Slow posting these last couple of days as a result of plentiful World Cup games to watch, a flurry of important Supreme Court decisions to wade through, and that full-time job I have. I’ll have a review of the WC group stage tomorrow and new knockout stage predictions on Saturday, but in the meantime, a few thoughts on miscellaneous topics from the past few days:
- It’s been extremely pleasant to watch soccer culture grow stronger in the US by the day, even if a certain shrieking witch thinks otherwise. (I do not link to trolls.) I’m more reserved than the average American about US potential in the short term, but there’s something pleasant about universal joy and pain in a relatively harmless endeavor. I’ve written in this space before that there are plenty of reasons to dislike organized sports, and FIFA is a major reason why, but if I had to choose, I’d prefer the US be united by Fabian Johnson than by bombing campaigns abroad.
- Relatedly, “guy famous for biting opponents bites an opponent” was a real story this week, so that’s something we all have to live with now.
- I haven’t commented on the ongoing IRS email scandal (in short, a top IRS official claims her email relevant to the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups was lost in a computer crash days after an investigation into that began) because it’s still early, and because it’s unlikely we can ever definitively know many things I’d need to know before making judgments. Obviously it’s possible that this is an innocent mistake, made possible by the government’s awful IT policies, and it’s also possible that it was staged to avoid some embarrassing emails from emerging. What you believe probably has more to do with whom you voted for in 2012 than the evidence, so I won’t get into it. I do like that the country seems to be noticing the hypocrisy involved – the IRS wouldn’t let anyone get away with a story like that – and perhaps the abuse of the office for political purposes will make more people realize that we shouldn’t entrust a whole lot of power to these agencies.
- There was a massive downward revision to the first-quarter US GDP estimate, and everyone is revising what it all means. All you need to know is that everyone was right initially and everyone is right now.
- Can’t forget to congratulate my Vanderbilt Commodores for winning the NCAA baseball championship (which I refuse to call the World Series). Great accomplishment for a great school.