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Thoughts on Events the Week of December 14

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 27, 2020

I’m running a full week behind  because Christmas.

Electoral College: That antiquated, undemocratic anachronism performed as it should and recorded 306 votes for President-elect Biden, a landslide, opined by no less an authority than President Trump, when he won by that same landslide margin in 2016.

As with all previous mileposts, this one confirmed yet again that Biden won the election and Trump is the loooooser, which has been obvious for many weeks, and there’s nothing Trump can do to change that.

Of course, this won’t stop Trump from lying and suing and generally carrying on like a big baby, and many Republican politicians will keep their lips pressed tightly against his ass for a while longer and pray no more damage will be done before Inauguration Day. I wish them well with that.

I don’t care a fig if Trump leaves angry or sad or happy. He is leaving, and I suspect there are countless people ready to drag him out of the White House by the hair if he resists. In fact, we could probably have a raffle to see who gets to do it and retire the national debt with the proceeds. I would certainly buy a ticket.

I can sympathize just a little with Trump’s base voters. I felt just as they felt in November 2016 when Trump won. I was stunned and horrified. But an election is an election, and the voters and the electoral college spoke, and I had to respect and accept that, regardless of my angst, which proved to be well placed.

Now it is Trump’s base that is surprised and disappointed. The only difference is they are not accepting it, and some of this knuckle dragging, mouth breathing base, whose passions and ignorance are easily exploited by Trump, carry guns and are just nuts enough, or stupid enough, to be tempted to use them.

Sudden thought: if protesters, or counter-protesters are carrying guns, can it really be said to be a peaceful protest, as protected by the Constitution? Why on earth would we permit people to carry guns to a protest? It’s intimidating and just plain nuts.

Worst State: Texas and Kansas split the cup this week. Texas because of its failed lawsuit to try to overturn the election in four other states, which the Supremes shot down in a heartbeat. Kansas because Mike Pompeo is a pompous pig.

BTW, Wisconsin are among the finalists to replace Arizona on the worst state list in 2021.

Football thoughts – Week 15

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on December 17, 2020

College: The final regular season game between my beloved Oklahoma Sooners and West Virginia Mountaineers was canceled due to Covid-19 concerns. Nevertheless, it is official, and the Sooners will play Iowa State University for the Big XII championship on Saturday morning, assuming both teams can field a team. Football for breakfast, my favorite kind.

This is the only college game that was of any interest to me this week and it was a cropper. However, I was glad to see that some college football pundits are finally starting, as I have been from the get-go, to question the fairness of having Ohio State in the playoffs when they have only played five games. It’s about time. (Ditto any Pac 12 or Big 10 team, which all started the season late.)

NFL: Easily the best game of the week was between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns, which the Ravens won at the bell 47-42. Both quarterbacks, Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield, were superb. In fact, Mayfield had the Browns in position to win the game (the Browns scored 42 points!), but Jackson scored a last-minute touchdown to win it.

The sour note for the Browns is that their defense was so poor. Not only didn’t it play well, but the defensive game plan was criminally defective. The defensive coordinator apparently didn’t get the memo that Jackson is the Ravens’ biggest threat, and he’s most dangerous when he’s running. The Browns defense focused on covering Jackson’s receivers and not him, with the result Jackson ran for record-breaking rushing yards for a quarterback.

Next draft, the Browns should spend their picks #s 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 on defensive players, oh, and get a new defensive coordinator.

The Arizona Cardinals, my new favorite team, beat the New York Giants 26-7. Kyler Murray is the goods. The Cardinals need some serious upgrading in the next draft, though, and they have got to cut down on undisciplined penalties.  A new coach or two wouldn’t hurt either.

But the really big news about recent OU quarterbacks was that Jalen Hurts got the start for Philadelphia and upset the Breesless Saints 24-21. I presume this spells the end of Carson Wentz at Philadelphia. Hurts is the goods. He has a natural feel for the game, which Wentz, for all his physical attributes, does not possess.

