The 'S' Word

As Forrest Gump's mama might say, "Socialism is as socialism does." And I would agree with her, if she ever said that.

For Americans in 2010, who is or is not a socialist is less important than the policies a person is advocating. Take our president (please). What he is is less important that what he is doing, or trying to do. So, I haven't been big on calling Obama a socialist, or using the word flippantly.

That being said, this interview is an eye-opener. Stanley Kurtz has written a new book called "Radical-In-Chief" about Barack Obama. Here is what he says about his journey in writing this new book:

"I traveled all around the country doing what scholars do when they want to write a biography of a president or any other important individual. They go into the archives of the organizations that these people worked with, are connected to, find out what the ideology, what the feel of things was among those intellectual environs. And that's what I've done with Barack Obama. And to my shock, as I began this process of searching through the archives, I was forced to a conclusion that even I had not been inclined to make, and that is Barack Obama really is a socialist."

And he tells you why he thinks so, based on what Obama has said and done, not on some bias or preconceptions. You may wish to read the whole interview.


Get All Excited

I am so geeked up about the coming week that I just about can't see straight. I don't usually feel like this unless Christmas is the next day or I'm going on a trip. I always get pumped for a road trip and, by the way, I'm headed to Tulsa in a few weeks. But that's not why I'm excited. At least not today.

Two reasons to be excited if you are me. Missouri football and mid-term elections. By themselves maybe, not so much excitement, but in context - we are off the charts pumped.

You may have noticed the results of the Missouri game over the weekend. The game where Mizzou whalloped the Oklahoma Sooners (formerly No. 1) for the first time in many years and for only the 5th time in many, many more. As a result, Missouri has moved up to 6th in BCS poll and is only one of a few unbeaten teams at 7-0. The Tigers will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska Saturday for a game with the 'Huskers, or, Bugeaters, as they were formerly known. If Missouri can win there, a big if, they would have a leg up on winning the Big 12 North and a clear shot at going undefeated going into the Big 12 title game. And, the team's performance thus far shows them to be the prohibitive favorite in the conference. But only if they win Saturday. And it won't be easy.

And I'm excited about the vote on Tuesday. I believe it will be a wave election of historic proportions. The Republicans are poised to reclaim the majority in the House and have an outside shot at reclaiming the Senate. Most expert poll-watchers believe the GOP will not only win the 40 seats needed to gain the House, but will take more like 50 or 60. One or two that I have read say they've never seen an election with these kind of factors before and it may be impossible to put a lid on what to expect. In other words, the gain of seats could go even higher. Much higher.

I hope so, for the country's sake. We cannot abide the size and fiscal insanity of the current track we're on.


What About Tony?

Update: I didn't even get this posted (I wrote it this morning, but had to wait til the afternoon to post) before things changed, which I feared would happen. It appears from ESPN that LaRussa and the Cardinals are working things out. If so, my hunch, below, was wrong.

Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa is in the midst of his, now regular, re-evaluation process concerning whether he wishes to return for another season in the St. Louis dugout. Most observers believe he will, but count me among the unsure.

A month ago, I was certain that Tony was done. I don't remember what he said or how he said it, but something about some comments he made caused me to think it was his last go around. Since then, I've heard all the commentators say they believe he'll return and I, more or less, acquiesced to the conventional wisdom.

But I'm back on the doubting side now. Here's this from a chat by Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch. A question asked was:

"Did you expect TLR to have made his decision by now?"

Strauss' reply:

"There are those within the organization increasingly concerned TLR is preparing to bolt. I'm not there yet."

And today, the Post-Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz made a list, all speculative, of reasons Tony may be hesitant to make a decision. Maybe he's tired, or maybe it's the organizational changes or maybe he's waiting to see if someone comes calling for his services. Whatever it is, Miklasz' overriding point is that it's taking an awfully long time to make a decision that he could have begun to process when it became apparent the Cards weren't going to the postseason, which was mid-August.

So, I've come back to where I was about 6 weeks ago.

I think Tony is done.


The Penurious Pirates

See, all along, you thought the Pirates were in Pittsburgh. But no. The Pirates are from some place called penurious. You doubt me? I have proof. From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in an article outlining the management changes of baseball clubs since the season ended:

"John Russell was booted by the penurious Pirates after 299 defeats in three seasons, which extended the woebegone franchise's consecutive losing years to a major league record 18."

The Penurious Pirates. As plain as day. Penurious must be in Minnesota and I say that for two reasons.

First, as odd as it is for a common sports article to whoop out the word 'penurious', the paper in Minneapolis' sister city, St. Paul, used the same word shortly thereafter. From the Pioneer-Press:

"For years these have been the lovable, do-no-wrong Twins who persevered despite a penurious owner, pathetic payroll and abominable stadium."

So the Pirates and the owner of the Minnesota Twins are from penurious.

Second, the Pirates were also called the 'woebegone franchise'. This must be the same part of the country that Minnesotan Garrison Keillor is always telling tales about.

So, the Pirates are from penurious, which is in Minnesota and this is why they play ball in the NL Central and not the East.

Class dismissed.