Saturday, September 29, 2018

Top 10 Brett Kavanaugh Revelations from Forthcoming FBI Report -- 80s Movie Edition

10. Brett Kavanaugh taped Larry Lester's buns together
9. Brett Kavanaugh put Baby in the corner
8. Brett Kavanaugh is the candy-colored clown they call the Sandman
7. Brett Kavanaugh is on a mission from God
6. Brett Kavanaugh gave this town an enema
5. Brett Kavanaugh slimed me
4. Brett Kavanaugh got the shit kicked out of him in Wisconsin once
3. Brett Kavanaugh can't believe he gave his panties to a geek
2. Brett Kavanaugh thinks the central tenet of Buddhism is every man for himself
1. Brett Kavanaugh made 14 dollars the hard way

Friday, September 28, 2018

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- No College Games Edition

Old dude, I wonder how angry Mike Zimmer is right now?

I bet the ol' nostrils are flaring a bit.

No, that's Mom. I was watching the game with her last night and she was not pleased with the defensive effort.

That's right. Let's go to the highlights:

Some say that Jared Goff is still throwing touchdowns.

And on the one to Cooper Kupp, it looked like Anthony Barr was trying to hail a cab.

Of course, we Packers fans shouldn't be too full of ourselves, because we haven't looked much better:

If you look closely enough in that video, Clay Matthews gets called for roughing the passer, even though wasn't even born when this was filmed.

He totally had it coming, though.

Yes. Yes he did. Anyway, with both the Badgers and the Gophers on bye, and Knox might as well be on bye with the quality of their recent performances, we'll move on to two NFL games. Gino, this one's for you. Watch me work!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) vs. Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz. Some dude in SoCal tells us da Bearz are in first place. I checked the paper, and he is right. I'm stunned, actually. It's clear that the Khalil Mack trade has worked out for da Bearz. We don't know who the Bucs are going to start, but I would prefer they send FitzMagic out there, since he's more experienced and less likely to steal seafood from a Publix or grope an Uber driver. He should consider alternative transportation; maybe he can hail a cab with Anthony Barr! Anyway, da Bearz will go as far as Mitchell Trubisky will take them. Da Bearz 42, Bucs 17.

The Bears will go as far as Mitchell Trubisky can take them? I hear the Metra goes out to Elgin. The Bucs have been a high-scoring outfit, but they have been playing mostly sieve-like defenses thus far. The Bears will give them a test. Hey Gino -- we're both picking your Bears! Bears 27, Bucs 17.

Buffalo Bills (+8.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. I'm not going to mince words; the Packers execution was a joke last week. That was one of the worst Packers performances I've seen in over a decade of following the team. To make matters worse, everyone thought the Bills were going to be a speed bump for the Vikings last week. But then we found out that Josh Allen is in the Matrix:

And look, old dude! It's Anthony Barr trying to get a Lyft! I think the Packers can win this game, but they need to step up and actually be prepared. As an Eagle Scout, I'm an expert on the subject of being prepared. Packers 17, Bills 13.

I don't think Anthony Barr is going to be sending you a Hickory Farms gift basket for the holidays, Seabiscuit. But after last week's hambone performance in Washington, the Packers need to get better in a hurry. I think they get the Bills blocked more effectively than the Vikings did and that should be enough. Packers 31, Bills 24.

I won't take any more shots at Anthony Barr. And see, Gino? We do love you! Ben out!


Too much to discuss, really. But for me, a few things stand out. First of all, Lindsey Graham's finest hour:

Second of all, RedState blogger Streiff notes the utter cynicism of the Senate Democrats, and Dianne Feinstein in particular, first by highlighting an exchange between Feinstein and Texas Senator John Cornyn:
Cornyn: Can you tell us your staff did not leak it?

Feinstein: Oh, I don’t believe my staff would leak it. I have not asked that question directly, but I do not believe they would.

Cornyn: Do you know that? I mean how in the world did that get in the hands of the press?

Feinstein: The answer is no. The staff would not.

Cornyn: Did you as your staff or any other member of the Judiciary Committee?

Feinstein: I just did. Well, Jennifer reminds me I’ve asked her before about it.

Cornyn: Well, somebody leaked it, if it wasn’t you.

Feinstein: Well, I’m telling you it was not…I did not…I mean I was asked to keep it confidential and I’m criticized for that, too.
And why would that be? Back to the link:
The problem here is that a) CNN got a copy of the letter she sent to Feinstein in confidence and b) Ford said, under oath, she didn’t send the letter to anyone else. 
Under oath, Christine Blasey Ford said she didn't send the letter to anyone else. So is Ford lying under oath? That would be the obvious implication of Feinstein's remarks. Lindsey Graham makes the point well:
Boy, you all want power. God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham. That you knew about it and you held it. You had no intention of protecting Dr. Ford; none.

She’s as much of a victim as you are. God, I hate to say it because these have been my friends. But let me tell you, when it comes to this, you’re looking for a fair process? You came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend. 
They have been Graham's friends, or so he thought, but it seems the scales have fallen from his eyes.

One other thing worth noting -- now, apparently doxxing your opponents is cool:
Several Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee had their home addresses and phone numbers released to the public on their Wikipedia pages during Thursday’s hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

The victims included Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

According to Caleb Hull, editor of the Independent Journal Review, the wife of Mr. Hatch “has been receiving calls nonstop ON HER BIRTHDAY and their home address was made public.” 
CongressEdits, a bot account that for four years automatically retweets edits to Wikipedia made anonymously from IP addresses associated with the U.S. Congress, said the information was also posted on Mr. Lee and Mr. Graham “from US House of Representatives.”
From the House of Representatives. We'll just leave it there.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


So then there's this:
Two men have come forward to tell Senate investigators they, not Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, could have been responsible for the encounter Christine Blasey Ford describes when she says she was sexually assaulted at a high school party 36 years ago.

