Buffalo Bills: Kelly Holcomb is the official starter, with JP Losman in the backup role. Holcomb's a good player, with lots to like in his career statistics--65% completions and an even touchdown/interception ratio despite playing for some notably crappy teams. If you toss out his second year, where he had a TD pass and 8 interceptions, he's above average. On the other hand, he's 33 and has now started 21 NFL games. Losman did not play as badly last year as his 49.9% completion ratio would suggest; he was being asked by his coaches to throw for about 12 yards per attempt, which is pretty agressive for a 24-year-old QB.
Miami Dolphins: Daunte Culpepper goes back to Florida. He's a fine ballplayer, if a little inconsistent. In 2000 and 2004 he was among the best quarterbacks on the planet; in 2002 and 2005 he was mediocre. Backup is Joey Harrington; probably not bad in that role, but he's never going to live up to his promise.
New England Patriots: Tom Brady is the best player in the league and has put a substantial downpayment on The Greatest Ever mansion, currently inhabited by Joe Montana. Will the quest to become acknowledged as TGE take a toll? That's about the only question left for Tom Terrific to answer.
New York Jets: Chad Pennington's a fine player, obvious question mark is durability. The backup's Patrick Ramsey, which means Pennington has to stay healthy.
Baltimore Ravens: Steve McNair is the starter; he's been a quality player but certainly appears to be on the decline. Kyle Boller is the backup. He's made some steps forward, some steps back over the last couple years. The Ravens have not stretched his arm yet, which is unfortunate, because they've gotta find out sooner or later whether he can really play in the NFL. Throwing for 10 yards per completion is a coaching decision, and it's a bad one.
Cincinnati Bengals: Palmer is apparently healthy, which means that the Bengals have a very promising young man playing quarterback. Last season he had 20 more TDs than interceptions, which is solid work indeed. Backup is Anthony Wright, former starter for Baltimore, who's marginal.
Cleveland Browns: Official starter is Charlie Frye; he actually looks like me might be able to play, but that's on the basis of a few games' performance. And he's probably the seasoned quarterback on this team, unless you count Ken Dorsey.
Pittsburgh Steelers. Will Roethlisberger keep from scrambling his brains on the pavement long enough to put up a challenge to Brady? That's the only question he's got left to answer.
Indianapolis: Peyton Manning. This generation's Dan Marino? Unquestionably an excellent player, but still no championships. Has not missed a game in 8 full seasons.
Tennessee Titans: I've liked Billy Volek for awhile now, but this conference has a lot of established quarterbacks. Vince Young has to prove he even belongs in the league before we can begin to rate him.
Houston Texans: Carr looked like a player on the rise after a fine 2004 season, but last year the coaching staff did not stretch his arm. Whereas he had thrown for 12 yards per completion in 2004, he threw for only 10 yards per catch in 2005. I've said it before and I'll say it again; you cannot be successful throwing for 10 yards a catch. Sage Rosenfels on the other hand, throws for 14 yards per completion, but completes only 50% of his passes.
Jacksonville Jaguars. There's nothing not to like about Byron Leftwich's progress as a quarterback. He may get ignored in the AFC because of the opposition, but this is one player to watch. The backup, David Garard, looks like he can play as well, but this is Leftwich's job.
Denver Broncos: Plummer's an interesting QB. I've often said that he's as the greatest passer I've ever seen on the run, and one of the worst passers I've ever seen in the pocket.
Oakland Raiders: Aaron Brooks has been a solid player. He's got 120 TD passes in the NFL, which is a lot more than Chad Pennington or Carson Palmer or Ben Roethlisberger. It's almost as much as Tom Brady. Subjectively I'd rank all those guys above him, but he's no slouch.
Kansas City Chiefs: Trent Green's better than Aaron Brooks. But he's also 36 and hasn't won an NFL postseason game. Damon Huard's got some nice stats in limited playing time.
San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers has thrown 30 NFL passes. Feeley seems a stopgap at best. If Rivers doesn't develop, this looks like a long year in San Diego, perhaps shorter for Marty Schottenheimer than the fans.
