Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Oh, one last thing....Vikings suck!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
But, Chicago is an understandable choice. There is a lot of good marketing talent there, while Milwaukee and Denver really don't have strong marketing companies (for example, what used to be Wisconsin's largest ad agency, Cramer-Krasselt, moved to Chicago a few years ago). Marketing is key here, as there is not a lot of difference between major domestic brews.
It's already been an interesting week in the American beer industry.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Another article in the Post-Dispatch talks about how this could lead to a St. Louis renaissance. The idea is that InBev should move HQ from Belgium to St. Louis. I doubt this will happen. InBev can see that SABMiller is run fairly well from London, and MolsonCoors is run just fine in Montreal. Just speculation, but I would imagine it would be difficult to get Belgium or the EU to go along with losing one of Europe's largest corporations to the United States.
So, Molson owns Coors, SAB owns Miller, and now InBev will own Anheuser-Busch. Looks like if you want to drink a totally American beer, you'll have to go with something like this.
Here's the story from the Houston Chronicle.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I may do a couple of quick reviews of shows I saw, but for now just know that the Block Party is a pretty good time, and my buddies and I may go every year.
Sorry Queens fans, your 16-year wet dream about Favre in purple isn't happening. You're going to sink or swim (hopefully sink) with T-Jack.
UPDATE: This post on JSOnline from Tom Silverstein explains the situation pretty well. The comments are a great glimpse into the two sides of this issue (pro-Favre/pro-Packers).
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
What I like about this deal is that it is not the max contract. I like that Bogut knows that he can get better and hence does not deserve the max yet. But, having him in the fold for the next several seasons allows him to further develop into a true center, which will definitely pay dividends down the line for the Bucks. And, he wants to be in Milwaukee. This is key. So many people in the NBA don't like cities that aren't flashy. This is one of the reasons I am still mad that the Bucks traded Ray Allen. Allen loved Milwaukee and lived there year-round.
So far, Hammond fired Larry Krystowiak (who was in over his head) and got Scott Skiles, a defensive-minded coach. Next, he drafted Joe Alexander, who actually wants to be in Milwaukee. Before that, he gets rid of Mr. Bad Contract himself, Bobby Simmons, and gets Richard Jefferson in the fold. Sure, he traded Yi Jianlian, but Yi didn't want to be in Milwaukee anyway. If Hammond can get a good point guard on the floor, the Bucks will start to look a lot better.
But, I want to expand on a comment I left at my brother's blog. I basically said that I didn't think Ventura would be terribly well-suited to be one of 100. He has been an executive his entire political career. I think he needs to be "The Man." I think his ego is too big to be part of a group. Granted, most politicians' egos are huge. They would have to be given that the reason people go into politics is because they believe they know what's best for you. But, Ventura's ego is the size of Lake Superior. I can't imagine seeing him in a deliberative body, where you have to play well with others at least occasionally. It just doesn't fit.
But, I wonder how this changes the equation of the Senate race. Does this help Sen. Coleman, or Al Franken? My first impulse is to say Ventura will be a non-factor. On the other hand, a lot of us were saying the same thing in 1998. In 1998, Ventura cost Norm Coleman the governorship. Currently, Coleman is leading Franken in the polls, so it would stand to reason that Coleman has more to lose. But, will Franken supporters who are not hardcore Democrats be swayed as well?
Of course, this is all conjecture at this point. Ventura hasn't officially declared yet.
I'm on a breakfast kick. Waffles, sausage, bacon, it's just about all here.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I think the only way Nicky could have been happy would be if the bridge was rebuilt slightly behind schedule by the parishoners of St. Joan of Arc, who would have done it during a "pride" picnic.
As Lee Corso says, not so fast my friend. McCain is up 10 in Georgia, and the senator supposedly in trouble in Kansas is Pat Roberts. The article itself says the Dem running against Roberts is late to the gate, and is behind in fundraising. Montana may be a problem, though. I am not sure of all the political dynamics of Montana, but currently Obama has been holding slim leads in the polls. And, they have been electing some Dems statewide recently. But, Obama is going to really have to move to the center on a lot of issues to ultimately get Montana.
Don't get me wrong, the GOP is in trouble nationally this year. But, they do have pickup opportunities in the presidential election (think Michigan, especially if Mitt Romney gets the VP nod). A lot is going to hinge on how things are going at the gas pump. I think the big question this time around is going to be, "Who has the policies that will lower my gas prices?" Frankly, as Mr D. stated this evening, the no-drilling, drive Priuses stance the Democratic Party has on this issue may hurt them. The US has never been as strong on the environment as other countries. We have our limits.
