Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Small Sign That Maybe Civilization as We Know It Is Not About to End

The MTV show "The Hills" was cancelled.  I teared up a little bit when I read this news.  Not because I was sad but, because it brought a glimmer of hope for our future.  A little hope for our future is better than none at all.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Stay Classy Tea Partiers

Check out this class act, the Tea Partier in the tie, that mocks a man (by making it rain?!?!?!) suffering from Parkinson's disease, also notice the Tea Partier on the left of the shot with the baby in the baby carrier appearing noticably uncomfortable:

And I know some will say that the above is just one bad apple.  There are a multitude of examples of Tea Party gatherings being supposedly marred by a few "bad apples" that don't reflect the true views of their movement.  I wonder why the Tea Party movement attracts so many "bad apples"?  The answer to that question probably says a lot about the Tea Party movement. 

Here's my answer to why the Tea Party movement attracts so many "bad apples": the Tea Party movement, at least in part, preaches a politics of fear of change, fear of the different, and just plain fear.  If, in part, the Tea Party continues to preach fear, other fear-preaching groups and individuals will continue to be attacted to the Tea Party.  Exactly how many bad apples have to be caught on video or photographed before it's decided that maybe the whole barrel is tainted?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"I'm Not Saying, I'm Just Saying"

More on the politics of the day (especially since lousy Kansas destroyed my bracket).  I know the GOP and Tea Partiers and rubbing their hands together getting ready for a huge gain in one or both chambers of our fair Congress.  But, 8 months is a long time.  Look at recent history, for example.  Don't forget, McCain was polling great against both potential Democratic presidential nominees, Obama and Clinton, in late March and early April of 2008 in key batteground states.  Let me be clear, I think the Dems will lose seats in the House for sure and maybe even the Senate.  However, it may not be as bad for Dems and good for GOP'ers.   

Things can and will change.  Voters attention will shift away from health insurance reform by Nov. 2010, trust me.  Surely Glenn Beck will come up with another political crisis at which he can point his fanatical Tea Party followers by Nov. 2010.  And don't forget that Tea Party candidates may run and split the GOP votes in some midterm elections.  Look at what happened in the upstate New York special election in 2008, a Dem won a seat that been held by the GOP since Reconstruction.  Financial regulation reform is the next political fight to be had and it should be a doozy.  Who knows what will be at the top of voters' lists as THE important issue when Nov. 2010 rolls around.  Memories fade.  It's only March 2010 not November 2010.  8 months till the midterm elections is a long, long, long time, especially in politics.  To quote a good friend of mine, "I'm not saying, I'm just saying."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Who Said Change Was Going To Be Easy

Health insurance reform passed.  At least some form of it.  Here's a decent synopsis of what's in the bill.  It's not what ultra-liberals wanted, a single-payer, run by the government, health insurance option available to all people regardless of income level.  It's definitely not what conservatives wanted, which was to maintain the status quo in which 30+ million Americans were without healthcare. 

Remember, conservatives have been against every major piece of progressive, "liberal" legislation in the last one hundred years including, but, not limited to, labor laws (including mandatory maximum work weeks, establishment of a minimum wage and every increase since then for example), social security, disability, medicare, medicaid.  I'm sure there's more but, that's all that I can think of off the top of my head.  Tea partiers must be besides themselves.  And will Limbaugh really leave the country now?

Obama ran on change and this legislation is certainly that.  Health insurance legislation was one the cornerstones of Obama's change platform.  The Dems won the presidency and both chambers of Congress on the coattails of Obama's pledge of change.  And when a party wins both the presidency and the Congress you get change.  And then you get a political backlash against that change.  It almost happens like clockwork, especially in a president's first term.  In fact only 3 presidents since Reconstruction have netted seats in midterm elections (FDR-first midterm gain, Clinton-second midterm gain and W.-first midterm gain; I attritbute W.'s midterm success in 2002 to the goodwill directed towards him and the GOP in the aftermath of 9/11, but, that's just my take).  Let's see what happens next.  Maybe the Dems lose the House or Senate in the midterm elections.  I certainly doubt they lose both.  Dodd's financial reform bill just flew through the Senate committee and is headed to the Senate floor for debate.  More change on the way?  Who could possibly be against financial rules changes in the wake of "too big to fail?"

But, as usual, I digress.  So there will be changes in health insurance but not as much as some wanted and way more than others desired.  That compromises were made should surprise no one.  Don't forget some of the definitions of compromise: 1. To arrive at a settlement by making concessions; 2. To reduce the quality, value, or degree of something.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rick Barnes Is Brilliant, But Why?

