Saturday, August 12, 2006

Battle Tactics, Honorable

Hillary Clinton responds to Dick Cheney's spews:

"I don't take anything he says seriously anymore. I think that he has been a very counterproductive even destructive force in our country and I am very disheartened by the failure of leadership from the president and vice president."

More about this later, but this is exactly the right direction: Derisive, contemptuous, and succinct dismissal of political statements made by anyone vested in the perpetuation of the current administration and its policies. Connect the preposterousness of their embarassingly grotesque propaganda to the preposterousness of their policies, to the preposterousness of their imcompetent execution, to the monstrous preposterousness that is this administration.

The Decider! plods through another goddamn speech on freedom. Or why troops need to stay in Iraq or why social security needs to be fixed or... or... or... or...

... The common, sane, citizen response to ANYTHING this administration or its supporters say about ANYTHING should be the same derisive and contemptuous and angry dismissal as when Bushco calls your grandmother a terrorist-loving, America-hating Liberal for the thought crime of disagreeing with the President.

Friday, August 11, 2006

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Real Follow-up

Post has a day-after story about the Madrid game, calling the tie a "big-step." Also, a friend from Seattle sent me a bunch of links to Seattle papers:

When you consider the 4-0 win over Celtic, the DCU-dominated MLS All-Star team's win over Chelsea, and then the 1-1 tie v Madrid, that's an impressive summer run of friendlies for United. I'm hoping it's more than wishful thinking on my part, but I think now that the friendlies are through, and DCU can focus at the domestic goals at hand, we will see much sharper soccer in league from DCU than we have recently. I mean, Real Madrid or Real Salt Lake? Really, which do you think DCU should have considered the more important? (I realize it's not zero-sum, but you get my point.)

Oh, I watched the last five minutes of the first half on re-run last night, looking for the freekick that Adu took that supposedly pissed off Eskandarian. Freddy earned the foul, getting smacked down like a sack of flour after a short run at goal, just outside the box. Took about a minute for the referee to blow the whistle as the wall wouldn't set. Freddy and Alecko over the ball, and then Freddy takes it. Didn't look like any fuss. Alecko hadn't moved. At the pan-out shot at the end of the half, however, Alecko could be seen ripping off his head-band and waving his arms and shouting at some United official. The question being, was Alecko pissed at Freddy for hijacking the kick or pissed at the coaching staff for giving the kick to Freddy?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

That was fun. United came out full of vinegar; I was afraid they would emotionally burn-out early, and when Cassano made his deke around Namoff and shortsided Perkins I thought DCU might flatline then and there, but three minutes later in what I think DCU's sublimest goal of the year they five touched a beautiful sequence that Alecko deftly buried. Good stuff. Game on.

(The Post article makes mention of a spat Alecko threw when during a free kick from a dangerous spot in the late first half, Adu apparently took the kick that Alecko either thought he was to take and was told to take. Freddy stealing a glamour shot against a big European team from a teammate? Nah, can't imagine it.)

The rest of the first half was just excellent wonderful soccer. The second half couldn't and didn't match the first for play or urgency. United did crumble a bit in the second half as Madrid poured in fresh legs and DCU stayed with the starters. Nowak, when asked why he was keeping the starters in the game when he did his obligatory interview at the 60th minute just laughed and said, "We're playing Real Madrid for Christ's sake." And though Madrid carried play in the second half, with one fabulous sequence off a brilliant free kick by Roberto Carlos saved brilliantly by Perkins and scrambled away by the defence, DCU looked dangerous enough that they could easily be imagined to steal a goal. In the end it was a just result.

The first half was as well as United has played in recent memory this year. Jaime played as hard and fabulously as he has in months, and United played with a focus that would have blitzed most MLS teams. Early on in the second it looked like United was playing for the tie and hoping to steal a goal, but fine. I find it reassuring that United played intensely focused soccer - which they haven't for awhile, to be honest. I've been concerned that Nowak's relentless intensity - plus all the minutes the starters are logging - might burn out the team over the course of a long season. Perhaps he does know how to pace and when to push the team better than I suspected. Perhaps he didn't have to say a word to the players. Perhaps - and hopefully - this will have a re-energizing effect on the team for the rest of the MLS season. With a week off now before the Metros, it'll be fascinating to see how they come out next Wednesday.

