Saturday, October 13, 2007

tough one for the next three years

Dusty Baker is taking a three-year deal to manage the Reds, is reporting. The Reds got the big name they wanted. That’s about the only nice thing we can say about this. The Reds may be more likely to dump Adam Dunn now, as he does nothing more than clog up the bases with his walks. Also, we worry about what will happen to Joey Votto if he doesn’t get off to a hot start next year. Baker values experience about as much as any manager in baseball, and he loves speed, which could mean that Ryan Freel will get a lot of at-bats at the expense of Josh Hamilton or Edwin Encarnacion.

In an anticipatory move, Homer Bailey has been placed on the 60 day DL.

stupid baseball stats (cont)

From ESPN bottom screen crawl...

Manny - 11 game LCS hit streak.

that wet stuff is dangerous

If i had a car, i wouldn't be going out deres wid da maniacs who can't, sir, i'll be here building a life raft...

Associated Press I-5 shut down by fiery pile-up
A pile-up involving at least 15 trucks on a rain-slicked freeway north of Los Angeles leaves 10 people injured and at least one missing, sends flames shooting out of a tunnel and blocks a key link between L.A. and San Francisco. Authorities say they don't know when I-5 will reopen.

The End Times Are Nigh

San Diego, California (92199) Lat: 32.72N, Lon: 117.16W
Wx Zone: CAZ043 ICAO Used: KSAN
Current Conditions: Armageddon?
Updated: 1151 PM PDT FRI OCT 12 2007
Light Rain
Light Rain
Temp: 63°F
Humidity: 76%
Wind Speed: CALM
Barometer: 29.90 in.
Dewpoint: 55°F
Heat Index: 63°F
Wind Chill: 63°F

I was like, what is that sound that sounds like rain? Guess what? It's phokking raining! Not only dat, but da heat index AND wind chill are both 63! This might be my last transmission...send help. Smiff, signing out


Friday, October 12, 2007

Well, tell the kids "GFY"

Sure, she probably sings songs that make Brenda Lee seem like Billy Holiday, but will the quest for profit eventually turn everybody into the most horrible person alive?

Ticket Brokers are about as useful as mosquitoes. And they're assholes.

Brokers snatch joy from Hannah Montana fans

DAVIE, Florida (CNN) -- It's 7 p.m. Homework is done, and cheerleading practice is over.

Sisters Cara and Casey Von Minden, and their cousin, Amanda Flaherty, are more than comfortable on their couch in Davie, Florida. They're doing what millions of tweens across America are doing -- they're watching, "Hannah Montana."

"We didn't miss, like, any episodes of her, unless something really big was happening," said Cara, 12.

The hit Disney Channel show -- which stars 14-year-old Miley Cyrus and her country singer dad, Billy Ray Cyrus -- is about a teenage girl who's a typical high-schooler by day but has a secret pop-star alter ego by night.

If you have a child between 6 and 14, there's a pretty good chance you know Hannah. Nielsen Media research says more than two-thirds of U.S. kids in that age group watched the show in the third quarter of 2007.

So when Disney announced a 54-city concert tour, starting October 18 in St. Louis, Missouri, it was an obvious birthday present for Cara. But the day tickets went on sale, Cara's mom, Maureen Von Minden, found she was shut out before she got started.

Ticket brokers swooped up thousands of tickets within minutes of them becoming available online and shut out legitimate Hannah followers. Desperate fans found they would have to pay brokers $350 to $2,000 for the $63 concert tickets. Video Watch Billy Ray Cyrus talk about the soaring prices »

Von Minden lives in Florida -- in "Hurricane Alley." "We're hurricane people," she said. "It's price gouging ... price gouging at its best. It would have been my daughters' first concert for both of them, and we were looking forward as a family to going, and we can't," she said.

Concert promoters saw the phenomenon happening all over the country.

"Absolutely every show sold out within the same amount of time," said Debra Rathwell of AEG Live, the company handling the concerts for Disney. "Whether you were in Moline or Omaha or New York or Los Angeles, it sold out in minutes."

Ticket brokers use the Web to buy sports and concert tickets ahead of real fans, creating an almost $2 billion secondary market.

"Up to 80 percent of inquiries of tickets come from these brokers," said Gary Bongiavanni, editor-in-chief of Pollstar, a weekly media magazine that tracks concerts.

