Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Late Random Thoughts

Note to tv newsie editors - Jeremiah Wright is Reallllllly Boooooring. Really.

Why no live footage of the big Marine - Taliban battle in Afghanistan this week? What ever happened to Ashleigh Banfield? She would go. I guess the North Carolina primary is more important.

Why is Slate's web site so slow? I always forget, then remember why I don't read it more often. I'm onto Drudge.

From the I'm Old, Not Dead Department:

So my wife won't think I'm the only weirdo who thinks that Nancy Pelosi is kind of hot, Fancy Nancy comes in at No. 4 on The Hill's list to the 50 Most Beautiful People in Washington, DC our nation's capital. There's something about those Catholic girls.

Sweet Caboose!

Check out this Arab pregnant man.

Pregnant Man Abdullah with Husband Ahkbar and Sister-Wife Condi.

From the Don't Know Whether to Laugh or Cry Department:

"You know, I'm really not interested in policies that are long on rhetoric and short on results. I think the taxpayers, as well as the people we're trying to help, need to know our strategy is well-defined, with clear goals, and we hold people accountable."-- George W. Bush

"No Barney! We're fighting the Moslems, not Mormons!"

What is the government doing by taking all of those Mormon kids away from their mothers? Based on an apparent hoax by a 30 something year old crazy woman, posing as a 16 year old unwilling Mormon bride, the State of Texas has arrested over 400 kids and locked them up in some kind of convention center. Where is the probable cause? Where is the due process? Where are the family values? Where is the freedom of religion?

Not in Texas.

Texas Police Diversity Training Film
Buy it Here!

Talk about state terrorism. You want to terrorize me? Don't threaten to shoot me or electrocute me. Threaten to take my kids away. That's what terrorizes me. That's what is happening in Texas.

It turns out that 5 teenage girls in that renegade Texas Mormon group are either pregnant or have a baby already. That's out of 418 kids (now reported as 435 kids - they can't even count them correctly) the state took into custody. Teen pregnancy! Well, we better hurry up and get the rest of those girls away from their parents and into foster care! Then we know they'll be safe. I'd sure feel secure knowing that my kids were safe in the bosom of the Texas foster care system. Note to literalists - not really.

I Need Foster Care!

What this is really about is that the government has a vendetta against the FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, for forcing young teenage girls into arranged "marriages." Jeffs was convicted of "rape by accomplice" after arranging a religious marriage between a 14 year old girl and her 19 year old cousin. The young groom is now facing charges as well.
Warren Jeffs

That was certainly bad. That's why he's in jail. But what it has to do with the 436 kids taken from their mothers has not been made clear. Nobody has been arrested for anything and not a single child has been alleged to be abused. So what's up?

But onto a group that suffers no police harassment -

More Swinger news!

We continue to keep our ear to the ground for more info about the Swingers alleged to be in our area. Keep in mind that I have no idea if any of this is true.

  • Another Secret Swinger Signal - put a box of Tide in your window. Though I'm not sure what happens next.
  • Apparently there are a couple of "urban" young men who will "host" a Swinger party at the Swingers' homes. Word is that the guys pair up with the ladies while husbands watch. This one really kind of freaks me out. No word on whether the guys get paid for this. The hosts I mean.
  • Reported ATL Swinger neighborhoods include Laurel Springs, Three Chimneys, Windermere, and St. Ives.
  • The is an introductory course available online (absolutely free!) for new Swingers at http://www.swingersvillage.net/, apparently hosted by Shannen Doherty.
  • I even found a Swinger resort on the internet http://swingermarbella.com/en/about-us/. (I hope it's not true that the IT guys can see everything I do on this PC.)
Random TV Land Observations:

Who is Kimora? She may be a nice person, but in the print ads she looks like a Vegas hooker in that gold dress. And why does she have a tv show?

Love 30 Rock and The Office these days.

I hope James wins Survivor.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hillary Wins PA By 9%

Obama Continues To Close The Deal

Congrats to Hillary for a good win in Pennsylvania. Tally in PA as of 10:30 am EST Thursday is:

Clinton: 54.6%
Obama: 45.4%

That's a pretty solid win for Hillary. But what does it mean for the overall contest?In the days before the PA primary, it was painful watching the tv people try to peg some sort of over/under point for expectations that would determine whether Hillary's margin of anticipated victory would be "enough" to keep the contest alive. This sort of game is mystifying to me. The chatteratti couldn't seem to make up their minds on what the magic number should be. The idea of basing it on actual math didn't catch fire anywhere. Is it just a matter of "winning" if you do better than the very last "conventional wisdom" estimate of your vote tally? How about saying that if she closed the delegate count by 50 or 100 delegates, that would really make the race close enough to matter?

No, that will never do, because everybody knows that the race will not become close. Obama is cruising to victory and everybody knows it. But there is this pretending going on that somehow the "Super" delegates to the Democratic convention will all get together and decide to nominate Hillary anyway. Why is this story alive?

