Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Corporate America Rears It's Ugly Head

Sorry for the prolonged absence, kids.

This is an especially busy week, what with the travel, hand-shakes and corporate schmoozing I'm having to put up with. It's been a while, but I'm back to scrounging for healthy meal options in the Cleveland Downtown Embassy Suites.

OH-IO! Where we take pride in spelling four-letter words! (And cheating on college football)

That's Helpful, But I Doubt The Ink Is Real

I don't know if you all heard, but President Barack Obama supposedly released his long form birth certificate today.

What? This is supposed to make me believe he isn't from Kenya? Have you seen those pictures of his father? What about the fact he hung out in Indonesia all those years? C'mon!!

Besides, if this is real, where are the footprints? Huh?!? Where are the FOOTPRINTS for Christ's sake??!?

Oh, whatever. If you expect me to swallow this, I'll have you know one thing - there is no way he's Christian.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Only in Chicago - Update

I can't say I'm shocked to report this one - I think Chicago columnists need anti-depressants.

Right on cue, Rick Morrissey of the Sun-Times chimes in with a whining column following a Bulls victory and a 3-0 start to the playoffs.

A quote that tops the heap:
I don’t get why it can’t be easier.

Ha! This comes from someone paid to cover sports and offer their opinion. No, really.

I was out with a bunch of Bulls fans last night and when Rose put the finishing touches (yet again) on the victory, the place was about to erupt. I didn't hear anyone crying about how close it was. It's as if these local columnists have forgotten what its like to be a favorite in the playoffs, after all Jordan was all the way back in '98. More talent on paper doesn't guarantee anything. Did it occur to them the Pacers are full of professional basketball players as well? 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Florida Hick Invades Dearborn, MI

I must have missed this news. The Quran burning Pastor Terry Jones from Florida plans to hold a rally in front of the largest Mosque in Dearborn tomorrow, April 22. While I wish I could rail against the act itself, I do respect the right to free speech provided in the First Amendment. So instead of crying foul or advocating fines to try and stop him as the city of Dearborn is doing, I would like to express my opinion on the matter under the same freedom of speech umbrella he is exploiting.

Dear Pastor Jones,

Who invited your inbred ass north of the Mason-Dixon? Do us a favor and keep your hate speech and ignorant points of view in your own state for Christ's sake - pun intended. Hope I offended. I'm sure some ass-backwards way of southern thinking can appreciate a Yankee like myself getting defensive when you decide to come stir up shit in my home state. The truth of the matter is Michigan is an economic engine for this great country of ours and your kind ain't welcome. All you bring with you are your beliefs and practices which incite violence and hatred to a place where people are used to making things and contributing to the greater good of society. Anyone who preys on the fears of others in order to profit is no hero - you're just a gap-toothed dumb ass who happens to have figured out a way to take advantage of those slightly more stupid than yourself. While you seem to be on a continuing audition to star in the next season of 'Orange County Choppers', we're up here working for a living so we can own a vacation home in your swamp-infested backwater of a state. When we visit Florida there is a reason we northerners never venture from the beach - we don't want to encounter any mouth breathing locals like yourself. Ever notice 90% of the episodes COPS ever made was based in inland Florida? That's because there is no shortage of meth-head, fast food eating dumb shits like you and your followers running around. So while you'll likely carry out your rally tomorrow, do not take pride in it. Exploiting the fringe benefits of the rights we're awarded in this nation is nothing new, you just happen to be the latest idiot to do so.

Go Fuck Yourself

I know there are more graceful ways to go about these situations and I'm conflicted to even post this message because this douche-bag deserves no more attention than he already gets. Hell, I'm not even posting a picture of him because I share the same feelings. But seriously, this guy can go fuck himself. His brand of bullshit is not welcome. So if you think I've gone too far, please consider the source that raised my ire.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The NFL Lockout Sucks

Nondescript rich white men.

The owners and players wrapped up their court-mandated play dates today with no progress towards making a deal. There are no plans to meet again until May 16 which means the only hope for a new league year to start prior to the draft is by injunction.

