Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bushie Snubbed by Iraqi PM

So, Bushie is off in the Middle East and was supposed to meet w/Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki about the raging violence in Iraq. However, al-Maliki decided that he had better things to do and decided that he would stand Bushie up. Just think about how much of a slap in the face that is - he is too busy to meet w/the President of the United States. What a joke! The Iraqi PM just openly snubbed the President.

Bushie is unbelievably stubborn and increasingly stupid about our continued Iraqi misadventure. It looks like the Iraq Study Group has come to the consensus view that we should gradually withdraw our troops. It is now just a matter of time before we leave Iraq - it looks like adults and smarter folks are coming in to slap down Bushie's ideas.

My guess is that both Republicans and Dems in Congress are going to embrace the recommendations and we may actually see bi-partisan calls to remove our troops from Iraq.

Day 1906!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Another thought about Iraq

Before the last election, Bushie and the Republicans were saying that the escalating violence in Iraq was an effort to get Americans to lose heart and vote for Democrats.

Well, the election has passed and we are a few weeks out. However, we continue to see the violence in Iraq escalate. What will Bushie's excuse be now? Yesterday he pulled out his tired old al Qaeda nonsense - but the fact is that the overwhelming majority of violence is part of the growing civil war. It is Iraqi vs. Iraqi, and has nothing to do with al Qaeda.

Thoughts about Iraq

Nothing really new, except that Iraq is just worsening. We are rapidly approaching 2900 American soldiers killed.

The sad part is that American soldiers are dying to prop up a corrupt Iraqi government that is filled with anti-American lawmakers.

But what is really pathetic is that even with the worsening violence, a hostile government, a growing Iraqi civil war, polls in both the U.S. and Iraq that show that there is little support for U.S. involvement in Iraq, and even the recent election results here in the U.S., Bushie said yesterday that we are not going to leave Iraq until we achieve victory and create a stable democracy - that is not going to happen for years, if at all.

What makes Bushie's comments even worse is that the White House questions the current Iraqi prime minister's ability to lead. So Bushie is allowing our soldiers to die fighting for a government that his administration itself does not believe in.

More Redskins Organization B.S.

On Sportstalk 980 this morning, I heard another story about how the Redskins organization likes to bash reporters who write things that make Danny Boy look bad. If the writers were inaccurate that would be one thing, but there is a lot of evidence that the organization engages in outright lying to cloud the truth.

Here is a link to a piece by Jason La Canfora in which he responds to the lies emanating from Redskin Park.

I also heard this morning about Danny Boy being upset with Laveranues Coles that I hadn't heard before. Paraphrasing and quoting from an SI story about Coles' experience w/Snyder:

[Coles] described every week of last season as a "miserable" experience and added that the most important lesson he learned while in Washington was "trust nobody."

If you want to know how badly Coles and the Redskins needed a divorce, consider this: Redskins owner Daniel Snyder threatened Coles when the receiver's refusal to accept [a trade to the Jets] without a contract extension thwarted the deal last month. "He said that if I stayed in Washington, he would turn me into another Terry Glenn," Coles said. (Glenn, now with the Cowboys, missed most of the 2001 season with New England as his public feud with head coach Bill Belichick resulted in various fines, suspensions and ultimately Glenn's benching). "He said he would send a flat-screen television to my home because I'd be better off watching the games there. That was his way of saying I'd be sitting for the next couple years until they cut me."

Nice - and you don't think players around the NFL are learning about what the Redskins are all about?

Also, here is a short economics piece about the Redskins that is available at the American Enterprise Institute - a right wing thinktank that is better known for politics.

Bears and Redskins Rankings

Yahoo! Sports - Bears #5, Redskins "muddled middle."

CBS Sportsline - Bears #5, Redskins #25.

ESPN - Bears #5, Redskins #25.

Day 1905!

Monday, November 27, 2006

New Record National Debt

The U.S. National Debt went over $8.62 TRILLION - a new record. Nice job Bushie.

Bears and Redskin Stats

Bears played fairly well, but got hurt with the mistakes at QB. Redskins played the best game of the season - too bad it was Week 11. Here are the updated stats:

DEFENSE:

Bears - #1 scoring defense (12.5 pts/game - no change), #1 defense in terms of yardage/game (261 yds/game - no change).

Redskins - 23rd-ranked scoring defense (23 pts/game - up 5 slots), 28th-ranked defense in terms of yardage/game (350 yds/game - up 2 slots).

The Bears have allowed 4 rushing TDs this year (tied for #2). The Redskins have allowed 3 rushing TDs (ranked #1).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #4-ranked scoring 0ffense (27 pts/game - down 2 slots), 13th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (328 yds/game - no change).

Redskins - 20th-ranked scoring offense (18 pts/game - no change), 20th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (306 yds/game - down 2 slots).

The Depth of Redskin Trouble

Good article from ESPN the Magazine, on just what is wrong with the organization.

I doubt all of the coaches will be back, especially if the Redskins finish the season like I expect them to - with a bunch of losses. I know there will be significant turnover in personnel, so next year will be a restart yet again.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bears and Redskins Thoughts

Bears - Grossman has got to learn to take better care of the ball. He has the NFL's best defense and a team that has great special teams, but he is single-handedly is killing the team. The running game was going and the defense gave up yards but forced a lot of turnovers - the problem was that Grossman kept making his mistakes. I didn't think his game was as bad as the one in Arizona, but he has got to protect the ball better. Still, the Bears played a solid game against a good Patriot team on the road and had a chance to win in the end.

