Archive for January, 2008

Need a Place to Stay in Glendale?

January 31, 2008

A group of nuns have some crash space for those going to Super Bowl XLII:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/31/sports/football/31convent.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

I don’t really have anything to add, other than I thought it was an interesting article.

Stray Thought for the Day

January 30, 2008

It has occurred to me that the New England Patriots are a truely amazing team.  No, I’m not thinking of their perfect record this season.  No, I’m not thinking of the discipline of Bill Belichik.  No, I’m not thinking of the fact Tom Brady is man enough to handle multiple supermodels.

I am thinking of the fact they have managed to get 95% of the country to passionately root for a team from, um, New York.  I didn’t think that was possible.

An Idea that Only Makes a Fractional Amount of Sense

January 30, 2008

A professor at Penn wants to abolish the teaching of fractions in general mathematics classes:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/mathscience/2008-01-23-fractions_N.htm?se=yahoorefer

Now, I take his point that in this day and age we are more accustomed to expressing an amount that is between zero and one moreso in decimal terms than numerator/denominator terms.  But you can’t just not teach fractions.  Decimals are fractions, fractions are decimals.  Fractions are also, I think, an easier concept to understand than decimals.  Do you think in terms of 1/2 or 0.5?  To say nothing of the fact that fractions are more precise and simpler at the same time.  Just think of 2/3; when decimalizing that, how many .6’s do you use before giving up and tossing a 7 on the end?

To say nothing of the fact that, if we get rid of fractions, we can no longer say a 5th of whiskey.  It’ll have to be a 0.2 of whiskey.

Semi Live Blogging Florida Primary GOP

January 29, 2008

Sorry I wasn’t home to blog sooner in the evening, but I come home to find that John McCain was declared the winner, beating Romney by a few points.  Obviously a big win for John McCain.  It doesn’t decide anything, but it gives him some momentum heading into Super Tuesday.

I am seeing rumors that Rudy will drop out and endorse McCain.  Irregarless of what Hizzoner does, everyone can stop pretending now that he has a chance of winning.

It looks like Mike Huckabee might be fading to 3rd in a two man race, also.  He’ll remain in this through Super Tuesday I would assume, and he could even garner enough votes to win or factor in Bible Belt states, but I doubt he can pull off anything more substantitve than that.

Semi Live Blogging State of the Union III (9:30pm EST till end)

January 28, 2008

1. Flashback to the first year of his Presidency; Adult Stem Cells are good, pivoting into right to life.  I think being opposed to cloning humans is fairly popular.

2. AHHHH!  Another Republican dead horse being beaten; judges who “rule by the law”.  That’s not what he wants, he wants judges that interpret the law in a conservative way.  Just come out and say that!

3. Does anyone my age (30) and younger expect Social Security to be there when we retire?  Well, I assume it will be, but I might be alone.

4. I agree with President Bush when he says illegal immigration is very complex and requires a nuanced policy.  Its a toughie.

5. Took roughly 27 minutes to get to 1st 9/11 reference.

6. Actually talked about Afghanistan before Iraq.  Haven’t heard the name “bin Laden” yet, though.

7. Ah, scratch the “bin Laden” non-appearance.  Strong section on Iraq.  Of course, Al Qaeda was not in Iraq until we were, but a very strong section stressing recent American gains in that nation.  I think President Bush realizes Iraq is where his legacy lies.

8. Setting aside all the political bullshit, a controlled drawdown of troops is the only sensible way to withdraw from Iraq.  Pulling out all at once would prove about as messy as when the Soviet engineers yanked all the cooling rods out of the reacter at Chernobyl as a test and got a rather big oopsie on their hands.

9. Bush thinks its time for a democratic Israel and a democratic Palestine to live side-by-side in peace; good luck w/ that!

10. If companies had acted lawfully, and the government lawfully, in snooping on people, they wouldn’t need liability shields.

11. Liability protection gets a loud roar; opposing genocide in Darfur polite applause.  Gotta love business 1st Republicanism!

12. Bush wants to end famine: paging Harry Chapin

13. Time to wax poetic about “We the People”

14. And the roughly 50 minute speech ends w/ “God Bless America”

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;

Semi Live Blogging State of the Union II (until 9:30pm EST)

January 28, 2008

1. I wonder how many times he had to practice the word “rostrum”?

2. Gas prices are up.  Odd to hear an old oil man worry about that?

3. IRS accepts both checks and money orders; good line I must say.

4. Making tax relief for wealthier Americans permanent is not going to help the above said Americans struggling to pay the higher gas prices.

