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Rush Limbaugh, Ozzie Guillen and the First Amendment

So Ozzie Guillen said some stuff about Fidel Castro. Who cares what Ozzie Guillen says about Fidel Castro, right? I don't. But Ozzie Guillen is the manager of the Miami Marlins. So it's fair to say the Marlins care.

People in Miami aren't happy about what Ozzie Guillen said about Fidel Castro. That means the Marlins can't be too happy. Ozzie is having a press conference tomorrow to, no doubt, apologize and explain that in fact, he hates Fidel Castro and does not respect him. I don't care about that either. But people in Miami do. So the Marlins care too.

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The Demise of The Black Caddy

Interesting New York Times story:

At the 76th Masters this week, there will be no club caddies required; only two black caddies started the season with regular jobs on the PGA Tour and one has since been fired. The great black caddies of the past, who carried the bags for Gene Sarazen and Jack Nicklaus and the game’s other greats, are dead or well into the back nine of their lives.

For a variety of reasons, no new generation has taken the bags from them. Caddying, once perceived as a menial job, has become a vocation for the college-educated and failed professionals who are lured by the astronomical purses driven by Woods’s immense popularity. In 1996, the year Woods turned pro, the PGA Tour purses averaged $1.47 million. This year, they average $6.20 million.

Yes, there is very good money in being a caddy of the professional golf tours now. I think we need not look for more in terms of explanations. If there was good money in picking fruit, there would be a disappearance of the Latino fruit picker. Yes, I am calling white privilege.

Speaking for me only

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Connecticut Rabbi: Tebow Success Could Lead To Persecution of Non-Christians

Wait, what?

If Tebow wins the Super Bowl, against all odds, it will buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants. While America has become more inclusive since Jerry Falwell’s first political forays, a Tebow triumph could set those efforts back considerably.

The rabbi, Josh Hammerman of Temple Beth El in Stamford, appears to claim to be a progressive. I claim he is an idiot.

Speaking for me only

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Teeeebbooooowwww!

That is all.

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NBA Players File Antitrust Suits Against NBA

Two suits, one in Minnesota (good NFL case law there) and one in California:

The initial lawsuit was filed in Minneapolis. Minnesota’s Anthony Tolliver, Detroit’s Ben Gordon, free agent Caron Butler and Derrick Williams, who was chosen by the Timberwolves with the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, were named as plaintiffs.

A second suit was filed in California. Plaintiffs include New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, free agent Leon Powe and Kawhi Leonard, a rookie who was acquired by San Antonio during the 2011 draft.

I liked what David Boies, attorney for the players, said:

"If you’re in a poker game, and you run a bluff, and the bluff works, you’re a hero. If someone calls your bluff, you lose. I think the owners overplayed their hand," Boies said. "They did a terrific job of taking a very hard line and pushing the players to make concession after concession after concession, but greed is not only a terrible thing — it’s a dangerous thing."

This situation interests me, so expect a lot of coverage.

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Epic Collapse

The Red Sox have fallen down and they are not getting up. What an epic collapse.

Yanks face the Tigers starting tomorrow.

Go Yanks! And Go Gators!

Open Thread.

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Loving Dogs For Votes

Bill Simmons:

I'm amazed that a 2012 presidential candidate hasn't taken advantage of [dog loving], filmed a series of dog-loving commercials and pushed for things like "more dog beaches" and "better veterinarian health care benefits" as part of their platform. Dog lovers are totally irrational. I include myself. If Obama wants to improve his approval rating, he should rescue a mutt every six weeks and keep, like, 10 or 12 dogs in the White House — he'd have dog-lover voters saying, "Even if I'm let down by the last four years, I gotta be honest … it was pretty neat how Obama kept rescuing those dogs."

Interesting thought I think. Can you think of other such gimmicks that might work?

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UARS is Down

So UARS passed over the U.S. and is down somewhere. NASA was checking on where an hour ago, and then must have gone home to bed because there's no tweets since. There are reports it was sighted in MN, continued on to Canada, Africa and Australia.

Anyone see anything?

