Monthly Archives: April 2010

High-Profile House Members

CHRIS PUMMER: A member of the U.S. House of Representatives looking to raise his or her profile by pandering to the farthest extremes of their base is more likely to find a dead end than a road to a higher political platform.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Chris is right- making high-profile, incendiary comments may put a member’s seat into unnecessary jeopardy. But he is looking at the short view. Continue reading

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In Briefs: Cookbook Follies

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: This is a really, really unfortunate typo:

AKIE BERMISS: Oh man. I find that hilarious. (it’s the ‘freshly’ that gets me) Continue reading

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Moving the Dodgers: Blame Moses or O’Malley?

HOWARD MEGDAL: I have heard all the revisionist arguments. I know what a difficult man Robert Moses was, thanks in ridiculously fantastic detail from Robert Caro. I understand getting the stadium he wanted was difficult, and that poor Walter O’Malley would have had to settle for free land and a free stadium in Queens.

It is still unconscionable that O’Malley moved the Dodgers clear across the country.

JASON CLINKSCALES: Howard carries on an understandable grievance on behalf of those before us who saw Dem Bums as the progressive, community-knit team that wore their colors proudly for the borough. However, 53 years after the Brooklyn Dodgers went west with Harlem’s New York Giants, the idea of Walter O’Malley’s greed and only his greed being the reason for the move is a bit unfair as New York City’s “master builder”, construction czar Robert Moses played a significant role as well. Continue reading

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Lane Bryant Ad

HOWARD MEGDAL: Okay, let’s get this clear: there is nothing remotely offensive about the new Lane Bryant ad.

DAN SZYMBORSKI: Finally, some sanity on the airwaves. Lane Bryant, on network television, attempted to air a commercial that was completely inappropriate for the public and for children. I do not have children, but I would not have wanted them seeing that commercial. Continue reading

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Cheese Debate: Delicious or Disgusting?

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: I have a love/hate relationship with cheese. I love to eat it, but I hate how it settles into and amplifies my beer gut. And, just as I don’t see myself going off the sauce anytime soon, I cannot imagine quitting the cheese.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I love cheese, with the deep, meaningful kind of passion that is reserved only for things that can be digested. After all, I love my fiancé too, but I don’t get to eat a plate of him with crackers at the end of a long hard day—and frankly, more’s the pity.

AKIE BERMISS: I don’t pretend I’m not a finicky eater. I am. If something is too mushy or too hard or too salty or too bland, and I have the option of turning it down: I will. I do not mess around. I only get to eat about twice a day and usually one of those is on the go to or from somewhere. I’ve had enough meals in my car, parked in a lot, to know the shame of scarfing down a fast food burger, fries, and a soda. I’ve eaten at highway rest stops and 4-star restaurants. I’m something of a food vagabond because I never really know where the next meal is coming from. And, as such, I consider myself to be the Foodie equivalent of a “prole” (see: 1984, Orwell). Still, I can be a downright bastard when it comes to eating things I don’t like. People who are fond of me call me: persnickety. Everyone else calls me a pain in the ass.

Well, be that as it may, at the top of my Hated Foods list is the world’s favorite: cheese.

DAVE TOMAR: There’s a special place in my heart for cheese. According to my cardiologist, the scientific name for that place is ‘the right ventricle.’ I was told that if I don’t cut down on my cheese intake, there is a good chance that my blood could coagulate, forming what I suspect will be a delectable soft camembert best served on crostini with fresh cranberry chutney and crushed walnuts. Continue reading

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In Briefs: Scott Baio’s Twitterwar

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: This whole Scott Baio/Jezebel war is cracking me up.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Thanks Twitter, for ruining my images of Charles in Charge. Of course Buddy Lembeck was already ruined since he became Bibleman. But I was hoping my memories of Charles would stay pure. He probably just hates no longer being In Charge. Continue reading

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African-Americans in Baseball

JESSICA BADER: Every year, as Major League Baseball commemorates the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the sport’s color barrier, the massive baseball punditosphere tends to ponder the declining percentage of baseball players who are African-American (now generally around 10%, a far cry from the nearly 30% in the mid-1970s). The increase in foreign-born players is often cited as a major factor, as is the expense involved in participating in organized youth baseball. While these are undoubtedly significant contributors to the sparse African-American presence in the major leagues, I think the college and minor-league structure of baseball as compared to the other major American sports plays a major role that is often overlooked.

JASON CLINKSCALES: The decline of an African-American presence in baseball is one of the sorest subjects in all of American sports. Honestly, just like anything else dealing with race in America. The sport that rightfully venerates Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby for painfully, but successfully ushering in a new era in the game and society has found its percentage of black baseball players decline sharply over the last decade. To its credit, Major League Baseball hasn’t sat on its hands, but if it’s serious about kicking those numbers up again, they could use a LOT more help from their amateur partners in the NCAA. Just as other sports have been able to cull talents in the amateur ranks prior to their arrival in the big leagues, baseball could use a bit more of effort from college programs to recruit just as heavy as their counterparts in basketball and football. Continue reading

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Tanning

HOWARD MEGDAL: I will come right out and say it: I do not understand tanning.

My understanding is that its origins come out of the tradition of those who lit themselves on fire to protest the Vietnam War. While this doesn’t make a tremendous amount of sense on its face- if you are burned to death, it becomes much harder for you to facilitate a ceasefire-at least there is a reasonable emotional link between hatred of an unjust war and self-immolation. It is an action that makes far less sense to get across the idea, “I like kittens!”

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: So, here’s the thing. I know tanning’s a bad idea. I read. I read stuff that tells me I’m going to die if I strip down, lube up, and hang out in one of those cancer coffins that shoots ultraviolet rays at me. But, I’m also vain. Tremendously vain. So, maybe I sometimes go to the tanning bed. Continue reading

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FL-SEN: Kendrick Meek’s To Lose?

HOWARD MEGDAL: Conventional wisdom has an independent bid for Florida’s U.S. Senate race by Charlie Crist as a godsend for Kendrick Meek, the Democratic nominee. In fact, many believe that the race is Meek’s to lose once Crist enters the fray as an independent.

But lose it he might. There still may not be room for Meek in this race.

CHRIS PUMMER: If Meek can in fact consolidate Democratic support — and I see no convincing reason why he won’t — he stands to be the winner of the Republican Party’s civil war for Florida. Continue reading

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Patrick Ewing Trade and Retrospective

STEPHON JOHNSON: Patrick Ewing revolutionized the 5-spot and the Knicks, somehow, are still feeling the mistakes management made in the twilight of his career.

AKIE BERMISS: I grew a Knicks fan in Brooklyn, New York. When I was 11, I played in the local “Junior Knicks” basketball league. I had a Knicks winter coat, a windbreaker, two or three jerseys, and more NYK tee-shirts than I can possibly remember. And every spring, around playoff time, I fell horribly behind on my homework and studying while I cheered the Knicks through their ups and (mostly) downs. I was (and still am) a die-hard Knicks fan. Didn’t matter that we never won a championship — there was always next year. Why? Because there was always Patrick Ewing.

CHRIS PUMMER: While Ewing’s ugly split with the Knicks might seem like the perfect bookend — both for an era when the center’s large talents forgave other roster flaws, as well as the franchise’s current funk — the Hall-of-Famer’s exit was not the first domino to fall in the team’s descent into irrelevance.


HOWARD MEGDAL:
While Chris is correct about some poor contracts, none of the three he cites were responsible for roster-clogging disasters that came from the trade of Patrick Ewing. Continue reading

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