Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sotto Voce: Random Mutterings Under My Breath

Does the USADA really have the power to vacate Lance Armstrong's Tour De France victories? I thought USADA was there to test Olympic athletes. I could see taking away the 2000 bronze medal, but anything else looks like overreach. 

If USADA had a failed drug test in its possession, it would be case closed; but that is the one thing they don't have. What they apparently do have are 10 affidavits from Armstrong's former teammates. Want to bet there are 10 failed drug tests (and offers of amnesty) to go along with those affidavits?

Guilty or innocent, it's clear Armstrong doesn't inspire loyalty. Barry Bonds had people going to jail for him, after all. Armstrong couldn't even get people to lie for him (or, alternatively, are willing to lie to hurt him). 

This didn't make it into MSM coverage of the Apple-Samsung trial, but there was a lot of courtroom gossip (and legal media reporting) about how Samsung's lead attorney, John Quinn, made an ass of himself throughout the trial; earning repeated rebukes and threatening sanctions from the judge. The spin is that he was highlighting issues for the (inevitable) appeal, and indeed most of his theatrics related to evidentiery issues that the judge had resolved outside the presence of the jury. Still, strutting around the courtroom, calling attention to matters you are not supposed to discuss, is not the behavior of someone who thinks he has a good case. The appeal will be decided on the pleadings anyway, not based on the court reporter's transcript. 

Mike Huckabee still doesn't get it. He thinks he must defend Todd Akin for the sake of social conservatives everywhere, but the root of Akin's problem is that he would rather spout junk science  about "shutting that whole thing down" than answer a question about the rape exception to a pro-life amendment. He's a weasel on the issue that supposedly animates his political career, and not worth a second of Huckabee's semi-valuable time. 

I am getting mighty tired of of hearing Christine O'Donnell's name mentioned in the same breath as Todd Akin's. O'Donnell is fun and feisty. She is also a warrior who really did take on the political establishment in her state and the GOP establishment nationwide. Her "notorious" comment about dabbling in witchcraft was not made during the campaign, but years earlier between breaks on a crappy TV show. She was too conservative for Delaware, true, but she took the full weight of a classic MSM assault - short sales! one-night stands! college diplomas! - on behalf of Tea Party candidates everywhere. Every minute the MSM spent talking about O'Donnell was time they didn't spend tearing down Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and a dozen others. She's a martyr to the cause, not a loser destroying it. 

Is the Syrian Civil War over yet?

Inga Barks was on Levin last night. I know from listening to her that she lives in Bakersfield and that she has three teen-aged sons, but a little googling also told me that her husband recently died after a long illness and that she sued her one-time radio co-host for sexual harassment. Life is not easy for some of us, no matter how much the gov't promises to soothe all our ills. 

Some early AM Free Association: this Dan Mitchell piece about how Paul Ryan's proposed cuts to social spending will be good for the poor reminded me of PJ O'Rourke's line about growing up poor in Toledo, OH and how he felt lucky to escape being helped by the gov't. That in turn reminded me that O'Rourke had attended Miami University, which further reminded me of a piece he wrote back in the mid-1990's about how earnest and square the MU College Republicans were, which lead to the forehead-slapping realization that one of those earnest CR's may have been (gulp) Paul Ryan!

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