Saturday, December 6, 2008

What's my problem?

First, I can't seem to stop blogging. Even after I promised I wouldn't.

Secondly, last night I watched the entirety of the MAC football championship game between then-undefeated Ball State and Buffalo. I'm already trying to come to grips with the upcoming end of the college football season. Consider it therapy.

Anyway, unless you watched the game last night - and let's be honest, you probably didn't - you won't get the joke above. But, trust me, it's hilarious.

The game itself was interesting, too. Buffalo head coach Turner Gill has orchestrated an unbelievable turnaround with the Bulls, a program that had won just just 10 games in seven seasons before he took over the program in 2006. It's nearly on par with what Bill Snyder accomplished at Kansas State in the early '90s.

Let's hope someone isn't silly enough to push him into taking the Mississippi State job, a thankless job if there ever was one. But Auburn? we're talking.

(h/t Deadspin)
Continue Reading »

Done and done

There won't be much posting today, as this morning I completed a meaningful milestone that has been my prime focus for the past four months.

Now all I can do is wait.

With that in mind, the SEC title game is set to kickoff, the First Lady and I are going to enjoy a little culture and a night on the town in St. Petersburg, and I'm going to drink a whole lotta of rum and Cokes this evening. Not to mention, the weather is lovely - 73 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. It's days like this that remind me why so many people vacation and retire in Florida.

Let's try again tomorrow, shall we? Continue Reading »

Friday, December 5, 2008


UPDATE: O.J. will serve a minimum of nine years in the booty farm. It's about what was expected. But other than the Goldman and Brown families, I really can't understand why anyone else would be happy about that development. I still think the resentment over the not guilty verdict in the 1995 murder trial has more to do with O.J.'s sentence than anything he might have done in that Las Vegas hotel room last year. Which in no way resembles justice.

O.J. Simpson is certainly not the most sympathetic character. But goodness, his future seems mighty bleak:

Nevada prison officials refuse to discuss where Simpson might be assigned, but numerous reports indicate that he will be sent to a maximum security prison in Ely, Nev. And that could make his life even worse. It houses a concentration of incarcerated members of the Aryan Warriors, a white supremacist gang that reportedly manages its operation in part from within the prison walls.

Asked whether Simpson would receive any special treatment either because of his notoriety or the doubt surrounding his acquittal on charges of murdering his former wife and her friend (both white) in 1995, a prison system spokesman said, "When he comes to us, he is not a celebrity. He is an inmate."

This just seems excessive to me. But, you know me, I lean toward leniency.

I don't know that the crime Simpson was convicted of (a questionable conviction at that; Lester Munson notes that the jury "was clearly angry" at O.J.) merits sending a 61-year-old man to prison for no fewer than 18 years. Continue Reading »

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bailout BS

If the facts don't matter, then why even bother pretending that you're a legitimate news organization?
On the December 3 edition of CNN's Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer falsely claimed that an autoworker who belongs to the United Auto Workers "makes $73 an hour, on average, when you factor in all the benefits, compared to $48 an hour for nonunion autoworkers here in the United States." In fact, according to General Motors, the figure representing the hourly cost of labor to U.S. automakers -- a cost that GM puts at $69 -- includes not only current workers' hourly wages and benefits, such as health care and retirement, but also retirement and health-care benefits that U.S. automakers are providing for retirees, as Media Matters for America has noted.
This line of disingenuous bullshit has needlessly harmed the Big 3 automakers in their pursuit of a government-backed bailout. If the effort fails on it's own merits, fine. But let's at least have an honest dialogue about it, OK?

I expect this sort of thing from FOX "Fair and Balanced" News. But CNN should know better. Continue Reading »

Quote of the Day

"I was like I want to do something a little different. And I had this chick laying with me, and this girl was like POP, SWWWIIIP, POW! That's ... that’s what I like. So we just did a song about it. And the next thing I know I was standing on top of a 30-foot ass, singing about asses."

