Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Here's the delightful opening tune they should have played when the muggin' & buggin' Rev. took to the podium. The late Redd Foxx did quite well for himself with his late-in-life TV career. America in the 70's loved S&S and most of the rest of Redd's cleaned-up-for-TV act. Sanford & Son was PG rated. But Redd's nightclub act, honed over 40 years of hard work, was anything but PG. If you seek out the recordings be warned, like Rev. Wright, Redd Foxx could preach about "ridin' dirty." The crucial difference? Mr. Foxx was funny.
UPDATE: Breaking news... it sounds like Lamont has decided it's time to break up the act!
UPDATE2: Can't wait for Rev. Wright's reponse to Obama's press event. It should be along the lines of, "Shut up Dummy!" Fred/Redd would've wanted it that way.
Last Friday the airwaves and Internet were abuzz with a publicity stunt authored by Harrison Ford and his handlers. Ford, the highest grossing movie star in history, was calling attention to the terrible plight of trees that are being cut down by people trying to better their own lives. Or some such. Now a heartless cynic might think that Harry could have done this any time in the last umpteen years if it was such a huge concern-- I mean trees were dying every day, Harry-- and yet, by chance, it was on Hollywood gossip TV a mere month before the new Indiana Jones (career ender if it flops?) movie hits theaters. OK, I'm wrong, you don't even have to be cynical to figure out this obvious bit of ham-fisted image marketing.
When I saw this effort over the weekend I don't think my thoughts were the ones desired by Ford and his marketing team. My thoughts? "What the hell happened to that guy?!?!" There was a time when my closest associate wanted to go to any movie with Harrison Ford in it and, importantly, I always agreed. Off we would go, safe in the knowledge that it would be entertaining. Then the day came when she announced she was done with him. I don't want to put too fine a point on it but I think it was about the same time that Ford divorced Melissa Mathison, took up with some TV actress, and stuck a diamond stud in his earlobe like a bar-hopping dipwad. Not necessarily in that order. He lost about 900 manliness points (on the thousand point scale) in that series of actions. So, the last Harrison Ford movie I've seen is 1997's "Air Force One." Looking at his filmography I guess I haven't missed much. Hmmm, I have a sneaking suspicion that we weren't the only ones who dumped Harrison Ford about ten years ago.
A new Indiana Jones movie is the sort of thing that could get us to give him one more chance. And then, as part of the promotion, he does this idiotic chest-hair-waxing-to-save-the-forests globaloney. The closest associate saw it and just shook her head. All the money going into this project and they don't even know why the mass audience stopped going to Harrison Ford movies. Amazing.
I'm sorry I'm late with these observations but I actually completely forgot about it by Monday morning. Then, on my morning rounds in the Jeep today I heard Brad Paisley's "I'm Still A Guy" and the first thing the final verse brought to mind was that silly image of Ford getting his chest waxed.
"These days there's dudes getting facials
Manicured, waxed and botoxed
With deep spray-on tans and creamy lotiony hands
You can't grip a tacklebox
With all of these men lining up to get neutered
It's hip now to be feminized
I don't highlight my hair
I've still got a pair
Yeah honey, I'm still a guy
Oh my eyebrows ain't plucked
There's a gun in my truck
Oh thank God, I'm still a guy"
Monday, April 28, 2008
Book Blurb Reviews:
Monkeydarts- "Nothing you can do today will be more important than ordering Michael's book. Nothing you can do in the next two weeks will be more important than reading 'Moment of Truth in Iraq.'"
