Friday, June 29, 2012

Aaron Hill Hits 2nd Cycle of 2012

For the second time in eleven days, Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill has hit for the cycle.

To read the rest of this post, please check out

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Limited Government, R.I.P.

Limited government in the United States succumbed this morning. The cause of death was a blunt blow to the head by the Supreme Court in its ruling to uphold Obamacare in its entirety. Her age was not known. At least one account put her age at 223. Some estimate she was nearing her 236th birthday while some believe she was born on a bridge in Concord, Massachusetts in 1774. Others believe she was born in the United Kingdom but sailed to our shores soon after. For her part, especially in her later years, she was not inclined to discuss her age.

She managed to live a long and prosperous life despite the challenges of the War of 1812, The Civil War, The Great Depression especially where it concerned FDR's attempt to pack said Supreme Court as well as President Truman's attempt to nationalize the steel industry during the Korean War.

Limited government began her slow decline in earnest during the mid-1960s with LBJ's War on Poverty. Despite the trillion of dollars spent to eliminate poverty, these programs only served to entrench it. Other complications came along the way such as the creation of the Department of Education. President Reagan attempted to bring limited government back to its former health. Despite helping Russia and Eastern Europe out of communism, the best he could here do was to slow down the growth of government. His successor, George H.W. Bush would cancel out these modest gains by signing the Americans with Disabilities Act into law and through tax increases he vowed not to enact. Over the years, both Democrats and Republicans have seen fit to increase their authority over the populace at the expense of limited government in acts both big and small.

Her health would take a sharp turn for the worse in 2005 when the Supreme Court in the Kelo case expanded the definition of eminent domain rendering individual property rights nearly meaningless. The words on the deed weren't worth the paper on which they were written.

Then came the passage of Obamacare in 2009 requiring all citizens to purchase health insurance. There had been optimism that limited government would win the day when the Court appeared to be skeptical of the federal government's arguments. Its solicitor had argued it was a tax when the Obama Administration had argued it wasn't. But instead of seeing through the smoke and mirrors, the Supremes accepted Obamacare as a tax after all.

The only silver lining is that funeral services have not been scheduled. However, public rallies will be organized in its place in the hope that a new limited government will be born in early November.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yankees Lose Sabathia & Pettitte

The New York Yankees have lost two of their top starting pitchers in less than 24 hours.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Did Liz Warren Attend Tom Vu's Free Real Estate Seminar?

The Massachusetts GOP has put out an ad (H/T Michael Warren of The Weekly Standard) highlighting Elizabeth Warren's history of flipping properties on foreclosed homes. The ad is based on a Boston Herald story put out earlier this month documenting real estate transactions she entered into mostly during the 1990s while still living in Oklahoma. Warren, of course, has railed against banks which foreclose homes but apparently doesn't object to making money from them.

Which leads me to this question. Did Warren attend one of Tom Vu's free real estate seminars? If you watched late night TV in the 1990s chances are you came across one of Vu's infomercials in which would hail his rise from poverty as a Vietnamese refugee into a real estate mogul. Vu would often be surrounded by his mansions, fancy cars and bikini clad women on his yacht telling viewers if you didn't attend one of his free seminars that "you deserve to be broke" and "Don't listen to your friends, they're losers." I'm sure Tom Vu probably held a seminar or two in Oklahoma City. Liz Warren and Tom Vu make an odd pair but I cannot help but wonder if they crossed paths.

These days Vu is part of the World Series of Poker circuit and what appears to be a multi-level marketing scheme called Zenzuu which is ostensibly a social networking site.

In any case, it would be interesting to know who taught Liz Warren how to buy and sell, as Vu put it, "distressed properties"?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron, R.I.P.

Journalist, author, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron died today of acute myeloid leukemia. She was 71.

To read the rest of this obituary, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Red Sox Nation Turns On Obama

During a fundraiser last night at Symphony Hall here in Boston, President Obama rubbed salt in the wound of Red Sox Nation when he thanked his audience for Kevin Youkilis who booed him in return. Of course, Obama is known for his affinity for the Chicago White Sox who acquired the veteran third baseman on Sunday. But Obama touched a raw nerve even amongst Democratic partisans who began booing him. "I didn't think I'd get any "boos" out of here," said a visibly taken aback Obama, "I guess I shouldn't have -- I should not have brought up baseball. I understand. My mistake."

Thank goodness the Boston crowd got him to stop talking baseball. Otherwise he might have brought up Bucky Dent, Aaron Boone and Robert Andino.

On the other hand, can Obama name the players the White Sox traded to get Youkilis? If someone were to mention the names Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart to Obama, he'd probably respond with a blank stare. I'm sure Obama would have a similar reaction if someone were to mention the names of Chisox pitchers like Addison Reed, Chris Sale and Hector Santiago.

Well, apparently Jay Carney didn't see the video, much less read the White House transcript. The White House Press Secretary insisted the audience wasn't booing President Obama:
Anyone who knows Boston, knows the Red Sox and anyone who was in that room last night knows that the preponderance of people shouting in response to what the president said about Kevin Youkilis were saying 'Yoooook' and not 'Booo,' for God's sake.
Let's get thing straght. As someone who has attended more than 80 games at Fenway Park, I know the difference between 'Yoooouk' and 'booo'. Believe me, Obama was getting booed. He might as well have donned a Yankees cap. While I don't think he lost the support of those willing to pay $2,500 to see him, the same might not be said for Red Sox Nation. If Obama loses Massachusetts in November, we will have Kevin Youkilis to thank for it.

