Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Breaking News: Indians Fire Manager Eric Wedge

In a move sure to surprise no one, the Cleveland Indians dismissed manager Eric Wedge and his entire coaching staff today. Wedge and staff will stay on for the rest of the season.

Some may question the timing. Why fire him with five games left? The answer to that question is simple. Once the decision is made it is only right to let them know. Assistant coaches are not paid like the on field talent and the sooner they can start looking for new employment the better.

As far as Wedge goes, it is obvious he was not ready to manage at the big league level. His failings include poor starts to each season and an inability to develop young players.

The next question is who to hire as the new manager? My preference would be a manager with major league experience. I don't want another first time manager still learning on the job. Here are various names likely to be considered with short blurbs of other factors:

Buck Showalter - Former manager of three teams (Yankees, Rangers, Diamonbacks). Previously was an assistant to Indians GM Mark Shapiro.

Bobby Valentine - Former manager of Mets and Rangers. Very successful managing in Japan.

Larry Bowa - Current 3B coach for Dodgers & former manager of Phillies.

Omar Vizquel - Utility infielder with Rangers and free agent at end of season. Omar is a fan favorite who has expressed a desire to manage. No chance.

Mike Hargrove - Former manager of Indians, Orioles and Mariners. Still has strong ties to Cleveland area. Quit on Mariners middle of last season. No thanks.

Torey Lovullo - Indians AAA level manager at Columbus. Will get consideration, but I'd don't want another guy without major league experience. Add him to the staff to help the new manager learn the players since Lovullo knows them well.

John Farrell - Red Sox pitching coach. Formerly an assistant in teh Indians front office. I don't like the history of pitching coaches becoming managers. Pass.

Chris Chambliss - Former Indians player. Longtime assistant coach for several major league teams with AAA managerial experience. Often interviewed to satisfy the mandatory minority interview requirement. He'd be an interesting hire. Has had the opportunity to learn from several very good managers (Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Billy Martin, etc.). He is a little long in the tooth (he'd be 61 on opening day next year) for a first time manager, but he is due for a chance.

Pete Mackanin - Current Phillies bench coach. Longtime minor league manager & major league coach. Served as interim manager in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Known for developing young players and good in game decisions. Another guy like Chambliss who never got an opportunity.

This is the biggest decision Mark Shapiro will make as general manager. Can Shapiro's ego handle hiring a high profile, strong, opinionated manager? If the new manager doesn't work out Shapiro will be out the door with him. Many are wondering why Shapiro is getting a free pass as it is.

I'm sure there are candidates I overlooked. Who else should be considered?

Added names:

Sandy Alomar Jr. - Currently coaching with New York Mets. Can't believe I forgot Sandy. He is still active with Cleveland charities and like Vizquel a fan favorite. Probably will manage in the future, but this isn't his time yet.

Brad Mills - Red Sox coach. Father of Indians prospect Beau Mills. Doubtful choice.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kings Island Needed People to Complain to Realize They Were Showing Poor Taste? Really?

Local amusement park Kings Island is canceling a part of their Halloween display that included staged skeletons that mocked deceased celebrities after getting considerable negative feedback. We are not talking historical figures like Brutus standing over Julius Caesar. No, this display was more into current events.
As part of its Halloween promotion, Kings Island had skeletal displays of several recently deceased celebrities, including recently slain NFL quarterback Steve McNair and his dead mistress Sahel Kazemi. The amusement park near Cincinnati recently opened its exhibit to the media for a preview. The public was to see it for the first time on Friday.

They also included skeleton displays for Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and even Wendy's founder Dave Thomas.

Disgusting. I will not go there again. Okay, okay, that is an empty threat since I don't go there anyways. However, remember it's the thought that counts when it comes to boycotts.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Everything is Racial

If I didn't know better, I'd assume this story was a parody:
ARLINGTON, Va. - There's a new turn in the debate over high occupancy toll lanes or HOT lanes. A lawsuit filed by Arlington County last month claims the lanes benefit wealthy white people and discriminates against minorities. While the only rule to get in the HOV lanes on Interstate 395 is you must have three people in the car, Arlington claims adding HOT lanes would cut out poor and minorities by defacto.

