Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Charles Barkley gets arrested for a DUI

by Ben Chew

One news note that has been coming across the wire is that of Charles Barkley getting arrested for a DUI in Scottsdale, Arizona early Wednesday.

Barkley was pulled over by the police office after he ran a red-light. Barkley did not take a breathalyzer test, but was subjected to a blood test. He was released today after posting bail.

However, the story continues as Dirty reported that Charles Barkley was partying with FOX NFL analyst Michael Strahan, and celebrity writer Jaleel White (AKA Urkel).

Allegedly, there are reports that Charles spent over 1800 dollars in a VIP booth on liquor at the club "Dirty/Pretty."

According to sources undisclosed, they noted Charles in his car had bear-claw donuts.

We salute you Charles, Happy New Year to you.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hot Stove League midseason winners/losers

By Rick Morris

Roughly halfway through baseball's vaunted free agency/trading period, let's take a look at your winners and losers to this point (and to refresh your memory about who's gone where, check all the transactions here).


1. New York Yankees. No duh, right? The hilarity of the situation is, though, that even with CC, AJ, MarkTex and NickSwish in the fold, the team is still caught in a three-way mosh pit of excellence in the AL East. The Red Sox should still try to make some upgrades, but they're still right there and for anyone waiting for a Tampa Bay relapse, picture this: Scott Kazmir and David Price at the front of the rotation. With apologies to the Angels, these are definitely the three best teams in the AL at the moment; two will make the playoffs and one must sit home. How'd you like to be answering to little Hankie Steinbrenner the first Monday in October if all of these moves aren't enough?

2. New York Mets. This team is still constituted in a strange manner, a bit short on chemistry and clutch play -- as the last two Septembers have demonstrated. But realistically, the KRod/Putz additions will shortly erase memories of the horrid bullpens of recent times and will create a lot of games that are over after seven innings. Another bat or starting arm would be nice in terms of solidifying a playoff spot, but for now, the Metropolitans have said to Philly "Game on!"

3. Oakland. It's not really clear what Billy Beane intends with the shocking Matt Holliday acquisition. He gave up a lot to get him and he's too shrewd to do that just for one year, so he must think that he can shuffle enough payroll to keep him. The As are slotted here on the assumption that Beane did not miscalculate and make a horrible mistake by compromising an excellent young talent base for a short-term boost. In a sane universe, he'd have been named NL MVP in 2007 and his home-road splits aren't as bad as the haters act like they are (in reality, few are as bad these days in the age of the humidor). With a great all-around offensive game and a glove to match, he's a legitimate difference-maker and if Oakland can shock the world by getting past the Angels or one of the AL East beasts for the wild card, he'll be a huge part of the reason why.

4. St. Louis. This team just keeps finding a way to compete year after year even when they're not completely on their game. Witness the 2006 World Series title after an 83-win regular season or last year's amazing run of contention throughout the year with paper-thin starting pitching in an alleged rebuilding year. The addition of Khalil Greene is a shrewd move, bringing to mind a similar trade for an exciting shortstop about three decades ago ...

5. Kansas City. The team perhaps most likely to be the "Tampa Bay of '09" is taking advantage of the parity in the AL Central by adding Mike Jacobs to their talented young core. Presumably, they're not done yet tinkering around the margins. Are they good enough to win the pennant like the Rays? Of course not, but stealing a garbage division with about 82 wins is not out of the question.

Honorable Mention

Cleveland. You've got to like the bullpen now, especially with the Kerry Wood signing. And the conventional wisdom that the team needs another starting pitcher is not necessarily true with the depth of options available internally, but the team stupidly will not admit that they need at least one more legitimate bat -- make that two if their "wish upon a star Travis Hafner redemption scenario" doesn't materialize.


1. Toronto. How's that decision to gamble big-time on an injury-prone AJ Burnett working out for you, Jays Fan? The guy opted out of the contract early after Toronto had overpaid him for underachieving results. Nice! With an Oriole team quietly building a nice core and three absolute monsters ahead of them in the standings, only realignment could put this team in the playoffs before 2015.

2. L.A. Angels. They'll get somebody to replace KRod, and he may have been overpaid based on the mileage he accrued last year (keeping in mind that you pay players based on anticipated production rather than what they've done in the past). But they have to anticipate a ninth-inning falloff, plus they'll probably lose Garret Anderson. They may well be able to fill holes with young talent, but for a team that has to prove it can get it done in October, surmounting the AL East teams (sorry to say it, but especially Boston) could be difficult without some of their proven stars.

3. Colorado. Just a year removed from the World Series, the full-on rebuilding is underway. Holliday brought in a nice haul, so the team will be OK in the medium-term, but forget contending for at least the next two years.

4. Seattle. The talent offloading continues, but the Mariners couldn't be any worse with young talent next year. That doesn't mean they'll even be within a Tiger Woods driver shot of .500, though.

5. San Francisco. This slotting may seem a bit surprising, but the decision to spend money on Randy Johnson rather than much-needed bats will come back to bite them. The rotation is anchored by the Cy Young winner and could be above-average if the Unit has enough left in the tank and Matt Cain starts to live up to his potential in earnest, but they're going to lose many more 1-0 games than they'll win.

Now, for the teams who could still be winners with a strong Hot Stove second half:

^ Boston. The offense isn't as explosive as it was in the World Series title years, and that will probably be the focus of any remaining moves. With Tex out of the mix, they aren't likely to manage a blockbuster (except through a big trade), but they can add to their lineup strength. The Brad Penny gamble is a good one for a rotation that should be solid enough to do anything you could expect.

^ Tampa Bay. It's been apparent since last summer that the team could benefit from one more bat, preferably a big bopper at DH. If they get one, they're as likely to make the playoffs as either of their big-spending rivals ... but will they finally stick their necks out to get it done?

^ Washington. Supposedly, they're now willing to spend. As bad as they've been, even respectability won't come cheap, but in MLB these days, big payrolls deployed wisely put you right in the hunt.

And here's the teams who will be losers if they don't turn it around before spring training:

^ Arizona. They still need offensive firepower to bridge the gap until their youngsters become regular All-Stars.

^ Cincinnati. Young talent is great, and their core of franchise players might be Top 5 in the entire game. You have to augment with outside talent, though, if you're going to take that next step and be a playoff contender.

^ L.A. Dodgers. With the loss of Manny, they're in the same boat as Arizona. Their AA team at Jacksonville has had lights-out talent the past few years, but Joe Torre needs some vets who can mash right now.

