Saturday, November 15, 2008

From White House to the outhouse

I can't quite figure out who inherited more of a mess: Barack Obama at the White House or his brother-in-law at Oregon State?

Now that the election is over, Craig Robinson had better start worrying about his own Ws. The Beavers lost all 18 of their conference games last year and opened up this season with a loss at ... Howard.

Sheesh. Tough times ahead for the Beavers indeed. Continue Reading »

Friday, November 14, 2008

"My Viewers Will Kill You. Literally."

Bill O'Reilly is loathsome:

Even moreso than the Times, Fox News can't seem to let go of trite and clich├ęd red state-blue state dichotomies, even in the face of Barack Obama's bountiful harvest of "red" electoral votes. Exhibit A: Bill O'Reilly warning Daily Show host Jon Stewart not to visit the "center-right" South on pain of death, and criticizing his "Greenwich Village... crew." We wouldn't be speaking in some kind of code here, would we Bill? And your viewers are used to you referring to them as a bunch of bloodthirsty animals? Ah right, they get the "joke."

I'm from the South, including some areas that are decidedly not "center-right." Trust me, Jon Stewart would be a lot safer with me in Missouri City, Texas, than O'Reilly ever would.

Also, earlier on his show "The O'Reilly Factor," Dennis Miller got into the clown act. Things naturally devolved once the topic of Rep. Barney Frank came up:
Last night on the O’Reilly Factor, Dennis Miller said President-elect Obama should “flatten these punks at AIG.” When O’Reilly suggested Obama should arrest Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Miller laughed and said, “Barney might want to be arrested.” O’Reilly laughed and then acted disgusted by the idea of homosexuality.

Once upon a time, I expected better of Miller. But Bill seems capable of bringing out the worst in everyone.

UPDATE: Bill O'Reilly is a journalist? Really?

UPDATE 2: The 10 stupidest things O'Reilly has ever said. I'm sure the competition was fierce.

Continue Reading »

Question

Reflecting on one of the most absurd, yet accepted, post-election refrains: Were there really parents out there telling their children that they shouldn't bother aspiring to be president? Continue Reading »

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yuck

Not for a second did I believe this woman (quite obviously pictured at the right) ever engaged in the adult arts with Hugh Hefner.

And if she actually did, then her new fiance's comments are all the more disturbing.

For any young woman with common sense, I imagine that living in the Playboy Mansion is something akin to a House of Horrors. I bet it smells like Cream of Wheat, dying flowers and Astroglide in there.

Somehow, I think Hank Baskett is going to regret this one. You can't make them into housewives, bruh. Continue Reading »

Cost-cutting strategies

In these troubled economic times, many of us are figuring out ways to hold on to a few more dollars. For instance, I'm cutting down on crosstown trips, eating out less often and spending almost nothing on clothes for a change.

Some of us are more creative than others.

Thus, I'm going to pass along this list of suggestions from readers who responded to a blog item at my newspaper's Web site. A friend at work sent these along in an e-mail (probably when he should have been working). Enjoy:

I've had to cut back my chef's hours. I had to fire Julio, my junior gardener. I only take my yacht out once a week although that may change since fuel prices have come down so much. These are tough times.
Posted by: Thurston

I now only subscribe to 50 porn sites, instead of 100.
Posted by: Mark Foley

I've had to cut back on the amount of money I spend on hookers.

I'll probably have to start sending my kid to public school now instead of private school. Hopefully he won't start selling crack.

I am now a male stripper to make ends meet and my wife hooks on the weekends.

I only go to the free porn sites now.

I only get a hummer in Drew Park on 2 for 1 or coupon nights! Times are tough.

I only use one square of toilet paper to wipe my butt now, then just lick my hands instead of using water and soap to clean them. I then just flush the toilet every other time i use it......i've saved almost 20 bucks this month off my water bill.

I stopped buying toilet paper and use the free st pete times i get at work instead. Continue Reading »

Joe the Blogger

As if Sarah Palin wasn't enough of an embarrassment to the GOP, Joe the Plumber figured that he also shouldn't be forgotten in the wake of last week's electoral romp.

Thus, We Are Joe!

I'm loving this. Between the Gov and the Plumber, Republicans might go the way of the Whigs.
(h/t Yglesias)

UPDATE: I wonder if he's blogging in his pajamas from his mother's basement?

