Monday, December 26, 2016

NFL Christmas Weekend Goes Down Hard

Back in the day, on old-school SportsCenter, Keith Olbermann's schtick included his spoof of Al Davis' northeastern drawl reciting the phrase, "The other team's quarterback must go down and he must go down hard."  It would come out as "Th'uthuh teamz' quaddaback must go down and he must go down HOD."  

Problem is on Christmas weekend in the NFL numerous teams and two key quarterbacks all went down hard.  

The Oakland Raiders' season reached the most wins since 2000 but Derek Carr was knocked out of the game and it threw Oakland's pending playoff run into uncertainty, while the Indianapolis Colts' season effectively ended.

The Titans likewise went down hard in an ugly 38-17 loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars, extending a streak of eight seasons where the two teams split their semi-annual meetings.   Marcus Mariota suffered a serious injury himself, ending Tennessee's playoff bid.   People say the league is better when the Raiders are contenders; it's also better when the Titans - one of the two flagship teams (the Chiefs are the other when they were the Dallas Texans) of the American Football League when they were the Houston Oilers - are contenders.  

The win was a huge morale-booster for the beleaguered  Jaguars, the kind of game a lot of people expected of Jacksonville at the start of the year, and a good start for new coach Doug Marrone.

NY Jets coach Todd Bowles was briefly hospitalized with a health scare the night before the game at the Patriots; he went home with a football ulcer as the NY Jets were....well, the NY Jets again, as Bryce Petty's only "completion" before HE went down was an interception.    An inexplicably timed timeout by the Jets further allowed the Patriots to score at the end of the first half.   

This has been a year of memorable anniversaries - for the Jets 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the disastrous 1996 squad where the Jets spent a then-record $70 million on free agent and rookie talent and won ONE game.

Two stunners saw identical 34-31 scores and had significant playoff implications.   First the Bills rallied to take a 31-28 lead, but the Dolphins tied it and after the Bills missed a FGA in OT the Dolphins won it and while perhaps hastening Rex Ryan's potential firing they improved their possession of the AFC's 6th seed......

.......while the Cardinals knocked the NFC West champs out of the playoff byes with an amazing 34-31 win.

Meanwhile the Ravens and Broncos fell out of the playoff hunt.   While the Ravens fought hard in a back-and-forth affair at Pittsburgh - the Steelers, now AFC North champs, won for only the fourth time in the last thirteen meetings - the Broncos were never in it at Kansas City and suffered the ultimate embarrassment when Dontari Poe threw a touchdown.    The confluence of events secured the playoffs for the Dolphins with their season finale against the Patriots next week.

By beating the Seahawks, the Cardinals put the Falcons in the #2 seed in the NFC after the Falcons crushed the Panthers, leaving their season in ruins with one game left.   The regression of the Panthers has been mystifying and also comes amid a bizarre rumor that the Rams want to sign Panthers coach Ron Rivera.

The weirdest moment came when line judge Sarah Thomas - part of Jeff Triplette's crew - got run over on the sideline.  

The most disgusting loss of the weekend was yet another failure by the Detroit Lions against a quality opponent, the kind of opponent Matthew Stafford needs to beat yet every year fails to do - at one point he was 3-40 against quality opponents  and one offhand hesitates to think the ratio has in any way improved - and the result this time was a 42-21 implosion against the 13-2 Dallas Cowboys and the prospect of having to beat the Green Bay Packers - something Stafford has done a miserable three times in his eight seasons in the NFL - just to make the playoffs.

While the Redskins suddenly have their playoff fate in front of them after a rout of the Bears.   They can make the playoffs by beating the Giants next week

In all a LOT of people - and a number of teams - all went down hard on Christmas weekend.   And the end result is the playoffs are around the corner.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Manufacturing Jobs Issue

Recent research shows it's not - or not just - an ostensible lack of skilled workers. It's a lack of a market for workers between a skills gap, lack of apprenticing (which is being tackled by some companies) and a lack of interest in such jobs.

North Carolina's Bathroom Law Goes On

North Carolina's bathroom law - which forbids favroitism toward degenerates and trans-phonies - survives and its opponents still can't defend their opposition. See also how it cuts both ways.

The Leftist-Ideological Complex

The Military-Industrial Complex was President Eisenhower making an economic point in a military conetxt

..".  . vast bureaucracies of civil servants, no longer servants and no longer civil." (Winston Churchill)

In 1961 President Dwight Eisenhower warned of the danger of a military-industrial complex. This powerful public-private collaboration, he said, had the potential to exert unwarranted influence over America's democratic processes. A half-century later, there are still those on the left who cling to this fear. But it seems that Eisenhower's warning had its intended effect—and perhaps then some. In 1961 defense spending constituted 9.1 percent of the gross domestic product, and there were 2,483,000 uniformed military personnel. Today, defense spending is 3.2 percent of GDP and 1,390,000 men and women serve in the uniformed military. If this behemoth is threatening America's democratic processes, it is not doing so very successfully.

My own sidebar - Eisenhower didn't oppose massive military spending - his enemy in the Republican Party Robert Taft "was more liberal than me" when it came to domestic spending. Eisenhower in fact feared a welfare state - what Lyndon Johnson and a Democratic Congress wound up hoisting on the nation.

There is, however, another interlocking public-private collaboration that is at once more insidious, more powerful, and more straightforwardly partisan: the liberal ideological complex. We do not always see this collaboration so clearly, because we tend to view each aspect of it as unique and not part of a larger picture. We look, for example, at public sector unions as a labor issue. We look at funding for Planned Parenthood through the lens of abortion policy. We look at EPA regulations and grants in terms of global warming and job destruction. And so on and so forth, down to the smallest, most narrowly tailored grant awards of the federal government.

Rahm Emanuel's Way To Hide Emails

A prominent Democrat - Chicago's head crook Rahm Emanuel - uses private email to conduct public business - all the better to hide or destroy incriminating emails.

The Way to Peace: Israeli Victory, Palestinian Defeat

The "Palestinains" are a fiction of history and by any sober fact the enemy - so the way to get peace is to defeat them, period.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Obama Insists On Abdicating Responsibility

Barack Obama's pattern has been to ignore the real world and then lie about it. He refuses to act against international enemies even when he feigns acting against them - aka his lines in the sand crossed with impunity by Syria and his continuing appeasement of Iran even as Iran's breaking of its nuclear agreement exposes him as a liar - and does so with such sanctimony that it explains a lot about why Hillary Clinton was rejected.

He spoke at his recent presser about how he couldn't do anything "short of putting large numbers of US troops on the ground uninvited...."  False.   ".....without any international law mandate...." International law doesn't exist.  "....without sufficient support from Congress....." Since when did that stop you from outlawing oil drilling, etc.?  And when he whines about having troops in Afghanistan and Iraq people forget he reintroduced them to both precisely because his underreaction via withdrawal of the troops that were already there vetted Islamo-Arab aggression.

This smug abdication of responsibility continued by denying responsibility about Soviet computer hacking, a lackadaisical attitude even the NY Times went after.

'Celebrating' Orientalism

Edward Said's controversial career as an Islamo-Arab scholar included his derisive analyses of "Orientalism" - basically his attack on Middle east scholars who didn't take a "post-colonial" view of the Middle East and the world in general. The problem remains Said's premise has been proven spectacularly wrong, and part of the reason why is the refusal to understand the dynamic of honor and shame in Islamo-Arab cultures and how it affects their religiousity.

