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Archive for November, 2012

Erickson Foregoes Senate Run in Georgia

As I said earlier this week, I give him credit for even considering it.

But sometimes you have to put your family first, and that is clearly what Erick is doing here. 

RedState co-founder Erick Erickson said Friday he won’t challenge Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss in a GOP primary.

“Were I to run for the Senate, it would be a terribly nasty campaign,” the well-known conservative blogger wrote on RedState. “It’d actually be really awesome, but it’d be really nasty. I have a seven year old, a soon to be four year old, and a wife who does not like being anywhere near a stage. I’m not putting my family through that when the best outcome would mean a sizable pay cut in pay and being away from my kids and wife all the time huddled in a pit vipers often surrounded by too many who viewed me as a useful instrument to their own advancement.”

Some conservatives had hoped the stridently right-wing Erickson would challenge Chambliss, who has broken from party orthodoxy on taxes. Erickson has held elected office in the past, serving an abbreviated term as a Macon, Ga. city council member.

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Two Baseball Rules Changes I Would Back Completely

Meant to post this earlier this week, but I got lazy.

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated posted 9 rules changes he’d like to see in Major League Baseball.  They deal with everything from instant replay on foul balls to the armor guys wear at the play to the number of timeouts Jorge Posada would call to have a conference at the mound.

(It was a lot.  It delayed the game.  It got annoying after a while.)

Here are my two favorites, one of which is named for Doug Melvin who has been calling for it for years.

2. The Doug Melvin Rule. For years the Brewers general manager has been instigating conversation among general managers about a uniform roster size in September. As it stands now, teams can increase their roster from 25 to as many as 40 players with the addition of September call-ups. That leads to teams playing with different roster sizes — say, 33 against 29 — and too many available options for managers (five lefties in the bullpen, four catchers, multiple pinch-running specialists, etc.). It means pennant races are decided under rules otherwise not in place all season, and some games are decided because one team has more available players than the other. The Brewers are still smarting about how St. Louis even qualified for the 2011 postseason: The Cardinals won several close and long games down the stretch because manager Tony La Russa squeezed the most out of expanded rosters. Hello, Adron Chambers.

It’s time for general managers to stop talking about it and do something about it. It’s a quick and logical fix. Teams should play all games with the same number of players. I advocate using a 25-man roster all year long. The difference is that in September you can call up as many players as you want but you must designate a game roster each day of 25 players. A manager, for instance, might leave off his other four starting pitchers, for instance, to include four September call-ups. Some GMs have advocated a standard but expanded roster for September games — say, a daily roster of 28. Twenty-five is plenty, and brings uniformity to the season.

3. The Barry Bonds Rule. You want to wear body armor to gain an advantage over the pitcher? Fine, go ahead and wear a huge elbow guard that enables you to hang over the plate and disrespect inside fastballs that otherwise would move your feet. But you cannot take your base when a pitch hits a piece of your emboldening equipment, no more than if a pitch hit your bat. Any pitch that strikes a piece of body armor equipment simply is ruled a ball and the at-bat continues. No hit batter.

The Bonds rule to me is comical, but also makes a lot of sense.  If you come to the plate wearing a frickin’ gauntlet for an at bat for the sole purpose of crowding it, I say you’re fair game too.

The Melvin rule should happen.  I realize the point of the expanded roster is to give experience to prospects who are on the fringe of becoming big leaguers, but there’s no rules limiting active players, so it turns dugouts and bullpens into a completely different monster than the rest of the season.  25-man rosters all-year long, but allow the call-up a time to move guys in and out of that roster in September and solidify it by not having them be unable to dress on game day.

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This Means Tammy’s a “No” on Rice, Right?

There’s good oppo, and then there’s good oppo which comes back to bite you in the ass politically.

We’re about to see the latter.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that likely Secretary of State Designate and current U.S Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has substantial investments in companies that deal with Iran. As we well know from the just completed U.S. Senate race here in Wisconsin, our newest junior Senator has some (apparent) major league issues with those who have investments in companies that do business with Iran.

Rice has the highest net worth of executive branch members, with a fortune estimated between $24 to $44 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. A Free Beacon analysis of Rice’s portfolio shows thousands of dollars invested in at least three separate companies cited by lawmakers on Capitol Hill for doing business in Iran’s oil and gas sector.

The revelation of these investments could pose a problem for Rice if she is tapped by President Barack Obama to replace Clinton. Among the responsibilities of the next secretary of state will be a showdown with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program.

“That Susan Rice invested in companies doing business in Iran shows either the Obama administration’s lack of seriousness regarding Iran or Rice’s own immorality,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq. “Either way, her actions undercut her ability to demand our allies unity on Iran.”

