Sunday, May 30, 2010

Special Memorial Day Helping of Sports Chowdah- Halladay Perphect In Phlorida; Red Sox Cure Royal Pains; Dej L.A. Vu- Celtics/Lakers Rematch Set

MLB: Nearly three weeks after Oakland's Dallas Braden threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Philadelphia's Roy Halliday matched that feat in a masterful performance against the Florida Marlins at Miami's Sun Life Stadium on Saturday. Halliday's 27-up, 27-down performance came less than a week after getting roughed up by the Red Sox at Citizen's Bank Ballpark in interleague play and one week after Daisuke Matsuzaka took a no-hitter into the 8th inning against the hosting Phillies.
What makes Halliday's perfect game all the more impressive is that he had considerably less run support than Braden did- the only run of the game coming on a fielding error by Marlins outfielder Cameron Maybin in the top of the 3rd that allowed Philly SS Wilson Valdez to score. Josh Johnson was the Florida starter who went seven innings, giving up seven hits, the unearned run and striking out six in the 1-0 loss for Florida [I'm obviously not a Phillies fan, but I do wish Harry Kalas was around to call the game- NANESB!].

The last time two perfect games were thrown in one season? June 1880, and less than a week apart. Lee Richmond of the Worcester Ruby Legs threw a perfect game for a 1-0 win against the Cleveland Blues on June 12th, 1880. The game took place at the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds and is is widely believed to be the first-ever perfect game in major league baseball history.

On June 17th John Montgomery Ward of the Providence Grays pitched a perfect game against the Buffalo Bisons at the Messer Street Grounds in Providence Rhode Island, winning 5-0. [See- give me any opening and I'll never miss an opportunity to go on about how awesome all the teams from New England are....even the ones that ceased to exist 125 years ago- NANESB!]

Red Sox: Kinda figures that after being on the wrong end of a 12-5 beatdown, the Red Sox would bounce back in a pitcher's duel on Saturday. On Saturday night, Clay Buchholz outpitched 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke in 7 innings of work. The only run in the 1-0 game came in the bottom of the second on a Mike Lowell groundout that plated Adrian Beltre. Lester gave up four hits and struck out four in his 7 innings of work while Bard came on for a scoreless 8th and Papelbon closed out the game with a 1-2-3 9th inning.

Getty Images
Sunday was a different story, with the Sox generating alot more offense in support of Jon Lester. In the top of the 2nd, Lester would give up an RBI groundout to Brayan Peña for Kansas City's only run of the day. In 7 innings of work, Lester would give up 4 hits, the one earned run, four walks and strike out five batters. Manny DelCarmen and Joe Nelson would close out the pitching for Boston.

The Red Sox bats were very much alive for this one, with Papi driving in a run on a sac-fly in the 3rd followed by a 2 run homer in the 5th. Mike Cameron is back, and on Sunday, he had a 2 RBI double before crossing the plate on a Marco Scutaro single (Scutaro also had an RBI groundout in the 5th). 'Tek rounded out the longball action with a solo homer of his own in the 8th in the Red Sox 8-1 win.

Next, the Red Sox will take on the Oakland A's on Tuesday at Fenway. John Lackey (5-3) is slated to start against Gio Gonzalez (5-3).

NBA: It's official- the Celtics will be going up against the Lakers in a rematch of the 2008 NBA Finals. The LA Lakers brought down Los Suns by a score of 111-103 Saturday night in Phoenix to win the Western Conference Finals 4 games to 2. Game 1 is slated to take place Thursday night, giving the C's some time to recoup after a couple of physical games against Orlando.

NHL: For those of you wanting an all-original 6 Stanley Cup final, too damn bad. While the Blackhawks held up their end of the deal, Montreal was bounced from the Eastern Conference finals by the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night after a 4-2 loss, giving Philly the 4-1 series win. So instead, it's an Original 6 versus Class of '67 Stanley Cup final. After sweeping the San Jose Sharks, the Hawks took the 1-0 series lead in the Final in a defensively challenged Game 1 Saturday night by a score of 6-5.

Game 2 is set for Monday night at 8 PM eastern.

INDY CAR: I'm not really all that interested in motorsports, but Mike Conway's crash at the Indy 500 earlier has to be seen to be believed.

Oh....what the's a completely gratuitous Danica Patrick swimsuit photo while I'm at it:
But getting back to the crash, Conway survived the spectacular crash and was airlifted to the hospital with a broken leg. Dario Franchitti was the winner of the 94th Indianapolis 500 and Danica Patrick finished in 6th place (after finishing 23rd on Pole Day). The Indy 500 win is Franchitti's second of his Indycar career.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

White House Offered Sestak Appointment to Drop Primary Challenge Against Specter

This is hardly a new, late-breaking development. Back in February of this year, Representative Joe Sestak (D- Pennsylvania's 7th District) was asked by Philadelphia talk-show host Larry Kane whether or not he had been offered a high-ranking job within the Obama administration in return for dropping his primary challenge against incumbent Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter.

Much to Kane's surprise, Sestak said that he had in fact been offered a job by somebody in the administration, although he declined to name names or the specific position offered. It created something of a stir at the time but was more or less dismissed as a non-issue since it was thought at the time that Specter would survive Sestak's primary challenge.

Guess again. Earlier this month, Sestak received 54% of the vote against incumbent Arlen Specter in the primaries. No more Specter means that the reported job offer boomerangs.

Then on Friday, the White House acknowledged Bill Clinton tried talking Sestak out of running against Specter at the White House's request. The Administration claimed no wrongdoing, insisting the position they offered Sestak was an unpaid advisory position.

Even if one was gullible enough to take the Administration's often-contradictory word at face value, one would have to wonder why they didn't come up with the 'unpaid advisory' angle after being contacted by Larry Kane in February instead of immediately denying it.

