Digby raises an excellent point about the ongoing voter registration shenanigans in Ohio and elsewhere. Dirty tricks aren't just for the Karl Roves of the world any longer; a lot of lower-level people, who presumably have day jobs, are pulling this kind of crap. The end justifies the means, apparently, and any sense of playing by the rules or acting ethically has gone out the window.
We can tie this into David Neiwert's work on creeping fascism in America (or pseduo-fascism as he says). The wingnuts have convinced themselves, and others, that the very future of America hangs in the balance in this election. Some have even hinted that Kerry's election must be prevented by force if necessary. Enough of this message has trickled down to the grassroots that otherwise respectable people have figured a little disenfranchisement is actually for the good of the country.
Personally, I think anyone who suggests that terrorism is our BIGGEST ENEMY EVER and we must elect so-and-so or AMERICA WILL BE DESTROYED is a big ol' namby-pamby scaredy-cat cry-baby. Quite frankly, America has survived worse. I don't mean to suggest that terrorism is a non-issue or merely a "nuisance." But this country got through World War II, and al Qaeda ain't got much on the Axis at the height of its military power. The Civil War weren't no picnic either. But the US of A and its Constitution came out the other side of both of those engagements intact. The only way terrorism will destroy this country is if we use it as an excuse to tear it apart ourselves, from the inside.
I've actually been posting things as I get 'em this week (especially the vote suppression crap), but here's a few links I left in a pile.
Good piece on Sojourners by Jim Wallis on the church 'n' state aspects of this election. His affirmations of Christianity sound a lot more like the Christianity I was raised in, and not that as practiced by many of our so-called evangelicals.
The explosives? They were gone when we got there... yeah, that's it. Um, no--imbedded reporters come back to bite the administration in the ass. (That reminds me, I meant to blogroll the Three Guys in my recent update, but forgot them. Better late than never.)
Finally, enjoy these warped comic strips. My favorite is "Space Laughs."
Your daily voter suppression update. Dig this flyer anonymously distrubted in Milwaukee's African-American neighborhoods, and fake letters claiming to be from the Board of Elections in Ohio (via Atrios). Which law are we following here? (See comments to this post).
Also in Ohio, an election board recognizes the difference between legitimate voter registration issues, versus a scattershot attempt to keep Democrats away from the polls, and throws out the latter. That, my friends, is following the law.
October's monkey: "Tell us about a bad or strange experience you had while dining at someone else's home. Restaurants don't count."
I can read and thus I realize Ed specified "someone else's home." However, I'm having trouble coming up with interesting stories regarding dinner at someone else's home. I have a couple of good stories about good disasters at my own dinner parties, though, so I'll go with those.
In line with Ed's own education on artichokes, when I lived in Albuquerque I made stuffed peppers for a dinner party one night. The recipe called for pine nuts, but being in Albuquerque I decided to use piņon, the southwestern equivalent. I had never actually cooked with them before, but they seemed straightforward enough; I picked up a bag at a local market and stirred them in. Shortly after serving, ABQ Rob asked "Why didn't you take the shells off of these?" "They have shells?" I replied. So my stuffed peppers would just about break your teeth periodically, if you didn't find all the piņon. Lovely.
Wait wait wait, this one's even better. When I lived at the house in Arlington, we had a big dinner party one night where I did Mediterranean food. I had invited a captivating young woman with whom I had been out on one date previously, so I wanted to do it up proper. As we neared the appointed hour, I mixed up some zaatar with olive oil, spread it on pitas, and slipped them under the broiler. Then, I forget how exactly, I got distracted and left the kitchen for a couple minutes. Have I mentioned that broiling things cooks them rather quickly? And that olive oil is kind of flammable? I returned to the kitchen to find it full of smoke and my zaatar pitas on freaking fire, like actual flames when I pulled the cookie sheet out of the oven. I opened the back door and threw the whole flaming mess into the back yard, cursing up a storm. Conveniently, one of my roommates was letting my date in the front door at this exact moment. "DON'T COME BACK HERE!" I shouted.
Not impressive. Fortunately, she married me anyway. (Not right then. Later. You know what I mean.)
Everyone's aware of the new bank regulations in effect today, right? The highlights:
1. Banks don't have to keep your cancelled checks anymore. They just keep an "electronic copy," which you can request, but may prove less convincing than the real thing when it comes to settling a payment dispute.
