Friday, November 30, 2018

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom Edition

Old dude, it's looking like Mutual of Omaha around here. We had a fox come through our yard recently, and it was not Blaze the Knox Fox.

Not Blaze?

I'll protect you from the weasels from Monmouth, President Amott!
No, he looked more like this guy:

I'll get that rabbit!
It wasn't this guy?

Not me, ya big dummy!
Sorry, I didn't watch Sanford and Son. I wasn't around for your prehistoric television viewing. But now I'm here to discuss some football, with all the insight and just the right amount of HYYYYYYPPPE! Watch me work!

Big Ten Championship Game: Northwestern Wildcats (+15) vs. A School In Columbus. If you had told me that Northwestern would win the west, I would have said, no way! A School in Columbus is coming off a very impressive demolition of  Dad Pants Harbaugh and his eternally disappointing Wolverines. In doing so, Urban Liar and his pals likely wrecked the chances of the B1G getting into the playoffs. Northwestern has had some black magic this year and it's time for A School in Columbus to get rewarded for its failure to fire Urban Liar. Northwestern 42, Fire Urban Liar 0.

Uh, no. You realize this is the more likely scenario:

If you enjoyed 59-0 as much as I did, which wasn't much, don't be surprised if we get something of a reprise. The Buckeyes are a ruthless bunch of Ohio-based mercenaries and they'll show no quarter. Ohio State 38,  Northwestern 14.

Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck (-3.5) vs. New York All Hail The New York Giants. Our friend Gino would like to remind everyone that the Chicago Bears are in first place in the NFC North Division. I would like to remind everyone that the Green Bay Packers beat the Bears in Week 1, despite a 20-point deficit in the second half. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about the game. Da Bearz come in off a nice rest following a surprisingly easy win over the LOLions, even though Chase Daniel was at the controls. Mitchell Trubisky should be back, unless he was part of Kareem Hunt's posse, although we have no evidence of that. The Giants are a mess, but they do have talent, especially one Saquon Barkley. Although I still think da Bearz  are the better squad, watch out -- this has got trap game written all over it. Giants 31, da Bearz 17.

Huh. I've seen the Giants play recently. They're bad. Forget Saquon Barkley -- the Barkley one should attend to is this guy, who offers his opinion:

Are the Bears for real? I'm still not sure. But they're real enough to beat these guys. Bears 28, Giants 20.

Raising Arizona Cardinals (+14) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. For the love of God, could the Packers please win on Sunday? The Old Dude officially gets even older on Sunday and he deserves a win. The Cardinals are a dumpster fire right now. I feel bad for Larry Fitzgerald, who deserves much better, but it's his choice to play with these dead birds. Packers 45, Cardinals 10.

We were able to get some film from the Cardinals practice:

That's about how it's gone for the Cardinals lately. I don't know that they'll show up in Green Bay with a panty on their head, but one never knows. Packers 28, Cardinals 17.

Minnesota Vikings (+5.5) vs. New England Patriots. Meanwhile, the Vikings. Our locals are happy with their win last week, but now comes the reality check. I think it's fair to say the Vikings aren't guaranteed a playoff spot, considering they are visiting two distinct houses of horror in the next two weeks. First, a trip to Foxborough, then a trip to Seattle. It's also fair to say that if the Vikings miss the playoffs, Kirk Cousins will finally get criticized. I like New England in this one. Patriots 24, Vikings 13.

I am not sure what to think about this one. I keep waiting for the Patriots to implode, but they never do. I think your instincts are correct about a low-scoring affair, but I think it's going to be close. Patriots 24, Vikings 21.

Enjoy your weekend and look out for foxes. Ben out!

Game theory?