Joe Galloway-"Yon covers soldiers . . . the old-fashioned way: He goes down the back alleys and the bad roads"--(Joe Galloway, author of We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young)
David H. Petraeus-"He's fearless . . . provides a candid, soldier's-eye view . . . from the very unique perspective of being there with them for weeks and months at a time . . . delv[ing] deep into the human component."--(General David H. Petraeus, commanding general, Multi-National Force, Iraq)
Brian Willams-"Michael Yon's voice is the voice of the soldier, often unfazed by what he sees, mission-focused and battle-hardened. These guys don't scare easily and they never let up, and Michael tells the story from their point of view."--(Brian Willams, Anchor, NBC Nightly News)
Clifford May-"His readers have learned what most Americans would not know from NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and NPR"--(former New York Times foreign correspondent Clifford May)
OK, that first one isn't on the book jacket, but you get the idea.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Clinton further displayed tough talk in an interview airing on "Good Morning America" Tuesday. ABC News' Chris Cuomo asked Clinton what she would do if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons.
"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," Clinton said. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them." -ABC News
Monday, April 21, 2008
For Release: April 21, 2008
Tony Snow Joins CNN as Political Contributor Former White House press secretary Tony Snow will join CNN as a conservative commentator beginning today, it was announced by Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
The Internet has enabled millions of amateur sleuths. All over the world people are prying into the lives of others as best they can. I know of one magazine publisher who even admitted on his blog that he checks out former girlfriends' current addresses on Zillow to, well, to see if their living circumstances are adequate I guess. Who would do such a thing, I mean... what?... you would? I am so behind the times.
But I do use the Internet to research my own life. My favorite way of doing this is to find the dates of ballgames I attended as a kid. Our family used to go up to Tiger Stadium once a season when I was a fresh-faced youngster. I remember little bits of each trip-- who Detroit was playing, a HR that was hit, an opposing relief pitcher that worked, whether we stopped at the White Castle just down Michigan from the stadium for a bag of sliders for the long drive home.
Well, that last part about White Castle is hard to research, but the games are fun to check out. For instance, I was able to figure out a game I saw in 1964 from upper deck box seats on the third base side right at home plate. I remember the view perfectly--in Tiger Stadium you felt like you were hanging over the infield in those seats. I was in heaven. I wasn't sure of the year but figured I had to be about 10-12 years old at the time. I knew the Tigers beat the Yankees that night and that Mickey Lolich threw a complete game. I remembered Don Wert, improbably, as a hitting star and I remembered that Lolich struck out Mickey Mantle at least once. I was almost certain that Whitey Ford started the game for the stinkin' Yankees. With that I set off through the archives at baseball-reference. And, after only about 10 minutes, there it was September 9, 1964. So what? So, um, to you, nuthin'. To me, though, it's a great memory. I can see the green grass under the lights, smell the beer and cigar smoke of Tiger Stadium in the 60's, and see Tiger great Bill Freehan taking a foul tip right back in the cup. He was in agony, as were all the adult males sitting in our section. I am proud to say that Freehan stayed in the game according to the box score.
But there are other pieces of one's life that can be put together this way. When I was in high school I went to see the legendary/ notorious MC5. I wasn't sure what year it was but I knew that none of us who went could drive-- that meant it was before the summer of 1969. The venue was a place called The Firehouse in Toledo, Ohio. I'm not sure why I remembered that-- it was the only time in my life I was there. That was about all I could recall, but with that little bit I discovered that it was April 29, 1969. (WARNING!-- clicking that link will cause you to confront obscenities. It was the MC5 remember.) Here's what made this research very cool for me though. The poster for the show, while hardly a classic model of the genre, told me a ton of stuff. Like, for instance, The Firehouse was at Secor & Alexis--which I could then look at in a current aerial image and place better in my mind-- I haven't lived in Northwest Ohio for more than 30 years. I learned that the reason we were even able to go was because they were doing an "under 18" show at 6:30PM which reminded me that it was, in fact, light out when we got there. My friend's father who dropped us off must have been horrified, come to think of it. But the real shocker was the opening act. The bass player for that local band was the older brother of one of the guys I went to the show with. I had completely forgotten that part. Dave's brother got to open for the MC freakin' 5!
