Monday, March 13, 2006


NCAA snub stuns Kennedy...and the Rest of Us

The Enquirer - NCAA snub stuns Kennedy: "The Bearcats were ranked No. 40 in, with a schedule ranked as the fifth-most difficult in the country. Their non-conference schedule was ranked No. 22.
They were 11-11 against teams in the RPI top 100 and won four games against RPI top 50 teams. They were 8-8 in the Big East.
'The whole thought process, not only from Mr. Littlepage, but from years past was that we understand sometimes in league play you don't have control over your league schedule,' Kennedy said. 'They really want you to control the part you can, which is your nonleague, which is what we did very aggressively.'
Littlepage said RPI is not as powerful a tool as some believe.
'It's one of the tools we have at our disposal,' he said. 'It gets far too much (credit) as a determinant. What gets a team into the Tournament is a team that plays well in its conference schedule.'
Tranghese was as perplexed as Kennedy.
'I just don't know what their thinking was,' he said.
'I thought they had done enough, both in the league and outside the league, to warrant a bid. You don't know what goes on inside the room.'
What went on inside UC's locker room as the players, coaches and staff watched the selection show was severe disappointment mixed with disbelief.
'I'm just terribly disappointed for these kids,' Kennedy said, 'especially for these seniors. It's not a fitting way for it to end.'"

Everyone seems to agree that the selection committee was not thinking at all. The University of Cincinnati deserved the bid, really deserved it. I am disappointed. My stomach just turned when I realized they were not recognized for the season they played. Kennedy and those players did far more than anyone could have expected them to do. They did not only more than anyone could have expected, but were competitive in one of the most difficult conferences in the country. They played with heart and played expertly under very challenging circumstances. To ignore that and allow much lesser teams into the tournament was an extremely bad move and should initiate a push to change the way these teams are chosen.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


My Hitchy-Poo Does it Again

Survey Says - Let the exchange of trade and ideas with Iran begin. By Christopher�Hitchens: "So, picture if you will the landing of Air Force One at Imam Khomeini International Airport. The president emerges, reclaims the U.S. Embassy in return for an equivalent in Washington and the un-freezing of Iran's financial assets, and announces that sanctions have been a waste of time and have mainly hurt Iranian civilians. (He need not add that they have also given some clerics monopoly positions in various black markets; the populace already knows this.) A new era is possible, he goes on to say. America and the Shiite world have a common enemy in al-Qaida, just as they had in Slobodan Milosevic, the Taliban, and the Iraqi Baathists. America is home to a large and talented Iranian community. Let the exchange of trade and people and ideas begin! There might perhaps even be a ticklish-to-write paragraph, saying that America is not proud of everything it is has done in the past�most notably Jimmy Carter's criminal decision to permit Saddam to invade Iran.
The aging mullahs might claim this as a capitulation, which would be hard to bear. But how right would they be? The pressure for a new constitution and genuine elections is already building. Within less than a decade, we might be negotiating with a whole new generation of Iranians. Iran would have less incentive to disrupt progress in Iraq (and we should not forget that it has been generally not unhelpful in Afghanistan). Eventually, Iran might have a domestic nuclear program (to which it is fully entitled and which would decrease its oil-dependency) and be ready to sign a nonproliferation agreement with enforceable and verifiable provisions. American technical help would be available for this, since it was we who (in a wonderful moment of Kissingerian 'realism') helped them build the Bushehr reactor in the first place.
Just a thought."

What must it be like to be in the room as he does that thinking thing?
First of all, you must read the whole article. He relates an amazing exchange with a woman in Iran that is indicative of our real problem in Iraq.
Secondly, I haven't a clue neither whether his suggestion is satirical nor whether it is possible if he is being thoughtful. I am certain that the suggestion that Bush make Carter out to be a dope was indeed not satirical. In fact, he is probably wondering why that is not done more frequently.
Lastly, whether serious or not, Hitchy always makes us think. What a great gift!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Another Example of Kentucky's Proud Civil Rights History

The Cincinnati Post - Longtime civil-rights activist dies: "Braden, who was white, also was active in anti-war and women's liberation movements, but it was her efforts in civil-rights campaigns that brought her the most attention.
'We have truly lost an icon in this community,' said state Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville. 'I think the influence that she and her husband had reverberated throughout the South.'
In 1954, Braden and her husband, Carl, bought a home in southwestern Jefferson County for a black World War II veteran and his family. The black family was spurned when attempting to purchase the home. The Bradens used the family's money to purchase the house, then deeded it over to them, Fosl said.
A few weeks later, the house was bombed, but no one was injured.
The Bradens later were charged with sedition, and Carl Braden was convicted and given a 15-year prison sentence, Fosl said. He served seven months before his conviction was overturned.
Anne Braden was never tried on the state sedition charge.
The Bradens worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and other notable civil-rights leaders. 'Her legacy is to have been among the most forceful voices in U.S. history that racial justice is white people's business, too,' Fosl said."

