2008-07-30

Does Colbert Write for Conservapedia?


Call Al Gore. From Conservapedia, on "liberal hypocrisy" and the environment:

"Leonardo DiCaprio, actor

Well known Hollywood actor turned environmentalist is highlighting the plight of polar bears and global warming however, in doing so, is using reams and reams of unrecycled paper."

2008-07-25

It’s Time to Make a Choice

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Chris' latest post inspired me to write a follow up to one of his statements. In his post from the 22nd he wrote:
“Millions more young adults pledge support to Obama: Said millions still unclear on what Obama actually is running his campaign on.”


This comment inspired me not only because it seems to truly capture the essence of what a lot of people feel about Obama’s rise to the top, but it also paints a picture of the current Presidential Race as one in which people are still not quite sure how they’ll vote. With the wealth of information available on both candidates, to still claim that you’re not sure who you’ll vote for is almost entirely an indictment of you. To put a number on who these  people are, let's look at the most recent poll by Real Clear Politics (an average of all public polls) which has Obama ahead by 4.8 points (46.4 – 41.6). What this poll doesn't say is that 12% of the public is either undecided or are voting for a 3rd party candidate.


If you're a party hardliner then this post is not for you, for those of who claim to be "independent" a quick reading through the two candidates’ websites might do the trick. I’m guessing however that policy issues aren’t getting in your way as most policy minded individuals made their decisions months ago. For a quick side by side comparison of what both websites contains, you might want to check out this quick summary . Or just read the following quote:
“Here's a list of issues that Obama has a page on and McCain doesn't: Civil Rights, Disabilities, Faith, Family, Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, Poverty, Service, Seniors and Social Security, Technology, Urban Policy, Women. That's a pretty striking list. Moreover, he has a page called 'Additional Issues' with links to plans on Arts, Child Advocacy, Katrina, Science, Sportsmen, and Transportation. Of these, only Sportsmen has a counterpart on McCain's site. Finally, under 'People', you can find separate policy pages on issues relevant to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (one-pagers in six languages, a longer version in English), First Americans, Labor, Latinos, and LGBT.

That's twenty five issues that Obama gives a page to and McCain does not. And some of them are pretty striking: Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, and Poverty are surprising absences in one way; Faith, Family, and Service in another.

Here's a list of issues McCain covers that have no counterpart on Obama's Issues page: The Sanctity of Life (question: why is "Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers" part of McCain's Sanctity of Life policy?), Judicial Philosophy, Space Program. If you hunt around, you can find a link to a little page with two paragraphs on autism which has, to my knowledge, no counterpart on Obama's site. [UPDATE: in comments at ObWi, ulpian246 points out that Obama does have a page on autism.]

That's three issues that McCain gives a page to and Obama does not.”


One other tidbit that I find interesting is that the #1 point on McCain’s energy plan is expanding domestic oil and natural gas exploration / production. He even went so far as to give President Bush credit for the recent drop in oil prices, ($123 as of July 25th). Perhaps someone should tell John McCain that a more effective way to impact the price of oil domestically would be to start referring to the oil industry as "unpatriotic" unless it stops the 1.6 million barrels of oil that we EXPORT everyday. Or better yet, start referring to anybody driving over 65 mph or in a car that gets less than 24.6 mpg (2004 new car efficiency standards) as unpatriotic.

Apparently someone forgot to mention to the McCain campaign that more US oil production does not necessarily translate into more US oil. Perhaps a more holistic approach to energy independence would be helpful. Like this for example:
  • Reduce Carbon Emissions 80 Percent by 2050
  • Invest in a Clean Energy Future
  • Support Next Generation Biofuels
  • Set America on Path to Oil Independence
  • Improve Energy Efficiency 50 Percent by 2030
  • Restore U.S. Leadership on Climate Change 

2008-07-22

Mid Summer Awards

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In conjunction with last week’s mid-summer classic, baseball’s talking heads give out their mid-season awards to the top performers In the same spirit, I find it imperative to give out awards to the best thus far of the first half of the summer, as well as second half predictions. Without further adieu…..

Best Performance at a Sporting Event: Turkey’s Triumph

If you think this is a runaway victory for Tiger’s mastery of the greens at Torrey Pines, your view of the world and the games its’ people play is likely narrow (or you don’t have cable…one of the two). The June romp by the Turkish national team in Euro 2008 was nothing short of miraculous. The Turks, led by such household names as Semih Senturk and Rustu Recber turned the beautiful game upside down and came from behind to win not once, not twice, but three times in as many games. Eldrick will win himself a few more golf tournaments over middle of the road competitors, but you will likely never see a more miraculous performance from a football team in a major event. While Turkey did not win the tourney (lost in the semis to Allemagne), they performed much better than the boys from England, who didn’t even have the will to qualify. Use this as a precursor for World Cup 2010 in South Africa….anyone care to join?