Personally, I hardly think this will be the Watergate-esque downfall of the Obama Administration some pundits are making it out to be. However, this provides yet another graphic example of Obama going back on his campaign promises of an open and transparent administration [not that I thought that for even a second, but apparently there are still people laboring out there laboring under that particular delusion- NANESB!]

Friday, May 28, 2010

Veterans Hit the Campaign Trail

Fresh off of last week's announcement that unions like the SEIU and AFSCME will be spending at least $100 million to prop up embattled Dems who voted in favor of 0bamacare, I came across a Political Action Committee called Vets For Freedom.

The Veterans For Freedom PAC endorsement criteria falls along these lines:

1) Please outline your previous military experience.

2) Did you serve in Iraq or Afghanistan? Provide details.

3) What is your position on the war in Afghanistan? Similarly, do you agree or disagree with President Obama's surge of forces to Afghanistan in 2009? Explain.

4) What is your position on the war in Iraq and the 2007 surge of American forces? Similarly, what is your view of current American policy in Iraq?

5) Should the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba be closed? Either way, describe considerations and options.

6) Should the United States bring terrorism detainees to trial in civilian courts or in military commission courts?

7) Should Iran be allowed to procure nuclear weapons? Would you support decisive U.S. action--militarily or otherwise--to prevent a nuclear Iran?

8) What role should American power--militarily and economically--play in the world? Explain.

9) What is the legacy of America's post-9/11 warrior class? If elected, how do you plan to influence this legacy?

10) Why do you want to serve in elected office?
In other words, odds are they will be in direct opposition to the tax-and-spend liberals that the unions are throwing millions of dollars at this year. The Veterans for Freedom PAC has endorsed the following candidates as well.

Army Captain Kevin Calvey (Oklahoma-5)

Army Colonel Chris Gibson (New York-20)

Army Major Tim Griffin (Arkansas-2)

Army Colonel Joe Heck (Nevada-3)

Air Force Captain Adam Kinzinger (Illinois-11)

Marine Lieutenant Ilario Pantano (North Carolina-7)

Army Captain Jonathan Paton (Arizona-8)

Marine Captain Brian Rooney (Michigan-7)

Army Lieutenant Colonel Steve Stivers (Ohio-15)

Army Lieutenant Colonel Allen West (Florida-22)

Army Lieutenant Colonel Lang Silas (Colorado-7)

Navy Commander Mark Kirk (Illinois Senate)

*Marine Gunnery Sargeant Nick Popaditch (California- 51)

*not endorsed by the VFF PAC yet, but seems to meet the criteria so far.

Now, off the top of my head I can name two candidates who are running against the Democrat incumbents that voted 'Yes' on 0bamacare that the SEIU and other unions are throwing money at to help retain their seats (Kinzinger and Heck).

It should also be worth mentioning that both West and Pantano were the subject of a Daily Beast hatchet job depicting them as dangerous renegade soldiers, although one would suspect the Daily Beast wouldn't consider them quite as 'renegade' if they ran as Democrats.

More than half the candidates listed are running against Democrat incumbents that voted 'Yes' on 0bamacare, although all but a handful still have a protracted and contested primary ahead of them.

While on the subject of Vets running for office, here are a few you'd be better off staying the hell away from.

Adam Kokesh- New Mexico's 3rd district. Bloggette and Marine wife Cassy Fiano warned readers about anti-war turncoat Adam Kokesh running for Congress as a Republican in Northern New Mexico. While in IVAW (Iraq Vets Against the War), Kokesh distributed Islamophobic fliers and falsely attributed them to George Washington University's chapter of the Young America foundation and also urged troops stationed in Germany to go AWOL. As a group, IVAW has threatened to bomb counterprotestors and assassinate conservative columnists, so I fail to see what good cold ever come from associating with IVAW [For the record, I'm not saying they have zero right to speak out against Iraq or Afghanistan, but I do take issue with the 'OMG! Everybody who served in that theater is a war criminal except for me me me me!' narrative that seems to be the IVAW's stock in trade- plus I think it's very disingenuous of them to try and create the impression that they speak for all vets- NANESB!].

Those of you interested in helping a Republican in that district, give Tom Mullins a look.

Matthew Zeller- New York's 29th district. This is the disgraced Eric 'Tickle-Me' Massa's former district. The 28-year old Zeller joined the Army shortly after 9/11, and after serving as an embedded combat mentor to Afghan police and military was tapped to run as pretty much the only Democrat in the NY-29 special election this fall. His service record apparently doesn't have any obvious red flags and for all I know is impeccable. However, Zeller didn't even live in the district as of April and he supports the bailout, 0bamacare and is against dilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale along New York's Southern Tier according to an interview in the Corning Leader.

Former Corning, NY mayor Tom Reed is the presumptive GOP nominee for the district.
[Cross Posted at Correspondence Committee]

Sports Chowdah Update- Rude A-Wake-ening; Magic Out of Tricks

Micheal Dwyer/AP Photo
Well, after a week in which the Red Sox got convincing wins over the New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies and managed to follow that up with a sweep of the first place Tampa Bay Rays....who could've foreseen the buzzsaw they'd run into that is the Kansas City Royals? And after Tim Wakefield's last start went so swimmingly (a phrase that I usually use dripping in sarcasm and bitter irony, but not in this instance) he gave up nine runs on 12 hits in 3 and 2/3rd innings in Friday night's 12-5 loss to the Royals at Fenway. Yuniesky Bettancourt's 4th inning grand slam capped the scoring for Kansas City in a 7-run 7-hit fourth inning that chased Wakefield off the mound that pur KC up for good. The beatdown comes one night after KC took the series opener at Fenway by a final of 4-3.

