Sunday, October 29, 2006

How quaint

Remember when it was this easy?

Democrats enter the final week of the fight for Congress with a commanding edge over Republicans, who hope a strong voter turnout effort and shift in focus away from Iraq can limit their losses.

Recent polls show that growing Democratic momentum, fed by strong dissatisfaction with President George W. Bush's leadership and the war in Iraq, threatens Republican power in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

The public's thirst for change in Washington has Republicans pondering how bad things will be in the November 7 election and calculating whether they can stop Democrats from picking up the 15 House and six Senate seats needed to claim majorities.

"This is the most challenging environment for Republicans since the Watergate year of 1974," said Republican political consultant Whit Ayres, referring to the loss of 48 House seats after the resignation of disgraced Republican President Richard Nixon.
Yeah, but ...

Do you think these election analysts will act all surprised when the GOP maintains control of both the House and Senate thanks to some very questionable election results around the country? It's a ballsy analyst who says, "Basically, Diebold has made election analysis as quaint as the Geneva Conventions."

It's simple, really: The means to manipulate the results of an election exist, and only FOX News would still debate that fact with a straight face. With all their crimes and all the investigations Republicans would face -- actual, not pretend investigations -- there is no frigging way the GOP will chance something as risky as an untainted election when their grip on power is at stake.

Couple that with the very real possibility that Duh-bya would face impeachment if Democrats become the majority party in Congress, sending the Republican party into death spiral it hasn't seen since Nixon (what second-rate Hollywood actor would rescue the party this time?), and you see how foolish it is to analyze this election using traditional methods. The only question that matters is "How are they going to steal this one?" After all, if these people don't feel the Constitution applies to them, why would they feel compelled to obey the will of the people?

Ironically, the only thing we can do about it short of an all-out revolution is VOTE. If we do nothing, stealing elections becomes easier. If we have overwhelming numbers, then their cheating becomes too obvious to ignore.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tigers win!

And so begins the dismantling of the empire.

Yankees manager Joe Torre likely will be fired and replaced by Lou Piniella following another early exit from the playoffs, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

According to sources the Daily News did not identify, Torre is expected to be fired unless he resigns first -- or team officials can talk owner George Steinbrenner out of making the move.
ESPN's graphic last night that showed the Stinkins have spent nearly $1 billion on players since 2001 couldn't have helped Torre's job security. But with a year left on his contract, Torre has 7 million reasons not to resign.

From a Sox fan's perspective, the potential hiring of Piniella is pure genius, right up there with the Washington Redskins' hiring of Steve Spurrier and the Dallas Cowboys' hiring of Dave Campo.

After more than a decade under Torre's calm, measured leadership, a powderkeg like Piniella might be exactly what Sox fans are looking for: More distractions for the Stinkins and a complete upending of their clubhouse that will chase away stars accustomed to life under Torre. Despite the intense scrutiny of owner George Steinbrenner and the New York media, Torre provided a relatively peaceful existence for the Stinkins, and Piniella's water-cooler destroying, relief-pitcher fighting, second-base throwing, umpire-terrorizing act is unlikely to fly.

Torre managed to last 11 seasons with Steinbrenner, an unprecedented period of stability under the Boss. Stability is not a cornerstone of Piniella's reputation. If the team doesn't win immediately, the revolving door may be re-installed on the Stinkins' manager's office.

Piniella has been successful with established stars, but hasn't done jack shit with young players. He won the World Series in 1990 with the Cincinnati Reds, a team that boasted players like Eric Davis, Barry Larkin and Randy Myers. He won 116 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2001, but that team included John Olerud, Bret Boone (and his highly suspicious 37 home runs), Ichiro, Edgar Martinez, Freddy Garcia, Jamie Moyer and Aaron Sele. But in each of his three seasons in Tampa Bay, the team lost more than 90 games.

Another reason to support Piniella's hiring: It will get him out of the broadcast booth.

With question marks surrounding several key veterans, most notably Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield, and players like Johnny Damon, Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina being a year older, this team needs to get young in a hurry. And now the owner is poised to hand the team over to a manager who doesn't succeed with young players.


Of course, young players are not what the Stinkins build on. Despite the occasional Robinson Cano, this team builds its roster through free agency. And the team will have to continue to sign every marquee player in the league for sweet Lou to be successful.