All of this news sucks. This is supposed to be a great time of year with fans buzzing about next weekend's draft and the 2011 schedule being released this week (Lions on MNF!! Maybe).

Instead we get depressing caveats with each piece of NFL news. "The 2011 NFL schedule was released today, that is if there is even going to be a 2011 season." Or, "with next week's draft quickly approaching, several teams are looking to move up into the first round. Of course no active players are allowed to be involved in any trade due to the lockout." Reports like that have a devastatingly effective way of killing all the fun involved with the usual lunchtime net surfing this time of year. Unlike seasons past, I could care less that the Kiper/McShay mock drafts are behind a paywall on - my enthusiasm has been sapped.

What makes all of this lockout business completely insufferable is the coverage of it. How many reels of footage can we be expected to watch of men in suits walking in and out of buildings? (Picture above added for emphasis) Pasty old owners, their turkey necks pouring over their starched white collars, walking out to a starving press corps to report they essentially told the players to go fuck themselves for three days straight. Give us a break! The pie these bastards are fighting over is Billions of dollars large - just give the players health care for life and get on with the season. You know some dumb network will overpay you yet again with your next TV deal - Dick Ebersol isn't dead yet.

When this is all said and done, the owners will still make millions. The players will too. In addition to those facts, NFL teams will still ask taxpayers to ante up for new stadiums and fans to dish out for PSL's in order to reserve the right to purchase season tickets. Usually fans would be numb to these crazy practices, but as the lockout wears on more will begin to question the whole silly system. In a fair world, we fans would walk away from this kind of behavior and make these people feel some real financial pain. But that won't happen because we're dopes when it comes to football - we'll be lined up on opening day no matter how late it comes this fall. And that fact above all else, sucks.

You Can Now Breathe Easy About HawkPanthers

After completing hours of exhaustive technical research and investigation into the HawkPanther by reading the first few comments on the video's youtube page, I've come to the educated conclusion that these are part of a marketing campaign for a video game. So sad. I had my Visa in hand and was ready to order the complete series.

Enjoy this last video, it will close the loop of our exploration into HawkPanthers and ease our fears that there are actually people like this.

Beware of HawkPanthers

It may seem impossible, but this guy makes Charlie Sheen look normal and sound modest.

Hat tip to Steelface Addiction.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Only in Chicago

This is a perfect example of Chicago sports journalism by Mark Potash of the Sun-Times.  

Only in this town can you carry the best record in the regular season into the playoffs, be up 2-0 in the opening series and receive a hatchet job like this from a local columnist.

For instance:
Two games into his first playoff series as an NBA head coach, Thibodeau already has been put on the spot by the Indiana Pacers’ Frank Vogel — an anonymous interim coach considered a threat in this series more out of respect and professional courtesy than anything else.

Taken out of context you'd think the Bulls had dropped a game or two, or worse - gotten blown out at home.

However, it doesn't take Potash long to discredit his angle, following that paragraph with this statement in the very next sentence:
The Bulls are up 2-0 in their Eastern Conference first-round series. But it’s an uneasy 2-0 because Vogel and his coaching staff have found a way to discombobulate the Bulls — on defense in Game 1 and on offense in Game 2.

Line after line of complaints about Coach Thibodeau simply do not carry weight due to the pesky existence of reality. 

Let's dig into the facts here:

Are the Pacers playing at a higher level than most thought they possessed? Yes.

Is Psycho-T more effective than most realized, annoying as hell, extremely white and still playing with his mouth open the entire game? Yes.

Have the Pacers caught most Bull fans off-guard by all of this? Yes.

Most importantly, have the Pacers won a game? No.

These journalist do it for every sport here. They're suffocating to the teams and insufferable to readers. It seems they can't wait to pick a knit and make sure it becomes a full fledged problem.