Maybe....just maybe the proverbial ship can be righted in tomorrow's game with a red-hot Clay Buchholz getting the start against KC's Zack Greinke. Having said that, the best the Sox can hope for at this point is a series split with the Royals.

Other Sox News: Well....might as well get the bad news out of the way- I mean the bad news besides losing 12-5 to the Royals.

Josh Beckett was placed on the 15 day DL with a lower back strain. Beckett left the May 19th game against the Yankees (the one where they played under protest) with back spasms.

But wait! It gets better worser. Fresh off the DL, Jacoby Ellsbury went back on it effective May 25th, reportedly with the same rib injury he sustained last month at Kansas City. The Red Sox recalled pitcher Scott Atchison from AAA Pawtucket to take Ellsbury's spot on the roster. There is no timetable for Ellsbury's return, as Francona and the team medical staff is taking a 'wait and see' approach.

There is some good news, however (and said without dripping sarcasm or irony). CF Mike Cameron has been back since May 25th.

NBA: Ho-hum....another Eastern Conference win, another NBA final appearance for the C's. That's not to say the series win against Orlando wasn't without cost. Monday night, the C's rallied back to force overtime, but immediately fizzled, getting outscored 10-6 in the OT. Wednesday night's game was much more physical and the Magic walked away with the 113-92 win to erode the Celtics lead to 3 games to 2 and bringing to mind the Bruins Eastern Conference semifinal collapse earlier this month. Marquis Daniels and Glen Davis left Game 5 with concussions thanks to Dwight Howard's busy elbows and Rasheed Wallace was listed as questionable for Game 6 with back problems.
By the end of the first quarter of Game 6, the Celtics had a 19-30 lead over the defending Eastern Conference Champions, and basically never looked back. Paul Pierce was particularly busy with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists in the C's 96-84 win. Ray Allen had 20 points while it was a relatively quiet 14 point night to Rajon Rondo. Both Davis and Wallace also made an appearance in tonight's game, with Big Baby getting about 17 minutes of playing time and Wallace with just over 10 minutes.

The C's will await the winner of the Lakers/Suns series to find out who their NBA finals opponent will be.

NHL: Just a reminder that Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyer begins tomorrow night at 8PM Easter, 5 Pacific on NBC.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Meth, Porn Use, Cronyism Alleged in Interior Dept. Report of Offshore Drilling Regulators- Memorial Held for 11 Rig Workers Lost at Sea

Remember that explosion that resulted in the collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, along with the deaths of at least 11 rig workers? Well....the oil is still gushing out, Obama administration officials are holding press conferences for the purpose of reminding everybody that BP is culpable while we're finding out about things like this in the dysfunctional Minerals Management Services.
WASHINGTON -- Staff members at an agency that oversees offshore drilling accepted tickets to sports events, lunches and other gifts from oil and gas companies and used government computers to view pornography, according to an Interior Department report alleging a culture of cronyism between regulators and the industry.

In at least one case, an inspector for the Minerals Management Service admitted using crystal methamphetamine and said he might have been under the influence of the drug the next day at work, according to the report by the acting inspector general of the Interior Department.

The report cites a variety of violations of federal regulations and ethics rules at the agency's Louisiana office. Previous inspector general investigations have focused on inappropriate behavior by the royalty-collection staff in the agency's Denver office.

I'm guessing the Obama Administration's answer to this will be to hire more inspectors to look at porn, accept gifts from the people they're supposed to regulate and report for work high on methamphetamines. Somehow more government always seems to be the answer.

Elsewhere, a memorial for the 11 Deepwater Horizon workers killed was held in Jackson, MS earlier today. At the end of the ceremony, a ship bell chimed 11 times and the families were given 11 symbolic hard hats. Transocean has set up a condolences page for visitors to leave a message. The missing and presumed dead include:
Roy Wyatt Kemp, Blair Manuel, Dewey Revette, Shane Roshto, Jason Anderson, Aaron Dale Burkeen, Donald Clark, Stephen Curtis, Karl Kleppinger, Adam Weise and Gordon Jones.

[hat tip: Eat it or Wear it]

Today's Train of Thought: Planes Trains & Automobiles- No, REALLY! May 25th, 2010

Today's rather multi-modal train of thought comes to us from the land of Obama Lincoln and gives us a pretty good cross section of the American railroads that Canadian Pacific acquired to bolster its presence in the US Mid-West. [Despite the title and Chicagoland nature of this photo, John Candy and Steve Martin are nowhere to be seen- NANESB!] contributor Frank Stachowiak caught this meet between two Canadian Pacific trains at Bensenville, IL on May 16, 2010. The train on the right is a unit ethanol train that originated on CP's newest acquisition- Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern. While the bloom is off that particular rose, ethanol has been something of a blessing for the railroad industry since it's almost impossible to transport ethanol via pipeline. This necessitates lengthy trains of inbound grain and outbound finished product.

Don't let red and white SD40-2 #6089 fool you- that actually is (or was) one approximately two dozen SD40-2s the DM&E purchased secondhand from CP Rail. Yet, before it could even be repainted in Cedar America Holding's distincitve blue and yellow scheme (you can see a hint of it on the unit trailing the 6089 or here) Canadian Pacific acquired the DM&E and sister railroad Iowa, Chicago & Eastern, making repainting a pointless exercise.

While waiting to proceed through Bensenville, another freight train is given clearance to proceed past the 6089 and idling ethanol train. This one consist led by Soo Line SD60 #6024, still in it's 'vintage' white and red scheme (like what's seen here). Many of the former Soo Line SD60s had been put into storage or sold to reigonals like the Indiana Railraod, but with an expected increase in traffic CP has begun pulling units out of storage.

