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Warning: I'm just having some fun tackling a serious issue, on a work-free Saturday after a looong time of not being healthy enough to enjoy wasting time. So feel free to read and comment, but don't think I'm more vested than in the simple pleasure of writing some stream-of-conscience nonsense (stream-of-nonsense) that means nothing.

Note: Don't bother reading if you aren't fairly familiar with the NFL over the past 15-20 years (25, if you want to get all the references). I try to clarify my bonafides as an unabashed and rightful Brady-hater but I do not fill in all the details but would be understood by those familiar with division rivalries and the fate of each season and, at least peripherally, the arc of each franchise. In other words, if you watch football you'll know what I'm talking about. If not it's Greek.

I am from Buffalo. I am a football fan - an unrequited Buffalo Bills fan.

I. Really. Don't want to talk about that.

But as such, I also have a particular vitriol for the Pats, especially "mr. perfect," Brady. And there is salt-in-wound accompaniment  to that.

I moved to California in 2000. On the way out I stopped at a brother's place in Colorado and after the 29 hour drive there was a delirious reunion, a deep sleep and, as luck would have it - a playoff game wherein the Bills had the lead with seven seconds left and we were very happy cracking celebratory beers at an ungodly (or perhaps ultra-godly) hour of the day (I don't understand how people regularly enjoy football in the West).

Something happened in those seven seconds, I'm not sure what. I've been advised by my therapist to "leave it in the box" or whatever... but ultimately, that was the last time anyone from buffalo had the illusion that there could be happiness in this world.

So I found myself living in Oakland, of all places, and employed in a job that put me in the society of truly excellent people, despite the fact that they were Raider fans. I had no particular dislike of the Raiders, as long as they knew enough to have a losing season when That Most Holy Year the Bills finally won the Bowl That Is Super.

Well, as it turned out, that was the beginning of what would be - and still is - the era of unfiltered hopelessness for Buffalo. Don't get me wrong, even this year - 15 fucking years on - I still had the pathetic stupidity to get up at 3 AM (I'm overseas), and screw up my biological clock (I mean WTF? do I drink coffee or bourbon? I guess both...) to put on my Flutie jersey and stream me some Kyle Orton cuz yeah, he's gonna take us to the...

"leave it in the box, Leave it in the box..."


Oh yeah, OAKLAND!

So I'm in Oakland, I've got no hope for the Bills and the Raider-philes I work with are not only truly excellent people but they have a pretty good football team. Now I'm not gonna ever be but a Bills fan, but by 2002 or whenever it was, and certainly by playoff time, it wasn't beneath me to accept invites to playoff parties and to catch a little contact high from these happy, Black-jersied, truly excellent people.

So there I was a recovering Bills fan, certainly not over my addiction, but learning to cope. Things aren't so bad, I dared to think. I mean, here I was, soaking in the sun at an outdoor viewing, surrounded by truly excellent people who were showing me how it's done, how it's truly done. How to be a winner. Confident, casual... win.

And in perfect fashion, the Raiders were doing just that to my nemesis Patriots, and their goofy, second string quarterback with the ridiculous name - I mean really? Tom Brady? All he needs is a supermodel girlfriend and he's a goddamn character in a really bad movie. Of course he'd have to win a superbowl or two first, and that wasn't going to happen cuz there was ice and snow and of course those Raiders.............

"Leave it in the box."

So, what I remember is that goof fumbled and I stand by that. It was the ruling on the field and it was the right call and it's not possible that anything unseemly happened to those truly (previously) excellent people... I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Needless to repeat - but I will - Tom Brady is a person whose misery I relish. I woke up in the middle of the night (again, I'm overseas) to watch the Ravens cuz I knew they would prove that Brady and the Pats were frauds. Two fourteen point leads ought to have done that, but...

And that one doesn't go in the box cuz there's too many Bills miseries in there. Fuck the Ravens.

And the Colts never had a chance so fuck them to.

And Seattle seems like a faux team too, so it was very annoying to see the team (Packers) that can beat the Pats, royally screw up.

So I turn off the game knowing I have to root for (yuck) the Seahawks because, as should be clear,  a super bowl can only go to A)Buffalo, or B)anybody else besides those totally overrated clowns from Foxboro, especially because this win (excluding this Ballghazi stuff) would be the defining moment cementing the Brady and the Belicheck as a Dynasty, which would just make me sick and in need of a bigger box. And conversely, if they lost it would take the shine off those ancient super bowl wins and put them in an entirely different category regarding the past 10-12 years as a team that is a perennial power, division winner, conference winner, but just can't get it done in the big game (not unlike another team that used to rule the AFC but loses respect because they just couldn't win in the big one... but their name eludes me... they were in the AFC East... great, no-huddle offense... 4 losses in 4 years.........)