He winds up for his big closing remarks with this gem:
It will be interesting to see what Thibodeau does in Game 3, because the Xs and Os of this series are a factor and that’s his expertise. I guess it would be mean-spirited to say that with Lovie Smith in attendance, Thibodeau wasn’t the worst coach in the house Monday night, so I won’t say that. But there’s no doubt he wasn’t the best coach in the house either.

Somebody hose this guy down! If you were struggling to grasp how these guys operate, that paragraph should have made things crystal clear. The Bulls are up 2-0. Invoking Lovie here is like a Chicago version of Godwin's Law. I can't wait to see what comes out in the papers when the Bulls finally drop a game. At this rate, we'll be lucky if these columnists can pick themselves up off the floor in order to write the next day. 

(top pic via)

Damn You, Directv!!!

Are you kidding me?!? 1 point game, 48 seconds left and Directv decides it doesn't like to play well with static electricity. Not in-and-out signal either - complete blackout until well into the first quarter of the Portland/Dallas game. Ugh.

This is not the first time this has happened. For whatever reason, the satellite signal goes out just before a thunderstorm with all that static build-up hanging in the air. Once the rain actually comes, it comes back on. Strange.

Given these occurrences, you'd think I would consider going back to Comcast. Think again suckers, you'll have to pry the satellite dish from my rented balcony before I deal with those ass-hats again.

Surprising Story of the Day

Everyone can stop worrying, Taco Bell is actually serving beef - 88% beef! You can take your claim of 36% beef and shove it, class-action lawsuit.

The news that the lawsuit is being withdrawn is much more surprising than the original claims the class-action suit had made. I figured this to be a slam dunk winner in court and the 'Surprising Story of the Day' to be that three months after fines had been imposed their sales weren't hurt whatsoever.

Actually, on second thought, that wouldn't have been that surprising.

I know that you had all joined me in my ongoing personal ban of all Yum! brand food stores (see above for reference) since originally hearing the news. However, given this shocking turn of events, it is now safe to return to stuffing your faces with high-grade fourth meals. Rejoice!

Just in case you'd like a good reason to continue a ban - consider the fact that Taco Bell actually supplied that 88% beef number in it's own defense and posts it freely on it's website. The other 12%? 'Signature Recipe'. (shudders)

I'll still be here holding down the ban fort, ya'll come back anytime.

Friday, April 15, 2011

NBA Playoff Predictions

OK, I've spent a few posts trying to sell you all on the NBA Playoffs, so now its time to put my picks in writing. This is going to be an especially good year because there is no one team steam-rolling ahead of the pack heading into the postseason and everyone seems to carry a weakness. You could argue the Bulls are out front but the team has yet to win a playoff series. Away we go....

Eastern Conference 

First Round
(1) Bulls over (8) Pacers in 5 - Nothing to see here, please move it along.

(4) Orlando over (5) Atlanta in 6 - Dwight Howard is going to abuse Al Horford while the rest of the Hawks put the finishing touches on their summer vacation plans. Judging by the last few games, most of them have been focusing pretty hard on that already.

(3) Boston over (6) Knicks in 5 - The Knicks play absolutely no defense and Boston has gotten worse at it since losing Perkins. At least this will be a fun one to watch.

(2) Miami over (7) 76ers in 6 - That's right - I see the Sixers taking two and causing immediate media coverage overload. There is going to be so much press swarming the Heat we won't even miss a LeBron fart.

(1) Bulls over (4) Magic in 6 - This is where the playoffs are going to take flight. All 4 semi's match-ups will be must-see-TV. And the Bulls D will stifle a middling Orlando offense.

(2) Miami over (3) Boston in 7 - KG's head might explode by game 4 of this series. It's gonna be epic.

Conference Finals
(1) Bulls over (2) Miami in 6 - HOMER PICK ALERT! HOMER! HOMER! HOMER!!!

Western Conference

First Round
(1) Spurs over (8) Memphis in 6 - Manu is already hurt. That wine-and-cheese lover, Tony Parker, can't be far behind. The Spurs are rickety to say the least. Memphis is going to push this series, sucking the life out of the Spurs and any hopes they had for another title run.

