Saturday, July 30, 2011

More Saturday Stuff

I know we know this and the inbred "please pass the sweet and sour shrimp" Beltway crowd refuses to accept it, but it bears repeating anyway from Thom Hartmann (and by the way, let's not forget that all that offshoring adds to the deficit that the Repugs and their pals claim to hate)...

...and I'm a week or two behind on this one from Bill Maher, but I think it's timely considering that tomorrow is Sunday.

Mikey Strikes Again On The Debt

He helped his Repug congressional playmates defeat the bill by Harry Reid to raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion along with $2.4 trillion in cuts (here).

If you are predisposed to contact him to tell him what you think of his childish antics, click here.

In the meantime, this video goes out to him also.

...and oh yeah, this is a joke - ha, ha (yes, I know Bill Maher gets it, based on this).

Update: And one more thing - tell me why anyone should take John Thune seriously again after he said this.

Update 8/4/11: Appropriate indeed (here)...

Saturday Stuff

Yep, this is how the House Repugs acted under Dubya, but now that a Dem is in the White House (here, and oh yeah, this too)...

...and yeah, I think this tune fits.

Update: And by the way, I haven't said anything about this story, but kudos to Jon Stewart again for doing so.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Stuff

Yep, your Republican Party on display here - threats of violence when all else fails...

...and this tune is appropriate on a couple of different levels for yours truly, I guess.

Bringing The Pain, Part 2

Note 1: This links to last week’s Area Votes in Congress writeup. Basically, Mikey the Beloved and his Repug playmates voted for Cut, Cap and Balance, which has no shot in the Senate (though “No Corporate Tax” Pat Toomey voted for it of course), and the House also voted on a bill to try and gut the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as part of their non-jobs agenda (that crap piece of legislation isn’t going anywhere either). Aside from that, I don’t have anything else to say on that subject.

Note 2: Part 1 with the setup for what I’m trying to do in this series of posts is here.


This tells us that The Land of Holy Joe Lieberman added 7,900 jobs last April, though “as (unemployed) benefits lapse, Connecticut’s unemployed face tough decisions” here (duuuh!).

When it comes to employer discrimination against the jobless, though, Dem U.S. House Reps Rose DeLauro of the My Left Nutmeg state along with Hank Johnson of Georgia introduced a bill in response here, and it looks like the WWE of one-time Repug U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon from that state was notified here that it owed about 7 grand in unemployment compensation (wow, that’s what I call a shot to the solar plexus! And more on Johnson a little later, by the way.)


This tells us that that state’s “troubled” trust fund for paying benefits was solvent for the next six months as of last February, and I don’t have any further word on that. The state’s unemployment rate was 8.4 percent as of last April (here).

This also tells us that, along with Connecticut, Delaware is one of the worst states to collect unemployment (don’t know how our beloved commonwealth of PA managed to escape the list…I’ll refer back to this list again). Also, this tells us of free colon screenings offered for the jobless in Newark a year ago last March (don’t laugh, that’s a good idea – prevention makes better sense than an urgent trip to the ER).

District of Columbia

The unemployment rate was 10.4 percent as noted here in June (ugh). However, as noted here, the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va., area averages about 5.7 percent (probably explains why there’s no talk of jobs on the Sunday morning Beltway media gab fests, also noted here).

If there was ever a politician who you could consider an advocate for the unemployed, though, it would be Dem U.S. House Rep Eleanor Holmes Norton, as noted here (a stinking disgrace that, after all this time, D.C. still doesn’t have actual voting congressional representation).


Talk about the land that time forgot…

As noted here, that state’s lawmakers approved deep cuts in jobless bennies (listed as one of the worst states on the Daily Finance list with Delaware and Connecticut). It gets better, though – this tells us the state considered forcing the jobless to volunteer to receive unemployment (how many ways is that a stupid/cruel/counterproductive idea?). And on top of that, for something truly surreal, they were actually considering handing out shiny red superhero capes to unemployed people to wear as part of some PR campaign (no, this isn’t Halloween, and yes, I’m serious - here).