Climate Fraud Continued

The science behind the "consensus" on climate change is outdated and it is instructive that the EPA isn't honest about it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

NFL Says Merry Christmas

Every touchdown from Week 15

Now we're down to two games to go, and remember when thirteen teams were 1-3?  Well entering Week 16 seventeen teams (nine AFC and eight NFC) have winning records while the Bills, Colts, and Vikings are all at .500 - far deeper competitively than I suspect anyone thought would transpire way back after Week Four.   None of this of course does anything for the winless Browns or the hopeless NY Jets or for that matter the Jaguars, Rams, 49ers, or Bears.

So it goes for this weekend - an NFL Merry Christmas cavalcade of picks -

Eagles over NY Giants - The Giants are all but in the playoffs but their longtime stuggle against the Eagles is still a factor, especially after stunning the Eagles earlier this season. Philly lost a heartbreaker last week and being spoiler to the Giants is appealing for the Eagles.

Bears over Redskins - The Redskins had their destiny in their hands and failed, and now they face a Bears team showing more fight with Matt Barkley of late.

Dolphins over Bills  - The Dolphins have the playoffs in their sight and made a statement with their backup quarterback, and they face a Bills team that's lost five of its last eight games with lameduck coach Rex Ryan and perhaps lameduck starter Tyrod Taylor,

Vikings over Packers - The Packers squandered a big lead at Chicago last week and managed to grab the win, and they face a Vikings team that's lost seven of its last nine games, but has a two-game streak over the Packers heading to Lambeau.  

Titans over Jaguars - Doug Marrone takes over as Jaguars coach and has a respectful resume from his two seasons coaching the Bills; he faces a Titans team that is on the march and has won five games against teams with winning records so far this year, so it's doubtful Marrone can author the turnaround now.

Patriots over NY Jets - The Jets packed it in last week against Miami - which doesn't mean a thing given everyone goes all in to beat the Patriots.  New England though is clicking all around despite only sixteen points scored at Denver.  

Chargers over Browns - The Browns have been hopeless for a long time even with a collapsing Chargers team that blew it last week yet again.

Panthers over Falcons - The Panthers ground out an important win last week and the Falcons have the Buccaneers hard on their heels despite the loss at Dallas Sunday night.  The Falcons hammered two hapless NFC West teams - no doubt remembering all the abuse they took as a member of the NFC West - but face a sterner foe in the Panthers, plus the Falcons have been a little spotty with a 3-2 record the last five games.

Raiders over Colts  - The Colts got back on track at Minnesota to the surprise of a lot of people, but the Raiders ground out a needed win last week and are far tougher than the Colts.

Seahawks over Cardinals - It simply wasn't meant to be for the Cardinals this season and a successor to Carson Palmer now needs to become a matter of exploration.

Buccaneers over Saints - The Bucs ground out a 16-11 win over the Saints the first time around and the inconsistency of Drew Brees in general and against Jameis Winston in particular continues - Winston has won two of his first three meetings with the Saints while the Saints were one of those thirteen 1-3 teams, except they haven't responded, going only 5-5 since then.

Rams over 49ers - Both are dismal; one is worse (the Niners) so interim coach John Fassel can get his first win here.   The longer term headache remains Jared Goff, woefully incapable of handling the NFL game.

Texans over Bengals - Tom Savage is now starter and not too soon with the Titans breathing down Houston's neck.   The big question for the Bengals is not whether Marvis Lewis should be fired - it's why has AJ McCarron not replaced Andy Dalton?  Dalton has not shown evidence he can get better; McCarron has already proven he can handle playoff football.

Ravens over Steelers - A lot of people are fooling themselves into thinking the Steelers are a Superbowl-caliber squad; the reality is they've been owned by the Ravens since the 2010 season (the Ravens have won nine of the last twelve meetings), are only 9-5 with four of their losses coming against winning teams, and haven't reached 30 points scored since the loss to the Cowboys.   The Steelers haven't been a Superbowl-caliber team since they last went to the AFC-NFL Title Game and have only one playoff win since the 2010 AFC Championship Game.  

Chiefs over Broncos - The Broncos' collapse continued with the loss to the Patriots and an argument between Aqib Talib and Russell Okung after that game, to go with pathetic trash-talking from Emauel Sanders about Malcolm Butler even though Butler contained Sanders more effectively than anyone else so far.   The Chiefs are now in must-win mode while the Broncos have lost all momentum.

Lions over Cowboys - It didn't look it against the Giants as Matthew Stafford once again failed on the road against a quality opponent, but the Lions still have momentum for their first division title in nearly three decades and the Cowboys got back into the win column but are still vulnerable.   Overall Stafford's play has improved to where winning road games against quality opponents isn't necessarily impossible anymore, though he has to actually start doing it, and now.

Merry Christmas from the NFL - which means Not For Long, Jerry Glanville.

Rough Injustice: The 1976 New England Patriots

WBZ-FM Radio archives a two-hour 40th anniversary retrospective on the 1976 New England Patriots

Despite not winning the Super Bowl, the 1976 team is still considered one of the best Patriots teams of all time.

The 1976 Patriots set the NFL afire, erupting from a 3-11 season in 1975 and an aggregate record of 37-88-1 since 1966 to storm to 11-3, the club's winningest record to that point. Ben Dreith's roughing the passer call on Ray Hamilton, a penalty in sober fact unjustified, derailed a surefire playoff win at Oakland.

Income Transfers And More Evidence They Don't Work

Government transfers of money to families has gotten a lot of attention, but the practice does nothing for anyone.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Rocky & Bullwinkle - The Last Angry Moose

One of the funniest stories in the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon was the four-part story, The Last Angry Moose 

Part One

Part Two  

Part Three

Part Four

Obama's Last-Minute Coal Regulation Gets Pushback

Barack Obama fights against coal and Capitol Hill fights back

The Obama administration finalized a long rulemaking process Monday to tighten regulation of coal mining near streams, drawing pushback from Capitol Hill who questioned the move's necessity and had hoped the government would leave the issue alone before the president departs office next month.

The Stream Protection Rule, which officials inside an Interior Department branch dedicated to surface mining spent most of the Obama presidency crafting, sets tougher standards for mining activity excepted inside a 100-foot buffer zone. Previously, regulators argued, there was no specificity as to what constituted material damage to streams inside such areas, akin to posting 'do not speed' signs on highways without listing a speed limit, an Interior official said earlier this year.

Credibility Counts

Obama and his buttboys claim otherwise, in the face of overwhelming evidence against them

"On January 12, 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson delivered a speech in Washington, the reverberations of which were felt on the other side of the world. Describing U.S. foreign policy objectives in Asia, a region where both China and the Soviet Union were seeking to spread Marxist-Leninist revolution, Acheson declared that America had established, by force of arms, a “defensive perimeter that ran along the Aleutians to Japan and then goes to the Ryukyus. More significant than the territories Acheson included, however, was the one he left out: the Korean peninsula. There, in the northern half, the Soviet- and Chinese-backed Communist regime of Kim Il-sung was preparing to invade its southern neighbor.

