Friday, August 31, 2007

Dawgs vs. Cowpokes 'Tween the Hedges, Plus Predictions

It's time! It's time! Every August goes by so slowly, as if it knows that it's about to yield to the very best time of year. I know we have another month of summer. But when fall collides with college football, it just doesn't get any better than that. Especially if you're a University of Georgia fan. There is no more beautiful campus during the fall than the UGA campus in Athens. And when the red n' black assemble, there is no greater spectacle than to stand from Sanford Bridge and peer down onto the lush emerald green grass and let your eyes wander through 93,000 of your closest friends.

When the 2000 Sudler Trophy winning Redcoat Band takes the field and plays the "Battle Hymn," "Hail to Georgia," and "Glory, Glory," my heart will be pumping! Hopefully the Dawgs can take advantage of a late season surge that saw UGA become the only team in the country to defeat 3 consecutive ranked teams: Auburn, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech to finish 9-4. UGA remains one of the top 8 winningest programs in the country this decade.

The 2007 season brings us a new opponent right away. The Big 12's Oklahoma State Cowboys venture into SEC country to take on the Dawgs. UGA will return the favor in Stillwater, OK in 2009. However, this isn't our first meeting. UGA defeated the Cowboys in Athens, and then again in Stillwater back in the 1940's. But what happened 60 years ago will have very little to do with what happens on Saturday. OSU defeated Nebraska last year and gave their archrivals, the Sooners, a scare. Then they went to the Independence Bowl and defeated Alabama in a shootout. So we know these boys can play.

As usual, many of the national know-it-alls have predicted OSU to win in an upset. Much like they did against Clemson in 2003 (UGA 30 Clemson 0), South Carolina in 2004 (UGA 20 SC 16), and Boise State in 2005 (UGA 48 BSU 13). I'd say Richt's Dawgs enjoy proving the "experts" wrong.

Assorted rivals have been telling me all summer that UGA is going to start the year 0-2. Not an intelligent bunch, I know. But consider the schools involved. Almost all of them wear the unmanly color of orange. And, of course, the Gamecocks think UGA has lost too much for us to beat them. But that's what they say every August. How many years have we beaten them in a row now? 5? Who knows? Maybe this year will be their time to crow.

In other words, all they naysayers are the same cast of characters that have predicted UGA to falter every year since 2002. Oh well, I suppose if you keep predicting it every year, you'll get your wish someday. :-)

UGA, with all of its youth, needs to just weather the storm against Oklahoma State and South Carolina in the first 2 weeks. It doesn't have to be impressive, and doesn't have to be pretty. We just need to win those 2 games. By the time the Dawgs head into Tuscaloosa to take on the Tide in late September, we should be in better shape.

I think we'll have to win it in a shootout with the Cowboys as the young guys on defense get adjusted to their roles. So I'll go with UGA 34 OSU 24.



Here's a few 2007 season predictions:

The FSU/Clemson game could go either way Monday night. But even though they're both in the same ACC division, I don't think the winner of the game will automatically win it. Look for the Noles to improve with big time additions to their coaching staff. They still have Weatherford as the QB, which I don't know if that's a good thing. But the bottom line is the OL has to be able to block better. And they need to be able to run the ball to ease the pressure on whoever the QB is. I think we'll see them start to look like the FSU of old this year.

But I like Clemson (one of my favorite places to tailgate) to win the game. They're tough at "Death Valley" and have had a lot of recent success against the Noles. Their problem is that they can't finish a season the way they start it. Or at least that's the book on Clemson in recent years. I'll guess that Clemson will win the game, but the Noles will win the war.

Look out for Tech - yes, that's Georgia Tech - in the other division of the ACC. Our rivals don't get enough respect. Tenuta's defense is always good. And now the Tech offense has a QB capable of being a leader. Add that to RB Choice and the Tech offense could be dangerous. With that being said, look for Virginia Tech to avenge themselves vs. the Jackets and win the division. VT should win the whole conference. But if it's the Noles they're facing in Jacksonville, they seem to have a mental block against the team from Tallahassee.

