Wednesday, December 31, 2008
LGM cites (and disputes) an argument that the Senate can refuse to seat Burris via its power (somewhat implied as to appointments) to judge "elections" and "returns." LGM seems to make a substantive conclusion that might solely be up to the Senate. There is likely enough there to delay things; an election in a few months also might mostly moot things. See also, here.
And Also: After his lawyer assured us that he wouldn't do it, you know who did appoint a new senator per his 17th Amendment power. A somewhat dubious choice, though he seems honest enough, and his race helps. Though they might be able to delay things, I'm not sure how the Senate really has the power (especially under current doctrine) to refuse to seat the guy. Also, you know, the guy technically is innocent, right?
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Few saw the firing of the head coach of the Denver Broncos coming, though losing a three game lead with three games to play does have Mets-like collapse implications. Per a recent comment, it is true that a win would have got Chicago a playoff spot. But, they did not have such a late season collapse, or do that poorly (no rout; Houston a decent team) in the final game. So, I don't think of them as LOSERS.
And Also: Interesting article on studies that hold that religion (defined in the study focused/linked on "as cognition, affect, and behavior that arise from awareness of, or perceived interaction with, supernatural entities that are presumed to play an important role in human affairs") tends to promote self-control and (to a lesser degree) psychological well-being. Water also gets you wet, I hear. But, what about "secular" behaviors that do that? Atheistic communist countries, for instance, promote "self-control" too. Then again, some tellingly see them promoting a form of "religion" as well. That, I think, is the rub.
Monday, December 29, 2008
And Also: Caught the beginning of Democracy Now! on the latest Israel/Palestinian mess involving a speck of land that is probably smaller than some neighborhoods around here. Or so it seems. Anyway, one Gaza resident or whatever spoke of the "holocaust" being inflicted. Yeah, that is a great choice of words. The economy and now this ... can't they wait a few weeks?
Detroit is truly a loser. Tampa Bay, Dallas and Denver all are in their own way as well. It took an end of the game field goal to prevent Carolina from dropping from #2 seed to #5. Somehow, the Eagles and San Diego are going to the playoffs. At least, the Jets didn't get a meaningless win that helped the Pats get to the playoffs; after all, I can root for Chad. Congrats to the Falcons and the "most improved" finish for SF. Spoiler of the day: Oakland.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
And Also: Via a book on Lolita, previously referenced, I learned about Roger Fishbite. A parody of sorts, it provides an updated version through the girl's p.o.v. without the copyright problems (and so forth) of Lo's Diary. Worthwhile, if somewhat slipping later on. Talking about disgusting. What's next? Light beer?
Friday, December 26, 2008
And Also: A real estate scam artist who didn't get much of a punishment in the first place with partisan bribe implications is not exactly a great choice to supply that rare egg, the Bush43 pardon. Half a cheer for revoking it. If they can.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
And Also: A blocked kick, a punt that hit a player, a fourth down made by a hair and so forth, and the Bears (thanks to special teams) still being alive. Unlike the Jets, they showed enough life in time and had some part of the game going for them. The Jets' coach also played so safe (chicken**** imho) that you thought he was playing the Titans. No, they was able to beat that team. You'd never know they had it in them lately.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Before replay, the Jets had a fake TD at Seattle that helped them get in; Seattle sorta got revenge today, against the team that apparently can't win west of the Rockies. Giants clinched #1 seed by coming back late, getting two, avoiding a losing FG, and doing the job in OT. SD is actually still alive. Detroit still dead. Falcons in (Chicago glad), and various spoilers ... including the Eagles not tying at the end by a hair. Still a lot of football to play. Not for Titans, also #1.
The $10 price was reason enough to see Moscow, Belgium (original title translates as "Collision in Moscow"), but the film about a 41 year old mom of three falling for a younger guy with a past against her better interests is pretty good too. Nothing revolutionary, but the mom is well played, and a touch of foreign adds to the charm. Manhattan film diversity wins again.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
With under four minutes to play, Dallas scored twice, but each time let the Ravens (on the very next play) run one long play to go back up by 9. This week they were the ones who lost the game late, when having a real chance of winning it. This helps the Giants a bit while hurting the Jets, but if they need a safety valve because they lose to Seattle, they are losers anyway.
