Sunday, August 31, 2008


There are two questions floating around here and they are getting hoplessly mixed up by analysts.

The first question is does the selection of the lovely Sarah Heath Palin advance the GOP ticket's chance for success. Damned if I know. Kinda depends upon her performance, doesn't it. Jason Isringhausen looked good on paper and Jim Edmonds didn't. Gotta perform when the bell rings.

The second question is whether manner and method of the announcement helped the GOP.
Are you kidding? Look my democrat friends: we had best face it. We're not playing with kids here. This was one of the best political gambits I have ever seen at any level, anywhere.

First, they leaked that Romney would be in Dayton. Then they leaked that Pawlenty had cancelled his sched for the next day and had booked a plane to Dayton. Then they announced that any leak was not only unauthorized but without basis because only two people knew the selection.

Then about 0730 on the fateful day, the leaked that Romney was NOT coming to Dayton. A half hour later they leaked that Pawlenty had been told it was not him. Another half hour later they leaked that Palin had canceled her sched and was coming to Dayton. BUT THEY KNEW THE PRESS KNEW JACK ABOUT PALIN. Did the McCain camp help educate the press about Palin? Hell, no. They made the newsies actually do newsie work. The reporters became obsessed with the story. The Obama brilliant speech, just 12 hours earlier was wiped from the history books. Except for the front page of USAT, it might as well not have happened.

McCain's people have created a new verb in politics. The "de-bumped" the opponent.

The discipline and the planning orchestration for this thing was nothing short of brilliant. McCain's folks just blocked out the Sun.

Before Oracle and some of my other Dem. friends get all excited, I am solidly behind Obama but we had better accept that these operatives are not the usually Haley Barber button-down brains. Somehow, some way, the GOP has recruited or developed some creative situational thinkers and we had best not underestimate them.

Game on.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


An exception to my bias against c&p: click here

He did what and you paid him how much?

Friday, August 29, 2008


Great Speech--but I can't help wonder how it went over in the SEC states.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Went looking for an auction on some electrical gear and some golf gear. I used to love EBay...the rush of the auction, the clock ticking down. Damn, admit it, it was a rush.

Now you use your search terms and you get 20 levels of "Buy it Now"...No auction, just a big kickback sellout by the guys who started "America's Garage Sale". Screw it! I can walk in like a sheep and pay the man's price without spoiling my nostalgic rush.

Bite Me, EBay sellout, kickback-taking surrender monkeys. If I'm gonna do retail I might as well get my FatWallet Bucks.

You boys are officially on double-secret probation.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Look, here's how it is. New Blood @ Culver-Stockton is WAY UP!

Of course, CSC has just signed veteran Free Agent Judy Abbott to a large bonus contract (Her Agent, Scott Boras (No, this is not a typo), reports that the guaranteed portion is $17M but that's just a rumor).

A coincidence? I think not. Sign a star, sell tickets. Just so she doesn't go to Manny being Manny.


A 'heads up' warning for all men who may be regular Home Depot customers. Over the last month I became a victim of a clever scam while out shopping. Simply going out to get supplies has turned out to be quite traumatic. Don't be naive enough to think it couldn't happen to you or your friends. Here's how the scam works:

Two very hot 20-21 year-old girls come over to your car as you are packing your shopping into the trunk. They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling out of their skimpy T-shirts. It is impossible not to look. When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say 'No' and instead ask you for a ride to another Home Depot. You agree and they get in the backseat. On the way, they start undressing. Then one of them climbs over into the front seat and starts crawling all over you, while the other one steals your wallet.

I had my wallet stolen March 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th, 24th & 29th. Also April 1st, 4th, twice on the 8th, 16th, 23rd, 26th, 30th, three times last Saturday and very likely again this upcoming weekend.

So tell your friends to be careful.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I don't care how many houses John McCain has. I don't care much what Hillary Clinton said about Obama's "speech". I don't care about Cindy McCain's tax returns, Michelle Obama's PTA meetings or whether Obama puts the butter away after breakfast.

I do care how the next president is going to attack the deficit, fund the VA, handle our troop deployments, Deal with the monster that Pakistan is becoming and address rebuilding in the gulf region. I do care a whole lot about whether my president is going to sit by and watch while "Good Deal" mortgages balloon and more houses become empty or whether there is going to be some palatable loan guarantee program that allows the private sector to absorb this greed-driven crisis in a way that doesn't replicate the S&L/FSLIC crisis.