Best New Album: The Carter III

I didn’t like Lil’ Wayne. Of course, I was a sucker for “Go DJ”, “Fireman”, and “Tha Block Is Hot” (for those old school Wayne listeners), but I had no intention of procuring the third Carter, after having a low opinion of the first two efforts. On a whim, I listened to it, and was floored. Wayne lures the mainstream crowd in with the absurdly crude “Lollipop,” yet brings the pain for finds ways to gain the attention of all crowds with various tracks that tie together well. I could write you a book on the quality of this album, but instead, just go get it and listen. This album is flyer than beetlejuice, beetlejuice, beetlejuice. Key Tracks: Mr. Carter, Tie My Hands, Mrs. Officer, Let The Beat Build.

Best Up and Coming Celeb Gathering: NBA Summer League In Vegas

David Stern is a smart man. By creating the NBA summer league in Vegas a few season ago, Stern accomplishes three things.

1) Generates even more excitement for the incoming rookie class, and upcoming season- While people talked all spring about how players such as Ovinton J’Anthony Mayo would adjust to the league, the summer league brought a forum for him to not only hit a 70 foot (give or take a foot) shot to end a quarter, but single-handedly ruin Hilton Armstrong’s summer by dropping one of the nastiest dunks in a while (look it up on Youtube). I guarantee ten more people just bought season tickets in Memphis. What does this, along with Donte Greene’s 40 point game, Kevin Love’s solid rebounding and Color Me Badd facial hair, and Kevin Durant’s surprise cameo mean? $$$$

2) Props up the slumping Vegas economy- This event not only brings the rookies to come play, but their much more well off teammates and their twenty person entourages to Sin City in their slowest months of the year. Something tells me Mr. Wynn and the Maloofs didn’t just stumble into this by dumb luck (note: Throughout the summer league, coaches stay at the Wynn and players stay at The Palms).

3) Takes Attention Away From Baseball and Football- July used to be time to talk only about baseball and maybe a bit of chatter about training camps. Now, the NBA has turned into a year round topic. This holds peoples attention, meaning that more will watch/ attend games during the season, which means (eventually) more ad dollars flowing into ABC/ESPN/TNT/NBA.com, and eventually bigger rights contracts. Again, all about $$.

Other bests to read about:
- Best Game You Never Heard About: Steve Nash’s Celeb Soccer Game in NY.
- Best Summer Event- McCarren Pool Parties in Williamsburg Brooklyn
- Best Roy Hobbs Imitation: Josh Hamilton in the Home Run Derby

2nd Half Predictions:

1) Millions more young adults pledge support to Obama: Said millions still unclear on what Obama actually is running his campaign on.
2) Cubs Win! The NL Central that is. They face Arizona in the Wild Card round and get shut out in three straight games by Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, and Micah Owings.
3) DC becomes the new fun place to live on the eastern seabord, replacing the rotten apple- a bit biased maybe....

2008-07-14

Happy Quatorze Juillet!

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219 years ago the French stormed the bastille prison to free themselves from the tyranny of... wait for it... themselves!. These days they get a day off from their 35 hour work week, drink wine, dance, and watch one of the best fireworks displays you'll ever see. So to get everyone in the mood for Bastille Day, here is the official French National Anthem ("La Marseillaise") sung at the 2006 World Cup and some freedom (French) fireworks.




2008-07-11

Local Biker Claims Immunity from all Traffic Laws

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That would be me. You see this morning on my way to work (it should be noted that I’ve been walking or biking to work for the past few months) I came about 2 inches from becoming the latest statistic about the need for improved bike safety in cities. Keep in mind that I live in arguably one of the worst cities to drive a car in much less ride a bike, so its only natural that I might have a run in with a truck or SUV from time to time. Today it was a truck that ran a stop sign… a huge truck. I learned a huge lesson today, a lesson that apparently if you are on a bike you are either invisible to drivers or they simply don't care.
Thankfully I did not share the tragic fate of the young girl in DC in part due to the truck driver's realization that he had run a stop sign and that in doing so he might need to look both directions for cars (or bikes), but mostly due to my cat like reflexes. Needless to say, I agree with Megan McArdle, and I share Will Wilkinson idea that bikes shouldn’t have to obey traffic laws.

2008-07-10

Sports, Sports, Sports...

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1. The Texas Rangers very own Milton Bradley (you know the guy that ended his 2007 season with a season ending knee injury while arguing with the umpire ) has been asked to contribute to the NY Times about his All-Star Experience. One can only hope that it will match the wit and insight of Agent Zero's blog.

2. Deadspin has a hilarious scoop from inside the NFL. I love the NFL (“No Homo”).

3. Are you an avid Tour de France watcher but can’t front the cash to make it all the way to France? Google maps takes care of all that for you.

For up to the minute stats and updates on who hasn't been kicked off the tour due to testing positive for doping, be sure to check out the official tour site.

4. Now that we’ve entered what is arguably the most boring month of sports, I thought I’d post some classic MJ moments (just because they never get old).