Okay, so let's rate them:
Champions: 1. Tom Brady 2. Ben Roethlisberger
What's not to like: 3. Peyton Manning 4. Carson Palmer 5. Chad Pennington 6. Byron Leftwich
Quality Ballplayers: 7. Jake Plummer 8. Daunte Culpepper 9. Trent Green 10. Aaron Brooks 11. Steve McNair
Question Marks: 12. Kelly Holcomb 13. David Carr
Unproven: 14. Billy Volek 15. Charlie Frye 16. Phillip Rivers
Elturk was headed to his mosque, the Islamic Organization of North America Masjid & Learning Center, on Ryan Road just south of 12 Mile. While in traffic on Ryan, he looked over and was greeted by a scowl from a man who seemed to disapprove of Elturk's presence in Warren.
"You can tell he's full of rage," Elturk of Troy said Thursday. "I wasn't surprised. You're going to encounter people who don't know and are ignorant of the situation. That has been very stressful."
You can tell he's full of rage, but do you know what about? Maybe Elturk failed to signal his intentions. Maybe the other driver's angry because he's running late and the traffic is slow. Maybe he's listening to a talk show host who just said something really stupid.
According to an affidavit and passenger accounts, Mrs. Mayo began pacing the plane from the front to aft lavatory and asked a flight attendant, "Is this a training flight for United Flight 93?" -- the flight hijacked on September 11, 2001, that crashed into a Pennsylvania farm field.
Mrs. Mayo demanded to speak with an air marshal, saying the contents of her bag would be of interest. Her bag contained a screwdriver, body lotion, several cigarette lighters and a bottle of water. The affidavit did not say how she smuggled the items on board, despite being screened twice at London's Heathrow Airport.
When confronted by the captain, Mrs. Mayo made a reference to bomb assembly, saying, "There are six steps to building some unspecified thing."
It does seem like the security was lax. But get this:
Mrs. Mayo told passengers she was an undercover reporter testing security to see whether she could sneak restricted items on board.
As a columnist for the Daily Times of Pakistan, Mrs. Mayo criticized President Bush -- calling him "a president not elected by the people"-- and the war in Iraq. "The folksongs of the 1960s will never be written again because of President George Bush. He has hampered the liberties of my country in the name of September 11. Songs now can only talk of patriotism they cannot mention peace," she wrote.
Here's an appalling article about boomer feminists, their obsession with sex, and the problems they've caused for their families.
Talking about Erica Jong:
The one who suffered the most was her daughter, Molly, the progeny of one of those husbands from whom she separated very early in the marriage. Jong appears to have had no interest in creating a coherent family life for her clearly troubled child. As she whiled away summers with her Venetian lover, her daughter, who has recently written an acid memoir describing those years, hung out at the Cipriani pool with her nanny and the neglected children of European celebrities. After divorcing Molly’s father, Jong wrote a smiley-face children’s book, Megan’s Book of Divorce, telling the story of a lucky child who can now enjoy two sets of presents, two sets of toys, and two sets of families—though the book fails to include the procession of men, some of them young enough to be Molly’s brother, traipsing in and out of her mother’s bedroom. So Jong got her orgasms and fed her muse, while—unsurprisingly—Molly became a depressed teenager with a serious drug addiction.
And Jane Juska:
And as in the case of Jong, Juska’s egotism turns out to have a long history that has badly hurt her child. Juska admits to leaving her son’s father without much thought—“I just sort of forgot my husband”—and to being so self-involved that she doesn’t notice when the child jumps into the deep end of a swimming pool without knowing how to swim. Inspired by the women’s movement, she refuses to cook dinner for him (though she does learn to masturbate “without guilt”), and she considers changing her name from Juska, the name of her ex-husband, until her quasi-orphaned child wails: “If you change your name, I won’t belong to anybody.”
By ninth grade, the child expresses his despair by shaving his head and becoming a drugged-out, petty-criminal runaway, living wretchedly on the Berkeley streets.
I presume this won't make Molly Ivins feel any safer, but it's pretty good news to me!
Rehman’s capture could provide the most important leads in months to the whereabouts of Al Qaeda’s top two leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri. Rehman was believed to be in frequent contact with Zawahiri.
Rehman was taken into custody in the southern Punjab city of Bawalpur, the same town where alleged London plot ringleader Rashid Rauf was arrested last week. ABC News saw a copy of the police report on Rehman, with an attached copy of his photo.
