Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On the Make in Salt Lake

When people think of global hotspots of political upheaval and social unrest, the state of Utah normally doesn't come to mind. Two seperate yet similar incidents last weekend might change that perception. Last weekend, the Beehive State GOP rejected three-term incumbent Sen. Robert Bennett, making him the first mainline Republican of note to fall victim to the Tea Party movement. Though Bennett had won the support of various conservative organizations in and outside of Utah, his vote in support of TARP 18 months ago was his apparent undoing. The Utah Dems, on the other hand, are shifting to the left at about the same velocity. On the same day Bennett lost his party's favor, state Democrats denied Rep. Jim Matheson a direct nomination, forcing the moderate liberal into a primary with environmental activist Claudia Wright. A member of the U.S. House since 2000, Matheson drew his constituents' ire for waffling on President Obama's health care reforms and for voting against an energy bill meant to curb carbon emissions. These two consequential votes are a petri dish serving of the growing political divide that will ultimately shape the midterm elections come November; the left is consolidating their power, the right is sharping their knives, and the center is losing out in more ways than anyone can possibly imagine.

Other notes:

+ Is it just me, or does U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan look like Kevin James in drag? In all seriousness though, here's the lowdown on the biggest wild card to nominated for the nation's highest court in recent memory.

+ You may recall from last year that I was following the story of a woman who was killed by another woman as she painted her nails while she drived. Well, ladies and gentlemen, justice has been served. No word yet on a sentence, though I doubt she'll receive the bare minimum of six months' probation.

+ Last week I went to my first two baseball games of the season. I'm an autograph hound of sorts, so I often try my luck during batting practice. At the second game (Kansas City at Chicago, May 5th) I had my eyes set on Kevin Seitzer, the former Royals star and current hitting coach, and I made a note of bringing an old baseball card of his to sign. Standing alongside the visitors' dugout, I spotted Seitzer chatting behind the batting cage with a scout. As Kevin headed towards us, the guy standing next to me yelled "yo, Steve!" thinking it was bullpen coach Steve Foster. Seitzer sees that this guy has Foster's card, says "that's not me," and makes a beeline for a clubhouse. Drat!

+ Speaking of baseball, my fantasy misadventures are right on par with my first two years in roto. I'm middling in the TV.com league, yet my other team has a stranglehold on first place. I took a risk of sorts by picking up Barry Zito early on in the season; alas, I only added him to one team and not the other, and suffice to say they're reaping the benefits. I augmented my TV.com team, however with Cardinals SP Jaime Garcia and Orioles closer Alfredo Simon, who so far have been paying off in spurts.

+ Finally, last weekend marked the 50th anniversary of "the pill," the first approved contraceptive. At least, I'm 99% sure it was. ;)


  1. Even an inch to the left is an inch too far for the Tea Partiers eh?

  2. Apparently so. This is a bad time to be a moderate.