Redskins - great win and a solid performance in all aspects of the game (except the first Novak miss). Gibbsy's yelling, Campbell's ability to make plays (and call plays), and the commitment to the running game all worked. It's great to see the Redskins playing better, but it is too little too late. So, it really doesn't make much difference. If they can finish strong then I'll be impressed. If they lose the next two then this game will really be meaningless.

Day 1902!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bears and Redskins Picks

16-5 on the year (counting the Ohio State-Michigan game)

Bears finish up their "Northeast swing." Three weeks ago the idea of winning 2 of 3 against the Giants, Jets, and Patriots on the road would have sounded pretty good. They have done that, but are now going for the sweep. Should be a good game, and it clearly is a possible Super Bowl preview. The Bears can send a message to the AFC with a win - which they will get. In a 20-17 thriller, Grossman will make a key play in the fourth quarter to win it for the Bears.

Redskins got chewed out by Gibbsy this week - about 4 weeks too late for it to matter. It will be interesting to see how they respond. My sense is that they will play better on D, but Campbell will be harassed all day and the Redskins running game will be ineffective against a solid Pathers D. Carolina 20, Redskins 10.

Day 1901!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all who visit this blog, I wish you all good holiday cheer. Enjoy your Thanksgiving with friends and family, thank God for all things good in your life, and say a prayer for those less fortunate. Peace be with you.

Redskin Salary Cap

I have looked further at the figures and there is some hope for the Redskins in terms of cap space - but not much. I decided to look more closely at the figures based on one of Deepie's comments on an earlier thread.

The 2007 NFL salary cap will come in at $109M. The Redskins have $103.4M committed. This means that they are $5.6M under the current projected cap for next year. This is not really enough to extend contracts for their best players, sign draft picks, and make significant offers to free agents. Thus, the team will have to free up some cap space with some cuts and some restructurings.

The most likely cuts based on cap savings are as follows (cap savings in parentheses):
1. Reynaldo Wynn ($2.5M)
2. Ocho Stinko ($2.33M)
3. John Hall ($1.5M)
4. James Thrash ($1.3M)
5. Christian Fauria ($1M)
6. Mike Sellers ($710,000)
7. Lemar Marshall ($600,000)

This would free up another $10M, but other than Marshall and Wynn these guys are largely expendable. Which would be enough to try to take care of some business.

Other players who could help free up cap space if they are cut include (of these, only Collins, Duckett, and Evans are real possibilities):
1. Jon Jansen ($2.65M)
2. Philip Daniels ($1.9M)
3. Troy Vincent ($1.38M)
4. Todd Collins ($1.25M)
5. Randy Thomas ($1.12M)
6. Joe Salave'a ($710,000)
7. Pierson Prioleau ($710,000)
8. T.J. Duckett ($700,000)
9. Demetric Evans ($589,000)
10. Casey Rabach ($550,000)
11. Chris Cooley ($500,000)

Of course some restructurings are going to take place - the guys who are most likely to be asked to restructure are as follows (their 2007 cap figure is in parentheses):
1. Chris Samuels ($8.6M)
2. Shawn Springs ($7.4M)
3. Clinton Portis ($7M)
4. Corn Griffin ($6.2M)
5. Marcus Washington ($6M)
6. Jon Jansen ($5.85M)
7. Randy Thomas ($5.4M)
8. Santana Moss ($5M)
9. Casey Rabach ($3.85M)

The players have to agree and any restructurings push problems back to later dates. Given that most of the guys on the list are older there won't/shouldn't be much that is done.

Finally, the guys who are basically untouchable because of the cap implications are:

1. Arch Deluxe - counts $2.4M but would cost $9M if cut.
2. Andre Carter - counts $2.3M but would cost $8M if cut.
3. Brandon Lloyd - counts $2.4M but would cost $9M if cut.
4. David Patten - counts $3M but would cost $5.3M if cut.

Day 1898!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Magical Year at Wrigley?

Probably not, but Cubs fans like me can dream. Soriano should be a great fit for Chicago - they need another bat and his power should be great at a relatively small Wrigley Field. He may be overpaid, but the guy can flat out play.

I love the lineup with Ramirez, Lee, and Soriano. However, ultimately, the Cubs will live or die with pitching. They need to spend some cash on 2 or 3 new arms and hope that Wood and Prior can stay at least somewhat healthy.

Bears Woes of the 1990s

Redskin fans, let me tell you a story. It is no secret that the Bears have been pretty bad for most of the 20+ years since the 1985 Super Bowl. I lived in Chicago during the lost 90s and witnessed team that was bad and only got worse because of poor organizational decisions.

The Bears in the 1990s under Wanny (Dave Wannstedt) were terrible. From 1993-1998, Wanny compiled a 41-57 record with the Bears. He led them to the playoffs once and he was fired after 2 back-to-back 4-12 seasons. It was a lost time and the Jauron era (35-35) afterwards was not much better.

Ultimately, what got the Bears back on the right track. was a coach and an organization that are committed to the draft, defense, and running game. The Redskins find themselves in much the same place. Just look at the records of Gibbsy, Spurrier, and Norv. The one coach who was any good was Shottenheimer, but Danny Boy did not like having a football coach who knew what he was doing, wouldn't accept Vinny Cerrato, and thought for himself.