(4) OKC over (5) Denver in 6 - Yeah buddy, rolling like a big shot. This is the first round series. I can't wait to watch Durant and Westbrook trade buckets with the hot-hand-by-committee Nuggets.  Total points scored in this series: 12,456.

(6) Rip City over (3) Dallas in 6 - Rose Garden, game 6, Blazers up 3-2. No way they lose that, plus Dallas loves to choke in the first round. This almost makes too much sense and probably won't happen as a result.

(2) Lakers over (7) NOLA in 5 - Unfortunately this series will suck due to Chris Paul's on again/off again knee issues and the hollowed out New Orleans roster. Alas.

(4) OKC over (1) Spurs in 7 - I'll say it again, injuries will take the Spurs down.

(2) Los Kobe's over (6) Portland in 5 - It'll be around this time that LA will become fearsome for everyone, regardless of Bynum's health. I'm pretty sure Kobe is carrying out human sacrifices as we speak to ensure he gets to six rings.

Conference Finals 
(2) LA over (4) OKC in 6 - Oh man, I really want this series to happen. Same goes for the Bulls/Heat match-up. It would be an amazing final four.

The Finals
(2) LA over (1) Bulls in 7 - As much as I'd like to pick the Bulls, I think I'm already stretching by putting them in the Finals. It is a huge leap to go from .500 to best record in the league - and now you want me to expect them to take the whole damned thing? Can't do it. Hope it happens though. Instead we're all going to have to live with the reality that Kobe will equal MJ's ring haul and the never ending debate that will go with it. Nevermind the fact that Kobe had Shaq in his prime for 3 titles and three 7 footers for the other 3. We'll just throw that obvious difference right out the window, I'm sure.

Enjoy the playoffs, they're going to be grand.

Pic 2 - Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Pic 3 - Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Surprising Story of the Day

Carhartt is targeting the hipster demographic with it's first stand-alone retail store? Not exactly the customers you'd think the 122-year-old blue collar clothing maker would go for.

The pilot Carhartt retail store will be a boutique on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago's Wicker Park/Bucktown area. I can't wait to see skinny jeans, ironic facial hair and PBR combine with rigid, windproof tan denim. It's a match made in heaven.

However, they'd have greater success if they disguised their 'boutique' as a vintage clothing store. "I'd totally buy that coat if it were used, man. I don't believe in firsthand retail." This could work though, because people who definitely have never done hard labor wearing traditional workman's gear does pass their irony test.

For a hipster education, go here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Your Chicago Bulls - Update

Tonight, the Bulls claimed the best regular season record in the NBA and now hold home court advantage throughout the playoffs.

An update on Derrick Rose's exclamation point on his MVP candidacy here.

Educate Yourself Fool - Why I Lean Left

I believe in this President. Although I have beat him up on this blog about specific topics, I still believe he is one of the only adults in Washington serious enough to tackle our national issues. For a week, I have been looking forward to his rebuttal of the Ryan budget proposal.

From Politico:
"Before President Barack Obama had even uttered his first word Wednesday, Republicans tried to define his speech on cutting the deficit as a plan to hike taxes."

Before the President even made his speech today, the House Repub's were rolling out the anti-tax rhetoric. If you're wondering why I lean left or why I seem to be attacking certain aspects of the recent tax, deficit and budget debates, let's take a brief walk through history.

Ever since I have been of voting age, I've seen the GOP enact tax cuts favoring the rich that were specifically designed to 'sunset' after a period of time only to have the issue turn into a political football. These cuts carry on today and continue to inflict damage to the deficit. So what do the Republicans want to do with them now? Make them permanent.

Since those cuts were enacted in 2001, I've also seen the GOP start two wars in foreign lands whose budgets don't fall within the Defense Department or the Federal Budget. These wars carry on today with no end in sight and continue to rack up expenses on the country's Chinese credit cards. Especially egregious was the Iraqi War, a pre-emptive war based on a non-existent threat to national security. Ever since this lie was perpetrated on the American public, history has been whitewashed by the hooey of spreading democracy and repeatedly pointing out Saddam was a bad guy. In addition to these wars, the defense budget has grown each year as well as the power of the private surveillance and intelligence apparatus. These expansions of the national security network would also include the creation of the largest branch of government ever created (Homeland Security) and the quickest erosion of privacy rights ever carried out (Patriot Act), all under the banner of a 'small government' Republican Party.