This is going to be an interesting election. I may finally start talking about it more here.
Monday, July 7, 2008
I haven't blogged about Brett Favre's waffling on retirement yet because frankly I am a little upset at his inability to make a decision and stick with it. Both Favre and the Packers need to figure this out, as Gene Wojciechowski states here.
I am torn on this. The Packers are a better team with Favre as QB. Of this there is little doubt. But, his going back and forth on this for year after year is tiring. It needs to stop. I just want a definitive answer one way or the other from Favre. Also, part of me wants to see what Aaron Rodgers can do.
The Packers have a lot of the pieces needed to make a run if Favre does come back and play at a good level (oh yeah Queens fans, there was more to the Pack than Favre in 2007). But, with Rodgers, they still aren't that bad. The Packer defense can keep them in games. Rodgers just has to be smart as a QB. He has a plethora of options at WR, and has an emerging star in Ryan Grant, as well as a potentially solid RB in Brandon Jackson.
I don't know...I just want this to end soon. It's taking away from my enjoyment of the Brewers season and Bucks offseason (which has gone pretty well).
Barb White, the GOP token competitor, doesn't stand a chance. The only question here is whether White will finish 2nd or 3rd (to the Greenie candidate). This seat is Keith Ellison's as long as he wants it. The only thing that would guarantee it even more is if he made his middle name Olav and put it on the ballot.
This column is typical. He posits that the Republican party is basically a wholly-owned subsidiary of the oil industry (I refuse to call them Big Oil), and lists all the favors Chimpy has done for oil. Of course, this has been beaten into the American public since Bush won the Republican nomination in 2000. It's to the extent that I almost believe it. The only problem is, the GOP is right about oil. There is a supply problem. Lowering demand domestically will only do so much as demand increases in other countries. Simply put, we need more supply.
He faults the Wisconsin GOP for not allowing Jim Doyle's windfall profits tax bill to become law. This quote is amazing:
Here's a newsflash: All taxes and fees paid by every company everywhere is passed onto the consumer!!! It's part of the price we pay for things!! Jim Doyle wants to alter the laws of economics?!! He can't do it! That is what the GOPers in the Wisconsin Assembly are saying, not that "we know what big crooks the oil companies are..." It was bad law. Also, it was pretty much unenforceable. But, we can't go confusing the issue with facts and evidence, now can we?
We had Republican legislators standing up in the Assembly making speeches about how the largest profits in the history of the world weren't actually all that excessive.
Alternately, Republicans argued we shouldn't pass a windfall profits tax on the oil companies because the oil companies were run by such big crooks they would just illegally pass the tax on to consumers.
Doyle's windfall profits tax contained a provision making it illegal to pass the tax along at the pump and included penalties for companies that broke the law.
Republicans said the companies would find devious ways to act illegally and pass the tax along anyway. Their argument basically was we know what big crooks the oil companies we support are and, trust us, they'll find some way to break the law.
In a corrupt political world, it takes one to know one.
After that, McNally goes on about how evil oil companies and their paid handlers in the GOP want to drill for oil. Never mind that this is exactly what needs to happen. McNally is a practicing member of the Church of Mother Earth, so more drilling is blasphemy.
Bottom line: If you like shrill leftists who genuinely hate you if you don't agree with them, then Joel McNally is your guy.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
It's funny to see people you used to run with become parents. This is especially true for me, given that I am nowhere near that point in my life. Really, I have trouble with the whole concept of dating, but that's another post. I think I am the last man standing as far as marrying and/or procreating amongst my high school friends. And, the way things are looking, it will be that way for awhile. Thankfully, this isn't a race, so it's OK.
Anyway, congratulations to my buddies Sean (for Elyzah) and Ben (for Ben R.). I have no doubt that both of them will make great parents.
Long-term, I am not certain this is good for the Brew Crew as they need to continue to stockpile prospects due to the financial structure of the game. But, a window is open right now. There is no guarantee that the Cubs are taking this thing. And, the Brewers have pretty much caught up with St. Louis (for the moment). Getting another great starter will help alleviate the bullpen problem. For that reason, I am fine with this move. Sure, it's going to stink to lose both Sabathia and Ben Sheets after the season, but if the Brewers can make a playoff run (and get there at the very least), it will be worth it from my perspective. This will help the Brewers pass the Cardinals and possibly catch and pass the Cubs.