The Transportation Security Administration reports that a passenger's water bottle screened positive for an explosive material around 9:15 this morning. A second test was confirmed at 11:25. TSA is waiting for further testing to determine the exact substance.
NBC News reports that federal screeners found four containers of liquids inside a woman's carry-on bag during the screening process this morning. Larry Salyers, Tri-State Airport Director, tells WSAZ the woman is of Pakistani origin, lived in Jackson, Michigan and most recently lived in the Huntington area. She is being detained for questioning.
I'm sure Molly's toasting the woman now, with a full glass of gin.
We have nothing to fear but fear itself, especially since fear is now being fomented and manipulated for political purposes by a bunch of shameless hacks. Who is trying to make you afraid and why? This Karl Rove tactic is getting quite threadbare, in fact, and so much so that it is getting dangerously close to comedy.
Hohoho, hehehe, hahaha, and a couple of tralalas! That's how we pass the day away in the merry old land of Oz!
Of the hundreds of prisoners, alleged terrorists all, who have been held at Guantanamo on the grounds that they were the worst of the worst, only about 10 have ever been charged with anything.
Yes, and among those who haven't been charged are the 20th hijacker. In fact, the Bush administration has not charged many of the terrorists because they don't want to reveal what they know about them. As many people have noted, information has a way of pointing to who leaked it.
In the latest episode, shortly after the announcement of a British-based plot to blow up American airliners, the United Kingdom and the United States were already airing their differences over when the perpetrators should have been arrested.
The Bush administration has put itself in the position of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. If, God forbid, a serious terrorist conspiracy is uncovered, there will be a tendency to dismiss it as a backlash to these overhyped "plots."
Molly, Molly, Molly. There may have been disagreement over when the airline bombers should have been arrested; so far I see no disagreement that they should have been arrested at some point.
Just another example of how some of the extreme libs are on the terrorists' side.
So I don't think it is either surprising or, from a political standpoint, unwise for the Democrats to turn to an antiwar figure like Feingold, or whoever else may emerge between now and the summer of 2008. And, while I would far prefer a Republican administration, or, failing that, a more moderate Democratic one, I think it is easy to overstate the practical consequences for our foreign policy should an antiwar candidate be elected.
It will be interesting to see how the Lefty blogs, who routinely demonize Power Line, react to this post. I suspect there will be three main currents:
1. Hinderaker underestimates how different Feingold would be. 2. He's waving the white flag and acknowledging that the Democrats will cruise to victory. 3. He's still a Nazi, for various other reasons.
As for me, I couldn't disagree with him more. Feingold will be accommodationist towards the terrorists, which will just embolden them, much as McGovern's election in 1972 would have emboldened the Communists.
If Feingold looks likely to get the nomination, this blog will endorse Senator John McCain for the Republican nomination, because I don't want to take a chance of losing to the idiot left. And anyway, I still say Hillary's the frontrunner; we often forget that Howard Dean looked unstoppable right up to the moment that the adults in the Democrats (who are most decidedly not the Lefty blogs) had to make a decision. Joe Lieberman, for all the crowing about his defeat, nearly came back and took the nomination away from Ned Lamont.
On Nov. 7, 2000, the day of the big election between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush, Riley appeared at the polling place in Oconomowac, Wis., where he had registered to vote just the day before, voting records show. His ex-wife owned a home there.
"Then he drove down to Chicago where he was already registered and he voted again," said Michael Crooks, a Wisconsin attorney who filed a complaint against Riley with Wisconsin election officials. "This is about as blatant as it gets."
Riley is running for the State Senate in Wisconsin this year. Guess what his campaign slogan is?
Donovan Riley - A Democrat who will vote like one for the 7th District
As British police piece together the alleged plot to down airlines over the Atlantic, emerging details point to a troubling -- and growing -- strain in Islamic terrorism in Europe: the involvement of women and middle-class, university-educated young men.
They contrast this with loser Richard Reid, but really he's the odd man out. Mohammed Atta was middle class and well-educated. Looking back to the 1960s and 1970s generation of US terrorists--the Weather Underground, the SLA, many of their members were well-educated and came from middle to upper middle class homes. This is not all that surprising, since the poor are too busy scraping by, and the uneducated are probably harder to indoctrinate.