The Judiciary Committee Republican staff did not release any details about the men, but said each had been interviewed, and one had provided a written statement.

Each of the men described “in some detail” their recollection of their encounter with Ms. Blasey Ford, the GOP staff said in a memo late Wednesday, less than 12 hours before Ms. Blasey Ford is slated to testify about her memories of the assault.
Do you find your head spinning? I do, at least a little. Two true things I know.

I was in the Washington, DC, area in the summer of 1982, on a family vacation. My brother and I wandered into Georgetown and had a drink at a bar, even though he was underage at the time. We didn't assault Christine Blasey Ford, as far as we know. I will also note that I have never seen so many beautiful women in one place as I did that night.

I went to college with a guy from Gaithersburg, Maryland, the hometown of Julie Swetnick, who has alleged McMartin Pre-School-level behavior by Kavanaugh. The guy I knew from Gaithersburg was quite proud of being a hick from the sticks. I've long since lost touch with him, but I'd love to hear what he'd have to say about the notion that a college-age woman from Gaithersburg would be hanging out at beach parties with a bunch of dudes from Georgetown Prep. To put it in Twin Cities terms, it would be the same as a woman from, say, Glencoe-Silver Lake High School going to Breck or Blake parties. It could happen, but it's not likely.

For the record

Brett Kavanaugh has not sexually assaulted me, as far as I know, or at least recently. However, today's revelations will involve rebar, kendo sticks, yellow highlighting markers, a pallet of Earl Grey tea, and just a dollop of Miracle Whip. According to a commenter on a popular website, Brett Kavanugh used all these in vile combinations on nubile exchange students from Equatorial Guinea, all while stalking the Eastern Shore naked from the waist down, but wearing a Colonel Mustard pith helmet and "I've got your Piltdown Man right here, pal" t-shirt. Avenatti has already secured a sworn affidavit. 

Benster and D Pick Your Game--------Emergency Television Mandated Edition

Old dude, the NFL wants you to watch the Vikings and Rams on a Thursday night? Say what?

Money to be made, young fella. 

Bet there is going to be one heck of a jam near the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Vikings and Rams both seem to want to go places, but this might be an NFC playoff future.

Well, at least one team. Wondering about the visitors, though.

I agree. It is time to watch me work.

Minnesota Vikings (+7) vs. Los Angeles Rams. The Vikings looked horrible on Sunday, getting destroyed at home by the Bills despite being comfortable favorites. I'm going to be real with you, last week could have been the unmasking of the Vikings. Mike Zimmer has to approach this game as the point of no return game, because the Vikings looked solid their opener, very loose in the turns against the Packers, and looked downright awful against the Bills. I think the Vikings are going to play better, but the problem is that the Rams have done a few things right. First, the Rams have improved themselves and are trying to be a winner that the city of Los Angeles is going to get behind. Remember, Los Angeles can be a good football town, as I remember USC being almost like a pro team back in the day under Cheat Carroll. The Rams have one of the best offensive minds in Sean McVay and have an offense that is well-equipped to match up against a good Vikings defense. Everyone is talking the Vikings up as Super Bowl contenders, but the Rams secretly seem to look better, and I think the Rams will win and send Zimmer into his first crisis as a head coach. Rams 35, Vikings 17.

The NFL being the way it is, all of what you say could be true, yet it might work out for the Vikings. Buffalo looked like a CFL team for the first two weeks of the season, then strolled into Minneapolis and destroyed the locals. If I were a Vikings fan, I'd be very worried about Kirk Cousins right now. The Rams have an unbelievable defensive line and the Vikings offensive line was, well, abysmal last week. They get three days to shore that up. If they don't, look out. Rams 28, Vikings 20.
I always tell it like it is, and I never drink the purple Kool-Aid. Ben out!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Apropos of nothing

Image result for eyes of t.j. eckleburg
no, nothing at all

Pennant Race!

Let's forget Kavanaugh for a minute and enjoy a little baseball:

I've been a Brewers fan my whole life. No team has brought more misery into the lives of Brewers fans than the St. Louis Cardinals. As you might imagine, seeing the Brewers go into St. Louis and kick Cardinal butt is sweet.

The Brewers are only a half-game behind the Cubs and could win the division outright if they stay hot. I don't know if the Brewers have enough pitching, especially starting pitching, to win it all, but they have bats galore and a straight-up superstar in Christian Yelich, who knocked in six runs last night. This has turned into a  memorable season and there's a chance it could get a lot better. There isn't a dominant team in the National League and, right now, the Brewers are playing as well as anyone. Why not?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Home Truth

Sean Davis, writing for The Federalist, on the Kavanaugh War:
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) made clear on CNN on Sunday that Kavanaugh does not deserve to be presumed innocent, notwithstanding the lack of any corroborating evidence of any of the allegations made against him, entirely because his political ideology and judicial philosophy do not align with those of the Democratic Party.

When asked whether Kavanaugh is entitled to the presumption of innocence, Hirono said, “I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases.” Translation: he is guilty because of what he believes, not because of anything he’s actually done. Laverentiy Beria, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s most trusted police inquisitor, who famously declared, “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime,” would surely applaud the totalitarian sentiment underlying Hirono’s statement.