Both of you, stop the chickenshit! Tell us what you will do with the awesome power of the presidency. Stop with the "Hanoi Hilton" and "This is Our Time!" talk. We all get that. You won your primaries with vague generalities. Graduate already!

A Visionary and a Veteran and not a grown-up in the bunch.

So far, so disappointing.


Not all that many years ago, the community held a special ceremony for Scotty Glasgow, the father of public golf in Quincy. His contributions to area golf and youth are beyond this space.

After he had retired, the community thanked him and changed the name of the public golf course to "Scotty Glasgow's Westview Golf Course", to memorialize all that he had meant to the golf community here. It was moving. It was special.

It was also quite temporary. No signs, nothing on the scorecard. Somebody tells you they're going to "Scotty's," you look in the trunk for roller skates.

"Scotty Glasgow's Westview Golf Course" is probably too long a name for a golf course but a deal's a deal. We made the guy a promise. Put the signs back up.

By the way, the surface of that course is still his heritage and it is still a special place.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Michelle Obama gave a speech where she described her husband as kind of a good but ordinary Joe......I'm getting a headache trying to figure out how the savior who will get us to all play nice together can be extraordinary and ordinary at the same time.

On the other hand, The Cubs won big tonight, so the night wasn't totally wasted.

Jesse Jackson Junior, Ted Lilly and Kosuke Fukudome had pretty good days.


Just recently having become a golf tourist with no home course and just having watched the US Amateur at Pinehurst, it occurs to me that there might be some opinions out there about the best and worst golf holes in the Tri-States. Ground Rules, Gotta be within 75 minutes driving time of Quincy.

I'll start: Best Hole--18th @ Scotty's Westview (Yes, that is the correct name). 36th St. Left, Trouble right, interesting green, lots of ways to play the hole. A great finishing hole for handicap golfers.

(Honorable Mention: 16th @ Great River. Green's got more water around it than Cuba but it is intelligently laid out. Also, it doesn't necessarily take the driver out of a player's hands.

Worst, absolutely stupidest golf hole in the Tri State area but it might also be all-world stupid--12th hole at Indian Trails/Arrowhead Heights/Whatever Native American Name it has this week. Nothing adds to the experience of playing a mid-length par three like water, trees and a bunker all on the same line. Wonder how they left out the land mines and machine gun nests.

What are your bests and worsts?

Friday, August 22, 2008


In most workplaces, the big boss will get all puffed up and say "My Door is Always Open to You.."

I'm sure it makes the boss feel just swell but it's a Hell of way to run a business.

First, I want a Boss who's too damn busy and productive to be screwing around with any whiner (Thanks, Phil Gramm) who stumbles in the door.

Second, anybody who goes "open door" just cuts the legs out from under the First Level Supervisor.

Third, "OD' opens up the door for all kinds of threats to go to "Mr. Open Door".

I think most folks know "OD" is a poor way to run a railroad but they do it anyway. It must be some need to feel like a good guy, to perpetuate the myth that your employees actually like you.
They have friends. They need a Leader.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Pancreatic Cancer has gotten way too many people I like or were otherwise close to me.

I spent precisely seven and one half hours with Gene Upshaw in our lifetimes. Three hour business meeting, 30 minute business meeting several years later and a four hour round of golf. He had a will of iron, great listening skills and really not much of sense of humor.

I admired the guy and found him fascinating. He was just not the kind of guy you think about in terms of sudden illness and death. He was such a rock and so confident.

Now all those guys who wanted to change the way the NFLPA does business will get their wish. Be careful what you ask for. You might get it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Condi has brilliantly negotiated the installation of US anti-delivery system missiles in Poland, Russia's neighbor.

The Cold War called. It wants its strategy back.

I knew nothing good could come out of Georgia being No. 1 preseason.


Lou Dobbs, John Kyl and all the other "I've got mine" types who oppose Natural Birth Citizenship, tell your story to Henry Cejudo.

You're born on our soil and you're an American, thus should it ever be so.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Police are called to an apartment and find a woman holding a bloody 5-iron standing over a lifeless man.

The detective asks, "Ma'am, is that your husband?"

"Yes" says the woman.