One more thing. Memo to Larry Thornberry: It's Youk not Yook.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Will The Supremes Side with Obama on Thursday?

Given that Quin is surprised by the magnitude of the Obama Administration's victory at the Supreme Court with regard to the Arizona immigration law (notwithstanding upholding the right of law enforcement in Arizona to check on the immigration status of those individuals they have a reasonable suspicion are not in the country legally) will the Supremes have more unpleasant surprises in store when they rule on Obamacare on Thursday?

My guess is that they'll split the baby again. The Supremes will rule the individual mandate unconstitutional but keep the rest of the Affordable Health Care Act in tact.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Random Reply to Thomas Sowell

In his most recent article, Thomas Sowell asks, "Does anyone seriously believe that short dresses, exposing bony knees, make women look more attractive?"

Well, when a woman wears a short dress, it isn't the knees which grab my attention.

Anna Schwartz, R.I.P.

Economist Anna Schwartz passed away on June 21st after a long illness. She was 96.

To read the rest of this obituary, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Agreeing to Disagree on Egypt

John Tabin doesn't think much of my take on the election of Mohamed Morsi as President of Egypt. He doesn't believe Morsi's election represents an Islamist takeover of Egypt.

Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Youk Leaves Boston on a High Note

The Fenway faithful knew that today was going to be Kevin Youkilis' last game in a Red Sox uniform and Youk made the most of it.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

The Islamist Takeover of Egypt is Now Complete

Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi has been declared Egypt's new President.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Does Obama Know Who Brian Terry Is?

Yesterday, Jake Tapper asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about a statement released by the family of slain U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry objecting to President Obama's decision to exercise executive privilege concerning documents pertaining to the Fast & Furious Scandal.

Carney replied with his characteristic snarky spin that Fast & Furious was the fault of the Bush Administration and that Attorney General Eric Holder was the one who put to stop to it. But then Carney ended his response by stating, "That is why we have provided Congress every document that pertains to the operation itself that is at issue here when you talk about the family that you referred to."

Thank goodness Tapper interjected to say, "The Terry family."

Well, this is what happens your son doesn't look like President Obama. Now imagine the fury that would have followed if one of George W. Bush's press secretaries couldn't remember the name of a soldier who had died in Iraq. Then again it is probably just as well that it was Carney who said "the family that you referred to". If it was President Obama, he'd have probably called Terry a "corpseman". Come to think of it, does President Obama even know who Brian Terry is? Or for that matter Jaime Zapata?

Obama Lost The Election on June 8, 2012

James Piereson suggests that June 21st may be the day that President Obama lost the 2012 election.

I submit that Piereson is off by less than a fortnight.

President Obama lost the election on June 8th.

That was the day the President said, "The private sector is doing fine."

It was on that day that I wrote, "As long as the economy continues to stall or gets worse, those six words will come back to haunt President Obama."

The information Piereson conveyed concerning the stock market, oil prices, unemployment claims and bad news from the Federal Reserve merely gives lie to President Obama's words. While June 21st was the day President Obama's words came back to haunt him, June 8th was the day he chose to utter them.
Now I realize the election is 137 days away and fortunes can change in an instant. But President Obama is going to have to do something meaningful in order to reverse the damage he did to his credibility on June 8, 2012.

LeBron Can Now Sit on His Throne in Contentment

The Miami Heat won the NBA Title with a 121-106 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the NBA Final. LeBron James was named the series' MVP.

Despite James' stature as the premier player in the game, the three time NBA MVP has long been criticized for not having the championships won by the likes of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. James was unable to win an NBA title during his tenure in Cleveland reaching the NBA Finals in 2007 only to be swept by the San Antonio Spurs. Of course, LeBron fell short during his inaugural season in South Beach last year when the Heat were upset by the Dallas Mavericks. Of course, Dwyane Wade is no stranger to championship glory. Wade was the part of the Heat's first NBA championship team in 2006.

As King LeBron can now sit on his throne in contentment, basketball analysts will have to talk about something other than LeBron not having a championship under his belt.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It Seems That Romney's Audiences Aren't Diverse Enough

I was reading a piece in Real Clear Politics by Erin McPike concerning Mitt Romney's recent campaigning in Ohio and came across this passage:
Of course, his audiences here (Troy, Ohio) and in Brunswick and Newark, Ohio, and in each of his stops along the way, weren't particularly diverse. They were middle-aged and older white suburbanites, as opposed to some of the larger and more eclectic crowds that Obama can attract on college campuses and in urban areas.
Ah yes, the crowds that come to see Romney speak aren't diverse enough for Ms. McPike's liking. Middle-aged and white suburbanites apparently can't be eclectic. This line of argument reminds me of people who complain about the Tea Party being too white. Well, it's good to know that Tea Partiers and now people who attend Romney rallies are being judged by the color of their skin instead of the content of their character. As for McPike, I suppose her idea of diversity are unkempt Occupiers who are white and plan to vote for Obama in November.

MSNBC Zimmermaned Romney

After watching the MSNBC edit of the Mitt Romney's remarks on the efficiency of Wawa stores, I can only say that Romney got the George Zimmerman treatment.

