This weekend I watched the final table episode of WSOP 2004 for maybe the third time. A particular hand caught my attention, one in which David Williams called a Josh Arieh raise pre-flop with a low pair, caught a set on the flop and took Arieh for a hefty chunk of change. Arieh wandered around muttering about how insane it was for Williams to have called his original bet with those cards.
I noticed that hand because something similar happened to me in an online tournament just this weekend. I called a modest raise after the turn; I had an inside straight draw. I knew it was a longshot, but there was a lot of money in the pot and I figured it was a good enough risk. I hit the straight and won the pot, whereafter the guy I beat asked "How could you call that on 4th? You had nine high." Well, screw you, and screw Josh Arieh too. Do I need to explain my rationale? Does David Williams? We each took a flyer and it worked out. Console yourself by telling yourself repeatedly we made the wrong play. You still lost.
I guess it goes with the "bad beat" whining that comes with losing after getting good starting cards. Yeah, it's frustrating as hell to get pocket aces only to lose to some goofball who pulls a straight out of nowhere. But when you gripe that the goofball "got lucky," don't kid yourself that your getting pocket aces was somehow the result of your superior skill.
I suppose it's possible that I could be on the computer on Friday. But I doubt it.
So, everyone's heard about Morgan Stanley's chief economist predicting economic armageddon, and the attempt to clandestinely slip a rule allowing Congressional committee chairs to pull anyone's tax return for any reason into a big ol' omnibus spending bill? OK, good. We'll get that happy news out of the way first.
My favorite post this week is Digby's Pandering to Hypocrisy, articulating something I've thought for a while. If so many Americans support Moral Values and are Good Upstanding Moral Citizens, who's into all this filth on our TVs and newsstands? When the Promise Keepers had their big rally here in DC a few years back, I thought it would be amusing to visit local strip clubs to see how many Promise Keepers were there. Quite a few, I'll bet. Sadly, though, it takes just a few offended prudes to write the FCC or threaten a boycott to ruin it for the rest of us.
How creepy is this? George W. Bush: Our Leader. Don't forget those pre-election loyalty oaths, either. Everyone on the right howls if any comparison is made to Hitler, but I think Bush is much more like Stalin. Hopefully he won't kill millions of his own people who disagree with him politically over the next for years.
Nationals it is. Apologies to Mediocre Fred and BallWonk, who had that whole debate for nothing.
Well, whatever. If you're looking to buy me a Christmas present, I wear a 7 7/8 hat. (I have a big freakin' head.)
I've been in Houston all week for a conference and had pretty much no time for the blogging thing (don't be expecting a LFF post tomorrow, either). But right now I have a rare free moment, so here's some thoughts.
As it turns out, most of my accumulated links this week were baseball-related, so they go their own post. Back to post-election wonkery, DHinMI at Kos has a great suggestion: what if Soros or another wealthy liberal just bought Diebold and their ilk? Then maybe we'd get legislation to make sure elections are fair and secure.
Stuff no one reports: a freakin' tank was dispatched to an anti-war protest in LA. Nothing really came of it, but... WTF? A TANK? I must have missed the liberal media's intense coverage of this incident.
Ye Slacktivist has yet another great post taking down the religious right with their own weapons, this one on the selective definition of what Moral Values are. Does Jesus hate people on welfare?
I've long said of DC baseball that I'll believe it when I'm in my seat on Opening Day and the team is taking the field. This off-season's events have gotten my hopes up, but even still the possibility of them screwing it up looms. I was discouraged to hear the WTOP piece saying Linda Cropp's proposal to build the ballpark right next to RFK to save money was threatening the deal, but then they said MLB was threatening to instead move the team to... northern Virginia. Yyyyyyyyyyyyeah! Do it, Ms. Cropp! Don't let Mayor Williams push you around!