Five months after Acheson conspicuously neglected to include South Korea under the American security umbrella, the North did indeed invade the South, at Stalin's urging. In the first military action ever authorized by the newly established United Nations Security Council, the United States assembled a multinational coalition to defend South Korea from military aggression. After three years of fighting and more than a million deaths, the war ended with an approximate reversion to the pre-conflict borders."

The Beatles - Some Other Guy

A rare film of The Beatles during their Cavern Club period circa 1962.

The Hypocrats Continued

The reaction of leftists to Donald Trump's victory continues to prove the shallowness and insincerity of leftism, a shallowness escalated when John "The FBI kept me out of jail" Podesta claimed Trump colluded with Soviet Russia to in essence steal the election.

The Trump Cabinet: Bonfire of the agencies

Charles Krauthammer nails it on how "Democrats spent the first two decades of the post-Cold War era rather relaxed about Russian provocations and revanchism" and in typical Hypocrat fashion are in "high dungeon."

Week 15 Begins Block Party

The New York Jets and LA Rams opened Week 15 by showcasing again their utter irrelevance and the playoff race got more solid in some spots but murkier in others.

The resurgence of the Miami Dolphins advanced further as they bitchslapped the hated Jets yet again; the competitive phase of the game ended with this four-minute rampage of Miami Dolphins touchdowns.   Matt Moore filled in for injured Ryan Tannehill and the Jets made him look like a real quarterback.

The first pivot point for the playoff push came from the Titans, who clawed forward on a tundra in Kansas City needing to win out to have any shot at the playoffs.   The Titans scored a late touchdown, but Mike Mularkey nearly gagged it away on an unsuccessful two-point conversion; the Titans forced a Chiefs punt and drove to try a 53-yard field goal.

Andy Reid had lost five of his first six career meetings with the Titans, and it showed when he called a timeout on Ryan Succop's first try; given a second shot, Succop blasted the ball through.  

Tennessee's clutch win not only helped themselves it was a doubly costly affair for the Chiefs, as the Oakland Raiders clawed to a 19-16 win over the Chargers and now have a one-game lead in the AFC West.   With Kansas City's sweep of their divisional series the Raiders need to win out to get the division.

The big game was the Patriots at the Broncos with a lot of talk about Tom Brady's 2-7 record at Denver; Brady struggled at first but being Tom Brady he brushed it aside, made the plays needed to be made, and ground out the 16-3 win, securing a bye week and the AFC East; Tennessee's win over Kansas City all but secured the AFC's top seed for the Patriots while Miami's win over the Jets combined to put the Broncos on the brink of becoming the first defending Superbowl champion knocked out of the playoffs the next year since the 2013 Ravens - and with a report that Broncos players had to be separated in the locker room afterward, it further shows how shallow the Broncos truly are. 

The wildest game of the weekend and perhaps the wildest of the entire season was New Orleans' astonishing 48-41 win over the Cardinals.   

The Packers played their way back toward the playoffs despite blowing the lead to the Bears, who clearly are better with Matt Barkley than they were with Jay Cutler. 

Tennessee's win became all the more needed as the Houston Texans rallied to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 21-20; they did so by finally benching Brock Osweiler; in his stead Tom Savage took over and led the comeback.   It's now clear the Texans made a colossal mistake signing Osweiler and one senses he has played his way out of Houston despite that $72 million contract.    It was an even costlier affair for the Jaguars as coach Gus Bradley was fired after the game. 

The AFC South isn't quite out of the Indianapolis Colts' reach but they need to win out and get big-time help the next two games - especially from Denver, presently ahead of the Colts on the outside looking in for the AFC - while the Vikings' playoff hopes took a nosedive as Adrian Peterson made his return and the Vikings responded by getting crushed 34-6.

The AFC North race now faces the pivotal game Christmas day.   First the Steelers rallied to beat the Bengals, cementing Cincinnati's inability to overcome their history of failing in the clutch.

Next the Ravens escaped the Eagles when a two-point attempt at the end went wrong.   The Ravens can win the division next week, already owning a win over the Steelers. 

The grinder of a win by the Cowboys over the Buccaneers was a needed rally after their bitter loss to the Giants and inched the Cowboys closer to the top seed in the NFC, though they need one more win to secure that top seed regardless of what the NY Giants or anyone else do. 

And because we have to, the 49ers actually put up a few points but in the end were a pointless exercise as the Falcons solidified their hold on the NFC South.

So the playoff push in the NFL gets tighter and more interesting.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

NFL Throwback The 1994 Fake Spike Game

One of the NFL's most celebrated games remains 1994's Fake Spike thriller by Dan Marino that derailed the entire New York Jets for over two years................

.......complete with NFL Primetime and Sportscenter's recap of this game.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Forty-seven Years of Domestic Terror against Jews and Israelis

A new report has come out about antisemitic violence in New York City between 1969 and 2016. And as one can expect it isn't pretty.

FBI hate-crime statistics show Jews are "the most targeted religious group" in America

The Hypocrats And Soviet Russia

The Democratic Party has worked up a lather that Soviet Russia helped rig the election of Donald trump - this after ripping Trump for pointing to Democrat-instituted vote fraud in Michigan and elsewhere, vote fraud unearthed by the Democrats' own recount. Soviet interference was known by Barack Obama in July but he ignored it - just as he ignored Soviet Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, Iranian/Syrian aggression, Islamo-Arab-instigated mass murder in the US and other cities, and so on -
Obama didn't do anything when each of these events happened - and now wants to punish....Trump, by basically delegitimizing the President-elect over Russian hacks.

Of course the Hypocrats - the newest name of the Democratic Party and of leftists in general - are in a lather all over for this. But of course they are - it is the hypocrisy that defines the Democratic Party.

Iran Sanctions Package Extended Without Obama's Signature

A 10-year extension of long-standing Iran sanctions will become law without President Obama's signature, in an apparent symbolic move after both chambers of Congress passed the package by a near-unanimous margin.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Obama Ignored Iranian Transgressions

Michael Hayden, the former CIA and NSA chief, lays out how the Obama administration refused to act on Iranain violations of its nuclear deal.

The Green Economy Fraud

The Left pushes the myth of green energy even as the myth continues to falter.

The False Logic Of Retreat

Kori Schake examines the mythology used to justify a foreign policy of retreat.

The Faltering Of Global Democracy

The rise of international predator states in the last twenty-plus years has taken on different paths compared to the more distant past. This piece examines how it is happening and what incoming President Trump should do about it.. Among the symptoms are -

Increasing state surveillance and censorship of the internet
Diffuse decay of the rule of law
Increasing fear and intimidation as protections for civil liberties crumble
Banning the receipt of financial and technical assistance by international aid agencies and democracy foundations
Blatant pressure on the business community to serve the ruling party
The cancerous spread of crony capitalism and state corruption

The piece further notes these to be tactics successfully used by Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez among others.

Democrats Play With Electoral College Fire

John Podesta - who admitted in an email that the FBI "kept me out of jail" - is now in essence trying to subvert the Electoral College.

By seeking to link the controversy over Russian hacking to the Electoral College, though, Podesta and the rest of the Clinton camp is attempting what the Wall Street Journal rightly termed "a coup."

Jill Stein and the Green Party's Money-Grubbing Recount Attempt

The Green Party wasted millions protesting an election it had no right to protest.