As one of the crewmen on the #6089 inspects the passing train, an American Airlines 737 flies overhead on it's approach to O'Hare airport. The passing traffic on the adjacent highway pays this scene little mind, as this is pretty common on the lines into and out of Chicago.

Blue State Graft Watch Update: Kwame Kilpatrick Gets 1.5 to 5 Year Prison Sentence

And I expected better from America's 'first hip-hop Mayor'.

Oh I didn't.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick received a prison sentence that could range anywhere from 18 months to 5 years after being charged with violating the terms of his probation and hiding assets from the court.
"Probation is no longer an option. The terms of your earlier probation no longer apply. That ship has sailed," Groner said. "This is all because of the actions of you, Mr. Kilpatrick. You were convicted ... all because you lied under oath. That lie ... was part of a broader attempt to cover up your misdeeds while serving as mayor.
"You challenged this court's authority," Groner said. "You attempted to utilize semantics and exploit loopholes. The broader context of this issue is that your family living expenses -- including living in a million-dollar home, driving a brand new Escalade and purchasing elective surgery for your wife -- you have made it perfectly clear that it's more important to pacify your wife than comply with my orders."
Kilpatrick will also lose his $120,000 a year job with Detroit-based Compuware Corporation, a medical security software company that hired him on as a salesman. It's been reported that in over a year on Compuware's payroll, Kilpatrick has yet to close a sale.

Kilpatrick and his legal team have 42 days to file an appeal, but what can I say? Couldn't happen to a nicer douchebag.

[Hat Tip: Jammie Wearing Fool]

Monday, May 24, 2010

Republican Djou Wins Hawaii Special Congressional Election

Honolulu Advertiser
Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou was declared the winner of a special election Mail-In vote in Hawaii's 1st Congressional District on Sunday. Djou resigned from his position on the City Council earlier today and is expected to be sworn in as early as tomorrow. The win comes less than a week after former Murtha aide Mark Critz defeated Republican Tim Burns in a special election in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District to fill the seat left vacant by Murtha's death.

The election was called for when Democrat Congressman Neil Abercrombie resigned to campaign for governor of Hawaii full time back in January. Initially the underdog, Djou managed to garner just under 40% of the vote on the ballot. Djou's campaign was helped by infighting between Democrats Ed Case and Colleen Hanabusa, with each demanding the other drop out of the race. Hanabusa got just over 30% of the vote while Case got roughly 27% of the vote, with the remainder of the votes going towards unaffiliated or independent candidates.

It's safe to say that Hawaii's first Congressional district is perhaps one of the bluest districts in the country, and although the vote was split between two democrats, it's still a little surprising that a democrat didn't win by a 40% margin instead of Djou. This district- which encompasses most of metropolitan Honolulu- has also occasionally been described as President Obama's 'backyard' [as opposed to Jakarta, Chicago or Nairobi- NANESB!].

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sports Chowdah Update: Buccholz & Lester Highlight Twin Killings At Fenway Before Dice-K and Wakfield's Master-Phil Performances; Magic Out Of Tricks?

Well, almost immediately after Monday's soul-sucking Yankees walk-off win, things began to fall into place for the Red Sox despite an arduous schedule for the rest of the week and Josh Beckett leaving the final game of an abridged 2-game series in the toilet Bronx with back spasms Tuesday night.

On Tuesday night, the Red Sox went into the 8th inning trailing 5-1 before rallying to tie it 5-5. With Mariano Rivera in the game, Jeremy Hermida would go on to hit a 2 RBI double to give the Red Sox the 7-5 lead and while Papelbon gave up an RBI double to Robinson Cano in the bottom of the 9th, the Sox would hold on for the win and split the 2-game series at Yankee Stadium.

The brief two-game series against Minnesota at Fenway wouldn't be much easier. Clay Buccholz left with the lead after 8 innings, Big Papi had an RBI triple and Daniel Bard held off a late rally from the Twins for the 3-2 win on Wednesday.

On Thursday- a game I actually caught in real-time on XM- Lester went the distance against Minnesota, striking out 9 and giving up two rund on 6 hits while getting run support from Kevin Youkilis who went 2 for 4 with 4 RBI for a 6-2 win over the Twins.

One would think that some of that momentum would carry over to Friday for the start of Interleague play when the Sox travelled to Philidelphia to take on the reigning NL Champions. Now....while Friday night's suckfest left the Red Sox on the short end of a 5-1 game, the next two games more than made up for it.

Daisuke Matsuzaka isn't exactly known for his endurance, but he got some run support from a David Ortiz RBI double, an Adrian Beltre RBI double and a JD Drew RBI single and managed to take a no-hit bid into the bottom of the 8th before giving up a little flare single to Juan Castro to break up the no-hitter. Daniel Bard would come on to close out the bottom of the 9th for a 5-0 Red Sox win. That really is too bad- I was rooting for Dice-K and it would've been nice if 'Tek was the only major-league catcher behind the plate for five no-hitters (he came tantalizingly close when Schilling took a no-hitter into the 9th at Oakland 3 years ago). But given some of the hitters in that Philly lineup (Ryan Howard, Jason Werth, etc.), eight shutout innings would've been impressive, let alone eight no-hit innings. [Ganbatte, Daisuke!- NANESB!]

Not to be outdone, however, Tim Wakefield got the start for Boston against a familiar opponent (in a new uniform) in Roy Halliday on Sunday. The knuckleballer got some run support courtesey of Marco Scutaro, Kevin Youkilis and a fresh-from-rehab-assignment-in-Portland Jacoby Ellsbury, who had a 2 RBI infield single thanks to some aggressive baserunning by Scutaro in the top of the 6th inning. Halliday lasted 5 and two-thirds innings while giving up 7 runs on eight hits, while Wakefield threw 8 shutout innings, with Ramon Ramierez giving up 3 runs to close out the bottom of the 9th in Boston's 8-3 win over the Phillies.

