Monday, May 29, 2006

It's not like we have a war to win or anything


What a perfect memorial day story (and right up our alley)

Apparently, Secretary of State Condi Rice called a meeting of the commissioners of the three major sports leagues (and hockey). Some of the commishes did not know what point of the meeting was until they arrived at the hotel in New York.

Sporliquiz:
The point of the meeting was what?
a) To ask Tags and Stern how to resurrect a failed enterprise (and have Bettman take notes).
b) To pine for consideration to become the NFL's next commish when Tags retires in July.
c) To plan with a way to market America to the world through its major sports leagues (and hockey).
d) To get away from her depressing job and moronic boss for a weekend in the city.


For the record, we could swear it's a, b, and d, but apparently the answer is C. And the article says that two of the commissioners (read: Stern and Tags, if not the other two as well) thought it a waste of time since they "already have good reason to believe they're making great strides with overseas marketing and, like us, probably have a hard time imagining that sports are the best way to improve our international relations."

But let's roll with it. The rest of the world may hate us, but we say once they get to know Rae Carruth or John Rocker or Ruben Droughns, all will be forgotten (or pitied).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

U.S. House: Enough Foreign Policy Bushit.

In a vote opposed by the White House and widely viewed as a restriction (GASP) on the White House's foreign policy powers, the House today voted overwhelmingly (361-37) to restrict funding to the Palestinian Authority while it is being controlled by the terrorist group Hamas. Via Reuters:

The vote came during Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's first trip to Washington, where a topic was expected to be how to ease the Palestinians' humanitarian crisis while isolating the Hamas Islamists controlling the Palestinian government.

The Bush administration contends this bill would tie its hands in that effort. The administration has cut off direct aid to the Hamas-led government, but the bill would put into law more sweeping bans.


Whaddyaknow. Congress actually passed something that checks the powers of the executive branch (don't hold your breath, the Senate still has to agree to it). Next thing you know, they'll pass a budget or some real reforms.

No, officer. You have to FIND it.


Last week, FSU's key basketball recruit -- a 7-foot local product -- was arrested after a traffic stop in Florida. He had pot, cocaine, and drug paraphernalia on him.

The best part of the story, however, is where he was hiding the powder (think cavity search), and how the officers discovered it (think "spread em," literally): via Tallahassee Democrat

The search allegedly turned up a plastic bag with approximately 15 grams of marijuana and a digital scale under the passenger's seat with marijuana residue on it. Kreft was placed in custody.

According to the report, ''Kreft then stated to us that he had something else on him, and said it was in the (crevice) of his buttocks. Jonathan was then given permission to retrieve it, at which time he stuck his hands between his buttocks, and a small plastic bag fell to the ground with suspect cocaine in it."


That's right. Not only was the basketball star playing Columbian-smuggler in the car, he decided to one up that undedicated hussy Maria-Full-of-Grace and hide it in his "low block." And he offered the information voluntarily; wasn't asked to show off how to box out or anything.

Anyway, today FSU rescinded his scholarship. Apparently they don't hold basketballers to the same, er, standards to which they hold their football players.

"You are no Jack Kennedy."

And with that, Lloyd Bentsen delivered one of the all-time great verbal backhands, in politics or any other arena.

It was 1988, the vice presidential debate, and the exchange with slapee Dan Quayle went like this:

Potatoe: "I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency."

Lloyd: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy."

It's a good thing Lloyd is remembered for that and his 28 noble years of service in the Senate, rather than the lashing he and Mike "The Tank" Dukakis took in '88. But it wasn't Lloyd's fault, he did all he could.

Lloyd passed away today at the age of 85. But his legacy of having the greatest one-liner in the history of political TV will live on much, much longer.

Video to come...

Monday, May 22, 2006

It's a f&%$*# horse!

We always wondered what that kid who wore the hockey helmet to elementary school would do when he grew up...