But the biggest thing I gained from this exercise was the ability to give my ear doctor the exact date that I started to lose my hearing: April 29, 1969 from 6:30 to 8PM Eastern Time. I have been to literally hundreds of shows since then in clubs, arenas, stadiums, bars, race tracks, and convention halls-- sometimes for pleasure, but mostly for work. To this day, however, when it's quiet in the house in the middle of the night, and all I can hear is that high-pitched non-stop whistle and some crackling and popping I always say the same thing to myself: MC5, The Firehouse, Toledo, Ohio. Seriously. They were playing through Marshall amps set at ELEVEN in a low ceiling hall and we were right in the front!
And we were that close because, well, now I know, it was because we were with the (warm up) band! I never would have remembered that part.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
The Dems have now had nearly two dozen joint press conferences, AKA debates, during this election cycle. The Dodd's, Kucinich's, Biden's, Richardson's and a couple dozen other has-beens and never-wasses have gone away and it's down to the deadly duo. I have watched exactly none of these affairs. In the Internet age why would I? There must be a couple dozen folks that blog at The Corner watching, and I trust them to point me to anything interesting. There seldom is anything interesting, frankly.
But this morning Jonah Goldberg pointed out that Obama made an amazing comment when questioned about his promise to dramatically raise the tax rate on capital gains. According to Mr. Goldberg, BXO acknowledged the point embedded in ABC's question: revenues go up when the capital gains rate is cut. That, my dear reader(s), is supply-side economics. The Laffer Curve elegantly describes this effect that most liberals pooh-pooh. Or is that poo-poo? Either way, the D's ignore the facts, rely on static scoring, and say, "Raise taxes and you get more revenue, lower taxes and you get less." It's so very wrong, but it fits their demagoguery so they stick to it. But wait, Obama didn't actually leave the reservation and come over to the supply-side. Instead he said it didn't matter-- the cap gains tax needs to be doubled because it's FAIR. Fair? He advocates raising taxes on the millions of Americans who own stock, even though it decreases government revenue, because it's fair? Sheer lunacy. Could Jonah have misheard this amazing exchange? Doubtful, but I had to check further.
BXO replied, "Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness. We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year -- $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That's not fair."
As I pointed out a few weeks back when Obama did his interview on CNBC and spouted this idiocy, he gets that whole "the secretary pays more" malarkey from multi-billionaire liberal Warren Buffett. It is, of course, a bald-faced lie. Unless Warren pays his secretary a wage that puts her in the highest tax bracket, he pays the federal government a higher rate on his wages than she does on hers. On capital gains they pay the same. We all do. Warren always peddles this whopper to the handmaiden media. Many of them probably know it's horse hockey, but young Senator Obama is so unknowing he falls for it every time.
Now here's the really sick part of this-- while Buffett can absorb a dramatic increase in the cap gains rate millions of others will go bust. (BTW, Buffett generally owns/ invests in old, legacy companies, not start-ups-- it is actually to his advantage to stymie new competitors to his businesses.) Among the poor, beaten-down, bitter survivors of Obama's tax increase drastic adjustments will be made: assistants will be fired so their pay can be sent off to Washington as tax money, purchases will be postponed, accounts will be closed, health care insurance payments will be eliminated, and in some cases we'll (er, I mean they'll) move our (er, I mean their) operations offshore.
Raising the capital gains tax 66-100% or so is just some exercise in an abstract area to Obama. Allow me to put it in terms his money-grubbing wife, Michelle, can understand. How about we raise the tax rate on book royalties 100% effective with the 2007 tax year. After all, is it fair that the Senator can make millions writing about his own life while tens of millions of Americans lead lives nobody will pay to read about? Get it now?
Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, Wednesday April 16, 2008:
--We want to thank the Radio Television Correspondents' Association for inviting us... You all know how to make a guy feel welcome. Obviously, you're not the kind to look down on a "bitter" man who clings to his guns.
-- Speaking of Vice President Gore, I'm sorry to relate that he's a little bit sore at me. He's convinced that, on global warming, I just don't get it. But lately with every passing day, the evidence has been catching my attention. I have no doubt, none at all, that we are in the midst of a global warming, or as I prefer to call it, spring. And I don't want to sound like an alarmist, but it's going to get a lot warmer before it gets cooler.
