Adrian Peterson did not spank his son, he beat him

My long-time readers know that I never moralize or tell people how to run their lives. I never use the M word in either written or verbal discourse. I am not a fan of corporal punishment, especially when it’s done in anger, but I don’t think people who spank their children should be imprisoned or ostracized. Adrian Peterson did not spank his 4 year old, he beat him. The term child abuse is too generic and polite for this situation, this NFL superstar is a child beater. The word switch is also too polite: he beat his 4 year old son with a stick.

Adrian Peterson is a hall of fame caliber running back and a world class louse. He should be ostracized, but he’s too big of a star for the NFL to act swiftly and decisively.  So much for the hanging judge Commissioner. I’ll write more about Goodell, Ray Rice, and domestic battery in an upcoming malaka of the week post.

Keith Olbermann did a classic rant on this topic yesterday. If you haven’t seen it, please do so now. I’ll resume my own rant after the videos and the break:

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Others who have no slush fund

What was that about FEMA camps again? 

Long Island resident Gary Silberman got a letter in the mail asking him to repay FEMA some $17,000 he received after losing the home he shared with his father to the hurricane. A FEMA review found that both he and his father received aid — a violation of FEMA’s “double dipping” policy — and that they had failed to get flood insurance following an earlier FEMA payment for damages caused by Hurricane Irene, in 2011.

“I lost my home. I lost everything,” Silberman told the AP. “I don’t have $17,000 to give back.”

A.

A Slush Fund

Because why not: 

For the past few weeks, dropping bombs on militant positions and sustaining a few hundred American military advisers in Iraq has cost roughly $7.5 million per day, according to the only estimate the Pentagon has provided. That is just over what taxpayers currently pay for each hour of the war effort in Afghanistan (about $5.7 million).

Of course the Pentagon has to get that money from somewhere, even if it isn’t much, relatively speaking. And given that Congress has yet to authorize the mission, readers may be wondering about the source of that daily $7.5 million.

It turns out that the Pentagon is relying on the overseas contingency operations budget, or OCO—basically a slush fund for the Afghan war. Last year, Congress appropriated $85.2 billion for the fund, well above the $79.4 billion the Pentagon requested.

There’s plenty of money in the pot for the remainder of the year, which ends at the end of the month, Pentagon officials said. And for the foreseeable future, the OCO will remain generously funded.

Of course it will. Why wouldn’t it? It’s not like we’re spending all damn day long drug-testing welfare recipients or jawing about the brand of cereal purchased by the poor because HURR DURR TAX DOLLARRRSS, right?

It’s not like we’re telling people who can’t get their kids’ teeth fixed to sell some bling, right?

It’s not like teachers are buying school supplies with their own money, right?

It’s not like we’re trying to decide which pensioners to fuck over this week, right?

We’ve got all that shit covered. We’re on it. So we can afford to keep a slush fund OVERFUNDED, while our cities run deficits that make Russia look well-managed. We can fling millions of dollars down the demilitarized toilet known as what we’ve left of the Middle East, because we’re on top of everything else.

Right?

A.

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Different dogs, same fucking bones

Vanity thy name is Capone

It’s going to be a short one this week. The Good Listener was an episode that set the stage for the rest of the season so Imma keep it brief.

Al Capone is on top of the world, ma. He’s a celebrity who gives interviews in his underwear while being fitted by a tailor. His world, however, is about to come crumbling down later in year: the IRS is on his trail.

Nucky’s world is not so rosy. He took a hit in the 1929 crash; so much for legitimate investments. Now he’s trying to get some respectables to go into business with him when prohibition ends. They diss him by pretending not to know who he is. Only one of them gives him the time of day, Joseph P. Kennedy. I hope we’ll see more of old Joe. He might even have Gloria Swanson in tow…

Being dissed by the respectables is the least of the Nuckster’s problems: Charlie Lucky wants him dead. Nucky sends  a stern message by having our old friend Tonino (the Gypster’s right hand man) dispatched and deposited on the doorstep of one of Luciano’s bordellos. Minus an ear, which is his Cuban body guard, Arquimedes’ signature. He may not say much but the man knows how to use a knife. Slice.