Good news? Well, the Metro Orlando area is apparently leading the state in hiring, as noted here (Wonder if The Mouse has anything to do with that? Maybe so).

Update 8/2/11: Maybe Lex Luthor should get recalled before Hosni Mubarak Walker and Snyder because of this (yeah I know, fat chance with the "sheeple" voters of this state).

Update 8/18/11: Add this to the pile also.

Update 8/26/11: And why am I not surprised that the state is engaged in this odious practice (defending it, of course)?

Update 9/14/11: Leave it to the "U.S." Chamber to pick Florida as a state for this.

Update 9/23/11: Florida, you deserve him (here).


As noted here…
Paula S., from Acworth (who) said she was “sixty-something,” described “two eye-opening experiences of blatant age discrimination . . . . One twenty-something supervisor asked me if I had ever thought about coloring my hair . . . . Another manager told his assistant with the door open when I showed up to complete an application and interview: ‘We can’t hire any more old people’.”

This tells us that the unemployment rate hit 10.4 percent in that state in January, and the state has to borrow $635 million from the Feds to cover hundreds of thousands of jobless Georgians (So what happened? Well, as noted here)…
In 1999, the state’s Unemployment Trust Fund — fueled by record growth — had squirreled away an astounding $2 billion for hard times. Far more than any recession required, thought the new governor, Democrat Roy Barnes.

He proposed and passed what he called the largest business tax cut in state history — a four-year payroll tax holiday that spared businesses $1 billion. (The tax hike applied only to state payroll taxes. Businesses also pay federal payroll taxes that roll into a separate fund.)

All was good until 9/11 and a 2001 shutdown of the American sky. Unemployment zoomed in airline-friendly metro Atlanta. The payroll tax holiday continued, which meant money gushed out of the trust fund — and none flowed in.

By the time the holiday and Barnes’ tenure expired in 2003, the trust fund was down by nearly two-thirds, to $703 million, according to a report released this week by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.
And of course, the second a Dem tries to end a payroll tax holiday, a Repug automatically starts screaming “Tax Hike! Tax Hike!,” so nobody does anything and we end up sinking further into debt (yes, blame the politicians, but gullible voters sop up this stuff every time).

Also, this tells us that Dem U.S. House Rep Hank Johnson, along with Rose DeLauro, has looked into bias against the jobless (more on Johnson in a minute).

Update 10/11/11: And people actually wonder why we have a federal government to tell some of these idiots what to do, or not do in this case (here).


Not much to say here, except that unemployment was 13.4 percent there last month (yikes!). And speaking of Johnson, this tells us about his quote at a Congressional hearing concerning the possibility of Guam tipping into the ocean, or whatever (yes, it was a dumb thing to say, but he was trying to make a point about a huge influx of military personnel on the island).


This tells us that the state’s unemployment dipped in June, but this tells us that it rose again in July (and this tells us that Gov. Neil Abercrombie vowed to cut Kauai’s unemployment by half).

And returning to the Daily Finance list, this tells us why Hawaii was rated as the best state for unemployment compensation…
Hawaii is the only state to provide the unemployed with an average of more than 50% of weekly wages, and its average weekly benefit is also the nation's highest…In Hawaii, the unemployment insurance program is entirely funded by employers.
Great tourism and UC too…must be a bunch of socialist heathens (and you-know-who came from there, after all, too busy to show that birth certificate while he was making sure bin Laden was killed – snark mode off).

I’ll plan to pick this up next week.

Update: And by the way, speaking of Number 44, as you read about this, think about this also (yes, he caves way too easily, but consider the alternative...and I wonder when Yahoo decided that The Daily Tucker was a "news" site?).

Update 8/1/11: Once more, another reason for these posts (here)...

