Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Twenty Years Ago

7-16-88 The Democratic National Convention begins Monday in Atlanta. As I write, the Reverend Jesse Jackson is travelling in a bus caravan from Chicago to Atlanta. Reportedly, he’s still simmering from Michael Dukakis’s selection of Lloyd Bentsen as his running mate. But what did Jackson expect? There’s no way in hell the Democrats can win the presidential election with Jackson on the ticket. First, there are too many racists in the country; second, he won’t help as much as Bentsen in capturing Texas; and third, he doesn’t differ from Dukakis as much as Bentsen does. Bentsen may be bland, but he’s useful, and that’s what the Democrats need. So, with the ticket written, the only question is what Jackson’s role will be in the party this fall. That’s where most of the media attention is centering. Some say that Jackson will disrupt the convention in an attempt to gain power and have a say in writing the Democratic platform. Others say that he’ll be statesmanlike and join with Dukakis and Bentsen. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Animal Companions

After reading this blog post, I’m thinking of taking Shelbie to a bike rally.

“Breathtaking Flips and Flops”

Dick Morris explains why Barack Obama is doing so poorly in the polls.

The United States of America

For the life of me, I don’t understand why any American cares what people in other nations think of us. If they think of us at all, I want them to think this thought: “I’d better be good, or the U.S. will kick my ass.”


Here is a scene from today’s stage of the Tour de France. Here is tomorrow’s stage. American cyclist Christian Vande Velde lies in third place overall, just 38 seconds behind the leader, Australian Cadel Evans. Vande Velde appears to be climbing well, and there’s no doubt that he’ll stay strong throughout the Tour. The question is whether he can match or beat Evans in the one remaining individual time trial.

Addendum: Vande Velde is writing a column for his local newspaper.

A Year Ago



Yesterday’s Major League Baseball All-Star game, played in Yankee Stadium during its final year of use, was one for the ages. It went 15 glorious innings, with the American League prevailing, 4-3, over the National League. I enjoyed the pregame festivities, especially the part that involved the Hall of Famers. It angers me that no member of the 1984 World Champion Detroit Tigers has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. All of the following players should have been inducted long ago: Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, and Jack MorrisSparky Anderson (their manager) has been inducted, but he wasn’t on the field with the others. I hope he’s all right.

The four Texas Rangers did well. Michael Young went 1-4 and drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly. He could and should have been named the Most Valuable Player, but J. D. Drew of the Boston Red Sox, who hit a game-tying two-run home run early on, was chosen instead. Josh Hamilton went 1-3 with a stolen base. Milton Bradley went 0-2, but drew a walk and stole a base. He was picked off first base, which was not good. Ian Kinsler went 1-5 with a stolen base. On another occasion, he was caught stealing. Actually, replays showed that he was safe. All told, the boys from Texas went 3-14. It was great to see them on a national stage.

Yankee fans once again proved to be assholes. They booed every member of the Boston Red Sox, usually quite lustily. Perhaps they sense that the Yankees have been eclipsed by the Red Sox as America’s team. Boston has won two of the past four World Series and has a good chance of making it three of five. The Yankees haven’t won a World Series since 2000 and are going backward. I didn’t mind the announcers, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. There are far worse announcers than these. Some of the commercial advertisements were funny. I’m looking forward to the second “half” of the season. Expect pennant runs from my beloved Detroit Tigers and my adopted Texas Rangers. Expect the Yankees to continue sucking.

Did I mention that the highest-paid player in baseball, Choke-Rod, choked? He struck out and popped out before being removed from the game. I’m sure Yankee fans noticed that Derek Jeter stayed around for the entire game, while Choke-Rod, by all indications, left the stadium as soon as he was removed. What a classy man! Come to think of it, he’s as classy as Yankee fans. They deserve each other.

Addendum: Here is the New York Times story.

Addendum 2: Mariano Rivera continues to embarrass himself. There were 23 pitchers in the game. Only two of them gave up more hits than Rivera.


Here is your entertainment for this Wednesday evening. Notice how Madonna’s voice changes at 1:24. Look at her dance moves at 3:10.

From the Mailbag


Jon Stewart (on The Daily Show) nails this, rather succinctly, in the attached video.

Best regards,

Note from KBJ: The video Greg sent is a proper subset of the one to which I linked.

Hall of Fame?

Dean Palmer. (For an explanation of this feature, see here.)


One of my readers sent a link to this.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

The New Yorker magazine’s so-called satirical depiction of Senator Barack Obama and his wife as terrorists is simply disgusting. The magazine will be found in newsstands at the airports and around the country and will be used by the Republicans to instill fear if not uncertainty among the electorate.

It is another of the major obstacles, needless in this case, that Senator Obama will have to overcome. That it comes from a magazine stylishly and intellectually directed to the educated public is all the more astonishing. Did the editors not consider the effects of their “satire”?

Here we are in the midst of a national shipwreck, and The New Yorker decides to go clever by jeopardizing the candidacy of the man who, as Gov. Bill Richardson rightly declared, comes along once in a lifetime.

Senator Obama is unique in American political life. He has that rare intelligence and speaks easily to people and makes himself clearly understood authentically as a genuine human being. The New Yorker ought to be ashamed of itself.

Louis B. Zimmer
Upper Montclair, N.J., July 15, 2008

Note from KBJ: Remember this? Is it acceptable to make fun of Republicans but not to make fun of Democrats? Methinks Obama had better steel himself for what’s to come.

Note 2 from KBJ: One word came to mind when I read this letter for the first time: “worship.”


The following headline in today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram made my head hurt:

Congress votes to override veto on bill rescinding reimbursement cut

Only a genius could make sense of this upon first reading. Me? I had to break it down, chronologically:

1. On 1 July, a rate cut for doctors who treat Medicare patients “kicked in.”

2. Legislation was introduced to rescind this rate cut.

3. President Bush vetoed the legislation.

4. Congress overrode the veto.

Now does it make sense?