The companies in question appear to have conducted business with Tehran well after Western governments began to urge divestment from the rogue nation, which has continued to enrich uranium near levels needed to build a nuclear bomb.

Financial disclosures reveal that Rice has had $50,001-$100,000 in Royal Dutch Shell, a longtime purchaser of Iranian crude oil.

Royal Dutch Shell currently owes Iran nearly $1 billion in back payments for crude oil that it purchased before Western economic sanctions crippled Tehran’s ability to process oil payments, Reuters reported.

For comparison, yes, Royal Dutch Shell was one of the seven firms the Tammy Baldwin campaign for Senate when apoplectic on against Tommy Thompson for holding. However, Tommy held on $17,000, which is anywhere from three to six times fewer than what Rice appears to be hold.

Hell, the entire former Thompson Iranian portfolio (just under $50,000) was less than Rice’s Royal Dutch Shell holdings alone.

So, of course comes the obvious question to Baldwin: IF Iranian investments were bad when Tommy did it, how is it different when the potential next Secretary of State is doing it? And if so, does that mean you will vote against her confirmation if the President nominates her?

I’m sure Dan Bice will jump right on that one…

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New CNN Business Plan Leaked

In light of this news, it is safe to say that this will be the future business plan of CNN.

  1. Bring on Katie Couric in some capacity, perhaps to replace Piers Morgan.
  2. ???
  3. PROFIT!

Veteran news producer and former NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker will become the president of CNN Worldwide in January, the network announced Thursday.

“Jeff’s experience as a news executive is unmatched for its breadth and success,” said Phil Kent, chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting System, CNN’s parent company. “In a career that has seen significant professional success in both broadcast and cable, Jeff has demonstrated his ability to run multiple lines of business and fiercely defend journalists and journalism.”

Zucker succeeds Jim Walton, who has headed CNN Worldwide since 2003. As president, Zucker will oversee 23 branded news and information businesses, including CNN’s U.S. television network, CNN International, HLN and CNN Digital. The latter includes CNN.com, one of the world’s leading news websites.

Zucker is best known for two things.

1) Giving the world Katie Couric and Fear Factor

2) Leaving NBC an empty wasteland.

Once an unknown news producer on Today, it was Zucker (at only the age of 26) who suggested the news division grab the then-unknown Couric and having her trademark perkiness on to replace “the other woman” on the Today Show, Deborah Norville, who viewers never liked after replacing the retiring morning show icon, Jane Pauley.

Couric clicked, ratings soared, Zucker was elevated to run the entertainment division and used his connections — and the networks’ #1 status at the time — to do nothing new, pretty much letting “ER” die on the vine, giving us lousy spin-offs from “Friends” and letting the shows which started before his tenure run their course while doing nothing to develop new shows.

Instead, he’s the one who started reality TV shows invading on network television with “Fear Factor” leading the gross-out revolution.  The only “hit” he had during his time running the network was the first season of “Heroes,” which soon became a mess after the writer’s strike.

He also was the one who personally ended up screwing Conan O’Brien after personally getting Leno to agree to retire.  So there’s that too.

After getting sacked at NBC when Comcast bought the network, he found his way…yeah, you guess it…back with Couric as the executive producer of her new talk show host.

If CNN is hoping this guy can turn the ship around, they are probably in for a few surprises.

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Brandon Marshall: NFL Players Use Viagara as PED

Actually, given the origins of the drug as an anticoagulant (blood thinner), this makes sense.  In fact, you’ve ever seen the “Top Gear: South America Special” on BBC America, you see that part of “the emergency package” the producers give the three co-hosts includes three Viagara pills.

One for each co-host.  (The package also included tampons to stop river water from going into the gas tank and vaseline and condoms to waterproof their engines.)

The point of the drug is to actually thin the hosts’ blood while they were in the higher altitudes of the Andes Mountain.  So yes, as strange as it sounds, taking a Viagara to battle altitude sickness could save your life depending on what altitude you’re at versus what altitude you are used to.

“I don’t know too much about Adderall,” Marshall told news reporters. “I know guys, it is such a competitive league, guys try anything just to get that edge. I’m fortunate enough to be blessed with size and some smarts to give me my edge. But some guys, they’ll do whatever they can to get an edge. I’ve heard of some crazy stories. I’ve heard (of) guys using like Viagra, seriously. Because the blood is supposedly thin, some crazy stuff. So, you know, it’s kind of scary with some of these chemicals that are in some of these things, so you have to be careful.”

