Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nice Piece on UVA's New B-Ball Coach

I just read a story about Tony Bennett - the new head coach at UVA. I didn't know much about the man, but I like what I have heard so far. Hopefully, he'll get the team turned around. Sounds like he can recruit quality guys - UVA's recruiting class is ranked 9th in the country right now. With so many veteran guys returning, the team may make some noise right away.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks 2009 Week 3 HIGHLIGHTS

Week 3 - Bears/Redskins Rankings

I'm not going to spend much time looking up a lot of numbers. I'll just post up the weekly stats on a couple of key numbers.

OFFENSE
Bears - #20 scoring offense at 19 points/game. #20 yardage offense at 315 yards/game.

Redskins - #28 scoring offense at 13.3 points/game. #13 yardage offense at 341 yards/game.

DEFENSE
Bears - #12 scoring defense at 18 points/game. #9 yardage defense at 293 yards/game.

Redskins - #6 scoring defense at 16.3 points/game. #15 yardage defense at 326 yards/game.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bears Win Again!

Great comeback win. The Bears fell behind 13-0 on the road in Seattle but came back to win in the fourth quarter again for the second week in a row. They made some good second half adjustments and got the "W".

Hunter Hillenmeyer went down - he is Urlacher's replacement at middle linebacker. We'll see how that turns out. They moved Nick Roach inside and put Jamar Williams at strong side linebacker - it worked out OK, but we are really thinning out at linebacker.

Zack Bowman went down, but Nathan Vasher played a very good second half for the Bears.

The Seahawks were undermanned with injuries, but that's part of the game as the Bears are finding out again this year.

This was a game the Bears had to win if they are going to have a special season. They got the win in front of a tough Seattle crowd. We'll take it and next week we go up against Detroit back in Chicago - should be a win.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekend Football Predictions

3-1 on Bears and Malcolm Kellies predictions this year (those are the only ones that I am counting here).

I know the discussion is floating around on various posts. I'll comment on the Malcolm Kellies over on JKD's site. But, I'll put my final weekend predictions here.

BEARS (1-1) - Playing in Seattle (1-1) is always a tough game, but the Bears are going to have a special year and winning on the road against a banged up Seahawks bunch is a must win if they are really going to make some noise. I don't think the game will be all that close. The Bears will also get their running game going. Bears 27 - Seattle 13.

DEADSKINS (1-1) - Detroit went 0-16 last year, but there are 32 new guys on the team and an all new coaching staff. They are 0-2 and have lost 19 straight overall, but they will finally get a win this weekend. Final score will be 14-10 Lions. As bad as this week was with all the bitching and moaning in DC after a lackluster win, the fans will get out their pitchforks and torches after the Lions beat the Skins.

UVA (0-3) - off this week.

Centennial (1-2) - go on the road again tomorrow to play 3-0 Long Reach. I'll go with a win, but I have no real idea. Centennial 12 - Long Reach 8.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Maryland Highest Income State

For the third year in a row, my home state of Maryland has the highest median household income.

The story talks about the higher cost of living in Bethesda and says that living in poorer states can be better. I'm sure that in some cases that is true, but Bethesda is just one small suburb. If you go to PG county, Anne Arundel County, or Howard County - which are still fairly close to DC or Baltimore, you can find very affordable housing. And, the reality is that if you want to send you kid to college, save up money for retirement, or pay for health care, you can earn way more dollars living in Maryland. You don't have to live in a $500,000 house in Bethesda, you can live in a $270,000 house in Howard County, send your kids to some of the best public schools in the country for free, and earn $80,000 with a college/Master's degree.

I have no problem paying my taxes in Maryland because we have excellent roads, excellent schools, and good state health care laws. RepubliCANTS bitch and moan about taxes in their mostly southern states, but the reality is that when it is done right, government can be a very effective tool in improving the lives of people.

In fact, the top 5 states in terms of median income are Democratic states with the exception of Alaska. But Alaska receives the most federal taxpayer subsidies per capita than any other state.

RepubliCANT Eric Cantor Must be Retarded

Eric Cantor (perfect name - "CANT-or" - for a RepubliCANT leader) is the House Minority Whip making him John Boehner's "#2". (go ahead and laugh - I wrote it this way on purpose).

This guy talks family values and then holds fundraisers at Britney Spears concerts. He constantly embarrasses himself on national TV with his utter lack of knowledge, but he is a leader for the minority party.

