Saturday, January 27, 2007

Phase II: Uncovering the Bush/Cheney plot to misinform America

From ContraCosta Times:

Rockefeller: Cheney applied 'constant' pressure to stall investigation on flawed Iraq intelligence
By Jonathan S. Landay
McClatchy Newspapers
Chuck Kennedy/MCT
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, speaks to reporters.
Cheney increasingly on the defensive
Durbin calls Cheney 'delusional'
WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney exerted "constant" pressure on the Republican former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee to stall an investigation into the Bush administration's use of flawed intelligence on Iraq, the panel's Democratic chairman charged Thursday.
In an interview with McClatchy Newspapers, Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia also accused President Bush of running an illegal program by ordering eavesdropping on Americans' international e-mails and telephone communications without court-issued warrants.
In the 45-minute interview, Rockefeller said that it was "not hearsay" that Cheney, a leading proponent of invading Iraq, pushed Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., to drag out the probe of the administration's use of prewar intelligence.
"It was just constant," Rockefeller said of Cheney's alleged interference. He added that he knew that the vice president attended regular policy meetings in which he conveyed White House directions to Republican staffers.
Republicans "just had to go along with the administration," he said.

In an e-mail response to Rockefeller's comments, Cheney's spokeswoman, Lea McBride, said: "The vice president believes Senator Roberts was a good chairman of the Intelligence Committee."
Roberts' chief of staff, Jackie Cottrell, blamed the Democrats for the investigation remaining incomplete more than two years after it began.
"Senator Rockefeller's allegations are patently untrue," she said in an e-mail statement. "The delays came from the Democrats' insistence that they expand the scope of the inquiry to make it a more political document going into the 2006 elections. Chairman Roberts did everything he could to accommodate their requests for further information without allowing them to distort the facts."
"I'm not aware of any effort by the vice president, his staff or anyone in the administration to influence the speed at which the committee did its work," said Bill Duhnke, who was Roberts' staff director.
Rockefeller's comments were among the most forceful he's made about why the committee failed to complete the inquiry under Roberts. Roberts chaired the intelligence committee from January 2003 until the Democrats took over Congress this month.
The panel released a report in July 2004 that lambasted the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies for erroneously concluding that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was concealing biological, chemical and nuclear warfare programs. It then began examining how senior Bush administration officials used faulty intelligence to justify the March 2003 invasion.
Robert promised to quickly complete what became known as the Phase II investigation. After more than two years, however, the panel published only two of five Phase II reports amid serious rifts between Republican and Democratic members and their staffs.
Rockefeller recalled that in November 2005, the then-minority Democrats employed a rarely used parliamentary procedure to force the Senate into a closed session to pressure Roberts to complete Phase II.
"That was the reason we closed the session. To force him" to complete the investigation, he said.
The most potentially controversial of the three Phase II reports being worked on will compare what Bush and his top lieutenants said publicly about Iraq's weapons programs and ties to terrorists with what was contained in top-secret intelligence reports.
In the two reports released in September, the panel said that the administration's claims of ties between Saddam and al-Qaida were false and found that administration officials distributed exaggerated and bogus claims provided by an Iraqi exile group with close ties to some senior administration officials
Rockefeller said it was important to complete the Phase II inquiry.
"The looking backward creates tension, but it's necessary tension because the administration needs to be held accountable and the country . . . needs to know," he said.
Rockefeller said that he and the senior Republican member of the committee, Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., have put the frictions behind them and agree that the committee should press the administration for documents it's withholding on its domestic eavesdropping program and detainee programs.
Under the eavesdropping program, the National Security Agency monitored Americans' international telephone calls and e-mails without court warrants if one party was a suspected member or supporter of al-Qaida or another terrorist group.
Rockefeller charged that Bush had violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires the government to obtain permission to eavesdrop on Americans from a secret national security court.
"For five years he's (Bush) has been operating an illegal program," he said, adding that the committee wants the administration to provide the classified documents that set out its legal argument that Bush has the power to wiretap Americans without warrants.
Rockefeller is among a handful of lawmakers who were kept briefed on the program after it started following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But he told Cheney in a handwritten note in July 2003 that he was deeply concerned about its legality.
In the interview, Rockefeller said the committee needs more details about how the program worked before it considers amending the eavesdropping act to give the administration the flexibility it says it requires to be able to track terrorists.
"How do we draw something up if we have no idea about what the president sent out in the way of orders to the NSA? What about the interpretation of the Department of Justice?" he asked. "Americans . . . should want us to discern what the facts are, what the truth is."