Pearl Harbor And Beyond

The Day America Went Global

The world, and especially the nation, remembered Pearl Harbor last Wednesday. December 7 is, indeed, a day that has lived “in infamy. So the president and the man who will follow him into the White House both issued appropriate statements. A moving ceremony took place at the scene of the attack, with a 94-year-old survivor from the USS Arizona honored and speaking. Among those killed in the attack were 1,177 of his shipmates. A flight of planes, in the missing man formation, passed overhead and taps was played by a Navy band. Hard, even if you were merely watching on television, to keep the emotions down.

A day or two earlier, the prime minister of Japan had announced that he would soon be making a visit to Pearl Harbor. Not to apologize, it was quickly made clear, but as a gesture toward healing.

So Pearl Harbor has, indeed, been remembered. And this is undeniably right and proper and, one would hope, wise. But one does wonder if, perhaps, while the event is remembered and commemorated, we may be on the way to forgetting its lessons. Not so much those about preparedness but those about a dangerous world and America's place in it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

NFL Playoff Race Tightens With Titans And Others

The Patriots took a more solid hold on the AFC's top seed with a clutch Monday Night victory over the Ravens.

The undisputed highlight was Brady's Moss-esque bomb to Chris Hogan.

So with three games to go the playoff push keeps getting more interesting the next sixteen games become all the more important, so we look ahead to this coming weekend -

Seahawks over Rams - Jeff Fisher is now gone and the Seahawks come in smarting from being humiliated by the Packers. Jared Goff is clearly a failure and the suddenly-struggling Seahawks are in almost must-win mode, especially with the return of their old road struggle bugaboo.

Dolphins over NY Jets - The Dolphins dodged a bullet with injury to Ryan Tannehill not as bad as feared after the win over the Cardinals. They go to Metlife Stadium still with a legitimate playoff shot and facing the 4-9 Jets. The caveat here is Bryce Petty began to show improvement, albiet against the 49ers and amid rumblings Todd Bowles will be fired after the season.

Lions over NY Giants - Matthew Stafford has the Lions at 9-4 (the same record as the Giants) and has won fifteen of his last twenty-one games including his last two road games. The Giants defense is clearly stout, but the offense is not, with Eli Manning seemingly locked onto Odell Beckham Jr. at the expense of others, plus Beckham hasn't been all that good the last five or so games. Eli's passer rating (87.8) is well below Stafford's (97.8).

Vikings over Colts - The Colts have actually gotten better in road games lately, winning their last three including only the third career win over an AFC East opponent in Andrew Luck's five seasons in the league. But the 6-7 Colts remain an iffy team with just 38 points in their last three losses. The Vikings aren't exactly great shakes either at 7-6 but they go for the sweep of the AFC South, something their division rivals certainly can't claim this season, and despite his struggles Sam Bradford's passer rating (98.2) is higher than Andrew Luck's (95.3). This one could produce quite a few points. Expect quite a bit of the run as well as neither team's run defense is much (both teams average a combined 4.4 yards per carry allowed)

Titans over Chiefs - I'm going out on a limb on this one given Kansas City's superb season presently with the AFC's second seed. The Titans, though, have shown the most growth with Marcus Mariota (his 99.1 passer rating is higher than Alex Smith's 92.7) and presently are 11th in scoring compared to Kansas City's 14th; the Chiefs though have the decisive edge in points allowed (8th compared to Tennessee's 20th). The big weakness for the Chiefs is run defense (27th in the league) with the Titans third in rushing yardage. The other weakness is Andy Reid is 1-5 lifetime against the Titans.

Bears over Packers - This one screams mismatch, but the Packers have been far more inconsistent than usual and the Bears have changed quarterbacks and with Matt Barkley they've shown more competitiveness. The Packers are also just 4-3 in their last seven division games and remain the frontrunning phonies they've always been under Aaron Rodgers. The subplot here is the rumor of ex-Colts GM Bill Polian coming to the Bears front office, a rumor Polian has denied for now.

Steelers over Bengals - The Andy Dalton era Bengals have never matched up well with the Steelers and the Steelers got a break when the Ravens fell on Monday Night.

Ravens over Eagles - In typical low-class and delusional style Terrell Suggs - curiously held on the sideline for lengthy periods when the Ravens defense was on the field in Foxboro - vowed the Patriots "had better hope" they don't play the Ravens again. First, though, he and a Ravens offense that exploded against Miami but looked confused against the Patriots (and where a rift of sorts has developed between Joe Flacco and coordinator Marty Mornhinwig) need to shoot down a falling Eagles squad whose playoff hopes are gone and whose quarterback in Carson Wentz has been in something of a freefall. This task gets harder with a meltdown by Steve Smith and admission by Suggs that the Ravens were rattled - "we're all a little messed up."

Bills over Browns - The hot rumor here is that Rex Ryan is on his way out and Anthony Lynn supposedly will take over, with quarterback Tyrod Taylor benched for rookie Cardale Jones. The Bills get the winless Browns this week to try and right this ship.

Texans over Jaguars - Only on paper has Blake Bortles outplayed the woefully inconsistent Brock Osweiler; in the actual games (of which Houston has won the last five against the Jaguars) the Texans remain in the division hunt with the Jaguars trying to pick up the pieces; an interesting subplot here is rumor that the Jaguars will reach out to their first ever coach, Tom Coughlin.

Falcons over 49ers - Suddenly the NFC South isn't so secure for the Falcons with the surging Buccaneers breathing down their throat, so beating the abysmal 49ers is a must for Matt Ryan's bunch.

Cardinals over Saints - By now it's clear - Drew Brees is done as a title-contending quarterback (or even one who can win a lot of games - 26 losses the last three seasons and just one winning season the last four) and Sean Payton has shot his bolt as Saints coach. The Cardinals haven't taken any next step and their playoff hopes are gone, not to mention playing with questions about their coach's long-term health. But the Cardinals are still decent on both sides of the ball, though drawing up a replacement for Carson Palmer needs to become a priority.

Raiders over Chargers - The Raiders appear a playoff lock at 10-3, but need to win out and get help to win the division. Tennessee can give them some help at Kansas City and the Raiders get a Chargers team with one division win the last two seasons. Philip Rivers is finished as a relevant quarterback and the Chargers coaching staff has now proven they can't handle it.

Patriots over Broncos - The Patriots defense sent a message on Monday Night - they're not as bad as they looked earlier this season. The Patriots offense also sent a message - it finally is starting to ween Tom Brady off the Edelman binky. Julian Edelman was targeted fifteen times with just seven catches, and he wasn't the decisive weapon in Monday Night's game; those were Martellus Bennett - who now looks healthy after several weeks appearing somewhat hobbled - James White (81 yards on three catches), and Chris Hogan. Malcolm Mitchell also made key catches and a touchdown. The Patriots also defied the analyses about the Ravens run defense and put up 95 yards on the ground; LeGarrette Blount increasingly looks like the workhorse back the Patriots usually don't utilize. They have this against a shaky Broncos team exposed as such by the Titans last week between first-half rushing struggles and also Trevor Siemian's failure to finish a comeback effort.

Buccaneers over Cowboys - Suddenly the Cowboys look one-dimensional as Zeke Elliott appeared to be their only offense in their third straight loss to the New York Giants, and one labors to remember one clutch catch made by Dez Bryant; one certainly remembers his fumble. Turnovers have been a plus for the Bucs, plus-eleven in turnover differential the last eight games, though only plus-one compared to the Cowboys in that same span. The last two games have been instructive as the Bucs have scored 44 points to 24 for the Boys. The big advantage for the Cowboys is the Bucs' run defense can be eaten up by Elliott and company.

