Today in Baseball History, we get the beginning of one of the most pernicious aspects of Baseball in America:
1910 At American League Park II in Washington, D.C., William Taft becomes the first president to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Senator legend Walter Johnson one-hits the A's, 3-0 in the season opener.
Nothing sucks like forced patriotism. Especially since 9/11, the whole bullshit has gotten worse: adding "God Bless America" to the pre-game songs every Sunday (every day at Yankee Stadium, if I recall correctly), children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, fly-overs by jet fighters, fuck. I half-joke that teams no longer offer a rain check on the back of the tickets: instead, it's a loyalty oath. And to think, before the Great War, it was unheard of for the National Anthem to be associated with sports: was considered undignified.
But at least some other interesting things happened once upon a time today. The team Bud Selig thought he would get before he hijacked the Pilots played their first home game on this date:
1969 In the first regular season game played outside the United States, the Expos play their first home game, treating 29,184 fans at Jarry Park to an 8-7 win over St. Louis. Montreal moundsman Larry Jaster throws baseball's first international pitch to Cardinal left fielder Lou Brock.
When the expansion envelopes were being dramatically opened, Selig saw the "M" of "Montreal" and thought for sure it meant "Milwaukee." Nope, had to wait to steal Seattle's Pilots. And a team should've gone to Milwaukee in the first place, since Montreal was never really a baseball town, and eventually they lost the franchise to Washington DC.
And one of the villain/heroes of the Black Sox Scandal, Eddie Cicotte, on this date:
1917 White Sox hurler Eddie Cicotte no-hits the Browns, 11-0. The Michigan native will finish the season with twenty-eight wins.
Legend has it that he got only 28 victories in 1917 because cheapskate ChiSox owner Charles Comiskey had him benched to avoid paying a promised bonus for a 30-win season.
The "new Black Panther Party" is offering a $10,000 reward for the "capture" of Martin's killer, Zimmerman. When asked if this was inciting violence, the reply was Biblical: "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." This will stir up the rightwingers who fear/hate nothing more than the image of the angry black man. And this will hurt Obama, despite his perfectly executed statements about the case.
Surprise, surprise: when he attacks President Obama for not doing enough to fight pornography, Santorum doesn't much like questions about the degree to which the Catholic Church or Penn State (his alma mater) deal with child rapists.
[UPDATE: Just got a call from Larry Phillips office saying they "have no idea" how Phillips got added to that group. Phillips, of course, serves on the Sound Transit Board with Reardon, and I guess that would've been rather impolitic of him.
Turns out, I only go to Facebook to confirm friend requests, so I had no idea you could add people to groups without their permission, because hell... it would make no fucking sense for Facebook to work that way. But Paul assures me that it does, and since he's young and hip and everything (well, younger and hipper than me) I'm taking his word for it. So, um, my bad.]
Scandal-plagued Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon dodged one bullet recently when a recall petition was rejected on a technicality (the filer doesn't live in Snohomish County), but the recall movement is picking up steam... and picking up the support of some prominent Democrats.
A Recall Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon Facebook group was recently started, and among its early members are King County Council member Larry Phillips*, 1st CD candidate Suzan DelBene, and state Representative Hans Dunshee (D-44).
When members of your own party start calling for your recall, it may be time to look for another job... preferably one that doesn't give you the opportunity to carry on a longterm affair on the taxpayer's dime.
I know that this was kinda on Slog yesterday... Eli posted the video of Antioch Bible Church Pastor Ken Hutcherson testifying before the state's House Judiciary Committee over here.
But a transcript from the beginning of Hutcherson's speech deserves its own post—truly inspired: "I was born and raised in Alabama, where blacks and whites didn't get along very well, and I tried to be one of the main reasons they didn't," says Hutcherson. "I was very discriminatory towards whites. The only reason I played football was so I could hurt white people legally."
East Haven Connecticut Mayor Joe Maturo is under fire after four of his police officers were arrested, accused of illegally targeting Latinos with unlawful traffic stops, searches and seizures, and even physical abuse. So how does the mayor respond to a TV reporter's question about what he plans to do for the Latino community?
"I might have tacos when I go home, I'm not quite sure yet," Maturo told WPIX reporter Mario Diaz.
Ten percent of East Haven's population is Latino, 100 percent of whom will likely support Maturo's opponent in the next election.
Newt Gingrich has pledged that on his first day as president he will set up a constitutional showdown by ordering the military to defy a supreme court ruling extending some legal rights to foreign terrorism suspects and captured enemy combatants in US custody.
The Republican contender told a forum of anti-abortion activists ahead of South Carolina's primary election that as president he would ignore supreme court rulings he regards as legally flawed. He implied that would also extend to the 1973 decision, Roe vs Wade, legalising abortion.
