Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

30 September 2008

Wake up, White/Black/All-Hues-of People

Oh Phillyblog, I love you like a bigoted uncle. Why? Because of threads with names like this:
Expect a race war if Obama loses.
Yes, that link will take you to page 28 of the thread. God bless America.

And Go Cubs!

29 September 2008

Big Belly in the Belly of the Beast

Listen, I know the ladyfolk should be able to work as many hours, and earn as much money, as their manpieces. But still, as I was checking out a very cool New York Times photo-essay (note to newspaperpeople: You should be doing a lot of these) about the NY Mercantile Exchanges' Oil-Trading Pit, something struck me about this photo...

Amy Lubeck, who is expecting her first child in the next month, stands behind a small barricade as she works as a trader in the energy options pit. In an effort to keep her from being knocked down -- as routinely happens to traders on hectic days -- the other traders erected a protective barricade for her at the edge of the pit. "She brings a lot of good business to the floor so we want to keep her safe," said one of her male colleagues, who didn't want to be named.

Is it chauvinist to wonder, on, say, your blog called Philly Blunt, whether Amy might wanna not be down in the pit? Or is a good move to get those capitalist vibrations rolling through her belly?

Weekend Reading Roundup

Man oh man do I have a stack of clips here today, and time's short considering it's a mere 48 hours till the Cubbies begin their march toward the World Series. What does this mean for you? Nothing, except for the fact that the roundup's all about speed today.

Johnny likes to throw dice, doesn't care for worrywarts
For much of his adult life, Mr. McCain has gambled as often as once a month, friends and associates said, traveling to Las Vegas for weekend betting marathons. Former senior campaign officials said they worried about Mr. McCain’s patronage of casinos, given the power he wields over the industry. The officials, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We were always concerned about appearances,” one former official said. “If you go around saying that appearances matter, then they matter.”
The former official said he would tell Mr. McCain: “Do we really have to go to a casino? I don’t think it’s a good idea. The base doesn’t like it. It doesn’t look good. And good things don’t happen in casinos at midnight.”
“You worry too much,” Mr. McCain would respond, the official said. [NYT]

Philly goes national - and it's for something positive!
The program’s success has prompted Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, to urge Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. to adopt the plan nationwide. [NYT]

I'm sure it is comfortable, Gov. Rendell, but who paid for it?
Ed Rendell was so enamored of the place [the Four Seasons], he ordered his gubernatorial bed from the hotel's supplier. [Inky]

Fare thee well, Spectrum
Angotti, captain of the first team, had another memory: the 1967 parade along Broad Street. The Flyers, sitting in convertibles, were trying to introduce the new franchise to fans.
"Nobody showed up," Angotti said with a smile.
The people walking down the street "were thinking, 'What is that?' " Snider recalled. "And seven years later, there were two million people at the [championship] parade." [Inky]

Obama lied, but nobody died. Though, their death is inevitable. So's yours.
Obama's "change" mantra has been another impediment. Seniors - unlike young people, with their limited time horizons - don't necessarily see "change" as intrinsically good. They've lived through good changes, and bad changes, and promised good changes that turned out to be bad changes. A recent Pew poll reports that only 53 percent of seniors find Obama inspiring - again, the lowest score of any age bracket. [Inky]

We're going to party. Karamu, siesta, forever.
Most people, Dr. Ellenbogen says, think of the sleeping brain as similar to a computer that has “gone to sleep” — it does nothing productive. Wrong. Sleep enhances performance, learning and memory. Most unappreciated of all, sleep improves creative ability to generate aha! moments and to uncover novel connections among seemingly unrelated ideas. [NYT]

One trend that won't go SSW from the 212 to the 215
The proportion of New York City residents who are white and non-Hispanic rose slightly last year, reversing more than a half-century of so-called white flight from the city, according to census figures released on Tuesday. [NYT]

Couldn't you have at least snagged a Dallas Cowgirl, John? I mean, the stinking Raiders? Your biggest rival???
Denver Broncos Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway is engaged to a former Oakland Raiders cheerleader. The Rocky Mountain News reported Friday that the two-time Super Bowl winner proposed to 41-year-old Paige Green during a trip to Italy last week. [AP via Inquirer]

And, in other news:
Comcast's Brian Roberts dropped from 57 to 65 in Vanity Fair's annual New Establishment List.
GOP Golden Boy Bobby Jindal was once victimized by a lovely "Wake Up, White People" variation in an ad, so sayeth Esquire. Still don't much care for his views, but when such things happen, they must be told.

Go Cubs.

26 September 2008

Pour one out for T. Milton


T. Milton Street Sr. was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for failing to file tax returns for three years and ordered to pay $413,000 in back taxes. He was immediately taken into custody, surrendering his watch, tie and other personal belongings before he was led off in handcuffs.

So sad. Especially since my man broke down the case for no-jail time to me in the Weekly yesterday.

(Photo by Michael T. Regan)

A Prayer for Our City

Dear Jebus,
I know the Cubbies have kind of been laying up a little since the pressure's off, but if you could find it in Your repertoire to enable them to sweep the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend, thus guaranteeing the Phillies a playoff spot even if they should get swept by Washington, it'd be much appreicated.
Amen. And holla at Your boy.


P.S. I'll do an extra rosary if you ensure I needn't deal with a Cubs/Phils series till the NLCS.

Let's make it rain, East Falls!

Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Check this out: A thread on Phillyblog today mulls rumors that a strip joint is opening within three blocks of my home. Alas, it seems the rumors are just that. Which is why there's gonna be a tear in my beer tonight. Ok, not really. But if you have a chance to dust old Hank off, you use it. That's what's up.

25 September 2008

Oh, won't you smile awhile for me, Sarah

So yeah, the Alaskan Huntress Who Would Be Veep will be in town tomorrow night. At the Irish Pub, to watch a debate her bossman tried to cancel out of, um, respect for the country. Yeah, that's it. As I'm sure anybody who's surfed the internets in Philadelphia today already knows. To commemorate the visit, here's a link to a fact-versus-revisionist-history graphic in the latest Rolling Stone piece about Her Eminence.

The football picks...

... are up.

A budding cop killer UPDATED

From (photo from Daily News) (the story itself was from the Inquirer, was hard to tell online without bylines):

WHILE OTHER KIDS his age played video games or rode bikes, Daniel Giddings was out committing felonies. At age 10, he beat up and robbed a mentally challenged man, court records show.
"Neighbors told his mom when he was 10 years old she should buy a black dress now," Assistant District Attorney Joseph Coolican told a judge in 2000 just before Giddings, then 18, was sentenced in a 1998 carjacking case in which he shot the victim in both kneecaps.
At the time, Coolican told the judge that in his four years of prosecuting violent thugs, he'd never seen a defendant more likely to commit a crime again, according to a court transcript.
"I'm telling [the judge], he'll never be a safe person, never let him back on the street," Coolican recalled yesterday in a phone interview.
Common Pleas Judge Lynn Bennett-Hamlin, who deemed Giddings' juvenile record "appalling," could have sentenced him to a maximum 45 years in prison. Instead, she gave him six to 12 years on charges of robbery, aggravated assault and possession of an instrument of a crime.
State prison and parole officials could have kept Giddings behind bars for the entire 12 years. Instead they let him free after 10 years, despite his record of bad behavior in and out of jail.

