That would make management 0 for 2 on the big decisions so far this offseason. Just what the team needs, a self-promoting gadfly manager who has failed everywhere else. Yeah, know his Mets won a pennant in 2000 - and then promptly lost the Series to the Yankees. Just what the Sox need.
11/30/11 1715: Here's MLB.com's Hot Stove gang talking about Valentine. They seem more impressed with his accomplishments than I am, but also note that as manager "he is the show." Self-promoting gadfly seems an apt descriptor.
Coming today from the Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens, on the subject of global warming climate change.
Consider the case of global warming, another system of doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen.
As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate. As with religion, it comes with an elaborate list of virtues, vices and indulgences. As with religion, its claims are often non-falsifiable, hence the convenience of the term "climate change" when thermometers don't oblige the expected trend lines. As with religion, it is harsh toward skeptics, heretics and other "deniers." And as with religion, it is susceptible to the earthly temptations of money, power, politics, arrogance and deceit.
Speaking of Mr. Gore, there is a legal aphorism that at least this site attributes to him:
When the law is on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When neither the law or the facts are on your side, hollar.
Given that Al Gore has been doing a lot more "hollaring" than arguing, perhaps the laws (of science) and the facts are not really on his side.
Exit Question: Will Jon Huntsman need to "revise and extend" his own remarks on the topic?
HUNTSMAN: Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science.
Politicians govern by concensus. Scientists don't.
At Yahoo! Sports, in a feature blog called "The Post Game," writer Max Thompson smugly makes fun of ESPN for putting up an image of Minnesota during a story on Wisconson athletes Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Green Bay Packers stellar quarterback Aaron Rodgers. I borrowed the picture and show it below.
Okay, so a geography-challenged intern in the ESPN graphics department put up the wrong state image. That's bad. You know what's also bad? When the smug writer who makes fun of it goofs up in the same post.
"Wisconsin hockey is ranked #1 in the nation." Err, no. Teams that are currently 5-8-1 overall do not get ranked #1. In fact, in the most recent USCHO poll not only are the Badgers not in the top 20, they're not even listed as "also receiving votes." The honor, #1 in the nation, goes to Coach Mark Dennehy's mighty Merrimack College Warriors, of North Andover, Massachusetts.
If you're going to poke fun at ESPN, you'd better make sure you don't have any glaring, easily refudiatable* errors of your own.
*refudiatable -- I did that intentionally.
11/25/11 1305: You know, I knew I should have grabbed a screen-cap. Check out the story now and the reference to the Badgers as #1 in hockey is gone. Vanished into the internet memory hole, with no inkling of the prior error. Here it is below as it now stands. The reference to Badger hockey used to reside in the first paragraph.
He starts out by trying to emphasize his Republican street cred.
I’ve been a Republican all my adult life. I have worked on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, at Forbes magazine, at the Manhattan and American Enterprise Institutes, as a speechwriter in the George W. Bush administration. I believe in free markets, low taxes, reasonable regulation, and limited government. I voted for John McCain in 2008, and I have strongly criticized the major policy decisions of the Obama administration.
Believes in free markets? Check. Low Taxes? Check. "Reasonable" regulation. Well, one man's reasonble is another man's unreasonable. Let's just file this one under "less regulation than Mr. Obama wants" and move on. Limited government? Check. Voted for McCain in '08? Given the other choice you'd kind of have to, so check. Criticized the major policy decisions of the Obama administration? Haven't we all, Mr. Frum.
So it's all good. Until we hit the next paragraph.
America desperately needs a responsible and compassionate alternative to the Obama administration’s path of bigger government at higher cost. And yet: This past summer, the GOP nearly forced America to the verge of default just to score a point in a budget debate. In the throes of the worst economic crisis since the Depression, Republican politicians demand massive budget cuts and shrug off the concerns of the unemployed. In the face of evidence of dwindling upward mobility and long-stagnating middle-class wages, my party’s economic ideas sometimes seem to have shrunk to just one: more tax cuts for the very highest earners.
Next we have this: "In the throes of the worst economic crisis since the Depression, Republican politicians demand massive budget cuts and shrug off the concerns of the unemployed." Okay, I think we're in agreement about the economy. Where your reality testing is suspect, Mr. Frum, is in what follows that generally supportable statement. Republican politicians have never demanded "massive budget cuts," only a reduction in the growth of future spending. You've fallen into the baseline budgeting trap. "Massive cuts" to beltway insiders and liberal journalists means decreasing the rate of growth of government spending from 10% to 4%. To those of us in the real world that's a 4% increase in spending that would be a lot more affordable and reasonable than 10%.
I'm also concerned that you think Republicans "shrug off concerns of the unemployed". I suspect you are referring to those politicians resisting the call to provide endlessly flowing unemployment benefits. Already they've been extended to nearly 2 years, and Republicans are cruel to want to stop them there? Studies show that extending unemployment benefits extends unemployment. Or perhaps you're referring to the Republicans' insistance that Democrats who want this live by their "pay-go" standard and cut spending elsewhere to fund it. Or maybe you're living in pure fantasy land, and you believe, as apparently the president does, that extending unemployment benefits "creates jobs." Regardless, this is not "shrugging off concerns of the unemployed," and putting it that way is pure demagoguery of the sort I'd expect from Sen. Harry Reid, among others.