What's more, I've seen the anti-welfare state Republicans enact Medicare Part D - the largest expansion of the government safety net to date at the time - while not even bothering to budget for the costs of the program down the road. Hell, I've even heard the former Republican Vice President say, "Deficits don't matter" while in power and can't recall much of an outrage. Strange enough, not long after the 2008 elections the Tea Party popped up.

All of this happened on the Republican's watch in a span of 5 years. So you tell me - am I supposed to take them seriously now? I'd rather listen to an adult.

(Photo - President Obama's deficit-reduction speech may have been more partisan than expected. Reuters)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tea Party Preparing to Blow Apart 2011 Budget Deal?

This is almost too good to be true. I don't mean to keep hammering the debt and budget subjects, but there are so many things going on at once.

The details of the latest developments point to freshly elected Tea Party House members voting down the 2011 budget deal struck late Friday between Boehner, Reid and Obama due to not believing the spending cuts went far enough. Keep in mind they are already getting the single largest drop in non-military discretionary spending ever - $38 Billion. When considering this, please also keep in mind that non-military discretionary spending makes up 15% of the total budget. To dig a little deeper, the threat to shutdown government over Planned Parenthood - 0.19% of 15% of the federal budget - completely exposes Tea Party types masquerading as fiscal hawks as nothing more than social values crusaders. The idea that deep cuts to programs people need will somehow save us from our crushing debt is insulting to anyone that doesn't breathe through their mouth on a regular basis.

If you want to be taken seriously let's hear about cuts to defense or let the Bush tax cuts expire.

Triangulating The Opposition

One week ago today, Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled 'The Path to Prosperity'. It has spent a week being both hailed as the first serious fiscal proposal from one of the political parties and demonized as a plan that brings down debt on the back's of the poor and the elderly. In the meantime, liberals have broken out in a sweat over both the 2011 budget and Obama's lack of presence in the long term debate.

Let's tackle Ryan's plan first. I've said it before and I still believe it is the start we needed. In the past week, many of his numbers have been exposed as wishful thinking at best and that is a good thing. From continuing to insist that tax cuts are the proper solution to proposing a complete dismantling of Medicare/Medicaid, the plan puts almost every Republican wet dream into writing stopping just short of attacking Social Security. It's not all bad, but it does expose some serious weaknesses of the party and it's relentless need to pander to the wealthiest 1%.

How has this been bad for Obama? It hasn't. In the short term last week, it did appear there was a void in leadership that Ryan was filling. But then the ludicrous name was revealed - The Path to Prosperity. Next came the exposure of the right-leaning think tank used as the basis points for most of the 'math'. Finally, the die was cast as further tax cuts for the wealthy were brought to light. Now the stage is set for the President. While liberal commentators like Krugman began hyperventilating over the Ryan plan and Obama's absence, the President was letting the media do his heavy lifting. By the time the Obama rebuttal to The Path to Prosperity is rolled out tomorrow, most of the demonizing will have already been done.

I'm looking forward to the President's response and hope it strikes a proper balance between spending cuts and revenue increases. If it does, his tactical decisions will have paid off. He has absorbed a lot of body blows from the left over the past week, but if the substance of his plan matches the timing, he will have pulled off another major leap forward. By waiting until tomorrow, his plan will be introduced just as the House begins a two day debate on the Ryan plan - talk about sucking the air out the room.

Let's not forget that we've been here before with this President. Health care reform was on the ropes and he seemed hopelessly above the fray. The left was in a tizzy over his behavior. Then the hammer dropped and the Affordable Care Act became law. A very similar approach was used to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell as well. Yet here we are again, questioning a President who has done more to advance health care access and broaden civil rights than any other leader in a generation.

