Thursday, May 31, 2012

The FDH Lounge Bret Hart Anthology

By Rick Morris
With the very recent return to our program of one of pro wrestling’s biggest legends, Bret “Hitman” Hart, we are now able to bring to you all three of his appearances, totaling well over an hour in all: his two that occurred under our previous distribution arrangement and the one from this week.  We hope you enjoy “The Best There Is, The Best There Was and The Best There Ever Will Be.”

Lounge on YouTube: Mini-Episode #125 – Bret Hart

By Rick Morris
As we referenced previously, our pals at Sportsology are hooking us up for live segments that we’re doing with guests and remote FDH Lounge Dignitaries these days.  We’re happy to report that we’ve been able to produce many segments on our own, but we’re thrilled for the help on some of these with guests and the thanks all go to our great friend Russ Cohen.
Our landmark Mini-Episode #125 features our third conversation with one of pro wrestling’s biggest legends, Bret “Hitman” Hart.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Prosecution rests its case-in-chief against Roger Clemens

By Steve Kallas (posted by Rick Morris)
On Tuesday, May 29, the prosecution in the perjury trial of Roger Clemens rested after presenting its case-in-chief.  Despite great efforts by the Clemens defense team, it says here that the government scored plenty of points with the jury; enough to get Roger Clemens convicted of one or more counts and enough, given Judge Reggie Walton’s statements at the abbreviated first trial, to send Roger Clemens to jail.
Of course, there still may be some room for some bombshells as the defense started presenting its case on Tuesday afternoon.  However, it is unlikely that Roger Clemens will take the stand and, often times, despite the fact that the defendant has every right not to take the stand, that is held against the defendant by jurors (consciously or not).
If Clemens does take the stand, it will be a gigantic news story, both in the legal world and the sports world. 
Well, by all means not complete, some of the highlights included (all in-court references come from tweets from either Jim Baumbach of Newsday or the Daily News I-Team):
1)     THE TESTIMONY OF BRIAN McNAMEE.  Despite talk from the defense about the withering cross-examination that was to come of McNamee, the trainer of Clemens who graphically testified about injecting Clemens numerous times with HGH and steroids, McNamee held up very well and, essentially, made for a very good witness.  In the crazy world of the steroids era, it turns out that the people who most told the truth (with possibly a lie here or a lie there) were people like Jose Canseco, Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee.  Go figure.
2)     THE DNA EVIDENCE.  It was hard to believe that syringes and needles and cotton balls, stuck in a beer can in a garage or basement for a number of years, could lead to a conviction of anyone on perjury charges, etc.  But the government did a good job with expert testimony tying Roger Clemens to the stuff that McNamee had saved.  When Rusty Hardin tried hard to show that McNamee simply made this stuff up after the fact, the prosecution was allowed to bring in two convincing witnesses (including former major leaguer David Segui), who testified that McNamee had told them about keeping the evidence many years before the whole Congressional investigation/Clemens testimony.  This final prosecution evidence totally countered one false theory of the defense (that McNamee made it up after the fact).
3)     THE TESTIMONY OF KIRK RADOMSKI.  Radomski (who has written his own scary, frank book on his involvement of selling steroids to professional athletes) testified about sending HGH to Clemens house and providing steroids that were allegedly used by Clemens.  Although the defense scored some points on cross, the connect-the-dots approach of the prosecution may have very well positively influenced the jury from a prosecution perspective.
4)     THE JOSE CANSECO PARTY.  On a specific charge against Clemens (who said he was not at a party at Canseco’s house in June of 1998), the government produced witnesses and even pictures that clearly showed that Clemens was at the party (where an alleged discussion on steroids and steroid use took place among Clemens, Canseco and a third man).  While not a seemingly “big” lie, these pictures, and the accompanying testimony of other witnesses (in addition to McNamee) could very well lead to a felony conviction.
5)     THE TESTIMONY OF RESPECTED TRAINER GENE MONAHAN.  A large part of the Clemens defense is that Clemens received numerous B12 shots as opposed to anything illegal.  Included in that is that Clemens testified before Congress that he was injected with B12 in open areas and that there were multiple needles “already lined up and ready to go” in the trainer’s room for the New York Yankees.  Monahan totally contradicted that testimony, saying he never saw anything like that.  Other trainers for other teams said the same thing.  Thus, even if the government fails on the bigger issues, they have Clemens pretty good on things like B12 shots and the afore-mentioned Canseco party.
While not exhaustive, the above gives you a flavor for what the prosecution has given the jury – a road map on a number of different issues, which can lead to one or more felony convictions on one or more counts.  One final note: while briefly killed by the media for what was viewed to be wishy-washy testimony against his once-best friend, Andy Pettitte actually testified pretty much as he did in that long 2008 deposition before Congressional aides (see Kallas Remarks, 7/5/11).  Pettitte knows, if nothing else, that if Clemens is convicted of anything, it won’t be because of his (Pettitte’s) testimony.
Not necessarily, but, to this writer, the defense is trying to crawl out of a big hole.  Having said that, you never know what a jury is going to do.  Will one or more of the jurors be mesmerized by Rusty Hardin and the rest of the defense?  Will one or more of the jurors be mesmerized by Roger Clemens, a Hall of Fame pitcher long before he took anything that Brian McNamee might have injected him with?  Will one or more of the jurors agree with many that this was an enormous waste of the government’s time and the taxpayers’ money and, thus, vote not guiltyi?
Hey, you never know.
But we will all find out in the next two weeks or so.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2012 Stanley Cup Final preview