--I guess my cousin Barack has sat through some mighty riveting sermons over the years. If he gets elected, you're not going to want to miss those Washington prayer breakfasts.
-- But since it is our last time together at this dinner, I think it's enough to leave you with words I once addressed to Senator Pat Leahy. Go... straight home, have a good night, and thank you very much.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Novelist Robert Ferrigno looks forward four years and sees that President Obama has bestowed upon former President Clinton (now divorced and bitter) a role in his administration: Outreach Ambassador to the Heartland.
Get ready for Michelle Obama's "I'M SORRY" buttons. You will wear yours, comrade. Or else.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Right thinking hockey fans are hoping for a Detroit v. San Jose Western Conference finals series in the near future. The Red Wings, as is their habit, dominated from start to finish in the regular season and won the President's Cup. They are the franchise by which all others measure themselves.
The Sharks certainly view the Wings as the team that sets the pace in the West and in the entire NHL. Their season was going "OK" when in mid-February they hit a stretch of 5 losses. Along with the usual tinkering with the lines the team made a big acquisition when they picked up Brian Campbell from Buffalo. From February 21 on the Sharks posted 18 wins, 2 OT losses and 2 outright losses. An incredible 38 points in 22 games. So, they entered the second season, The Stanley Cup playoffs, as the hottest team. Their regular season record was second only to Detroit's. That's why they need to meet in the conference finals: The Best v. The Hottest.
But something has happened on the way to that series. Sure the Red Wings stumbled last night against Nashville but they'll be fine and lead that series 2-1. The problem is with San Jose. They lost game 1 to Calgary and, to most SJ fans it was clear what happened: they started the game skating like it was still the regular season while the Flames were playing playoff hockey. By the time the Bay Area boys got it going it was too late, Calgary held on to win 3-2. Lesson learned? It sure looked like it in game 2 as SJ shutout the Calgarians at the Shark Tank. Then Sunday night game three began in Calgary with the Sharks full of jump and scoring a quick 3 unanswered goals in the first 3 and a half minutes. The Saddledome was dead in red.
Until... a brutal hit (no elbowing penalty? what tha??) on captain Patrick Marleau by Cory Sarich woke up everyone connected with the Flames. Patty, for his part, responded well. He stayed out there bleeding through his shifts and playing hard. But something was missing--- nobody took it upon themselves to pay Sarich back for his efforts against the captain. The Flames kept chipping away until finally former Sharks fan favorite Owen Nolan scored to put the Calgary crew ahead 4-3. Calgary earned their series lead of 2-1.
Right after the game goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, said: "You have to be men to play this sport, not a bunch of boys, and we looked like a bunch of boys out there and they were looking like a bunch of men." Nabby is not a popoff. He's pretty quiet, prepared every night, and wants to be between the pipes for every game. That quote is huge to Sharks fans. By Monday afternoon he was saying, about what the team talked about at practice, "We just talked about certain situations and how to respond - like a man. We have to come out and play a character game and do the right thing at the right time and not to let anybody push us around. All I can do is make saves. I can't go and hit the guy, I can't do something else. I think I just have to find a way to stop the bleeding." What did Douglas Murray think about Nabby's critique? "Yeah, we get a 3-0 lead and a lot of guys felt it was going to be easy after that. You've got to finish teams off. Teams are too good. A 3-0 lead after five minutes means nothing. I know exactly what he was saying and I couldn't agree more." Coach Ron Wilson, what say you? "I'm glad Nabby said that. It doesn't have to be me. The most important thing is for the guys to hold themselves accountable and challenge each other to rise to the occasion."
Will the Sharks show the toughness it takes to win playoff hockey? We'll start getting the answer tonight at 10PM EDT.
UPDATE: Sharks win game 4 on Joe Thornton's goal with 7.3 seconds left in regulation. It's now a best 2 out of 3 series and SJ has the home ice advantage.
