What a fucking day.
Item: Congress has tentatively agreed on a bill that will keep the government from shutting down. Now, there’s a lot wrong with it, starting with the fact that the Republicans are insisting on a huge payoff to Wall Street, basically holding the best interests of the people hostage to the best interests of the insanely rich. The smart money says the Democrats will:
a) raise holy hell, then
b) fold like the Vichy little bitches they are.
In other news, the sun is expected to rise in the east tomorrow.
None of this is the fun part, though. First, the GOP plan would … well, just read it. Read more
I’m not sure what to make of this latest development. I’m perfectly capable of believing that Roger Goodell saw the infamous video of Ray Rice KOing his then-fiancee Janay – in fact, I may be leaning that way – but that doesn’t mean that I automatically buy any claim that supports the opinion.
In this case:
- Go in fear of anonymous sources. Anonymity is sometimes necessary and good, but in all cases it makes it impossible to assign credibility.
- Who the hell records that kind of phone exchange?
- Finally, a law enforcement official released the tape without authorization because he/she didn’t want the NFL to make a ruling without it? Really? I’m almost certain that’s grounds for immediate termination, and it calls into question the credibility of said alleged officer/official.
Jeff MacGregor brings the hammer down on Roger Goodell and the NFL re: its lockout of the refs. The money shot:
If Roger Goodell and the NFL and the NFL owners were serious about player safety and player conduct, for $50 million a year — less than 1 percent of total revenue — they could hire 200 well-trained full-time officials at $250,000 each.
But the NFL and the NFL owners and Roger Goodell are not serious about those things. They’re only serious about looking serious about those things. With the simple application of cash and backbone, they could make the game safer overnight. Instead, they’ll nickel-and-dime the officials’ union just because they can. Read more
America’s democratic ideal doesn’t work perfectly. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all, and in these cases it feeds our cynicism to the point where we’re tempted to conclude that the very possibility of true freedom is a sham. I know whereof I speak, because there are few people out there more soaked in bile than I am.
Still, this whole “marketplace of ideas” is a marvelous concept. Perhaps the most marvelous concept in history. Drawing on the Miltonian belief that if people are allowed to enter the agora and freely state their cases, then “the truth will out” (that is, an educated and informed citizenry will unerringly perceive the truth and that weaker ideas will be disregarded in favor of stronger ones), our nation’s founders crafted a Constitution that assured people the right to voice their opinions, free from government intrusion. Read more
UPDATE: We’ve revised this post to replace disputed Rush comments with confirmed-by-video ones. After all, we want to be fair. And balanced.
Rush Limbaugh wants to be an NFL owner. Or does he? Jason Whitlock says it’s a publicity stunt, and he may be right. Glenn Beck has been getting a lot of run lately and Rash needs to maintain his position as the Barking Right’s alpha blowhard. Whitlock also wonders why the NFL’s uber-dominator, Commish Roger Goodell, didn’t immediately neuter this, the Mother of All Bad Ownership Ideas. After all, a high percentage of the league’s players, coaches and fans are black, and Rush has a history of saying bad things about black people. Some samples: Read more
I really have mixed feelings about the outcome of yesterday’s Super Bowl. It was a fantastic game, no matter who you were rooting for, and that’s always nice. Historically a lot of Super Bowls have been yawners.
I wasn’t really pulling for the Giants so much as I was against the Patriots, and that was tough for me, too. See, when you look at how New England does things, they really get a lot right. No prima donnas. We, not me. Brains and teamwork trump individual athleticism. Etc. In essence, they have won by repudiating everything that’s wrong about sports in this day and age. They’re the San Antonio Spurs of the NFL.
As an old-school guy who was raised by an even older-school grandfather, this matters to me. Read more
I love sports. Always have. I grew up playing all the usual sports and eagerly tried out a lot of others when I got older. I’ve always been a big spectator, too, watching everything from football, basketball and baseball to soccer, track, cycling, volleyball, water polo – whatever was on, you know?
But these days I watch less sports than at any point in my life, and it seems likely that this downward trend is going to continue. The why is pretty simple. I was raised old school by a grandfather who grew up playing through the Depression. People who knew him back then and saw him play said that under different circumstances he might have been good enough to play in the Bigs. Maybe. Hard to say, because the hard realities of life intruded on the dreams of many in his generation. So he wound up working for a few dollars a week and playing ball on the weekends.
There was a right way and a wrong way to play. Hard, but fair. Sportsmanship mattered. Read more
Michael Vick has been indicted for dogfighting.
NFL Star Sacked in Dogfight Probe
– Grand Jury Indicted Falcons QB Mike Vick in Dogfighting Investigation
Michael Vick has been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with the dogfighting probe of his property in Virginia.
The Falcons quarterback was indicted for conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District in Richmond, Va. Three others — Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor — also were indicted by the grand jury on the same charges. (Story.)
As noted here a few days ago, Vick is either guilty or the dumbest man who ever lived, and with any luck this will put at least a small dent in one of the vilest, most sub-human activities in the country. Read more
Welcome to the first installment of Taking Out the Trash, a new feature where I pander to the lowest common denominator and wallow shamelessly in the seething much that is our popular culture. If we offend, give us your hands. If we fail, let me know and I’ll try harder next time. And now, on to the show.
Item: Michael Vick is either a pit bull fighter or the dumbest man who ever lived. Possibly both. Vick’s property, which was apparently being occupied by relatives,
was used as the “main staging area for housing and training the pit bulls involved” in a dogfighting operation, according to the court papers.The documents contend prize money from the dogfighting climbed into the thousands of dollars, people came from as far away as Texas and sheepish pit bulls were killed. Read more
If you follow the NFL at all you know that the league has a new commissioner, Roger Goodell, and that he’s apparently made it his mission to clean up the league’s little crime problem. His early actions suggest he’s serious about it, too. He dropped an 8-game ban on Cincinnati Bengals wide
recidivist receiver Chris Henry and busted Tennessee Titans cornerback Pacman Jones for a whole season. Both penalties are richly deserved, and here’s hoping the boot of justice stomps equally hard on other members of the league’s fraternity of thugs.
There’s an emerging story that might define Goodell’s tenure almost as soon as it’s started. One of the league’s biggest stars, the tremendously overrated Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, is allegedly involved in pit bull fighting. Read more