By Rick Morris
The Los Angeles Kings blow into this Final on a historic run, dropping only two games and taking out the top three seeds in their path through the Western playoffs.  Of course, they are a fairly fraudulent #8 seed, only falling to that spot because of a long stretch of underachievement during the season.
New Jersey comes in as the #6 seed from the East, earning home ice for the first time this postseason.  In an Eastern Conference that is fairly balanced at the top, they are not a huge surprise to have battled to the Final notwithstanding their playoff slotting.
The Kings’ moves to become “Philly West” by acquiring Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne in the past year, in the end, augmented their excellent existing core as anticipated (and gave them an additional degree of Final experience, as the Flyers won the East in 2010) and established the team however belatedly as a legitimate powerhouse.  Captain Dustin Brown has been terrific lately and the offensive crown jewel, Anze Kopitar, is quite a reliable force.  But it’s arguable that the team’s strong depth of top forwards is less important than the two defensive stoppers, who are making quite an argument for being considered the best in the world at their positions: defenseman Drew Doughty – already an Olympic hero with the Canadian gold-winners of 2010 – and goalie Jonathan Quick, who had an incredible breakthrough season.  The Kings are a true all-around force, quite arguably better balanced than either of the last two Cup champions.
Meanwhile, the Devils won their first East crown in nine years behind the kind of spring they haven’t seen in quite awhile from their all-time greatest player, goaltender Martin Brodeur and the playoff breakthrough of one of the game’s most explosive stars, Ilya Kovalchuk.  The Devils can’t match the Kings’ top-level forward depth, but Patrik Elias and 2010 USA Olympic standout Zach Parise (probably the prize free agent of the summer of 2012) are good for the neighborhood of a-point-a-game punch.
Even without Gagne, likely sidelined with his lingering concussion issues, the Kings have the advantage in depth, although many commentators have rightly pointed out that New Jersey is better at the fourth-line level.  But the overall depth, combined with having the goalie who is definitively in his prime, should help the Kings to continue their roll.  By not winning in five games or less, Los Angeles will by definition have their toughest series, fittingly, in the Final.  But in the end, they will prevail on the home ice of Staples.  Los Angles in six games (7-7 record through the playoffs), Jonathan Quick as Conn Smythe Trophy winner.