^ Milwaukee. CC's gone and Ben Sheets might well follow. They're in danger of becoming the Bizarro World Giants, a team that is forced to try to win 9-8 games.

^ Philadelphia. They were the champs in '08, but they must keep striving to improve; unlike the Red Sox championship teams of recent years, they can't go into the next season as the favorites without continued upgrades. Another reliable starting pitcher and a legit third baseman would mark them as the team to beat in the NL this year -- and potentially, in all of baseball.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

NFL power rankings for end of regular season

By Rick Morris


1. New York Giants

2. Tennessee

3. Carolina

4. Indianapolis

5. Pittsburgh

6. Baltimore

7. Atlanta

8. Miami

9. New England

10. Philadelphia


11. San Diego

12. Minnesota

13. Tampa Bay

14. Arizona

15. Dallas

16. New York Jets

17. Chicago

18. New Orleans

19. Denver

20. Washington


21. Houston

22. San Francisco

23. Buffalo

24. Green Bay


25. Jacksonville

26. Cincinnati

27. Seattle

28. Oakland

29. Kansas City

30. Cleveland

31. St. Louis

32. Detroit

Phil Savage fired, moron Browns fans rejoice

By Rick Morris

In a momentous triumph of historical illiteracy, drunken Browns fans everywhere are celebrating the dismissal of GM Phil Savage.

A mere four years after Butch Davis, the Haley's Comet of NFL suckitude prowled the sidelines, Browns fans are full of "it's never been worse than right now" self-pity and delusion.

Realistically, and what I'm about to truthfully lay out is over the heads of all of these folks, this team averaged out to 7-9 over the past two years. They weren't as good as the 10-6 record of a year ago and aren't as bad as the 4-12 of this year. Even in the sparse good times of the past four years, the team was battling to overcome the underachievement bred by Romeo Crennel, a heckuva nice guy and great defensive coordinator who was woefully ill-prepared to take this roster and do anything with it. So the talent is at least at a 7-9 level, more likely 8-8 or 9-7 (albeit it is very thin everywhere), but it's all going to be torn down now as the new guy comes in and gives the "look at the crapola I inherited" routine to buy himself some time.

There are many players up and down this roster who have at least shown flashes of being impact players, only to fall prey to coaching that cannot consistently get that level out of them. Somehow Romeo Crennel's failure to get the most out of this roster is being put onto Phil Savage, and when Savage pointed this out recently, he got made the bad guy for speaking an obvious truth. But hey, the team got overrated by everyone coming into the season (as I warned, in my usual precient style) and didn't live up to unrealistic expectations, so let's whack everyone and set back the program many years just to feel better in the moment! Yeah! Let's shotgun another PBR and whine about Lebron leaving while we're at it!

Randy Lerner is sucking up to his pathetic fanbase -- one of the very worst in all of sports, mind you -- in an attempt to get these pouting, foot-stamping crybabys to approve of him. While Savage has fallen short of the lofty expectations of four years ago, he EASILY earned enough leeway to get a respectable amount of time on the job and to at least bring in a head coach fully of his own choosing who will not bury his draft picks willy-nilly as Coach I'm Thinking Arby's so frequently did.

One of the many insanities of Cleveland Fan is his fear that anybody who gets let go by an area team will win a championship elsewhere. Given Savage's bona fides as a talent evaluator, has there been a coach or executive who has left town over the years who has been so obvious a candidate to succeed elsewhere? Granted, the mouth-breathers who call terrestrial talk radio shows don't see this, nor do the troglodytes on the Cleveland Plain Dealer message boards, but that doesn't make it any less true.

There's always the chance with Lerner's caysh that he'll manage to bring in an upgrade at the GM position -- Scott Pioli or Bill Parcells if he leaves Miami. But given his track record, it's more likely that he'll take a step backward, perhaps by throwing too much control at Bill Cowher in a desperate attempt to woo him. While it's popular to repeat the brainless mantra that it can only get better from here, it could clearly and easily get worse.

As such, the typical Browns fan may well be about to get the reward they deserve. As a loyal, non-weathervane lifelong Browns fan though, it's certainly not the reward I deserve.

The next biofuel is ... kudzu?????

By Rick Morris

I should mention that I first learned of this story from my dad. It seemed quite unbelievable to me at first.

I have been a skeptic of the ethanol industry because it has so transparently existed for the purpose of enriching Iowa farmers via subsidies. It is clear, though, that we do need to find American solutions to the question of how to supply the world's energy. Drilling should of course be a part of that (the shale in Colorado alone should produce monstrous supplies, much less anything additional in Alaska or offshore), but anything else that we can create would be beneficial as well -- not because of the eco-freaks who say that we're all going to die of global warming tomorrow (a new Ice Age, predicted by scientists in the '70s, is now being forecast by many again), but because we can "drain the swamp" of petrodollars pocketed by unfriendly Arab countries, Russia and Venezuela.

Amazingly, the devil weed of kudzu, which has bedeviled much of the South for generations, may provide the answer! From the Cox News Service story:

"The plant is a fast-growing, woody vine that can grow up to 60 feet in one season. Its underground roots, around the diameter of an adult forearm, store plenty of starch essential for ethanol production. Kudzu exists mostly in the southeast but is native to China and Japan, where the starchy roots have long been used for cooking and thickening sauces ...

And unlike corn, kudzu doesn't have high planting and maintenance costs ...

it should require little to no fertilizers or pesticides that could harm the environment."

How funny would it be to stick it to the oil-funded dictatorships by taking one of our country's most hated, out-of-control pests and turn it into a prime energy source? If copper thieves of recent years have taught us nothing else, we know that you'd surely see people cleaning the landscape for free as they would pluck every bit of kudzu from the areas where it's overgrown all over the South.

Here's a Tennessee TV report on the company trying to bring "kudzunol" to market:

Hockeyology: NHL Winter Classic preview

By Rick Morris

As part of our content-sharing agreement with affiliated websites under the Friends of FDH Club banner, we proudly present this great preview of the NHL Winter Classic, which will be appearing on NBC on New Year's Day when the Detroit Red Wings take on the Chicago Blackhawks at Wrigley Field. Before we get to the great preview from Hockeyology's Russ Cohen, however, check out this great time-lapse video that the NHL produced which shows the transformation of one of America's most venerable baseball fields into a home for winter hockey.

Also, stay tuned to The Lounge for updates during the week. We will be receiving texts from Russ, live from Wrigley, as he glimpses memorable moments this week at Wrigley and we'll pass them along via our new Twitter feed -- which is constantly updated on this very site.