I remember blogging about the Plame affair last year and some hack supporting Pat Roberts rose to the Administration's defense. Well, it seems like Sen. Roberts could have some problems along with Bush/Cheney about this phony "evidence" for war with Iraq. Time for an accounting by the GOP for the past 5 years of lies and cover-ups. I KNOW the Clinton blowjob cover-up wasn't nearly as evil as this war the Bush/Cheney racket dragged the American people into. The Bush family business, war-profiteering ,oil, and intelligence is a more substantial reason for war in Iraq than weapons Saddam might have possessed.

Love them frog legs!

From Brummet's blog:
January 24, 2007
"Frog leg-filled room
On the matter raised here that Beebe might put Paul Suskie on the Public Service Commission, I am reliably advised that Beebe asked Dustin McDaniel if that would be all right with him, and McDaniel said sure. Suskie fought McDaniel hard in the Democratic runoff for attorney general, you might recall. It was civil. Winners can be magnanimous, though I doubt McDaniel would sign off on Beebe's naming Gunner DeLay to anything, not that Beebe would. Someone pointed out that, if he names Suskie, and apparently that's not for sure, Beebe will be giving a second major appointment to a North Little Rockian, after Cliff Hoofman to the Highway Commission. It happens that I last recall seeing Hoofman and Suskie together wearing aprons and funny hats cooking and serving frog legs for Beebe's big fund-raiser at Alltel Arena late last summer. The ticket to appointment in this administration may be frog legs."

Maybe not just the frog legs, but Suskie should be given a place at the table of AR government to see if he has the wherewithal to make a favorable impression with voters who weren't familiar with him last November. For the record, I LOVE FROG LEGS! And no, they don't taste like chicken, although, having grown up in the Delta harvesting frogs from farm canals, and creeks along farmers cotton/soybean/milo fields, they may have had more of a DDT flavor. Farm-raised frogs aren't nearly as tasty, since no risk of bear attack (saw fresh tracks along shore one night near the White River Refuge) or water mocassin attack while dragging our boat through logjams, or crashing shore to catch the frog before he jumped and put him in the "toad" sack for later cleaning, or any of a number of creatures and nutcase crankheads cooking in the woods makes one appreciate God's bounty more.

I have no particular problem with Hoofman's appointment, despite Wonkette's fun had in this Highway Commission appointment for a drunk driver who forgot his native tongue one night in the late Nineties. Live and learn. Perhaps Cliff committed a "youthful indiscretion" as former Congressman Hyde of Illinois, whose long-time "love affair" with a woman who wasn't his wife while in his Fifties and Sixties was described as such. I suppose Hyde will live to 200 years old. Hyde was one of the chief accusers of Pres. Clinton for a sexual encounter he chose not to reveal as Henry would have preferred concerning his own "youthful" fling. Hoofman wasn't a bad legislator and highways was indeed an issue of concern while serving. So far, so good with Beebe's administration. Wonkette is based in DC, where forgiveness of public/private stupidity has attracted headlines each time crackhead Marion Barry(not to be confused with OUR Marion Berry, Congressman) wins another election. Hoofman wasn't exactly smokin' crack with a prostitute, though his crime was still serious.