For this scenario to be viable, there is strongly implied that the party insiders have a pre-existing desire to give the nomination to Hillary instead of Barack, and that all Hillary has to do is give them a straight faced excuse to do so. Is this true? Is there this quasi-plan to get Hillary nominated? I doubt it and I hope not.

I think Hillary is full of baloney, as far as having a legitimate chance to win the nomination. The Super delegates will not vote as a block. The two thirds of them, over 500, who have declared so far are split, but have tilted toward Hillary. But the recent trend is toward Obama.

So what is Hillary's plan? Basically to stay alive and hope Obama either wrecks or runs out of gas, while her campaign plants doubts that he can win in November. At the same time she is putting forth various premises that would seem to justify her getting the nomination. Like her fuzzy math on the popular vote, and multiple "if the rules were different I'd be winning" arguments.

"Can't close the deal." This is the Hillary phrase of the week. Obama just can't seem to close the deal, so the Super delegates should vote for Hillary. This is the kind of idiocy that drives people to not bother to vote.

First of all, what's up with all the newsies parroting the same phrase? Aren't they embarrassed when they do this? It may not be plagiarism, but it is copying.

Second, why is nobody pointing out the utter lack of logic with this idea. Hillary is further away from "closing the deal" than Barack. In fact, Hillary is the one who mathematically "can't" close this deal, while Barack is cruising along toward closing it very nicely. He's winning. When you're winning, you just keep doing what you're doing until you win. You don't change a winning strategy just to win faster.

It's a 50 state contest. Just because Hillary hasn't been eliminated by a skunk rule yet, doesn't mean that she's somehow not losing. She is losing. And she has no legitimate path to victory.This contest looks like it will go the whole nine innings. There's nothing wrong with that.

What Obama needs to do is to stop reacting to Hillary so much, and just boldly steal her thunder. All of this talk of working class Catholics not voting for Obama because he's an elitist is off the mark. It's not because he's elitist. Catholics actually love elitists! Think Kennedys, Popes, The Vatican, Notre Dame. His problem is that he's not talking about their issues.

Do you know what working class people, and Hillary's old ladies, are really worried about more than health care or variable rate mortgages or Iraq or NAFTA? SOCIAL SECURITY!!!! They are afraid of not having any money when they are old. Obama should dust off Al Gore's old "lockbox" and promise to stabilize the program and GUARANTY that social security will be there for all of us when we get old.

The Republicans are vulnerable on this issue because they have raided the Treasury for the last 7 years and failed to fix social security. This is the issue that Hillary's base will really care about. And Hillary, with her "eight years in the white house" and eight more in the Senate, hasn't done Jack Squat to make social security secure.

Obama needs to steal this issue and make it his own.

Working class Catholics going the full nine innings, while adoring their elites.

It's time to change the way politicians are dealing with social security. And Medicare, too.

Can we fix it? Yes, we can!
(Credits to Bob the Builder.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Friday's Random Thoughts for April 18

I've realized that I'm going to have real trouble focusing on losing weight as long as I have this laziness thing going on.

I clicked on a headline that said, "First Look Inside Polygamist Compound," but there were no pictures.

Thursday on Morning Joe, Tim Russert blurts out that his son thinks Mika is a "cougar." They then discuss this briefly as a cute little conversation. Ummm. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but do they really not know what "cougar" means? If you need enlightenment, click here.

On an historical note, Germany seems to have succeeded in bringing it's eastern and western territories together nicely.

Kraut Cougar Queen Angela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany

I haven't watched the Philly Presidential debate yet. I was tired and I flipped to it just as Charlie Gibson was asking his first question. As he droned into his third inquisitive paragraph, I realized that I just wasn't going to make it. So I tivoed it for later. Apparently I didn't miss much.

Charlie Gibson. Only slightly less boring than George Stephanopoulis! What a duo. Was pairing these two "veterans" some sort of recycling statement by ABC?

Next time get Shuster and Zacharia!

Is oil expensive just because the dollar is weak? Is that what this is all about? Nobody seems to be running out of oil, so it's not a lack of supply. This weak dollar thing may have gone too far.

Remind me again the difference between fiscal policy and monetary policy? Which one does the Fed do? Does Treasury do the other one? Or is it Congress? What is our policy anyway?

While I don't know nothing about all that economy stuff, I sure do know a lot about Reverend Wright, Hillary's Grandpa, and Cindy McCain's cookies.

If China invades Taiwan, or Japan, or Hawaii, would we still keep the troops in Iraq? Wouldn't it be a hoot if they did it during the Olympics? We'd really be stymied then.

Remember the "nappy headed ho" scandal that got Don Imus shunned from the radio waves? Well, now when I'm driving around and listening to talk radio, my only choices are Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, or Neil Boortz. Nice going, sensitive liberals. You have nobody on your side on the airwaves of Atlanta. Unless you count NPR's Lois Reitzes playing classical music.