In a piece in Politico today he belly aches about Pelosi and that "no one on the White House power grid — from Obama to chief of staff Rahm Emanuel — has contacted [RepubliCANT]leadership to coordinate a bipartisan Afghanistan strategy."

What a doofus, Obama is the Commander-in-Chief and has his national security team. Given how stupid the RepubliCANTs are on health care (especially when they don't have a plan of their own), why in the world would he consult CANTor to come up with a "bipartisan" strategy. Either CANTor is delusional, stupid, or just plain retarded. If this is the quality of their leadership, it is no wonder that RepubliCANTs find themselves in such a minority position.

RepubliCANTS vs. Obama

It is truly amazing to me how foolish the RepubliCANT Party has become. They cozy up to the small, but loud, minority of right wing crazies that carry around guns at political rallies and liken Obama to Hitler. These people walk around in fear and loathing and show their ignorance when they shout insults rather than engage in policy debate. It is ridiculous how little they actually know, as evidenced by their total lack of understanding of government spending under Bush and the Republican Congress.

The think that is so remarkable is that the RepubliCANT Party has gone from a party with real ideas, discipline, and leadership that had vision, to a Party that simply feeds this nonsensical hate.

Instead of actually proposing anything remotely helpful to addressing the health care crisis in this country - and yes it is a crisis - they jump around saying, NO, NO, NO to those few folks out there who would rather use ideological hyperbole and irrational images of Obama as Hitler.

They have made themselves into a local party rather than a truly national party. They will win elections in the South consistently, but with changing demographics and increasing numbers of younger voters locked into the Democratic Party, it seems that they are writing their own obituary as a truly national party. Hey man, it's their funeral.

I think there will be a third party that will emerge - one that is fiscally conservative and socially neutral. This is where I believe most Americans, especially the independents want to be.

Couple of Football Thoughts

The Bears have a tough road matchup in Seattle, but it is certainly a game they can and should win this week. Playing in Seattle is usually a tough game for visiting teams but Hasselbeck will probably be out and the Bears are coming off a great home win and will be trying to build momentum.

I am predicting that Detroit will finally end their dismal losing streak at 19 games. The Redskins come to town with their struggling offense and solid, but not spectacular D. The Zorn death march will begin in earnest after this weekend's loss.

UVA has a bye, but showed some signs of improving on offense. Their next matchup is against a very solid North Carolina team in two weeks. If they can win that game - which I expect - they will have life left in their season. If they lose, Al Groh will be one step closer to being pushed out.

Centennial High lost and are now 1-2. That stinks.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

DA BEARS!!!

Just a great game against the Steelers. The D was awesome, the O was efficient, the special teams came through, and the coaching was masterful.

The Steelers started strong. They held the Bears to a 3 and out and then went on an 8 minute, 90+ yard drive to go ahead 7-0. It looked like the Steelers were going to roll. But the Bears really played well. They got contributions from a bunch of guys - Kellen Davis (2nd year TE) and Johnny Knox (rookie WR) got huge TDs. Cutler was terrific. The O-line was solid. The D all around was great. The only thing that wasnt really hitting was the running game - not surprising against the Steelers D.

The Bears scored 10 in the fourth quarter, including a game winning field goal in the final seconds to win the game.

I think the first two games have been very much like playoff games and the Bears have played very, very well. They go to Seattle and then get Detroit at home. Those are two winnable games that I expect them to win big. We'll see.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Football Predictions for Weekend

Centennial High (1-1) is going up against 1-1 Atholton. Good, even matchup based on the stats and the teams both teams have played against. I'll go with Centennial in a squeaker (they lost their first game in OT by 1 and won last week by 1).

UVA (0-2) travels to Southern Miss. I think the spread will be much better and they will air it out a bit. I expect an offensive explosion with UVA winning 30-17.

BEARS (0-1) will get a much better performance out of Cutler against a very good Steelers D. But it will be the Bears D that will win it with their ball hawking. They will stifle the Steelers running game and get a couple of turnovers off interceptions by Big Ben and at least one fumble. Chicago 24 - Steelers 14.

Malcolm Kellies (0-1) should have no trouble with St. Louis, but they will have trouble. In the end, it will be a 21-17 Deadskins victory and questions will remain about how good the team is. The fans will not be happy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obama on his Game

I just finished watching the President give his health care speech at University of Maryland (I was watching online). He gave a shortened version of his speech from last week and it was crisp, clear, and to the point.

