Wednesday, October 17, 2007

All Over the Place

As can be imagined, I'm a bit all over the place today. Life is both very exciting and very nerve-wracking at the moment. So... here are a few tidbits I found interesting in a wide array of topics, along with some of my own thoughts. (Occasionally, I do post my own thoughts, too, ya know...)
  • The controversy over the telecommunication industry's helping out the government with eavesdropping on terrorists. I understand why Congress wants to know what was done before giving immunity for past cases, but this is not just or even primarily a terror issue; only about 10% of the instances were requested by the White House (et al). Most had to do with mafia or other crime issues, from what I can tell from the statistics. [I saw them yesterday in an article, but cannot find it now.]
  • Imagine if Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity had made an outrageous claim like this - would he not be looking for a new job by now? Making up stories that the "right-wing hate machine" mugged an Air America host to "silence" her - when her own lawyer says she fell while walking her dog?! Gotta love this apology:
    Host Jon Elliott issued a written retraction of his remarkable on-air charge, saying: "I shouldn't have speculated based on hearsay that Randi Rhodes had been mugged and that it may have been an attack from a right wing hate machine. [Ez: Ya think?] I apologize for jumping to conclusions based on an emotional reaction."
    What does it say about the left that their "emotional reactions" make them jump to such insane conclusions against the right so quickly? Yes, all talk-show hosts jump to extreme interpretations of events - it's what gets them ratings - but this is way beyond the pale.
  • I'm sure James Taranto will write about this far better than I later on, but I'm not sure what to think about this media shield law. There are a nice amount of common-sense exceptions, which is a good thing, but wouldn't it behoove this country to force reporters and media outlets to use a little more common sense and care in their reporting in the first place?! The largest problems that caused reporters to be jailed stemmed from completely false reports, such as Joe Wilson's infamous and false editorial that the NY Times printed that set off the firestorm about Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame. Moreover, this is an important note, too:
    The Justice Department, in questioning the need for the legislation, said it had approved the issuances of subpoenas to reporters seeking confidential source information in only 19 cases between 1992 and 2006.
    It sounds like this will shield law will simply encourage people with political agendas to constantly leak information without worry of it coming back to bite them. This will only hurt the country in the long run, because administrations will be incredibly secretive about everything they do to avoid leaks.
  • Obama & Cheney are distant cousins. It's just funny.
  • An Israeli Bedouin Arab who has 67 (!!!) kids from 8 wives is looking for wife #9.
  • This was fascinating and very smart:
    Two key RBI singles in the inning came from second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera and first baseman Victor Martinez, each switch-hitters, both of whom were notably batting right-handed against the right-handed Wakefield. As Cabrera explained, Wakefield's knuckler more often that not breaks in on right-handed hitters and away from lefties. So the more effective way to attack it, if you have the choice that a switch-hitter does, is to go right-handed.
    Nice. Note that the left-handed hitting Travis Hafner struck out three times against Wakefield; Sizemore was 0/2 with a walk to lead off the game; and Lofton grounded out twice, for a combined 0/8 with a walk. Righties were 0/5 with a BB and 4K's the first time around, 3/5 with a 2B, HR, and HBP the second time around, and 2/2 the third time around.
  • Finally, I don't get why everyone was this down on Westbrook and Byrd. Yes, they're not amazing pitchers, but they are both very consistent - Byrd throws strikes [fewest BB/9 in baseball], Westbrook keeps the ball down and gets ground balls and double plays. That has been their modus operandi for a few years, which is why they pick up 15 wins a year. Westbrook hasn't given up more than 4 runs in his last 15 starts; he only gave up 4 twice. Last year, when he was healthy all year, he led the league in ground-ball DPs.
Go Tribe!