So NOW what do I watch?

(h/t Mediaite)

So there I was, enjoying a Sam Adams Lager, when I suddenly discovered that the terrorists have won. I mean . . . Damn, I saved it on my VCR and was going to watch it tonight after the fireworks, and now Fox & Friends has just gone and ruined it for me.

Not only that, but it “raised a few eyebrows.” And now I know the outcome.

No point watching it now.

Wait till next year.

My frank opinion

 Joey Chestnut wins 7th contest with record 69 dogs (AP, via NBC sports)

NEW YORK – Joey Chestnut has downed 69 franks and devoured his own record in the annual Coney Island hot dog eating contest.

The San Jose, Calif., man known as Jaws scarfed down the dogs and buns to win the Fourth of July men’s contest. He takes home $10,000 and a mustard-yellow champion’s belt.

Sonya Thomas, a 100-pound dynamo known as the “Black Widow” of competitive eating, wolfed down nearly 37 wieners for a narrow victory in the women’s competition.

Sixty-nine hot dogs. In 10 minutes.

And we’re supposed to be impressed? We’re supposed to celebrate?

One of these days, one of these “competitive eaters” is going to burst on stage. Seriously . . . he or she is going to drop dead before our very eyes. And then we’ll all wring our hands and say what an awful thing these competitions are, and how they should be banned, or at least regulated.

This is a horror that WILL happen. Guaranteed. Maybe it’ll be the 70th hot dog, or maybe the 71st.

C’mon, Joey. You can do it. Be the first competitive eater to drop dead on national television. Your fans are counting on you.

They’re watching

Image

U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement (New York Times)

As the world focuses on the high-tech spying of the National Security Agency, the misplaced card offers a rare glimpse inside the seemingly low-tech but prevalent snooping of the United States Postal Service.

Mr. Pickering was targeted by a longtime surveillance system called mail covers, a forerunner of a vastly more expansive effort, the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, in which Postal Service computers photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail that is processed in the United States — about 160 billion pieces last year. It is not known how long the government saves the images.

Together, the two programs show that postal mail is subject to the same kind of scrutiny that the National Security Agency has given to telephone calls and e-mail.

The mail covers program, used to monitor Mr. Pickering, is more than a century old but is still considered a powerful tool. At the request of law enforcement officials, postal workers record information from the outside of letters and parcels before they are delivered. (Opening the mail would require a warrant.) The information is sent to the law enforcement agency that asked for it. Tens of thousands of pieces of mail each year undergo this scrutiny.

Now that this is out, I’m sure the right is going to pin the blame on Obama. But the program predates him considerably, so let’s not even think of going there.

Nonetheless, the notion that the government is making a photocopy of the front and back of every envelope I put in the mail is more than a little disconcerting. 

“It’s a treasure trove of information,” said James J. Wedick, a former F.B.I. agent who spent 34 years at the agency and who said he used mail covers in a number of investigations, including one that led to the prosecution of several elected officials in California on corruption charges. “Looking at just the outside of letters and other mail, I can see who you bank with, who you communicate with — all kinds of useful information that gives investigators leads that they can then follow up on with a subpoena.”

I’m going to stick to email. No way anyone would be monitoring that . . . right?

I dare you to match my score

Fourth of July Quiz (Gail Collins, New York Times)

The year is now half over, people! So it’s time to see how closely you’ve been following all the political news of 2013 so far. No cheating!
I don’t know if I should be proud or embarrassed, but — honest to god — I got 11 out of 11.
Take the quiz. And post your score. I DARE you to match me.
And no cheating!

I just want to know who won the eighth at Belmont

Image

Barack To The Future: Future President Obama Hopes We All ‘Had A Safe And Happy 4th Of July’ (Mediaite)

President Obama‘s supporters and detractors, alike, have imbued our Commander-in-Chief with a variety of superpowers over the years, from anability to control the weather to the now-canonical Jedi Mind-meld. Now, apparently, you can add time travel to the list, as the President, in a video address released by the White House Thursday morning, told Americans “I hope you all had a safe and happy Fourth of July,” and regaled them with the past-tense tale of the White House’s 4th of July event, which seems to have gone off without a hitch later today.

“Hi everybody.  I hope you all had a safe and happy Fourth of July, filled with parades, cookouts, fireworks and family reunions,” the President said, or will say, I haven’t worked that part out yet. He added/will add “We celebrated at the White House with a few hundred members of the military and their families. And we took a moment amid the festivities to remember what our Independence Day is all about – what happened 237 years ago, and what it meant to the world.”

Here comes Ugly Cap Day!!!

Per Major League Baseball . . .

I wish they’d just announce that a couple of bucks from each July 4 ticket will go to the vets, and spare us from having to look at these butt-ugly things. My god those caps are hideous.

Memo to MLB:

This is a cap:

pMLB2-11543561dt

So is this:

pMLB2-3537495dt

And it pains me to say it, but so is this:

10129110

But these are not caps:

BORCIS5CIAAi6-M.jpg-large

These are a sacrilege.

Feh!