Trying to figure out what Trump is doing right now? Conrad Black offers a supposition:
The Democrats have been shouting from the housetops about protecting Mueller, but Trump has no interest in shutting him down. Mueller has nothing, and his terrors don’t impress its victims. What is inexplicable is the president’s delay in naming an attorney general. He must have been considering this question since it became clear that Jeff Sessions was a prosecutorial eunuch 18 months ago. The only reason that comes to mind for his waiting is because he wants to see if the Democrats are going to be stupid enough to try to impeach him, which would not only fail and backfire, it would be a gold-edged invitation to send the Clinton campaign and Obama Justice Department in droves to the grand jury, and on from there on the conveyer-belt of American criminal justice to the fate they deserve.
One thing about all presidents -- they have access to a lot more information than their critics do. Twitter venting doesn't tell us what's really going on, or what Trump is really going to do. Keep watching.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Game time

Lotta Mueller chatter this week. This retweet from Bad Orange Man might be the most interesting:

Treason, you say. Also, you left out John Brennan, right?
Last I checked, Rod Rosenstein worked for the Trump administration. As always, the signal to noise ratio needs to be sussed out a bit, but that's quite the collection of people in that meme. Is it simply Bad Orange Man blowing off steam, or does it mean more? Place yer bets.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Gust of helium

Our favorite incoming Congresscritter, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (what, you thought we'd go with Jim Hagedorn?), comes up with the distillation of everything that is wrong with leftist thinking:

Magical thinking
A few questions:

  • Where do we keep all the extra case workers? Or do they rain down from the sky like manna?
  • Would a standing army of case workers be any better than a standing army of soldiers?
  • Are case workers really cheaper to house and outfit than soldiers? Would case workers set up in tents or barracks? Or would they need hotel rooms? And where are the hotel rooms?
Logistical considerations aren't Rep.-elect Ocasio-Cortez's thing, I suppose. But I do hope we can talk about the financial recklessness of magical thinking. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Twitter me this

On balance, I think Twitter sucks. It's a place where one stray comment can bring down the furies on you. It's a giant cesspool of SJW thought-policing. And they tend to ban conservative voices for no apparent reason, as was the case for Jesse Kelly:
Kelly, a former Marine who ran two failed campaigns for Congress in Arizona, in 2010 and 2012, currently hosts a talk radio program in Houston. It is not clear which of his recent tweets prompted the ban.

According to Twitter's "range of enforcement options" page, Kelly should have been provided an explanation from Twitter around what policy he may have violated.

"When we permanently suspend an account, we notify people that they have been suspended for abuse violations, and explain which policy or policies they have violated and which content was in violation," according to Twitter.
I have a Twitter account, but I rarely tweet; mostly I use it to read others, especially Orange Man Bad. I wouldn't miss it if it's gone. Maybe it should be.

Monday, November 26, 2018

It would be. . .

. . . a hell of a lot easier if I didn't care about football. If you are a fan of Wisconsin-based football teams, and I am, this was as depressing a weekend of football as you can imagine. It's not just that the Badgers and the Packers both lost to Minnesota-based teams, it's the way it happened. Both the Badgers and the Packers looked as though they were lacking in talent, motivation, and coaching.

Understand this -- I'm not begrudging the Gophers and the Vikings their respective victories. Both teams earned them, decisively in the case of the Gophers. But man, it sucked. It was a 1977 weekend all over again.

I'm assuming Mike McCarthy is a dead man walking in Green Bay. Things aren't necessarily dire in Madison; you could chalk the results this year up to inexperience, key injuries, and an abnormally difficult road schedule; well, you could, until the Gophers came into Camp Randall and kicked Bucky Badger in the teeth.

For the last 25 years or so, the standards east of the St. Croix River have been high. Neither team has come close to meeting those expectations. In 1968, the year the Packers began their 25 years in the football wilderness, Bart Starr was 34 years old. Fifty years on, in 2018, Aaron Rodgers is 34 years old. In 1968, a once innovative and aggressive franchise seemed old and tired, lacking leadership and accountability. Packers fans hope that history will not repeat itself, but you have to wonder.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Desperation Time Edition

Old dude, the Vikings and the Packers both need a win badly this weekend, and I am going to examine why one team is getting an unfair amount of praise.

Fair, as always, is a relative term. But this is your show, so go on.

Also, it is rivalry weekend, so we get to enjoy the extra helping of hate that your grandmother never offered to serve yesterday. I hear hate goes well with turkey.

That stuffing takes on a whole new and sinister meaning sometimes.

Excellent point, Geritol Fan!

If I wear a hat, it doesn't show.

That explains your penchant for ball caps.

I've been wearing 'em since I was little. You have, too.