Update 8/3/11: I think this is something else that's important to consider about job creation.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday Stuff

Hey, corporate media, try paying as much attention to these folks as you did to the racist-sign-and-funny-hat crowd last year (and yes I know, Boehner vote debt blah blah, delayed not enough votes blah blah, Mikey Austerity Forever Oooga Booga Debt! blah blah - and by the way, about that, read this, and this)...

...and yeah, I suppose this fits considering all of the above.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday PM Stuff

Probably only able to do videos today that hopefully aren't crappy...

First, Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich helps us to keep our eye on the ball (I know we already know this, but we can't repeat it enough)...

...and RIP Dan Peek of America (this clip showcases Dewey Bunnell and I believe Gerry Beckley, but Peek was a collaborator on these songs also).

Wednesday AM Stuff

I'm a little late with this I know, but J.D. Mullane concocted the following idiocy here last Sunday...
If we believe the Washington wise men, Aug. 2 will be a day of economic apocalypse for America.

“Lights out” for the economy and a “new Depression,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Democrats.

President Obama, too, predicts catastrophe on Aug. 2 for Americans relying on government-issued checks for Social Security and others.

“I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on Aug. 3 if we haven’t resolved this issue,” he said.

The reason for the predicted apocalypse is that Obama wants to raise the U.S. government’s debt ceiling — the nation’s credit card limit. If not, the federal government (allegedly) will default on its financial obligations.

I doubt it. This is at least the third deadline Obama has given for this. Each deadline has passed and the Republic stands.

It’s why most of us yawn at such dire predictions. For more than 40 years we have been subjected to doomsday prophecies. None have come to pass.
The fact that this column ever saw print is pathetic for something that purports to be an almost-daily newspaper.

For the reality point of view, I give you the following here...
The financial website Zero Hedge reports that the cost of the U.S. debt being downgraded from our current AAA rating (in the event of a failure to extend the debt limit) would be a whopping $100 billion a year. That’s according to JP Morgan Chase expert Terry Belton who spoke to reporters on a conference call this morning. In short, even if the U.S. does not default, a downgrade alone “will offset any beneficial impact from any deficit reduction that will have to happen for the debt ceiling to be increased.” Belton predicted that a downgrade would cause “a permanent increase in borrowing costs,” which will make it more costly for consumers and businesses to borrow money, risking another recession.
At this point, Obama should just find a way to unilaterally raise the debt limit under the 14th amendment to the Constitution. No, I don’t know how he’s going to do that either, but I assume Geithner knew something about that or else he wouldn’t have opened his mouth on the subject awhile back.

Also, this tells us that PA-31 State House Rep Steve Santarsiero will hold a public hearing about Marcellus Shale drilling tonight in the Chancellor Center, Board Room, 30 N. Chancellor St., Newtown, PA.

In addition, check out this ad against Wisconsin State Sen. Luther Olsen (to help out, click here)...

...and here is a neat new tune by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (sorry, no video - gotta have that cowbell)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Mashup (7/26/11)

  • I give you the following from David Brooks (here, and yes, we’re still stuck on the debt ceiling)…
    …the White House negotiating process was inadequate. Neither the president nor the House speaker ever wrote down and released their negotiating positions. Everything was mysterious, shifting and slippery.
    It’s truly hilarious that BoBo apparently doesn’t even read his own newspaper; click here to view an interactive graphic in the left-hand column of the story by Jackie Calmes to see a breakdown of the numbers between Obama and Orange Man.

    Basically, what the numbers tell you is that the House Repugs are willing to ensure a downgrade of the credit of the United States of America over a $400 billion budget squabble.

    And how exactly is the Boehner bunch an improvement over the 111th Congress that the voters, in their eternal, dunderheaded stupidity, removed from power last year?