The Winter Classic gets casual fans to watch hockey
By Russ Cohen

Last year's Winter Classic did something very special for the sport of hockey. It gave the game a worldwide audience on a day when most people are at home, looking for something to watch on the tube, and instead of watching the "Courier Bowl" (made up name) or some game between two bad teams, the coolest sport on ice took center stage on NBC and they knocked it out of the park. It was a ratings success.

OK, I used the baseball reference because this year’s game will be on NBC once again on New Year’s Day in a baseball landmark. The game will feature the Blackhawks against the Red Wings and don’t worry, the ‘Hawks fans have no love for the Wings, so the game will feature an electric atmosphere for sure. I covered the “Heritage Classic” at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta and last year’s classic at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY but Wrigley Field will raise the bar once again.

If you are wondering why these two teams were picked, I say the choice was simple. Wrigley is one of the precious ageless stadiums left in the world and the rise of the Blackhawks gives the team an “Original Six” battle and it doesn’t hurt that the Wings are the defending Stanley Cup champs.

The 2006 NHL Entry Draft set the stage for the rebuilding of this team by drafting their eventual captain in Jonathan Toews. At the time, he was nervously wondering which baseball team he should root for and I quickly told him “the Cubs” and then he entered the scrum to give his first interview away from the podium as a member of the Blackhawks. He ended up seeing the White Sox that summer, but now he will find out why I told him to root for the Cubbies, it’s the venue!

In 2007 Patrick Kane was drafted, and to me, he was already a rock star based on his performance in the World Junior Championships and the time that he spent playing for the London Knights.

“It’s unbelievable to join the group of players that have gone number one. The Lecavaliers and Crosbys and Ovechkins all went number one and they seem to be taking over the league. So to join that crop of players is unbelievable. I can’t even describe it,” Kane said in a very modest tone on that day.

Just two years later, and he is now one of the top players in the league amassing 104 points in his first 107 games. This year he’s good for more than a point-per-game and that has to remind fans of the great Bobby Hull just from a scoring perspective.

The last offensive piece to really fit well was the acquisition of former Boston Bruin Kris Versteeg (and a conditional draft pick). The Bruins drafted him in the fifth round back in 2004 and just three years later they moved 5-10, 180 pound winger for a bigger winger in Brandon Bochenski. He was 6-0, 193 pounds and he could score. That was all he could do, and after his 11-goal season he followed that up with no goals in 200,7 and now he is a 26-year-old NHL journeyman.

So now the 22-year-old Hawk has a chance to be the second-consecutive Calder Trophy winner in this franchise; Kane won it last season. Why does Chicago look like a playoff team? Well I gave you three good reasons. Two other reasons are the Bowmans.

“I’m not sure his record has been achieved by anybody else - 11 championships, 11 Stanley Cups,” Blackhawks President John McDonough said with pride.

“What Scotty has been able to do over the years is deliver on a goal,” Chairman, W. Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz said.

“Toe Blake coached 13 seasons and he won eight Stanley Cups. I got to know him when I was coaching in juniors (in the Canadiens organization) and he was kind of a mentor to me,” Scotty Bowman said with pride. His son Stan is the team’s assistant GM.

Wrigley Field has been the backdrop to the Bears and the Cubs, we all know that. In 1988 they added lights -- otherwise this game would never have been possible! The lights were on early last year.

Did you know that “Jake Ellwood” of the Blues Brothers listed 1060 W. Addison as his address on his Illinois drivers license? In 2005 Jimmy Buffett played the first-ever concert there. And now the first hockey game will take place there - - and it will be memorable.

Catch Russ Cohen and Shane Malloy on XM Hockey Prospect Radio and The Business of Hockey XM (204)/Sirius (208) shows on Saturday Noon-2 and Sunday 4-6 EST with some surprise guests.

Carry yourself with some dignity, Auburn!

By Rick Morris

Last year at this time we examined the state of college football coaching jobs. Who is on the top tier and who is on the next tier – clarity about where programs are realistically slotted is necessary in order to ascertain whether good hires or bad ones are being made relative to the value of the available jobs.

Right now, the top candidates to move up to a marquee job appear to be Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson and Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly. But with Johnson just having signed a big extension, a mere one year into his job in the A-T-L and Kelly also relatively new to his job and having sworn up and down that he’s staying in the Queen City, the timing is not right to woo either of these coaches. This explains why Notre Dame, who fired Ty Willingham before getting all their ducks in a row with Urban Meyer, has decided to hang onto Charlie Weis for one more year. Better to wait until a clear-cut top-tier candidate emerges as a realistic choice to be hired.

Auburn showed no such sense of planning when they “allowed Tommy Tuberville to resign” and replaced him with former Tiger defensive coordinator and Iowa State washout Gene Chizek. Awarding someone with a 5-19 record in the mediocre Big Twelve North a job we rated on the solid second tier a year ago should be beneath the dignity of the institution.

Charles Barkley went on another of his infamous belching rants when he accused his alma mater of racism for failing to hire Buffalo’s Turner Gill – a clearly superior choice – because he is a black man married to a white wife. There may or may not be truth to the accusation, but it’s a shame that it wasn’t raised in a more credible manner by a more credible person so that we would have a better chance of finding out the truth.

But right now, I’m about to do Auburn the dubious favor of defending them against accusations of racism by pronouncing them merely inept instead. I’d be much more inclined to believe the racial angle a few decades ago, before black faces became such a prominent part of the sports landscape even in the Deep South. No, my guess is that they are simply incompetent.

Faced with two coaching candidates who clearly didn’t impress them (Chizek because of his lackluster record in corn country and Gill probably because of his youth and lack of ties to the region), they settled for the one who at least had ties to the university. Chizek was the D coordinator a few years ago when the team went undefeated and doubtless, the school thought they’d at least get some credit for welcoming back somebody who’d had some success at the school. Wrong!

In the end they settled – and a school of their stature should never settle. I’ll take my theory a step further and guess that they looked across the state at their archrival Alabama and shuddered quite a bit at the fact that Nick Saban is having success ahead of schedule. With the next two years looking like a complete wipeout no matter what Auburn does, why lead with your best effort right now? Why not get somebody just to keep the seat warm until the next window to hire a coach comes about at that time?

If this is the strategy, it’s risky and ill-advised. I’ve never been a big Tuberville guy, but if somebody’s just going to fill the spot until they think Saban could be vulnerable again due to a down recruiting year (by the way, Auburn, good luck waiting on that!), why not keep the coach you had? Even with some of his tarnish gone, he still had more stature than his former assistant. And the job is likely to be more devalued after the Age of Chizek – meaning that the next time they hire somebody unworthy of a second-tier NCAA job they may no longer be on that second tier. That’s not the kind of self-perpetuating downward spiral that you want to perpetuate.