One other note: I did not think I would see the day that the Brewers would be buyers on the trade market. Owner Mark Attanasio has affected a sea change in Milwaukee. He is showing that he will spend money to help produce a winner, but not at the expense of building through the farm system, of which the Brewers still have one of the best. It will be interesting to see if Attanasio will put out the money to keep either Ben Sheets or (apparently) C.C. Sabathia. I don't know that he will, but at least he will likely put competitive offers out for one or both.
OK, one last note: If you read the Brewers blog on JSO, Tom Haudricourt has been on this from the beginning. He is by far one of the best baseball beat writers in the country.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
The Chicago Cubs are still out front in the division, but are not running away with it yet. They came down to earth a little bit, posting a 15-12 record during June. They battled to an overall tie with the White Sox, but tripped up a little bit in interleague play, getting swept in St. Pete and losing a series to the Orioles. But, as play ends today, they are 51-34, still in first. Big series coming up in St. Louis this weekend....speaking of whom,
All year, I have been saying the Cards are coming back to earth soon. They're too young, they don't have enough pitching, yada yada yada....OK, I am wrong (won't be the last time I am wrong on this blog, not by a long shot). The Cards are hanging around, playing very good baseball. They went 16-12 in June, with a nice series win in Boston. They did go 2-4 against the Royals, getting swept at home. But, the Cards hang around at 2.5 games back, with a nice 49-37 record. One note about the Cards: their pitching coach, whose name escapes me, is possibly the greatest pitching coach ever. He has Kyle Lohse pitching to an 8-2 record! Twins fans know that Lohse became very pedestrian towards the end of his run up here. I watched Lohse walk in two runs against the Brewers a few years ago. How about those Brewers?
Well, the Brewers largely had a good month, going 16-10. It's looking like things may be coming together a little bit for the Brew Crew, save that 9th-inning disaster at Arizona today (FIX THE BULLY!!!!). The Brewers played good ball, even though they did not do well against the Twins. They swept the Blue Jays, gave the Orioles a good series, and just finished a 5-5 road trip (should have been 6-4....FIX THE BULLY!!!) with a good series win in Atlanta. The Brewers are 5 back of the Cubs, at 46-39. Given that they were at .500 a month ago, that's fine. The big question for the Brewers is this: keep hot prospects, or maybe make a run at C.C. Sabathia? Just the fact that the Brewers are potential buyers this year at the trade deadline is great news. The only disappointment I have is that the Twins are in the thick of things in the AL Central. Not because I don't want the Twins to do well, but I wanted them to be sellers on the market. I harbored hopes that the Brewers would make a run at Joe Nathan. Oh well...
Hey, the Pirates are not in last place! They didn't have a great month at 12-15, but they managed to leapfrog Houston and Cincinnati to claim 4th for now. The Pirates took a series with the Nationals (a lot of teams do that though), got a good series win against the Astros, but didn't do terribly well in interleague play. I don't have a whole lot more to say about the Pirates, except they are going to get an angry Brewers squad this weekend at Miller Park. For now, they are 40-44, 10.5 back of the Cubbies. They have a looming question about whether they can keep Jason Bay though. He may move at the deadline.
Boy, the Astros had a bad month. They went 10-16, going from third to fifth place in the division. To quote Dennis Green, they are who we thought they were. The Astros are not that good, and they are kinda old. They have too much money locked into people like Miguel Tejada, who is not nearly worth what he is being paid. They don't have enough pitching. It's Roy Oswalt, then....wow. Anyway, they did get series wins over the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox. Other than that, it was a bad month. It included an 8-game losing streak. As it stands, the Astros are 11.5 games back of Chicago, sitting at 40-46.
The Cincinnati Reds went 12-16 in June, which has put them in last place. I said at the beginning of the year that the Reds are about a year away. I still think that may be true, and they do have Walt Jocketty as their GM, so they probably have a good future ahead of them. They began June by finishing off the Braves, then managed to win series against the Yankees (at Yankee Stadium) and Cleveland. The problem for the Reds is, they played poorly against the National League. But, they are at 39-47, 12.5 games back. The Reds should continue building for the future. This is likely not their year.
So that's it for now. Go Brewers!!