Bye bye bianconeri

JUVENTUS Retrocessione in serie B con 30 punti di penalizzazione da scontare nel campionato 2006-2007; revoca dello scudetto 2004-2005; non assegnazione dello scudetto 2005-2006; 80.000 euro di ammenda
FIORENTINA Retrocessione all’ultimo posto e penalizzazione di 12 punti nel campionato 2006-2007, 50.000 euro di ammenda
LAZIO Retrocessione ultimo posto e penalizzazione di 7 punti nel campionato 2006-2007, 40.000 euro di ammenda
MILAN Penalizzazione di 44 punti nel campionato 2005-2006, penalizzazione di 15 punti da scontare nel campionato 2006-2007, 30.000 euro di ammenda

So, they didn’t slap Juve on the wrist after all. Their 2005 title is revoked while their 2006 title will not be awarded to anyone. (Presumably this means Milan will claim the 2005 scudetto.) Fined EUR 80k, whatever, but they’ll start their Serie B campaign with a 30-point disadvantage. I suppose it’s still possible that they could win promotion, but that will be tough when starting 10 games back in a 34-game season. Especially if your best players leave for Real Madrid, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

Fiorentina and Lazio are both relegated as well and are penalized 12 and 7 points retrospectively next season. Milan loses 44 points for last season, 15 points next season and all three get small fines that one of their substitutes could pay without noticing it.

The point of retroactively subtracting points is to give Milan’s Champion’s League place to Roma, while Inter takes Juve’s. That lets Chievo Verona and Palermo grab the UEFA Cup spots, and more importantly, the three clubs that would have been relegated to Serie A, Messina, Lecce and Treviso, get another chance to stay up in Serie A. Inter and Roma fans will be happy, although I’d love to see Chievo give them a run for their money.

And, of course, I’ll be joining most of Italy in hoping to see Juve fall short of promotion next season. Forza… chiunque gioca contra loro!

They really, really, think you’re stupid

From the Washington Times:

Less than two months after voting overwhelmingly to build 370 miles of new fencing along the border with Mexico, the Senate yesterday voted against providing funds to build it…. All told, 34 senators — including most of the Republican leadership — voted in May to build the fence but yesterday opposed funding it.

But you know, if you don’t vote for the right lizard this fall, the wrong lizard might win.

Happy Bastille Day

I love Bastille Day! I mean, what’s not to like about the French Revolution? Don’t forget to behead an amphibian today by way of celebration!

Insulting your intelligence

Cal Thomas notes that Republicans hope you are really, really stupid:

House Republicans are being told by their leaders to run campaigns this fall on a platform of fiscal discipline that includes cutting spending. This from a party that has given us new entitlement programs resembling Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society; this from a party that has set new records in “earmarks” for pork barrel projects in their home districts and states; this from a party that under Ronald Reagan at least tried to eliminate the Department of Education, but under President Bush has thrown new money at it with no appreciable improvement in academic achievement….

[House Majority Leader John] Boehner’s concluding line might have worked better in 1994 when hopes were high that a Republican majority would mean smaller government and less spending: “Reversing the culture in Washington that believes the solution to every problem involves more government and more spending is not easy.” It’s easier if you haven’t spent your principles and care more about staying in office than doing what you promised, but have refused to do.

There’s no way that approach will work. You need to be dumb enough to be a Democratic voter to fall for that sort of thing. It’s not that it’s hard to lie to Republicans – 2006 will be the most important election EVER – but to pull this sort of thing off, you need an audience of illiterates, dropouts and unemployables of the sort that the Democrats depend upon.

I’m no Republican, but I still find it tremendously amusing that so many Democrats actually think they are smarter than Republicans based upon their political affiliation. I mean, you’d think they’d be capable of taking into account that every exit poll shows the average Democrat to be poorer and less well-educated than the average Republican, right, but I suppose if they could do that, they probably wouldn’t be Democrats in the first place. Sure, the Dems have the eggheads in the professariat, but then, the professariat has been inordinately socialist in every country around the world since the 1920s.

Let off lightly

From the Corriere della Sera:

Ecco come finirà, almeno secondo la clamorosa anticipazione riportata in prima pagina dalla Gazzetta dello Sport. Juventus, Fiorentina e Lazio retrocesse in serie B. Milan in A , ma senza la possibilità di partecipare alle coppe europee. In più ci sarà una partenza ad handicap molto forte in termini di punti per i bianconeri nella serie cadetta. Penalizzazione di 6-7 punti, invece, per gigliati e biancazzurri. Per la Juventus si parla invece di un handicap di 20 punti. Quanto al Milan, oltre alla sanzione afflittiva da scontare nel campionato appena concluso, in modo da non poter partecipare alle coppe, si parla di una possibile, ma improbabile penalizzazione di 15 punti nel prossimo campionato.

It will end like this, at least according to the early report on the first page of the Gazetto dello Sport. Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio are relegated to Serie B, AC Milan will stay in Serie A but without the possibility of competing in the European tournaments. Additionally, there will be a severe handicap for Juve in the lower leage. The penalty will be 6 or 7 points, instead, for Fiorentina and Lazio. For Juventus they are talking about a handicap of 20 points. As for AC Milan, other than the sanctions effected on the season already concluded, which will prevent them from playing in the Champions League or the UEFA Cup, they are talking about the possibile, but unlikely penalty of 15 points next season.

I’m disappointed. Juve deserved to suffer far worse than either Fiorentina or Lazio, as the entire affair was directed by its president and this is hardly the first time that the bianconeri have been proven to be corrupt, cheating bastards. I wanted them to go down to Serie C at a minimum, I’m not sure that forcing them to start less than seven games back will prove enough to keep them from bouncing right back to Serie A next season. Sure, they’ll take a solid financial hit, but that’s meaningless to a team financed by Khadafi’s oil wealth. What’s ridiculous is that this penalty is harsher on Fiorentina or Lazio than it is on the team most responsible for the entire Calcipoli affair. I’m glad that Milan hasn’t been too hard hit, though, and it will be interesting to see what is done about the last two tainted scudetti. If Juve is stripped of both championships but both Milan is deducted points from last season, then theoretically Milan will claim the title from two years ago, but Inter will claim last year’s.