Other Red Sox News: Saturday night's game also marked CF Jacoby Ellsbury's first start since April 12, when he left the game at Kansas City after colliding with 3B Adrian Beltre. Mike Cameron has been on the DL for almost as long as Ellsbury with kidney stones, but began rehabbing with AAA Pawtucket about two weeks ago. Cameron could be back as early tonight at Tampa.

Other MLB News: Former MLB pitcher Jose Lima died from an apparent heart attack in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. The righty had a 13 season major league career playing for Houston, Detroit, the Mets, Kansas City and the LA Dodgers and was selected to the 1999 NL All-Star team. In 2004, he threw a five-hit shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals for the LA Dodgers in the National League Division Series, giving them their first playoff win since 1988. His outings were sometimes referred to as 'Lima Time' and some fans are remembering him for signing autographs and talking with fans during batting practice before games. Lima is shown here, singing the national anthem at Dodgers stadium with his son and gravity-defying ex-wife Melissa.

NBA: Holy crap. I was so captivated by Dice-K's no-hit bid on Saturday night that by the time I checked in on the Celtics on XM, they already had a 28 point lead over the Magic with about 10 minutes to go in the 4th. Seriously, Sunday night's 94-71 win over Orlando wasn't even that close. Paul Pierce helped open up a 16 point lead on Orlando in the 1st quarter, and apparently it was all downhill from there with Boston up 51-34 at the half. The thing is, nobody really dominated in terms of scoring for the C's- Ray Allen had 14 points, Rajon Rondo had 11 points, Paul Pierce with 15 and Glen 'Big Baby' Davis came off the bench for 17, along with going 7 for 9 in free throws.
The win gives Boston a 3-0 series lead (stop me if you heard that one recently) and the C's could advance to the NBA finals for the second time in 3 seasons with a win over Orlando in the Eastern finals tonight.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Arizona to California: Who Run Bartertown?

In the wake of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signing a strict anti-illegal immigration bill into law, the Grand Canyon state has faced criticism and a wave of shrill, sanctimonious and largely symbolic boycotts from cities like San Francisco, Austin TX, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego. Hell, some geniuses even got together and decided to boycott Arizona iced tea, despite being headquartered in Long Island.

Like I said, the boycotts are largely petulant foot-stomping from various city councils such as Seattle's. The Emerald City's resolution provided a loophole that permitted Seattle to continue doing business with a Scottsdale, AZ-based company that maintains the city's 29 red light cameras.

And in some cases, Arizona has significant leverage with some of these cities that seek to harm their state economically. San Diego hoteliers began to backpedal from their city council's resolution earlier this week when Arizonans began contacting hotels to cancel reservations.

But even more vulnerable is Los Angeles, which gets an estimated 25% of its electricity from Arizona power plants. An official with Arizona's largest public utility drafted a letter in which he openly pondered cutting off electricity to the City of Angels.

Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,

I was dismayed to learn that the Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona and Arizona-based companies — a vote you strongly supported — to show opposition to SB 1070 (Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act).

You explained your support of the boycott as follows: “While we recognize that as neighbors, we share resources and ties with the State of Arizona that may be difficult to sever, our goal is not to hurt the local economy of Los Angeles, but to impact the economy of Arizona. Our intent is to use our dollars — or the withholding of our dollars — to send a message.” (emphasis added)

I received your message; please receive mine. As a state-wide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizona’s electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the “resources and ties” we share with the City of Los Angeles. In fact, approximately twenty-five percent of the electricity consumed in Los Angeles is generated by power plants in Arizona.

If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation. I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands. If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.

People of goodwill can disagree over the merits of SB 1070. A state-wide economic boycott of Arizona is not a message sent in goodwill.


Commissioner Gary Pierce

Huh....if I didn't know any better, I'd say the man was angry at various activists and know-nothing entertainers comparing his state to nazi Germany, inferring that anybody who called for enforcement of existing immigration laws was racist and a concerted effort to economically damage their state (moreso than the illegal immigration that's made Phoenix a hub of kidnapping, extortion, drug trafficking and human trafficking).

Imagine that.

Personally, I think everybody in Arizona should chip in and buy some ad time on all of LA's TV stations at 8:30 PM. At 8:28, they kill the power for about 90 seconds, and then when the juice comes back on, this would be the first thing that the viewers would see.

I'd also like to add that if Mayor Villaraigosa stood by the courage of his convictions, he should also turn away all those Arizona firefighters that show up as part of mutual aid for the next massive, out of control wildfire in Southern California.

[Hat tip Lonely Conservative: Wyatt Earp]

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

NY-29 Update: Patterson Sets Date For Special Election

After a delay of more than two months, the unelected David Patterson has set a date for the special election in New York's 29th Congressional District. The special election for that district will coincide with the New York state general election on November 2nd.
Paterson explained that he decided to wait until November because he doesn’t think new electronic voting machines will be ready in some counties and because of the financial burden another election could have on cash-strapped local governments. He also justified his decision on the ground that voters in the military overseas might not get to vote in a special
I've probably said this before, but an unelected tax and spend northeastern democrat citing a possible financial burden in delaying the special election in a district where the Republican is favored to win would be laughable if it wasn't so insulting. There are also some legal questions in Patterson calling for a special election after July 1st.

For the record, the unelected David Patterson waited all of a month to call for a special election in Upstate New York's 20th Congressional District in January 2009 and barely a week to announce the date of a special election in New York's 23rd District in September 2009.

Thanks to Patterson's machinations, NY-29 will be without representation in Washington DC for more than 10 months- it took him more than two months to even make the announcement. Think of what's going to come down the pike in Congress in the next 10 months (I know....scary, isn't it?). I know that I'm venturing into the realm of the hypothetical, but what would happen if it was an unelected Republican who held off on calling a special election for months at a time in a district thought to go the Democrats way.