If Kavanaugh is not safe from reputation- and career-destroying smears, no one is. Not you. Not your husband. Not your son, father, or brother. If they can destroy Kavanaugh, they can do it to anyone you love and trust, regardless of any mountains of facts or evidence to the contrary.
"Can" is the default position. "Will" is the next step. It won't get better unless the Left understands they can't get by with this behavior.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Top Ten Other Things Brett Kavanaugh Has Done

10. "Mr. Brett" at McMartin Pre-School
9. Helped Jack Johnson violate the Mann Act
8. Shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die
7. Mocked Chuck Schumer by singing "The Name Game" using Schumer's moniker while at a Yale party
6. Allowed Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle to take the rap for him
5. Physically abused his Sierra Club activist girlfriend
4. Left a woman to drown in an Oldsmobile
3. Shot President Reagan to impress Yale classmate Jodie Foster
2. Gave Sheldon Whitehouse the finger at the Giant Food in the Westwood Shopping Center in Bethesda
1. Had sex with Stormy Daniels while wearing a Donald Trump mask

I would expect Sen. Hirono to level further charges anon.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Inadvertent Rerun Edition

Right off the bat, I have to apologize. It turns out that Knox did not play last week, so I made the pick a week early and made Old Dude pick the game as well.

It was a brilliant pick for a game that never happened. But will tomorrow, right?

Yes, barring an epic mosquito invasion at Ripon.

In my experience, you're more likely to encounter weasels at Ripon.

Hey, I do the comedy around here, pal.

Well, why don't you, then?

Because I also have to provide the HYYYYYYPPPPPPE! as well. And sometimes that takes a lot of effort.

Those extra Ps are heavy, right?

Oh yes. And so you are you -- I've been carrying you for years. Watch me work!

Minnesota Elite Rowers of the Boat (+2.5) vs. Maryland Criminal Investigations. Maryland is in a weird spot right now, and I don't mean its proximity to Washington, DC. The Terps are dealing with the fallout of the death of one of their players, who died during an offseason workout. As of the writing of this post, it is possible that Maryland Coach D.J. Durkin could be fired. You hate to question the innocent players, but you have to wonder where their heads are going to be. The Gophers are about a year away from getting a lot better, but this is a game they should win. Gophers 20, Maryland 10.

Maryland is quite confusing. They beat Texas and lose to Temple. I don't know how that happens. Neither do they, apparently. I think they'll be angry tomorrow. And while anger doesn't always transform into effectiveness on the gridiron, the edge will be enough to send the Gophers home with a loss. Maryland 29, Gophers 20.

Knox Prairie Fire (NL) vs. Ripon College Redhawks. What's all this Redhawk stuff, lately? Okay, that part doesn't make sense in the current context. But we'll begin again. I was disappointed to see my beloved Fire stub their toes against Geritol Fan's beloved Beloit Buccaneers last week two weeks ago. This week the Fire go even further into Wisconsin to play Ripon. I always back Knox to do well. Knox 21, Ripon 0.

As an observer of Midwest Conference football for nearly 40 years, I can assure you of this -- if your beloved Fire cannot beat my feeble Bucs, you ain't beating Ripon. Ripon 34, Knox 14.

Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (-3) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes. Last week was one of the worst Badgers performances I have seen in a long, long time. It was. . . well, let's have a guest observer tell you:

He's right, you know. However, all is not lost. The Badgers can still get to the Rose Bowl, but they're going to have to earn it. Kinnick Stadium at night makes me very nervous. The Hawkeyes are a tough out no matter when you play them, but they are fearsome under the lights. It's time for the Badgers to respond to adversity. Wisconsin 31, Iowa 17.

It's going to be tough, but I will say this -- Iowa has really struggled to figure out the Badgers defense in recent years. They were historically bad last year at Camp Randall and I'm not certain they'll be a lot better this time around. Low scoring? Oh yeah. Badgers steal it late. Badgers 24, Hawkeyes 21.

Buffalo Bills (+16.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings. Vegas is telling you this, Vikings fans:

Oh, by the way, I guess that clip is NSFW, punk. The Bills are a joke. They have guys retiring at half-time and former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier had his playbook yanked away by the head coach last week. The Bills are a professional football team. Or so we hear. Vikings 100, Bills 0.

Hmmm. You haven't made one of those absurd predictions in a while. I almost missed those. Meanwhile, we do have some tape of a recent Bills practice:

By the way, I don't question Dirty Harry. Vikings 31, Bills 10.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-2.5) vs. Washington Endless Senatorial Hearings. The Packers had a narrow escape from defeat last week, thanks to the inability of the Vikings to kick field goals. The Vikings may have fixed that, but that's not our concern this week. The Redskins are scuffling and I expect there to be plenty of Green and Gold in the stands this weekend. The Packers need to play better defensively, but this should be a routine win. Packers 42, Redskins 10.

I don't think the Redskins are very good, either, but I'm not sure the Packers are going to go into Washington and score six touchdowns. I think it's actually going to be a tight game, but if it comes down to a field goal in the end, Mason Crosby won't miss this time. Packers 23, Redskins 20.

I was thinking about picking the Bears game, but I was worried the NFL would flag me for unnecessary sarcasm. Ben out!