5. Balanced budgets always sound great and are a laudible goal; I suspect, though, that Congress will be far less receptive when the proposal gets down to picking examples of “bloated earmarks” to excise.  Congressman Smith will not want to give up his pork.

6. Making privately bought health insurace free of payroll tax?  A. how do you do that?  B. how is that single-handedly make healthcare costs shrink?

7. When will Republicans stop beating the dead horse of medical tort reform?

8. “No Child Left Behind” was a noble goal, but education truely is best handled locally and at the state level.

9. President wants to open up new markets/free trade agreements (touting Peru).  We could open a new market by normalizing relations w/ Cuba before Castro kicks the bucket (just a thought).

10. Someone please wake John Dingell

Please Give Tom Brady Story the Boot

January 28, 2008

Hopefully later in the week I’ll be posting more substantively on Super Bowl XLII, trenchant game analysis, things to watch for, etc.  But I figured I would lead the week with my theory to explain the biggest non-story of the bye week, Tom Brady’s walking boot.  For those of you living in a cave out of reach of the East Coast Media Bias (ECMB) the past week, the story began with Tom Brady being seen sauntering into his lady friend (and mother of one of his recent babies) Gisele Bunchen carrying flowers (please keep in mind the flowers) and wearing one of those walking boot thingies doctors give you after a mild to moderate foot/ankle injury is sustained.  The story was given more, ahem, legs, after Brady was conspicously absent from the 15 minutes of two practices late last week that the media was invited to intend, also known as the 15 minutes of this practice where absolutely nothing of <expletive deleted> importance will happen, certainly not in a Bill Belichik coached practice.  Anyhow, I have a theory to explain the original existence of said walking boot on said Mr. Brady’s said foot:

He must’ve recently done something to piss Gisele off.  Hence the flowers.  He then wore the walking boot in an, ahem, lame attempt to curry sympathy from Gisele for her poor wounded warrior of a man.

Semi Live Blogging The State of the Union I

January 28, 2008

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;

In approximately one half hour President Bush will discharge an actual proscribed duty contained in the United States Constitution for the 8th and final time of his Presidency.  As I feel it necessary and/or expedient I will post thoughts on his remarks in this forum.

Calm Down, Hines

January 26, 2008

Ben Roethlisberger was recently quoted as saying his wish list for the offseason was a contract extension personally, re-signing Alan Faneca, and bringing in a tall receiver.  The latter irked Hines Ward:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08025/852112-66.stm

Of course Hines makes some very valid points in there, but he’s taking things entirely too personally.  Roethlisberger would like a tall wide receiver because it would open up more options, especially in the red zone.  And he’s right, it would.  But he’s not saying to kick Hines Ward to the curb to make room for Tall Receiver X.  To whatever extent Ben has considered it from a logistical standpoint, I’m sure he would say Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes have nothing to worry about with job security.  And even Ben did not say a tall receiver was a necessity, which is how Hines is making it sound.  Its just a “wish list”, not a list of demands.

This clearly has Hines upset and worked up; I hope it does not become a thing in coming months.

Semi Live Blogging South Carolina Democrat IV

January 26, 2008

This will likely be my last posting on this subject, so some final thoughts:

1. I was pretty sure Obama would win, but I did not see 55-27-19 or whatever the exact final margin ends up being coming.  I posted 2.5 hours ago to look for roughly a 10 point win, though 15 I thought more likely than 5.  But a flat majority, a doubling of 2nd place, I didn’t see coming.  Huge, though not w/o potential pitfall as I said in III.

2. Edwards can fulfill his vow to stay in this race through Super Tuesday if he wants, but its totally hopeless, as I first stated out of New Hampshire.  He got roughly 19% in a state he was always banking on.  Obama won in his backyard (Iowa), Clinton won in her adopted backyard (New Hampshire) and now Edwards got creamed in his backyard.

3. I’m sure the Hillary camp will spin this that they got drubbed because Obama is the black candidate and the Democratic part of South Carolina is heavy black.  The risk with that is in pissing off blacks to the point they don’t support her in the general election to the extent they “should” if she is the nominee.  But I’m sure her camp is a bit worried that the size of this defeat could give Obama some momentum heading to Super Tuesday.

4. More people voted in the Democratic primary than last week’s Republican primary.  In South Carolina, which is overall heavily Republican and wherein the Republican primary was very closely contested.  A lot could change between now and November, but this trend has been in all early states where both parties were actively contesting the race, and it bodes well for the Democrats, I think, that more people are energized to go select a candidate in their race.

Stay tuned!