Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Unemployment News: Millions Still Waiting For Assistance From Congress

It isn’t difficult to see the unemployment news for America is not good. It is terrible and getting worse by the day. Millions of Americans are still waiting for assistance from Congress.

Unfortunately, those in Washington only care about the upcoming election, while the devastated long term unemployed are wondering how they will survive until help arrives. Too bad everyone running for office in the midterms isn’t forced to live in one of the tent cities depicted below (see all 3 videos) until Tier 5 is passed.

The post election unemployment nightmare is a great possibility. Is it to be or not to be - Your vote may decide. The following scenario is playing out all over the country and we just cannot afford to empower the Party of NO come November.

Hendry County (FL) - Sometimes the early birds arrive by 4 a.m. They line up in the dark, outside a beige, stucco building on East El Paso Avenue. By the time Hendry County (FL) social services opens, the queue can run 90 to 100 people deep – and they all need help.

Some can’t pay rent. Some are behind on utilities. Some can’t afford food. And just about every one of them is out of work.

“We have to prioritize,” said James Donald Coddington, the county’s social-services director. “We’re asking people questions like, Are your lights already turned off, or have you just gotten notice that they’re going to be turned off? ”

More on Florida’s highest unemployment rate. And please view the emotional videos below.

An Election Day Nightmare Foretold via IM (International Machinist Union)

How important is it to get out the vote this midterm election? Ponder this… Sen. Orrin “Drug Test the Unemployed” Hatch (R-UT) with jurisdictional control over unemployment insurance benefits, Social Security, Railroad Retirement, pensions, international trade and Trade Adjustment Assistance.

It could happen if Republicans gain control of the Senate on November 2, 2010.

Currently, Sen. Hatch is the senior minority member of the Senate Finance committee, which oversees a significant amount of programs aimed at assisting the jobless and America’s working class. If the GOP gains enough seats, Hatch, as seen in
UCubed’s Bite Back ad
suggesting the jobless should be required to take drug tests before receiving unemployment benefits – could become the committee chair. With his new post could come an end to many of our nation’s important safety-net policies and programs.

“We should not be giving cash to people who basically are just going to go blow it on drugs,” said Sen. Hatch as he and his fellow GOP Senators repeatedly blocked unemployment insurance benefits for millions of unemployed Americans this past summer.

“It is extremely imperative that voters – particularly jobless voters – show up at the polls this election day,” says IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “We must not give power back to those responsible for this economic crisis, and those who heartlessly turn their backs on Americans who need them the most. We have the power to win on November 2nd. Tell everyone – family, friends, neighbors, etc. – to get out and vote.”

With not enough money to fund UI extensions as is, it is very doubtful that Congress would authorize the extra millions of dollars it would take to fund any program requiring recipients of UI to be tested for drugs anyway.

As All247 News put it recently:
The U.S. Congress has an enormous amount of unfinished business when they do return to Washington after the election; passing a budget fo the U.S. Government which has to be passed by December 3 to avoid a government shutdown, legislation on extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, possibly a vote to give Social Security recipients a one time payment of $250 in 2011, and of course, unemployment insurance legislation to name but a few. Each of these initiatives could take weeks to make their way through the U.S. Congress, time that simply does not exist. Therefore to get what many members of the House and Senate are calling “must have” legislation passed, it is clear that both sides will have to bring to the table a greater willingness to compromise. In effect, a compromise that would have been considered unacceptable before the mid-term elections may well be much more possible after the midterms.

While some have suggested that will be no action on unemployment insurance during the midterms, and this may happen, it is clear that the Democratic leadership and a few moderate Republicans recognize that reauthorization of the current levels of unemployment insurance and a Tier V should be enacted during the lame duck. It should also be noted that those that are predicting as a certainty that unemployment legislation will pass in the lame duck session are probably being overconfident. It will be a battle. However, the passage of renewal of the current federal extension and a Tier V between now and the end of the year is possible and more important, desperately needed in millions of households across the nation as winter (not to say the Holidays) approach.

The state of the economy always has a significant impact on national elections, and this year Republicans appear to be benefiting from voter concerns that the U.S. economy is still trying to recover from a recession. The weak economic outlook has shaped a public mindset that took hold months ago.