There is an old quote regarding arguing a case in a court of law: "If facts are on your side, pound the facts. If the law is on your side, pound the law. If neither is, pound the table." I guess a new corollary to that maxim is if you have no argument to make then cry racism. I could be wrong, but I think we are close to reaching a tipping point on the BS racism claims. If we get to the point that everything is racism then nothing is racism. In other words, if people went outside every day rain or shine and scream "It's raining" over and over then in time the word rain would cease to have any meaning.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hope for the GOP - Obama Repeating Bush's Mistakes

For President Bush's popularity to reach the depth's that it did he had to irritate sizable portions of his base. That means Bush could not have popularity ratings under 30% if he only angered Democrats. How did Bush lose his base? Two things hurt him with conservatives and Republicans - failing to rein in out of control spending and getting involved in Republican primaries. Primary campaigns usually involve competing priorities within a party. Whichever side a president supports in a primary he is likely to alienate some supporters. When President Bush supported Arlen Specter against Pat Toomey it twice as problematic since Toomey represented the portion of the Republican party concerned with spending further compounding the hard feeling of those already worked up about his failure to veto any spending measures. Today the New York Times has an article regarding the Obama administration getting involved in various local races. The effort to get Governor Patterson not to seek another term was the starting point for the article and then they addressed administration involvement in various other races. In time I expect he will get similar results as Bush - irritated supporters of the candidate he doesn't endorse. The unlearned lesson is presidents should stay out of politics until the primaries are done.

Second lesson Obama failed to learn is that Bush didn't completely stop worrying about his popularity until after his reelection.

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Dave Matthews May Be As Stupid As Jimmy Carter

I know it is stretching the imagination to consider that some putz musician could challenge the stupidity of the Worst Living Ex-President (TM). However, consider his comments made to CNN.
CNN: President Carter said he thinks that a lot of the animosity directed toward President Obama is race related.

Dave Matthews: Of course it is! I found there's a fairly blatant racism in America that's already there, and I don't think I noticed it when I lived here as a kid. But when I went back to South Africa, and then it's sort of thrust in your face, and then came back here -- I just see it everywhere. There's a good population of people in this country that are terrified of the president only because he's black, even if they don't say it. And I think a lot of them, behind closed doors, do say it.

Maybe I'm paranoid about it, but I don't think someone who disagreed as strongly as they do with Obama -- if it was Clinton -- would have stood up and screamed at him during his speech. (Shakes his head) I don't think so.
Maybe you're paranoid? Maybe??? I realize we shouldn't take seriously anything said by some idiot entertainer, but did he completely miss the last 8 years? Morons in the House and Senate booed President Bush during State of the Union addresses. The Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid called Bush a liar and a loser. Ted Kennedy alleged Bush concocted the reasons for the war. Was all that ugliness against Bush just because he's white? No, of course not. Idiots like Carter and Matthews continue to set back race relations in this country and I have trouble accepting at face value that it isn't intentional.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Have You Heard of Lieutenant Michael Behenna?

Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing Ali Mansur, a known Al Qaeda operative while serving in Iraq.

Guys signs up to defend our country. We send him to a war zone. He kills the enemy. We charge him with murder instead of giving him a medal??? Really? Something is wrong here.

Obviously, there is more to this story. Follow this link to find out more. Also at that site is a way to donate to Lieutenant Behenna's legal defense fund.

(h/t A Large Regular)


Free Advice

I realize this information is a little late for some folks, like Cleveland Cavaliers player Delonte West, but just the same. . . If you're illegally carrying two handguns and a shotgun on your motorcycle don't cut off a policeman.
Corporal Clinton Copeland said West was speeding and cut off a police cruiser while riding on his three-wheeled 2009 Can-Am Spyder motorcycle. After being stopped West informed police he was carrying a gun in his waistband, which was a 9mm Beretta. Police also found a Ruger .357 strapped to his leg and a shotgun inside a guitar case that was slung over his back.
Maybe he misunderstood Coach Brown when he told him to work on his shooting in the off season.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Philadelphia Encourages People to Shop Elsewhere

Facing a budget "crisis" due to outspending their tax revenue, Philadelphia is raising their sales tax to 8%! So, folks who live there pay heavy federal income tax, FICA tax, a 3.07% state income tax, property taxes and then if they want to buy something with what little is left they get charged an 8% sales tax. How will people respond? Those who can will shop elsewhere.

Ever notice politicians never seem to consider reducing spending? The first choice is always to raise taxes without considering the effect it will have on the economy.