Eva Steele has a son in the military who is supposed to be fighting for freedom in Iraq, but sitting in a wheelchair in her room in a Mesa, Ariz., assisted-living facility, she wonders why it's so hard for her to realize a basic freedom back here in America: the right to vote.
Arriving in Arizona in January from Kansas City, weakened by four heart attacks and degenerative disk disease, Steele, 57, discovered that without a birth certificate she can't register to vote. Under a draconian new Arizona law that supposedly targets illegal immigrants, she needs proof of citizenship and a state-issued driver's license or photo I.D. to register. But her van and purse were stolen in the first few weeks after she moved to Mesa, and with her disability checks going to rent and medicine, she can't afford the $15 needed to get her birth certificate from Missouri. Her wheelchair makes it hard for her to navigate the bus routes or the bureaucratic maze required to argue with state bureaucrats. She's unable to overcome the hurdles thrown in her way -- and in the way of as many as 500,000 other Arizona residents -- by the state's Republican politicians.
I'm thinking of a dozen ways for Steele to get that $15 to get her birth certificate, starting with Salon.com giving her the money. Democrat Jim Pederson is a multimillionaire shopping center developer who's running a quixotic campaign against Jon Kyl; surely he'll pay to make sure that Mrs Steele's rights aren't abrogated?
I always love Draconian laws; they conjure up an image of Christopher Lee in mid-bite. But what is Salon.com complaining about? Folks who don't have a driver's license? How much would Missouri charge to reissue her driver's license? How many people will get trapped who should vote, versus those who will get caught who shouldn't? Salon's not interested.
Across the country, they will have to contend with Republican-sponsored schemes to limit voting. In a series of laws passed since the 2004 elections, Republican legislators and officials have come up with measures to suppress the turnout of traditional Democratic voting blocs. This fall the favored GOP techniques are new photo I.D. laws, the criminalizing of voter registration drives, and database purges that have disqualified up to 40 percent of newly registered voters from voting in such jurisdictions as Los Angeles County.
Okay, we get the idea, we're supposed to boo and hiss when the stage announcer indentifies somebody as a "Republican".
Oh, boo-hoo-hoo for the photo ID laws. Uh, the criminalizations of voter registration drives? What is he talking about?
And the article just gets worse. One woman recounts her effort to get a driver's license in Indiana:
An Indiana resident for 15 years, she'd never had a driver's license when she moved to the state to live near her son. So when she learned that the state required a state-issued photo I.D. to vote, her husband drove her down to the delay-plagued Bureau of Motor Vehicles to get a photo I.D. On her first visit, she brought her Social Security card, her voter registration card, two bills and a credit card, but that wasn't good enough. She had to return three more times, with BMV drones telling her successively she needed a copy of her birth certificate, then a $28 state-certified birth certificate from Massachusetts, and finally a marriage certificate because her birth certificate listed only her maiden name -- although all her various I.D.s carried the married name she has used for 53 years. "I was so angry, it worsened my blood pressure," she recalls.
That's just state bureaucracy. Somehow they've got pretty tight procedures for a driver's license. Good for them, but Salon is of course appalled.
They go through six states, with very optimistic appraisals of the likely Democratic prospects. For example, they claim that the Jon Kyl's Senate seat is competitive. No, it's not. They show two Republican congressional districts up for grabs; really only the former district of Jon Kolbe is open and even that is not a certain Democratic pickup.
Some real estate pros think she got taken to the cleaners on the land she bought in Crawford.
Even so, some real estate experts say they're not accustomed to seeing land selling for $10,500 an acre in Crawford.
When he heard that price, Bert Smith with Re-Max Greater Waco Realty said he wondered "why someone would pay so much." He's familiar with the Crawford area, even owns land there, and says five-acre tracts typically sell for $5,000 to $6,000 an acre.
Sheehan was hospitalized in Seattle on Thursday night and again at Providence Health Center in Waco on Friday and Saturday.
She was released Sunday and has divided her recuperation between Willie Nelson’s home in Austin and a hotel in McGregor so she can use the hotel’s wireless internet and stay close to peace camp associates, Burns said.
Jane Jackson, 70, was taken to Highland Hospital's emergency room Sunday after fasting for 41 days as part of the national Troops Home Fast action.