  • Further, this post at The Hill tells us the following…
    This week Congress is likely to take up a spending bill that would limit the EPA’s ability to enforce clean air standards that protect us from air pollution. At the same time, I’ll be joining the League of Women Voters in launching the Clean Air Promise campaign – an effort to bring the coordinated assault on the clean air act to the attention to parents, families, communities and our leaders and ask them to promise to protect clean air.
    Author Alexandra Allred tells us the story of her son Tommy, who became very sick when Allred moved with the boy and her husband to rural Midlothian, Texas, where…
    …the steam coming out of the cement plants near our house wasn’t just steam – it was filled with hundreds of thousands of pounds of mercury, lead, and other toxic chemicals. Suddenly, I understood why Tommy was always sick. The cement plants were poisoning the air. These companies were poisoning our kids.

    And no one was doing anything to stop them.
    Here is more on the Clean Air Promise Campaign that Allred started with the League of Women Voters, and speaking of the EPA, this tells us about the latest Repug games on the budget concerning that agency…
    "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reduced by $1.6 billion, a 16% decrease from last year’s level. The cuts to the EPA alone represent 61% of the bill’s reduction compared to last year’s level. Funding levels for Land and Water Conservation Fund (land acquisition) programs are reduced $149 million (-33%), climate change funding bill-wide is cut by $49 million (-13%), and funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities is reduced by a combined $25 million from last year’s levels."
    To (maybe?) contact Fred Upton of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee to tell him to properly fund the EPA and leave it alone (I can dream, can’t I?), click here (good luck - I couldn't do it).

  • And speaking of DREAM (here), I give you the following from Alex Nowrasteh of Fix Noise (figures)…
    The (National Council of La Raza) audience (in attendance for an Obama speech) seemed upset by the President’s praise for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, not because they oppose it, but because Obama has been so tepid in his support. The DREAM Act would allow some undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to gain conditional legal status. That would then be extended to permanent legal residency if they complete at least two years of college or join the military within six years.

    The problem was that the DREAM Act directs federal education aid to these students. It failed last December for that very reason. Poll after poll show that American apprehension about immigration mostly concerns taxes to support immigrants, and rightly so.
    In response, I give you the following from Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan…
    The second myth about the DREAM Act is that it would restrict the availability of federal student aid for U.S. citizens. Simply put, that will not happen. By statute, student loans are available to all students who are eligible to receive them. And because DREAM Act students would be ineligible for Pell Grants, passing this bill will not have costs associated with the program. All told, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the DREAM Act would generate $1.4 billion more in revenue than it would add in costs over the next decade. As we strive to reduce the deficit, we can't afford to leave that type of money on the table.
    DREAM didn’t fail because voters were afraid illegal immigrants would benefit improperly from federal dollars. It failed because of typically fictitious wingnut garbage claiming it was another “big gumint” handout for those who, as far as I’m concerned if they had acquired a degree or served in our military, would have earned it.

  • Next, I give you the following letter that appeared in the Bucks County Courier Times today…
    Recently my wife and I attended a meeting to hear about the possible effects of cuts to the Medicaid and Medicare programs. The presentation wasn't so much about cuts, since the specifics are largely yet unknown, but rather about how critically important these programs are to the populace, and even more so to the least fortunate among us.

    The structure of the meeting was a presentation of relevant facts, followed by an open Q & A session. I'm not certain about the sponsorship behind this meeting, but one of the organizers was PennAction, a progressive-oriented action group. The ultimate goal was to educate attendees, and to present our views and concerns to Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick. That sounds like democracy in action to me.

    However, as soon as the session opened up to Q & A, something very disturbing happened. Several tea party members had attended, and took over the entire meeting with rude shouting. When told to present a question, the arrogant shouter just continued his bullying rant, accompanied by shouts from others like him. During all of this, the shouter presented nothing in the way of real facts, just attempts to bad-mouth the Affordable Care Act, et cetera. His presentation was roughly at the intelligence level of a hyena doing lots of vicious snarling, but nothing coming from what could be recognized as human brain matter. This went on to the point of usurping most of the remaining time, thereby ruining the session for the other guests who conducted themselves in a civil manner.