I'm liking what I'm seeing so far from the Legislature, although some of the familiar nutty bills still seem to find their way onto committee dockets and pass. A good source is Brummett's blog or the new Delphi blog. The next item I'm curious to see is Arkansas' reaction to the universal healthcare initiatives similar to ARKids First, but extended to all ages. It would be nice to stick one in the eye of the holyites who preach "Christian" values, but NEVER show the least bit of concern for the underpriveleged. The Holtinistas preach compassion, but would vote to deny infant children of immigrants the basic necessities of life. They preach their "pro-life" rhetoric of preventing all abortions, but once the child is born, we get Holt propoasals to cut off innocent children from pre or post-natal care. Shameless bastards! I don't remember hearing that self-righteous, petty, cruel behavior towards fellow humans is godly in nature. Government sponsored pre- or post-natal care is Soviet, according to the Holtinistas. Universal care is slowly becoming an economic stimulus issue instead of a mere moral issue. Big business only cares about morality when millions of dollars in lawsuits to correct immoral action are on the line.

On one hand, GM and Ford claim they move manufacturing lines to Canada because they aren't weighed down with the reponsibility to provide healthcare to current and retired employees, thus they make more per car produced in Canada than the U.S. On the other hand, GM and Ford fight tooth and nail against any universal healthcare for fellow Americans. Let's get into the patriotic argument at this juncture. What's patriotic about telling your fellow Americans to fuck off and moving manufacturing to Canada where universal healthcare is a moral concern primarily which has become an economic stimulus issue that attracts good paying automotive jobs. Can Arkansas possibly have the imagination to attract manufacturing industry by taking some of the healthcare responsibility off potential industrial interests who might locate in Arkansas. Could we attract the Hino plant in Marion if such a proposal were offered? Probaly not enough time to concoct a sound bill. How many states would feel the pinch of a dwindling capacity to compete for new manufacturers and follow Arkansas' example? Toyota makes a lot more profit than American auto manufacturers because Japan also has a universal healthcare plan. Actually, ALL industrialized western nations offer universal healthcare, except the U.S. There we go again knowing more than everyone else in our global community. More Americans fall into the ranks of the uninsured while the "cultural warrios" of the Christian Wrong battle for the moral soul of America, yet universally vote to keep their own fellow citizens in poor health and poverty. Our unisured citizens usually wait until their health concerns become crises and shortens their lifespan. Do the Christian wackos(not ALL Christians, but the more politically active right-wingers do hold some dangerous, wacko ideas) ever show the slightest concern for the massive plight of the un- and under-insured in America? Hell, no!

These are dangerous times for America internationally, but among the states of the union, some exciting new currents in legislation are sure to follow.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Nice commentary about Nutt's intention in hiring David Lee

Imagine a Texas newspaper having some sense to appreciate what Nutt might have had in mind in hiring David Lee. Is it my imagination or has David Lee been a help to Mitch Mustain in the past? Alex Wood seemed to have no impact in improving our qbs and Nutt held Wood, the qb coach, responsible. I wanted Nutt fired at halftime of the UNLV game in LR a few years ago with the miracle comeback. So, I don't much care for Nutt. Danny Nutt has got to be one of the best assistants in the SEC, if success of players he coaches is any indication. Where's Danny's Broyles Award nomination?? Either way, Malzahn will benefit from coaching a school where the stakes aren't as high as for Nutt this year (remember, everyone wanted him gone after consecutive 4-7 seasons including me) and he can tinker to his heart's delight if his new boss allows. Our o-line should be good again, but will be hard-pressed to replace Anderson. Williams specializes in dropping potential td catches, so we won't miss that about him and Mitch just seemed lost several times this season and maybe should have redshirted, except Nutt was on the hot seat and had no choice but try him. He was a vast improvement over the NEVER accurate RoJo. Mustain's accuracy throwing can be precise at times. Dick is not quite as bad as RoJo, but he's not MUCH better. I have to admit I've never thought much of David Lee since I played on the same team as a transfer student-athlete to my small college team who practiced some bizarre methods he swears he learned from Hog assistant David Lee under Ken Hatfield. I have to hand it to David, Romo's certainly had a good coach grooming him for an opportunity to shine. Great season for Romo with ONE particular exception (ah-hem). Just needed ONE!

