Friday, August 16, 2002

It's Pauline Kael on Line Two

How weird is this story? My old friend Kurt Andersen finds out that Details magazine, in its August issue, has published an article entitled "Dudes Who Dish" under his byline. He didn't write it, never was approached to do it, never had a single discussion with anyone from Details magazine about the piece.

The editor's note, or whatever it's called at the front of the magazine, even has a few pithy quotes from "Kurt" about the piece. So what happened? It's a great story for the dudes who dish.

Cultural Decay

I think this story is actually fairly important. Not because two nit-wits had sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral as part of a publicity stunt for the "Opie and Anthony" radio show. It's important because of what it says about corporate governance. Opie and Anthony will not be fired. The head of the radio network will not be fired. No member of the Board of Directors will resign in protest. The companies that advertise on the show will not pull their advertising. The ad agencies that place the advertising will not recommend against buying spots on "Opie and Anthony."

There will be no consequences except that the nitwits will pay a fine and go home.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Becky Lucidi

Check out Becky Lucidi's card from this morning's round in the US Women's Amateur at Sleepy Hollow. Add up the strokes and it's 30 on the front side, 34 on the back. That's seven-under par with some fairly nasty pin placements. She's playing in tomorrow's semi-final round tomorrow. The semi-final matches have been moved to 10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. because of possible thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Kausfiles Strikes Again

The Kausfiles jihad against The New York Times continues. Today's installment involves an eight-days-later correction of Timesian fact-twisting/spin. It's a particularly egregious case, but it is hardly atypical. If you're not a Kaus regular, check it out. And bookmark his site.

The Exact Opposite of What Is True

Go to Jane Galt. Or read the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's editorial on the subject of cheating at golf. There are days, as Galt says, when you wake up and wonder if you live in a parallel universe.

The link to Jane Galt is now fixed.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

The Round of 16

This afternoon, West Hartford's Elizabeth Janangelo stood over her tee shot on the first hole at Sleepy Hollow. And just nailed it. The first hole at Sleepy Hollow is 400 yards long. Ms. Janangelo left herself an approach shot that was no more than 90 yards to the flag.

She played her heart out there all day today in sweltering heat, and with young Scott Peper on the bag (giving her some good local knowledge), she cruised into the round of 16. Along with Scotland's Vikki Laing, Ms. Janangelo has emerged as the crowd favorite of the US Women's Amateur.

Janangelo can really play. Tied with more than a dozen others on the qualification cutline in the dying light of a Tuesday evening playoff, she hit a perfect tee shot, a slightly overcooked approach shot and then drained a nasty 25-footer to make it into the Round of 64. This morning she beat the medalist to advance to the Round of 32. This afternoon, she crushed a great young California woman player. Being from the Northeast, she is comfortable with the quirky contours of courses like Sleepy Hollow. She knows the terrain.

The other women out there who catches your eye is Vikki Laing. This afternoon, Ms. Laing hit 3-wood off the first tee, with such lovely timing and tempo, I thought I was looking at Ernie Els's female twin. The ball ended up about 140 from the middle. Yes it was downwind. Yes it was hot and the ball was jumping. But 260 off the 1st tee with a 3-wood, center-strip of the fairway, is big time golf.

Anyway, Laing's a player, as are they all in the round of 16. I urge you to watch it if you get a chance. ESPN will provide coverage beginning tomorrow at 3pm eastern time.

PS: Australian Katherine Hull, who played so valiantly against the defending champion this morning, lost her afternoon round. Along with Texan Robin Burke, who also lost this afterrnoon, Hull was the favorite of our little viewing group. Hats off to both women. They conducted themselves with dignity and grace in defeat.

These Girls Are Good

Ventured up to the Sleepy Hollow Country Club today to watch a few hours of the U.S. Women's Amateur Golf Championship. I trailed along behind the match between the defending champion, Meredith Duncan, and Australian Katherine Hull. Hull won on the 20th hole, but according to caddie-master Mike Doud that wasn't the half of it.

Yesterday, in the second (medal play) qualifying round, Hull started on the 10th hole. She hit the green and proceeded to four-putt. Double bogey. She then went double bogey-bogey-bogey on 11, 12 and 13. After four holes, she was six over par and heading for a trunk-slam in the parking lot. But she didn't quit. On the remaining fourteen holes, she shot 3-under, thus qualifying for the match play rounds. This morning, she defeated the defending champ. We'll see how she does as the tournament progresses.

Anyway, if you are in the area, definitely check it out. These girls/women can really play. Admission is free. Parking is free. And it's one great golf course.

Monday, August 12, 2002

Good News From Massachusetts

Opinion Dynamics chief John Gorman is back at his desk after a brief but terrifying illness. He says he's still not "100%," but that he expects to be come September. I called him today and he seemed very much his old self. Which is good news indeed.

We talked briefly about the Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial primary. John said he thought State Sen. Warren Tollman was the sleeper in the race, that State Treasurer Shannon O'Brien remained the front-runner and that Senate Majority Leader Tom Birmingham's campaign was well-organized (which will improve his chances in a low turnout).

Memo to Mickey Kaus: Gorman didn't even mention Robert Reich, which means Reich is a goner.

So Who's Right?

Brad Delong says that the Federal Reserve will not cut interest rates next week. Morgan Stanley says the Fed will cut interest rates by half a percentage point. The Morgan Stanley view represents a 180-degree turn from the view it held just last week.

Investment Advice

A friend writes:

If you had bought $1,000.00 worth of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00. With Enron, you would have $16.50 of the original $1,000.00. With Worldcom, you would have less than $5.00 left.

If you had bought $1,000.00 worth of Budweiser (the beer, not the stock) one year ago, drank all of it and turned in each can for the 10 cent deposit, you'd have $214.00.

Based on the above, my current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.


What we've learned so far this year is that Tiger Woods is the only golfer who can beat Tiger Woods. He did so with that miserable monsoon Saturday round (81!) at Muirfield. He did not do so at Augusta and Bethpage Black. Most everyone thinks he will blow through Hazeltine National Golf Club (site of this year's PGA).

And for good reason. Woods has always played well on big, long, windy Midwestern courses. That's what Hazeltine is. It's Medinah. It's the Firestone. It's Memorial. It's the Western. These are all courses where Tiger has all but run away from the field.

Two guys to watch here are Tim Herron and Tom Lehman, both Minnesotans. They know the course very well. In the pool (in which everyone chooses six golfers), I went with long ballers and straight hitters. Woods, Mickelson, Garcia, Goosen, Els and Nick Price. I think Tiger will win and I hope that he does.

Things I Never Knew

Elizabeth Bumiller, White House correspondent for The New York Times, reports the following:

Mr. Bush, of course, was born in New Haven and has spent a political lifetime trying to disentangle himself from his family's New England roots.

Ms. Bumiller, of course, is famously clueless about President Bush, his family and his Administration. But presumably her editors know better. So the question arises: Why doesn't anyone edit this drivel?

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Read This Story

Click here to do so. And then ask yourself one question: Do you believe Mr. Boss? Or do you believe the Salomon Smith Barney flacks?