    I have to confess that as an Independent, I used to lean toward Republican candidates. I, like many Democrats that I know, share many of the same values as my Republican friends; the areas of disagreement are usually about HOW to get where we all want to be.

    As I survey the damage that Republican policies are doing to our democracy, and the wanton hypocrisies of their positions, I am forced to take sides with the progressives. The meeting was an example of such hypocrisy: The tea party loves to cite the Constitution as their righteousness in their cause. Yet by infiltrating this meeting and taking complete control, thereby throwing the meeting into chaos, they deprived the mild-mannered, concerned citizens of their right to freedom of speech.

    Tea partyers may think that this is the way to get their way, but in reality, they expose themselves as citizens unworthy of American citizenship, and they galvanize their opposition even further. Ironically, one of them stated that this nation is divided more than it ever has been since the Civil War. I agree, and their tirade last night is a primary reason why.

    Bruce Cosaboom
    Lower Makefield, PA
    Yep, your typical “teabagger” mentality on display here for sure…

    Oh, and speaking of “cut, cap and balance” Mikey, he should read this.

  • Finally, I give you more comedy from former Laura Bush employee Andrew Malcolm (here)…
    "More than a third of Americans now believe that President Obama’s policies are hurting the economy, and confidence in his ability to create jobs is sharply eroding among his base"...
    Here is the context Malcolm fails to provide…
    Americans’ discontent does not stop there. The survey also found that Americans harbor negative feelings toward congressional Republicans. Roughly as many people blame Republican policies for the poor economy as they do Obama. But 65 percent disapprove of the GOP’s handling of jobs, compared to 52 percent for the president.

    The dissatisfaction is fueled by the fact that many Americans continue to see little relief from the pain of a recession that technically ended two years ago. Ninety percent of those surveyed said the economy is not doing well, and four out of five report that jobs are difficult to find. In interviews, several people said that they feel abandoned by both parties, particularly as debates over the debt ceiling gridlock Washington.
    It’s about jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs. And blame is getting spread around among both parties (though I distinctly remember Mikey The Beloved crowing constantly last year when he ran against Patrick Murphy that unemployment doubled on Murphy’s watch, though Mikey and his pals haven’t done a damn thing to keep it from continuing to rise).

    I’ll tell you what – instead of all of these hypotheticals about how Obama would supposedly do against a generic GOP presidential candidate, let’s look and see how he would do against that supposed darling on the right who is being courted to run for the big chair because of his alleged popularity. And that would be Governor Bully.

    As noted here (comparing registered and likely voters)...
    Barack Obama (D): 56 (55)
    Chris Christie (R): 39 (38)
    And that’s in New Jersey.
  • Monday, July 25, 2011

    Monday Stuff

    A little late in the news cycle for this I know, but when it comes to Allen West, it's never too late (heckuva job, all you Floridians who voted for this numbnuts)...

    ...and here's something a bit upbeat to cope with the summer heat and overall doldrums (God, just raise the damn debt ceiling already!).

    Monday Mashup (7/25/11)

  • Remember all of those stories/posts/whatever that have appeared proclaiming Flush Limbore as the head of the Republican Party, as noted here (though I thought that mantle was worn by Roger Ailes of Fix Noise)? And remember how our “serious” corporate media scoffed at them?

    Well, this tells us the following…
    Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) outlined the GOP's debt ceiling plan to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh on Monday before showing it to his conference.

    Limbaugh talked about the call he received from Boehner during his radio program Monday. Limbaugh's support of the plan would be advantageous to Republicans because it might help rally the conservative base.

    The conservative radio host said Boehner outlined his two-step plan that includes $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and a $1 trillion hike to the debt ceiling. In the second step, a commission would be appointed to come back with additional deficit-reduction proposals, which the Congress could then vote on.
    For the purposes of comparison, try imagining the reaction if Harry Reid or Charles Schumer had announced their debt reduction plans to Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow before their own party membership.

