Saturday, August 4, 2007

Robby Gordon is a lunatic

So, Robby Gordon disagrees with his restart position, ignores a black flag for four laps and then does burnouts simulataneously with Kevin Harvick, claiming victory. Reminiscent of how George Bush behaved following the 2000 elections.

Robby Gordon is patently crazy.

The FISA Hall of Shame

The Senate has extended Bush and Gonzoles' authority in executing the probably unconstitutional domestic wiretapping bill. It passed last night with 60 votes in the Democratic Senate. SHAME on these Democrats for capitulating. E-mail them to express your disappointment in their lack of respect for little things like, you know, the 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution....

Links to the webites of the Democrats in question:

Evan Bayh (IN) Amy Klobuchar (MN) Mark Pryor (AR)
Bob Casey (PA) Mary Landrieu (LA) Ken Salazar (CO)
Tom Carper (DE) Blanche Lincoln (AR) Jim Webb (VA)
Kent Conrad (ND) Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Dianne Feinstein (CA) Ben Nelson (NE)
Daniel Inouye (HI) Bill Nelson (FL)

UPDATE: Closer House vote, but still lots of Democrats that make me ashamed.

NASCAR Busch Series Rolls into Montreal

Today is the inaugural NASCAR event at Villeneuve in Montreal. 2 pm central time....

Image of the road course from Google Earth.

By the numbers, from

UPDATE: Kevin Harvick wins. Ho-hum.

Lots of controversy about Robby Gordon's agressive driving. Only at a road course would he make any difference.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Happy 29th Birthday, Kurt Busch!

Make it extra happy by moving up a spot or two in the point standings at Pocono...

John Edwards in a Hypocrite.

John Edwards took over $800,000 from FOX News employees. This after lambasting another candidate for taking what turns out to be less money from Rupert Murdoch and his employees yesterday. Link to yesterday's story.

It looks like the famed Clinton oppo team is fully operational. The turnaround time on this story was very, very small.

Is this the last flailings of a desperate candidate? He's not even ahead in Iowa anymore. It's now a three way tie.

NASCAR: Junior wins first pole since 2002

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole today for the Pennsylvania 500. Lineup here. I don't want to disappoint members of the Earnhardt nation, but he was the first one to go out after a rain delay. The track was just quicker. I didn't realize this, but this is Jr's first pole since 2002. Quelle dominance! I mean, Sterling Marlin has won poles since then...Junior wasn't particularly quick in the first practice.

Kurt Busch starts second and qualified before the rain delay. Sometimes my clairvoyance astounds even me. He's still my pick to win. He was, by the way, fastest in practive by six tenths. With his teammate starting 4th, this could be a very good weekend for the Penske boys.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Different Day, Different Obama Worldview

I am getting dizzy. Last week, Barack Obama was all for meeting with tyrants without preconditions. Yesterday, he was ready to invade Pakistan. Today, he has ruled out using nuclear weapons as commander-in-cheif. This guy would be a dream come true for the Republicans.

Clinton responds to the daily vacillation that is the Obama foreign policy:

"Presidents should be very careful at all times in discussing the use or nonuse of nuclear weapons," Clinton said. "Presidents since the Cold War have used nuclear deterrence to keep the peace. And I don't believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or nonuse of nuclear weapons."

Dodd responds, also from ABC:

"Over the past several days, Senator Obama's assertions about foreign and military affairs have been, frankly, confusing and confused," said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. "He has made threats he should not make and made unwise categorical statements about military options."

The New York Post's Brookes calls the wisdom of Obama's Pakistan speech into question. Who's Bush - Cheney Lite now?

What with Rupert Murdoch taking over The Wall Street Journal, John Edwards is calling on Hillary Clinton to return the contributions made to her campaign by News Corp officials.

Poll Report

Clinton's lead is expanding. As of today, the Real Clear Politics average for her is the highest it has been all year.

A new Pew Poll out today confirms almost to the number yesterday's NBC / WSJ poll. Also, the most recent Rasmussen tracking poll has almost identical numbers.

The Christian Science Monitor on the GOP race in South Carolina. Interesting read.

Pocono Picks

*Kurt Busch- PICK TO WIN- Kurt only has one win at Pocono, but he was second here twice last year and was coming on strong when the rain delay prematurely ended the race in June. He needs this win badly. Sitting 13th and 14th in points, it's do or die time for Team Penske.
*Denny Hamlin- Swept here in '06. His car was not one that could have won the race in June. He does, however, seem to have Pocono figured out and will be a strong force to contend with.
* Tony Stewart- is a world class ass. However, he has one win at Pocono. His average finish here is 13.2, which is low for Tony but he has 12 top tens in 17 races here. His team in on a roll now, and he will be in the top 10.
*Jimmie Johnson - cheats. But, his 8.1 average finish makes Northeast Pennsylvania one of his favorite stops all year. He is in the top ten this weekend, reversing his recent slide.
* Jeff Gordon - will be in the top 10 and probably in the top 5. NASCAR called the rain delay in June seconds after Jeff went on the radio to tell his team that his tires were going away from him and that he would lose if it didn't start raining. (Funny how that worked out for him...) He edged out Ryan Newman by a fender before the caution was called and would have lost had the race gone literally 5 more feet. I almost picked him again, but I think that Busch, Hamlin or Stewart are more likely winners.
*Ryan Newman - Needs a good finish here. He is still in the Chase hunt by the grace of a blown DEI engine and will not have a chance of making the field for the playoffs if he has another disastrous weekend like at Indianapolis. Pocono is one of his stronger tracks, and he had the car to beat in June. Pit strategy by Steve Latarte and intervention by NASCAR kept him from getting the win.
*Matt Kenseth - You never go wrong putting Matt in a top 10. He is just damned consistent.
* Jeff Burton- Two top 10s in 2006, and a top 15 in June. If his car is good enough, he will be there.
* Kevin Harvick- is moderately good at Pocono. He has 4 top 10s here, in 13 races. His team is also really strong at this point in the season.
* Carl Edwards - won at Pocono is 2005 and was a factor in June. He is having a really strong season and I expect that he will be in the mix. He might even win.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Obama Talks Tough / Clinton Expands Lead

The Obama people crack me up. Last week, a substantial portion of Democratic primary voters were shown how their candidate's lack of experience can manifest itself: naive and potentially dangerous policy making from a debate lectern. So, what's the solution? Get together a few experts and write a wonkish speech on American policy toward Pakistan. And the Oba-media fawns.........

Obama wants to redeploy the forces from Iraq and send two brigades to Afghanistan. And condition assistance for Pakistan on the Musharraf government's cooperation in hunting Al-Qaeda.

The speech is drawing mixed reviews. From the Washington Post's The Trail blog.

John Podhoretz is not impressed.

Obama is all thumbs when it comes to this foreign policy stuff. If I understand correctly, what he wants to do is condition aid. If they don't cooperate, we invade. So, we pull out of what Obama rightly calls a wrong-headed war in Iraq, only to possibly invade another Muslim country, of nearly 200 million people that we know has nuclear weapons and has been cooperating with us in our hunt for Al Qaeda to the extent that the government can politically and survive. What a novel construct.

New NBC / WSJ poll

Apparently, Obama needed to show a little foreign policy gravitas this week. NBC and the Wall Street Journal are out with a new poll today that shows Sen. Clinton's lead nationally to have grown to 21 percent, with another 8 points back to Edwards. I know this is a national poll and not an Iowa / NH / SC poll, but it is hard to see how she loses with numbers like these.

From the WSJ, this represents a net 7 percent increase for Hillary! over Obama since June.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Polls Good News For Hillary! and B.H. Obama

New polls from ARG in NH, IA , and SC. They state that Hillary has moved into a commanding lead in Iowa. Obama has moved into a tie with her in New Hampshire, and leads within the MoE in South Carolina. These numbers, while good news for both candidates, seem a little screwy.

South Carolina poll (Has Obama really gained 12 points in a month?)
Iowa poll (Edwards has dropped that much?)
New Hampshire poll (Independents prefer Hillary, and Dems prefer Obama? That's strange.)

The numbers are out on the Republican side too, and they look good for Giuliani and Romney.

Jonathan Singer from MyDD shares my skepticism on these new poll numbers.

The home team weighs in on the juicy Stevens story in Alaska.

NASCAR: Stewart Fined

Tony Stewart is an unspeakable ass.

He holds a grudge against ESPN so he started cussing at his interviewer after his win at the Brickyard on Sunday. Today he was fined 25K / 25 points. Should have been more.

Ganassi ascendant.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday NASCAR Roundup

***Be sure to see my chase predictions, below.

The story of the hunt for the 12th spot in the Chase: Indy edition.

