Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Department Of Clinton

Hillary Milhous Clinton's life is about humping that ass with money and perks.

"The foundation is a massive family enterprise disgtuised as a charity, an opaque and elaborate mechanism for sucking money from the rich and the tyrannous to be channeled to Clinton, Inc. It's purpose is to maintain the Clintons' lifestyle....."

Monday, August 29, 2016

1975 Champion Spark Plug 400 Michigan International Speedway

MRN's call of the 1975 Yankee 400 from Michigan International Speedway, a tough race with a wild five-lap shootout at the finish between Richard Petty and David Pearson.

Drug Makers And Prices

The Mylan company came under fire recently for escalating prices for EpiPen - a drug used for severe allergies.   Hillary Milhous Clinton has advocated price controls in response, but of course she and other liberals refuse to understand how market forces work - and how the distribution system inflates prices.

Weekend Sees Kyle Larson-y

Before Kyle Larson won the Yankee 400 Brett Moffitt broke through to HIS first NASCAR win in the Michigan Truck 200

Kyle Larson made it look easy in the Yankee 400 at Michigan International Speedway, this in his 95th start with Chip Ganassi's team and 99th overall after four 2013 races with the Harry Scott Chevrolet.   His career has shown a  plethora of good finishes but the longer it went without a win the more one had to wonder if he truly had it in him to win at the Cup level.   Even changing crew chiefs from Chris Heroy to Chad Johnston (with a one-race fill-in role by Phil Surgen at - ironically - the Michigan 400) wasn't seeming to help with some downright radical swings of fortune almost race to race.   The Michigan win comes off back-to-back bottom-half finishes.

The breakthrough has now come as far as a Cup win goes.   Now he needs to start sustaining it, especially as he did something astonishing becoming the first non-Hendrick Chevrolet outside of Stewart-Haas Racing to win since DEI was an independent outfit.    Larson also continues a curious renaissance for Chevrolet (four of the last six races) at Michigan International Speedway, once almost exclusively a Ford track.

That weekend also saw Indycar finish the rain-delayed Firestone Texas 600k and the final eight laps exploded into a fantastic drafting fight (won by Graham Rahal, a veteran of such shootouts after 2015's immortal MAVTV 500 at Fontana) the likes of which NASCAR doesn't see yet should be seeing

NASCAR tested another reduction of downforce for the Michigan race and the result was the same as with low downforce everywhere else - and in continuing contrast to the high-downforce lower horsepower package of the Michigan Truck 200 and the much higher downforce of the Indycars at Texas - higher to where those cars are underpowered relative to how much grip they generate. NASCAR thus continues not getting it about repeating the same mistake hoping for a different outcome.

The finish of the Michigan Truck 200 showed anew the competitive renaissance underway for the Truck Series, with amazing competition at Daytona, Kansas, Texas, and now Michigan with some memorable moments at Kentucky as well.  Brett Moffitt, a Grimes, Iowa native and  former ASA and K&N East racer (driving in the East series for veteran Busch North racer Andy Santerre), has driven for a strikingly high number of teams (JGR, Michael Waltrip, now Jeff Hammond and Tom DeLoach's Truck Series #11); he won nine times in the K&N East series for JGR, Waltrip, and twice for ex-Indy racer Shigeaki Hattori.  He then ran most of 2015 for the now-defunct Michael Waltrip Cup team and has one race in the Xfinity series, a 9th at Iowa in the Robby Benton Toyota.   The Michigan win comes in only his sixth Truck race. 

Another young gun in NASCAR is Christopher Bell, but his career is taking a disturbing turn with yet another crash, this one when he blasted into the lead then the Truck got out from under him

It was a whale of a weekend leading to NASCAR's Throwback weekend at Darlington.

Monday, August 22, 2016

NFL 2016 Preseason Thoughts

Jimmy Garoppolo of the Patriots has shown credible moxie in the 2016 preseason, notably on AJ Derby's touchdown, while the Patriots defense has made scoring plays as well

The NFL preseason has now gone two weeks and some thoughts have developed so far -

The New England Patriots remain the machine of the NFL -  Concern Garoppolo might be in over his head in the NFL for the first four weeks is fading as his poise has steadily improved after a raw start against the Saints.   Several young players for the Patriots have shown promising form, perhaps none more than AJ Derby, a tight end and converted quarterback who looks to make New England's two-TE set a three-TE set.   It has gotten to where rampant media speculation about Tom Brady and whether absences from camp are something other than personal has replaced concern about whether the Patriots are still up to winning.