Ripped from DemGaz:
COMMENTARY : Hogs snag Romo’s coach, friend, confidant
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2007
Email this story Printer-friendly version
A guy named David Lee left Valley Ranch this week. To you, that may not mean much. But to Tony Romo ?
And Romo’s psyche is the only thing that counts at the moment in Cowboy Nation.
Every quarterback needs one, or at least from personal observation, every quarterback needs a friend, a confidant, even a private shoulder to cry on or whine on.
It’s a lonely position. It’s you against the world. The credit is immense when there’s success. The blame is bloody when there’s failure.
Observing the Hall of Fame career of Troy Aikman from start to finish was a good education for most of us in the local media.
As a kid off the UCLA streets in 1989, there could not have been a better quarterbacking specimen. Immense confidence combined with immense talent.
But as an NFL rookie, Aikman was also on a collision course with reality. In other words, instant failure.
Talking to Aikman that year, it didn’t take long to understand just how important quarterback coach Jerry Rhome had quickly become in Aikman’s confused football life.
Rhome was his friend, his confidant, his private shoulder.
To this day, Aikman will tell you he might not have made it at Valley Ranch without Rhome being there in the early days. Babe Laufenberg, a backup quarterback at the time, and Aikman’s friend, also will testify as an expert witness in this case.
When Rhome was suddenly gone after that first year, Aikman took it personally. He had lost a friend and a mentor. A year later, however, good mojo struck again. Norv Turner showed up as Jimmy Johnson’s offensive coordinator.
There was an instant Aikman-Turner bonding. The rest would become Cowboys and NFL history.
But what I’m saying is if a cool-hand gunner like Aikman still needed one of those special people to boost his confidence and his career, it seems to be a safe bet that most successful quarterbacks are the same.
Just because Romo doesn’t have Aikman’s physical gifts, or just because David Lee doesn’t have Turner’s reputation as an offensive guru, that doesn’t mean this week’s departure shouldn’t be viewed with some skepticism.
But also don’t get carried away with sinister grassy-knoll thoughts.
Lee parted on excellent terms with Bill Parcells, who wanted to keep him but still couldn’t guarantee who would be next season’s head coach of the Cowboys.
Is it that hard ?
So this is not a crime scene. There is nothing to see here, folks. Move along, please.
Lee had previous coaching ties to the University of Arkansas, and Houston Nutt up there is currently involved in a mess. Nutt needed an offensive coordinator who would bring instant credibility. Big money was being offered to Lee. Actually, the biggest money of his coaching life.
With his contract up, and with Parcells remaining uncertain, Lee did what he had to do. He rejoined the Pig People, with the blessing of Parcells, who advised Lee it would be in his best interests to take the job.
Romo, however, lost his man. And the Cowboys lost, at least according to several Valley Ranch employees, “the best quarterback technician” they’d ever worked with.
The two coaches most responsible for developing Romo over the previous three seasons — Sean Payton and Lee — now have left the building.
Lee was first noticed here in 2003. It was Parcells’ first season, and one of his staff hires as quarterback coach was David Lee, which meant little to most of us at the time.
Not until Quincy Carter suddenly resembled a real quarterback, which was a total change from previous seasons.
How, I asked, did the Q become fundamentally sound with his delivery ? OK, maybe he wasn’t perfect, but he was so much better.
The answer at Valley Ranch kept coming back, “David Lee.”
What none of us knew, however, is at the same time Lee was spending endless hours with another transformation project. He was also totally rebuilding the passing fundamentals of one Tony Romo.
“What I found in Tony was a good pupil, a willing pupil with a great attitude,” Lee said this week. He also admitted to taking frequent night-time phone calls from Romo, who wanted to go find an open spot of ground to throw.
“I still have the bruises on my hands from catching all those passes,” Lee laughed.
But he was doing all this for a thirdstring quarterback whose career, if you could call it a career, was hanging by a thread.
“We totally changed everything about Tony once he got here, “ Lee said. “ To do that involves muscle memory. Muscle memory requires like 10, 000 throws. And the more Tony wanted to throw on his own, the more I was willing to be his receiver.”
As Romo improved, he gradually became a guy Parcells was keeping his eye on for the future.
Then a strange thing happened last off-season. Parcells demoted Lee from quarterback coach to something called offensive quality control coach. The new hire at quarterbacks coach was Chris Palmer, a Parcells crony from previous stops.
Palmer, no doubt, was a Drew Bledsoe guy. He was Bledsoe’s quarterbacks coach with the New England Patriots. What that hire said, at least to me, was that Bledsoe was the quarterback for the 2006 season. The Romo bandwagon would not be rolling. With the high expectations around Valley Ranch at the time, I didn’t find the Palmer hire to be unusual, except it was unfair to Lee.
Now, however, we know different about what 2006 would mean for Romo. And in December, when Romo’s mechanics seemed to get out of whack, the same mechanics he’d had drilled in his head for three years by one coach, well, Lee was not coaching the position any longer. Parcells needed Romo’s guy, the guy he had demoted.
Lee, however, doesn’t dwell on that. He is a total Parcells disciple.
Lee and his wife will be Romo’s guests in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. That’s a “thank you” from Romo.
Cow fandom would be wise to offer a “thank you” of its own.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"Blackhawk Down's" nefarious Aideed clan back in charge, thanks to the Bush administration

