Archive for September, 2008

My Interview With David Blumberg–Continued

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

I had the pleasure recently of interviewing financier David Blumberg.

David and his partner Michal happen to be gay. They also happen to be Jewish. Michal happens to be French. They happen to live in San Francisco.

What is extraordinary is that based on everything else, they do not fit neatly into a stereotypical box. They are proud republicans.

They are also proud Jews, and I hope that they and all the Jews of the world are enjoying a sobering and peaceful Rosh Hashanah. Today is also the culmination of Ramadan, as Muslims celebrate with Iftar dinners fit for kings. So Happy Holidays to those celebrating, as I take a two day vacation from politics.

Below is the second part of my three part interview with David Blumberg.

2) Are you “religious?” Is San Francisco as secular a city as it is made out to be? Do you feel some San Franciscans unfairly consider all religion to be equated with zealotry and intolerance?

My partner and I live a reasonably traditional, but not orthodox Jewish lifestyle. We belong to Congregation Emanu-el in San Francisco. We celebrate the Jewish holidays including Shabbat and are actively involved in the community through educational, civic and philanthropic endeavors. We are strongly identified with Israel and travel there regularly. We will raise our children with a strong Jewish identity and an organic connection to Israel.

When growing up in Fresno, California, I was impressed by the vibrant and diverse religious life of the community. Most of my friends in Fresno were active in their churches and most my Jewish friends were active in our Synagogue. We shared their holidays and they shared ours. In contrast, San Francisco is a very secular city. A seeming majority profess they are non-religious and are somewhat hostile to organized religion (except Buddhism) in general and to Evangelical Christianity in particular. In contrast, I respect and appreciate the Evangelical community. They are stalwart, patriotic Americans, friends of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. I know many Evangelicals, and while we may disagree on some issues, they are unfailingly respectful, polite and reasonable. I greatly appreciate their true love of the Jewish People and Israel. Sadly their views are poorly understood by most Jews and most of the secular community.

I have many deeply religious Jewish and Christian friends and none of them abandoned me when I came out as gay. They were respectful and have remained true friends despite theological condemnation of my orientation by their denomination. On the other hand since becoming a Republican, I have lost a number of long-time friends and had many unpleasant conversations and arguments with “Progressives” and so called “tolerant Liberals”. It is been far more difficult, painful and even dangerous to come out as a Republican among SF Liberals than to identify as a gay man to my Evangelical Christian and Orthodox Jewish Republican friends.

Sadly, the equation of Christian religion with zealotry is widespread. Like Dennis Prager, I think America is a better country when it is more religious and it is specifically better for Jews and other minority religions. I think the greater and growing danger is pervasive, dogmatic secularism of the sort pitched by Jeff Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris in their recent books attacking faith and religion. That type of radical, intolerant secularism is pushed by the ACLU and its various allies on the political Left. I try to make a point of thanking Christians for their support of the Jewish People and Israel at Jewish Community events. Sometimes I am looked at strangely, but more often than not, I also have fellow Jews come over and say, “Thanks for making that important point.” So I am hopeful for the future. I know that as the Jewish Community becomes more observant and the proportion of Orthodox grows, the relations with Evangelicals will improve. It is the secular Jews who have the most difficulty accepting and getting along with Religious Christians. I wish it weren’t so, but demographic changes are already making inroads.

3) You and your partner are Jewish, gay, republican men in San Francisco, and one of you is French. Do you face intolerance or bigotry, and is this from those on the right objecting to your being gay, or those on the left objecting to your being republican?

We have rarely faced bigotry from being gay anywhere in the US. We were called fags once in liberal, beautiful, buccolic Bolinas, CA were threatened in the Russian River, CA and faced real discrimination in Sharm-el Shaikh, Egypt, but we haven’t experienced much other in the way of anti-gay comments or problems. On the other hand, we regularly hear anti-Republican, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, anti-business sentiments in SF and most wealthy urban centers.

4) How big a role does the gay marriage issue loom for you? What do you think of the marriages performed by Gavin Newsom? Some claim that it created a backlash, because the marriages were illegal. Is this valid, or cover for bigotry?

We think support for families with children is a good and worthy goal of society and government. We think that supporting equal financial, housing and medical rights for all couples is also important. We are not dogmatic about the term “Marriage” per se. I think overall it is a good goal, but I would like it to be approached by persuasion and through the legislative process, not to be imposed by judicial fiat. I am a follower of Edmund Burke, the UK politician and philosopher of the late 18th and early 19th century. He argued that social change needs to come first and then political change would follow naturally and organically without popular resentment. In contrast, when social change is imposed from the top as it was in gay marriage in Massachusetts, Row vs. Wade and similar cases, it inspires protest and backlash.

5) How do you want to be seen? As a Jewish person, or a person who happens to be Jewish? A gay person, or a person who happens to be gay? A republican, or a person who happens to be republican? Should these categories define you or be peripheral?

I think those categories are and should be peripheral.

6) In 1996 Bob Dole’s campaign returned a check from the Log Cabin Republicans, stating that the group did not adhere to republican beliefs. The group incredulously and correctly stated that their beliefs included lower taxes and less government. What political issues are most important to you?

I think Dole made a great mistake then and I think the lesson has been learned. I believe national security and a strong economy trump the social issues in a Presidential election. The President has real authority over the former and very little to clout regarding the later.

7) Has your partner faced any Anti-French hostility, and has that lessened since the election of Nicolas Sarkozy?

Yes (minor) and yes.

Tomorrow I will bring the conclusion to my three part interview with financier David Blumberg.


My Interview With David Blumberg

Monday, September 29th, 2008

To the Jewish people of the world, Monday night begins the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah.

To the Muslim people of the world, Tuesday marks th end of the holy month of Ramadan.

To the Christian, Buddhist, and others of the world, may you be partners with your brethren for world peace.

To the Atheists and Agnostics of the world, to quote Anthony Clark, “I hope you win the lottery dude.”

I will not be blogging on Rosh Hashanah, but thankfully I have some pre-written columns.  

I had the pleasure recently of interviewing Financier David Blumberg of Blumberg Capital.

Like me, David is a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership.

My desire to interview David stems from the fact that he is an amalgamation of many different groups. He and his partner live in the Haight Ashbury area of San Francisco, famous for being the hotbed of liberal activism. David is gay and Jewish. His partner is gay, Jewish, and French. Yet the strange aspect of their life is that they are both staunch republicans.

David’s background allows him to offer insights on various topics as few people can. While he is very political, as a finance guy he can more than hold his own on economic issues.

I had the pleasure of meeting him and his partner when they hosted a Hanukkah event featuring notable Jewish republicans such as Mona Charen, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, and John Podhoretz.

David is aware that I still cannot figure out why lesbian conservative radio host Tammy Bruce will not go out with me. He also knows that as a single man, I am pro gay rights because it reduces my competition for women.

We disagree on my hard line stance against lesbianism, although he understands that I only condemn it when the women are attractive.

Most importantly, I am glad to have David as a friend. He is a genuinely nice person, and his orientation is secondary to his political instincts, which are very keen.

With that, I present part one of my three part interview with David Blumberg.

1) How does a nice Jewish person from a good family end up, horror of horrors, politically republican? As for your partner, how does a French Jewish person end up supporting American republicans? Given that you happen to be gay, how does this fit into your being republican?


I was a moderate Democrat for my entire adult life until 2002 when at age 43 I changed my registration to Republican. I was a Democrat chiefly because my parents and grandparents and most of the folks I knew growing up in Fresno, California were Democrats. The vast majority of Democrats I knew in Fresno were moderate to conservative. We knew a few families who were noticeably leftist, but we considered them slightly wacky, too radical and didn’t take them very seriously. Most of the moderate Democrats I knew were comfortable with the traditional Democratic positions on the Cold-War and a strong defense perspective that produced Congressmen Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Presidents Truman, Kennedy and Johnson. Most adult men I knew were my father’s age or older, so they had served in the US military in Korea or WWII and were quietly proud of their service and their country.


Most of the families I knew weren’t passionate one way or the other about the Vietnam War, but they thought the protesters at UC Berkeley and other campuses were too radical and were insufficiently respectful of fundamental American values. For example, I recall my parents went to see the rock musical Hair in San Francisco in the early 1970s. The show was designed to offend traditional morés of middle class Americans, but my parents put up with the foul language, gratuitous nudity, raunchy sexuality and political mockery until an actor burned the US flag on stage. At that point, my Korean War veteran dad gently took my mom’s hand and they walked out of the theatre in shock and disgusted by the in- your-face anti-Americanism on stage.


I have always been an idealist believing in individual rights and a realist because I believe it is our individual and societal responsibility to advance towards the good. I think that free markets and the resultant culture of innovation, consensual politics and religious pluralisim are the greatest promoters of a better life for the greatest number of people in the shortest possible timeframe. Hence I think that limited government, technological innovation and consumer choice are fundamental principles for positive change. On most domestic issues, I tend to agree with the maxim, “The government that governs least, governs best”.


In the realm of international affairs, however, there are still too many dictatorships and other rogue states which would be characterized by what the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes termed the “State of Nature”, which he described as – short, nasty and brutish. It is a stark fact that nearly all our current adversaries are tyrannical dictatorships, unsavory and criminally corrupt regimes and terrorist groups who oppress and harm their own people and use terrorism as a tool of warfare to threaten our national interests as well. Hence as the world’s only remaining superpower, it is vital for the US to maintain a capable military posture to prevent rising threats when possible and to respond quickly when needed to protect our interests and support our allies.


From a very young age I had developed a keen interest in politics and international affairs. I was active in student government in high school and participated in statewide and national political events ever since. At Harvard, I majored in Government and focused on International Relations with a good dose of Economics and History. I was very active in the Harvard JFK School of Government Institute of Politics and other organizations and in many election field campaigns – almost all for Democrats until my great awakening after 9/11. Like too many Democrats, I had naively and ignorantly come to believe that most Republicans were smart and rich, but they were selfish and heartless. The Democratic talking point mantra was that Republicans were old, rich, straight, white, Christian men who wanted to oppress or ignore all the rest of America. During most college summers, I worked in Washington, DC, first for the Export-Import Bank of the US, then AIPAC and Congressman Tony Coelho (Democratic Whip). Each role provided some insight into the workings of Washington including the excitement and dynamism, as well as the dysfunction and unsavory nature of the political world.


I also developed a strong Jewish identity rather early. One day at age 11, I returned from Temple Beth Israel’s Sunday school and announced that I wanted us to celebrate Chanukah and no longer have a Christmas tree. I also developed a very strong connection with Israel and became a lifelong Zionist. My interest in Israel and Zionism led me to study and recognize the dangers of the fundamentalist Muslim and secular dictatorships of the Middle East, often allied with the communist dictatorship of the Soviet Union and kleptocratic dictators in the developing countries. I learned that those countries represented a witches brew of oppression and demagogically fomented hatred which posed a real threat to their own peoples, neighboring countries, and Israel. Moreover, as the technology and “successful” use of terror increased, the threat to the US and Western Civilization grew more obvious – or so I thought. In the 1990s many of us were temporarily lulled into a false sense of security as the Soviet Union crumbled under its own “internal contractions” and with a good push from President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher.


