Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog

Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Hurricane Alex strengthens into Category 2.

The National Weather Service is now reporting that Hurricane Alex has strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour.

This really steams me, because the NWS has done a piss-poor job in forecasting this hurricane.  This system shot up from 50 mph to over 100 in about a 24-hour period.  Joe Bastardi has been saying this since Monday morning that this system was going to strengthen fast, and when they take future wind samples the NWS would know that the system is way stronger than they are portraying it and has established an eye.  However, we were led to believe that this system would stay a tropical storm, or at the most a light hurricane.

Before someone tells me, I know hurricanes are unpredictable.  But I do believe that there are certain traits that most Carolina hurricanes have.  When that hurricane hits that current along the coast, they tend to intensify and strengthen fast.  Alex has literally followed that current up the seaboard.  If Bastardi anticipated it, then the NWS should have as well.

Now, what if they're wrong about the path, and this hurricane changes directions and slams into the interior of North Carolina?  Not one person has left the coast in anticipation of this storm, thinking it would be small.  The National Weather Service has GOT to do a better job of warning the people on the Outer Banks and the Crystal Coast.

Posted at 12:26 pm by Expertise
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The Davenport Duel

This should be interesting.  Drudge is reporting that Bush and Kerry have campaign rallies scheduled in the same town, on the same day, within a couple of blocks from each other, and both crowds are due to overlap.

Davenport, Iowa is about to be put on the map, and possibly in the history books if something goes down.  Both campaigns better have their crowds out in force, because every news network and two-bit journalist will be on this one.  This event has the potential to tilt the election either way.  And after the disappointing poll numbers after the DNC Convention last week, Kerry needs all the help he can get.

Ultimately, this is b.s. though.  This isn't a mere coincidence.  One campaign got the heads-up on the other and penciled in an appearance to show up the opponent.  This sounds like something Bush would do, as he likes to pull surprise stunts.

I would not want to be a Davenport policeman tomorrow.  They are going to have a time trying to seperate the two crowds.  I doubt if it gets into another Bloody Kansas, but there is still the potential for problems.

In other news, it seems as if some Bush supporters crashed a Kerry rally and yelled "Four more years!" in a bullhorn.  Teresa Kerry Heinz, who was on the mic introducing her wife, er, husband, used that sharp tongue of hers and quipped, "They want four more years of hell".

Folks, if you think Hillary was bad, wait until you put this woman into the White House.  While it's doubtful that she'd carpetbag her way to a U.S. Senate seat, she'll still have more influence around the White House than any other First Lady, especially since she is the President's sugar mama.

This just reinforces my belief that First Ladies, like children, should be seen and not heard.

Posted at 11:09 am by Expertise
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Don't waste your time, Keyes.

Word is getting out that the GOP is wooing Alan Keyes to take on the new Democratic rock star Barack Obama for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat.

Keyes has 2 things working against him:  1.  Time.  It's August, and he'll only have 3 months until the election.  2.  Region.  Keyes, who actually lives in Maryland, would be a conservative carpetbagger in - and I'm being generous here - a mostly left-of-center state.  Hence, Keyes won't win.

But ultimately the voters would win if Keyes does run.  You can look at probably any race of any kind in the country, and you won't see two polar opposites like Obama and Keyes.  Hence, people get a clear choice, and that's always good. 

Also, the debates will be VERY good.  Whether you like Keyes or not, you've got to admit that he isn't a slouch of the mic.  In fact, he's a better talker than Sharpton.  If I were Obama, I would simply refuse to debate him.  Obama will already win Illinois by double digits, by all accounts.  There is no positive anyone can get by debating Keyes, especially a national novice who's was previously defeated in his home state (by Bobby Rush).

Posted at 10:41 am by Expertise
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Sunday, August 01, 2004
I told you: "No Kerry Bounce".

I stated in my DNC Roundup, John Kerry's DNC Convention speech needed to be magnificent, and it wasn't.  Hence,  the traditional bounce that presidential candidates generally get would miss him.

To be specific (and I know it's late) I expected no more than 2-3 percentage point rise after the convention.  Newsweek gave Kerry a 4 point bounce, extending the three-way race to 49% to Kerry/Edwards to 42% to Bush/Cheney and 3% to Nader/Camejo.  I don't believe that one, simply because they have Kerry/Edwards with a 7 point lead.  But it should be noted that this was the lowest convention bounce by a candidate since Newsweek has been doing their polls.

So I waited.  I figured we would have the real results by Monday.  But we didn't. USA Today tonight reports that Kerry had ABSOLUTELY NO CONVENTION BOUNCE.

