but the biggest thing that happened in downtown LA this weekend

took place a few blocks north of staples center, when the LA Times received word that yes Matt Welch would accept the offer and be their new assistant editor of their Opinion section.

yes, this is bigger news than Kobe.


this is isla vista in the house.

this is long beach in the house.

this is los feliz in the house.

matt welch isnt any ivy league fancyboy with lasik and his third beamer. hes a ucsb dropout, one of the original warbloggers, a prague xpat who covered the first nader campaign and is leaving a successful stint at the libertarian news journal Reason.

and todays proof that you do not need a college degree to be successful.

along with many ucsb daily nexus staffers of the late 80s early 90s matt started the first english daily newspaper in prauge, Prognosis, and at night drank beer and played guitar in several bands.

as Editor in Cheif he met with various members of government and once Prognosis had finished he easilly moved over to the Buddapest Business Journal with Ken Layne (now with Sploid) and Henry Copeland

before he left europe to return to america he found himself the hottest french girl he could find and

he asked her if she knew any hotter french girls that he might have overlooked somehow and she said no

but then after a few bottles of becherovka the truth came out and she said one name


he found her; promised her a life of angel games, neighbors whose pit bulls would bark throughout the night, and garden parties frequented by the likes of … bloggers.

she said oui and now you have someone at the la times who’s literally in bed with the french.

the nexus has breached the gates.

first with the daily news and now with the times.

and in pure isla vista style, welch did not kiss the host’s ass on his way in.

in late november he criticized the Times’ (lack of) coverage of the LAUSD trying to bulldoze 50 homes near downtown, and they printed it and paid him

in early novemeber he ridiculed the relationship between the Dodgers and LAT sports columnists Bill Plaschke and T.J. Simers.

“As every long-suffering sports fan in this town knows all too well, ‘the Los Angeles media’ is unfortunately synonymous with the Sports section of the paper you are holding. Especially its two loud-mouthed, value-subtracting columnists, Plaschke and T.J. Simers.”

and not only did they print that puppy too but they hired his ass to revitalize the section that they have struggled with for quite a long time now.

correct me if im wrong, but this could well be the highest ascension that a blogger has lept to from the blogosphere to the 4th estate. yes, there have been old media types who have taken to blogging, but to have a real warblogger make the jump from blogger.com to la times opinion page in less than five years is outstanding, and totally deserving of being compared to kobe’s feat last night.

looks like ive gotta get a subscription to the times now.

matt’s past columns + matt’s announcement + matt was tsar’s original bassplayer

many of my readers are canadian

i dont know what ive done to deserve such a blessing, but ive learned to adapt.

one of them sent me an open letter that Michael Moore addressed to canadian voters today, their election day.

she asked me politely to post it on my blog, and here i am doing it.


Michael Moore is currently in production on his next movie. As an avid lover of all things Canadian, he has issued the following statement regarding Canada’s upcoming election on Monday:

Oh, Canada — you’re not really going to elect a Conservative majority on Monday, are you? That’s a joke, right? I know you have a great sense of humor, and certainly a well-developed sense of irony, but this is no longer funny. Maybe it’s a new form of Canadian irony — reverse irony! OK, now I get it. First, you have the courage to stand against the war in Iraq — and then you elect a prime minister who’s for it. You declare gay people have equal rights — and then you elect a man who says they don’t. You give your native peoples the ir own autonomy and their own territory — and then you vote for a man who wants to cut aid to these poorest of your citizens. Wow, that is intense! Only Canadians could pull off a hat trick of humor like that. My hat’s off to you.

Far be it from me, as an American, to suggest what you should do. You already have too many Americans telling you what to do. Well, actually, you’ve got just one American who keeps telling you to roll over and fetch and sit. I hope you don’t feel this appeal of mine is too intrusive but I just couldn’t sit by, as your friend, and say nothing. Yes, I agree, the Liberals have some ‘ splainin’ to do. And yes, one party in power for more than a decade gets a little… long. But you have a parliamentary system (I’ll bet you didn’t know that — see, that’s why you need Americans telling you things!). There are ways at the polls to have your voices heard other than throwing the baby out with the bath water.

These are no ordinary times , and as you go to the polls on Monday, you do so while a man running the nation to the south of you is hoping you can lend him a hand by picking Stephen Harper because he’s a man who shares his world view. Do you want to help George Bush by turning Canada into his latest conquest? Is that how you want millions of us down here to see you from now on? The next notch in the cowboy belt? C’mon, where’s your Canadian pride? I mean, if you’re going to reduce Canada to a cheap download of Bush & Co., then at least don’t surrender so easily. Can’t you wait until he threatens to bomb Regina? Make him work for it, for Pete’s sake.

But seriously, I know you’re not going to elect a guy who should really be running for governor of Utah. Whew! I knew it! You almost had me there. Very funny. Don’t do that again. God, I love you, you crazy cold wonderful neighbors to my north. Don’t ever change.

Michael Moore

(Mr. Moore is not available for interviews because he now needs to address the situation in Azerbaijan. But he could be talked into it for a couple of tickets to a Leaf’s game. )

kobe bryant scored 81 points last night

to put that in perspective, if i could average 20 points a game in the nba i would not only be a multi-millionare but i would probably be an all-star.

last night kobe scored enough for four all-stars.

steve nash was the nba mvp last year. he scored 28 points last night.

so kobe scored enough for three mvps.

elton brand was an early favorite for mvp this year. last night elton scored 12 points.

kobe scored more than six elton brands.

michael jordan’s biggest game was 69 points, infact only one other nba player has ever scored more points than kobe did last night, wilt chamberlain who wound up with an even 100 – a feat many attribute to his gigantic height (7’1″).

regular readers of the busblog know that im no fan of kobe bryant.

what he did to the lakers by causing such a stink that it drove shaq to miami, derek fisher to oakland, and phil jackson to write a book talking shit about the phenom – is inexcusable.

i also think he was insane to get married so young.

and i dont like the way he gave up on the mini-fro.

with that said i cant believe the local news made los angeles wait eight full minutes to tell us about shootouts on the streets, high winds, and national politics before they busted with the real news of the day:

that the lakers are back to being interesting again.

LA is not as cool when the lakers suck. thats just the facts.

and i dont know if a drug test is in order, but lamar odom is waltzing around the court like he’s back on the bong.

kobe didnt drop 81 last night cuz he was selfish, he knocked em down because lamar was 1-8 from the field. it was a necessity.

in what might be the highest production ever in a month, kobe in january scored 48, 50, 45, 41, 27, 38, 37, 51, 37, and now 81 points.

and during that tear the Lakers are 7-3, beating teams like philly, miami, indy, and cleveland. not too shabby.

sadly the kids over at metafilter who arent very good at talking sports, unless its soccer, chose to discount the incredible month that kobe and the lakers are having and instead focus on the long-forgotten rape accusation that was dropped once the young lady was to take the stand.

such a shame that some of the biggest Black athletes and celebs who have gone to court and exited innocent are often treated by some as if the mere accusation was enough to ensure guilt, and so therefore theyre guilty. forget what the court said.

but whats worse is that immediately after one of those athletes has the game of his life – one of the top games ever in the history of the league – those people cannot simply allow the game to be appreciated for just a little while. a few minutes even.

i have shaq’s rookie cards on my mantle, i have shaq mvp posters next to my fridge, i have phil jackson’s book on my boombox in my bathroom. mine is not a sanctuary for mr bryant.

but even i have to give him his props for totally dominating last night,

and for the first time in a very long time, i am glad that he’s the present and the future of this team.

words i never thought id type.

Update: Watch all 81 points here – thanks scott