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About me

I'm Brendan Loy, a 26-year-old graduate of USC and Notre Dame now living and working in Knoxville, Tennessee. My wife Becky and I are brand-new parents of a beautiful baby girl, born on New Year's Eve.

I'm a big-time sports fan, a politics, media & law junkie, an astronomy buff, a weather nerd, an Apple aficionado, a Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter fanatic, and an all-around dork. My blog is best-known for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina, but I blog about anything and everything that interests me.

You can contact me at irishtrojan [at], or donate to my "tip jar" by clicking the link below:

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June 30, 2008

Signing off

By Brendan Loy

G'nite, all. See you on the other side.

The end

By Brendan Loy

Guestblogging is turned off, and I'll be shutting down comments in a few minutes, and redirecting this URL to the new blog shortly thereafter.

Thanks for the memories, everybody.

Oh, and don't be deceived by the title of this post. Much like The Return of the King, this blog will have more than one ending. :) One final "signing off" post will follow...

P.S. Since I'll be signing off as the "Irish Trojan," I should probably link one last time to the post that started it all, in regard to that name.

Apropos of nothing

By Brendan Loy

Somehow, I've had this blog for over six years without ever posting this clip. Well, time to fix that omission while there's still time:

Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials

By David K.

So, the far-right group American Family Association is one of apparently many right-wing groups that use auto-correct to replace potentially offensive (to them at least) words in articles posted to their news streams.  I don't even know if it's legal to take an AP article and auto-replace words like that.

Well, the AFA has a problem with the word "gay" and so they auto-replace it with the word "homosexual".  (Any of you following the Olympic trials can see where this is going.)  Trouble is that "gay" isn't always used to mean homosexual.  Not only can it mean happy, it also happens to be a not uncommon last name.  Such is the case with Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay.  Which of course leads us to the utterly hilarious headline that is the title of this post.

You can read more about this utterly pointless and unintentionally hillarious pseudo-censorship here.

McCain predicts Bradley Effect?

By Brendan Loy

Hmm... this is interesting:

The presumptive GOP nominee tells voters in an afternoon Pickersville, Pennsylvania town hall that the state will pick the winner in November โ€” and he will be behind until right before the polls close.

McCain's point seems to be simply that he's the underdog, which is undoubtedly true. But, if the election is close, it's quite possible that he'll be literally right; indeed, he might seem to be behind even after some polls close... until the combined impact of the Bradley-Wilder Effect and the Exit-Poll Liberal Selection Bias Effect (see: the Seven-Hour Presidency of John Kerry) is revealed, when actual vote totals -- as opposed to final opinion polls and leaked exit polls -- reveal a narrow McCain victory.

I'm not predicting it. I'm just saying it's a possibility.

"Period. Full stop."

By Brendan Loy

Just a thought: it would be nice to see John McCain clarify his non-answer about Barack Obama's patriotism in the same sort of straightforward, no-nonsense, not-open-to-interpretation way that Obama responded today to Wesley Clark's comments questioning the value of McCain's military service.

The John McCain of 2000 and 2004 would have done it. Will the John McCain of 2008?

P.S. Incidentally, Obama also criticized -- specifically its "General Betray Us" ad -- in the same speech.

UPDATE: It seems Obama's answer on the Clark front isn't good enough for the McCain campaign, which appears to be implicitly adopting the position that a candidate can be faulted for anything his supporters say, even after the candidate clearly and explicitly disavows it. I trust the McCain folks won't mind when this same standard is applied to them.

McCain's only hope in this election is to make the case that he is the true candidate of change, reform, "straight talk," etc. In short, he needs the "McCain brand" to both survive the collapse of the "Republican brand" and to trump the shininess of the "Obama brand." It's a tough task, but Obama has recently opened the door for McCain with his reversals on several issues, particularly campaign financing. (For that matter, the thing is something of a flip-flop; Obama pointedly did not vote on the resolution to condemn the ad, back when it was primary season and a "Yes" vote might have hurt him with the base.) McCain is obviously trying to take advantage of the opportunity he's been handed. But, in this still-undecided voter's view, he's doing so in precisely the wrong way.

McCain needs to kill Obama with kindness, honesty and straightforwardness, not heavy-handedly twist and contort his words in a blatant political game that ultimately holds Obama's statements and actions to a standard that McCain himself cannot possibly meet. The latter course might be enough to fool some low-information voters, but those folks aren't paying attention yet anyway, and in the mean time, opinion leaders in the media and blogosphere -- who are crucial to the survival of the McCain brand -- are going to see right through McCain. You can't become perceived as the candidate of the "high road" by taking a short cut on the low road. It just won't work.