I hope we've been rope-a-doped once again and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Your Chicago Bulls

The full court press continues to convert you all to the NBA and to be Bulls fans on top of that. Pun intended.

Last night, the Bulls clinched the number one seed in the Eastern Conference ensuring all roads to the Finals this year run through the United Center. A team that was 41-41 last year has three games left in the regular season to top 60 wins. 60 wins! That is an astronomical leap in one season in the NBA, especially when you consider all of the tectonic shifts of talent in the off-season and from mid-season trades. In contrast to the rash of personnel moves in the rest of the league, the Bulls have made the leap with several sound draft choices, a great coaching hire, one big free agent signing, some seasoning and a little luck. Their play this season has made several national columnists slobber all over themselves.

The key component that carries them throughout is Derrick Rose. He is the aforementioned luck. The Bulls were never supposed to land the #1 pick in the 2008 draft but they bucked the longest odds possible to do so. And so here we are, Chicago has another franchise basketball star and the league MVP trophy is likely to return to town within a few weeks. Despite some spirited debate about advanced metrics and PER ratings, there is no disputing Rose is MVP. His play and leadership have set the tone for the team all season. Facing long stretches without Joakim Noah or Carlos Boozer, Rose just put everything on his back and moved forward.

Thursday night was big here in town because the Celtics were visiting. Any basketball fan around knew it was a big game and there was a buzz in the neighborhood. As tip-off approached, I decided to wander into a local watering hole to take in the game with some of the Bull's faithful. A bar that is usually half full on any given night was packed out, every patron tuned into the game and making audible reactions to each play. (An aside...The thought of this Bulls team stealing the local thunder from the Blackhawks makes me giddy - and it is happening) Well, during the first half of the game, Rose made several plays that almost made people fall out of their stools. If the following clips aren't enough to convince you to tune in then I'm never convincing you. Enjoy.

Clip 1) Rose crosses over Rondo and finishes a circus layup. Rondo is one of the most respected defensive guards in the league and he ends up looking silly.


Clip 2) Wow. Just, wow.

So please join me this spring and we'll watch together what could be a surprising NBA playoff run. At the very least, it will be highly entertaining.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Spring Sports Viewing Guide

This can be a rough time of year for the average sports fan. The NFL is off and could be for longer than usual this year. Baseball is just getting going but has become a sport with a smaller following due to it's self inflicted wounds over the years, plus let's face it, baseball in April sucks. Winter's saving grace - college basketball - has finally wrapped up after providing the usual three week orgy of nail biters that is their annual finale and fans are left to deal with the hangover. So what is a sports fan to do? There are a few options.

Option 1 - Nascar. A 'sport' that has grown in popularity over recent years, this weekly gear-head showcase is a potential Sunday nap time fill-in for the NFL. It must be easy to get into if tens of millions of southerners go this nuts over it. Kind of like fried foods.

Option 2 - NHL. After missing an entire season due to financial differences, hockey has been on an upswing in popularity as well. With rule changes and a salary cap drastically changing the landscape of the league, games are now high scoring and the competition is evenly spread out. Just take a look at the race for the Western Conference playoffs. A high tolerance for foreign names and Canadian accents is required for maximum enjoyment.

Option 3 - NBA. This is the author's recommended choice for your viewing pleasure. For whatever reason, the NBA gets a bad wrap and constantly receives barbs about pace of play and effort level. I disagree with both charges and challenge anybody harboring doubts to take in a game or two. There is more young, proven talent right now than at any other time. Couple this fact with older players extending their peak levels of performance longer than ever before (HGH? *shrugs*) and you've got a glut of watchable basketball. The 2011 NBA Playoffs will be dynamic and extremely entertaining - just look at these potential first round match-ups!

Miami vs New York - This series will host 5 starting All-Stars. The evil LeBron, the selfish 'Melo, the reinvented Amare, fake injury aficionado Wade and a Bosh tweeting his face off.