Jack Cafferty on CNN calls the Chinese "the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years." The Chinese government demands an apology, so CNN apologies to anyone who thought Cafferty was referring to the Chinese people, clarifying that he meant only the Chinese government! Hah! While I don't usually like smarmy apologies, I really loved this one. As my Aunt Amy would say, "They don't like him, he don't like them." Harmony!

Hooray for the Grouchy Old Man!

If you're a woman reporter at Bloomberg, your picture should be here.

Roundball Playoffs are here at last. Go Celtics!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Primary Predictions

Remaining Schedule
2,024 needed to win
  1. Pennsylvania - April 22 - 158 delegates - Clinton
  2. Guam - May 3 - 4 delegates - Obama
  3. North Carolina - May 6 - 115 delegates - Obama
  4. Indiana - May 6 - 72 delegates - Clinton
  5. West Virginia - May 13 - 28 delegates - Clinton
  6. Kentucky - May 20 - 51 delegates - Clinton
  7. Oregon - May 20 - 52 delegates - Obama
  8. Puerto Rico - June 1 - 55 delegates - Obama
  9. Montana - June 3 - 16 delegates - Obama
  10. South Dakota June 3 - 15 delegates - Obama

So that's 511 "pledged" delegates up for grabs.

Score as of 4/15/2008 for "pledged" delegates only:

  • Obama : 1,414
  • Clinton: 1,243

"Super" delegate commitment estimates (464 committed):

  • Obama: 218
  • Clinton: 246


  • Obama: 1,632
  • Clinton: 1,489

Super delegates left to commit: 332

"Magic Numbers" needed to win:

  • Obama: 392
  • Clinton: 535

CNN has this great calculator that you can play with to predict the outcome of the race by clicking here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

William Kristol - Dangers of Affirmative Action


Bill Kristol Discovers That Obama Is a Muslim Communist!

Dumbest Intellectual Alive William Kristol

The New York Times has done it again. Doesn't that paper have any editors? Why not just hire Bill O'Reilly and get it over with?

This is what happens when newspapers use quotas to fill their positions for reasons of political "diversity." We end up with nitwits like Bill Kristol polluting the pages of political punditry.

In case you missed it, William Kristol, the "neo-conservative" columnist for the NYT, has reviewed the recent observations of Barack Obama that people who are out of work and in financial distress may take comfort in their church. After allegedly reviewing his old college text, The Marx-Engels Reader (apparently even Harvard doctoral programs don't bother to make their students read original texts), Mr. Kristol squeezed his eyebrows together real hard until an idea popped out. When poor people go to church and feel better, that's Communism! Or maybe Capitalism. Or maybe it's what Communists say about Capitalism. Or something.

Who knew?

So obviously Obama is a Communist. Or else he's calling people in Pennsylvania Communists. Or else he's calling churches Capitalists. Or he's saying if you go to Church then you are a Capitalist patsy. Who loves guns.

Well, whatever Bill means, what we can take away from his otherwise nonsensical column is that obviously Obama said a very bad thing, and he is obviously very bad, and probably a Communist product of a Muslim school. Like Columbia or Harvard.

Kristol Pie

Well , guess what? A lot of people live hand to mouth in this country. And they are patriotic. Do you know what some of them believe in? God, family, and country. And when times are hard and money is low, people can still go to church, they still have their family, and they can still be thankful and proud to be an American. That's what I thought about when I heard Barack's comments. I think he spoke the truth.

I think it's the people who are trying to twist his words who are being elitist.

And about the guns. Do you know why a lot of people like guns? Not so they can kill a deer once a year, though that's the reason for some people. But for many it just makes them feel safe. It makes them feel independent. That's important.

I'll bet Limbaugh and Hannity and O'Reilly are already babbling ad infinitum about Kristol's point, and that "liberals" are elitists who will disagree thus proving their elitism. So there!

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly
at a Recent Hillary Fund Raiser

I swear, it's like watching bullshit in a blender.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Sad Farewell to Katie

Tis a sad song today, my friends. But we must honor tradition and sing it with heart.

Na na na na,

Na na na na,

Hey hey hey,

Good bye.

Time's Up For America's Sweetheart

See you soon, Katie!

Looks like Katie's out. The Wall Street Journal says so. And that's Rupert Murdoch a/k/a God talking there, so you know it must be true. I'll have to say that my wife and her snakey sister both predicted that Katie was a bad pick before she even was picked.

But first, a confession. I actually only watched Katie on the CBS Evening News twice. So having supporters like me doesn't really help her much. Also, I'm forced to say that the nights I watched . . . it wasn't good. And, with Katie in the center chair, the ratings reached depths even lower than those that Daffy Dan Rather had managed to reach. Just fyi, Katie pull in about 5MM viewers a night, while Brian Williams at NBC is at 8.3MM and crybaby Charlie Gibson at ABC gets an impressive 8MM. Ouch.

Side Note for Math and English nerds: "M" is the Roman Numeral for one thousand. Fans of Superbowls and movie copyright dates know this. So "MM" designates a million. I mention this because I've noticed that some of our tv reporter people are only using a single M, especially on their "crawlers," to denote a million.