Let's move to your final preposterous assertion in that section, that Republicans simply want "more tax cuts for the very highest earners." Aside from presidential candidates and their proposals for various flat, flatter, and flattest tax reforms (which would help the struggling private economy, many believe), is there anyone in Congress who has proposed cutting only the top marginal rate? By the way, if you're going to suggest that preventing the rates from rising with expiration of the Bush cuts is a cut in marginal rates then you misunderstand the concept. That is preventing an increase, not pushing for a cut. Let's assume you really are for "low taxes," as you state. Then wouldn't blocking a tax increase be desireable?
But there are more puzzling assertions in this essay.
It was not so long ago that Texas governor Bush denounced attempts to cut the earned-income tax credit as “balancing the budget on the backs of the poor.” By 2011, Republican commentators were noisily complaining that the poorer half of society are “lucky duckies” because the EITC offsets their federal tax obligations—or because the recession had left them with such meager incomes that they had no tax to pay in the first place. In 2000, candidate Bush routinely invoked “churches, synagogues, and mosques.” By 2010, prominent Republicans were denouncing the construction of a mosque in lower Manhattan as an outrageous insult. In 2003, President Bush and a Republican majority in Congress enacted a new prescription-drug program in Medicare. By 2011, all but four Republicans in the House and five in the Senate were voting to withdraw the Medicare guarantee from everybody under age 55.
I'll have to move swiftly though this miasma, in order not to bore the readers, but this is nonsense.
The push to reform Medicare (by making it a grant program to buy insurance rather than a government provided insurance benefit) shows allegiance to private enterprise, to individual freedom of choice, but mostly to the principle of fixing future problems before they are unfixable. Medicare's future unfunded liability is nearly $100 Trillion. That's Trillion, with a T. Those under 55 are ten years away from qualifying for Medicare. Ten years.
The mosque in "lower Manhattan" was to be 2 blocks from Ground Zero of the 9-11 attacks, an understandably sensitive location. Rather than an example of Americans being insensitive to Muslim sensibilities, it is instead an example of Muslims being insensitive to non-Muslim sensibilities.
And Democrats (among others) have now so bastardized and warped the tax code that half of Americans pay no federal income tax. That's not good for America, and in particular it's not good, for those who want a growing and vibrant economy, to stifle those who would provide jobs and economic growth with a steadily heavier burden of taxation. You know what's at the end of the road of steadily more progressive taxation, don't you?
So Mr. Frum, what we have here is a non sequitur. You assert that you want limited governnment, less regulation, low taxes and that you oppose Mr. Obama's policies. Your objections show us, however, that you don't really want those things. You ask in this article whether you're crazy. You're not. You are, however, deluding yourself if you think that Republicans should and will support Democrat, or even Democrat-lite policies of centralized control, bigger government, higher taxes, more regulation and balkanization, all of which stifle economic growth and freedom.
The question isn't "when did the GOP lose touch with reality?" The question, Mr. Frum, is when did you become a Democrat?
*no time now, I hope to be adding some links later for reference.
11/21/11 2020: A ha! I got the links added - and a few grammatical corrections as well.
A little anecdote that may help explain some of the escalation in insurance premiums that people are about to find as year end approaches - for reasons other than the colossally intrusive and costly ObamaCare.
I saw a patient in the office a couple of weeks ago. A gentleman in his 40's, he had twisted his knee two months earlier and since had been bothered by knee swelling, pain along the joint line medially (the inside part of the knee), and a catching sensation which cause his knee to buckle when it occurred. He was unable to squat or kneel. I examined him after taking the history, finding an effusion in the knee (the swelling), sharply positive provocative testing for a meniscus tear (the McMurray and snap tests), and prominent joint line tenderness directly over the meniscus. Plain x-rays showed no degenerative changes. And there's one other thing. This patient had a very similar problem with the other knee four years ago, and I had arthroscoped that knee removing a torn medial meniscus with an excellent outcome.
So, clearly, this man had a symptomatic torn meniscus, with most probably an unstable flap tear (producing that catching/buckling sensation). This is about the most clearcut, obvious presentation you could have. He had had symptoms for two months, and anti-inflammatories had not helped. I, quite appropriately, suggested arthroscopic surgery to resect the torn meniscus. I've examined thousands of knees, and I had seen this many times before. Based on the plethora of findings given above I didn't need an MRI of this knee to confirm the diagnosis. I thought that was what the insurance company wanted, to save money by eliminating unnecessary testing. I was wrong.
The insurance company, a large HMO, refused to approve the surgery until the patient had an MRI to verify what I knew to be true. I didn't need one, I told them, but they insisted. The patient had the MRI, and of course it demonstrated the torn meniscus. We'll be going ahead with the surgery soon.
Trust the doctor? Not on your life. No, instead we need an expensive diagnostic study read by a radiologist who hasn't examined the patient, increasing the cost of care on this one patient. Now picture thousands of orthopaedic surgeons and hundreds of thousands of patients annually having the insurance company second-guessing the experienced surgeon. By the way, my practice has our own MRI, and I still tried not to use it.
I tried to save some health care dollars. I really tried. But the insurance company wouldn't let me.
You think this is bad? Wait until I tell you about PT for rotator cuff tears.