"The average fan is competing with a pro whose mission is to score these tickets. Fans are at a disadvantage," Bongiavanni said.

The profits go to brokers, not the artists or promoters. CNN tried to contact several different ticket brokers that did not return phone calls or e-mails. But the National Association of Ticket Brokers did return calls.

"When a ticket is hot, people sell them," said general counsel Gary Adler.
Don't Miss

* Scalpers smiling, parents steamed

Only five states -- Michigan, North Carolina, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Rhode Island -- limit brokering, according to the National Association of Ticket Brokers. Regulations vary. For example, in Rhode Island, the cap on the amount of the increase is $3, or 10 percent above face value, whichever is greater.

Ticketmaster says online some brokers cheat to beat the system and the fans. Ticketmaster has filed suit in U.S. Federal District Court in Los Angeles against a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, software company that it claims developed software for ticket brokers that illegally "allows them to cut in line", said Ticketmaster vice president Joe Freeman.

The software company, RMG Technologies, denies that allegation. It says the company should not be held accountable because Ticketmaster is getting paid for the tickets it sells.

"This may be the only time in history ... that any seller sued its customers for paying them too much money," the attorney for RMG Technologies wrote in court documents.

Promoters and artists have tried different methods to recoup lost revenue.

For the Hannah Montana tour, AEG Live and Ticketmaster held an auction for tickets in some cities. But the auction, AEG concedes, was not for the average fan. The minimum bid for a single front-row seat at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was $2,605.

"... If the tickets go to brokers, then they pay a lot of money for them. And if the brokers are going to end up with the tickets, then the artist should get paid for them,"said Rathwell, whose company is handling the Montana tour.

The Hannah Montana concert ticket debacle also has gotten the attention of law enforcement. Attorneys general in Arkansas and Missouri have filed a suit accusing ticket brokers of illegally reselling tickets to Montana's "Best of Both Worlds Tour."

"When you allow the hijacking of the market, it's literally the worst of both worlds. You get charged too much, and there's no access for the locals," said Jay Nixon, Missouri's attorney general.

Experts say Disney and the Hannah Montana franchise are victims, too, but they see nothing that will hurt the Disney brand. Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley's dad, has commented on the issue.

"There is a law of supply and demand, and ... quite frankly, it's beyond our control. We put together a concert tour, and I was really excited about Miley going out and playing for the fans," he said. "That's what her tour is about. It's for the kids and all the families that are watching Hannah Montana."

A Disney representative told CNN, "It's really unfortunate, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. These inflated costs only benefit the brokers. We were very pleased to hear that various law enforcement agencies are beginning to look into these practices."

Experts say that unless ticket broker prices drop as concert dates approach, there will be sold-out arenas with empty seats.

Lawsuits will not put smiles on the faces of disappointed kids and parents. But Casey, 10, said she has a suggestion on how to afford Montana tickets, and it falls on her 12-year-old sister: "Cara needs to get a job!" E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

"Or else, she needs to throw bombs at the bastards who make even horrible corporate empires seem tame and non-threatening by comparison."


Old virus causing new disease in United States

Adenoviruses cause colds, bronchitis and stomach upsets, but can also cause chronic airway obstruction, a heart infection called myocarditis, a sometimes deadly bowel condition called intussusception and sudden infant death at birth.

From the Corporal:Who Knew?

So what is the Stallone Surprise, the project he's always wanted to write or direct?
For years Stallone's wanted to create an epic, and the book that intrigues him is Franz Werfel's "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh," detailing the Turkish genocide of its Armenian community in 1915. (After futile attempts to turn the novel into a movie, filmmakers finally succeeded in 1982, but it was a low-profile production.)
French ships eventually rescued some Armenians, and Stallone has his favorite scene memorized: "The French ships come, and they've dropped the ladders and everybody has climbed up the side. The ships sail. The hero, the one who set up the rescue, has fallen asleep, exhausted, behind a rock on the slope above. The camera pulls back, and the ships and the sea are on one side, and there's one lonely figure at the top of the mountain, and the Turks are coming up the mountain by the thousands on the far side."
A pretty great shot.
The movie would be "an epic about the complete destruction of a civilization," Stallone said. Then he laughed at the ambition. "Talk about a political hot potato. The Turks have been killing that subject for 85 years."

New CTA plan unveiled

Here's what's on the link the Fungster couldn't get to...