Jillian returns. She’s in the loony bin instead of jail for murdering the Jimmy lookalike. She’s keeping her head down and trying to stay out of trouble. She is the ultimate survivor, after all. Trouble comes to her in the presence of the laughing academy’s dominatrix/keeper-type who finds her irresistible. I’m not sure I care for this plot line. It’s a bit on the stereotypical side.

We see Eli Thompson and former agent Van Weirdo in Chicago. They comprise the oddest couple of all. They get into hot water with Scarface Al, and rob Jake Greasy Thumb Guzik to pay Capone the $20k they owe. Jake was a member of the Chicago Outfit and Capone’s bag man. That’s right, y’all, they robbed Capone to pay him back. This is not going to end well.

There was no sign of my man Chalky White and what happened to him after he escaped the chain gang. But he’ll be back next week and, hopefully, Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Narcisse will be along for the ride as well.

Oh yeah, Detective/Mr. Prezbo (Jim True-Frost) makes a brief appearance as Eliot Ness. It’s pretty darn good casting. But I have a feeling they won’t be playing this music in the episode:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “Freud’s not here” edition

Good morning, all!

I was going to ignore this particular drum of psychosexual Freeper Id-with-a-lid, but we’d better open it up before it explodes and gushes its ecstatic release all over the Iso room.

Ready?

Michael Sam cut by Rams
espn.com ^ | 8/30/2014 | Nick Wagoner and Adam Schefter

Posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎08‎:‎15‎ ‎PM by GreenAccord

EARTH CITY, Mo. — The St. Louis Rams released defensive end Michael Sam on Saturday, according to multiple league sources.

Sam’s efforts to become the first openly gay player in NFL history came up just short in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks.

Westbrooks is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.

Sam officially hit waivers Saturday at 4 p.m. ET when all NFL teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players. From there, the other 31 teams will have 24 hours to put in a claim for Sam.

*****************

And the attorney retainer has already been paid…
1 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎08‎:‎15‎ ‎PM by GreenAccord
Of course it has, sweetheart – because NFL players NEVER have lawyers unless they have teh gay.
So  – are we going to get some insightful analysis of the ebb and flow of contract negotiation?
To: GreenAccord
13 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎18‎:‎21‎ ‎PM by conservative98
.
.

To: GreenAccord

Personal foul. Spearing. 15 yard penalty. Disqualification.

15 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎18‎:‎39‎ ‎PM by Darren McCarty (Abortion – legalized murder for convenience)

.
.
To: GreenAccord
He billed himself as an outstanding tight end and a receiver but strangely would not answer whether he was a pitcher or a catcher.

16 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎18‎:‎53‎ ‎PM by 17th Miss Regt

.
.
To: GreenAccord
“came up just short in a competition”

What a choice of words. Does he now leave town lickety-split?

28 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎24‎:‎16‎ ‎PM by safetysign

.
.
To: GreenAccord

They were unimpressed with his time in the 40 yard prance.

31 posted on ‎8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎25‎:‎18‎ ‎PM by GreenHornet

.
.
To: GreenAccord
Michael Sam cut by Rams That sucks ass…….er……that blows……er…… Bummer
61 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎44‎:‎59‎ ‎PM by Toddsterpatriot (Science is hard. Harder if you’re stupid.)
.
.
To: GreenAccord

Sam is not a Ram. But could he be a Packer?

67 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎47‎:‎47‎ ‎PM by NautiNurse (Obama sends U.S. Marines to pick up his dog & basketballs. Benghazi? Nope.)

.
.
To: DoodleDawg

This is just too hard too swallow. A solution will surely come from Sam’s mouth.

