Reporting From Bizarro World

I think I understand why Weigel got the readership he did at the Post... he's so damn easy to mock.

Take this post, one of the last of his pinch-hitting stint at Sully's place, about a Krauthammer column. He leads with a provocative line (Charles Krauthammer tells it like it is) and a quote indicating that Krauthammer thinks Republicans are badly underestimating Obama.

Wow, you might think. Krauthammer is right about something? Stop the presses! Alert Ted Koppel!

Then, if you're a sucker like me, you click the link and read the rest of the column and realize, ehhh, not so much:

There just isn't enough to cut elsewhere to prevent national insolvency. That will require massive tax increases -- most likely a European-style value-added tax. Just as President Ronald Reagan cut taxes to starve the federal government and prevent massive growth in spending, Obama's wild spending -- and quarantining health-care costs from providing possible relief -- will necessitate huge tax increases.

Off the top of my head, I can see three blatant lies (that significantly reducing the deficit can only be accomplished through massive tax increases, that Reagan cut spending, and that health care costs cannot be reduced in the future) in there. And that's from just one paragraph! But yeah, Dave, Krauthammer is "telling it like it is", if by "telling it like it is" you mean "constantly making shit up."

Channeling My Inner Sully

Are you sitting down? Good, because this is about to get seriously incestuous.

One of Sully's pinch-hitters links to this rebuttal of Weigel's (another Sully pinch-hitter) slam of Sully's Trig fixation. Excuse me, I feel a bit nauseo... uurp. Blech.

That's better.

Anyway, in the comments for said rebuttal, I found maybe the best explanation of the whole thing, at least by the rigorous standards of armchair psychology:

What I see from her story is a mother who didn't want the baby and engaged in risky behavior that could possibly result in a miscarriage. Think about. Why risk an amnio if you have no interest in eliminating the pregnancy based on the results? Why keep news of your pregnancy secret until the 7th month? Why maintain such a low pregnancy weight? Why engage in a series of risky transcontinental flights? Why refuse to seek out local medical care in Dallas when it is so readily available? Why drive past a large urban trauma center with a NICU in Anchorage for a community hospital in the boonies? It seems like she did everything possible to have bad pregnancy outcome. Palin can't have an abortion because her entire political viability is based on her pro life credibility. So it seems like she made up her mind to leave it up to God. She would do nothing to protect the pregnancy but also nothing to directly end it.

That sounds just about right to me. She "left it up to God", but did everything she could to sway God's decision short of throwing herself down a flight of stairs.

It explains both her pre-birth behavior, as well as the post-birth contempt she seems to show for Trig: the rumored derogatory nicknames, the way she uses him as a campaign prop, etc.

Someday, someone is going to finally pin her down and go all Frost/Nixon on her in an interview, and she is going to disintegrate. Sadly, I doubt it will happen any time soon.

Cue Nelson Muntz

So Tuesday's All-Star game brought in its lowest Nielsen ratings ever. There's a good excuse for that, right?

NBC's competing "America's Got Talent" averaged a strong 3.3 adults 18-49 rating, while ABC's "Wipeout" scored its best-ever rating for a rerun, a 2.7.

The cable competition was even tougher. Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" drew a series-high 8.5 million total viewers, the third-most ever for any show on the network and among the top shows on all of cable this year, for the episode in which Capt. Phil Harris passed away.

USA's "Covert Affairs" became the most-watched new series this year on cable among adults 18-49, where it drew 2.1 million, and lead-in "White Collar" premiered to 4.3 million total viewers, up 16 percent over its winter average.

And the series finale of MTV's was-it-scripted-or-not "reality" series "The Hills" drew 3 million viewers, easily a season high and up 72 percent over its season average.


Bud Selig is very good at his job. Unfortunately, that job is making his fellow... oops, wait, he's not officially an owner any more, is he? His job as commish is making his ex-fellow owners more money. It's not protecting the legacy of the sport.

I'm not a sepia-drenched romantic about the good old days of baseball, when bennies and racism were all the rage, but the fact of the matter is that the All-Star Game isn't special any more, and no amount of "This time it counts!" World Series home field bullshit is going to change that.

As long as there is interleague play during the regular season (a gimmick which loses more of its box office appeal every season), no one will give a damn about an interleague exhibition game. Period.

Not Like This

I do not want Dick Cheney to die.

This is because I want the motherfucker to stand trial and be held responsible for what he did. I want him, in this life, to be rudely disabused of the notion that he was in the right, not in the next.

Reason Gets a Chubby

Reason has published nine articles in three days on the John Stagliano trial. By the time you click that link, they may have another one up.

Now, sure, the trial is a ridiculous waste of money and an infringement on blah blah blah. And I'm glad Reason Magazine exists to highlight and challenge these sorts of lunacies.

But, really. Nine articles in three days, by at least three different writers? At least try to keep it in your pants, guys.

Random Things I've Been Writing At Three in the Morning

Apparently at three in the morning, I revert back to teenagehood, slap some Airborne Toxic Event on the stereo and have myself a good cuttingcry.