Anyone who didn't think DCU should take this game against Real Madrid anywhere on Madrid's conditions was wrong. Yes, it would have been wonderful if the game was at RFK, or Camden Yards, but when Real Madrid agrees to play you go and play them when and where they say. That DCU showed strong on a neutral field, before a slightly pro-Madrid crowd (though the fans cheered all good soccer), makes the result all the more impressive. Good, good stuff.

UPDATE: DCenters has a youtube highlight film posted. The porn-movie music track whoever created the youtube used is annoying, but the highlights are sweet.

UPDATE TWO: mention needs to be made of Quaranta scoring game winner last night for LAG v Houston (and how nice to have MLS back on FSC, btw).. Came on as a second half substitute. Collected a pass on right outside box, tried to dribble past a defender; the defender gets foot on ball which pops into the air and serendipitously right onto Quaranta's foot, and he nicely volleys the ball over Houston keeper's head. He crosses himself, bows down to kiss the field, and smiles like a man let out of prison.

Which changes my opinion about the trade exactly none.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Two top headlines at 7:15 am Wednesday August 9, 2006 in the Washington Post:

Lieberman Defeated in Democratic Primary
After losing a close race to antiwar challenger, three-term Connecticut senator announces plans to run in general election as an independent.
Dan Balz and Shailagh Murray
War Crimes Act May Be Altered
Bush administration amendments would eliminate the risk of prosecution for many in detainee cases.

Someone ask Lord Lieberman his opinion on the second TODAY! please.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Quaranta Gone

Posted now, and in tomorrow's print Post, a report that DCU has traded Santino Quaranta to the Los Angeles Galaxy for some blips and boops towards MLS' mysterious calculations that determine player allotments.

Mention is also made of some deal (I imagine it's Dema) with New York that will add additional blips and boops which, in combination with the Quaranta deal, will allow DCU to sign a biggee. Goff speculates that won't happen until next year. Quaranta makes a lot of money by MLS standards ($145,500), so this will help DCU afford said biggee within the salary cup structure.

Wish I could say I'm disappointed or surprised but nope. Whether it was his body (and he was broke often) or his head (when he was healthy), Quaranta never showed he could consistently work hard enough to see if he could be as good as the hype. I've heard the talk that he was too immature to understand the work he needed to put in, and if he ever did understand the need he wouldn't have the discipline. Which makes him pretty damn likely to get into Nowak's bad graces and stay there. Which makes this probably best for everyone.

Inaarghuably Good Jam

Arrgh Interruptus: Soccer

From today's Guardian:

Blackburn are close to signing the PSV Eindhoven and Holland defender Andre Ooijer, 31, although the manager Mark Hughes is struggling to hang on to the New Zealand centre-back Ryan Nelsen. Portsmouth are believed to be ready to pay about £5m for him and to double his weekly wage to about £30,000, but Rovers have made him an improved offer. The Fratton Park manager Harry Redknapp has also registered an interest in Ooijer.

"Portsmouth is still going on and it's with the suits at the moment," the 28-year-old Nelsen said. "There's some interest there but I don't know where things are at. We are just at the talking stage with Blackburn about a new contract. It's nice to think that someone thinks you are all right but you have to put that out of your mind."

Blackburn has top four aspirations. That they wouldn't pay up to keep Nelsen puzzles me.

* * * *

New York Times article on Arena's first day on the practice field with Metros:

Perhaps the best news Arena received concerned the veteran midfielder Youri Djorkaeff, who left the team more than a month ago and went to France to be with his ailing mother. Djorkaeff caused a stir when he was shown on television at one of France’s games during the World Cup. The team issued a news release expressing its displeasure.

“Today he was about the best player in training,” said Arena, who is also the team’s sporting director. “With the time off, he’s not where he needs to be, but he will play himself into form.”