The good news for Katie, and those of us who like to live vicariously through celebrities, is that apparently she has a contract through 2011 for a cool $15MM a year. Yeah, baby! Unsolicited fan advice: Make them pay you the whole thing!

Well, that bit of money news certainly helped to accelerate my grieving period for Katie, which is now over. So, looking to the future:

The Search Begins:
Who Will Inherit The Mantle Of Cronkite?

I'm imagining an unusual Saturday morning meeting taking place in an ostentatiously huge, corner office at the top of the Black Rock building overlooking Central Park. Stanley Bing, Les Moonves, and several other well fed white men, dressed in expensive business casual jackets and loafers, are smoking cigars and sipping bloody marys, and occasionally picking over a table of danish and bagels. Sumner Redstone is supposed to be on the speaker phone, but he's late. On purpose. Nobody's happy. Especially Les, whose broken promises Katie's people are already blaming for the whole fiasco.

But that's just my imagination. Who is likely to replace Katie? Here are my two off-the-cuff picks.

Harry Smith - The most likely pick. A 22 year CBS veteran, Harry is a great interviewer, has a calm and pleasant,but strong, presence, and a great baritone delivery. Knows his way around Black Rock, a strength that Katie notably lacked. At age 57, still young enough for a decently long tenure. And I like watching him. I'd be surprised if he's not at least the interim anchor for a test period, perhaps sharing time with our favorite oldster Bob Scheiffer.

Harry Smith

My second bet is Elizabeth Vargas. She's already been the primetime anchor at ABC, first as co-chair with Bob Woodruff. When Bob was seriously injured while covering the Iraq War, she was the sole anchor for a while. I was very disappointed that she didn't take over permanently, saying she wanted to devote more time to her impending Mom-hood. But now the word is that she was pushed aside after Charlie Gibson threw a hissy fit and threatened to quit if he didn't get the job.

What would make sense is for CBS to try to get Elizabeth under contract and groom her under Harry, like Tom Brokaw did for Brian Williams at NBC.

Elizabeth Vargas

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday's Random Thoughts

Ready For The Weekend

Bikini Girl
  1. Why does anybody care about the Olympic Torch? And why is it in San Francisco on a trip from Greece to China?
  2. I really do think John McCain is going senile.
  3. The more I see of Hillary the more I am convinced that she lives in the middle of her own mental Hillary-world.
  4. So I guess Kansas won the April Madness basketball tournament in dramatic fashion. Too bad it happened after baseball's opening day so I didn't care anymore.
  5. Mafia boss Silvio Berlusconi is about to take over Italy? Who knew? Is this good or bad for us?
  6. Bad Obama trends: He's starting to stiffen up like John Kerry and she's starting to sound like Angela Davis.
  7. From where I sit, the economy already seems to be bouncing back. Sunday's Hispanic Nights at Wal-Mart are as busy as ever.
  8. The more I think about bailing out our over-mortgaged homeowners, the less I like the idea. If they get their mortgage reduced for being stupid, shouldn't I get the same discount for being responsible?
  9. I've heard a few reporters and pundits start referring to the Iraq War as a "proxy war" between us and Iran. The problem with that theory is that we don't have a proxy. Yet another Viet Nam parallel! If we are going to have a proxy war, let's get a real proxy. (For you yungins, North Viet Nam and the Viet Cong were viewed as proxies of the USSR, which was a Russian Communist empire in the 20th century that we thought was going to nuke the US someday. But they didn't. We also thought that the commies would follow us home on a bunch of red dominoes if we gave up. But they didn't. Hmmm.)
  10. I have to look up the spelling of "parallel" every time I use it.
  11. I'm convinced that those New York Times columnists have a game of seeing who can insert the most esoteric word into the paper. Today's entry is "hippocampically" by David Brooks, which is an adverb that he apparently just made up from "hippocampus" that refers to two memory storing parts of our brains. Frankly, I think he has misspelled it. For good measure, Mr. Brooks also managed to squeeze in "aphasia," "langniappe," and "mnenomic"
  12. NASCAR should jump on the Green Bandwagon (Hah!) and start running preliminary races of alternate fuel powered cars. Talk about an obvious win-win. Imagine all of those elitist, tree hugging intellectuals shoulder to shoulder with cap-wearing, chickenbone throwing rednecks, as they cheer on Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon in their solar panelled, battery powered go-karts. It could all be so . . . democratic.
  13. Spring is in the air. Time to start thinking about getting down to swimsuit weight!

Have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Veep Guessing Game - Blue Team

Who Will Be Picked?

Who Will Do the Picking?

Make Your Predictions Now!