Gen. Mohamed Farah Aideed, late warlord who was the focus of the American raid depicted in the movie "Blackhawk Down", now has his former associates, including financial backer Osman Hassan Ali Atto and Aideed's son and successor, Hussein Farah Aideed in power as part of the "official" government of Somalia lately triumphing over an Islamic faction, al-Ittihad al-Islamiyya (Islamic Unity), with Ethiopian and American aid and arms, and troops supporting the sweep from Baidoa to Mogadishu southward. In other words, any American whose blood boiled witnessing the bodies of slain American pilots dragged through the streets, now have lived to see the Republican disaster known as the Younger Bush administration and son of Elder Bush who first commited American troops to Somalia after his defeat in a reelection bid in 1992(losing to AR fav son Bill Clinton) has aided the Aideed clan in regaining "respectability" in the eyes of US policy-makers. Approximately 20 Americans died, including 18 Rangers and possibly as many as 1,000 Aideed loyalists and bystanders perished on the bloody urban battleground.

I'm not saying that I'm outraged, Aideed, who went by the name Hussein Farah(Prime Minister of Somalian unity government is Hassan Abshir Farah) while a serving member of the USMC in Somalia prior to the bloody showdown/ambush/whatever you want to call it(the young Farah Aideed fled to California to avoid the bloodlet in Somalia) . He took over for his father, slain in a battle in 1996, as head of the clan. Aideed the Younger hasn't publicly chastised his clan for the incident. Perhaps he believes 1,000 lives is a worthy trade; dunno about his predilection. Politically, he must preserve the sacred memory of that clan of their desecration of American corpses following the battle or he might be ousted and killed as clan leader. Aideed can be very useful to Unocal and Conoco, and other oil interests salivating over the chance to drill for Somali oil,i.e., the executive branch of the US government. I wonder how many Americans who would seek vengeance on that clan for the desecrations of the American dead know their "war hero" Bush is responsible for the Ethiopian push into Somalia and the employment of American airpower to place the Farahs and Aideeds back into power in Somalia? Politically, there's not a lot of choice, unless one buys the necessity argument for ousting al-Ittihad while far more dangerous terror groups operate freely and independently of the Islamic courts.

I know this particular phase of the conflict has oil at the essence of this push. Somalia has oil discovered a generation ago, but left unsevered because of the oil glut of supply in the early 80s. A friendly, secular government in Somalia is welcome, but the underlying reasons will always include oil. $200 barrels of oil would cripple our nation and possibly lead to more dangerous conflicts of national survival, so I don't truly dismiss oil availability as a valid excuse for warmaking, speaking strategically, but I am irked by this disastrous decision to invade Iraq. If oil was the primary impetus for this invasion and somehow this notion is proved, Bush should be impeached and heads should roll. SOMALIA IS NOT IRAQ! Somalia(as was Vietnam, actually) is a backwater that can only produce a barely negligible effect on the world situation. Iraq is in the epicenter of some very dangerous circumstances that can lead to horrifying consequences with diplomatic and military missteps.

