Mourning In America

A New York Democrat on politics, journalism, and the Mets

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Friday, May 09, 2003
Looting? I'm Shocked! When are the US forces in Baghdad going to get the message that important targets need to be guarded? MET Alpha, the military's top WMD-hunting team explored the headquarters of Saddam's Mukhabarat, the secret police, the other day, and found the basement flooded, complicating their efforts to search for artifacts, including an ancient Talmud, that were allegedly stashed there. So they left, and came back two days later.

Lo and behold, when they returned, they found people moving into the building, and several of the items they had inspected on their first visit, including a mock-up of the Israeli Knesset, were missing.

Thursday, May 08, 2003
Generalissimo Francisco Franco Remains Dead So does Johnny Unitas.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Casing the Joint: "Governor" Pataki was downtown yesterday to mark the re-opening of The Millenium Hilton hotel, across Church Street from the World Trade Center site -- a dress rehearsal on the stage he hopes to share with Top Gun Bush next year during the GOP convention. The Daily News' Michael Daly points out that with his post-election turn to the right and chronic insensitivity to the city's needs, Pataki is turning former gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo into a prophet:
During the last election, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Cuomo charged Pataki had done little more after Sept. 11 than hold Mayor Rudy Giuliani's coat. The full truth is Pataki also went through the pockets.

"They Really Want No Part of It ... New York, New York" Pataki's cameo comes amidst the apparent stirrings of a movement within the GOP's Washington Insiders to reconsider the decision to place the convention in the Big Apple. Here in the Wall Street Journal (registration required) and here in a blind quote in the New York Observer, GOPsters bemoan the decision to bring the convention to New York.
  • Perhaps they're concerned that the city's and state's staggering job losses could be interpreted as an indictment of the party's stewardship?
  • Could they be worried that the convention will only highlight Washington's unwillingness to provide sufficient aid to the local governments who are incurring huge anti-terror costs?

Nah. The critics are apoplectic about even visiting a place where taxes have risen, as though they are worried that it's contagious. If they're serious about finding an alternative venue, I hear you can get quite a deal on convention space in Beijing right about now...

Am I out of touch? today annointed the Mets as the "best running joke in the majors." Even as a self-hating Met fan, I just don't see it as having hit rock bottom yet. The "Worst Team Money Can Buy" days of the early 90s still seem so much worse: At least now, the players are merely pitiful, as opposed to reprehensible (Bret Saberhagen squirting bleach at reporters) and occasionally criminal (Vince Coleman throwing firecrackers).

Heck, by Dr. John Reeves' standards (see below), that makes this team solidly mediocre!

Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Defining Mediocrity Down: Today's Columbia Daily Spectator has a well-documented, but l-e-n-g-t-h-y article on the controversy engulfing the Lion Men's Heavyweight Crew Coach, Scott McKee, who has had a half-dozen rowers quit his squad this year, and could lose more. The most amusing quote in the article is a few paragraphs from the end:
Columbia has also changed its athletics rhetoric this year, with [CU Athletic Director Dr. John] Reeves saying at a press conference introducing new head basketball coach Joseph Jones that Columbia will no longer tolerate mediocrity. Columbia replaced its football and men's basketball coaches this year; both failed to win an Ivy game in this academic year.

Um, if going winless in your league is "mediocrity," I'd hate to see "failure."

There might be an interesting back-story here. In addition to the football and basketball coach turnover, the womens' volleyball coach resigned last week after complaints from members of her team. Perhaps now that "Dr. John" has set the precedent for blaming the coach, the inmates are trying to complete their takeover of the Dodge Fitness Center asylum.

Sorry about the delay ... we took a break from Mourning to celebrate the baptism of one young Catherine Joyce Stanton this weekend. Never fear: The wake resumes this afternoon!