Mostly open thread

Talk about what you want. Just a few really quick observations:

  • If the reports are true and that Christine Blasey Ford really wants Kavanaugh to testify first, before he hears what charges she intends to level, they might as well move the hearings to Salem and be done with it.
  • Good for the Browns. It's difficult to explain to most people under the age of, say, 65, but there was a time when the Browns were considered the model NFL franchise. In some respects, the Browns have become the Pittsburgh Steelers in reverse.
  • A good friend of mine said to me the other day, "unfortunately, for far, far too many, what the Church teach on so many political issues, many U.S. Catholics choose to ignore. Not sure how they justify it in their minds." In John 14:2, Jesus tells us "My father's house has many rooms." Perhaps these folks think one of the rooms is a cafeteria.
Have fun.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

A Massive Missive

So, Chuck Grassley still hasn't seen the original letter that Christine Blasey Ford sent to DiFi:

There's a reason. We just don't what it is. What I do know is Grassley is not amused.

Don't ____ with Chuck
I have a feeling the show is just starting. We're going to learn a lot in the next few weeks, and very little of it will involve Brett Kavanaugh per se.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Back in '82

So where were you in '82? I was a college student. The first half of the year I was a freshman, the second half a sophomore, and during the summer I was drunk. For most of the year, I was 18 years old. For those keeping score at home, the drinking age in Wisconsin was 18 back then, so being 18 and drunk was just fine, so long as you weren't driving. And since I had neither a car nor a driver's license yet, I wasn't driving.

If someone were, now 36 years on, wanting to accuse me of untoward behavior during that year, one could, but there would be no reason to believe that individual. I was involved in a brief relationship that year, but it never got very serious, which was a good thing because the young woman in question had some serious issues which I found out about later. It would be another 3 years before I met Mrs. D, who was still in high school then and would not arrive on campus for another two years.

Do I regret anything I did in 1982? Not really, because most of it is inconsequential to the rest of my life, and I am reasonably certain that anything I did in '82 was even less consequential for the people I knew, both then and now.

So, where were you in '82?

UPDATE: Gino shares a tale.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


President Trump is, at long last, doing what needed to be done:
President Trump on Monday ordered the declassification of several key documents related to the FBI investigation of Russian actions during the 2016 presidential election, including 21 pages of an application for a renewed surveillance warrant against former campaign aide Carter Page, and text messages from disgraced FBI figures Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump had ordered the documents released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Justice Department "[a]t the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency."

The documents to be declassified also include all FBI reports on interviews with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all other applications to surveil Carter Page.

Trump also ordered the Justice Department to release text messages from a number of the key players in the Russia investigation "without redaction" -- including Ohr, Strzok, Lisa Page, former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Blow them all up. Let the world see their works.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Interesting if true.

So the woman who is accusing Brett Kavanaugh of being a drunken teenager has come forward. No one can corroborate her story, of course, although Kavanaugh's buddy, who was supposedly in the room, denies it ever happened. But if this nugget is true, it's pretty amazing:
Christine Ford’s Parents Paula K Blasey and Ralph G Blasey were the Defendants in a foreclosure case in Maryland in 1996. Guess who the Judge was America? None other than Brett Kavanaugh’s mother, Martha G Kavanaugh. You literally cannot make this up.
Here's the information from online court records:


And who presided over the case?

There's more substantiation here than of anything Christine Blasey Ford says regarding Kavanaugh's teenaged comportment. It's not 1991, when Anita Hill could get by with making up a he said/she said story.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Bears Still Suck Edition

After last Sunday, if you don't believe in miracles, why were you watching the Sunday Night Game?

Because who doesn't love the silky tones of Cris Collinsworth?

Seriously, old dude. What the hell is wrong with you?

There's not enough room in the blogosphere to chronicle that.

Good point. It looks like our man is going to play and we will discuss my impressions of the Vikings. All that and more HYYYYYYYYPPPPE than you can even imagine. Watch me work!

Miami University of Ohio Redhawks (+12.5) vs. Minnesota Elite Rowers of the Boat.  The Gophers had to hang for dear life against Fresno State, but thanks to the play of the year by Antoine Winfield, Jr., they were able to hold off the Bulldogs. So this week comes Miami of Ohio, a team with a glorious past but a meh present. The lead boat rower himself, one P.J. Fleck, knows how to beat MAC teams, as he had plenty of MAC-tion during his days at Western Michigan. The Gophers are still young and this is going to be a wake-up call. Redhawks 42, Gophers 17.

You're kidding, right? You have to be kidding. I don't see Ben Roethlisberger out there this week. And I sure the heck don't see Bo Schembechler, either. The Gophers are young but Miami is not the operation they were even 10 years ago. Even without Rodney Smith, the Gophers will win this game based on raw talent alone. Watch and see. Gophers 34, Miami 21.

Knox Prairie Fire (NL) vs. Ripon College Redhawks. What's all this Redhawk stuff, lately? I was disappointed to see my beloved Fire stub their toes against Geritol Fan's beloved Beloit Buccaneers last week. This week the Fire go even futher into Wisconsin to play Ripon. I always back Knox to do well. Knox 21, Ripon 0.

As an observer of Midwest Conference football for nearly 40 years, I can assure you of this -- if your beloved Fire cannot beat my feeble Bucs, you ain't beating Ripon. Ripon 34, Knox 14.

Brigham Young University Cougars (+22.5) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers. BYU is a legit school. They also have a great history in football, in fact far greater than Miami of Ohio. The Badgers won comfortably last year in Provo, and I would expect a comfortable game, despite the fact that BYU is going to make plays. Bucky struggled early last week, but they righted the ship and put New Mexico away in the second half. What cheeses me off is that the Badgers were dropped in the rankings yet again, despite winning by over 30 points. I understand Oklahoma beat UCLA, but UCLA is down right now and that win isn't as impressive as it might have been, say, five years ago. This is just another example of how Wisconsin is held to a different standard than other schools. Maybe beating BYU will give the Badgers some respect. Badgers 45, BYU 20.