The List

  1. Barack Obama - Hillary will want him badly for electability. But will he want to put up with the Clintons for 4 or 8 years? Who would want to be the next Al Gore?
  2. Hillary Clinton - Barack will not pick her.
  3. Al Gore - He won't take second spot. Possible Sec State pick.
  4. John Edwards - Didn't really show enough juice in the primaries, and running for VP twice looks silly. Talk of AG spot doesn't make sense.
  5. Joe Biden, Delaware Senator - Strong speaker, national following, knows everything about all of the issues, compelling personal history, press respects him. Would be a very strong pick.
  6. Chris Dodd, Connecticut Senator - Nice Guy, good speaker, not a real national following, callow youth problem, doesn't bring a big state or demographic with him. Probably not a top pick.
  7. Wesley Clark, US Army General Retired - Formerly talked up as Hillary VP pick. Won the war in Bosnia. Oddly unpopular at the Pentagon because of political liberal rep. If Hillary gets it and Iraq's the issue, he could get it.
  8. Jim Webb, Virginia Senator - Surly former Marine and Navy Sec. People and press love him, but not good at making nice. He's the real straight talker.
  9. Bill Richardson, New Mexico Governor - Blatant suck up to Obama will probably get him a cabinet appointment but not the VP spot. Making the ticket too colorful would be too risky.
  10. Evan Bayh, Indiana Senator - Hillary supporter, "New Democrat," socially conservative. Very popular and could help in midwest states.
  11. Mark Warner, former Virginia Governor - Charismatic speaker and currently running for Senate seat being vacated by retiring John Warner. Somewhat mysteriously took himself out of the Presidential contest early. Not a likely pick.
  12. Ted Strickland, Ohio Governor - Popular crossover candidate from an important swing state. Nice guy, appeals to religious folks, and endorsed by the NRA. Age 67 works against him, though.
  13. Tom Daschle, former South Dakota Senator - Articulate and statesmanlike, but lost his own Senate seat, so electoral pull seriously in doubt. Too low key for the national campaign trail.
  14. Tom Vilsack, former Iowa Governor - Hillary supporter, was a Presidential candidate, but nobody remembers him. Wishy washy on Iraq. Real longshot.
  15. Sam Nunn, former Georgia Senator - Great man, but too senior at 70 and looks it. Talked about running as an independent. No way will he be picked and I'm not sure why he's on people's lists.
  16. Bob Kerrey, former Nebraska Senator - Medal of Honor recipient. No way. Viet Nam baby killer of the Than Phong Massacre shouldn't even be on the list.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Veep Guessing Game - Red Team

Who Will Little Mac Pick?
Make Your Predictions Now!

    The List

  1. Mitt Romney - They say McCain hates him, but he knows lots of rich people and his nice guyness will offset Little Mac's dickheadedness.

  2. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Governor - A young, super-conservative up and comer. He'll appeal to the base. Friend of Dick Cheney.

  3. Condoleeza Rice - Says she doesn't want it, but would she say no? An obvious but crafty attempt to divide the black vote while attracting the bitter aging feminists who will be angry that Hillary lost. It could work. No campaign experience or political team hurts.

  4. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Senator - Moderate conservative, splits the baby on being pro-life but against overturning Roe. Obvious appeal to women, but she's 65, so age may be a factor.

  5. Rudy Giuliani - Mr. 9/11 is just too weird, let's hope. Two dickheads on the ticket would be suicide.

  6. Mike Huckabee - Another Mr. Niceguy, the base also loves Mike, and will see him as a good successor for grooming for the top spot. Only 51, age is in his favor. A gifted public speaker, and he can appeal to conservative young voters.

  7. Lindsey Graham - South Carolina Senator - Nice Guy. Former Air Force lawyer and moderate Republican will appeal to crossover voters. At 50, still looks very young. Lifelong bachelorhood sparks gay rumors that could kill him as a national candidate.

  8. Fred Thompson - Too old. Yesterday's lunch.

  9. Jeb Bush - The good Bush. No chance. Too bad his brother is the worst President ever.

  10. Michael Steele - African American pundit for Fox and CNN. Former Lt. Governor of Maryland. Seems like a longshot.

  11. Newt Gingrich - Ah, Newt. Serial adulterer, promoter of name-calling political mudslinging, author of the Contract With America. If he gets the VP slot it really will be a ticket for the bridge to the 20th century. But he's a crafty and experienced pol, and he's uniquely shorter than Little Mac, and that might give him an edge.

Ouch! Women won't like this article at all.

Sowing & Reaping

Deja Vu Juju - Olympics

Playing with bad people only encourages them.

Historical Bad Guy Adolph Hitler used the 1936 Olympics to promote Nazism.

British Appeasers had their Olympic team give the Nazi Salute.

Nazi Olympic movie is a big hit!

Nazis subsequently bomb the shit out of London . . .

And drive the Brits out of Europe.

Until the American Army led them back.

The United States had 416,800 soldiers killed in World War II.

That is 100 times as many as have died in Iraq II.

So what does this have to do with the Olympics today?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fat Like Me

How Did This Happen?

Well, I'm fat. Again.

218. That's what the scale said this morning. I'm always shocked, even though I know exactly what happened. Day by day I make a series of small decisions that add up to a big, fat belly.

