Tuesday, January 31, 2006

One more!

21:00: You MUST re-authorize the PATRIOT ACT

No Democrats standing!

Terrorist surveillance act!

Other Presidents have done it!


OH GOD, I can't take this anymore! Good NIGHT!


17:30: Held hostage by a small clerical elite?! ARe you kidding?! Have you never seen those huge mobs that scream "DEATH TO AMERICA!"?!

19:40: How, exactly, have we worked to fight AIDS?! By telling people not to have sex? Yeah, that works.

Oh geez, I can't take any more of this. Maybe I'll write more tomorrow. For now, I need several strong drinks!

Blogging SOTU, part 2

10:40 in: Anyone notice only one side of the House is applauding?

12:30 in: A good chimp smirk!

12:46 in: What the Fuck? A German Shepherd?!

13:35 in: Happy day. They found one soldier that supports the war

14:30 in: Another smirk from the chimp.

16:15 in: Hamas bad! Israel good!

More Later!

State of the Onion

I'm going to blog the SOTU for a little while. Expect some snarky comments.

9:10 p.m.: Doesn't Laura Bush look a lot like a cymbal-playing monkey

2:25 minutes in: First use of the word "freedom"

3:31 seconds in: THERE IT IS! THE first mention of 9/11

4:00 in: Another Freedom!

4:22 in: Another FReedom!

4:50: FREEDOM!

5:59: Applause break

7:15: No retreat. No Surrender. Wasn't that the theme song of the Kerry campaign?!

More later!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Well, it's official: This will be the last season for The West Wing.

Facing sagging ratings and the death of one of the principal actors, NBC has officially announced that this will be the show's final season. They will deal with the death of Leo McGarry (John Spencer) in the final episodes. I would imagine they have their best legal minds working on what happens should the Vice-Presidential candidate of a major party die before the election--to the best of my knowledge, that hasn't happened before.

So, with the end of one of my favorite shows, I would like to share with you my five favorite moments from the show.

5. Season One. Episode: "In Excelsis Deo" Moment: The funeral

At the end of the episode, as the rest of the West Wing staff listen to a children's choir perform "The Little Drummer Boy", Toby and Mrs. Landingham attend the military funeral of a homeless Korean war veteran that Toby helped to arrange. Shots of the two of them looking on somberly and the honor guard performing all the rituals attendant to a military burial are interposed with the smiling staff enjoying the Christmas music. I bawled the first time I saw it. Dammit, it makes me teary just thinking about it now!

4. Season Four. Episode: "Game On" Moment: Abby cuts off the President's tie.

Throughout the episode, President Bartlett has been fretting that his "lucky tie" will not be available to him for the Presidential debate. Apparently, it was one he borrowed from Josh at the last minute when his own tie picked up a stain right before his first Presidential debate four years ago. He feels it's his "lucky tie", and he is worried that his debate performance will suffer without it. So, Abby, perhaps in an effort to convince him how foolish that notion is, cuts off his tie seconds before the debate, forcing him to borrow Josh's tie once again. Her action perhaps forces him to realize that the tie he is wearing has NOTHING to do with his debate skills. It's one of the funniest--and cleverest--moments of the show.

3. Season Seven. Episode: "The Debate" Moment: The entire episode.

Few if any taped TV shows in this day and age are willing to broadcast a live episode. I thought the concept of a live debate was brilliant. And with this being the last season, I'm glad they were willing to take a few risks.

2. Season One. Episode: "Mandatory Minimums" Moment: Leo roughs up congressional aides.

A newly revived Bartlet administration is discussing, among other things, alternatives to prison for drug-based offenders. And before some congressmen start making noises about "soft on crime", Leo calls seven congressional aides into the White House press room and proceeds to detail how family members of their bosses were given leniency after committing drug-based crimes. He then threatens to give these stories to the press if their bosses start sounding off about being soft on drugs. It's one of many "Stand Up and Cheer" moments.

