Sunday, July 15, 2018

The World Cup 6

Oh wow, I whiffed on the last two games. Serves me right for not remaining true to France. I'm so ashamed.

Third Place Game
Belgium - 2 England - 0

France - 4 Croatia - 2

So i finish a rather pathetic 10-6. Ah well, back to the drawing board.

Now we wait until 2022 and Qatar. I'm still a bit concerned about how the games are going to play out in the extreme heat there but these are professional athletes so I suppose they'll work it out.

Then in 20126 they're coming to my neck of the woods with the final rumored to be played in Metlife Stadium just down the road about 20 miles from me.

But the big news is there will be a new format. The tournament will be expanded to 48 teams in 16 groups of three. Two of the three teams will advance to a 32 team knockout round so the group play is simply to eliminate one team from each group.

This means a total of 80 games rather than 64, 48 games in group play and 32 in the knockout rounds but the finalists will play the same number of games 7, except there will be one more elimination game and one less group round game. The tournament will also finish in the same 32 days.

The US, Canada and Mexico will host using existing stadiums. Mexico and Canada will host 10 games each and the US will host the remaining 60 including the quarterfinals, the semifinals and the finals.

Now I have a Personal Seat License at Metlife Stadium and I'm supposed to get early access to event tickets but I'm not sure if this will include the World Cup. We shall see I suppose.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Trump and NATO

Let me make myself perfectly clear. In my opinion Trump has proven himself to be a classless buffoon.

But that doesn't mean he's always wrong but because he has no class, even when he's right, he goes about it wrong.

This is the case with him, NATO and Germany. I have no problem demanding that Germany and the other members of the alliance pay their fair share of the military costs. Germany in particular has been hiding behind the American military while spending domestically.

I've said that a few times myself.

But like I said, there's a right way and a wrong way to do things and the Orange Haired Buffoon always seems to manage to do it in what I would consider the wrong way.

It sort of makes you wonder if he's smarter than he looks and is doing it on purpose because he's convinced that being nice hasn't worked in the past so why should it work in the future?

The World Cup 5

The semifinals are done.

France - 1 Belgium - 0
Croatia - 2 England - 1

I told you Croatia has ice water in their veins and they showed it again coming back from an early 1-0 deficit. In the meantime France takes a big step closer.

At least that brings me up to 10-4.

Belgium vs England - I'm not sure how much these guys care about the third place game but I'm betting England wants it more than Belgium. I'm taking England.

France vs Croatia - Here it is ladies. The big one for all the marbles and the most prestigious title in the world. Decisions, decisions.  I've picked France and Croatia in every game so far. Croatia has won all six matches. France has won five with a 0-0 draw with Denmark.

I feel really guilty about this, but I'm taking Croatia.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

The World Cup 4

So the quarter finals are done and the results are:

Uruguay - 0  France - 2
Brazil- 1  Belgium - 2
Russia 2 (3) Croatia - 2 (4)
Sweden - 0 England - 2 

That's 3-1 for this round. Now I'm going to whine a little bit. I SAID I wanted to take Belgium but I let my so-called brain overrule my instincts. Maybe I should stop doing that?

So overall a rather lackluster 8-4. I suppose I should have paid more attention to the Group Round. Anyway, moving on to the semi-finals.

France vs Belgium - I've going to stick with France. Belgium could do it, but I think the French are ready to go all the way this year so I'm sticking with them.

Croatia vs England - I'm thinking Croatia on this one. After winning both knockout round games in a shoot out so far, these guys must have ice water in their veins.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Russian Meddling

Russia has been interfering in elections since at least the first decade of the 20th century when they would bribe French newspapers to write favorable opinions of Russia and its alliance with France.

Modern technology has made it easier and it may not even cost as much because no bribes are required, just some social media accounts.

Of course, they’re probably also filtering money into GOP political campaigns as well.

It’s illegal for foreign governments to buy campaign ads or contribute money to political campaigns. It's also illegal for American politicians to knowingly accept such contributions.

The Russians have been doing it under fake identities and phony news organizations such as RT (formerly Russia Today), a Russian owned “news” agency that operates in Washington D.C. Media organizations are generally exempt from registering but RT was forced to register as a foreign agent in 2017. 

The Russians spent at least $100,000 on Facebook ads targeted at specific audiences who then magnified the result by spreading the misinformation planted and they’ve probably heavily donated to Citizens United protected “Social Welfare Organizations” that can legally spend up to 50% of its money on politics and don’t need to identify its donors.

 And you can be certain they’re still doing it. The Republicans don’t care because all of this illegal activity helps the GOP.

The Trump administration is clearly bought and paid for by the Russians and he’s paying them back. It’s as simple as that.

The problem as I see it is no matter how much evidence is provided that the GOP is essentially owned by the Russians, their base will still vote for them and refuse to ever accept they were ever duped.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The World Cup 3

So the Round of 16 is over. Results of the last four games.

Brazil - 2  Mexico - 0
Belgium - 3  Japan - 2
Sweden - 1 Switzerland - 0
Columbia - 1 (3) England - 1 (4)

I went 3-1 on those games bringing my total to 5-3. Of course it took Belgium coming all the way back from a 2-0 deficit and England breaking its recent penalty kick jinx to do it but hey, I'll take what I can get.

So, on to the Quarterfinals and as tough a group of games as you can imagine especially since nothing seems easy in this tournament.

Uruguay vs France - I'm not deserting France. Vive le France. Sur la victoire.

Brazil vs Belgium - I'd really like to take Belgium here but I don't think that's going to happen. So I have to go with Brazil.

Russia vs Croatia - Yeah, sure, I have no idea but my gut says Croatia.

Sweden vs England - England, all the way.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

The World Cup 2

The results for the first four games.

 Uruguay - 2 Portugal - 1 
 France - 4 Argentina - 3
 Spain- 1 (3) Russia - 1 (4)
 Croatia- 1 (3) Denmark - 1 (2)

 So that leaves me 2-2. I thought sure I was going to lose two games on penalty kicks. That's one more than I got wrong in the entire elimination part of the tournament last year where I went 15-1.

I suppose that's what you get when you don't pay enough attention.

Friday, June 29, 2018

The World Cup

It's knockout round time!!!

I got lazy this year and waited for the Group Round to be over. The big shock of course is the elimination of Germany. That leaves the door for Brazil to get some revenge for its debacle four years ago.

Anyway, on to making a fool of myself.

Uruguay vs Portugal - I'm going with Portugal.

France vs Argentina - This is a really tough one but I'm sticking with my friends, France.

Brazil vs Mexico - I think this is a bad break for Mexico following a disappointing outing against Sweden so I'm going with Brazil.

Belgium vs Japan - I have to go with Belgium.

Spain vs Russia - Russia has been playing really well but I have to go with Espana.

Croatia vs Denmark - Hmm, decisions, decisions. I'm going with Croatia.

Sweden vs Switzerland - I'm taking Switzerland.

Columbia vs England - Oh boy. I'm sticking with England but I have a bad feeling about this game.

Justice Kennedy to Retire

Well that's not good. This was always the problem with the 2016 election, the fear that the winner would be able to mold the Supreme Court for decades to come.

Trump will be making a payment on his dept to the Religious Right by nominating an extreme conservative. You can be sure that whomever gets the nod it will place both abortion access and gay rights in jeopardy.

This will probably leave Chief Justice John Roberts as the possible voice of sanity on the court.