Saturday, July 04, 2020

Suggested new nicknames for the NFL team in Washington

Redskins is out, or likely will be. So what should replace it? Herewith, a baker's dozen suggestions:

Washington Gridlocks (per Benster)
Washington Red Tape
Washington Assistant Deputy Undersecretaries
Washington Orange Man Bads
Washington Weasels
Washington Ivy League Masturbation Society
Washington Deep States
Washington J. Edgars
Washington Swamp Thangs
Washington Strzoks
Washington Fanne Foxes
Washington Dirty Painted Whores*
Washington Fighting Hasterts

Vote for your favorite choice in the comments, or certainly suggest your own.

*per a certain former colleague of mine


Thursday, June 25, 2020

That would be a shame

Sean Spicier laments:

Faith matters
Remarkably scandal free, they'll have you know.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

You had to know it was crap

In this racially fraught moment, the notion that someone would put a noose in the vicinity of the only black driver competing in NASCAR seemed, well, dubious. There are security cameras everywhere and by all accounts the driver, Bubba Wallace, is a popular figure in the racing community. And, sure enough, the incident wasn't what it seemed:
The FBI has determined that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime and that a pull rope fashioned like a noose had been on a garage door at Talladega Superspeedway since as early as October, NASCAR said Tuesday.

"The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall," NASCAR said in its statement. "This was obviously well before the 43 team's arrival and garage assignment.

"We appreciate the FBI's quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing."
The 43 car is iconic in the world of stock car racing, mostly because Richard Petty drove it. I've never been much of a racing fan, but everyone knew the 43 car:

43 STP Richard Petty 1979-80 Powerslide - Powerslide - Powerslide ...
King Richard
Petty hasn't been racing for decades, but he remains a major figure in the sport and his racing team has kept the number 43. Wallace drives for Petty, so having that number means something. It's always been the stereotype that because NASCAR came out of the South, it had an undercurrent of racism. Perhaps there's some truth to that, but in the main the modern racing fan doesn't care about that. You aren't likely to hear much about this story in a few more days -- the people who were riding the hobby horse would rather you pay attention to something else now. But racing fans will remember. NASCAR is pursuing a full-on social justice model these days, as are most sporting organizations. They are free to do so, but the point of spectator sports is to provide a diversion from the dreary architecture of modern life. The audience doesn't watch sports for moral instruction. There's plenty of that going around anyway.

Friday, June 19, 2020

I haven't been blogging much, as you've noticed. . .

We are living through one of the more momentous years of our lifetimes, and yet I have found it difficult to face the blank screen to write. It's not surprising, I suppose, because we are in a time of great tribalism and primitivism. Our fellow citizens cover public monuments with expletives, when they aren't topping statues from plinths. A typical conversation seems to go like this:

Or like this:


I'm a Catholic boy and I can sling the rhythmic Anglo-Saxon terms with the best of them, but it gets wearying. I have to get better, but man, it's tough to engage when the world is mad.

Just a question

So the Twins decided to take down a statue of their longtime owner, Calvin Griffith, because he apparently said racist things back in the day.

So, I'm curious -- in the greater scheme of things, who (and what) do you suppose hurt black people more. Is it Calvin Griffith and his racist musings, or is it Carl Pohlad and his lending practices?

Bonus question -- do you suppose Pohlad's offspring, who inherited and currently own the team, would be willing to take a serious look at that question?

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Today

Do the lives of blacks matter? Of course.

Does that mean the goals of Black Lives Matter are sacrosanct? Not really.

Can you affirm one notion and dispute another? At this moment, no.


Saturday, June 13, 2020

Again, just to be clear

Ahem.

Whatever you think of the George Floyd revels, and I don't think much of them because people who claim to love him have turned a human being's corpse into a prop, one thing needs to be said -- it's spectacularly dumb to say George Floyd is getting special treatment. Four cops killed him. The funerals were wretched excess, but wretched excess does not special treatment for Mr. Floyd. He's dead. He derives no benefit from what has happened after his demise.

Make smart arguments, please.

Monday, June 08, 2020

What's worse than an out-of-control police department?

Armed social workers, that's what.

I'm all for making changes to policing, especially using cops as agents of revenue collection. But given the predilections of the therapeutic state, you'd soon see tyranny far more cruel than whatever we have now.

Friday, June 05, 2020

With all due respect

Given the way the George Floyd Revels essentially ignored all protocols, I would say Tim Walz can take his dials and place them in a location where the sun fails to reach.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

One thing to watch

If what we've been told for the past three months is accurate, we should expect a huge ramp up in COVID-19 cases in the next two weeks. Let's see how that plays out.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Minneapolis is burning

I don't know anyone who isn't sickened by what the Minneapolis police did to George Floyd. There should be righteous anger about it. However, this isn't righteous. Images from the Daily Mail:

A man has been shot dead outside a pawn shop after protests over the death of George Floyd descended into chaos Wednesday night and rioters smashed up stores across the Minneapolis. Pictured: A man poses for photos in front of a fire at an AutoZone store
Burn baby burn
Nor is torching an apartment building under construction:

One shocking video showed what was reported to be a new apartment building on fire as rioters stood and watched some distance away
No way to live
Nor is grabbing smokes:

Looters raided scores of stores, including a tobacco outlet. One man was seen looking delighted as he emerged from the store with piles of packs of cigarettes
The pause that refreshes
At least the looters are wearing masks, right? That should please Mayor Frey.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Biden in Quintessence

The Scranton WTF Machine strikes again:
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday emphatically defended his ties to the African American community — telling a popular black radio personality that he “ain’t black” if he was still weighing whether to support Biden or President Donald Trump in November’s general election.

The remarks from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee came during an at-times contentious interview on “The Breakfast Club” that aired Friday morning, during which co-host Charlamagne tha God challenged Biden over his decadeslong record on racial issues and current contemplation of a black, female running mate.
I'm sure the co-host appreciated the tutorial. There's more:
“I’m not acknowledging anybody who is being considered, but I guarantee you, there are multiple black women being considered. Multiple,” Biden said of his search process for a vice presidential nominee.

It was then that an aide to the Biden campaign could be heard interjecting into the conversation, attempting to cut short the interview. “Thank you so much. That’s really our time. I apologize,” the aide said.

“You can't do that to black media!” Charlamagne retored.

“I do that to white media and black media because my wife has to go on at 6 o’clock,” Biden shot back, apparently referring to a subsequent media appearance by Jill Biden, before adding: “Uh oh. I’m in trouble.”
Trouble, trouble that's the name/of Biden's pop-off-a-matic game. He wasn't through:
“Listen, you’ve got to come see us when you come to New York, VP Biden,” Charlamagne said. “It’s a long way until November. We've got more questions.”

“You’ve got more questions?” Biden replied. “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
A photo of Charlamagne tha God:

Is Charlamagne Tha God About To Get His Wings Clipped?
Ain't saying
Another step on the road to Torricelliville.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Walz Between Church and State

Our overlords say no Church services with more than 10 people, even in a building as huge as the Cathedral. The bishops say "nuts":
The bishops’ decision to contravene a statewide executive order is the first made by U.S. bishops since the coronavirus pandemic began.

