"Klotz" As In "Blood"

A Testament to the Insidious Impact of Florida Sunshine on Brain Matter

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sucker Pitch

Filed under: Playing With Balls — Steve @ 12:10 pm

Yesterday it was Arte Moreno of the “Los Angeles” Angels.

I’ve felt we had a deal with them twice,” Moreno said of the Marlins, who apparently cut bait and decided they needed more in exchange for the 24-year-old slugger.

The door remains open to a Cabrera deal materializing with the Winter Meetings opening on Monday in Nashville, Tenn., but Moreno seemed frustrated with the negotiations with Florida. “They’re doing it to everybody. I read that the Dodgers’ [general manager] Ned Colletti had a deal, and they changed [players] on him.” — mlb.com

Even casual Marlins fans know that Cabrera’s time in south Florida is down to less than one full season. He’s worth far more than this team is willing to pay him. So why not unload him now, before he can escape into the free agency status he richly deserves, and get something back? And yet…

The second baseball executive in two days questioned the Marlins, saying their trade demands for All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera are unrealistic.

”I hate to speak to somebody else’s business, but you wonder if they really want to trade the player or if they absolutely, positively have to win the deal in such a one-sided fashion,” San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean said during a conference call Thursday with reporters. “Maybe they’re not going to get something done. I don’t know.” — Miami Hurled

When I call my contact in the Marlins’ front office — let’s just call him “Bats” — he’s bemused by the other owners’ reactions.

“What, they don’t know about this ownership group?” he asks rhetorically. “They don’t know these guys aren’t in it to win?”

miguelcabrera.jpgKeep going, Bats.

“Luria and that sawed-off schmuck Samson tell you every day that they gotta make money. They don’t care about building a team from the ground up, y’know, with a strong minor league organization, marketing plans with the region, commitment to win, nunna that crap for them. So they play games with people.”

I don’t get it. What game are they playing with Cabrera?

“It ain’t about Cabrera. They already know what they’re doing with him: keeping him until about the trading deadline to get the most out of him, bring in the fans, sell tickets. Then they wave the wand and he’s gone.

“The games right now are with the other teams. See what they’re willing to give up. See whose minor league talent they can raid. Put the pieces together for the rest of the year after the trade and the following year so they can patch together a bargain basement outfit just interesting enough to advertise, not good enough to contend for a championship, but definitely eligible for revenue sharing.”

Well, that sucks.

“Yeah, but that’s business. That’s what these slimeballs did in Montreal, and cost the city their team. Way they see it, the World Series ain’t as important as the revenue sharing check. They’re rather be wealthy than winners.”

If that’s true, why on earth would anybody want to be a Marlins fan?

“Ha! Look at the empty stands on game day. You find a fan, ask him yourself!”

I’m Innocent…..

Filed under: What A Wonderful World — Steve @ 11:12 am

…….but jealous.

Guinness-toucan-Posters.jpgDUBLIN, Ireland – Irish police were hunting for a beer bandit who stole 450 full kegs from the Guinness brewery , the largest heist ever at Ireland’s largest brewer.

National police said a lone man drove into the brewery, a Dublin landmark and top tourist attraction , on Wednesday and hitched his truck to a fully loaded trailer awaiting delivery to city pubs.

Each keg holds about 88 British-sized pints, the most common serving size in Ireland, equivalent to 20 ounces each. The total theft involves 39,600 pints with a retail value exceeding $235,000. Diageo PLC, the beverage company that owns Guinness, said the brewery had never suffered such a large-scale theft before in its 248-year history. — philly.com

…and 22% Think a Manila Folder is a Filipino Contortionist

Filed under: Etherea — Steve @ 8:44 am

“Ten percent of Americans think that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.”
Jim Shea, quoting a Time Magazine survey

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bloody Hell

Filed under: Etherea — Steve @ 8:16 am

Looks like the agency head had the blood flowing to the wrong one.

American Red Cross President Mark Everson was forced to resign today after six months on the job because he had a “personal relationship” with a female subordinate, the nonprofit disaster-relief organization said.