OK we apologize. That's a doc at the University of Pennsylvania (much smarter than we are, hence the potshot). But a question remains: why so much interest?

It's a horse. He broke his leg. Happens all the time. Can someone tell us why this is garnering so much attention?

Until we get a good reason, we're going with the stock answer: NBC knows they are screwed so they're milking this for all it's worth.

Weah Weeklies, 5/22 edition

It's that time again, the weekly awards as only Sporlitics (and George Weah) can bring em...


Weah to go:
1) Michael Barrett: Gotta be #1 this week. Thanks, Mike. (reasons listed here) Any shot that Commish Selig, in leiu of a suspension, send Mikey a box o' chocolates?
2) English-speakers: New Senate bill gives us the permanent upper hand...
3) non-english speakers: ...until that same bill was derailed on account of semantics. Turns out no-one has the upper hand.
4) Barry Bonds: Come on. Even off a tee, 714 is damn impressive. Especially for a geriatric.

On the Weah down:
1) Barry: He did it on more juice than that cute little Welch's girl.
2) The NBA: Makin us wait 4 days for game 7 of the ClipJoint/Suns smackdown? Why don't you hand Nash the series...
3) (GOP) Congresspeople: A slew of new articles detailing how many more congressional races are in play this November, and most of them are occupied by GOP pols.


The "Take that, Darwin" Award of the week:
Mark Oaten, member of British Parliament. Resigned earlier this year after having an affair with a male prostitute. That's not the award-winning part. His excuse for his actions? Pressure because he was losing his hair. We couldn't make this up if we tried.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Affirmed's legend lives another day


Please, no Elmer's Glue jokes. We really do feel bad for Barbaro and his "connections" (as they kept saying on NBC).

But: Shouldn't a triple crown be won against the best competition, not only 8 other horses? Affirmed beat Seattle Slew and Alydar, horses who won loads of other races and one triple crown. That's competition. Barbaro had a bunch of also-rans.

Barbaro apparently has a fractured ankle, something that could be life-threatening. According the Bob Costas and NBC's bang-up job this evening (couldn't they at least have pretended to be happy for Bernardino), the horse is off to a Vet hospital in Philly (Penn, we think). Let's hope he ends up livin the life of a stud.

In the meantime, NBC is wiping its tears.

Thank you, Michael Barrett

For doing something the rest of the world has wanted to do for a long, long time.

In the 2nd inning of today's interleague game, White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski bowled over his Cubs counterpart when only a slide was needed, and to add some of his token class, pounded the plate and stared at Barrett afterwards. Barrett, in a fit of keepin-it-real, got up, hugged A.J., and then...

POW! Coldcocked him. Right in the left jaw, a cleaner hit than in most baseball "fights."

The reason the world owes Michael Barrett a thank-you is because Pierzynski is widely known as the biggest asshole in baseball; the only man ever to play with Barry Bonds and yet be liked less by his teammates. Some stories from the towns A.J. was run out of (and even some where he still is):

1) "During a Giants exhibition game last spring, Pierzynski took a shot to his, shall we say, private parts. Trainer Stan Conte rushed to the scene, placed his hands on Pierzynski's shoulders in a reassuring way, and asked how it felt. "Like this," said Pierzynski, viciously delivering a knee to Conte's groin. It was a real test of professionalism for the enraged Conte, who vowed to ignore Pierzynski for the rest of the season until Conte realized how that would look." (Source: SF Chronicle)

2) White Sox GM Kenny Williams on A.J.: "We just have to remind him sometimes, 'Hey, A.J., this is the big leagues. Don't make fun of hitters after they strike out.'"

3) (from 2004) "The latest incident reportedly occurred before Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Braves, when two players confirmed to the Tribune that Pierzynski ignored starting pitcher Brett Tomko's request to go over opposing hitters. Instead, the players said, Pierzynski resumed playing cards for another 20 minutes."