1. Season One. Episode: "Pilot" Moment: Bartlet berates religious conservatives.

In the midst of an argument between a group of religious conservatives and White House staffers, Bartlet storms into the room and proceeds to beat the conservatives up one side and down the other for failing to denounce a militant extremist right-wing religious group. He then tells them that until they do, they can "get your fat asses out of my White House." In this day and age where Right-Wing groups use the executive branch the way Edgar Bergin used Charlie McCarthy, it gives me hope that maybe they will someday push too hard, and be kicked to the curb.

So, that's my list of favorite West Wing moments. I welcome any contributions by the three readers of this blog on theirs.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I'm a Friggin' Genius!

So. The big dance is all set to go. And the partners are Pittsburg and Seattle.

You may recall this post, at the end of which I predicted it would be Pittburg vs. Seattle in the Super Bowl. Seriously. Read it.

Damn, I'm good.

As for the games, they were both what I expected. I predicted that Carolina, as good as they were in the first two games, would run out of luck against Seattle. And I believed that Jerome Bettis would not let his career end with everybody remembering that he almost cost his team the game with an extraordinarily ill-timed fumble. And I was right.

So here, now , two weeks from the big game, I predict that Pittsburg will win it all. And that Bettis will score at least two touchdowns.

Man, am I going out on a limb here! But what the hell. I'm feeling lucky.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Stand Tough, Democrats!

So. Senator Bill Frist has finally come out and admitted that ScAlito is the liberals' "worst nightmare". And he is!

ScAlito will mean the end of the right of Americans to a legal and safe abortion

ScAlito will mean the end of the right of Americans to sue corporations that do them harm in the name of profitability.

ScAlito will mean the end of the right of Americans to be free of government surveillance without warrant.

ScAlito will mean the end of the right of Americans to read blogs like this one.

ScAlito will mean the end of the right of American women to vote.

ScAlito will mean the end of the right of Americans to know democracy.

So I say to all you democratic senators: Stand Tough! Filibuster ScAlito! Force the Republicans to engage the nuclear option. It will finally demonstrate once and for all just how far the wright is willing to go to force their agenda on the rest of the country. Then maybe we will finally be able to wrest control of this country from the Nazis of the wright. We can beat them if we put some effort into it!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Some People are Just RUDE!

So. I was at the grocery store today. I was able to find a cart--no easy task at this place--and I was pushing it along, merrily filling my shopping needs. I had so far picked up a bottle of Pepto and a case of beer. I dropped into the in-store liquor store to grab a bottle. I had left my cart behind at the entrance to the store.

So I made my purchase and came out. I looked. No cart. I looked right. No cart. I looked left. My beer and pepto were sitting on the floor. A few feet away, a woman--I hesitate to call her a lady, and you'll see why later--had removed my stuff and stolen my cart. Now, the reason I know it was mine was because it had a badly dented handle.

So the following conversation ensued:

Me: Excuse me. You took my cart.
Her: Yeah. (not a question. Just a statement of fact)
Me: So...can I have it back?
Her: But I couldn't find a cart, and I got a baby. (she walks away with my cart)

I mean, COME ON!!! She didn't even ask! She just took my stuff out and stole my cart...right in front of me. Meanwhile, I limped back to the store entrance--you may recall I broke my toe a few weeks ago and it still hurts--and retrieved another cart. Then, as I'm going down an aisle, I run into the same woman. She mutters, "Asshole."

I said, "Nice talk. You kiss your baby with that mouth?"

I walked away smugly. I feel sorry for that baby. With a mother like that, she's sure to end up selling herself for crack by the time she's 15. At least, that's what I hope.

And I hope this cun--er--woman gets cancer of the taint. Seriously. If she had just waited and asked me nicely, I would have given it to her, broken toe and all. But she decides to be obnoxious about it instead. And if somewhere, somehow, this woman comes across this entry and remembers this little incident, then I say to you this: "Suck my dick, you bitch! I hope you die of genital warts!"