104 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎4‎:‎46‎:‎00‎ ‎PM by safetysign

….and so on.
.
You know, I used to compare the “American Beauty” Id of the Freeperati to that of giggling twelve-year-olds, but that’s really doing a disservice to twelve-year-olds.
.
More after the thingy.
Tagged , , , , , , ,

‘your brand and your reputation is hit’

I really think other words might have been better here: 

Keyshawn Johnson led the discussion, recalling when police were called to his home over a domestic dispute. He said that ESPN refrained from pilloring him pending the resolution of the charges (Johnson was later cleared of the charges), and argued that due process was a right that extended to all players. “Anytime your name is run through the mud, and not let due process take its place, your brand and your reputation is hit,” Johnson said.

Several things, in order:

1. Plenty of people who are good at their jobs are also total assholes. Ty Cobb was a good goddamn ballplayer. So was Pete Rose. There are people I’ve worked with who I wouldn’t throw a rope to if they were drowning, but they were what I needed at the time. What’s more important, being a good guy or being good at the job? This is a problem because …

2. The NFL is not entirely clear on what “the job” is. Is it to play football? Or is it to be a role model and upstanding citizen in all things? If it’s the former, then firing people for shitty things they do off the field seems unfair. They’re in the mess they’re in over the Ray Rice sitch because the standards were and are unclear. Is there a “no felons” policy? Should there be?

(If you can’t get a job washing dishes in a restaurant because you have a felony on your record maybe you shouldn’t be able to play football for a bazillion dollars.)

3. At some point we have decided that “somebody saying mean things about me on the TV machine” is equivalent to actual prison time, in that it is a consequence that should be “enough” without bringing criminal charges into it. This is FUCKING INSANE.

4. Talking about this whole shit-tastic sports week with some friends over the weekend we decided that if we were highly paid professional athletes we would hire someone to follow us around and do things like make sure we took cabs instead of risking DUIs, and only had sex with enthusiastic adult people.

5. When you set up a structure that you think parallels the criminal justice system in some way, you feel like you’re handling shit on your own and you don’t need the cops. See also the Catholic Church and this bullshit with Penn State. Let the goddamn cops do their jobs. This isn’t a matter for HR to settle.

A.

SMV: Midnight Oil Live At Wave Aid

Midnight Oil Wave Aid

The Oils played a Sydney reunion gig in 2005 (the video says 2006 but it’s wrong) to benefit victims of the Boxing Day Tsunami. It’s a tight, concise but still rocking 40 minute set:

Todays bonus Obsession – “Thrilla In Wasilla” Edition

Sorry for the title – I know this happened in Anchorage, not Wasilla, but “Skankorage In Anchorage” just doesn’t have the same zing to it.

Well, as you probably know by now, this happened:

You Betcha! Sarah Palin’s Whole Family Reportedly Involved in a 20-Person Brawl
TV Guide ^

Posted on 9‎/‎11‎/‎2014‎ ‎1‎:‎28‎:‎42‎ ‎PM by bigdaddy45

Sarah Palin may have channeled her inner lipstick-wearing pit bull this past weekend, when her entire family was reportedly involved in a brawl in Alaska.

Details are scarce, but according to a local blog in the Palins’ hometown of Wasilla, Sarah’s son Track (who may have been under the influence of alcohol) got into a physical altercation with an ex-boyfriend of his sister Willow’s at a snowmobile party.

****************************

Don’t shoot the messenger… but this story is hitting big today. Something clearly happened up in Alaska this weekend. It’s evidently been confirmed by the Anchorage PD that there was a big broohaha, and that the Palin family was in attendance.
1 posted on 9‎/‎11‎/‎2014‎ ‎1‎:‎28‎:‎42‎ ‎PM by bigdaddy45

 

Not for the world would I shoot the messenger who brought me such delightful fare as this!