"Did you hit him with that golf club?" Yes, yes, I did."

The woman begins to sob, drops the club, and puts her, hands on her

"How many times did you hit him?"

"I don't know, five, six, maybe seven times.....just put me down for a five."


What's your favorite Olympic Event, Winter and Summer?

Mine have been the same for years.

Summer: 100 meter dash--not much strategy. Guy who runs the fastest, wins the race.

Winter: Downhill--Not much strategy. Guy who comes down the mountain twice in the shortest total time, wins the race.

Don't care much for anything where the Officials actually decide the worth of the performance (skating, gymnastics).

Of course, I love softball but it's being eliminated. Bush 43 is right on this one. It shouldn't be done.

What's yours?

Sunday, August 17, 2008


From our friends at Delancey Place:

(Nothing new under the sun)

In today's encore excerpt-Alexander Hamilton's affair. Hamilton, one of the greatest of our founding fathers and principal architect of our country's highly innovative and successful financial systems, stumbles in 1791 into a liaison with a young and married prostitute. The affair led to attempted blackmail by the prostitute and her husband, and in turn to a confession by Hamilton that scandalized the new nation:

"In 1797, Alexander Hamilton ... told a flabbergasted public about his extended sexual escapade with twenty-three-year-old Maria Reynolds, who must have been very alluring, [which started when] she arrived unannounced at his redbrick house at 79 South Third Street. He began his famous account thus: 'Sometime in the summer of the year 1791, a woman called at my house in the city of Philadelphia and asked to speak to me in private. I attended her in a room apart from the family.' Reynolds beguiled Hamilton with a doleful tale of a husband, James Reynolds, 'who for a long time treated her very cruelly, [and] lately had left her to live with another woman and in so destitute a condition that, though desirous of returning to her friends, she had not the means.' ...

"The thirty-six year old Hamilton never shrank from a maiden in distress, as Maria Reynolds must have known. He told her ... that she had come at an inopportune moment (i.e., Eliza, his wife, was home). He volunteered to bring 'a small supply of money' to her home at 154 South Fourth Street that evening. ... 'I inquired for Mrs. Reynolds and was shown upstairs, at the head of which she met me and conducted me into a bedroom. I took a bill out of my pocket and gave it to her. Some conversation ensued from which it was quickly apparent that other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable.'

"That encounter was the first of many times that Alexander Hamilton slipped furtively through the night to see Reynolds. Once Eliza had gone off to Albany, the coast was clear to bring his mistress home. 'I had frequent meetings with her, most of them at my own house.' ...

"It is baffling that Hamilton, having worked to achieve a spotless reputation as a treasury secretary, did not see that he was now courting danger and would be susceptible to blackmail ... yet he was in the grip of a dark sexual compulsion, and Maria Reynolds knew how to hold him fast in her toils by feigning love. ... There seems little question that she approached Hamilton as part of an extortion racket, delivering an adept performance as a despairing woman."

Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, Penguin Press, Copyright 2004 Ron Chernow, pp. 364- 367.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


From Our friends at Delancey Place

(This might be psychobabble, but it's interesting)

In today's excerpt--Hannah Nixon, mother of Richard Nixon, who was president of the United States from 1969 until his resignation in 1974:

"Nixon called Hannah Nixon a saint. People remembered her as soft-spoken and pious. ... History dotes upon her honesty. But that doesn't quite cover it. For even while instructing her sons that lying was the most unpardonable sin, on one subject she lied often, especially later in life: on the subject of her second son.

"To understand this we must explain the deaths of his brothers. It is a psychobiographical theme in the lives of successful men: the deaths of siblings. The first one to die was the youngest, Arthur, who came down with what might have been tubercular meningitis. Twelve-year-old Richard was given reason to believe that a concussion from a schoolyard rock thrown to Arthur's head that Richard had been unable to prevent had been a contributing factor. Older brothers are supposed to protect younger ones. Richard was convulsed by his failure, and the loss.