In an effort to stick my head out of the Liberal Blogosphere Echo Chamber, I checked out a few "reasonable conservative" blogs recommended by Max, and what should catch my eye but some sports-related items. EconLong lays out the pretty standard anti-ballpark subsidy argument (and makes Michael Wilbon look like a doofus). But then Daniel Akst at Marginal Revolution points out something that economists usually overlook: people like pro sports, and thus derive quality-of-life benefits that are hard to quantify. I tend to agree that the District has little business building a ballpark that will primarily benefit the team's new owner(s). However, if they build it, I will come, because I freakin' love baseball. The bit he cites about the Pittsburgh Penguins is particularly amusing.
BallWonk and Mediocre Fred have been debating the relative merits of "Grays" and "Senators," respectively, as the new moniker for the Expos. I am probably on record somewhere in Olde Blogge Towne as saying "Senators" was the only acceptable name, but I must admit "Grays" has grown on me. Of course, now they'll go with "Nationals." In any event, read the debate and make your voice heard.
Bob Harris has a round-up of potential behind-the-scenes shenanigans on election day. The optical-scan ballots in Florida are particularly interesting, because the actual pieces of paper should still be around and could be counted by hand. If the Republicans have nothing to hide, then they shouldn't object to an investigation to put these allegations to rest.
Need a little help here. A meme that's been going around is that conservatives/Republicans/southerners and midwesterners don't consider liberals/Democrats/the northeast and west coast to be "Real Americans." Trouble is, I'm having trouble with attribution. I've done some googling and just about all of the links I've found are liberal blogs generally attributing this attitude to the right. Anyone have actual statements/columns/whatever from someone on the right, questioning our Americanitude?
As referenced in LFF below, here's something I wrote over at Cafe Utne in response to a poster who said Bush couldn't do that much damage in four years.
He wrote: "This is absolutely no different to the reaction from the right when Clinton won. Everyone said the country was in big trouble, that the sky would finally fall."
IMO, the big difference is that the right in '96 was making generalized statements that Clinton would ruin America, but there weren't a lot of specifics. But I've got a shitload of specifics as to how I expect this administration to screw things up in just four years.
So which of the above items am I not supposed to worry about? And you'd better give me something more than "You're upset and it's clouding your judgement" or "It's only four years."
One guess as to what the bulk of today's LFF items relate to.
We had a discussion at Cafe Utne in which one poster told us "Bush can't do that much damage, it's only four years, what are you so worried about?" Most of us liberal coastal elitists took offense to that, and I provided a laundry list of what I think Bush can and will screw up through 2008. Then I read this post at Unfogged which goes into a bit more detail, and makes me feel a little better. I hope it's right... but I'm still keeping my guard up.
As in 2000, the nation is much closer to purple than the Republicans and the press would have you believe.
Kerry's concession isn't legally binding, and now that ballot weirdness in Ohio is starting to show up, things could potentially get really interesting really quickly. It's appalling that for all our "world's greatest democracy" blather, we really can't run an election properly.
David Neiwert is one of my most favorite bloggers, and his now wrapped-up series on American pseudo-fascism is absolutely required reading.
Fun item from the last days of the campaign: Bruce comes up for a beer.
Finally, SKB and Andy Axel channel MLK. I can't read this right now without crying.
This tale of a Bush voter just makes my freakin' head spin.
Well, that sucked. Apparently a lot of people care more about preventing total strangers from having abortions or getting married to people of the same sex, than they do about any kind of sound foreign or economic policy. August refers to issue polling but doesn't provide a link, but all the anti-gay marriage state initiatives passed. I'm embarassed to be an American in that regard.
UPDATE: go here and scroll down about halfway to "Most Important Issue." "Moral Values" has a plurality; 79% of those went for Bush.
Election got your insides tied in a knot? Get big laffs at the Daily Show Election Day blog.
We went to vote around 8:30 and waited a little over half an hour. Not too bad. Nice to see everyone turning out, even if most of them probably are voting for Bush. Virginia goes for Kerry in my wildest dreams, but I wouldn't put money on it.
My wife and I had our daughter in her stroller; I slapped my "I Voted" sticker on her as soon as I was done. On the way out, someone in line looked at her and said somewhat contemptuously, "He didn't vote." OK, first of all, she. Just because she's wearing a little denim jacket doesn't make her a boy. Secondly, lighten up! She's cute!
Go vote today, if you haven't already. That is all.