December 30, 2007

I wanted to write about the Soldiers Angels last night, but I had to watch history. I’ll write about it immediately after I post this. For the first time in history, the NFL has a team go 16-0, which brings to question is their really “parity” in the NFL, or is it much easier for a professional team to dominate week in and week out?
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I never liked all this talk about parity in the NFL, to me, it was more like socializing the NFL. If parity was so good for the NFL, then would it be interesting if we just got rid of the Superbowl and made every team lose exactly eight games? That would be fair wouldn’t it? If every team had as many wins as every other team, that would be interesting wouldn’t it? Why even have a playoffs, because isn’t it unfair that teams that work harder and prepare better than other teams wins the Superbowl? Isn’t that our approach to economics? Liberals everywhere should be crying out that it’s unfair that some teams while the rich get richer — ie New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Pittsburgh Steelers. I’d include the San Francisco 49ers in there as well, but when was the last time they were actually a good team? The 49ers have been liberalized, that is to say, they’d rather be poor and have an early draft pick given to them, than to earn something that everybody really wants, the Vince Lombardi trophy.

So in fairness, the Liberals ought to be screaming at the top of their lungs that it’s not fair that the Patriots go both undefeated and win a Superbowl. They should be crying for affirmative action points awarded to the teams that play against the Patriots, you know to even the playing field. If the Patriots play Indianapolis, give Indy 7 points… it could be more, but Manning is from the South and we know about them, and he’s had everything handed to him because well you know how the South is.

And San Diego should get 14 points if they play the Patriots because, well they are a California team and the media loves the California teams, plus, they are close to Mexico so we should give them more points for all the Mexican illegal immigrants they take care of.

Ultimately the liberal plan for the NFL should do everything in their power to keep the Patriots from taking it all. It’s just not fair that the Patriots win it all while so many teams have to do without. No team in the NFL should be able allowed to be so greedy and horde victory after victory.

But let me get back to my conservative roots here, is there anybody more annoying in the booths than Chris Collinsworth? I thought John Madden was annoying when it seems like he was talking about food after every play… now that I’m fatter, he just makes me hungry. But Collinsworth is just annoying, he’s like the epitome of dumb jock. I don’t care to hear about his politics when I’m watching football. I don’t care if Donovan McNabb is the greatest quarterback ever, unless he’s announcing the a Patriots, Colts, Packers, Cowboys, then suddenly Brady, Manning, Favre, and Romo respectively are suddenly the greatest quarterbacks ever. But when Bryant Gumble asked if this season is validated for the Patriots, Chris Collinsworth starts running his mouth about the Patriots accomplishment is meaningless unless they win the Superbowl.  You see why this guy is annoying?

Look, this is what I know, every year somebody wins the superbowl. I’ve watched enough superbowls in my life, that I can barely remember who won last year. I remember when the Patriots beat the Panthers, but that’s mostly because it’s not everyday that you see an aging star try to regain her youth by exposing her breast on national television. Cripes, that still gives me nightmares, even more so than Brittany showing off her new panties she bought, but forgot she forgot that she didn’t put them on, or any panties for that matter.

But what I saw last night was memorable. Even if the Patriots don’t win the superbowl, even if they lose in the first round of the playoffs, this season was more than validated, history was made. For the first time in NFL history a regular season game was simulcast on three networks. It’s because that game was a memorable game, and it was a good game. Going into the fourth quarter the game was still very much in doubt, how often does that happen in the superbowl?

It’s memorable like “Iron Man” Cal Ripken jr. breaking the record for playing in the most consecutive games, or Sosa having his battle with McGuire for the homerun record in a season. Memorable, that’s what the Patriots accomplish. Oh, I’m sure the Patriots are telling their selves they must win the superbowl to validate the season, of course they are, they are still in the playoffs and any added motivation is welcomed. But when all is said and done, thirty years from now, when their grandchildren are sitting on the laps of those football players, the greatest accomplishment they will point to is the year they went through the regular season without losing a game. Congratulations to the Pats, a remarkable season, a remarkable achievement, now go win the superbowl for a side note.

Amtrak, Bush administration reach final deal: Systemwide train shutdown averted

The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV) June 29, 2002 | Laurence Arnold WASHINGTON – Amtrak and Bush administration officials closed a deal late Friday to help Amtrak get the $200 million it needs to keep passenger trains running through September.