"Then, the second brother. Richard hadn't been the favorite son. The golden boy, the one on whom great hopes were pinned, was the oldest, Harold--handsome, well-rounded, graceful. ... Harold became even more the center of the family universe when he came down with tuberculosis. After Hannah set up a second household for him to recuperate in the hot, dry air of Prescott, Arizona, Richard was left behind with two other brothers under the care of their [disciplinarian] father. It was the middle of the Depression. The family almost went bankrupt. Richard was sent to Arizona to help with the boarders Hannah brought in to keep the family afloat. The work was endless, dirty, unrewarding, sepulchral. When Harold died, Hannah once told Ladies' Home Journal, Richard 'sank into a deep, impenetrable silence. ... From that time on it seemed that he was trying to be three sons in one, striving even harder than before to make up to his father and me for our loss.'

"Hannah would come to recast Richard in her mind as an impregnable figure of destiny, bringer of miracles. When he became famous, she began to report that Richard had been born the day of an eclipse (he wasn't), that his ragged and forlorn family had sold land upon which oil was found immediately afterward (they hadn't). The exaggerations she got away with drove home for her son the lesson that a lie unexposed does no harm, that a soul viewed as a saint can also lie. And her swooning (though she withheld praise in his presence) drove home a lesson the politician was predisposed to internalize: that he was a figure of destiny, impregnable."

Rick Perlstein, Nixonland, Scribner, Copyright 2008 by Rick Perlstein, p. 25.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


.......Where Coaches go to prepare to compete in the SEC.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


How many times does the home run leader in a league get traded after the trade deadline?

How many times does that happen and there is like zero publicity about it for 36 hours.

For those of you scoring at home that would be Adam Dunn. The sound of folding tents your are hearing is coming from Cincy. Lotta noise when Pedro goes to LA. Dunn needs a better agent or a more memorable haircut.

Monday, August 11, 2008


I guess when you're talking about girl children, it doesn't matter much in China. You just tell the good singer she's too ugly to be seen so you just find Hannah Manchuria and have her lipsynch.

Maybe it's just me but about a billion guys on the stadium floor with large knives hacking in synch didn't fill me with peaceful feelings about our Chinese brothers. Welcome, round eyes and our esteemed Japanese friends. With a head attached to your neck is optional.

And what was with goose-stepping? 1936 called. It wants its ceremony back.

Friday, August 08, 2008


(When I wrote this, I thought I'd have to "round up" to be at four dollar gas--like 3.899 or something. I should have had more faith in the system.)

Major pipeline break in BP infrastructure in Alaska. Probably worth a .50 increase. (Be a good idea for you to get gas before lunch time today). How'd you like to be the incumbent party, looking for crossovers when you're the guys who brought em' four dollar gas.

Guys, the four dollar gas is wallpaper behind all this. It spoils the picture for the GOP and their pals the "Earl Men", not to mention Uncle Dick has secret meetings (presumably unarmed) with the "Earl Man" buddies.

(Special note: for the reading-challenged. This post didn't--and I still don't--blame the GOP for the price of gas. The comment was that it would make their next election difficult.)

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Please! It's the only way to make the Favre stories stop.

Doctor, the pain starts in the back of neck and works its way up through my eyeballs. Make it stop!

Update: Favre traded to the (in the words of Dan Jenkins) "Dog Ass Jets".

Update to the Update: Willy Mays ended his career with the METS --Hit .211 with six home runs and 25 RBI. Operative Feeling for him was pity. Beware the "Finish Your Career In New York" Deal.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Click here for basic story

This story lacks detail but this model is more common than you might think and a serious headache for executive prosecutors.

One of my best students at Prosecutors' School was a young woman from another state. A very talented lawyer and a beautiful person in every way, she was a naturalized citizen, appreciated everything about her adopted land and really just wanted to fight crime and uphold the rights of victims.

We kept in touch as her career took off. She was promoted from division to division, from Department Head to Chief Assistant. She tried the hard cases. Nobody knew, or so she thought, that she was deeply involved with a Detective Sergeant whose reputation for integrity was a little on the loose side.

The inevitable happened, the perfect storm of professional undoing. First, she was trying one of his cases, in which his conduct was the entire issue (It had to do with how he gained access to a third party house and found a bloody footprint in a murder case). Of course, my friend stood up for her case and the integrity of the Sgt. Problem number one was that he was lying and there were two other officers who had information that tended to prove it. Problem number two was that the Sgt.'s ex had decided to hire a private detective to determine who was living in the house where her kids had visitation. Icky photographs resulted.