But Minnesota’s bishops said the state’s prohibitions on religious gatherings of more than 10 people does not respect the right to the free exercise of religion.

“It is now permissible for an unspecified number of people to go to shopping malls and enter stores, so long as no more than 50 percent of the occupancy capacity is reached. Big-box stores have hundreds of people inside at any one time, and the number of goods that are being handled and distributed in one store by many people—stock staff, customers, cashiers—is astounding. Workers are present for many hours per day, often in close proximity. There is no state mandate that customers wear masks in those malls or stores, wash their hands consistently, or follow any specific cleaning protocol,” the bishops wrote.

“In these circumstances, and given the well-researched protocols that we have proposed (and that are being followed successfully elsewhere in our nation) how can reason require us any longer to keep our faithful from the Eucharist?”
In response, Governor Walz said the following:


It's on. And it needs to be.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Mr. Lotter, he gone

After four months in position, former New Brighton honcho Dean Lotter gets the pipe in Eureka, CA:
The Eureka City Council at a special meeting Tuesday will accept the resignation of outgoing Eureka City Manger Dean Lotter, who was placed on administrative leave on May 1, after holding the position for just over four months.

Following a national search and rigorous interview process, Lotter was selected to replace retiring City Manager Greg Sparks. In December of last year Lotter and his wife moved to Eureka from New Brighton, Minnesota, where Lotter served as city manager for 13 years.
We aren't likely to get the "why" in this case, at least right away, but his act probably didn't go well out there. He was able to get by with a lot of nonsense because of the Keystone Kop nature of New Brighton politicians, but that act doesn't work everywhere.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

This should be obvious, but. . . .

Via Instapundit, the unreliable narrator Peggy Noonan makes the salient point:
It’s not that those in red states don’t think there’s a pandemic. They’ve heard all about it! They realize it will continue, they know they may get sick themselves. But they also figure this way: Hundreds of thousands could die and the American economy taken down, which would mean millions of other casualties, economic ones. Or, hundreds of thousands could die and the American economy is damaged but still stands, in which case there will be fewer economic casualties—fewer bankruptcies and foreclosures, fewer unemployed and ruined.

They’ll take the latter. It’s a loss either way but one loss is worse than the other. They know the politicians and scientists can’t really weigh all this on a scale with any precision because life is a messy thing that doesn’t want to be quantified.

Here’s a generalization based on a lifetime of experience and observation. The working-class people who are pushing back have had harder lives than those now determining their fate. They haven’t had familial or economic ease. No one sent them to Yale. They often come from considerable family dysfunction. This has left them tougher or harder, you choose the word.
It's easy to write checks on other people's accounts. As for the politicians:
Meanwhile some governors are playing into every stereotype of “the overclass.” On Tuesday Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf said in a press briefing that those pushing against the shutdown are cowards. Local officials who “cave in to this coronavirus” will pay a price in state funding. “These folks are choosing to desert in the face of the enemy. In the middle of a war.” He said he’ll pull state certificates such as liquor licenses for any businesses that open. He must have thought he sounded uncompromising, like Gen. George Patton. He seemed more like Patton slapping the soldier. No sympathy, no respect, only judgment.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called anti-lockdown demonstrations “racist and misogynistic.” She called the entire movement “political.” It was, in part—there have been plenty of Trump signs, and she’s a possible Democratic vice presidential nominee. But the clamor in her state is real, and serious. People are in economic distress and worry that the foundations of their lives are being swept away. How does name-calling help? She might as well have called them “deplorables.” She said the protests may only make the lockdowns last longer, which sounded less like irony than a threat.
Those deplorables elected the Bad Orange Man. And there's an excellent chance they will do it again. Why is that?
When you are reasonable with people and show them respect, they will want to respond in kind. But when they feel those calling the shots are being disrespectful, they will push back hard and rebel even in ways that hurt them.
As a rule, we aren't comfortable talking about class in this country, but the stratification of class is stronger today than it has been a very long time. And our Betters aren't particularly magnanimous.

I am an older fat dude with a horrible family history for heart disease -- if I get the 'rona, it could be very bad for me. But having a third of the country on the dole is going to be a lot worse for all of us. And those who would deign to protect me aren't doing me, or anyone else, any favors. But self-affirmation is a helluva drug.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Unmasking

We are all supposed to wear masks now. But there is also some unmasking going on. Consider this example from a local political favorite:

Sure, that must be it
You might remember Strub, who served one term on the corrupt New Brighton City Council, adding a veneer of sanctimony to the usual money-grubbing that goes on there. Turns out ol' Strub figured out it's more lucrative to work for Gov. Walz, as the linked article informs us:
Not everybody supports the efforts of small businesses to oppose Walz’s months long shutdown. Brian Strub, a member of the governor’s staff, says that efforts by churches to reopen are motivated by greed and will endanger lives.

“Beware of any church suing to reopen, as they may be showing their true colors of caring more about the collection plate than about human life. This [the closures] is #prolife in 2020,” he wrote in a now deleted tweet.
I have been attending Mass online since the clampdown began. I have also been giving online to my parish for years now. As a congregation, we are greatly saddened that we cannot gather together for Mass. My parish is not wealthy, but it's not the money that matters. Except to Strub, who doesn't appear to have the courage of his convictions. You can delete your tweets, sir, but we sensed who you are long ago. Thank you for dropping your mask.


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Just a reminder

No matter the emergency or the pretext, the moment a government determines that the life and livelihood or any citizen is "non-essential," tyranny has arrived. And tyranny does not cease until it is forced to cease.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Former Imperious City Employees in the News

Remember Dean Lotter? He was the longtime City Manager for New Brighton, best known for his imperious manner and copious self-regard. He left New Brighton last November for a new job in Eureka, California. Apparently he didn't last long:
A major announcement was made Friday for the city of Eureka.

Eureka City Council said City Manager Dean Lotter is on Administrative Leave.

Effective immediately, City Clerk Pam Powell will assume the role and responsibilities of Acting City Manager, the city said in a press release.
I don't know anything about the current situation or the cultural mores of Eureka, California, but Lotter was much beloved among certain politicos in New Brighton because he was always good for backstopping whatever antics they were undertaking. Maybe Lotter wasn't playing ball, or maybe he played ball too well in Eureka, but he got the pipe from there in a hurry. That's interesting. And with the recent resignation of Mary Burg, there's a fair measure of skulduggery afoot in Lotter's old redoubt, as usual. We're watching the situation and I will have more to say about all that in the coming days.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Evers says, "Balls to ya, Bob Burns"

There is a price to pay for the various lockdowns. Back in my hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin, Bob Burns is paying it:
Bob Burns enters his golf shop on a mobility scooter, his dog Hogan padding ahead of him. The door locks behind him. The lights are off. The parking lot is empty. There’s not a soul on the driving range. The police, in fact, have swung by a few times to make sure Burns is complying with Gov. Tony Evers’ order closing non-essential businesses, extended now to May 26.

