Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thank God I'm not a parent.

I'd be living in terror that my daughter would meet this guy.

Levi Johnston, Sarah Palin's grandbaby-daddy and the bane of her existence, is pitching his own docu-series in which he will introduce viewers to Alaska.

Why shouldn't this deadbeat live off Palin's fame? There's a whole cable network (MSNBC) doing it.

BTW Levi, about the Playgirl spread. The vast majority of Playgirl customers are not women. You may be developing a fan base you might not appreciate.

I couldn't take it anymore

As many of you may know, a man was arrested by the FBI for threatening the life of GOP congressman Eric Cantor.

Knowing that last week my local rag went wall-to-wall with coverage of the racist tea partiers turning D.C. into Selma, today I was expecting a write-up on someone actually charged with a crime against a Jewish congresssman.

Not. One. Word.

I left a phone message with an editor of the Tampa Tribune. I am sure that there is a plausibly explanation for this oversight other than the SCREAMING OBVIOUS!!!!!!

I only subscribed to this fishwrap because I can't read baseball box scores off a computer screen. It won't take much of an excuse for me to dump it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

How to tell if you have a drinking problem

Is your family worried about your drinking?

Is your drinking causing problems at work?

Do you have money problems because of your drinking?

Are there times you can't account for, where you don't remember things you have done?

Have you ever thrown up on the hood of a '76 Volare?

Have you ever woken up in a stranger's backyard?

Have you ever tried to resuscitate a dead animal?

State police have charged a central Pennsylvania man with public drunkenness after he was seen giving mouth-to-mouth "resuscitation" to a long-dead opossum along a highway.

Trooper Jamie Levier says several witnesses saw 55-year-old Donald Wolfe, of Brookville, near the animal along Route 36 in Oliver Township Thursday about 3 p.m. The trooper says one person saw Wolfe kneeling before the animal and gesturing as though he were conducting a seance, while another saw the mouth-to-mouth attempt.

Levier says Wolfe was "extremely intoxicated" and "did have his mouth in the area of the animal's mouth, I guess".

Oliver Township is about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

We still know what you are...

....but you're not as cheap as once thought.

A day after Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and ten other House members compromised on their pro-life position to deliver the necessary yes-votes to pass health care reform, the "Stupak 11" released their fiscal year 2011 earmark requests, which total more than $4.7 billion--an average of $429 million worth of earmark requests for each lawmaker.

Of the eight lawmakers whose 2010 requests were available for comparison, five requested more money this week than they did a year ago: Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Pa., Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and Rep. Charles Wilson, D-Ohio.

Forgive an outsider for giving my Catholic friends some advice. All these good Catholic congresspeople were publicly disobedient to the clearly stated will of their spiritual leaders. My church leadership would never tolerate something like this. I can't get specific, but I have seen them deal with public, unrepentant disobedience.

The days of sending polite letters are over. The days of polite press releases are over. The whole world saw this happen. If these bishops don't go on Fox News screaming bloody murder your church is going to turn into the Democratic National Committee with holidays.

I'm sorry. Someone had to say it. And since I'm a teabagging racist I may as well go all in.

So much for the Straight Talk Express

Arizona is fixing to pass the toughest law in the land to combat illegal aliens.

A bill empowering police to arrest illegal immigrants and charge them with trespassing for simply being in the state of Arizona, is likely just weeks away from becoming the toughest law of its kind anywhere in the country.

Already passed by the state's Senate and currently being reconciled with a similar version in the House, the bill would essentially criminalize the presence of the 460,000 illegal immigrants living in the state

Of course what makes this newsworthy is that the Maverick himself, the Straight Talk Express, one the primary sponsors of lagislation to give amnesty to illegals three years ago now has no opinion on this.

McCain is in the midst of one of the toughest primary campaigns of a lengthy career in politics

McCain, who once back a bipartisan effort to grant illegal immigrants amnesty, has deflected questions about whether he supports the legislation.