RIP, Ofcr. Patrick McDonald. Sorry that revolving-door justice cost you your life, and Philly another dedicated public servant.
Good luck sleeping at night, your honor.
At least this dirtbag Giddings got what he deserved.

A couple other interesting passages from the Inquirer's piece:

Ramsey said the Pennsylvania Probation and Parole Board owed the families of McDonald and Officer Richard Bowes, 36, whom Giddings shot and wounded before being killed, an explanation for Giddings' release.
Giddings, who police said was charged 27 times with disciplinary problems in prison and spent 537 days in solitary confinement, was granted parole last year on the recommendation of prison officials, according to the parole board's ruling.

The commish is right, but they probably owe the family more than an apology.

The family complained that Giddings was unfairly described in the news media.
"They acted like he wasn't loving and didn't care about his family," Latanya Giddings said while clutching a photo of her brother lying at the morgue. "They make us hate them."
Anne Williams, 33, who identified herself as Giddings' girlfriend, said: "He loved children. He wasn't bad."
Another woman, Sheena Faison, 29, who identified herself as a best friend of Giddings, said: "He was not an animal. He had a good heart."

That sound you hear is that of a tongue being bitten, hard.

You're welcome, Phils fans

"When tomorrow comes, hopefully the sun comes up. It might not."
-- Mets manager Jerry Manuel in the wake of the Cubs 9-6 come-from-behind, Phillies-lead-protecting victory.

Speaking of the greatest team in all of sports history, the Cubbies really shouldn't have won that game last night onaccounta the fact that they landed what I think is their third Sports Illustrated cover of the season.

This time, the most excellent Gary Smith returns to the bleachers during the Labor Day series with the Phightins.

"Nope, we're not going to have a '69 again," declared Chris, referring to that most notorious of Cubs collapses when a black cat scampered past Ron Santo in the on-deck circle at Shea Stadium as his team was busy trashing a nine-game mid-August lead. "This is the best Cub team since the '30s. We've got five pitchers who'll have double-figure wins. We win by five even when we don't play well. We've got depth and we've got versatility—guys that play everywhere and can hit almost anywhere in the order. We're always up 5--1 in the third or we're coming back to win in the eighth. I've been waiting for this team all my life."

Those who forget history, Chris. Those who forget history.

SI also updates Adam Taliaferro, the former Penn Stater who's back on his feet and more.

24 September 2008

Today's freelance

Got me a column in today's Metro and, being posted later today is an As Told To piece I wrote along side the one, the only, T. Milton. Street. Seeeeeeeennnnnior. Will link when it's up.

**Update, here's the link to the online Philadelphia Weekly piece wit' Milt.

23 September 2008

Internet statistic of the day UPDATED

Number of additional hits on a day that another blog links to this here Philly Blunt jawn:

Philebrity: 352.
Philadelphia Will Do: 25. ***

***: I can't imagine how, but I didn't notice that the hit-counter-turner-upper-machine known as Young Philly Politics also contributed to that whopping total. Keep on keepin' on. You're revolutionizing the public-discourse, well, 12.5 people a day! Shouldn't take long now.

Sweet Lord Jesus

I've long maintained that if America were a woman, New Jersey would be her breastuses. This is because Jers is fine, with a capital F and no need to play around with PH's and whatnot. But today I read a story that reminded me of that time the neo-nazis, or whatever they're calling themselves these days, papered my block with their illogical hate speech. (As an aside, it got me to thinking about that Jersey Curb Sandwich that Norton gave some dude in American History X, if only because that name along proves my breastuses argument). Buckle up for the AP report (and longer Star-Ledger account):

Residents in one New Jersey town are disturbed after receiving fliers over the weekend that question Barack Obama's candidacy on racial grounds.
Roxbury resident Elizabeth Corsetto says a flier was left in her driveway asking, "Do You Want A Black President?" and showing a doctored photo of Obama with a long beard and turban.

The answer? Color ain't no thang: I just want the type of president who will banish people like this to an uninhabited island in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, if such a place exists.
Since this is a blog, though, and there's absolutely zero accountability that comes along with blogging, I'd like to share an unsubstantiated report I just, um, heard from one of the voices in my head:
Sarah Palin personally designed and distributed the flyer.

The Little Piggy Went to Wasilla

I'm sorry, but the more I read about Miss Congeniality, I mean, Sarah Palin, psychopath extreme, the more I think that John McCain's veep choice is an extreme psychopath. Here are some excerpts from last week's New Yorker piece on her. (Also check the Spike Lee profile; good read). Anybody that votes for this dame, consider yourself an enemy of the state. Seriously.

I mean, unless you're into prohibitionists...
She said that one of her goals had been to combat alcohol abuse in rural Alaska, and she blamed Commissioner Monegan for failing to address the problem. That, she said, was a big reason that she’d let him go—only, by her account, she didn’t fire him, exactly. Rather, she asked him to drop everything else and single-mindedly take on the state’s drinking problem, as the director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. “It was a job that was open, commensurate in salary pretty much—ten thousand dollars less”—but, she added, Monegan hadn’t wanted the job, so he left state service; he quit.

Or freespenders with little care about deficits...
Palin’s style of governing was unorthodox and at times impulsive. Although she boasts of a record as a fiscal conservative, she raised the sales tax while she was in office. She left the town saddled with millions of dollars in debt from the building of a new sports complex, and with legal fees, because she had failed to secure title to the land on which the complex was built. Casting herself in the Ted Stevens mold, however, she had proved herself skilled at collecting federal earmarks for Wasilla, bringing in twenty-seven million dollars for her small town in three years.

Or extremists...
While Republicans hold most of the state’s top political posts, only twenty-five per cent of Alaskan voters are registered Republicans. Fifteen per cent are Democrats, and three per cent belong to the Alaska Independence Party—the extremist states’ rights, quasi-secessionist faction to which Todd Palin once pledged his allegiance.

Or those who hate the press and the people...
She said that she had put her predecessor’s jet for sale on eBay, which was true, except that this is how government property was often disposed of in Alaska, and the plane didn’t sell online; it had to be unloaded through a private deal, at a loss of half a million dollars. ...
That same week, Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, announced, “This election is not about issues.” What mattered, he said, was the “composite view” that voters would form of the candidates. On a talk show, the Washington bureau chief of Time told Nicole Wallace, a McCain spokesperson, that it was still unclear whether Palin was ready “to answer tough questions about domestic policy, foreign policy.” Wallace laughed. “Like from who? From you?” And she asked, “Who cares if she can talk to Time magazine?”

Or vacuous gasbags who've gotten by their whole life on looks alone:
As a public speaker, Palin was known for expressing goals and voicing good intentions with gusto, if with few specifics. As she talked about her hopes for Alaska, she often seemed to skip from slogan to slogan without ever touching solid ground.