Meanwhile, The Washington Redskins beat the 49ers (the NFL team suffering the most injuries and Covid-19 problems this year) and will apparently win the NFC East, much good may it do them.

My erstwhile favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, lost to the Baltimore Ravens, which was expected, 34-17 on December 8 and then beat the Cincinnati Bengals 30-7 on the 12th. Who cares? They still stink on ice.

The family feud between Belichick and Brady went badly for the coach this week. Brady and the Bucs beat a good Vikings team 26-14 while the Patriots lost to the Los Angeles Rams 24-3. Cam Newton had such a bad game he was pulled in the fourth quarter. The Patriots are simply not as good this year as they have been in the past, with or without Brady. This feud must be observed for a few years to determine a winner. I’m thinking both coach and quarterback will do well in their new circumstances, ultimately.

Elsewhere, Kansas City and the Packers still look like the cream of the quarterbacks, which is always a leg up in the playoffs.

Thoughts on Events the Week of December 12

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 16, 2020

The Supremes come through: Other than the approval of a Covid-19 vaccine for emergency distribution, which is wonderful news and essential for restoring our economy and way of life, the biggest news of the week was the lawsuit filed by Texas state Attorney General Paxton to toss out all the votes in four states because President Trump didn’t like the results, which went directly to the Supreme Court for original jurisdiction.

(Spoiler alert: Trump lost all of them convincingly, and their electoral college votes add up to enough to deny the presidency to Biden and throw the election into the House, with each state having one vote each.)

This stunning request to override the Constitution and the will of the people was joined by 17 attorneys general and about 115 Republican members of Congress, for whom ass kissing the president is more important than their oath to uphold the Constitution and the will of the citizens in their respective states.)

For more than four weeks, since it became obvious that Biden had won the popular vote by a wide enough margin and in enough states that he would win the election in the electoral college, I stopped worrying about all the hand wringing among the media and many Democratic voters and relaxed. This latest last ditch, desperate patently undemocratic lawsuit was obviously destined to fail.

But just as I was relaxing, one my very closest friends, an attorney of some distinction who has argued before the Supreme Court, told me that the lawsuit had a thin reed of legal logic to it and the Supremes could cause mischief with it if they were of a mind to.

This conversation triggered what I have learned to recognize as Battered Voter Syndrome, common among Democratic voters who witnessed the improbable 2016 election of Trump and fear something like that could happen again, even in the face of facts, logic, and common sense.

But in a unanimous decision, the Supremes made the obvious, correct call and my calm was restored. Bravo, Supremes!

The saddest thing about this is that I doubt the aforementioned Republican congresspersons and state attorneys general who abrogated their responsibilities knowingly and cynically, will pay little if any political price of it, because they are all from red states whose citizens apparently are fine with flouting Constitutional oaths of office to support Trump. It is a genuinely sad state of affairs.

 Worst State: The cup goes to Texas, obviously, because it was Texas’ Attorney General who began their obscene attempt to subvert the Constitution and thwart our national election. But Congresspersons and Attorneys general from the other worst state candidates signed on to the lawsuit, so every worst state was complicit.

As an aside, this event was the tipping point for me and organized religion. I am no longer ambivalent, and I will write some more about this next week.

Football thoughts – Week 14

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on December 10, 2020

College: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners beat Baylor 27-14. It wasn’t a pretty win, but there were two reasons. First, Baylor has a pesky team and an infuriating quarterback who gives us fits. He graduates this year, and I will not miss him. Second, and more important. OU had double digit players not able to play due to COVID-19 concerns.

This sets up a Big XII conference championship game between OU and Iowa State. ISU beat us early in the season, but we are not the same team now as then. Many important players were not available for that game and the team overall was green as grass. We’ll do better next time, but it will still be an exceedingly difficult game. The Cyclones are a very good team.