It's got to be killing McCain to actually have to pretend to be a Republican just to get through this primary.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Maybe I should move to Nevada

Sue Lowden is going all Rubio on Harry Reid's Crist:

The poll – conducted by Mason-Dixon – shows Sue Lowden beating Harry Reid by a margin of 52 to 39, and soundly defeating her leading primary opponent, Danny Tarkanian, by an 18-point margin – 47 to 29 percent. The poll shows Sharron Angle earning 8 percent of the Republican vote and John Chachas shows at 1 percent.

You younger guys might not get this, but Ms Lowden looks just like a grown-up Marcia Brady.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Takeover Takedown

As of last night, thirteen separate states are already suing the federal government regarding the Health Insurance takeover.

While reporting this last night, the local talking head said something that made me laugh aloud: he assured us that "experts" (whom he neither quoted nor identified, natch!) said it was Constitutional, because "federal law trumps state law." (He may as well have added "So there!")

Now, he's right that the Constitution is binding on the several states, but that still leaves open the question of whether THIS is Constitutionally permissible.  So here I am with my pocket copy of the Constitution... Look, it's the Tenth Amendment! "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
For the sake of this post, we have to set aside the vast numbers of times the Congress has already ignored the Constitution and pretend that this time, they do care what it says and will abide by it.  You may pull something making this stretch, so take your time.

Good?  Good.

Right at the outset this Amendment is bad news for would-be totalitarians and Big Brotherists: it states openly and plainly that the powers of the United States Government are delegated to it by the people via the Constitution.  They are not inherent to it like the rights of the people are to them.  They are borrowed, and therefore can be taken back when used unwisely or recklessly.  In brief, We the People are the adults of this relationship; the Congress, the President, and the Courts are the balky children, and their powers over us are an allowance we grant exclusively at our sufferance.  We can ground them if they misbehave.  And this is the consistent language of the rest of the Constitution: in the Preamble, it is We the People who ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States, not the other way around.  Article I starts thus: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States..." etc.  And that confirms what was written in the Declaration of Independence, that Governments are established only to protect the inherent rights of the people, "deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed."

I highlighted those two words "herein granted" because they further illustrate what the Tenth Amendment was designed to emphasize - the Constitution is meant as an upper limit, not a minimum requirement.  If said powers are not "herein" the Constitution, they are "reserved to the States respectively, or to the People."  And even in the faintest penumbra and emanations of the Constitution, there is nowhere the right to have one's health costs insured by the Federal Treasury.  There's no right to have them insured at all by anybody.

So... going all the way back to our talking head, I would say that a federal law has to be Constitutional in order to be valid and binding on the states.  This thing ain't.

Am I confident about this?  Absolutely.  Will it matter to our rapacious government?  I'm not holding my breath, let's just say that.  If governments stuck to what they were told we may all still be British subjects; no revolution would have been necessary.  By their nature governments prey on their own people.  They don't shrink unless someone shrinks them. and then only with great truculence.  And We are not the same People as the revolutionaries and Founding Fathers.  They helped carve the colonies out of the wilderness, fought to keep them safe, and did so with no promise that their far-distant King and Parliament could swoop in at a moment's notice with millions in federal aid if some flood or fire obliterated their town.  Even the most urbane and loyalist of them had to be a lot more self-reliant than we are.

Not for a moment am I ungrateful to live today, with modern medicine, roads, cheap goods, the Internet, and a thousand other conveniences.  Still I have to say, they're not the reason for living, and they never were.  None of them would mean much if we were reduced to subservience.  Chains of gold and velvet still bind.  These particular chains are in fact so lavish that their forging will beggar every mother's son of us, and we will be a nation of pauper slaves instead of the land of the free and the home of the brave.

AND an update from Noel at Cold Fury: such a major and transformative act has been bipartisan, up until now.  Hell, even Prohibition was a two-thirds majority idea.  As that was eventually repealed, so let this be.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Well, we've got this much going for us, anyway

AKA another good reason to bitterly cling to that grog:
Two major studies confirm the current medical consensus that moderate drinking appears to be good for the heart but heavy drinking is bad for health in general.
The new study, using data from nine National Health Interview Surveys done between 1987 and 2000, is more thorough than previous reports and provides "some of the strongest evidence to date" of a link between moderate drinking and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease...
So, when this new health plan drives us to drink, we're all right as long as we moderate - and with what it will cost, we won't have the money to overindulge.