It’s clear that the alums are pretty cheesed off by this hiring. My advice to them is to start socking money away right now in a reserve fund. Chizek’s contract won’t cost much to buy out in two or three years, but a top-level coach isn’t even going to take a look at that mess unless there’s a mountain of caysh to entice him to put aside his better judgment and consider better offers. As expensive messes go, Tuberville’s buyout will be chump change compared to the eventual costs of fixing this mishandled situation.

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume I, Issue XVII

By Rick Morris

For the most part, we keep our fantasy content on our fantasy website and fantasy blog and keep this site for content on all subjects. It allows our readers to find specific content more easily that way. However, it has come to our attention that because our new fantasy sports newsletter is published on the older Blogger platform that our readers may be limited in their ability to subscribe to it. There does not appear to be a way to have content on the blog forwarded to an aggregate news reader -- however, we know that we have that ability here. So we will link to that newsletter each week right here when it is published. Here is this week's newsletter.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

By Rick Morris

On behalf of all of The FDH Lounge Dignitaries, we wish you a very Merry Christmas. This is truly one of the greatest days each year. We hope that you have a great holiday and that the meaning of the day brings meaning to you.

To help you celebrate, let's kick it old-school with a little "Christmas in Hollis."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

NFL power rankings for Week 17

By Rick Morris


1. New York Giants

2. Tennessee

3. Carolina

4. Pittsburgh

5. Indianapolis

6. New England

7. Baltimore


8. Atlanta

9. Miami

10. Dallas

11. Tampa Bay

12. Philadelphia

13. Minnesota

14. Chicago

15. New York Jets

16. Arizona

17. Denver

18. New Orleans

19. San Diego

20. Washington


21. Houston

22. Buffalo

23. San Francisco

24. Green Bay

25. Jacksonville


26. Cincinnati

27. Seattle

28. Kansas City

29. Oakland

30. Cleveland

31. St. Louis

32. Detroit

Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Deaths in Threes

By Tony Mazur

In recent years, I've gotten a kick out of finding celebrity deaths in threes. I find it fascinating and somewhat amusing when three completely different celebrities pass on around the same time.

For those who are unaware of this "game", it's fairly simple. Find the date of death of a celebrity, and see if there are any other celebrities who have passed on around that date as well. For example, February 12, 2000 was infamous for having three well-known celebrities pass away on the same day. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz died, followed by hall-of-fame coach Tom Landry and "Screamin' Jay" Hawkins. In fact, Jim Varney died two days earlier and Derrick Thomas left the planet four days prior. The amusing part is to find three that differ completely in their respective occupations.

2008, though, was tough. Quite a few public figures died this year, but not in threes. Here's what I came up with:

January 2008

*Sir Edmund Hillary, explorer
*Bobby Fischer, chess player
*Heath Ledger, actor

December 2008

*Bettie Page, model
*Sammy Baugh, quarterback
*W. Mark Felt, "Deep Throat"

There were plenty of twos (Bernie Mac & Isaac Hayes, Charlton Heston & John Archibald Wheeler, Tim Russert & George Carlin, and Jesse Helms & Tony Snow), but there weren't as many threes as I thought.

I'm starting a new campaign entitled: "Kick the Bucket 2009", for my sick enjoyment only.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

If Pelosi "wears the pants," Obama is screwed

By Rick Morris

Politico has reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has informed new Obama Administration enforcer Rahm Emanuel that she is not going to be "triangulated." That reference appears to be invoking the Clinton era, when Bubba tried to position himself as more centrist than the Congressional Republicans and Democrats who were jousting over legislation. Clearly, San Fran Nan doesn't want a repeat of those days, with Barack Obama looking moderate at her expense and selling out their precious "progressive values."

Well, Emanuel is supposedly a tough guy who was brought in to help rein in the large Democratic majorities and help get bills passed on Obama's terms, so notwithstanding his climb through the ranks under Pelosi in the House, it's hard to believe that he was cowed by her threats.

As an ideologue on the other side, I'm more than a bit amused by this intramural squabbling. But as a student of history, I'm equally intrigued by what lessons have been drawn from the recent past.

In 1977, Jimmy Carter assumed the presidency after having run against Washington D.C. during the campaign. He came in with huge majorities in both houses of Congress, but party loyalty played little role in how the executives and legislators conducted themselves -- the struggle for primacy on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue concluded almost inevitably in Ted Kennedy challenging the prez for reelection. Carter's inability to get along with Bob Byrd and Tip O'Neill doomed him to one term just as surely as the Iran hostage situation and brutal economic mismanagement.

Sixteen years after Carter came to office, Bill Clinton took over after a campaign of his own that bashed D.C., but he put that rhetoric aside almost immediately. His immediate toadying to Congressional barons poisoned his image and led straight to the GOP takeover of both chambers in 1994. From there, he switched to triangulation as a means of survival, at least until a gullible public boosted his popularity to new heights when he posed as a victim after being caught lying under oath years later.

So Carter started his (only) term as confrontational and stayed in that mode, paying a steep price. Clinton overcompensated in his read of history, only to swing back to a middle path when that proved to be a disaster.

Pelosi is now laying down the law to the Obama team, insisting that she will fight any move to cut moderate deals to move legislation. Govern from the hard left or not at all, she is saying. I have maintained all along that Obama is smarter than many around him, as his transition is proving thus far. He knows that following Pelosi off the left-wing cliff will doom him -- and you can ask the "Right Reverend Wright" what happens to those who become inconvenient to him. For all the hullaballoo about whether Obama has what it takes to stand up to international tyrants, an equally important question for his political future will be whether he can stand up to NoCal Nancy.

The Long War Journal December roundup

By Rick Morris

In the lineage of The FDH Lounge, Bill Roggio is a pioneer twice over. He was one of our first guests on our FDH Lounge Internet TV show, appearing on our second episode back in January 2007 – and he recently became the first follower of our FDH Lounge Twitter feed!

It occurred to us then that we could kill two birds with one stone – promoting an excellent site and bringing great geopolitics coverage to our readers here – by adapting a feature that we have long used for content from Jane’s Information Group. Each month, we bring you a roundup of links to free excerpts of Jane’s stories because we don’t get the opportunity to cover much geopolitics firsthand here in The Lounge and we know that some of you appreciate being led to good content in that area. Well, the same principle applies to Bill’s Long War Journal, an incomparable hub of news and analysis about the War on Terror – we can do ourselves a favor by providing links to great content as well as sending traffic to a truly great and deserving website.