Doesn't Corms own Bailey now? ...Ha HA

Dusty Baker may be the favorite to take over as Cincinnati's manager after interviewing for the job on Thursday.
We just don't see how this is a good fit, but the Reds want a manager with a name and Sparky Anderson isn't coming out of retirement. Homer Bailey owners should be especially worried.
Source: (in udder words, no way this will happen)

Scare tactics get personal

Letter from CTA President Ron Huberman

Dear CTA Customer:

Today, I unveiled the CTA's proposed 2008 budget that lays out a series of painful service cuts, fare increases and lay-offs that will happen on January 6, 2008. These actions are required to meet our legal obligation to submit a balanced budget and are in addition to those service cuts and fare increases that will take effect on November 4th.

All of us at the CTA understand that these service cuts and fare increases will cause you a tremendous hardship. We know that you will face fewer travel options, less frequent service and more crowded buses and trains. To make matters worse, the drastic measures described in the 2008 budget are in addition to the service cuts, fare increases and lay-offs that will take place on November 4th if the Illinois Legislature does not enact fundamental funding reforms.

It is important for our customers to know that all of us at the CTA do not want to see this budget become reality. We remain hopeful that the Illinois General Assembly will pass a long-term funding solution.

Please know that we sought to minimize the impact of our budget deficit wherever we could. For example, we reduced our costs by over $38 million this year alone - without impacting service. The CTA and its unions have also agreed to an unprecedented five-year contract, contingent on legislative action, which would enable the CTA to reduce costs and manage itself more like a business. The Illinois Legislature, however, has yet to pass the bill that would give the CTA authority to put these reforms in place. This inaction is costing the CTA more than $11 million each month.

So, while the CTA continues to look for every opportunity to cut costs, there is simply no way we can manage our way out of a $158 million deficit in 2008.

The CTA continues to fight for sufficient transit funding and we need your help. Please contact the Governor and your state legislators and tell them how important mass transit funding is to you. In addition to calling or writing your legislators, you can go to where a link will allow you to easily send a message.

With your support, we are hopeful that we will finally get a long-term solution to the CTA's funding shortfalls and put future "doomsdays" to rest. If the State enacts pending legislation before November 4th, these service cuts and fare increases will not go into effect.

Sincerely yours,

Ron Huberman

Shocking! (cont)

During my DC trip, I went over to the Air & Space Museum by Dulles. I saw this cool plane that could take off as a helicopter and then fly like an airplane. Great idea, huh? Little did I know that a. it doesn't really work well and b. our combat troops are about to use it...

V-22 Osprey: A Flying Shame
After an investment of $20 billion, the V-22 Osprey arrives in Iraq to make its combat debut — lacking both firepower and the ability to land safely. A TIME investigation

Even Cheney opposed it!?!? But Clinton didn't stop it either...

will the living envy the dead? (cont'd)

CTA budget includes 'devastating' cuts

(Crain’s) — The Chicago Transit Authority moved on Friday to impose "devastating" cuts in service and yet another fare hike effective Jan. 6, unveiling a so-called Doomsday budget for 2008 that fully lives up to its name.

Unless it gets more help from Springfield, the agency said it will have to eliminate an additional 43 bus routes, three of eight bus garages, lay off 1,800 more people, and raise fares at least 25 cents a ride.

Combined with other cuts that are due to take effect Nov. 4, the CTA will have eliminated roughly 20% of all service and 53% of all bus routes, leaving most areas of the city as much as a half a mile away from the nearest bus.

"The CTA does not want this budget ever to become reality," said CTA President Ron Huberman. "This budget is about meeting our legal obligations" to present a balanced budget.

Among the 1,800 additional layoffs are those of 168 administrative workers.

While base fares would rise 25 cents, to a maximum of $3.25 per ride for rail riders, the price of CTA’s passes would rise more. For instance, the 30-day pass would go from $75 now to $84 in November and $94 in January.

The cuts will particularly impact the North Side lakefront, where many people commute daily downtown and rarely use automobiles now.

we are living in a golden age (cont'd)

Income-Inequality Gap Widens
WSU, October 12, 2007; Page A2

The richest Americans' share of national income has hit a postwar record, surpassing the highs reached in the 1990s bull market, and underlining the divergence of economic fortunes blamed for fueling anxiety among American workers.

The wealthiest 1% of Americans earned 21.2% of all income in 2005, according to new data from the Internal Revenue Service. That is up sharply from 19% in 2004, and surpasses the previous high of 20.8% set in 2000, at the peak of the previous bull market in stocks.