The plot continues to thicken....

Monday, January 08, 2007

Estimated death toll in Iraq, number of homicides in U.S. not far apart

In an article on Raw Story, the Iraqi death toll for 2006 is estimated to be 23,000. The estimated 2006 population of Iraq was 27 million, so 1 percent of the population was killed and I have no idea if there's a scientific ratio for every death, how many leave. The US suffered approximately 16,500 homicides per year since 2001, which is a dramatic improvement from the bloody, early nineties when 20,000+ were killed for a 5 year period. The US population is now estimated at 300 million, so it's much less than 1 percent. Perhaps that's why we tolerate the highest murder rate in the industrialized world.

To me, it's sad to have the numbers of homicides in this nation and seemingly nothing, with some glowing exceptions, such as NYC, where rates have been dramatically reduced after the initiative to get tough with petty crimes in order to curb violent crimes, such as turnstile jumpers in the subway who have no reason to pay, since they're seeking a robbery (or worse) victim, has been done to further reduce homicides. The numbers have dropped and held from the high numbers in the early nineties and the late 70s record heights. There have been a number of theories posited as to why the rate has dropped including the controversial Freakonomics theory that population controls on teenage pregnancy in the UK would be the first part of a solution to a future potential crime problem. Some argue that the Clinton administrations' crime bill that provided funding for approximately 100,000 additional officers in the streets and creative initiatives such as the "exile" program for those who engage in illegal drug transactions while armed with a handgun, particularly, where the perpetrator would be subject to Federal justice and possibly be shipped far from home, thereby "exiling" him to a future of a minimum 5 years in the system with no hope for parole and few visits from relatives who likely can't leave Richmond, VA for a federal prison 300+ miles away for instance, had a profound impact.

Nevertheless, it's sad to have such similar numbers in homicide numbers, despite the fact that our population dwarfs that of Iraq. Were 20,000 people killed in the Irish Troubles from 1969 to 2006 in Northern Ireland? Not even close to one year in "peaceful" America. We should all be ashamed of ourselves. Approximately 3,600 died in the Troubles in 37 years. Granted, it wasn't an outright conflict, but was a terror campaign by Catholics and Protestant paramilitarists alike(in addition to the government's police and troops. Iraq would welcome such quiet these days.

No hope for greater civility in the near future, not even amongst our own countrymen. Not to forget that the Bush administration has defunded the highly successful initiatives for anti-gang projects in the beleaguered cities of America.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Hogs lose another bowl game

As Houston Nutt's last decent season, 1998, he ends his season with consecutive losses. The weak link this year, alleged special teams "coach", James Shibest and a fat, unathletic excuse for a kicker, Jeremy Davis. Jeremy, I believe Missouri Southern needs someone to miss chip-shot field goals and extra points. Is Hendrix College still considering fielding a football team? I believe Davis would fail to make the cut if he tried out. Davis has missed 6 of his last 8 field goals for the season. Three consecutive losses because of special teams miscues including the facemask penalty on Goode that practically sealed the Hogs fate after pinning the Badgers inside their own 15 late in the game are inexcusable. James Shibest should be reassigned on the Hogs staff or fired. He has been a failure at coaching his position and he should be treated accordingly.

Let's all hope the Hogs find a qb next season. I have no hope for Casey "Just Short Every Time on the Long Passes" Dick. Every deep ball he throws short or he throws it 10 yards past the receiver. Mustain MUST put it together this spring and fall or we'll have three talking heads in the booth talking about "what if" the Hogs had a real qb all next season. I'm certain Frank Broyles would find Shibest responsible for the past three losses sealed by sloppy special teams disasters and fire him. Nutt has to pull the plug on Shibest and find a legitimate special teams coach. Is Ken Turner still available? Last I heard, Ken lives in Arkadelphia, Houston. Ken Hatfield was an excellent special teams coach when he was an assistant and I hear he's moving back to NW AR, so give him a call, Houston.