"Leave it in the..."


Excuse me, where was I...

Oh yeah. The lame Seahawks. I mean, I would root for Miami or even the Jets against the Pats. If you know football you know what that means. I would even root for the Giants, Washington or even (god I can't believe I'm gonna say it) the Cowboys Twice, (again, if you know football you know what I'm talking about) if it was in service of beating and belittling these particular Patriots. And here I get none of these seeming conflicts of interest to have to stomach with the Seahawks and yet, I'm uninspired. I don't know what it is exactly about them that irks me. It's nothing footbally in terms of grudges or rivalries, but they are just... I don't know... I mean what's with the colors of those uniforms? What is that, seafoam green? There's no seafoam in football! WTF?! There's dirt, and mud... black, brown.. Browns - now there's a respectable color and name. And that name, Seahawks. How graceful. Sounds like they'll win the choreographed calisthenics cup or something. Definitely a cup and not a bowl. Bowls are for Bills, and if not Bills then Bears or Bengals... Lions and Chiefs. Seahawks? I'm not optimistic. And that "victory" over the Packers (another bowl winning moniker - is there any more bowl winninger? oh yeah, Bills) did not inspire. And Pete Carroll is such an I-don't-pass-because-I-want-to-pass-I-pass-because-I-don't-know-how-to-run, USC paper tiger charlatan that New England knew well enough to get rid of him after watching him get eaten alive by real football teams, particularly AFC east teams, and it would be apparent that he's a college coach were it not for Marshawn Lynch who, as we all know, is a beast who was smartly drafted in the 1st round by another team but was let go because he had frequent ankle problems early on. Don't know what team would be stupid enough to let him go...

Keep. it. in. the. BOX! Gack!

Anyway, so it has to be Seattle. So I put my mojo beads and my lucky charms into the ring of hoodoo but I did so with little confidence, yet unequivocally cuz, fuck Tom Brady, Fuck Bill Belicheck and fuck the Pats.

Then it happened. "The Patriots cheated!" "Brady Cheated!"

I fucking knew it. They're fucking overrated cheats, they always have been, since the day they needed a clear fumble to be overturned to feebly squeak into the Super Bowl. Fuck'em and good. Make history and yank'em. Postpone the SuperBowl and let the Ravens play the Colts for the slot. Asterisk Brady, Belichek and their fucking Dynasty. Life is good.

Then I learned more.

Are you fucking kidding me? A pound of air pressure?

It looked like a football to me. And we got plenty of opportunity to see it as it was flying through the air 500 times as the patriots scored 25 touchdowns.

What's the great pertinence of 12.5 lbs? Is it some Masonic thing? Is it religious, what?

And it helped how? By making it a tad easier to grip? Since when did needing to be a chore to throw a ball become part of the game? I like to watch football, you know, a game where guys run, kick, pass a football in cool-ass ways in order to score points. Why the fuck does some guy with smaller hands have to be left out of the fun, perhaps glory even, because he succeeds better at his role with a bit more squeezability (of course, I'm blocking out that Brady is one of the people whom this may include).

And as far as I understand it, the ball loses distance in this case - a self-harming detriment - and "floats" a little longer - thus more vulnerable to Interception - so I don't get it?? When did it become obvious cheating to say, "You must have difficulty gripping and throwing and catching. This is an entertaining and essential part of football." Fuck that. Let'em do what they will to execute that beauty that is football. If Aaron Rodgers "likes his balls overinflated" then let him have his balls overinflated (ahhh, it never gets old). Hell, if someone wants to try and win with a basketball or a lemon let'em have at it. That'll last a couple minutes. Then everyone'll get real and remember that a regulation football - give or take a few pounds of pressure - is the ultimate object for the run, kick, pass tasks that are what we know as football.

And also, it's not like baseball, where an altered ball made easier for one team is detrimental to the other, like a pitcher's preference hurting a batter. These balls are there for the defense to intercept more easily as well. And as far as the Colts balls go then same deal. Let'em have their balls as preferred.

Now I know that's not the rule as it stands so technically that's cheating. But I can't get behind the idea that it is of great magnitude. I want the game to be football, not I-hope-your-hands-are-big-enough-to-grab-it ball.

Last thing: I want the patriots to lose because, even though they're good they are not dynasty good, and luck and circumstance have played a larger role in their wins than any other multiple title winner and I want that to be shown by an epic loss.  If a minor adjustment to a ball - one that isn't nefarious and doesn't hamper the defenders of that ball at all (in fact gives them an advantage as well) - is the grounds upon which an unbelievable amount of shaming has been given, then I have to put in my 2 cents in defense of Brady, and I fucking resent that. Remember, it was still a football for god's sake. It's not like it had a guidance system or magnets.