The Red Cross’s board “concluded that the situation reflected poor judgment on Mr. Everson’s part and diminished his ability to lead the organization in the future,” the Washington- based group said in a statement on its Web site. — Bloomberg.com

Along with the YMCA and The Salvation Army, Red Cross is — was — one of America’s s most respected, recognized, and prestigious charitable organization. It is the Steward of the Nation’s Blood Supply. Its representatives are world famous for their courage, compassion, and devotion to mission. And their president waves his willie where it doesn’t belong. Bill Clinton must be his mentor.

The Red Cross board brought this on themselves. Bear in mind that Everson’s previous position was Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. That’s right, the Tax Man. No previous real-world or non-profit experience even remotely connected to the Red Cross mission. Only connection I can see is that both have something to do with extracting blood. (That’s “blood” as in “clots.”) Who’s next–Dracula?

It’s just another misstep for an agency whose idea of self-defense is a circular firing squad:

Everson’s resignation is the latest turnover at the top of the embattled organization.

In December 2005, Marsha Evans resigned as president after the board expressed concerns about her management in the wake of Hurricane Katrina earlier that year. Bernadine Healy quit as CEO in October 2001 amid criticism of the distribution of proceeds from a fund set up for the families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Last year, the Red Cross was fined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for violating a 2003 agreement to ensure the safety of the nation’s blood supply.

Holy Heckuva job Brownie. Assuming there are survivors, Americans in the middle of this new century will look back and wonder, Can’t anybody here play this game? If the first 10 years of the 21st century aren’t known as the Decade of Incompetence, starting at the top, where every public and private institution was revealed as riddled with dunderheads and corroded by corruption, I fear even more for the future than I do for my own retirement.

Which ain’t happening any time soon unless I can sell my own blood.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

“Pearls Before Swine” Nails It

Filed under: Etherea — Steve @ 12:52 pm

PBS blogger.gif

Getting Elected = License to Steal

Filed under: News from the Nation's Dicktip — Steve @ 9:49 am

Would you risk $1,000 for a fifteen-fold gain?

Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin has agreed to pay $1,000 for violating state ethics laws when she voted on grant applications written by her husband.

In 2003, Wasserman-Rubin cast votes on land purchases based on grant applications that her husband, Richard Rubin, wrote for the town of Southwest Ranches. Ethics investigators say those votes resulted in a $15,000 bonus for Rubin. Florida law prohibits elected officials from voting on issues that will financially benefit themselves or an immediate relative.

Under the agreement with state ethics investigators, Wasserman-Rubin has agreed to pay the $1,000 fine, acknowledge that she should have abstained from the vote and be subject to a public reprimand.– Miami Hurled

Such a deal. Where’s the beef? What’s to keep Commissioner W-R (god I hate hyphenated surnames) from repeating her transgression — the threat of her and her money_bag.gifhubby netting “only” $14,000 on the transaction? Where’s the disincentive for anybody else in government similarly situated?

It’s not like this is about right and wrong. That’s laughable. It’s your basic political premise: you get your ass elected to make as much money as you can get away with. Most of the time you won’t even get caught anyway. But even if you do, your fate is in the hands of some dickless entity like “state ethics investigators” who in turn use their own authority to position themselves for future consideration.

I wonder if Rubin’s firm, pleased with the outcome, handed him an extra thou to make up for the fine.

It’s Christmas every day on the public payroll. You use your influence to distribute your ill-gotten gains to all your friends and family — you can even call them “charitable contributions” — and your generosity is returned to you tenfold. Or in this case, fourteen-fold.

And you still get correspondence addressed to “The Honorable.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When They Say It’s About the Money They Mean It’s About the Money

Filed under: Across the Fruited Plain — Steve @ 2:53 pm

Sadly, rumors connecting Trent Lott’s retirement announcement to a fling with a male escort have been scotched:

A San Antonio-based gay male escort categorically denied Monday that outgoing GOP Sen. Trent Lott had ever procured his services, putting to bed one of the more stunning rumors to emerge following Lott’s announcement earlier in the day that he was leaving Congress.

The charge was first published by the Washington DC blog Big Head DC, which claimed to have emails where the escort, Benjamin Nicholas, allegedly playing coy, declined to go on the record because “Trent is going through his fair share of scrutiny right now and I don’t want to add to it.”

But in an email message, Nicholas himself said the item was false. “There’s nothing to be said, as Lott and I have no connection whatsoever,” Nicholas wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “How these ‘quotes’ have been fabricated are beyond me. The Senator is someone I have had no personal dealings with, ever.”