Even though LSU struggled on offense a bit last night, VT will lose in Baton Rouge next week. And that will put LSU in the perfect position to earn a spot in the BCS national title game in January. That is, if they don't stumble somewhere. You never know in the SEC. And now that Saban is hanging his hat in Tuscaloosa, LSU vs. Alabama has taken on a whole new level of intensity. The Tigers are the SEC west favorite and I do think they'll hold off Bama and Auburn to win it.

The east is not so easy to predict. The big 3 - Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee all have some major question marks on defense. UGA has the added problem of an almost entirely new OL. Meanwhile, Florida has to hope that Tim Tebow can live up to all of the hype. But, lucky for him, he has all kinds of talent on offense around him. And finally, the Vols have the advantage of sporting a senior QB. As we've seen in the past, OC Cutcliffe can do wonders with QB's. But the question is can Ainge stay healthy? On the eve of the Vols' battle with Cal this Saturday, the main storyline is that Ainge is, once again, injured. With him, I think the Vols will win the east almost by leadership default. But without him, they'll fall apart as they did late last year. That could open the door for UGA, provided we restore order in Jacksonville. I know, I know..........Whoever wins the east, I don't like their chances vs. LSU. I'll go with the Ti-gaaahs as the SEC champs.

Other champs:

Big 10: Michigan
Big East: West Virginia
Big 12: Oklahoma
Pac 10: USC

BCS Title Game: USC vs. LSU

Monday, August 27, 2007

From the Blogroll: "Edwards is en fuego," Brzezinski Endorses Obama, Hillary Still Thinks She's the Best

As I perused my blogroll this morning, a few items caught my eye. First of all, Amy, who recently returned from a trip to Iowa stumping for John Edwards, is all smiles after this AlterNet article on John Edwards' rebuke of "Corporate Democrats." I've been very happy with Edwards' support of labor, and his criticism of some of his fellow Dems for walking the same corporate plank that we criticize the Republicans for using.

She also reminds us that Edwards will be here in Georgia Aug. 29th on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus. Also in attendence will be former President Jimmy Carter.

Remember all of the hubub surrounding Howard Dean's 2004 trip to Plains to attend church services with the Carters? It was said to be an unofficial endorsement of Dean. And it is true that Chip Carter worked in the Dean campaign. Could this be a signal from the Carters? I don't know if that's the intention or not. But I do know that they will not endorse who is quietly known to be their least favorite presidential contender.

Meanwhile, Christopher blogged about some good news from the Obama camp. President Carter's National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, picks Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. Brzezinski says that for all of Clinton's so called "experience," Obama has a "better global grasp"than Hillary.

Clinton, who seemingly believes in the Bush administration's failed diplomatic policy of not talking to our enemies, has criticized Obama for his lack of experience and for being "irresponsible" in some of his comments about who to negotiate with, and about hypothetical foreign policy situations in Pakistan. Seems as though Brzezinski feels it's Hillary who is mistaken saying, "Being a former First Lady does not prepare you for being president.........."

And finally, Sid blogged about Hillary's controversial comments about Republicans and a potential terrorist attack before Nov. 2008. While I don't totally disagree with what she is saying, she says, once again, that she would be "the best" at dealing with Republicans in that situation.

Earlier, Hillary told us that she's the Democrat to look to when trying to fight Republican dirty tricks. After all, she and her husband were the principle targets of many of them in the 1992 presidential election and during the Clinton administration itself.

But what really disappoints me about Hillary and her claims about "dealing with the Republicans" is that she herself has moved so far to the right that she almost looks like a Republican. Over the course of her senatorial career, she's drawn wide praise from Republicans for her help in getting many of their bills passed. While I'm all for a spirit of bipartisanship when it's warranted, Hillary's crossed that proverbial centrist line too many times on several issues important to me.

Trying to make yourself look more like a Republican isn't what I call "dealing with Republicans." It's called joining them.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Progressive Daily Beacon: The DLC and their "Perfect Tempest"

From the Progressive Daily Beacon:

"The consultants and right-wing DLC have convinced Congressional Democrats that they shouldn't aggressively confront Mister Bush's failed Iraq War or move forward with impeachment proceedings. The Democrats have foolishly heeded this outrageous advice and as a result, they have lost the support of their Progressive and Liberal base and, too, a growing number of Independent voters. The latest polling placed Congressional approval at an all-time-low --- 18 percent."


