Friday, August 31, 2007

Evening Chuckle: HusBand How To: Clamlung


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Evening Chuckle: The HusBand How To

Here's a new organization that is really trying to make a difference. Watch and learn. Enjoy.


Monday, August 20, 2007

China Cracking Down on AIDS Activists and Orphans to IMPROVE Their Image


To clean up the country's image ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government is trying to brush the country's problems under the rug (i.e., repress, torture, and/or kill them). That's right - to clean up their image. Because if no one is there to help orphans or people with AIDS, there must not BE any orphans or people with AIDS. Sort of a tree falling in the forest thing.

Also, let's not forget that the Chinese have sat back and done precious little to stop the genocide in Darfur. Again, bravo.

I have to admit, I've never been a fan of the Olympics. (I think it has something to do with the fact that they are boring. Either that or Bob Costas...probably Bob Costas. Can't get enough of him dramatic commentary.) I guess that makes me a Communist. Oh wait, the Communists (i.e., the People's Republic of China) like the Olympics. That makes the Olympics Communist! One more reason to fight them.

I now have two goals: 1. Shut down the 2008 Olympics and 2. Get this blog banned in China.

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Get Ready for a Second Clinton Presidency

I've been watching the debates and following the polls and the fund raising and thinking about this for a while and...I'm not seeing how Hillary Clinton looses the presidential race. (Note: This is not an endorsement, just my sense of things at the present time.)

A lot of people don't want to believe that but, if you can convince me otherwise, please do.

First of all, I realize that we are a long way from the first primary (although they get closer every day, both due to the natural passage of time and the irrational, pig-headed way that states keep moving up their primaries - when's Iowa? Tomorrow?) and even farther from the general election (the counter at the top of this page keeps me painfully aware of how long we have until the Bush Presidency ends). However, unless she makes some sort of huge mistake like say, denying global warming or - God forbid - show more cleavage, she's gonna win the primary. She's got the money, the network, and most importantly she feels inevitable. She's like a glacier. (I know I'm not the first person to compare her to ice but possibly in this context.)

Secondly, I just can't see any Republican winning the general election, even against her. Karl Rove is right, Clinton has incredibly high negatives. People know her and a lot of them already don't like her and that kind of thing is hard to change. But, Bush has poisoned people's minds against the Republican Party. Assuming that in the general election Red states go Red and Blue states go Blue, the swing states will pull strongly to the Democrat - any Democrat. A Republican might "win" Florida (if you know what I'm saying - wink wink), but Pennsylvania will go to the Democrat, and there is no way in hell that Republicans will win Ohio. The Republican Party has all but salted the earth for themselves in that (former) swing state.

Additionally, the group of jokers the Republicans have to choose from will not inspire a lot of people. Guiliani is a joke and will be torn to shreds by his past and he won't put New York into serious play for Republicans, sorry fellas; Romney = slimy (and it shows); I liked Huckabee until he said he didn't believe in evolution - thanks for playing; McCain is by far their best candidate - and the Republicans hate him. Every single other Republican candidate is a complete joke. What about the non-candidates who will come in and save the day? Newt Gingrich? Three divorces and people hate him almost as much as they hate Hillary. Fred Thompson? When the first thing that comes out about you is how lazy you are, that doesn't bode well - especially following the act of our current Commander-in-Chief.

I know that Democrats could normally lose a one-person race, but Republicans will be demoralized and won't volunteer or vote in as high numbers as they have in the past and Democrats will be energized by the end (finally) of the Bush Administration and will volunteer and vote.

So, as long as she doesn't do something crazy during the general election like, say, officiate at a Gay marriage between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-Il...while eating a baby - she's gonna be a lock. So, get used to it.

This scenario, of course, does not take into account a serious third party candidate (like say from Unity '08). If that happens and it is for real, that could shake some things up. I'm for a third party candidacy just on principle but it will still depend on who the actual candidate is. So, despite the fact that I am already resigned to Clinton winning, I think it will be a long time before I decide who I will be supporting in 2008. Besides, when I get bored I make up my own movies. I have a very short attention span.

*Long Overdue

This has been a long time overlooked but it is something I'm very proud of:

back in May, Richmond Democrat named me the 78th top political blog in Virginia!

Whoo! Someday, I hope to crack the top 75.

'Cause you gotta have goals...

Nunn Looking to Unity 08?

Former Georgia Democratic Senator Sam Nunn is considering throwing his hat into the presidential race - as an independent:
"It's a possibility, not a probability," said Nunn, now the head of a nonprofit organization out to reduce the threat posed by nuclear, biological and chemical weaponry. "My own thinking is, it may be a time for the country to say, 'Timeout. The two-party system has served us well, historically, but it's not serving us now.'"

The 68-year-old former senator, still considered one of the foremost experts on national security, confirmed that he's discussed a presidential run as part of several conversations with Michael Bloomberg, the New York mayor.

More important, Nunn said he's been in touch with Unity '08, a group with a goal of fielding a bipartisan or independent ticket for president. Initial talks began with Hamilton Jordan, a co-founder of Unity '08 and former chief of staff to President Jimmy Carter. - AJC
He's not well known by your average American but he would certainly bring respectability to a third party candidacy - more so than a Ralph Nader or a Ross Perot. Paired with Bloomberg as VP and plenty of cash? That might scare some people.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

V: When Will Tiger Catch Jack?