If that were the case, alot more people would've heard of NY-29 than they do now.

Connecticut Attorney General Lied About Serving in Vietnam

Gotta give credit where credit is due- a May 17th New York Times article says that CT Attorney General Dick Blumenthal received no less than five deferments between 1965-1970 and had never served in Vietnam. Instead, Blumenthal served for six years in the Marine Reserves but at times has told audiences that he did in fact serve in Vietnam.

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”
A combative Blumenthal shot back in a press conference held in the W. Hartford, CT VFW Hall earlier today.
"On a few occasions, I have misspoken about my service, and I regret that... [but] I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to my country. I served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, and I am proud of it.''
[Y'know, Dick, I don't like it when somebody tries to impugn my record of service in the US Army, but I usually try and avoid that by NOT fudging my service record- NANESB!].

Blumenthal is running to fill the senate seat that will be vacated by Chris Dodd upon his retirement this year.

GOP Senate Candidate and (apparently real) Vietnam Vet Rob Simmons was unimpressed with Blumenthal's apology and issued a statement earlier today.

"I am unsatisfied with Attorney General Blumenthal's comments. While I'm not surprised that he 'regrets' that his misstatements have been called to the public's attention, what he owes is an apology to the veterans, who served and sacrificed in Vietnam."
Truth be told, I wasn't going to make that big a deal out of it until I caught some of Blumethal's petulant, defiant, almost non-apology 'apology' on the news earlier today. It seemed to come off more as 'Yeah, I lied....whaddaya gonna do about it?'

The sad part is that this will hardly cost Blumenthal at the polls in New York's de-facto sixth borough a blue state like Connecticut.

National Unemployment Rate At 10%- Holder, Napolitano Still Inexplicably Employed

Apparently Attorney General Eric Holder suffers from some sort of speech impediment that won't allow his the use the words 'radical' or 'Islam' in the same sentence.

Perhaps he should see the same speech therapists who helped the MSNBC 'personalities' get over their reluctance to use 'Christian' and 'Milita' in the same sentence in time for the FBI's arrest of the Hutaree militia leaders in Michigan at the end of March. A case that seems to be falling apart, as three members were released on bail this week.

But apparently there's also a slight learning disability that prevents Holder from reading Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law, even though its much lighter reading than the recently passed healthcare bill.

But Holder shouldn't feel too bad. Apparently Homeland Security Head Janet Napolitano suffers from the same learning disorder when it comes to the same law. What makes it all the more damning is that Napolitano used to be the governor of Arizona herself; a state who's capital earned the dubious honor of being the 'kidnap capital of the USA' under her watch.

Impressed? Me neither.

But please, mainstream media and Democrat talking heads, keep reminding us of how badly we had it under Bush in the rather vain hopes that we won't notice the demagoguery and utter incompetence of those currently holding the reigns of power.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bitter Sports Chowdah Update- Sox Comeback Goes Down The Toilet; You Can't Spell Bruins Without 'Ruin'; C's Oust King, Solve Magic Puzzle Early

NHL: real way to sugar-coat the Bruins exit. While not quite as embarrassing as being either the President's Trophy winner or Defending Stanley Cup Champion and getting bounced out by the #8 seed, coughing up a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals is still pretty damn embarrassing. Especially when getting off to a 3-0 lead in Game 7, only to have that evaporate in the 2nd period.

Some of you might remember Leighton from the Winter Classic on New Year's Day. After falling behind 3-0 in Game 7, the Flyers Micheal Leighton wouldn't allow another goal while Danny Briere would get the equalizer in the 2nd and Simone Gagne would notch a power-play goal in the 4th on a too many men on the ice penalty that was served by Shawn Thronton. The go-ahead goal put Philly up for good, making them the first NHL team that overcame an 0-3 playoff deficit since the 1975 Islanders mounted a similar comeback against Pittsburgh.

Well.....while it sure did suck for the Bruins choke the way they did, I think comparing it to the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS is really valid, since when all was said and done, this was the #6 team being ousted by the #7 team (for the right to go on and play the #8 team). With that said, Bruins fans are gonna be in for a long summer of speculating over where Tim Thomas will wind up and who the #2 draft pick will be.

Oh....and just a reminder for those who don't normally follow hockey and think this is a fluke, Philly has gone on the thump the Montreal Canadiens 6-0 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday. Congratulations to the Flyers for an epic comeback and apparently not losing any momentum whatsoever.

MLB: After dropping two out of three to the Detroit Tigers over the weekend, the Red Sox travelled to the Bronx to take on the Yankees with Matsuzaka on the mound against Phil Hughes. Despite falling into an early 5-0 hole, the Red Sox were able to chip away at the Yankees lead thanks in part to a Papi solo homer in the 4th and a JD Drew 3 Run homer in the 5th. Victor Martinez would go on to homer twice while Kevin Youkilis would homer to briefly put the Sox up 9-7. Daniel Bard had a pretty good bottom of the 8th, striking out Marcus Thames, getting Randy Winn to fly out before walking Juan Miranda and getting Jeter to swing and miss on a 3-2 count.

Papelbon's bottom of the 9th didn't go over nearly as well as Bard's 8th, giving up a 2-run homer to A-rod to tie the game before hitting Francisco Cervelli with a pitch and giving up the walk-off homer to Marcus Thames for the Yankees 11-9 win. Tomorrow night's game will be an opening night rematch with Beckett going against Sabathia.

NBA: As depressing as it's been to watch the Sox and Bruins the last few days, there IS some good news. For starters, all the 'Where's LeGone LeBron gonna end up?' speculation can start a little earlier now that the C's took care of Cleveland with a 94-85 win over the Cavs Thursday night. No need for a Game 7 flameout like the Bruins, since the C's took care of it in 6.