I'm done.


Will the bills win a SuperBowl in Jack's lifetime?

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I really can't understand why this Rand Paul schmoozfest isn't getting more attention in the form of being appalled (aPauled) as I am.

This was posted prominently on a site that gets dumber by the day, but gets lots of clicks:

"I'm a Liberal Democrat. I'm Voting for Rand Paul in 2016. Here Is Why."

I don't have the time to write a diary as to why this Bill Maher abetted stupidity is near criminal, so all I got is my off-the-cuff comment on the very article.

Your not a "Liberal Democrat" you're a 1 issue candidate: foreign policy. Any practical view of the modern presidency realizes that a president is either a signature for the sweeping agenda of one or the other party, or a veto against it. The writer sounds about 16 or 17 years old indulging idealistic fantasies. Is there any access to the internet here? or memory? The GOP is a party of winking miscomprehension of each other, and when they have power (like in the 2000s) they dutifully lockstep to each others' hair-brained schemes (see the Iraq war and bank deregulation... and count your lucky stars that privatizing social security got defused by the growing unpopularity of former ideas).
No, I don't have any time for whatever virtue Rand Paul may or may not have. Not in this gerrymandered Senate-skewed-to-the-Right country we live in. It was the same with Chris Christie - when he had a chance. I might have appreciated his style, but the bottom line is that he's in the party that has a significant contingent of the insane, and they have "notions" as to how the world works. And in every presidency there are those times when the rabble have their ideas... and no president of the same party can refuse. These are no times for a Republican president. He makes sense on a few things to me, too, but if he ever wanted my vote to be an even plausible option he should have demonstrated an ability to see the big picture and ran as a Democrat or Independent.
Of course, a lot of people are mesmerized by personality and the cult of presidency (not the least being being Bill Maher who contributes millions in presidential elections but near nothing in "off" year elections, and somehow has time to fluff Paul after an election he abstained from), including this writer who, depressingly, has a job using words for a living, despite being a fetishist fan.
I don't like Hillary and still hope another appears as an option, but I will never vote for a Republican until they thin the ranks of their growing idiot caucus (Ted Cruz doesn't even understand what Net neutrality is but gosh darnit, he's against it cuz Obama's for it).
So Rand Paul is president and Ted Cruz organizes the passing of a "Net Freedom bill" because... freedom, and what does Rand do? You really think he'll veto? Of course he signs it and we go 20 years backwards in online evolution. Evolution? oh, crap. I forgot about that one...
I'd like to put a lot more time into this since this is an insidious, vote-shaving game afoot, but I have to go to work and pay bills.

But seriously, how many whiney diatribes have I read on this site that are "disenchanted" with Obama's presidency, and how is it not a huge red flag that Paul is trolling for ignorant Democrats?


I'm as nihilistic as they get. But WTF?

I'm not writing this to cheer you up. 55-45. That's a fact.

But holy hell WTF? Name a Democrat state that lost a Senator. And look at the Senate map for 2016.

All things being equal the Senate will be blue in 2 years.

But that assumes Democrats won't piss their pants and surrender... and divide.

The Scarborough media is gonna ride this latest shit like a drug.

Are you going to abet them? I've seen a ton of it already, including the outrage, which just points fingers - a hoped for outcome.

Grow up. 38%. That's the reality of "off year" elections.

Rend your garments and it'll become the reality of "on(?) year" elections.

Time for some grace. This is the effect of the country we live in. This is the effect of 50 disparate states.

Show some understanding for how improbable it was to get a Real Health Care Reform bill through this morass. For how hard it is to get anything in a country where one of its states will elect a Right winger on the same day it votes to raise the minimum wage.

This is our lot, as a 320+million strong nation.

This shit is hard.

Calm down.


Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 08:52 AM PDT

Gillibrand is Useless

by jack23

It's been 6 years or thereabouts, and I've yet to have any reason to support "my" junior senator from New York.

And before you start about Chuck: at least I know what Chuck is. He's a slimy camera hound who has his own pet interests, but I never sense they are his only interests. He wanders - only as is comfortable for chuck - into "big f***ing deals", like healthcare, backing up the president at critical times (well, "backing up" without risking too much essential capital)...

But Gillibrand never gets dirty in the slightest. I will notice, tepidly, that she's waded (toe deep) on "women's issues," but that is politically innocuous, for a woman from New York.

Meanwhile, I'm a whole person over here, with a whole lot of other issues aimed at the other of my 2 - yeah two - paltry senators.