Panthers over Redskins - The Panthers' atrocious start continues to cripple their season with the playoffs now gone; they have though won four of their last seven games with two of the losses in that span stunning gag-jobs against AFC West foes. The Redskins in that same span are 3-3-1 and have lost two of their last three with more than 27 points scored only once in their last nine (the Panthers have broken that total twice in the last three weeks). While it's clear Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins are building something positive in DC they do not appear ready yet for the next step.

So we await Week 14.

The Not-Talking Cure For Islamo-Arab Imperialism

Advocacy of censorship has returned in order to deny the reality of Islamic savageyr

Censorship was once so simple. Kings, emperors, hierarchs, dictators stifled free expression to protect their authority. They decided what ideas were dangerous; organized a network of schoolteachers, priests, and informers to sniff out expressions of these ideas; then hired policemen, judges, and civil servants to punish the speakers. The censors didn’t want to make us good or persuade us of anything in particular: Obedience would suffice.

As we began, more or less, to govern ourselves, the first thing we did was rid ourselves of the informers, demote the priests and schoolteachers, and find other work for the cops.
What we're doing these days is something quite new: The people themselves seek to rehire the censors, restore the (social) network of snitches, and redeploy the police—to govern our own speech. The aim is not to ensure the stability of a regime but to save us from being unkind to one another and encourage moral excellence. The notion that vigilantly watching what we say makes us better people is a crazy one. But it has an even crazier corollary: the widely shared conviction that what people say aloud is a reliable gauge of their private thoughts. Consider the case of the student journalist and the terrorist.

Iran's Coming Fleet

The Ayatollah of Iran - aka President Rouhani - has declared that Iran will get nuclear-powered ships - something only an aggressor state needs - yet another sign the nuclear deal has been exposed as a deceit so Iran could get hundreds of billions of dollars from Barack Obama and John Kerry.

The Massacre Of Syria

The Syrian war has been an unmitigated disaster for the world and "this was a glimpse at a post-American future." And it says a lot about Barack Obama that he couldn't bring himself to stand up to Iran over it.

The Human Side Of Trade

A look at how trade works.

The Endless Mistake Of Trusting Russia

US Presidents insist on making the same mistake with Russia. The fact is Russia is untrustworthy - it is the enemy.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Rush Limbaugh Plays Montage Of Hillary As A Purveyor Of FAKE NEWS

The Dignity of the United States Navy

The Dignity of the United States Navy is under siege

Something to remember 75 years after Pearl Harbor: The United States Navy is the best in the world, by an order of magnitude. No other navy is remotely as powerful. There are 40 in-service aircraft carriers in the world; 19 of them are ours. (Russia has just one, and it's in bad shape.) By a civilian count, we have 72 nuclear subs to Russia's 30. Our navy has assured the peace— Pax Americana—for decades, as the British fleet did in 19th century. So far as I can tell, our navy has only one embarrassing shortcoming: Its ships are named by idiots.

The original six frigates of the American Navy were the United States, the President, the Congress, the Chesapeake, the Constellation, and Old Ironsides—the Constitution. For a long time, our ship names followed specific naming traditions: battle ships were named for states, cruisers for cities, destroyers for naval heroes, aircraft carriers for great ships of the past, and so on. But, on the eve of the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, I've just learned the name of a new destroyer shortly to be built: the USS Carl M. Levin.

Just the Facts

The media's "fact checking" is not about verifying facts, it remains about lying about them

Unlearned Lessons from the Greek Financial Crisis

Continued proof that lessons go unlearned when peolle don't want to admit truths they oppose.

What Game Is Russia Playing?

There are two separate issues in Red Russia's game

Reports Friday that U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign to tilt the election in favor of Donald Trump have sown precisely the kind of confusion that American adversaries must have hoped for with their actions. In an effort to reach some sort of clarity, let's break the matter down into two separate questions—Was it Russia that hacked the Democratic National Committee's servers? Did the culprits hack the servers in order to secure a Trump victory?

Of course it's vital to defend our political institutions against cyber-attacks, which should perhaps be best understood as military campaigns. As House Speaker Paul Ryan explained in a statement released earlier today, any foreign intervention in our elections is entirely unacceptable. And any intervention by Russia is especially problematic because, under President Putin, Russia has been an aggressor that consistently undermines American interests.

The Latest Deflategate Scam

The latest fiasco in the NFL is that the NY Giants reported two footballs from their loss to the Steelers measured 11.4 and 11.8 PSI, yet the story has aroused ZERO interest from the NFL - indeed the league has gone out of its way - and in amateurish fashion - to downplay it.

The reason is obvious - nothing happened here and the fact nothing happened vindicates the New England Patriots.   And the fact the Patriots are proven - again - right is a fact Roger Goodell does not want to acknowledge, because to acknowledge he was wrong is to say to the world what the NFL needs to admit to itself - Goodell is a liar who never should have been elected commissioner.

Sally Jenkins provides the gory details and Dan Wetzel states what should be obvious - Goodell owes Brady an apology. Of course Goodell also owes the Patriots, the New Orleans Saints, the Tennessee Titans (fined because Goodell had a snit over their present ownership structure), and a hell of a lot of others an apology as well.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Rumor Control Central Jockeys For The Playoffs

The "newest" player in the NFL's 2016 season has arrived and it's Rumor Control Central as the playoff jockeying is here.

The 49ers failed yet again after a report circulated that GM Trent Baalke, under fire for the collapse of the team the last three years, will be fired; the sub-rumor is Mike Shanahan may come back into the league, this time with the Niners, where he'd been an assistant coach in the mid-1990s. For the NY Jets it was an important game for rookie Bryce Petty as he pulled off the win.

The other big pregame rumor is that Rex Ryan will be fired from the Bills, and before the end of the season; Mike Florio explains that the Bills want assistant coach Anthony Lynn to take over and don't want anyone else to have a shot at hiring him.   The sub-rumor is Tyrod Taylor is done and Cardale Jones will finish the season.

The AFC West race got curiouser, and so did the AFC South.  First the Chiefs finished a sweep of the Raiders - Andy Reid's seventh win in eight meetings as Chiefs coach - and the Titans pulled off the win over the Broncos, who are now 8-5..........

......and out of the AFC playoffs as Miami shot down the faltering Cardinals; it proved a costly win as Ryan Tannehill was injured.   

The Colts meanwhile hit uncharted territory as the Houston Texans beat them again - their first season sweep of the Colts since they started.   With the tiebreaker the Texans lead the Titans for the AFC South - in this, the 20th anniversary of the final season of the Houston Oilers as a Houston team.

The other big rumor is that Bill Polian, former GM of the Colts in the Peyton Manning era and the Bills in the K-Gun era, will be hired by the Bears.   Having been out of the game for awhile one wonders how effective it would be to sign him.  

The irrelevance of the Saints continues and the resurgence of the Buccaneers also continues. 

It was that kind of game for the Cowboys as they took the lead and did nothing the rest of the night.   One also has to ask - when was the last clutch play made by Dez Bryant?   Dakota Prescott and Zeke Elliott look vulnerable now; the Cowboys looked one-dimensional in this game with basically no one other than Elliott doing anything.