It is obvious the man has the ability to speak and to deliver an uplifting message. Republicans, critics and haters out there all play to fear, cynacism, and the worst in people. The contrast with Obama could not be more stark. The President has a way of appealing to people's better sides. He takes the high road and seems to be largely above the fray.

By the end of his speech, he had the 20,000 person crowd fired up and cheering - not by bashing his critics and wallowing in hate - but by clearly laying out his agenda and the need for reform.

In the end, I have confidence that the President's approach and appeal will win out.

Bowman to Start Over Vasher

Not really a complete surprise. Vasher was burned for the long TD that doomed the Bears last week. I thought he had a good game, but it was a bad mistake compounded by the failure of Kevin Payne to provide safety help (Payne was fooled by the play action on the 3rd and 1 play).

I'm comfortable with the change and like all three of the top corners (Tillman, Bowman, and Vasher).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Obama on the Sunday Talk Shows

This Sunday, the President will be on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Univision to talk about health care. I think it is a great move to build further momentum. Again, for critics who say the American people don't want health care reform, we'll see what happens with the President's poll numbers. If they continue to rise next week, then we'll know the people want reform.

One other thing to notice - President Obama will not be making his way over to Faux News Sunday. Why bother? The phony 9/12 propaganda, Glen Beck, O'Reilly, and all of the Faux News anchors are just feeding the 25 percent of the public that hates Obama lies and lunacy. He won't win over those folks anyway and there is no reason to help their ratings by making an appearance.

Political Thoughts

Three things have had me thinking the last couple of days.

1. South Carolina's Republican Congressman Joe Wilson's "You Lie" comment. Today the House voted mostly along party lines in a formal rebuke of the "distinguished gentleman." What I find remarkable is that only 7 Republicans voted for the measure. Republicans are so big on "rules", but decided it was OK for one of their own to break House rules to heckle the President. However, the scary thing is that if they actually believe that the rules don't matter and that heckling the President is OK, where is the actual line on decorum? Is it OK to curse the President out? Is it OK to throw an egg at him? What is unacceptable. Apparently, it is now OK for Congressional members to heckle the President. That is a remarkable statement about the loss of basic civility in the U.S.

2. The weekend mob-like protest against the President's policies - mostly on health care. About 75,000 people showed up in DC on Saturday, but folks on the right are claiming there were more than a million, and some are saying even more than two million. There was even a false photo that was issued and spread on the web allegedly showing the event. That is just plain silly. The reality is that it was a relatively small protest, but any idiots who believe it was 2 million can fool themselves for all I care. The National Mall was booked by the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.'s
2009 Black Family Reunion Celebration
. The keynote speaker was Pastor T.D. Jakes, and the Christian-themed, African-American event had tents and activities that spread from 7th Street to the Washington monument. For anyone who know DC, you know that this is most of the National Mall between the Washington Monument and Capitol. It is so pathetic (especially Glen Beck - who claims passion for the movement but was too busy to show up) to see how far the Republican Party seems to have fallen. They want to cater to this increasingly loud, but very small minority of folks. I guess it is their base.

3. President's Poll Numbers. Last week I said Obama's poll numbers would rise as he found his voice on health care. Sure enough we are starting to see a bump up. Obama is speaking before large crowds and he is using the bully-pulpit of the presidency to defend his beliefs about health care. It certainly looks like it is starting to work. For the protestors out there, if everyone hated his proposals, why would his poll numbers rise as he speaks more often and more clearly about his positions? Health care reform is going to happen this year, and I know that there will be Republicans who don't want to be on the wrong side of history and will vote for the bill that eventually is passed.

Bears QB Play

It is clear that Cutler had a horrible game. There were some mistakes made by receivers that contributed to Cutler's play, there were some protection issues that hurt him and prevented the running game from getting going. All that said, Cutler still made some bad decisions - a couple of interceptions were also dropped by Packers players.

I am not really worried after just one game and fully believe Cutler will play better in coming weeks. But, I have to question the value and contribution that QB coach Pep Hamilton makes to the team. He came after the Super Bowl year and was supposed to help Rex work on footwork and cut down on mistakes. Didn't happen. We know that Rex, Brian Griese, Kyle Orton, and now Jay Cutler have all made significant numbers of mistakes. I'm sure Pep is a good guy and all, but his coaching is not translating into demonstrably better QB play on the field on Sundays.