Hey, maybe the government will actually give a tax credit to anyone who opens a still?

Monday, March 22, 2010

We know what you are...

...and now we know the price.

U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) announced three airports in northern Michigan have received grants totaling $726,409 for airport maintenance and improvements. The funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration.

Gee whiz, Bart! You ARE a cheap date.

PS - update from the 'fly, for some linky love: Slublog strikes again.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I don't know about me...

... but you civilians are screwed.

I am a political prop. You know how politicians get all worked up over problems at the VA hospitals? I can see my congresscritter Kathy Castor in front of the Tampa VA hospital right now, whining, "Tech Sergeant Barking Spider bravely drank beer on three continents defending his country, how can we turn our back on him now?"

Now mind you, with Obama's picture hanging in the lobby of said VA hospital I may not be used as a prop much until the next GOP administration.

So I may be screwed as well. But you civilians - definitely screwed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Once again, a crime?

Update to this.

The perp is a 16-year-old from Atlantic County. Mind you, if this were my son I'd beat him till my arm fell off. I still do not understand how this is a crime. Keith Olbermann has said much worse and he isn't in jail. Since when is offending with words a crime?

The Bible has some pretty offensive stuff in it. Would reading those portions over a Wal-Mart intercom be a harrassment and bias intimidation crime? This bugs me a little.

Friday, March 19, 2010

More People Watching Cartoons...

...than CNN or MSNBC.

In total Viewers, Fox News was the #2 ranked cable network last week in primetime, averaging 233,000 viewers behind USA. MSNBC was #26, CNN was #32, and HLN was #37. In total day, FNC was #4, CNN was #29, MSNBC was #33, and HLN was #35. You can see the full rankings for the top 30 below.

The Cartoon Network is #13. More people saw the president get shredded by Bret Bair then watch CNN and MSNBC combined.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Love This!

GOP Senator Tom Coburn has a warning for House Dems:

"I want to send a couple of messages to my colleagues in the House.

If you voted no and you vote yes, and you lose your election, and you think any nomination to a federal position isn't going to be held in the Senate, I've got news for you. It's going to be held.

Number two is, if you get a deal, a parochial deal for you or your district, I've already instructed my staff and the staff of seven other senators that we will look at every appropriations bill, at every level, at every instance, and we will outline it by district, and we will associate that with the buying of your vote. So, if you think you can cut a deal now, and it not come out until after the election, I want to tell you that isn't going to happen. And be prepared to defend selling your vote in the House."

You can tell that the polls are against this by how Republicans are acting. They would never be this courageous if the polls weren't in their favor.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Crime?

A soon-to-be-fired employee of a South Jersey Wal-Mart needs to bone up on his comedic skills:

Wal-Mart officials are looking at security tapes after an announcement was made for "all black people'' to leave a store in South Jersey.

A man used the public-address system at the Route 42 store in Washington Township Sunday night and calmly announced: "Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store now.

Now, if I ran this Wal-Mart this guy would be fired seven times over and banned from ever setting foot in the store, even as a customer. That may be over reacting, but not as much as the local cops:

Washington Township police and the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office are investigating the incident as a possible bias crime.

This stunt was racist, unfunny, and any other negative term you can think of. But a crime? If broadcasting crude and nasty racial insults were a crime then the entire lineup of MSNBC would be in jail.

I may have just broken federal law

I just filled out my census form. I will concede every point made in all the commercials about the need to turn the form in for my neighborhood to get its fair share of gummint largess.

Having said that, why is it necessary for the gummint to know my race to accomplish this? Are we allocating federal dollars based on skin color?

I was tempted to claim to be a Puerto Rican on #8 based on my birthplace, but I didn't. I gave the gummint all they need to know in this area. For question #9 I checked other and wrote AMERICAN.