2. Since your bank doesn't have to wait for the paper check to come in before they take money out of your account, checks will clear a lot faster. Forget about writing a bad check today that'll be good when you get paid tomorrow. Banks are going to make a boatload of money from overdraft fees, especially in the immeidate future when folks aren't privy to this.
3. And yet, your bank is under no obligation to credit your account any faster when you deposit a check.
I'm all in favor of technological advances, but I fail to grasp the consumer-side benefits of this one--seems like a big windfall to banks, who already have a lot of freakin' money. In a rare occurance, I agree with Mickey Kaus in this regard.
One good thing about a sweep: it restores your faith that the games aren't fixed. In recent years it seems like every series is THE GREATEST ONE EVER PLAYED, and you wonder how they can keep topping themselves. In a way, it's nice to have a series for a change that's a clunker, at least in terms of competitiveness and drama (unless, of course, you're a Cardinals fan).
In Mediocre Fred's wrap-up of the series, he tells us that Jimmy Fallon was on the field during the post-game celebration. Sure glad I didn't see that, or I would have hurled. Almost as bad as Chris Myers interviewing Budweiser's Leon, the latter in character. MLB and Fox really need to decide if all the money is worth the loss of the souls of everyone involved.
So now it's football season (and soccer playoff time, for the few of us that care about that). Hockey's absence will become more notieable, and particularly so after the NFL finishes up.
Gonna try liveblogging this. I'm washing dishes while watching the game to start out, and I may have to tend to my kid at some point, so forgive me if I miss something.
Pre-game: the in-stands jackass reporter just said something I've heard elsewhere, to the effect of "These Red Sox fans don't know how they'll react if their team wins the World Series." I could be wrong, but I suspect they'll jump up and down, scream yell and cheer, clap a lot, and high-five and/or hug their fellow fans. It's not that hard, Red Sox Nation.
Top 1st: Damon hits, what, the third pitch over the right-field fence? That didn't take long. Doesn't bode well for the Cards.
still top 1st: ooh, a little dribbler down the third-base line. Rolen bare-hands it and gets the out at first. Please, Tim, tell us how no one makes that play better. ...OK, he says he's "among the best" at that. That'll have to do.
Bottom 1st: Larry Walker just bunted. I am NOT making this up. LARRY FREAKIN' WALKER just BUNTED.
That reminds me of my biggest complaint with the movie "Major League": In the final game, Jake Taylor follows Willie Mays Hays in the batting order. I'm asusming Hays is the leadoff guy, since he was on the first day of the season and he's a Vince Coleman type. Who the HELL would bat an aging catcher with creaky knees in the #2 spot?
Top 2nd: McCarver always purports to know exactly what players are thinking, or saying to each other. He's done it twice this inning already. To be fair, he's probably right more often than not, but it's still rather pompous of him. Maybe Francona did tell Lowe "If Bellhorn gets on, you're bunting," but he also might have said "You haven't hit in years, try not to embarass yourself too much."
Bottom 2nd: McCarver makes himself useful! He tells a story about Hank Aaron hitting a home run and being called out for stepping out of the batter's box. Much better.
Man, I hate those behind-the-plate fake ads. If they at all blended in, it wouldn't bother me so much, but they just scream fake.
Top 3rd: Nice play by Pujols (former Potomac Cannoon) to cut down Ramirez at home on a ground ball. Joe and Tim go on to say more about that play than I thought humanly possible. Marquis then walks the bases loaded, and Trot Nixon bangs a 3-0 pitch of the wall to plate two. Ay carramba. Marquis just looks terrible.
Bottom 3rd: Check it out, it's another Fabulous Catching Molina! Jeez, how many of those guys are there?
Top 5th: We're having root beer floats! Yay!
Lunar eclipse shot!
Bottom 5th: I have no idea if Mabry foul-tipped that ball or not. I wasn't paying continuous attention, but I didn't notice Fox showing the pitch on their dang ol' Diamond Cam over and over again, in a situation where that view might actually be useful. Guh!
Top 6th: Chris Myers found some Sox fans in the crowd and is gabbing inanely with them. Asked how they'd react if the Sox win. "I think my head will goddamned explode, Chris."
McCarver Stupidity Watch: Tim claims the Cards don't have the power to match the Red Sox. "They may be effective, but they won't do it with power." Cards regular season: 214 HR, .460 slugging. Sox: 222 HR, .472 slugging. A whole .05 home runs more per game! Whatever, Tim.