Normally, April and May are busy months at Bob Burns Golf. People are itching to hit balls on the range, to get their clubs re-gripped, to purchase the newest equipment, to sign up for lessons.

This year, as we all know, is not normal. Burns owns a stand-alone driving range, one of thousands of businesses statewide shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic. Golf courses opened Friday and motorized carts are allowed starting Wednesday, but driving ranges must remain closed.
His competitors are also open:
Scheels, a huge sporting goods store in Appleton, is open. So are Menards and Walmart and Costco, all of which sell golf equipment.

But the police are checking the doors at Bob Burns Golf, just in case a golfer or two has sneaked onto the range to hit a few balls, not only socially distanced but practically isolated.

“Why pick on me?” Burns says, with more incredulity than anger in his voice. “Who does more for this community and golf? Why pick on me?”
There's more, lots more, at the link, including what Bob Burns has done for golf, in Appleton and beyond. Tony Evers doesn't care about any of that.

Tim Walz could decide to take a different path than Tony Evers. He will announce his decision shortly. There are businesses in Minnesota like the one Bob Burns runs in Wisconsin that will be out of business soon.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Just a reminder

Fear is a selfish emotion, especially when it leads you to demand others make sacrifices on your behalf.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Are You Team Joe?

Join us!

Never mind

I know all about the Borgias

Chill-dren!
Here's Johnny!

You have no idea

You can be, too! Just go to the link and make yer own!

Thursday, April 09, 2020

This Is Not America

At the moment, it is. Behold the efforts of local law enforcement in Brighton, Colorado:


While I share skepticism about the overall utility of social distancing, I have made a point of doing so; other than daily walks around the neighborhood and getting a morning cup of coffee at the gas station a few blocks away (which is more about keeping them in business than anything else), I have not been leaving my house much at all. But there are people who cheering this sort of behavior right now -- I see it on my social media feed every damned day.

When we begin the reckoning of this moment, we are going to need to demand answers about behavior like this. But more importantly, we need to consult a mirror to see why we were willing to use the Constitution as we would use a 48-roll jumbo pack of Kirkland toilet paper.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Spreading?

I'm watching where COVID-19 cases are happening. The maps show where we were last week and where we are now:


Next, Wisconsin:

Then, Iowa:

Finally, Illinois:


So, it's spreading. But is it spreading in such a way that commerce should be curtailed and even halted? And remember -- the state shown here with the hardest crackdown is Illinois.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

One request

Sure, stay at home, social distance, all that.  But don't be a fucking Stasi about it, mkay? Talk to your neighbors, don't rat them out. If we're going to have a world worth living in once this is over, and it will be over, we are going to have to be decent to one another and calling Tim Walz's hotline is not how you do it.

That is all.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Good news, bad news

The good news? After 14 days my daughter, recently returned from Spain, is out of quarantine with no sign of coronavirus.

The bad news? The state is shut down.

For the record, here is a county-by-county map of cases in Minnesota:

Metro? Yes. Western Minnesota? Not so much
Here's Wisconsin, which is operating under similar, if slightly more strict clampdown rules:

Stay on Highway 8 and you're good
Only 3 counties have a real problem at the moment -- Milwaukee, Dane, and to a much lesser extent Waukesha.

How about our neighbors in Iowa? They aren't currently doing a clampdown.

Not so good in Iowa City and Des Moines, but otherwise?
Then consider our friends in Illinois, now under a far more draconian clampdown thanks to their governor:

Lotta clear spaces here, especially in the southeast
So my question is this -- why are governors imposing one-size-fits-all solutions on their states? I'm assuming we can still ask the question for now in this forum -- not too many blue-check thought police read this feature. When this is all over, I will be curious to see if some of these counties are still free of the virus. If you believe the narrative, a plague is spreading across the land and it's everywhere. And perhaps it is. But I wonder, just a little bit.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

A lesson learned, or suspicion confirmed

We'll have time to sort all this out eventually, but one thing has become quite clear -- a lot of people are quite willing to become cheerleaders for the heavy hand of government if they have any fear at all. Mencken said it this way:

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

No, COVID-19 (or the Wuhan coronavirus, if you'd prefer) is not imaginary in the least. But there's no lack of people who are clamoring to be led to safety at the moment. Would that I had more confidence in those who are supposed to be doing the leading. And no, that's not a shot at Trump -- as always, the people you really need to watch are closer to home.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

When will this end?

When people get tired of it. Spring is coming and people will want to get out and about. And at some point you're going to start getting less obedience and more questioning of the powers that be, especially about shelter-in-place rules and whatnot.

Might be time for a pool. Take a guess on when the clamps come off and put your guess in the comments.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Back in Business

Image result for guardia civil
Career opportunities
We were able to get our daughter out of Spain. Good thing, too, because the crackdown is on:
The Spanish government is poised to declare a 15-day national lockdown on Monday to battle coronavirus.

Under the decree being finalised, people would be allowed out only for emergencies, to buy food, or for work.

With 191 deaths and 6,046 infections, Spain is the worst-hit country in Europe after Italy, which declared a nationwide lockdown on Monday.
I understand the impulse. It may turn out to be right thing to do. But the eagerness of officials throughout the world to crack down, and the cheering they are receiving, should get your antennae up.


Maybe not as dead as we thought, though.


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

It would have been nice if. . .

. . . the Leader of the Free World had said at the outset of his remarks tonight that his likely useless European travel ban didn’t apply to U.S. citizens. We ended up spending a small fortune on a one-way ticket via London to get our daughter a flight home on the weekend, routing her through England to avoid restrictions that didn’t actually apply to her, so she wouldn’t be stuck in Europe. Sneaking a clarification out an hour after his presentation was, well, horseshit.

I can’t even pretend to defend this. Meanwhile, the trip to Spain I have been waiting to take for 36 freaking years is now likely a sunk cost.

Grrrr.

Wash yer hands

This was going around social media yesterday. You can go to the website and create your own, but this seems like the right choice:

Australian schoolboy outfit optional

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

In two weeks. . .

. . . we are supposed to go to Spain to visit Fearless Maria, currently studying in Madrid. Will it happen, or will the urge to quarantine the entire freaking world prevail? We're about to find out.

Events are in the saddle.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Ordinarily, I'm not a fan of schadenfreude, but. . .

. . . in this case I'll make an exception:

Too little, too late
Michael Bloomberg has amassed a fortune of over $60 billion. He could buy and sell me a thousand times out of petty cash. I stipulate he's a brilliant businessman and an impressive figure. But he is a terrible politician and a malevolent human being. He's now forced to admit that a time serving hack with a rictus grin has a better chance of being president than he does. If you can't get your schadenfreude on for that, you're missing out.

Image result for joe biden rictus grin
Feel the Bern? I don't feel much of anything

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Don't fall in love, fall in line

So Joe Biden, fugitive from Madame Tussauds, is now back to being the frontrunner in the 2020 Dem circus. Is there a deeper meaning to Sooooooooper Tuesday (borrowing a little Benster HYYYYPE here)? Not really. Whatever the party apparat wants, it ultimately gets. And Bernie Sanders isn't what they want.