I was at an Obamacare protest at my congresswoman's local office yesterday, so I am in a civil disobedient mood.

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's good to have goals...

.....even if it's to become the fattest woman in the world.

Donna Simpson, from New Jersey, weighs 273kg but told the Daily Mail newspaper she had her heart set on reaching her goal weight of 1000lb (450kg) in two years.

The 42-year-old already holds the title of the world's fattest mother after giving birth to her daughter in 2007 when she weighed 241kg.

"I'd love to be 1000lb ... it might be hard though, running after my daughter keeps my weight down," Ms Simpson told the Daily Mail.

273kg is about 600lbs, so she has a ways to go. She's eating as much as she can and moving as little as possible. But she has managed to earn a living.

To put on enough weight, Ms Simpson will need to eat 12,000 calories a day, which is six times the recommended daily intake for women.

In order to pay for the enormous amounts of food she is eating — her weekly grocery bill is $815 — Ms Simpson makes money by running a website where men pay to watch her consume fast food.

I need to get out more. I know there is stuff on the Internet to turn guys on - some of it really sick -but this specific proclivity is news to me.

I'm not calling my congresswoman this week

A friend asked me if I was calling my congresswoman this week ask her to do the clear and unambigious will of the people of American and Florida and stop whatever magic trick they are planning to do the pass this health care mess.

I can't do it. For one thing, in my case it would be a waste of time. Rep. Kathy Castor's district is heavily gerrymandered Democrat; as long as she doesn't give birth to Glenn Beck's love child her seat is safe.

As for my Dem Senator Bill Nelson, he could be reached if he were up for re-election this year. But this guy has crawled into a hole until 2012.

I'm guessing that their DC offices will not be taking calls this week. Being the angry, right-wing nut that I am, if I got through to a local office I would probably take the opportunity to get my licks in while I can. It would be wrong for me to offer to come up to Sen. Nelson's office and help him find his kugeln. Or make cracks about him hot racking with Lt Cmdr Massa.

During this Lenten season, I'm thinking that if our Lord could silently face the mistreatment and abuse he took on the way to the cross, maybe I can hold my tongue a little bit during a time when elected officials disrespect voters..

Maybe I can give up snark for Lent.

Friday, March 12, 2010

When you're 16, badly singing - AI announces the top 12

In a world.... where people must sing for their very lives...
Twelve people will emerge....
One will stand.... and eleven will fall...
This spring, entertainment... gets... personal!

Sorry, I just thought the late, great Don LaFontaine ought to do the intro.  Instead we get ominous synth chords, a dramatic reading, and goofy red serif title cards.  Geez laweeeze.  It's "Bible - the Rock Opera" by A Flock of Seagulls!

No, wait.  THIS is aMERican Idol!

Yeah, enough of that drama, here's Randy's head cheaply p-shopped onto Bikini Girl, pre-enhancement.  Cadet Happy could top that, no sweat.  The group sing is Michael Buble's "Just Haven't Met You Yet."  These are always a little sad for me, for reasons having nothing to do with the goofy singing and choreography.  It's tough watching and knowing that four of those happy kids are already out.  Speaking of which - hey, it's Paige and Katelyn!  Dead girl singin' heah.

Didi - Randy plays Ty Webb to her Danny Noonan and says to be dope every day.  She's in.

Ally Sheedy Siobhan - Ellen tells her to keep doing what she's doing.  So, she's in then.  Ryan makes it official and sends her to one of the eggcups.

Paige/Katelyn - together on stage.  So much for my prediction that both will go.  Katie just threw up in her mouth.  Simon says that Paige has the better potential.  The King of the Judges' Table is correct, of course: Paige scrapes in, and Katelyn is gone.  Ladybug boo-byes her and fast forwards her swan song with palpable glee.  (Heh... back off boys, she's mine.)

