Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Belling handicap

I really didn't think this little post was going to generate as much controversy as it has (thanks to the Wisconsin State Journal for giving me credit). Mark Belling's pre-race flippant remark about Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird has attracted blog posts and newspaper coverage reporting his promise to vote for Governor Jim Doyle.

It was obviously a joke. He also promised never to bet on horses again. He might as well have thrown in a free trip on a Mark Belling cruise.

State Democratic Party Chairman Joe Wineke, probably in the same spirit, sent an invitation to Belling to join the Democratic Party. Belling responded on Monday's show, saying he would not weasel out of his statement he would vote for Doyle if Doyle kept his promise not to raise taxes. Belling even upped the ante today promising to donate money and volunteer for Doyle if the Governor would keep to his word and not raise taxes.

The whole thing has been hilarious but there are three points I want to raise.
1) Some whiners complained they didn't make money on Belling's Kentucky Derby picks. As a result, Belling says he won't post the picks for horse races anymore.

I cannot believe anyone would be upset over losing money if they followed the advice of a radio talk show host for betting on a horse race. Are they insane? I don't care if the favorite won and Belling didn't pick him. It's a horse race and weird things happen. If you think you have a sure thing because some guy on the radio suggests a wagering strategy, you're just plain stupid and I would bet a Darwin Award is probably in your near future.

That said, this horse had no business being in the race, let alone winning. If they shrunk the number of entrants allowed (as has been suggested by some in the past), this horse would have been the first or second horse rejected.

I have bet using Belling's picks in the past. I won some and I lost some. By looking at (and learning from) his picks, I now don't feel like an idiot trying to bet on a horse race at the window. I hope he changes his mind and continues to make his picks.

2) I doubt those bloggers and journalists so eager to see Belling vote for Jim Doyle were ever eager to see Alex Baldwin flee the country after Al Gore lost to George Bush. Too bad these people who are so hyper about this issue have no problem when their fellow Democrats lie to their faces just to get elected. But if they can live with President Obama and Governor Doyle lying in the pursuit of power, then maybe they can forget about a little joke by Mark Belling.

3) I have more than a minor nit to pick with Tim Cuprisin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Cuprisin wrote, "He said the governor had vowed in 2003 not to raise taxes".

I joked the other day when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel left me off the list of people that use Twitter worth following that I would cancel my subscription in retlaiation except that I would have to subscribe first. Apparently I am not the only person who Twitters that does subscribe to the newspaper, because if Cuprisin read his own newspaper he would know Governor Doyle said in 2003 he would not raise taxes, and would not have to resort to "He said..." Whether or not Belling said what Doyle promised, Doyle did it. It would be nice if someone other than conservatives called Doyle on it, even as the Democrats are sending taxes in this state through the roof.