Breaking News: House Votes to Defund ACORN

Over the last week FOX news has shown several video's of stings done at various ACORN offices around the country which show ACORN employees advising a fake pimp & hooker how to avoid prosecution, how to evade paying taxes, and how to commit other crimes. Since the the Senate voted to cut off funding the vote fraud arm of the Democrat party. Today, the House likewise voted to defund ACORN. Amazingly, 75 Democrats actually voted against the idea of halting government funding. Here is a link to the vote breakdown. My congressman voted correctly. Did yours? If your congressman voted incorrectly call him/her and ask if they approve of the actions of ACORN.

Separately, this should not have been necessary. ACORN should not have been receiving any government funds to start with. We would easily balance the budget if the federal government only did things (or only funded things) they are supposed to do.

UPDATE: Several people (including some I tend to trust) have said this is a shell game. Senate voted to de-fund ACORN in bill regarding housing and the House made the motion in a bill tied to student loans. In other words, it is just for show and not likely to make it through the conference process. They are faking concern while it is in the news and once the heat is off the money will continue to flow. The Democrats do not want to go into the next election cycle without ACORN's assistance with vote fraud.

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Today's Stupid Political Column

We get today's stupid political column from Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun-Times. Her first sentence is enough reason not to read the rest, but click this link if the first sentence isn't enough stupid for your daily diet.
Say what you will, but former president Jimmy Carter is too old to lie.
So, Ms. Mitchell at what age did Carter stop lying? He is 85 now. Did he stop lying after he turned 80? Did he stop lying in his 70's? BS! A person at 85 has the same character they had at 50 or 60 years of age. If someone is a thief at 50 they don't magically become trustworthy as they age. They may not have the strength or energy to commit crime anymore, but barring an epiphany or major change of heart they are the same as they were when younger.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Breaking News: WWE's CEO McMahon Resigns to Pursue Run for U.S. Senate

The Chief Executive Officer of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Linda McMahon resigned in order to run for the U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut currently held by the astoundingly corrupt Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT). I'm no fan of fake TV wrestling and would normally dismiss this as a joke. However, a closer look yields a different result. While on the surface her company is TV wrestling, it is actually much more. She and her husband Vince developed the company from just being TV wrestling to a global entertainment powerhouse that makes movies and is selling hundreds of millions of dollars of merchandise annually. WWE has been a strong company despite the economic turmoil of the last year. They return value to their investors with a consistent dividend.

I wish her luck as it is never easy unseating an incumbent. Dodd's shady dealings with Countrywide and other various ethical problems make him appear vulnerable, but he is still a several term incumbent and Democrats in the northeast have shown themselves to be awfully forgiving of misbehavior (remember Ted Kennedy was reelected 7 times after Chappaquidick). Separately, just because she is running as a Republican, don't assume that means she is conservative since the two words are not interchangeable. Her past financial contributions to candidates reflect that she has donated almost equally to Democrats and Republicans. Interestingly, she donated to former congressman and current White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's campaigns multiple times.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jimmy Carter Lowers the Bar

Obviously concerned about the probability of being undertaken by Barack Obama for the position of worst president ever, Jimmy Carter decided to remind people of what a despicable failure he was as president and since then as an annoying, anti-semetic, moronic ex-president.
Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst to President Barack Obama during a speech to Congress last week was an act "based on racism" and rooted in fears of a black president. "I think it's based on racism," Carter said at a town hall held at his presidential center in Atlanta.
Nice. A former president actually can read Congressman Wilson's mind and knows he called Obama a liar because he is black and not just because he was lying. Amazing.

What makes Carter's attempts even more pathetic is despite his efforts he still was not as bad a president as James Buchanan. Not for lack of effort, but for lack of opportunity. The strife between free states and slave states gave Buchanan a greater chance to be the worst ever. And Buchanan made the most of that opportunity.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Kanye West Don't Like White People

The title of this post is a play on Kanye West's moronic comment in 2005 that President Bush "Don't Like Black People" because he failed to control the weather. The cause to bring this up now is West jumped on the stage at some pissant music video awards show and grabbed the microphone to complain about a white singer (Taylor Swift) winning an award that he thought should go to a black singer (Beyonce).
The rapper rushed the stage while the 19-year-old country singer accepted an award for her song You Belong With Me, telling the audience that Beyonce should have won for her video Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).
Read the reactions of other performers at the event near the end of the article linked here. Pink (who ever she is) had the most accurate observation. However, this blogs rules on profanity preclude quoting her so click the link for a laugh.

Hopefully, West's fifteen minutes are about up and he can just go away.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Sad State of British Cooking

This headline doesn't reflect well on British cooking.
Half of Brits injured by biscuits

More than half of all Britons have been injured by biscuits, according to a new survey. Injuries range from being scalded by hot tea or coffee while dunking to breaking a tooth while eating biscuits, reports the Daily Telegraph.