Bottom 6th: Man on first, Pujols pops up to end the inning. Hey, how come we haven't seen Kevin Youkilis, Greek God of Walks? Looks like he got a couple at-bats against the Angels but hasn't been seen since.
Top 7th: Marquis is out, and despite looking like total crap for most of his outing he actually ended up with a Quality Start. 6 IP, 3 runs, not completely terrible. Of course, if his teammates can't freakin' score...
My daughter woke up and I had to run upstairs and tend to her, so I missed "God Bless America." Gosh, I'm so disappointed.
Bottom 7th: Scotty Rolen, no hits in the World Series. Ouch.
Graphic of things that didn't exist in 1918. McCarver goes on and on and on about how much things cost back then. Shut up shut up shut UP.
Top 8th: Another nice play by Pujols, this time getting a force at home. Good pick with the infield in, and an off-balance throw. Solid. Big K of Cabrera by Isringhausen to end the inning.
Bottom 8th: Sox go to the pen; Cards get a runner on but can't get him home. Dag, yo, three outs away.
Top 9th: The "Polar Express" play of the game? Oh, barf.
Recounting past Red Sox failures now. McCarver: "And oh, the heartbreak." There's Buckner. Please, let the Sox win just so we can stop talking about all of that.
Bottom 9th: Here we go. Foulke in to pitch--honestly, what little I've seen of him this postseason, I haven't been impressed--he's been getting the outs, but making it too interesting. McCarver says something cheesy and stupid about "ordinary Foulke." Pujols singles up the middle. Rolen flies to right--hitless WS for Scotty R. Edmonds whiffs. Renteria hits a come-backer, and there you have it. Red Sox sweeps, thousands of New Englanders can die happy now.
Who's the MVP? Hard to give it to a pitcher who only wins one game, but Schilling or Martinez would be good choices. Ramirez, maybe. Damon?
Let the inane post-game interviews commence. Ramierz is the MVP, despite having a frying pan for a glove and a ham hock for a throwing hand. Derek Lowe got the win in all three series-clinching games for the Sox! Jeannie Zelasko avoids calling the World Series trophy a "lovely parting gift." Dude, Theo Epstein is freakin' young.
That's enough, I'm going to bed.
Hey, what do you think Nomar is thinking right now?
So the big plan is to challenge the legitimacy of voters in minority precincts, either randomly or through some list. The GOP's hope is that not only will they boot some of those voters, they'll slow down voting enough that others will get frustrated and leave without voting. They're claiming it's to prevent fraud on the Democrats' part, but sorry, that's total crap.
Also in Florida, 58,000 absentee ballots in Broward County have been lost. Gross incompetence, or dirty tricks? Hmmmmmmmmmm...
I made a completely frikkin' awesome pie this weekend.
That is all.
Let's do this like Brutus.
More Republican vote-suppression shenanigans, in Ohio and elsewhere. Good thing our press is all over this story, just like they're on police actions against Kerry supporters in Oregon. But of course, if you told half our electorate about these things, they would just refuse to believe them, because apparently they don't know crap about Bush's positions anyway.
Via SKB, a lovely and sad post at Austin Country Limits on trouble with the trees.
And then there's humor: Norbizness walks us through the Sunday coupon section.
The Cardinals get the job done, and thus I get what I had wished for. I hope Otis gets tickets.
We'll be spared the endless mentions of a Texas-Massachusetts World Series paralelling the Texas-Massachusetts presidential election. Instead, it's the St. Louis Heartland Real Americans vs. the Northeastern Liberal Elite of Taxachusetts.
So who's gonna win? On paper I think it's the Cards; there's still too many questions about Boston's starting pitching. Will Schilling be able to do his Roy Hobbs thing again, twice even? But if a team has ever looked like the Team of Destiny, it's this year's Red Sox. Conclusion: who knows. But I sure do like baseball.
There's a first time for everything, so why not have the first time a team comes back from down 3-0 to win a series be Red Sox over Yankees? Apologies to all my Yankee fan friends, but that was good stuff.
Still, Terry Francona made one of the worst managerial decisions ever in putting Martinez in in the 7th. Taking out Lowe was bad enough as it is--he was pitching incredibly well, had only thrown 69 pitches to that point, he's got a 7-run lead, what more do they WANT?! But to put in Pedro, who should be your World Series Game 1 starter, and who instantly got the crowd back in the game, was inexcusable. Oh, and he coughed up a couple of runs, too. If Pedro starts game 1 and is less than sharp, Sox fans will rue the 7th inning of this game.