2012 Stanley Cup Final notes/oddities

By Rick Morris
^ This series marks the ninth time that teams from the metro New York area and Los Angeles have met in major sports championships: there have been four NBA Finals matchups and four World Series clashes.  Metro New York and Los Angles stand tied at 4-4.  Interestingly, seven of the eight meetings came between 1970 and 1981, with the only other one in 1963.
^ Neither of the two franchises in this year’s Final made any kind of serious impact on the NHL before the mid-‘90s (although Wayne Gretzky’s acquisition by LA in 1988 set the stage for the league’s Sun Belt expansion).  But the breakthrough was fleeting for one and lasting for another.  Los Angeles won the Western Conference in 1993 and after a heartbreaking loss in the Final, never made another serious run until they captured their second conference flag this spring, 19 years later.  In 1995, the Devils won their first Stanley Cup behind young goalie ace Martin Brodeur and continued their string with Cup wins in 2000 and 2003 and another East pennant in 2001.
^ Speaking of the Sun Belt expansion, Los Angeles suffered the indignity of the Stanley Cup being paraded through SoCal because of a team that only existed because the Kings’ Gretzky-era success branded the market as viable – the 2007 championship season of the Anaheim Ducks.
^ Because Martin Brodeur is one of the great players of all time, he comes into this series as one half of an immense goalie clash even having faded a bit at age 40.  His showdown with Jonathan Quick, arguably the best goalie in the world right now, should be epic.  It marks the second consecutive year of big-time goalie matchups, coming after 2011’s Tim Thomas-Roberto Luongo throwdown.  Don’t get the idea that this represents a grand trend, however, because the last time we saw star power showdowns like this in consecutive years was 2000-01, when Patrick Roy and Ed Belfour squared off in back-to-back years with … Brodeur.
^ This next point is a bit arguable on the players for different years, but in terms of overall legacy, the player who needs a win the most this year is Ilya Kovalchuk.  Notwithstanding the top-level production he has put up during his career, he has lived with perceptions of underachievement and of not being an ideal teammate.  These raps could work against him in terms of being a slam-dunk, first-ballot Hall of Famer someday – unless he wins a Stanley Cup.  The bad news for Ilya is that the players who (again, arguably) needed a Cup the worst over the past decade came up short: Luongo in 2011 (needed to bolster his Hall of Fame credentials), Chris Osgood in 2009 (was only going to make the Hall of Fame by backstopping three Cup winners), Daniel Alfredsson in 2007 (should easily make the Hall of Fame, but needed a Cup win to validate him as a big-time winner) and Jarome Iginla in 2004 (see Alfie).  You’ve got to go back to 2002 to find players who needed the Cup win the most who got it – Dominik Hasek and Luc Robitaille.  Both of them were also like Alfredsson – their Hall credentials were secure, but their legacies were hugely enhanced by the outcome.  The bad news for Ilya in this rundown … where was Lucky Luc’s legend forged?  In LA.

Lounge on YouTube: Mini-Episode #124 – 2012 Stanley Cup Final preview

By Rick Morris
As we referenced previously, our pals at Sportsology are hooking us up for live segments that we’re doing with guests and remote FDH Lounge Dignitaries these days.  We’re happy to report that we’ve been able to produce many segments on our own, but we’re thrilled for the help on some of these with guests and the thanks all go to our great friend Russ Cohen.
Mini-Episode #124 features a preview of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final with hockey talkers covering the last teams standing: Keith Korneluk of Kingscast and Ken Palmer of the New Jersey Devils Game Day Program.

Lounge on YouTube: Mini-Episode #123 – Top MLB summer call-ups list

By Rick Morris
Here is the 123rd mini-episode of THE FDH LOUNGE with THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER.  In this one, we take a look at the top 10 potential difference-makers waiting to be called up to MLB this summer.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

By Rick Morris
NOTE: This is our annual Memorial Day tribute from The FDH Lounge.
Veterans have always been heroes to me, people who put a cause greater than themselves ahead of their own well-being. This very visceral account of D-Day from Charles Durning tells the story in all of its honor and horror.
I can't even imagine what it would be like to experience a wartime experience such as this. Nor can I fathom the decades afterwards, as men like Durning came home from war, settled down, had families and built careers -- and were no doubt haunted by the memories of their friends who were cut down when they were very young and never experienced any postwar life.
On this unofficial "first day of summer," let's all try to take some time to remember those who helped make it possible through their blood and sweat. It's a horrible dishonor to let a day like this pass without feeling some gratitude towards the best and bravest among us.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

NBA Playoff Predictions Conference Finals

By Rick Morris

NOTE: Record in the playoffs thus far is 10-2.