So now we bring you links to some of the top stories in The Long War Journal for the month of December:

US forces detain Iranian 'agent' near Baghdad

Questions remain on the development of the Iraqi Security Forces

Taliban destroy NATO trucks, supplies in Peshawar

Al Qaeda's anthrax scientist

Iraqi military plans major arms purchase

Pakistan's Jihad

Taliban are 'patriots,' says Pakistani Army official

Coalition forces target Iranian-backed Hezbollah Brigades in Baghdad

RIP Sammy Baugh

By Rick Morris

Slingin’ Sammy Baugh was one of the NFL’s first great megastars, dominating back in the days well before color television. It’s tough to pinpoint his exact place in history because of the changes in the game, but the consensus is that he was one of the very best QBs ever. In this analysis published here last spring, fellow FDH Lounge Dignitary Nate Noy rated him as the 6th best quarterback of all time while I placed him 11th, but either designation carries great respect.

Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell did a wonderful job of capturing Baugh’s impact for those too young to appreciate it:

“Sammy Baugh, a man whose face is almost completely forgotten but whose legend is still vivid generations after he retired, is the single star that created the Redskins brand.

Baugh died Wednesday at 94, as the founder, the inspiration and the symbol of everything that is burgundy-and-gold. …

Baugh remains, even in Washington, that purest of legends, the player who exists only in the retelling of his deeds from parents to children. How many have even seen him in the flesh? Compared to Baugh, Joe DiMaggio was a publicity hound. Better, perhaps, that Baugh retired quietly to his 7,600-acre ranch in Texas, to his five children, 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, and almost never showed up back here in his 'second home' to take bows.

Still, Baugh's enormous stature as the last living member of the NFL's first Hall of Fame class contrasts with his near invisibility in a celebrity age. Every decade or so, reporters would seek him out for an update-on-Sam story. They always found him a gentleman, a fellow with an anecdote punctuated by a single 'hell' or 'damn' and a delicious demonstration of restraint.

As long as people know the Redskins, they will know Sammy Baugh. He's the Texan who branded them.”

Additionally, this AP video gives a good sense of his life also:

Sammy Baugh was a true great of the gridiron and a man of tremendous class also. RIP.

RIP Paul Weyrich

By Rick Morris

There is much symbolism in the fact that 2008 has seen the passing of William F. Buckley, Jr., Jesse Helms and now Paul Weyrich. With the conservative movement facing its gravest challenge since the circumstances that catapulted Ronald Reagan to the presidency in 1980, talk is circulating everywhere about what it will take for policy mavens on the right to restore limited constitutional government. Of course, the bitter irony is that present circumstances are largely in place due to failings of those falsely claiming to be adherents of Reagan’s path in the executive and legislative branches – and the discrediting effects that have come from that.

Regardless, it can truthfully be said that the path back to power for the right (and don’t delude yourselves, Koskids, everything is cyclical) will be paved by a modern adaptation of Weyrich’s methods and teachings. Paul Weyrich truly was an American political pioneer, helping to take the early conservative movement that came out of the Goldwater campaign in 1964 and mold it into an intellectual force in the ‘70s that set the stage for the Gipper’s triumphs to follow.

I will quote at length the words of his close friend and fellow activist Morton Blackwell this past fall at a Weyrich tribute. On a personal note, I once interned for Blackwell’s organization in event planning and put together the weekend seminar at Weyrich’s Free Congress Foundation, although I did not get to meet Weyrich. In reading these heartfelt words, you can’t help but be glad that they were spoken when Weyrich could still appreciate them, before his recent health problems deepened even more. Here are some excerpts of Blackwell’s tribute:

“Next to Ronald Reagan, no single person has achieved more to advance the cause of American conservatism than Paul Weyrich.

Paul came to Washington 42 years ago to work as press secretary for conservative U.S. Senator Gordon Allott of Colorado. At the time, liberalism was riding high.

There were very few conservative op-ed writers. There was no talk radio as we know it today. Fox News and conservative blogs like Townhall and RedState did not exist.

Lionel Trilling wrote at the time that ‘liberalism is not only the dominant ideology; it’s the only ideology in America.’

Some of the few conservatives who worked in the D.C. area didn’t dare call themselves conservatives.

After Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the Nixon/Agnew ticket resulted in another disappointing setback for conservatism. But beginning in the early 1970s, conservatism was on the march. The election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 constituted a major triumph for conservative principles.

... And none of it would have happened without Paul Weyrich. Now it’s time to honor him.

As a congressional staffer, Paul watched the powerful, liberal coalition of academics, think tank analysts, members of Congress, White House aides, interest-group officials, and journalists running America and wondered: ‘Why can’t we put together an operation like that? …

Paul, Ed, and I were among an informal group brought together by conservative fundraiser Richard Viguerie in 1972. We were determined conservatives who began to discuss how to build a powerful base of conservative activists and leaders who could eventually win in American politics.

Central to our plan was to create new, effective, conservative groups. Paul Weyrich turned out to be, by far, the most successful creator of new organizations. Below is only a partial list of the conservative organizations he engendered or was key in starting:

• Heritage Foundation
• Free Congress Foundation
• Free Congress PAC

• Coalitions for America
• House Republican Study Committee
• Senate Steering Committee

• Council for National Policy
• International Policy Forum
• American Legislative Exchange Council

• American Association of State and Local Officials
• Conservative Leadership PAC

Paul sparked many people to create and lead a wide variety of other effective, new conservative groups. Our informal group met frequently throughout the 1970s to brainstorm new ideas and put them into effect. …

Here’s another thing most people don’t know about: Paul’s central role in overturning the defeatist Republican leadership in the Congress.

For decades the House and Senate Republican leadership contentedly accepted their government limousines and gave little thought or effort to overturning the Democrats’ congressional majorities.

Paul saw that only a new generation of conservative Republican congressional leadership could wrest control from the leftist Democrats in charge of both Houses.

Key to that achievement was creation of the House Republican Study Committee and the Senate Steering Committee. Paul and Ed Feulner persuaded some solidly conservative U.S. Representatives and Senators to take on that project. But that was only the important, first step.

Paul then led the bigger and more complex task. It required many steps:

1. To recruit and train a new generation of conservative candidates all across America.

2. To generate political and financial support for those candidates so they could win nomination and election.

3. To identify, recruit, and train conservative Members of both Houses who could eventually become the congressional Republican leaders.