Alice Walker Doesn't Want Her Books Published in Hebrew

Author Alice Walker has demanded that an Israeli publisher not proceed with a printing of her book The Color Purple in Hebrew.

Walker, who won the Pulitzer Prize for The Color Purple, is a supporter of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement against Israel. She has described Israel as an "apartheid state" and claims its treatment of Palestinians is worse than the segregation she faced growing up in Georgia in the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s.

For his part, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz thinks Yediot Books should proceed with the publication over Walker's objections. I disagree. I think Yediot Books should accede to her request. Because if they do then they will spare Israeli youth the indignity of being exposed to Ms. Walker's mediocre writing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Will Cambridge, Mass Become a Soda Free Zone?

Three decades ago, Cambridge, Massachusetts aspired to be a nuclear free zone. Apparently, the mayor of The People's Republic of Cambridge wants the city to yet again be the subject of ridicule. At last night's city council meeting, Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis proposed the city consider a ban on the sale of large sized sodas at restaurants and other venues along the lines of what is being planned in New York City by Nanny Bloomberg. The proposal has been referred to the city's public health department for study

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Israel Attacked by al Qaeda Linked Group

Yesterday, an Israeli civilian building a fence along its border with Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula was killed in a terrorist attack by the Mujahadeen Shura Council, an affiliate of al Qaeda which dedicated the attack to the late Osama bin Laden. Israeli forces killed three of the Mujahadeen terrorists.

I find it interesting that the attack was carried out following elections in Egypt. Of course, it isn't the first time Israeli civilians have been killed as a result of attacks from Egypt since the fall of Hosni Mubarak. In August 2011, eight Israelis were killed in attacks launched from the Sinai by Palestinians.

Now that al Qaeda is involved and with an Egypt far more hostile towards Israel, I expect we're going to see a great deal more of these attacks from the Sinai.

Assange Seeks Asylum in Ecuador

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is seeking asylum in Ecuador as a political refugee. Assange is currently housed in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

A British court recently rejected Assange's motion to block his extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault charges. Assange interviewed Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa last month.

It seems fitting that Assange would seek refuge in a communist country. I guess Hugo Chavez is too sick to be of much help to Assange.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Roger Clemens Acquitted

I am not the least bit surprised with the acquittal of Roger Clemens on perjury charges. Indeed, I predicted the verdict nearly a year ago.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Rodney King, R.I.P.

Rodney King, who became known around the world after videotape of his beating at the hands of four LAPD officers in March 1991, was found dead yesterday at the bottom of his swimming pool at his home. Authorities are treating his death as an accident. He was 47.

To read the rest of this obituary, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Midway highlights from Right Online 2012

Am at Right Online again this year, Americans for Prosperity's foremost technology-savvy organization on the right. The theme generally seems to be combating the dirty tricks of the left online. The left attacks conservative bloggers by trying to get their social media accounts shut down, attacking them legally and through harassment, known as swatting, and spamming their hashtags on Twitter. Another theme was the disparaging way the dinosaur left wing media treats the new media. Democrat pundit Juan Williams tried to dismiss Michelle Malkin on Fox News a few days ago by referring to her as "just a blogger." Pretty lame considering Malkin has been a syndicated columnist with left-leaning newpapers for years, started her journalism career writing for left-leaning newspapers, and now is one of the most successful figures on the right with New York Times bestselling books. During the conference, #justablogger became a hot hashtag. A third theme was remembering Andrew Breitbart, especially through learning from his tactics.

Friday night opened with the Vice-President of The Venetian welcoming the conference. He announced that The Venetian is the only non-union property on the Las Vegas strip - and it provides the highest level of benefits to employees.

The speakers discussed how the left is using personal attacks against people instead of refuting their arguments with substantive responses. Sure enough, by late Friday evening, several haters started tweeting  personal information about bloggers tweeting about Right Online.

Michelle Malkin, the biggest hero to Right Online as someone who really understands how to effectively use social media, gets more and more clever every time she speaks. She said if she had to defend all the garbage that comes from the left, she'd look like Joy Behar too. She descried the Occupiers as the "last gasp tools of the labor unions." She said we are living in the worst era for suppression of free speech that she's ever seen in our lifetime. Bloggers are now afraid to even mention the name Brett Kimberlin for fear of being swatted.

AFP's Tim Phillips introducing Sarah Palin
A clip from the movie Hating Breitbart was shown. It included a quote from Thomas Jefferson, "Nothing can be believed which is read in a newspaper."

At the end of the evening, the movie Occupy Unmasked was shown. It was started by Breitbart and finished by other conservative filmmakers after he passed away. David Bossie, one of the filmmakers, noted Ann Coulter's name for the Occupy movement: the Flea Party.The Occupy movement is nothing more than the organized left. One of the segments featured reporter Michelle Fields from The Daily Caller asking a paid protester outside of CPAC if he knew what CPAC was. He didn't. One of the best lines in the movie from Breitbart, "If you put information out on the internet about someone in order to silence them, you are a COWARD!"

Sarah Palin was full of humor, mocking the media for spending so much time trying to figure out things like who is really the mother of Trig. She told Right Online, "The more effective you become, the bigger a target you become for the left." She went on a full throttle assault against the lamestream media, "The cocktail circuit gives me a hard time for eating elk and moose...but there is a difference between that and eating dog; anyone have a pet moose?"