Lakers vs Portland - With the defending champs hitting a recent skid, the resilient Blazers will be an extremely tough out for them. Between Roy getting healthy and Aldridge's breakout season, this is not last year's one and done squad.

Philly vs Boston - Since Boston traded away Perkins, they've been soul searching for a way to toughen up their new acquisition, Jeff Green. Philly on the other hand has been as hot as any team during the second half and are young and cocky enough to give Boston fits. This will be a tighter series than most realize.

OKC vs Denver - First to 130 points per game wins! You can throw defense out the window for this one. With Durant and Westbrook filling it for OKC and the reinvented Nuggets on fire since dumping the consummate sulker, 'Melo, this looks to be the second most exciting series just behind the NY/MIA star studded affair.

Memphis vs San Antontio - A 1 vs 8 seed is exciting you ask? It is indeed, good sir. San Antonio may hold the best record in basketball, but as they've shown recently they are old, brittle and liable to fall victim to injuries at any moment. Memphis has been a silently competent team for months, giving everyone they've played serious problems. If they were in the east they'd be a 5 seed.

And finally...

Chicago vs Indiana - This series is likely to be terrible due to an overabundance of white people on the Pacer roster, but my latest NBA team crush is the Bulls. Plenty of room on the wagon for everyone too. D-Rose is the hands down MVP this year and is quicker than anyone in the league. He makes John Wall look pedestrian. Do yourself a favor and take in a fourth quarter of Bulls action and try to come away unimpressed by the guy. While this team was a one and done low seed last year, the Boozer signing and another year of growth has pushed this squad to astronomical heights. Hell, I even like Joakim Noah. There, I said it.

So be sure to tune in to the NBA Playoffs this year and thank me later. If the action wears you out, you can always switch it to Nascar and catch some winks.

Dumb Story Of The Day

Fox News Poll: More Americans Want A New President Than Want Obama To Stay

The headline speaks for itself, consider the source. 

Get Well Soon Chuck

You'll be back to bullying in no time.

*A clarification, this is a note to a reader who happens to be in recovery and closely resembles everyone's favorite bully, Scut Farkus.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Glenn Beck to Start His Own Channel? Update

 As our coverage of the former 'Zoo Keeper' continues....

Headline: Glenn Beck's Fox show dropped

While we're still inundated with his books, rallies and daily radio program, this move is not a shocker. The big question now is, where will he land - at his very own Glenn Beck Network or only as host of 'The Glenn Beck Deseret News and Conspiracy Theory Super Fun Happy Hour' on someone else's channel? We wait with bated breath.

Previous coverage here and here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Educate Yourself Fool - National Debt Edi...Wait! Where are you going?

I know, I know, no one actually wants to learn about how to fix the national debt, but as I've said before - when the time comes, those crying the loudest will have had their head's the furthest up their ass.

The big news of the day? Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget proposal. It outlines the GOP's proposed path toward tackling entitlements and bringing debt into line. To be honest, there is a lot to like. There is also a lot to question.

Here are some good takes, inquisitive questions and other observations:
David Brooks here.
Andrew Sullivan here and here.
Questioning some data here and here.

My short take, just to keep your brief attention span on the subject is:

Its a start, and we needed one.

I believe Obama was leaving the door open for the GOP to do this so that he wouldn't have to himself prior to 2012, a tactically shallow move. Now he has this proposal as political cover to make some tough decisions. I say he better go make them and not punt on this until 2013. If he avoids the issue, he cedes a major point of contention heading into next year's re-election launch. It's time he had some skin in the debt debate.

I hope he embraces large portions and trades the rest away for a needed increase in the income tax rates for the wealthy (they have to share the pain too, plus they've been on a 10-year tax holiday) and to guarantee tax loopholes close for corporations (the rates are already high at 35%, but they actually pay between 0-5% depending). The bottom line is the government needs increased revenue in order to pay down debt alongside cuts in spending. This proposal brings the cuts, so its a start.