4. To work quietly and systematically to line up support in the House and Senate Republican conferences for action-oriented challengers against the content-free incumbent party leaders.

5. To build up an efficient network of trustworthy conservative congressional staff who would have to do much of the work of advancing conservative principles in congressional activities.

Paul did all of that and more. It was both a massive and complex task.

Paul began a weekly strategy luncheon which he hosted in his office. He recruited as a luncheon regular a very bright new congressman named Newt Gingrich. I was there as Paul first explained to Newt what a “wedge issue” is.

Paul took the lead in an astonishing variety of tasks:

• training a new generation of grassroots conservative activists and leaders

• recruiting solidly conservative candidates

• generating support for conservative candidates in nomination and general-election contests by introducing them to conservative donors and to the leaders of new conservative organizations

• helping newly elected conservatives hire solidly conservative staff

• lining up support for activist conservatives in party leadership contests in both Houses of Congress

Of course, most of these activities necessarily take place behind the scenes, so people not directly involved never have learned of Paul’s leadership role in them. Now you know.

Most effective conservatives do know that Paul is the ‘go to’ guy when you want to make something happen. Paul’s effectiveness is famous.

Over the last 40 years, I’ve been in uncounted thousands of conservative meetings, large and small, where everyone looked to Paul to put the heat on specific people to do the right thing.

You probably remember the children’s story where some mice were troubled by a cat who was catching and eating many of them. One mouse came up with the great idea of tying a bell around the cat’s neck so they could hear him coming. Another mouse raised the question, ‘Who shall bell the cat?’

Belling the cat is dangerous business.

Fortunately for all of us, Paul Weyrich is fearless and ready to do whatever must be done to advance conservative principles. He has never aspired to win a popularity contest. Regardless of the consequences to himself, Paul keeps his commitments, and woe unto anyone who breaks his word to Paul.

The truth is that many people are (wisely) afraid of him. Many a waverer has been brought back to the ‘straight and narrow’ for fear of angering Paul.

Serious conservatives treasure Paul’s judgment, and the smartest ones often follow his advice. If one wants support from conservatives, earning Paul’s respect is very, very valuable.

Next, let me tell you one of the best things Paul ever did for us. Having once been invited by mistake to a left-wing coalition meeting, Paul studied how the left operated. Then he adapted for conservatives the techniques for building powerful coalitions.

Paul organized the first successful conservative coalition meetings. Soon Paul’s model began to produce major results in a wide variety of policy areas. Briefly, here’s how it works:

1. Invite people who share common interests and who will commit to take actions to further those causes.

2. Invite people who have the personal ability to make things happen, through their financial resources, their communication vehicles, their grassroots following, their network of contacts, or their expertise.

3. Avoid inviting people who are merely note-takers for others.

4. Prepare an interesting, action-oriented agenda of topics for coalition meetings.

5. Brainstorm ideas for appropriate actions regarding the topics discussed.

6. Call for volunteers to take specific actions.

7. Note those who volunteer to take actions and hold them accountable for doing what they agree to do.

8. Have the meetings chaired by someone who has resources to commit, who has considerable prestige, and whom participants would fear to disappoint.

The beauty of this model is that each person in the coalition remains independent. No one is required to do anything by a vote of the gathering. Yet an enormous amount of action can result.

People are dropped from the meeting if they come only to promote their own projects, never volunteer to take actions to help the projects of others, or consistently fail to do what they volunteer to do.

That all sounds simple, but in practice, conservative coalitions pioneered by Paul Weyrich multiplied the effectiveness of conservatives in the public policy process.

Paul created a number of different coalitions and still personally chairs his famous Wednesday luncheons when Congress is in session. About sixty people regularly attend.

Other conservatives have replicated Paul’s model effectively for national coalition meetings. Now such coalitions operate locally and do important work in many states.

A little-known aspect of Paul’s career is his huge effort to identify and train pro-freedom activists and leaders in the former Soviet empire.

He understood that the fall of communist regimes would amount to nothing unless anti-communists there learned how to operate successfully in the democratic process. From the Iron Curtain to far Siberia, Paul brought expert, American, conservative faculty to teach practical political skills to grassroots activists.

Over several years, Paul personally made more than 40 trips over there.

He identified good people and brought first-class training to them. Conditions were often primitive, and there was more than a little personal danger. But as usual, Paul poured his talent and resources into doing the right thing.

We should thank God that Paul remains active in politics. Today, through his principal organization, the Free Congress Foundation, he continues to do tremendous work on behalf of our country and our conservative principles.

He is writing and publishing more now than ever. Hardly a day passes without powerful, interesting, current quotes from Paul in the print and broadcast media on the hot issues before our country.

Several years ago, Paul had a nasty accident when he slipped on the ice. This left him crippled and in constant pain. Ultimately, doctors removed his legs. In spite of the resultant disability, Paul labors on, always courageous and highly effective.

Still an inspiring movement conservative, Paul is an outspoken critic of Republicans and Democrats who don’t advance our economic and social values.

Without Paul Weyrich, there would likely have been no conservative movement worthy of the name—and no Ronald Reagan presidency.

If there were a Mount Rushmore for conservative leaders, Paul’s face would have to be on it.”

Blackwell may be the most eloquent speaker anywhere on the subject of Weyrich’s work. This video contains more such thoughts:

The principles for which Weyrich fought his entire life will come into power once again – and when they do, it will be because of his determined admirers following the blueprints he left behind. RIP to a great American, Paul Weyrich.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume I, Issue XVI

By Rick Morris

For the most part, we keep our fantasy content on our fantasy website and fantasy blog and keep this site for content on all subjects. It allows our readers to find specific content more easily that way. However, it has come to our attention that because our new fantasy sports newsletter is published on the older Blogger platform that our readers may be limited in their ability to subscribe to it. There does not appear to be a way to have content on the blog forwarded to an aggregate news reader -- however, we know that we have that ability here. So we will link to that newsletter each week right here when it is published. Here is this week's newsletter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FDH Lounge Show #41: December 17, 2008

By Rick Morris

The 41st edition of The Great American Radio Show on Internet television is the second episode since we’ve moved to Wednesdays (7-10 PM EST on and the first one where we don’t break format! Last week, we brought you the splendor (or was that Splenda?) of the fantasy supergroup draft, a three-hour extravaganza in which The Dignitaries of The FDH Lounge each attempted to compile the ultimate rock band. Tonight, FDH Entertainment Editor Samantha Jones takes her victory lap.