Until the Redskins recognize how much work needs to go into rebuilding the franchise, organization, and team, they are doomed to mediocrity (at best) in a league that promotes mediocrity through parity. If you want to be bad forever, stick with your players, coaches, and organization as it is - or just look to make some minor changes. But if you want to win, accept the fact that a new mindset is needed in the brain trust, and that significant changes are required.

Redskin Woes

Gibbsy's post-game press conference was about as anger-filled as Gibbsy ever gets. The only thing that is surprising to me about his anger is why it took so long to emerge. The Post has a piece today, "Gibbs Bemoans Team's Lost Way." It is his fault that he has not held coaches and players responsible. The defense is horrible but the offensive play calling was just as bad. In a close game with a QB making his first start, who calls 34 running plays and only 20 rushing plays?

At best, the Redskins are going to win three more games this year. Anything more than that will be a surprise to me. That would put them at 6-10 in the third year of Gibbsy's reign of incompetence. It would result in a record of 22-28, with little to look forward to for next year. Barring some sort of real turnaround in the next 6 weeks, I cannot imagine that Gibbsy, G-Will, and Al will all return next year. Nor should they in my opinion.

Learning about the Redskins

Some of you Redskin lovers know very little about your team. JKD loves to say that he doesn't know what goes on behind closed doors, but you can learn about your team if you make a little effort.

I recommend listening to Sportstalk 980 on Monday mornings after games - they have players and coaches interviews along with commentary. Pretty much from 7:00 am to about 2:00 it is mostly Redskin talk. In addition, go to their website and listen to some of the interviews - especially Clinton Portis' weekly interview on John Thompson's show. (This week you will hear how little Portis thinks about Saunders' offense.)

However, a good source is Jason LaCanfora's Redskin Insider website at washingtonpost.com. He follows the team every day - it is his job - and he knows players and other sources within the organization and reports on some of the inner workings of the team and player attitudes. He has a good piece today about how if you take away the 5 game win streak and the 4 game losing streak that were the longest of Gibbs' tenure this second go around - you have a team that is 14-19 - not too good.

Redskin fans, if you read it regularly you will actually know something about your team. I also recommend reading the fan comments to each of LaCanfora's comments - they give you a sense of what the fans think.

Keith Special Comment . . .

on Bushie's complete and ridiculously foolish misunderstanding of the lessons of Vietnam.

Day 1897!

Monday, November 20, 2006

No O.J. Special

Fox cancelled the TV "special" and the book. The people spoke.

Bears and Redskins Stats

Bears got a good victory on the road. Redskins lost again - terrible D, but some hope at QB. Here are the updated stats:

DEFENSE:

Bears - #1 scoring defense (12.0 pts/game - up one slot), #1 defense in terms of yardage/game (252 yds/game - no change).

Redskins - 28th-ranked scoring defense (24 pts/game - down 3 slots), 30th-ranked defense in terms of yardage/game (359 yds/game - no change).

The Bears have allowed 3 rushing TDs this year (tied for #1). The Redskins have allowed 3 rushing TDs (tied for #1).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #2-ranked scoring 0ffense (28 pts/game - no change), 13th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (328 yds/game - no change).

Redskins - 20th-ranked scoring offense (18 pts/game - no change), 18th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (311 yds/game - down 2 slots).

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bears and Redskins Notes

Bears got a good road victory against a better than average Jets team. It wasn't pretty, but the Bears D got the shutout and made a couple of big plays - most notably Urlacher's interception in the end zone with the Jets in the Red Zone ready to score. The running game got going and the Bears D controlled the Jets running game. Overall a good win that puts the Bears at 9-1.

Redskins - not enough defense and a bad fumble by Betts hurt them. However, at least Campbell showed some good signs of being a solid QB during his first start. It gives the Redskins some hope for the future. He clearly has a big arm, but at times his windup seems slow. Still, I thought he played very well and his two TD passes are better than what I would have expected out of Brunell. The first offensive play of the game slipped right through Lloyd's hands - that was terrible. But it showed what Campbell could do - Brunell would have thrown a dead duck that would have been picked off. Good luck 'Skins fans.

Day 1895!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Emmitt's Winning Dance

Check it out if you are interested. Emmitt Smith winning dance for Dancing w/the Stars. He really seemed like he was enjoying himself.

Bears and Redskins Picks

13-5 on the year.

Bears head back to the Meadowlands for the second time in two weeks. They dismantled a banged up Giants team last week and will enjoy their second trip to New York (actually New Jersey) this year. The Jets are a solid team and they are coming off of a good win against New England, but I believe the Bears are much better than New England. They will handle the Jets' unique blitz packages and will get their running game rolling. I also expect to see a fired up Bears defense control the line of scrimmage after being torched the last two weeks. Bears 30 to 10 over the Jets.

Redskins head down to Tampa and unlike the rousing playoff game and the regular season game, this will be a matchup of two hapless teams going with inexperienced QBs. I expect a sloppy game with some interceptions on both sides. Jason Campbell will be a pleasant surprise this week at moments, but will make mistakes. In the end, the Redskins will make one or two more plays and win in a relatively boring 14-7 game.