Only the Browns - they decided it was a good idea to start Robert Griffin III, and the result shows why they're 0 for the season.

The first coaching casualty has hit the league with Jeff Fisher fired a week after word came out he'd signed an extention; John Fassel will serve as interim coach.   Fisher's firing comes as Jared Goff, the quarterback the Rams drafted to be the future, is clearly history with five INTs and his own teammates seemingly turning against him as the incident shown here with Todd Gurley suggests. 

And so it goes with the Patriots and Ravens beckoning.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Obama A Failure By HIS Standards

Barack Obama likes to pat himself on the ass for being successful. Yet his own standards indicate exactly the opposite -

He cites "the Paris climate treaty" - which has gone nowhere.

The Iran nuclear deal - by all accounts broken by the Iranians.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership - aborted before it went anywhere.

Reopening relations with Cuba - a worthless exercise by the US that only gives Cuban communists a propaganda win.

"Ending combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq" - yet sending troops back to both because ending those missions created Islamic aggresion.

And so on.............

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Dakota Pipeline Fraud

The protest over the Dakota pipeline showcases a flimsy argument and also a culture of appeasing demagogues.

Tom Brady 201 Wins

NFL Films montage of Tom Brady's 201 career wins - the most in NFL history.

Congress to Crack Down on Business with Iran

Finally treating the enemy AS the enemy.

Trump's EPA Pick Spooks Liberals and Ecofascists

Liberals and the environmental left have gone into a tizzy over the selection of Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt as Donald Trump's pick to head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
"House minority leader Nancy Pelosi says the Pruitt nomination must be blocked for the sake of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the planet we will leave our children. New York AG Eric Schneiderman says Pruitt is a dangerous and an unqualified choice. Independent socialist senator Bernie Sanders declares the Pruitt pick is not only dangerous but also sad. The League of Conservation Voters calls Pruitt not just a global warming skeptic but an outright climate denier.

Whew! That's strong stuff. But what is Pruitt's actual offense? He has challenged the EPA's practice of going far beyond its authority to attack the energy industry and thus affect practically every industry in the country. The EPA needs a leash, and Pruitt and other state attorneys general have gone to court to attach it.

He and Greg Abbott, then AG of Texas and now the state's governor, succeeded in voiding a dubious EPA rule that claimed air pollution from Texas and Oklahoma was harming Granite City, IL. In that case and others, EPA's evidence was pretty skimpy."

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Democrats Challenge Obama on Iran Deal Documents

Obama stonewalls to protect its appeasement of Iran.

The Regulators' Bad Day in Court

The Consumer Product "Safety" Commission gets rebuked

There’s a massive problem with their logic, Shihan Qu told an audience, two years ago, about the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission's attempt to ban his product, Zen Magnets. Two days before Thanksgiving, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Qu and smacked the regulatory agency for improperly assessing the risk of a once-popular, now nearly unavailable, novelty for adults. The court decision vacating the agency's proposed ban highlights how far the CPSC has exceeded its mandate, bullying small business with shoddy regulation.

Zen Magnets is the last of what was once more than a dozen companies selling powerful, ball-bearing-sized magnets. The magnet sets are used like a sort of high-tech modeling clay—with the little balls sticking together magnetically, users can position and arrange them in an infinite variety of shapes.
The CPSC has been out to eliminate these products since 2009, successfully pressuring most businesses making the magnets to voluntarily recall their products. Indeed, the commission had nearly cleared the field after running Craig Zucker's highly successful company Maxfield & Oberton—the maker of Buckyballs and Buckycube—into bankruptcy. The agency had filed a complaint against the company and sued Zucker personally (ending in a settlement with the CPSC for hundreds of thousands of dollars). But Qu refused to bow when the agency, instead of claiming his product was defective or that his company had failed to provide adequate warning of risk, opted for an outright ban.

Approaching The NFL's Final Four

The New York Jets have become the New York Jets again - the personification of laughable incompetence.

The NFL is now entering the final four weeks of its 2016 season, and there are still some playoff races to be determined, so we look ahead to Week 14.

Some bad play has hurt quite a few teams and Week 13's blooper reel is worth a gander.

Chiefs over Raiders - The Chiefs back in Week Four looked like a developing trainwreck the way they got destroyed by the Pittsburgh Steelers; now they are a juggernaut after winning on - of all things - a pick-Two.   They beat the Raiders in Oakland already and so aren't afraid of the Raiders in KC.

Titans over Broncos - On paper this doesn't look like a favorable matchup for the Titans coming off their bye as they get the 8-4 Broncos, a team that's won four of five previous meetings with the Titans as a Tennessee team.   The Broncos defense remains stout, albeit not as good as advertised as shown by the four losses (even with that the Broncos are sixth in fewest points allowed), and this is Marcus Mariota's first meeting with the Broncos.   One area that may be an advantage for the Titans is the Broncos run defense is allowing 4.2 yards per carry, with the Titans averaging 4.8 YPC and Mariota's redzone efficiency and ability to look off opponent defenses will certainly be tested with an opponent in Trevor Siemian who has won a lot of games but really hasn't shown advancement in his game as the season has gone on.

Dolphins over Cardinals - The Cardinals stopped the bleeding with their win over the Skins, but have to travel to a Miami team that's smarting from getting humiliated by the Ravens and is lightyears better than anyone thought they'd be, especially with regard to Ryan Tannehill's play versus an aging Carson Palmer.

Vikings over Jaguars -  The regression of Blake Bortles has been stunning and disheartening given the progress people thought was there in 2015; with that progress clearly illusory the Jaguars have plunged into yet another losing season, with a winning season no closer to this organization than it was before the season started.   The Vikings are reeling and need this win a lot more than the out-of-it Jaguars do.

Bengals over Browns -  The hopelessness of the Browns doesn't require any elaboration, and the Bengals finally began to turn things around in embarrassing the Eagles last week.

Steelers over Bills - The Bills now appear to be falling out of contention with another Rex Ryan promise unfulfilled as they get a Steelers team that got a big win last week.  

Colts over Texans  - It's now clear Brock Osweiler was a mistake, as the more he plays the worse he seems to get; it's also clear Andrew Luck showed something we thought he didn't have with his first win over an AFC opponent since 2012 (and first over the NY Jets).   It's also clear that Bill O'Brien is not capable of grooming quarterbacks, having failed to groom one to any kind of legitimate extent in his time in Houston.

Eagles over Redskins - The Eagles now appear eliminated from playoff contention, but the Redskins now appear to be sliding out of contention and the Eagles want momentum, and can get it in spoiling someone else's playoff hopes.

Buccaneers over Saints - The Saints are falling apart and Drew Brees can no longer be considered an elite quarterback.   The Bucs meanwhile are now on a legitimate surge - all the way to the division lead - and Jameis Winston more and more is developing into the real deal.  

Panthers over Chargers - The Chargers blew it yet again.   Needing to lead a comeback, Philip Rivers threw another killer INT.   Like his former Chargers teammate Drew Brees, Rivers simply is not elite and never will be again; if anything both are net liabilities for their teams.    The Chargers now have to go to Carolina, itself fighting ineptitude and what appears to be a looming disciplinary issue after Cam Newton was benched for the opening play at Seattle.   In a battle of bad teams that should be good, look for the Panthers to salvage some pride. 