But first, The Dignitaries make their Opening Statements and then we are joined by a returning friend of the show, Fran Stuchbury of the great AFL site He’ll help us navigate the drama of the AFL’s expected shutdown for the 2009 season and what the future holds. Also, Fran pointed us to this excellent Darren Rovell piece on a new football league that is just starting: the United Football League. In this economic climate? Are they nuts? We’ll get Fran’s take from what he’s seen up-close in covering non-NFL professional football.

Then, in the second half of Hour One, we welcome in’s Jets Confidential writer Dan Leberfeld for a look at one of the NFL’s most enigmatic teams. Can the Jets rally to make the playoffs? Will the world’s most indecisive retiree come back to play QB next year? We’ll ask Dan.

Before the end of the hour, we welcome in Samantha for a quick recap of last week’s music draft before she and hubby Jason, our Senior Editor and de facto assistant entertainment editor, deliver a breakdown about the music and movie gifts you should be purchasing for loved ones during this holiday season. Then, back by popular demand, we bring you Part II of our music mashups series! Jason and Samm will rate the best of this batch. Which ones are the greatest? Is it “Billie Jean’s Thong?” How about “Every Car You Chase?” Could it be “Sweet Home Grammar?” We’ll all bask in the samples together.

In our final Hour Two segment, we deliver The FDH Lounge Pigskin Report in the form of a debate about a college football playoff. The Lounge has seen a very unpopular opinion voiced about the worthiness of a “plus-one” format and Jason doesn’t like it a bit. The sparks will fly!

Then, in Hour Three, we bring you two former stand-alone FDH programs that are now under The FDH Lounge banner. THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER (9:00-9:30 PM EST) focuses on NFL Week 16 fantasy matchups and how to ensure a championship in your league this weekend.

On THE GOON SQUAD (9:30-10:00 PM EST), we examine the latest FDH NHL power rankings and also the reaction of the infantile Tampa Bay ownership to their verbal beatdown by the great Barry Melrose. Plus, isn’t Brett Hull’s innocent act about Sean Avery wearing a bit thin yet? For all this talk about Sean Avery “getting better,” face it, an emotionally healthy Sean Avery is skating exhibitions with the Hanson brothers. He’s still in the league BECAUSE he’s a train wreck, and judged to be valuable when he’s sufficiently treading the line of sanity.

With last week’s Wednesday debut breaking format, as we reserve the right to do from time to time in The FDH Lounge, where nothing is off-topic, this debut of the permanent Wednesday format – with the “classic Lounge” for the first two hours and the “shows within a show” in the final hour – is going to be very exciting. Tune in for yet another chapter in the history of the most unique broadcast ever created, only on STN.

Person of the Year: Any Guess as to Who it is?

By Tony Mazur

Time has named Barack Hussein Obama as their "Person of the Year". Clearly, Obama was quite a dynamic figure in 2008. His historic campaign motivated politically-apathetic individuals to go to the polls on November 4th, and he has become the number one role model for minorities. Barack's campaign has brought a sense of hope for many downtrodden Americans.

I would like to know what Barack Obama has done to deserve this accolade. His entire campaign was comparable to a season of American Idol. He has not personally helped anyone out. If anything, entertainers and politicians alike helped Obama raise an ungodly amount of money, and the media helped get him elected.

In 2008, we learned that Obama has close ties to black supremacists, terrorists, and anti-Semites. We also learned that Malcolm X's autobiography "spoke to him". "He spoke of a wish he'd once had, the wish that the white blood that ran through him, there by an act of violence, might somehow be expunged." That doesn't sound like something a "Person of the Year" would say.

The man has so many skeletons in his closet, but since he won the election, all of that is forgotten. The same scenario occurred sixteen years ago around this time when Bill Clinton won the 1992 Election. Paula Jones fiasco? What was that? Whitewater? I don't remember that.

To be fair, I don't believe any politician should win this award. First of all, "Person of the Year" has as much credibility as the Heisman Trophy (and I pulled for Sam Bradford). Second, politicians are all about themselves. Self-gratification got them to where they are today, and in Obama's case, it applies heavily.

If I were the decision-maker at Time, I would change the award to "People of the Year", and the winners would be the U.S. Military. Every single year. While Obama's phony campaign made liberals feel giddy, the military has fought for each and every one of us, keeping us safe from terrorism around the world.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NHL power rankings for mid-December

By Rick Morris

1. San Jose
2. Detroit
3. Boston
4. New York Rangers
5. Washington
6. Philadelphia

7. Montreal
8. Pittsburgh
9. Anaheim
10. Calgary
11. Chicago
12. New Jersey
13. Vancouver

14. Buffalo
15. Nashville
16. Phoenix
17. Carolina
18. Minnesota
19. Edmonton
20. Toronto
21. Los Angeles Kings
22. Florida
23. Colorado
24. Dallas
25. Columbus
26. Ottawa
27. St. Louis

28. Atlanta
29. New York Islanders
30. Tampa Bay

Gary Sinise: great actor, better person

By Rick Morris

Gary Sinise has long been one of my favorite actors. While he's most famous for his work on "CSI: NY" and as "Lt. Dan" in "Forest Gump," I enjoyed him most in "Snake Eyes" with Nick Cage. Great, great movie, check it out, you will be entertained.

Anyway, I knew that he was very involved with the USO and very active on behalf of our soldiers and sailors, but not until his recent acceptance of the Presidential Citizen Medal did I have any appreciation for the degree to which this man has worked purely for the benefit of others. I will quote at some length from the excellent article by Andrew Breitbart which I encourage you to read in its entirety:

"Since war became a geographically distant but very real way of life after Sept. 11, 2001, no Hollywood star has stepped up to support active duty U.S. military personnel and wounded veterans like Gary Sinise. There is no close second. And quietly, as is his nature, he is becoming something akin to this generation´s Bob Hope ...

Michael Yon, a Special Forces vet and the pre-eminent war journalist of our time, communicated his admiration in a dispatch from Bahrain: 'Gary is a true friend of the American soldier. He does not hesitate to travel into war zones to express his admiration and personal support for those who defend us. He visits wounded soldiers, some of whom I personally know. All love him.

Soldiers from privates to generals admire Gary for his dedication to a cause greater than any of us. Gary's dedication went much further. He personally supported sending millions of dollars worth of school and clothing supplies to Iraqi children. I saw this effort with my own eyes. Gary Sinise is a Great American.'

[USO employee Sharon] Tyk recalled [a] memorable experience with Mr. Sinise.