In fact, John Kerry actually lost ground on Bush, falling behind 1% percentage point.  And Bush leads on their poll 50% to 46%.

There is no question about it:  The Kerry campaign is on the ropes, and their last chance is the debates.  Bush's lead will go into double digits after the RNC Convention.  The question is whether Kerry can be focused and go into the debates looking to eat away at Bush's lead, or will he go in as cocky as Al Gore did in 2000 and end up looking like a fraud.  There is no doubt in my mind that Gore's performance in the first debate ultimately cost him the election.  And he will have more problems if he continues to have campaign finance scandals.

Posted at 11:19 pm by Expertise
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Saturday, July 31, 2004
Huge victory for property rights advocates.

Marking one of the first steps to stop this highly deceptive and corrupt practice, the Michigan State Supreme Court overturned a key eminent domain court case from 1981 and stopped allowing governments seize private property to give to private companies.

I know this will make Neal Boortz happy, as he has been one of the biggest whistleblowers on these heinious land grabs that continue to get worse and worse.

The media claims this will put a damper on revitalization efforts in cities like Detroit, but maybe it will force them to actually improve what they do have rather than try to grab land from property owners from the outskirts and try to start anew.

Heads up to Malkin for the story.  Everyone pass this on.

Posted at 08:10 pm by Expertise
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I guess I should speak about Tyson.

As in a lot of boxing stories, this will end in disappointment and sadness.

Tyson could have been one of the greatest ever.  No doubt he was the hardest hitting puncher since Foreman.  The only difference was that he had the skills to go with it.

In the 80's he was arguably better than both Holyfield and Lewis were in the 90's.  But he let his anger, his "friends" and his business people take advantage of the fact that he didn't know anything about money, nor tried to sit down with him and actually tell him how he needed to act.

Now, he's 38 years old, trying to make money off of the things he did over 17 years ago.  His body is worn, he's broke, and he really doesn't have the skills to be a contender.

But when you have a sport that takes juveniles and criminals off the street and puts gloves on them to beat their opponents heads in for millions of dollars, this was, and still is, bound to happen.  These people have no concept of responsibility, and since they become some of the most famous athletes in the world, they have no concept of accountability.  And these things are getting worse instead of better.

I don't hate Mike.  I don't have any disdain for him either.  Only pity, and I hope he can get his life back together. 

Posted at 07:06 pm by Expertise
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Friday, July 30, 2004
Moore gets busted again.

Since the release of Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore's $100 million dollar propaganda movie has been dismantled by  a  number  of  journalists.  It's well established that Michael Moore is a fraud and a liar.

Well add The Bloomington Pantagraph to that list.  Moore is accused of doctoring a front page of the newspaper he showed on the film claiming Al Gore won Florida.

A scene early in the movie that shows newspaper headlines related to the legally contested presidential election of 2000 included a shot of The Pantagraph's Dec. 19, 2001, front page, with the prominent headline: "Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election."

The paper says that headline never appeared on that day. It appeared in a Dec. 5, 2001, edition, but the headline was not used on the front page. Instead, it was found in much smaller type above a letter to the editor, which the paper says reflects "only the opinions of the letter writer."

What amazes me is that Moore actually thought he could get this mess into the movie without someone checking him on it.  Or does he play the same role the Democrats do, by thinking they can pull off stunts in Congress and make irresponsible statements in the hopes that not enough people would hear about it or would just chalk it up to "the ends justifying the means"?

Whatever it is, the man has no scruples.

Posted at 11:02 pm by Expertise
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DNC Roundup.

I decided last night that three posts in a day were enough, especially since I wrote in detail about them.  Hey, I knew you guys didn't want me to keep rambling on about the convention.

Hence, I decided to simply wait until after the convention and comment on a few things today:

- First of all, Kerry was not great.  I would say bombed, but he wasn't that bad.  But it was definitely the worst speech since at least Mondale.  Even Dukakis was pretty decent behind the mic.

Kerry started off shaky, then did a decent job in the middle with the visionary stuff and the rhetoric.  But then he killed off his crowd with the stump speech part of it.  He was rushing through it, trying to talk through the cheers.  That's because his speech was so long that if he did pause appropriately, it would have been well over an hour instead of 50 minutes or so.

Contrast that to Bush's 2000 speech.  His speechwriters were smart.  They anticipated both Bush's public speaking weaknesses and the long cheers of the crowd.  They made sure Bush didn't talk uninterrupted for more than a minute or two.  Therefore, they created a speech to fit him perfectly, and everyone agreed that it was good.   

His speech ranks below Clinton's (who he should have took notes from for his speech Monday), Edwards (who's speech didn't differ much from Kerry's, other than time), Sharpton's, and Obama's.  He was outshined by the ones that were supposed to help him.  People that actually watched the convention from Monday-Thursday can not be pleased at all.

- They have to do a better job with their speaker schedules.  They have guys who get the crowd rocking, then the next on deck is boring and ends up killing the crowd.

- Notice that after all that hoopla, not a word was spoken about Kerry's 20 years in the Senate outside of him working with McCain on negotiating the release of hostages from Southeast Asia. 

- Doesn't Jesse seem depressed?  He seems like his speaking skills went down a few notches as of late.  I guess he can't be too happy by watching time pass him by.

- Absolutely hilarious:  CNN slipped up and recorded the DNC Convention Director having a hissy fit over Kerry's post-speech celebration.  He was heard cursing at the guys controlling the balloons and confetti over head to bring them down.

Doesn't it seem as if there are alot of slip-ups, cursing, and visible frustration during this campaign?  In 2000 the only blooper I can think of is when Bush called some journalist an asshole after a rally when he thought a mic was turned off.  We've had about three or four of these incidents this year, if you include the primaries.

- Overall, the DNC Convention was a bust.  They did establish some new stars, and had some great moments, particularly for talk radio and television (O'Reilly vs. Moore, Hannity vs. Garafolo, Hannity vs. Franken), but ratings have dropped from 4 years ago despite Democrats insisting they had galvanized their base, Kerry's speech has been deemed from okay to bad by the media, and people still didn't know anymore about Kerry than they did last week.  I think the proverbial convention bounce will pass Kerry by.  We'll know for sure by Monday.

Meanwhile, I think because of the dismal effort put forth by the Democrats, this election just became Bush's to win.  Bush is a better speaker now than he was in 2000.  Bush is in a better position than he was in 2000.  Kerry left himself open, and Bush exposed some of them today.  Because it's in the last week of August, children will be back in school, which means more people will be watching.  And although I don't like the fact that Bush is trying to hold back on conservatives speaking at the convention, the fact remains that he has an all-star cast.

Bush's only problem?  Protesters.  They are going to try to make New York a living hell.  Don't be surprised to hear about terrorist threats, and anarchy during the convention.

Posted at 08:43 pm by Expertise
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Thursday, July 29, 2004
Stanley Crouch ain't no punk!

Man I was still musing over my comments last night about Sharpton, trying to figure out how I could clip and cut it to make a pretty decent column.  (By the way, thanks to Booker for linking it.  I need to step up my blog game any way I can.)

But then, this pops up and I damn near forgot about it....and it had me almost in tears.

That is the funniest column I've read in a while.  Now, I don't know that much about Stanley Crouch, other than he's supposedly a conservative and he rails against hip hop and civil rights pimps.

But a punk he's not, at least according to Ta-Nehisi Coates.  In fact, Crouch has a tendency to get caught up in heated arguments, and he lets his temper get the best of him.

Check it:

On July 12, out for lunch at Tartine in the West Village, Crouch spotted Peck, who'd trashed his book Don't the Moon Look Lonesome a few years back. After greeting Peck with one hand, Crouch smacked him with the other. "What I would actually have preferred to happen," says Crouch, "was that I had the presence of mind to hawk up a huge oyster and spit it in his face."

Crouch claims he recieved several calls thanking him for the act, which wouldn't be a surprise given that Peck made his name by penning extended negative and, often personal, reviews of other fiction writers.
Now that's just fucked up, folks.  At least give ole boy a warning, or a mean mug, or something.  You gon SNEAK him, Stan?  That's just wrong.  That's dirty. 

And the simple fact that Crouch SLAPPED that kat speaks volumes, too.  Getting punched is bad.  But to get another man?  That's just total disrespect.  That's saying "You aren't worthy of getting knocked out, so I'mma pimp slap you like Dolemite would do one of his hoes."  C'MON STAN!!!

But what takes the cake, tho:

There was the time Crouch was arguing with jazz writer Russ Musto and told him that if he were a foot taller he'd knock his block off. Musto kept arguing, since he knew he wasn't growing any. Crouch went back on his word, and swung at him anyway. After the two men were separated, Crouch calmed down and offered to buy Musto a drink. Musto says they're friends to this day.

Then there's what happened to Guy Trebay, whom Crouch stalked through the Voice's old offices threatening to kill him, relenting only after writer Hilton Als intervened. Another time, writer Harry Allen approached Crouch, hoping to exchange some notes on hip-hop. Instead Crouch, evidently in a bad mood, caught Allen's neck in the cobra clutch, prompting the Voice to give Crouch his walking papers.
Man, I ain't gonna lie to yall.  I'm STILL laughing at this shit and it's been an hour since I've read it.

You gonna clown a short dude, telling him you ain't gonna hit him because he's too short.....and then HIT him anyway.  Offer this kat a drink, and yall become friends.  If that ain't some schoolground shit, I dunno what is.

And it says alot about the Village Voice that it takes a Cobra Clutch (Coates knows his wrestling terminology, doesn't he?) to get Crouch fired.  He's threatened editors, interviewees musicians, etc...but you put someone in a cobra clutch, and that's crossing the line.  If Crouch acts like this, I can imagine how the rest of that paper acts.  It's probably Gangstas Heaven over there.  They should have thought twice about publishing this, because it makes them look just as bad as it does Crouch.

I think all white people need to keep this in mind, tho:

But never let it be said that he who purports to be a black male gives up the beast. That it's all an act, and he really won't kick your ass. That in the middle of politicking over Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and tea, he won't go David Banner, upturn your table of crumpets and coffee-cake, grab you by the collar, drag you out into the darkest alley, and show you that, yes, what you have heard is true. That he will not swing through on his dick and snatch your Jane on a vine like Tarzan. Never let it be said that Jim Brown was not the essence of him. Never let it be said that he—whether Crip or Crouch—failed to be a nigga.
Ditto.  And I ain't mad at him for doing that, at least on occasion.  Because as I said, sometimes people just think they can say whatever they want, ala Ted Rall, and think you're just gonna let them slide.  Sometimes you just gotta whup somebody's ass before you get some respect.

Now Crouch?  WAAAAAAAAYYYY over the line.  But this did provide me with a good laugh for a day or two, so I aint mad at him.

Posted at 01:02 pm by Expertise
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Let's take care of Al Sharpton real quick.

Before I start, lemme say that I have no personal grievances against Al Sharpton.  I, trying to get my foot in the door of broadcasting, which stresses excellent public speaking, have an appreciation for Sharpton's great public speaking skills.  And I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he means well.

But while he tore the roof off of the Fleet Center with his speech at the DNC Convention, he wasn't tearing anything up around here.  You see, Democrats are easily suckered in with these hustlers that are all talk and no substance.  When given a choice between substance and style, they will always choose style.

Don't believe me?  They nominated a man to be their presidential candidate simply because of the fact that he spent four months in Vietnam and was rewarded purple hearts, thinking that will stalemate the foreign policy issue of the incumbent president.  They nominated a one-term senator who wasn't even popular in his home state (I should know. I live here.) and won't even be able to deliver it to the Democrats in the presidential election simply because he's charismatic and good-looking.   For this and this alone they should be beaten by a landslide in this election.

But back to my point.  Sharpton can talk all that jive and get people in that convention all whooping and hollering, but then there comes a time where the things you say have to be analyzed and scrutinized.

This is where I come in.  Let's start it off in which Sharpton responded to Bush's comments to the Urban League last week (transcript courtesy of CNN:)

Mr. President, as I close, Mr. President, I heard you say Friday that you had questions for voters, particularly African- American voters. And you asked the question: Did the Democratic Party take us for granted? Well, I have raised questions. But let me answer your question.

You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule.

That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres.

We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us.

Sharpton, as usual, dabs into revisionist history.  And it is quite disgusting too.  He disparages, knowingly or not, our ancestors that came before us, thinking they only supported the Republican Party for some corrupt, crooked scheme like reparations.

But hey; this is how black leftists have portrayed black people for years!  Begging for money and possessions from the white man, and since ONE side didn't give it to us, we'll just go on the other side and squeeze them for whatever they're worth.  You know, it's amazing at what depths they will go to try to rationalize such filth.

When I was a child, I was raised in Hyde County, North Carolina, one of the most rural and poorest counties in North Carolina.  There wasn't, and still isn't, a stoplight in the whole county.  It wasn't surprising to find someone who lived in a house that didn't have indoor plumbing.  But see, at that time I didn't even know what poor was, or I didn't realize what it was.  Why?  Because noone told me.  We were all in the same boat.  I thought because I had clothes on my back and food in my stomach and I was able to play with some toys and we had a car that I was okay. 

That was the 1980's.  Imagine what was going on in the 1930's, when Herbert Hoover was around.  Indoor plumbing, electricity, etc...was unheard of.  Most of them worked in the fields.  Everyone was trying to scrounge for what they could get.

But I tell you what:  what little they DID have, they were PROUD of it.  They had their own land.  The ones that could had their own fields.  They had their own schools.  They hunted and fished and grew what they ate at dinner that night.  And they NEVER had their palms out asking a white man for something they didn't earn.

When it was time to fight for their rights, they were there

When the KKK started spreading leaflets all over Engelhard, and defaced my uncle's barbershop, it was one black woman who picked them all up, went straight to the county Grand Dragon, threw those leaflets in his face, and said "Next time, use the mail." 

When they tried to close down our black schools, they marched from Swan Quarter to Raleigh.  They faced down police, faced down dogs, were battered, bruised, and arrested.  They felt so strongly about it and were so determined, that no black child went to school in Hyde County during the 1968-1969 school year.

When the KKK held a big rally in Middleton, and they shot at a car that had black teenagers in it that were passing by, it was my family, and our community, that took up arms and stood up to the KKK.  And they haven't been seen in Middleton or that county ever since.

For Al Sharpton to stand in Boston at that convention and talk about black people switching to the Democratic Party -  a party who at that time was CONSUMED by hate, bigotry, racism, oppression, and was at the FOREFRONT of white supremacy - because we didn't get "40 acres and a mule" insults not only my people, but the families and the ancestors of millions of black people.

These were people who had pride for who they were and what they had, and they weren't going to let anyone take it away from them.  Sharpton's sorry attempt to get a one-up on President Bush and the Republican Party is nothing more than rewriting history to advance your goals and your aspirations.  And I will NOT let him use the memories of not only my people, but millions others that lived during those times, to do so.

Al Sharpton and these other hustlers may go to these public appearances and give these grand speeches and have these naive, ignorant people get off their feet and applaud with vigor, but ignorance is still ignorance, no matter how good you sound saying it.

I think I've said enough.  Let's move on:

Mr. President, you said would we have more leverage if both parties got our votes, but we didn't come this far playing political games. It was those that earned our vote that got our vote. We got the Civil Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the Voting Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the right to organize under Democrats.

Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age. Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of good men (inaudible) soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us.
Al likes to decide what history he wants to remember at what time.  So let me finish the history lesson:

- It wasn't a Republican who stood in front of the doors at the University of Alabama.

- It wasn't Republicans who filibustered the Civil Rights Act in the Senate.

- It wasn't Republicans who set the dogs and the hoses on marchers in Birmingham and Selma.

- It wasn't Republicans who killed those four black girls when they bombed a Birmingham Church.

- It wasn't a Republican president who introduced segregation to the federal government.

- It WAS a Republican president who was in office when Brown v. Board of Ed was argued in front of the Supreme Court.

- It WAS a Republican president who first enforced that decision.
- There were a higher percentage of the Republican Party that passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than the Democrats.

- It WAS a Republican Congress who passed the first 4 Civil Rights 1866, 1870, 1871, and 1875.

- It WAS a Republican, who appointed the only dissenting opinion in the Supreme Court that ruled the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional.

- It WAS two Republican presidents who sought Booker Washington as an advisor during the late 1800's
But hey....why get into specifics, right?  I mean, this is the man who doesn't even know that the two men who created and helped passed the bill that helped protect and establish organized labor - the Taft-Hartley Act - were both Republicans.

If Al actually took Florida seriously, then he would have called for STATEWIDE recounts.  You the black people that live in Northern Florida could make sure THEY had their votes counted?  Why didn't you call for Florida Democrats to end that lawsuit trying to get military absentee ballots thrown out, Al?  Black people DO join the military, too.  I'm sure my stepfather, who did 20 years of active military service would attest to that.

And while you're at it Al, why don't you talk to your brother Jesse, who was exposed when he went on a talk radio show when there was voting errors during their recall election.  When asked if then-Governor Gray Davis won the election, would he still file a lawsuit disputing the election on the basis of racial disenfrancisement the good Reverend plainly stated "NO".  I guess counting the vote only matters when the person he wants to win is elected.

Like I said, it's all about STYLE over SUBSTANCE for them.  It doesn't matter if you get the facts right, as long as you look good when you say it.  But to millions of people - black, white, or whatever - these things have a profound effect on how we look at the world and how we react to it.  One day I hope that Al and many others realize how powerful their words can be and how carefully they choose their words.  I doubt it, but it's always good to hope.

I'll have more about other thoughts about the DNC Convention by tomorrow afternoon.  I had to just get that out of my head.

Posted at 03:20 am by Expertise
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