The bottom 50% (suckers!) earned 12.8% of all income, down from 13.4% in 2004 and a bit less than their 13% share in 2000.

Gore wins the Nobel prize

Didn't he invent it?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

will the living envy the dead? (San Diego edition)

Friday...Mostly cloudy in the morning...Becoming partly cloudy. Patchy fog in the morning. Highs 64 to 69. Light winds becoming southwest 15 mph in the afternoon.

Friday Night...Partly cloudy in the evening...Then mostly cloudy with a chance of showers after midnight. Lows 53 to 61. Light winds. Chance of measurable precipitation 40 percent.*

Saturday...Partly cloudy. Slight chance of showers in the morning. Highs 65 to 70. Light winds becoming west 15 mph in the afternoon. Chance of measurable precipitation 20 percent.*

*Of course, any "chance" less than 50% really means 1%. Also, 100% means about 30%...

will the living Cubs' fans envy the dead Cubs' fans?'s Ken Rosenthal expects the Cubs to exercise their options on Steve Trachsel and Daryle Ward for 2008.
Ward, owed $1.2 million next year, figured to have his picked up. However, it's a surprise that they'd want anything more to do with Trachsel, who was 1-3 with an 8.15 ERA after being picked up from the Orioles. They may figure he'd have some trade value at $4.75 million for 2008, but we're guessing they're wrong.

Think your life sucks?

Boy allergic to (almost) everything

woops!...sorry...our bad...but do you want your country rid of tarrists* or not?

Next time, try not living in a war zone...

Nine children killed in U.S. raid in Iraq
The statement also issued regret "that civilians are hurt or killed while Coalition forces search to rid Iraq of terrorism."
Uh, who are the terrorists again? Just askin'...

*Who weren't there before we invaded.

More Big Brother

So I'm walking home with my groceries the other day, and I get to the corner before my house. You know, where LSD ends. Anyway, all of a sudden I see a couple of bright flashes. Is it Al Quaeda? (Queda? Quida?) Lightning, perhaps? Nope. Apparently they put cameras on LSD and Hollywood. Not on Sheridan though. Remember that the next time you think about running that light.

P.S. The cameras don't appear on Google Earth, funnily enuff.

Chicken $#i+ for the Soul

"God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear."--Dumbya; Los Angeles 3/3/04

will the living envy the dead?

'Devastating' fare hikes, service cuts in 2008 Pace budget

(Crain’s) — Cash-strapped suburban bus system Pace passed a 2008 budget with what it calls "devastating" fare increases and service cuts, which could include eliminating all service after 7 p.m.

Our Sue-Crazy Society (cont)

Suit accuses Apple, AT&T of monopoly

You know, when you paid the $600 for the newest Apple iCrap, you knew what the stipulations were. Nobody forced you to buy it either. So I don't see how these iIdiots have a case. This ain't the only phone that's carried exclusively either. That's what a phone company does to entice you to join them. If you don't like it, don't buy the phone. They'll get the hint real fast.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Smiff? KMad?

Wanna join the Parcers Fantasy Basketball League? We have an opening...

like Da Mare, i can see you!

Google Maps Street View in six new cities
Google Maps has added its Street View feature to six new cities: Chicago (see ALA Headquarters), Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland (Oreg.), and Tucson. As an added bonus, the images in Phoenix, Tucson, and and parts of Chicago are all in high resolution. In most of these cities, you can also pan up to the top of skyscrapers. Check out this view of the Sears Tower and watch a dizzying and amusing YouTube video (1:21) that demonstrates the new city views....

woops!...our bad...but do you want the tarrists to win?

The "state secrets" that could be divulged? How we torture. Period.

Supreme Court sidesteps lawsuit claiming CIA torture
By: Steve Benen @ 11:17 AM - PDT
For a presidential administration overwhelmed by humiliating mistakes, the Khaled el-Masri debacle is one of the most mortifying. Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, was taken into custody in 2003 in a case of mistaken identity — he just happens to have a name similar to a terrorist sought by American officials.
Actually, “taken into custody” is the wrong phrase. He was abducted in Macedonia, drugged, beaten, and then flown to Afghanistan, where he faced more abuse. Five months of detention and torture later, the CIA, realizing they took the wrong man, dumped him in Albania. During those five months, Masri’s wife had no idea what had happened to him.
With help from the ACLU, Masri filed a lawsuit against the Bush administration, and the complaint described his treatment as “constituting prolonged arbitrary detention, torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.”
The Bush administration insisted that the federal courts dismiss the case, not because of the merits, but because, administration lawyers argued, to even respond to the lawsuit would require divulging state secrets. Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided not to hear Masri’s case.