New England's win over the Saints also indicated the Saints have improved on defense a year after being abysmal there.

The Bills may be better than advertised - Not that the Bills have been expected to be any kind of playoff team, but Tyrod Taylor has shown better-than expected fight and the Bills' shutout of the NY Giants may not be a true "quality" win but it looks more like such than the other way around.

The game also illustrated a less-than-inspiring performance from the Giants' starters with a new head coach, and it is starting to look like the common first-year-coaching blues for Big Blue.

Dak Prescott looks like a Cowboys starter sooner rather than later - while the Dolphins look like a last-place team - Dallas' 41-14 slaughter of the Dolphins showcased striking acumen by Dak Prescott, to where suddenly it's no longer implausible to think the ever-overrated Tony Romo may wind up finally getting benched. The Miami Dolphins meanwhile have been mediocre under Ryan Tannehill and looked a lot worse in this game, with no sign of improvement anywhere.

The Panthers are still kings of the NFC South; the Titans aren't a playoff team - yet - Cam Newton looked like Cam Newton again, while Marcus Mariota continues to look like the real deal but nonetheless not ready for a big playoff run. The Titans nonetheless are building something that can become really good much as the Panthers were heading in that direction five years ago. Tajae Sharpe already looks like he'll become the real deal and Tennessee's run game has overall shown genuine promise.

The Bucs have had some struggles in preseason but as seen here also some muscle. The Jaguars likewise began trending upward in 2015 and look to continue trending upward in 2016

The AFC South looks to be stronger top to bottom than last year; the Ravens should not be as weak as in 2015 - Andrew Luck has been the real deal from Jump Street but has feasted on a weak AFC South; that may not be quite the case in 2016.

The Rams the sleeper of 2016? - A dismal performance in Week One by Jared Goff was followed by clear improvement in Week Two against a competitive Chiefs team. While the Rams have to face the Cardinals and Seahawks they look like more than a 7-9 team in their first year back in LA.

Mark Sanchez plays his way out of Denver - His underhand throw of a fumble may have ended the quarterback controversy in Denver, this atop his second fumble with 22 seconds to go in the half against a Niners team with little expectation.   Trevor Siemen may have played his way to start at least the first half of 2016 for the defending Superbowl champs.

So it goes with preseason continuing.

The Attack On Uber And Lyft Continued

Rideshare programs have been attacked almost since they started because they have obsoleted the inefficient taxi model favored by local governments - so in Massachusetts government is on the offensive a la Roger Goodell - i.e. for personal spite.

Opposition To Charter Schools Isn't Funny

A rant by TV comedian-anchor John Oliver attacks charter schools and gets it all wrong.

Obama Fiddles While Putin Burns

Barack Obama continues letting Vladimir Putin and his new allies conquer.

Harvick Rains At Bristol

Kyle Busch's crash effectively ended any competitive challenge to Kevin Harvick at the rain-delayed Volunteer 500

Somehow they got this one in, and once again survival was the fittest approach as Kevin Harvick survived three multicar crashes and outlasted Kyle Busch for his second Cup win of the season. It was a race - and a weekend - with a little bit of everything as the track applied a resin to the bottom of the turns to improve traction and thus open up the bottom for passing, this after years where the leader would ride high and an attacker would dive to the bottom but couldn't stay there and the leader would clear him by the stripe.

The oddity of the weekend was that the resin first showed itself effective Wednesday night in the UNOH Truck 200, a race where unheralded Ben Kennedy stormed to a surprise victory, yet by Friday when the Food City 300 Xfinity series race hit the concrete the resin was worn out and the race became a spirited fight where the low groove wasn't effective.

The battle for the lead, especially Friday night, turned into a spirited affair

The lack of a low groove made for spirited competition up front and also led to one of the most surprising wrecks of the season

JGR wound up empty-handed as far as winning at Bristol went, as in all three races their ace Toyotas wrecked, and the result was a rarity - a sweep for Chevrolet, a marque that has just six wins to eleven so far for Toyota and six for Ford. The three-race sweep came on the heels of the signing by Hendrick Motorsports of Kyle Busch Toyota Truck ace William Byron, the first good news for Chevy pretty much all season. The signing raises question about the longer-term viability of the ineffective Kasey Kahne (a respectable 13th at Bristol, his best finished since 14th at Kentucky) and also potentially about Dale Earnhardt Jr., who appears not to have a timetable for returning to the cockpit.

Byron is the latest young gun on the track toward Cup, and his eventual graduation to Cup comes amid some downright schizophrenic performances by NASCAR's touted youngsters. Kyle Larson's weekend saw him lead 200 laps on Friday night yet still not win, and the more one watches him the more he seems to find ways to lose and not be able to figure out how to win.

It makes the second for Ricky Stenhouse all the more eye-opening.  Little better than a nothing driver his whole career, Stenhouse somehow pulled off a spectacular effort enough to finish runner-up; it was a surprisingly good day for the moribund Roush effort after Trevor Bayne salvaged 12th while Greg Biffle - the definition of moribund the last four races - had another forgettable weekend. 

The most striking contrast lay with Austin Dillon, who posted his tenth top-10 finish after winding up winning the Xfinity 300 Friday night.   His ten top-10s top the combined total of his RCR teammates (nine), and one of them, Paul Menard, has become the subject of Rumor Control Central with scuttlebutt that he will go to Penske's outfit. 

Ten top-10s in Cup look more and more impressive compared to much-heralded Darrell Wallace Jr. in the Xfinity series; his top-tens there (with another at this Bristol race) show there's ability but the lack of wins there - and really little in the way of sustained fight since leaving Kyle Busch's Truck team where he won five times - leaves one wondering if he has that killer instinct. 

It all added up to a prolonged weekend that left some legitimate surprises.   One hopes Michigan can recover its old competitive vinegar next week and the sport can see even more surprises.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Goodell Mirror

Matt Chatham authors a superb summation of the complete dishonesty of Roger Goodell.
"The NFLPA simply failed to predict the league would act with such scumbaggery."

It's clear the owners, while they couldn't make this prediction, nonetheless had some inkling there is something wrong with a career front-office bureaucrat, because they needed multiple votes before they elected him commissioner; they nonetheless took the chance and everyone is now paying the price.  

It's also interesting with Goodell's decision to go after four players named in the now-defunct Al Jazeera TV piece on NFL steroids and Peyton Manning for "non-cooperation." Some think it is him emboldened by court decisions against Tom Brady and Adrian Peterson (which apparently made no effort to actually examine the facts involved), and while there's some validity there, there is also the angle discussed in some forums suggesting it is a power play to the NFLPA with CBA negotiations due in 2020 and the belief the NFLPA will fight against Article 46 of the present CBA - if that is a part of this (and I suspect it is), there is also the power play angle by Goodell toward the other owners, who have been quietly undermining him; one sense Goodell is flexing muscle not just to the NFLPA but to the owners, conveying that he is in charge and no one else.

The Failure Of Baltimore

NOTE:  This was originally published on April 28, 2015; it has been updated:

The mayor of Baltimore failed in the rioting that plagued the city in late April. It is yet another example of how Democratic cities are all failures.  

UPDATE: Freddie Gray, the man whose death rioters use to justify their savagery, was himself a vicious thug.    

August 16, 2016:  Milwaukee had the latest of several racial riots where the Black Lives Matter group, launched in the Ferguson violence, tried to blame police, except the facts there as in Ferguson and Baltimore are against them. And Thomas Sowell asks the question no one answers - does black success matter?

Monday, August 08, 2016

Demography Working Against Democrats

Democrats claim demography is making the country more left-wing. It isn't.

More Boobery From Barack

Barack Obama paid a huge ransom ($400 million) to the Iranians - he denies it, but a ransom is a ransom. And it was illegal. It also may have been designed to directly finance Hezbollah. It reflects the deeper cowardice of Obama.

Barack and leftist judges also dismiss vote fraud - because they perpetuate it.