On Saturday morning, Hugh Hewitt, Michelle Malkin, and several others spoke. Malkin said we use the pound hashtag becaue that's what we do to the left - pound them. Hewitt had some great advice for the hundreds of bloggers all trying to get their stories out, "We all need to encourage each other, not compete with each other, there is room for all of us."

Katie Harbath, a conservative working for Facebook, told the social media breakout session that the best free apps for Facebook are at and She said there are 8-10 million conservatives on Twitter, and 10-12 million liberals. However, some of the most popular pages on Facebook are conservative sites. She said that photos get twice the interest as text posts. and can help you make infographics. 9 and 10 pm are the most popular times on Facebook for activity.

The Heritage Foundation has hired an investigative reporter, another sign that the liberal dinosaur media is gradually being replaced by new media. Lachlan Markay spoke to the social media breakout session and suggested people use to search Twitter with an amazing level of precision.

In another social media breakout session on blogging, Gateway Pundit said the media is despicable to attack us as bloggers considering the garbage they put out. Well, it won't matter in five years. Most lamestream newspapers will no longer exist. Have you noticed how many former lamestream reporters are now working for corporations instead? :-)

Social Media breakout session - photo courtesy of Erin Haust

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Warner Fusselle, R.I.P.

Baseball broadcaster Warner Fusselle passed away of a heart attack on Sunday. He was 68.

I remember Fusselle from his days with Mel Allen on This Week in Baseball. Fusselle generally did the TWIB notes in the middle of the show but as Allen's health declined in later years would occasionally host the show himself. Fusselle's southern upbringing made his broadcasting style similar to the likes of Allen, Ernie Harwell and Red Barber.

Since 2001, Fusselle served as the play-by-play announcer for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the short season Single-A affiliate of the New York Mets. Fusselle would have begun his 12th season with the Cyclones next Monday. Prior to his time with the Cyclones, Fusselle did the play by play for the Richmond Braves and the Spartanburg Phillies and also covered basketball games for the Viriginia Squires of the ABA.

Here's an interview Fusselle conducted last year. Since Fusselle is almost synonymous with This Week in Baseball, I leave you with its closing theme "Gathering Crowds".

Cain Able to Attain Perfection

San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain threw the second perfect game of the 2012 season last night. The Houston Astros went 27 up, 27 down against the veteran righthander. Cain retired 14 of the 27 batters he faced by way of strikeout.

The Giants won the game in a 10-0 rout with homeruns by Melky Cabrera, Brandon Belt and Gregor Blanco. Prior to last night, the Giants had hit six homeruns at AT & T Park all season. Cabrera and Blanco also made spectacular plays in the outfield.

Cain's perfect game is the 22nd in MLB history. Back in April, Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners. It is the second time there has been more than one perfect game thrown in a season. In 2010, Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics and Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies tossed perfect games. Of course, it should have been three that season if not for Jim Joyce's errant call during Armando Galarraga's masterpiece plus one.

It is the fifth no-hitter of the season and the third in the month of June. In less than a fortnight, we have seen no-nos from Johan Santana, half the Seattle Mariners pitching staff and now Cain. Jered Weaver of the Angels also tossed a no-hitter against the Twins in May.

One other noteworthy observation. Ted Barrett became the first umpire to be behind home plate during two perfect games. He also called balls and strikes during David Cone's perfect game against the Montreal Expos in July 1999 at old Yankee Stadium. Barrett also umpired at third base during the Humber perfect game.

With Tim Lincecum struggling, Cain has emerged as the Giants' ace. Cain, who just before the season began signed a five year contract extension (with an option for a sixth year) in the off-season worth $112 million, is 8-2 with a 2.18 ERA so far in 2012.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Behar to Romney: "I'd Like To See His House Burn."

In an interview with Mediaite yesterday, Joy Behar said of Mitt Romney, "I'd like to see his house burn, one of his million houses burning down."

While Ms. Behar did not say if she wished for the fire to be caused by arson she did ask, "Who is he going to call, the Mormon fire patrol?" This from a woman who walked off her own show after Bill O'Reilly said that "Muslims attacked us" on September 11, 2001.

The View co-host made the comments following Current TV's announcement that she would be lauching a show on their network later this year.

Well, I would say that someone who wishes that the home of the Republican presidential candidate burned to the ground and makes anti-Mormon jokes will fit in perfectly with Al Gore's TV family.

Rae Opts Out of Liberal Party of Canada Leadership Race

In my home and native land, Bob Rae announced he would not seek the leadership of Canada's Liberal Party.

Rae had taken over the reins of the Liberal Party as its interim leader following its disastrous performance in the 2011 federal election when it was supplanted by the NDP as the Official Oppostion. The results forced the resignation of Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff the following day. Ironically, Rae and Ignatieff were once college roommates.

At the time, Rae pledged not to seek the leadership of the Liberal Party on a permanent basis. However, Rae's performance has been an improvement over Ignatieff not to mention Stephane Dion. However, the Liberal Party's National Executive was apparently prepared to give Rae their blessings to run. So his decision comes as a surprise to many.

