-of-a-wet-paper-bag New York Times has allowed itself to become distracted by Obama's Elite Math.

Other Update: John Zogby ("There really is no mathematical chance for her to win") is a perfectly dignified man, and a canny pollster. But I swear, every time I picture the guy, I imagine this. I blame Patrick Murray.