Nevertheless, since the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979, the growth of Islamic radicalism and other forces aligned against Western Civilization has been much on my mind. I think the best antidote to radical Islam is political reform along the lines recommended by Minister Natan Sharansky who wrote The Case For Democracy and Ambassador Mark Palmer who wrote Breaking The Real Axis of Evil, How to Oust The World’s Remaining Dictators by 2025. The perspective elucidated by both authors is a principal reason we must support a secure, strong, independent, secular Iraq, governed as a consensual republic with rule of law, free markets and constitutional protections for human rights.


My partner, Michel Armand, worked for the French Foreign Ministry for seven years, but he has generally supported the US foreign policy initiatives of President Bush. Michel supported the wars to help liberate Afghanistan and Iraq. He was a vocal critic of Chirac and a strong supporter of Sarkozy so we are fairly well aligned. He supports a strong defense against radical Islam and concurs in the view that political reform of dictatorships is an important goal for global, human well-being and long-term stability.


With regard to issues affecting the gay community, I believe in an evolutionary approach, not a radical, confrontational dogma. I think that science creates the fundamentals of new technology which lead to businesses commercialization then behavioral change by consumers, which then leads to changed attitudes which in turn leads to political changes. This is because most politicians are followers, not leaders – especially on deeply held issues of religious or emotional commitment to view on abortion, gay issues, prayer in school, etc. Politicians very rarely vote contrary to the polling data on such matters in their districts. This makes politics a rather ineffective medium for change. Nevertheless, I prefer legislative change to judicial interference in such matters. I think that legislated changes are much more easily accepted by the population and engender less backlash and social strife. I prefer an incremental approach that makes a series of small improvements rather than pressing for major and radical jump-shifts in policy. I am less interested in symbolism of equality than in equal opportunity and treatment under law. In recent times I have come to see issues of National Security and Economic vitality as much more important than most other domestic issues. Without success in the former two characteristics, the other issues pale in importance.

Tomorrow I present the second part of my three part interview with David Blumberg.


NFL 2008–Week 4 Recap

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

The Tygrrrr Express arrived in the Holy Land, aka Brooklyn, New York, this morning. After a redeye from Los Angeles that arrived at 6am, followed by several hours of sleep, I thank the lord almighty that football on the East Coast does not start until 1pm.

On a sad note, we all mourn the passing of legendary actor Paul Newman. My favorite movie of all time was “The Color of Money.” In 1986 he finally won the Oscar that he should have been given for the prequel, “The Hustler,” back in 1961. The Soundtrack featured the Eric Clapton song, “It’s in the way that you use it.” Paul Newman made the most of life, and used it well.

In his honor, I will try to have one of his salad dressings with my meal, since a portion of the proceeds go to charity.

Lurching back to football, from Coney Island, home of the original Nathan’s Hot Dogs, within walking distance to the Boardwalk, I present you the recap of the fourth week of the NFL season.

These recaps are pathetic because I was traveling throughout the day. They will be updated in the next 24 hours. Until then, go to

Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers–Carolina took their first possession down the field for a 7-0 lead, but a pair of Jason Elam field goals had the game at 7-6 in the second quarter. Carolina is a good team because they have a great defense and solid coaching, but they can be an elite team now that Steve Smith is back from suspension. Jake Delhomme found SMith for a 56 yard touchdown pass to put the Panthers up 14-6, and they led 14-9 at the half.

In the second half the Carolina defense clamped down. Matt Ryan threw 41 passes, but was harassed all game. After a field goal had Carolina up 17-9, Delhomme went deep again, this time to Muhsin Muhammad for 36 yards and the game’s final score. 24-9 Panthers

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals–For 3 quarters, this was a war of attrition, with the Bengals leading 6-3. In the 4th quarter, the Browns finally got going. A 13 play, 6 1/2 minute drive culminated ina  17 yard toss from Derek Anderson to Braylon Edwards for a 10-6 Browns lead with 13 minutes remaining. After a touchback, Chris Perry fumbled on the first play from scrimmage, and the Browns recovered at the Cincinnati 24. Anderson found Kellen Winslow for a 20 yard gain down to the 4, setting up a short touchdown to make it 17-6, effectively putting the game out of reach. Cincinnati did reach the end zone, but Cleveland ate up large amounts of clock to send the Bengals to another tough loss. 20-12 Browns

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars–This game was deadlocked at the half, after 3, and at the end of regulation. It was a well played offensive game, with neither team turning the ball over, and only a pair of penalties by each team. Matt Schaub threw 3 touchdown passes for the Texans.

Four minutes into the game Jacksonville faced a 4th and 4 at the Houston 41. A fake punt direct snap to Owens went all the way for the 41 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Jaguars lead. Houston had a pair of 12 play drives. The first one lasted 5 1/2 minutes and set upa  field goal. The second one ate up over 7 minutes, and culminated in a 30 yard touchdown pass from Schaub to Slaton to put the Texans up 10-7. The teams were tied 10-10 at the half.

The Jaguars took the second half kickoff, and 4 minutes later, David Garrard found Jones for an 18 yard touchdown and a 17-10 Jacksonville lead. Houston had another long drive, 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes, with Schaub throwing a 5 yard touchdown pass to tie the game 17-17.

Jacksonville responded with a 13 play 6 1/2 minute drive resulting in a field goal early in the 4th quarter. Houston mounted another 11 play, 6 1/2 minute drive that ended in Schaub finding Walters for 8 yards and a 24-20 Houston lead with 7 minutes remaining. The Jaguars came right back, and 13 plays and 5 1/2 minutes later, David Garrard scored on a 5 yard quarterback draw from the shotgun. Jacksonville led 27-24 with 1:48 remaining.

Schaub went right to work from his own 18, and quickly moved the Texans in position for a 47 yard field goal attempt. Kris Brown nailed it just before the gun, to send the game into overtime tied 27-27.

The Jaguars took the kickoff in overtime and quickly ended things. On 3rd and 5 from their own 35, Garrard found Jones for 18 yards. A 22 yard toss to Jones set up a 37 yard Josh Scobee field goal. He drilled it 3 1/2 minutes into overtime, and the Jaguars had another heartstopping win. The Texans had another heartbreaking loss. 30-27 Jaguars, OT

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs–To quote uber-announcer Chris Berman, “THAT’S why they play the games. Denver may not have been as good as their 3-0 record, but Kansas City was every bit as bad as their 0-3 record. The first 3 quarters were quiet. Jay Cutler had a short touchdown pass to put Denver up 7-6. Kansas City returned a fumble 37 yards to the Denver 2, setting up a Larry Johnson plunge to go back up 13-7. Denver matched Kansas City with a couple of field goals before the Chiefs added their 3rd one to lead 16-13 after 3 quarters.

The Chiefs broke the game open n the 4th quarter. Damon Huard found Tony Gonzalez for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 23-13 with 12:40 remaining. With 8 minutes left Denver reached the Kansas City 3 yard line but had to settle for a field goal to make it 23-16. With just over 4 minutes left the Chiefs added their 4th field goal, but the Broncos added their 4th field goal with 2:06 left.

Kansas City recovered the onsides kick at the Denver 43. Johnson broke free for a 34 yard gain, and after a holding penalty, added a 16 yard tochdown run with 30 seconds remaining to ice the game. Denver lost their first, the Chiefs won their first, and the NFL proved again that on any given Sunday, anything can happen. 33-19 Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints–Drew Brees continued his aerial assault. He went 23 of 35 for 363 yards and 3 touchdown passes, as the Saints rolled. Although the 49ers led 3-0 after the 1st quarter, Brees had all of his touchdown passes in the 2nd quarter. He went 5 yards and 33 yards to Moore, and 47 yards to Meachem, as the Saints led 21-6 at the half.

After the 49ers cut the gap to 21-9, the Saints began at their own 9. Brees found Meachem for a 52 yard gain, and 91 yards and 6 minutes of clock later, the Saints had reached the end zone again and put the game out of reach. 31-17 Saints

Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets–This game was ridiculous. Every quarter was a different game. The first quarter was scoreless. The second quarter turned into the Brett Favre show. 10 seconds into the quarter he found Laverneus Coles for 12 yards and a 7-0 Jets lead. Kurt Warner also threw his first touchdown pass to the Jets, as Revis returned the interception 32 yards for a 14-0 Jets advantage. Favre then found Coles again, this time for 34 yards to put New York up 21-0. The Jets were just getting started. Warner was intercepted again, allowing the Jets to start at the Arizona 19. This led to a field goal and a 24-0 lead with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the half. Warner then fumbled, and the Jets recovered at the Arizona 40. With 10 seconds left in the half, Favre found Coles again, this time for 2 yards. At 31-0, all the Cardinals had to do was kneel on the ball. Instead, Warner went back to pass, was sacked for a 12 yard loss, and fumbled again. The Jets recovered and added a field goal. In the second quarter Favre had 3 touchdown passes, Warner had 4 turnovers, and the Jets scored 34 points.

The game should have ended, but the 3rd quarter was all Arizona. Warner turned back into the greatest show in the desert. A pair of Edgerrin James runs followed by a run by Hightower had the Cardinals shockingly within 34-21after three quarters. A blowout was now a game. The insanity was just getting started as the teams combined for 36 points in the final quarter.

A 12 play 6 minute drive led to Favre finding Jerricho Cotchery for 17 yards and some breathing room for the Jets at 41-21. Warner responded by finding Anquon Boldin for 8 yards, making it 41-28. Favre and Warner kept airing it out. Favre found Cotcherry again, this time for 40 yards. The Jets were up 48-28. Warner found Urban for 14 yards, and the Cardinals were within 48-35. The Cardinals caught a break when Jay Feeley missed a field goal, but Arizona then turned it over again.

Favre then found Keller for a 24 yard touchdown pass. It was Favre’s 6th…yes, 6th…touchdown pass on the day. As for Warner, he passed for a mind boggling 472 yards, but on the final play, from the New York 9, he was intercepted at the goal line.

9 years ago, It was Warner igniting the Rams to a Superbowl, beating the Packers in a playoff game where Favre had 6 interceptions. This game had Favre with the 6 touchdown passes and Warner with most of the team’s 7 turnovers.  They might still be throwing the ball, but officials insist that the game did finally end. 56-35 Jets

Green Bay Packers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers–With Brett Favre in New York and Warren Sapp retired, this game still had some sparks. Both Aaron Rodgers and Brian Griese were intercepted 3 times. Green Bay began at their own 42, and Rodgers found Greg Jennings for a 25 yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 Packers lead. The second quarter was all Tampa Bay as Derrick Brooks intercepted Rodgers at the Green Bay 33 to set up the tying touchdown. A pair of field goals, the second one set up by another Rodgers interception, had the Buccaners up 13-7 at the break.

In the 3rd quarter Brooks forced a fumble that Phillips returned 38 yards for a score to put Tampa Bay up 20-7 with 6:14 left in the 3rd quarter. Yet Green Bay fought back. Rodgers found Jennings for 48 yards to pull the Packers within 20-14. Griese was then intercepted by Charles Woodson, who raced 62 yards for the score that put the Packers up 21-20 a minute into the 4th quarter.

Yet Tampa Bay showed character as well. With 8 1/2 minutes remaining, a shanked punt had he Buccaneers starting at the Green Bay 36. They then bled 6 minutes of clock, and a 24 yard field goal by Matt Bryant put Tampa Bay up 23-21 with 2 1/2 minutes left.