"She's doing OK," her co-faster, Ivan Olsen, reported Monday. They started their fast July 4 in front of the White House with a group that included Cindy Sheehan and Dick Gregory. Olsen and Jackson continued their fast and vigil in front of the federal building in Oakland.
Looks like Cindy was cheating with her Jamba Juice:
Olsen, 60, a Bay Area artist-activist, said this is his first fast.
"I feel wonderful physically. I had 35 to 45 pounds I could lose," he said. Fasters drink a mixture of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne.
I thought of that afternoon the other day after hearing the news of the foiled airplane bomb plot and the capture of alleged terrorists in England. My source for international news is always lucianne.com, because there are articles posted from around the globe. Several indicated that the British Muslim community was worried about a backlash and reprisals. What balderdash. Britain lost 67 citizens in the World Trade Center on 9/11, and yet radical Muslims in 2002 felt safe enough to hold a convention lauding the attacks.
Of course, regular readers will know I've been an L-Dotter since way back. Indeed, the way I found out about 9-11 was through Lucianne. I got up about 6:00 my time (9:00 Eastern) and checked out the website. It was still early enough that there were no news articles up yet about the terrorist attacks, but in the first article that I checked the comments on were posts from fellow L-Dotters talking about a plane hitting the World Trade Center, then one talking about a second plane, and then a third post imploring us all to turn on the TV. I have to admit, I thought perhaps it was an elaborate gag until the television came on.
Anyway, the much-feared backlash against Muslims never materialized, but groups like CAIR are always treating it like an imminent threat.
Which brings us to this article, on a commonsense proposal by the British authorities to single out Muslims for greater scrutiny at airports.
The Muslim Council of Britain said the procedure, which includes "behavioural pattern recognition", would inevitably lead to discrimination. Inayat Bunglawala, its spokesman, said the government risked alienating "the community whose help it needs in combating the terrorist threat". He said: "Before some kind of religious profiling is introduced, a case has to be made; and we are certainly not convinced by the arguments for this kind of profiling. First of all, Muslims are not an ethnicity, as was shown by the arrests in last week's raids; there are many white converts to Islam."
Yes, but they had names which gave them away as Muslims. Hell, I'd even be willing to say at this point that Caucasians with names like Abdul and Sayeed need to be screened even more than Egyptians with the same name.
Dr Syed Aziz Pasha, secretary general of the Union of Muslim Organisations of the UK and Ireland, said he had asked for holidays to mark Muslim festivals and Islamic laws to cover family affairs which would apply only to Muslims.
Dr Pasha said he was not seeking sharia law for criminal offences but he said Muslim communities in Britain should be able to operate Islamic codes for marriage and family life. "In Scotland, they have a separate law. It doesn't mean they are not part of the UK. We are asking for Islamic law which covers marriage and family life. We are willing to co-operate but there should be a partnership. They should understand our problems then we will understand their problems."
Sorry, but I don't get any sense that the terrorism is about the lack of Muslim family law. If anything, the Muslims in Britain need to be further assimilated into society, not given special treatment.
Last week Muslim groups criticized President Bush for referring to a “war with Islamic fascists.” In an item titled "U.S. Muslims bristle at Bush term Islamic fascists," Reuters quoted CAIR executive director Nihad Awad as saying, “We believe this is an ill-advised term and we believe that it is counter-productive to associate Islam or Muslims with fascism.”
I certainly agree, so stop letting fascists associate with your religion!
Mike Adams has a great suggestion. After getting an email where somebody threatened to come to his office and beat him up:
So, naturally, I wrote back to beg and plead with the man so he wouldn’t actually come to my office to fight me. Instead, I gave him directions to my house so I could fight him there.
And here’s where the little lie comes into play. Rather than giving the man my real home address, I gave him the address of a crack house I helped bust – it was about nine years ago - together with a friend in the vice and narcotics unit. I knew that the homeowner began dealing crack again – years after eighteen people were busted smoking it there - because I still have sources in the neighborhood.
I also know that the guys who live there hate white people like the guy who wanted to fight me. What I don’t know is exactly what went down when the poor white bastard knocked on the door of that crack house wanting to fight someone. I only know I never heard from him again.
Heheh. I haven't had too many problems here, but we've had a couple nasty-grams over at Screw Loose Change.