Bucky has some things to improve. The most important thing -- Jonathan Taylor needs to stop fumbling. It doesn't matter against New Mexico, but they can't have that against Iowa next week. As for this week, I think Bucky got the message and is going to curb stomp BYU. You want style points? You got style points. Badgers 59, BYU 10.

Seattle Seabags (+3.5) vs. Bear Down Chicago da Bearz. Oh, let's get this out of our system right away:

Yes, they really really really really really really suck. Yes, the Bears still suck. Khalil Mack looked like the freaking Grim Reaper in the first half last week, but in the second half he was a spectator at best, even though he was allegedly on the field. I'm going to be honest with you -- Matt Nagy should thank his lucky stars that Matt Patricia completely soiled the linens at Ford Field, because otherwise he'd be looking at a lot of pressure for the job he did in the second half. Da Bearz inexplicably played not to lose. Guess what? They lost! I thought that Doug Pedersen showed the value of keeping your foot on the throat of your opponent at all times. Apparently Nagy didn't peek at Pedersen's paper. Da Bearz have a lot to answer for concerning that. Now comes Russell Wilson. It's clear Seattle is down and this is a game the Bears should win. Will they? No, unless they stay aggressive and let Mitchell Trubisky win the game on his own. Seattle 24, da Bearz 7.

I dunno. I think the Packers won the game more than the Bears lost it, but your mileage may vary. Trubisky did look a bit rattled in the second half and it's not yet clear if that's just inexperience or more of an intractable problem. He was channeling his inner Brett Hundley too much and not keeping his eyes down the field. The Seahawks aren't the fearsome defense they used to be, but they still have some guys who can do damage. On the other side of the ball, Russell Wilson will pose similar challenges this week. I do think the Bears will win, but it's going to be close. Bears 28, Seahawks 24.

Minnesota Vikings (-1) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. It looks like, based on the line, that the wise guys in Vegas think Aaron Rodgers will not play on Sunday. However, reports indicate he will play. The Vikings won their game relatively comfortably against San Francisco last week, but Aaron Rodgers is not Jimmy Garappolo, even on one leg. Kirk Cousins has very little margin for error. The reason I say that is because he's getting paid superstar money, so he'd better play like a superstar. Cousins didn't do anything wrong last week, but he didn't do anything that made you say, "wow, the Vikings made a great investment". The Packers, on the other hand, had a narrow escape against da Bearz, but they won. You might have heard about it. Aaron Rodgers made plays that made you say, "wow." Everyone is saying the Packers are going to lose. What they forget about is  this -- the Packers defense made the right adjustments against the Bears and essentially shut them down in the second half. In particular, the rookie defensive backs turned Allen Robinson and Trey Burton into players who were largely invisible. The Packers are going to win this game because they are at home, and because Ty Montgomery is going to both pick up blitzes and tire out the Vikings linebackers. Packers 17, Vikings 10.

I loved what Mike Zimmer said about Aaron Rodgers, noting that he walks on water. That was a funny line. Zim had more to say as well:

Oops, I might have put the wrong video up there. Zim does speak highly of Bob Schnelker, though. Anyway, as for this game, I think Rodgers will give it a go. I also think the Vikings will dial up some pain. Put it this way -- I'm not particularly concerned about Anthony Barr, because the Packers will find him and block him. I'm quite concerned about Harrison Smith, though, who seems to get a free shot or two at the quarterback in every game. I think the Packers will also have difficulty covering Dalvin Cook. It will be close, but. . . Vikings 24, Packers 21.

You're wrong, old dude. But you knew that. Ben out!

Prince Albert in a Can -- UPDATED

So the Democrats had a secret allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. About his behavior in high school. The allegation is more Anita Bryant than Anita Hill, if the Guardian is to be believed:
A source who said they were briefed on the contents of the letter said it described an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman that took place when both were 17 years old and at a party. According to the source, Kavanaugh and a male friend had locked her in a room against her will, making her feel threatened, but she was able to get out of the room. The Guardian has not verified the apparent claims in the letter. It is not yet clear who wrote it.
Probably one of these guys:

Image result for beavis and butthead
You said "Wickard v. Filburn"
There's an easy way to tell if something is especially ludicrous -- even my most nutso lefty friends on social media aren't retailing this one.

UPDATE: there's apparently more to the story, but it's not as much as people would like you to believe:
The woman, who has asked not to be identified, first approached Democratic lawmakers in July, shortly after Trump nominated Kavanaugh. The allegation dates back to the early nineteen-eighties, when Kavanaugh was a high-school student at Georgetown Preparatory School, in Bethesda, Maryland, and the woman attended a nearby high school. In the letter, the woman alleged that, during an encounter at a party, Kavanaugh held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her. She claimed in the letter that Kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music that was playing in the room to conceal the sound of her protests, and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand. She was able to free herself. Although the alleged incident took place decades ago and the three individuals involved were minors, the woman said that the memory had been a source of ongoing distress for her, and that she had sought psychological treatment as a result.