A little advice, paraphrasing the Hippocratic oath; First do no harm.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Breach of Decorum or a Necessary Response to a Pack of Lies

Last night President Obama addressed congress in a nationally televised speech in order to pitch his plan for the government to take over health care. During the speech, Rep. Joe Wilson * (R-SC) couldn't take the level of dishonesty displayed by the president and yelled out "You lie" after Obama lied in claiming his plan would not include health coverage for illegal aliens.

The easy response to this is to say that obviously the congressman was out of line. In fact, Wilson as much as admitted so in his apology. No matter who is president some in the audience will disagree with his positions. It was wrong for Sen. Ted Kennedy to be shaking his head saying "no, no, no" when President Bush was addressing congress regarding the situation in Iraq.

However, the nature of this presidents style make the desire to respond understandable. During his speech, Obama made many comments basically accusing opponents of government controlled health care of dishonesty. I hope Wilson was not the only representative that was incensed by Obama's comments.

Bottom line: While the desire to immediately respond to Obama's lies is understandable, acting on that desire is inappropriate. Wilson would have been better served by holding a press conference refuting Obama's accusations point by point. Leave the immaturity to the Democrats. Not only is it the right thing to respect the office of the presidency (regardless of the occupant), but the fact remains that while the press will give a pass to Democrats over poor decorum you can be sure that a lack of civility by a Republican will be quickly reported and denounced.

For clarification, this congressman is not Lying Joe Wilson. I assume they are not even related.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sen. Franken is Not Completely Useless!

It is important to notice when someone surprises you especially when it is someone you hold in very low regard. And there are few politicians who I hold in lower regard that Sen. Al Franken (D-MINN). Despite my disdain for his personal actions and my disagreement with his political positions, I have to admit I was really impressed with one of his talents - drawing. Check out this youtube video.

Don't get me wrong, the people in Minnesota seriously screwed up and he shouldn't be a U.S. senator, but he is not completely useless. With that kind of talent he should be working in a traveling carnival. I am honest enough to admit I couldn't draw the states anywhere near as well.


Clearest Argument Against Rushing Health Care "Reform"

The clearest and strongest argument against rushing into a massive government overhaul and takeover of the health care industry is a look at the only possible explanation of why there is a rush to pass legislation but a delay to implement the legislation. Thomas Sowell provides that explanation in his column today. Read the whole thing here. Here is the meat of the article:
One plain fact should outweigh all the words of Barack Obama and all the impressive trappings of the setting in which he says them: He tried to rush Congress into passing a massive government takeover of the nation's medical care before the August recess-- for a program that would not take effect until 2013!

Whatever President Obama is, he is not stupid. If the urgency to pass the medical care legislation was to deal with a problem immediately, then why postpone the date when the legislation goes into effect for years -- more specifically, until the year after the next Presidential election?
Only a fool wouldn't understand that he wants to be able to campaign on fixing health care (which isn't broke by the way) without being accountable to the results of his fix. His rhetoric can convince some fools that they'll like it prior to them living (or dying) with it. The obvious concern is that after it is implemented there will be various problems that will make for useful campaign fodder.

I don't think he needs to be all that worried. The worst effects won't be realized for several years. The problems with a single payer system will get progressively worse with time. Two biggest problems that will develop in time are quickly escalating costs and the death of research and development by the medical industry (pharmaceutical, etc) as the profit incentive is damaged.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hide Your Wallets

Congress is back from summer recess. That can't be good for any of us.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Van Jones Resigns - Does it Matter?

Last night, in the middle of the night, racist, anti-American, pro-cop killer, avowed Communist Van Jones resigned as the Obama administration's Green Jobs Czar. So what? I can't get excited about this news for a couple reasons:

1. He's just one of many ill-considered appointees. I know the old lawyer joke "What do you call a bus of lawyers going off a cliff? A good start." However, that's small consolation.

2. More importantly, his replacement will be chosen by the same fools who selected him. Keep in mind he was hired either by someone too incompetent to do a Google search or someone who knew what a loon he is and didn't care.

One positive to come from Van Jones' appointment is it should cause congress to more aggressively look at the whole business of appointing all these czar's. What is the pay level for a czar? What are the qualifications necessary to be a czar? What authority does a czar have?