Or mothers who risk their unborn children's lives then rail against a rape victim's right to have an abortion:
Sarah Palin had not announced her pregnancy until she was seven months along. A month later, she was in Texas to address a conference when her water broke. She decided to give the speech and then return to Wasilla to deliver the child. By way of explaining this all-day odyssey (most obstetricians advise against air travel in the eighth month, never mind during labor, and most airlines forbid it), Todd Palin later remarked, “You can’t have a fish picker”—a commercial fisherman—“from Texas.”

Or people who employ Klan-life rallying points (Wake up, white pay-pole!):
Presidential candidates have promised earmark reform, so we gotta deal with it, we gotta live with it, understanding that our senior senator, especially—he’s eighty-four years old, he is not gonna be able to serve in the Senate forever. We will not have that seniority back there anymore.” Suddenly she called out, “Alaskans, wake up!”

Weekend Reading Roundup

The third consecutive week of embarrassing football-pick results can be found here.

On the extended-weekend reading tip, some Inky stories:

Now, I've never heard of Inquirer Staff Writer Jenna Oskowitz before this weekend, but she certainly made an impression on first read. A very bad impression. A very, very bad impression, as a matter of fact. Because Ms. Oskowitz, in writing about the shameful injustice of The Insider firing American Hero Pat O'Brien, disrespected a man whose contributions to society surpass those of FDR, Einstein and Elvis squared. Ms. Oskowitz, you need to know one thing: Pat O'Brien ain't jealous of nobody in this world. He's got hookers, blow and Betsy. And you name it, Betsy's into it. You owe them both an apology. [Photo from Gawker]

From the "Shut the hell up and go the hell home" files, it seems local trannies have driven the Commission on Human Relations to take up a case challenging whether SEPTA is being discriminatory because the stickers on their travel passes only come in Male and Female and not "In Between." People, we live in a world with real problems. Gargantuan problems. Last time I checked, the stork doesn't drop off babies with signs celebrating, "It's neither a boy nor a girl!" Pathetic. A waste of time and energy. My tip: Go with whichever gender you more closely resemble, sirma'ams.

And, check this letter out. I need to know more. Were they illicitly inserted into copies? Were they sent out as an advertisement for, well, fearmongering?

DVD of fear
I just finished watching Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West, an alarmist DVD that was inserted in The Inquirer and other newspapers last week. It purports to be nonpartisan, but is just now being distributed before the elections in swing states.
It's obvious the film's intent is to make us afraid, and it panders to that fear by presenting an image of a worldwide jihadist conspiracy. The Clarion Fund, which distributed the film, claims we are in denial if we don't buy into this hate propaganda. The film offers no concrete ideas as to what to do. It just wants to create a fear that happens to dovetail with John McCain's rhetoric.

Judy Rubin

The New York Times Magazine also deserves an Oskowitz shout-down for claiming that Baltimore is "the new Philadelphia." Because it isn't. And it never will be. Unless you're talking about the syphilis cluster in the Great Northeast. In which case, yes, Baltimore is similar to Philadelphia.
But it also deserves an atta-guy for this pull quote about how McCain fared in a straw poll of U.S. Naval Academy upperclassmen:
These students are just as inclined as good students everywhere to question established wisdom. One professor told me he had polled a group of upperclassmen on the presidential race this past May. He was shocked to read the final tally: Hillary Clinton, 0; the war hero and Navy legend John McCain, 7; Barack Obama, 13. Virtually all of them, he said, took a dim view of the chief architects of the Iraq war (though they continued to respect the commander in chief).

Over in the NY Times (victims of a pretty funny sketch on SNL this week), the tragedy of the Non-convicted-murder O.J. Simpson's life remains on full display out in Vegas. Even if nobody but Dominick Dunne is there to see it unfold.
Mr. Simpson’s initial court appearances last year provoked a minor frenzy, but his arrivals in recent days elicited little reaction. A street outside the courthouse was shut down for an expected deluge of reporters, but it has been largely empty. The Las Vegas Sun is offering updates via the microblog site Twitter, but as of Friday just 33 people had signed up.

A must-read editorial about how scumbag Swiftboaters are fighting for the right they really don't have to smear Obama indiscriminately -- without oversight from election rule. The piece dovetails nicely with Nick Kristof's calling-out of those who've attempted to unethically co-opt his work to say things he didn't say about Obama and religion. He said it before and he'll say it again: Obama. Is. Not. Muslim. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

And, finally, The Muppets are coming back with the vengeance!

20 September 2008

6:20ish p.m.EST, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008 A.D.

19 September 2008

Cubs Baseball Friday

First, the good news:
Chicago radio stations and sports bars have begun spinning "All the Way," a Cubs-themed ditty written by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder at the request of Cubs legend Ernie Banks, reports. The track features lines like "Our heroes wear pinstripes / pinstripes in blue / give us a chance to feel like heroes too." It was recorded last month during Cubs fan Vedder's solo concert at Auditorium Theatre, according to The song will be available for downloading in the next few days, according to Pearl Jam's Web site, and may also be sold on CD and "souvenir 45 singles."

Now, the bad news: In the second inning, the Cubbies are down 8-0 in the second. Yeah. I know. Looks like it ain't gonna be clinchin' day. Wonder if it'll ever be clinchin' day. If it does come, though, I hope it ain't Sunday, since I'll be down at the Linc with JJ watching the Birds paste the Stealers.

18 September 2008

And the magic number is...

... is brought to you by the number 2, thanks to D. Lee's RBI-single scoring Jason Marquis in the bottom of the 12th.

Go, Cubs, Go!

Hickey on Desportes **UPDATED

The football picks are up.

Speaking of sports (even if we weren't), the Cubbies are currently up 2-1 in the sixth (**UPDATE. Milwaukee took a 6-2 lead, only to see the Cubs drop four in the bottom on the ninth to tie 'er up. Currently in the bottom of the 10th); should said lead hold up, the magic number will be 2. And then, the choking can begin.
You know, kind of like the Yankees have done all year long. And, like any self respecting human being, it's great to see.
But what isn't great to see is the fact that Yankee Stadium will soon meet the wrecking ball (last game's Sunday against the Baltimore Syphilisbirds). Knowing full well that this day was coming, I made a couple trips north in the past few years to see a pair of games in the House that Ruth Built. I'm happy I did, for it's an irreplacable piece of Americana. A point made in this week's Sports Illustrated, which features the building on the cover. It's a good read (even if the stadium-speaking gimmick takes a bit to get used to). My favorite nugget:

LET ME think ... what is left from how I was before the renovation? Oh, yes, there is the Lou Gehrig Room, long forgotten but only recently rediscovered. As you exit the Yankees' clubhouse, turn right down a narrow concrete hallway painted blue. Go past the umpires' room, then the weight room and then the carpenters' shop (the one in which Nettles corked his bat and where Paul O'Neill and Jason Giambi shaved the handles of theirs). Keep going, then turn right past the indoor batting cage, which is called the Columbus Room, in recognition of the Yankees' former longtime Triple A affiliate (as in, if you wanted to stay out of Columbus, this was the room where you needed to be). Turn left as you pass a storage room filled with assorted junk. And there, behind a rolling metal gate, is what appears to be a larger version of the junk-strewn room you just passed. The place is filled haphazardly with plastic seats, copper and PVC piping, and industrial drums of something called Formula 654, labeled HEAVY-DUTY LIQUID CLEANER.
According to Ray Negron, a special assistant to Steinbrenner, Gehrig sat in this room whenever he sought the comfort of solitude after he became terminally ill in 1939. Negron had been a graffiti guerilla himself, until one day Steinbrenner caught him spraying paint on my facade. Something about the kid touched the Yankees' owner, who gave him a job as a batboy and gofer. In August 1973 Steinbrenner asked Negron to sit with Gehrig's widow, Eleanor, when she took in a game. Negron says he asked her what she thought of Pride of the Yankees, the movie about her late husband. "She said," recalls Negron, "'The only thing they should have used but they didn't was the room.'" Then she told him about it.

No Money, Mo Problems

So here's what loses me: Wouldn't now be the perfect time to dump some money into the stock market? Or, is that just downright stupid? Damned if I know, but I wish I did. Rather that fretting, I'm'a just gonna watch Sal and Richard from the Stern show sneak in behind a CNN live shot (40 seconds in is magical).

17 September 2008


See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Today's magic number...

Oh, sorry, there's no number on that shirt, is there? My bad.
It's 4.

"She scares the bejeebers out of me" **UPDATED

So, the first McCain/Palin sign popped up on my block this week. It's out of front of some crazy dame's house, so it's kind of fitting. Especially after the long piece in this past Sunday's Times which delved deep into Sarah Palin's political past. Now, of course the GOP will craft this as yet-another liberal-media attack on their precious lil hussy, thus still rallying their imbecilic (yeah, I just made that word up) base into voting for a ticket that has no business leading this country into the future.
What struck me about the piece is just how controlling and seemingly multiple-personalitied (again, made up) The Trollop Who Would Be Veep is. To wit:

The Censor!
And four months ago, a Wasilla blogger, Sherry Whitstine, who chronicles the governor’s career with an astringent eye, answered her phone to hear an assistant to the governor on the line, she said.
“You should be ashamed!” Ivy Frye, the assistant, told her. “Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now!”

The Queen of Payback!
Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials.

The Cheney (with breastuses):
Interviews show that Ms. Palin runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy.

The Fumo (with bigger breastuses):
The governor and her top officials sometimes use personal e-mail accounts for state business; dozens of e-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that her staff members studied whether that could allow them to circumvent subpoenas seeking public records.
Rick Steiner, a University of Alaska professor, sought the e-mail messages of state scientists who had examined the effect of global warming on polar bears. (Ms. Palin said the scientists had found no ill effects, and she has sued the federal government to block the listing of the bears as endangered.) An administration official told Mr. Steiner that his request would cost $468,784 to process.
When Mr. Steiner finally obtained the e-mail messages — through a federal records request — he discovered that state scientists had in fact agreed that the bears were in danger, records show.
“Their secrecy is off the charts,” Mr. Steiner said.

See, I'm just like yoo. Onlee I'm batshit crazy.

The Scorned Lover's Bride:
Last summer State Representative John Harris, the Republican speaker of the House, picked up his phone and heard Mr. Palin’s voice. The governor’s husband sounded edgy. He said he was unhappy that Mr. Harris had hired John Bitney as his chief of staff, the speaker recalled. Mr. Bitney was a high school classmate of the Palins and had worked for Ms. Palin. But she fired Mr. Bitney after learning that he had fallen in love with another longtime friend.
“I understood from the call that Todd wasn’t happy with me hiring John and he’d like to see him not there,” Mr. Harris said.
“The Palin family gets upset at personal issues,” he added. “And at our level, they want to strike back.”
Through a campaign spokesman, Mr. Palin said he “did not recall” referring to Mr. Bitney in the conversation.

The Tool of the Krazy Kooky Konservatives:
In the past three decades, socially conservative Oklahomans and Texans have flocked north to the oil fields of Alaska. They filled evangelical churches around Wasilla and revived the Republican Party. Many of these working-class residents formed the electoral backbone for Ms. Palin, who ran for mayor on a platform of gun rights, opposition to abortion and the ouster of the “complacent” old guard.

The Terminatress/Queen of Russian Career Roulette:
But careers were turned upside down. The mayor quickly fired the town’s museum director, John Cooper. Later, she sent an aide to the museum to talk to the three remaining employees. “He told us they only wanted two,” recalled Esther West, one of the three, “and we had to pick who was going to be laid off.” The three quit as one.

The Aspiring Book Burner:
The new mayor also tended carefully to her evangelical base. She appointed a pastor to the town planning board. And she began to eye the library. For years, social conservatives had pressed the library director to remove books they considered immoral.
“People would bring books back censored,” recalled former Mayor John Stein, Ms. Palin’s predecessor. “Pages would get marked up or torn out.”
Witnesses and contemporary news accounts say Ms. Palin asked the librarian about removing books from the shelves. The McCain-Palin presidential campaign says Ms. Palin never advocated censorship.
But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.
“Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,” Ms. Chase said. “It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.”

The Eternal Toys R Us Kid:
The Wasilla High School yearbook archive now doubles as a veritable directory of state government. Ms. Palin appointed Mr. Bitney, her former junior high school band-mate, as her legislative director and chose another classmate, Joe Austerman, to manage the economic development office for $82,908 a year. Mr. Austerman had established an Alaska franchise for Mailboxes Etc.

The Fumo II:
While Ms. Palin took office promising a more open government, her administration has battled to keep information secret. Her inner circle discussed the benefit of using private e-mail addresses. An assistant told her it appeared that such e-mail messages sent to a private address on a “personal device” like a BlackBerry “would be confidential and not subject to subpoena.”
Ms. Palin and aides use their private e-mail addresses for state business. A campaign spokesman said the governor copied e-mail messages to her state account “when there was significant state business.”
On Feb. 7, Frank Bailey, a high-level aide, wrote to Ms. Palin’s state e-mail address to discuss appointments. Another aide fired back: “Frank, this is not the governor’s personal account.”
Mr. Bailey responded: “Whoops~!”

**UPDATE: Looks like the scourge of crazy Scientologists across the globe, "anonymous," gets the Public Service Award of the Week after hacking into hussy's email and proving that she did, in fact, play fast and loose with the law governing personal vs. private email. Bravo.
But, um, Gov dot Palin at yahoo? C'mon, sunshine, you disappoint. Why not just go with crazy creationist who loves shooting these here guns at talkin' all folsky dot com?

16 September 2008


Still aching from last night's Dallas/Birds epic. If you want to see the result of the fubaw picks, go here. Will be blogging about the many faces of Sarah Palin tomorrow.

15 September 2008

F'in Chokers

No, they didn't pull off the back-to-back no-hitters, but with today's one-hitter victory over the 'Stros, the Cubs magic number has dipped to ...

Cubs Baseball

Far be it from me to boast -- especially after the Phils came up HUGE with their sweep of Mil-a-wall-kay-uh -- but it bears noting that:

1) The Cubs' Carlos Zambrano pitched the squad's first no-hitter in my lifetime last night, and

2) Through five innings today, the Cubs' Ted Lilly is staring straight down the pitching line at a second no-hitter in 36 hours.

God is great.
God is good.
Now we thank Him.
For not letting the Cubbies piss it all away again this year.

* As of this very second, the Cubs magic number is ...

14 September 2008

The Bird

Was just watching the first games of the Phils' doubleheader when, like that split second of Miss Jackson's breastuses exposure, I noticed Brewers outfielder Mike Cameron scratch the side of his head, look back toward the crowd and, upon hearing something he didn't done like, do this ...

And you know what, Mike, I know how you feel. Because The Bird of the Day So Far goes to DirecTV which, it seems, isn't satisfied with milking its customers of the $250 for the right to the full football package, and the three-digit monthly investment in HD. No, they want more loot in order to see all the football games I'm already paying for in the High Defition that I'm already paying for.
The number's busy. The Web site's jammed. And I'm thinking about hauling my money right out of DirecTV and giving it to satanic-equivalent Comcast.
Shame on DirecTV. And F U anyway too, Mike Cameron.

The Imbecile Brigade out in full force

So, an anonymous message-board poster named "SteakWitImpaler" - I'm sure somebody out there can find the humor in the moniker - decided to take some cheap shots on me over at phillyblog in a thread about the piece I had in the Weekly. (Long and short: Interracial couple claims they were assaulted by a racist South Philly bar owner. Bar owner tells me, in the article, that it was bullshit. Couple tells me that, post-article, the police called to say their investigation has been reopened).
Now, I'm devastated, just unable to live with myself, as I'm left to wonder whether the 13 cries-of-bias-less years I spent in the journalism game were all for naught. I mean, this guy really has some mental acumen, a sharp, sharp mind. And all I've ever wanted to do was win the approval of an anonymous blogger who rides the reading-comprehension short bus.

Honestly, I thought the place was a gay bar until this article came out, also seemed to have a pretty diverse clientel. Doesn't mean the allegations aren't true, and I imagine that sort of ugliness could happen at neighborhood corner joints. On the other hand, Hickey's article is basically just taking the complainants' report as gospel. You'd figure a former wannabe political operator for the Johnny Doc campaign would have the stones to actually set foot in the Triangle and try to get a sense of the place himself.
Part of me wonders if he's playing stereotypical "new progressive inter-racially dating philly" against "old bigot philly" as some way to secure a place among the "new philly" power elite he sees coming after Farnese's campaign handed him his behind. Guy's not a journalist, he's a hanger on desperate to ride whatever way the wind's blowing. The allegations in the article are ugly, but the way Hickey plays "hard hitting journalism" is kinda pathetic and weak. There's not teeth here, just insinuation based on tiresome stereotype.

Now, I would go through this line by line and rebut every last shot fired across my bow. But what's the point? Dude can't read with any efficiency to begin with.

P.S. You missed an "e" in "clientele". Just thought you'd like to know.

Sambo Politics

1) If you're looking for the week in picks, go here.
2) The best part of Tina Fey's depiction of Sarah "Lil Piggie Went to Moose Market" Palin? Posing with an imaginary gun, good. "And I can see Russia from my house"? Even gooder. The accent, great ...

Now, onto some early reading since I'll be in front of HD for the Sunday NFL Ticket for the forseeable future.
My high school, Haddon Township, holla!, was a rather lily white place. We had a single-digit African-American population, even though it was about eight miles from the visible PSFS sign. I mention this today because a story about those Krazy Konservative Kristians reminded me of the time a student showed up for Halloween in Aunt Jemima attire, complete with blackface. It didn't go over all that well, marking one of my earliest memories of racial sensitivity. I mean, who knew, back then, that the 'burbs were filled to the hilt with families who rode the white flight east? I didn't.

Babbling, I know. So why the hell did the Values Voter Summit offer "Obama Waffles" novelty cereal boxes? Well, because the Republicans, who've shown zero compunction about lying because it stokes their base's inner-ignoramuses thanks to their inferior mental acumen. Their new motto: Nothing says funny like Sambo-izing the man who actually cares about the future of his nation in the world. (Side note to Inquirer columnist Kevin Ferris, who I respect: Your don't cry racism if Obama column today is absurdly flawed. White Democrats are able to see past color. White Republicans base their lives on the right to drop N-bombs in the comfort of their own home when nobody's listening. And they laugh every time. Believe me. I know some of them.)

Also mourning over here in Bluntland for the loss of Miles Mack, a Mantua legend who used basketball to try and steer troubled kids away from trouble yet, last week, was felled by troubled kids who decided it was acceptable to open fire on a rec-league award ceremony.

(Photo of Mack, left, from Inquirer)

Senseless. Infuriating. And even more senseless and infuriating when you consider that the kids to whom Mack so selflessly gave of himself have yet to cooperate with police. Miles deserves better. RIP.

The NY Times Magazine offers an in-depth piece about Peter Mandelstam and his Bluewater Wind, which would have wind farms built off Delaware that would triple the First State's energy production, with the cleanness.

And the New Yorker squeezes off two rounds against the "ladies" of the GOP ticket with a TV piece about Palin (the accompanying illo below sums it all up... check out proud papa in the background)...

... and a profile of an uncooperative Cindy McCain. In fact, it's rather easy to see why she wouldn't want to cooperate. To wit:

[Her father] James — whom everyone called Jim — and his brother Eugene Hensley built their wealth on alcohol. After Jim returned from service as a bombardier in the Second World War, the brothers entered the wholesale liquor market and began operating two warehouses — United Sales Company, in Phoenix, and United Distributors, Inc., in Tucson—in partnership with Kemper Marley, Sr., a Phoenix businessman.
(Police reportedly suspected Marley of having had a hand in the 1976 murder of Don Bolles, a reporter for the Arizona Republic who had written extensively about Marley’s business and political machinations. Marley died in 1990.)
In 1948, the Hensleys were convicted on federal conspiracy charges after filing more than twelve hundred fake invoices to cover up under-the-table sales of liquor to night clubs and bars throughout the state. Eugene was sentenced to a year in prison, Jim to six months, but, with the help of their lawyer, a former mayor of Phoenix, Jim had his sentence suspended.


Then she told another favorite story: she was twenty-four when she met John McCain at that cocktail party in Honolulu, but she told him that she was twenty-seven. McCain claimed to be thirty-seven; he was in fact forty-two. Cindy McCain giggled as she explained that they did not fess up until their marriage announcement was published in the local newspaper. “We started our marriage on a tissue of lies,” she said with a smile, as the audience laughed. ...

... on that first Hawaiian night when Cindy Hensley and her suitor were coy about their respective ages, John McCain was already married—to Carol McCain, a former swimsuit model, with whom he had a daughter, Sidney, and two adopted sons, Doug and Andrew. He had married Carol in 1965, two years before he was captured in North Vietnam.
On Christmas Eve, 1969, Carol was seriously injured in a car accident while she was visiting her family in Philadelphia. She spent six months in the hospital, with a ruptured spleen, both legs crushed, a broken pelvis, and a broken arm. She did not send word of the accident to her husband, according to Timberg, because she felt that he was suffering enough, nor did she tell him what was going on when, in the course of the next two years, she underwent twenty-three operations. After all the surgeries, Carol McCain was four inches shorter than she had been before the accident.
In his memoir “Worth the Fighting For,” John McCain said that when he started dating Cindy Hensley he “was separated from Carol, but our divorce would not become final until February of 1980.” However, in his court petition for divorce, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, McCain stated that he and Carol had “cohabited as husband and wife” until January 7th of that year—nine months into his romance with Cindy Hensley. His divorce from Carol was finalized on April 2, 1980; he married Cindy five weeks later.


McCain then went on to something more serious: the story of her addiction to painkillers, from 1989 through 1992, another secret that she kept from her husband. “He never knew,” she told Jay Leno. “My parents came to me one day and said, ‘You know, Cindy, there’s something wrong with you’ . . . and I said, ‘You know, you’re right, you’re absolutely right,’ and I put them down and I never touched another one again.”

A match made in heaven.

12 September 2008

Oh, you're such a bad little vice presidential candidate, aren't you? That's right. Yes you are. You're a dirty little pig.

So, I guess we've reached the phase in the campaign where every day will bring a new cry of sexism. I guess that's what happens when a minxy-looking dame with a fast-assed daughter runs for VP, huh? Yep, that's exactly what happens. Friggin' chicks.
But who am I kidding here? I'm not interested in political discourse this morning. I just want to run this picture:

Kathleen Angco-Vieweg, an assistant professor of sociology at American International College in Springfield, Mass., denounced the dolls as sexist.
“If [a woman is] pretty, the only power they have is to turn on a man instead of using their brains and intellect,” Angco-Vieweg said. “She is the governor of Alaska, so she obviously has the brains to run those laws and governance.”

Twenty bucks says Angco-Vieweg looks like a bowl of spit-up Gerber's. And another 20 says Palin will always be a dirty lil pig. Oh yes she will.

The Mets are not only losers, but they're also cheaters

Or at least that's what I thought, strike that -- knew, after reading a quote from J Roll in this week's Sports Illustrated. Nestled deep in a piece about the resurgence of effective base stealing, it goes a little something like this...

To combat Henderson, pitchers developed new routines. They'd hold the ball or step off or—well, let's let Rickey tell it. "There was the back step, the back kick, the fake throw," says Henderson, rattling them off. "They made that stuff up when I came in the league. They were like, We got to stop that crazy brother."
Another, more subtle anti-Rickey tactic was for the home team to water down the dirt around first base so that he couldn't get a good jump. Henderson responded like a bored Labrador, digging holes until he found purchase again (and irritating many a first baseman in the process). It's a strategy that lives on. According to Rollins, a couple of teams still do this, primarily the Braves. Says Rollins, "New York used to, but then they got Jose Reyes and suddenly, wouldn't you know it, it stopped."

Speaking of thievery, it seems as if Floyd "I said I retired, but I'll be back next year" Mayweather is about $7 million lighter in jewelry weight.

This week's Rolling Stone makes it clear why Russell Brand, who did a servicable job hosting the VMAs, will never be all that well received in the hearland.

Photo from The Sun
(Full story not online; just this excerpt):

RS: You've had a fraught history with MTV. When you worked for the network in the U.K., you were fired for showing up to work dressed as Osama bin Laden -- on September 12, 2001. What were you thinking?
RB: I was taking loads of crack and heroin. And I was a little bit excited because I'd been talking about Osama bin Laden for ages before that, right? So it was kind of like when a band breaks that you've liked for ages. I was like, 'I told you this guy was going to be big!' Still, what I did was deeply regrettable. I mean no disrespect to the thousands who lost their lives in that terrible tragedy. It was a very, very stupid thing to have done.

Sure was.

And finally, while I don't listen to DMB all that much anymore -- the pukey kids at the shows proved to be my first "you're getting old" moment, hence driving me toward other tunes -- it was saddening to learn that saxophonist LeRoi Moore passed away last month at 46, to very, very little fanfare.

Photo from Rolling Stone

RIP, LeRoi.

11 September 2008


Yeah, this was on the youtube home page today...

...And this came up as a related video...

... which in turn led me to this...

So yes, it's a good Thursday.

The No-Spin Cubs Zone

The damn DVR screwed me again. I mean, it was a little before 11 p.m. and I was watching the Tampa Bay/Bosox game. 1-1 in extra innings. Pretty entertaining. So why do I have zero clue how the Rays ended up winning 4-2? Because I had both the Daily Show/Colbert hour set to tape in addition to the conclusion of Bill O'Reilly's four-part interview with Barack Obama. I'll say this: While O'Reilly got rather douchey in how he was yelling while Obama tried to talk, he seemed to give him a fair shake, and even seems to have been won over to a certain point. If you didn't catch it, check youtube for the clips. It was rather entertaining.
But that's not my point today. No. Not at all. For while I was watching the baseball game, I caught a glimpse of a wonderful sign in the Fenway stands. Even though I'm paranoid that the collapse has already begun (thank you Brewers, for continuing to lose at a fortuitous time), Cubs Nation is clearly strong. To wit:

Me? I'd much prefer Boston. Because their fans are a bunch of assholes.

Week Two football picks

... are up at Hick's Picks. Take them for what they're worth, considering last week's 3-13 on the O/U. Holla.

10 September 2008

Standing up for a pal

So, my college buddy Jeff Pearlman made an appearance on ESPN's Outside the Lines the other morning (Plug alert: His new book Boys Will Be Boys should be out on the shelves any minute if they're not already).
I missed it, but checked it out after I got a text from my dad telling me that Emmitt, and these are his words, "did more than bitchslap him." Of course, that piqued my interest, so I checked out said video here ...

Granted, I take another stance: Emmitt showed his true Cowardly Cowboys colors by being such a bitch that he waited until they were fading him off the screen to take a cheap shot about Jeff going and selling books.
I could go on.
All of which leads me to my point: Yo Emmitt, how about you try focusing on emitting a single sentence in proper English before you criticize someone for pointing out that you played on a roster filled to the hilt with coke fiends and whoremongers? Don't take my word for it, Emmitt (and I'm figuring you can read better than you can speak here). Take Nate Newton's and the Hon. Michael Irvin's, about whose career-ending injury I believe I'm quoted in said book...

Irvin celebrated his 30th birthday with former Cowboy Alfredo Roberts. According to Texas Monthly, "Party favors included 10.3 grams of cocaine and more than an ounce of marijuana, assorted drug paraphernalia and sex toys." He was also a regular at the "White House," a private pleasure palace near the team's training facility, where he and many teammates enjoyed their R&R, which apparently included just about any wanton activity you could imagine.
The Boys got plenty of heat for their bacchanalian ways. William Bennett, author of "The Book of Virtues," condemned Irvine and Co. for "hurting this country's morale." Lineman Nate Newton demurred. "We've got a little place over here where we're running some whores in and out, trying to be responsible, and we're criticized for that, too."