I can be rude, too.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Another Playoff Weekend in the Books

Well, it seemed I survived another weekend of the NFL playoffs--more than can be said for Chicago, Indianapolis, New England, and Washington. Let's review:

Biggest Playoff Hero: Ben Rothlisberger

I think he somehow managed to stop time just long enough to tie Nick Harper's shoelaces together. That's the only way I can see he managed to make that game-saving tackle that prevented a sure Indianapolis touchdown.

Biggest Playoff Goat: Mike Vanderjagt

For a guy who is pretty much automatic for anything inside 50 yards, he sure shanked that final kick. Sure, it had plenty of distance, but it looked like someone blew it off course with a hidden airgun. Of course, there were a LOT of Steeler fans there, waving those terrible towels...

I'm just sayin'!

ALMOST Biggest Playoff Goat: Jerome Bettis.

You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times Bettis has fumbled this season--and still have five fingers left! Seriously. The man had not lost a ball for the entire 2005 season, and then he coughs it up on the one-yard-line? And then said fumble is picked up and nearly ran the other way for a touchdown? Sorry, Jerome, but I think your best days are behind you. It's time to hang it up and head for Canton.

Biggest Playoff Surprise: Carolina.

First they manhandled the Giants, then they dismantled Chicago--two of the best NFL teams. I have to believe their number will come due next Sunday in Seattle, but they have proven that they can hang with the best of them. They have earned my grudging respect...and I'm sure I'm not alone. Just ask Eli Manning or Rex Grossman...

Luckiest Team Alive: Pittsburg

With some of the worst officiating I've ever seen and against one of the most hostile crowds in the NFL, they pulled off nothing short of a miracle.

Speaking of which...

Worst Officiating Ever: Pittsburg vs. Indianapolis.

From a false start that was never called to an obvious interception that was somehow overruled on replay, I've never seen a more incompetent job of referreeing. Seriously. Ray Charles could have called the game better. And he's blind. And dead.

Team that shouldn't be where it is right now: None.

A bold statement, I know, but I'm sorry--the better teams won the day. There is no team going into this Sunday's Division Championship games that doesn't 100% belong there. Let's face it: Chicago made it to the playoffs on the strength of its defense...which mysteriously failed it yesterday. Indianapolis...well, I just don't think Tony Dungy's head was in the right place--he had other things on his mind. And Peyton Manning has consistently proven that he can't perform in the big games. Washington should not by any stretch of the imagination have beaten Tampa Bay--they had 120 yards of total offense in that game. And they didn't do much better yesterday. And as for New England...well, Tom Brady used to be the QB at Michigan, so I hate him on principle.

My Prediction for the Big Dance:
Pittsburg vs. Seattle

A week from now, I'll either look like a genius or a complete idiot. Or half-and-half.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Update to Last Sunday's List

If you recall my post last Sunday, I lamented the fact that there were no new TV shows this season I liked.

Turns out, I almost completely forgot about one: My Name is Earl.

Migawd, how could I forget?! I gotta believe this is the funniest new show I've ever seen! And, according to The People's Choice Awards, I'm not alone in my opinion.

So stick a hairbrush on my head and call me a Roman. I was wrong. MNIE ROCKS!

Monday, January 09, 2006

West Wing Rulez!

Just finished watch last night's The West Wing--again. MiGawd, John Spencer was a GREAT actor. I truly don't see how the show can survive without him--especially since he was due to be Vice President if Santos (Jimmy Smits) won.

And what a VP he would have made! Johnny Boy, we hardly knew ye!

I just can't help but wonder what will happen if Santos wins, and the show is renewed for another season.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

2005: Looking Back (and Ahead!)

Well, hello to you the three readers of this blog. It’s time for my 2005 in review column.

And to those of you who are saying, “What the fuck took so long?! It’s already January 8th!” I say Shut The Fuck Up!

I meant to do this entry on new year’s day, but at the time I was nursing a bad back, a broken toe, and a 5-star hangover. So don’t blame me if this column is a few days—all right, a week—late.