In the post-game celebration, a Fox camera picked up some Red Sox player saying to David Ortiz, "I'm so fuckin' proud of you man." SHOCK! HORROR! Won't somebody think of the CHILDREN! FCC, fine Fox and the Sox!
Meanwhile in that other Series, there's a game 7 in St. Louis tonight. My man Otis will be on the edge of his seat, hoping to have a shot to attend a World Series game. Will it be snatched away from him yet again? I hope not. I'm pretty sure the historical trend is that a team that wins game 6 to tie the series wins game 7 more often than not. But such trends don't mean much this year, do they.
Bill Simmons reminded me of this one. Bottom of the 9th last night, Keith Foulke walked Matsui to lead off the inning. McCarver said, "That's just as bad as if Matsui hit a home run."
Um, sure. Except that the next batter could ground into a double play and Matsui would be out at second. That would be slightly better than a Matsui home run followed by a Williams ground-out.
Last night I briefly got the Yankees radio feed to come in, but then the atmosphere shifted or whatever and it was gone. Couldn't scare up the ESPN radio broadcast either. Booooooooooooo!
Update: I was pleased to find that someone came to the FoolBlog by googling the words "joe buck is crap." This site comes up at something like #8 for that query. This pleases me a lot more than it probably should.
"And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.' "
Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."
Remember "magical thinking" from high school psychology? That's when you're 16, you hear about other kids, say, getting killed by drinking and driving. You stupidly think "Yeah, but it's not going to happen to me," then drink 8 beers and wrap your car around a telephone pole.
Good thing the adults are in charge.
Via Atrios and half the blogosphere.
Update: The White House is denying Bush ever said such a thing. Even if he didn't, it's still easy to envision him saying it. And that's pathetisad enough on its own.
I loves me some David Ortiz. Big fat guys who can hit, that's my kind of player. A year or so ago, Rob Neyer started a short-lived movement to nickname Ortiz "Cookie Monster." Sadly, it never took off.
I liked his stolen base attempt last night. Hey, if the pitcher's not going to pay any attention to you, why not get yourself into scoring position. And it almost worked--hell, it did work, the ump just blew the call.
So my man Schill goes back out there tonight, bum ankle and all, to try to do something that's never been done (at least in baseball): get a team that went down 3-0 in a seven-game series to a seventh game. The fanboy part of me wants Schilling to realize his destiny and lead the Red Sox out of the wilderness. The realist says that ankle is messed up.
Come join us in the Reality-Based Community, won't you?
Nobody catalogs the lousy record of the Bushies quite like SKB.
Everybody loves tax cuts, loves them loves them loves them. However, taxes pay for stuff. I am continually amazed how often people forget this.
Reader contributions: Tor sends Wonkette's top ten reasons to invade Iraq, and also a big ass stereo. Rob wonders why we don't have gourmet ketchup like there's gourmet mustard. Joel wants a duct tape guitar strap, an absolute steal starting at $15. Check out the fine photography of my good friend Bruce. And a big shout-out to my Uncle John, a self-described "Republican voting for Kerry," who cites John Eisenhower's piece as good reading.
A thought while putting together an order from Pendery's: I do not want to eat anything with a scatalogical reference in its name. There are numerous such hot sauces. There's one called "Wet Fart," for cryin' out loud. Why would I want to put that on my food? Ye gods.
I've said before that the single most contemptuous thing about the modern Republican party is the systematic approach towards suppression of Democratic votes. Blah blah blah let democracy flower in the Middle East, but if groups of people are likely to vote against Republicans, screw democracy and screw those voters.
It's getting worse. A story has surfaced that a supposedly non-partisan (but actually RNC-funded) voter registration group in Nevada flat-out tore up new Democratic registrations. This and other happy fun tales of disenfranchisement at the Poor Man and Daily Kos.
These people have no honor.
Who keeps trying to sign me up for the FAIR mailing list? I have nothing against FAIR; in fact, I rather like them. But I prefer to sign up for mailing lists on my own, thank you.
I was out of town from Friday to Monday and thus unable to post much. Your regularly scheduled goofy crap resumes right about nowish. Go visit the categorical list of Don Martin sounds.
Who to root for in this year's playoffs, anyway? Let's think about it...