My soul is blistered
My skin doesn't fit
I am the nails
And the chalkboard
I just miss my connection
And stand on the corner
Bleeding into the gutter
I can no longer taste you
In the dregs of my wine
While the night swarms outside
And all my little failures come creeping, creeping
Through the key hole
Through the floor boards
Through the rise and fall of your breath
Under my arm
Against my chest
As I stir from the warmth of your skin
And you feel me against your thigh, and smile
"Save it for morning", you mumble
But morning's never going to come
There's only now the night, swarming
And the course silence

TIFF Has Lost Its Mind

So the Opening Night Gala for this year's Toronto Film Festival is... a musical about hockey.

On the one hand, it's from the director of Saint Ralph, which was actually way better than it had any right to be. So there's a smidge of hope that Score might not be terrible. Plus, they cast Olivia Newton-John as the hockey phenom's mom, which is pretty smooth.

On the other hand:

Score: A Hockey Musical features 19 original songs with lyrics written by McGowan, and featuring music from Barenaked Ladies, Olivia Newton-John, Amy Sky and Marc Jordan, and five songs on which Hawksley Workman contributed.

Barenaked Ladies? Hawksley Workman? Yikes. (For those of you who have had the pleasure of never having heard anything by Hawksley, he's essentially the Canadian version of Stan Ridgway, only with less discernible talent and a more annoying voice.)

I understand TIFF's desire/requirement to push their Canadianness, but this is taking things just a wee bit too far.

You're Trying a Bit Too Hard There, Dave

I never read much of Dave Weigel's stuff before he got the boot from the Washington Post, and now that he's guest-blogging for Sully I remember why.

Take this post, for instance. The headline is a grabber: "Not even Robert Byrd's seat is safe". Wow! Really? And yet, when you read it... the post indicates nothing of the sort. If anything, it points at the opposite - that Manchin shouldn't have any problems winning the seat, because the Pubs got nothin' on him and are grasping for any little thing they can latch onto. Even Weigel says their latest effort is "gruel so thin Oliver wouldn't even ask for more of it", and that "no one wants to run against him."

And yet somehow, in the headline, that all translates to a vulnerable seat for the Dems.

Maybe the Post knew what it was doing when they used a convenient, if flimsy, excuse to give him the boot.

UPDATE: I see I'm not the only one less than impressed with Weigel's efforts so far.

...Or Not

Looks like Michael Jordan got cold feet on the Raptors/Bobcats deal. Oh well, it was a nice try by Colangelo.

Raptors Blowed Up Real Good

With Bosh walking, Bryan Colangelo waited exactly one nanosecond before stripping the roster down for parts and starting to rebuild.

Here's the current state of the roster, assuming the deals happen as rumored:

PG: Jarret Jack
SG: DeMar DeRozan
SF: Boris Diaw
PF: Amir Johnson
C: Andrea Bargnani

G: Leandro Barbosa, Marco Belinelli, Marcus Banks
F: Tyson Chandler, Sonny Weems, Linas Kleiza, Ed Davis, Joey Dorsey, Solomon Alabi

Weems could start over Diaw at small forward, depending on Diaw's mood and whether he's in the dog house that day or not, but I think a team starting Bargnani at center is going to want all the extra rebounding it can get.

That's not a roster that's going to make any noise in the playoffs, but it does have some advantages over the way it looked yesterday:

1) A lot more cap flexibility. The Raptors get out from under Turkoglu and Calderon's longer-term deals and get back Chandler (whose contract is up after this season) plus Diaw and Barbosa (whose contracts expire after next season), without losing anything in the way of on-court performance. In the event they are able to find another franchise player to build around, this will give them the ability to do so.

2) The additions of Chandler and Diaw give Ed Davis and Solomon Alabi time to develop, rather than having them pushed into key roles in the front court rotation right away. If DeRozan turns out to still need some work, Barbosa serves the same purpose in the back court.

3) It forces Bargnani to be The Man on offense. He's never going to turn into Disco Dirk 2.0 -- the will to fight for rebounds just isn't there -- but nobody else on that roster is capable of scoring in bunches beyond the odd times Diaw is motivated, and possibly DeRozan if he takes a big leap forward. Bargnani will get all the touches he wants, and there'll simply be no excuse for him not to hit for 20+ a game.

4) It gives Colangelo trade chips (Chandler's expiring contract, and what will be left of the Miami trade exception) to play with this year in the event something falls in his lap.

I also wouldn't rule out the Raptors squeaking into the playoffs next year (which would be bad news for the team long-term, as it would keep them out of the lottery, but that's neither her nor there.) Miami, Boston, Orlando, plus maybe Chicago and Atlanta, are the cream of the Eastern Conference crop, but beyond that the last three spots are wide open, as none of the also-rans did much to improve beyond Washington drafting Wall and Philly drafting Turner.

I Decree It, Thus It Is So

This is the best wiki page in existence.

I especially like the 'See Also' section.