However, it doesn't come as a surprise to me. Rae's biggest liability isn't anything he's done with the Liberals but what he did with the NDP. Specifically, the term Rae spent as Premier of Ontario between 1990 and 1995. When Rae surprisingly won the election in 1990, it was the Liberals he unseated from power. Aside from the fact that his term in office was a spectacular failure and that he would eventually have a falling out with the NDP, the Liberals have never fully embraced Rae. Here is what I wrote following last year's election:
Nevertheless, Liberals will be asking themselves where they go from here. For starters they need a new leader. But whom will the Liberals embrace? Will they take a leap of faith and back Bob Rae, a former NDP Premier of Ontario? If Liberals are still leery of Rae after all these years, they could turn to a francophone with second generation lineage such as Dominic LeBlanc or Justin Trudeau, son of the late Pierre Trudeau. Or will Liberals fold in their tents and join forces with the NDP?
Indeed, before Rae made his announcement, longtime Canadian political observer Chantal Hebert noted Rae's less than stellar numbers as a prospective permanent leader of the Liberal Party. Hebert wrote, "His modest ratings suggest that many of the people who thought poorly of his performance as Ontario premier two decades ago have not changed their minds."

While Rae's decision not to run opens things up, as of right now the Liberal Party leadership is Justin Trudeau's to lose - should he run. In the meantime, Rae will remain interim leader until the Liberals will choose their next leader in the spring of 2013.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dave Boswell, R.I.P.

Former big league pitcher Dave Boswell died of a heart attack yesterday. He was 67.

Boswell pitched in the majors for eight seasons debuting at the age of 19 with the Minnesota Twins in 1964. The following year he would pitch in the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Boswell pitched two and two thirds innings of relief in Game 5 on the wrong end of a 7-0 loss to Sandy Koufax. His best season came in 1969 when he won 20 games for the AL West Division Champion Twins. However, Boswell is best remembered for getting into a fight that season with teammate Bob Allison outside a bar in Detroit. Twins manager Billy Martin intervened on Allison's behalf and beat Boswell into a bloody pulp. Boswell was never the same after the fight and was done by the age of 26 splitting the 1971 season with the Detroit Tigers and his hometown Baltimore Orioles.

However, Boswell made a lasting impression on at least one fan during his brief stint with the O's.

UPDATE: Unbeknownst to me, our own Quin Hillyer was briefly under Boswell's tutelage at Georgetown. I did not know Quin was an aspiring ballplayer. It is a small world indeed.

UPDATE II: There is some dispute as to whether the fight was initially between Boswell and Allison with Martin trying to break it up or if it was between Boswell and Martin with Allison trying to break it up. Now I realize peacemaker is not the first word that comes to mind when you think of Billy Martin. On the other hand, it isn't implausible that he tried to break up a fight between his ace starting pitcher and a star outfielder. However it started it ended up with Billy beating Boswell.

In fairness to Boswell, he did win 8 of his final 11 decisions of the '69 season. He apparently hurt his arm after pitching 10 innings against Dave McNally in Game 2 of the 1969 ALCS.

Is Jeb Bush Kicking Himself For Not Running?

Earlier today, Jim Antle was pondering Jeb Bush's remarks about Mitt Romney and the allegedly excessive partisanship of the Republican Party.

My take on this is that the former Florida Governor is kicking himself for not seeking the GOP nomination now that Romney appears to have a legitimate chance to unseat President Obama this November. Indeed, Bush said as much in an interview last week with CBS This Morning stating "this was probably my time."
Of course, we'll never know the answer to that question but if he had run it would have certainly changed the dynamics of the campaign. The GOP contest would have been presented as a two horse race between Bush and Romney. Some of the candidates who ran might not have run or might not have a got more than a moment's notice. Or perhaps there would be have been an insurgent candidate who would have been stopped by the resources at the disposal of both Bush and Romney. Bush was probably the one Republican who could have survived the onslaught of Romney PACs and fought back with his own. Let us not forget there was talk about Bush entering the race as recently as last December.

Now comments like 'Reagan wouldn't have been nominated by today's GOP' isn't going to endear Bush to a lot of conservatives. But I also think this is part of the reason Bush is kicking himself. After all, Romney won the nomination with at best lukewarm support from the party's conservative base. But now that Romney appears to be going on the offensive against Obama in the way he did against Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, conservatives have been warming up to Romney. Bush figures that whatever reservations conservatives had about him would be cast aside once he had the nomination.

But given that President Obama has spent the past 3½ years running against George W. Bush there would have been nothing Obama would have liked more than to run against another Bush. Obama can't do that against Romney whose links to the Bush Administration do not run deep at all. Despite Obama's present troubles, it is hard to imagine that the American electorate would have been prepared to elect another member of the Bush family to the White House four years removed from W. leaving office.

Teofilo Stevenson, R.I.P.

Former Cuban boxing legend Teofilo Stevenson died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 60.

Stevenson won three Olympic Gold medals (1972 in Munich, 1976 in Montreal and 1980 in Moscow). There was a good chance Stevenson could have won a fourth Gold at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles but Cuba was part of the Soviet boycott. Tyrell Biggs won the Gold for the U.S. Interestingly, Biggs lost twice to Stevenson in amateur competition. I remember seeing Stevenson knock out Biggs in the first of their two fights on ABC's Wide World of Sports with the late Don Chevrier on color commentary. At the time, Stevenson was in his early 30s and was considered by some to be over the hill. He certainly wasn't over the hill in his fights with Biggs and his right hand could knock out the best of them.