I appreciate your Hallmark Channel nostalgia trip, but we have games to pick and bile to flow. So it is time to watch me work and discuss these games.

Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat (-12) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers. P.J. Fleck is a man who seems to make millions of dollars despite not focusing on his actual job. The U is employing Fleck to coach football games, not to sell merchandise with oars on it. What has Fleck actually accomplished on the football field that merits the attention he gets? Paul Chryst never is outspoken, but he has delivered results and provided his university with tangible values. Minnesota is not very good, and it's clear that Fleck cares more about coming up with stupid phrases that some intern can slap on a shirt and make a quick buck. The Badgers should win the Axe yet again and then Fleck can continue to make up silly slogans while flushing his reputation down the drain, hoping he can rip off some other university into caring more about stupid puns you can put on a shirt, compared to results on the field. Badgers 35, Gophers 0.

Merch, baby! Gotta love the merch! I actually think Fleck got the first shot across his rowboat yesterday, when Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune game him the annual Turkey of the year award. That's usually an early warning for most Gophers coaches that their act is getting stale. The issue for the Gophers is simple -- you can't win in the Big Ten with freshman walk-on quarterbacks. It hasn't been that stellar a year for Bucky Badger, either, but they won't relinquish the Ax in this game, to this Gopher team, especially in Madison. Badgers 31, Gophers 17.

Michigan Wolverines (-5) vs. A School In Columbus. As much as I have no love lost with Row The Boat, at least Row the Boat didn't do what Urban Liar did. The winner of this game will get to play Northwestern next week for a chance to go to the playoff. Michigan has impressed me, though the trademark Wolverine bandwagon arrogance is back, too. A School in Columbus would love nothing more than to spoil Michigan's ambitions, though at the end of the day Buckeye fans have to defend their school keeping a coach that enabled someone on his staff to do horrible things to a family member. Michigan 20, A School In Columbus 0.

I would not be surprised if Urban Meyer steps down at the end of this season; he looks physically ill on the sidelines. His moral sickness aside, that's what will end his career in Columbus. Having seen both teams play on television multiple times, it seems clear that the Wolverines are the superior outfit. The game is in Columbus, which makes it tough, but I'll pick the better squad. Michigan 27, Ohio State 21.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (+3.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings. Gather around kids, we are going to discuss the concept of media bias in football reporting. The Packers are getting slammed everywhere you look, and a lot of it is fair. The coaching staff is playing too conservatively at times, and the coaching staff arguably caused the loss last week. However, the Packers are only a game out of the playoffs and have played the hardest schedule in the league without backing down. The Vikings got overrun in LA, the Packers did not. The Packers beat the Bears, the Vikings did not. The Packers killed Buffalo at home, the Vikings got beat badly. The Packers have the easiest schedule in the NFL the rest of the way, while the Vikings have the hardest schedule in the league down the stretch and the Kirk Cousins gamble is still questionable, even by the cheerleader local media. The national media will not admit this, because the media is desirous that the Vikings do well because last year was a great story, though it was built on a myth. Aaron Rodgers understands the situation well, since he knows this team is very close to greatness. Aaron also wants to humiliate the Vikings because they ended his season last year on the very field the game is being played on. In addition, the Packers should have won in Week 2, and the Vikings missing that field goal is evidence that the football gods knew it too. Time for the Packers to put the fear of God into the rest of the league. Packers 31. Vikings 27.

A stirring defense! I don't believe a word of it, though. As Bill Parcells says, you are what your record says you are, and the Packers are 4-5-1. There are no moral victories in football and playing top opponents well, but losing, means losing. It does not matter whether the Rams were worried, or if the Patriots had to break a sweat, or if the Seahawks were squawking. The losses are losses. As for Sunday night, I think the Packers could absolutely beat the Vikings, but they will have to prove they can stop the Vikings running game. The jury is out on Dalvin Cook, but the record indicates that other running backs have performed well against the Green Bay defense. I also seem to remember you counseling that it's always a good idea to pick the desperate team at home. I am hopeful you've noticed both teams are pretty desperate. Vikings 27, Packers 24.