It's the boys' turn.  Maybe they're behind because half of the crew is up there at once: Tim, Todrick, Lee, and Casey.  One is certainly outta here.  Huh, Todrick grew a goatee overnight; faint, but noticable.  Casey gets the first eggcup, Tim the next.  Ryan asks Randy which of the other two deserve to continue.  Ryan says Lee, who looks as if he swallowed a bug.  Our dawg is right - Lee is in the Top 12 and leaves Todrick dancin' with himself, oh-oh-wu-oh.

Red room! Red room! Red room!  Ryan says hi to those still waiting, knows that it's annoying, and immediately cuts to our musical act: Scott MacIntyre and Matt Girard on pianos, singing "Tell Her About It."  Whoa, is this ever bizarre.
LB - it's what you'd see with Elton and Billy Joel.
NF - only without the talent.
Matt is howlingly bad right now.  Oversinging, strange phrasing... it's a verbal seizure.  The boogie-woogie piano duel in the middle made us both laugh uncomfortably.
LB - omigod, did you see Scott shake his little booty?
I like Scott's voice in this, anyway.  The rest was an astounding train wreck.

Glee promo!  W00t Glee!  Looks like they're amping the Shu-Emma lovin'.  There's also the obligatory Jane Lynch snark.  She's brilliant.  More please.

Back to the results.  Crystal gets a completely non-suspenseful yes.  Big Mike, too.  I hope they saved Ruben Studdard's industrial-strength eggcup.  If that thing gives way he'll domino the entire Top 12.  Lacey is asked to defend her eclectic song choices, and she says she likes to evoke different emotions.  She gets to invoke tears of happiness on her way to the eggcups.

Teflon Boy is in.  I'm not sure I agree with this.  The other two A-boys, Alex and Andrew, come up together.  Each has an arm around the other's shoulder as they face their fate.  Ryan asks Simon if Andrew peaked too soon.  Simon - "Maybe, but talent is talent, you're still a talented singer."  A good indicator for Andrew, and it pays off.  Alex's nerves sunk him, poor kid.  Ally Siobhan is weeping during the farewell song.

We come back from break to find everyone still hugging it out... then they finally surrender the stage to Katie and Lilly.  Two girls enter, one girl sings.  This looks awful for Katie, but as LB says, "I'm nervous for Lilly."  Kara thinks Lilly really knows who she is, but Katie "sounds contemporary."  Hmph.  She sounds adult easy-listening.

Yup.  Darn it all, Lilly is out, and Katie advances.  Notice it's Kara who punted on a prediction when asked, and hedged by talking about both.  Also notice that this is what happens when middle schoolers are permitted to vote.  Stupid America.  Katie's crying.  Most of the Idols just seem shocked.  Crystal, in fact, looks like she's about to wade into the audience with a cricket bat.  Lilly is nice to Katie as they hug, but she looks fairly ticked, as well she should.  "I thought I did really well," she says, "I put my heart into every performance, and I thought I really gave it my all... I don't know what America wants to hear."  HAHAHAHAHA!  Best. Concession. EVER.  She's not being snotty or mean or whiny, either - she just seems really, genuinely confused that Katie could possibly advance over her.  (Or Paige, for that matter, unless that's just me.)  "I just know there's an audience out there for me," she says.  Agreed.

See you next week, peeps.

Also see: Snark Raving Mad.  I agree with you on this, SarahK.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Marc Delphine is a motivated young go-getter who wants to be the next Senator from Oregon.  He's just not so sure on how to go about it.

First, he's trying to secure the Libertarian Party nomination.  That by itself is probably not a good sign, not in Oregon.  But on top of that, he decided that the Libertarian love of property rights didn't really apply to intellectual property.  As ESPN's Paul Lukas points out, both of these things look an awful lot like the other.  It also looks like that logo has been quietly removed from Mr. Delphine's web banner.

Note to file - if you want to win a Senate race, don't use the logo of a hockey franchise that has never won a playoff game.

The A's didn't have it... AI's top 8 boys perform

The producers have picked up on my observation about the ladies lovin' on Simon... but of course, to annoy the King of the Judges' Table, they accuse HIM of leaning into Kara.  Very clever.  And THIS... is American Idol!

