Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
To anyone paying close attention to this race the above audio isn't a surprise. Senator Obama believes in the redistribution of wealth. Does this make him a bad person? No. Does this make him unamerican? No. However, I do have a problem with his attempt to conceal this belief from the American voters. It is just as bad as President Bush concealing he was a big government advocate during the 2000 campaign.
This revelation also underlines the worries about his lack of a record. Who is Barack Obama? It was arguably a racist and fear mongering question before, but now it suddenly becomes a very legitimate question. What other economic, social, or judicial philosophies is he trying to keep under wraps until November 4th?
The Obama campaign should be thankful for their large lead at the moment. They should also be thankful this didn't come out earlier this month. I think it will narrow the race. The huge blowout that seemed inevitable is now unlikely. Undecided voters are going to break for Senator McCain in a big way.
Making up 7-8 points in a week is a tough needle to thread. I doubt it can be done, but this race sure got a lot more interesting.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
What a roller coaster the last month and a half has been. It all started in early March. Three time NFL MVP and face of the Packers franchise for 16 years, Brett Favre, retired from the game of football. Then came small grumblings of Favre considering a comeback. Then came an interview with his former QB coach Steve Mariucci in which said he would consider a comeback if Aaron Rodgers were injured. Then came the bombshell. Early July Chris Mortenson of ESPN reported that Brett Favre contacted Packers' head coach Mike McCarthy to let him know he was seriously considering ending the retirement that began only months ago.
I personally first heard the news on the radio while driving in my car . A smile immediately formed on my face. Brett Favre is all I've really known as quarterback for the green and gold. I love watching him play and find it hard to imagine another player ever topping him as my favorite player of all time. I was excited for the possibility of another deep playoff run lead by number four. Then came the drama.
Turns out that the front office of the Green Bay Packers didn't share my enthusiasm. What followed was hard for me to watch. The team I will cheer for till the day I die was at odds with a player that I, for the lack of a better word, love. Release demands, bribes, long conversations, and more rumors then I can count have filled the last month plus. Then came the trade.
Late last night this sideshow was put to an end. Possibly the greatest Packer to ever play the game was traded to the New York Jets. So the question that remains is who's at fault?
This could be potentially debated for years and years to come. I'll take the easy way out and say its both Brett and the organization's fault. One thing that I feel can't be denied is that Favre handled this about as poorly as possible. He retired when he shouldn't have. He revealed his intentions to play in a way that caused a huge distraction for his teammates. He strung this out for weeks and weeks and weeks because he was unable to fully commit. He refused to put bad feelings behind him and rejoin the Packers. He refused to talk to other teams interested in trading for his services until just a couple days ago.
The front office lead by general manager Ted Thompson is certainly not without fault. They probably made Brett feel rushed to make a decision. They communicated poorly with Brett. They handled public relations about as badly as they could have. They were too dogmatic in their stance on Aaron Rodgers as starter. They miscalculated Brett's desire to return.
One thing needs to be kept in mind. Both parties were put into a difficult and unique situation. Swiss clock precision by either side was an unrealistic goal.
The final question which should be answered fairly quickly is was this the right move by the Packers? I think you'd be hard pressed to find a Packer fan (though there are a few) that wouldn't want Brett back this year. The divide in the fan base is between those who want Brett back and don't understand why Ted Thompson forced him out and those that want Brett back but understand why management did what it did. Consider this.
Unlike the previous couple years, Brett didn't work out with a personal trainer in the offseason. Throwing the ball around with the local high school team is all well and good, but at Favre's age he should be doing more focused workouts under the supervision of an expert not less.
In Brett's retirement press conference, he questioned his desire to do the things necessary to be successful come game time--meetings, offseason workouts, game film, practice, training camp etc. He also questioned whether he ever wanted the ball in his hands with the game on the line again.
The potential for a divided locker room could be realized. Even if the Packers did an open competition, it could end up being close and half the locker room could think one QB won and the other half the other QB won. Also the team is full of mostly younger players who haven't played with Favre all that long. They might think it unfair to take the job away from Aaron Rodgers since, unlike Brett, he has been committed to the Packers the entire offseason.
I hate this situation and wish it never happened this way. However, I will support the Packers and Ted Thompson. He has built a young and talented team and we as a fans should be grateful. Despite all the mistakes he has made this offseason, I still think highly of Brett Favre and will always be an apologist and fan of number four. He would have to pull an OJ to undo the 16 years of excitement, entertainment, and joy he has brought me watching him play the position of quarterback like no other.
Don't give into your need to find someone to blame. Sometimes things just happen.
