Monday, October 16, 2006

Loose ends

Time to tidy up after a nice fall weekend.
  • Looks like the Badgers are even better than I thought, and the Gophers are worse. Bucky put a 48-12 beatdown on the Gophs that was as thoroughgoing as it was impressive. P. J. Hill appears to be a worthy heir to the mantle of Dayne, Davis and Calhoun, while the Badger defense consistently stifled what had been a productive Minnesota offense. Things look good for Bucky, but they get a good and interesting test next, traveling to Purdue to face the always dangerous Boilermakers. I haven't seen enough of Purdue this year to have much of a feel for them, but they have pretty much won the games they were expected to and have lost the games they were expected to. That means a typical Purdue team and a tough assignment. If Bielema's boys are up to it, a really nice season (10+ wins) is possible.
  • Mark Kennedy needed a knockout on the Meet the Press debate this weekend, but he didn't get it. Darling Amy Klobuchar continues her easy path to the Senate. I'm increasingly convinced that she is pretty much an empty suit, but that appears to be enough this year, especially with her opponent's angry nerd persona pretty much taking any sympathy away from his generally sensible views. I still believe John Kline was the better candidate for the job, but so it goes. And, for what it's worth, even if Klobuchar is an empty suit, she'll be an improvement over Mark Dayton. Any random reader of this blog would be an improvement over Dayton.
  • Meanwhile, we have an interesting race at a much more local level. I live in Minnesota House district 50B, which has long been a swing district. The current incumbent, Char Samuelson, decided to retire and we are in the midst of a pretty lively race. The Republican nominee is Lori Grivna, well known to voters as a long time member of the Mounds View school board. Her opponent is Kate Knuth, daughter of a previous 50B representative and, at 25, the dictionary definition of an earnest, fresh-faced young lefty. Knuth has never had a job outside of academia and points with pride to her Fulbright grant to study something environmental in Norway. I have a very good friend who also earned a Fulbright, to study forestry in Sweden. My friend was smart enough to understand, as the Swedes now apparently do, that socialism is not really a growth industry. Young Kate seems to believe otherwise, based on some of her more addled pronouncements. If you've ever spent time on a liberal arts campus, you'll recognize the type -- earnest, energetic, clad in birkenstocks and North Face gear, angry at the world she knows from living off trust funds and honoraria. There are literally thousands of such young women on American campuses; mostly, they grow out of this sort of thing and, in about 20 years, evolve into someone who's a lot like Lori Grivna - suburban, minivan-bound, generally sensible and vaguely liberal, at least in public. Yet, somehow, Knuth seems to be ahead in the race, despite her obvious inexperience and her quintessentially bubble-brained ideas. Grivna should be winning this race easily, but she's quite likely to lose. I'm not sure why, but her campaign has not caught fire, even though she has been a proven vote getter in the district on a number of occasions. My guess is that she could have, and probably should have, run as a moderate Democrat, since that is what she really is. Which proves, I think, something fundamental about politics. When faced with a choice between a liberal and someone who's not quite as liberal, but unwilling to argue against liberal premises, people will choose the authentic liberal. And Kate has better looking lawn signs, too.
  • My son and I have a fantasy football team and we are kicking butt. Here's our current roster: quarterbacks are Tom Brady and Mark Bulger; running backs are Tiki Barber, Willie Parker, Frank Gore and Dominic Rhodes; wideouts are Donald Driver, Lee Evans, Santana Moss and Brandon Stokely; tight ends are Todd Heap and Jermaine Wiggins; kickers are Matt Stover and Josh Scobee; defenses are the Giants and the Chargers. We are scoring well over 100 points every week. And you don't want to mess with us. My son will likely be interviewing for the soon-to-be-vacant Detroit Lions GM job sooner than later....

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