"The big problem, however, is that Congressional Democrats, the
consultants and the extremist DLC haven't merely isolated the Party's base; they've lost them for years to come. True enough, Hillary Clinton will, without significant support from the base, become the Party's Presidential nominee. But how will she win a general election without support from the Party's base? She can't and she won't. So, in the end, the consultants and DLC will have gotten what they wanted, but it'll be the Democratic Party that pays the price.

Here is the devastating flaw in the consultant class and Republican-like DLC's plan: In November 2008, the Democratic Party's base will
stay home. That likelihood will probably result in the Democrats losing control of Congress. Even if they should somehow manage to hold onto the House, the Democratic majority will be too small and prove useless. Still, regardless of the Congressional outcome, Hillary will be defeated by the eventual Republican candidate. Hillary and the Democrats are going to get hit with a double whammy: The Progressive and Liberal base won't be going to the polls and, sweet irony, soon as Clinton is made the Democratic Party's nominee, the Republican evangelical base will be whipped into a rabid frenzy."

I shamelessly c&p'd half of the article. But you should read the whole thing. Considering the general dissatisfaction with the DLC and it's performance, it makes sense. And I think it explains a lot of problems troubling the Democratic Party.

Think we don't have problems? We had an election stolen from us in 2000. We lost in 2004. We swept both the House and the Senate in 2006, yet those bodies have even lower approval ratings than a lame-duck, proven wrong, jackass in elephant's clothing president. And once again, we seem to be following the familiar path to defeat laid for us by the DLC.

Considering the dismal performance of the Bush administration, we should be upbeat and on top of this thing. But first we've got some housekeeping to do before the primaries.

Scottsdale, AZ Prefers Al Gore Too

Christopher spotted this blurb about a poll of Scottsdale, AZ Democrats. Last week, the majority of 400 Michigan Dems polled said that they wanted Al Gore as their nominee in 2008, 36% to 33% over Hillary Clinton. Scottsdale Dems like Gore even more and Hillary even less - 51% to 14%.

Should I or anyone else really put a lot of stock in these hypothetical polls? I don't know. Hypotheticals sometimes produce different results from real situationsl. But Christopher suspects that it reveals a "weak-as-water" level of support for our current front runner. I think he's right, and that's bad news. Not only is it bad news for Democratic presidential hopes in Nov. of 2008. It's also bad news for Democratic hopes to keep their majorities in the House and Senate. We already know that a Hillary nomination for POTUS will all but kill hopes for electing more Democrats in Georgia and other red states. Hello another term for Saxby. :-(

But I think these two polls do have some significance in one sense. States like Michigan and Arizona aren't necessarily blue states or red states. They are true battleground states. They are potential swing states for one party or the other. If likely Democrat voters in states like Michigan and Arizona are not crazy about Hillary, don't expect the majority of voters who probably claim to be Independents in those states to vote for her in a general election.

I know, I's early. Lots can still happen with any number of Democratic and/or Republican candidates. I'm just sayin'......................

Sino-Russian Empire?

Even though our last three presidents have called Russia and China "friends" of the U.S., I'm glad that others are paying more attention. I don't necessarily feel compelled to label either nation as an "enemy" of the U.S. per se. But I hope it was just the vodka talking when Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2 professed nothing but love and honorable intentions from those two former enemies of each other turned allies.

As we seem to have trouble sorting through the murkiness of post Cold War relations with certain nations, Bush 2 hasn't exactly made us the great "nation-citizen of the world" that most of us would like to see. That's why the selection of our next president may be of extreme importance in how the rest of the world views us for decades to come. Either we're still a major player and a nation for others to turn to, or Russia and China (particularly China) will continue to position themselves as our replacements.

It's true that the Russia of Vladimir Putin is not the Soviet Union of Brezhnev or even of Gorbachev. Back then, the Soviets were a known entity. However, Putin seems to enjoy popularity at home and credibility around the world despite rumblings of what's going on inside Russia herself. We're still not far removed from the poisoning of an ex Russian spy and critic of the Putin regime that's soured British and Russian relations. And now that former chess star Garry Kasparov is being harrassed by police and government officials because he's challenging Putin. If that's not enough, Putin has told Russian history teachers to gloss over the crimes and legacy of Joseph Stalin and make a hero out of him.