BONUS PICK FOR THE WEEK

There is no question that the game of the week has to be Ohio State and Michigan. I think Troy Smith is much better than Chad Henne, and I think the home field advantage will make a difference. Ohio State 24 to 14 over Michigan. (Note: This pick counts toward my yearly record)

Day 1893!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Emmitt Wins Dancing w/the Stars

I know you Redskin fans must be tired of the posts talking about how bad your team is. So here is something a little lighter. Emmitt Smith beat out Mario Lopez to win Dancing with the Stars.

I wonder if he is going to put the trophy up with his Super Bowl MVP trophy and all of his other footbal trophies.

Redskin Salaries

Here is a useful site to see the current Redskin salaries. I don't know how accurate it is, I am sure there are some errors. But you can get an idea about who is getting what and how much they count toward the cap. Keep in mind that if the Redskins cut a player, all of the prorated signing bonus and other guaranteed money becomes due that year. I believe that if you cut a player after June 1, then you can divide up the amount left over two years.

The numbers do not look good given the talent problems. They are going to have to restructure a bunch of contracts at the very least.

Bad Deals/Good No Deals in the NFL

Here is a list of the top 10 deals that did not happen which helped the teams that did not go through with them (and hurt the teams that did). Funny how the Redskins always end up on the short end.

#5 - Randle El not being signed by the Bears. The Bears offered him $18M ($8M signing bonus) for 6 years. So what do the Redskins do - offer $31M ($10M signing bonus). The Bears ended up drafting Devin Hester in the second round and have gotten 3 returns for touchdowns already this season. The Redskins way overpaid for a good return man who has not been a major offensive producer at the receiver spot.

#9 - Archuleta. The Rams (and the Bears) wanted to sign him but there was no way they were going to make him the highest paid safety in the game considering his obvious coverage limitations. Now the Redskins are stuck with him. I don't know his contract exactly. I believe that he signed a 5 year contract at $30M, with a $5M signing bonus and another $5M guaranteed. Assuming that to be true and that the $10M in guaranteed money is prorated equally across the life of the contract, if the Redskins cut him after the season the $8M in guaranteed money counts toward next year's cap. They certainly cannot trade him, and they are not going to eat $8M next year - so Redskin fans are stuck with him for at least one or two more years. That makes him one of the highest-paid special team players in history (probably the highest, if you don't count kickers).

Fox B.S. and Faux News B.S.

I am sure most of you have heard that O.J. is going to appear on a TV special entitled, "If I Did It" to be aired over 2 nights on Fox. It just happens to coincide with the release of O.J.'s book which has the same name. The book is published by Regan Books which is also owned by News Corp. (the parent company of Fox). Making money from O.J. is not illegal, but it is wrong and it tells you how low Fox will stoop for a dollar.

For anyone who thinks Faux News Channel is fair and balanced, this week a copy of one of the daily memos that issues marching orders to all of the on-air talent was posted at Huffington Post. It basically tells the broadcasters what should be emphasized and how to spin the news - amazingly, it is all pro-Republican. Imagine that. Faux News is nothing more than a mouthpiece for Republicans - a sort of Pravda for Bushie. So people who want to hear right-wing news should go to Faux - but please don't call it fair and balanced. The "newscasters" are given a script. They are nothing more than infotainment folks.

Day 1892!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How to Build an NFL Winner

Here is a good explanation for how to build a consistent winner in the NFL. It basically comes down to drafting a lot of players and then signing young, emerging players to long term deals - which is just the opposite of what the Redskins do.

At this point, if I were the Redskins, I would think about trading away players for picks. The only three guys on the team that have any real value are Portis, Moss, and Taylor. I would consider trading any and all of them if I could make a deal that would bring in significant numbers of picks.

The next 7 weeks should help the Redskins decide if Campbell is the QB of the future. But, let's face it, the Redskins have a thin and aging offensive line, and need an overhaul on defense. It is an old and weak bunch that is helpless on Sundays.

They have some players at running back and wide receiver who could take the load, trading Portis and Moss may be the way to go. As for Taylor, he is a good young talent, but I am sure he is pissed off about his contract and how much Archuletta is making. That may help explain some of his drop-off in play this year. He would be the last of the three I would trade, but if the right offer came along, I wouldn't hesitate to make the move.

The Road to Miami Goes Through Chicago

Barring a total collapse of epic proportions, the Bears should have home field advantage. They have a favorable schedule and, more important, they are a complete team. They have a great defense, great special teams and a great offense. The question is whether it will all hold up. There are two things they need to improve - their run defense has been weak the last two weeks, and their running game. Of course Grossman needs to cut out the mistakes, but if they can shore up their run defense and get their running game going, they should make it through the NFC.

Miami - here we come!

NFL Rankings

Yahoo! Sports - Bears #3, Redskins "falling."

CBS Sportsline - Bears #2, Redskins #25.

ESPN - Bears #2, Redskins #25.

The Bears are now in great shape to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Redskins look to the future with Campbell.

Day 1891!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Let the Campbell Era Begin

Joe Gibbs made the move that needed to be made. Jason Campbell will get an opportunity to show whether he is the Redskins' future. Campbell will make some mistakes, but I think now the Redskins actually have a chance to win a couple of games. I now fully expect that the Redskins will make some plays in the vertical passing game.

Good luck Redskin fans. I will be pulling for J.C.

U.S. National Debt . . .

now up over $8.6 trillion. Another record for the Republican Congress and Bushie.

Add to this the fact that the Budget Deficit is rising and that economic growth is slowing, we can see that Bushie has really screwed us.

