Sunday, August 27, 2006

Brazilian Elections

One little-known aspect of the Coriolis effect is that presidential elections and off-year elections are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere. The Brazilian election machines are gearing up now, and soon you'll all wish I would just go back to writing about some second division soccer team all the time instead of Lula's myriad scandals and the bizarre Brazilian electoral system.

Good times.

Monday, August 14, 2006

In Defense of Daniel Snyder

It has long been fashionable to criticize Daniel Snyder for, well, being Daniel Snyder. I have never understood why that is. There have always been better targets, even within the small group of NFL owners (Bill Bidwell? Jerry Jones? How about Art Modell, who couldn't make money with a pro football team in Cleveland?), but Snyder has always been the target of choice.

But this is going too far. Snyder is a Republican, yes, but the similarities with the DLC end there.

Snyder has done nothing but offer his coaches support, and he has tried to stay out of the spotlight. He gave Norv Turner, the Joe Lieberman of NFL coaches, more chances than he deserved. Snyder even fired GM Charlie Casserly because Casserly and Turner refused to continue working together. (Snyder later admitted that he erred in keeping Turner instead of Casserly, and apologized to Casserly. The national media ignored the story.) Well after Turner had convinced Skins fans (and by that I mean ALL Skins fans) that he would never lead the Sons of Washington to glory, Snyder dismissed him. And somehow the story became that Snyder had "meddled" and never given Turner a chance. The six plus years of mediocrity were never mentioned -- somehow the problems were all Snyder's fault. (To be fair, Turner's teams always "competed," which was always what he asked them to do. Not to win, but to compete.)

After Turner, Snyder hired Marty Schottenheimer (and his assistants, Bruce, Bill, Wendell, Olivier, and Humperdink Schottenheimers) to bring some discipline to the team. And discipline Schottenheimer brought, along with the sort of impressive 8-8 season for which Schottenheimer has become famous.

The Spurrier experiment didn't work out so well, but at least half of the owners in the NFL were green with envy when Snyder won the Spurrier sweepstakes. And then came the return of Joe Gibbs.

Snyder's errors as an owner were from acting as a fan. There is an enormous difference between the two and Snyder took a few years to learn that. He is willing to spend money to win (apparently the Cardinals and Bengals have more acceptable strategies), and in the last two years he has spent it more wisely, and it has started to pay dividends. Let's not confuse that with Donna Brazile, who prefers to lose with dignity.

If you think about it, Snyder might be the anti-DLC of the NFL -- not content to use the same losing coaches and have the same losing seasons, but ready to change in order to win. But the football media, like the political media, prefers losers like Norv Turner, Bill Bidwell, and Bob Shrum -- people who never get to the playoffs and don't seem to mind. Snyder, and real Democrats (his political opposites), are just going to have to keep suffering the negative attention that comes from wanting to win.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Will Salazar Suffer for his Stupidity?

Ken Salazar (D-CO) says he will support Lieberman's independent run. So, of course, Schumer has already called Salazar to tell him that the DSCC won't give him any help in his next election, right? Dean has already called Salazar to tell him that the DNC will be working with the DSCC to recruit a primary opponent to challege Salazar, right? Reid has already called Salazar to threaten him with the loss of his committee assignments, right? Oh, wait, we're talking about Democrats...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Oh Frabjous Day!

Callooh! Callay!

I'm tempted to say that I don't care what happens in CT in November, because what happened yesterday was so good. And there's some truth to that, but I'd like to see Holy Joe finished off. I hope that in the next day or two (at most) both Clintons, and whatever other major Democrats campaigned for Lieberman, make public statements of support for Lamont and call for Lieberman to withdraw. I also really like the idea of Reid stripping Lieberman of his committee assignments. Whatever happens in November, I hope Lieberman gets his share of humiliation in the interim. And his share is BIG.

Desi tells it like it is