I was able to get exclusive video of the discussions before Super Tuesday among top Dem officials:


And just as William Holden portrayed it, Joe gets to empty the ashtrays.

Monday, March 02, 2020

It's Klo-ver

Our Amy gets the pipe:
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar ended her campaign for president Monday afternoon and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden, as the party’s moderate wing has started to unite in a bid to stop Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders from building an insurmountable lead in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Klobuchar made the announcement official at a Biden rally in Dallas, where former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also made a separate endorsement of the former vice president at a restaurant before the event. Former presidential contender Beto O’Rourke also was expected to announce his backing of Biden.
Image result for klobuchar endorse biden dallas rally
Don't fall in love, fall in line

I almost feel sorry for Klobuchar. She didn't even get the chance to take a victory lap in her home state before they came for her, and you know they did come for her. This was not a free will decision, any more than the decision Pete Buttigieg made the day before. And her reward for the past year of her life, for visiting every county in Iowa and all the other silly rituals she chose to undertake, is to endorse a malaprop factory who seems to be about one heckler away from a total mental breakdown.

Still, she had to know this day was coming. She wasn't going to get the nomination. She probably won't even get the Veep nod from Vice President Kinnock; about the best she can hope for, in the highly unlikely event Biden were somehow to win the nomination and then the presidency, would be something like HUD director. When 2024 rolls around, she'll be yesterday's news. Perhaps it's appropriate she knelt before Zod in Texas; at least she won't have far to go to check into her berth in the Cindy Sheehan ditch.

1000 Words

Image result for klobuchar rally protest
Signs, signs everywhere signs

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Le mot juste, headline style

Politico is a typical lefty outlet, but give them credit for having the proper headline on their debate synopsis:

It's who they are, it's what they do
The primary (no pun intended) reason the donks are having trouble getting much traction in this cycle is because they are guilty of most of the sins they ascribe to the Bad Orange Man. Frankly, every person on that stage yesterday was a repellent person in one way or another. And the key word in the headline? Scold. Do you enjoy getting scolded? Do you want to listen to any of these people for the next four years?

Monday, February 24, 2020

Bernie

My take on Bernie Sanders, as of today:

  • At this point, he is asking for support.
  • If he gets it and then wins the White House, he will stop asking.
  • Trump has endured a "resistance" for the duration of his presidency, even though he was (and remains) unlikely to do anything that will really transform the way our country is governed. Of any politician out there who needs a "resistance" arrayed against him, it's Bernie. Would that happen, would our well-appointed functionaries inside the Beltway resist him, or make his dreams come true? 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Welcome to Thunderdumb

So I watched most of the debate last night. Everyone who watched has an opinion of what they saw. So here's mine.

  • Bloomberg may have more money than King Canute, but as a debater he was even worse than I thought he'd be. Warren tore him to ribbons from the outset and he never really got his footing again. He took one good shot at Bernie Sanders about his three homes, but that wasn't enough. You can tell he hasn't been challenged much in his life.
  • Warren was tearing down everyone in sight. While her scorched earth approach was effective on Bloomberg, after a while it got wearing. She's a deeply unpleasant personality and she still doesn't have the proper responses when others challenge her on substance. As an insult comic, she's got potential, though.
  • Biden was better, but he's still a bit befuddled. He wasn't a good candidate in 1988 and 32 years on, he's worse. Bob Dole without the gravitas.
  • If the trendline continues, Bernie is gonna win. He's a loon, but he has strong support from his droogs and that is likely to make the difference. No one really laid a glove on him last night.
  • Buttigieg let his Eddie Haskell mask drop too many times last night. His repeated exchanges with Our Amy were sulfuric. He's the A student suckup we all hated growing up and I suspect he's already hit his high water mark for this cycle. His future as Harold Stassen beckons, although I did appreciate the Walter Mondale diss.
  • Our Amy let her Karen mask drop too many times last night. She let Buttigieg get under her nerves at least twice and resorted to whiny woe-is-me responses. I don't see a way forward.
In short, Bernie has to be the favorite. Bloomberg can continue to suck up all the oxygen from the other candidates and keep them off the air, but he's never going to win the hearts and minds of the Dem base. The more interesting question is whether he'll be willing to subsidize the campaigns of the people who kicked him in the balls last night. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Blago gets outta jail

I'm not sure why the Bad Orange Man commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the corrupt (is there any other kind?) former Illinois governor who essentially put Barack Obama's senate seat up for auction back in the day, but here you go:
After more than one false alarm raised and dashed the hopes of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, President Donald Trump finally answered his pleas and commuted Blagojevich’s 14-year prison term Tuesday, springing the Chicago Democrat from prison more than four years early and writing a stunning new chapter to one of the state’s most notorious corruption cases.
Personally, I wouldn't have done it, but my assumption is Trump is simply showing his ass to the various grandees who put Blago away, especially Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney who took the lead in the case. The linked article from the Chicago Tribune suggests as much:
Also issuing a statement were the attorneys who made up the team of prosecutors who handled the Blagojevich trials in U.S. District Court in Chicago. That group included former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, and his former assistants Reid Schar, Chris Niewoehner and Carrie Hamilton, who is now a judge, who pointed out that both the appellate and Supreme Courts affirmed the conviction and sentence.

“The appellate court described the evidence against him as ‘overwhelming,’” the statement read in part. “Extortion by a public official is a very serious crime, routinely prosecuted throughout the United States whenever, as here, it can be detected and proven. That has to be the case in America: a justice system must hold public officials accountable for corruption. It would be unfair to their victims and the public to do otherwise.”
Emphasis mine. That's right. Now do Andrew McCabe and Hillary Clinton. Trump has hinted as much:
In August, of Blagojevich, Trump said, “And a lot of people thought it was unfair, like a lot of other things — and it was the same gang, the Comey gang and all these sleazebags that did it.”

The president was referring to former FBI Director James Comey, a frequent Trump target who he contends sought to politicize the nation’s top law enforcement agency in the 2016 election in which Trump faced Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. After taking office, the president fired Comey amid the investigation into Russia’s interference in the election and whether the Trump campaign was involved.
Again, I wouldn't have made the same decision. But Trump does everything for a reason. And my guess is the reason will become more clear in time.



Tuesday, February 18, 2020

"I'll take 'Things That Aren't Going to Happen' for $500, Alex"

The usually sensible Ann Althouse is in love with Amy Klobuchar, apparently, leading Althouse to make this bizarre pronouncement:
Unless Buttigieg, Warren, Klobuchar, and Biden get together and pick one of them to go forward, the answer is going to be Bloomberg.

Unless he's awful at that debate.

And won't Buttigieg, Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar, and Biden all try to make him look awful?

I would advise Buttigieg, Warren, Klobuchar, and Biden to get together and pick one. But they need to do it soon. If I picture those 4 huddling and really trying to decide which of the 4 of them should take up the banner of moderate anti-Trumpism, I see the choice as Amy Klobuchar. She's the best age (59), she's female, and she's got a long record in the Senate. 
A long record of doing Small Things. But then Althouse immediately realizes why this will never happen:
But that's too sensible, isn't it? The Democrats are so keyed up to fight that they're not going to accept mere sensibleness.
Especially when "sensibleness" isn't particularly sensible. I do think a woman can be elected president in this country, but that woman will not be a Democrat.