One of which might be substantially and competently backing up our president on matters of national security as he tries to teach a trigger-happy world that long-game alliances and thoughtful strategic moves are the means to the vague "action" that needs to be taken. Not acting like you're at a water cooler (a broadcasted, polluted water cooler) with no power to affect anything. Oh, except to sell a book, that Joe so accommodatingly tucks under his arm, in return for your suppliant ignorance.

If she had any sense of the gravitas and power of her position she would be in Turkey or somewhere other than the set of Morning Bullshit with a pointless tome with "bathroom scenes" right now. She'd be using that gravitas and weight as a goddamned United States' senator to get something real done, instead of talking to Joe fucking Scarborough and meek Mika.

Yeah we all know "something must be done."

So what the hell are you really doing, senator? 1 of 100?

"I've been told..." she says. how about you find out.

"Off the Sidelines" is the name of the "book." I'll believe it when I see it.

Not much evidence so far circa 6 years in...

I don't know how to embed the damn video but it's easy to find and it's pathetic.

"Breaking news, Gillibrand - senator to 20,000,000 - at time of international intensity pops out to sell book!"

Great job!


As expected, nitpicking, righteously indignant folk showed up to pummel me into my place. I'm sorry I've gotta go to bed since some of it is nearly fun but: I have work in 7 hours. Apparently having a dick would make me unqualified to critique my senator. Also apparently I can't make examples, and also - apparently - not being impressed by a senator who ONLY advocates women's issues at the expense of all others (I think the lists and links make a good point in my favor, if you consider all that our "leaders" are supposed to be doing for US) and

in all seriousness - the big gripe is her embrace of shills who feed her lines about how "the president should be more assertive etc." and she just demures, instead of being informed in support of her party and her president, cuz she wants to sell a book. That's not senatorial or even proto-presidential as some imply in ridicule of me.


I'm not comfortable with the coronation syndrome going on in the Democratic community, and I'm certainly not cool with the former Secretary of State's blatant attempt to tack to the center on Obama's hard-earned back - but I'm especially not cool with this site's obvious shilling when the most recommended diary on it is somehow always last in the list.. and yeah I refreshed several times to make sure what I was witnessing was actually happening and it was.

I've gotta work in a few hours and I don't have time for this shit.


Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:02 AM PST

69% haven't changed opinion on Christie

by jack23

Well duh...

If someone asked me if I'd changed my opinion after the GWB crap I'd have to answer "no!"

Because I've always loathed the guy.

Meanwhile the wishful thinkers (Joe Scarborough, Chuck Todd) get to use the results of this inane question to "prove" that there's no there there. To imply that Christie is still "alive."

He's dead. Deader than dead. I'm getting more pleasure out of the slow realization that he'll never be president than I did out of the the not-as-slow realization that Romney never would either.

I've really gotta reassess my morals.

In the meantime, put the kaibash, any time you can, on any idea that a poll that says 69% of people haven't changed their opinion when that so obviously could mean 50% - or more - of those just haven't stopped hating the dude.

Finished. Sorry for the short diary...


Christie still has a chance???

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Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 11:07 AM PST

Erik Prinz and Jon Stewart

by jack23

Jon Stewart lobbed them up like a batting machine for one of the most determined advocates of wealth-makes-right in modern history.

I don't have the time to explain who Erik Prince is, but y'all better get hip real fast and consider the implications of Jon Stewart allowing him on his show to plug his book.


The new "poll" by Esquire/NBC news is actually a juvenile lark parading as some sort of science.

While I actually agree that it is one of the fundamental problems with America that the extremists (and in particular Right wing extremists, a.k.a. the Tea Party) get WAY TOO MUCH attention at the expense of the non-hysterical majority, the mechanics of this particular enterprise are laughably stupid.

I've taken their "poll" several times and, aside from the fact that the method is infantile (asking leading questions with a choice of "agreeing" or "disagreeing" on a scale(?) from 1 to 7), it is also so arrogantly presumptuous that no matter what you answer you get condescendingly pigeonholed into a category with a stupid name like "minivan moderates" or "bleeding heart liberal."

The only point to it seems to be: allowing Chuck Todd to bloviate about how "passionately" Americans are in their ignorance.

I don't know what to say. It's just so absurd that the worthless Chuck Todd now has a new bone to chew while it is so obviously a bad term paper by an underachieving middle school student.


Which best describes your political affinities?

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It's driving me crazy. People are not internalizing the fundamental issue with this shutdown brouhaha.