Sir Mix-A-Lot, explaining the origins of his ode to women like Flo Jo on the aforementioned VH1 Hip Hop show. Honestly, homeboy really opened things up for thick girls. We should all be grateful. J-Lo, Beyonce, Kim K and legions of others had it easier from that moment forward. Continue Reading »

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I don't look to VH1 for my cues on what matters in hip hop. Ever.

But I had to mention this egregious error in their recent list of the 100 greatest hip-hop songs: Somehow, someway, "Oh Boy" by Cam'ron finished at 89. Ahead of No. 90 "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" by Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth.

What the hell?

UPDATE: I miss Chubb Rock. But he ain't so chubby no more. Continue Reading »


I saw this video last night.

I had a high flat-top with a fade, wore a Nefertiti chain, jams and Jordans when Mars Blackmon served up the pitch (and they weren't ridiculously overpriced), and even perfected the Kid 'n Play.

Now kids are calling that "retro." Damn.

Continue Reading »

Hater's (Inaugural) Ball

From two trustworthy news sources - British tabloids and the Drudge Report:

Barack Obama has denied his wife Michelle is to receive this £20,000 thank you for her support during the election.

The Harmony ring is made of rhodium - the world's most expensive metal - and encrusted with diamonds.

A spokesman at Italian designer Giovanni Bosco said Mr Obama had asked their American agent about the ring because he wanted it as present for Michelle to thank her for helping over the last two years.

MSNBC Live anchor Contessa Brewer went on to report that Michelle Obama would be getting some "inaugural ice" but failed to mention that Obama's camp had flatly denied the story. Media Matters is already on the case.

I fail to see where this is a problem. As Hov might say, what you eat don't make me shit. Isn't it nice to have a generous husband in the White House?

Most importantly, I'm confused about why this is a "news" story. Are we all going to breathlessly report about everything that ever runs in British tabloids? The Drudge Report? I shudder at the thought.

Be prepared. I think the next four years are gonna be a lot like this, only worse. Continue Reading »

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Dream Team

For reasons that can't be fully explained, I absolutely detest golf. The "sport" is totally unwatchable and, in the wise words of Twain, a good walk spoiled.

I once thought about taking up golf for purely professional reasons. But I couldn't fake my way though the hatred long enough to even go out to the driving range. I guess I was waiting for a time when pick-up hoops might become the white-collar daily distraction of choice.

Well, looks like that day might finally be here. Obama seems to be bringing a "team of ballers" to the White House:

Omniscient reader EC notes something crucial about new appointees James Jones, Eric Holder and Timothy Geithner: They all play Obama's favorite sport. Jones played forward at Georgetown. Geithner reportedly likes himself a good pickup game. And the Times says Eric Holder was once known, impressively, for his "easy dunk." (Cracks EC: "Not even Janet Reno could do that.")

Update: Susan Rice, too! (Sez Ben).

Also in the mix is Paul Volcker, who will head the Economic Recovery Advisory Board for Obama. Volcker is 6′8″ and played basketball in high school. Secretary of Homeland Security nominee and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has apparently done some "coaching." And we already know that his brother-in-law and "body man" got serious game, too.

Obama's got a full bench. So, no, I don't think there's any room for the "Barracuda."

But is it really a surprise that the guy who plans to establish an Office of Urban Policy would be in love with the city game? Holder even tried out a little trash talk on his boss, saying, "I’m not sure he’s ready for my New York game.”

Man, that's change we can all believe in.

Photo from The AP.

Continue Reading »

What a glitch

This woman needs help that Apple tech support really can't provide:
Please help! I took my husband's i-phone and found a raunchy picture of him attached to an e-mail to a woman in his sent e-mail file (a Yahoo account). When I approached him about this (I think that he is cheating on me) he admitted that he took the picture but says that he never sent it to anyone. He claims that he went to the Genius Bar at the local Apple store and they told him that it is an i-phone glitch: that photos sometimes automatically attach themselves to an e-mail address and appear in the sent folder, even though no e-mail was ever sent. Has anyone ever heard of this happening? The future of my marriage depends on this answer!
Doesn't sound like there's much of a future there, if you ask me.