4) "...according to two Giants players, the Padres' Phil Nevin said Pierzynski was criticizing (his own) pitchers while Nevin was at the plate."

The list could go on and on (and if readers have any good stories, pass them on and we'll put em up). The point is that Barrett may never get plunked again; he did something everyone else has been waiting to do.

UPDATE 1: Thanks to imjudyb, who reminded us of one we somehow left off: AJ running to first base during last year's ALCS. Hustle? Maybe. Rubbing it in later? Oh, so A.J.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Poll-dancing, GOP-style

From this morning's WashPost (analysis later)...
"Public confidence in GOP governance has plunged to the lowest levels of the Bush presidency, with Americans saying by wide margins that they now trust Democrats more than Republicans to deal with Iraq, the economy, immigration and other issues, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll that underscores the GOP's fragile grip on power six months before the midterm elections."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Incommunicado (That's spanish)


Two recent examples of how the two men most credited with the GOP always being the party of clear, concise messaging (President Bush and his lead advisor, Karl Rove) royally screwed up with some verbal diarrhea recently.

El Presidente, whose splendiforous speaking came on the topic of tax cuts: (WashPost)
In January, George W. Bush declared that, "by cutting the taxes on the American people, this economy is strong, and the overall tax revenues have hit at record levels." Regrettably, this endorsement of what his dad called voodoo economics was not a one-time oversight. The next month, Bush told a New Hampshire audience, "You cut taxes and the tax revenues increase."

Mr. Rove's semantic stumble came in front of conservative think-tank AEI yesterday. He was talking about...uh...who really cares what he was talking about. Per WashPost, here's the quote (everyone think Brownie):
Discussing the Bush administration's record on illegal immigration, he blurted out, "We're doing a heck of a job."

Ouch! Only months after Rove's boss made that statement a notorious synonym for incompetent leadership, Rove used it to describe his own boss.

For once, the Democrats look like the competent public communicators.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Weah Weeklies, Week of 5.08

From former veeps to coachspeak, this week's Weahs has it all...

Weah to go:
1) Albert Pujols: 19 dingers in 38 games. 0 questions about steroids. See, Barry? When you smile once in a while, you get a pass.
2) Al Gore: Ex-VP steals the show on SNL, gives opening speech as if he were elected in 2000 (transcript). Highlight: "In the last 6 years we have been able to stop global warming. No one could have predicted the negative results of this. Glaciers that once were melting are now on the attack."

On the Weah down:
1) Brad Lidge: Astros closer is no longer the closer, maybe soon no longer an Astro. All-star blew 3 saves, has 2 losses, and has struggled with his control.
2) Gen. Michael Hayden: Rummy's pick to take over the CIA is about to incur a serious fight, considering a) Senators now have balls, and b) Hayden fought the NSA lawyers to allow the domestic wiretaps.


The "Take that, Darwin" award of the week (this week doubles as "Take that, Webster"):
Has to go to Brewers manager Ned Yost. His GM traded for a lefty specialist, whose fastball tops out at a web-ripping 83 mph. Yost described the pitcher with one word: "deceptional."

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Clinton more honest than Bush?


Of all the slaps in the face this administration has taken recently, this has to be the Rick Jamesiest.

CNN has a new poll comparing Americans' perceptions of Bush with those of Clinton. Some of the results are not surprising -- Clinton cleaned up, by almost a 2:1 margin, on handling of the economy and solving the problems of ordinary Americans -- but the real five-fingers-to-the-cheek are the numbers that got Bush (re)elected:
When asked which man was more honest as president, poll respondents were more evenly divided, with the numbers -- 46 percent Clinton to 41 percent Bush -- falling within the poll's margin of error. The same was true for a question on handling national security: 46 percent said Clinton performed better; 42 percent picked Bush.

Ouch. Bush's bread n' butter were morals (in 2000) and foreign policy (in 2004). Republicans love to shift as much blame as possible back to the Slick Willie years -- and they probably won't stop after this poll -- but now we realize most of the country's nostalgia for the 90's.