CTA chief says new budget will 'scare' people

(AP) — Chicago Transit Authority chief Ron Huberman says the budget he'll unveil Friday will "scare" people.

Huberman wouldn't divulge specifics this afternoon about possible service cuts and fare increases. But he says riders would be affected in a "very severe way." Terminals and bus garages are likely to close.

Meanwhile... expect more delays...

Train hits CTA worker; 'L' service resumes


Top-ranked chicken eater loses his crown

You voted for it, you got it, SUCKERS!

Daley wants record tax hike
BREAKING NEWS: The mayor called for a property tax increase and a new 10-cent tax on bottled water, along with an increase in several other fees and taxes.

Chicagoans would get hit with a $108 million property tax increase as well as hikes in many other fees next year under the proposed $5.9 billion city budget Mayor Richard Daley unveiled today to the City Council.Daley called for a new 10-cent tax on bottled water, along with an increase in several other current fees and taxes. They include doubling the city's 911 surcharge to $2.50 per call, increasing liquor and beer taxes, raising the lease-transaction tax on items such as cars, DVD rentals and office equipment. Parking fines also would go up under Daley's proposal. Daley said his proposed 2008 budget avoids substantial layoffs or service cuts. But having exhausted other options, Daley said, "We must ask taxpayers for more."

Does the city spend citizens' tax money wisely?
Yes (51 responses) 4.0%
No (1231 responses) 96.0%
1282 total responses
(Results indicate 4.0% of the city are Da Mare's friends)

Shut the phokk up.

Colombian artist Doris Salcedo regarding her latest artwork, a 548-foot-long crack in a concrete floor of the Tate Modern gallery in London:

"It represents borders, the experience of--"

If dat's "art," than so is the foot long crack of my @ss.

those monkeys are pretty smart

News Item: "Sibu the orangutan has miffed his Dutch keepers by refusing to mate with females and showing sexual interest only in tattooed human blondes...."

[insert joke here]

News Headline: "Chimps choose more rationally than humans."


Just accept it, all sports outcomes are pre-determined by bettors paying off players. What else can explain the Grossman like exploits of Romo on Monday?

Tennis chiefs battle match-fixers

Utter Madness

Selling an album without a record label? Having fans "name their price" to download it? Sheer Lunacy. This will never work...

Radiohead fans to pick album cost

God Bless Armenia

The Coalition of the Willing is down to 21 members, from an original 49.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dere's a reason for dat

'75 - the year the Fungster came into this world. Also the year with the most thunderstorms in Chicagoland history, according to sKILLy...

In which sKILLy explains his job description

sKILLy bashing (cont)

Didn't your mama tell you to say nothing when you have only bad things to say?

Tuesday's modest cool-off just the start; chilliest air in 6 months Wednesday
Tom Skilling
October 9, 2007

Record warmth, especially this time of the year, is all too often followed by dramatic temperature downturns. Tuesday's comparatively modest 14(degrees) retreat in high temperature is only the beginning. Wednesday's 50s will be Chicago's coolest in nearly 6 months. The day's predicted 55(degrees) high will be the coolest here since a 53(degrees) reading on April 27. The pullback from Monday's 87(degrees) equals the normal decline in temperatures from July to early November--but it's to take place in just two days. A powerhouse eastern Pacific storm, predicted to attain the central pressure of a Category 3 hurricane (963 mb./28.44") for a time Tuesday morning is behind the stunning temperature turnaround. Warmth flooding up that system's east side is to buckle the jet stream northward over western North America--a development which sends a pool of unseasonably cool air plunging southward over the Midwest mid and late week. The cloudy, chilly air mass is to combine with NNE winds Thursday to produce lake-effect rain showers.

Sources: NOAA-NCEP, NWS Chicago, Frank WachowskiWGN-TV/Thomas Valle, Monika Bec, Patrick Korellis
Tom Skilling is chief meteorologist at WGN-TV. His forecasts can be seen Monday through Friday on WGN-TV News at noon and 9 p.m.