Wisconsin's defensive strategy was not to outmaneuver themselves against speedsters Jones and McFadden and they held their positions and rarely overpursued the football. Also, the field conditions took away the most effective tool of our great backs, the cutback. They slipped and slid all day and Jones still managed to gain 150+ yards and McFadden gained a "meager" 90+ yards rushing. The Badgers defense refused to help the Arkansas rush attack as so many opponents have done this season. Herring made some crucial adjustments after the Badgers tweaked their offense in the first half and scored all their points. The Badgers were hapless offensively except for Arkansas penalties that accounted for at least 130 yards and took away a great roll of the punt late and some tenacious man-to-man defense in the 2nd half.

There's a lot of upside to this Hog team, but I'm tired of losing bowl games. Oh well, even the GREAT Notre Dame has lost 8 consecutive bowl games, largely because their revenue generation value has had them placed in bowl games in which they simply didn't deserve to play. That's not quite the story for Nutt's tenure, but severe weaknesses at qb and in the special teams, specifically the field goal and extra point game, has been his Achilles'. I hope the entire staff except for weak link James Shibest returns next season and another qb prospect in recruiting would be nice to put some pressure on both Dick and Mustain. Dick just doesn't posess the passing accuracy of Mustain. He needs to get to work to maintain ANY chance of starting in the future as anything but the "DeBerg" qb, i.e., the marginal qb(no offense to DeBerg, who had a great late career run with the Chiefs, but he was NO Joe Montana--who supplanted Steve with the Niners and Chiefs) who holds down the position until the "franchise" qb progresses to starter or a real qb arrives.

Matt Jones was never a real qb, but his wheels and instincts gave the Hogs their best chance to win. It is time for Nutt to find a true answer at starting qb and he, Malzahn, and Wood have got to get through to these qbs in the off season and make them assets instead of obvious liabilities. Paul MacGuire stated several times during the Cap One broadcast that "if only" the Hogs had a qb, they'd be much more fun to watch today and D-Mc might have had more yardage as well as Jones.

The only thing that bothers me about next year is the lack of non-conference opponent that will help with the BCS ratings. We've got to win them all to get a shot, even then, we will need help from opponents of the media darlings such as ND, Michigan, USC, and OH State. Speaking of USC, it would have been nice to have had a legitimate starting qb against them this year. That way, the score could have been 38-21 SC, but at least that's not 50-14. Let's hope to pick up some more great athletes this recruiting season. I'm happy with the commitments all ready in the bag(assuming no one 'de-commits'). We need some bigger asses for both lines and another legitimate qb prospect. With Danny Nutt coaching running backs, I suspect we'll add yet another great back for the stable next year. Smith could be more important next year and a healthy Hillis would be welcome. Mitchell and Anderson will anchor a fine d-line returning next year, as long as we find someone else to man the middle like Jackson. Keith Jackson Jr. really turned up his intensity this year after a slow start and will need to be replaced with a taller, quicker specimen who is also 300 pounds plus (ah, dream a dream of bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter d -linemen--not that I see any morons on this year's d-line--I've witnessed great instincts and excellent prep in the film room and practice field for this bunch, particularly when early in the game Herring was spotted yelling at his kids to get the hands high, like a great b-ball coach would adjure all game long and we started batting down balls and Jackson got the int).

OK, Stan, all eyes on the Hogs. Let's never lose to Bucknell again, who lost last week to UCA(that's right, Central Arkansas from Conway beat the team the put us out last season). Granted, last year's Bucknell is better than this season's, but a good coach would have beaten Bucknell with our kids last year. I'm glad Heath earned another season because I'd have hated to see yet another b-ball coaching change. However, I see in Heath a coach who just can't quite get through to his kids who was hapless to help his kids adjust against Mizzou or Tx Tech. Mizzou employed a very recognizable defensive strategy with which Heath seemed unfamiliar. My God, Nolan Richardson's teams dominated the airwaves through most of his career with UA and he SHOULD have recognized the fact that Nolan's and now Anderson's kids will trail the ball handler down the floor and wait to snag the ball away when it's put on the floor or a pass is attempted. Heath NEVER adjusted and kept Gary "Turnover Waiting to Happen" Ervan in the game to make certain he lost by 20.