Friday, December 19, 2008
And Also: David Letterman had a highlight last night with his "Top 10" of least favorite holiday songs, the key verses being sung by a group of carolers. Let it snow! Let it snow!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The sign of mediocre team is one who cannot finish, and the Jaguars showed that, falling apart late, making the Colts/Titans game of little importance unless the latter doesn't clinch home field advantage this weekend. But, it was particularly galling that it ended with not only a missed opportunity to tie, but time running out because of a ten second run-off. So f-ing predictable.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up and relinquishing your dreams, of seeing your father driven to the grave before his time, of living among bitter, small-minded people. It is a story of being trapped, of compromising, of watching others move ahead and away, of becoming so filled with rage that you verbally abuse your children, their teacher and your oppressively perfect wife. It is also a nightmare account of an endless home renovation.
Good piece, but one thing -- everyone would know George didn't steal the money. His ruin comes from a civil matter of losing it.
And Also: Clint Eastwood has suggested that Gran Torino will be his last film as an actor. Well, either way, it was a superior work, including his direction and even his woeful singing of a few verses of the song at the end. We like his old angry man who finds a connection with a Hmong family next store in large part because we like and know him, but the film works on its own merits. I thought the ending was better than we might have expected. The actress who plays the teen daughter next store who knows how to handle him is also a find.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Update: More on the second issue, including the double standard involved. Also, seems (see, e.g. Glenn Greenwald today) that Obama is clearly (no shock) the one who made the pick. The congressional committee just handles the logistics. Still would be "advancing" the problem.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
And Also: Drake and Josh partially had the excuse that it was a "reunion movies" type of thing, which especially in expanded form often has problems. But, iCarly was a regular episode, so has more to answer for its lame Christmas Carol knock-off ... serious Carly is generally a bad idea. We simply don't watch the show to see her cry; even her being really mad at her bro is a bit much. The Hallmark Xmas movie with Henry Winkler (often quite good post-Fonzie) and his character's cute niece that also was on last weekend was a bit predictable, but much better.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Presidential electors vote today, it's official in January. A N.Y. elector supports a popular vote system. A NYT piece supports a "buddy system" to promote district voting in a way that avoids unilateral disarmament. Indiana, a surprise Obama pick, shows how electors are no longer elitist. And, though I think they can (see Art. II, as to "manner" of selection), Indiana doesn't require i.d. for them.
The Bills gave the Jets a gift win, while the Giants scored three times, but only got eight points. A bad game should not erase the fact that even then, only the 4th Quarter gave Dallas the game. Meanwhile, more evidence that the Bush Administration is full of criminals ... let's move on. Can't divide the country by doing anything! Off the table! About as sad as KC (they won this year, really!) and Detroit (0-14) football. Packers eliminated.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
And Also: It is foolhardy to give A.J. Burnett a five year contract with his injury prone career. The Yanks apparently didn't learn enough from Carl "a few games in four years" Pavano. Other than the name, one worries some about the health of the new Mets pick-up of Putz, but they were a bit desperate to improve the bullpen. Finally, the Yanks have enough starting pitching (even without Pettite), so why not let the Mets have a real shot at Lowe?
Friday, December 12, 2008
And Also: Chasing Lolita: How Popular Culture Corrupted Nabokov’s Little Girl All Over Again by Graham Vickers is an enjoyable examination of the background of the book, adaptations of it and its context before and after its production. And, I agree -- the source is to be recommended as is the second film adaptation. I only saw a few minutes of the first one.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
As noted in a good review at IMBD, Wendy (well played by Michelle Williams, an excellent actress) and Lucy (a dog) "combines an intimate personal story with a reflection of the malaise felt in the country today" via a small but powerful film about a down on her luck young women searching for her dog. Has many powerful touches, including a scary scene involving an unhinged drifter. Timely look at the human experience. Update: The 'R' rating for "language" is totally lame. But, see here.
And Also: It's too bad Mike Royko isn't around today, huh? By one account, the state AG (an unsavory sort that will match Schumer in personality) Andrew Cuomo and the like nepotism bait (if with less public service) Caroline Kennedy are the top possibles to replace HC. Lovely.