Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Mark Sanford

Some great Sanford tidbits today from his tearful second confession to the press:

1) He went to NYC to meet the mistress and took along a "spiritual advisor" to help him say "no" to her and dump her.

Did not work.

What a wussy. Sorry, but if you are so weak of spirit that you cannot dump a woman without some wannabe Svengali helping you........Plus IT DIDN'T WORK!!!!

2) He asked his wife more than once to go and meet the woman.

Um, why? If you recall my Cast Party story, for a period of about 2 months in my life I had 2+ girlfriends. I had absolutely NO interest in having them meet one another. Was he trying the George Costanza ("it is a French phrase and I don't know how to say it") way out of the relationship?

3) Wife found out about the affair when she found a draft LETTER he was writing to the woman.

A letter? It is 2009. I cannot even recall when I last wrote a personal letter.
I used to write my girlfriend letters in 1981. I was only 17 and I STILL never left them lying around the house!!!!!! You are the Governor of a decent sized state -- don't you have an office? Don't you have a desk drawer that locks? My lord.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Billy Mays -- Dead at 50 (Heart Issues)


I have used OxyClean back in my single days -- worked pretty well.


Ricci v. DeStefano -- Good God What a Mess!


The city of New Haven, Connecticut administered a firefighter Captain's exam in which almost no minority candidates did well. Rather than risk being sued by the minority candidates who did not do well, the City tossed out the results and promoted no one.

Nevertheless, the firefighters who did the best on the exam sued for a mandatory injunction requiring the City to accept the test results and give them the promotions.

The City won at the district court and the Second Circuit. Today the Supreme Court reversed and ruled that the plaintiffs win as a matter of law.

You can look through the opinions all you want, but here is a basic summary:

-- Kennedy thinks that there wasn't enough evidence showing the exam used was defective, so the City had to accept the test results.

-- Scalia is upset that Title VII was ever passed in the first place and he would find the entire thing unconstitutional if he had half a chance.

-- Alito thinks that the City caved into a poor man's Al Sharpton, so he isn't going to put up with that.


-- Ginsburg believes that all written firefighter exams discriminate against minorities, so she would have allowed the city to win.

But let's be frank. This just makes matters worse as a practical matter.

Let's assume that Shreveport, Lousiana decides tomorrow that it is going to change its firefighter exam so that the same exam is used that is used in New Haven, Connecticut. (And why wouldn't you? The SCOTUS has just decided that the exam is perfectly legal and fine. And you know from experience that minorities do worse on the exam.)

So, the exam results come in and 95% of the top exam finishers are white.

Result under today's decision -- City has to promote the white guys.

OK -- but they put the exam in place just for the pure purpose of getting more whites in, right? Or was it because they knew the test was constitutionally approved? Reason 1 is not legal; I assume reason #2 is.......or is it? We know that desire to avoid lawsuits is not a permissible ground for changing your test. We learned that today.

Ginsburg's dissent has three basic problems:

1) She starts it by saying that she has sympathy for the folks who scored best but were not promoted. Bullshit. She has no sympathy for these people. She believes that they benefited from a flawed test and are not entitled to their positions.

Don't lie. Don't claim that you have sympathy for people who played by the rules, did the best and didn't get in. You do not. You feel that they got picked for a bad reason. Basically you think a starting 9 on a baseball club was picked based upon their knowledge of the rules of the game and not on whether they can play. So don't pretend you are sympathetic. You are not.

2) She agrees that if a city "repeatedly" threw out test results that did not feature minority winners that the city might be liable.

Um, why? If it is proper for a city to say, "Yeah, shit, we are going to get sued for these results" then why isn't it OK for the city to say it 2 or 3 or 4 times? Do you get one free bite at discrimination against white folk?

3) Let me mention it, since no one seems to want to mention it in their opinions. Examine the opposite result:

-- the city of Sante Fe, New Mexico has a Captain's exam and 98% of the winners are black and Hispanic and 2% are white. The white population gets all mad and threatens the mayor with no more money for his campaign or his city, and the white guys threaten legal action. Sante Fe throws out the results so the white guys can try again.

Oh.....my.....God......end of the world, right? You are going to toss out an exam because the white guys didn't do well enough? Al Sharpton better love Tex-Mex food because he is going to be in Sante Fe forever.

THE MESS -- Here is the practical mess. What the court has done is make it easier for cities to use discriminatory tests and get away with it. In fact, if you use a discriminatory test, you have a legal obligation to the white guys to defend it to the end of time.

So now every single time that a city has an exam where the racial result is skewed (pro-white or anti-white) the city will be sued. There is nothing the city can do. If the result is skewed, you have a constitutional obligation to defend it. But when you defend the result, you will be sued for disparate impact discrimination and you will not be able to win a motion to dismiss because there will be prima facie evidence of disparate impact. Then you will have 2 years of discovery on whether the city ignored a "strong basis in evidence" that its test was discriminatory.

What the 5-4 decision does (as Ginsburg correctly notes) is make it impossible for a City to avoid litigation risk. The city is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't.

A case that demonstrates the 5-4 conservative-liberal split on the court and that is not very well-reasoned in any of the 3 opinions.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson -- Dead

I am selecting this video because it is from a time when Michael was still part human and it shows his unbelievable fan following. I have also always found the song lyrics fitting -- "I am asking him to change his ways."