I suggest that McCain read Mark Halperin's advice from last week, particularly:

14. Recognize that gimmicks ... are seen as just that โ€” gimmicks. ...

17. Avoid personalizing your disdain for Obama. ...

22. Protect the McCain Brand at all costs โ€“ it is the only thing that gives you a chance to win!!

More on the big blog move

By Brendan Loy

In anticipation of the imminent end of this blog -- and redirection of its traffic to a new, weekly blog -- I figured I should give y'all a little more detail on what's happening.

Although I've focused on the weekly blog in discussing this issue, I'm actually replacing "Irish Trojan in Tennessee" with three separate blogs:

  • a weekly blog, named "Hopefully Considered";
  • a photoblog, named "Light and High Beauty";
  • and a moblog, named "Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost."

Yes, the latter two titles are both Lord of the Rings references. :) As for "Hopefully Considered," it is, as I explained before, a reference to my Papa Loy's old newspaper column. I appreciated all of your suggestions, some of which were quite good, but I ultimately decided that I liked my original idea best. (The subtitle is "Brendan Loy's Weekly Musings," adapted from David K.'s suggestion. I decided to drop the "Irish Trojan" moniker altogether, though it's still referenced, at least for now, in the new blogs' sidebars.)

All three new blogs are powered by Blogger and hosted on Blogspot's servers, but with domain redirection to make them look like they're on my server. Thus, the URLs -- which are already active, though the blogs are still works-in-progress -- are,, and (Regular readers may want to bookmark those.)

The major change tonight, aside from some final tweaks to make the blogs ready for prime time, will be that,, and -- all of which currently point here -- will instead redirect to

You may be wondering why on earth I'm replacing one blog with three blogs (or four, if you count the Linklog, which is a "companion" to the weekly blog; or five, if you count my Pajamas Media hurricane blogging), when the whole purpose of this switch is to cut back on the time I spend blogging. I know it's a bit counterintuitive. But I actually think it'll work well, when you consider my twin goals of: 1) spending less time blogging, while 2) continuing to have outlets for the types of blogging that I can do without eating up all my free time.

Continue reading "More on the big blog move" ยป

Somebody get this guy a latte

By Brendan Loy

Remember Tom Buffenbarger, the machinists' union blowhard who unleashed a hilariously unhinged anti-Obama rant on Hillary Clinton's behalf during her post-Wisconsin-primary rally back in February? I'll refresh your memory:

[During his speech introducing Clinton,] Buffenbarger derisively dismissed Obama as a mere "wunderkind," a "man in love with the microphone," and "a poet, not a fighter." He repeatedly and pointedly called him "the junior senator from Illinois" (as if Hillary isn't the junior senator from New York?). He compared Obama to "Janus, the two-faced Roman god of ancient times." And then he really got going:

"The Barack Show is playing to rave reviews, sold out on college campus after college campus, standing-room-only crowds to hear his silver-tongued oration. Hope! Change! Yes, we can! Give me a break! I've got news for all the latte-drinking, Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust-fund babies crowding in to hear him speak! This guy won't last a round against the Republican attack machine!"

... Buffenbarger [also made the] blatantly anti-intellectual argument -- repeated twice -- that Obama can't "fight" for the working class because he was "the editor of the Harvard Law Review." I guess Hillary's stint as an editor of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action establishes her credentials as a real union stiff?

Buffenbarger blustered so buffoonishly that I proposed a new verb to describe his actions: "to buffenbarger," meaning "to engage in an inappropriately vitriolic attack on a member of one's own political party." (TPM Cafe contributor David Schlitt had a similar idea.)

Well, it turns out ol' Tom is still buffenbargering after all these months:

Now is not the right time for the [International Association of Machinists] to endorse Senator Barack Obama... Our members feel the economy squeezing their family finances for every last dime, every single week ... But those meat and potato issues have not found a place in the message frame developed by Senator Obama's campaign. To us, hope and change are not antidotes to the economic pressures blue-collar families face... In the Machinists Union, a predominately blue-collar union, the impression continues to grow that Senator Barack Obama could care less about folks like us.

McCain-Buffenbarger '08! ;)

Thank you, Brendan...

By Joe Loy

...for all your hyperactively-excellent :} work on This incarnation of the ongoing Brendanblog; and in its Next Generation may you compile a tomorrow worthy of all the yesterdays (but less time-consuming :).

Thank you too, for the honor of having been Included on your suspicious auspiscious roster of usual suspects distinguished Guestbloggers ;]. The opportunity to Ventilate my odd opinions (and in my Own peculiar diction, unpasteurized! :) has been Important to me. Seriously, it has.

You're a Good one, old Kiddoe. / And now (as Nana Loy would say:) ~ Onward & Upward!

~ Dad

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