Djorkaeff said that he thought about not returning to the team, but that his mother’s health had improved. “I want to finish well,” said Djorkaeff, who has said that this will be his final season as a player. “I want to be here.”

Arena said the Red Bulls were expected to sign the Ukrainian midfielder Dema Kovalenko by the end of the week. Although the Red Bulls have money available under the league’s salary budget, the transfer period in Europe ends Aug. 15, which could make it difficult for the club to obtain a marquee player.

Unless MLS has changed the schedule, that August 16 game is against DCU, not Houston.

* * * *

I didn't see the MLS-Chelsea game except for the last ten minutes (and Cannon looked very good), and I didn't see the post-game antics, but when I saw this picture on MLSnet:

I thought, Figgety, what's with the hoisting of a trophy? Ives Galarcep gives the good gripe:
When will the league, its players and its fans stop trying so desperately to gain approval from the segment of the soccer-loving population in this country that just doesn't care much for MLS? That is what Saturday's desperate display of "Hey, we really are a good league" was about. It was about players who have heard over and over how inferior MLS is compared with Europe's top leagues and about league officials who know full well there are far more people in the United States who follow European soccer than follow MLS.
This is exactly right: act like you belong and eventually you will or you won't.

* * * *

Kinney, over at DCenters, analyzes the State of the League utterances of Dan Garber and speculates on the ramifications for United. Garber did admit the obvious, the end of the balanced schedule with the addition of Toronto next year. I realize I care about this more than every other human on planet, and I realize the impossibility of a balanced schedule in a league with an odd number of teams, but crap.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Getting My Aargh Back

Martin Peretz, editor of The New Republic, on the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal:

The Lamont ascendancy, if that is what it is, means nothing other than that the left is trying, and in places succeeding, to take back the Democratic Party. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters have stumped for Mr. Lamont. As I say, we have been here before. Ned Lamont is Karl Rove's dream come true. If he, and others of his stripe, carry the day, the Democratic party will lose the future, and deservedly.

Set aside - well, just for a minute - the significance of the editor of TNR supporting the Lords of the Universe of WSJ's op-ed editors on WSJ's op-ed pages. (After all, yesterday's Wash Post carried Robert Kagan's relentlessly dishonest tear-stained love letter for Joe, calling him the "last honest man" in politics.) And please don't notice what all three of the Democrats named by Peretz have in common: I'm sure that was just an accident. What I find truly illuminating is Peretz' - and other "centrist Democrats'" - grand Fuck You and Everyone Who Thinks Like You flip-off to a whole wing of a whole party. They're liebermanning, committing the very same patronizing shut-up-n-take-it that liebermanned Lieberman.

Note to windpiggers: see if you can find the irony in Peretz' statement that:

Mr. Lieberman's view is that there are actually enemies who, intoxicated by millennial delusions, are not open to rational and reciprocal arbitration. Why should they be? After all, they inhabit a universe of inevitability, rather like Nazis and communists, but with a religious overgloss. Such armed doctrines, in Mr. Lieberman's view, need to be confronted and overwhelmed.

Can't? Jeebus H Dipshit.


Thought experiment for the day:

Should Lieberman WIN tomorrow, imagine the number of cigarettes smoked in the afterglow of the congratulatory mmwah of the punditocracy's orgy of self-congratulation for saving the world from the Stalinist hicks in Leftblogostan.

It'll make icky look pristine.

Treasonous AND Dumb

Must be two days before an election this candidate is about to lose:

Joe Lieberman yesterday:

"I understand that many Democrats in Connecticut disagree with me and are very angry about the war . . . What I will say is this: I not only respect your right to disagree or question the President, I value it."

There's more:

"What I don't think is right, as I've said over and over again, are many of the Bush administration's decisions regarding the conduct of the war. The fact is I have openly and clearly disagreed with and criticized the president."

Joe Lieberman, 12/6/05:

"It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander-in-Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril."

See, not only are we traitors, we're stupid too.

Let the reign of the communist-bolshevik-stalinist-blogofascists begin. Or, to put it differently than the Cokie Roberts of the world, may the democratic pushback against the heinous reign of imcompetent wannabe hegemonist assholes start.