Then there's China. It's not every day that a general from a nation regarded as a "friend" threatens a nuclear strike against the United States. "Friends" also don't send tainted goods to be consumed and then warn the media not to make a big deal out it. And yet, somehow, Bush 2 has managed to bungle Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and his entire foreign policy so badly that a signficant part of Europe and the rest of the world now are looking at China (a nation where human, animal, and environmental rights violations are atrocious) as a reasonable voice.

I have criticized China a lot in the past. I don't even want to go to the Olympics in Beijing next year, fearing the Chinese will use them for propaganda purposes just as Hitler did in Berlin in 1936. But I don't criticize the Chinese government as much as I want because we, ourselves, have been so poorly led. After six and a half years of Bush 2, I feel almost hypocrtitical for critizing any other nation too much on most anything.

This is not an attack on the people of Russia or China. Those two nations are home to citizens that have made wonderful contributions to world history in all sorts of areas of knowledge and art. I, too, want to live in peace and harmony with those people and the rest of the world.

But we've created such an economic and diplomatic mess in our own back yard, that I'm afraid we aren't perceived to be as great as we once were. And I don't think it's wise to lose track of the fact that other nations, like Russia and China, have noticed this too.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Take this Job and Ship it"

Last year, North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan wrote a book about the outsourcing of American jobs to sweatshops in foreign countries. Take this Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America, takes a look into how average Americans have been weaseled out of their jobs, and how we've been cheated out of tax revenue from the more than profitable corporations, who are working with certain politicians very hard against the American middle class. Trade surpluses to trade deficits, good manufacturing jobs being sent to China for 20 cents per hour wages, and phony tax haven Caymen Island offices are all discussed in this book.

Just the other day, Basham and Cornell interviewed Sen. Dorgan and discussed his book. If you'd like listen to the interview, press this. You can scan to the middle for the Dorgan interview.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Michigan prefers Al Gore is all abuzz with a Detroit news poll of 400 likely Democrat and 400 likely Republican voters and their preference for our next POTUS. It revealed that Michiganders aren't completely happy with their choices for their respective party nominations for POTUS. 36% of the 400 voters likely to vote Democrat said they wanted Al Gore. Meanwhile, only 32% said they wanted frontrunner Hillary Clinton. And get this, he even led amongst women 36-33.

"Pollster Ed Sarpolus of EPIC-MRA said Gore and Thompson do well"because they have better name recognition and they are more well-liked."

"Michigan Democrats are more satisfied with their choices,but they still don't have a lot of love for Hillary or Obama. They do love Al Gore," Sarpolus said."

On the Republican side, Fred Thompson, who has yet to officially announce his candidacy, led the pack with 22% to Rudy Guiliani's 19%. Newt Gingrich picked up 15%, which was more than Mitt Romney's paltry 12%. Not that this is very important. I wouldn't recommend voting for any of those people.

Gore has said on several occasions that he would not be running for president in 2008. But he hasn't ruled out a return to politics. If he's listening to the over 200 "Draft Gore" groups that have sprung up around the country (Atlanta, Canton, Fayetteville, and Rome all have Gore groups) and the hundreds of thousands of signatures on "Draft Gore" petitions that have been sent to his office in Nashville, perhaps he can be persuaded to reconsider.

Amongst our current choices for the Democratic nomination, I like almost all of them in some way or another. I respect the knowledge and the resumes of Joe Biden and Bill Richardson, but both have faltered recently during forums. Dennis Kucinich probably best represents me and my views, but he has no chance. Barack Obama definitely has the makings of a political leader that I could follow. But he's someone that I would probably look to more in 2012 or 2016. And I supported John Edwards in 2004, and would not hesitate to do so again in 2008.

Obama and Edwards can't be written off yet. But Hillary seems to have things well under control. That spells trouble for the Democratic Party and for America in general. After all, I don't think we could take another 4 to 8 years of Republican "leadership." Likewise, I don't think America should be asked for another 4 to 8 years of the Bush-Clinton stranglehold on the Oval Office that has now lasted for 18 years. This country doesn't belong to them, and frankly deserves better.