Ryan went wrong in his proposal by not raising any income taxes, going light on defense spending reform and completely dismantling Medicare by 2022. This is where the Dems need to step up and negotiate. They should not waste time denigrating the proposal - everyone already knows their knee-jerk position is to disagree. Just get to work on a serious counter-proposal.

Now then, that wasn't so bad was it? Was it? OK, OK, we'll talk sports tomorrow, I promise. Here is a funny to get your mind off debt:

Poking Lady Justice In The Eye

The news that the Obama administration is moving the trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) from Federal court to a military tribunal is pathetic for everyone involved.

The admitted architect of the 9/11 attacks on the United States was originally going to be tried in a Federal court of law in New York City. It was in this setting that the American justice system was supposed to triumph over terrorism and a society of laws would demonstrate what set it apart and made it exceptional.

The first to attack the Federal trials were the obvious crew. Rep. Peter King (R-NY). Tea Party types. Dick Cheney. You know where this is heading. The same folks who claim to want to uphold the Constitution no matter the cost while consistently accusing the President of wanting to shred it were suddenly caught in a crisis of confidence when it came time to abide by the document. It is just one of the 'Don't Tread on Me' crowd's perversion of principals in the name of scoring political points that don't allow me to take them seriously at any turn.

First they cited a safety factor for New York City - since when did New Yorkers lose their bravado? I would wager they didn't appreciate people who openly abhor 'urban living' questioning their ability to handle a trial. Not to mention the good old fashioned 'F-You' hosting a trial and conviction in the very city that was attacked would send. Why did these people have to lose their flair for the dramatic over what should have been an all-American home run?

Next they questioned the ability of the Federal court to execute a guilty verdict, an insinuation that brought on so many hypocrisies at once, the world almost tilted on it's axis. Let's break that one down for a moment. One, our Constitution says a defendant has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty (a slap to the beloved document). Two, KSM is the self admitted architect thus giving us said proof needed to convict (a slap to the court system and our faith in it to do the job). And finally, three, by questioning the strength of the evidence against KSM they called into question their very own illegal torture program. Any admissions of guilt or supporting evidence coerced from torture is inadmissible in the court of law - they knew this and now used it against the very system they swore to uphold. That's chutzpah.

As I stated in the opening, this is a pathetic piece of news for everyone involved. Let me leave no stone unturned. President Obama has disappointed on a deep level here. We're talking about an ex-Constitutional law professor who campaigned on 'Change'. Some of the change he alluded to was ending torture (credit where credit is due, he has, supposedly), closing Gitmo and ending Military Tribunals. If there were any candidate to back if you were worried about the rule of law and eroding freedoms under a never-ending war time environment, it was Obama. For him and Eric Holder to kowtow on this issue, keeping Gitmo open and holding tribunals is extreme cowardice. Gitmo remains a permanent black-eye on American foreign policy and undercuts any moral high ground we think we may have on a daily basis. Tribunals are something out of the old Eastern Europe or a banana republic - they call to mind closed doors and a lack of due process. Their very existence speaks to the level of stink on so much of the evidence due to our dark days of torture. If a sitting President and Attorney General can't stand up for the Constitution, who can? Certainly not the opposition, we've already debunked them.

That brings us to you and me, Mr. and Mrs. America. If we refuse to fight for the rights we pretend to care about, then we're pathetic too. If you disagree with my opinions you'll likely say these war criminals don't deserve a trial in our courts or cite national security as a reason for holding the Tribunals. It is that point of view that exposes a lack of faith in the American justice system, a system that sets us apart from the rest of the world. And if we question our faith in our own system then how secure are we anyway?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Glenn Beck to Start His Own Channel? Update

With his ratings down 30%, this is not the negotiating position our buddy Glenn wants to be in as he hashes out a new deal for himself. If I were the owner of his proposed new channel, I'd float an offer of a pay cut to the former 'Zoo Keeper' morning radio drive-time disc jockey. Would Fox News even even care if they lost his remaining viewers at this point? While Glenn is weighing his decision to leave Fox News, it appears his viewers are way ahead of him.

More info here.

Previous coverage here.