Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Internet Leaks Into My Brain ... and My Brain Leaks Back Out Onto the Internet

Yahoo's Matt "Dr. Saturday" Hinton shows, again, that college football recruiting rankings do matter. When a team has the more highly-regarded collection of high-school recruits -- as measured by the people at Rivals* -- it wins three games out of four, outscoring the lesser-talented team by fifteen points a game. This wouldn't be true if recruiting ratings were all a bunch of hooey.

*Rivals has LSU first in the country this year, followed by Ohio State, Southern California, Alabama, and Texas. Florida is tenth.

--- Joe Sheehan's column today at Baseball Prospectus has a general-thoughts column which includes this line: "... [Would] be better off as a tester for experimental parachute designs." I would like to nominate "You would better serve mankind as a tester for experimental parachute designs" as the Best Insult of 2009 So Far. I would also like to announce that I will be using this regularly and freely.

--- After making the playoffs in each of their first eleven years in Denver -- with two Stanley Cups -- the Colorado Avalanche are in danger of missing the postseason for the seond season in three. Culprit: Offense. When the Av's won the Cup in 1996, they were second in the league in goals scored. When they won the other, in 2001, they were fourth. The '08-09 bunch are just 22nd in the league and were shut out last night.

--- has the Steelers as still a solid seven-point favorite, a number unchanged from the open. On the win-outright odds, though, Arizona pays at +200 (a $100 bet wins $200) and 88% of the money on that bet is going to the Cardinals, so the gambling public has the Cardinals with at least a one-third chance of winning. I'd lay the seven.

--- From the Wall Street Journal's article ($) on how lobbying increases as the size of the gubmint free-money handout bailout grows: "The shoe lobby sent a letter to congressional leaders Tuesday asking for a stimulus provision abolishing the import tax on synthetic, fabric and canvas shoes." Aah! Head to the hills! The shoe lobby is running amok! Grab the ammo and the canned goods! It's the shoe lobby! The SHOE LOBBY!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

This is, though, something the government-intrusionists (mostly harder-core lefties, but such GIs can be found on the right) too often do not acknowledge in the claims that only Government Program X can cure Awful Social Malady Y: The more of a role the government plays in a society, the greater the rewards from lobbying will be, and the more lobbying we will have. And, since lobbying means money, more lobbying means more dollars finding their way into and winding their way through the political system, when they could be spent in other places. If you want to reduce the influence of The Rich in American politics, you start by reducing the influence of the government in American life.

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