Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mack Brown chats with Jerry Jones about football


Monday, October 25, 2010

Texas Rangers enjoy the moment. Finally!

Rangers enjoy Texas-sized moment

Unique blend delivers club's first American League pennant

It took 50 years -- from the first hit in franchise history by Coot Veal, to the exile from Washington, to some of those Rangers moments in that old hothouse ballpark with rats the size of Freddie Patek -- for the Rangers to get here.

Moments like when Willie Davis sat down in center field for two outs because Steve Hargan wouldn't retaliate for his being hit, or when the helicopter drying the field before the 1975 opener crashed in the outfield.

Standing there in center field on Friday night, looking around at the Zion Canyon of a ballpark, it was good to see Tom Schieffer and appreciate what he and George W. Bush did to legitimize baseball in the Metroplex. This celebration was theirs. It was good to see the Rangers celebrating with their fans to the strains of "Deep in the Heart of Texas," which they've played every night, as if it were "Take Me Out to the Ballpark." The Rangers moved into this park and eventually built one of the best organizations in the business with the promise of a $3 billion local television deal and never lost part of their culture.

Tom Hicks, be damned.

The Rangers will always be poor Rogelio Moret in his catatonic state, and Mickey Rivers going up to hit in sneakers, and Randy Galloway writing "Bobby Bonds played right field like it's mined." I always thought the Dallas/Fort Worth media was not only among the best in the country, but the least pretentious and true to the culture.

Of course, Jon Daniels and his scouts built this, and there's nothing wrong with the notion that what they were doing wasn't fully appreciated until Nolan Ryan came on board; Nolan is one of them, and a really good man, as well.

The team that beat the Yankees is a unique blend. Texas manager Ron Washington is the self-proclaimed "baseball lifer" who loves every part of the game. When he failed a drug test last season, Ryan and Daniels did not fire him. "Management showed us that they have our backs," Josh Hamilton said. "The way they stood behind Wash was something that pulled us together as people."

Hamilton, of course, is the marquee example of a management that understands that amidst all our layers, we are all, in some way, flawed. Standing there in center field on Friday night, players sprayed one another with ginger ale, not champagne or beer, a ritual initiated by C.J. Wilson after they won the American League Division Series out of respect for Hamilton's proud battle to overcome his addictive demons.

"Josh is a very special person, and it's our way of showing him that we are all in a circle with him," said Wilson, who also does not drink, as all of us who get his tweets appreciate. "What makes us all different makes us one."

Hamilton is going to be the 2010 American League MVP. He is the ALCS MVP. In the Yankee Stadium clubhouse after his astounding Home Run Derby performance in 2008, he stepped away from the media circle around his locker to ask: "Could you get me Jeff Allison's number? I need to call him."

Allison is a one-time Marlins first-round Draft pick who, like Hamilton, stumbled because of addiction demons. Hamilton was Allison's inspiration to make it back, and the day of the All-Star Game, Hamilton called Allison to remind him of their bond.

The night after the All-Star Game, President Bush held a state dinner to celebrate baseball. During dinner, the President asked, "Is Josh Hamilton real?"

The answer was yes, with the Allison call as an example. "That makes me very happy," said the President. "We need to focus on how forgiveness can rebuild lives."

"Management showed us that they have our backs. The way they stood behind Wash was something that pulled us together as people."
-- Josh Hamilton

On Friday, Josh Hamilton admitted he had tears in his eyes as the game wore down, and more than 50,000 people chanted their forgiveness. "But this is not about me," he said. "This is about everyone here. One moment I'll never forget was when they walked me [for the second of three times] in the fourth inning and Vladdy [Guerrero] smoked that ball."

It was the moment that brought the pennant to Texas. The Yankees had decided that Hamilton was not going to beat Phil Hughes, or anyone else. They walked him five times in the series and Guerrero made it a 3-1 game. Understand that the venerable Guerrero has never been to the World Series. He played for one of the best teams in the modern era, the 1994 Expos, whose season ended with the strike. He played for Angels teams that never quite made it.