Rodgers was intercepted again, alowing Tampa Bay to take over at  the Green Bay 48. Graham broke free for a 47 yard run down to the 1 yard line, setting up the touchdown that iced the game. 30-21 Buccaneers

Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans–Jeff Fisher knows defense, and 4 Vikings turnovers were the difference in this game. After a field goal on the opening drive, a Minnesota fumble had the Titans starting at the Vikings 33, setting up a touchdown and a 10-0 lead. Kerry Collins had less than 200 yards passing but made no mistakes. Minnesota pulled to within 13-7, but Adrian Peterson then fumbled at his own 11, setting up a short plunge by Lendale White to put the Titans safely in front 20-7.

With the Titans leading 23-10, Minnsota did close the gap with 10 minutes remaining when Peterson finished a 79 yard drive with a 3 yard run. Yet Chris Carr returned the ensuing kickoff to the Minnesota 47. The Titans did not score on the drive, but veteran punter Chris Hentrich nailed a punt that was downed at the Minnesota 2. Gus Frerotte was then intercepted inside the red zone, and a 6 yard run by Johnson with under 4 minutes remaining ended the scoring. The Titans are a very quiet 4-0 team. Collins is managing games, and the defense is as aggressive as in past years. 30-17 Titans

San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders–28-18 Chargers

For further information on the debacle of the day, go to:

As sickening as the last loss for the Raiders was, this game was worse. The Raiders went right down the field, reached the 5 yard line, and as always, settled for a field goal. This team just cannot score touchdowns. They then added a safety. Yet Al Davis must have been smiling in the 2nd quarter. For a brief moment, the long ball had returned. The Raiders cannot finish drives, but they can score on one play. JaMarcus Russell went 63 yards to Zach Miller in 10 seconds to put the Raiders up 12-0. After a Philip Rivers interception had the Raiders at their own 48, Russell again went to work. On 4th and goal from the 1, the Raiders scored, but a holding penalty negated the touchdown. Another field goal, and the Raiders led 15-0 at the half. In a coaching decision mainly to entertain the fans, Sebastian Jnaikowski was borught on for a 76 yard…yes, 76 yard..field goal. The kick was no good, but Seabass will shatter the NFL record at some point. Also, the Raiders were dominating, but they cannot finish drives. Nevertheless, after 3 quarters, Oakland led 15-3. Was a shocking upset in the works? Were the Silver and Black finally getting better?

No. Rivers found Antonio gates for 9 yards, cutting the gap to 15-10 only 48 seconds into the final quarter. The Raiders then self destructed. Russell fumbled at his own 13, setting up the go ahead San Diego touchdown. A 2 point conversion had the Chargers up 18-15. The Raiders just give games away. San Diego failed to exyend the lead when Nate Kaeding missed a field goal. He had an earlier kick blocked as well. The Raiders mounted an 11 play drive, but for the 3rd time in the game bogged down in the red zone, settling for a 31 yard field goal. They tied the game 18-18 with 2:47 left.

Darren Sproles returned the ensuing kickoff 67 yards to the Oakland 35. That set up Kaeding again, and with 1:51 left, the Chargers were back up top 21-18. On 4th and 5 from their own 44, the Raiders turned it over on downs. 2 plays later, Ladanian Tomlinson raced 41 yards with 1:04 left to stick the dagger in again.

For some reason, Lame Kiffin still has not been fired. The Raiders gave up 3 points in 3 quarters, and 25 points in the 4th quarter. They cannot finish games. The Chargers are coached by Norvelous Norv Turner, but the evidence suggests that Kiffin is even worse. Rob Ryan should consider imitating his father Buddy and try to deck Kiffin just to get the team fired up. Actually, Kiffin would trip and the punch would miss by accident. The Raiders have a bye week coming up, and should say bye bye to Kiffin. Denns Green or Jim Fassell, or perhaps Mike Martz, could mold JaMarcus Russell. 28-18 Chargers

Buffalo Bills @ Saint Louis Rams–A coach did get fired after this game, but it was not Lame Kiffin. It as Scott Linehan of the Rams. Marc Bulger was benched in favor of former Rams quarterback Trent Green. His injury in 1999 led to Kurt Warner and the Greatest Show on Turf. Warner was benched for Bulger, and now Green is back. Buffalo has a solid defense, but 2 touchdown runs, AVery for 37 yards and Stephen Jackson for 29 yards, actually had the Rams up 14-6 at intermission.

Yet this is not the day or year for former Los Angeles football teams. The Bills took the second half kickoff and went 76 yards in 5 1/2 minutes to score. The Rams still led 14-13 after 3 quarters, but St. Louis had a 4th quarter meltdown, same as their former Los Angeles counterparts.

On the first play of the 4th quarter, Green was intercepted by Greer, who raced 33 yards for the touchdown that put the Bills ahead. On the next Buffalo series, Trent Edwards led the Bills 81 yards, with the capper being a 39 yard touchdown pass to Evans to complete the lopsided score. This is NOT why they play the games, as Goliath beat up David. The Bills are also a very quiet 4-0, and the Rams are an loud and ugly 0-4. However, unlike their former Los Angeles counterparts, the Rams have a ray of hope. They fired their coach, and replaced him with Jim Haslett, who actually knows how to win football games. 31-14 Bills

Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys–The key to this game may have been time of possession. The Redskins held the ball for over 38 minutes. The Cowboys did take the lead late in the first quarter on a 21 yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Jason Witten. However, it is tough to win games when the defense is on the field for so long. The Redskins dominated the second quarter. Jason Campbell found James Thrash for a 3 yard score to tie the game 7-7. Washingto started their next drive just shy of midfield, which ended in a 2 yard toss from Campbell to Antwon Randle-El to put Washington ahead. On the next Washington drive, Campbell went deep to Santana Moss on the first play for 52 yards. This set up a field goal to put Washington up 17-7. Dallas added a field goal before the half ended.

Dallas started the second half at their own 43, and needed only 5 plays to tie the game. Romo found Terrell Owens for 10 yards and the touchdown. After that, the hero of the game may have been the Redskins field goal kicker Suisham. Washington ate up time on the clock, and Suisham nailed 3 field goals in the second half. The last one came after a 7 minute drive that ended with only 3:22 remaining. Romo did rapidly take Dallas 87 yards, with a 19 yard touchdown to Austin getting Dallas within 2 points with 1:42 left. However, the Redskins recovered the onsides kick to lock up the win. Dallas lost its first game of the year, and the Redskins under Jim Zorn are much improved. 26-24 Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears was the Sunday night game. The first half was offense, and the second half was defense. Last year the Bears went 97 yards in 57 seconds with no timeouts to pull a shocker of a win over the Eagles. This year also produced a competitive game.

After a punt, the Bears began their opening drive at their own 41. Kyle Orton went right to work, and a 19  yarder to Olso had Chicago up 7-0. Donovan McNabb then led a 74 yard drive, with a 22 yarder to Jackson to tie the score. In a game with 6 turnovers, 4 by Chicago, it was an Eagles muffed punt that had Chicago at the Philly 24. Orton then found Marty Booker for the touchdown that had the Bears back on top. McNabb came right back. A pair of passes to Brown picked up 47 yards, setting up a one yard run by Correll Buckhalter to tie the game again. David Akers missed a 50 yard field goal, and the Bears capitalized. Orton found Devon Hester for a 20 yard touchdown. It might be the shortest touchdown in young Hester’s career, since he usually runs back kicks the length of the field. He can play receiver as well. The Bears led 21-14 at the intermission.

The second half was a complete reversal of the opening 30 minutes of pinball. 5 touchdowns came in the first half, with none in the second half. The second half was all field goals, but the missed ones loomed large for Philadelphia. Akers hit the upright on a 47 yarder, his second miss of the day. He did connect on a 24 yarder and a 31 yarder to have the Eagles within 21-20 with 13 1/2 minutes remaining in the game.  Only 3 minutes later, Robbie Gould nailed his only attempt from 41 yards to extend the Chicago lead to 4 points.

With 10/2 minutes left, the Eagles began at their own 24, and slowly and methodically worked the clock. They faced first and goal at the Chicago 4 yard line. Buckhalter took the ball down to the one. On second down, Hunt was stopped short. On 3rd and goal, Buckhalter failed to crack through. 3:22 remained, and Andy Reid decided to go for it on 4th and goal from the one. With everything on the line, Buckhalter ran into a Chicago brick wall. The goal line stand by an game Chicago defense proved the difference. The Bears did pick up a first down, and by the time the Eagles got the ball back, only 17 seconds remained. Rather than try a hail mary, McNabb opted for one of those West Coast dink and dunk passes that should cause that obsolete offense to finally be thrown in the garbage forever. The clock ran out, and the Bears had defeated the Eagles again, this time thanks to an inspired goal line stand by Brian Urlacher and the rest of the Chicago defense. 24-20 Bears

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers was the Monday night game. The Steelers wore throwback uniforms, and this game was a good throwback to a typical tough AFC North head knocker. As expected, defense dominated, especially early on. Long drives produced only field goals, as the Ravens led 6-3 late in the second quarter. However, field position proved key as the Ravens began at the Pittsburgh 44 with only 1:52 left in the half.Rookie Joe Flacco found Derrick Mason for 13 yards, and a couple pays later for 25 yards down to the 3 yard line. Flacco then found Wilcox for the touchdown to give the Ravens a 13-3 lead at halftime.

The 3rd quarter was all Pittsburgh. After 9 more minutes of defense, Big Ben Roethlisberger finally broke through. A 38 yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes had the Steelers within 13-10. Neither team moved the ball much, and neither team had 250 yards on offense. Pittsburgh needed only 15 seconds to take the lead. After a touchback, Flacco was sacked, forcing a fumble. Woodley recovered it and ran it in to put the Steelers up 17-13. Early in the 3th, Roethlisberger threw a 49 yard pass to Hines Ward to the 10 yard line. On 3rd and goal from the one, Moore was stuffed. As expected, Ray Lewish helped make the stop.

This is when Coach Mike Tomlin made a critical decision. On 4th and goal from the one, Tomlin decided to kick the field goal. As expected, the crowd booed. Pittsburgh football is about hard nosed running and defense. However. Ray Lewis on 3rd down was the evidence Tomlin needed. The Steelers had a 7 point lead with over 9 minutes to be played. The decision to kick the field goal proved costly. Flacco began at the Baltimore 24, and moved methodically down the field. From the Pittsburgh 40, he found Mason for 35 yards down to the 5. This set up the tying touchdown with 4 minutes remaining. Neither team moved on their final possession of regulation, as the game went into overtime.

Baltimore won the toss and went backwards. Pittsburgh began their first drive at their own 43.Roethlisberger found Moore for 24 yards. Josh Reed did the rest, as his 46 yarder ended this hard fought game. These teams have a rematch, and the defenses are already talking. 23-20 Steelers, OT


Election 2008–Presidential Debate I Recap

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

After much guessing, the on again, almost off again, 2008 Presidential Debate was back on again.

Barack Obama and John McCain squared off in Oxford Mississippi.

The moderator was Jim Lehrer, who has a reputation being tough, and more importantly…fair.

Jim Lehrer once said that he stays humble during debates because before he goes on stage, he looks in the mirror and repeats to himself several times, “This is not about me.”

If only more people in the media had his sense of honor and ethics, the Fourth Estate would not be held in such low esteem.

The debate was supposed to only be about foreign policy, but life is event driven, not topic driven. Therefore, a healthy dose of economics was to be interspersed with global events during this debate.

Before getting to the debate itself, I would like to shamelessly self promote a debate between a pair of gentlemen who will be making the case for their respective candidates. If you are in the Los Angeles area, please check out my debate with this other fellow. Below is the flyer for that event.










While I make the case for John McCain and Randy makes the case for Barack Obama, last night the candidates were on their own. Below is my recap of their debate without my surrogacy, although perhaps my analysis will make up for that. I do not expect either of them to provide analysis of my debate with Randy, but time will tell. With that, here is the debate recap.

They were both asked about the financial crisis. Obama called this “the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.” No, it is not. He said that we have to move “swiftly,” and “wisely.” He spoke of “oversight.” Naturally, he blamed President Bush, and linked him to McCain. It was standard boilerplate.

McCain started by offering prayers for Senator Ted Kennedy. While it was a very gracious thing to do, I personally am getting sick of McCain’s graciousness. It is never returned, and is seen by the left as weakness. Senator Kennedy has nothing nice to say about those on the right, and given how the left treated Jesse Helms, the right should offer nothing towards Senator Kennedy. McCain then spoke about the beauty of “coming together,” which is code for republican surrendering, liberals getting everything they want, and then blaming republicans anyway.

One of the reasons Jim Lehrer is such an excellent moderator is because he wants to get to the meat of the discussion. Realizing that neither man offered much substance in their opening remarks, he firmly asked each of them if they favored the current bailout plan.

Obama danced, saying that he “had not seen the language yet.” He then shifted to how the problem started. He simply does not answer questions. “We did not set up a 21st century regulatory system.” That phrase says nothing.

When asked if he would vote for the plan, McCain said, “I hope so.” He then said “sure.” He then shifted to accountability. “Greed is rewarded, corruption is rewarded.”

Obama agreed with McCain about accountability before bashing Wall Street.

McCain blamed Washington, DC, and Wall Street. McCain also praised the American worker, which sounds nice but means little.

The candidates were then asked how they would solve the financial crisis.

McCain spoke about cutting spending, saying he would “veto every spending bill that crossed his desk.” He then spoke about the 932 million in spending Obama has requested earmarks for.

Obama agreed that spending was out of control, and claimed that he no longer requested earmarks for his home state. He then claimed that McCain would give tax breaks for the wealthy. This was standard class warfare, not breaking any new ground. Obama again claimed that he would cut taxes for 95% of Americans, which would be tough since only 62% of Americans pay any taxes at all.

McCain then pointed out that Obama suspended his earmark requests out of political expediency, and not out of altruism. He also pointed out that Obama was proposing 800 billion in new spending. “The worst thing we can do in this economic climate is raise taxes.”

Obama then interjected, saying that he only wanted to “close loopholes.” That is code for raising taxes. Obama insisted he pays for all of his expenditures on things like health care.

McCain correctly pointed out that the United States has a 35% corporate tax rate, while Ireland has an 11% rate. McCain wants to lower our corporate tax rate, and Obama wishes to raise it. McCain wants to double the dividend “from $3500 to $7000.”

Obama kept agreeing with McCain, but he made a fascinating assertion. He claimed that due to loopholes, American corporations actually pay among the lowest corporate tax rates. This is ludicrous, but fascinating nonetheless. He also claimed that McCain wants to tax health care benefits.

McCain again hammered home that he has tried to control spending while Obama has not. Obama appeared to be holding back laughter at that point. They sparred over tax breaks for oil companies.

Lehrer then asked another hard hitting question. He wanted to know what the candidates would give up if the $700 billion dollar bailout plan was passed. This was a great question because candidates talk about cutting spending, but were now being asked for specifics.

Obama did not answer the question. “It is hard to anticipate what the budget will look like next year.” He then talked about how his energy plan would “free us in 10 years from foreign oil.” This had nothing to do with the question. He mentioned health care and education. He saus we must “invest” in them. Of course when he says invest he means “spend.” He also wants to fix the infrastructure. In fact, the entire answer was about new spending he would enact. The question was what he would cut. He wants to eliminate programs “that don’t work.” Of course, he did not name one.

When McCain mentioned that Obama had the most liberal voting record, Obama again laughed. I am not sure if this will be seena s Al Gore eyeball rolling in 2000 or George W. Bush angry sighing in 2004, but it was a tad obnoxious to me.

As for McCain, he actually listed specifics. He would cut ethanol subsidies, and cost plus contracts at the Defense Department.

Obama could not bring himself to cut anything. He again agreed with McCain, saying that we have to “make some cuts.” He did not offer one tangible cut.

McCain laughed himself when Obama claimed that he was liberal because he needed to counterattack President Bush. Obama claimed to work with conservative Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

McCain then proposed a spending freeze on everthing but defense, Veterans Affairs, and entitlements. The problem is that entitlements are the biggest part of the budget.

Obama stated that a spending freeze “takes a hatchet to what might require a scalpel. There are some programs that are currently underfunded.” He simply does not understand that a machete is needed. He wants to spend more on early childhood education. He wants to spend less on Iraq.

As the discussion tilted towards energy, McCain pointed out that Obama is against drilling. Obama kept laughing, which seemed condescending.

Lehrer then asked the candidates to answer if the current economic climate would even affect their budgets. Obama acknowledged that it required tough decisions, before going into the standard stump speech.

McCain then gave a strong response, saying that he did not want to ‘turn the health care system over to the Federal Government.” He then pointed out that Obama is proposing 800 billion in new spending, and that he could cut spending by canceling some of his own proposals.

Obama then referred to President Bush as “your President.” McCain reaffirmed the maverick credentials of him and Sarah Palin.

The debate then shifted to Iraq. The candidates were asked what the lessons of Iraq were.

McCain reaffirmed his concern with the initial post invasion strategy, before mentioning that he supported General David Petraeus and the surge.

Obama insisted we should not have gone in to Iraq in the first place. Obama keeps insisting how brave he was to stand up and oppose the war. It was not risky because he was not in the Senate at the time. He also insisted that “Al Queda was stringer than at any time since 2001.” This is completely false, but Obama has every right to be wrong.

McCain then pointed out that Obama was against the surge, which Obama claimed “exceeded his wildest expectations.” McCain then hit hard by pointing out that Obama did not go to Iraq for 900 days, and despite chairing a subcommittee dealing with Afghnaistan, never held a hearing.

The best Obama could do was praise his selection of Joe Biden. Obama even said that General Petraeus “has done a brilliant job.” Give Obama credit. He is smooth. He then stated that McCain was wrong about the war about WMD and the initial war.

McCain then pointed out that “Obama does not know the difference between a tactic and a strategy.” McCain reminded the audience that Obama will not admit that we are winning in Iraq. Obama keeps saying that is not true. McCain then pointed out that Obama voted to cut off funding for the troops.

Obama claimed that the funding issue was about a disagreement on a timetable. Obama stated that in 16 months, we should reduce our troops.

McCain mentioned that “Osama Bin Laden and David Petraeus both see Iraq as the central front in the War on Terror.” He pointed out thatr the success of the surge may have succeeded beyond Obama’s expectations, but not his own.

The debate shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan. The candidates were asked if more troops were needed there. More specifically, Mr. Lehrer wanted to know how many troops were needed, and when.

Obama eventually said that he would send 2 to 3 brigades, but other than that mainly carped about Iraq without answering the question. He said that we need to “press” the Afghan government. He did not say what that meant. He also said we need to “deal with Pakistan.” That also was left unexplained.

McCain pointed out that threatening to cut off aid to Pakistan was irresponsible, as was threatening military strikes into Pakistan. This was McCain pointing out that he was the adult in the race by saying, “You don’t do that. You don’t say that out loud.” He also kept reminding America that he has been to these places, and Obama has not.

Obama then dodged the issue, instead going for a rankout contest by criticizing McCain singing the “Bomb Iran” song to the tune of the Beach boys “Barbara Ann.” He stated that America “coddled” Pervez Musharraf. This is an area where Obama is fundamentally wrong. Working with Musharraf was the right thing to do.

McCain then spoke about his long record. It was another reminder of his experience vs the inexperience of Obama. Both candidates then told the obligatory story of the average citizen that agreed with them.

Obama then launched a broadside. “It was not true that you were always concerned about Afghanistan.”

McCain then shot back hard. “If you were that concerned, you would have gone to Afghanistan.” McCain reminded America of the places he has been, that he speaks from actually having been there. When McCain stated that Obama did not understand the situation, Obama laughed again.

Mr. Lehrer then shifted the debate to Iran.

McCain spoke forcefully, saying a nuclear armed Iran is “an existential threat to Israel.” He also added that “We cannot have a second Holocaust.” He again mentioned his “League of Democracies” proposal. He also stated that, “Iran has a lousy government.” He also brought up that Obama voted against the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that would have labeled the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.

Obama insisted that he believed the IRG was a terrorist organization, and always has. This man truly does know how to be for and against everything. He does not get called on it. He stated that we “cannot tolerate” a nuclear armed Iran. He wants more sanctions. Somebody ought to remind him that sanctions failed, and will fail again. Obama also mentioned why we must talk to people.

McCain then reminded the audience that Obama would meet with Armageddonijad “without preconditions. Obama tried to explain that preconditions was not the same as preparation. He would make sure that there were advance preparations. McCain accused Obama of parsing words. McCain emphasized the preconditions, and Obama laughed again.

Then Obama said something that made McCain laugh. “Ahmadinejad is not the most powerful person in Iran. He might not be the right person to talk to.” The Mullahs notwithstanding, this was a way of hiding on Obama’s part. Armageddonijad is absolutely the public face of the country.

Obama criticized the notion that “unless you do what we say, we won’t have direct contacts with you.” I wish McCain had said, “Exactly. Now you get it.” Obama seems to think that laying down tough parameters is a bad thing. Obama called Iran a “rogue regime.” He then admitted that it “may not work.” It is outstanding that Obama concedes that his methods may not work. He also insists that wasting time on a method that does not work will strengthen our position.

Obama blamed the current North Korea problem on our disengagement with them. Actually, it was Bill CLinton and his need to talk everything to death that allowed him to declare dialogue a complete success. North Korea simply violated the agreements they made. Obama alluded to McCain wanting to get tough with Spain.

McCain dismissed the Spain comments, and referred to Iran’s comments about Israel as a “stinking corpse.” He used that to explain that preconditions were required, and that Obama’s views on the subject were “naive and dangerous.”

They sparred over remarks made by Henry Kissinger. Obama was clearly on the defensive, as McCain reminded Kissinger was a 35 year friend of his.

Mr. Lehrer then brought up Russia, and how America should see Russia.

Obama blathered. He said that Russia”s actions in Georgia were “unacceptable” and “unwarranted.” We would “explain” to Russia the right way to behave. I am sure they would listen to us and thank us for the explanation. Obama never actually did say how he viewed Russia. He insisted again that he worked with Richard Lugar on securing loose nuclear warheads. This is sheer fantasy. He did not.

McCain brought up Obama’s reaction to the Russia-Georgia situation. He called Obama’s initial response “naive.” McCain also connected the dots by showing that the situatio between Russia and Georgia had worldwide effects on energy. He also stated that he would admit Georgia and the Ukraine into NATO.

Obama agreed with McCain, but insisted that he was tough from the beginning as well. He claims that he stated that Russia’s actions were “illegal” and “objectionable.” Somebody ought to explain to Mr. Obama that this is why many Americans see the democrats as soft on defense.

Obama then springboarded onto his green agenda, although thankfully he did not use the idiotic phrase “green collar jobs.” Obama explained that we had to “walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.” Perhaps he was referring to himself.

McCain mentioned that Obama is against nuclear power despite his protests to the contrary.

As for Dick Lugar, Obama laughed when McCain claimed that he was the one who supported Nunn-Lugar back in 1990.

Obama seemed very defensive when he actually decided to become the moderator of the debate. He turned to Lehrer and said, “Let’s move on.” He truly believes that any time he is asked a tough question, we should just move on.

The last question dealt with whether the candidates thought there would e another 9/11 type of attack on America.

McCain said that it is “much less than it was after 9/11. We have a much safer nation, but we are not yet safe.” He then again emphasized his bipartisanship on the issue. He also said, “I know our allies, and I can work closely with them.”

Obama again spoke of getting away from Iraq and towards Afghanistan and Pakistan. He also claimed that it is important that we are “perceived in the world” better. He insisted that we are “less respected now.” I wonder who he thinks does not respect us. Perhaps he worries that Iran does not respect us.

Obama laughed for the umpteenth time when McCain said that, “Obama still doesn’t understand,” with regards to the necessity to succeed in Iraq. Specific dates for withdrawal is an area of disagreement among the men.

McCain then firmly stated that he “doesn’t believe that Obama has the knowledge or experience, and that he has made the wrong judgments in a number of areas.” All the platitudes in the world from Obama do not minimize the truth of this statement.

For some reason Obama laughed again when McCain accused him of stubbornly clinging to beliefs, such as the surge not working. McCain also made it clear that Veterans knew that he “loved them and would take care of them.”

McCain ended very strongly by saying, “I don’t need any on the job training. I am ready to go right now.”

Obama then concluded by talking about his father in Kenya, and the 1960s. He mentioned that our standing in the world has slipped. This did not rebut the inexperience issue. He again mentioned education in what was a foreign policy debate.

McCain finished by saying, “I know how to heal the wounds of war. I know how to deal with our adversaries. I know how to deal with our friends.”

On style points, the debate was a draw in the sense that neither candidate landed a knockout blow or made a major gaffe.

I am curious to see if Obama’s constant laughing will be seen as condescending in the same manner that was Al Gore and his rolling eyeballs.

On substance, of course John McCain won. He has plenty, and Obama has none.

Yet image does matter, and despite being unable to offer anything tangible, Obama evades very well. He offers nothing, but makes it seem like he is actually saying something.

As expected, Jim Lehrer did an excellent job. He remains a first class moderator. He struck the balance of being tough but remaining polite, and not making himself the focus.

Obama comes across as a cerebral academic professor, which is what he was. He remains cool and detached.

This debate probably changed few minds. However, one positive was that it did deal with issues, and did not spend time on nonsense. I again give Jim Lehrer credit.

The answers were sometimes lacking, especially by Obama, but the questions were substantive.

This was a good debate about issues that mattered.


Boycotting David Zucker and American Carol

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Today will be a painful column for me. I wish I did not have to write it.

I will not be discussing Wall Street or the bailout because there is no deal, and even if one is reached, it will take years to know if it was the right thing to do. I am against the bailout, although people I deeply respect are in favor of it.

Today I will be focusing on a less significant issue due to time constraints. I will also, sadly enough, be eating somebody who should be one of my own. Again, this is not a happy decision.

A movie will be coming out in several days. The brains behind the movie is David Zucker, who has produced, “Naked Gun” and “Airplane.” This movie is called “American Carol.” It is a conservative republican slam against Michael Moore. David Zucker is a Jewish republican in Hollywood, a rare breed indeed.

I should be one of the biggest supporters of this movie. At one point I was. My plan was to help light up the blogosphere to promote the movie. Due to events that occurred recently, I have switched sides, and am now advocating against it.

I am absolutely still a proud Jewish conservative republican. My politics have not changed. This is personal, not political.

At the Republican Convention in Minnesota, I saw a screening of the movie. The Chicago Cannonball was with me. She is not a republican, but she is reasonable, and clear thinking. She is also open minded. What we saw left us aghast. She will never attend another republican event ever again, and I do not blame her.

The movie itself is simply not that funny. It has some very funny scenes, especially early on, but after awhile it becomes preachy and self righteous. It becomes everything I criticize liberals for being. Whether it be David Zucker, Rush Limbaugh, or Howard Stern, the entertainment factor has to come first. People do not tune in to Howard or Rush because of their views. It is because they are good entertainers.

Adam Sandler got it perfect with “Zohan.” I did not like the ending, but the movie itself was very funny, with some politics thrown in. “American Carol” is a political movie with some funny moments. It begins very strongly and then gets worse as it goes on.

Yet that would not cause me to be against it. Liking a movie is a matter of taste. I still cannot find people that are willing to give Oscars to Rob Schneider in “Deuce Bigalow,” or the entire cast of “Old School.” Taste is subjective, and I cannot help it if nobody I know besides me has good taste.

This is not about the movie. This is about comments that David Zucker made after the movie to a packed theatre.

He began by praising the movie “The Passion of the Christ.” I have not seen the movie, and religious Jews I respect have disagreed on whether the movie was anti-Semitic. As for Mel Gibson, he is certainly not good for Jews. Nevertheless, many Christians saw the movie, and they are not anti-Semites. So this in itself did not offend me. What happened next did.

In praising the movie, he said, “Nothing brings in money like making a three hour movie about Jews beating up God.”

My jaw dropped, as did the Chicago Cannonball’s as well. Zucker continued.

“What would really make money is if we followed that up with a couple more hours of a movie about Jews beating up the Pope.”

He then offered a third line.

“Jews voting republican is like Indians voting for Custer.”

The overwhelmingly Christian audience laughed hysterically, although some of it was nervous laughter.

I am aware that David Zucker has made these remarks to Jewish audiences before. What bothers me intensely is when Jews make self deprecating remarks in front of Christians. When Chris Rock does his routine criticizing black people, he does it in front of black audiences, not white ones. He also reaffirms his pride in his blackness.

David Zucker is not a liberal Jew, but he used to be one. Most liberal Jewish comedians are pathetic. They put down Jews in order to gain acceptance. It makes Jews look weak. It makes us look like we are begging Christian America to “Please like us. We will promise to put ourselves down as long as you promise to like us.” It is appeasement, which never works.

I am not an angst ridden, guilt wracked Jew. I am a Paul Wolfowitz Jew. Heck, on angry days I am a Jack Ruby Jew. I have no patience for self hating or self loathing Jews. When I ask a Jew if they are Jewish, and they respond, “Yes, but I am not religious,” I want to deck them across their apologizing faces. I then tell them, “I did not ask you that.” Christians and Muslims do not speak like this. Liberal Jews are scared of their own shadow, scared to death of offending people.

I take a different approach. If you don’t like me, then f*ck you, and if you’re a foreigner, and hate me, then I want my government to blow up your country. Then we can negotiate the price of me selling the body parts of your family on Ebay. Sorry if this is too rough for some, but one Holocaust is enough.

This is what makes me so shocked at David Zucker. He is dedicated to using humor to attack the very leftists and Islamofacists I want to attack. He detests appeasement as much as I do. He and I should be kindred spirits.

I was going to light up the blogosphere with his comments, but friends of mine told me to talk to him first. Perhaps he would be reasonable. I thought about it, and decided that perhaps if I approached him very politely, he might consider my comments and decide to stop saying such things. My goal was not to condemn the man. It was to show him that his remarks were harmful. For one thing, getting beyond that such statements in such settings are wrong, it also backfired. The Chicago Cannonball, as I said earlier, will never listen to a republican message again. She was persuadable, and now is not. I don’t blame her one bit.

Last night, I finally met and spoke with David Zucker. He made the Custer joke again, but it did not bother me in this setting. Again, A small Jewish audience is not a large Christian audience.

When I introduced myself to him, I told him I was a Jewish republican blogger that takes brickbats to the Daily Kos. He vigorously shook my hand. He was enthusiastic. I had a lump in my throat knowing his enthusiasm would dissipate rather quickly.

I was very polite, and I expressed my concern. I then said, “I don’t know if I have the right to even ask you this, but would you be willing to stop making such remarks in front of Christian audiences?”

He was not rude. He was not dismissive. He was very respectful and genial in his reply. Yet he was also firm, and he let me know that he would not stop doing it.

“Comedy is edgy. I have offended virtually everybody. Part of humor involves making people uncomfortable. I understand you were uncomfortable, but making people uncomfortable is what I do. Some jokes will hit, and some will miss.”

Most Jewish people I have spoken to, including Jewish republicans, did not find his comments funny. Yet they were not offended either.

One person advised me to pick my battles carefully. After all, this guy is a proud Jewish republican. We have so many outside problems. We don’t need inside problems.

I am aware that this will not make me popular in certain social circles. Worse than that, it might give me praise from leftists. In the same way that the first President Bush was dead in the water when Walter Mondale praised him for raising taxes, the last thing I want is for leftists to praise me for going after a Jewish republican.

I am doing it because one star in the movie is Trace Adkins. I bought his book, which is entitled, “A personal stand.” Although Mr. Adkins would not like me boycotting a movie he is in, I hope he understands that I am making a personal stand.

I do not hate David Zucker. I do not believe he is anti-Semitic, or a self hating Jew. I agree with him on most political issues. I simply vehemently disagree with him on his making anti-Jewish jokes, even in jest, in front of Christian audiences.

One thing he also said to me was, “I cannot say I am wrong when I believe I am right.”

I prefer that to a mealy mouthed phony apology. He stuck to his guns.

I still believe he is wrong.

I will not be encouraging people to see “American Carol.” I also will not be burning copies of “Airplane” or “Naked Gun” in effigy either.

David Zucker has his opinion, and I have mine. I wish Mr. Zucker would understand that preaching to the converted is one approach. Trying to reach out is a better approach. Reaching out does not mean diluting one’s own message. It means expanding appeal without losing one’s core. It is not easy.

What I know is that the people who praised him were already on his side. Those that went in with an open mind…I believe that the Chicago Cannonball’s reaction was appropriate, and representative of open minded people.

David Zucker has lost my support. I doubt he will lose sleep over this, but I will sleep better knowing that I maintained my integrity, spoke my mind, and did so in a fair and decent manner.

I will not lead an active boycott since that might have the reverse effect. I will simply not encourage anyone to see the movie either, and tell them why if they ask.

Mr. Zucker has deeply disappointed me, and disappointment is part of life.

For those that find his comments troubling, please consider boycotting American Carol.

I remain a proud Jewish republican, dedicated to fighting for my beliefs. I have taken on Islamofacists and liberals, and will continue to do so. Yet sometimes I have to take on somebody that should be part of my family.

I am prepared for any consequences or blowback. I may have burned some bridges.

Yet when I look you, whoever you are, in the eye, you will know where I stand.

Hineni. Here I am. Jewish, republican, and proud.


My Interview With Ambassador John Bolton

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

The other night Larry King insisted he was not deceased while interviewing Iranian President Armageddonijad, who wanted him deceased. Larry thanked the madman for his graciousness and asked him about his family.

Thankfully, adult conversations with intelligent questions of people that have insights actually worth sharing also took place that night.

Sean Hannity interviewed Ambassador John Bolton. Three weeks earlier, at the 2008 Republican Convention in Minnesota, so was I.

For those who do not know, Ambassador Bolton was the man who successfully overturned the horrible U.N. Resolution that stated “Zionism is Racism.”

As a reward, the cancerous wing of the democratic party consisting of many liberal Jews tried to block him from becoming Ambassador. Nevertheless, as he communicated to Sean Hannity, Ambassador Bolton remains undaunted.

Out of respect for Mr. Hannity, I will present his interview with Mr. Bolton first. For the cynical among us in society, I am giving myself last licks. Below are the remarks of Ambassador Bolton, answering the questions of Sean Hannity.

“What has the UN done to stop terrorism? They can’t even agree on a resolution on what terrorism is.”

“5 years of Europe trying to talk Iran out of acquiring nuclear weapons has left Iran 5 years closer to achieving that objective.”

“He (Ahmadinejad) also said that Zionists control the financial markets.”

“Deciding when you negotiate should come from a cost benefit analysis. With Iran we do not have to calculate. We have had 5 years.”

“As unattractive as the military option is, Iran with nuclear weapons would be even more unattractive.”

“Iran is the largest financier of international terrorism in the world today. The notion that they do not possess the same nuclear arsenal as the former Soviet Union does not mean they are not a serious threat.”

“Many Americans are at the point of the U.N. I have one reform regarding the U.N., and that is that we make our contributions voluntary. We abolish the system of mandatory contributions.”

Mr. Hannity sat down with Ambassador Bolton for several minutes. I had a rapid fire walk and talk with him. One thing that is evident from the very first glance is that Ambassador Bolton is a serious man with a serious purpose. Like many people, he wants to save civilization from blowing up. Unlike most people, he actually understands what civilization should do to rescue itself.

With that, my interview with Ambassador John Bolton is below.

1) How do you feel about the Vice Presidential nomination of Sarah Palin?

JB: “It is a good nomination. Sarah Palin will be an asset to John McCain. She was a good choice, and has a history as a reformer who fights corruption. I’m happy with the choice of Sarah Palin.”

2) Who are your 3 political heroes?

JB: “Edmund Burke, John Locke, and Ronald Reagan.”

3) With regards to the situation between Israel and Iran, is it time for Israel to strike Iran, or is there any diplomatic option that is still feasible?

JB: I don’t see anything other than 2 options. There is regime change, and the targeted use of force. It is a choice between a bad option and a worse option. Diplomacy has not worked. As awful as having to enact regime change can be, allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons is worse.”

4) How would you like to be remembered 100 years from now? What would you want people to say about John Bolton the person?

JB: “I was somebody who did his best to stand up for human freedom.”

I thanked Ambassador Bolton for his time, and for his staunch support of Israel. I also appreciate his recognition of the United Nations as a worthless entity. Those are my words, not his. For somebody that is not accused of being diplomatic, he is more diplomatic than me.

I wish that sharpshooters simply waited outside the CNN studios, and after Larry King fell asleep, put a couple bullets into Armageddonijad.

This is why I am not an Ambassador.

I may not know diplomacy, but I do know that the world would all be better off if John Bolton were allowed to do his job.

It was my honor Mr. Ambassador.


Terrorist Armageddonijad Interviewed by Apologist Larry King

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

The terrorist and the apologist joined hands and started a love train.

The murderer vowed to continue murdering, and the Zionist victim interviewing him thanked the murderer for his graciousness.

The Jewish newsman gave the Holocaust denier the platform to spread his bile.

As my friend Evan Sayet has said on many occasions, Larry King Live is an oxymoron. I have said that Larry died 20 years ago, and nobody told him. Nevertheless, in the spirit of the movie “Weekend at Bernies,” Larry King’s corpse was wheeled onto the stage, where his spirit asked warm and lighthearted questions of a mass murderer.

Iranian Terrorist and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spent the day in New York attending an anti-semitic rally, known as a United Nations forum. While the world leaders did not chant about death to America or Israel, they did sit silently and allow Armageddonijad to spread his lunacy.

Armageddonijad then decided that he needed a forum to air his views where he would not be challenged. While nobody has hard evidence that Larry King ever asked Adolf Hitler if he preferred the Whopper or the Big Mac, he did have a chance to share warm fuzzies with the man who dreams of inflicting the next Holocaust.

Below is the best of the worst of the interview.

LK: “Do you like being in New York?”

He could not say he liked coming to New York. Larry never got to ask him if he preferred the Yankees or the Mets, or what he thought of the Joe Torre situation.

MA: “Hostility is not coming from our end. We want friendly relations. Hostility is one sided from American politicians.”

LK: “Are you controversial?”

Larry at that point was handed a memo indicating that water is wet, bears actually do take care of their business in the woods, and despite rumors to the contrary, the Pope is a practicing Catholic. Larry then debated whether to consult with Barbara Walters and ask her what kind of tree she would be.

Come to think of it, Armageddonijad should go on “The View.” The imbeciles can all talk and laugh together in their hatred of George W. Bush. He can let them know how terrible it is that women are oppressed in America. Joy Behar will indignantly agree at the top of her leftist lungs.

MA: “Never has the Iranian nation taken a misstep against another nation. We are for peace and are friendly with others. The only war against us was Saddam Hussein, and the U.S. supported that.”

Yes, we played both sides. I was disappointed the day the 1988 Iran-Iraq war came to an end. Thank you Ronald Reagan for keeping Israel safe, by allowing the enemies to murder each other instead.

MA: “Defending our nation does not mean we infringe on the rights of other nations.”

He could not say he was happy the U.S. took out Saddam even though he hated Saddam.

He and Palin were both mayors. How charming. He did not state he would meet with her.

MA: “The U.S. incited Saddam to attack Iran.”

The left really should give this warm furry fella a big socialist hug. After all, he keeps reciting the talking points of the Democratic Party.

MA: “Our religion teaches us to be against weapons of mass destruction. The atomic bomb has lost its use in political affairs. The bomb did not keep the Soviet Union intact. It did not help America win in Afghanistan and Iraq. Can it save the Zionist regime?”

At this point Larry King donned his Captain Obvious superhero outfit.

LK: “What do you mean by wiping Israel off the map?”

Somebody please buy the man a dictionary for his birthday. The phrase is rather literal. This is different from a less literal sentence, such as the fact that nobody watches CNN. I really did have nothing to do last night.

MK: “We oppose the Zionist regime because of peace and justice.”

I oppose the Iranian President and wish that we would shove a grenade up his hide and pull the pin while he is visiting the world’s only simian opthamologist, Bashar Assad of Syria.

He then pretended to care about the Palestinians.

MA: “Three big wars were started by the Zionist regime, the last one in 2006 when they attacked Lebanon. Our solution is a humanitarian one. The Palestinians must determine their own fate.”

LK: “Why not sit down and talk with Israel?”

Larry then taught Armageddonijad the lyrics to “Kumbaya.”

MA: “The Zionist regime is an uninvited guest in the Middle East.”

Somewhere at a violent peace rally Medea Benjamin orgasmed and ruined her new Code Pink Protester Panties.

MA: “The Apartheid regime of South Africa, The Soviet Union, where are they today? It was not talking, it was resistance. This Zionist regime is fundamentally illegal.”

LK: “You don’t want to see Israelis die. Do you?”

To think my grandfather and father escaped Nazis to see another liberal Jewish apologist share cookies and milk with a murderer of Jews.

MA: “When we speak of disappearance, crimes, murder, and terror must disappear. Our solution is humanitarian and democratic.”

Only a naive fool working at CNN could believe such nonsense.

LK: “Does Israel remain Israel?”

MA: “Let the people decide.”

I am a person. I decide we turn Iran and SYria into 50,000 hole golf courses.

MA: “The root cause of the problem is the others that came and harmed the Palestinians.”

This guy wants to explore phony root causes of crime. Maybe he is a liberal. I wonder if democrats would vote for him over George W. Bush. I wonder who they hate more.

MA: “We must allow for free elections in Palestine.”

We had them, and terrorists were elected.

LK: “Do you wish the Jewish people harm?”

MA: “There are Jews in Iran. Zionists are not Jewish people. They have no religion. They wear a mask of religiosity. How can you be religious and occupy lands of other people?”

LK: “Do not Zionists come from persecution?”

MA: “No one is allowed to freely discuss the history. Let more research be done on that history. Even if it did happen, it did not happen in Palestine, it would have happened in Europe. Why should the Palestinians be victimized? The Jews can be given Alaska.”

Oh good. Now we know that despite protesting to the contrary, he dislikes Sarah Palin. After all, hates Jews, and wants them to be placed in her state. This guy might be leading the current demagoguic party in secret. How come we never see Armageddonijad and Nancy Pelosi in the same room at the same time? Khalid Sheik Mohammed turned out to be Rosie O’Donnell. Stranger things have happened.

LK: “Do you have any concerns about the future of your country?”

MA: “I have no concerns. The worst thing the U.S. Government can do is attack us. Israel is much smaller. Have you visited Iran?”

LK: “I am planning to visit next year.”

Isn’t it illegal for American citizens to visit Iran? I am nevertheless thrilled that Jewish Larry King would bypass Israel, which depends on tourism, for Iran, which finances terrorizing tourists.

LK: “Do you have human rights problems in Iran? Do you deny that there are homosexuals in your country?”

MA: “God’s rules are to improve human life. In our religion, this act is forbidden.”

So is murder.

LK: “What happens to gay people?”

MA: “Are you concerned for 70 million Iranian people or a few hundred homosexuals?”

MA: “It will benefit everyone if the U.S. leaves Iraq. The U.S. must limit its excursions to the United States alone.”

LK: “If you could go anywhere, what would you like to see in this country?”

MA: “California and Los Angeles.”

Yes, the land of fruits and nuts would welcome him. Perhaps UCLA Hillel could invite him for an interfaith dinner (I attended USC).

After being asked about his family, Armageddonijad announced that he sired three future terrorists.

LK: “You don’t look old enough to have married children.”

Yes he does. Larry King has not been the same since Martha dumped him at the altar for George Washington.

Larry King found the interview “illuminating.”

The only thing that should be illuminated is the part of Tehran containing the Mullahs.

Larry then had a heart attack on stage. Armageddonijad let him die before harvesting his organs. He took Larry’s heart and lungs, had them coated in steel ball bearings, and used them as miniature bombs to be dropped on Israel. Armageddonijad then blamed the Jews for the attack since Larry is Jewish.

Ok, so I made the last part up, but it was not any more nonsensical than the idea of this interview.

The moment this animal steps on American soil, well placed sharpshooters should be ready to take him out. This man was one of the animals responsible for the taking of American hostages for 444 days in 1979. Given that a democrat was in the White House at the time, we did nothing to respond to the terrorism.

Now those on the left do less than nothing. We interview them on television and treat them like they are Hollywood Celebrities. Then again, that would explain Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins planning a fundraiser for his 2010 democratic congressional primary. Barbra Streisand will be singing for him, which might be the one thing that might make him finally crack.

Sean Hannity interviewed Ambassador John Bolton last night as well, proving that intelligent discussion does still exist, just on Fox News, not CNN.


My Interview With Lt. Governor Michael Steele

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

At the 2008 Republican Convention in Minnesota, I had the pleasure of meeting Former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland Michael Steele.

Despite his lighthearted manner, Michael Steele is no Pollyanna. As a republican who happens to be black, he has seen the ugliness of ideological bigotry. He has had Oreo Cookies tossed at his feet. this was not done by conservatives.

Nevertheless, he keeps his head level and his disposition ultra sunny. Below are some of his comments that had the crowd rollicking at the convention.

“Are you ready to party in this house tonight?”

“We need a leader who understands the meaning of hard work and self sacrifice.”

“We need somebody who leads for the public interest, not the glamour for public applause.”

“Do you want to put country first?

Drill, baby, drill, drill now!”

“Do what keeps us safe, not what is politically correct. Let’s win the war on terrorism.”

“Associations, who you hang out with, does matter.”

“The corruption of our school systems leads to the weakening of our families.”

The crowd erupted, and fed off his passion. He was exuberant when I met him as well.

With that, I present my “walk and talk” interview with Michael Steele.

1) What are the most important issues of 2008?

MS: “The economy and energy. We have to get off of foreign oi, and that means doing everything, including drilling right here, right now.”

2) Who are your 3 favorite political heroes?

MS: “Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan.”

3) How would you like to be remembered 100 years from now? What would you want people to say about Michael Steele the person?

“I was someone who gave a d@mn.”

4) The democrats play identity politics. Given that the republicans are the party of John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Michael Steele, and the democrats are represented by Barack Obama and John Edwards, are the democrats bigoted against the follically challenged? Can John McCain finally crack the glass ceiling in the modern era? Is America ready for a bald President?

(Governor Steele cracked up, and was fabulous about answering the question.)

MS: “Absolutely! The democrats absolutely are prejudiced against the follically challenged! The republican party represents everybody. Yes, we can elect a bald guy President. Yes we can, yes we should, and yes we will elect bald John McCain the next President. That question was the question of all questions. Excellent question. I love it.”

Mr. Steele then turned to his handler, whose job is to get the Governor through the throngs without being slowed down, and said, “Get that guy’s information. Get his business card!”

He shook my hand vigorously, gave me a healthy pat on the back, and laughed on his way to the elevator. I ran into him a couple more times thorughout the convention, and he waved to me and smiled a wide grin.

As I said, his manner was affable, sincere, and fun. It was a pleasure meeting and interviewing Michael Steele because of his incredibly likable personality.

Also, for those who claim that America is racist unless we elect a black President right now, I say that they should put up or shut up, and get to work on helping Michael Steele reach the White House after John McCain and Sarah Palin finish their terms.

I will drill this message into the heads of people. If others request I take an easier approach, I will just respond as only Michael Steele can.

Drill, baby, Drill!


My Interview With Lynn Swann

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

At the 2008 Republican Convention in Minnesota, I had the pleasure of feeding my passions for politics and football by interviewing NFL Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Lynn Swann of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The former Superbowl MVP was recently a candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, and a bright future awaits him in whatever his next endeavor happens to be.

Before interviewing him, I listened to him answer questions from other people about political issues.

“We don’t ask whites about white America. We don’t ask Catholics about Catholic America. We should not ask black Americans about black America. The President has to be the President of all.”

“I will not be running for Congress. I looked at it in terms of what Ib want to do, and it is not a good fit for me.”

“Had I won the Governorship I would have had more security around me.”

I then asked him several questions about politics, before shifting to football. I kept the politics serious, but he was amused when the conversation changed.

1) What are the most important issues of 2008?

LS: “Leadership, the economy, the environment, and the capability to lead the defense of our nation. John McCain has the leadership experience.”

2) Who are your 3 favorite political heroes?

LS: “Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan, and Governor Tom Ridge.”

3) How would you like to be remembered 100 years from now? What would you want people to say about Lynn Swann the person?

LS: “I’m honestly not sure. I don’t know.”

4) Mike Tomlin is doing a solid job as coach of the Steelers. Art Rooney (the late Steelers owner) created the Rooney rule that has helped the NFL discover talent like Coach Tomlin. Do you support the Rooney Rule?

LS: “I do support the Rooney Rule. I support it for the right of all in the league to have equitable opportunities. It has served the NFL well.”

5) Regarding one of the biggest scandals in American history…isn’t it true that Frenchy Fuqua touched that football and not Jack Tatum? Can we finally get to the bottom of the Immaculate Reception?

LS: “Even with instant replay, that call would still stand today. There is simply not enough evidence to overturn the call. Instant replay would let the call stand.”

6) Could the Steelers of the 1970s in their current condition defeat the Raiders of today? As you can tell, I am a Raiders fan.

LS: “Those were some of the great games of all time, and the toughest guys we played. They would say the same about us. The competition was fierce. If you were to set up a rematch between those Steelers and any Raiders team, from the 1970s or whenever…the guys would throw down their crutches…and get out of their wheelchairs…to play that game.”

It was an absolute pleasure meeting Lynn Swann. He is an incredibly nice guy, and he pointed out to those around him that he was even nice to Raiders fans. I will never root for the Steelers, but he is a class act all the way, and now that he is not competing against the Raiders, I wish him success always.

He was amused by the football questions, and showed the diplomacy of somebody ready for politics.

With all due respect for Mr. Swann, I still believe it was Frenchy Fuqua who touched that football.


NFL 2008–Week 3 Recap

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Live from the Las Vegas Hilton Sportsbar, Week 3 of the NFL Season is now recapped.

Forget the hyperbole. Let’s get down to brass tacks.

Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills–For more on the game of the day, just go to

While the Raiders will not be going 0-16, last week’s win prevents the team from firing Lame Kiffin and hiring a disciplinarian of a coach. Perhaps it does not. After today, he must be fired immediately.

The Raiders started out by driving to the Buffalo 10, and settling for a field goal. Trent Edwards got leveled on Buffalo’s first drive, and the Bills punted. Lame Kiffin for some reason likes to run on 3rd and 10, and it rarely works. Despite starting a possession at the Buffalo 45, and JaMarcus Russell completing a pass to Ronald Curry at the 18, the Raiders settled for a 35 yard Seabass field goal and a 6-0 lead.

In total control of the game but not scoring touchdowns, Russell fumbled at his own 28. Marshawn Lynch ran it in several plays later and the Bills led 7-6. Edwards then fumbled at his own 41, but again the Raiders managed only a 3rd field goal by Sebastian Janikowski and a 9-7 lead at the 2 minute warning. The ensuing kickoff was returned to the Oakland 44, but Buffalo missed a field goal to end the half.

Deangelo Hall intercepted Edwards at the Buffalo 18, setting up a one yard quarterback sneak by Russell and a 16-7 lead. The Raiders then collapsed. Despite punts by Shane Lechler that pinned the Bills at their own 1 and their own 3, Buffalo moved 97 yards cutting the gap to 16-14. To make matters worse, a personal foul after the touchdown led to Gibril Wilson being ejected. 8 minutes remained.

On 3rd and 10 from their own 16, Russell, who had thrown only one pass the entire 2nd half, fired a quick slant pass to Johnny Lee Higgins, who raced 84 yards for a touchdown. The Raiders led 23-14 with 6:23 remaining. A personal foul against Buffalo after the touchdown gave the Raiders what seemed like a break, but the defense had no energy left. Even when the offense finally did something, it did it o quickly that the defense could not rest.

Edwards threw a touchdown pass with 4 minutes left for a 23-21 game. Even though the Bills had no time outs, Kiffin tried to throw on 3rd down the one time he should have called a run. The incomplete pass stopped the clock with 2:30 remaining. The Bills were at their own 34. At the 2 minute warning, Buffalo was at the Oakland 35.

For some bizarre reason, Kiffin did not use the Oakland time outs. He allowed the clock to run down, where a Buffalo field goal on the final play won it. Perhaps he felt that the time outs could be used in the locker room. He is a terrible coach, and did his best to help Oakland lose. 24-23 Bill

Kansas City Chiefs @ Atlanta Falcons–This game was a blowout with Michael Turner as the star. A pair of short touchdown runs in addition to an 80 yard pass from Matt Ryan to White had Atlanta up 24-0. Kansas City quarterback Tyler Thigpen at that point was 1 for 10 for -1 yards.

Running by Larry Johnson had the Chiefs to within 24-14 only 4 1/2 minutes into the 3rd quarter, but the Chiefs could not stop Turner. Turner’s 3rd touchdown sealed it, and an interception for a touchdown added the final points. 38-14 Falcons

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Chicago Bears–This game was a classic. The defenses were fighting during pregame warmups. Brian Griese was intercepted 3 times, the first one at his own 15 by Lance Briggs. Kyle Orton was sacked, only letting the Bears get a field goal. Another Robbie Giuld field goal put Chicago up 6-0, before Griese found Ike Hilliard for a 5 yard touchdown pass and a 7-6 Buccaneers lead.

Griese fumbled at his own 38, and CHarles Tillman recovered. Griese then had what looked like a touchdown pass get bobbled and intercepted in the end zone. Orton was then intercepted by Gaines Adams, who returned it 45 yards for a score and a 14-6 Buccaneers lead. It was 14-9 at the half.

After Griese was intercepted by Nathan Vasher, Orton found Matt Forte for a touchdown. The 2 point conversion had Chicago up 17-14. With 11 minutes left, Gould missed a 49 yard field goal. When Orton threw a touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd, Chicago was up 24-14 with 6:38 left.

Griese then turned into the second coming of Darryl Lamonica. He threw like a madman. With 3:11 left, Tampa Bay added a field to pull within 24-17. The Bucs decided not to try the onsides kick. Relying on the defense proved wise.

Tampa got the ball back at their own 21 with 1:49 left. Griese kept firing, and reached the Bears 20 with 24 seconds left. With 7 seconds left, from the 1, Griese passed to Jeremy Stevens to tie the game 24-24.

In overtime, The Bucs had 3rd and 10 at their own 18. They did not convert, but after the play, a personal foul by Tillman kept the drive alive. Griese then found Antonio Bryant several plays later for 38 yards down to the Chicago 5. A 20 yard Matt Bryant field goal with 4:21 left in overtime capped the miracle Tampa comeback. Griese passed for 407 yards on about 67 passes, with only about 15 runs. Balanced offense indeed. 27-24 Buccaneers, OT

Carolina Panthers @ Minnesota Vikings–Carolina kicked a field goal only 2 minutes into the game, and short touchdown run had the Panthers up 10-0 in the 2nd quarter. The last 2 minutes of the half were a disaster for Carolina. A field goal with 1:46 left in the half made it 10-3. Jake Delhomme was then belted by Antoine Winfield, causing a fumble that was returned 19 yards for the tying touchdown. It was 10-10 at the half.

Gus Frerotte, playing instead of the benched Tavaris Jackson, threw a 34 yard otuchdown pass in the 3rd quarter that was the difference. This time the Vikings defense held on, and penalties killed the Panthers. With 9 minutes left, a field goal iced the game. 20-10 Vikings

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots–This was the shocker of the day. Even with Matt Cassel filling in for Tom Brady, the blame lies with the New England Defense. Ronnie Brown ran for 4 touchdowns, and threw a halfback option pass for a 5th touchdown. One of the touchdowns came off of a direct snap to Brown. Brown’s last touchdown was a 58 yard burst. The game was expected to be a blowout, but the Patriots were expected to roll. Instead they got rocked and rolled at home. There will be no undefeated season for the Patriots this year. Bill Parcells has his 1st win as the Dolphins President. 38-13 Dolphins

Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Giants–This was a seesaw game that was exciting to the finish. The Bengals led 3-0 after the first quarter. Brandon Jacobs leapt over the top from a yard out to have the Giants up 7-3. A Chris Perry touchdown had the Bengals back on top 10-7.

The game then turned into a battle of field goals as Cincinnati could not reach the end zone from 1st and goal. A pair of kicks had the Bengals up 13-10 at the half. The Giants nailed a pair of field goals of their own to go up 16-13 with 11 minutes left in the game. Then the offenses cranked it up.

Carson Palmer through a 25 yard touchdown pass to TJ Houshmanzadeh for a 20-16 Bengals lead with 4:39 remaining. Eli Manning came right back, and his touchdown pass to Boss with 1:50 left had the Giants back in the lead at 23-20.

The Bengals would not quit, and Palmer had the Bengals inside the Giants 10 yard line. With 4 seconds left, the Bengals had run out of chances to reach the end zone. The tying field goal had the teams in overtime.

Manning threw a deep ball in overtime to Amani Toomer that set up the Giants at the 5 yard line. John Carney nailed 22 yarder with 8:39 remaining in overtime for the win. 26-23 Giants, OT

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans–After a Texans field goal, Lendale White crashed in from a yard out to put the Titans up 7-3. Kerry Collins reacted well after throwing an interception on the first play for the Titans. A Collins touchdown pass after a second Texans field goal had the Titans up 14-6. The Texans did manage one touchdown, but fumbled the conversion attempt. 14-12 was as close as they got before Jeff Fisher’s defense took over.

A Collins Bomb set up a 2 yard touchdown run by White to put the Titans up 21-12 and put the game out of reach. The Titans added a field goal, and the defense made a tremendous goal line stand in the 4th quarter to snuff out any Texans hopes. A late touchdown only added to the score. Tennessee is 3-0. 31-12 Titans

Arizona Cardinals @ Washington Redskins–A Clinton Portis run from 3 yards out had the Redskins up 7-0. After an Arizona penalty nullified the tying touchdown, a Washington field goal had them up 10-0. A Kurt Warner 5 yard touchdown pass made it a 10-7 game, and a 26 yard field goal deadlocked the game at 10-10 in the 3rd quarter.

Jason Campbell tossed a 10 yard touchdown pass to put the Redskins up 17-10. Warner immediately responded with a 62 yard bomb to Larry Fitzgerald to retie the game at 17-17. Yet Santana Moss was the difference, as his 17 yard touchdown broke the deadlock. 24-17 Redskins

New Orleans Saints @ Denver Broncos–For the second week in a row at home, Denver was involved in a shootout.

Jay Cutler had touchdown passes of 1 yard to Nate Jackson and 35 yards to Brandon Marshall to put Denver up 14-3. Nate Webster returned a fumble 34 yards to put Denver up 21-3. Yet the Saints fought back.

Pierre Thomas ran it in form 5 yards out, and Reggie Bush had a 23 yard touchdown to pull within 21-17. After a Denver field goal, just before the half, the Saints responded with a safety to pull within 24-19 at the half.

A 2 yard Michael Pittman run had Denver up 3119, but the Saints needed only 2 plays and 35 seconds to strike back, with Drew Brees hitting Reggie Bush for 6 yards and a 31-26 game. Denver added a field goal, but with 10 minutes remaining Thomas scored again for the Saints. The 15 play drive went 76 yards and ate up 7:20 off the clock. The 2 point conversion failed, as Denver clung to a 34-32 lead.

Denver took over and went straight down the field, but a fumble at the New Orleans 3yard line with 5 1/2 minutes remaining killed the drive. The Saints had a chance to win. Nevertheless, despite 421 yard passing, the Saints fell short, and Denver survived another thriller that came down to a 2 point conversion. Denver is 3-0. 34-32 Broncos

Detroit Lions @ San Francisco 49ers–The 49ers might not be that terrible. The Lions definitely are. J T O’Sullivan had touchdown passes to Isaac Bruce and Delanie Walker, and Frank Gore had a short touchdown run to have the 49ers up 21-3 at the break. An Allen Rossum one yard touchdown run with 9 1/2 minutes remaining had the 49ers up 28-6. The 49ers coasted. 31-13 49ers

St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks–The Seahawks could be awful. The Rams definitely are. Matt Hasselbeck had a 10 yard touchdown pass, and Julius Jones and T J Duckett each had a touchdown on the ground, Jones from 29 yards out an Duckett from the 4. Each team added a pair of field goals, as the Seahawks were coasting 27-6 at the half.

The Seahawks went on cruise control in the second half. After Marc Bulger led a 10 play, 80 yard drive in 6 minutes to cut the gap, Hasselbeck responded with a 15 ply, 86 yard drive that ate up 9 minutes. Seattle was comfortably in command at 34-13. The Walrus saw his team win their first. 37-13 Seahawks

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens–A defensive first half had a Phil Dawson kick break a 7-7 tie to put the Browns up 10-7. In the 3rd quarter the Ravens defense took over. A Chris McAllister interception of Derek Anderson set up the Ravens at the Browns 12. Joe Flacco fumbled at the 1, but the Ravens retained possession and scored on the next play for a 14-10 lead. Ed Reed then intercepted Anderson and returned it 32 yards for a score and a 21-10 Ravens lead. A punt return to midfield followed by a personal foul had the Ravens starting their next drive at the Cleveland 35. 2 plays later, the Ravens had reached the 8 on a Flacco pass to Todd Heap. A 1 yard touchdown run had the Ravens cruising at 28-10

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts–Peyton Manning threw a 4 yard touchdown pass to Marvin Harrison to put the Colts up 7-0. After a Jaguars field goal, Manning thew another pass for a score. Unfortunately, Rashean Mathis plays for Jacksonville, and his 61 yard interception had the Jaguars up 10-7. With 1:28 left in the half, Joseph Addai plunged in from 3 yards out to put the Colts back up top 14-10 at the half.

In the 3rd quarter, the Jaguars went 71 yards in 7 plays over 4 minutes, with Maurice Jones-Drew giving the Jaguars the lead back at 17-14. When the Jaguars got the ball back, they led a staggering 18 play, 82 yard drive that took 12:18 off of the clock. The drive stalled at the 4, but a 21 yard Josh Scobee field goal had the Jaguars up 20-14 with 2:33 remaining.

Manning simply added to his legend. The field general led the team down the field, and Joseph Addai crashed over from a yard out with one minute remaining. 77 yards were covered in 11 plays and 90 seconds. The Colts survived another nailbiter, and the Jaguars suffered another heartbreaker.

Except that the game was not over. David Garrard took over at the 20, and with help from a defensive pass interference penalty, reached the Indianapolis 34. With 8 seconds remaining, Josh Scobee nailed a 51 yard field goal for the shocking upset. 23-21 Jaguars

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Philadelphia Eagles–The battle of Pennsylvania was about defense. Donovan McNabb threw a 20 yard touchdown pass to Correll Bcukhalter in the 2nd quarter for the only touchdown of the half. Entering the 4th quarter, The Eagles led 10-6 at the break, and the second half was all defense. A safety with 8 minutes remaining put the Eagles up 12-6. A 31 yard field goal by David Akers with 2:26 remaining put the game on ice. 15-6 Eagles

Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers was the Sunday Night game. This was supposed to be the NFC Title Game last year, until New York stunned them both. Nevertheless, a pair of 2-0 teams slugged it out, but instead of Troy Aikman vs Brett Favre we have Tony Romo vs Aaron Rodgers. Based on recent performances, that might not be much of a downgrade.

On more than one occasion, I have stated that Green Bay was not as good as their record last year. They overachieved. Dallas was every bit as good as their record, and handily won their regular season matchup last year. The game this year played into that analysis.

Ryan Grant fumbled 20 seconds into the game, giving Dallas the ball at the Green Bay 21. The Cowboys kicked a field goal in a game of many field goals. Green Bay tacked on a couple of field goals to take a 6-3 lead. The only touchdown of the first half was a 60 yard run by Felix Jones, as Dallas took a 13-6 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, Green Bay kept the game close but had to settle for a 3rd field goal and a 13-9 game. Dallas then responded by going deep. Tony Romo found Austin for a 63 yard gain down to the Green Bay 3, setting up a short touchdown run and a 20-9 lead. With 9 minutes remaining, Romo and Austin hooked up again for a 52 yard touchdown to ice the game. Green Bay did score a garbage touchdown late in the game, but it was the Cowboys making a clear statement at 3-0. They are the class of the NFC. 27-16 Cowboys

New York Jets @ the San Diego Chargers was the Monday Night game. The Chargers can scream about Ed Hochuli all they like, but Hochuli has a much better track record of success than Norvelous Norv Turner.

Yet Norv could not be blamed for the fact that on San Diego’s first offensive series, Philip Rivers completed a 25 yard touchdown pass to David Barrett. Barrett plays defense for the Jets.

To the credit of Rivers, he bounced back quickly. A 6 minute drive stalled in the red zone, but a Nate Kaeding 36 yard field goal had San Diego within 7-3. The Jets fumbled on their next series, allowing the Chargers to start at the New York 16. Rivers tossed a 2 yarder to Mike Tolbert to put the Chargers up 10-7.

Antonio Cromartie was the one that recovered the fumble, but a touchdown saving tackle prevented him from scoring. Then he dropped what would have been an interception for a touchdown. The 3rd time was the charm. A pass by Favre early in the 2nd quarter was perfectly defended. Cromartie bobbled it, and stole it from the receiver, racing 52 yards to the house for a 17-7 San Diego lead.

The momentum immediately shifted back when Leon Washington returned the ensuing kickoff to the 5 yard line. 2 plays later Favre hit Lavuerneus Coles for the touchdown. The Jets then tried an onsides kick that did not work, allowing the Chargers to take over at the New York 44. Rivers then found Chris Chambers for a 27 yard touchdown and a 24-14 San Diego lead less than 4 minutes into the 2nd quarter.

Favre was intercepted again on the next drive, allowing San Diego to start at the New York 42. 10 plays and 6 minutes later, Rivers hit Antonio Gates as the Chargers went up 31-14. Leon Washington again broke free, returning the kickoff to midfield. A sack of Favre forced the Jets to punt, ending the half.

The Chargers took the second half kickoff, and barreled down the field again. After 4 1/2 minutes, Ladanian Tomlinson crashed through for a 2 yard touchdown run. The game was officially a blowout at 38-14. The Jets led a furious rally but fell far short. 48-29 Chargers