Suggestions for the Redskins

This is a bad team in virtually every phase of the game and with its coaching. It is not fun to watch. There aren't really guys that people want to root for, and it is a slow moving train wreck unfolding in front of our eyes. Here are some suggestions for improving the team.

1. Fire Joe Gibbs as the lead personnel guy. They need someone who understand how to evaluate talent and work with the cap. This needs to happen right away.

2. Fire Joe Gibbs as the coach. He is too nice and remains in a state of denial about the quality of this team. He makes excuses instead of holding players and coaches responsible. This is something to do in the off-season, not right away. But, I would have no problem with doing it right away.

3. Just put Joe Gibbs and his brilliant football IQ in charge of the overall organization, and let him be the CEO. He is a bright guy and can still offer a lot to the organization. But, he does not seem to be able to communicate with today's players, and it is clear that he has no eye for talent.

4. Start Jason Campbell right away. You want to know if the guy can play or if you have to address your QB situation in the off-season.

5. Start T.J. Duckett and pound the ball with what is supposed to be a solid offensive line. This will allow the team to evaluate Duckett and it should help to take pressure off of Campbell. They gave up a third round pick for Duckett and he is going to be a free agent after the season. You may be able to trade him, or you may want to re-sign him, but there is no way to know for sure unless he gets on the field.

6. With Campbell and an offense that is committed to run first, take some shots throwing the ball downfield and see if the Al Saunders offense can work in Washington. With Brunell, there is no ability to throw down the field because he has no arm strength left. The Redskins are left with dink and dunk passes that do not maximize the speed and potential of the Redskins players. The pass that Brunell threw on the out that was intercepted and returned 70 yards last week is what you will get if you keep Brunell in and try to throw downfield.

7. Evaluate the talent that you have on the team and start thinking about trading guys like Springs, Taylor, and Washington for draft picks in order to really improve the team and to create some salary cap space. There is no way they are going to be able to unload Carter and Archuleta, but they need draft picks to improve the defense. The talent that they do have needs to be sent away for picks. This is a team that is nowhere near ready to compete in the NFC East from a defensive standpoint and they need to rebuild. I know Taylor is young, but he should be able to bring in some picks. They have so many holes to fill on defense that picks are more important right now than having one solid safety.

8. For God's sake get a kicker and a punter who can actually do their jobs. There have to be guys they can sign for league minimums who can do better than their current guys. The Redskins cannot win the field position game with Frost, and Novak is clearly struggling.

It may be harsh, but this is a team that needs to take time over the next 2 years to address their significant problems. There is no band aid approach that can fix this team.

Bears and Redskin Stats

Bears started slow but beat up on a good, but short-handed, Giants team. A nice win on the road, but should the Giants and Bears meet in the playoffs, I expect a much tougher game. The Redskins just plain sucked and Gibbs does nothing more than make excuses. I am irritated about the Redskins and Gibbs' excuses and I am not even a fan. Here are the updated stats:

DEFENSE:

Bears - #2 scoring defense (13.3 pts/game - no change), #1 defense in terms of yardage/game (250 yds/game - no change).

Redskins - 25th-ranked scoring defense (24 pts/game - down 2 slots), 30th-ranked defense in terms of yardage/game (355 yds/game - no change).

The Bears have allowed 3 rushing TDs this year (tied for #2). The Redskins have allowed 3 rushing TDs (tied for #2).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #2-ranked scoring 0ffense (30 pts/game - no change), 13th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (333 yds/game - no change).

Redskins - 20th-ranked scoring offense (18 pts/game - down 1 slot), 16th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (318 yds/game - down 1 slot).

Bears and Redskins

Bears started slow but their defense was solid in the first half and was able to keep the Giants from blowing the game wide open early. The Bears then scored 35 points over the last 32 minutes of the game. Great win, and it sent a message to the NFC that they are still the team to beat. Rex had a very good game and the running game started to go as the game wore on. The defense gave up a lot of rushing yardage to Tiki - they are going to need to tighten up their rushing D.

Redskins started slow and never got anything going. The defense wasn't terrible, but they gave up big plays yet again. Brunell did nothing and the Redskins cannot throw the ball down the field with Brunell. The players are bad and this team has no chemistry or identity. I have to say that the Redskins coaching is just plain horrible. They don't hold anyone responsible and I get sick of hearing Gibbs after the game saying "we're in this together," "our guys have character," and "we have smart guys." Gibbs needs to look in the mirror and decide if he really wants to coach. If he does, then he needs to stop making excuses for the poor plays and the penalties and hold some players responsible. Let the J.C. era begins - PLEASE!

Day 1889!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Republicans Pointing Fingers and Re-grouping.

So, the Republicans are mad at Bushie for not firing Rumsfeld before the election. I would have to agree with Newt Gingrich and Arlen Spector that Republicans would still be in control of the Senate and would not have lost nearly as many seats in the House. If Bushie was going to fire him, waiting until after the election was just foolish (if you are a Republican).

What I think is hilarious is that Michael Steele, Maryland Senate candidate who lost to Ben Cardin, is being talked about as a potential successor to Ken Mehlman as the head of the RNC. Steele is the current Lt. Governor of Maryland, and I would love to see him in charge of the RNC. He has done nothing in the state of Maryland, and lost by 11 points in his Senate race this last election. If Republicans want to put him in charge, be my guest. Based on his past performance, it would be a disaster for Republicans.