"If the court makes a fundamentally wrong decision, the president can in fact ignore it," said Gingrich to cheers.
Anyone else feeling oddly interested in the stories coming out of North Korea regarding the succession of Kim Jong-un? I normally don't follow news from this part of the world very closely, but I was stuck on a slow El train and began to read about the succession and how it would work. I was blown away: it was like something out of Shakespeare.
Kim Jong-un's exact position in a system of primogeniture is unclear, but his father Kim Jong-il promoted him to Heir Apparent status just a few years ago over children by his two wives and older children of his mother, probably not one of Jung-il's wives, but a "consort." Just as in Shakespeare's history plays, you need a chart to figure out who's who, who's related to whom, and how. Kim Jung-un's full and half-siblings have to tread carefully to avoid death or exile. His father's aunts and uncles, who helped Kim Jong-il consolidate his power when the grandfather/founder of the dynasty, Kim Sung-il, died, will play a role in the succession. Various generals and other powers have to be placated or put out of the picture. The nearby first-cousin foreign rival has to be intimidated lest it interfere with or try to take advantage of the shift in power. Military might must be displayed to cow enemies near and far.
Change some of the names from Kims and Jangs to York and Lancaster or Tudor and Stuart, change the rivals from South Korea and Japan and the U. S. and China to France and Scotland and Spain, and you've got Shakespeare. With nukes. I will be paying more attention to this part of the world. . . .
Remember back in the mid-aughts, when Democrats were convinced that all Republicans were brilliant political strategists? Yeah, not so much:
House Republicans on Tuesday soundly rejected a bill approved by the Senate that would have extended the payroll tax cut for most Americans beyond the end of the year and allowed millions of unemployed people to continue receiving jobless benefits.
The House vote, which passed 229 to 193, also calls for establishing a negotiating committee so the two chambers can resolve their differences. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in opposition.
But the Senate has left town for the year, and Democrats say they do not intend to call it back, putting continuation of the tax cut in jeopardy and leaving a shadow over many unemployed Americans as the holidays near.
Lynn Sweet, long-time Chicago Sun-Times Washington correspondent, has some wisdom gleaned from David Axelrod as the Obama 2012 campaign gears up. Well worth reading if for nothing else than this anecdote/metaphor:
“I told my colleagues yesterday a bit of homespun wisdom that I got from an alderman in Chicago some years ago when one of his . . . colleagues wanted to run for higher office and he was really dubious. He said, ‘just remember the higher a monkey climbs on a pole, the more you can see his butt.’ So, you know, the Speaker is very high on the pole right now and we’ll see how people like the view.”
Axelrod told me afterwards that the alderman was [Dick] Mell.
Mell is Rod Blagojevich's estranged father-in-law. And ST's Mark Brown looked into the rules Blago's looking at living with for 12 or 13 years. I was most interested in the price list for commissary items:
Sweat pants, size large, will cost him $15.75. A thermal shirt goes for $7.80. Boxer briefs will set him back $7.25 for a two-pair package. Shower shoes are $4.45. Tennis balls are $3.65 each. Batting gloves are $10.40 for the right hand or $21.85 for a pair.
Iced oatmeal cookies 65 cents. Limit ten. Butterscotch pudding $1.35. Limit two. Tuna fish $2. Limit 10.
A Sony Walkman AM-FM radio costs $37.05. It’s the only such device offered. Throw in Koss headphones for $18.85 more.
As in so many other cities today, OWS-allied movements took over various bridges, including the La Salle Street Bridge over the main branch of the Chicago River. The CPD, more known for busting heads and not bothering to take names than for delicate handling of anything, politely let the protesters occupy the bridge for a while. Then they talked to each protester, who agreed to get up and be cuffed and go away for an I-bond. No pepper spraying of 80+ year old women, no busting up of libraries. Let free speech happen. Whether this is the best strategy for the OWS protests to make some political headway, I'm ambivalent. Like Neil Steinberg and others, I agree that the OWS movement needs to register voters and elect people (even sellouts like Obama or other DINOs—who are indeed the lesser of two evils, but let's remember how much greater the greater of two evils can be). But I'd also say that anything which gets the local news to cover you and quote people making your talking points is a good thing for convincing the swing voters. Just let those voters drive home in a timely way. Which is to say, don't let Critical Mass take over this second phase of OWS.
Gubernatorial wannabe and anti-health-care crusader Rob McKenna is holding a campaign kick-off breakfast tomorrow morning, but The Stranger, if you can believe it, is not allowed inside. After I emailed the campaign to RSVP, I got a call back from McKenna-protector Adam Faber explaining, "Tomorrow's event is for invited press only, and we didn't invite The Stranger."
