December 19th, 2011


Team Spirit

I go to work today, and everyone is bitching about the Chicago Bears being a bad football team.

You're only NOW figuring that out?!?

When the season started, people talked about all the deficiencies the Bears had.  But then they hit the soft part of the schedule and started winning.  And people started saying they had a shot at the playoffs.

I would point out mistakes and such and was told, "Hey, a win's a win!"

I hate that.  Better lucky than good.  In other words, it's okay to be merely adequate instead of actually good enough and dominant.  Like the fates will help you win just because you should, not because you know what the hell you're doing.

The Bears are the same team they were at the start of the season.  Stupid play calling, a defensive line that acts more like ushers than blockers, and a coach who couldn't motivate a hard on in a whorehouse.  It's just that, while the team was winning, people could ignore it.  Now that the Bears are almost mathematically eliminated from contention, people are upset.

Men like to criticize women for the princess fantasy.  Tell me what's so different between that and the Cinderella fantasies of pro sports.

The Establishment Called, They Want Their Election Back

I'm thinking of a gag that first appeared in Frank Cho's hilarious Liberty Meadows comic strip that was promptly ripped off by dozens of comedians.  Ralph is watching TV and comments that the whole third party thing has gotten out of hand.  The reason?  A campaign commercial that says, "Voldemort for President!  Why choose the LESSER evil?"

The Republicans have made an active campaign out of trying to freeze out Ron Paul.  Little exposure at debates.  Phone polls (such as one my mother received and told me about) asking which Republican candidate she would vote for and mentioning everybody but Paul.  I got one -- they even mentioned Huntsman, but not Paul.

But Paul's grass roots organizations have never given up.  They've kept up the pressure, kept talking about their candidate.  My dad, last time I talked politics with him, said Paul isn't viable.  He doesn't even see him on the news while all the other candidates are touring the country and trying to drum up support.  (Then he bitches that there are no candidates worth supporting and, as much as he thinks third parties are a waste of votes, he would love to see a third party.  Make up your mind, dude.)

Newt Gingrich surged in the polls because of Herman Cain dropping out of the race.  But now, Gingrich's support is slipping and slipping fast.  His decline is faster than any other than Michelle Bachmann.

Guess who is currently leading the polls going into the Iowa primary?

Ron.  Paul.

Gingrich went from 27% to 14% in three weeks, putting him in third behind Mitt Romney (who didn't get much of a boost from the Des Moines Register endorsing him this weekend).  Three weeks.  And that includes his debate performance that every establishment media type was praising as masterful.  His favorability rating is 46 for to 47 against.  The only candidate doing worse is Jon Huntsman.  Gingrich recently took a vow of fidelity for the fourth time.  Guess it didn't work so well.  Part of the problem might be Gingrich and the whole "ethics" thing.  When asked if they thought Gingrich had strong principals, only 36% said yes.  (For the curious, Paul scored 73%.)

It's going to be a long, protracted campaign, kids.  Believe it or not, President Obama does NOT want this.  He doesn't want this because he knows what will happen -- the same thing that happened to him.  When the D's first started campaigning for 2008, everyone assumed Hillary Clinton was going to get the nomination.  Then Obama threw his hat in the ring.  No clear winner emerged, it was a political taffy pull.

If you want to see what this means, look at the voter registration records during this period.  Conventional wisdom said that, the longer a primary campaign goes on, the weaker a candidate is because supporters drift away in frustration.  In actuality, voter registration INCREASED the longer the primary campaigns went on.  The reason was everyone wanted to see their candidate win.  They mobilized.  They spread the word.  They made history.  THEY REWROTE POLITICAL SCIENCE.

Obama is sitting on a margin of victory against Gingrich.  Why?  Because it's an easy choice to make.  Much as I decry the Chicago Way White House, given a choice between Obama and Gingrich or Obama and Romney, I'll vote Obama, too.  But as Paul's supporters continue to build, other candidates who realize they are within striking distance of their goal will mobilize their supporters, too.  You'll see an increase in Republican voters in the primaries.  And people who vote in primaries are far more likely to vote in general elections.  Obama is seeing a lot of his support from the Generation Y crowd erode.  They wanted hope and change.  They are seeing pretty much the same establishment politics they always saw.  And instead of channeling that energy into either A) a candidate that will represent them or B) telling Obama, "Do something!  It's what we pay you for!", they are opting to sit out the election.  Obama got into Washington because voters didn't want a continuation of the previous Presidency.  That sentiment is now working against him.