Lastly, consider how a similarly disgusting appointee by a Republican president would have been covered by our media. If we had an honest and unbiased media President Obama would face constant questioning about why this character wasn't properly vetted or why he was hired if he was actually vetted.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Embarrassingly funny

I was talking to my friend Dave yesterday and he told me about him, his wife and another couple going out for dinner recently. When they were ordering, the other guy complimented the waitress on her nose ring stud. The waitress responded by politely explaining that it was a mole. Oops, almost as bad as asking a woman when she is due and finding out she's not pregnant.

I hope they tipped well.

Blount Suspended for Season! Overreaction?

Yesterday Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount responded to taunting from an opposing player by punching the guy. Today, the school suspended him the rest of the season. Blount was considered one of the top running backs coming out of college next year. Now, he will fortunate to be drafted at all.

I don't condone Blount's actions. He sucker punched an opponent and completely lost control. However, I do think the punishment on face value seems excessive. He may very well have had other in house infractions and this was just final straw. I don't know. It appears that the offense was magnified by the fact that it happened in a national game to kick off the college football season. If this happened on a Saturday afternoon in October when a hundred other games were being covered by ESPN I have to think he would have faced a much lighter punishment. Timing is important.

Regardless of whether it is an appropriate punishment, it definitely serves as a cautionary tale for all young athletes. Actions have consequences. Maintain control.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Random Thoughts and Links

70 years ago today German tanks started rolling into Poland starting what would come to be called World War II and result in the loss of over 50 million lives.

Remember Jim Traficant? He was a crazy & corrupt congressman from Youngstown, Ohio. Well, Traficant is getting out of prison tomorrow and the fine upstanding citizens of Youngstown are preparing to hold a welcome home party with a recommendation that people attending wear his trade mark denim jacket and bell bottom pants. No, seriously. I'm not sure if he will run for office again, but I don't doubt that folks in that area would still vote for him again.

Here is an interesting headline: After 35 years, next Atlanta mayor could be white. Is it newsworthy when a city might elect a white mayor? If the city is Atlanta then the answer is yes.

So, Ted Kennedy got a full blown televised funeral in a Catholic church. Huh? That kind of sends a message that there is a double standard. If you're not well off and break from the church you get excommunicated. If you're rich, high and mighty you can openly flaunt and defy church teaching and it's no biggie as long as you keep stroking checks every so often. Speaking of Ted Kennedy, here is a link to the dumbest thing said in the days that followed his passing.

Byron York muses that The clock is ticking on tax cheat Charlie Rangel. Sounds nice, but don't believe it. Sure, the evidence is mounting that Rangel has been cheating on his taxes for many years. Sure, he is one of the more obnoxious members of Congress and should have been kicked to the curb long ago. However, none of that matters. Unless convicted and sent to prison he is in no danger of losing his seat in congress. Heck, since he is a Democrat and they have no shame he isn't even in danger of losing the powerful chairmanship of the Ways and Means committee in the House which incidentally writes the tax code.

Sports musings:
Allegations of cheating at Michigan football. I'll openly admit to an anti-Michigan bias, but I have a hard time getting worked up about these allegations. Basically, some players told reporters that they routinely have to work more hours than is allowed by NCAA rules. My problem is the NCAA rules are ridiculous and I imagine athletes at many school exceed the maximum hours. Now of course, Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez is emphatically denying the allegations. However, as Don Surber reminds us Rodriguez also emphatically denied the rumors that he would leave West Virginia so maybe his credibility is lacking.

Browns coach Eric Mangini has yet to name a starting quarterback. Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn? Personally, I'd go with Quinn as he seems more accurate and has better touch on the short passes. I'm guessing Mangini will go with Anderson because he is the better deep threat. Acknowledging that we've only seen him in exhibition games, rookie running back James Davis looks like he was a steal in the 6th round of the draft.

White Sox traded designated hitter Jim Thome to the Dodgers who play in a league without the DH. Huh? Thome hasn't played first base in four years and has recurring back problems. Makes for a pretty expensive pinch hitter.

Betting/stock advice: Take Ohio State minus the points against Navy. Might be close early, but will get ugly (at least three touchdown difference). Then take your winnings and buy local behemoth Proctor & Gamble. Market has steamrolled higher the last six months and yet P&G is actually down 14% on the year. Anything as big as P&G won't move fast, but look for 20 to 30% climb over the next year. It is currently trading around $53. If it gets anywhere near the March lows ($43) then load up and enjoy the dividends while waiting for it to return to $70. Do your own research and remember that if you follow my advice (or anyone else's) you could lose money.


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