The remainder of the schedule went pretty much by the chalk, at least those games that were able to be played, including the Aggies nice win over Auburn.

NFL: It was an unusual week in the league, including a Thursday Night Football game played on Tuesday night between my erstwhile favorite team the Dallas Cowboys, and the Baltimore Ravens.

There was nothing unusual about the game, just the day on which it was played. The game was like all recent Cowboys games. Dallas stunk on ice, 34-17. They are spectacularly bad. Terrible coaching, terrible defense, just terrible, period. Fortunately, I don’t care about the Cowboys anymore. I have a new favorite team – the Arizona Cardinals.

Unfortunately, my Cardinals lost also, to the Rams, 38-28. Overall, this was just a case of the better team winning. Arizona still has a way to go, particularly on defense, and the defense will not improve, I fear, so long as Kingsbury is the coach. I’m not sure he knows how to spell defense. He coached at the college level for a school not known for academics, and certainly not for defense.

The Cleveland Browns, the other team with a Heisman Trophy winning #1 draft pick from OU, upset the Tennessee Titans 41-35 and Baker Mayfield was rock solid.

In two unlikely results, The Giants upset the Seahawks, and the Redskins upset the Steelers, which means as Dallas is sinking down the crapper, other NFC East teams are pulling it together.

In the family feud, Tampa Bay was idle, but the Patriots pounded the Chargers 45-0, so Belichick and Cam Newton get this spotlight this week.

However, the most unusual play occurred in the Kansas City v Broncos game, when Tyreek Hill made a catch so improbable that Hill didn’t even realize that he had caught the ball. It was ruled a fumble, and Hill thought it must have hit the ground.

After it was too late, replay showed that it had been a catch, which led to some finger pointing between coach and receiver about why they didn’t challenge the play. My question is why isn’t the finger being pointed at the referees? They are arguably the worst team on the field week after week.

(In the Cowboys’ humiliating loss, they were the victims of among the most egregious missed calls I have ever seen in pro football, right up there to the injustice that kept Brees and the New Orleans Saints out of the Super Bowl a few years ago.)

Thoughts on Events the Week of November 30

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 10, 2020

The Last Grift: Trump has been suing in all directions – his default behavior – ostensibly trying to get his landslide election loss overturned. This is a charade. The election is over. Biden won. It’s official, and Trump knows it. He’s just running a con to raise money from his gullible base. On January 20, Trump will be out of the White House carrying bags of his voters’ money.

The last diminishments: For no reason but spite and petty revenge, Trump fired a lot of career intelligence personnel and replaced them with his own personal political sycophants.

Since everyone Trump touches is diminished, and as these replacements will only be in office for a couple of months, one wonders why they would take the jobs at all. Such is the draw of power, I suppose.

These lackeys are not going to do anything useful in their short tenure. They can cause mischief for Trump, but they’re not going to bomb Iran or anything. Trump doesn’t have the balls. Speaking of balls, what does it take for a Republican politician to grow a pair? Answer: announcing they’re not running for reelection. All active Republican politicians still cower in the corner in fear of the Donald. Though contemptible, it is understandable. Politicians are cowards, and their biggest fear is of voters. They are terrified of Trump’s base.

The last reason: The most important reason Biden should not expect cooperation from Republicans is Kamala Harris. Harris is black and the very thought of a black person in the White House who is not wearing white gloves and serving dinner, is anathema to Moscow Mitch, who is as big a bigot as the South has ever sent to Congress.

We are not going to be able to eliminate the white supremacists and other racists rampant among Trump’s base, we should be able to sweep them back under the refrigerator where they belong.

Worst state: Politicians in very one of the worst states is participating enthusiastically in Trump’s con by refusing to acknowledge that Trump lost the elections. Meanwhile, fortunately, each of the states’ authorities have processed their ballots and submitted their counts as required by law.