In a statement, Kavanaugh said, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

Kavanaugh’s classmate said of the woman’s allegation, “I have no recollection of that.”
I didn't go to Georgetown Prep, of course, but I did go to a Catholic high school in the same era. Had something like this actually happened, especially at a party, it would have been all over the school the next day. And had it happened, no female in Kavanaugh's social circle would have had anything to do with him or his friend. We all knew everyone's business in those days -- who were the girls you could approach, who was dating whom, who had the hots for whom. It's high school, for goodness sake. People talk. There's no reason to believe there would be some sort of omerta where Kavanaugh was concerned.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Open thread

We're all built up with progress
But sometimes I must confess
We can deal with rockets and dreams
But reality, what does it mean
Ain't nothing said

-- Curtis Mayfield, "Freddie's Dead"

Maybe you can say it. Have at it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Meanwhile, at the Vatican

It looks like a long-overdue meeting is about to take place:

Around 8.30pm Rome time this Tuesday, the Holy See Press Office released the following statement to the accredited outlets: 
This Thursday, 13 September 2018, the Holy Father will receive in the apostolic palace His Eminence Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States of America, together with His Eminence Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

With them will be H.E. Mons. José Horacio Gómez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, vice president of the same episcopal conference; and Monsignor Brian Bransfield, Secretary General [sic].

The audience will take place at noon.
Cardinals DiNardo and O'Malley are going to the Vatican because it's clear Pope Francis either (a) doesn't understand what's going on in the Church in the United States in re the ongoing abuse scandal; or (b) doesn't care; or (c) is part of the continuing coverup.

Also of note -- it sounds like Cardinal Wuerl, the guy who replaced the disgraced Cardinal McCarrick in Washington, D.C., is out, too:
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the embattled archbishop of Washington, said Tuesday that he expects to meet soon with Pope Francis to discuss the possibility of resigning.

In a letter to priests in the diocese, Wuerl mentioned a recent meeting with the Pope in Vatican City. He said the Pope asked him to consider the best course of action "as we face new revelations of the extent of the horror of the clergy abuse of children and the failures in episcopal oversight." 
Wuerl said he will meet with Francis about the resignation he presented nearly three years ago at age 75, the mandatory age for Catholic bishops to submit their retirement to the Pope. He said a decision about his future "is an essential aspect so that this archdiocesan church we all love can move forward."
It's quite likely Wuerl knew about the crimes of his predecessor and was, at best, asleep at the switch when he was at the archdiocese of Pittsburgh.

Every diocese in the United States, if it hasn't done so already, should release its files on clergy abuse. The only way to move forward is to stop hiding. The Church will not survive unless it comes to grips with the evil in its midst.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Damage Done, Part Two

So yesterday I posted a mug shot picture of my step-great niece, who apparently died of a heroin overdose this past weekend. Here is another picture:

The damage done
This is about two weeks ago. Cav is in the middle. Her step-grandmother is to the left, her son to the right. Although the picture was taken three years later than the mug shot, to my eyes Cav looks younger, more vulnerable here. This was a happy moment. Two weeks later, she was gone.

 You know, I've seen a lot of people walkin' 'round
With tombstones in their eyes
But the pusher don't care
Ah, if you live or if you die

-- "The Pusher," by Steppenwolf, written by Hoyt Axton

It's a song written nearly fifty years ago. And the song remains the same today. The problem with opiates in Madison and Wisconsin generally, like so many places in this country, beggars description:
Wisconsin’s 883 fatal opioid overdoses in 2017 was a 7 percent increase from 2016, when 827 people died from opioid overdoses. That figure was a 35 percent jump from 2015, according to the state Department of Health Services.

Emergency room visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased 109 percent in Wisconsin from July 2016 to September 2017, the highest rise among 16 states closely tracked, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in March.
We won't have a tally of 2018 deaths until we get to next year. But the number will likely be higher still. So many of the people were young. So many had potential. The miasma of pathologies are staggering. If we could find a solution, we would.

God damn, the pusher
God damn, the pusher
I said God damn, God damn the pusher man

Monday, September 10, 2018

The damage done

A setting sun.
My family tree isn't precisely straightforward. When my parents divorced in 1980, my dad remarried and we now had four stepbrothers and one stepsister. My oldest stepbrother, Greg, was a great guy, but he had a lot to deal with in his life. He got a young woman pregnant when he was quite young. He married the young woman and had a daughter with her. The daughter, when she was quite young, had a daughter of her own. That daughter, who I guess would be my step-great niece, was actually a few months older than Benster. She died yesterday in Madison. Although we're not 100% certain of the cause of death, it's highly likely she died of an overdose of heroin.

The picture I've posted here is a mug shot of my step-great niece. She was arrested for stealing in 2015, primarily because of her habit. I remember Cavalina as a toddler and a little girl, but I didn't see a lot of her over the years. I particularly remember her and Benster having a great time doing little kid dancing at my brother's wedding. That was a long time ago, 1999. Cav spent some of her time growing up with my stepbrother, who was her grandfather, but she also spent a lot of time with her mother in a very unstable household. I have no idea about her father, if he played any role in her life, but from my understanding that role was minimal. I know that Cav was in and out of treatment on multiple occasions, but in recent weeks she'd gone back to using. It didn't have to be this way. It never does, but the needle never goes away. Until it does.

 Cav's mother, my step-niece Connie, has had a hell of a life, too, filled with nasty boyfriends, mental illness and a myriad of other issues. Connie's mother, Cav's grandmother and my stepbrother's first wife, was a beautiful young woman, but she had more demons than just about anyone I've ever known. She died a few years ago. My stepbrother, who struggled with diabetes his whole life died two years ago from complications of that disease. There's death everywhere you look in this family.

It would be easy to rail on these people for the bad choices they made, but it's never that simple. You have four generations in this cycle; if Greg were alive today, he'd only be 60 years old. He was a great-grandfather at the age of 58. How so? Cav also had a child, a little boy. He's about 2 years old now. He's an adorable little guy. I don't know what will happen to him, but I hope he can break free of the cycle. It has to end some day.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- 10 Years of Rank Stupidity and HYYYYYYYYPPPE! Edition

And then one day you find that, ten years have got behind you. That's Pink Floyd, Geritol Fan!