  • Further, this story tells us the following…
    WASHINGTON - Strong second-quarter earnings from McDonald's, General Electric and Caterpillar on Friday are just the latest proof that booming profits have allowed corporate America to leave the Great Recession far behind.

    But millions of ordinary Americans are stranded in a labor market that looks like it's still in recession. Unemployment is stuck at 9.2 percent, two years into what economists call a recovery. Job growth has been slow and wages stagnant.

    "I've never seen labor markets this weak in 35 years of research," says Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.

    Wages and salaries accounted for just 1 percent of economic growth in the first 18 months after economists declared that the recession had ended in June 2009, according to Sum and other Northeastern researchers.

    In the same period after the 2001 recession, wages and salaries accounted for 15 percent. They were 50 percent after the 1991-92 recession and 25 percent after the 1981-82 recession.

    Corporate profits, by contrast, accounted for an unprecedented 88 percent of economic growth during those first 18 months. That's compared with 53 percent after the 2001 recession, nothing after the 1991-92 recession and 28 percent after the 1981-82 recession.
    So what do our corporate masters have to say about this?
    "Lack of clarity on a U.S. deficit-reduction plan, trade policy, regulation, much needed tax reform and the absence of a long-term plan to improve the country's deteriorating infrastructure do not create an environment that provides our customers with the confidence to invest," Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman said.
    Tisk, tisk, the poor dears...

    As noted here, Caterpillar threatened to move 23,000 jobs out of Illinois, even though the company is doing just fine. And it was accused here of demoting an executive who found a $2 billion tax dodge.

    So no, I don’t believe corporate extortion and threatening a whistleblower who uncovered some financial malfeasance “provides our customers with the confidence to invest" either.

  • Next, Nick Kristof wrote a “Nail. Hammer. Head.” column in the New York Times yesterday…
    IF China or Iran threatened our national credit rating and tried to drive up our interest rates, or if they sought to damage our education system, we would erupt in outrage.

    Well, wake up to the national security threat. Only it’s not coming from abroad, but from our own domestic extremists.

    We tend to think of national security narrowly as the risk of a military or terrorist attack. But national security is about protecting our people and our national strength — and the blunt truth is that the biggest threat to America’s national security this summer doesn’t come from China, Iran or any other foreign power. It comes from budget machinations, and budget maniacs, at home.

    While one danger to national security comes from the risk of default, another comes from overzealous budget cuts — especially in education, at the local, state and national levels. When we cut to the education bone, we’re not preserving our future but undermining it.

    It should be a national disgrace that the United States government has eliminated spending for major literacy programs in the last few months, with scarcely a murmur of dissent.

    Consider Reading Is Fundamental, a 45-year-old nonprofit program that has cost the federal government only $25 million annually. It’s a public-private partnership with 400,000 volunteers, and it puts books in the hands of low-income children. The program helped four million American children improve their reading skills last year. Now it has lost all federal support.

    “They have made a real difference for millions of kids,” Kyle Zimmer, founder of First Book, another literacy program that I’ve admired, said of Reading Is Fundamental. “It is a tremendous loss that their federal support has been cut. We are going to pay for these cuts in education for generations.”
    And as Dr. Jim Taylor told us here in April 2010…
    In 2009 alone, RIF gave out 15 million books at 17,000 sites nationwide. Since its birth in 1966, RIF has distributed more than 365 million free books to over 29 million children. All this on an annual budget of around $25 million a year (for those of you who are counting, that amounts to .0005 of the total 2011 discretionary budget for the Department of Education).

    Why is RIF so important? As the program's name suggests, reading is fundamental to future academic success, upward mobility, and economic security. Yet, if you've seen any of the research on reading proficiency in the U.S., you would be appalled. Thirty-six percent of American 4th graders read below the "basic" level on reading tests and that percentage increases to 54 percent for economically disadvantaged children. And reading proficiency among high-school students in the U.S. has been on the decline for years. Moreover, fewer than half of families read to their young children every day and, by 8th grade, only 19 percent of children read on their own daily. Oh, by the way, an estimated 40 million adults can't read a story to a child. For many young children, RIF gives them the opportunity to learn to read and prepare for future success in school. And, for our country, RIF helps prepare these children to be vital and contributing members of our society.
    Thus far, I haven’t been able to track down whether or not Mikey the Beloved voted to cut RIF funding or not. If and when I do, I’ll update this post accordingly.