The Eastern Conference final got off to a pretty good start for Boston, holding on to take game 1 92-88 on Sunday. Ray Allen had 25 points and 7 rebounds while Paul Pierce had 22 points and 9 rebounds and Rasheed Wallace came off the bench for 13 points late in the game. The Magic was held to shooting 41%- and only 22% from 3-point range.

Game Two starts tomorrow night at 8:30 PM Eastern, 5:30 PM Pacific on ESPN.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Happy Armed Forces Day From Not Another New England Sports Blog!

(Image: US DOD)

Today, May 15th, marks the 61st Armed Forces Day. Prior to 1949, each branch had their own day but shortly after World War II, the Department of Defense decided to consolidate the observance for all 5 branches on one day at President Truman's insistence. However, it should be noted that the US Marine Corps 'Birthday' (November 10) nearly overlaps with Veteran's day and is still widely observed within the USMC. The US Army's 'Birthday' also nearly overlaps with another holiday- Flag Day.

Billy DeVorss

Of course, 1949 was also the heyday of pin-ups, which presents me with another opportunity (however gratuitous) to showcase some pin-up artwork of the era. This 1942 piece by the late Billy DeVorss featuring an almost angelic nurse draped in Old Glory is titled Patriot Girl appropriately enough. Not much is known about Mr. DeVorss' early life, only that he worked as a bank teller in St. Joseph, MO until the early 1930s and was reportedly self-taught as an artist. His works caught the eye of Bigelow & Brown- the Minneapolis-based agency that retained talent like Gil Elvgren- and DeVorss would would wind up working out of their Kansas City offices. Besides the patriotic artwork that was used in recruitment and War Bonds drives, DeVorss also would be commissioned to do artwork for movie posters, Broadway plays and magazine covers.

Oh....and while everybody was looking elsewhere last week, the US Army moved in and occupied Red Square without firing a shot.

[Hat tip: Eat it or Wear it]

Today's Train of Thought- Tanks For Everything, May 15 2010

In observance of Armed Forces Day, Today's Train of Though features a solitary engine hauling a pair of tank-laden flatcars on the former Baltimore & Ohio Sand Patch line through Western Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania. contributor Tom Mugnano snapped CSX Transportation SD50 #8632 making good time through Garrett, PA before dusk on October 19, 2007.

Ever since the Civil War, it's not unusual for military equipment to move by rail. Even in peacetime, the US Army will deploy domestically to places like Ft. Irwin (just outside of Barstow, CA) or Ft. Polk (in western Louisiana) for training, with tanks, armored fighting vehicles, trucks, hummers, trailers and generators being shipped by rail for the deployment [take it from somebody who's chained down many a Bradley or Abrams to a flatcar- NANESB!]. This smaller train, however, is a little unusual and I could only guess the equipment is en route to a smaller National Guard facility.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

BUMPED: A District Without A Congressman & A Candidate Without An Election- The Curious Case of New York's 29th District

This story about NY Governor Patterson leaving an upstate Congressonal district without representation is starting to get some notice in other corners of the media, so I thought it would be worth revisiting.

Since Representative Eric Tickle-Me-Massa's abrupt resignation in early March, New York's 29th Congressional District has apparently been languishing without a representative, with no special election to fill the vacant seat on the horizon.

This story doesn't seem to be getting much play outside of Albany or the district itself. In some states, a suddenly vacant US House or Senate seat can be appointed by a governor, such as when Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick appointed Paul Kirk when Ted Kennedy passed away last summer. In other states, the governor is required to schedule a date for a special election to fill the vacated seat. We're presently seeing an example of this in Pennsylvania, where Gov. Rendell called for an election set to take place in May to fill the seat in Pennsylvania's 12th district left vacant by the death of John Murtha.

New York is one of those states that requires a special election to fill a vacant seat, with the election date determined by the governor such as last year's race in New York's 23rd Congressional district. However, it appears that the unelected Governor- David Patterson- is dragging his feet on setting up an election date for the 29th district.

We have some serious concerns about the financial impact that a special election could have on the county level, especially because those counties are facing the same fiscal crisis that the state is facing,” said Maggie McKeon, a spokeswoman for the governor. “Furthermore, the Governor has no interest in disenfranchising military voters who are overseas, and who may not be given adequate time to vote given the short time frame of a special election calendar. This is some of what is being considered, but no final decision has been made yet.”
Ah yes.....those pesky concerns over the financial impact; Because nothing says 'deficit hawk' like a Northeastern Democrat.

While it's true that New York state certainly has its share of financial woes, one has to wonder if something else is behind the prolonged delay in setting up an election for NY-29.

Republican and former mayor of Corning, NY Tom Reed is currently a candidate without an election. Reed and others see a possible political motivation in Gov. Patterson's delay, possibly buying time for the Democrats to field a viable candidate from the district or have the election held when reports of Massa's actions aren't as prominently in the news cycle [although I don't think memories are that short in NY-29- NANESB!].

"I would assume it’s for political purposes. I don’t understand it. The governor has already said he would call it as soon as possible,” Reed said of the delay. “Whatever the election results are, we’ve just got to get it done.”

Going back to last year, it took Gov. Patterson all of eight calendar days to call for a special election in NY-23 when the Representative John McHugh vacated his post after being nominated Secretary of the Army. It's been nearly a month since Gov. Patterson's office even made a public statement regarding NY-29.

In theory, NY 29 could go without representation in Washington DC between now and November. Think of all the issues that could come down the pike between now and November....hell, nobody was there to represent NY-29 when the House put 0bamacare to a vote last month. And we're supposed to believe the reason why is because the Democratic 'leadership' in the state has abruptly discovered fiscal responsibility?

