Mourning In America

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

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005
The Suicidal King This morning's NY Times quotes an unnamed former Bush aide offering insight into his boss's view of the world:
A former official who has worked for Mr. Bush said: "This president is Mr. Alamo. He sees the hordes coming over the hill and he heads for the barricades. And not to raise a white flag."

And how'd that work out for the Texans?

Monday, July 11, 2005
Summary Judgment So I sat down to watch tonight's Home Run Derby with some trepidation. After all, this year's All-Star Game is at Comerica Field in Detroit, renowned as the only "pitcher's park" built in the current home-run-focused era.

In its three years, the stadium has consistently been among the stingiest parks for allowing home runs in the Major Leagues. I was worried there would be little action in the contest, leaving us forced to listen to Chris Berman's babble all night long.

Then Bobby Abreu, first man up, knocked out 24 home runs in 34 swings. I smell a rat. I'll bet, dollars to donuts, that MLB recognized the peril of a Home Run Derby in a park where it is nearly impossible to hit home runs and responded by juicing the ball -- except they overdid it, so we're going to have a long night.

Sure, the next batter, the Pirates' Jason Bay, failed to hit a single home run, but come on -- he's only there because MLB for some reason wanted a Canadian to be represented in the contest, and he never quite figured out that a juiced ball is no help if you only hit it on the ground. The current batter, the Brewers' Carlos Lee, has picked up the home run pace again.

I know it's an exhibition. I know it's just for fun. But when they mangle their manipulations by making it this obvious, it's just pititful. Selig sucks.

Sunday, July 10, 2005
Don't Tell Karl Rove ... John Tierney, who holds the designated-conservative slot on the NY Times' Op-Ed page that was formerly occupied by William Safire, comes awfully close to suggesting that a few indictments of Al Qaeda terrorists would be welcome about now...
I think that we'd be better off reconsidering our definition of victory in the war on terror. Calling it a war makes it sound like a national fight against a mighty enemy threatening our society.

But right now the terrorists look more like a small group of loosely organized killers who are less like an army than like lightning bolts - scary but rarely fatal.

Of course, once you recognize that and stop calling it a war, someone might ask the President why more than 2,000 brave Americans have died chasing "lightning bolts."