2 Miami over 5 Boston in 7
2 Oklahoma City over 1 San Antonio in 6

Oklahoma City over Miami in 6

NBA FINALS MVP: Kevin Durant

Saluting Dan Wheldon

By Rick Morris
This Sunday last year, during Memorial Day weekend, marked the pinnacle of Dan Wheldon’s awesome racing career.  He captured the centennial Indianapolis 500 title, his second at the track, and one achieved without a top ride, or even a regular one.  Given the importance of big money behind championship racers, his feat was mind-boggling.
Shortly thereafter, he came on The FDH Lounge to discuss his win and the state of his career.  I have stated often in the year since then that I was amazed at the humility of Dan, to come on a program the present size of ours.  One day, I am confident, we will book guests of his stature without batting an eyelash.  But we’re certainly not at that point yet.
He couldn’t have been more gracious to us and I have often pointed to our conversation as an excellent indicator of the man’s character.  He was squeezed out of a top ride by the bad economy and the shrinking number of spots available for world-class drivers, but he handled his adversity with great aplomb.
Months later, with his comeback in full stride, he was tragically taken from his fans, and worst of all, his loved ones.
This weekend, he is rightly being celebrated at Indianapolis, the spot he cherished most in his beloved adopted country (it is estimated that he posed for more pictures with fans at the Brickyard than any driver in history).  His widow Susie accepted his championship ring during this week and today’s race will be full of tributes to the defending champion who is not physically here anymore.
On this day, while the pain haunts his family and fans still very greatly, let us remember his spirit and his achievements.  Toward that end, we present once again his conversation in The FDH Lounge and our tribute to him, which was recorded with FDH Chief Motorsports Correspondent Mike Ptak.  Mike is a very good and trusted friend of mine and the perfect person to have helped me produce our tribute segment.  We hope that you enjoy this celebration of Dan Wheldon’s life.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Greatest Day in Racing Surround

By Rick Morris
The FDH Lounge and The 21st Century Media Alliance are bringing you live, as-it-happens, coverage of the greatest day in racing: the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600.  [NOTE: Even if the box shows “Standby” at any point, it is still updating.] Enjoy!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lounge on YouTube: Mini-Episode #122 – 2012 TV upfronts recap

By Rick Morris
As we referenced previously, our pals at Sportsology are hooking us up for live segments that we’re doing with guests and remote FDH Lounge Dignitaries these days.  We’re happy to report that we’ve been able to produce many segments on our own, but we’re thrilled for the help on some of these with guests and the thanks all go to our great friend Russ Cohen.
Mini-Episode #122 features a recap of the TV upfronts with two of our favorite FDH Lounge Dignitaries: Simon Applebaum of Tomorrow Will Be Televised and Lloyd Carroll of the Queens Chronicle.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lounge on YouTube: Mini-Episode #121 – Fantasy Baseball Buy Low, Sell High list

By Rick Morris
Here is the 121st mini-episode of THE FDH LOUNGE with THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER.  In this one, we take a look at players who won’t sustain their hot and cold streaks indefinitely.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lounge on YouTube: Mini-Episode #120 – Fenway Park 100th anniversary

By Rick Morris
As we referenced previously, our pals at Sportsology are hooking us up for live segments that we’re doing with guests and remote FDH Lounge Dignitaries these days.  We’re happy to report that we’ve been able to produce many segments on our own, but we’re thrilled for the help on some of these with guests and the thanks all go to our great friend Russ Cohen.
Mini-Episode #120 features a discussion with baseball historian John Ferguson, author of WHY FENWAY: EXPLORING THE FENWAY MYSTIQUE.

Cannes Film Festival preview

By Raymond Smalley (posted by Rick Morris)

The 65th Cannes Film Festival, which commences Wednesday, will showcase eighty-six films, ten of which are United States entrants. Below is an FDH Lounge\Generation Chatter Power 100 preview.