  • Continuing, I came across the following sports-related tidbit here…
    BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles left fielder Luke Scott is probably done for the season, or at best headed for an extended stay on the disabled list with a troublesome shoulder injury.

    Scott has a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He was activated from the 15-day DL before Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Angels, but after going 0 for 3 he was poised to be replaced by a pinch hitter for his final at-bat as the designated hitter. The game ended with Nolan Reimold in the on-deck circle in Scott's place.

    "He was not going to take that last at-bat," manager Buck Showalter said of Scott.

    Scott hit a team-high 27 home runs in 2010, but this year he's batting .220 with nine homers and 22 RBIs in 64 games.
    Aww, poor Luke Scott. You remember him, don’t you? He was the guy who said here that “Obama does not represent America – he was not born here.”

    Bye bye for 2011, wingnut.

  • Finally, on another sports-related note (shocking, I know), I wanted to comment on the following article…
    The hard-partying ways of Flyers captain Mike Richards and center Jeff Carter played a major role in the organization's decision to trade both players in June, say two Flyers who played with the pair last season.

    Carter was sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets for free agent forward Jakub Voracek and first- and third-round picks in the draft, and Richards was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn.

    The two unnamed players said that the Flyers front office was disappointed in Carter and Richards' longstanding party lifestyle and that teammates were concerned about the pair's drinking.

    Shortly after his arrival in December 2009, coach Peter Laviolette instituted what players came to call the "Dry Island." Laviolette asked team members to commit to not drinking for a month, and each player was asked to write his number on a locker room board as a pledge. No. 17 (Carter) and No. 18 (Richards) were absent from the board on the first Dry Island, as well as the estimated five more times the policy was instituted.

    In a phone interview Thursday, Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren confirmed that Richards and Carter hadn't put their numbers on the board, but said there had been others who declined. "We carry 23 players and there wasn't 23 numbers up there."

    Holmgren was "really upset that this is out there. That's our locker room. Our inner sanctum. Our board. Someone's crossing a line here," in discussing the Dry Island.
    First, I should point out that this appeared in a “gossip” column for The Daily News, which is exactly where it belongs (and it should be noted that Carter’s agent Rick Curran said the “story” was “bullshit” and criticized the last-year-Flyers who didn’t come forward with their names to back the accusations, which I think is a very good point).

    However, I think this ties into the coverage of how the Flyers are supposed to be so much more able to compete for the Stanley Cup now that they’ve traded two marquee players for some rookies and young guys who haven’t established themselves yet, which I think is total fiction.

    Yes, it’s possible that all of the team’s moves could pan out perfectly. But I see no coverage or commentary anywhere from our lapdog Philadelphia sports media (no doubt wetting themselves over the possibility of taking issue with The Almighty Ed Snider) in the event that it doesn’t.

    And I don’t know what Mike Richards and Jeff Carter did in their time off ice, and I don’t care (it’s also nobody’s business, really). What I do know is that they developed into elite players and led the team to a level of accomplishment that hadn’t been seen around here in awhile (since the ill-fated Eric Lindros era, I guess). Their level of play and the statistics they compiled speak for themselves.

    And when Jeff Carter is among one of the league leaders in scoring for Columbus next year and Mike Richards is helping the Los Angeles Kings to become a dominant Western Conference team once more, that will speak a hell of a lot louder to me than how much time they spent on “the Dry Island.”

    All Paul Holmgren had to do after the 2010 finals was sign free agent Antti Niemi of the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, and all of this could have been avoided. But we are where we are.