The LA Times does the sob-sister routine for former SLA member and attempted cop-killer Sara Jane Olson.
She fears falling ill and landing in the prison healthcare organization that experts say claims one life a week through malpractice or neglect.
She laments the absence of anything meaningful to do. She craves privacy. And she tiptoes nervously through each day while awaiting that moment in 2009 when she'll go home to her husband and daughters in Minnesota.
There's the usual "solid citizen" routine:
"I had a really good life," Olson recalled. She acted in community theater and taught citizenship classes. She volunteered for groups aiding African refugees, the poor and other causes, and recorded books for the blind.
And we hear moaning about how tough it is:
Surviving in prison meant accepting what she called "enforced idleness," with one monotonous day sliding into the next. The noise is ceaseless, the facility packed to twice its intended capacity.
No discussion on how tough was it for Myrna Opsahl's (the woman killed in an SLA bank robbery) children, growing up without their mother.
The two big stories I've been covering here are the airlines bombing plot and the Lieberman/Lamont race in Connecticut. Michael Barone makes the connection:
Our Left criticized George W. Bush when The New York Times revealed that the National Security Agency was surveilling telephone calls from al-Qaida suspects overseas to the United States. Now it appears that the United States surveilled the British terrorists, and that they made phone calls to the United States. The Left cried foul when The New York Times revealed that the United States was monitoring money transfers at the SWIFT bank clearinghouse in Brussels. Now it appears that there was monitoring of money transfers by the British terrorists in Pakistan. On Tuesday, the Left was gleeful that it was scoring political points against George W. Bush. On Thursday, it seemed that the supposedly controversial NSA surveillance contributed to savings thousands of lives.
Joseph Lieberman is being criticized for saying, "I'm worried that too many people, both in politics and out, don't appreciate the seriousness of the threat to American security and the evil of the enemy that faces us -- more evil, or as evil, as Nazism and probably more dangerous than the Soviet communists we fought during the long Cold War. We cannot deceive ourselves that we live in safety today and the war is over, and it's why we have to stay strong and vigilant."
Scotland Yard police are questioning a husband and wife who allegedly planned to hide a liquid bomb in their baby's bottle to bring down an airliner.
They are among the 23 suspects arrested over the plot to blow up airliners headed for the United States in mid-flight.
Mr Keelty today expressed dismay at the alleged plan to use a child in a suicide mission.
The word "evil" is scorned by many today, but I don't see how you describe a couple that would do that with their own baby as anything else.
But it does look like their civil rights were violated:
It has emerged MI5 agents launched covert intrusions on the homes of some suspects several weeks ago in "sneak and peek" operations to plant listening devices and gather evidence ahead of the arrests last week.
Glenn Greenwald will no doubt write an angry post about our lost freedoms.
Meanwhile Doug Riehl notes that many of the children killed in the Qana raid were physically handicapped and wonders if they were chosen by Hezbollah to die.
Shocking News: Dean Thinks Lieberman Should Drop Out
Yes, even though Dean's brother, who took over Democracy For America, campaigned and fundraised for Ned Lamont, Howie wants us to know that he thinks Joe Lieberman should bow out of the race. Why?
"I know how hard this is for Joe, and he is a good person, but the truth is I lost one of these races and I got behind my party's nominee and I think that is what you have to do if you want to help this country," Dean, former governor of Vermont, said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"The way to help this country is to limit Republican power."
But of course the Republican is doing nothing in that race, as the latest polls show, so there's no risk of a pickup by the GOP here:
Senator Joe Lieberman’s decision to run as an Independent sets up a lively campaign season for Connecticut voters. In the first General Election poll since Ned Lamont defeated Lieberman in Tuesday’s primary, the incumbent is hanging on to a five percentage point lead. Lieberman earns support from 46% of Connecticut voters while Lamont is the choice of 41% (see crosstabs).
A month ago, the candidates were tied at 40% each.
Republican Alan Schlesinger earns just 6% of the vote, down from 13% a month ago.
I do suspect that Schlesinger is experiencing a temporary low due to all the attention being focused on Lieberman and Lamont, but he'd need a miracle to get back into the contest.
The reason Dean wants Lieberman to drop out is that he wants a victory for the kook wing of the party, which he represents.