Dodgers. Pros: I've always had a certain respect for the Dodgers; in the late 70's, when they beat the Phils in the NLCS a couple of times, they always struck me as a class organization, and Chavez Ravine a glamorous place to play. Cons: Probably the worst team in the field, and will be pummelled by the...
Cardinals. Pros: Good team, good fans. Otis and Jeem would be happy. If Otis got World Series tickets, he'd invite me. (Right?) Cons: Can't think of any.
Braves. Pros: if they win, maybe people will stop with the "All those division titles and only one World Series win." Anyone who talks like the Braves are a bunch of losers should cram it; the fans of any team except the Yankees or Marlins would trade their team's last 13 seasons for the Braves' in a heartbeat. Cons: OMG I HATE THE BRAVES!!1!!1 BRAVES SUX!! WTF LOL
Astros. Pros: if they win, maybe people will stop with the "All those playoff appearances and no series win." Biggio and Bagwell deserve a good run. Cons: Clemens. Ugh.
Angels. Pros: Vlad is cool. Cons: Just won the World Series, don't deserve another one again so soon.
Twins. Pros: The little team that could; Joe and Jonathan would be happy. Cons: Idiots will use it as proof that competitive balance in the game is A-OK.
Yankees. Pros: Um, jeez. All my NYC friends would be happy, I guess. Plus Mike Mussina is on their team. Cons: The Yankees are evil and must be destroyed.
Red Sox. Pros: Curt Schilling is my dawg, yo. Plus people would shut up about the Curse. Cons: Red Sox fans are already kind of insufferable; a World Series title would make it even worse.
Looks like I should be pulling for a Cards-Twins matchup. But I find myself slipping on the Red Sox bandwagon; I have two very good reasons to pull for them, there.
Joe Buck, last night, after Torii Hunter made a catch crashing into the wall: "There is one word you think of when you see Torii Hunter. And that word is 'fearless.'"
Holy CRAP, Joe. What's wrong with "Hunter is fearless?" Who made you poet freakin' laureate? There's two words I think of when you and Tim are on national games. And those words are SHUT. UP.
At least Tim caught himself saying something stupid last night. First he started about how odd it was that Mariano Rivera was pitching in the 9th when the Yankees were behind, and I thought "Here we go again." Then he said "So to speak, he wants to keep the game 2-0." Huh? In about two seconds, he said "Why am I saying 'So to speak?' That's exactly what he wants to do, keep the game 2-0." Smartest thing he said all night.
UPDATE: Thought of another annoyance. After the Hunter catch, Buck also said something like "No one in baseball goes into the wall like that with more intensity than Torii Hunter." Are you SURE, Joe? Have you seen every outfielder in baseball try to make that type of catch?
Like I've said before--everything's the greatest play ever to these guys. A few years ago McCarver said "No one in baseball makes that barehanded play down the third base line better than Scott Brosius." If you had asked him "Who's the best in baseball at making a barehanded play down the third base line?" at the All-Star break, instead of immediately after seeing Brosius make that exact play, would he have come up with Brosius? Or, like the rest of us, said "Who the hell knows?" (Of course he wouldn't say that; McCarver would never admit to not knowing anything.) I mean, how often does that play actually happen that it's worth coming up with any concept of ranking third basemen on it?
You can still follow the 2004-2005 NHL season on some obscure video-gaming cable channel, where they will play out the season on an unspecified title and platform. Highlights on Comcast SportsNet, even.
If you prefer the real thing, I'd recommend the Swedish elite league. Peter Forsberg played for his hometown team, Modo, before coming to the NHL, and he had previously said he'd come back someday and lead them to a championship. With the NHL lockout, he's going for it this season.
So, last night our softball team took a powerful beating. On the way home I stopped at the grocery store for milk, and, needing something to make me feel better, I grabbed some Krispy Kremes. Picked up a couple for the missus, too.
I went through the self-checkout lane. You've seen these things; you scan your milk and the voice says "Two! Ninety-nine!" But you can't scan your bulk Krispy Kremes; you have to punch up some stuff on the screen and tell it how many you have. I did this, and the machine said, seemingly much louder, "FOUR! DONUTS!"
Criminy! Just announce it to the world, why don't you? "HEY, LOOK AT THIS DONUT EATIN' PIG OVER HERE! HE'S PROBABLY GOING TO EAT ALL FOUR IN THE CAR ON THE WAY HOME!"