Enjoy your football this weekend, and hopefully you didn't get into a fight about Trump yesterday at your dinner table. Ben out!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Happy Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers, and may the turkey not put you to sleep. If the turkey won't do it, watch the LOLions crap the bed in the Kitty Litter Box.

What could be a more traditional Thanksgiving greeting? And, as always, our Thanksgiving pal sends his regards:

Bon Appetit, y'all!
Every time I give thanks for the many blessings in my life, I never forget to contemplate one of the central blessings I've had, Old Dude!

What's that?

That you didn't raise me to be a Lions fan!

CPS would have come for me if I'd done that. So you're welcome, I guess?

That's a good point. But enough talk -- it's time to discuss the LOLions, in their traditional HYYYYYYPPPPE-less glory.  Watch me work!

Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck (-3) vs. Detroit LOLions. Believe it or not, the Chicago Bears are still in first place in the NFC North. Gino has reminded us of that many times this season. But we do need to acknowledge that the first-place Bears coughed up a grizzly hairball at Lambeau earlier this season. The Bears are apparently going to rely on Chase Daniel to be their quarterback this afternoon. The Lions are not very good this year. I'm sure that's not particularly surprising to you, since we could say the same thing about the Lions every year since 1957, which is so long ago that even Old Dude wasn't born yet. The Bears should win because of their defense and running game. Bears 31, LOLions 20.

The Lions are not only bad, but they're kinda schizo this year. They get killed by the Jets, then kill the Patriots. No one knows which Lions team will show up. That makes it difficult to pick their games. Mitchell Trubisky is the little girl with the curl; when he's good, he's very good, but when he's bad, he's awful. The problem for the Bears is no one knows what the Bears are when the little quarterback with the curl is missing. Vegas must hate this game. I think Khalil Mack gets his, so. . . Bears 24, Lions 20.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, everyone! And remember, if you don't like your family that much, it would be a really nice gesture to start an argument about Trump when the cranberries are being passed. Ben out!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

You keep using that word

Dan Crenshaw makes a suggestion (h/t Brad):
Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw pushed back Sunday morning in a CBS News roundtable on the idea that President Trump is undermining democracy and attacking the free press.

Rep.-elect Chrissy Houlahan (D-Penn.), one of three Democrats facing off with Crenshaw, argued on "Face the Nation" that Trump is "literally" attacking the press with his inflammatory rhetoric.

“I would argue that our president is consistently disruptive…and I would argue that he treats [the press] with disrespect,” she said.

Crenshaw (R-Texas), a former Navy SEAL who lost his right eye in a 2012 IED attack, quickly refuted Houlahan's remark.

"I've literally been attacked. Let's chose our words carefully," Crenshaw replied.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. I also assume, eventually that Crenshaw's sensible observation will be dismissed as "mansplaining." One thing I would gently suggest to my better, Cong.-elect Houlahan; consistent disruption and disrespect is in order, especially where the press is concerned. The scribes always demand a place of honor and they usually have some Pharisee pals to help them get it. Houlahan is a Pharisee, you see. The scribes and the Pharisees always work together and the Beltway is full of 'em. And it's full of other things, too. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Should have gone with Li'l

Bad orange man strikes again:

He's a sneaky little Schitt

Once again, another cartoonish California congressman emerges. Just as Nuke Marmalard (a/k/a Eric Swalwell) is a recognizable type, so is Li'l Schiff: And once again, there's a movie-based correlation:

Now, I'm not suggesting that Adam Schiff is like Peter Lorre's character in M. There's no evidence of that. But if you hear him coming and he's whistling Grieg, you'd best be on your way.

Nancy Pelosi might be the most rational Democrat in the California delegation. That should tell you everything you need to know.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Separated at Birth/Putz Deluxe Edition

Separated at birth. First, smug fascist character from Animal House, Greg Marmalard:

Greg, honey, is it supposed to be this soft?
And Congressman Eric "We have nukes" Swalwell:

The Honorable Mr. Swalwell wants your guns and well, he's prepared to do whatever is necessary to get 'er done:

It's the only way to be sure
So talk to Swalwell. Or get nuked. Your choice, really. It is a dialogue, after all, although you may have trouble enunciating with his shoe on your throat.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Benster and D Pick Your Games-----Cupcake Saturday Edition

Old dude, it's time to watch the SEC play cupcake teams this weekend, because they need to load up on the strength of schedule.