In fact, he reminded us that in the 2009 ALDS, the Red Sox had Jonathan Papelbon walk Kendry Morales to pitch to Vladdy. Guerrero singled off Papelbon, the Angels advanced, but, as he reminded us, lost to the Yankees.

Colby Lewis was a one-time high Draft choice with a power arm that never found it, got hurt, kicked around, found himself in Japan the two previous years and Friday night, pitched the game of his life to win the pennant.

Nelson Cruz kicked from the Mets to the A's to the Brewers to the Rangers, passed through irrevocable waivers in spring training of 2009, and is now an All-Star who hit two homers in the ALCS.

Michael Young has been a Ranger since he was acquired from Toronto for Esteban Loiaza, and was an All-Star at second and short and, when asked if he would move to third base for a 20-year old kid named Elvis Andrus, did so for the team, a move Washington believes "set the tone for who and what we are."

Ian Kinsler came out of the organization. Andrus and Neftali Feliz were stolen from the Braves in the Mark Teixeira deal, David Murphy came from Boston for Eric Gagne. Derek Holland became the left-handed power gunner of the bullpen against New York, the deciding force in Game 4.

And, of course, there is Cliff Lee and his brilliance. One of his former teammates pointed out that part of that brilliance stems from Lee's capacity to figure out the strike zone of whoever is umpiring home plate and pitching to that strike zone, not what Lee thinks it should be.

Standing there in center field on Friday night looking around at the 50-something thousand people singing "This is Texas," there was no thought of World Series television ratings or the impact of the Fox/Cablevision war. Willie Tasby was the first player in franchise history to get an extra-base hit, long before Gene Orza and Mike Barnicle were members of the Willie Tasby Fan Club. Ted Williams, Billy Martin and Bobby Valentine managed this team; Eddie Stanky did, too -- for one game before quitting. Jose Canseco had a ball bounce off his head and over the fence for a game-losing home run error.

Now they're Hamilton and Lee, Elvis and Neftali, Young and Kinsler and Cruz, C.J. and Colby Lewis. Standing there taking it all in, a text showed up on my phone, from a very smart man who played on this team for a time this season.

"That," wrote Alex Cora, "is a great team."

Peter Gammons is a columnist for MLB.com and an analys

Hurricane heading towards Democrats on Election Day

The Wall Street Journal

Tight Races Could Lead to Uncertainty After Election

A 'Hurricane' Is Heading Toward Democrats on Election Day, Pollster Says


Democrats face damage from hurricane-force winds that can't be stopped now, a leading Democratic pollster said, while a top Republican cautioned that the full extent of the damage may not be known for days or even weeks.

In an interview with WSJ's Jerry Seib, pollsters Peter Hart and Bill McInturff declare that a hurricane will hit Washington on election day, and there is little Democrats can do to get out of the way. However both Hart and McInturff believe President Obama is the Democrats' greatest strength in the home stretch. But according to McInturff, the Senate elections in Nevada, California and Washington will be too close to call, keeping the Senate in play for weeks after polls close.

"We knew there was a hurricane that was going to hit Washington," said Democrat Peter Hart, co-director of The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. "All we're doing is getting closer and closer and at this stage of the game it's going to be a huge hurricane."

Bill McInturff, Mr. Hart's partner in directing the Journal/NBC News poll, said key Senate elections in Nevada, California and Washington now look so close that it may not be possible to declare winners in all three on Nov. 2, the date of the mid-term elections. The need to tally absentee ballots, and possible recounts, could delay the final results for one or more of those races, Mr. McInturff said.

The two spoke on WSJ.com's "The Big Interview" show.