From Jayski...Update on yesterday's rumors that Newman was leaving Penske:

Newman's status up in the air? to RCR? denied: #12-Ryan Newman’s future
continues to be a question mark in the NASCAR garage [Jayski note: Newman is
signed with Penske at least thru 2008], and it’s not clear if he will be back
with car owner Roger Penske next season. If not, Newman could become a candidate
for the fourth Richard Childress team.(Winston
Salem Journal

UPDATE: ESPN2's Marty Smith reported on Sunday's NASCAR Now that there is
no merit to any Ryan Newman laving Penske Racing rumors and Newman has a
contract thru at least 2008.(7-29-2007)

Monday Politics Roundup

Big News from Capitol Hill:

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), the senior Republican in the Senate and former chair of the Appropriations Committee has been targeted by the FBI. They have searched his home in Alaska. This is part of a public corruption investigation.

This has long been considered a safe seat for Republicans. It has also been thought to be safe even in an open race, with a Stevens retirement. It might be pickup fodder for Dems if Stevens runs again. This is the most blatant, public acknowledgment of Stevens' connection with the investigation, but it has long been rumored. Here is Rothenberg's rating from last week. Will be interesting to see if it changes.

This is the NYT's piece on Obama's state legislative career today. Largely biographical in nature, it is neither overwhelmingly positive or negative.

Chase Predictions

Most of the field for the Chase for the Nextel Cup is set, even with five races until Richmond.

Here are my predictions about who will complete the field.
  • Gordon - He built up a huge lead in April and May, and it remains. This is supposed to be his "drive for five" season. However, he has never done well since the old Winston system gave way to the Chase system. He doesn't seem to be a good enough points racer to get it done. He will go in as the leader, but will not win the championship.
  • Hamlin - seems to be firmly locked into second. Could win the championship. Should be a strong contender for victories in at least two chase races: New Hampshire and Phoenix.
  • Kenseth - the fantasy racer's racer. He will be strong in the chase. He is good at most tracks (not great at superspeedways or roadcourses). The Chase is so heavy with mile and halfs on which he excels that he is my pick for the championship.
  • Burton - will make it in with no problem. He choked about midway through the chase last year. I don't forsee him being a serious contender all the way to Homestead, but I would love it if he were.
  • Stewart - After missing the Chase last year and then dominating the Chase period as a non-contender, I expect Tony to unfortunately be in the thick of the hunt for the Cup all the way to Homestead. He is my pick for the silver medal. He might win it all.
  • Harvick - A master at flat tracks and not bad anywhere. He is a jerk of the highest order, but should go in about fifth or sixth and finish the season a little higher.
  • Johnson - My fantasies of his precipitous fall continuing aside, we all know that he will be there in the end. He hasn't won a race since May and hasn't contended for a win in almost as long, but there is not a better points racer in the series. He's 9th now, but will be okay.
  • Kyle Busch - will be in the Chase and will perform better in the playoffs than he did last year. He could win almost anywhere. He will not win the championship.
  • Edwards - He will be in the chase and will win at probably Atlanta and Texas in the fall. He might get a top five out of the season.
  • Bowyer- Third Childress car out of three in the Chase. He's got to be enjoying this. My prediction: He will win a race before the year is over.
  • Truex - Surprise of the season. Martin Truex had a great May and June and is tentatively there. He is still in a position where he could fall out, but I think that he wants a Chase berth as much, if not more than, anyone. His suddenly aloof teammate could learn something from Truex about fire in the belly.
  • Kurt Busch - He will grab the 12th spot from Junior. Prone to mistakes and overagressiveness, Busch still is looking at about 3 or 4 races in the leadup to the chase that should be generous to him. (Watkin's Glen, Pocono and Michigan are all tracks that, while not his best, he is traditionally a lot stronger than Junior.) I think that Busch will get the spot, probably with fifty or so points to spare.

Six weeks out, those are my predictions.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Indy - Results and Thoughts

Tony Stewart wins again. And then cusses the ESPN interviewer out. Nice. Real nice.

Results here.

Ryan Newman was the first potential chase contender out. :( He was loose and hit the wall. This probably nixes his chase hopes. He fell one spot to 14th, roughly 70 points out of 12th place. His teammate, Kurt Busch, switched places with him, and moved the 13th. He is 12 points behind Junior. See last week's post on this topic.

Newman might become Richard Childress' fourth team next year. Hard to blame him after looking at the crappy car the Penske garage gave him to drive today.

Jimmie Johnson got caught up in a crash, tried to repair the damage, blew a tire, hit the wall, and had his 2nd consecutive DNF. Uncharacteristic, but nice to see.

Standings here.

My chase predictions later tonight. Only six races left until the chase starts.

It's Race Day! What is going on in Indianapolis?

Reed Sorenson on the pole and fastest by far in practice. Toyota wins the Busch Race...

Could be a very interesting race.