Hey, the SEC is doing obscure southern schools a big favor. Why else would anyone talk about Wofford or the Citadel?

Maybe the SEC could help out obscure northern schools, too!

Yep. I hear Arkansas is going to schedule Monmouth next year.

What a clash of academic titans! That would be good, old dude!

I can hear the cheers now. . . zero, one, two, three -- we cracked double digits on the ACT!

No, Geritol Fan. They cracked single digits, because they signed their names on the test form.

Well, that's something. Should we put your prediction skills to the test?

Yes. Although with the crappy slate of games available, HYYYYYYYPPPPE! will be in short supply. But I soldier on. Watch me work!

Northwestern Wildcats (+2.5) vs. Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat. Last week I said the Gophers would be blown out at home. Well, that didn't happen. Now, they face a Northwestern team that somehow has won the Big 10 West, despite losing all their nonconference games and losing to Michigan. If you predicted that would happen at the start of the year, I'll take what you're smoking. Gophers 42, Wildcats 7.

I think that's what's called an overcorrection.

That's regression to the mean!

Well, it's definitely regression of some sort. In any event, the game. Do you trust anyone in the Big 10 West these days? It's psychotic. Purdue looked like world beaters one week, then come to Minneapolis and look like a footwipe. The Gophers are destroyed in Champaign, then destroy Purdue. The only thing we can safely assume about the Gophers is that the score will be lopsided. Just to be a contrarian. . . Northwestern 35, Minnesota 10.

Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (+4) vs. Purdue Boilermakers. As someone who likes both the Badgers and the Packers, this has been a difficult year to feel positive. The Badgers are, well, bad. They have not been able to stay healthy and are now learning why Alex Hornibrook has been the starting quarterback, despite his obvious limitations. Purdue is a very dangerous football team, coming off a humiliation in Minneapolis. Quite frankly, I'm not certain the Badgers will retain the Ax, but that's a matter for next week. Badgers 24, Purdue 16.

I have no idea what to think about the Badgers, either. The recipe for success is simple -- Jonathan Taylor all day long. Can they make that work? Why not! Wisconsin 31, Purdue 27.

Carolina Panthers (-4.5) vs. Detroit LOLions. So, we're talking about the LOLions. Detroit looks like they're trying, but they aren't succeeding. I have no idea how this team beat the Patriots. Carolina got smoked in Pittsburgh last week, and have had the mini-bye to get healthy. I don't gamble on sporting events, but I'd say bet the over. Panthers 42, LOLions 39.

I got rid of all my Lions on my fantasy league team, so I'm hoping you're wrong. I think Cam Newton knows that a loss here would be devastating to any playoff chances, so. . . Carolina 31, Detroit 23.

Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) vs. Bear Down Chicago da Bearz Still Suck. Gino would like to remind you that da Bearz are in first place in the NFC North. I would like to remind you da Bearz blew a 20-point lead to the Packers in Week One and that da Bearz have not defeated a team with a winning record this year. Are da Bearz a mirage? It's a fair question. The Vikings are a team that has yet to beat a team with a winning record this year. So, something's gotta give. I like da Bearz in this one. Chicago seems to have found a formula to win and Mitchell Trubisky looks very confident running the offense. Da Bearz 27, Vikings 20.

Mitchell Trubisky hasn't had Danielle Hunter up in his grill yet. That's going to be a problem for him. I've seen the Bears play a few times this year. Trubisky has made progress, but once he starts running he doesn't do a good job of keeping his eyes downfield. I remember a quarterback from Chicago who wore number 10 and liked to run:

Image result for bobby douglass football card
Looks like he's holding a pot roast, not a football
It didn't end well for Bobby Douglass in Chicago. Too soon to tell how Trubisky will do, but it's always worth paying attention to trends. Vikings 28, Bears 27.

Be aggressive if you're a football coach. Don't be like Mike McCarthy! Ben out!