The essence of the difference in this shutdown is that - whereas the other 30 shutdowns were battles of a mechanically financial nature, i.e. not determining whether some agency should exist or not exist, but how many billions ought to be allocated to fund them. $30 billion or $34 billion. Stuff like that.

But this shutdown is premised on trying to legislate with the purse.

It's seems a yawning-worthy distinction, but it is everything.

KOS knows what I'm talking about, as he pointed out in his diary yesterday: Dear GOP, here's how you change a law

But here's the thing: If you want to truly get rid of the law, you have to do it the proper way, as specified in that Constitution you pretend to cherish. Those House votes? Those are a good start! Great job! You're a third of the way there. Because you still have to get that bill passed by the Senate. And then, you have to get the president to sign it. And if the president doesn't sign it, then you have to overturn that veto which requires a two-thirds majority, which you don't have even in the House.
Of course, I left a whiny (but grateful) comment in that diary because I wrote a diary 2 weeks ago trying to get the POV about this established thoroughly, because I believe that understanding it this way is critical. I only got a few views. Hell, It wasn't a very good diary. At least, it seemed, everybody was getting on board the logic train.


Now the GOP is flummoxing Harry Reid by compelling the press to ask him, "why do you want to kill children?" And Joe Scarborough gets to spend 3 hours with a baffled panel that can't come up with any reason why Democrats don't want little children with cancer to get treatment.

It's driving me crazy.

Why does no one just say, "We will not legislate through the budget process." And of course elaborate on that with "defender of the Republic" gravitas explaining how, if we go down that road then what is the point of our Constitution which requires 218 votes in the house, 51 (oops, I mean 60) in the Senate and a signature from a president?

Democrats are so proud that they are smarter than Republicans, but they miss some easy pitches at crucial times. There's nothing nuanced here, just take the patriotic righteousness path and bury those hypocritical morans.


Why are there so many points being discussed regarding the Republican aspiration to eliminate "Obamacare" through a budget gimmick?

I hear many voices who mean well in their attempt to refute the ambition but there is a fundamental rebuttal that I hear no one arguing (except Obama, though without much impact).

Are we not a democracy? Do we not have elections of legislators? Don't we have a constitution that spells out clearly the process with which they legislate?

The GOP "plan" is antidemocratic. It's that simple.

Now I know they are angling this way because they are deranged, and I know that they would assert that "the American people are with us," and I'm sure they'd cite polls that "prove" their point (despite the true story of those polls being unclear), but that's not how our republic works so the media attention ought to run out of track on that point.

We should be talking then - if they insist on their "American people are with us" bullshit - about how this new type of government will work. If Democrats wanted, as Obama suggested in the only push-back of this quality that I've heard, to raise taxes on the rich (which has plenty of polling to attest to its popularity), could they then play an extortion game with the budget? How about gun control, which has some whopping polls to advocate for it - can hostages be taken for this? (there's something ironic about the language in that last one.)

Of course not. The republic was designed to avert such fickle governance. To consider the possibility is to reveal a profound misunderstanding of the Constitution and our government and by extension our history and our "sainted" forefathers.

It doesn't surprise me that the GOP proper and especially the Tea Party have this ignorance exposed so unabashedly, but why are ostensibly liberal people not feeling shame about humoring this strategy?

You can't legislate by extortion and revere the American system of government simultaneously.

It is unconstitutional to attempt to subvert the legislative process.


Every four years there is a flurry of creativity poured into compelling people to vote. You might recollect the Samuel Jackson classic, or the controversial yet interesting "first time" double entendre.

There were others, including Errol Morris' cheeky video at the New York Times' website which is ironically titled "11 excellent reasons not to vote" wherein we hear the popular reasons people propose for abstaining, and a gentle exposition on the silliness of those ideas, climaxing with a charming confession of the real civic pride that voting ought to be, as one interviewee states:

When you come out there is a... you know, "now we're all on the other side" experience and... let's go get a drink and celebrate this thing we only get to do once every 4 years...
I'm grateful for all of it, but there's something tragic embedded within it.
Continue Reading

Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 11:12 AM PST

How the Republican Party Can Survive

by jack23

Not that I care - or rather I do care that it wouldn't happen - but in the ever pleasing pastime of relishing their apparent political conundrum created by the new era - and I do think this election, not 2008, was a fabled "realigning election" and the end to the "center-right" country myth (though the end of the center-right country itself came long ago, if it ever existed) - and in contemplating their way out of their new dilemma - purely as political assessment, or perhaps as a preparation analysis to preempt what would be the new adversary - I stumbled into a thought process as to how the "GOP" would proceed that surprises me; that is instinctively implausible, but considering the intransigence of what are the truly immovable objects in their party I realized it may be their only rational course.

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