I'm mostly pink myself, but just a little blotchy.

That's okay. We've been at this for 10 years, old dude! When we began, I was not even a teenager. Now I am a college graduate. Hard to believe.

I know. I can't believe you got through college, either.

Hey now! I do the comedy around here.

Well, maybe you should start, then.

I'm keeping track, old dude. I'm counting up the eye-rolling picks and takes so hot the Surgeon General is informed! Laying it down. Bringing the HYYYYYYYYPPPPPE!

We'd missed that.

I know. So has our adoring public. So watch me work!

Fresno State Bulldogs (+1.5) vs. Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat. It's Year Two of the P.J. Fleck Carnival Barking Brother Love's Salvation Show. Can I get a witness?

Sure, why wouldn't Gopher Nation be a bit skeptical? We've seen this show before:

Get that chili hot, boys! Okay, maybe the Elite Boat Rower isn't Basement Brew yet, but he's getting there. The Gophers did look good against Lakeland Dental Academy New Mexico State, but Fresno State is a the type of school you should never schedule as a non-conference opponent. They come to play and they are usually competitive. The Gophers are still young and this game has trap written all over it. Bulldogs 31, Sinking Boat 17.

We got a warning about this game fifty years ago now:

Some kind of innocence is
Measured out in years
You don't know what it's like
To listen to your fears

You can talk to me, P.J. Fresno State 27, Minnesota 23.

New Mexico Lobos (+35) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers should have no issues with this game. New Mexico is not very good, even though they have former Domer Bob Davie as their head coach. It might as well be Gerry Faust in this case. Wisconsin 70, New Mexico 0.

Those poor Lobos:

They might recall the wheat fields of Saint Paul, but Camp Randall will be a killing field. Badgers roll. Wisconsin 34, New Mexico 3.

Knox College Prairie Fire, Baby! (NL) vs. Beloit College Buccaneers. This is the college football game you've all been waiting for. It's my beloved Prairie Fire against Old Dude's beloved Bucs! Historically, the two worst teams in the Midwest Conference battling it out for slightly less ineptitude! You already know who I'm going to pick, so we'll skip to the good part. Knox 21, Beloit 17.

Hard times for my beloved Bucs these days. They were 1-9 on merit last season and got their butts kicked last week by the 43rd best Concordia College team out there. It's grim at Strong Stadium. But you'd like to think they'd get their act together just this once. This is dumb, but... Beloit 41, Knox 34.

San Francisco 49ers (+6.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings. Vikings fans are very interested to see the debut of this guy:

You like that? I'm not sure. I do see the wisdom in getting Cousins, but the danger is that Cousins has not won a playoff game. Can he do better with a much better team around him? You'd like to think so, but he still hasn't done it. I think the 49ers are a year away from being a real contender; last year Jimmy Garappolo had a nice run against some really bad opponents. The Vikings are a much tougher out. I like the Vikings in this one, but next week's opponent will be another matter. Vikings 20, 49ers 16.

There's a lot on the line in this one, because expectations for the locals are off the charts right now. I really worry about that offensive line. Cousins is not known for being a scrambler or an improviser, so it will be something to watch. I don't think the 49ers will get to Cousins, but other opponents down the line are more capable. A season-long thing to watch. Vikings 28, 49ers 17.

Bear Down Chicago da Bearz (+7.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. How fitting is it that the Packers begin their 100th season playing their most ancient rival, da Bearz! So, the big news out of Chicago is that da Bearz added this:

Image result for mack truck grill
Blow your horn!

Khalil Mack is a truck, all right. The key for the Packers has got to be holding up to give Aaron time to throw. I would not be surprised to see the Packers go high tempo early; it's worth remembering that Mack, for all his talent, held out all preseason, so you wonder if he's in football shape and how well he knows the playbook. He'll be a huge problem later on at Soldier Field, but we'll worry about that when we get there. I expect da Bearz will keep it close, but the Packers will make enough plays to win. Packers 28, da Bearz Still Suck 14.

Everyone is talking about how much of a problem Mr. Mack will be to Aaron Rodgers. I think the guy who has to be worried is Kirk Cousins, but I digress. My youthful colleague is correct; the Packers will try to run the Bears ragged in this game and make it an up-tempo game. I think they succeed. I also don't see the Bears having an answer for Jimmy Graham. Packers 31, Bears 21.

I'm glad to be back, baby! Enjoy your football this weekend and try to lay off the guacamole. Ben out!

The greatest white privilege of all

At one point, painters would often have patrons who would support them. Colin Kaepernick, at one point an unconventional NFL quarterback, now has a patron, Nike. That's fine. Hope they live happily ever after.

Would I buy Nike shoes or clothes now that they employ Kaepernick? Doesn't really matter that much. If the clothes are well-made and reasonably priced, sure. Generally speaking, Nike gear is more expensive than it needs to be, but that's because it's designed for people who have disposable income. I send my kids to expensive colleges, so I don't have much disposable income. If my shirt or my shoes don't have a Nike swoosh on them, it doesn't affect my life appreciably.

I typically buy one pair of sneakers a year, usually around May, almost always at the local Kohl's. I have large, wide feet, so it's difficult to find shoes that fit. In my experience, Nike shoes tend to run narrow, so some years I can't find a pair that fits. In the past 20 years or so, I have bought Nike, New Balance, Skechers, Reebok, Converse, Adidas, K-Swiss and probably something else I don't remember. Did the shoes fit? Were they less than $75? If so, I probably bought 'em.