Lions over Bears  -  Matt Barkley is now Bears starter and his passer rating, touchdown to INT ratio, and completion percentage are the worst of the three starters the Bears have fielded.   The Bears now have to go to a surging Lions team that - believe it or not - now looks like a team that can win at least one playoff game.    They of course have to get through the remaining four games first.

49ers over NY Jets  -  Right now one wonders if Blaine Gabbert will start after Colin Kaepernick completed one pass at Chicago and the Niners celebrated what they thought was a touchdown and got penalized for the laughably protracted celebration.  But if the Niners are the worst team in the NFC the Jets may actually be worse than the Browns in the AFC after their atrocious performance against the Colts.    They appeared to quit against the Colts long before the fourth quarter and have huge salary issues with utter failure by most of their big name players.  

Seahawks over Packers - The Packers won last week but their dismal performance against Russell Wilson gives the Seahawks an edge despite not winning in four of their road games.   The Packers remain the ultimate frontrunning fraud and didn't exactly acquit themselves all that hotly against the Texans.

Falcons over Rams -  The Falcons are faltering again but get a dismal Rams team whose starting quarterback in just a few games looks like a failure; Jared Goff has shown no competent reading of the field and seemingly no ability to establish any command of the quarterbacking position. 

Cowboys over NY Giants - The Giants have had a strong season but losing to the Steelers comes at the worst possible time with the Cowboys - unbeaten since losing to the Giants in Week One - looking for payback in Metlife Stadium, and where in 2015's Metlife match honorary Giants captains actors Peter Hermann, Mariska Hargitay, and their little angel August proved a good luck charm for the Gints, that mojo doesn't look effective against Dakota Prescott and company.  

2014's playoff shootout remains the signature game between the Patriots and the Ravens

Patriots over Ravens - Much discussion has been made downing the Patriots defense for ostensible poor performance against quality opponents, ignoring the Patriots are 3-1 against such opponents so far and giving up 31 points to the Seahawks is not terribly impressive in today's game; that particular game came down to a surprising failure by the Patriots goalline offense.   The Patriots are now working with a different offensive setup with Gronkowski on IR but showed some depth in the offense and some physicality against a Rams team starting to make cheap hits and face a deadly but still erratic Joe Flacco.    Flacco's erraticism shows in that the Miami win was just the third time the Ravens scored over 25 points this year and the Patriots are plus-nine in turnover differential compared to the Ravens coming in - Flacco by himself has eleven INTs compared to New England's combined eight turnovers.  With all that expect points to pile up.

The countdown begins.......

Monday, December 05, 2016

The Fake News Fraud

The proliferation of phony news comes with the dishonesty and lack of intellectual rigor of the media. And fighting it won't be easy. Fake news also includes dishonesty about real news, (such as the phony "Pizzagate" story and the Chevron poisoning Ecuador story) and the media has to catch up to the truth about the defeated candidate.

End Freddie And Fannie

Donald Trump's Treasury Secretary nominee is Steven Mnuchin and he has proposed ending the government's control of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two bodies involved in the housing collapse that have been under government control for many years.  The result was Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae "became corporate zombies, by being stripped of all the standard attributes that normally attach to share ownerships."  Government involvement in economics by now is manifestly a failure, so in essence getting the government out of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae should not be a negative.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

NASCAR Going Forward In 2017

NASCAR finally secured sponsorship for the Winston Cup Grand National tour in the Monster energy drink brand.

So what to make of NASCAR going forward?

That it took so long for this sponsorship deal to get hammered out was not a positive sign for Brian France, and the details that have emerged are not as encouraging as securing of a new title series sponsor would otherwise entail - the figure is that Sprint telecommunications was providing $50 to $70 million per year (where RJ Reynolds was at $39 million when the government in essence killed its sponsorship) and that this deal entails only $20 million per year.

This is yet another sign that the spendaholism in racing requires serious countermeasure.   The series has declined in value and thus in revenue, and the spending in NASCAR - called "a bottomless pit of spending" by the former head of KMart when in 2002 he announced he was ending his company's NASCAR team sponsorship program - has been the force driving up costs.   At what point NASCAR and teams figure out there is need for a comprehensive spending control program remains a disturbing uncertainty, especially given that the warning signs have been there for over ten seasons.

Brian France talked about NASCAR's desire to reach younger fans with this Monster drink sponsorship, but it begs the question - just what entails "reaching out to younger fans"?   Brian France's net result of his leadership has been tilted toward dumbing down the sport, showcased in his justification of the failed Chase format as providing "Game Seven moments" for racing - and it shows in the sport's manifest decline in popularity.   And as the recent Presidential election showed, the myth of Millenials is just that - a myth; Millenials proved irrelevant.    So is the "younger fanbase" something NASCAR really should worry about?   It assumes those youngsters who don't get interested in racing now won't get interested later, which undersells people's adaptability and also ignores that a notable percentage of NASCAR's fans have been "late bloomers." 

Yet another sign of the sport's approaching austerity period is the disbanding of Roush Performance's #16 team following Greg Biffle's departure.   Once one of the three dominant teams in NASCAR, Roush Performance's irrelevance only becomes more graphic, to where it was effectively impossible to see even one win out of a Roush car; now with two drivers in Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse with no particular fighting potential it becomes even less likely any kind of success will come to the Roush outfit.


So with seemingly so little to look forward to - after a forgettable 2016 season with an unpopular champion and an illegitimate playoff format now made universal for NASCAR's major touring series, to go with a continuing lack of lead changes - one has to ask if there is anything worth looking forward to for 2017.

One of the few positives of 2016 was Toyota's defeat of Chevrolet in the manufacturer championship.   The controversy over the legitimacy of Chevrolet's participation in NASCAR has been the oldest gripe in the sport's history and seeing a rival brand shame Chevrolet everywhere except the driver title is only a positive.

The 2016 season also saw several new winners after going 25 months without one, and outside of Cup and the Xfinity Series the Truck Series saw memorable races at Daytona, Kansas, Texas, and Michigan; Xfinity's Firecracker 250 at Daytona and also its two Bristol races also resurrected some of the sport's competition vinegar; the same was true at Pocono in August.  

Then there is also the eye-opening interview with Sergio Marchionne, the head honcho of Fiat-Chrysler America, which now owns Dodge.   Marchionne stated that he wants Dodge to return to NASCAR, saying he had spoken to NASCAR  made the decision to disband the program in 2009 as the parent company had to work its way out of bankruptcy, with Dodge continuing with Penske Racing 2010-12.   Marchionne stated he has spoken to NASCAR executive VP Jim France. 

One has of course to see it to believe it - and it does beg the question of why Honda has shown no interest in the series.  

In any event, it is what it is to coin a football cliché, so NASCAR plods toward its 2017.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

History Will Not Absolve Him

In 1953, a young Fidel Castro was tried for his armed attack on the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba during the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. The attack was a dismal failure, though its date—July 26—was later taken as the name of Castro's revolutionary movement.

At the trial 24 lawyers represented the roughly 100 defendants, but Castro, who had a law degree, defended himself. He spoke for four hours, ending with the famous phrase History will absolve me.