Latest freelance piece; Hammer Attack arrest

(Photo of Romo crying serves as brief preview of the looming Monday Night showdown)

Back in 2000, I headed up from the idyllic life as a Sea Isle year-round local and took a job at Philadelphia Weekly. T'wasn't easy; it's hard to want to leave the oceanside, fo sho. I only mention this because 1) this is the first summer since 1996 that I didn't set foot in Cape May County and 2) I have my first, of what will likely be many, freelance piece in thee old paper. Here's the link and here's an excerpt:

“It didn’t seem like he was directing anything at us at first so I decided to go put a couple songs on the jukebox so we could tune him out,” Chongolola recalls. “When I got close, he said, ‘Look at the fucking monkey.’”
Nestor asked the man if he had a problem. “Then, the guy got up and tried to choke David,” Chongolola alleges. “He said, ‘This is my f’in place; I’ll do what I want.’ He was spewing every last racial slur I’ve ever heard.”

Yeah, really nice.

In other news, the dude who decided to wail away on someone with a ball peen hammer on the SEPTA orange line the other night turned himself in to a local looney bin. And the victim, a 20-year-old lab tech at Penn, was shockingly OK enough to get interviewed on the news last night. I swear to Christ I thought he was gonna die.

09 September 2008

Philly Samaritans: Total Failures

This is one of those stories that make me bite my tongue when I want to say I've seen/heard it all. I suppose it's easy to blame the witnesses -- can't even imagine what this video's going to look like -- but then again, what would you do if some lunatic goes ballistic with a hammer on the subway?

As the SEPTA subway train rocked forward, a thirty-something guy leaned over near the doorway and gently planted a kiss on the little boy at his side.
When the train neared the Fairmount Avenue stop shortly after midnight on Thursday, the man reached out like an adoring parent and directed the 3- or 4-year-old tyke to an open seat.
Then he flew into a monstrous rage.
Without uttering a word, police said, the unidentified man whipped out a double-claw hammer and began bludgeoning a 20-year-old man who was dozing off in his seat.
For five long minutes, SEPTA surveillance cameras captured the deranged attacker - who was still on the loose late last night- digging his hammer into the man's head and neck.
Through it all, disgusted investigators said, at least 10 passengers stood by and did nothing as the random attack moved from the train to the platform, when the hammer-wielding maniac tried to push his victim down onto the train tracks.

Broad Street line. Midnight. Philadelphia. Um, nobody had a gun to put this maniac down? C'mon. That's why we're still allowed to have them.

08 September 2008

How can zees happeen?

(Many thanks to's Conor Kelley for the tip)

Weekend Roundup Part II

Yeah, I know, this looks like it's Part I, but that's just the nature of You write a post, it goes up. You write another one, it goes up after the first one.
Deep. Insightful. You needn't tell me, y'all.
My point? Oh yeah, actually had one. I promised there'd be more stories from the weekend and more stories from the weekend there shall be.

Like the New Yorker's take on Obama's Mile High Speech, which didn't quite rival Elway's pure pimpedness in the arena, but he tried.
And their in-depth look at Gen. David Petraeus in 2008 Iraq. It comes complete with this interesting nugget:
In 1991, a soldier under his command accidentally fired a rifle; the bullet struck Petraeus in the chest and opened a bleeding wound. (The thoracic surgeon who saved him at a Tennessee hospital was Bill Frist, later the Senate Majority Leader.) Eight years ago, Petraeus’s parachute failed to open on a training jump; he plummeted sixty feet, smashing his pelvis.

But the highlight of the issue has to be the profile of Alec Baldwin who, contrary to what many might think, is not a very happy man. (Big-time kudos to whomever came up with the photo concept).

Over at the NYT Magazine, Harry Shearer, aka Mr. Burns, sits down for a Q&A which includes this info...
Clear Channel, which owns many conservative radio stations, apparently disagrees and has banned an ad for your CD. Why did you bother approaching them in the first place?
They own the digital billboards in Chicago, so you have to do business with them. They own more radio stations than God. They even own a progressive radio station in L.A.

And, as if I needed to be told this, Facebook really, really messes with your concept of self and world.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go check my Facebook page.

Weekend Roundup

If you're looking for the football results -- the pitiful ones -- go here.

Now, some rapid-fire reading from over the weekend:

I probably learned this lesson long before I ventured south to Newark, DE for my secondary education: Don't lie. And don't live a lie. But apparently you actually had to graduate before fully understanding it. Because in the Sunday Times, McCain advisor and Blue Hen Steve Schmidt's job is basically summarized as this: Don't worry about your morals. If it (allegedly) means lying, cheating and stealing to win an election, go right ahead. And be prepared to be lauded for it.

So, what you're saying here is that the guy who killed himself after the Feds publicly indicated they were going after him for the anthrax letters may not have done anything wrong? Not exactly, but shades of Vincent Foster seem to be bubbling up to Arlen Specter's surface:

“My conclusion at this point is that it’s very much an open matter,” Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the Senate committee, said of the strength of the case against Dr. Ivins, a microbiologist at the Army’s biodefense laboratory who worked on anthrax vaccines. “There are some very serious questions that have yet to be answered and need to be made public.”

More to come later today. Adieu.

07 September 2008

I said it before...

... and I'll say it again: Baltimore is the syphilis capital of the universe. I mean, how else can you explain the fact that this story ...

“So, Philadelphians, let’s hop in our cars, drive down I-95 and appropriate a body from a certain Baltimore cemetery,” Mr. Pettit wrote in an article for the [newspaper I used to work at] in October. “I’ll bring the shovel.”

... still has legs. Well, it apparently does. Very big ones, too. New York Times-y ones...

So far, no one has taken up Mr. Pettit’s call for Philadelphia’s best grave robbers to bring home the city’s prodigal son before the bicentennial of Poe’s birth in January 2009. But the ghoulish argument between the cities over the body and legacy of the master of the macabre has continued in blogs and newspapers, and on Jan. 13 Mr. Pettit is to square off with an opponent from Baltimore to settle the matter in a debate at the Philadelphia Free Library.

Which leaves me nothing to say but -- bring it on, syphilis capital of the universe.

(Photo of a typical Baltimorean)

05 September 2008

Onward Migration

So as not to clutter up this here blog for the next six months with nothing but football picks, I've decided to expand the Hickey Media Empire to a new blog. is the place to go each week for my NFL picks and, starting soon, my fantasy-football thoughts.
Change isn't easy. I know this. So, I'll always post on Blunt when the picks go up. Enjoy!

Now, as the Cubs begin their eventual slide to choker-dom -- much of it being my fault for running my stupid, stupid mouth. Again. And again -- a story in this week's Sports Illustrated caught my eye. And not just because there's a dude named Hickey in the lead vignette, either. But, that didn't hurt. I mean, if we Hickeys don't stick together, who will?