Anyhoo, to business.

Best and Worst of 2005

Best Movie of the year: Batman Begins
Runner up: Serenity

After four movies that went from OK to poor to bad to complete suckage, the creators of the Batman franchise finally got it right—by starting over from scratch. And they finally got the casting right as well. As far as I’m concerned, Christian Bale was born to play Batman. He has the chiseled good looks and the brooding loner character down pat.

As for Serenity, I was a big fan of the original Firefly series on Fox, and I was quite unhappy when it was cancelled. The fact that this movie got made at all is a testament to the power of the fan.

And the movie itself is one of the most realistic sci-fi movies ever made. It’s one of the first movies I’ve seen that actually acknowledges the problems that can be encountered by a spaceship entering a planet’s atmosphere. And, of course, with Joss Whedon’s writing, you’re going to be laughing—a lot!

Worst Movie of the Year: The Dukes of Hazzard
Runner up: Ocean’s Twelve

I’m sorry, but when the outtake reel shown over the end credits is better than the movie, then you KNOW the movie sucks dirty ass water. Jessica Simpson in a bikini can only carry a movie so far—about five minutes, in this instance.

As for O12, I realize that this movie technically didn’t come out in ’05, but I just had to include it because it was SO STUPID! I mean, they must have blown their entire budget getting all the original cast members back, so much so that they didn’t have enough money to worry about niggling little details like good writing or plot development.

Funniest movie of the year: The Wedding Crashers

I nearly peed my pants laughing during this movie. ‘Nuff said.

Movie I REALLY wish I could hate: Catwoman

Dammit, no matter how many times I watch this celluloid abortion, I just can’t hate it. Just when I think it’s losing its effect on me, I see Halle Berry in that costume. Melt!

Maybe one of these days I’ll have to rent B.A.P.S.

Favorite movie I received as a gift this year: Casablanca

Best. Movie. Ever.

Movie I’m most looking forward to this year: X-Men 3

Runner Up: Superman Returns

I gotta go with the X-men on this one. I’m just not sure the Superman franchise can overcome the shadow of Christopher Reeve. We’ll see, I guess.

Best movie that should’ve been released last year:
V for Vendetta

I gotta believe that when this movie finally comes out, I’m gonna love it. If for nothing more than this line:

V: “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

Seems to me that with all the current police state tactics going on in this country today, that line alone is the definition of Democracy. More people need to take that to heart.

Movie I most expect to disappoint me this year: Miami Vice

Two words: Colin. Farrell.

But enough about movies…

High point of the year:

OSU 25
Michigan 21
‘Nuff said.

Runner Up:
OSU 34
ND 20

Maybe next year, the Buckeyes can be in the Fiesta Bowl again…for the championship!
Hey, a man can dream!

Low point of the year:

Texas 25
OSU 22

I hate Texas.

Political high point of the year:

Watching Ah-nuld lose on every one of his issues in the special election last November.
If this keeps up, he may threaten to start making movies again…

Political low point of the year:
Watching all four Reform Ohio issues go down to defeat. Badly. Further proof of just how much influence money has on politics. The campaign to defeat them outspent the campaign supporting them by nearly two to one.

Favorite new TV show this year:
None so far. Seriously. This has been one pathetic season. I’m down to watching maybe 4 or 5 shows a week. The only possible candidate for this category so far is Commander-in-Chief. The jury’s still out on it.

Thank God for my large collection of DVD’s…

Worst new TV show of the year:
Pick one. Just about any new show will qualify.

Show I’ll miss most when it’s gone:


Even pregnant, Jennifer Garner is hellaciously hot. I will miss her. A LOT!

I thought about picking The West Wing for this category, but I’m not sure if this is the last season for it or not. With the death of John Spencer, though, this may well be the last season. I guess we’ll see.

Speaking of which…

Favorite actor who died this year:
John Spencer.
You may know him better as “Leo” from the aforementioned TWW. I really don’t know what the show will do without him, which is why I think it may be the last season.