I made a snarky comment on facebook, something like, "Rick Barnes is brilliant because he's the basketball coach at a football school?  Do you think he's a facebook friend of the Duke football coach?"

Seriously, since 2002 UT has made the sweet sixteen or better 6 times.  Three elite 8's and one final four.  Not bad.  But, this year they went from being ranked number 1 in the nation to getting bounced out of the tourney in the first round.  And I would guess that Rick Barnes' job is secure.  For now. 

The last and only final 4 UT has reached since Barnes has been at the helm was in 2003.  And this year was a major step backwards.  UT is regressing as a program.  Albeit regressing from a final 4 appearance in 2003 but nevertheless still regressing.  If they continue to on their current track next season (make the tourney and get bounced in the first or second round, or worse don't make the tourney) then Barnes should maybe worry.  Maybe.  Remember, he's a basketball coach at a football school.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Why the UT Mens' Basketball Team Lost

I feel my bad fandom regarding the mens' Texas Longhorns basketball team contributed to their early exit from the Big 12 tournament. Plus, they didn't score as many points as their opponent. Come to think of it, the points thing probably had more to do with them losing then my fan apathy. They're just not playing as well as they were early in the year and Baylor actually has a pretty darn good team.

To compare and contrast, I even made a point to wear my lucky UT "Hawaiian-style" shirt to the football Big 12 Championship this year. I/we/they needed every thread of that shirt to pull out the win. Although, I did wear the same shirt while watching  the National Championship on TV and they didn't win. But, I've determined that the shirt is fine, it's just that I wasn't watching the National Championship game in person.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Scariest Thing I've Seen In a While

I was flipping channels and stopped for a good 2 minutes on a PBS broadcast of "Celtic Thunder: Entertainment!" while some weird group, dressed in tuxedos, with a karaoke-caliber lead singer performed that "I Would Walk 500 Miles" song from years ago. Then I shook myself out of the trance the show had me in and change...d the channel quickly. It scared me badly. Still not sure what the lasting effect will be.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Funniest Show On TV? The Funniest Person On TV?

The Funniest Show On TV?  Maybe it's Tosh.0 on Comedy Central, Wed. nights 9:30pm, central time.

The Funniest Person On TV?  In my humble opinion it's Daniel Tosh, host of, you guessed it, Tosh.0.  I choose Tosh over Ricky Gervais and his show on HBO only because Gervais has the benefit of one Kyle Pilkington.  Tosh is, what I like to call, "offensive but, funny, so it's OK to laugh."  Some could attempt to discount Tosh.0 as merely a YouTube/internet video clip show.  That would be like people saying The Soup with Joel McHale (another great show and funny dude-wow there is some stuff worth watching on TV) is just a TV clip show.  Those same people probably think Big Trouble In Little China is just a "B" movie.  But, I digress.  Tosh.0 is so much more than just an "internet video clip show."  Yet, here I am imploring you to check out a clip.  Is that irony?  I don't know.  Alanis Morisette, I blame you for my confusion about what is ironic and what is just a coincidence:
Oh My Gosh
Web Redemption2 Girls, 1 Cup ReactionDemi Moore Picture

And no, I'm not being paid to promote the show.  But gosh, I wish I was.  But, I'd only accept payment in the form of non-sequential, unmarked bills, a mix of 20's and 100's, delivered at random, never-used-twice drop areas.  And Tosh.0's people would go along with it.  Don't worry, I'd report the income on my taxes.  I really do believe in the rule of law.  But, the Tosh.0 people wouldn't necessarily know that.  They'd have to be wondering if they were somehow helping me break the law by paying me in this crazy way.  And that would let me know they really care.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This REALLY Gets On My Nerves For Some Reason

Yes, I watched the Academy Awards last night. And at least twice last night, that I recall, presenters said Avatar is the top grossing movie of all time.  As I've written before, if you adjust for ticket price inflation, Avatar is nowhere near the top.  When you adjust for ticket price inflation you get a number that at least approximates the number of tickets actually sold.  And that means Avatar (Dances With Blue Aliens) is at best number 11 when adjusted for ticket price inflation.

Why do I dislike Avatar?  Because I dislike James Cameron.  Why?  Because I blame him for bolstering the career of one Celine Dion (cue the song from Titanic in your head, "Near, far, wherever you are...").  See, you don't like it either.

I'll leave you with this.  Celine Dion walks into a bar, the bartender says, "why the long face?"