NOTE: The Power 100 Marquee Average divides the overall accumulated points of a particular project’s two lead participants.  These rankings are a proprietary system devised for measuring celebrities by Generation Chatter and they encompass such areas as nominations and awards, box office receipts, music chart statistics, TV ratings, magazine covers and more.

Killing Them Softly

United States Release Date: September 21

Power 100 Marquee Average: 1,307.5

Originally entitled Cogan’s Trade and an adaptation of George Higgins novel of the same name, Killing Them Softly is this analysis lead selection based solely upon the status of fifth ranked film actor Brad Pitt (39TH overall). James Gandolfini, appearing within his initial project since the independent Mint Julip (2010), will star opposite Pitt, who seeks his third Golden Globe nomination within four years.


Power 100 Marquee Average: 545

Matthew McConaughey’s initial of a pair of Festival projects is potentially Reese Witherspoon’s conclusive project of this calendar, even as the pregnant twenty-fourth ranked film actress is scheduled for roles within Big Eyes and Devil’s Knot. Mud is the only film included within this post which does not possess a United States release date.


United States Release Date: August 31

Power 100 Marquee Average: 440

The chronicle of a trio of Franklin County, Virginia brothers whose prohibition era bootlegging business is threatened is more notable for the supporting cast, which includes fourth overall ranked Jessica Chastain and ninety-eighth overall ranked Gary Oldman, than the pair who actually occupy the project’s principal roles, Shia LeBeaouf (560th overall) and Tom Hardy (244th overall). Lawless is the initial of consecutive ensemble projects for LeBeauof, who will appear either this winter or next spring within The Company You Keep, a picture whose cast includes Robert Redford, Susan Surandon, Terrence Howard, and Anna Kendrick.

The Paper Boy

United States Release Date: November 23

Power 100 Marquee Average: 120

Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron portray a reporter and his younger brother who concurrently investigate the circumstances of a murder with the hope of exonerating a condemned inmate (John Cusak). Nicole Kidman also appears and while she and McConaughey merit attention, Efron should garner seven of every eight words, as he seeks an evolution not possible within his projects, The Lorax and The Lucky One.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

United States Release Date: June 8

Power 100 Marquee Average: 70

Alex The Lion, Marty The Zebra, Melma The Giraffe, and Gloria The Hippopotamus seek entrance into New York as the conclusion of an adventure which traverses them through Africa, London, and Monte Carlo. Ben Stiller and Chris Rock, each reprising previous roles, spearhead an assemblage which includes Jessica Chastain, appearing within her second Cannes project, Sacha Baron Cohen, Bryan Cranston, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, Frances McDormand, Andy Richter, and Martin Short.

Hemingway & Gellhorn

United States Release Date: May 28

Power 100 Marquee Average: 55

Nicole Kidman, appearing within her second film festival project, stars opposite Clive Owen, appearing within his initial exclusively United States project since Trust (2010), as the pair populate the sole television film this analysis includes. As is expected within an HBO picture, a phenomenal supporting cast is present, this occasion the lunch pail aggregation includes Parker Posey, Rodrigo Santoro, Peter Coyote, Robert Duvall, Tony Schalhoub, and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich.

Moonrise Kingdom

United States Release Date: May 25

Power 100 Marquee Average: 40

With a turbulent decade which the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King scarred as their circumstance, a pair of young lovers (secondary participants Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman) escape their perceived New England confines as a sheriff, which Bruce Willis portrays, and the couple’s parents, which Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray, pursue them. Tilda Swinton (18th ranked film actress) also appears within the project which is one of a quintet of American pictures competing for the coveted Palme d’Or.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lounge on YouTube: Mini-Episode #119 – Colin Delany

By Rick Morris
As we referenced previously, our pals at Sportsology are hooking us up for live segments that we’re doing with guests and remote FDH Lounge Dignitaries these days.  We’re happy to report that we’ve been able to produce many segments on our own, but we’re thrilled for the help on some of these with guests and the thanks all go to our great friend Russ Cohen.
Mini-Episode #119 features a discussion with one of our favorite recurring guests, Colin Delany of epolitics.  Also, be sure to check out his new ebook, HOW CAMPAIGNS CAN USE THE INTERNET TO WIN IN 2012.  It’s full of the same insight and candor you’ll hear in this conversation.  Enjoy!