Why would the Republicans benefit? By destroying the economy to begin with and blocking every step Congress has attempted to make to correct the problem - the Republicans should be the most hated bunch of losers in the world - but money buys you a great deal of clever ads and Americans seem to take in that hog wash, hook line and sinker.

Are we that lazy or do we just spend more time and effort in choosing what to TIVO than who we vote for? Educated, sane voters (even angry ones) are the best defense against voting in more losers.

The following is a guest post from fellow 99er advocate Eric King. He really nails it:
The "99ers" are an understandably angry, afraid, and frustrated group. Their UI benefits have long expired, and they've had to drain 401ks, kid's college funds, and personal savings, in an effort to simply survive...and those are the lucky ones. Job searches have proven as fruitless as chasing unicorns, and become more difficult each day they're out of the workforce.

Yet, even as they think they're seeing their American dream fade, they have shown us all what is right with the American spirit. They have used their networks, voices, and time to win UI extensions for the millions more recently unemployed (also benefitting the US economy at large), only to be left out in the cold themselves by Congress time and again. Everyone still collecting a UI extension is in their debt.

Understandably, many "99ers" have thrown up their hands and said "enough is enough," and plan to voice this anger, fear, and frustration by staying on the sidelines for this fall's election.

However, now is not the time for apathy. No fight has ever been won by giving it up; and there may be no fight bigger for jobs, benefits, and the entire economy than on November 2nd. True, Democrats haven't gone far enough in almost anything they've done. It's also true that Republicans aren't concerned with you at all, but "fiscal responsibility." A key part of that tired GOP slogan is "entitlement reform," which in plain English means putting Social Security in the hands of Wall Street and slashing programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. Simply put, Republicans win and we all lose.

Turnout is going to win this election. The same companies that turned us out to protect their bottom lines have spent millions, not creating new jobs, but on this election trying to buy back the Congress, and it's given the Republicans a huge lead. Obviously, simply voting won't win extra tiers, but not voting surely loses them. Withholding your vote doesn't teach the Democrats a lesson, it teaches Republicans that if they ignore you, you’ll eventually go away.

On November 2nd, we ALL need to show them that we are NOT going away.

As you view the following videos, do not kid yourselves into thinking that these are drug addicts who chose their addiction over a more secure life. Do not for one minute think that these folks chose to be in this situation. These are ordinary, main street Americans who have been the victims of those who corrupted the banking system, gambled with our money on Wall Street and have for the most part been ignored or even lambasted by unfeeling politicians (mostly Republicannots). These people are just like us but far more unfortunate than most reading this blog.

These are the Americans who need to be bailed out from what corporate greed, political corruption and Washington indifference has done to America. Watch them and weep! Then vote out those responsible.

Oakland Mayor's Race: Marcie Hodge Sues East Bay Express

Oakland Mayoral Candidate Marcie Hodge is suing the East Bay Express over articles and blog posts the Perata Community College Board Member and her family asserts have been defamatory.

Prior to a wide-ranging video interview, where the Oakland Mayor's Race candidate talks emotionally about the East Bay Express coverage in addition to her run, Hodge explained and later confirmed for the record that her sister, a lawyer, filed a lawsuit in Alameda County specifically targeting the East Bay Express.

What triggered the lawsuit was "the last straw:" last week's entry by East Bay Express writer Robert Gammon asserting that Hodge had been violating campaign laws; Hodge told this blogger her campaign finance report would be filed this week. This is what Robert wrote:

Finally, it should be noted that mayoral candidate Marcie Hodge has yet to file a campaign finance report as required by law during the election. Hodge has spent significant sums on billboards, mailers, radio spots, and now TV ads. Several black leaders in Oakland believe that Perata supporters are bankrolling her campaign in an effort to siphon votes from Kaplan and Quan. Hodge has denied getting help from the ex-senator and said she loaned herself a large donation, but it’s unclear where she got the money, because she reported having no job, no income, and no investments on her official financial disclosures in August.

Records show that Hodge also has a history of not filing campaign finance reports disclosing her donors until several months after the election is over — a blatant violation of state and local law.

Marcie says that Robert has "never once" called her to confirm what he wrote, Gammon just wrote it. Moreover, Marcie angrily holds that Gammon's overall coverage of her has been sexist and racist, from asserting that her campaign was "baffling," to claiming that "black leaders" were questioning her campaign without naming a single "black leader" by name or providing Internet link evidence in the form of another article or blog post.