The night before, Saturday, was a doozy. The details are a little sketchy, but there’s enough of them, from enough different sources, that a story emerges, a story that according to the gossip Gods, looks kind of like this: There’s some sort of Iron Dog/snowmachine party in Anchorage. A nice, mellow party, until the Palin’s show up. There’s beer, of course, and maybe other things. Which is all fine, but just about the time when some people might have had one too many, a Track Palin stumbles out of a stretch Hummer, and immediately spots an ex-boyfriend of Willow’s. Track isn’t happy with this guy, the story goes. There’s words, and more. The owner of the house gets involved, and he probably wished he hadn’t. At this point, he’s up against nearly the whole Palin tribe: Palin women screaming. Palin men thumping their chests. Word is that Bristol has a particularly strong right hook, which she employed repeatedly, and it’s something to hear when Sarah screams, “Don’t you know who I am!” And it was particularly wonderful when someone in the crowd screamed back, “This isn’t some damned Hillbilly reality show!” No, it’s what happens when the former First Family of Alaska comes knocking. As people were leaving in a cab, Track was seen on the street, shirtless, flipping people off, with Sarah right behind him, and Todd somewhere in the foreground, tending to his bloody nose.

To: bigdaddy45

When stuff like that happens at Hyannis MA the Kennedys get a pass.

2 posted on 9‎/‎11‎/‎2014‎ ‎1‎:‎30‎:‎57‎ ‎PM by lightman (O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance, giving to Thy Church vict’ry o’er Her enemies.)

Yeah – I imagine that last drunken brawl at Hyannis Port.  What a wild rumpus that was!
Of course, the initial response is: “Deny, deny, deny!”
To: bigdaddy45

“TV Guide” huh, Now THERE is a “source” for ya. What’s next “Weekly World “News””?

3 posted on 9‎/‎11‎/‎2014‎ ‎1‎:‎31‎:‎05‎ ‎PM by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I’m “Diverse”!)

One Freeper tries to put a brave face on that thing that might or might not have happened:
To: bigdaddy45
Good deal. Finally! A republican who knows how to fight!
9 posted on 9‎/‎11‎/‎2014‎ ‎1‎:‎34‎:‎19‎ ‎PM by so_real ( “The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.”)
SpitTake
To: bigdaddy45
this story is hitting big todayReally? This is the first I’ve heard of it. Where do you get your news from, DU?
12 posted on 9‎/‎11‎/‎2014‎ ‎1‎:‎37‎:‎14‎ ‎PM by McGruff (I’m thinkin.)
I think he’s getting ready to shoot the messenger.
Of course, some hope it is true:
To: bigdaddy45

I would pay to see Sarah* go MMA on some dude.

*(hopefully in a bikini)

46 posted on 9‎/‎11‎/‎2014‎ ‎1‎:‎49‎:‎19‎ ‎PM by VanDeKoik

PalinHardon
And then – somebody goes there :
To: VanDeKoik

And therein lies the weakness with Sarah. No one can go two sentences without mentioning what she looks like.

The right winger love fest with Sarah is about being prom queen, not President.

54 posted on ‎9‎/‎11‎/‎2014‎ ‎1‎:‎56‎:‎38‎ ‎PM by Vermont Lt (Ebola: Death is a lagging indicator.)

DangerClose
To: Vermont Lt
“The right winger love fest with Sarah is about being prom queen, not President.”And what wing do you belong to if we might ask.
57 posted on 9‎/‎11‎/‎2014‎ ‎1‎:‎58‎:‎59‎ ‎PM by McGruff (I’m thinkin.)
56c2c-6a00d8341c5ced53ef01a511ef2b24970c-pi
The brawl begins in earnest below the fold

Continue reading

Friday Ferretblogging

Bucky does yoga:

20140912_075302

A.

“Grandpa Bobby”

When I heard that Bob Suter had died, a dozen thoughts ran through my head. Almost all of them were covered brilliantly by A in her post earlier this week. Meeting him at his store and meeting him at the Team Cheerios breakfast were among the best moments of my life at a time in which it wasn’t easy to find much for us to hold on to. We were scared, battered kids in our early 20s who didn’t know if we were going to accomplish an impossible task when we fell in love with Suter and company.