Lounge on YouTube: Mini-Episode #118 – Fantasy Baseball Buy Low

By Rick Morris
Here is the 118th mini-episode of THE FDH LOUNGE with THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER.  In this one, we feature a case study involving Albert Pujols demonstrating the need to buy low on star players.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

NBA Playoff Predictions Round 2

By Rick Morris

NOTE: Record after one round is 5-1 with outcomes of both LA series pending.

5 Boston over 8 Philadelphia in 5
2 Miami over 3 Indiana in 6
1 San Antonio over 4 Memphis in 6 or over 5 Los Angeles Clippers in 5
2 Oklahoma City over 3 Los Angeles Lakers in 6 or over 6 Denver in 5

2 Miami over 5 Boston in 7
2 Oklahoma City over 1 San Antonio in 6

Oklahoma City over Miami in 6

NBA FINALS MVP: Kevin Durant

Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions Conference Finals

By Rick Morris

NOTE: Record through two rounds is 4-7 (with New York Rangers-Washington outcome pending).

3 New Jersey over 1 New York Rangers in 6 or over 7 Washington in 7
7 Los Angeles over 3 Phoenix in 6

Los Angeles over New Jersey in 6


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lounge on YouTube: Mini-Episode #117 – Joe DioGuardi

By Rick Morris
As we referenced previously, our pals at Sportsology are hooking us up for live segments that we’re doing with guests and remote FDH Lounge Dignitaries these days.  We’re happy to report that we’ve been able to produce many segments on our own, but we’re thrilled for the help on some of these with guests and the thanks all go to our great friend Russ Cohen.
Mini-Episode #117 features the debut of the brand-new FDH Lounge Bringing Back The USA Series, our focus on some of the more truly important segments that we cover.  For this segment, we welcome back our friend Joe DioGuardi, the first practicing CPA ever elected to Congress and a federal debt awareness activist working under the banner of Truth in Government.  Enjoy!