Now President Bush can be forever known as that President who made Clinton look honest.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Like Sherman returning to Atlanta


The great thing about being President (besides having your own plane, your own seal, and your own interns) is that no matter how low your approval ratings go, there's always some college ready to welcome you for their commencement.

Last year it was Calvin, this year it's the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Biloxi. In fact, the only place that wants President Bush to speak is the site of his biggest presidential debacle. This from a local news station:

The school used to be Mississippi's biggest two-year college, but enrollment has dropped by a third after Hurricane Katrina did millions of dollars worth of damage to its eight campuses.

Aides says Bush will "challenge" the graduates to contribute their talent and energy to the rebuilding effort.

What if he started by challenging Washington to be a little more responsive next time?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Who misses 'roids?

The genius that is Donald Fehr strikes again...

"If players and owners don't agree to a new labor contract by Aug. 1, the union has until Aug. 15 to unilaterally end the new drug policy as of Dec. 19, when the current collective bargaining agreement expires."

Sweet! More long balls (or small balls, as it were). More thick necks. More jowls.

Don Fehr is the devil.

Now that we're past that, we can observe that he is the most powerful union leader since Samuel Gompers. He continues to represent his clients to the best of his (or anyone else's) abilities, and makes Bud Selig look like a vapid shlub for bonus points. Honestly, the Globetrotters go easier on the Nationals.

While steroids were legal for us, Fehr was able to make them permissable in our national pasttime. This was the crowning achievement in Fehr's quest to make the MLBPA the most powerful union on the planet, one whose members are above the law of the land.

And now we learn that Fehr has hogtied Selig once again. If Bud does not sign a deal by August, the union wins, steroids are legal, and Bud looks more inept than Elmer Fudd. Don't think Fehr won't use that as leverage in the negotiations.

The Don strikes again.

The hard-workin, sporlitickin congress

Let it never be said that our Conrgess gets nothing done.

They may be on track to be in session less than Truman's "do-nothing" 1947-48 Congress, but dammit, they had a true Sporli-day yesterday. Some of their accomplishments:

H.R. 4902: "To award a Congressional gold medal to Byron Nelson in recognition of his significant contributions to the game of golf as a player, a teacher, and a commentator."

(later that same day)
H.Res. 627: "Resolved, That the House of Representatives congratulates Chris Carpenter on being named the Cy Young Award winner for the National League for the 2005 Major League Baseball season."

Glorious. And don't think that this was a one-day anomaly. Last week these nincompoops passed H.Res. 626 which, you guessed it, "Congratulat(es) Albert Pujols on being named the Most Valuable Player for the National League for the 2005 Major League Baseball season."

Both the Carpenter and Pujols landmarks were sponsored by Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-MO. (If the name rings a bell, it's because his father, while deceased, beat soon-to-be AG John Ashcroft for Senate in 2000.) The Nelson award was courtesy of Rep. Michael Burgess, R-TX (he even brags about the bill on his site).

By the way: Byron is 84 years old. If he gets an award, it should be for outliving all his competition.

There is a moral to this story. This Congress is in session less than any since the do-nothings (30 days in 4 months for the House, 48 days for the Senate, with summer vacation coming fast), and is on pace to pass the least amount of legislation since records were kept, and they are spending their time on this.

We give the last word to Dana Milbank of the Washington Post:

"On the other hand, the 1947-48 Congress blatantly ignored the contributions of Pujols."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Exactly what Barry's image needed


Need PR help? In baseball? Call John Rocker.

America's favorite racist reliever came to the defense of America's favorite overweight outfielder. We're sure Barry's thrilled: (via Dalton Citizen)
“They’re basically just ganging up on him,” Rocker said. “You can accuse him, and people who have never done steroids call themselves experts and say, ‘I know Barry did this, I know Barry did that.’”