Ignoring the sudden double entendre of his “blessed with size” description and the logistical difficulties that could result from receivers trying to run a fly pattern while under the influence, is it possible that he’s actually serious?

It appears so.

The New York Times reported in 2008 on a study funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency, where Marywood University tested the drug on several members of the school’s lacrosse team to determine possible athletic benefits. WADA never added the drug to its banned substance list because there was insufficient evidence that the drug would enhance athletic performance, despite the premise that its ability to increase blood flow to certain parts of the body also would apply to muscles used on a football field.

In my book it is a PED. Thinner blood means faster blood which means more oxygen is going to where it is needed while playing on the football field.  Thus, giving you an unfair edge.  Simple enough.

It will probably be banned in a few years, and we’ll all have a joke about it since few will understand the medical science behind the drug.

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Today’s Sign We Need the NHL Lockout to End

Prospect for the Detroit Red Wings, playing for the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins was arrested for underage drinking, driving while over twice the legal limit and falsifying his identity.

All while wearing a purple “Tinky Winky” costume from the children’s show “The Teletubbies.”

A Detroit Red Wings prospect faces charges under Michigan’s tough “super drunk” designation following a traffic stop during which police discovered him clad in a Teletubby costume.

According to a Grand Rapids police report obtained by MLive.com, Riley Sheahan twice registered a blood alcohol level of .30 percent when tested in jail after his arrest on Oct. 29.

Police say the 20-year-old Grand Rapids Griffins center from St. Catharines, Ontario, was wearing the costume of a purple Teletubby known as Tinky Winky during the stop.

The “super drunk” charge carries a penalty of 180 days in jail and possible deportation. Sheahan also faces a charge of providing false information, as he was carrying the driver’s license of fellow Wings prospect Brendan Smith when he was arrested.

According to the police report, Sheahan told police he was using Smith’s license so he could get into bars. Smith, 23, was the Red Wings’ first-round pick in 2007.

The police report didn’t say how Sheahan got possession of Smith’s identification.

What is the over/under TMZ gets the mugshot for this by the end of the day?

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Erickson Considering Senate Run in Georgia

In the just completed campaign cycle, it’s no secret that RedState Executive Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson and I didn’t see eye to eye.  Most of it was on what I viewed as unnecessary involvement by Erick in the Wisconsin GOP Senate Primary.  Erick was a big Mark Neumann fan (mostly based on stuff he heard from the Club for Growth and Jim DeMint’s office) and I well…wasn’t.

We’re still friends, we still chat.  And I am more than grateful for the plate of nachos he once bought me at a DC eatery when I was down on my luck in 2009.

All that aside, I will give Erick credit for one thing.  If he does run for the U.S. Senate in his native Georgia as being speculated, he will be putting his money where his mouth has been for years now.  That’s more than you can say for any big-name liberal blogger out there.

You don’t see Markos running for U.S. Senate, let alone his local city council in whatever San Francisco suburbs he resides in.  (Too busy being a wannabe puppet master and bomb-thrower I suppose than actually doing something to better the world I guess.)

Popular conservative blogger and radio personality Erick Erickson said Tuesday he was considering a primary challenge to Sen. Saxby Chambliss after a host of political bigs had approached him about staging a bid of his own in the days since the incumbent broke with a vaulted no-taxes pledge.

“For a week now, I’ve been getting calls to see if I would challenge Saxby Chambliss, once he really got into the whole ‘raising taxes issue,’” Erickson said in the opening segment of his radio show Tuesday. “Well, the pace quickened. I got a lot of people pledging a lot of money in the last couple of days if I did something like this. And I’ve been very adamant, I wasn’t going to do it, but after a few conversations today with a few heavy hitters in Washington, D.C. and some here in Georgia, I should at least consider it.”

Erickson, a CNN political contributor and editor-in-chief of conservative haunt RedState, added he was “very flattered” and was in “prayerful consideration” about waging a possible challenge to the two-term Chambliss.

Erickson was a one-term city councilman in Macon, Georgia, but resigned when his work–a radio show, television gig and editorship of highly-trafficked blog–became too great to shoulder in tandem with his public service.

Like other possible Chambliss challengers, Erickson has not run for statewide office. But he maintains a diverse network of monied, influential conservatives in the Beltway and throughout the state thanks largely to the celebrity he’s developed over the last six years.

Erickson hasn’t made a decision yet on when he’s going to make a decision — that’s fine he’s got more than enough time to decide.  Reality is that he likely has a very good chance of winning, not just the primary, but the general election in 2014 as well.

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Cartoon of the Day

Of course the question remains…where is the “Texas” for all of America at the rate DC fiscal cliff talks are going?

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