Blog Archives

Link(s) for 11/25 – Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is upon us.  Since I don’t think I will be posting in the next couple days (and because I’m thinking about food) I figured I’d give you a few sports/politics and food related links.  Enjoy and best wishes to all of you for a very happy and healthy (kind-of) holiday.  Travel safely!

The best wedding cake of all time!

An unfortunate turn of events for noted Turducken lover, John Madden

What athletes would you like to have over for Thanksgiving dinner?  For me, my table would include me, Bill Belichick, Theo Epstein, Peyton Manning, Shaq and Kobe (that should be fun), Dan Rooney, Maria Sharapova, Kristi Yamaguchi, Shannon Miller, Tiger Woods,  Larry Bird, Natalie Gulbis, Magic Johnson and Pete Sampras.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without this really really odd tradition.

 

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Link(s) for 11/17/09 – Sports AND politics

Today I give you a few links for a few different worlds.  I’ll try to keep my commentary to a minimum and just let you enjoy the link.  However, I do want to point out that I am very close to 100 comments – I think what I will do is give a little prize to the 100th person to post a comment on my blog…and it could be you 🙂 I think I’ve given you a wide enough range of subjects so everyone has something to say. 

If you read back a couple of entries, you will see that I said that I understood the rationale of the choice Belichick made to go for it on 4th and 2.  Now, statistics and percentages have proven me right!   (Sorry Tony Dungy)   This article does make the REALLY good point that, if you were planning to go for it on 4th down, running it on third down would have made more sense.

According to ABC news, the Congressional Budget Office is about to release their findings on the long-term costs associated with the health care bill and, according to sources, it will be good news for the majority party and the president.  We’ll have to wait and see for specifics but this may help some moderate senators get on board if they see it might actually reduce the deficit in the long-run.  Of course, the really interesting question becomes if those opposed to the bill will ignore the CBO findings and make up their own numbers about the impact of the bill on the economy.  Can’t wait!

Yeah right.

Oh, Senator Sessions.  Why must you go back on your word?    Senator Sessions is reportedly considering a filibuster of Judge David Hamilton, an Obama nominee to the 7th circuit court of appeals.  However, back in 2003, Sessions (who was denied a floor vote in 1985 for a nomination to be a Federal Judge) said ““Of the many reasons why we shouldn’t have a filibuster, an important one is the Article I of the Constitution. It says the Senate shall advise and consent on treaties by a two-thirds vote, and simply “shall advise and consent” on nominations.”  But now, with a Democrat in the White House, he has changed his mind.  This continues the long-standing practice of the majority party deriding the minority trying to block the business of the senate and impose their will, only to change their mind when they lose the majority.   It’s like not stopping for a pedestrian when you are driving, but then calling the police when a driver doesn’t let you cross at the EXACT same intersection.  It is so transparent and is one of the many reasons people don’t trust their congress is actually working for them.   Just look at this quote from another article addressing this important issue “Two dozen conservatives led by former Reagan-era Attorney General Edwin Meese have signed a letter calling on senators to invoke the justification of “extraordinary circumstances” to block Hamilton’s nomination…Nine of the individuals who signed the memo also signed the 2005 letter to GOP leaders calling for them to abolish the filibuster of judicial nominees…”  The explanation for the about-face might go something like this ‘See, uh, the thing is, uh, well Sarah Palin told us, no, I mean I got a letter from Bill Belichick telling me to always go for it.  Yeah, see the economy is in trouble and, well, I don’t want to be dramatic, but we have to filibuster sometime, otherwise how am I going to get in the news and then campaign that the majority doesn’t do anything….also what if Barack Hussain Obama nominated his cousin Osama?  What then.’

Because I want another sports link and this list is priceless! (fair warning, a few are a bit creepy)

Candidate Tuesday coming later today on Joe Kennedy…No, no, no.  Not that one.  The other one.

Link for 11/12/09 – Oh Mike, Mike, Mike

Well that was quick.  Just days after voting for a healthcare bill that included a provision restricting the use of federal funds to pay for abortions AND strongly criticizing Martha Coakley for her “foolish” opposition, Congressman Capuano has reversed course.  Now he says that he will not vote for the bill when it returns to the house if it has the abortion clause in it.  

There is no doubt that this is an extremely difficult issue and, as a good friend of mine points out, “An inflexible politician is more dangerous than one who changes their opinions.”  However, such a major shift so soon after a vote and some strong statements is concerning.  This sure smacks of doing the right thing politically, rather than doing the right thing for the community.  Look, I’ve gone back and forth on where I stand on this question and have thought a lot about whether or not I’d vote for the bill in the current form.  However, before you make this important societal issue a part of your political game, it would be nice if you were comfortable with your position. 

Congressman Capuano, stick with what you believe in and, if you are going to change your mind, you better make sure you don’t call your opponent’s position “manna from heaven.”  I’ll tell you what manna from heaven would be – a politician who votes a certain way because it is the right thing to do and not because it is what will get them a promotion.

Link for 10/12/09 – Obama and Lady Gaga?

United States Senator?  Check.  President of the United States?  Check.  Nobel Peace Prize winner?  Check.   Great family? Check.  Opening act for Lady Gaga? Check? Really?  Maybe they will take it on the road!

In all seriousness, this is a beautiful version of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and I’m glad she, and the President, are helping us remember the Matthew Shepard tragedy and the incredible discrimination that gays experience in this country.  Here’s hoping the President lives up to his word and ends the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.  Here’s hoping that sooner rather than later, gays will enjoy the same rights as their fellow Americans and that we can move closer to putting all forms of discrimination behind us.  Thank you to all who marched and raised their voices for freedom and equal rights.  In the coming weeks, let’s see who heard you.