Since I firmly believe that the guy was a child molester, I really cannot give him his due here except to say that if there was ever a study to be done of how a person's upbringing impacted his life, this would be your #1 target for such a study.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Phil on 18 for a Clutch Birdie.................

of course not. 2 under -- leader in the clubhouse. But I think Glover can now just about 7 iron it home.

Friday, June 19, 2009

More William Hung


He just recently participated in a celebrity mahjong tournament in Hong Kong. And you guys thought he wasn't going to last!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Zooming Up The Draft Board -- Stephen Curry


Draft Express has him at #5 (at best -- Mike Bibby, at worst Janerro Pargo -- ooooh, imagine drafting Jannero Pargo with the #5 pick!).

NBA Draft.net has him going at #6 to Minnesota (where Minnesota would presumably trade him for a lower selection and a veteran player).

Why so much upward pressure with Curry?

1) The Knicks are sitting at #8 and they are said to love him. So everyone interested in Curry wants to leapfrog the Knicks.

2) He is a sort-of-big-name and the economy sucks. So you can tell your few remaining fans in Memphis, Washington, Sacramento, etc. "Hey remember that kid from plucky Davidson? We got him" and sell a few tickets, or you can answer 300 e-mails asking, "Who the hell is {Jordan Hill, Tyreke Evans, James Harden, Jrue Holiday, Demar Derozen, etc., etc.}!?!?!"

3) Recall that Flip Saunders is now in Washington. No coach in the NBA does a better job of getting into favorable offensive sets for his personnel.

4) He measured 6'2" with no shoes. 6'3 1/4 with shoes on. So he is an average size point guard. Not a midget.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Kobe Versus LeBron

Kobe Versus the Magic: 43% shooting, 33 points, 5.5 rebounds, 8 assists, 2.0 steals plus blocks, regularly guards Courtney Lee

LeBron Versus the Magic: 49% shooting, 38.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 8 assists, 2.4 steals+blocks, regularly guarded Turkoglu and Lewis.

Conclusion -- had LeBron played at Kobe's level, the Cavs would have been swept in 4.


God Takes a Vacation -- Lakers and Devil Lead 3-1

I have been watching the NBA finals since 1974. I honestly cannot remember a series in which a team has had a layup to win one game and 2 free throws to win another and pissed them BOTH away. Sure, you had Magic throwing the ball to Gerald Henderson, but he didn't do it twice. You had Nick Anderson blowing the 4 free throws, but Orlando basically collapsed thereafter. Even the Lakers' blown games against Boston last year involved lengthy collapses not games that could have been so clearly won with under 12 seconds to play.

I recall Detroit beating Portland in........1990? That was similar, but that also involved great work by Dumars and Vinnie Johnson. Not sure what Lakers did a great job in having Courtney Lee blow a layup and Dwight Howard clang two free throws.

I really cannot believe that the Magic is/are down 3-1. At WORST it should be 2-2, and if God had not forsaken true basketball fans everywhere outside of SoCal, it should be 3-1 Magic.

And of course driving in I heard The Fray's "You Found Me" -- a song about God not answering your prayers and then you meeting him on the corner while he is smoking a cigarette. Here is what Stan Van Gundy must have been thinking as he failed to sleep last night:

I found God
On the corner of First and Amistad
Where the west Was all but won
All alone Smoking his last cigarette
I said, "Where you been?" He said, "Ask anything."

Where were you When everything was falling apart?
All my days Were spent by the telephone It never rang
And all I needed was a call It never came
To the corner of First and Amistad

Lost and insecure You found me, you found me
Lyin' on the floor Surrounded, surrounded
Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Belated Tribute -- Randy Smith, Dead at 60

While I was in trial, one of my boyhood basketball icons, Randy Smith, died while working out on a treadmill at a casino.

I think it is fair to say that my love of basketball came almost entirely from watching the Buffalo Braves play in the mid-70s. The Braves would from time to time bring in good players like Jim MacMillan, but the team really just had two top-flight NBA players -- Bob McAdoo and Randy Smith.

Smith was an all-American athlete at Division III Buffalo State in both basketball and soccer. Smith would petition the Braves year after year for permission to play in the NASL, only to be denied.

Smith held the NBA record for most consecutive games played, and he still holds that record if you count non-virgin players only. I will always imagine Randy flying down the right side and going in for the slam.....or pulling up from some undetermined distance (no three point line) and jacking up a LONG two-pointer.

If you take a 5-year stretch at the top of his game, Smith had a 5-year average of 20+points, 5+ assists, 5+ rebounds and about 2 steals per game.
While today's game is certainly slower and involves less possessions, I would doubt that there are 3 players in the league this one single year who put up stats in all categories to equal Randy Smith's 5-year averages.

So, to whom in today's game could we compare Randy Smith?

Top 30 player, occasional all-star (once all-star MVP), great defensive guard, languished in a small market for a team who would reach the playoffs but not go far any year.......???????

My best comparisons -- Joe Johnson, Jason Terry, Andre Miller.

And he was a young tween's hero back in the mid-70s. RIP, Randy.