Republicans: tough on national security

Leak Severed a Link to Al-Qaeda's Secrets
Firm Says Administration's Handling of Video Ruined Its Spying Efforts

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 9, 2007; 11:54 AM

A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.

Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company's Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.

The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group's communications network.

"Techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless," said Rita Katz, the firm's 44-year-old founder, who has garnered wide attention by publicizing statements and videos from extremist chat rooms and Web sites, while attracting controversy over the secrecy of SITE's methodology. Her firm provides intelligence about terrorist groups to a wide range of paying clients, including private firms and military and intelligence agencies from the United States and several other countries.

break this million or I'll shoot you with a price scanner gun

Man Jailed For Trying To Pass Off $1M Bill

I can hear Ozzie now...

Jeff Cox is expected to be named the new third base coach for the White Sox. Cox was as a minor league manager for 13 years before spending the past six years in the majors as a coach with Montreal, Florida and Pittsburgh. He replaces Razor Shines, who was let go Monday, for no apparent reason udder dan Ozzie felt to need to fire somebody. And who's the most obvious? As Fung will tell you, the black guy.

"I would like to introduce Jeff Cox...that's not just one cock, but a lot of cocks! Ha ha!! I hear he also molests children... Ha, just joking, we go way back... Jeff also likes animals, if you know what i mean... One time in Tijuana, at a donkey show..."

Kenny: "Thank you, Ozzie. Moving along..."

Monday, October 8, 2007


Yeah, someone lost his life, others in critical condition, but the real question is:

Will heat-shortened marathon hurt Chicago's Olympic bid?

A-Rod: The SUCKING never stops

Two on and one out in the 1st and he WHIFFS against Paul Byrd. PAUL BYRD!

Meanwhile, Whiplash Wang couldn't get out of the 2nd inning. Add this one to the long list of pitchers blowing up on 3 days rest in the playoffs (see: Bobby Cox just about any year). Moose droppings is in...

Maybe they want to get Torre fired?

Update: A-Rod whiffs leading off the 3rd...

Smiff, Dumbya find common ground?

“I made my arguments and went down in flames. History will prove me right,” - Texas Rangers owner George W. Bush after voting against realignment and a new wild-card system during a Major League Baseball owners meeting in September 1993. Bush was the lone dissenter in a 27-1 vote.

Is this guy ever right about anything?

Of course, history didn't prove him right, but i still don't like the wild card.

Whitey keeping darky down (cont)

Mid-East style...

Israel Denies Palestinian Exec Entry

Hope 4 da Cubbies?

Mark Cuban wants to buy Cubs, be billionaire bleacher bum
By DAVE CARPENTER AP Business Writer
3:58 PM CDT, October 8, 2007

CHICAGO - Mark Cuban wants to become a billionaire bleacher bum if he buys the Chicago Cubs.

The Dallas Mavericks owner, known for noisily cheering his NBA team and berating officials from courtside, reiterated strong interest Monday in owning the Cubs.

"Everybody thinks I'm going to be on the sidelines, in the dugout, jumping up and down. That's not where I'll be," he said on the Mike North Morning Show on radio station WSCR.

"When I went to the Cubs game a couple weeks ago, I sat in the bleachers, and I'll have a seat marked out for me and my friends. We'll be out in the right-field bleachers -- that's the best place to watch a game."

Tribune Co. announced six months ago that it would sell the club after the season in connection with an $8.2 billion buyout of the media conglomerate led by real estate magnate Sam Zell. But the process has moved slowly and many don't expect a sale to be completed until well into 2008.

Cuban said he hasn't made a final decision on whether to bid for the team. But once Tribune provides full details about the assets for sale, presumably including Wrigley, he expects to be in.

"It's a great sports town, it's a great franchise with a storied history. There's so many opportunities here," he said. "When a team that's so iconic and such an amazing team like the Cubbies come up, it's an opportunity I couldn't let slip by."

After last month's bleacher experience, the Pittsburgh native said he's becoming a Cubs fan. "People think that because I'm not from Chicago, that's a big deal," he said. "I grew up in Pittsburgh, and there's no bigger Dallas Mavs fan now."