Monday, February 17, 2020

Just a reminder

The MSM always has yer kabuki right here, pal:


The people who earn (so to speak) their living informing America are lying to you. But you know that.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Friday, February 14, 2020

President Otto West

AG Barr had to remind the POTUS that, sometimes, it's easier to get things done without the accompaniment of tweets:
Barr said “the president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.” However, he argued that having public statements and tweets made about the department, pending cases and its prosecutors “make it impossible to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we are doing our work with integrity.”

In a statement following Barr’s interview, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that Trump “wasn’t bothered by the comments at all and he has the right, just like any American citizen, to publicly offer his opinions.”

“President Trump uses social media very effectively to fight for the American people against injustices in our country, including the fake news. The President has full faith and confidence in Attorney General Barr to do his job and uphold the law,” Grisham said. 
Yeah, I'm sure Barr's job would be easier without the tweets, but you have to know going in that's how Trump operates. Barr is essentially saying this:


I was dealing with something delicate. I'm setting up a guy who's important to us, who'll tell me where the loot is and if you'll be arrested, and you come loping in like Rambo without a jock strap and you dangle him out a fifth-floor window! Now, was that smart? Was it shrewd? Was it good tactics? Or was it stupid?

You make the call. Thankfully, Barr doesn't dress like Jamie Lee Curtis.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Bernie or Bloomie

It's not over in New Hampshire yet, but it is. So what's next?

  • While I know John Croman and the rest of the local cheerleaders are very excited about Our Amy finishing third in New Hampshire, she has no path forward. She doesn't have enough money to compete on Super Tuesday and she has no ground game in Nevada or South Carolina. Her modest success has probably put a torpedo under the waterline of Pete Buttigieg, however. As long as they both stay in the race, and they both will because they can for the moment, they'll drag each other down to the bottom. 
  • Bernie won.  And he's likely to win a few more states coming up. Do you see either Buttigieg or Our Amy beating Bernie in any upcoming state? Maybe Our Amy wins her home state. That's not enough.
  • Nanny Bloomberg has more money than King Canute, and if he continues to spend hundreds of millions on his own campaign, he can drain all the oxygen out of the room. Even if Klobuchar and Buttigieg had the money to buy ads in the upcoming states, Bloomberg has bought most of the available air time already. 
  • So if you're a Democrat, would you rather have a crazy commie or a nasty scold from the Lollipop Guild? Because those are likely to be your choices.

I Dig a Pony Soldier

Joe Biden on the hustings:


Apparently his odd insult, calling a woman a "lying dog-faced pony soldier," was from an old John Wayne movie (I suppose there's no other kind any more, since the Duke has been gone for over 40 years). Of course, John Wayne fans are a key demographic in any Democratic Party primary, pilgrim. The only pony soldiers I remember are tied to NFL Films:


Biden is not gonna make it -- anyone who has followed his career knew that going in. He was a ridiculous buffoon the first time he ran for president, back in 1988, and ridiculous buffoons don't typically gain much wisdom. I am waiting to see what his next source of insult humor is -- perhaps he could try James Cagney next, who offered a tidy summation of Biden's campaign over 70 years ago now:


Monday, February 10, 2020

il miglior fabbro

Matt Taibbi, writing for Rolling Stone, tells the Dems what they need to understand, but don't want to hear:
Yesterday’s really gone.

In 1993, liberal America sang along at the Bill Clinton inaugural ball with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks (and Michael Jackson, whoops). “Don’t Stop” was “Ding, dong, the witch is dead!” for the smart set. The New Democrats ushered in a new reign for youth and modernity against Reagan-Bush reaction.

That’s done. After a vote in Iowa that reeked of third-world treachery — from monolithic TV propaganda against the challenger to rumors of foreign intrusion to, finally, a “botched” vote count that felt as legitimate as a Supreme Soviet election — the Democrats have become the reactionaries they once replaced.

Coinciding with the flatulent end of the party’s impeachment gambit, and the related news that Donald Trump is enjoying climbing approval ratings, the Blue Party was exposed as an incompetent lobby for doomed elites, dumb crooks with nothing left to offer but their exit.
Much, much more at the link. Taibbi is no friend of conservatives, but when he's correct, he's correct.


Saturday, February 08, 2020

Philosophy majors in the news

You don't have to be intelligent to be on television. Consider the example of Katy Tur, who has been a fairly constant presence on the MSNBC airwaves for years now. She said this (emphasis in the original):
Tur brought on Post political reporter Philip Bump to continue to promote the piece: “Alright, so impeachment is an example of this. The 48 senators – I mean, 12 million more voters, that’s a lot.” Bump replied in part that “you had the 69 million who actually supported senators who wanted to see him removed from office.”

It’s unclear how Bump divined that people voted those senators into office with the express desire that they overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Minutes later, Tur wondered what could be done to prevent Republicans from winning statewide elections for U.S. Senate seats across the country: “So what’s the resolution to that? Is gerrymandering something that would help improve the situation? Is – how does that sort of divide promote consensus in the Senate or even in the House?”

Bump was forced to awkwardly correct her and explain the obvious: “Well, I mean, the only resolution – gerrymandering is not going to do anything because in the Senate we’re talking about states, right? You can’t gerrymander states.” He then delivered more tough news: “The only solution is for Democrats to appeal to voters in those states.”
A few observations:
  • Lefties hate gerrymandering, except when they can do it.
  • The Senate is designed to slow things down and to prevent big states from steamrolling small states. That's kinda the point.
  • A good way for Democrats to appeal to voters in "those states" would be to listen to their concerns and offer solutions. That's too much work, though.
  • Tur and her lefty pals assume they'll always be in the majority. If they were to think things through, they'd realize that may not be a permanent state of affairs. But again, thinking things through is a lot of work.
  • And on the matter of thinking things through, Tur's undergraduate degree is in philosophy. No, really.
Tur is an attractive woman, no doubt:

Image result for katy tur
Philosophical construct
I wouldn't argue that Tur's looks are the only reason she has a job with MSNBC, but it doesn't hurt her cause. The larger issue with Tur and others similarly situated is the unspoken assumption, the central conceit they share with lefties everywhere -- they are smarter than their opponents. Yeah, keep making that argument, kids.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Two very quick observations

Maybe by November we'll know who actually won the Iowa caucus.

Mitt Romney chose to believe Adam Schiff. All his blathering about faith becomes a non-sequitur after that.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Who did it better?

Sinead O'Connor?

Image result for sinead o'connor tearing up picture of pope"
Nothing compares
Or Nancy Pelosi?

Image result for nancy pelosi tearing up trump's speech"
That tears it

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Iowah-wah-wah

So no one knows who "won" the Iowa caucus, even this morning:
A technical meltdown in Iowa Monday night set off bedlam in the critical first contest for the Democratic presidential nomination, triggering competing claims of victory and stoking doubts about the legitimacy of the eventual outcome.