Guest Blogger V is back with his prediction as to when Tiger Woods will overtake Jack Nicklaus.

You heard it here first:

I have a pretty good idea about when Tiger Woods will break Jack’s record of 18 professional major championships. As of today, Tiger has 13 majors and so he needs five more majors to tie, six more to surpass Jack’s record. Now, here’s the major championship schedule for the next three years:

2008: Masters at Augusta National,

US Open at Torrey Pines South,

British Open at Royal Birkdale,

PGA at Oakland Hills;

2009: Masters at Augusta National,

US Open at Bethpage Black,

British Open at Turnberry,

PGA at Hazeltine;

2010: Masters at Augusta National,

US Open at Pebble Beach,

British Open at St. Andrews Old Course,

PGA at Whistling Straits.

I have put bold emphasis on courses that Tiger performs well on---and he takes the ‘horses for courses’ idea to ridiculous heights as exemplified by his record at some events in his (and this is important) eleven-year career. He has won the WGC event at Firestone six times in its nine-year existence, he has won the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines five times including 3-in-a-row, he won the Bay Hill Invitational four times in a row from 2000-2003, and of course, has won the Masters four times in just eleven tries as a professional. Anyway, so you get the idea---anytime he tees it up he’s the favorite to win, but when he likes a course he is the prohibitive favorite to win.

I’ve highlighted Bethpage Black because the last time the US Open was held there Tiger won it. It is a long and brutal course and only a handful of the top tour players stand a decent chance of winning it and when you eliminate the bulk of the field, you only help Tiger. I’ve highlighted Pebble Beach because it is one of Tiger’s (and Jack’s) favorite golf courses and the last time the US Open was held there Tiger won it by fifteen shots. I’ve highlighted St. Andrews because the last two Opens that have been held there have been won by Tiger in comfortable fashion.

And then there’s the history. Few courses in the world are as steeped in history and mystique as Pebble Beach and, the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews. It is no coincidence that Jack said farewell to the US Open at Pebble and said farewell to the British Open at St. Andrews. Jack is famously quoted to have said "If I had one last round to play, I would likely choose Pebble Beach'. And his bond with St. Andrews is just as close---heck, when he played his last Open at St. Andrews in 2005 the Royal Bank of Scotland issued 5-pound notes with his image on it. You know you’ve done all right when your face shows up on currency; you know you’ve done really well when it shows up on foreign currency!!

Anyways, with Tiger’s keen sense of history I’d think he’d love to tie Jack’s record at Pebble Beach and break it at St. Andrews. And my guess is that Jack, if he had to see his record broken, would deem three places most fitting for that singular honor---Pebble Beach, St. Andrews and Augusta National (more on this in a moment).

So for Tiger to be able to even try the Pebble/St.Andrews scenario, he will need to win four of the next nine majors. To achieve it he’d have to win six of the next eleven majors. Sounds silly, but then again he reeled off seven wins in an eleven major stretch from 1999-2002. His game has been steadily trending toward the fearsome form of 2000. The only reason he hasn’t won more majors in the past couple of years is that his putter let him down. The past two Masters could have been his, but for the fact that he narrowly missed those crucial putts that he normally drains. The performance he put on the last two weeks at Firestone and Southern Hills shows that his putting is back--- and when that happens it is curtains for the field. By the way, Tiger had Lasik surgery in October 1999 before he went on that impressive tear in 2000-2002, and he had Lasik done again the Monday after the Masters this year. I don’t think it is coincidence that he is draining crucial par putts again.

I think he does it. Five of the next nine majors set up very well for him. And he’s no slouch on the other four either. The old refrain “the course does not set up well for Tiger’s game” is just verbal diarrhea. Tiger has honed his game into the ultimate Swiss Army knife---it is sharp, sleek, portable and versatile and it will help him carve up any course he wants. More often than not, if he putts well, he wins----it is as simple as that. So while I don’t know much about the two British Open and PGA venues 2008 and 2009, it would be foolish to count him out of those. Also, as a pro he has won 13 of 44 majors he’s played and at that clip he should have 3.5 more majors by the end of 2010. Anyway, I think he wins four majors coming into Pebble Beach in 2010 and then proceeds to do the double he did in 2000---win the US at pebble and the British at St. Andrews for his 18th and 19th professional majors. There’s too much historic symmetry in this scenario for it not to happen.

PS: A couple of twists:

1) Many consider the US Amateur title to be a major (I agree). Taking that view Jack has 20 total majors while Tiger now has 16. So in this scenario, four more majors ties Jack and five more sets a new record. So St. Andrews promises to be site of a historic win for Tiger one way or another.

2) If Tiger manages to win 2 more Masters and 5 more total majors by the end of 2010, there is also the intriguing possibility that Tiger will go into the 2011 Masters with a chance to break Jack’s 6-Masters and 18-pro majors records in the same tournament.

Not quite the history as breaking it at St. Andrews, but not bad either.

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