UPDATE 2: And in case you're curious why he went with secureourdream.com instead of joetheplumber.com, well, it appears the latter was already taken. Continue Reading »

How we can believe


Every now and again, the enormity of the past week's events almost take my breath away. Since I'm incapable of a sort of lofty prose, I haven't been able to really convey that sentiment at this site.

TNC, for one, has talked about how it's taken time for him to wrap his mind about last Tuesday. My parents, both raised in Jim Crow Arkansas, have tried to put their effusive feelings into words that would resonate with me. But one of my dear friends from Shreveport, someone I've come to think of as my third grandfather or roughly a 30th uncle, came up with a poignant way to put Election Night into context:

In spite of the polls, I could not bring myself to believe that it would happen (Eds. note: And he's not lying. A couple weeks before the election, he told me he thought the polls were essentially a crock of shit).

How could I believe that this would happen when, as a child and teen, the water fountains were marked white and colored, the toilets were for men, women and colored, and I was forced to sit in the balcony of the movie theater?

How could I believe when in the 1960s it took me 3 days to register to vote, because the registrar of voters closed the office when I entered?

How could I believe when in the 1960s a white clerk in a store pulled a gun on me because I insisted that he charge the purchase to Mrs. Veronica D. Perkins (my mother) rather than to Veronica? (Eds. note: I changed the name to protect the identity of my friend and his mom; no one should have to be associated with this little enterprise other than myself).

How could I believe when I was without a coat one winter while in college, because my roommate wore my coat when he sat at a white counter in a five and dime store, and spent the winter in jail?

How could I believe when for many years, my mother made less than a white teacher with the same training and experience?

How could I believe when my Grandfather was a slave?

Photo from Callie Shell. (Pound to my old high school friend LH for the link).
Continue Reading »

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stop. Please.

I can't imagine anyone has watched these interviews over the past couple days and thought to themselves, "You know what? I had it wrong. Sarah Palin wasn't a drag on McCain at all."

Take a seat, champ. The mic is off. The election is over. Continue Reading »

Naughty girls

Before I found myself under the spell of the First Lady, I courted a lady or two or three over the years. I was never in danger of jumping the broom but I went out for a milkshake and a movie every now and again.

That said, for all the experiences I had as a relatively open-minded bachelor, no one ever sent nude pics of themselves to my cell phone. In fact, I don't know anyone who's ever had that happen to them.

Who actually does this, except for celebutants like Vanessa Hudgens and Cheetah Girl Adrienne Bailon (or, as I like to call her, the "white girl" from 3LW)? Do lots of women walk around with nude pictures of themselves on their cell phone, regardless of whom they're dating? And how is it that these photos always seem to get leaked to the Web? Are there actually people out there actively trying to hack into Vida Guerra's cell phone?

I don't know that these questions really require answers. Just mildly curious.

Anyway, speaking of naughty (or nasty) girls, how about Vanity?

Continue Reading »

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Detroit can haz bailout?

It's really worth exploring whether General Motors and Ford are worthy of billions of taxpayer dollars. My inclination is to let them collapse and worry about providing funds - extending unemployment insurance benefits, for instance - for the Detroit area and its residents when the car companies finally go belly up.

I'm just curious about how many more times the federal government is going to hand over money to poorly-run companies, especially those that stridently resisted pleas to embrace more fuel-efficient vehicles.

At some point, a price must be paid and a government bailout isn't going to stop the companies' slow churn toward a financial meltdown. We have to put an end to our "welfare state" for billionaires, no?

* Don't be surprised. Sometimes I actually do care about financial stuff. But don't go expecting this too often. I'm just wary of the government continually playing the dope man to these addicted industries. Sometimes hitting rock-bottom is an option, you know?

UPDATE: Bloggers who are more knowledgable about these matters - Megan McArdle and John Cole, to name a couple - agree with the substance of my argument. Continue Reading »

Taking local coverage too far

The Sapulpa (Okla.) Daily Herald is one newspaper that the industry could probably live without. One paragraph on Barack Obama's election last Wednesday is pretty piss-poor.