No results had been reported by midnight Eastern, and two campaigns told POLITICO that after a conference call with the Iowa Democratic Party, they didn’t expect any returns until Tuesday morning at the earliest.
Here's an on-the-spot report from Des Moines:


At this point, no one is going to believe the results, no matter what they are. All the Dems will claim victory and nothing at all will be decided. But remember, the Democrats are going to save the country from the Bad Orange Man.

My favorite quote so far? Probably this one:
Sanders' supporters were already crying foul. Rep. Ilhan Omar, who campaigned for Sanders in Iowa this weekend, tweeted, "Democracy dies in the darkness!”
If you're inclined, the entire Politico piece I've linked is a laff riot. One more fun observation contained therein:
If one thing was certain from Monday's debacle, Iowa had just signed its death warrant as the first-in-the-nation caucus state, the legendary Des Moines Register political reporter David Yepsen said.

“This fiasco means the end of the caucuses as a significant American political event. The rest of the country was already losing patience with Iowa anyway and this cooks Iowa's goose. Frankly, it should,” Yepsen said. “The real winner tonight was Donald Trump, who got to watch his opponents wallow in a mess. A lot of good Democratic candidates and people who fought their hearts out here for ... nothing.

“I expect Iowans will move themselves to kill it off by holding a primary, and let the state move to someplace behind New Hampshire along with other states.”
All those pork tenderloin sandwiches for nothing.


Saturday, February 01, 2020

Get to it

Back in 2016, this feature's political stance was NeverTrump. Once the election was decided, it no longer made any sense to hold that stance. Never was negated. So it was, at least in my mind, time to judge Trump on his performance in office, rather than his uncorrected personality traits.

We now have a 3+ year sample size of Trump as president. He's had successes -- the economy is generally going well, but it's not perfect. He's done less war mongering than any of his predecessors going back to Grover Cleveland. He's worked with Mitch McConnell to largely remake the federal judiciary, including adding two new justices to the Supreme Court. And he's spent much of his time dealing with a political opposition that has come at him with relentless ferocity. He's been impeached, but to no effect. If anything, impeachment has made Trump marginally more popular, because the behavior of his tormentors has been on prominent display and hasn't been a good look for any of them.

Trump would like a second term in office. Although I approve in broad outline of Trump's performance in office, even now I could be persuaded to vote for someone else, mostly because I tire of the drama. Yet, none of the current candidates on offer are even close to acceptable substitutes. It's increasingly possible the Democrats will undergo a hostile takeover by Bernie Sanders and his Jacobin followers. The other Democrats are mediocrities -- Biden was found wanting 32 years ago, Warren is a fraud on various levels, Buttigieg is a marketing campaign disguised as a candidacy, and no one else has any traction, including our local Senator of Small Things. Meanwhile two plutocrats even more dire than the Bad Orange Man, Nanny Bloomberg and the environmental grifter Tom Steyer, flood the airwaves with focus group invective.

If you want to get rid of Trump, I understand -- I really do. But do you see a plausible alternative? If so, it's time to make your case. Get to it.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Benster and D Pick Your Games----Super Bowl HYYYYPPPEEE! Edition

Old dude, there is a lot of HYYYYYYPPPEEEE! going around Miami this week. Will it be the end of a 25 year drought for the Niners, or will it be the end of a 50 year drought for the Chiefs? So many things to discuss. In fact, I think every single topic has been beaten to death all week long.

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Glad you do. Don't worry about me, either.

I'll try not to worry. Unless you find yourself as part of the pregame show, which started last Tuesday, I think. 

No, that was Jerry Nadler, or maybe Frank Caliendo doing Nadler. Or something. I will not be watching the Super Bowl pregame show very much. It's like they forget the real fans. But I have things to tell you, so. . . it's time to watch me work.

San Francisco 49ers (+1.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are a great team, but it must be acknowledged that they did get lucky in who they had to play in the playoffs. They avoided New England and Baltimore due to the Titans, and dodged massive bullets at Arrowhead early on in both playoff games. It's an open question if the Chiefs would have won against New England or Baltimore, but you play who you have to play. The Niners are a great team and looked more dominant in their playoff wins. I'm going to be blunt about Andy Reid. The guy can coach, and nobody is disputing his ability to develop quarterbacks. His problem is that he seemingly refuses to improve his clock management and focus on defense. The Chiefs can ill afford to go behind again on this stage, as the Niners have the better defense. This might be Andy Reid's Waterloo as a coach. Even Napoleon found out that his talents had limits, and Reid is in danger of becoming the NFL's Napoleon. That is, a great offensive mind that refused to adapt and got beat by better opponents. However, Napoleon won many victories, and this might be Reid's Austerlitz. Chiefs 31, Niners 28, in OT.

I got the license plate number of the truck that ran over the Packers. It was something 31. Now, do I expect Raheem Mostert to be the key to the game? Probably not. But I think the 49ers are built for this moment. They have a top-notch front seven on defense and enough skill on the back line to keep Patrick Mahomes from going completely berserk. They also are built to play keep away, which is still the best way to deal with Mahomes. I think it's a close game, but I'm picking the 49ers. 49ers 34, Chiefs 28.

Thanks for reading us all year long, and see you next fall. Enjoy your weekend, and Ben out.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Ahem

Two things:

  • The Doomsday Clock is bullshit. If the goon squad that runs it said we were two seconds from annihilation, it would still be bullshit. They have no greater insight into the future than any of the rest of us do. Benster has a significantly better prediction record than the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
  • You are under no obligation to listen to Greta Thunberg.

Are you following it?

The impeachment charade -- are you following it? Or have you tuned it out?

Although Benster's football picks have more or less taken over the blog, I am trying to stay on top of what's happening in Washington. An impeachment should be a historic moment, but this just doesn't seem like anything historic. My personal opinion of Bad Orange Man hasn't changed that much, but there's no question his tormentors are incalculably worse people than he is. Why anyone would believe Adam Schiff or Nadler or any of the other grotesqueries parading about is beyond me.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Packers Are Worst Team Ever To Play for a Conference Title Edition

Old dude, the Packers are still getting disrespected by the media despite playing for the NFC title. I expect the disrespect here from Vikings approved KFAN commentators like Meatsauce and PA, but nationally?

Narratives are narratives, young fella.

We shall see if the Packers continue to make all of the haters eat some nice crow. At least the good news is that the AFC side is not dealing with the same critics that the Packers have.

Well, that's likely because no one pays attention to the Titans unless compelled to do so.

I am feeling the HYYYYYYYPPPEE!, and it is time to watch me work.

Tennessee Titans (+7.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs If you predicted that the Titans would win road games at New England and Baltimore this postseason, you are either a delusional Titans fan or stole a car from Marty McFly. It makes no sense, but you have to credit the Titans for pulling it off against all reasonable odds. The Chiefs got here because of overturning a huge deficit in the second quarter last week, averting an all-time choke job by virtue of the Houston Texans having a meltdown for the ages. The thing is, this is the perfect setup for Kansas City. They avoided both New England and Baltimore, and this might be their best chance to get to the Super Bowl. The problem is that Andy Reid is 1-6 in this round, with a terrible record at home. If Kansas City can't grasp this golden chance, then you have to look at the head coach and quarterback. It sounds harsh, but the bottom line is that Kansas City may have forgotten that dumping Alex Smith for the hot quarterback results in having to pay the price. Titans 18. By the Way, What's Wrong with the Chiefs 10.