I'm not blaming Pep, but think there is a need to look at what his actual value is to the team.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Urlacher Out for Season

Apparently the wrist injury Urlacher suffered last night was very serious. The report is he is out for the season. We'll see in a few hours if that is confirmed, but that would be a major blow for the Bears defense.

I thought Urlacher was flying around playing pretty good ball last night. At least it's not a leg injury and hopefully it is something he could recover from for a late season return. We'll see.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bears Fans

One other comment - I took a look at the comments on the Tribune. Typical Bears fans. Cutler stinks. We shouldn't have traded for him. He is a loser. Lovie is a terrible coach. Blah Blah Blah. No question Cutler has to play better - but it's just one game. People need to relax.

Great Bears-Packers Game

I thought the game tonight was intense and had a great atmosphere. Sucks that the Bears lost, but they just made too many mistakes.

Cutler had a tough night. I liked the way he came back in the second half after throwing three interceptions in the first half. He looked terrible in the first half, but a couple of huge drives in the second half put the Bears up with a little more than 2 minutes.

The fake punt in the fourth quarter on 4th and 11 was bizarre. It basically gave the Packers a field goal when their offense could not move the ball effectively all night.

The D was great for most of the night. Vasher blew it on the Packers TD at the end, but I thought he had a pretty good night otherwise. It happens, I just hope he can shake it off.

Injuries to Urlacher and Tinoisamoa (two starting linebackers) is concerning - especially to Urlacher. Hopefully he will be back next week.

Pittsburgh comes to Chicago on Sunday afternoon. That should be a very good game. I'd like to see the Bears commit to the running game more (especially early). Cutler threw 36 times - that is too many times for the way the Bears play D. They need to mix in Garrett Wolfe for a change of pace, but I think as Cutler gets more comfortable with his receivers he should be fine.

Saturday Football Thoughts

Centennial High won 8-7 over Reservoir. Didn't get to the game because of the rain, but I'm glad they won.

Great ending to the Michigan - Notre Dame game. Loved that.

Hated the end of the USC - Ohio State game.

UVA was beat down by TCU (30-14). I thought the D played fairly well, but they were completely worn down. They spent so much time on the field because of the weak offensive effort. The Cavs switched to the spread offense this year and it takes time to learn it and get the right personnel to run it. I think it was a mistake to switch for a coach that is clearly on the hotseat. Sewell threw two late TDs, but he was sacked 8 times and pressured all day. The thing I didn't really understand is why they didn't take a few more shots down the field earlier in the game. I know Sewell was pressured all day, but the needed to move him out of the pocket and just take some shots. It would have helped loosen up the D.

This will be Groh's last season in Charlottesville if things don't turn around. I think the team will improve as it learns how to play the spread and it will play better in coming weeks.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekend Football Predictions

Bears - tough road game against a very tough Packers team. I like the Packers' chances of making the playoffs this year. This is a great early season test and may have playoff implications with tiebreakers. The Bears were trounced by the Packers last year at Lambeau 37-3 (the Bears beat the Packers just a couple of weeks later in Chicago). It was an embarrassing loss that is probably still on the minds of the players. Prior to last year, the Bears had won 4 in a row at Lambeau. I think the Bears D will be the key and will step up and play well. The offense will be fine and the Bears will win 27-17.

Redskins - horrible offensive line playing what may be the best defensive line in football. The Redskins will give up 5+ sacks, there will be a couple of fumbles/interceptions caused by the pressure. Malcolm Kelly will twist his knee and miss the next 6 weeks. Albert Haynesworth will do nothing and people will wonder why he got the $100 million contract. The Zorn/JC death watch will start. The Redskins D will keep it under control but it won't be pretty. Giants 20 - Redskins 6.

UVA - in a stunning upset UVA will beat TCU. It will be a game that is marked by great UVA D against a very good TCU offense. No turnovers will be the key. UVA 17 - TCU 14.

Centennial High School Eagles - I'd like to get to the home game this week. I know virtually nothing about the teams in the Howard county league except that River Hill is the powerhouse (29 straight wins and 2 consecutive state titles). Thankfully, Centennial is not playing River Hill. Reservoir comes to Centennial on Saturday night. I'll just go with Centennial 13 Reservoir 6.