Football Thoughts – Week 12

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on December 3, 2020

College: The game between my beloved and rapidly improving Oklahoma Sooners and West Virginia Mountaineers was postponed due to “Covid-19 concerns” in the Oklahoma camp. Though university presidents seem determined to prop up the season to get the revenue, I’m still taking the under on either the college or pro games’ completing what anyone would call a season.

That said, Baylor upset Kansas State and Iowa State beat Texas, so I assume that if there is a conference championship game, it is most likely to be between the Sooners and Iowa State, assuming OU wins out.

The committee continues to include teams from the Big 10 and Pac 12 in its rankings, including Ohio State, which comes in at #3. This offends me greatly. These schools are at an advantage because they came into the season late and are fresher. It’s like letting milers jump into the race at the half mile mark.

The Aggies, who sit at #5, beat LSU, and Missouri blanked Vanderbilt, so some readers are happy. Penn State, which is dreadful, upset Michigan, which is even more dreadful. It’s a bad year for a football team to be coached by someone named Harbaugh.

NFL: The Washington Football Team used my erstwhile favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, as a mop and wiped up the floor with them 41-16. To say the Cowboys were inept is an understatement. There were spectacularly stupid coaching decisions, and I had no idea their defense could play that badly.

In the comparison and contrast between OU’s two Heisman Trophy winners and #1 draft choices, Baker Mayfield was solid as the Browns beat the Jaguars, who it must be admitted are not a good team this year.

Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, my new favorite team, lost to the Patriots, in a game Arizona could have won. Murray had them in position. But the team was done in by penalties (Arizona leads the NFL in them) and disastrous special teams play. This is a Kingsbury team in spades – good offense, but no defense and no attention to special teams whatsoever.

This will be the Cardinals’ fate as long as Kingsbury is its coach. We saw this same act when he was at Texas Tech. He wasn’t a particularly good college coach there. What the hell is he doing coaching an NFL team?

In the family feud between Belichick and Brady, as mentioned above, the Pats won with Cam Newton. But the Bucs and Brady were upset by the Chicago Bears in Chicago. Brady didn’t play particularly well, but their defense was leaky, and it was not an ideal game plan for Brady, in my view. I think this may be a case where the coach is not adapting his game to optimize the strengths of his quarterback.

The San Francisco 49ers upset the Rams, and as a reward were thrown out of Santa Clara for three weeks due to a tremendous spike in Covid-19 cases there. San Francisco will be playing their next three game in Dallas!

Rodgers and Mahomes look like the cream of the quarterbacks at this point in the season. They will almost certainly be in the playoffs, and Kansas City looks like the best team in the NFL and should be the favorite to win the Super Bowl at this point.

A woman made an NFL roster, got into the game, and made a successful kickoff. This is worthy of mention.

Thoughts on Events the Week of November 23

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 3, 2020

Loser: The election having been decided in President-elect Biden’s favor weeks ago, President Trump is still suing in all directions, which is really about the only thing he knows how to do. He’s also hoping that some state and local officials will be as venal and corrupt as he is and overturn election results that are not going his way, which would be many, many millions of them. Now he’s trashing those who don’t cooperate with him on this, including Republicans. Trump is going away mad, but he is most certainly going away.

34,500: That’s how much Trump paid per vote to increase Biden’s total in Michigan. Trump had asked for a recount in Michigan’s two largest cities, because they have the most blacks in them, and he had to pay $3 million for the recount, which resulted in Biden’s vote increasing by a net of 87 votes. So, Trump ended up paying almost $34,500 per vote to increase Biden’s lead over him. What a stable genius businessman.

Trump pardons Flynn:  To be clear, though smarmy, Trump has the constitutional right to pardon Flynn. We shouldn’t waste time fretting about it. It will be interesting, however, to see what the courts might think if he tries to pardon his family members and/or himself. I’m not sure about family members, but I’m pretty sure pardoning himself won’t fly, constitution-wise.