Introducing The FDH Lounge Bringing Back The USA Series

By Rick Morris
We at The FDH Lounge are very proud, justifiably I believe, of being the talk show with the widest variety of subject matter anywhere.  That’s why we say “nothing is off-topic” (Duh!).
Having established our roots first in fantasy sports, then in the wider world of sports, we have searched for ways to communicate the true scope of our magnitude.  Other talk shows have veered from sports into pop culture and occasionally movies, TV and music, so we’re not completely unique in that regard.
But from Day One, we’ve wanted to go even broader than that.  Our Senior Producer, Steve Cirvello, speaks of having wanted to become a part of our enterprise when he heard us having a conversation on our second program in January 2007 with military blogger Bill Roggio – who was just back from a media embed in the field in Iraq.
We’ve never really had a framework for our segments that cross into the most substantive areas in life, but that changed recently when our friend Platinum Smalls of DOU Productions – a fellow member of The 21st Century Media Alliance – pitched me on a segment having to do with the changing nature of education.  I thought it was a very good idea and it made me think about how we could come up with an overall framework for promoting segments such as these.  Shortly thereafter, The FDH Lounge Bringing Back The USA Series was conceptualized.
Although this is an election year, our concept has nothing to do with politics.  Granted, our country has been down and out economically since 2008, but the previous seven ones weren’t so great for our country, either.  Ever since the 9/11 attacks, over a decade ago, this country has been in the dumper.  A divisive war in Iraq bridged the 9/11 aftermath and the economic gloom of recent years.  Americans have simply not been able to feel very good about anything for a prolonged period of time and I hope that we could all agree that needs to change.
As such, our series has two major pillars: innovation in critical thinking in areas that can benefit society and notable examples of philanthropy.  While not every “serious” subject that we tackle meets these criteria – I am quite certain we’ll be having more “horse race” coverage of the presidential race later this year – I feel that it is imperative that we have a common theme for otherwise disparate segments that people could relate to in a better way if they see them as part of a bigger picture.
For this announcement, I have singled out 10 segments that we have done previously that certainly would have fit under this banner had it been in place from the outset.  Again, all of them relate either to innovation in areas that could benefit society or exemplary philanthropy (please remember that some of these videos were created under our previous model of distribution and as such, reference that now-outdated mode):
^ Dominic Chianese: This actor is leveraging the success he built through a lengthy career – which crested with his role as “Uncle Junior” on The Sopranos – by trying to improve the lives of the elderly in nursing homes.
^ Chris Nowinski: A Harvard-educated former professional wrestler who had to retire due to multiple concussions, he is using his education to benefit others by raising awareness of this epidemic in pro wrestling, the NFL and the NHL.
^ Art Schlichter: This former big-time quarterback has worked to save others from going down the dark path of gambling awareness that enveloped him – although, sadly, he himself had backslid at the time of this conversation.
^ Tom Wilson: The legendary second-generation Ziggy cartoonist has thrown himself headlong into cancer-cure fundraising, wishing to spare others the ravages of the disease that claimed his wife.
^ Tom Piatak: This lawyer and columnist pushes a public policy philosophy, paleoconservatism, that has been marginalized in the modern political culture – yet contains ideas that are wildly popular with both Democrats and Republicans.
^ Alex Cone: The CEO of CodeFab is one of the world’s leading experts on how to exploit the possibilities of ever-changing, cutting-edge mobile device technology.
^ Joe DioGuardi: The first practicing CPA to be elected to Congress, this longtime activist on the subject of the federal debt is always looking for ways to leverage his expertise – gained by his participation in the federal bailouts of New York City and the S&L industry – to educate the American public on the catastrophe that lies ahead unless we start paying our bills.
^ Ryan Grim: This political columnist wrote a startling account of the Drug War, challenging every piece of conventional wisdom about how to reduce the toll these substances take on our society.
^ Bill Roggio: In the above-referenced conversation, this military veteran-turned-milblogger describes his recent time spent in the field in Iraq – just prior to the implementation of the surge – and how his journalism helps to make sense of some of America’s most challenging geopolitical considerations.
^ Craig Newmark: The founder of Craigslist shares insight into the development of a company that greatly affected both the Internet and the newspaper industry.
I am very confident that these 10 segments illustrate the point of our series in tremendous fashion.  And while we love our sports/pop culture/entertainment segments very much, the elements contained in the Bringing Back The USA Series demonstrate the extra gear that we have that is not duplicated by anyone. 
And I do mean anyone.