Take yesterday for example. It was a Saturday and I didn't have much to do. So, I dropped my car down at the shop early for new tires. That was exciting. My wife and the kids picked me up, and we stopped at the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru on the way home. You know, for the kids. Once we got home I took a well earned nap for the rest of the morning. Then I got up and microwaved some of the early morning coffee that had gone cold, and decided to go work out. I've been meaning to, you know. But then I remembered that I didn't know where any of my sweatpants were. After considering this obstacle for a few minutes, I grabbed a chocolate donut and headed for the tv room. Then I took an Alli pill to even things out.

Maybe those sweatpants will turn up some day.

On the couch, watching tv, I was forced to realize that there are a lot of shows and "infomercials" about working out and losing weight. And I mean a lot. The people on these shows really look great. They don't wear sweatpants. I wouldn't either, if I looked like that.

So now I realize that I'm exactly the type of out-of-shape loser that these ads are aimed at. The people who really exercise aren't sitting in front of the tv at 1:00 pm on a Saturday afternoon. Only lethargic fatties like me. And we are the ones most likely to call in with our Mastercard numbers for the new miracle machine that will give me six-pack abs in just 5 minutes a day! That's way easier that getting off my ever expanding buttocks and walking down the street and back a few times.

But of course I'm way too smart to fall for this. So, I do neither. I think, "If only I had more energy I'd go exercise." Maybe I need another nap. I think about the number on the scale again.

Some people don't like to share their actual weight number, feeling that it's too personal. I understand this, but to me it's just a number. But it's the single metric that best measures the problem. I suppose that body fat percentage is really a better measure. But when you're over 200, the body fat number's not going to be good.

I catch an ad on the tv for The Biggest Loser, and I'm thinking, "They don't look that fat to me." Then I realize what a bad sign that is.

I mentally review my personal metrics. I've been the same height since I was 15, 5 feet 11 1/2 inches. Weight upon high school graduation: 148; college graduation: 162; one year out: 185 (I could finally afford food). I stayed at 185 for the next 10 years, when I was 33 years old.

I've been fatter. My all time heaviest was 233. And boy did I look like crap. My wife got me on weight watchers, on my doctor's advice, and I lost 45 pounds. And boy did I look good. It also cleared up several health issues I was having. And I kept it off for several years.

But then it came back.

This time, my wife got me on South Beach Diet. That worked, too. I was back down. The two diets have similar foundations, but take different approaches to get you there. They are both basically low carb, low sugar diets.

Also, alcohol is very bad for dieting. For several reasons. First, it is fattening. Second, it degrades your judgment so you are more likely to decide to go ahead and eat the cake, or drink more. Third, it degrades your sleep quality, making you tired and less likely to be enthusiastic about exercising.

This is tough for people like me, who grew up equating drinking with relaxing.

But I do know the key to success. The key is deciding that losing weight and being healthy is the most important thing that you can do for the day. Of course, knowing and doing are two very different things. One must have the will. I'm trying to work up the will.

I'm almost there.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Yet More Random Thoughts For Friday

What's up the the Pregnant Man? If he has female reproductive organs, isn't he a woman? I want more details, but I'm kind of afraid to ask. And I definitely don't want to see any photos.

You know, derivatives and swaps really aren't that complicated. They're just new. And they're not even that new. The problems should not be this big. Can't anyone model this?

Anyone who relies on the "genius of the market" is an idiot.

Hillary seems to be getting tired. Plus, I know everyone tells lies, but she tells bad ones. A lot.

Old Chris Rock example of a bad lie, "That's your baby."

The Rape T-Shirts just seem in bad taste to me.

Time shares really are the way to go on vacation if you have kids.

My wife thinks if I mention someone more that once here that I'm "infatuated." So, just to clear the air, I am not infatuated with David Shuster. But, I did notice that he was wearing a black and white pinstripe suit yesterday on Hardball, which, with his nearly black hair and pale complexion, gave a kind of retro black & white look to the whole news segment. Since existentially we know that nothing is a mistake, I can only assume that this b&w theme is meant to convey a subliminal pro-Obama image to viewers.

David Gregory's new show on the Presidential Election, coming out just when everything has gotten realllly boooooring, is OK, but follows the same old format as a dozen other shows. It's not going to turn into another "Nightline." But it's not bad. At least it's better than The McLaughlin Group.

Milton Friedman's philosophy is inherently evil, and should be discarded. Yeah, that's right. I said it.

People's homes should be considered more than a financial asset, and should be treated differently under the law. Why have we forgotten this?

If America is basically just a big, free market, then how does patriotism fit in?

I'm looking forward to seeing Tom Glavine pitch for the Braves again this season. Tom's a 42 year old lefty, who has made the transition from young fastballer to crafty old curveballer. He spent the last 4 years with the Mets, but he's back home now. He's also a native Bay Stater, like yours truly.

The economy seems to be getting better around here. I hope it spreads.