Mostly open thread

There's not as much news right now and one might expect. While it's evident that Bad Orange Man is not pleased with Robert Mueller, that's not really news. The fires in California are horrifying and tragic, but until they are extinguished, there's not much to report beyond the sadly burgeoning death toll. Republicans are feckless, Democrats are reckless -- you knew that.

So again it's a mostly open thread, although I'd like to post video of the great Roy Clark, who passed away yesterday at the age of 85. Clark is mostly remembered today for his many years on the syndicated variety show "Hee Haw," where he held court with Buck Owens and a cast of Nashville Grand Ole Opry performers and cornfed cuties. You got glimpses of Roy Clark's brilliance on the show, but he was an amazing guitarist who could play anything. If you want evidence, consider this performance from about 1975, when Clark was a guest on "The Odd Couple":


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Benster Picks Your Games----NFL Mandated Emergency Edition

Looks like I am going to have to discuss the Packers on my own today thanks to the scheduling of the game and due to D being on assignment. The Packers won a critical home game against the Tuna Net Victims, but instead are going to have to win on the road for the first time since Cleveland last year. I think we can do that, but it will be hard. Watch me work.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (+3) vs. Seattle Seabags. The last three trips the Packers have made to the Pacific Northwest have been some of the worst days in team history. The best thing that happened was that the Packers were blown out as part of a banner raising on national television. The league office screwed the Packers many moons ago on a play I won't even link, and the last time we were there was a game that I will never watch again because it was arguably the worst playoff defeat a team I support suffered. That was then, and both teams are a lot different since that horrible day a couple years ago. This game matters in the NFC North, because I think this game is the pivot point of the divisional race. If the Packers win, they will gain ground on either the Bears or the Vikings and they still have yet to lose to either of them this year, with the Packers having plenty of time to prepare for Thanksgiving weekend against the Vikings. The key to the Packers getting a win is going to revolve around keeping Russ in the pocket. We all know that Russ likes to move around and get plays off scramble drills. I am looking for one of the outside linebackers to step up along with the linemen. On offense, I want to see Aaron Jones continued to be a featured part of the offense with Aaron Rodgers being able to use short stuff. This game will not be easy, but I think the Packers are on the verge of putting 4 quarters together and vaulting themselves back into contention. Packers 28, Seahawks 13.

Enjoy the football tonight, and we will see you tomorrow to discuss the Vikings, Bears, and other games. Ben out.

Speaking of annoying blowhards. . .

Jim Acosta, CNN's bien pensant apostle of self regard, thinks he's entitled to White House press pass, mostly because he has Important Questions to Ask Bad Orange Man. The redoubtable Mollie Hemingway states what should be obvious:

Pay attention to MEEEEEEEEEEEE!
The First Amendment ensures a right to speak. It does not mean anyone who speaks is guaranteed an audience, or even a platform. CNN is filled with people who would ask Bad Orange Man nasty and tendentious questions. Many of them also have White House press passes. Jim Acosta's presence is not required.

Least surprising headline of the year

You could see this one coming down Wilshire Boulevard:
Michael Avenatti, who became famous for representing Stormy Daniels in her battle with President Trump, has been arrested for felony domestic violence ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

Our law enforcement sources say Avenatti was arrested Wednesday after a woman filed a felony DV report. We're told her face was "swollen and bruised" with "red marks" on both cheeks.

Our sources say the alleged incident occurred Tuesday night, but there was another confrontation Wednesday between the two at an exclusive apartment building in the Century City area of L.A. 
I'm not a fan of TMZ generally, but on this sort of thing they're quite good. There's more:
We're told Wednesday afternoon the woman was on the sidewalk on her cellphone with sunglasses covering her eyes, sobbing and screaming on the phone, "I can't believe you did this to me.  I'm going to get a restraining order against you."

We're told security brought her inside the building, took her upstairs and Michael showed up 5 minutes later and ran into the building. He screamed repeatedly, "She hit me first." We're told he angrily added, "This is bulls***, this is f***ing bulls***."  We're told he tried getting into the elevator but security denied him access. 

Cops showed up and escorted Avenatti into a corner of the apartment lobby and spoke with him for 5 to 10 minutes and then took him into custody.
It's been clear from the outset that this guy is pond scum, but without the essential nutrients. He trotted out his current wife and his former wife as character witnesses, but the issue here is what happened with the woman who is filing charges. Is she honest? Is she Julie Swetnick? Maybe Avenatti was facilitating gang rapes on the beach?

Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you're gonna be dead

This much I know -- there's more evidence against Avenatti than he provided when he went after Brett Kavanaugh. And I may need to go out to the ol' Hy-Vee and get some more popcorn.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Open thread

You can write if you want to. I got nothin'.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Not exactly a lightning round, but close:

  • I was never a big Marvel Comics guy, but there's no disputing the importance of its creator, Stan Lee, who died yesterday at the age of 95. Marvel is, at the time of  Lee's death, perhaps the most powerful non-Disney brand in the entertainment industry. Spider-Man was a different kind of superhero and one who has consistently resonated with the American public for over 50 years now. That's a hell of an accomplishment.
  • As expected, Joe Mauer retired yesterday. He had a 15-year career with the Twins. He wasn't always great, but often he was. And he will be in the Hall of Fame within the next 10 years. He might not make it on the first ballot, but he did enough in his career, especially as a catcher, to merit the selection. I also am glad he didn't try to extend his career to build up his overall numbers. A lot of players do that and that clouds our memories. I remember Willie Mays as a New York Met, and John Unitas as a San Diego Charger. I'm glad we never saw Mauer wear anything other than a Twins uniform.
  • I may take a break from politics for a few days. At this point, there's not much worth talking about. But we'll see.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Controlling what you can control

Bad Orange Man strikes again:

No sign of Agent 99
It's not that simple, but he's not entirely wrong, either. Controlling the weather and the wind is well-nigh impossible, but more aggressive management can make a difference. Clearing underbrush on a regular basis means there is less fuel available for the fires once they start. And it's always going to be a risk to build housing deeper into the forest.

Now that the flames have reached Malibu, there might be some impetus to look at underlying causes and what can be done easily. But if you're a betting person, assume California officials will just slap a Prop 65 warning on something else and call it a day, then blame Bad Orange Man instead.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Benster and D Pick Your Games-----No More Snow Edition

What is up with the snow? It is only a week or so after Halloween, and it is too early for snow. People also don't know how to drive in the snow.

Well, since we only got rid of the snow around here at the end of April, our six months of not winter are up, young fella. You can feel the chill in Minnesota in any number of ways.

Well, thankfully the HYYYYYYYYYYPPPPPEEEE! I bring can melt the snow. I need to get on it. We shall see this weekend if the Packers are going to be buried come the end of the weekend. However, do not let them in the playoffs.

Well, they have to find a way in.

We'll get back to that, Geritol Fan! It is time to get to work and discuss football. Watch me work!

Purdue Boilermakers (-10.5) vs. Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat. The Big Ten West might be the college version of a mosh pit, as figuring out who is good is very difficult to tell from afar. Purdue is a team that has turned the corner, as evidenced by their signature win over A School In Columbus. The Gophers looked like they would struggle to beat a good high school team last week against an inspired Illinois team. This is going to be a very unpopular sentiment, but the Gophers are paying the price for canning Glen Mason over a decade ago. You don't overreact to losing one bowl game, even though it was a horrible choke. Basement Brew and his successors have struggled to bring the winning Gopher tradition back, and you have to wonder if this is the football gods trying to warn against making a rush to judgment based on one bowl game collapse. Spoilermakers 45, Capsize Your Boat Elitely 0.

It hasn't been all bad in the last 10 years, but it hasn't been that good, either. Fleck needs to stop making excuses and start winning a few games, but I don't see any wins left on the schedule. Purdue 31, Gophers 17.

Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (+9) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions. This game looked a lot better when it was scheduled, to be honest with you. I don't know what happened with Wisconsin, but I expected better from them. I also don't know why Penn State has a couple of losses, since they are arguably as talented as A School In Columbus or Team Khaki Man. State College is going to be a heck of a challenge, but history shows us this decade that the Badgers are a difficult November out. Call me an optimist if you must, but Michigan should not assume they have seem the last of the Badgers, who will make no bones about forcing their way to Pasadena. Badgers 20, Penn State 11.