And before last week, on September 29th, Gammon ran a blog post that used a so-called quote by Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks (District 6 - Central East Oakland) saying Hodge was "dumb as dirt," but without a link to the interview or a video presenting the quote.

Indeed, in the overall review of Gammon's work on Marcie Hodge, it seems he's taken a line against her that walks on the edge of acceptability. If Brooks went on the record with Robert, that's different my miles. But she did not go on the record with him and Gammon presents no video or audio evidence, yet uses Councilmember Brooks to write a smear against Hodge. It's that kind of work that sent Marcie and her sister to court against the East Bay Express.

In our interview, which, to restate, will be out on video later today, Hodge says she does not know Don Perata well at all and has no ties to him, and resents the notion that she's a "plant for Perata."

Hodge said to me, almost tearfully, that it's as if Gammon's saying that she as an African American woman from an educated family can't be taken seriously in running for Mayor of Oakland.

Gammom's problem, in looking at this, is a really cavalier and brazen and unfortunate line he's taken that does not include actual quotes from people he actually got to go on the record.

Gammon places himself and the East Bay Express in the position of possibly losing in court - and big. In the case of the "dumb as dirt" statement Gammon claims Brooks made, there's no Internet record of such a statement other than what he wrote and the angry reactions of Express readers.   Gammon should hope that Brooks comes to his defense.   Indeed, this blogger already called Councilmember Brooks office to confirm that statement.

Not a good situation at all.

Stay tuned.

Charlie Sheen Calls Police While Intoxicated And Naked In Hotel Room

Charlie Sheen's actions are questionable most of the time, but it's never really shocking to hear the situations he gets himself into.

Many online publications (including USA Today, iVillage, E!Online, etc.) are reporting that Sheen was taken to the hospital early this morning after he was found naked and drunk in his hotel room at New York City's Plaza.

People magazine online reports that police responded to the call and Sheen was taken to the hospital at 2:30 a.m. "for alcohol abuse and psychological evaluation."

E! Online reports that Charlie Sheen's rep released a statement explaining the circumstances surrounding his recent hospitalization by saying:

"What we are able to determine is that Charlie had an adverse reaction to some medication and was taken to the hospital, where he is expected to be released tomorrow."

Access Hollywood reports that the 45-year-old was not arrested.

No one is really surprised by this story, but it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

The Tea Party Movement: Is Nation's Troubled History Repeating Itself?

It’s important that we remember a couple of old sayings 1-’Nothing is new under the sun‘ and If you don’t learn the lessons of history you are destined to repeat it‘. Many people have forgotten about or never knew about DW Griffiths landmark film Birth of a Nation‘. It was taken from the book ‘The Clansmen‘ which depicted newly freed Black slaves running the government and causing the country to fall to pieces. The movie showed that this country was falling until an organization was formed that gave rise to the country and restored order. That outfit was the Ku Klux Klan‘.

The part that most people know about Birth of a Nation is the Reconstruction.. Here’s a clip and brief synopsis

Part 2: Reconstruction

Stoneman and his “mulatto” protegĂ©, Silas Lynch, go to South Carolina to observe the expanded franchise. Black soldiers parade through the streets. During the election, whites are shown being turned away while blacks stuff the ballot boxes. The newly elected black legislature passes laws requiring white civilians to salute black officers and allowing mixed-race marriages.

Meanwhile, Ben, inspired by observing white children pretending to be ghosts to scare off black children, devises a plan to reverse the perceived powerlessness of Southern whites by forming the Ku Klux Klan. Elsie is angered by his membership in the group.

Then Gus, a former slave who became educated and gained a title of recognition through the army, proposes to marry Flora. Scared by Gus’ lascivious advances, she flees into the forest, pursued by Gus. Trapped on a precipice, Flora leaps to her death. In response, the Klan hunts Gus, tries him and finds him guilty, kills him, and leaves his corpse on Lieutenant Governor Silas Lynch’s doorstep. In retaliation, Lynch orders a crackdown on the Klan. The Camerons flee from the black militia and hide out in a small hut, home to two former Union soldiers, who agree to assist their former Southern foes in defending their Aryan birthright, according to the caption.