After the hearing was over (and the evidence was ruled inadmissible) the ex shared what she knew with my former student's boss. My student did what employees often do when confronted with inconvenient facts. She lied. The Boss investigated. He valued her, he said, but the evidence was overwhelming. He could help her if she told him the truth. She did. She'd been involved with the guy for a couple of years. She maintained her own place but just went there about once a week to get the mail. She truly believed his version of the truth and was just duped, not participating in any attempt to fool the court.

I think he believed her, as I did when she told me this story after the fact.

She was demoted to the lowest paying position on the felony side--and was grateful to still be serving the people. Usually when the former Chief is working for the people she supervised, the chemistry is bad. This lady is so genuinely nice, there were no problems in her new role.

She broke up with the Sgt. and moved back to her own place. That was not the end of it. Eventually there was an investigation by the State's licensing authority and she was suspended for six months for "CUBA". By policy, the prosecutor's office then had to fire her.

She never returned to the practice of law after her relatively brief suspension. She works in an animal rescue facility. Washing dogs, however noble, is an underutilization of her considerable skills and intellect. I suspect it is her way of both serving and doing penance.

When young lawyers are entering the prosecutor's office, either gender, I remind them "Prosecutors don't date cops or other prosecutors." For some reason, there's not as much headache over prosecutors dating defense lawyers but there's risk in that one, too.

It sounds like the chief prosecutor in the Story linked used his mercy and his judgment. I hope all the (particularly young) lawyers viewing the story learn from it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


"Brett Favre" "Ball Cap" and "Clipboard"

Monday, August 04, 2008


If you're a parent of a 17-20 year old and you buy beer or other adult beverages for your child and a few dozen of his closest friends so they can have a "lock-in" party at a "safe" location, you suffer from one of two problems:

a) You're an asshole;

b) You have such a crappy self-image, that you desperately need to be loved;

If you do what I described above and then provide no adult supervision during the "lock-in", see "a)" above. (even the adult supervision part is pretty weak.)

If somebody calls you on your irresponsibility and you say "it's better than having them driving around God knows where and drinking!" You are both "a)" above, and pitiful.

Innocent people have died because of enablers like you.

You know who you are and more people than you think know who you are. Cut it out!

Sunday, August 03, 2008


It's a year ago that Luke Guthrie made the decision to go to University of Illinois. As a national-class amateur he had sexier options. I wonder how he feels about his decision a year later.

I realize he doesn't know much more of what the experience will be like now than he did then but I still wonder if he's still satisfied.

I hope he's very satisfied....such a nice young man.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Realizing there are a great many steps left before School Sales Taxes would become a reality, it seems an apt time to look at the theory behind local government sales taxes and how it applies or doesn't apply to school funding.

Removing it from our area for a minute, when I go to Springfield on business and I stop and buy something, I use Springfield's streets. I know if I have an emergency their tax-funded police and firefighters are there for me. I'll probably use some of their city water directly or indirectly. We can quibble about the amount but it makes perfect sense for a small amount of my purchase tax to be to support the pavements that lets me drive smoothly within the city and the traffic lights that let me interchange safely. The key is USE or POTENTIAL USE.

When I go to Springfield, I don't use their school facilities. I don't depreciate their school infrastructure one bit. Most of the clerks or servers who help me didn't even go to the public schools there. The young ones are usually at UIS from somewhere else and the few who are in High School always seem to be from Chatham or Griffin. So I'm not even benefitting from their school system. If I'm not using it, not depreciating it and don't need it on stand-by for me, then the argument for me paying for it dissolves and blows away.

The new Illinois Law in this regard tries to deal with the usage issue by spreading the tax around within a given county. That would do a fat lot of good for somebody, for example, from Marion County shopping in Adams County. No matter how many times we split the money and no matter how accurate the formula, that guy's local school is getting none of his tax money and he's not using ours.

Please understand, I'm not saying we don't need to find new and equitable ways to fund education. The sales tax is just not rationally connected to education in any way that Sales or "Retail Occupation Tax" is a sensible response to the obvious need.

Of course, nobody wants to say "Income Tax" because they'll turn into a pumpkin.

Just in terms of the Theory of Governance, the Sales Tax Doggie will not hunt.

Friday, August 01, 2008


......who is deeper in the tank? The national media for Obama or the Sporting Press for Favre?

For intensity, it has to be the sporting press. For sustained "Tankness" it has to be the national political press corps.