9/11 Anniversary

Tough day for many people. I remember waking up in California and getting a call from a colleague on the East Coast early in the morning - I was scheduling an interview for an academic position opening in Maryland. It was hard to believe what he was saying but when we turned on the TV that morning it was shocking to see what was happening.

Tragedy aside, in the days that followed there was an incredible unity within the country. President Bush could have used that unity to do great things for the nation and the world. Instead, Rove, Cheney, and Bush's team turned 9/11 into a political tool.

The hunt for bin Laden still has not concluded and justice has not been served. We have been engaged in two very expensive and increasingly unpopular wars that have served very little strategic purpose. The nation is more divided in large part because of the U.S. response to 9/11. These factors contribute to the sadness of the day.

9/11 is a day to remember, a day to respect and honor those that died, but it is also a day to reflect on the lessons we should learn and about thinking about future public policies that should be implemented when the next attack comes. It will happen again - sooner or later - hopefully our response will be more effective.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obama Poll Numbers

Obama's poll numbers are still just above 50 percent. There has been a slow drift down, which is what you would expect from a President with this kind of economy.

I think he speech last night will stop the slide and move him back up a few points if he can continue to be on the offensive in the health care debate. I firmly believe that (1) we need reform because the current system is faltering and is not sustainable, and (2) Americans really want it. If he can be a clear voice in the debate, all the haters and complainers and liars wil fall by the wayside and he will be left standing. I expect his poll numbers to rise over the next couple of weeks as he takes this offensive - perhaps to 55-58 percent approval.

Over the longer term, it seems to me that there is strong and growing evidence that the economy is improving. There is good reason to believe that the stimulus is working and will continue to improve economic conditions in the country. As this happens through the rest of the year and especially in 2010, all the Republican critics will look even more foolish. At this point, I am expecting even more gains in the House and Senate in 2010. I have been predicting it for months and will continue to stand by this prediction.

NFL Thoughts - 9/10

Good matchup tonight - Steelers vs. Titans. Good way to start the season. I am no Kerry Collins fan and think the Steelers are very tough team from top to bottom. I expect a Steelers win.

I am planning on putting up the weekly power ratings from the various sources. I don't think it makes much sense to start until at least next week (maybe after week 2). Then we'll have a better sense about teams.

I did see an interesting set of predictions. One is that Mike Shanahan will be the next Redskins coach. It is no surprise that I think the Redskins will have a down year with their offensive line. Unfortunately, the blame will go to Zorn and JC and they will be out - even though the front office did not help to really adequately address their major problem last year.

Also, here are the playoff/Super Bowl predictions from USA Today's NFL writers. There seems to be a lot of love for the Patriots and Chargers.

Obama's Health Care Address

I thought it was a great speech. In my opinion it was clear, hit on a lot of important points, and attacked critics who have demogogued and outright lied about the debate and the proposals in Washington.

Republican Congressman Joe Wilson's outburst, "YOU LIE!!!" was disrespectful as well as untrue. It only showed how angry and ridiculous Republicans have become.

Look, we are going to have a major health care reform put into place this year. My guess is that there will be some form of public option that is a part of the reform. I also believe that many Republicans will vote in support of the bill that comes out. They will not want to be on the wrong side of history. President Obama is correct when he says that the status quo is not sustainable and federal budget deficits are largely driven by rising health care costs. Something has to be done and finally, this year, something will be.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

NFL Predictions/Thoughts

First my predictions for the Bears and Redskins.

Bears - 11-5 regular season. NFC Champ. Super Bowl Champ.
Redskins - 6-10. Overhaul at the end of the season.

SI's writers have come out with their Super Bowl picks. Guess who Peter King as as his NFC Champ is? Yep, DA BEARS!

A lot of the writers have the Bears in (6 of 9), all but one have at least 2 NFC North teams in and 2 of 9 have three North teams in.

In their first power ranking they have three NFC North teams in the top 13. Bears are at #10. Redskins at #24.

Peter King also predicts Lovie Smith will be Coach of the Year and that Zorn and Campbell won't be back in DC next year.

We'll see what happens. I cannot wait.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

2006 bears highlight tape

The Bears will be back this year!

Rex Grossman

Looks like his is the backup behind Schaub. I like that he is getting a fresh start and given Schaub's history of injuries there is a good chance Rex will get some snaps this year.

I was reading a story about the Texans and saw a number of their fans express support for Rex. I doubt that he has a huge following, but at least people don't seem to be down on him in Houston.