Bucky has to win out and Northwestern has to lose twice. That might be a heavy lift. But I can see Bucky winning today. Penn State is down, too. But better get a spy on Trace McSorley. Penn State 31, Wisconsin 27.

Northwestern Wildcats (+10.5) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes. This is the game that will define the rest of the Big Ten season. I know that sounds odd, but hear me out. I am assuming that Michigan will go to the Shoe and win, and I think that Northwestern and Iowa are going to have a major say on if Michigan is going to win the Big Ten for the first time in a long time. Both these teams are characteristic of their head coaches because they play tough, steady football and make life difficult for their opponents. Northwestern controls the driver's seat on the road to Lucas Oil Stadium, but Iowa City is the stadium that is the proving ground in the Big Ten. I doubt that Northwestern can beat Iowa there, and look for the Big Ten West to be blown wide open. Iowa 36, Northwestern 19.

Northwestern is a hard team to read. Iowa is Iowa. Go with the team you can trust, especially if you trust them to be good. Iowa rolls. Iowa 35, Northwestern 24.

Detroit LOLions (+7) vs. Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck. The Chicago Bears are still in first place, and Gino can be glad that I reminded you about that fact. He will not be glad that I reminded you that the Bears blew a 20-0 lead in the second half against the Packers with a one legged GOAT at quarterback. In all seriousness, the Bears are positioned perfectly, since they have a good defense and a quarterback who is improving and, I might add, has a better record as a starter this year than some quarterback who got paid 84 million dollars guaranteed. Da Bearz 35, LOLions 0.

Shots fired! It's going to be cold in Chicago. The Lions don't like that. They won't like much about what happens tomorrow. Bears 28, Lions 17.

Miami Tuna Net Victims (+10) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. The Packers come into this game having played two games in which they took New England and LA into the fourth. Both those games were lost due to bad offensive execution in the late stages of the game and making costly mistakes with ball security. A lot of Packers fans seem to think that this team is not very good. I disagree with that statement. Yes, the Packers have not played a very good game yet this year. Yes, Mike McCarthy has done a bad job with playcalling. Yes, Aaron Rodgers has not been himself. What people forget is that the Packers are a very good November and December team, and are undefeated at home. I think the Dolphins are going to play hard, but the Packers look closer to success than people think. Remember, we beat the Bears when nobody gave us a chance at halftime. We outplayed the Vikings and earned a tie. We beat the Niners with clutch plays at the end. We beat the Bills when the overrated Vikings got their butts kicked at home by the Bills. We played the Rams tougher than the Vikings did and held them to fewer points than the vaunted Vikings D did. Packers fans, I implore you to keep the faith. This year will be special, and the team is going to have a Super season where we add one for the thumb. It starts on Sunday, and enjoy the ride. Packers 45, Tuna Net Victims 20.

Wow, that's some impressive tent preaching! I certainly imagine the Packers winning tomorrow, but they essentially have to run the table. Do you think that's going to happen? Benster does. Allow me a measure of skepticism. Packers 28, Dolphins 21.

R-E-L-A-X. Enjoy your weekend and the football. Ben out.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Same old same old

It always happens and everyone knows it, but no one does anything about it. But Bad Orange Man has noticed:

Everyone considered him the Broward of the County
And the same game is going on in Arizona, where somehow a 51-49 McSally margin is changing because the votes they are counting in Maricopa County are now 60-40 Sinema. Democratic strongholds find votes, lots of them, after the election is over, and the votes always swing the election to the Democrats, just as they did in Minnesota for Al Franken in 2008. The Dems intended to steal the election in Georgia, too, but that's not going to happen. This time.

Additional votes found after the fact always help Democrats. Always. This won't end well.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

A modest proposal/prediction/grenade in the ol’ foxhole

Since it is customary for presidents to make cabinet changes at mid-term (e.g., Jeff Sessions), I make the following modest proposal:

You may not have heard of him, but the current Secretary of Labor is a fellow named Alexander Acosta. He is no relation to Jim Acosta, but he is also dead weight and has done almost nothing to roll back the egregious work of his Obama-era predecessors. So Trump needs a new Labor Secretary. I have just the guy.



….  (wait for it)


Scott Walker

The confirmation hearings alone would be well worth the price of admission.