"If all this goes down ... if you cut any part of my body, you can see Mavs blood and you can see Cubbies blood coming out." Cuban faces stiff early competition for the Cubs, including several Chicago groups. One front-runner is thought to be the group headed by John Canning, chairman of private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC and a longtime friend and business partner of baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

on da udder hand: Wyverns Winners

The Wyverns won with this rotation: Shields, Rogers, Litsch, Robertson. The opposing rotation: Santana, Sabathia, Pettitte, Verlander. Defense, relief pitching and a devastating lineup lead the Wyverns to the promised land...

2 MFA Wyverns 4 3 4.79 4.9 4 62 34 .277 25 39
7 Oz's Wizards 3 4 4.50 4.9 3 62 34 .284 21 50

2 250 34 71 15 1 9 34 .333 .460 6 4 0 56
7 242 34 67 12 0 8 34 .338 .426 5 8 3 52

2 Mike Smith 4-3: @7 5-2, @7 3-6, 7 5-4, 7 6-8, 7 5-7, @7 5-4, @7 5-3.
7 Oz Fontecchio 3-4: 2 2-5, 2 6-3, @2 4-5, @2 8-6, @2 7-5, 2 4-5, 2 3-5.

My Phokking @SS.

12 Slingers 4 3 - 3.48 4.7 4 62 31
6 Hummingbirds 3 4 1 4.87 4.4 3 61 33

12 Paul Miramonti 4-3: 6 4-3, 6 2-3, @6 4-3, @6 5-7, @6 6-3, 6 7-8, 6 5-4.
6 Mike Smith 3-4: @12 3-4, @12 3-2, 12 3-4, 12 7-5, 12 3-6, @12 8-7, @12 4-5.

Ammo for next baseball season

How to scare a 'Fant

coalition of the mutually antagonistic (part 2)

Hmmm, maybe we shoulda done something about these guys first...

NATO Staggers in Afghanistan as Some Can't Fight On

By James G. Neuger
Enlarge Image/Details

Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) -- NATO's campaign in Afghanistan is under threat from member countries on the front lines clamoring to get out and others on the sidelines refusing to go in.

With military casualties on the increase this year, the Netherlands and Canada are weighing full or partial pullouts within the next 18 months. Meanwhile, leaders in Germany, France, Spain and Italy, mindful of polls showing a majority of Europeans oppose the conflict, are resisting calls to send troops to relieve them.

The European reluctance to fight is making it harder for the 41,000-strong force to consolidate gains against the Taliban, which is battling on in the rugged terrain of southern Afghanistan six years after the U.S. drove it from power in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. It is also endangering the unity of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, raising the stakes for a meeting of defense ministers later this month.

coalition of the mutually antagonistic (part 1)

Top Iraqis Pull Back From Key U.S. Goal
Reconciliation Seen Unattainable Amid Struggle for Power

By Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, October 8, 2007; A01

BAGHDAD -- For much of this year, the U.S. military strategy in Iraq has sought to reduce violence so that politicians could bring about national reconciliation, but several top Iraqi leaders say they have lost faith in that broad goal.

Iraqi leaders argue that sectarian animosity is entrenched in the structure of their government. Instead of reconciliation, they now stress alternative and perhaps more attainable goals: streamlining the government bureaucracy, placing experienced technocrats in positions of authority and improving the dismal record of providing basic services.

"I don't think there is something called reconciliation, and there will be no reconciliation as such," said Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih, a Kurd. "To me, it is a very inaccurate term. This is a struggle about power."

expect titanic, spirit-crushing, soul-sucking delays

CTA to detail severe cuts

The Chicago Transit Authority this week will unveil a new and more severe round of service cuts and fare hikes to take place Jan. 1 unless the stalemate over state transit funding is broken.

The latest CTA "doomsday" scenario comes atop announced service reductions, fare increases and employee layoffs already scheduled for Nov. 4, when 39 bus routes would be eliminated and fares boosted to as high as $3 per ride.

Coalition of the dwindling

Breaking news: Prime Minister Gordon Brown says Britain will cut its troops in Iraq to 2,500 starting in spring.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

what doesn't SUCK?

To whit: anudder awful Ben Stiller movie opened this weekend. The first plot keyword at IMDB for "The Heartbreak Kid" (of course, a remake of a much better film) is: Flatulence. I think the guy hit his peak with the 13-episode run of his own show 15 years ago. Perhaps if every U.S. American would send him a dollar he would stop making movies?

Also sucking: college football teams in southern Caleefoineyuh.

A-Rod SUCKING Update

0-4, 3 K's. Yanks Lose.


(with the Cubs next year?)