Given how close the fight for control of the Senate will be, a delay in calling one or more of the three tight Western races could leave the question of which party is in charge there hanging unanswered. Republicans would have to make a net gain of 10 seats in the Senate to win control, a number that they could reach only by winning most of the closest races where Democratic incumbents are fighting for re-election. In all three of the big Western states Mr. McInturff cited, Democratic incumbents—Patty Murray in Washington, Barbara Boxer in California and Harry Reid in Nevada—are in tough fights.

For his part, Mr. Hart predicted Democrats will keep control of the Senate. But he also warned that, in general, a "hurricane" is heading toward Democrats on Election Day, and that there is little they can do to avert it at this stage of the campaign.

The two pollsters agreed, though, that President Barack Obama, who is traversing the country to raise money and stump for Democrats in the campaign's closing days, remains the Democrats' best weapon in the stretch run.

The president's job-approval rating stands at 47% in the latest Journal/NBC News poll. That's up a bit from its low point last summer, and roughly comparable to where other recent presidents have been at this point in their first term. More important, Mr. McInturff noted, President Obama has a particular ability to fire up the Democratic base in those key Senate battleground states of Washington, California and Nevada, which is why he is hitting all three this week.

Write to Gerald F. Seib at jerry.seib@wsj.com

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 22, 2010

Well, DUH!

Feds probing possible criminal violations in home foreclosure crisis

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Department Producer
October 19, 2010 5:34 p.m. EDT
A government task force dealing with foreclosure issues has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday.
A government task force dealing with foreclosure issues has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday.
  • A federal task force is investigating potential fraud in the foreclosure crisis
  • The task force will meet Wednesday, and a White House briefing is likely afterwards

Washington (CNN) -- Federal law enforcement officials said Tuesday the probe of potential fraud by financial firms in the foreclosure crisis includes an investigation into possible criminal violations of federal laws.

Two sources familiar with the federal Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force indicated the multi-agency effort by investigators in the Justice, Treasury and Housing departments would determine whether prosecutors would ultimately pursue criminal or civil penalties -- or both.

The task force has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Upon conclusion, a briefing is likely at the White House, officials said.

"The administration's Federal Housing Administration and Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force have undertaken their own regulatory and enforcement investigation into the foreclosure process," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed Tuesday. "We remain committed to holding accountable any bank that has violated the law," he said.

Growing concern over flawed paperwork by banks and other lenders in foreclosure proceedings has prompted growing anger and confusion in the housing market. Some banks temporarily froze foreclosures, but are now indicating plans to resume seizing homes after reviewing new paperwork.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Classes For Women

Fall Classes for Women at

By Sat., October 23, 2010


Class 1

Up in Winter, Down in Summer - How to Adjust a Thermostat
Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.

Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hrs beginning at 7:00 PM..

Class 2

Which Takes More Energy - Putting the Toilet Seat Down, or Bitching About It for 3 Hours?
Round Table Discussion.

Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3

Is It Possible To Drive Past a Wal-Mart Without Stopping?--Group Debate.

Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4

Fundamental Differences Between a Purse ! and a Suitcase--Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.

Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5

Curling Irons--Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Bathroom Cabinet?
Examples on Video.

Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning
At 7:00 PM

Class 6

How to Ask Questions During Commercials and Be Quiet During the Program
Help Line Support and Support Groups.

Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7

Can a Bath Be Taken Without 14 Different Kinds of Soaps and Shampoos?
Open Forum
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8

Health Watch--They Make Medicine for PMS - USE IT!

Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9

I Was Wrong and He Was Right!--Real Life Testimonials.

Tuesd! ays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

Class 10

How to Parallel Park In Less Than 20 Minutes Without an Insurance Claim.
Driving Simulations.

4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11

Learning to Live--How to Apply Brakes Without Throwing Passengers Through the Windshield
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12

How to Shop by Yourself.

Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Upon completion of
ANY of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

REID: When all else fails; throw someone off welfare | St. Louis Globe-Democrat

REID: When all else fails; throw someone off welfare | St. Louis Globe-Democrat