Suter was our age when he became part of a moment that would follow him for the rest of his life. In some cases, I’m sure it was a blessing and yet in other cases, I get the sense he wished people would just let it go.

Herb Brooks once told his Olympic kids that they couldn’t be common men because common men go nowhere. They had to be uncommon. In my mind, however, Suter was uncommonly common in the best of all ways. As such, he reminded me of Jack Kirrane, the captain of the 1960 U.S. Hockey squad that won gold by knocking off half of the Communist Bloc at a time of increasing international tensions. He was a 34-year-old firefighter from Brookline, Massachusetts who sold his truck to pay for the plane fare to get out to the tryouts and then took a four-month unpaid leave of absence to play for his country.

After he became the toast of the town and the hero of the country, he went home and put his gold medal in a dresser drawer. He then climbed back on his fire truck and served out the remainder of his 38-year career.

If Suter had done nothing else in his life but win that gold medal, it would be more than enough for most men for 1,000 life times. Jack O’Callahan famously noted that 1980 yielded two miracles: First, the team beat the Russians and second that Mike Eruzione was still making money off the deal.

That wasn’t Suter’s way.

His obituary didn’t lead with his hockey nickname (Bam Bam) or wax poetic about his role in what Sports Illustrated called the Century’s Greatest Sports Moment. It talked about youth hockey and what he did for all those kids with half-formed ambitions to be good at a sport that saw the American player as inferior. It called him “Grandpa Bobby,” which is antithetical to those of us who can’t divorce this 57-year-old from that 20-something fireplug with a mop of golden silk hair and a desire to check every Czech out there.

His outer shell belied a softness for the young and for the game that really was inextricably woven into his life. I really got a chance to see that in Buffalo as we caught up with him after the game.

“Mr. Suter?” I called out.

He looked over at me like I was a Gopher waiting to be checked.

“I’m Drummy’s friend. You put a couple tickets aside for us and we wanted to say thank you.”

He relaxed and started talking to us. It was something that I’ll never forget and, yet, I still can’t remember what the hell he said. We talked about how the game kind of devolved after the first period. It was a charity game, so the first period was real hockey and then the ref (some local goofball) started screwing around. He forced people to shoot penalty shots with undersized or oversized sticks. He called penalties for “funny” reasons and he played to the crowd.

Every time Suter took the ice after that first period, I could see him skating harder and tougher. It was like, “Fuck this. We’re winning this game, no matter how stupid this gets.”

It was in that context that he went full speed into the corner in the final minute of the third and totaled some septuagenarian Sabre with a check that shook the arena.

I brought that up during our discussion and I remember asking, “I thought it was a no-checking game…”

He just grinned the grin I will never forget: Impish, fun-loving and completely dedicated to his craft. The way he approached that check was the way he approached life.

In thinking about the man who will be laid to rest tomorrow, I wonder if he was like The Judge in “Mystery, Alaska.” He never talked about how he played the game, he didn’t cotton to fools and yet, he was the one who would tell a little kid to make sure he held his stick a certain way. After all, you paid for the whole stick. You might as well use it.

Saturday’s memorial for the man will be held at the Alliant Energy Center’s exhibition hall, which coincidentally abuts the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the home of the Madison Capitols hockey team. It may be coincidence, but I doubt it, as Suter always seemed to be most at home when he was around the rink. Although it may be too soon to consider such a thought, I hope the hockey royalty of the Madison area name some patch of ice or venue in his honor.

The Olympic ice center in Lake Placid bears the name of his “Miracle” coach, Herb Brooks.

In Winthrop, Massachusetts, kids learn the game at the Larsen Skating Rink at the Eruzione Center.

Even Jack Kirrane has a skating rink in Brookline that pays tribute to him.

Suter deserves as much, if not more.