'We picked up Gary at 5 a.m.,' she wrote. 'I felt somewhat crabby because I had to get up very, very early to get him to the CBS studios. There he was in front of the residence waiting for us with a smile on his face eagerly waiting to help. I thought to myself, Sharon you need to learn a lesson from this man. Look at him, he´s honored and thrilled to help and he´s not even getting paid to do this and you are! His love for the mission that day completely changed my thought process. He is the perfect example of 'you teach what you live.' '

Spc. Jason M. Hale, who encountered Mr. Sinise at Camp Ramadi, e-mailed: 'He was the only celebrity that came to take pictures with us where we worked on base, and you had the feeling that if he could, he would have grabbed a weapon and gone on patrol with us. That's how much he connected with the troops. He's one of those Hollywood guys who doesn't act like he's from Hollywood, and to those who are living in the desert, putting their lives on the line, that's quite refreshing.'

To get a sense of the scope of what Mr. Sinise means to soldiers like Spc. Hale, filmmaker and Army 82d Airborne veteran Jonathan Flora followed him and his band to Afghanistan and Iraq in 2008. He recounts one time when he witnessed one of Mr. Sinise´s typical interactions with the troops.

'It was hot, Iraq hot when we stopped at a check point before entering an FOB (Forward Operating Base). Gary began speaking with a soldier through the window and soon we were all standing outside so he could have his picture taken with him and a few of his buddies. Soon there were at least fifty guys around him and he greets each one as he always does. This is an unscheduled stop and we are being urged to move on so as to be on time for his next stop, but Gary, still, meets with each one and gives them their time. Finally, we have to move on as he says good-bye to the last soldier.

As we are about to get into the vehicle we hear the guys yelling and in the distance is one more soldier. He is dressed in full battle-rattle humping as fast as he can in this unbearable heat to get to Gary before he leaves. He had just been relieved from his point and heard that Gary Sinise had stopped by the check point, and he was determined not to miss him. Gary without hesitation stopped and waited and he greeted this young man as if he was the first man in line, full of enthusiasm and appreciation.

'When we did finally get into the vehicle I mentioned to Gary how I observe how he makes each and every man or woman feel special and appreciated, he paused in thought before answering, as he often does, and then says with a heavy heart, 'It's because we don't know what the next hour holds for them. As tired as I might get sometimes, and I do, it is nothing compared to what they go through day-after-day with the price they are so readily willing to pay.' '

Deb Rickert of Operation Support our Troops said it best about Mr. Sinise, the recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal.

'In an age when the public often lavishes epitaphs of greatness on celebrities merely because they are famous, the military community bestows the simple title of friend on Gary Sinise truly because that is what he is to us.' "

What a great story. I don't like to quote from a column as liberally as I just did, but I think Mr. Breitbart probably would not mind because he would agree that as many people as possible should know this story (and I did link directly to it and I encourage readers yet again to read the whole account). Fox News will be airing a special that will feature Gary Sinise and the troop visits on January 10 in prime time. Set your VCRs/TIVOs/whatever if you want to have an inspirational piece of video that you can watch whenever you want to see the best of America. Congratulations to Gary Sinise on his recent award, the second-highest one awarded to civilians in this country.

Left wing embraces their inner Chomsky

By Rick Morris

If George W. Bush had "show up in one more viral video" on his to-do list before checking out of the White House, he succeeded. The gravy-training attention whore who chucked his shoes is probably getting electrodes strapped to his genitals right now. Hopefully, anyway.

And I say that as someone who's had plenty of criticism for "The Decider" over the years. But that illuminates the difference between critics on the left and those on the right. There is much glee and rejoicing on the left right now, drinking in Bush's humiliation with nary a thought to how the prestige of the country suffers from such a scene. Don't believe me? Check out the knuckle-dragging commenters at Huff Post who were clearly going all Al Bundy with the front of their trousers five seconds after hearing that the man who they hate more than they love anything in life got decisively upstaged.

Now that right there is mainstream on the left. Search through comments on any number of like blogs and you'll find the same misfits who celebrate the desecration of the American presidency.

What if the same thing happened to Obama?

I'm relatively certain that you'd find me -- and any number of like-minded folks -- who didn't vote for Obama in '08, won't vote for him in '12 and aren't happy about many of his plans ready to call in an airstrike on the home of anyone who would dare to mock an American president in such a way. To people like us, disrespect to a president -- and by extension, the United States -- is unthinkable and not anything to be tolerated much less vehemently embraced. As somebody else I frequently disagreed with (although voted for) once said, "Country first."

Are there those on the right who would be gleeful about Obama having to duck shoes in such a manner? I'm sure you could find them. But what this episode proves for the umpteenth time is that this kind of Chomskyite disregard of country is left to the sordid margins of the right, but is far more mainstream on the other side.

NFL power rankings for Week 16

By Rick Morris

TOP TIER [NOTE: Every Super Bowl winner since the 2000 season is represented on this level. If it's not the first time in league history that this many recent Super Bowl winners have been this good at the same time, it's probably at least almost unprecedented.]

1. New York Giants

2. Pittsburgh

3. Carolina

4. Tennessee

5. Indianapolis

6. New England

7. Tampa Bay

8. Baltimore

9. Philadelphia

10. Dallas


11. Atlanta

12. Miami

13. New York Jets

14. Minnesota

15. Arizona

16. Chicago

17. Denver


18. New Orleans

19. Houston

20. Washington


21. San Diego

22. San Francisco

23. Buffalo

24. Green Bay

25. Jacksonville


26. Cleveland

27. Kansas City

28. Seattle

29. St. Louis

30. Oakland

31. Cincinnati

32. Detroit

Chicago School Chief to Become Education Secretary...

By Tony Mazur

...Because we know how well Chicago schools have been in that field. I wonder what cabinet positions Obama will give to Richard Daley and Rod Blagojevich, since we're naming corrupt Illinois politicians.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Video Clips: Fun Timewasters

By Rick Morris

From time to time, we try to accommodate our Lounge content consumers who just want some fun, light entertainment. Hence this edition of our Video Clips series, entitled "Fun Timewasters."

These are simply some video clips that you can enjoy and consume in the form of good, mindless entertainment. On with the show!

Plaxico Burress firearm safety public service announcement:

Somebody, I believe it was Keith Olbermann, chucking a shoe at George W. Bush:

The greatness that is: Mr. Alan! "Twenty-nahn or two-fuh-fiddy!"

Lebron James dominating never gets old:

Red State Update moves to Canada to protest Obama's win:

Auburn fan no likey their non-winning football coach:

Classic heel promo: the incomparable Nick Bockwinkel in Memphis: