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November 2008

This game may last forever!

We are in day three of what might just be the last baseball game of the year.

I just did a blog search, and I can't believe I'm the first person to make this connection: This game might go on for months, just like that great game in the Iowa Baseball Confederacy

In that book, the game went on for 2,000 innings.

This game between the amazing Rays and the Phillies may not go on for that long, but it's so delicious that there's a game that seems to be saying to the world that we don't quite want summer to be over.

It certainly feels that way here in Denver right now, it's been one of the most amazing falls ever, with blue skies and warm temps every day. Just like baseball, it's the summer that nobody wants to end.

I'm glad it will end, though, and that we'll have winter. It sharpens the senses, makes us feel our fragility.

Of course, the other great thing about this crazy World Series game is the great writing about it. There have been plenty of great columns, but for me this one stands out.
Pulling on their last World Series breath, watching their brilliant season circle the dugout drain with expectorated sunflower shells and Skoal drool, and falling obediently to postseason force Cole Hamels, the Tampa Bay Rays had a single hope:


Skies had to open. Gods had to roar. Pitching staffs had to be blown into confusion. Third base had to become lake-front property.

The Philadelphia Phillies had to be knocked off what had been a downhill run since the series moved north. And not just the Phillies. The whole series.

Something, you know, apocalyptic.

Then Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena got hits in the same inning.

And that wasn’t even it.

It rolled in on winds cold and sure. It rose up over Citizens Bank Park, over the neon Liberty Bell, over giddy, expectant fans covered in red hoodies and trash bags.

Dressed in swirling curtains of rain, cloaked in a howling northwest breeze, it stopped the World Series at 80 minutes before midnight, the middle of the sixth inning, Game 5.

Ahhhhh. Love it.

McCain in Durango. Uh-Oh.

Many people have their equivalent of Paris in the '20s. I actually have two: New York in the '80s and Durango in the '90s.

Durango was my first real journalism job. The pay was rotten, but I made a bunch of great, lifelong friends and did some outstanding journalism for a paper with a circulation under 10,000.

I was there during the '92 campaign, Clinton-Gore vs. Bush-Quayle. Dan Quayle himself made an appearance in Durango at the airport, and then got in a motorcade and drove down to Farmington, N.M. Both states were in play, much like this year.

Through a combination of dogged pursuit and dumb luck, I was able to get an exclusive interview with the sitting vice-president of the United States while he drove from Durango to Farmington. It was a lot of fun, and he was a gracious host in the back of his limo for more than half an hour.

But it was clear in his eyes and in his tone that he knew that if he was spending time in towns like Durango and Farmington, the effort to stay in office must be in trouble. It was.

So here we are in 2008 and McCain himself made a campaign stop in Durango before heading to New Mexico.


Well, I hope the people in Durango enjoyed it. People in Durango seem to enjoy just about everything, so I bet they did.

Obamacon watch does not include President Bush

I've been writing about and telling friends about the Obamacons for months, those conservatives who support Senator Obama.

I haven't written about it lately because, well, it's not even interesting any more there are so many. It was shameful that Christopher Buckley got fired from the magazine his dad started.

But when I saw this story, "Bush Not an Obamacon!" I had to pause.

Somehow "Obamacon" has become so popular of a word that it's losing it's original meaning. The "con" part is for "conservative."

I'm not one of those who takes part in the whole Bush Hatred, but I take exception to the notion that President Bush is somehow conservative. I'm not sure what word history will assign to his particular style of governing, but it for sure won't be "conservative."

EBA - That's me!

I've been having a lot of lunches and coffees lately, trying to figure out the next adventure in my professional life. Typically at some point the person on the other side of the coffee cup will say, "So, what is it that you do?"

I hate that question, and generally mumble something about having started as a writer/reporter/editor and that morphed into an entrepreneur/consultant/strategist and then the person looks for a waiter and begs for more coffee. Who can blame them?

Well today I'm sitting there over a bowl of cereal and I read in black and white what it is that I do!

"But the most active opponents of (Colorado Amendment) 50 may be Denver lawyer Jon Anderson and entrepreneur-blogger-activist Scott Yates."

Even though I used to write for the papers, seeing myself described in that way was a little jarring, but it grew on me pretty quickly.

Maybe I'll have business cards made up: Scott Yates, EBA.

Maybe I'll start an EBA club on a social network. I mean, there's one of those for everything else, right?

Or maybe I'll just clip Blake's column and send it to a certain third-grade teacher who once told me that my unchecked narcissism and smug self-righteousness would never get me anywhere. IN YOUR FACE, SISTER MARGARET!

Anyway, thanks to Peter Blake I now know who I am. All the people I'm having coffee with will appreciate this very much.

More on tee vee right here in Denver, Colorado

Here's another clip of me exercising my democratic privilege.

Ahhhh. Exercise.

I would just put this on the Colorado Amendment 50 site, but that is on a free-hosted site because that campaign has no money, and the free site doesn't let me embed videos. 

That's right, while I may look good on TV (OK, even that is a stretch), the entire campaign consists of a lawyer working pro-bono, a free-bee blog, my volunteer time and the truth. We are up against $7 million, lots of slick advertising, and some of the best in political consultants and lobbyists in the state.

I don't know what our odds are; I'm not the gambling type. 

That said, I do like being an underdog. While I didn't run guns to Ethiopia, and I didn't fight with the Loyalists, I think of myself as having a bit of Rick in me. While it's true that the other side pays much better, I'm enjoying my time, meeting a lot of great people, and if I can do anything to stop the expansion of government into the regressive taxation of gambling, then it will all be for the good.

Cure Cancer with the Internet

OK, now that the election is essentially over we can get back to using the Internet for worthwhile stuff, like trying to cure cancer.

I'm not joking. Right now there's a guy who has perhaps hours to live and there's a drug that may help him, but the company that makes the drug isn't releasing it for use on that one person.

(OK, the whole election isn't over, it's just boring. Except if you are one of those who want to "Say Yes On 50"  Yech. I hope not!)

Drudge let's me down a second time

The first time Drudge let me down, I figured he just had a bad source. He announced to the world that Evan Bayh would be Obama's Veep.

This time, though, he's really shooting himself in the foot.

Comeback Through headlines and pictures, he's trying to create the illusion that McCain is making a big comeback. He's not

(And remember, I like Drudge. With a friend, I invented the Drudge Widget!)

There's also some noise that he may or may not come out with a big new plan to help the economy.

The problem is that McCain is in a trap that Obama has laid down. He did this with the Clintons, which was masterful. Now he's done it with McCain without even breaking a sweat.

The trap? He's made the case that McCain is "erratic." So, now if McCain sticks to his same (losing) strategy he'll lose, and if he tries to make a big change, well, he'll just be more erratic. McCain really may never know what hit him.

I'm certainly glad to see, by the way, that McCain has started in small ways to tamp down some of the anger out there. I've been banned from talking on this blog about anything that could be perceived as a threat by anyone against any potential new president. I'm not allowed to talk about it, but let's just say that I'm really really glad that McCain is saying that Obama is a good, decent, family man and a citizen.

Hey, speaking of family man, I think all those people that are so afraid of Obama are mostly older, and they have a lot of fear about the economy, and just change in general. Change is scary! All of those who are scared should look to none other than the heartthrob of Wasilla, Levi Johnston. There's a guy who should be scared. He's a high school drop-out with a pregnant girlfriend, and a mother-in-law-to-be who is a lifelong NRA member and has a lot of guns and may, in fact, be crazy. (She certainly is delusional.)

But is he afraid? Doesn't sound like it to me:

"We're up for it. I'm excited to have my first kid. It's going to be a lot of hard work but we can handle it."...

What about Johnston's politics?

The young man said he wasn't an expert on politics by any stretch. Asked about Barack Obama, he replied: "I don't know anything about him. He seems like a good guy. I like him."

Sure, he says he will be voting for the Republicans. I would be to, if I was him; having the Palins several thousand miles away probably sounds like a good idea!

Fat Lady is warming up

I've been telling conservative friends of mine since about June that they need to mentally prepare themselves for the fact that we are going to have a Democrat as president in January.

Most of them have been in some form of denial about this, and a few still are.

I knew back during the crazy days of the summer that it was over for one reason: Anyone who can beat the Clinton's is unstoppable. The way that he won that race will be studied for decades. The way that Obama will beat McCain is unremarkable, and will go down in history as a repeating of what's happened several times in the past: throwing out a war-time president's party.

A true conservative might have had a chance. Someone who didn't start off a debate, as McCain did last night, by promising a new program so immense and liberal that even solidly conservative journalists called it "insane."

So, McCain is not a conservative, and is really just not that good of a guy. This bit of reporting for me seems to ring awfully true. This is part of a story about McCain quoting one of McCain's fellow POWs, and recounts a story from after the war:

On the grounds between the two brick colleges, the chitchat between the scion of four-star admirals and the son of a prizefighter turns to their academic travels; both colleges sponsor a trip abroad for young officers to network with military and political leaders in a distant corner of the globe.

"I'm going to the Middle East," Dramesi says. "Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran."

"Why are you going to the Middle East?" McCain asks, dismissively.

"It's a place we're probably going to have some problems," Dramesi says.

"Why? Where are you going to, John?"

"Oh, I'm going to Rio."

"What the hell are you going to Rio for?"

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.

"I got a better chance of getting laid."

Dramesi, who went on to serve as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, was not surprised. "McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man," Dramesi says today. "But he's still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in."

For me, the final nail in the coffin about McCain was this exchange of letters between Obama and McCain from before either of them announced for president.

I won't even try to quote from them, you have to read the three of them to get the idea. I've gotten some similarly bizarre, mean and counter-productive letters in my life, and I wish I'd had the grace that Obama had in responding.

So, now in my mind the presidential race is boring. It's over. The best analysis of polls is actually now wondering if it's possible for Obama to get any higher in the polls. So, now there are two questions, one big and one smaller but still important. The first big question is starting to get talked about more loudly, for instance here: What will conservatism do now.

This is something Sullivan has been exploring a lot out loud, and the rest of the pundits on the right will be catching up soon enough.

The second question for me is less well known. Will Colorado Amendment 50 die the horrible death it deserves?

I don't have answers for either, but I'll enjoy agitating against Amendment 50 for the next couple of weeks, and for true conservatism in the months and years to come. Can't wait!


Somehow I really thought the Cubs would pull off the once-a-century championship only because I live in Denver.

Wait, how does that make sense?

You see, Denver hosted the DNC this year for the first time in 100 years, so I figured it was one of those century things. The big events from 1908 would get repeated here in 2008.

Well, Manny Ramirez ruined things for Denver back in 2007, so I guess he figured he might as well ruin it for Chicago in 2008.

It will be really interesting to see if he ruins it for the Red Sox in the World Series, especially since it is the 'Sox that are still paying his salary.

That's got to hurt.

Is the media fair to Sarah Palin?

Watching this clip, that question comes to mind:

I mean, when you ask one person if they disagree with any SCOTUS opinions and that person tells you about the law that he wrote that got overturned, well, it's just not fair to expect the same level of response from someone who's only been a governor.

On the other hand, even I, who am not an elected official -- even if I do play like one on TV -- can think of a few opinions that I disagree with. I've even blogged about one in which I thought the court should have taken a stronger stand for freedom of speech. Sitting there with the pressure on, would I have remembered the name of the case? (Probably not, but I would have remembered the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" sign that sparked the case.) 

But would I have remembered any case? Even one? I'd like to think that I would have, and I sure like to think that in my preparations for interviews I would have gone over a couple just so that I could speak about it in ways that don't inspire people to make a video comparing me to the pride of South Carolina.

But is it a fair question? Yes, it is. This is not gotcha journalism, this is journalism. At this point anyone saying that Palin isn't getting a fair shake is just grasping at straws.