Day 1888!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

E-Voting Problems in Florida

This story provides a perfect example for why all electronic voting machines should be required to provide a printed paper ballot. That way one could actually do a meaningful recount.

Bushie at 31 Percent

After the thumpin' he took in the election, it is not surprising to see that his approval number in the latest Newsweek poll hit an all-time low (for that poll) of 31 percent.

Warrantless Wiretapping is Done

With the change in Congress, Bushie's warrantless wiretapping is finished. Bushie called for the lame-duck Republican Congress to make his program legal. If Bushie really believes his program is legal, why is he calling for Congress to pass legislation on it? The program can continue, but the Democratic Congress is going to provide real oversight.

The question is not whether we should be listening in to terrorist conversations or not. Everyone - Dems and Republicans - agree. The issue is whether Americans should give up their 4th Amendment Rights and allow the government to listen in to their phone conversations without cause. I am happy to allow the NSA program to continue, but wiretapping should be done with a warrant.

Bush likes to say that the program is limited to phone calls from known al Qaeda terrorists coming into the country. If that is truly the case, why can't he just get a warrant from the secret FISA court? These warrants can be sought and issued retroactively (i.e., after the call has been listened to). The warrants protect Americans' 4th Amendment rights and provide an adequate check and balance to executive power.

Day 1887!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bush is Getting Daddy's Help

Bush has really mucked things up pretty well with respect to America's foreign policy, not to mention the fiscal mess he has created with his explosion of government spending, deficits, and national debt issues that I have talked about in previous posts.

So, to clean up his mess he is calling on Daddy to fix things once again. That is why you see Baker and Gates being given a role in trying to rectify the Iraq debacle and to try to send a signal to the world that change is coming.

Bears and Redskins Picks

11-5 on the year. Disaster struck last week as I was wrong on both games.

Bears are heading to the Meadowlands for the game of the week. A possible preview of the NFC Championship game. Certainly, this is a game that pits the two best NFC teams at the halfway point of the season against each other. Both teams are banged up, with the Giants more banged up. Grossman has a lot to prove and the Bears need to get their running game going. Grossman is not on a short leash, but he needs to work on his decision-making and his mechanics when he is under pressure. I expect that in front of a national audience on Sunday Night the Bears will rebound. 17-9 Bears.

Redskins going to the Linc. Philly is coming off of a bye which they really needed after losing three straight games by a combined 12 points. The loser of this game is out of the playoff hunt. Both teams have a lot to prove, but I expect Philly to regroup and Donovan McNabb to have a big day against a porous Redskin D. Any dreams of the post-season will be over for the Redskins at 4:00 this Sunday. But on the bright side the Campbell era will begin. Philly 30 - Redskins 17. Don't be fooled by the score - it will be a lot worse than the final score. Brunell will pad his stats and throw a late TD to make the score somewhat respectable.

Day 1886!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Surprise Surprise, Rush Admits He Lies

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh admitted that he has been lying to his listeners. In the wake of the beating the Republicans took, he now claims he didn't actually believe in the Republicans who were swept out. He only pretended to support them for the sake of the election.

So basically, he has no personal values or beliefs that he holds on to - he is just a tool of the Republican Party and says anything they want him to say. Nothing new to me, but all the "Dittoheads" who actually believe Rush is telling them the truth are just fooling themselves.

Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball

In the past several months, I have referred to University of Virginia Professor Larry Sabato's politics website. On Monday, I posted that he had predicted that Dems would pick up 29 House seats (which they did), 6 Senate seats (which they did), and 7 Governorships (they got 6 and Minnesota is still not called, although it looks like it will stay w/the Republican who is leading). What is amazing is he got most of the individual races correct.

Once again, I would recommend politics junkies to visit his website.

Why Republicans Lost the Senate

The Republican scandals in the House virtually assured turnover of the House. However, the Senate is another story. My view is that Bush's campaigning in Missouri, Montana, and Virginia in the last few days of the campaign hurt more than helped. However, it was his comments last week that Rumsfeld was going to stay until the end of his presidency virtually killed the Republican Senate. The country could not vote out Rumsfeld, so they did the next best thing.

Here is an interesting exchange between a reporter and Bush today:

REPORTER: I wanted to ask you about the thumpin' you took at yesterday's rodeo. You said you were disappointed, you were surprised -- Does that indicate that after six years in the Oval Office, you're out of touch with America for something like this kind of wave to come and you not expect it?

THE PRESIDENT: I'm an optimistic person, is what I am. And I knew we were going to lose seats, I just didn't know how many.

REPORTER: How could you not know that and not be out of touch?

THE PRESIDENT: You didn't know it, either.

REPORTER: A lot of polls showed it.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, there was a -- I read those same polls, and I believe that -- I thought when it was all said and done, the American people would understand the importance of taxes and the importance of security. But the people have spoken, and now it's time for us to move on.


So it appears the Bush thinks that the American people don't understand the importance of taxes and security. That is denial, not an acceptance of the fact that the election is, in large part, a clear repudiation of his policies.

Day 1885!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld Gone.

It didn't take long. The voters spoke and even though just last week Bush was saying that Rumsfeld was going to stay through his presidency, Bush recognized the will of the people and decided to replace Rumsfeld. The replacement? Robert Gates, former CIA director and a member of Jim Baker's Iraq Study Group (ISG). The ISG is a bi-partisan group of former government officials who essentially want us out of Iraq.