However, Stevenson was a controversial figure. In the early 1970's, Stevenson turned down a million dollars to fight Muhammad Ali. Stevenson said:
I don't believe in professionalism, only in revolution. I tell these men from America, these promoters, that money means nothing to me. What is one million dollars compared to the love of eight million Cubans?
More like what is one million dollars compared to the love of Fidel? Stevenson was an ardent apologist for the Castro regime. Indeed, in November 1999, Stevenson got into altercation with a man at the Miami International Airport who criticized Fidel. Stevenson was subsequently arrested for headbutting a United Airlines employee who was apparently not involved in the argument. Stevenson said at the time, "I don't let anyone insult my Revolution, nor my people, nor, above all, the 'commandante'." Stevenson went back to Cuba and did not attend the court proceedings against him.

Nevertheless, Stevenson was one of the greatest practitioners of his sport.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kings Win 1st Stanley Cup

The Los Angeles Kings won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history tonight with a decisive 6-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils in front of the home crowd at The Staples Center in Game 6.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bryce Harper Runs Like Secretariat

My roommate Christopher and I went to Fenway this afternoon to see the Red Sox host the Washington Nationals.

Bryce Harper was not in the starting lineup. But I had a feeling he would not only make an appearance during the game but make an impact on it.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Seattle Mariners Pitching Staff Tosses No-Hitter

The Seattle Mariners pitching staff just no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with the best record of MLB. The Mariners won the game 1-0 on a Kyle Seager single in the 7th.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Obama Has a McCain Moment

"The private sector is doing fine." So says President Obama who touted the creation of 4.3 million jobs over the past 27 months during a press conference today despite an economy which is mired in high unemployment, low labor force participation, falling productivity and little growth under the looming shadow of climbing debt.

This reminds me of when John McCain said "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" in the immediate aftermath of the financial collapse of September 2008. McCain was widely derided for that remark and it was the beginning of the end of his presidential hopes. At the time, the Obama campaign stated:
Today of all days, John McCain's stubborn insistence that the 'fundamentals of the economy are strong' shows that he is disturbingly out of touch with what's going on in the lives of ordinary Americans.
Well, President Obama just had his McCain moment. No one could be more out of touch with the lives of "ordinary Americans" than Obama. I am sure the Romney campaign is putting together a commercial with the clip of Obama stating, "The private sector is doing fine," over and over again. I am sure the Romney campaign will play that clip every chance they get between now and November 7th. As long as the economy continues to stall or gets worse, those six words will come back to haunt President Obama.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bob Welch, R.I.P.

Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound today. Welch apparently was in poor health. He was 66.

To read the rest of this obituary, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Herb Reed, R.I.P.

Herb Reed, the last surviving original member of The Platters, passed away on Monday after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.

Reed founded The Platters nearly sixty years ago in Los Angeles and would become early rock n' roll pioneers with their mastery of the doo-wop sound. The Platters hit the height of their fame late from 1955-1958 with hits such as "Only You", "The Great Pretender" as well as their adaptation of the Jerome Kern-Otto Harbach composition "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes". Reed sang bass and generally wasn't featured as the lead vocal although here is Reed's take on the Tennessee Ernie Ford classic "Sixteen Tons".

From 1970 until earlier this year when his health would not permit him to perform, Reed was out on the road 200 days a year with The Platters. However, Reed spent many years in court trying to win the right to use The Platters' name. Typically, the group would be billed as Herb Reed's Platters or Herb Reed and The Platters. It wasn't until last year that a court finally ruled in Reed's favor. Unfortunately, the triumph proved to be shortlived.

I leave you with Reed's final TV interview last year.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

One More Thought on the Woman Who Slapped Tom Barrett

Earlier today I expressed my dismay with the woman who slapped Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett following his concession speech after the Wisconsin Recall vote.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Chris Ethridge, R.I.P.

I know it's a bit of belated tribute. But somehow I missed it. On April 23rd, piano and bass player Chris Ethridge died of pancreatic cancer. He was 65.

Ethridge spent many years as a studio musician working with the likes of Ry Cooder, Linda Ronstadt and the late Gene Clark and was also a mainstay of Willie Nelson's touring band. But his finest work came in his collaboration with the late Gram Parsons first with the International Submarine Band and then with the Flying Burrito Brothers. Ethridge and Parsons co-wrote "Hot Burrito #1" and "Hot Burrito #2" which appeared on the Flying Burrito Brothers' 1969 debut album The Gilded Palace of Sun.

Here is Ethridge with the Flying Burritos on "Christine's Tune (Devil in Disguise)". Ethridge is the tall, bearded fellow playing bass who is dressed like Parsons.

Walker & Obama on a Ladder

Today's left-wing narrative is that Scott Walker's triumph last night is a victory for President Obama (which you can see in the video link documenting the reaction of MSNBC which was posted earlier this afternoon by John Tabin).

Alec MacGillis of The New Republic is certainly nowhere near as obnoxious and smug as Lawrence O'Donnell. Nevertheless his following assertion is quite debatable:
As I read it - and at the obvious risk of over-generalizing - they are swing voters who are, despite the difficult times we find ourselves in, in a grudging pro-incumbent frame of mind. They see that we're climbing back out of a deep hole and they see no reason to replace the guy on the ladder at this moment.
Yet this line of reasoning assumes that Governor Walker and President Obama are exercising the same diligence when it comes to budgetary reform. If Walker and Obama have been on a ladder, Walker has spent his time try to save a building from burning to the ground without people losing their livelihoods. Meanwhile, instead of trying to help Walker put out the fire, Obama has spent most of his time on the ladder putting more fuel to the fire by increasing spending and increasing the deficit while blaming his predecessor for starting the fire in the first place. The approach of Walker and Obama towards governing couldn't be more incongruous.