Maybe they could call it “Grandpa Bobby’s Pond.”

Friday Catblogging: Tub Cat

Our water was turned off for 5 or 6 hours yesterday because of some sort of water works, uh, work. Since I assume that any project involving the city will take longer than expected, Dr. A filled the bathtub just in case. A wise but unnecessary precaution as they finished ahead of schedule. That never happens here.

Anyway, when I pulled the plug to drain the tub it made a helluva racket causing Oscar and Della to run for the Grampian Hills. (I don’t know where the hell  that is but WC Fields loved to say that and if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.)  That, in turn, made me think of this old snapshot of Della Street who seems to be lying on a wash cloth or hand towel. Della is big on comfort, y’all:

tub cat

Tweet Of The Day: Senator Walnuts Edition

I don’t know about you, but when Mrs. Greenspan trotted out John McCain on MSNBC after the President’s speech I changed the channel. Enough already, Andrea. You drove me to watch a Shark Tank rerun…

That brings me to today’s tweet. It comes from Eric Boehlert of Media Matters:

That sums it up quite nicely. Maybe McCain should have retired, grown a beard, and hired Keith Olbermann. Now that would be something:

That Day

There is no logic and no reason: 

The current president has been accused by his detractors of many of the same sins as he tries to lead the nation through a time when “political acerbations” are profitable drivers of political rewards. (What is John McCain now but a walking political acerbation?) Last night, he called on those detractors to actually make the war they so loudly recommend. He called on the governments in the region most directly affected to do their part to protect themselves, and to try and stop their people from butchering each other. He is groping, still, to find logic to the derangement that broke out on this day, 13 years ago. He is groping, still, for a way out of the profitable trauma.

There isn’t reason to remembering a war, which is what that day was. A one-day war, which we lost. And you don’t remember a war the way it happened. You remember it the way you have to remember it, to survive the next one.

So we remember a day that frightened us, and then united us, and we long for that unity, in no small part because it never existed: 

And in Bridgeview, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, police stopped 300 marchers as they tried to march on a mosque. Marcher Colin Zaremba, 19, told The Associated Press, “I’m proud to be American and I hate Arabs and I always have.”

We have made up a pretty story about who we are, to keep us alive until tomorrow. That it isn’t true doesn’t matter so much as that it isn’t working.

I said last night that it seemed like Obama was just phoning in his performance as George W. Bush, which is understandable. He doesn’t want to be in the middle of this, and tried to get us out of the middle of it, and bowed to pressure to “do something.” Nobody has ever gotten anywhere just “doing something” but this isn’t about him or us anymore.

This is about the next war, and what we’ll have to tell ourselves about this one, to get us through it.

A.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Captives Of The Flame

It’s sci-fi (as we still spell it here at First Draft) time. I don’t know anything about the book but its author, Samuel R. Delany, is well regarded as a scribbler. I’m posting it because the cover is cool, swell, and neat-o:

Captives of the Flame

Meanwhile, On The Other Side Of Pennsylvania Avenue

From Album4

Old Scratch Dick slithered about, probably making mirrors tarnish while continuing to grunt, drool…and get the Middle East dead wrong. The very fact there are still people willing to give this pathetic, heartless (that’s deliberate) mother-of-all-scary-creepy-clowns anything besides derisive jeering and a solid pelting with rotten fruit is…sad, and a sign of the moral and intellectual deficit of, well, the Stupid Caucus.

Dick Cheney is the person who got us into this quagfuck, insisting that whacking the hornet’s nest that was/is the Middle East would produce milk and honey, and not a downward spiral harvest of sickening violence. Slapping on a cheap coat of paint, with barely enough glue, paste, chewing gum, and baling wire to hold this lemon of a foreign policy together long enough to hie-tail it out of town should be a Rushmore sized national embarrassment. And probably would have been, if Old Dick hadn’t been a Republican…because, you see, with Rethugs, the rules are…different.