I think the folks along the Southern Tier deserve better than Patterson's excuses.

Times Square Bomber Update- 3 Arrested in Massachusetts and Maine in Connection to Shahzahd Investigation

Shahzahd apparently has been talking.

WATERTOWN – Three Pakistani men suspected of providing money to Times Square car bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad were arrested by the FBI in a series of Thursday morning raids across the Northeast, law enforcement officials said.

The searches in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey were the product of evidence gathered in the investigation into the Times Square bomb attempt two weeks ago, but there was “no known immediate threat to the public or any active plot against the United States,” FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz said.

The three men – two in the Boston area and one in Maine – were arrested on suspected immigration violations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Brian Hale said. They were not immediately charged with any crime, including any terrorism-related offenses.
Wow- that sure is racist of the folks at ICE. Wonder if Representative Raul Grijalva (D- Sonoran Cartel) will call for a boycott against Massachusetts, Maine or New York.

It also has been reported in the Indian media that Faisal Shahzad was acquainted with the mastermind of the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.

Sports Chowdah Recap: Pink Bats Come Alive in Fenway & Quiet By the Bay, Flyers Force Game 7, C's Even Series w/Cavs

It's been awhile, hasn't it? Alot's been going on in the sports world since I last updated, and not much of it centered in Boston either.

MLB: Well, after dropping the first two games to the Yankees by at least a touchdown (yeah yeah- wrong sport, but that's how bad it was), the Red Sox managed to salvage Game 3 of the series on the nationally televised Sunday night game with a convincing 7-inning performance from Jon Lester, giving up 4 hits, two runs and two walks while striking out 7 and walking two batters and getting the 9-3 win. Jeremy had a home run and 3 RBI, going 1 for 4 on the night and Big Papi had an RBI ground-rule double.

This was followed up by a 7-6 win over Toronto on Monday and strong outing by Matsuzaka Tuesday night good for a 6-1 win. Toronto managed to avoid the sweep yesterday on a two-hit, 7-inning shutout effort by Shaun Marcum.

The Sox have tonight off and will start a 3 game series against the Tigers at Comerica park on Friday night with Buccholz getting the nod for Boston and Max Scherzer starting for Detroit.

Other MLB News:
Part of the joy of being an XM subscriber is that you can tune in to some of the out-of town games if you think the one you're listening to is a dud. Such was the case on Mother's day when I was driving around in the hills and waiting for the Sox/Yankees Sunday night game to start. Second-place NANESB! baseball broadcast poll finisher Dave Niehaus had jut informed listeners on the out-of-town scoreboard update that not only was there a no-hitter brewing down in Oakland, but a perfect game.

Not just a perfect game, but Oakland starter Dallas Braden was throwing a perfect game against the white-hot Tampa Bay Rays. I mean, you gotta figure that it's difficult enough to get 27 straight outs against 'scrub' teams like the Orioles or Royals, but the AL-East leading Rays? Seems like a tall order. I was able to tune in in time for the top of the 9th at the Colesium and Gabe Kapler grounding out to short for the final out of the game and the 4-0 Oakland win.

Even before the perfect game, Dallas Braden made some headlines when he called out A-Rod for breaking one of the unwritten rules of baseball when the Yankees were playing in Oakland in late April. When asked about the incident, Slappy McBluelips had this to say:

"He told me to get off the mound," he said. "I was a little surprised because I never heard that, especially from a guy with a handful of wins [17] in his career."
Hmm....guess Braden's stock went up even further all around MLB. Well...since I am inherently biased towards Boston, this does remind me a little of Dustin Pedroia chirping at A-Rod when he threw an elbow at the Sox shortstop in a pretty weak effort to break up a double-play and the Yankees announcers saying something along the lines of "Who does this Pedroia kid think he is?". That was in 2007, the same year Pedroia would win Rookie of the Year. One sure sign that you've arrived is to earn the snide, dismissive contempt of the Yankees fans and media. Way to go Dallas.

MLB Comissioner Bud Selig announced that he has no plans to move the 2011 MLB All-Star game from Arizona, despite non-stop bitching pressure from advocacy groups and union thugs to move next year's mid-summer classic elsewhere in response to Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration laws. Over the past week, several city councils have passed resolutions threatening to boycott the state over Arizona's law, while the law itself reportedly has an approval rating of 70% in Arizona and over 60% support nationwide. It's not often I get to say this, but Selig made the right decision here.

NBA: infrequently as I've been doing the sports updates, looks like there's only one or two Celtics game that takes place between updates. It seems like there are no close games in this series against the Cavs. After winning 97-87 at home on Sunday, the Celtics went on the road and stunned the Cavs again with a 120-88 beatdown of Cleveland at Quicken Loans arena Tuesday Night. LeBron James was kept pretty quiet with only 15 points on the night while for Boston, Rajon Rondo had 16 points and 7 assists and Ray Allen had 25 points on the night.

The Celtics have the opportunity to finish off the Cavs tonight at the Garden and start fuelling speculation on where LeBron James could win p as a free agent.

NHL: The 7 game series giveth and the 7 game series taketh away. After getting out to a 3-0 lead over the Flyers, Philly has come back to even the series at 3 games a peice, beating the Bruins 2-1 in the most recent game on Wednesday night. Milan Lucic would wind up with the only tally for the Bruins that night, coming with a minute left in regulation while Tukka Rask stopped 25 of 27 shots faced. The all-or-nothing Game 7 will take place Friday night.

Other NHL News: I'm not as surprised about this as I was about the first round upset against the Washington Capitals, but this should still be filed under 'H' for 'Holy crap!'. Montreal beat the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 in Game 7 of their series to advance to take on to the winner of the Philly/Boston series.