I can't even fathom how bad this newspaper could be. Continue Reading »

The other Dallas Cowboys

As a native of Texas and a huge football fan, it probably wouldn't surprise you to know that one of my favorite books is "Friday Night Lights."

Buzz Bissinger was a pitch-perfect narrator about life in Odessa and unwittingly kicked off a new genre of "a season in the life" sports books that went far beyond the field of play. I love "Friday Night Lights" for reasons that have a lot more to do with that ol' Mojo Magic and Boobie Miles.

One of those is Bissinger's 15th chapter "The Algebraic Equation," which covered Permian's vanquishers, Dallas Carter High. My goodness, that team was a great story in its own right. (I must mention that I totally hated the movie's simple-minded characterization of the Cowboys; I thought those kids deserved much better than that).

Anyway, Carter went on to win the state title but later had it stripped for violations of Texas' no-pass, no-play rule. To honor the 20th anniversary of that team, the last Dallas public school to win a state football title, The Dallas Morning News takes a look back at that colorful bunch and their run to the championship.

As a sort of postscript, Carter will enter the playoffs this year at 10-0 and as the state's 5th-ranked Class 4A team. It'd be nice if the Cowboys could win that title back.

UPDATE: To be honest, I have no stomach for the movie or the TV show based on the book. They have little or nothing to do with the original story and, thus, I won't even allow myself to get wrapped up in it.
Continue Reading »

Monday, November 10, 2008

Jim Brown is better than you. Says him.

NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown knows plenty about great running backs. Some of that is because whenever he looks in a mirror, he always sees the best one.

Thus, it was interesting to hear his recent take on the state of RB's in the NFL. Like a lot of all-time greats, Big Jim doesn't see anyone out there better than him:

"What's weird is, I remember the all-star runners from my day, guys who were definitive stars," Brown said. "You don't see that many all-stars today. I see good backs, but not dominant the way they should be.

"Right now, all these kids are the same. They're OK, but they're not guys that you think will control the game. You don't have the great ones, the guys that every time they touch the ball you look for them to break it. And I don't know why that is."

Let me submit a theory.

Running backs haven't changed much at all, in terms of athleticism and abilities relative to the gradual improvement of athletes over the past four decades. The difference has come on the other side of the ball - NFL defenders are better and better coached than ever before.

Let's back-track a bit: in high school and most levels of college, running backs tend to be the best athletes on the team. Coaches figure the best way to win is to make sure their blue-chippers have the ball. Thus, running backs tend to dominate on the lower levels of football. It doesn't take much sophistication to have your quarterback pivot and hand off 25 or 30 times to the fastest and quickest guy on the team.

This was true in the era of Jim Brown and even now, at most high schools and colleges. (I'm aware of the trend toward spread offenses but even most of those schemes depend shorter, quicker passes instead of off-tackle runs).

But in today's NFL, defenders are bigger, faster and better-deployed than anything Brown could have ever imagined. Brown was rarely - if ever - chased around the field by anyone like DeMarcus Ware or Julius Peppers. He never had to deal with a run blitz scheme designed by Bill Belichick. If NFL defenses really want to take running backs out of the game, they can make it happen. Great running backs no longer take over games; great offenses led by star quarterbacks and hot-shot offensive coordinators do.

It's the reason why coaches and quarterbacks are such valuable commodities in the NFL and running backs are generally expendable. Even Shaun Alexander, the 2005 NFL MVP, can't find a gig today in place of younger, cheaper, fresher options. The gap between guys like Alexander and undrafted free agents is smaller than ever before.

So I sort of get where Brown coming from: I'd only spend a first-round pick on a running back if he was Adrian Peterson or the second coming of Marshall Faulk, and were I a GM, I'd never pay big free-agent bucks to a veteran. Everyone else in the League today is pretty much, meh. But that's got more to do with the game than the individual guys.

Brown can't relate to this because, for his era, he was a freak. He was a rock-solid 6-foot-2, 232 pounds, which was about the size of an average linemen in those days. There wasn't anyone quite like him. So, when you see him steamrolling over plodding linebackers and racing past stumpy defensive tackles who worked at banks in the offseason, remember that he was truly an athlete ahead of his time.
UPDATE: Honestly, almost any NFL back can rush for 100 yards in a game, given enough carries and the right offensive line. Ask the Patriots.
Continue Reading »