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Showing posts from December, 2011

It's hard to defend Rick Perry

Not that I felt the need to defend him. But before clicking on this link that was preempted by Andrew Sullivan asking how dumb Perry is, I wanted to give Perry the benefit of the doubt that he wasn't dumb so much as he may have misspoken. Andrew probably wasn't being hyperbolic:

When told that the Supreme Court case struck down the Texas sodomy law, Perry said, “My position on traditional marriage is clear and I don’t know need a law. I don’t need a federal law case to explain it to me.”

The Texas governor referenced Lawrence v. Texas in his 2010 book Fed Up!, calling it one of the court cases in which “Texans have a different view of the world than do the nine oligarchs in robes.”
This was in response to being asked his opinion on the SC case that struck down anti-sodomy laws. He says he doesn't know the case, and that he shouldn't know it because he isn't a lawyer nor is trying to be one. Yeah, why would the president need to know the law in some capacity? It'…

Memphis Grizzlies home opener

It was a rematch of the fantastic playoff series from last year. And it almost lived up to those games. OKC comes into this season as a favorite of many to reach the finals. I can certainly see that given that they have three guys (Durant, Westbrook, Harden) who can consistently get their own shot and two good post defenders.

The Grizzlies enter this season with high expectations, at least for this franchise. Rudy Gay returns from a shoulder injury that prevented him from playing in the playoffs. Adding Gay's ability to a very good inside game has fans thinking the team could contend with OKC for the West.

The game opened on a downer for the Griz. On the first possession Mike Conley stepped on Perkins' foot and twisted his ankle. He didn't play the rest of the game. But the backup PG, Pargo, stepped in and played very well. Though initially this seemed to hurt the offense as they went 0 for their first 12 shots. But eventually Gay, Randolph and Gasol got going. The one p…

Summing up Obama's national security policy

Glenn Greenwald tweeted a link to this article from Michael Hirsh that discusses Obama's use of the CIA. This paragraph jumped out to me and I think one phrase in it sums up the way Obama has handled foreign policy and national security issues:

One senior official inside the CIA is forthright about the issue, at least when speaking anonymously. "It's a lot simpler and easier for a sniper to shoot or to use a Predator to launch a lawful attack than to detain and interrogate prisoners," he says. "Once they're dead, then Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International doesn't bring a habeas [corpus] case for them. If we're not going to hold them, we're 'pure.' We may not have information or intelligence, but we do ensure that no one in the human-rights community is yelling and screaming at us." In addition, the official says, not dealing with detainees has freed up the agency's resources to focus on the hunt for more terrorists.
It's…

Awards time at the Dish

Andrew Sullivan is giving out his year end awards. Go here to vote for each of them. I'll post the ones I voted for. Here is my Malkin Award Nominee courtesy of Rand Paul. My Moore Award from Orlando Jones. My vote for the Yglesias award to Lindsay Graham. I was about to give Andrew himself the Van Hoffmann Award. But I went with Jennifer Rubin instead. Here is my vote for chart of the year. My Hathos Alert vote goes to this couple's first kiss. My vote for Mental Health Break goes to the release of a seal into the wild. Adorable. And finally, my vote for face of the day is this photo of a boy killed by a drone strike.

Late anniversary

I missed my one year anniversary by a few weeks, well, more like three weeks. At that time I was busy thinking about the job interview I had coming up. That went well but didn't end up in me being employed. And my internship is done. So I'm back to being a bum and looking for a job. At least that should give me more time to blog.

I've enjoyed the past year of doing this blog. Its at least a little therapeutic to write down my thoughts, especially when something irritates me. And while they don't actually read what I write, I like interacting with the rest of the blogging community by responding to their posts and hopefully adding something to the discussion. I appreciate anyone who has stumbled across this place and taken the time to read something. Here is the shameless self promotion segment where I tell you to tell someone about this blog if you like what you read.

Its probably a safe assumption that if you are a conservative you might not enjoy what I write. I…

The Ron Paul newsletters

I think Conor Friedersdorf nails it:

For me, the disconnect between the Ron Paul newsletters, which make me sick, and Paul's words and actions in public life, which I often admire, put me in mind of the way I reacted when candidate Barack Obama was found to associate with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, both of whom had said execrable things. I couldn't defend any of it. But I could never get exercised about the association in exactly the way that writers like Victor Davis Hanson wanted, because it seemed totally implausible that if Obama was elected he would turn out to secretly share the convictions of the Weather Underground, or hope for God to damn America. It always seemed to me that those relationships were the unsavory product of personal ambition. I don't mean to suggest that the two circumstances are entirely analogous, but I do find it hard to believe that if Paul were elected, he'd turn out to be a secret racist, implement policies that targeted minorities, …

The Dark Knight Rises prologue

Here is a link to it. Check it out because I wanted to talk about what I think Nolan wanted to get across with it.

The prologue is centered around Bane. He has himself get captured as part of a plan to kidnap some guy on the plane. Along with his henchmen he grabs the guy and escapes from a plane in midair. This is very similar to a scene in The Dark Knight where Batman jumps off of a building, flies into another building that is holding the accountant employed by the mob in Gotham City. Batman grabs the guy and escapes the building by latching himself onto a plane flying by.

I think what Nolan is doing is showing that Bane is a badass and very much on par with the level of badass that Batman is on. To pull off a plan like that is hard enough for Batman. But its made easier since he is a billionaire who has easy access to the tools you need. Bane, for all we know, isn't wealthy and thus needs to be resourceful. He has help from his henchmen. But it still takes a lot of planning …

Republicans in House oppose tax cut

I'm a bit stumped by this one:

Moments ago, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 229-193 to walk away from a bipartisan compromise that would have extended for two months both the payroll tax cut for 160 million working Americans and long-term unemployment benefits for millions of jobless Americans, as well as stopped automatic cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors that are scheduled for Jan. 1, 2012. Seven Republicans joined every Democrat in opposing the motion to abandon the Senate’s compromise plan and instead move to a House-Senate conference committee.
As TP notes, this already passed the Senate 89-10. So this is something a lot of Republicans in the Senate want. And word is that Speaker Boehner gave Mitch McConnell the go ahead to negotiate a deal with Dems with the assumption Boehner would get it through the House. But the tea partiers don't want it so Boehner backed down. I can think of a few reasons why this happened.

One is the uncer…

The postmodern campaign

Kevin Drum thinks we are headed toward it, if not in it right now. Here is the quote from Mitt Romney that led him to that conclusion:

This is a president who fundamentally believes that the next century is the post-American century. Perhaps it will be the Chinese century. He is wrong.
A few things. What makes him think Obama thinks that? Where did he say that or what action demonstrates that belief? Notice the second sentence. That strongly suggests he just pulled that first sentence out of his ass. If Obama actually said something or did something he wouldn't say "perhaps" and then suggest a country. But Romney and pretty much every Republican since Obama was elected knows they can say what they want while rarely being called on their lies.

This is in big part because the press doesn't hold them accountable enough. Reporters should be asking the questions I just asked in the paragraph above. And if he doesn't have either a quote or can explain an action by Obam…

A matter of degree

A great point by Derek Thompson via Andrew Sullivan. Here is Thompson discussing Obama's socialist credentials, which he describes as not very good:

He signed a law expanding the health care regulations and requiring Americans to buy medical insurance, which I suppose you could classify as socialism-lite; although public decency and child abuse laws already require families to buy clothes and food, and nobody complains much about those. But when it comes to tax policy and redistribution, a not-insignificant part of modern democratic socialism, it's fair to say that President Obama is in the running for worst socialist in history.
I bolded what I thought was the great point. The gov't forces everyone to do all sorts of things. The ones he mentions is one of the more important ones. A few other off the top of my head are; you also have to send your kids to school, you have to drive at certain speeds, not kill or harm other people, pay even 1% of taxes, and any number of thing…

Assessing the Broncos

Aka, the most talked about 8-5 team with a negative point differential in team history. I'm doing this post because I was talking about Tebow and Cam Newton over at the Stadium Rejects forum and thought I would put my thoughts down here.

The first thing that jumps out to me is the number of pass attempts Tebow has, 198, which is the 32nd most in the league. That's a big reason he is 6th in TD% and 1st in INT%. I say that because the more you throw the ball the more likely you are to throw an INT. But he just isn't throwing the ball that much. And when he does its mostly going for an incomplete pass, as seen from his 48% completion %. That's also why is YPA is 27th. Though his AYPA is 12th because of the aforementioned TD and INT rates.

He is averaging 117 passing yards per game. That's unbelievably horrible. Though he does run more than many QBs. So you have to add that in. But that only adds another 47 yards per game. So in total he is barely over 150 yards gain…

Universal rights

I wanted to talk a bit about the concept of universal rights in relation to Obama's decision to not veto a bill that said law enforcement agencies can hold terrorist suspects in military detention indefinitely. Before Obama's veto threat, the bill was going to force the law enforcement agencies to place even suspects captured on American soil in military detention. Thankfully Obama cares about executive power enough to have them get rid of that. What a disgrace that he didn't care about the actual violation of rights of people it would have violated.