Interesting perspective from an old lady cashier at the Mercedes dealership. She's been there for many years. She says that election years are always slow for Mercedes sales. Grass roots insight! This would make a lot of sense especially for this year. Since we have no incumbent running for re-election, both parties are running on a theme that things are all screwed up and only they can fix them. Well, the base message being that things are all screwed up is bound to influence consumer confidence. Downward. And since we have a consumer driven economy, this has an impact. A negative impact, to be specific. Let's call this the "Old Lady Cashier Effect."

No more news from the Swingers in our neighborhood. Maybe I should start to work out.

So, who won the NCAA Tournament? Is it over yet?

Apparently the LPGA has finally figured out that if they market their hot, straight women, then men will watch them too. Duh. Pretty girls, golf, laying on my couch with a beer. Sounds like a perfect Sunday afternoon plan. I may have to delete The McLaughlin Group from my tivo schedule to make room in my tv schedule.

Speaking of The McLaughlin Group, what happened to Tony Blankley? He's disappeared. Did they figure out he was a Moonie and kick him off? Or did he and Eleanor finally just have a big slapfight and she won? The new blond conservative woman whose name I can't remember is really good. Plus she doesn't interrupt.

Lake Lanier is up 5 feet, but is still 15 feet below normal pool level. So Atlanta should make it through the weekend.

That's all for now.

Models in the news

How About Some Modeling In The News?

No, I don't mean the incredibly and annoyingly stupid young girls on America's Next Top Model, which I still cannot believe gets airtime in my house. And I'm not talking about the crew of perky spokesmodels on the new Fox Business Channel. Though I must say, Neil Cavuto really seems to have calmed down since I last watched him several years ago.

But after mentioning the dumb girls, I feel compelled to give a shout out to a few of the up and coming smarty pants tv people who I would, frankly, also watch even if the sound were off.

Taking my role as tv viewer very seriously, a big part of my responsibility is to provide feedback via this blog. Not just because moving from the couch to my desk chair constitutes my daily workout. But because it is important to help maintain the illusion of true public discourse in our democracy/republic/oligarchical sham or whatever it is we live in these days.

So, without further sarcasm:

Second runner up is . . . Erin Burnett, an alum of Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg (where all great minds gather), Erin is ratings gold, and on two tv shows every day, CNBC's Squawk On The Street and Street Signs. She's super-smart and Chris Matthews is not-so-secretly in love with her. And who can really blame him?

Here's a clip showing Erin calling W a monkey, which is why we love her her.


First Runner-up is . . . Becky Quick, also of CNBC. Becky, a Wall Street Journal alum, has a serious demeanor and a tenor delivery that commands attention and allows her to hold her own against her overbearing and loud male colleagues on Squawk Box, without showing much effort. No clip of Becky here. But she does have a fanclub.

And our Grand Prize Winner and Miss Worldview Brainy Chick for April 2008 is:

Mika has worked her way up through the journalism pipeline and projects an air of seriousness and toughness that makes her number one in my book. It's rather difficult to find photos of her. And, trivia, her Dad was some sort of Doctor Strangelove type for Jimmy Carter.

Here is a clip showing her taking what I would say is a heroic and much needed stand for journalism. You really need to watch it. It's great.


Well, that was fun. But that's not what we are really about today. I'm here to complain about the news. Again. It's what I do.

I keep hearing all about the catastrophic events that might have happened if Bear Sterns went into Chapter 11. While I more or less believe this, I'm still curious. What exactly would have happened? Someone must have a model of what would have happened. That's what all of you finance guys do, right? I started a small investment company a few years ago and all I heard was, "model this" and "model that." "Let's see your model." Well, I didn't have a model. So I had to learn how to "build" models and forecasts. They like to say they are "building" them, even thought "typing" them would be more accurate. It's just another ridiculous affectation for finance people to make their work sound more complicated than it is.

I learned to use the SWAG method of forecasting and modeling. That's an MBA term that stands for Silly Wild Ass Guess. It actually works.

So what would have happened if Bear went into bankruptcy? Well, the general answer is that panic would envelope "Wall Street", even though most of the hedge funds are in midtown or out in Connecticut, and investors would clamor to liquidate their positions and go to cash. The over-leveraged and under-capitalized companies would have been unable to pay, and be forced to file bankruptcy.

Well, OK. But which ones? How would it all go down? I'd be interested in seeing how it might have played out. Wouldn't someone buy them? My bet is that someone has already figured this out all of this. So, why don't we get him or her on the tv. This would help us get to answer the more important queston, "So what?" I guess we'll have to wait for Stone Phillips or Diane Sawyer to come up with something.

This is kind of important, I think, because that raionale I'm hearing today seems to be internally inconsistant. On the one hand, allowing Bear to fail would have led to a complete loss of confidence in our financial markets, causing them to stop functioning. OK, let's accept that premise. But then we are assured that this Bear type deal was strictly a one time thing, because it was an emergency. Well, if it was a one time thing, how does that restore market confidence? Does that mean the next bank will be allowed to fail? That doesn't inpsire much confidence in me. I need more info about why the Bear situation was so unique and special.