If things stay as they are, about the only thing that could save us is if Al Gore entered the race in the fall. Forget about the poetic justice of righting the wrongs of 2000. That's in the past. I want this to be about our future.

For my .02 worth, I want someone that Democrats and Independents in both red states and blue states can rally around. Someone that Democrats running in red states wouldn't have to disassociate themselves from. And I want someone who isn't consumed with power and the drive to obtain more for personal gain. Hillary does not fit that bill. In fact, she's the exact opposite. However, Al Gore makes a much better fit. I guess it will come down to whether or not he wants to go through the nonsensical gauntlet that a presidential bid has become.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Why wasn't Hillary treated the same as Edwards at HRC?

I came across this from John R. Bohrer at Huffington Post today. At the HRC candidate forum last night, John Edwards was asked about a comment credited to him in Bob Shrum's book No Excuses. The comment Shrum says Edwards made was, "I'm not comfortable around those (gay) people." Edwards denied having ever made the comment.

But according to Bohrer, there's another gay rights tidbit in Shrum's book concerning the husband of another presidential candidate who was also in attendance at the forum. However, Mrs. Don't Ask Don't Tell was given a free pass. I wonder why?

Shrum's book alleges that President Clinton advised Senator John Kerry to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage during the 2004 election. Clinton's office denies that Clinton ever made this suggestion to John Kerry. But, of course, while president Clinton himself did sign the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). John Aravosis of AmericaBlog does a little investigating suggesting that it would be quite Clinton-esque for him to have advised Kerry to "throw gays under the bus." A charge that a senior spokesman in the Kerry Edwards campaign says is true according to Aravosis.

Considering that President Clinton is Hillary's top political advisor, why wasn't she asked about an allegation made from the very same book that John Edwards was questioned on? After all, this is someone who said last night that she thinks that states should decide questions of marriage.

As Christopher said, that's quite a scary thought that in 2007 we have the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for POTUS copping out by calling gay marriage an issue for individual states. Watching MSNBC last night, it was quite surprising to learn that even conservative talking head Tucker Carlson is more pro gay marriage than Hillary is. Folks, that's even scarier.

How shockingly unprogressive, even for Mrs. Don't Ask Don't Tell? No wonder Rupert Murdoch of Fox News loves her.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My girl? I don't think so

So last night at the AFL-CIO Democratic Candidate Forum, Hillary pounds her fists on her platform and declares, "I'm your girl!"

What an odd occasion for her to choose to make that declarative statement! The AFL-CIO? Mrs. NAFTA telling labor advocates that she's their girl?

The woman whose husband, as president, ushered in possibly the two most destructive pieces of legislation ever to the American middle class, NAFTA and WTO. Even the old goat from Texas told us we'd be hearing a "giant sucking noise" with good American industrial jobs going to sweatshops overseas. On this, he proved to be right.

NAFTA and WTO allowed corporations to, once again, give the middle finger to the heart and soul of its operations - their employees. Big business said these people made too much money and their unions were too difficult to deal with. It would be much easier and cost effective if they sent these jobs to countries where people can be bullied and threatened for a few pennies an hour. We also shouldn't forget another side affect, the substandard goods being sent to us by China. Yes indeed, what an odd time for Mrs. NAFTA to declare she's our girl.

But I also can't forget that this is also the same Hillary that "took on" the drug companies and healthcare industry in 1993 and 1994. You know, her highly public failure that was so costly to the Clinton administration that they clipped her wings, and all but banished her to the White House living quarters until after the 1996 election.

"Our girl" says she's still fighting drug companies and the healthcare industry. Yet, she's taking millions from them in campaign contributions. She says the right things about healthcare. It's just hard to know whether or not she actually means it. After all, when someone is stuffing millions of dollars into your pockets, it's a pretty safe bet that they'll want something in return. So is Hillary really going to be our girl? Or will she be doing the bidding of the many, many corporate donors that have given her such a cushy lead in money and the polls?

So, I'm sorry Mrs. NAFTA, Mrs. Corporate Calendar Girl,'re not my girl. Not now and not in Nov. of 2008. You may have all of this sewn up. But that doesn't mean I have to give you my vote.