30,000: The Dow reached that new all-time record, and Trump interrupted a Covid-19 briefing to brag about it. He is so self-absorbed and stupid that he didn’t understand that the Dow jumped because the street now knows for sure that Trump is leaving office, not because of anything he did but lose. He’s so vain, Carlie Simon should write a song about him.

It has begun with a trickle: A few Republican politicians are beginning to distance themselves from Trump. Where this goes gives us something to observe and talk about for a while.

Worst state: All eyes are on Georgia now, so what any of the worst states does is not particularly important. However, it should be said that even those states performed their elections and published their results properly.

Football Thoughts – Week 11

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on November 27, 2020

Football: The lead story this week is all about the virus, again. More and more games are having to be postponed or canceled, making the entire season of both the college and pro games suspect. When the seasons end, if they are not just canceled, there should be a big, glaring asterisk on this season, and I don’t think any records should be recognized, nor champions crowned.

College: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners wiped up the floor with Oklahoma State 41-13. It really wasn’t much of a game, and for all practical purposes it was over quickly. OU led 21-0 about half-way through the first quarter.

This outcome came as no surprise to me. OU has been rounding into form since it got Stevenson and Perkins back. OU was the better team by a margin. But I haven’t worried about OSU as an opponent for years. They’ve had teams far better than this one recently, and we’ve beaten every one of them.

This means OU is in decent shape to play for the Big XII championship, probably against Iowa State, which shut out Kansas State, 45-0.

Of note, Northwestern beat Wisconsin 7-17, which was not totally unexpected. Missouri beat South Carolina 17-10 so my Missouri readers are happy.

Postponements and cancelations due to Covid-19 continue to complicate and disrupt the season. The Texas A&M game was postponed, with Aggies sitting at #5, in the first playoff rankings, so my Aggie daughter is disappointed.

NFL: The Dallas Cowboys, my erstwhile favorite team, beat the Minnesota Vikings, improbably, 31-28, keeping Dallas in the hunt for the NFC East championship.

In the comparison and contrast between Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, this week was “inconclusive.” Murray and the Arizona Cardinals, my new favorite team, lost to the Seattle Seahawks 28-21. There’s no shame in that; Seattle has a good team. Mayfield’s Browns beat the Eagles 22-17. He didn’t do anything spectacular, but he was steady, and managed the game well, which was enough to beat the lowly Eagles.

In the family feud between Belichick and Brady, I give this one to Belichick. The Pats lost, but Cam Newton had a terrific game. Brady and the Bucks were outplayed by the Rams 27-24.

Other top year quarterbacks lost. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers also got beat by the Colts, and the Titans beat Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.

Thoughts on Events the Week of November 16

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on November 26, 2020

President-elect Biden: The numbers confirmed the obvious again this week, that Biden won the election, by more than six million votes and 306 in the Electoral College. Simultaneously, Trump and his crack legal team of low functioning morons threw frivolous lawsuits at the wall because that’s all Trump knows how to do, literally.

The suits were all thrown out, frequently to be replaced by new, even more frivolous ones, but the numbers did not change nor will they, and Trump is out.

Joe and I were never concerned about this nonsense, but some were. The media, for instance, confirmed continuously that Biden had won, but cased each report in equivocal language, such as “apparently,” and “unless things change,” stirring up uncertainty where none exists. Is that responsible journalism?

Reaching across the aisle: I like President-elect Biden’s tone and his stated intent to try to work with Republicans to get something done. Perhaps his many years in the Senate may help in getting some Republican Senators to cooperate with him in a period of restored good faith. Or, perhaps some Republicans will decide after this election that obstruction may not be the best strategy.

But I wouldn’t count on it.  Biden was there and remembers the all-in commitment of Republicans to obstruct every minute of, and every proposal submitted by, the Obama administration, even including Republicans’ own ideas if Obama agreed they had merit. I don’t see that many Republicans have any incentive to compromise, given Trump’s current grip on his base.