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Saturday Night Open Thread: New York Greets Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene has reached New York. Mayor Bloomberg says it's too late to evacuate, just stay indoors.

Here's the current tracker. For those of you on the east coast, how are you doing?

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Saturday Open Thread: Hurricane Irene Still a Threat

Hurricane Irene is weakening but still a threat. More here.

In New York, there are no planes, subways, buses, Broadway, Bloomingdales or Saks.

Another tracker here.

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Hurricane Irene Tracking

The New York Times has this easy to follow graphic Hurricane Irene Tracker where you can follow the storm's progress, estimate the time it will hit various places, and at what strength.

Washington, DC is slated to greet Irene at 8 am Saturday morning. President Obama is leaving Martha's Vineyard a day early. In North Carolina, Irene has been downgraded to a Cat 2. A lot of power outages are expected.

What are you doing to prepare? What online sites are you following for updates? The National Hurricane Center is here. And will there be any other news to follow over the next few days?

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Earthquake on East Coast

Really? An 5.9 earthquake on the east coast? How odd. Hope everyone's okay.

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, D.C., and was felt as far north as New York City and Rhode Island.

The quake sent hundreds of people spilling into the street a block from the White House, with other buildings evacuated in North Carolina and tremors felt as far away as New York City.

The heart of the quake apparently was Mineral, Va., in Louisa County. And I just read Colorado had an earthquake last night -- the largest one since 1967. It was in the southern part of the state, near New Mexico.

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Trump

The Donald comes to the rescue?

So much for dropping out -- Donald Trump tells TPM he believes he can win the White House as an independent candidate, keeping his name in the presidential game despite declaring last month he would not run for the GOP nomination. [. . .] As for whether he'll run, he said it depended on the GOP nominee. "Let's see what happens with the Republicans, who they put up," he said.

I still have the Short Fingered Vulgarian to kick around!! About two weeks ago, Trump said:

After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the presidency. Business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.

I guess the Reality TV and licensing business is not as exciting to Trump as he thought it would be. Of course this can not go on forever - the moment Trump has to reveal that he really is just another Kardashian is when the fun stops.

Speaking for me only

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NBA Fines Noah 50K For Gay Slur

I'm a big fan of former Florida Gator and current Chicago Bull Joakim Noah. Like Charles Barkley, Noah is my favorite player. In Sunday night's game against the Heat, Noah delivered a gay slur at a heckling fan. He issued an apology immediately after the game, and was fined Monday by the NBA:

The NBA on Monday fined Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah $50,000 for hurling profanity and a gay slur at a fan during the Bulls’ Game 3 loss to the Miami Heat. Noah had immediately apologized for the slur and said he expected a stiff financial penalty for his words. “I got caught up. A fan said something,” Noah said after Sunday’s game. “I said something back. I apologize. I don’t mean no disrespect to anybody.”

I believe and hope the apology was sincere. Noah's a pretty openly progressive person politically, so it is not a stretch to believe the apology was sincere. Hopefully, he'll learn from this incident. Also, I hope he has a good game tonight against the Heat, who lead the series 2-1 over the Bulls.

Speaking for me only

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Delta Connections Carrier Pilot Refuses To Fly Plane With Muslims Onboard

Wikipedia:

ASA had the lowest rate of on-time performance, and the worst rate of mishandled baggage among all 19 US air carriers reporting to the US Department of Transportation for the full-year 2006.

This won't help:

Two Muslim religious leaders who were removed from a commercial airliner in Memphis say they were told it was because the pilot refused to fly with them aboard.

Masudur Rahman and Mohamed Zaghloul were supposed to travel on an 8:30 a.m. Delta flight, run by a subsidiary, from Memphis, Tenn. to Charlotte. They were traveling to attend a conference of the North American Imam Federation that, ironically, intends to address prejudice against Muslims.

[. . .] ASA released this statement: “Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight 5452 from Memphis to Charlotte returned to the gate to allow for additional screening of a passenger and the passenger's companion. We take security and safety very seriously, and the event is currently under investigation. Compensation and re-accommodation on the next available flight were immediately offered to the passenger and the passenger's travel companion. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.”

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