Meanwhile, with Austin Stoneman gone, Lynch tries to force Elsie to marry him. Disguised Klansmen discover her situation and leave to get reinforcements. The Klan, now at full strength, rides to her rescue and takes the opportunity to disperse the rioting negroes. Simultaneously, Lynch’s militia surrounds and attacks the hut where the Camerons are hiding, but the Klan saves them just in time.

Victorious, the Klansmen celebrate in the streets. The film cuts to the next election where the Klan successfully disfranchises black voters and disarms the blacks.

The film concludes with a double honeymoon of Phil Stoneman with Margaret Cameron and Ben Cameron with Elsie Stoneman. The final frame shows masses oppressed by a mythical god of war suddenly finding peace under the image of Christ. The final title rhetorically asks: “Dare we dream of a golden day when the bestial War shall rule no more? But instead-the gentle Prince in the Hall of Brotherly Love in the City of Peace.”


People should take a look at some of these clips and think about whats going on right now with the anger and racial hostility attached to your modern-day Tea Party and sympathizers. There’s a study that by the University of Washington and the NY Times that shows the motivation behind the Tea Party was ‘conservatism’ (a desire to return to the good ole days) and the election of Barack Obama. We will be doing a radio show this week where the folks behind the study will go into great detail explaining all their findings. It’ll blow you away.

The other thing about the Tea Party is, it’s a media creation. The information, tone, marching orders are all rooted in a large network of right-wing media outlets and personalities with Fox being the centerpiece.

The word used to describe this phenom is Videocracy... the use of media to move people politically. This happened in Italy with media mogul and its current President Silvio Berlusconi. There’s a documentary called Videocracy that focuses on Berlusconi and his 30 year media reign over Italy and the impact that’s had. Needless to say he went all out to prevent the showing of this film on his vast networks.
This concept of Videocracy was also shown in Oliver Stone‘s new film South of the Border where he shows how media corporations including our own CNN has been used to push political agendas, help launch coups and undermine democratic process in various countries. Berlusconi’s ascension was called a coup of sorts and if the Tea Party creation becomes politically successful it’ll go down in history as a coup as well.

Race Riots resulted in a lynching in Omaha during the Red Summer of 1919

We need to keep all this in mind when looking at the clips from Birth of a Nation and recall all the increased lynchings, attacks and race riots that took place during the first few years after this film was released. The most notable was the Red Summer of 1919. The movie (media) created a hostile climate that lasted for years.
We should also keep in mind that the newly formed NAACP denounced the film while filmmaker DW Griffith emphatically denied the film was racist.

If that wasn’t enough then President Woodrow Wilson not only gave the film two thumbs up. He said ‘It’s like writing history with lightening’. He added, that his only regret was what the movie depicted was terribly true.
It’s hard not to draw parallels with the emphatic denials of racism by Tea Party leaders while witnessing the enthusiastic endorsement of racial hostility by political leaders and media pundits here in 2010. From the racial charged remarks of radio talk show host Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh to the overtly racist remarks by politicians like Sharon Angle, Debbie Riddle and Betty Brown one can see the handwriting on the wall. All this is compounded by the fact that there’s been a rise in right-wing hate groups and hate crime. The vitriol, vandalism and attacks we saw around the proposed ‘Ground Zero Mosque‘ (Park 51) the other month underscored that point.
The bottom line is that we now have a climate where any shortfalls or discomfort will be scapegoated to people of color who have growing political, economic social power.

The other thing to keep in mind, is that film premiered in Los Angeles which shortly after housed the largest Klan chapters in the country. The KKK was so powerful that in early 20s the group began protesting Hollywood’s film industry because of two films ‘The Pilgrim‘ and ‘Bella Donna’ which they felt did not depict them in a good light.
The Klan bolstered by the DW Griffith film saw themselves as a reform organization and political entity that demanded legitimacy. What do we see happening today with the Tea Party and its racism which is couched in so called ‘legitimate’ political discourse?
We see them being embraced and held up as a legitimate force that is on a mission to restore America. For them restoring America means taking away any sort of safety net for those who have have fallen on hard times or are members of groups that have been systematically denied opportunities.

Restoring America means trying to change the constitution to to deny citizenship to Brown folks born here, under the guise of ‘terror baby‘ and‘anchor baby‘ threats.