So, I have two pieces of advice for Biden at the beginning of his adventure. First, hope for, but do not count on responsible governance from Moscow Mitch. He has the principles of, well, Trump. Have a plan B and be ready to pivot to it quickly.

Second, have no sympathy for Trump, and for God’s sake don’t pardon him as Ford did with Nixon. (I’m still pissed off about that, and that was in 1974!) Trump’s behavior post-election alone deserves prosecution, not forbearance. We will never reduce corruption until people start going to jail.

A case in point: Trump requested a recount in Michigan, which would cost almost $8 million dollars. But Trump requested only a “partial recount” of the districts around Detroit, for the discounted prices of only $3 million. Why? Because those are the districts with the greatest concentration of black voters. Does this sound like the request of a serious, non-racist candidate?

I wouldn’t let Trump get away with it. I would have insisted he pay the full amount for a full recount, including all the Republican leaning districts.

An early prediction: I expect that Trump’s hold on his base will erode surprising fast after he leaves office, which will open up possibilities down the road, and it won’t be as far down the road as you might expect. Many will just want to forget about him as they were with George W. Bush, who most Republicans wish had never happened. Second, seeing Trump’s prosecutions will tarnish his brand fatally.

Worst state: Trump has behaved as despicably as he ever has during his term. Since November 3, his every speech has been aimed at overturning the results and destabilizing our democracy. Even so, post-election, the worst states began behaving in ways supporting Trump that were as bad or worse than Trump himself.

Of particular shame falls to South Carolina because Lindsay Graham. Graham was caught trying to suppress the vote in Georgia, which is not even his own state and an extremely important on in determining control of the Senate. Is there nothing a politician can do and still not go to jail? All the wrong people are going to prison.

Football Thoughts – Week 10

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on November 19, 2020

College: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners had a bye week, so nothing to report about them. Nothing else happened in the Big XII to warrant mention. The Texas Aggies moved up to #1 so my Aggie daughter is happy. Missouri had to postpone its game due to Covid-19, which will distress my friend and Mizzou alum Peter.

It looks like the season is unraveling as I predicted, however. By my count, 15 games will be postponed or canceled next weekend due to Covid-19 concerns, in addition to those canceled this week. Some games can be made up, but each week there are fewer open dates left to play postponed games. Already some schools are matching teams whose scheduled opponents are having Covid-19 issues and playing what amount to pick up games.

I’m not sure what will happen to bowl games, but the greedy university presidents will drag four teams to a playoff, no matter who they are, including possibly teams from the Big 10 and Pack 12 conferences, but it won’t be the same. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it.

NFL: My erstwhile favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, had a bye week so they couldn’t embarrass themselves again. New York beat the Eagles and Detroit beat the Redskins, so Dallas is still in the hunt for the conference championship.

All the news was about my new favorite team, the Arizona Cardinals, and quarterback Kyler Murray, because they beat Buffalo on a last second “Hail Murray” pass to DeAndre Hopkins in the endzone to win the game.

Murray lost a game he should have won against the Miami Dolphins the week before and he wasn’t happy about it, including with his coach’s play calling. I won’t say Kingsbury coached his team out of a win (but he did).

Murray is not used to losing and he doesn’t take it well. I was pretty sure he would find a way to win this one, no matter what, and somehow, he did. Thursday night the Cardinals play the Seahawks in Seattle and I can hardly wait.

In the comparison and contrast between Murray and OU’s other recent Heisman Trophy winner and #1 draft choice, Baker Mayfield, I grade it a push. Murray’s win was more dramatic, but Cleveland won its game over Houston 10-7, and Mayfield had his challenges to overcome, in his case, terrible stormy weather.

The family feud between Belichick and Brady I also graded a push. Brady won his game against Carolina handily, but New England also won its game against the Baltimore Ravens, a tougher team.

Most of the other top tier quarterbacks, including Rodgers and Brees, played well, but Brees suffered an injury that will keep him out for several games.