The four candidates still shoving each other around will not quit.  If anyone drops out early, it will probably be Gingrich, but not until some primaries are done.  My money is on ten.  Perry will be out a short time after that, when he sees his aloofness is an Achilles' Heel (see Fred Thompson, Mario Cuomo, Rudy Giuliani, Dennis Kucinich, etc.) and he doesn't get any solid momentum going -- after all, if he can't be bothered to take his campaign seriously, why should we?  If Paul actually wins Iowa and finishes second or better in NH, then him, Perry, and Romney will stay in the running as long as possible, Romney because he wants it and Perry because he figures he can swoop in like a camper in a "capture the flag" match.

Crap.  I need to stock up on popcorn.
Just One More Thing

Like The Guy Selling Suppositories Said, "With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemas?"

Seeing Newt Gingrich's numbers flame out is such a relief to me.

Gingrich was on Face The Nation this Sunday, and was feeling his oats.  If you thought him taking a pledge of fidelity for the fourth time was hilarious, Newtie was just getting warmed up.  He wants to change the Constitution.

Yeah.  I'm already pissed.

Here's his immodest proposal to reign in what he perceives as an out of control judiciary --

"Here's the key--it's always two out of three. If the president and the Congress say the court is wrong, in the end the court would lose. If the Congress and the court say the president is wrong, in the end the president would lose. And if the president and the court agreed, the Congress loses. The Founding Fathers designed the Constitution very specifically in a Montesquieu spirit of the laws to have a balance of power, not to have a dictatorship by any one of the three branches."

Please notice this is the same gasbag that said, during the 2000 Al Gore/Shrub recount debate that the Supreme Court was upholding the Founding Father's dearest wishes.  When the court is on his side, he's their white knight.  They rule in a way he disagrees with and feels is wrong, and they need to be dealt with.  And I refuse to trust anyone that, if this was two hundred years ago, would have been a friggin' Tory.

...huh?  Okay.  Let me ATTEMPT to take this seriously so you can understand why I'm pissing all over it.  What Gingrich is proposing will destroy the checks and balances that is the very foundation of this country's laws.  And, in addition to, on top of that, Congress doesn't pay any attention to the bills they pass.  How many times have they passed laws that have been shot down as being too vague or overbroad (like, oh, off the top of my head, abortion rights)?  They could easily make laws that don't do this.  They don't.  Ask a Congressman what is in the bill he is voting on.  Most of the time, they don't know it, they have advisors telling them what is good and what is bad and vote as such.  Some Congressmen even admit they just pass laws, figuring that, if anything is wrong with it, the courts will shoot it down.  And Gingrich wants to eliminate our best defense against the politicians' stupidity and the lobbyists that control them?!?

Gingrich claims a precedent set by Thomas Jefferson, who got rid of 18 of 35 judges back then.  "[A]s a historian, I look at the context of the judiciary and the constitution in terms of American history."  No, he doesn't.  He's ignoring everything that has happened since those days just so he can basically said, "This happened once, why shouldn't it happen again?"

But wait!  There's more!  He also wants to empower federal marshals or Capitol police to arrest judges that refuse to respond in person to a subpoena issued to publicly shame them for a decision they make.

Gingrich said during the show, "I think part of the advantage I have is that I'm not a lawyer."

When it comes to the Constitution, that's not something you should brag about, dipshit.


Redefining "Court Of Opinion"

"It's a summons!"
"What's that mean?"
"It means summon's in trouble!"
--Rocky and Bullwinkle

I have to give Rod Blagojevich's lawyers credit -- they are a creative and amusing bunch.

Last week, Blago's team, led by Lauren Kaeseberg (she wrote the motion), asked US District Judge James Zagel for an evidentiary hearing to get Blago a new trial.

The beef?  Connie Wilson, the jury forewoman, met with students at Metea Valley High School in Aurora.  She showed them courtroom sketches and copies of her jury summons and questionnaires.

The pop shot?  Kaeseberg says that Wilson violated the judge's order on keeping the questionnaires confidential.  As such, Blago should get a new trial.

Zagel's response?  "I intend to deny this motion, which I regard as harebrained.  I never instructed the jury that the questionnaires.  This motion was prepared without any adequate thought."  He also said that he could hold Kaeseberg in contempt of court (he didn't, he said, because she was green), suggested she get herself a lawyer, write an explanation to him why she thought her motion was valid, and suggested Kaeseberg write a letter of apology to Wilson.  "This smacks a little of a retaliatory motive against a juror that perhaps you and your client don't like and it's improper.  These were not notes about the case, this was her information.  How you could have concluded that a juror is lawfully restricted from saying these things is just beyond my imagination."  (If you doubt me, this was during the hearing, so this little dope slap is part of the public record, tee hee.)

Blago's team is still debating if they want to send Wilson an apology.

Oh, and Judge Zagel?