Gates is no friend of the neo-cons and would appear to be a candidate who would bring about a complete change in Iraq, as well as Iran. With respect to the latter, Gates wrote a 2004 report for the Council on Foreign Relations that called for the U.S. to directly engage Iran and open a dialogue. Noted neo-con William Krystol objected to the idea and basically found it absurd in a memo he wrote for the Project for the New American Century.

Heath Shuler Returning to Washington

Not to the 'Skins, but rather to Congress. He won North Carolina's 11th District.

The Voters Have Spoken

Clearly the voters sent a message that they were sick of Republican corruption and the war in Iraq. The House turned over in a big way, the Senate looks like it will turn over when all is said and done (once George Allen's incredible defeat is finalized). The size of the anti-Republican wave was surprising to me. I did not believe that the Senate would turn over.

On top of that, Dems picked up at least 6 governor's mansions - that is critical for the 2008 presidential elections. It gives the Dems footholds on power and fundraising in six additional states going into the 2008 campaign.

All in all, a great night for Dems, a clear rebuke of the president's policies, and horrible night for Republicans in general.

Let the accountability and oversight of the Bush Administration begin. Democracy in action is a great thing.

Day 1884!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

NFL Rankings

Yahoo! Sports - Bears #5, Redskins "muddled middle."

CBS Sportsline - Bears #2, Redskins #20.

ESPN - Bears #3, Redskins #20.

The Bears-Giants game is huge this week - for both the Bears and the Redskins.

Go and vote.

Keith on why we need to vote.

If you like what we are doing in Iraq and the overall direction of the country vote Republican, if you don't vote Democratic. It is as simple as that.

Day 1883!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Don't Forget to Vote

On election eve, we have some tightening of races, but it still looks like a Democratic wave will hit tomorrow. Larry Sabato's updated picks show Dems picking up 29 House seats, 6 Senate seats, and 7 governorships.

Personally I agree with the House and governorships, but I think the Republicans will only lose 4 or 5 Senate seats, leaving the Senate under the control of Republicans. We'll see tomorrow.

Bears and Redskins Stats

Bears sucked and the Redskins got back in the winning column. Here are the updated stats:

DEFENSE:

Bears - #2 scoring defense (12.5 pts/game - down 1 slot), #1 defense in terms of yardage/game (251 yds/game - no change).

Redskins - 23rd-ranked scoring defense (24 pts/game - up 2 slots), 30th-ranked defense in terms of yardage/game (354 yds/game - down 4 slots).

The Bears have allowed 1 rushing TD this year (tied for #1). The Redskins have allowed 3 rushing TDs (ranked #5).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #2-ranked scoring 0ffense (29 pts/game - down 1 slot), 13th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (331 yds/game - down 2 slots).

Redskins - 19th-ranked scoring offense (20 pts/game - down 2 slots), 15th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (323 yds/game - down 3 slots).

Day 1882!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bears and Redskins

First the Bears. Grossman clearly sucked yet again. Three interceptions plus a fumble just won't cut it. This is the NFL - which stands for "not for long" when you are playing like Grossman has in 2 of the last three games. I would not be surprised to see some of Griese in coming weeks. I don't want to see Grossman get benched, but if his struggles continue there won't be any choice. They have to regroup and have a HUGE game against the Giants next Sunday night.

Redskins. I don't have much to say other than it was a win. They did what they had to and they did just enough. Congrats Redskin fans.

Friday, November 03, 2006

How We Ended Up In Iraq

Good video on the power of the think tank, The New American Century, and how it's members promoted the war and made it happen.

Saddam did not have WMDs and we knew it. The British Defence Minister is also shown to be a liar.

Rumsfeld Must Go

So says an editorial, which will appear in the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times, and Marine Corps Times on Monday.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

I am dying laughing.

The good Reverand Ted Haggard, who resigned as one of the nation's top evangelical leaders, admitted that he had contacted a male prostitute and bought drugs. But he claims that he called the male prostitute for a massage and did not have sex with him. As for the drugs? He claims to have thrown them away.

Here is a clip from the documentary, Jesus Camp, of the good Reverand talking about homosexuality.

I mean come on, who hasn't contacted a gay prostitute for a "massage" and to buy some crystal meth that they want to throw away? What a freaking joke!

Anyone who believes the good Reverand Hypocrite is even more delusional than Haggard hopped up on crystal meth.

Keith Dead On . . .

Yet again, Keith hits the nail on the head in his Special Comment this week about George W.'s lunacy.

These special comments are helping Keith build his viewership.

Republicans Posted Nuke Bomb Instructions

Our idiot Republican Congress forced the Intelligence Director to post terrorist documents on the web - the problem was that the information on the website gave information on how to build nuclear bombs. They did this to try to bolster the case for the Iraq war - in other words they did it for political reasons.

Instead they weakened our national defense by giving terrorists access to the documents on the web.

At least they pulled down the website, but it was up for months. Thank you Republicans yet another example of your incompetence and for compromising national security.

Bears and Redskins Picks

11-3 on the year.

Bears won't have any trouble against the lowly Dolphins and will go to 8-0. I don't think I really need to explain why. However, I do predict that Cedric Benson will get more carries this week as TJ gets some second half rest. Benson will have his first 100 yard rushing day of his career on 18 carries. Bears 34-0.