IN AUGUST of 1969 the Chicago Cubs were nine games up in the National League East and seven-year-old Jim Hickey was convinced that he wanted to spend the rest of his life in baseball. By October the Cubs trailed the New York Mets by nine games, and Hickey was reconsidering. His father had to sit him down in their home on the South Side of Chicago and explain that, every so often in baseball, a powerhouse like the Cubs will crumble and an upstart like the Mets will emerge and nobody will understand why.

Oh really? I never noticed that!

04 September 2008

Two Weeks From Tonight

... you'll be watching the season premiere of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a date told to me by FX pub guru Dominic Pagone just moments ago. Brace yourselves.

Week One Picks

As promised earlier this week, the resumption of Hick's Picks.

At NY Giants -4.5 Washington OVER 41
Cincinnati -1.5 At Baltimore UNDER 38
NY Jets -3 At Miami OVER 36
At New England -15.5 Kansas City OVER 44
At Pittsburgh -6.5 Houston UNDER 43
Jacksonville -3 At Tennessee OVER 36.5
Detroit -3 At Atlanta UNDER 41
At Buffalo -1 Seattle OVER 38.5
At New Orleans -3 Tampa Bay UNDER 42.5
At Philadelphia -7.5 St. Louis OVER 44
Dallas -5.5 At Cleveland OVER 49
At San Diego -9 Carolina UNDER 41.5
Arizona -2.5 At San Francisco OVER 41.5

At Indianapolis -9.5 Chicago UNDER 44

At Green Bay -2.5 Minnesota UNDER 38
Denver -3 At Oakland UNDER 41

Best Bets:
Philadelphia -7.5
Dallas/Cleveland over 49

03 September 2008

And just the other day, I was wondering whether POB was out of rehab yet. But that's neither here nor there, 'cause POB ain't no Republican.


Yet, last night lobbyists for the National Rifle Association, Lockheed Martin and the American Trucking Association put on a raucus six-hour party at a downtown bar featuring music by the band "Hookers and Blow."

Is this for real?

There was no evidence of any actual prostitutes or cocaine.

Would you say the party sucked? Of course you would, Betsy?

Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), a GOP House deputy whip, was seen meeting with a group of lobbyists who bemoaned McCain's call to tone down the parties which had already been paid for.

Stupid old man.

Shuster said he was praying for the people of the Gulf coast and said, despite Sen. McCain's call to "tone things down," there was no need to curtail corporate parties until after the Hurricane hit land.

Actual caption from the Hon. Rep. Shuster's site:
Congressman Shuster announces his plan to delcare American energy independence in Chambersburg.

No, no, nonono. I never said declare independence, chaps. Now do go ahead and pass me another mint julep, and that tasty smelling mirror.

02 September 2008

Football: Reality and Fantasy

I think, as a culture, we've all come to grips with the fact that NFL football reigns supreme because it's the Best Damn Gamblin' Sport this side of cockfighting. So since the hippies took those joys away from us, the grid iron it is.
While I may not be a degenerate by any stretch of the imagination -- fine, by some stretches maybe -- nary does a week go by that I don't pay heed to the lines, for amusement purposes only, of course.
I guess what I'm say is this (and that):

This: Every Thursday, I'll post my NFL picks for the week on this here blog. (For what it's worth, my overall record in 06-07 between the line and the over/unders was 268-243-10. In 07-08, things got a little worse with an overall regular-season tally of 232-249. Not too good, but it'll improve).

That: I'll also offer some fantasy football thoughts. Are they valuable? Hell if I know. I mean, I played for the first time last year and came in third (broke even), so take them for what they're worth. I had my draft last night actually and here's how it shook out:

QB (1): Donovan McNabb
RB (2): Frank Gore, Lawrence Maroney, Selvin Young, DeAngelo Williams
WR (5): Randy Moss, Brandon Marshall, Jericho Cotchery, Donald Driver, Anthony Gonzalez
TE (1): Kellen Winslow
K (1): Vinatieri
D (1): Indianapolis
(number of starters per week)

Comments and suggestions welcomed. Go Birds. Go Broncos.
See you in two days wit da picks.

01 September 2008

Hickey Abides

So anyway, this week's Rolling Stone commemorates the 10-year anniversary of The Big Lebowski's release. One section in particular made me feel particularly (more) douchey (than normal). Mary Patel, who writes the Political Notebook column at the paper I used to work, was hosting a party for a local film festival. Steve Buscemi was there. I couldn't resist discussing with him -- rather briefly -- whether he, Donnie, was in fact out of his element. It seems I'm not alone.

Adds Buscemi, who has appeared in nearly 100 films, including a few Oscar winners, "I'll pass three guys on the street, and they may just give me a nod. They don't even have to say a line from the movie. I know what movie they're thinking about."

Gotta love the fact that the homework-in-the-stolen-car bit is based on a real story. Priceless nugget:

... Cable stations began showing the movie regularly (Goodman's line "This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass was changed -- rumor has it by the Coens -- to the friendlier "This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps).

Also in that issue is the best example of putting George W. Bush's regime into the proper historical context before he's relegated to history. As in, it's difficult to have the long view until later, but in, "How Bush Destroyed the Republican Party," Sean Wilentz, the current Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor in the American Revolutionary War Era at Princeton University (good luck fitting that on your bid'ness card), nails it. (You need to pick up the issue itself to get the full article, but here's the abbreviated online version. What I found particularly rad was the illustrated timeline which pretty much confirms that in the immediate aftermath of an embarrassment for the administration, the terror level was raised -- without fail.)

Although born in Connecticut and schooled at Yale and Harvard Business, the younger Bush had successfully assimilated himself to Texas business and political culture as his father had never managed. The black sheep of the family, Bush also, at the age of 40, took Jesus Christ as his personal savior. That conversion, he said, freed him from a well-documented addiction to drink. It also brought him into much closer connection with the right-wing evangelical base that Reagan had brought into the Republican Party and with which Bush senior never forged a convincing bond.

Meanwhile, this month's GQ (with Seth Rogen on the cover and a brilliant South Park memo inside its Comedy package) has Philly Mag alum Lisa DePaulo sitting down with Mark Penn, he of advising loser Hillary fame...

So they just pissed away way too much money on Iowa?
Well, I still don’t know what happened—whether it was Iowa. Because even Iowa was not that large a percentage of a hundred million.

Where did it go?
I think people are gonna spend some time looking at where the money went. Because it should have—you know, a substantial portion obviously should have gone to Iowa, and did. But the 25 million that was needed after Iowa didn’t go right. And so again, as you look at this thing, she wins nearly 18 million people. She wins fifty delegates ahead in the primary contests. Her losses are entirely in the caucus states— ...

That’s a huge amount, 25 million. Do you think there’ll be some awful scandal about where it all went?

Was it just ineptitude?
I just think it will be very high. [He means the amount of money that was pissed away.]

Finally, Inquirer/Daily News owner Robert Toll does the CEO interview in September's Smart Money magazine. I know, I know, ironically titled, but he's talking about his home-building bid'ness, not the papers, the papers.

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