UPDATE:
So Habs brought to my attention that posting a summer sports link without referencing the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona is roughly the equivalent of a bar stocked with Odouls… in other words something is missing. I should confess that I have purged all memories of the Bull Run from my memory so that I don’t get depressed ever July 7th while I’m sitting in my cube at work. So to honor the annual Running of the Bulls, here are a couple links to both the longest run ever recorded on July 12, 2007,
And the moment in which I achieved one of my life goals on July 7, 2005, along with the visual evidence that I was indeed at the run.
  

0 comments

In case you missed it: 
Did you know that the US had a human rights violation signed into law in the early 1990’s? According to change.org:
“The United States is one of only 12 nations in the world to automatically ban HIV-positive visitors from entering the country. Our peers: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Sudan, Qatar, Brunei, Oman, Moldova, Russia, Armenia, and South Korea...
This law, which is in violation of UN standards, has absolutely no medical rationale or basis in health policy. It is a discriminatory holdover from the AIDS panic two decades ago. Thousands of immigrants to this country live in constant fear of unjust deportation. Forcing them underground, where they cannot get treated openly for fear of discovery, only worsens the health risk and cost to society.”
  
PEPFAR (The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), currently stalled in the Senate, will correct this as well as continuing its more critical role in providing AIDS relief of up to $50 billion to both governmental and non-governmental agencies around the world. Why is this bill stalled? Tom Coburn from my home state of Oklahoma.
Check out The One Campaign for more detailed information. Barack Obama and now John McCain are cosponsors of the bill, and you can go here to take action (if you so desire).

2008-07-09

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Science is Racist

It seems that Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price believes that science is racist. In a related story, Commissioner Price went on to demand that Kenneth Mayfield write “I will not use racially insensitive analogies to prove my point” 100 times on the courthouse white board.

(kudos to Wes Davis for the link)

UPDATE: My FOX DFW has an exclusive interview with Commissioner Price in which he defends is previous statements.

2008-07-05

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Happy 4th of July America!



2008-07-03

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Blackberry addiction 2.0,

Like all men, I tend to want things that my fiance has a slight problem with. Currently at the top of that list are a motorcycle (I mean it is "greener" right?), a PS3, and a ticket to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup. For some reason (I'm going with she's the best) however she has no problem with me getting a large LCD TV for our apartment once we get married.

I think she's OK with it b/c she knows that I tend to view large purchases as a challenge. It's as if Best Buy is daring me to pick their deal instead of going over to Circuit City to check out what they have. Multiply that by about 100, and you have a general idea of my approach. So while performing my TV due diligence, I came across the following:




Once Apple adds this to the next iPod update you'll be able to watch their stock price double in 3D!!

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Where has all the M&A gone?

Working in transaction services within the Big 4 comes with its own unique set of challenges, some good some not so good. One of the pluses for working at a large MNC is that you can enjoy a greater degree of job security in a down market. Everyone knows that mergers and acquisitions have slowed in 2008 as skittish investors have decided to wait on the sidelines until signs show that the worst of the credit crisis are past us. I know that and you know that. Then you read this.


I don't think anyone would've guessed that IPO's have raised $282M in 2008 vs. $10.3B in 2007, and that there have been 0 in Q2.

0 comments

GM + Tesla Motor,

Wednesday GM stock hit a 54 year low of $9.96, amid claims that it will need $15 billion to avoid bankruptcy. That is the lowest price since the McCarthy hearings ended, Hank Aaron hit his first home run, desegregation, the first transistor radio, and oddly enough the year in which Ike pledged Americas support of South Vietnam.

The recent run-up in energy prices and impending recession have eroded GM's sales cash position. This news coupled with a recent report that auto sales are at a 15 year low have pushed American auto manufacturers to the breaking point. GM has already announced that they will be closing 4 truck and SUV plants affecting some 10,000 employees early this week, and this news will seemingly only add to the pain.

As a GM stockholder, my suggestion is that they should look into purchasing Tesla Motors. This is a company that has put itself at the forefront of the electric car market, and have already set to release a luxury model later this year that will reach 220 miles per charge (and will only set you back $109,000). This may seem steep, but with a $60,000 model and a $30,000 model set to come out within 4 years, this may shore up some investor skepticism that the company is both willing and able to think about the company's future.


0 comments

Flip-Flopathon,


Michael Goldfarb, On-line editor of the Weekly Standard (preferred reading for all Neo-Cons), was named John McCain's Deputy Communications Director last month. It should therefore come as no surprise that we are are fortunate enough to read posts like this on the official John McCain website. Best quote:


"The left should brace itself: Obama's going to be pro-surge, pro-troops, and
pro-victory by this time next month.

You can almost hear the far right nodding their heads in unison and muttering to themselves, "Yeah and he's anti-American too."Well if you believe that, then have you heard the one about Obama being the anti-christ and Bill Clinton the false prophet? I wish I could make this stuff up. Is this technically even reporting? The banner for the "McCain Report" reads "Truth, Honor, McCain". I guess in this day and age, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

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