Indeed, as MacGillis notes himself, there were Obama voters who a) acknowledged Walker's diligence in pursuing budgetary reforms and b) disliked the whole process of a recall election and thought Walker should be given the chance to serve out his term in office.

Well, Obama has exercised no such diligence where it concerns budgetary reforms and what effort he has expended has been almost unanimously rejected by both parties in both Houses of Congress two years in a row. Unlike Walker, Obama isn't getting results and that's what matters when it is all said and done. And unlike Walker, Obama is nearing the end of his term and has to face the music and the tune could very well be "Nearer My God to Thee".

With that said, given that Wisconsin hasn't voted for a Republican in a presidential election since 1984, Obama is still the prohibitive favorite to win Wisconsin and I'm sure there will be people who opposed Walker's recall who will cast their ballot for the President. Yet you have to think that competency, performance and results matter to these swing voters and if they think Obama is 0 for 3 in those categories then he's in trouble. People might not be head over heels with Scott Walker but few question his competency, performance and results he's delivered.

As for Mitt Romney, even if he's behind Obama in Wisconsin by seven points at the moment, those exit polls are not something they can take to the bank five months from today especially if Obama's account is in overdraft. Given the minimal efforts Obama made in Wisconsin on behalf of the Recall forces there's a good chance this constituency, which would be otherwise loyal to him, might be inclined to show their apprecation for Obama by spending the first Tuesday of November at home pounding back some Miller while the rest of the country tells Obama to step down from that ladder.

Barrett Gets Slapped in the Face Following Concession Speech

This is just dumb. After Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett made his concession speech following his unsucessful attempt to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker last night, one of his "supporters" approached him and slapped him across the face. Apparently, the woman asked Barrett if she could slap him. Barrett said he would rather hug and as he leaned over to hug her, he got slapped. Taken aback, Barrett walked away moments later.

Unfortunately, this woman was probably not the only one who wanted to slap Barrett for losing last night. But what could he have done? Refused to concede? Walker won fair and square. But a lot of people aren't going to accept it and a good many of those who wanted to recall Walker aren't ready to move forward.

BTW, do you see Tea Partiers behaving this way? I didn't think so.

Ray Bradbury, R.I.P.

Author Ray Bradbury passed away last night. His family has not released a cause of death as of this writing. He was 91.

Bradbury was considered a science fiction writer although he preferred to describe his book as fantasy. His best known book Fahrenheit 451 was released in 1953 to critical acclaim. Bradbury wrote the book by renting a typewriter at the UCLA Library for ten cents per half hour. He penned scores of short stories many of which were adapted for television in the Ray Bradbury Theater which aired first on HBO and then on the USA Network from 1985 to 1992.

In 2004, Bradbury made headlines when he expressed his displeasure with Michael Moore over borrowing the title of his signature book for his infamous documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 without permission. Although Moore apologized to Bradbury over the phone, he never changed the title of his film as Bradbury had asked. When asked by NBC's Andrea Mitchell if he wanted a piece of the box office receipts, Bradbury said, "No, I don't care about money. That's not the point. The point is that he stole something. All I want is to have it returned."

Bradbury and I have something in common. He never learned how to drive. But he was most certainly a driven man.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Walker Wins in a Rout

Well, Scott Walker will still be governing Wisconsin tomorrow morning. About ten minutes ago, Fox News called the Wisconsin recall election for Scott Walker. With 41% of the vote in, Walker has 59% of the vote compared with 41% with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Bosox Send Daniel Bard to Pawtucket

The Boston Red Sox demoted pitcher Daniel Bard to Triple-A Pawtucket today.

I admit I am bit surprised by the move. Nevertheless, I saw his last start on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays where he walked six batters over an inning and two thirds while surrendering five runs in a 5-1 loss. He also plunked Yunel Escobar and Edwin Encarnacion. Both are lucky they didn't have broken bones.

Bard spent his first three seasons with the Sox in the bullpen but was moved to the starting rotation prior to this season. So far in 2012, Bard is 5-6 with a 5.24 ERA and has walked 37 batters while striking out 34. Bard also leads the AL with eight hit batsmen. Bard's velocity is also down dramatically. Out of the bullpen he threw around 97 MPH but now he is lucky to top 92 MPH. For a power pitcher, 5 MPH can make all the difference in the world.

I saw Bard pitch on Patriot's Day against the Tampa Bay Rays. He pitched well until Bobby Valentine left him in too long much to consternation of Red Sox Nation.

Two things are unclear. First, whether Bard will remain a starter or if he will go back to the bullpen. Second, who will take place Bard's place in the rotation? With the emergence of rookie Will Middlebrooks at third, will the Sox deal Kevin Youkilis for a veteran starting pitcher like Kevin Millwood, Bruce Chen or Carl Pavano?

Yet all things considered, things are going much better for the Sox than they were a month ago. Their low point came on May 10th after the Josh Beckett post-golf outing debacle. After that game, the Sox were 12-19 and 7½ games back of the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. Since then, they've gone 16-7. While the Sox are tied with the Jays in last place in the division, they are only three games back of the Rays. In a week from now, the standings could easily be reversed.