(h/t Megan) Continue Reading »

Plaxico: Public Enemy No. 1

Maybe I'm missing something: when did Plaxico Burress become the new O.J.?

Sure, Plax seems to have some self-destructive tendencies and he's certainly something of a high-functioning idiot. But I'm not quite sure what has inspired such bloodlust within New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

“Our children are getting killed with guns in the street. Our police are getting killed,” the furious mayor said in demanding Burress get no special treatment for his alleged crime and coverup. “I think it would be an outrage if we didn’t prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”

But, as TBL notes, Bloomberg has been mostly mum about the role some of his friends on Wall Street.played in our nation's economic freefall:

But Mike, just curious - why no fire and brimstone for all your Wall Street buddies? ... Why aren’t you prosecuting those crooks to the fullest extent of the law?
Also, this seems a bit hypocritical for a guy who lobbied to change the law so he could be eligible for a third mayoral term. Bloomberg should know better than most that not all laws are absolutes (otherwise, there would be little need for lawyers and judges). Especially for the privileged among us.

Though I understand that N.Y. gun laws leave little room for the occasional goof, three and a half years seems mighty excessive for a mistake that harmed no one but Burress himself and any serious fan of the Giants. At the moment, however, the situation seems mighty funereal. Continue Reading »

Monday, December 1, 2008

AP need not worry ... at the moment

Via TNC, The Wonk Room reminds CNN that there's no such thing as the “Assistant Secretary of State for African American Affairs.” In fact, Susan Rice was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1997-2001.


This little gaffe comes only days before CNN makes its pitch to about 30 newspapers to propose a cheaper, smaller-scale wire service to compete with The Associated Press. Bad timing, don't you think?

UPDATE: This is not to say that CNN couldn't, in time, pose a serious threat to the AP. Steve Benen explains here. CNN already has the resources and international name-recognition to make this work. And some newspapers are already dropping the AP, something that seemed unthinkable as recently as a few years ago. It'll be interesting to see how this unfolds. Continue Reading »

A suggestion to clear up the BCS confusion

Missouri should do the honorable thing and step aside to allow a rematch between Oklahoma and Texas. Next week's Big 12 title game is a farce, no matter the outcome. Continue Reading »

Hustle and Dough?

In my years as a working adult, I've heard an awful lot of bullshit about how an individual's professional success is directly proportional to their work ethic. That simply can't be the sole explanation.

Mostly it's because we can't really quantify work ethic. I'd like to think I work hard but, alas, I spend about nine to 10 hours a day talking to people and tapping away on a computer. How does that compare to working in construction, ferrying people around for 14 hours in a cab, approving loans from 9 to 5 or cleaning up school bathrooms?

Methinks that, given a choice, I'd much rather sit at my desk in an air-conditioned newsroom. But no one can tell me that I don't work hard. I just work differently - and I'd like to think my paycheck doesn't really reflect this.

Problem is, lots of people have mistakenly conflated the size of their paycheck with their amount of effort. It's as if, you know, the well-paid among us have cornered the market on blood, sweat and tears.

Well, Ezra Klein elaborates more on problems with the idea of "success as an outcome of effort":
The important variable for success, however, does not seem to be hard work but profession. If you're in a high-value profession, hard work can do you a lot of good. If you're not, it may not do you much good at all. And though anyone can work hard, we're mostly able to admit that not everyone has the specific constellation of opportunities that lets you go to law school, or spend your time goofing off in amateur political punditry. Occupation is rather more useful for understanding why someone's hard work pays off than is their relative level of toil, but since occupation is more clearly contingent on circumstance, and high-value occupations have more obvious barriers to entry, they also raise questions of justice in outcome, and thus have fairly uncomfortable answers for those atop the pyramid. So hard work it is.
Continue Reading »