First up, Lee Dewyze, who closed last week's show.  He opens with "Fireflies."  There's something about his voice that appeals to me, and I find myself liking the acoustic rock-esque performance.  Decent start.  Randy and Ellen say it was pitchydawg* but I actually think that it's intentional; he's not missing notes, he's hitting unexpected notes out of the normal melody on purpose.  The closest example I can think of is Sinatra with his unusual phrasing.  It sounds off in the harder-edged context.  Your listenage may vary, but I find it interesting.  Simon, however, says something I agree with: he's better than he showed tonight.  He has to pick it up come Top 12 time.

* totally stole "pitchydawg" from SarahK.  Her reviews of the girls and guys are up, too, so go read.  Then please come back.  Kthxbai.**

** I kind of stole that from SarahK too, but it's a re-steal, so I don't feel so bad.***

*** Stole this whole asterisk note thing from Joe Posnanski.  I have to go to confession after every blog post lately.

Next it's Alex Lambert, the sheepish lion, singing "Trouble."  Not as good as the last person to do it on Idol (it was recently, but I'm blanking on the name, and I'm as annoyed about that as you are about all the self-interruptions.  Sawry).  Also, not as good as he was last week.  He just looks worried, worried, worried, worried.  A step backward.  Also giggled a bit about him singing "I was saved by a woman."  It doesn't look like that's happened yet for young Alex.  Ellen calls him a "mushy banana," which is right, but misses her own point by saying he's good all the time, like tonight.  Uhm, no... he was mushy.  A mushy, worried banana.  If this keeps up Ellen will be calling him tasty bread next week.  Simon says he needs a trick to relax, to get out of his own mind and enjoy the performance, and suggests, of all things, "Picture Randy in a bikini or something."  Great, now how am I going to get THAT out my mind and enjoy the performance?

Tim Urban is third tonight.  Oh, no... "Hallelujah."  Done a lot on the show since Jason Castro nailed it two years ago.  May be too much song.  He stumbles a bit early, but really picks it up.  Holy smokes, I think this is really good.  His best so far, by a mile.  This is the first time he actually sounds like he belongs in the Top 12.  Randy loves it, Ellen runs up and hugs him (?!?).  Ryan - "Do you want to give the numbers while you're here?"  Hahahahahaha, love him.  Kara liked Tim, Simon took credit for giving Tim the confidence boost.  (Hahahahahaha, love him, again.)  That leads to a chorus of "No, it was me who did that!" tag-alongs from everyone else.  Now you know why Simon is King of the Judges' Table.  The rest are all such wannabes.

Singing cleanup tonight is Andrew Garcia, with Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle."  Still chasing his "Straight Up" vibe.  Ladybug - "Huh, he's singing another girl's song: Paula, Alicia, Adele, now Christina."  Like Lee before him, I like this better than the judges seem too.  Randy says he "reduced the song to three notes," and it's a fair point.  I really liked all three of those notes, though.  The acoustic vibe suits Andrew.  Ellen says he hit his stride too late, Kara says that he's still trying to recapture his high point, that he peaked too early with "Straight Up."  Simon says he sounded a little desperate and was moving backwards.  Again, YLMV, but I don't think it's entirely fair to judge him solely on a Hollywood Week performance from six weeks ago.  Compared to the past two weeks of eliminations, he has shown improvement.  Hope it's enough.

Fifth is Casey James, the blond brother of the Free Credit Report dude.  He's slowing things down a little in response to last week's critique about his voice lacking power in a few of the big spots.  He's on pitch, soulful, it felt like his song and not a cover.  (Oh, yeah... Keith Urban's "You'll Think of Me.")  Randy decides to be a tool and say that it felt too safe, that he wanted that Stevie Ray Vaughn edge.  Which is why, of course, last week everyone was annoyed with him.  Can they make up their mind about the poor guy before he gets sent home trying to do eleven things at once?  Ellen liked it, says he looked really comfortable.  Kara says he's moving forward, "just waiting for that spark from you."  Simon says it was worse than week one, better than last week, sang it well but probably won't remember it in 24 hours.