Malaka Of The Week: Bob McDonnell

Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 4.23.47 AM

One of my favorite things about being a blogger is skewering hypocrites. That’s the essence of this feature: taking down the pious phonies who populate our national life. There is no bigger hypocrite than former Virginia Governor and future convict, Bob McDonnell, and that is why he’s malaka of the week.

Everybody knows that McDonnell rolled the dice in his corruption trial and rolled snake eyes. That’s not even the worst, or stupidest, part, he took his wife Maureen down with him. That’s particularly rich in his case, as he ran as a “family values” candidate who trotted out his attractive and rather large family at the drop of a hat. That didn’t stop him from using his wife as a human shield whilst his lawyers put on a disgusting and demeaning defense wherein Mo Mac was portrayed as a greedy, nutbag, she-devil with a crush on star witness Johnny Williams.

The best thing  I read about McDonnell’s disgusting, and mercifully futile, defense was by the preternaturally awesome Dahlia Lithwick at Slate:

If I never hear the phrase “X threw Y under a bus” again, especially with regard to this trial, I will be immensely grateful. At some point in the proceedings, it seemed as if there were so many people thrown under so many buses—wife, children, executive chef, staff—it wasn’t clear the bus could move anymore. Maureen McDonnell acceded to a legal strategy that painted her as a frosty harridan with a roving eye and a lamentable inability to manage the staff (the “Downton Abbey defense”). I still cannot accept the defense’s proposition that she was somehow driving the bus when it looked to the rest of the world like she was lying under it.

It’s easy to say that everyone in power is bought and that the McDonnells simply got caught getting bought. But that doesn’t quite capture the horror of what happened here in the commonwealth in the past month. Whatever shame they brought on the office of governor by their dealings with Williams was overshadowed by the shame of their legal strategy. The jurors must have felt unimaginably filthy listening to gruesome tales of a “nutbag” first lady, rebuffed letters from the governor trying to resolve marital spats, and tween-grade text messages to a man Maureen McDonnell was allegedly “obsessed with.” That the former governor knew his career was making his wife wretched and drove on nonetheless is one thing. That he blamed her wretchedness for wrecking his career borders on felony chutzpah.

Tell us what you really think, Dahlia. Felony chutzpah sounds like a textbook example of malakatude. It also sums up much of  McMalaka’s public life. He went to Pat Robertson’s law school, and was supported politically by Pat and the Immoral Minority’s Jerry Falwell. As Governor, he earned two disparaging nicknames: Governor Ultra Sound for the intrusive abortion law he signed into law. And Doc Maddow dubbed him Sponge Bob when his procilivity for grifting free stuff, both large and small, became public knowledge. McMalaka never met a freebie he didn’t like or take advantage of. His defense to his own ravenous greed: the little lady/missus made me do it. I never bought it, and I’m glad the jury didn’t either.

The Commonwealth of Virginia is justly proud of its long and glorious history. Bob McDonnell was its first Governor to even be indicted, let alone convicted. I don’t recall Patrick Henry saying, “Give me liberty or let me drive your Ferrari.” Dr. A spent her formative years in Virginia and we have family and friends there. A few of whom have teased me over the years about Louisiana’s reputation for political corruption. It’s true, C Ray  went to jail on Monday and we’ve had our share of crooked Governors as you can see in this sign I made to wear in the 2007 Krewe du Vieux parade:

378442272_20f9bca20a_z

Neither Dick Leche nor Edwin Edwards blamed their spouses or even their mistresses for their problems, which makes them better men than that sanctimonious fraud Sponge Bob. And that is one of a gazillion reasons that Bob McDonnell is malaka of the week.

Which I think is just a giant rink filled with defensemen, really

If there’s a hockey heaven, Bobby Suter’s hitting people in it right now: 

Bob Suter, a defenseman for the 1980 Miracle on Ice team and father of Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter, died Tuesday at age 57.