Same issue with our pending withdrawal from Iraq. We keep hearing all of this nonsense about it taking 18 months. Nonsense it is. Let's see a logistical model. We don't need to bring home all of our worn out equipment, and it's only 150,000 troops. That's not that many to move. I'd like to see a draft logistical plan. Get Wesley Clark to draft one up for tv. He's not busy. Let's see what he can come up with. It will help his aspirations for the SecDef appointment.

Here' a suggested start for the model, start at the extremes and work your way in. The bookends are 1) everybody stays where they are for 100 years (aka the "Crazy Old Man McCain Option"); and 2) the troops all get in their humvees and drive to Israel in time for Shabbat this evening (aka the "Let's Stop Kidding Ourselves And Get The Fuck Out Of Here Option.") A number of practical approaches lie somewhere in between.

This kind of detail would be more interesting that five consecutive news shows covering the same stories with the same film clips and the same commentary. Come on newsies! Step it up! This kind of junk is why journalism is considered a gut major in school. You can do better.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Res Ipsa Loquitur, Again!

Site of Latest Democrats With Hookers Scandal

I'm not making this up.

Thomas Athans - Hookee; Alycia Martin - Hooker

Tom is the former President of Air America, which makes this news.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bad Week For The Pentagon

Dr. Gates Has A Bad Week
At The Hands Of
Muslims, Lesbians, and Boeing

Dr. Robert Gates - SecDef

Wisconsin's very own Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin , who has a Facebook page, and her wife of 10 years, Lauren Azar, two of the most pleasant looking women in our Nation's Capital, were initially denied boarding on a Defense Department plane last week, because the DOD doesn't consider Ms. Azar to be a spouse of Rep. Baldwin. Since they are both women, and are married to each other, they are "lesbians" and being a "lesbian" is supposed to be a very secret thing at the Defense Department. This is because of DOD's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. But unfortunately someone apparently did ask, and was subsequently told. Uh oh.
So, of course, the US Secretary of Defense and the US Speaker of the House had to get involved and resolve this stand-off on the tarmac. It had to be a tough situation. Two smiling middle-aged women facing off against the US Air Force.
You guessed it. The chicks won. Off they went into the wild blue yonder.

Holding hands, no doubt.

Lauren Azar - in tres froid black and white

Rep. Tammy Baldwin - WI 2nd District

So, if you're like most normal people, you're wondering, "What the hell? This is what they're spending time on in DC?" Apparently so. Just fyi, Tammy voted against the Iraq War, and in favor of impeaching Dick Cheney. She also likes universal health care. She and Lauren are both lawyers.

I'm hoping that Dr. Gates, who is a career CIA spook and generally a smart guy, was embarrassed about wasting time on this silliness. Sadly though, the initial evidence points the other way. Instead of a quick apology and a stern phone call to the airbase, the good doctor insisted that Nancy Pelosi send him written instructions to let the ladies catch their flight, which Ms. Pelosi, to her credit, promptly did, no doubt thinking she had just wasted 10 minutes of her valuable time on a really stupid made-up problem. Then, Dr. Gates, apparently with plenty of time on his hands, tried to lure Fancy Nancy into a verbal pissing contest over whose rules were being followed, the DOD's or Congresses, strongly implying that Nancy had asked him to break a House rule and that he had done so only because she made him.

Very ironically, this little (and it's really little) temper tantrum makes Dr. Gates look like the biggest pussy in this teapot tempest.

Speaking of national defense, back in Iraq, our allies the Shiites seemed to have almost lost the war last week, to other Shiites. The fact that our guy Maliki even started the fight seemed to take Dr. Gates by surprise. And Gates is supposed to be our intel superstar! God only knows what this all means, but the word from the tv people is that Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army beat the pants off the Iraqi government forces, even when our Air Force sent in planes to help. Maybe our Air Force didn't do a good job because it was focused on bigger issues here in the U.S., like keeping girlie girls off their planes. Let's hope that was what happened, and that this was not an example of their best work.

Muqtada - Winning Ugly

I don't know how he does it, but Sadr just keeps on keeping on. He has friends in Iran, where he stays when he needs a few days off. This drives our guys crazy, but I really don't understand why we care. If we had any sense, we would be the ones cutting a deal with Sadr, and not letting the Iranians have him. Duh. So, count this as loss number 2 for the week for Dr. Gates.

And of course, number 3 is Boeing's successful whining about losing the Air Force's KC-45A air tanker contract to Northrop Grumman, after the Air Force screwed up the process five years ago by their officers taking bribes from Boeing. Now Boeing, after phoning in it's bid effort, is trying to call itself, untruthfully, the only domestic plane builder, and accuses the DOD of putting our defense into the hands of dirty little foreigners, including the French. While this is not entirely Gate's fault, he should have seen it coming and managed it better.

KC 45A

I really can't hardly wait for the Democrats to take over.