In a subsequent posting on his own Web site, Nicholas wrote, “I have not, nor have I ever seen or had contact with Senator Trent Lott. It’s as simple as that. It never happened.” — Huffington Post

“How come whenever a prominent Republican announces his retirement, everybody immediately thinks “gay sex scandal?” grumbled Senator Larry Craig, R-MT.

trent_lott.jpg“I blame the liberal media for this kind of mudslinging,” groused ex-Rep Mark Foley, R-FL.

Senator Lott seemed relatively unperturbed by the rumor. “I said I was leaving to make even more money,” he patiently explained to reporters. “I’m doing it for money. What, you never heard of doing it for money? In Washington, the only reason anybody does anything any time is for the money. M-O-N-E-Y. Which letter don’t you understand?”

I’m with Senator Lott. Why is the concept of prostitution so difficult to grasp? It’s the oldest profession there is, and the U.S. Congress is nothing if not professional.

All Fired Up

Filed under: News from the Nation's Dicktip — Steve @ 12:51 am

The city of Dania Beach, determined to reverse its downward spiral into decrepitude and bankruptcy, experiments with a new outdoor dining concept, but with decidedly mixed results:

Two teenagers found a man’s charred body in a Dania Beach trash bin early Saturday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said. The teens saw flames coming out of the dumpster about 3:42 a.m. The trash bin was outside 901 Old Griffin Rd., in an industrial area across from the Bishop Marina.

The body was burned beyond recognition. — Miami Hurled

The kids were arrested when knives, forks, and poultry seasoning were discovered in their pockets. “Four in the morning and they’re totally stoned and dying of munchies,” gruesomebakery007159b94qx0.jpgBroward Sheriff’s Office spokesman commented disgustedly. “They spot this fat Canadian passed out in his car — the lab found his charred speedo in the dumpster — and figured they’d found the Ultimate Twinkie.”

The suspects’ names were not released but BSO confirmed they were not themselves Canadian. “Which is a bit odd,” he added. “Most folks in Dania don’t like Canadians, raw, cooked, or naked. Musta really been starving.”

Some neighbors, awakened by the ruckus, pressed handkerchiefs to their faces to keep from gagging at the stench of greasy Canadian bacon burnt black and crispy. Others arrived with pizza crusts and cans of pineapple.

The dumpster and its rancid contents were removed to the Medical Examiner’s Office, creating a new problem for several locals. “Oh, terrific,” one wailed. “Where am I supposed to sleep tonight? Now I’m not just homeless, I’m dumpsterless! Dumpsterless!!”

Monday, November 26, 2007

Grant’s Tomb

Filed under: Across the Fruited Plain — Steve @ 12:22 pm

Here’s a grant opportunity that crossed into my cyberspace:

flexible title for sanity testing

Not sure if it’s for you? Well, here’s some official government-speak from the document to help you out:

The synopsis for this grant opportunity is detailed below, following this paragraph. This synopsis contains all of the updates to this document that have been posted as of . If updates have been made to the opportunity synopsis, update information is provided below the synopsis.

What’s that date again? In the grant writing business, we live and die on deadlines. Makes us crazy….say, isn’t that what the title of this grant is all about? Oh, never mind. Let’s see what the updates are in the next paragraph…

Any inconsistency between the original printed document and the disk or electronic document shall be resolved by giving precedence to the printed document.

Oh it shall, will it? Then what the hell is the point of the updates? Unless, of course, they don’t actually say anything, in which case there’s no inconsistencies. Department of Redundancy Department.

“Sanity testing,” fer chrissake. Doctor, heal thyself.

Cooking With Pooh

Filed under: Etherea — Steve @ 12:27 am

Evidently that’s a genuine book title. The reference is to Winnie, not garden-variety defecation.

Pooh.jpgWell, folks, we had a squeaker in the vote for World’s Worst Book Title ever…..The winner was Cooking With Pooh,” which is a real book from Disney. It barely beat out “Letting It Go: a History of American Incontinence,” “The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification” (which I think maybe some people did not realize is also a real book) and “Everything You’ll Need to Remember About Alzheimer’s.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution

And look! The book on incontinence is….#2.

Say — Do bears shit in the kitchen?

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