Ah, to be a dead cell in that brain. The musings continue...
“But at that point and time the pitchers were doing the same thing the hitters were doing,” Rocker said of alleged rampant steroid use among baseball players. “There may have been people cheating but the opportunity to cheat was there for everybody. So in retrospect, the field was technically level.”

Philosophy 101, brought to you by John Rocker.

Was there any doubt that he has a book coming out? We can't wait til the local pre-schoolers read it and translate it for us.

Weah Weeklies, delayed edition


Weah Weekly time, and we apologize for the delay. Still getting over the hangover from partying with Porter and his hookers over the weekend.

Weah to go:
1) LA Clippers: The Clip-joint wins their first playoff series since 1976, when they were the Buffalo Braves. Some perspective? 10 of their players were not yet born. This is what happens when only most of your team is high all the time. Who's beating who's head now, D-Miles?
2) Patrick Kennedy: Bad news: off to rehab after a disturbing pattern of reckless behavior. Good news: won't be around this month when it all hits the fan for Congress.
3) Rick Santorum: Anyone who says he is serious about lobbying reform, then takes a lobbyist's plane, and still picks up points in the polls has had a good week.

On the Weah down:
1) Porter Goss: Head of the CIA is sacked without a replacement at the ready. Likely reason: he felt snubbed by Negroponte being picked last year. Fun reason: He is involved in the Duke Cunningham/defense contractor/prostitute scandal.
2) Kobe: The MJ talk ends here. Win, then we'll talk. On the plus side, he talked about poop and got away with it.
3) Laura Bush: Adored First Lady has a moy awkward moment on CNN, looks like she is taking orders from the hubby. At least someone's listening to him.


The "Take That, Darwin" Award of the Week:
Marcus Vick: Techincally, he could get this every week. But he went undrafted, and then decided to try out in the land of South Beach. Even Ricky Williams couldn't cut it there. Good luck, Marcus.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Lakers Dropped the Big One


Kobe scored 50, Steve Nash missed much of the game with a groin strain (too much partying the night before, wethinks), and Raja Bell was suspended for the game. And the Suns still won.

The highlight, though, came in the post-game press conference. When Kobe dropped (pun intended) this nefarious nugget: (via LA Times)

"When you go to the bathroom, you can't stand there and look at what you just dropped," he said afterward. "At some point, you have to flush."

Kobe said he was talking about moving past the loss and looking ahead to game 7.

Any athlete knows he was talking about the well-known pre-game dump.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

But...I meant...uh...smile and nod, smile and nod...

Yes, she's the most popular first lady in a long time (although anyone looks good when married to 32%. Come on, she gets points just cause we feel bad). And yes, she seems very nice and does good work helping kids read or whatever unthreatening thing it is first ladies not named Hillary do.

But come ON. Think independently. At least pretend.

Laura Bush, while being interviewed on CNN, was asked about the new spanish anthem by John King. Notice how she flips quicker than Kerry... (see the video here. It's classic.)

KING: One of the debates in the country right now is about immigration reform, illegal immigration. One of the controversies is this new Spanish language version of the national anthem. Your husband the president says he thinks it should only be in English. But if you go to the state department website you can find it, I think, in four languages. Secretary Rice says she’s heard rap versions.

MRS. BUSH: Well, we’ve all heard different versions like at the Super Bowl every year. I don’t think there is anything wrong with singing it in Spanish. The point is it’s the United States national anthem and what people want is it to be sung in a way that respects the United States and our culture. At the same time, we are a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of many, many languages, because immigrants come and bring their languages.

KING: Is that an issue you disagree with your husband? He says it should be sung in English.

MRS. BUSH: I think it should be sung in English, of course.


BAM! See that? She learned something from her husband: just be decisive, smile, and no one will notice you said something mind-numbingly stupid.

It's OK. She could have been confused. As we learned from Scotty McClellan, the Prez's spanish is "not that good."