This story was new to even me, but supports my thesis that the state has much to be proud of as it relates to civil rights. I am not suggesting by any stretch that there are not idiots in the state of Kentucky, rather just reminding that there is a rich history of civil rights visionaries in the state. An appropriate rebuttal would be that it was likely a Kentuckian who bombed the house. First, I do not know that to be true, but if it were, the one being honored in the paper today is not the bomber, but rather the buyer.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Oh Really?

Hillary Clinton 'unaware' of Bill's Dubai ties - Financial Times - "Hillary Clinton, a leading opponent of DP World's takeover of some US port operations, was this week forced to admit that she did not know her husband had advised Dubai leaders on how to handle the growing dispute.
But former President Bill Clinton's ties to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates should not have come as a surprise to his New York senator wife."

If she is to be the candidate for President in '08, those of us who enjoy a scrappy campaign don't like dopey stories like this one. The suggestion that she did not know of her husbands now years-long ties with the UAE is more than a thinking person can bear. It will be far too easy for her opponents to needle, and then the campaign will be a bore to follow, a fate worse than death for those of us who enjoy politics. I can't ask that she retract the statement as it is now out for public consumption, but maybe those of us political cheerleaders on the sidelines should start hoping for a different Dem that can actually provide decent political theater.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Gerhard, a Bag of Hot Air, Like I Said

Berlin File Says Germany's Spies Aided U.S. in Iraq - New York Times: "The German government was a vocal critic of the Bush administration's decision to use military force to topple Saddam Hussein and has long insisted that it provided only limited help to the United States-led coalition. But in recent months, news reports of greater German involvement prompted the parliamentary review, which indicates that German-American cooperation during the war was continuing, systematic and regular.
A public version of the parliamentary committee's report was released but much was left out, including the existence of a German officer in General Franks's office. A copy of the secret version of the parliamentary report was made available for viewing by a journalist in Germany to a New York Times reporter who read the text into a tape recorder so it could be transcribed and translated. The cover page had the seal of the German Parliament.
The report found that the operation was closed down when the American invasion came to an end, at which point all three of the German intelligence officials the two in Baghdad and the liaison officer with General Franks in Qatar were given the American Meritorious Service Medals recognizing the 'critical information to United States Central Command to support combat operations in Iraq.' "

Every time I even suggested that the Germans were helping, people would rant that they were not a country that believed in war and would never support this "illegal war". Uh...
Admittedly not a few thousand troops, but more than a country who had a deeply held conviction barring it from pre-emptive wars. Gerhard was saying what he thought he had to and doing as he pleased.


Clintonian Politics As Ususal?

Bill Clinton advises Dubai as Hillary attacks its US ports deal - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON (AFP) - Former president Bill Clinton has privately advised Dubai officials how to address US political concerns over a controversial ports deal, as his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, publicly attacks the deal.
Dubai Ports World bid to takeover Britain's P and O, which runs terminal operations at six major US ports, has triggered a political firestorm in the United States.
Senator Clinton has voiced vigorous opposition to the 5.7-billion-euro (6.8-billion-dollar) takeover, saying it threatens US national security.
She is attempting to push legislation through Congress that seeks to block the deal, partly on the grounds that DP World is foreign-government owned.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times reported Thursday her husband -- who it said was paid 300,000 dollars in 2002 to address a summit in Dubai -- has advised Dubai officials how to soothe US concerns over the deal.
'Mr. Clinton, who this week called the United Arab Emirates a 'good ally to America,' advised Dubai's leaders to propose a 45-day delay to allow for an intensive investigation of the acquisition,' the FT said, citing a spokesman for the ex president."

Just as I was starting to like the former President and not hold his hormones against him, this comes out. First of all, it seems wiser just to be upfront with the public on this one. "My husband is consulting them, but I am blocking the deal and using it against the President." Okay, fair. I guess she could not have said that. He could have said "these are old friends". Okay, he couldn't say that either. It's not the money the public is going to care about. It is the fact that this suggests an under-handed strategy by the Clinton's. The husband is helping them while the wife blames the deal on the President. It just looks ugly, and, quite frankly, is something that many of the Clinton's detractors have gotten used to. And once again, it seems, they have gotten caught.

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