Last I checked, Alex Smith is out of the NFL. Could the Titans win? Sure. They are playing very well and they did an excellent job against Lamar Jackson last week in Charm City. This game will be a challenge, though. This feels like the moment the Chiefs finally break through. And I think it happens. Chiefs 28, Titans 20.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (+7.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers The Packers survived against Seattle and lived to fight another day. That's good enough for me, and should be for all Packers fans. They are returning to play a game in California, a state which has been a nightmare for them twice this season. The first time the Packers went out there to play the Niners, it was very bad. In my eyes, the key to this game is going to be getting off to a good start, and being tough. Lost in all of the hate the Packers have gotten is that they are a very good 4th quarter team and know how to win close games. In the playoffs, you won't have many blowouts. This game is going to be very tough, and I respect the job the Niner brass has done. Time for the haters to eat crow once again, and the salt mining will salt the streets of Minnesota for months. Packers 28, Niners 17.

Man, I want this to happen, but it's not a good matchup. I think the Packers will play much better, but unless the offensive line holds up against the 49ers, I don't see how the Packers keep up. Hoping to be wrong about this, but. . . 49ers 27, Packers 19.

Enjoy your football this weekend. Ben out.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

When the well runs dry

Image result for impeachment procession
I'm walkin', yes indeed
Sometime back in the 1950s, Fats Domino asked the question:

What 'ya gonna do when the well runs dry?
You're gonna sit right down and cry
What 'ya gonna do when I say bye-bye?
All you're gonna do is dry your eye

The Articles of Impeachment that Adam Schiff and his pals dropped off at the Senate are the Belway equivalent of a flaming bag of poop left on someone's porch. There isn't a case to be made in any event -- the bottom line is the president gets to conduct foreign policy as he sees fit and if the denizens of the Deep State doesn't agree, they can resign their positions and get a paying gig on CNN. Whatever you think of Donald Trump, as president he had the right to structure his negotiations with Ukraine as he saw fit and he certainly had the right to fire a recalcitrant ambassador who was conducting a rogue foreign policy on her own initiative.

The process will continue, of course -- Lawfare is busy manufacturing new outrages and demands. Meanwhile, Trump signs trade agreements with China. I do hope Mitch McConnell kills the whole enterprise with great haste, although he probably won't.

There will come a time when we actually have a president who needs to be removed from office. Impeachment is a necessary tool. By deploying this tool in such a ridiculous fashion, the half-assed carpenters of the House have rendered the tools useless. They think they've forever tarnished the Bad Orange Man, but they couldn't be more wrong.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- The Vikings Did It Edition

Old dude, it cracks me up that the Saints lost a game in part because of the failure of officials to review a pass interference penalty in New Orleans. You really hate to see it.

It's likely the Saints will come out against what they were for last time, next time. Ethical flexibility is a specialty of the house down there, even more than gumbo.

It serves them right. What a bunch of whiny fans, that can't blame their own team. I bet sports talk radio in New Orleans was lit, as well.

No doubt. But credit due to the Vikings for an excellent game plan. 

Indeed. More about that in a moment. We move onto Divisional weekend. It is the best NFL weekend all year, because the big dogs come out to protect their home field. I'm feeling the HYYYYPPPPEE! So watch me work.

Minnesota Vikings (+7) vs. San Francisco 49ers This time it was Kirk Cousins and Kyle Rudolph playing the heroic combo as the Vikings went into New Orleans and finished the Saints off. What is getting lost in the adulation is that the Vikings almost blew it. They had a 10 point lead in the 4th quarter, and got very fortunate that the officials seemingly were scared to review Rudolph's debatable push off on the game winning touchdown. You still have to give the Vikings credit for pulling the upset, but let's not forget those two points that go against them. The 49ers are a far tougher team, and it's a West Coast road trip on a short week. The Vikings have a chance, and you would be a fool to overlook them. I think the 49ers are better defensively than the Saints, and Jimmy G is a quarterback with plenty of weapons to work with. The dream is going to end for the Vikings in the Bay Area. 49ers 31, Vikings 21.

Can the Vikings block? And can they stop George Kittle? If they can, they win. Do you think they can? I don't, actually. But I'm going to pick them anyway. Vikings 24, 49ers 21.

Tennessee Titans (+10) vs. Baltimore Ravens I want to thank the Titans for doing us a favor and knocking the Patriots out of the playoffs. We don't have to deal with the insufferable Boston sports fans for the rest of the month. I used to have sympathy for them, but they just are too spoiled for that. One wonders how many bullets the Titans have, but you'd be a fool to ignore them. I honestly wonder about the Ravens and Lamar Jackson. The dude can play, but the less annoying Harbaugh should have noticed what happened to his brother in San Francisco. People will figure out how to stop him, and this is Lamar's first playoff start. We all thought that Kaepernick was going to be good, but everyone ignored his flaws. We all thought that Mike Vick was the future, and once again his flaws were ignored. Someone is going to stop Lamar Jackson, but the good news is that some moron owner is going to hire Bobby Petrino, because he coached Jackson in college. I think Baltimore wins, but I beg their football ops people to heed the past. Ravens 10, Titans 0.

Maybe. Jackson is well positioned for success in the short term, I agree. But when he loses a step, and he will, your suspicions will become reality. But not this week. Ravens 27, Titans 14.

Houston Texans (+9.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs I honestly look at the Chiefs and wonder if they actually have learned anything about Andy Reid. The guy can coach offense, but he can't manage a game clock well and his defenses have always been questionable without a generational defensive coordinator in Jim Johnson. One of my biggest sports pet peeve is coaches who keep failing in the most important games, and ownership groups wondering why the same thing keeps happening. I'm sorry Chiefs fans, your team will not win a Super Bowl as long as Andy Reid is around. His track record speaks for himself, and his teams have flamed out of the playoffs with the same mistakes every single year. The defense will fail, the clock management will be questionable, and his quarterback will not show up when it matters. I beg Kansas City to consider making drastic changes after they lose. Too bad it won't be to a Texans squad that benefited from a complete choke by the Buffalo Bills last week. Chiefs 41, Texans 10.

We haven't heard from our ol' pal for a while:




So you're saying it's out of context? Well, it's always out of context with that guy. Credit to the young fella for getting the context correct. Andy Reid will not get to the Super Bowl this year. But he will get to the AFC Championship Game. Chiefs 28, Texans 17.

Seattle Seabags (+4.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers Oh look, everyone is coming out of the woodwork to question a 13-3 team about how they win. It turns out that whenever the Packers win, the media will criticize them for little stuff that happens to every single team. I love this Packers team, because they play tough, and win games that they should. Seattle is going to be a tough out, there is no doubting that. One thing that makes me feel confident is that the Packers looked great on offense in the second half against the LOLions, and people are forgetting about Aaron Rodgers. Keep making that mistake. He's due to break some hearts. Maybe the media can actually have the guts to admit they were wrong about the Packers. Packers 31, Seabags 10.