The deal helps Amtrak avert the first systemwide shutdown in its 31-year history, which had been threatened to begin next week.

The Transportation Department will give Amtrak an immediate $100 million loan, then will join with Amtrak in asking Congress to provide the remainder.

“Our goal was to ensure uninterrupted service for the over 750,000 Americans who rely on Amtrak and our nation’s commuter rail service every day, and we have accomplished that goal,” Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said at a news conference announcing the deal.

The announcement culminated a week of shuttle diplomacy among Amtrak leaders, Bush administration officials and members of Congress. see here amtrak promotion code

The final negotiations hinged on what conditions the administration would place on its $100 million loan. Amtrak agreed to 12, many involving improved financial accountability.

“A lot of this is stuff that should be done,” said Amtrak President David Gunn.

The conditions require Amtrak to spend all its money over the next 15 months on existing assets and services, not to plan for expansion of service. Amtrak must identify $100 million in potential budget cuts by the end of August.

Also, Amtrak must freeze all management salaries and suspend any annual bonuses for this year for employees with salaries over $75,000.

Officials had said one sticking point was a proposed provision that would prevent Amtrak from entering into any new agreement that restricts its ability to contract with private firms.

The administration wants Amtrak to move toward a system in which it uses outside companies to run its reservations, food service and equipment maintenance, and perhaps even some routes.

In the end, that requirement was left out.

Still to be resolved is the form of the congressional assistance. Amtrak would prefer an appropriation, since it would not have to pay that back, but it also could be a loan. website amtrak promotion code

Amtrak is already carrying heavy debt, estimated at $3.85 billion in March.

The next debate is around the corner. Amtrak insists it needs at least $1.2 billion to run through September 2003; the Bush administration is sticking by its initial proposal of $521 million.

Whatever Amtrak receives, it will have to take $100 million of it to pay back the administration loan.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who leads the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on transportation, called the agreement “a classic case of good news, bad news. … The bad news is that service will continue for only three months, at which time Amtrak will be deeper in debt and facing another bankruptcy crisis.” Amtrak was formed in 1971 to relieve freight railroads from the cash-draining responsibility of passenger service and has struggled ever since to meet expectations that it break even or turn a profit.

Amtrak serves more than 500 communities in 46 states over a 22,000- mile route system. About 65,000 people ride Amtrak trains each day, roughly half in Amtrak’s busy Boston-New York-Washington corridor.

Hundreds of thousands of others ride commuter rail services that use Amtrak-owned tracks and tunnels or are operated by Amtrak under contract.

“This has been an important week for passenger rail because the events of this week have forever dispelled the question of Amtrak’s relevance in the nation’s transportation future,” said John Robert Smith, chairman of Amtrak’s governing board.

Gunn had warned that Amtrak could begin shutting down its entire nationwide system as early as next weekend if it did not get government help to close a $200 million budget gap.

Mineta has made clear that, at some point, the administration will seek major changes in how Amtrak does business.

He has proposed ending federal operating subsidies to the intercity railroad, introducing competition and making states more responsible for paying for train service. His plan would also gradually remove Amtrak as owner of 366 miles of tracks in the Boston- Washington corridor.

Gunn, who became Amtrak’s president May 15, has said he agrees the railway needs to make major improvements in its finances and operations, but not necessarily the more drastic reforms the administration is seeking.

On the Net:

Amtrak: Transportation Department: Laurence Arnold


I don't care about the Patriots as a team, though I would rather see Favre win one last Super Bowl. However, the thing that got me worked up last night was Randy Moss breaking Jerry Rice's record for most TD catches in a season. Randy Moss is a thug. He has a rap sheet and once hit a female cop with his car. Meanwile, Jerry has always been a good role model on and off the field. Also, any time Moss's record is mentioned, the announcer/commentator/show host should automatically remind everyone that Jerry Rice caught 22 TDs in only 12 games, it took Moss 16 games. Though Jerry is my favorite athlete of all time, I wouldn't be so irritated if the record had been broken by someone like Marvin Harrison or Marquis Colston. But the fact that it was a classless jerk like Moss gives me a case of the red-bottom.

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