Link for 10/8/09 – Thank you Senator Franken

I would really like to understand the rationale for voting against an amendment that would punish government contractors for “restrict[ing] their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.” Really? Is that a political issue? Politicians always talk about holding themselves to a higher standard (which they usually say when they’ve done something wrong)…it seems to me we should government contractors (and all companies) to a minimum standard of decency. Am I wrong?

Come on Senators. Not everything is about politics. Sometimes something is so clearly the right thing to do, it is ok to join with the other party. You are setting a really bad example for our country and your fellow Americans by essentially saying that is more important to protect big business or play political games than to protect people from sexual crimes. That, to me, is shameful and I’m glad the Huffington Post (and other places) have published a list of those who voted against this measure.

Link for the weekend 10/3/09 and 10/4/09 – A Great Idea!

Happy weekend!!!  Check out this fun blog I stumbled across.  Basically the idea is that the writer is stepping outside her comfort zone and trying new things to see how they feel…and she has already done some pretty cool stuff!  I think it is such a good idea and it is making me think about what things I could try – what things could I muster up the courage to do.  Except eating spicy foods…that I won’t do!!

Anyway, enjoy the blog!

Link for 10/2/09 – CNN Heroes

There is really nothing I can say about this except to encourage all of you to go visit this site and read about these extraordinary people.  These 10 people have made such a huge impact on our world and I have so much respect and admiration for them.  As I think about my life, I know I can make an impact and improve the world in which I live.   We all have that potential, after all, I know that even if I do something small, I am still making a difference.  I often think about the “The Starfish Story” by Loren Eiseley and adapted by many different writers and speakers. 

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. 

Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. 
The surf is up and the tide is going out.  If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? 
You can’t make a
difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf.  Then, smiling at the
man, he said…”
I made a difference for that one.”

Thank you to CNN and Anderson Cooper for recognizing each of these “ordinary people doing extraordinary things” who are truly making a difference in our world.

A Fan in Search of a Team

So there are a lot of  blogs out there.  Some are stupid.  Some are funny.  But some, and only a few, are absolutely brilliant.  This is one of those.  Long story short, this guy, Jason Spires, is a huge sports fan, but doesn’t have an NFL team (a crime if you ask me)  In an effort to remedy that sad situation, he has written a letter to all 32 NFL teams asking them to state their case on why he should root for them.  So far the Lions (congrats on their win btw), the Bills and the Titans are the only teams to respond. 

As a service to this poor lost soul, I would like to state the case for the New England Patriots.  To me there are three key reasons for the supporting the Patriots.

1. Present: It is well-accepted that the label “team of the decade” will either go to the Patriots or the Steelers.   Even if Pitt. does claim that mantle (though after losing to the Bengals, I like our chances) there is nothing like supporting a team you know will be competitive every year.  That drive to win starts at the top with our owner, Robert Kraft.  Mr. Kraft comes from the Rooney school of ownership.  He wants to win.  He needs to win.  He will stop at nothing to win.  He knew Belichick was his guy and was willing to give up draft picks to get him.  That commitment to winning means that, regardless of whether we are the team of this decade, we will be in the running for team of the next decade and the next decade and so on.

2. Future: The Patriots, perhaps better than any other team, don’t just play the current year.  They are always thinking about how they can be better in coming years.  All one has to do is look at the Richard Seymour trade to understand that.  The Pats Brass made the determination that they were unlikely to be able to resign him (because, when they grade players, they NEVER operate on emotion) and that the drop-off between him and Jarvis Green and Myron Prior was worth a first round pick (from the woeful Oakland Raiders).  But they didn’t stop there.  Aware of the contract negotiations and that there would likely be a rookie payscale in place by 2011 (but not by 2010) they took the 2011 first-rounder.  How many teams would have that foresight and patience?  Also, they are brilliant with moving around draft picks and still getting the player they want. 

3. Veterans: Two points here.  First, the Pats are a smart team and smart teams are fun to watch.  Watching players like Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown, Tom Brady or Rodney Harrison who may not have been the most talented players work their butts off and win because they were always the most prepared and smartest is so much fun.  Also, something about the Pats culture allows vets in the “twilight” of their careers (Seau, Taylor) play like they are young men again and “problem players” (Moss, Dillon) be good citizens and huge contributors.  Also, they also have a scheme such that they can replace players who leave and barely miss a beat.  They went 11-5 with Matt Cassel who looks very human this year for heaven’s sake! 

4. Fan Base: Boston fans are passionate, knowledgeable, loyal and friendly (at least to each other)  Not to mention that, no matter what city you are in, you will find Patriots fans.  And, as I’m sure you know, there is nothing that compares to going to an away game with tons of like-minded fans.  Going to the Pats final regular season game in NY against the Giants in 2007 was easily one of the most fun sports experiences of my life. 

Well, there you go.  I can’t give you any Pats merch, but hopefully I have helped you make up your mind…Good Luck!

Link for 9/24/09

I was talking about this at the bar with some friends last night.  On the one hand, don’t think I want to sit next to this guy.  On the other hand, just think what you would do if you knew you were going back to jail after the game no matter what…

Well, letting this guy out so he could go to the Red Sox game certainly ranks up there on the strangest thing a judge has ever done.  At least I would assume it would!

Link for 9/17/09

This is easily one of the best videos I have EVER seen.  Just watch…it is adorable!  Everything from the awesome catch to what happened to the ball is absolutely worth seeing.  Postscript – apparently the Phillies GM and three team employees saw what happened and, separate from each other,  immediately grabbed a ball and went up into the stands to give it to him.  Classy!