UPDATE2: Sharks win game 5 with spirited play, hard hitting, and scoring from Cheechoo, Pavelski and Patty Marleau. 3-2 advantage Sharks as the series returns to Calgary Sunday night.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Take a trip to the Red Planet for more cartoon goodness.
When one's political opponent is hanging out with the multi-millionaire swells in far left San Francisco and makin' with the condescending chatter about Americans who don't live in big cities one must seize the moment. Hillary started by getting into the "he's an elitist" trap. Not smart politically. Listen deary, you and Bubba Tubbypants have made $120 Million + out of the trash heap of his presidency. That ain't the common touch. You do NOT want to get into that rhetorical box canyon.
A good visual is far smarter politics. And the Clinton Crew came up with a doozy-- Hillary elbowin' up to the bar in a room full of "real guys" and hangin' with the boys. Now, at first you think the Hillster is just gonna sip that shot of Crown Royal, but then she does the right thing, she flat out knocks it back and immediately grabs her mug of suds to chase. Thata girl! I've known of Hillary since her Arkansas days when I used to go to Little Rock twice a month on business and this is the first time I thought anything positive about her. Think about it. If you were losing to the emptiest (albeit stylish) suit in the history of American politics AND you had to worry morning, noon, and night about what your loose cannon spouse might do to screw up things further... wouldn't you want to get loaded?
I bow to no man in my distaste of all things Clinton. I was in the VRWC before she even told the world about our club. But I also respect political imagery that is inspired and there's been very little of it coming out of this endless campaign season. This particular image is so much more effective than her clunky rhetoric about Obama's elitism and his being out of touch with the heartland. Nicely played. Now, two criticisms. Crown Royal is a little too pricey--- next time go down market. Secondly, to the media, every account I've read or seen on this incident in Indiana talks about her drinking a whisky and a beer. Where I come from there's a much quicker way to describe what she imbibed. She was havin' a boilermaker. Chances are, after the NC primary, she'll be switchin' to the Bacardi 151 and downin' a Flaming Blue Jesus. In the meantime, give the gal a boilermaker.
UPDATE: AP reports that Sen. Obama said the following today at a meeting of something called The Alliance for American Manufacturing, "Around election time, the candidates can't do enough for you. They'll promise you anything, give you a long list of proposals and even come around, with TV crews in tow, to throw back a shot and a beer."
Just words, BXO, just words. Say it with pictures. Here in small-town America* we're bitter that we haven't seen you go duck hunting yet. We cling to the HOPE that you'll CHANGE out of your stylish clothes and don a little camo.
*- Full disclosure, since we reside in an unincorporated area we technically don't live/work anywhere big enough to be called a "small town."
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Unfortunately, our hangdog, sad, Democrat representative in the US House scored just 5% for an "F". To add to that, he's the chief budget writer in Pelosi's operation. Check out your Senators and representative here.
BTW: If you just want the presidential candidates' grades, they are: Obama 5% "F", Clinton 3% "F" and McCain Incomplete-- missed too many votes to track his performance.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
With the major league club we've loved since the late 1950's mired in a wee bit of difficulty this week it's time to turn to happier baseball thoughts. Like this-- Collegiate Baseball News ranked 6 teams from the Carolinas in their Top 30 this week. The Tar Heels came in #5, The Carolina Gamecocks ranked #6 in the nation, Charlotte was #18, UNC Wilmington came in at 19, The Pirates of East Carolina ranked #24 and at #30 were the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. So 20% of the Top 30 are from South Carolina and that other Carolina. Not bad.
OK. That didn't work. I still feel bad about the 0-4 Tigers. Dontrelle, it's on you to set things right tomorrow! Have a great weekend Detroit fans.
UPDATE: OK. That didn't work. Justin Verlander, it's on you tonight to set things right... on national TV, too.
UPDATE2: OK. That didn't work. Take Monday off fellas.
UPDATE3: Should've taken Tuesday off too. Beyond ridiculous.