How the anti-left killed the right

By Rick Morris
I’ve finally cracked the code.
ITEM: Talk show yapper Hugh Hewitt, known on his radio show to dismiss criticism of Bush’s Big Government policies with the saying, “I’m not going to attack my side,” proclaims Bush a “great president.”  Not to be outdone, Rush Limbaugh describes a call from the Bush clan as “a great thrill.”  Additionally, Sean Hannity has been known to ignore Bush’s doubling of the national debt and act like irresponsible federal spending started on January 20, 2009.
For years now, I’ve wondered about what happened to the right when George W. Bush was president.  Granted, Republicans are famous for their tribalism, and he got a lot of rope for the immediate 9/11 aftermath/response, but with his record of huge spending and a horrible war in Iraq that was prosecuted with one arm tied behind the proverbial back for four years, there should have been some accountability.  Even if not a primary challenge, still a large-scale uprising.  In 1976, Gerald Ford had to answer to Ronald Reagan and came within a few bribed delegates of losing the presidential nomination to him.  In 1992, back in my youthful political heyday, Pat Buchanan gloriously stuck it to King George I when he whizzed all over the Reagan legacy.  Time was that people cared if you governed according to principle.  What happened?
Slowly, the logical explanation has come into focus.  Essentially, what can be called the “anti-left” has replaced the “right.”
What does this mean?
Essentially, the conservative movement that I joined in my college days and experienced from the inside as an intern at The Leadership Institute was replaced by a movement completely defined by opposition – sometimes in quite puerile terms – to the other side.
In retrospect, there was a reason that the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity grew ever more shrill in their denunciations of the left during Bush’s tenure – rather than even bothering to address his record, which would have been quite inconvenient for them.  Midway through the Bush years, they pioneered the “Neener Neener Neener” style of political discourse that has dominated the style on their side of the spectrum since the rise of Obama.
In my youth – late-era Reagan – when I first became involved in politics, I knew what I stood for as well as what I stood against.  Chucking slurs at liberal policies was something you did with a chuckle, because let’s face it, demagoguery is fun!  But it can’t be the sole component that you put out there.  You have to stand for something.
These days, you can’t go on a right-wing blog or listen to a right-wing talk show without experiencing anti-left bile that exists without any countervailing policy ideas as a complement.  Over and over, we are told that “Obama is the worst president in history.”  Not far off in my book, but how about the man who ensured his presidency by presiding over such a flaming wreck, George W. Bush?  Tell that to a “conservative” and be prepared for the childish “Whose side are you on?” comeback.
Before I had fully developed this framework, on some FDH Lounge political discussions with my man Christopher Galloway, an Original FDH Lounge Dignitary, I had classified this syndrome as “red team, blue team” or “the right-wing echo chamber.”  Folks who cried about “Bush Derangement Syndrome” when he occupied the Oval Office embraced the same kind of substance-free critiques of Obama – but it’s supposed to be OK because of who’s dishing out and receiving the treatment.
In reality, substance-free critiques of Obama are one of his greatest gifts almost 3 ½ years into a failed administration.  We could be talking about how a crew that embraces the term “forward” has pushed the worst ossified statism on us at great cost.  We could be talking about how a crew that treats secularism as its own religion has gone after actual religion with a vengeance and called the means of self-defense a “War on Women.”  But no, let’s moan about how Michelle Obama wants to force our youth to eat vegetables at gunpoint (apparently, childhood obesity is a good thing if it is opposed by a Democrat) and how many vacations the Obamas take (from the same Einsteins who cried “cheap shot” anytime somebody tallied Dubya’s days clearing brush in Crawford while on the clock).
For Limbaugh and Hannity, this stupidity makes sense.  Another Obama term for them equals big bank as the “voices of truth to power” rather than the quislings practicing cognitive dissonance under another RINO president.  But for those who mimic these frauds and in so doing, prop up the left with their feeble bumper-sticker, mouth-breathing “opposition,” I feel sad pity – at least on days when I am generously inclined.
Speaking of the man who would be that RINO prez, Mitt Romney, recent polls have indicated in one respect that I was wrong and Mr. Galloway was right.  Holding up principled paleoconservatives like myself and fellow FDH Lounge Original Dignitary Nate Noy as examples, I argued to Chris that a confirmed flip-flopper and outright liar like Romney would never be able to consolidate GOP votes behind him in great numbers.  It’s not like he even ran convincingly as a great conservative, choosing instead to dump tens of millions in toxic sludge in the form of disgusting lying ads on his opponents.
Well, Chris was better tuned into one aspect of reality: people will, when beaten over the head enough times, cling to the notion of someone as a “winner” and someone who can and must “beat the worst president in American history.”  He sure as Shiite ain’t going to rally the independents or Reagan Democrats, but Republicans who worship at the altar of the specter of Obama’s fiery death?  Yeah, he consolidated them, all right.
So in the end, the anti-left will have sold its soul for a phony who secretly despises them – having seen the actual conservative movement resist the rise to power of his father more than four decades ago – and they will have nothing to show for it.  Meanwhile, we actual conservatives will be left to pick up the pieces and prepare for a day when enough people who are supposed to be on our side prefer actual public policy prescriptions to Birther talk and situational ethics.
It’s sad; as a lifelong Cleveland sports fan, I have long bemoaned about the preponderance in the fanbase of the stupid and uneducated who help to maintain the Petri dish that allows our misery to thrive.  Experiencing the same syndrome in the more serious world of politics – from those also ostensibly on my side – feels much, much worse.