You live in Minnesota, dude. Do you expect anyone to love the Packers outside of this household? Probably ain't happening. But in any event, the game. The Seahawks would scare me more if they didn't have about 49 guys on injured reserve. At this point the Seattle offense is Russell Wilson, D.K. Metcalf and a bunch of parking lot attendants. The Packers have been lucky at times this season, but remember what Branch Rickey said -- luck is the residue of design. Packers 28, Seahawks 17.

Clemson Tigers (+5.5) vs. LSU Bayou Bengals, in New Orleans Speaking of teams with a chip on their shoulder, the Clemson Tigers are really starting to annoy me. I get they are good, but they play in the ACC. That conference is weak sauce, and it's too predictable. It also doesn't help that Dabo seems to think that Jesus wears orange every Clemson game day. Hey coach, Jesus doesn't care about who wins a football game. I love Coach O at LSU. That dude has changed the narrative about him from a bad hire to a great coach, and Joe Burrow is going to be a very fun prospect in the draft, especially to see how the Bengals use him. This game is in New Orleans, so it is basically a home game in Baton Rouge. I like LSU, and it would be great to have a different champion than in years past. LSU 20, Clemson 9.

It is essentially a home game for the Bayou Bengals. Clemson is a tough out, but all hail Coach O and his growling waves of joy. LSU 45, Clemson 31.

Enjoy your weekend, folks. Ben out.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Midweek in the Mideast

So Iran fired a bunch of missiles yesterday and may not have killed anyone. And they promise not to do it again as long as the U.S. doesn't retaliate further.

Long and the short of it? Clowntime is over. For 40 years, the U.S. and Iran have pretended not to notice too much because they didn't want to escalate things. When Iran's proxies attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, that was too much, so that's why their top general was mailed back in a manila envelope. Trump doesn't care about appearances -- you may have noticed. So if nothing else, we're at the most honest point in U.S./Iran relations since the 1970s.

What happens next? Hard to say. But if you've been braying about war, as the Democrats have, it may not happen. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Benster and D Pick Your Games-----Wild Cards Are Wild Edition

Old dude, the Vikings are going down to New Orleans, and there is a strong argument that the one inch in Seattle last weekend already is going to come into play.

It sure did. 

We can talk more about what that means when we get to Seattle and Philadelphia.

We can. Russ needs to make a long road trip. And the road doesn't get any easier if they win. But I suspect you have the narrative set.

I do. I'm all about the narrative. I'm feeling the HYYYYYYPPPEEE!, and it is time to watch me work.

Buffalo Bills (+2.5) vs. Houston Texans It seems like the Texans always play the early game on Saturday whenever they are the division champions, and this game is between two teams that seem to be flying under the radar. The Bills are a strong defensive unit, but their offense seems to be flawed. Houston has talent, but they are going to have to beat a good Bills team, the Ravens, and the Chiefs in order to get where they want to go. I give massive props to Bill O'Brien for his job down in Houston, though I was sold with how he led Penn State through their sanctions. I like the Bills to win, because their fans deserve it, and defense generally wins the day in the playoffs. Nobody Circles the Wagons Like the Buffalo Bills 17, Maybe We Can Play on Sunday 9.

Buffalo is a good outfit and defense usually shows up. The Texans? Who knows? They are, like all their pals in the AFC South, tough to read. Just to disagree, I'll go with homestanding Texans. Texans 24, Bills 20.

Tennessee Titans (+4.5) vs. New England Cheatriots Thank you to the Miami Dolphins for beating the Patriots, forcing them to play without a bye. Maybe it's punishment for thinking that you needed to film the sideline of the Bungles. The Titans are up against it, no questions about it. The Patriots are not dead, and I think people are counting them out way too quickly. New England will win, and then they can go on the road to Kansas City to face Mahomes once again. Patriots 31, Titans 10.

I think the Patriots will win as well, but the Titans are the sort of team that gives New England problems. Derrick Henry is a monster and if he gets rolling, people will be getting nervous in Foxborough. Patriots 28, Titans 20.

Minnesota Vikings (+7.5) vs. New Orleans Saints The Vikings rested their starters last week, and they lost to the Bears. Kirk Cousins is playing the most important game in his two years as a Viking. The one knock on him has been the lack of winning in the big moments, and he has to play on the road in a very difficult venue. The odd thing is that the Vikings have not won a road playoff game since beating the Packers during the Culpepper era. That's right, Mike Tice is the last Vikings coach to win a road playoff game. The Saints did not earn a first round bye, and they will look to feast on a Vikings secondary that is going to be severely compromised due to injury. The Vikings can win this game, but if they don't there is going to be a lot of talk about what changes could be happening. Saints 31, Vikings 17.

Have you wondered why the Cowboys haven't officially canned Jason Garrett? It may be because they are waiting to see what happens. Jerry Jones is known to have great respect for Mike Zimmer and he might try to engineer an escape for Zim. As Benster mentioned, the Vikings are down at least two defensive backs and that's not what you want when you're facing the Saints. Cousins better bring his "A" game, because the Vikings defenders would be getting through the "A" gap against the Saints offensive line. Saints 34, Vikings 24.

Seattle Seabags (-1.5) vs. Philadelphia Eagles The Seahawks were jobbed on a terrible no call last week, and have to go on the road in the Eastern Time Zone. Of course, the Eagles get a home game by virtue of winning the NFC East. That division was filled with straight up trash, and the only reason the Eagles won the division is because they were less dysfunctional than the other teams in the most overhyped and overexposed division in American sports. If the Packers are somehow not deemed worthy of being in the playoffs, then why are the Eagles here? Yes, I know the Packers lost in Lambeau, but the Packers actually earned their place. I'm going to duck now, as the Eagles fan base is going to throw snowballs at me and boo me. Also, never forget that Rocky lost the title fight. Seabags 9, Cry Eagles Cry 0.

Russ will have work to do this week, but I think the Seahawks have enough gas left in the tank to get past the Eagles to set up a rematch against the 49ers. Bet the under. Seahawks 17, Eagles 14.

Enjoy your weekend, and hopefully you have as much job security as Jason Garrett. Ben out.

Friday, January 03, 2020

2020 starts out with a bang

So you thought you knew how 2020 was gonna go? Try again:
Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds military force and one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic, was killed Thursday night in an airstrike in Baghdad, the U.S. Defense Department has confirmed. The strike drew a vow of "crushing revenge" from Iran and condemnation from Iraq's government. 

In a statement, the Pentagon said President Trump ordered the "decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel," accusing Soleimani of "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region."

The Defense Department blamed Soleimani for the deaths of hundreds of Americans during the United States' protracted engagement in Iraq and elsewhere in the region. It said he was behind recent attacks on coalition bases in Iraq, including one on December 27 that killed an American defense contractor. 
About the only way Trump could have been more direct would have been to take out the ol' Ayatollah himself. Maybe that's next. Stay tuned.