Go Pack, Go Jets.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Tim Russert's sudden death could not come at a worse time for journalism. In an era of increased partisanship and mud slinging, Tim Russert was a rarity. Sure every network has a Sunday morning show with a somewhat even handed moderator, but Russert was by far the best at it. Widely regarded as the toughest interviewer in Washington, he had a way of being tough without raising his voice or talking over his guest.
He was a newsman not a commentator. Today's media organizations seem to think Americans need talking heads on TV to formulate opinions for them. Meet The Press under Russert sought the facts through probing questions and the audience made their own conclusions.
Watching the coverage on TV today I began to wonder how this was affecting other journalists--the Bill O'Reillys, Keith Olbermanns, Sean Hannitys, Chris Matthews'... If one of these other host and/or commentators were to tragically die tomorrow as Russert did, how would they be remembered?
In the daily and weekly ratings wars and non-stop gauntlet of political wedge issues, it seems to be forgotten that life is short and none of that stuff really matters. The respect of your peers and your audience is more important then winning the 25-50 demo. The honest airing of the facts and civilized discourse is more important then making the red team or the blue team look bad.
I hope this death will not be in vain. I hope other journalists will take a look at the career and legacy of Tim Russert and realize many of them are doing a disservice to the craft of journalism and more importantly this country.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
"The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
--President Abraham Lincoln
Thursday, May 01, 2008
In today's politics, its assumed most politicians are liars or at the very least benders of the truth. The many scandals over the past fifty years have seen to that. So why in this latest reemergence of Rev. Wright is Senator Obama still taken at face value by many?
The Senator claims, "...the insensitivity and the outrageousness of his statements and his performance in the question and answer period yesterday. I think shocked me. It surprised me." Really? Shock and Surprise were your emotions? Anyone else surprised?
If you say were surprised you either had no internet, TV, or newspaper access since Rev. Wright became a household name or you're a liar. Senator Obama falls in the later category. Barak Obama not knowing Wright's extremist beliefs is about as likely as Sammy Sosa really forgetting how to speak english or not knowing his bat was corked. Sure there is a small chance, but its so small it should be laughable to suggest so.
So the Senator from Illinois has finally disowned Rev. Jeremiah. When did this occur? After a twenty year relationship with the man? No. After the national media exposed Wright's extreme beliefs? No. Not until Rev. Wright suggested that Senator Obama's speech, statements and actions regarding him were politically motivated did the Senator decide to cut that relationship off.
That is the straw that broke the camels back. For the Senator, "God Damn America" or federal government AIDS spreading theories aren't as objectionable as a politically damaging observation that most unbiased third parties already made.
One thing Rev. Wright can't be accused of is parsing his words or not saying what he believes. He may be out there, but he can't be called a liar. Which is what makes this quote from a April 30 2007 New York Times article so interesting.
“If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me,” Mr. Wright said with a shrug. “I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.”
This is not a new kind of politics. This is not hope. This is the same old thing in an articulate, younger and darker package which seems to fool a lot of people.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Baseball fans picture a team for me. This team has two aces, two young solid starting pitchers and a veteran pitcher with a decade plus of experience and postseason success. This team has a veteran bullpen with four different pitchers with closing experience and a shutdown left handed specialist. This team has a lineup with power and speed. Sounds like a championship caliber ball club right? One catch--that team is managed by a mental midget.
That man is Ned Yost. Who still after more then four years of managing at the major league level and before that working under Bobby Cox for twelve years can't figure out how to manage a pitching staff.
The game which just finished is a prime example. Brewers scored 2 runs in the top of the tenth inning to take a 3-1 lead over the Reds. Eric Gagne had pitched the previous three days. Three days is pushing it enough, but Ned thinks it wise to send him out there for the fourth straight day. The Milwaukee Brewers at this very moment are carrying fourteen pitchers. Yes fourteen! Torres has closing experience, Turnbow has closing experience, and David Riske has a little closing experience (closed the first game of the year after Gagne blew the save an inning earlier). Now even to the average baseball fan this adds up to a situation that where you give Gagne a day off and go with another one of your the pitchers from what has been a good bullpen so far this year.
This doesn't dawn on Ned Yost however. Over sixteen years as a coach at the major league level and he can't figure this out. This is just one example of his many mistake over the years during his management of the Brewers.
This is why I can't get to high on the Brewers this season. I know that in many games this year the players will have to overcome the decisions of their manager. I know in many games this year players will be put in positions where they will likely fail. The most frustrating part of this is that teams in markets like Milwaukee don't have large windows to have postseason success and it is nothing but a waste to have Ned Yost managing this team at this time.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
I grew up with you quarterbacking my favorite team. You played the position like no one had before. Thanks for the memories. Hard to think of a football player more deserving of a long and relaxing retirement. Goodbye Brett. You'll always be missed and you'll never be forgotten.