The Sox begin a three game series tonight at Fenway Park against the Orioles before embarking on interleague play starting Friday night against the Washington Nationals.

5 Reasons Why Walker Will Win Tonight

believe Scott Walker will still be governing Wisconsin tomorrow morning. Here are five reasons why.

1. Tom Barrett - Walker already beat him two years ago. What makes anyone the result will change? For all the controversy surrounding Walker's reforms, Barrett hasn't put forth a viable alternative as to how he would restore Wisconsin's finances other than to speak of "shared sacrifice" and "creative cooperation."
Although as far as Democrats go, Barrett is a fairly moderate one. That doesn't exactly fire up the unions and other left-wing activists behind the recall effort.

2. The Recall People are Loons - O.K., maybe not all of them. I am sure there are reasonable people who genuinely disagree with Walker's reforms without thinking he's the devil incarnate. But that's not the public face of this movement. When you have a movement that roars its approval when Jesse Jackson compares Walker to George Wallace or when a union leader likens Walker's reforms to the attacks of the September 11, 2001, they don't exactly come off like people grounded in reason and sobriety. It might explain why public sector unions are less popular with Badger State residents than President Obama.

3. President Obama - All the President has been prepared to muster for Barrett is a lousy tweet followed up with an e-mail. If Obama thought Barrett had a chance in hell of unseating Walker, he would have directed Air Force One to make a stop in Oshkosh. But Obama has been avoiding Wisconsin at all costs and would just as soon spend the day with Benjamin Netanyahu. Obama isn't about to expend energy on a loser when he has his re-election to worry about.

4. Governor Scott Walker - Despite the best efforts of recall supporters to portray Walker as the embodiment of evil, it has failed miserably. Walker comes across as an earnest individual who is diligently carrying out the promises he made to the people of Wisconsin.

5. Wisconsin is Better Off with Walker  - Although Walker is portrayed as a polarizing figure by the liberal media, polling data suggests the silent majority in Wisconsin favor Walker's efforts and that these measures will make Wisconsin better off in the long run. So why change horses in midstream?

Now I realize that the people of Wisconsin will soon render their decision, not some guy from Boston who listens to Scott Walker's music. No, not that Scott Walker. This Scott Walker. It is entirely possible I could be completely wrong and look rather silly in the process. But the above factors lead me to believe that Scott Walker will make American political history and become the first Governor to survive a recall challenge. I believe the sun will shine for Scott Walker.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pedro Borbon, Sr. R.I.P.

Former big league relief pitcher Pedro Borbon, Sr. has passed away of cancer. He was 65.

To read the rest of this obituary, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Richard Dawson, R.I.P.

Actor/game show host Richard Dawson passed away on Saturday of esopagheal cancer. He was 79.

To read the rest of this obituary, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Thoughts on Shooting in Toronto

Over the weekend, there was a shooting in the food court at the Eaton Centre on Yonge Street in downtown Toronto. One man was killed and six others were wounded including a 13-year old boy. The suspect, Christopher Husbands, turned himself into police and has been charged with murder and five counts of attempted murder. Husbands had actually been under house arrest for a separate offense. Fat lot of good that did.

A spokesman for the Toronto Police says the alleged shooter and the victim were members of the same gang but say the shooting isn't gang related.

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie was at the Eaton Centre at the time of the shooting with a friend but both exited the mall safely.

This isn't the first time there's been violence like this in downtown Toronto. On Boxing Day in 2005 there was a shooting a few blocks north of the Eaton Centre which resulted in the death of a 15-year-old girl while six others were wounded. Four men were convicted on various charges of manslaughter and second degree murder. Still, shootings like this are rare enough to warrant comment from Prime Minister Harper. On a personal note, both of my brothers live in Toronto so anytime something like this happens, my heart skips a beat. Of course, I've been to the Eaton Centre during my many visits to Toronto over the years. My favorite part of the Eaton Centre is the very food court where the shooting took place. When I think of the Eaton Centre food court I think of A & W hamburgers and root beer.

Now I will have to think of something else altogether.

Rev. Jackson: Walker = Wallace

Over at The Weekly Standard, Steve Hayes and John McCormack tell us that during a rally yesterday in Milwaukee in support of recalling Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Reverend Jesse Jackson likened Walker to the late segregationist Alabama Governor George Wallace. Jackson railed, "Wallace did it in Alabama and now Walker in Wisconsin - trying to take back access to vote."

So for putting the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin on par with federal government employees is the equivalent of "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever!" President Obama call your office. Jesse Jackson thinks you're a racist.

For good measure, Larry Hanley of the Amalgamated Transit Workers likened Governor Walker's reforms to the attacks of September 11, 2001. Gee, I'm surprised Hanley didn't compare Walker to Hitler. Not that it has prevented others from doing so.

The deployment of such rhetoric convinces me that who oppose Governor Walker's reforms have lost the argument and, unless there's a widespread campaign of union intimidation, I think that will bear out at the polls tomorrow night.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

MassDems Give Warren 95% of the Vote

Yesterday, Massachusetts Democrats closed ranks around Elizabeth Warren giving her more than 95% of the vote at the party's state convention in Springfield.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Johan Santana Throws 1st No Hitter in Mets History

Six days ago, my Dad and I watched Johan Santana pitch a complete game, four-hit shutout against the San Diego Padres at CitiField.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.