"This is very simple and it is all I intend to say," Fabar intentionally said. "The Stranger's editorial director has made a $500 donation to our opponent and political blogger, Mr. Goldstein, is listed on the PDC reports as the head of a political action committee called the No Rob PAC. I think that speaks for itself."
Well, Adam, it's actually called the No Reversing Our Benefits PAC. But—speaking of things that speak for themselves—if you think that a PAC to preserve health care benefits is the same as a PAC against Rob, then that confirms Rob is the exact same thing as reversing benefits.
Just so everybody's clear on this one matter: According to the McKenna campaign, Rob McKenna = repealing health care benefits.
Proponents of Seattle's controversial paid sick days ordinance are gathering at the Columbia Center Starbucks today in downtown Seattle to induct Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz into a “Paid Sick Days Hall of Shame." The Hall of Shamers say Starbucks, which is headquartered in Seattle, revoked paid sick day benefits for all its US retail employees in 2008 (except in San Francisco, where it's required) but still offers paid sick leave to workers in other countries.
"It's shameful—their corporate workers get paid sick days, but their retail employees don’t," says Gabriela Quintana, the Campaign Coordinator for Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce, which supports the proposal. "All [Shultz's] employees are invited to join us in this protest."
Seattle Daily Photo via Flickr
Instead of a Hall of Shame plaque to hang on the wall—and perhaps get lost among all the other shiny accolades—the Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce will be presenting Starbucks customers and passing gawkers with custom Hall of Shame coffee sleeves while chanting things like “No virus in our ventis,” “No coughing in my coffee,” and “Howard Schultz, you’re so wealthy, you can afford to keep us healthy.”
(Fun Fact: Howard Schultz made $3.5 million in bonuses alone last year.)
Ralliers are meeting at 12:30 p.m. today in front of the Columbia Center Starbucks in downtown Seattle (4th Avenue and Cherry Street). Afterward, participants plan on walking over to City Hall to attend a 2:00 p.m. hearing on the proposed paid sick days ordinance in City Council chambers.
One of [Ohio's draconian anti-abortion] heartbeat bill’s staunch advocates is Ohio Rep. Robert Mecklenborg, a Catholic from Cincinnati who represents western Hamilton County. Mecklenborg loved the bill so much he was one of its nearly 50 co-sponsors. In fact, he led the fight to get it passed. He is all about family you see: he is a married father of three.
So, let's play fill-in-the-blank! Robert Mecklenborg was caught ______________ with a _____________. His blood tested positive for ___________.
If your imagination is taking you to dark places and you just want to be done imagining the horrible things a family values candidate does in his spare time, the answer (and link to the story, which has a spoilerific headline) is after the jump.
Writing this post kinda feels like kicking a three-legged, arthritic dog with a bad case of mange, because its subject (King County Council candidate Diana Toledo) was so thoroughly trounced the last time she ran for office, it would take major intervention by a wrathful, Old-Testament God (who hates His children and wishes disaster upon them) for her to win. Plus, she's clearly challenged in the whole facts/logic/political-strategy department.
But her proposal to fund arts education by cutting arts funding (specifically, eliminating 4Culture and the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs) is not only only wrong-headed, but factually inaccurate and legally impossible. It also contains some common misperceptions—about 4Culture, arts funding, and budgets—that are worth clearing up.
I am calling upon Mayor McGinn and KC Executive Constantine to dissolve the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and the 4Culture agencies and put that money into Arts programs in the Public Schools.
As a mother of three beautiful children I am concerned that our youth do not have the same access to Arts programs that we had growing up. During the early years of development is it crucial that our children are engaged in the creative processes that allow for the expression or originality, development of individuality, and the building of positive self esteem in a safe learning environment.
[Blah blah blah.]
Let's take this step by step.
1) The headline and the hypocrisy. Who, exactly, are these "cultural elites" you're talking about, Diana? Do you mean the 240 arts organizations, 72 individual artists, and 60 (or so) group projects that will receive funding from 4Culture this year? Because that's a lot of elites. And one of those elites happens to be a certain David Toledo, Diana's p.r. manager and brother (if Facebook and Diana's campaign site are telling me the truth) who applied for and won a $5,000 award from 4Culture to put towards his nascent cartooning studio this year.
Well, it sure didn't take long for Bachmann to make her first serious campaign error: Oliver Willis says:
In the video below, Bachmann compares her spirit to that of John Wayne, who she says is from Waterloo, IA. Except the John Wayne from Waterloo is not the legendary actor but instead the notorious serial killer. Whoops.
She's going to mimic the "spirit" of someone who raped and murdered 33 teenage boys. Let's see how long it takes for her followers to back her up on this.