The court sentenced Castro to 15 years in prison, 1 of only 31 defendants who were convicted. And Castro and his brother Raúl were in fact released less than two years later. From their release in 1955, it was not even four years to the overthrow of the dictator on January 1, 1959. That day, Castro pledged, I am not interested in power nor do I envisage assuming it at any time. All that I will do is to make sure that the sacrifices of so many compatriots should not be in vain, whatever the future may hold in store for me.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

1996 New England Patriots Season

With the New England Patriots now the first team that originated in the American Football League to reach 500 career wins, a look back twenty years to the first sign of a budding dynasty, a dynasty that would not truly emerge until years later.

One Cuban's View of Castro

In the early 2000s......

Trump's Pick of Price Puts Obamacare in the Crosshairs

Opponents of Obamacare should be greatly encouraged by President-elect Donald Trump's pick of House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price

(The incoming Secretary of Health and Human Services), Price, an M.D., has advanced the most serious Obamacare alternative to date on Capitol Hill. His legislation (H.R. 2300) is co-sponsored by 84 House members, including Jeb Hensarling, Mike Pompeo (Trump's pick to lead the CIA), Trey Gowdy, and Marsha Blackburn. Bill Kristol called Price's alternative the strongest Obamacare alternative offered in Congress to date upon its introduction in 2015.

Democratic attacks on Price have intensified, yet they expose the Democrats' attack on medical technology research.

'Sanctuary Campuses' Invite a Federal Standoff

Grandstanding universities play with fire and thus will get burned

In the wake of Donald Trump's election, many colleges and universities vowed to become sanctuary campuses for students in the country illegally. The matter will take on a special urgency in the event that soon-to-be President Trump repeals the executive-ordered Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which deferred the enforcement of immigration laws for those who came here as children. The practical consequences of a sanctuary campus policy remain murky (as is often the case when college administrators take direction from student protesters). Will openly harboring illegal aliens jeopardize colleges' federal funding, for instance? In an age of funding-backed executive overreach puppeteering campus policy, it would be dangerous to assume otherwise.

Repeal Overtime Rules

The incoming Trump administration needs to repeal Obama's rules on overtimes in the labor market, yet another futile government intervention in economics.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week 13 NFL Down To Nitty Gritty

The nitty gritty has now begun for the NFL's 2016 season and what has been a much more competitive season than I think a lot of people thought looks to be even more so.

Week 12's touchdown montage

Cowboys over Vikings - The Cowboys have only failed once this year - in Week One, with a rematch pending and a far different Cowboys team coming in. The Vikings meanwhile have faltered badly with Sam Bradford and it won't get any better this week.

Lions over Saints - The three best things to happen to Matthew Stafford have been - the hiring of Jim Caldwell as head coach, the firing of Joe Lombardi and replacement with Jim Bob Cooter - yeah yeah, the name sounds like something out of 19 Kids And Counting, big deal - as offensive coordinator, and the retirement of Calvin Johnson.   Caldwell clearly fits with Stafford and Cooter clearly fits far better than Lombardi, but perhaps the biggest deal is Calvin Johnson had become Stafford's binky and now without a binky Stafford has had to throw to more people - and it's made him a better quarterback to where he's now beating quality opponents where for the longest time he couldn't.

One of Stafford's signature games was the amazing 2013 shootout win over the Cowboys - it was also one of just a few wins over a quality opponent Stafford pulled off until the last year or two.

The Lions get a Saints team that's certainly played well but is only 5-6 and has gone just 3-3 the last six games (the Lions in contrast are 5-1) and New Orleans' defensive woes are too well known to require any elaboration.   The trendings have been for the Lions and against the Saints.

Last year the Niners pulled off one of the wildest finishes of the 2015 season

Bears over 49ers - Matt Barkley we think will start this game and after a very slow start against the Titans led a spirited comeback attempt decided on a goalline stand.   Barkley may be the quarterback John Fox needs with the incompetent volume stats whore Jay Cutler clearly done.   The Niners are stuck with Colin Kaepernick, who nonetheless has been playing better the last few games.

Packers over Texans - Just 2-3 in their last five games, the Texans are clearly falling out of the playoffs with the Tennessee Titans on their bye week, and they go to Lambeau Field to face a Packers team that got a morale-boosting win at Philly.   Not only is Osweiler playing more and more poorly, Bill O'Brien is showing more and more he is not the quarterback guru people thought he was.\

Broncos over Jaguars - The loss to the Chiefs was a major blow to a Broncos team now out of the playoffs on tiebreakers but they get a Jaguars team that's 2-9 and a quarterback in Blake Bortles who has now shown little reason to feel a renaissance can happen.

Eagles over Bengals - The Eagles are no longer a playoff contender, but they get a reeling Bengals squad this week.

Patriots over Rams -  The Rams looked encouraging earlier this season but have faltered and now are starting Jared Goff, whose completion percentage is slightly lower than Case Keenum's.   The Patriots are banged up and trying to rest some of their starters as much as they can, but with a race for the top seed developing with the Raiders the good news is Brady is now throwing to more people in Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell, not to mention the returning Dion Lewis.  

Dolphins over Ravens - It's clear Adam Gase is getting more out of Ryan Tannehill than anyone thought he had and the Dolphins have everything to play for now plus they've beaten some respectable competition in their winning streak.   They get an inconsistent Ravens squad that's won three of its last four but they've all been against their division foes and the only quality opponents they've beaten are the Bills and the Steelers.  

Chiefs over Falcons - Beating the Broncos was huge for the Chiefs and the division is a real possibility now as they face a Falcons team that's gone 3-3 their last six games; one also has to remain dubious about Matt Ryan down the stretch.

Raiders over Bills - The Bills have been good; the Raiders, though, are playing lights-out and Derek Carr is the real deal.   The wildcard angle is the mediocrity of the Raiders defense; the Bills, though, haven't reached 29 points scored since lighting up the Niners.

NY Giants over Steelers - Speaking of rejuvination the NY Giants are that with six straight wins despite no more than 28 points scored in any game all season.  They get a woefully inconsistent Steelers offense that hit 28 or more points four times yet failed to reach 20 in three of the four games in their recent losing streak.  

Redskins over Cardinals -  The Redskins are still a playoff team and the Cardinals are effectively out of the playoffs.   The Cardinals defense is still 11th in points allowed yet has been lit up for 30 or more in their last three losses.

Buccaneers over Chargers -  The Bucs surprisingly have been a better road team (4-1) than a home team (2-4) while the Chargers have been uneven (2-2) at home and have not shown as much improvement as needed in the wild wild AFC West.    The Bucs have a lot more to play for than the Chargers.

Seahawks over Panthers - There seems no bloom left for the 2015 NFC champs as they limp into Seattle off another bitter loss, but upon further review the Panthers have won three of their last five.  The inconsistency of the Seahawks may also factor in favor of the Panthers - 3-2-1 in the Seahawks' last six games and with a semi-epic meltdown at Tampa Bay to go with a 1-2 record against the NFC South.   So this may be a tougher game than one might think a #2 seed in the NFC would get.

NY Jets over Colts - What one needs to know about this matchup - Scott Tolzien cannot play (winless as a starter) and Andrew Luck is atrocious against AFC East teams - 2-9 lifetime and hasn't beaten an AFC East team since beating the Dolphins in 2012.   The Jets limp into this game looking to salvage something and look to get it, though their longer-term issue of trying to sell tickets instead of build a credible program remains.

So it's down to the nitty gritty - we apologize for the cliches.