In short restoring America means an aging population of people, scared of change and the Blacking and Browning of America are pulling out all the stops and going full steam ahead to not only hold on to power, but to also suppress those they deem a threat… Watch the clips below and when you get time, the full length feature and you’ll see that many are pushing to have a tragic part of this nation’s history repeat itself.
-something to Ponder-

Davey D

Bad Credit? Job Seekers Need Not Apply

Can you get employment with bad credit? Can you get housing with bad credit? This is an incredibly important story that I hope everyone pays attention to and pushes to make sure lawmakers use their resources, power and influence to lessen the harm this dilemma is causing. Why has credit suddenly become a driving determination for your eligibility for employment? This has been America’s dirty little secret during the worse economy since the Great Depression. Major props to Laura Bassett of the Huffington Post and her excellent article on this topic-

Are Credit Checks Keeping The Jobless Out Of Work?

Talk about kicking a person while they’re down and out, we now have employers who are now looking at your inability to keep up with bills after you been laid off for downsizing or some other ‘out of control’ circumstance as a primary criteria.

We won’t even talk about what its like to get housing with bad credit. This is compounded by ajob market that in some places like California where unemployment is 12%. Here in Oakland its 20%. Such numbers have already allowed potential employers to be extra picky. Heck if you walk into a job interview and you have a wrinkle in your shirt, that can be used against you. But with this credit check situation being used as weeding out tool, this points to us as a country moving in a rapid direction to create a large, permanent underclass. Here’s what Bassett penned;

While the credit check has always been a routine part of the job application process, experts are wondering whether it’s still a fair screening tool in the wake of a recession that has left 15 million Americans unemployed and unable to keep up with their bills.

In a meeting of the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission last week to discuss the use of credit history as a discriminatory barrier to employment, a panel of legal experts and social scientists explained how the screening practice may be harmful and unfair to American workers.

“A simple reason to oppose the use of credit history for job applications is the sheer, profound absurdity of the practice,” said Chi Chi Wu, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “Using credit history creates a grotesque conundrum. Simply put, a worker who loses her job is likely to fall behind on paying her bills due to lack of income. With the increasing use of credit reports, this worker now finds herself shut out of the job market because she’s behind on her bills. This phenomenon has created concerns that the unemployed and debt-ridden could form a luckless class.”

According to a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 60 percent of all organizations polled said they conducted background checks on applicants, and 17 percent in the Northeast reported that favorable background check results are the most important factor influencing the final decision of whether to hire someone.

Considering the fact that more than half of all working adults in America have either been unemployed, taken a pay cut, had their work hours reduced or become involuntary part-time workers since the beginning of the recession, more and more job applicants are hampered by blemishes on their credit reports in the search for a steady salary.

How does one handle such a horrific catch-22? You lose your job, you fall behind, your credit slips. The less opportunity you have to get a job your credit falls even more. At the very least its puts an employee in a super subservient position where out of desperation they will do literally anything to keep a job in spite of bad credit, including working less than minimum wage, putting up with abusive behavior or unsafe conditions at work.

We need to hear our leaders be more forceful in pushing potential employers to not punish those who've economically fallen behind.

Personally its been the one thing I been frustrated at NOT hearing about from those in leadership. I been wanting to hear President Obama and talk emphatically about this during his campaign stomps. I been wanting to hear him say say that he would be working with corporations or at least encouraging them to remove or at the very least back off doing credit checks. This would be a clear indications that not only jobs are a major focus, but that he’s also aware and in touch with those who are without.