Well, that’s all I got for now. You’re welcome to add your favorites in the comments.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Dangers of Early News Deadlines, Cont.

You may recall from my previous post that The Blade printed the story, later proved incorrect, that all but one of the miners in West Virginia were rescued. Well, it seems that they weren't alone. According to reports, at least 400 other morning newspapers, mostly eastern, printed some variant of the same story.

Jack Lessenberry, The Blade's Ombudsman (and a good friend of my dad's), wrote a column in the next day's paper explaining what happened, and why. You can read it here.

But, for those of you too lazy to read it, let me point out one section in particular:

I do not think a single editor in the country would have done things differently. The only newspapers that didn't get the story wrong were those whose deadlines came before or after the critical three-hour window when the AP gave us wrong information.

Unfortunately, that time is exactly when the final deadline falls for most papers in the eastern time zones.

The Associated Press is certain to investigate the error and will take steps to try to make sure a mistake like that doesn't happen again.

There is an old saying that in the newspaper business, the best thing and the worst thing is the same thing. No matter how good the paper was today, you have to put another one out tomorrow.

And when a mistake is made, you at least get to correct the record in print the next day.

You know, I remember a scene from the movie Minority Report, in which the protagonist is sitting on a subway train, dejectedly, after having just made a narrow escape from the authorities. He glances over at a fellow rider who is reading what appears to be a USA Today. Suddenly, the front page changes to a breaking new story, much the same way a TV program today would be interrupted by a special news bulletin.

It seems to me that if the modern newspaper is to survive in this day and age of 24-hour news channels, internet news services, and newsradio, then developing something like the device depicted in that movie may be the only way that will happen--something that is the same size and shape of a normal newspaper, but that constantly updates itself the same way the 24-hour news services do.

And, as an added bonus, the newspapers will not face the dilemna the continuous broadcast media faces: The need to fill 24 hours a day with news--which may have contributed to the report on Lindsay Lohan's asthma attack sharing space with the deaths of the West Virginia miners. I mean, come on!

You know, it strikes me that Minority Report, which is set about 60 years in the future, may be one of the more accurate displays of what the future may hold for our world. Perhaps the reason for this is that the producers got together with a group of scientists, authors, and other intellectuals to get their suggestions on how the world of the future might look. And in this day and age of downloading entire football games to your IPod and viewing entire full-length movies on a handheld video game console, can a world of talking personalized billboards and holographic newspapers be far behind?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Dangers of an Early News Deadline

The Blade, Toledo's local newspaper, has the front page banner headline:


Underneath it, of course, is the picture of two women crying tears of joy upon hearing that wonderful news, which, of course, later turned out to be tragically wrong.

The story does not appear on The Blade's website this morning, of course, so I'll see if I can't snap a picture of my paper later on and post the picture.

As far as headline gaffes go, this may not be as big as the infamous "Dewey Defeats Truman" Chicago Tribune headline of 1948, but it's gotta be in the top twenty.

Meanwhile, I want to offer my prayers and sympathies for the families of the 12 miners killed. A tragic accident, indeed, and apparently one that should not have happened. I will be watching closely the details of this story. If there was ever a better indication of how bad the regulation of many industries has gotten, I don't know what it is. Seriously. Over 200 safety violations in ONE YEAR?!

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

ND = PWN3D!!

Ohio State 34
Notre Dame 20


(Warning: Very Un-PC song coming up!)

(Sung to the tune of the ND fight song)

Shame, shame on old Notre Dame.
The Finns and the Pollocks have taken your name.
Watch Majinski plunge that line.
Schwartz and Majinski, not O'Brien.
Why give the ball to the Dutch and the French?
Why make O'Brien sit on the bench?
Nations wonder what's become
of the Irish of Notre Dame!

(Actually, ND's quarterback is Brady Quinn. I guess they don't get any more Irish than that!)

I heard an interesting fact this morning--only two of ND's wins this year came against teams with winning records. Guess they're not as good as people thought...