Redskins. I think the Redskins will keep it close in the first half, but they do not know how to make adjustments and they don't have any depth so the second half will be a disaster for 'Skins fans. The defense will give up big plays and the offense will sputter. At halftime it will be 7-7, but in the second half Romo will look like an all-pro and Dallas will roll. The Redskin fans will be calling for J.C., who will get in in the 4th quarter and throw his first TD pass late in the game. Dallas 27-14.

Larry Sabato's Election Picks

Noted UVA political scientist Larry Sabato has made his predictions:

Dems will gain a net 27 House seats
Dems will gain a net 6 Senate seats
Dems will gain a net 7 Governor's mansions

If that holds true, it would be a huge change.

The one pick that I found most interesting is that he predicts that Webb will defeat Allen in Virginia's Senate race.

Sabato is conservative and is a regular on Fox News, but I have always found him to be fair. We will see how good his analysis is on Tuesday.

A Gay Evangelical Leader is Exposed

Quoting from the article:

The president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, has given up his post while a church panel investigates allegations he paid a man for sex.

The NAE has 30-million members and Haggard is a big-time Republican who is married and has 5 kids. Apparently he has been engaging in gay sex with an "escort" every month over the last three years. In addition, the escort alleges that Haggard snorted meth before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience.

Haggard said that he believed marriage is a union between a man and woman rooted in centuries of tradition, and that research shows it's the best family unit for children. That may be true, but somehow I suspect that having a drug addict father who is regularly engaging in illicit gay sex with a prostitute doesn't help.

Day 1879!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Inflation Fears Increasing

The economy is slowing - GDP came in at an anemic 1.6% growth for the third quarter. Now we see that productivity is flat while worker costs are rising rapidly. These are clear indicators of inflation. The economy is on unstable ground right now - we'll see if the bottom drops out - but the signs are not good.

Brian Urlacher

Great piece on Urlacher. It really gives some context about him as a player and a person. He is flawed in many ways, but what human being isn't.

Republican Blaming the Generals for Iraq

Kerry botched a joke and has been hammered for allegedly making fun of the troops. No question he is an idiot for what he did.

However, all the right wingers who are out there bashing Kerry should look at one of their own. Republican House Majority Leader John Boehner says that the mess in Iraq is not Rumsfeld's fault - it is the generals' fault. Quoting:

Boehner: "Let's not blame what's happening in Iraq on Rumsfeld."

CNN's Wolf Blitzer: "But he's in charge of the military."

Boehner: "The fact is, the generals on the ground are in charge, and he works closely with them and the president."

In the end, I doubt the comments by either man is going to change any voter opinions. The majority of Americans think the Iraq war is a waste and want to see an end to our involvement. We'll see on Tuesday.

Ann Coulter is Stupid

Noted right wing hate monger Ann Coulter is too dumb to know where she was supposed to vote.

Redskin Hopelessness

The team is bad now, but there is no help on the way. The team will not have money to sign big name free agents in the off-season and the Redskins don't have a second, third, or fourth round pick in next year's draft.

The second round pick was frittered away so that the the Redskins could move up 18 spots in this year's draft so they could pick Rocky McIntosh - a player who cannot beat out the great Warrick Holdman to get on the field. (they also gave up the 53rd pick and their 6th round pick as part of the trade).

The third and fourth round picks went to Denver as part of the three way trade with Atlanta to get T.J. Duckett. However, I believe that Denver has the option to give up the fourth round pick if they swap first round picks with Washington. Given how bad Washington is playing and how well Denver is playing, they are likely to swap and take Washington's first round pick. This would end up was a 18-25 pick drop for Washington in the first round.

Washington fans are looking a tough year next year because it is likely that there will be a new QB (Jason Campbell) and no help coming from the draft unless they get lucky in the later rounds.

Day 1878!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

George Allen's Folks are Desperate

They assaulted and took down a heckler and it was caught on tape. Allen's folks slammed the guy's head into a window - had it broke I think Allen's career in government would be over. Allen has run one of the worst campaigns I have ever seen. He has gone from a would-be presidential candidate to a complete and utter embarrassment to Virginia over the two months.

Cable News Rankings

O'Reilly has been on a steady decline over the last year. Keith Olbermann is on a pretty good role. O'Reilly is still far ahead, but Keith has made up some more ground.

A year ago, O'Reilly averaged 2,678,000 viewers. Keith averaged 381,000.

A month ago, O'Reilly averaged 2,057,000 viewers. Keith averaged 391,000.

For October, O'Reilly averaged 2,052,000 viewers. Keith averaged 616,000.

So over the last year, O'Reilly has seen his viewership drop by 23 percent while Keith has seen his viewership rise by 62 percent. Looks like Keith's Special Comments are moving people while folks are getting sick of O'Reilly's tired old act.

Fox News still rules cable news, but there has been a clear and significant decline over the last year. We'll have to watch what happens over time.

NFL Rankings

Yahoo! Sports - Bears #1, Redskins "muddled middle."

CBS Sportsline - Bears #1, Redskins #22.

ESPN - Bears #1, Redskins #23.

The 'Skins moved up 1 slot in the latter two cited rankings - perhaps they should stop playing altogether.

The Colts are coming off a great win in Denver and are playing on Sunday night at New England. If they win that game, they will likely overtake the Bears, no matter how badly the Bears beat the Dolphins this week.

The Bears have big games coming up at the NY Giants in 2 weeks and at New England in 4 weeks.

In the end the rankings don't really matter, it will all be settled on the field.

Day 1877!