Thursday, October 23, 2008


I accept the charge of sour grapes right from the get-go. It is the birthright of all Philadelphia sports fans — unmitigated grousing and finger-pointing.

Now that we have that out of the way ...

The guy pictured above just turned in what may be the worst performance by a home-plate umpire in a World Series Game. And since he was perpetrating this travesty against my beloved Philadelphia Phillies, I wanted to stick my fingers deep into his eyes with each mind-blowing mistake he made.

His name is Kerwin Danley and I do not like him.

I would appreciate it greatly if you would make an effort to dislike him as well.

Boy, did he suck in Game Two of the World Series tonight — blown calls, weird indecision and a strike zone that was more unpredictable than Tom Sizemore with an eightball, a strap-on and a blowtorch.

But, in truth, we can't lay all the blame for tonight's Phillies loss at Kerwin Danley's feet.

The poor Fightin' Phils are taking an historic collar with guys on base. It is as if we are watching the same inning over and over. A couple of guys get on base, then anemia sets in and Phillies are waving at the ball like Ms. Montgomery County.

Now before you say,

"Hold on there, armchair. You have no idea how hard it is to hit a major league fastball or curveball. No idea at all!!"

I'd like to illustrate just how knowledgeable I am about trying to do the near-impossible — which is to hit good pitching.

In my freshman year of high school — I went out for the baseball team at Archbishop Carroll. I had occasion to secure one at-bat during a practice game against Penn Charter, a school renowned for producing Tony Resch and soon to be exalted for producing Thomas Noonan.

This at-bat pitted the scrawny, bespectacled and jittery me against the strapping local legend-in-the-making known as Mark Gubicza.

With a helmet too loose and a bat too heavy, I dug in against the man-child.

The first pitch, I believe, I never even saw. Fastball.

Strike One.

The second pitch I'm certain I never saw. Fasterball.

Strike Two.

With an ill-advised brief burst of courage, I inched closer to protect the plate.

The third pitch headed straight for my face. I buckled, cringed and otherwise Cirque de Soleiled. The ball broke across the heart of the plate as I ended the pose looking like a flamingo having a seizure. Curveball.

Strike Three.

The at-bat lasted roughly forty seconds.

The next day I went out for the golf team.

So I have some kernel of insight into how tough hitting is but ...



Number Two:

Seriously, "I Am Joe the Plumber?"


Is that what people are buying now? Is that really the deciding factor for the incomprehensibly still undecided voters?

"I Am Joe the Plumber."

Are you?

You're a lying sack of shit who has never been a plumber and goes deadbeat on taxes and compares Barack Obama to Sammy Davis, Jr.?


It was recently suggested to me that it is easy to misinterpret the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly.

So in my car today, I flipped to Rush Limbaugh's show. I took it as a challenge. I'll listen — in context — and see if I can keep from screaming "Asshole. Liar. Most dangerous man in America!"

I couldn't.

He talked about elitists and couched it in a soundbite from an interview Brian Williams did with John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Palin's part of the sound bite was another variation on her patented "My name is Elmer J. Fudd. I own a mansion and a yacht."

McCain expounded on where elitists could be found.

Washington D.C. and New York — in case you were curious.

McCain said elitists were anyone who thinks they know better than you do and want to control you.

Limbaugh then blustered that McCain was right — that it was all about condescension.

And that was enough.

These aren't serious people. They're name-calling, misleading and playing games while the country is in genuine turmoil. And, worse yet, if they are attempting profundity and clarity — then they are lacking in even the most basic self-awareness or insight.

Condescension runs through every vein of John McCain. Of the four people in this race, he has been — by far — the most privileged.

Sarah Palin's audacious disregard for us is clear — she will not deign to actually answer questions or speak in any way, shape or form that leads you to believe what she's saying. Either she thinks we're all too stupid to know the difference — or she is.

And ultimately — if the elusive no-name elitists you hear about every day really are those who think they know better than you do and want to control you — look no further than your neighbor's church. Any rival congregation will do.

There are no terrorists, communists, socialists or elitists running for president.

We desperately need serious, competent and steady people to lead us.

Put your country first and let serious people run it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

McCain Comes Full Circle — It's Over

That's my prediction. My wildly presumptuous, hair-trigger prediction. And deep down, you know I'm right.

There is — barring any calamitous screw-up by Barack Obama — no way John McCain can rally to win the election.

Mint it. Print it. Sprint it (what!?).

He can't do it. He won't do it.

And it's not because he lost the debate Tuesday night — which he did. It's not because he lacks intelligence — which he doesn't. It's not even because his attempts at humor are tarnishing the legacy of Celtic wit and timing — which they are.

(McCain's roots go back to Antrim in Northern Ireland — and Scotland before that — just like the McClatchy roots — and the McClatchy clan is, by all accounts, an absolute laugh riot! We kill! We are flat-out hilarious — as any self-respecting, mildly lubricated Irish-Scots family must be. Come on, Senator McCain — if you're going to engage in witticisms and sly asides, you have a sacred Celtic obligation to, ya know, be funny.)

But McCain is done because he is physically, emotionally and psychologically unfit to lead.

Now Kevin ... don't you go Swift-boating this war hero, you socialist, tree-hugging son of a bitch.

I wouldn't dream of Swift-boating John McCain. Because John McCain has been Swift-boated already and he understands the impotent rage and bottomless disgust that being Swift-boated produces.

"They know no depths, do they? They know no depths."

That's what John McCain said about Karl Rove and George Bush's smear campaign against him in South Carolina's 2000 presidential primary.

(Of course, it wasn't called Swift-boating back then. It would be four more years before the Son of Perdition cooked that gem up. In 2000 it was just called Rove being Rove.)

And McCain was right. He was dead-on.

Yet now — with his presidential prospects dimming — he has come full circle and sold his soul at the altar of Mr. Pure Walking Evil himself:

McCain's transparent and wildly irresponsible VP pick was bad enough. But then — under the watchful eye of campaign strategist and Rove clone Steve Schmidt — McCain went off the reservation. He sent his circus act of a running mate Sarah Palin on an unholy mission to brand Barack Obama a terrorist.

Gov. Palin — folksy as all-get-out and that much creepier for it — said Obama was "pallin' around with terrorists." We all know she was referring to William Ayres, the former leader of the Weathermen, a radical anti-war group from the 60s and early 70s.

His militant opposition to the Vietnam War and his subsequent actions occurred when he was in his 20s and Obama was 8.

Somehow — in repeating this rap over and over — Governor Palin neglects to mention that Ayres, now 63, is a leader in education reform and a Distinguished Professor at the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

With the "terrorist" number and her standard misrepresentation about Obama's remarks on Afghanistan, she is whipping crowds into a dangerous, misguided frenzy. Shouts of "treason!" and "terrorist!" accompany mention of Obama at McCain/Palin rallies.

It doesn't seem to occur to her that she is playing a perilous game that can lead to tragedy.

Which is not surprising — she's a dim bulb with a bizarre moral compass.

Thank God she'll never be vice-president.

What is genuinely surprising — and sounds the death knell for McCain's campaign — is this:

With a massive financial crisis that he stood by and watched develop (you can't vote with George Bush 92% of the time and call yourself Maverick — or Goose or Iceman for that matter ...)

With a $10-billion-a-month wrong-headed war that he consistently championed ...

With a health-care situation that just may be the thing that brings violent protests back to the streets ...

With all that and much more ...

With the country hungering for real leadership ...

McCain went and Swift-boated Obama.

He Karl-Roved the poor bastard.

John McCain has become what he despises.

I didn't think he would.

He knows no depths, does he?

Thank God he's lost the election.