I hear a lot about white privilege, but I've always believed one thing is certain -- a significant percentage of the privilege that impacts your life isn't from the power of the authorities, but rather from the power of peer pressure. If you want to be a fat suburban guy and wear unfashionable Nike Air Monarchs, or some variation of New Balance, or off-brand shoes from Walmart, go right ahead. If you want to spend hundreds of dollars to wear clothing that Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James specify, that's cool with me, too. If you want true white privilege, free yourself from the bondage of caring what other people think about your clothing choices. In the end, people are going to care about what you do and how you treat them, rather than the clothes you had on at the time.

Thursday, September 06, 2018


(Apologies in advance for the profanity, but sometimes a blue term is le mot juste.) I'm not going to give the New York Times a link for their chickenshit op-ed yesterday. You can get to it by clicking on this Ann Althouse link if you choose, but the Old Gray Lady's perfidy ought not get any clicks or rewards. Althouse sums the argument well enough, anyway:
Unsung heroes? This person is singing about his own heroism. We just don't know his/her name, because he/she has got to stay hidden to continue sabotaging the work of the President the deplorables elected.
Self-regard is always a growth stock inside the Beltway, so that's the least surprising part of this nonsense. I'm guessing this will be at least the 174,274th time this point has been made, but so it goes: if the Metternich who wrote this piece really feels this way, he/she/it ought to resign and make a public, on the record, statement detailing specific examples of the president's incompetence. I'd also bet dollars to donuts that this individual is one of the anonymous sources for Bob Woodward's new book. We call this "cross-promotion" in the industry.

Much has been made about the use of the word "lodestar" in the piece. It's a word Mike Pence is fond of using. I sincerely doubt Pence wrote the piece, though. Pence is a good soldier. I'm guessing the actual writer isn't as senior as the Times would have you believe. I'm also guessing the actual writer will be discovered, fired, and will have no trouble making up for lost income because there's a lot of money to be made in Trump-bashing. Man, it's tiresome, though. And I continue to believe that Trump is about to turn the tables on these clowns.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Sixty days of madness ahead

Feigned insanity can be a strategy. After three years of cranked-to-11 freakouts and constant stunts, it gets to the point where writing about the latest antics in politics becomes too much to take.

Everyone knows the Democrats and their ancillaries in the news media are acting like their hair is on fire. How do we know? Because it seems obvious. But what is obvious isn't necessarily true. Bob Woodward seems to be recycling the same stories, from the same unnamed sources, that Michael Wolff was peddling last year. But this time, we're supposed to believe the stories, because they come from Bob Woodward. We're being gaslighted 24/7. And maybe I'm gaslighting you.

If you can disorient someone sufficiently, they can't make sense of their world. That's the game for the next 60 days. Keep your wits about you.

Have fun

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Ask an expert

Via the NFL Memes FB page:
Image may contain: 1 person, text
It's easier that way

il miglior fabbro

The shorthand criticism of last week's beatification of John McCain was that it culminated with a Wellstone Funeral. It was certainly a partisan event, although not by party. Rather, it was an event in which our betters celebrated their superiority. Writing for the Asian Times, David "Spengler" Goldman gets to the marrow:
Senator John McCain’s funeral was the most ostentatious that Washington has accorded except for a president, and much grander than the 2006 funeral of Gerald Ford, for example. The American Establishment took the opportunity to mourn a world that it imagined but never inhabited.

The eulogies for the Arizona senator, to be sure, were a convenient occasion for the Establishment to show its dudgeon at “the pointedly un-invited President Trump,” as the New Yorker noted, calling the event “the biggest resistance meeting yet.”

McCain’s daughter Meghan contrasted what she called her father’s “real greatness” with the “cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice,” a reference to Trump. Politics, though, were less important than the American elite’s collective exercise in self-consolation after the catastrophic failure of its policies and its repudiation by the voters in the 2016 election.
Do you remember the week-long series of events upon the death of George McGovern, who fought with great distinction in WWII, became a senator, ran for president and lost, then continued on in the Senate for many years thereafter? McGovern died in 2012. You don't remember the show? Heck you may not have even heard he died. But as you suspected, this really wasn't about John McCain, either. Back to Goldman:

By civility and bipartisanship, the Establishment refers to the policy consensus that squandered America’s dominant position in the world after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990. America had no military competitors of importance when George W. Bush took office in 2001, and an edge in high technology that made the American economy seem insuperable.  Since then:
  • China has taken America’s place as the leading exporter of high-tech equipment;
  • America faces credible military competition from China;
  • Real median household income hasn’t grown since 2000;
  • The civilian labor force participation rate has fallen from 67% in 2000 to 63% today;
  • Productivity growth has languished at 1% a year since the global financial crisis;
  • US federal debt has between 2000 and 2018 has doubled as a share of GDP;
  • The American economy became “cartelized, corrupt and anti-competitive,” dominated by a handful of tech monopolies who combined to crush competition.
  • Bush, supported by Senator McCain and the Republican mainstream, spent $5.6 trillion chasing the phantom of democracy in the Middle East, not to mention more than 6,700 American dead, more than 50,000 wounded and millions of lives disrupted.
That is why American voters elected Donald Trump in 2016. The bipartisan Establishment had circled the wagons to protect itself from accountability for its blunders. The same pool of public officials managed a failed foreign policy, and the same revolving door of bankers and regulators bailed out the banks.
The establishment intends to take it all back in November. And they want you to know it's going to happen. Get your mind right.

There's a whole lot more at the link, including a meditation on the straight line from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush. You should read it all.