Anyone who is falling behind, knows quite well that not everyone is willing to help. Try getting a break on parking tickets especially after they gone to collections. Try talking to some of these banks who got bailed out, but wont back off on conditions that would help bail you out. Then we have these new aggressive debt collection companies who have brought up old debts for pennies on the dollar and are now suing people to collect. They definitely aren’t trying to work with you.
This brings me to my last point. far too many people who are doing ok, have been oblivious and overtly insensitive to this scenario. I’ve had more than a few conversations with people who should know better where they arrogantly assume that escaping bad credit hell is easy or that its the height of one being irresponsible that landed folks in that predicament. I’ve had conversations with people where they say things like; ‘Cant you get a loan from your parents’? or ‘Don’t you have any frioends who can spot you some money?’ Here’s the worse one ‘Why don’t you just get a second job so you can catch up with your bills?’
Such remarks indicate there’s an unawareness of what its like for folks who have been desperately searching for work, many for over a year. Not everyone has the same network of friends and family who can come to the rescue. This is especially true for those who are older and are now playing the role of care-giver for parents and other elders in their family. Its not so easy to get up and bounce back or even sleep on someone’s counch when trying to keep a family together or care for an elder who is sick.
The other dirty secret is that many employers aren’t particularly interested in hiring folks who are older, when they have a younger pool they can pay lower wages without benefits. Many within that younger pool will accept subpar job situations and chalk it up to ‘paying dues’.

I know when I first sought out my dream job in the music biz, I worked for damn near free for more than a year just to get my foot in the door. I had the comfort of inexpensive student housing with 3 roommates. I also had an array of odd jobs including deejaying which allowed me to get by. If anything fell apart I had the option of going home or couch surfing. For many it’s not that type of party, not to mention not having your own place can be looked at as you not ‘being responsible’.
The bad credit excuse although being spoken about now in a very public way, is not new for many who live in marginalized and poor communities. not sure if there are any studies, but many of us have heard or actually experienced situation where the credit history was used to shut folks down. Oftentimes it appeared to be used selectively.
At the end of the day, all of us are going to have to pull together and be a bit more aware of those around us. One’s fortunes can be turned upside down at any moment and the worse thing to have happen is to be in position where you’re in dire straits after thumbing your nose at others the week before.
Something to ponder
-Davey D-

Tony Romo Clavicle Fracture Points To Need For Better NFL Pads

Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo suffered a clavicle fracture, sustaining a hit that points to the need for better NFL pads. Something's really wrong when it seems that too many NFL players are going down due to horrific, yet legal, hits.

That was the case on ESPN's Monday Night Football, when New York Giants Linebacker Michael Boley sacked Romo, and such that Boley's entire body weight landed on the QB's side shoulder, basically crushing his body against the turf from the side.

The hit marred the NY Giants 41 to 35 win and knocked Tony Romo out, perhaps for the season, if not the 6 to 8 weeks time estimated.

For a second it looked for all the World like Romo was going to die on the Cowboys Stadium turf. The problem is the NFL game - the pro football athletes - have become faster and stronger than the equipment they're wearing. It's so bad that every aspect of the NFL uniform, starting with the pads, must be rethought and rebuilt before someone does die on the field.

In the case of Romo, his pads should be designed to take on a lateral hit. In fact, they should be designed to form an actual protective light cage that encases his body, yet is flexible enough to give him room. The system's design should be such that if he's hit from the side, the impact is transferred around, not into, his body.

To accomplish that, some kind of light, epoxy-resin "bar" has to run across Romo's chest, then up either shoulder, and around the back, and then attached to the pads but loosely so. Upon impact, the bar would be strong enough to provide the necessary impact deflection to protect his upper body.

If the design's followed, it should not hamper playing flexibility.

Right now, such protections don't exist. They should. This can't be repeated too often: the possibility of death on the NFL field - or any football field - should be avoided at all costs.

ESPN's Jay Mariotti Has New Twitter Account @realjaymariotti

ESPN's Jay Mariotti (who will be referred to as that until it's totally certain he's not coming back to ESPN), has a new Twitter account after his original one was "hacked."

According to The National Sports Journalism Center, the former AOL Fanhouse and Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist and ESPN Around The Horn TV personality lost his original account on October 22nd, and gained @realjaymariotti Monday.

In contacting the NSJC, Mariotti showed his hostility to blogs, even though he may wind up with his own blog, or being on someone's blog, some day soon. Jay wrote:

"In response to a typically inaccurate blog item referenced by your site, my first Twitter account had to shut down due to suspected hacking. My new account, @realjaymariotti is up, complete with photo."

Frankly it's sad that someone out there feels they have to take away Jay's ability to express himself. Look, we may not agree with what he says, but he not only has a right to say it in America, Mariotti represents one of a few of a dying breed, and that's the well-paid sports columnist.

Mariotti is the custodian of the art of the argument in sports in America. That' a key part of American Culture not appreciated today.