I'd like to see him get his career going again. He deserved much better than the treatment he got form the fans in Chicago.

Bears Secondary

Charles Tillman - the Bears best cornerback returned to practice yesterday. He missed all of training camp with a bad back and that kind of injury can be very problematic all year.

The secondary is the main source of concern that I have for the Bears this year. I hope Tillman is healthy enough to play on Sunday night. The Packers have a strong air attack and he is needed on the field, but if he is not healthy other guys need to step up.

Nathan Vasher needs to regain his mojo. I like Corey Graham and Zach Bowman, but they are not Pro Bowl caliber players as Vasher once was. There is also some concern at the nickel. Danieal Manning is the projected nickel, but he has been hurt with a hamstring injury for a couple of weeks. I think there are a lot of question marks right now and the guys who do play have not really played that much together the last few weeks.

The end result is that it is still unsettled, which is not comforting going into the season.

Couple of Political Thoughts

Obama gave his speech to kids earlier today- it was not a political speech as some folks on the right cried about. Stay in school, work hard, take responsibility - it was a good speech that hit basic stuff that I think any President should say.

Those crybabies who complained were making a problem out of nothing at all.

Tomorrow night will be a big night for Obama and the nation. He has to deliver a strong and clear message about why we need health care reform and what his plan really is. So far, he has left it to Congress to iron out details and has been really just a side player. He needs to take command of this fight and lay out a clear plan that people can fight for/against.

I expect to see a very good speech that will move the country back toward his side of the debate.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Rod Hood Cut/Rex Plays Well

Rod Hood's Chicago career didn't even last a week. He was cut. If nothing else it sent a message to the Bears secondary that the Bears are looking around.

Also, it looks like Rex Grossman had a good outing last night for Houston. He has been hurt for much of the preseason so it is nice that he had an opportunity to deliver (which he did). I have a feeling he is going to play and play well this year.

Friday, September 04, 2009

WHO THE HELL SHOULD I HIRE?

Pretty funny. I don't think Snyder is "Horny for Zorny" as the Junkies put it.

Next year there will be a new coach.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Man Has Finger Bitten Off in Health Care Protest

This dude who was opposing the public option got into an altercation and apparently had his finger bitten off.

I hope he has good health care!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Time For Obama to Lead

The health care debate has been marred by unfounded rumors and outright lies (e.g., "death panels"). It has been sad to see the debate hijacked by a small band of loud and obnoxious people who have been all too happy to confuse with falsehoods rather than debate facts.

It is clear that President Obama needs to step it up. Frankly, he is at his best when he is communicating with the American people.

Next week he is going to give an address to a joint session of Congress on the issue of health care. I expect that he will have specifics about his plan. I also fully expect that he will push for a public option and explain how it works. I am certain that he will get a bump up in the polls after he makes his case to the American people. Americans want health care reform and they want a public option when they realize what that is.

Obama waited for Congress to put forward a plan. He tried to work in a bi-partisan way. It didn't work and now I expect that he will drive the debate and will put his stamp on a clear plan.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

NFC North

. . . the new power division in the NFL.

Afghanistan and Iraq

We are starting the withdrawal of troops from Iraq - but frankly we should just get more of our troops out of there. There is little reason to stay and it seems clear that most Iraqis don't want us there.

However, it is also time to pull the plug on Afghanistan. It is a barren, rocky country that offers no strategic resources. It has a highly corrupt government that does not care about human rights or democracy. Why we are serving as the police force for the Afghan government is beyond me.

What we should do is sign agreements with these countries to allow covert operatives and special opps forces the ability to conduct missions in those countries. We could offer money, food, and even weapons (not heavy weapons) to do this.

We have to stop our crazy, super expensive, and highly ineffective interventions and just focus on more attainable missions. We don't need to have our forces working on nation-building exercises.

Bears Sign CB Rod Hood

The Bears got a little help for their injured secondary with the signing of Rod Hood.

There is no question that through the preseason the biggest issue seems to be the secondary. Injuries have hurt and the younger players don't seem to be developing. Hood could end up being a great pickup.

He played for the Cardinals in the Super Bowl last year. He also played for the Eagles during their Super Bowl. The Bears brought him in during the off-season and tried to sign him. He signed with Cleveland, but apparently Manginious didn't want him anymore. I like the pickup but he'll have to show it on the field.