Suter played for the University of Wisconsin, winning a national championship in 1977, before being chosen for the team that upset the Soviet Union and won a gold medal at Lake Placid, N.Y.

[snip]

Ryan Suter has said that his dad never talked about 1980 much while he was growing up.

“It was never my dad the gold medalist. It was my dad the hard-working guy who runs a sporting goods store and does what he can for youth hockey,” he told USA TODAY Sports in 2010.

Doc and I drove out to that sporting goods store one day, and if we’d been there to buy sticks or pads or pucks, I think Suter would have known exactly what to do with us. But we were there just to meet him in person, and he seemed weirded out by the whole experience.

His gold medal, he said, was at home in a drawer. He wasn’t exactly sure where. Could he at least help us find a jersey or something?

We were like pre-teens at a Bieber concert. We talked for hours about the two seconds we’d spoken to him. He’d looked right at us! He’d said things! In the same oxygen as us!

You’ve got to understand, that was a catastrophically shitty year. Our paper had shut down, we were broke, we were working 80 hours a week and trying to get through college, our parents were barely talking to us because we were never around, everything at the age of 19 feels like the last days of a war anyway if you’re doing it right, and so what we would do was tell stories to get through the hour between 3 and 4 a.m. when it felt like the whole world was ending.

One of those stories was this:

This was before the Disney movie, before the torch-lighting, before the “greatest sports moment of all time” specials on cable. Everybody remembered it, sure, but this was basically before the real Internet. Nobody had a way to talk about it all day long. The story felt like ours, like a secret. That’s what a good story is: A part of your secret heart, that you can take out and look at when you need to remind yourself who you are, when you need something to keep you alive.

I think I might have stammered something like that the second time I met Bobby Suter, in a deserted ice arena in Buffalo, New York.

This time Doc and I had dragged ourselves all the way out to what seemed like the coldest goddamn place on the planet. We’d read that the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team was gonna play a game, a charity match, against the Buffalo Sabres Alumni squad. Bunch of old guys in a no-checking game that meant less than nothing? On a Sunday afternoon in winter?

Just try and keep us away.

Tickets were sold out, the story said. But Doc pulled some strings and Bobby Suter set aside a couple, just for us. We took a bus to a train across the country, to a cab when we missed our train station, to a town with blue laws where nothing was open. We were so poor we couldn’t spring for a hotel, so we wandered the streets before the game and wound up at a Burger King.

After the game — in which Suter knocked some 70-year-old into the boards because no checking doesn’t really mean no checking — we hung around the arena waiting for the players to come out of the locker rooms. We wanted to thank Suter in person, and suddenly there he was, his hair still wet from the shower, grinning like a little kid at the circus.

Forget the game (which was forgettable), forget the overnight train trip, forget the fact that it was 5 below zero and the snow piles were over our heads. It was worth the distance to see somebody lit up like that, from doing just what he was put on earth to do.

So thank you for that, Mr. Suter, and thank you for the story we told ourselves over and over in the middle of the night.

A.

Best Candidate Name Ever

And the winner is Zephyr Teachout. It’s unusual, it’s punchy, it’s punworthy. She also cocked a snook at Andrew Cuomo in yesterday’s Noo Yawk Democratic Goober primary. (I prefer the term goober to gubernatorial. It’s one of my many quirks.) I thought she’d get 15-20% of the vote but she got 34%, which was a damn good showing for a protest candidate.

I knew that Empire State liberals were mad at Prince Andrew but I didn’t think that many of them would vote against him. Cuomo has dedicated his career to avoiding the mistakes he thinks his father made. He clearly believes Mario wasn’t dickish or arrogant enough, and has been compensating for those perceived failings since his father was defeated in the GOP wave election of 1994.

I’m glad that Zephyr Teachout Cuomo a lesson. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to alter his style of governing or smooth over the rough edges of his personality. A dick is a dick, an asshole is an asshole.

Repeat after me: Zephyr Teachout.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,772 other followers