The reason the other part of the bill is still in there is basically because a majority in Congress and Obama don't believe the rest of the world enjoys the same rights as US citizens do. Both Obama and Republicans like to say otherwise. And when it comes to some rights they probably do. But at best they are wildly inconsistent in actually enforcing or respecting the concept of universal rights; something that great docum…

The Dolphins look for a new coach

I was a little surprised at the timing of it. But I fully support the firing of Tony Sparano. He was a good ole boy from the Parcells tree. I'm sure he is fine with the motivation stuff. But strategically I don't think he is up to the task. It took the owner trying to get Jim Harbaugh while he was still the coach to open up the offense a bit and get it out of deadball era. That doesn't win consistently in the modern NFL. That first year with Pennington as Qb was an aberration, which is why the team has been bad to mediocre each year since.

So now the search begins. I doubt we are going to look to the hot college coach, mostly because I don't think there is one like a Harbaugh out there. So that leaves NFL retreats and young coordinators. The retreads are easy rumor fodder since they are the easy story for the lazy writer. That's not to say its automatically wrong to speculate on that front or that it would be a bad idea. But unless that ex-coach can explain in det…

Slow blogging

I haven't posted in a while. I've been traveling. And then I got sick. So I haven't had the time and then wasn't in the mood. I started catching up on politics last night. Jon Stewart was good on the ridiculous yet predictable criticism of a show about Muslims on TLC. Some guy FoxNews had on actually said that the show should be taken off because it challenged his beliefs about Muslims. Seriously, with a straight face. What a piece of shit.

I'm way tired of the Republican presidential nominating process. They are all either crazy or too cowardly to make sense. Hey conservatives, just nominate Newt already so you can spend another 4 years screaming socialism and claiming you need to take your country back.

Will someone play a decent game and beat the freaking Broncos so that we can have at least one week of lesser Tebow mania. Jeez. Is that too much to ask, that someone scores more than 13 points against their defense? Seriously, 14 points. That will likely get yo…

Obama restricts emergency contraception

Scott Lemieux sums up the decision:

The Food and Drug Administration was on the verge of approving the emergency contraceptive known as "Plan B One Step." Access to emergency contraceptives is important to the reproductive freedom of women, and having to obtain a prescription or get past a pharmacist with reactionary moral beliefs can be a substantial burden on women.

As the FDA's decision reflected, denying over-the-counter access to emergency contraception increased unwanted pregnancies without any good medical reason. The two-tiered system that required young women under the age of 17 to obtain a prescription was also determined to increase unwanted pregnancies in the for whom they are most burdensome.

But in a decision that RH Reality Check's Jodi Jacobson calls "astounding," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has overruled her own medical experts and denied American women over-the-counter access to Plan B. This action is, quite simply…

How I Met Your Mother

I haven't written about the show in a while. That's probably because its been solid, or average, yet unspectacular. Tonight's episode wasn't quite great. But it was really good because they actually advanced a plot. And it was about my favorite character, Robin. Spoilers ahead for those who are behind in watching.

Last week's episode ended with Robin telling Barney she is pregnant. Tonight's episode picks up at that moment, with Robin being worried and Barney being excited. What I like about the story is they didn't change who Robin has been from the start of the show. As previously stated, I like Robin because he is a beautiful, smart, motivated, and confidant woman who knows what she wants out of her life and doesn't define herself purely by her relationships with other people.

She broke up with Ted because she didn't want to get married. She broke up with Barney because the relationship changed who she was. And tonight she is worried because sh…

TDKR, with a Robin appearance?

I'm kind of stealing this idea from Jett over at batmanonfilm.com. Its a great site for fans of the caped crusader. In this article, he talks about the end of Nolan's Batman trilogy and whether or not it will be considered the "definitive" Batman story.

I already consider it so. I was a huge fan of the Burton films. And I've read many of the classic comics. The comics are great. But its hard to beat experiencing it on film. And while Burton's films were fun, they don't stack up to Nolan's. So when I think Batman I think Nolan, Bale and co. And TDKR would have to be a catastrophic letdown in order for me to not see the Nolan trilogy as THE Batman story.

But Jett has a really interesting question. How can a Batman story be definitive without Robin? He doesn't get into the meat of his answer in that article. He is saving it for part 2. But I wanted to be a dick and take the idea and tackle it myself. The reason you don't hear people clamoring f…

Community

I got to enjoy two of my favorite things Thursday night; Community and Batman. In true Abed fashion, he buys an exclusively exclusive edition of The Dark Knight which is signed by Christian Bale saying, "Abed is now Batman". It also contains commentary by Christian Bale. So needless to say, this is an awesomely special dvd.

Annie was being Annie when she accidentally stepped on the dvd and destroyed it. She tries to cover it up by saying someone broke in and stole it. So in true Abed fashion, he put on his Batman outfit and set out to solve the crime. I love Abed not just because he knows about geeky stuff like Batman, but also because he actually does things people who love that stuff want to do, like dress as Batman and try to solve a crime. He gets to live out geek fantasies.

The funniest parts to me were Annie doing the Bale Batman voice. And then when Abed jumps out the window, with Annie following him, Troy saying that Annie living with them was supposed to real them…