Aaron Kelly the Boy Wonder has decided to annoy me by singing a Lonestar song.  Not my vibe at all.  If this is really unfair let me know in the comments, I won't deny it.  Yow, pitchy right off.  He's not doing well with the verse, the slow stuff, it's like he can't wait to power out the chorus.  Yup, big notes now.  I dunno... it was all very old-fashioned sounding with the synth piano and soft-rock arrangement and the soaring chorus.  Kind of faux-inspirational, contrived, like a very intrusive movie score that orders the viewer to feel sad on cue.  It's not that the kid has a bad voice - he has a good voice, and a really big voice, but he sings to no real purpose.  Randy liked it, especially "in the power zone."  Ellen brings up that he's really young (AGAIN) and says "you have the confidence of a 30-year old."  You see, that's kind of the problem here: good in the power zone, old-sounding... even the compliments point out the problem.  Ellen does add, though, that it was "too big a song for you."  Kara says the song was about a dad calling his kids, and that Aaron really couldn't sing it convincingly.  Simon immediately calls that "rubbish."  "Don't be so literal," he tells Kara, adding that it was the style of song Aaron does well with.  Again, the compliment IS the problem.  He, like Ellen, points that the vocal wasn't that good.

Todrick Hall has to do something or he's going to the half-glove party with Jermaine and Michelle.  Singing Queen's "Somebody to Love."  Apparently, we're being touched by an angel with this spotlight deal.  If he tries to power this like Freddie Mercury it will blow up on him. Smartly, he isn't.  Quieter, controlled.  Beautiful high note early.  Very good, though he's flattening the melody a bit at the end, as if he doesn't trust himself to get back up that high again.  Very good arrangement, well sung, maybe he could have done a bit more but he did really help himself with this.  Randy - Todrick is back!  Ellen - liked the gospel vibe, wish you were more committed.  Kara - good singing, but she called it "too serious and dramatic."  Todrick - "I'm fighting for my life up here, Kara!"  Bravo, Todrick!  And great point, too - he used his personal situation to fuel the song and he really connected with it, and with the audience as a result.  Kara makes so much about it for everyone else, why is she suddenly forgetting things she said to the very previous singer?  Simon - now we know who you are, "it's American Idol the Musical doing Queen."  Very Broadway.  (Agreed.)  Takes a veiled shot at Casey by saying he didn't just sit on a stool with a guitar (boo).  "This may have saved you."  (Agreed again.)

Finally, Michael Lynche.  The last sang first, and the first shall sing last.  He's also gone from a Man's World to "This Woman's Work" by Maxwell.  I think he's very smart not to bring an instrument with him.  The first week, that guitar was pretty much just a prop for him to hide behind, and about as ineffective as my hiding behind an index card.  I think I like last week better, he's starting a bit sleepy.  Now it picks up.  He's into the performance.  It's obvious that he feels the smooth R&B, it's right in his wheelhouse.  He's really revving it up now, knocking it right out of the park.  Terrific job.  He's a lock for the twelve.  Randy has officially lost his mind.  All he can do is yelp "Dope!  What?  Really??!??  It was hot!!"  Ellen calls him the man to beat.  (I have to agree, at this point.)  Kara is actually, factually crying, and I'd snark her, but I think she really felt that hit home.  Of course she brings up Big Mike's wife and daughter, whom he pretty much refused to go home to see born.  But looking at her reaction highlights the problem I had with Aaron: this was a genuine moment coming out of the performance, not manipulative.  Simon's side-hugging Kara (that's sweet) and says it was the best performance of the year so far.  I may not be all the way there with that but it was easily the best of tonight.

Tops: Big Mike.... a gap.... then Tim (I know - I'm shocked too) and Todrick.
Bottoms: Alex, Aaron, and then probably Andrew, though I liked him more than the judges.  Aaron is teflon right now, so I'd say the other two are in a world of trouble tonight.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It reminds me of the menu at a Holiday Inn... AI's top 8 girls perform

Eight girls.  Our most talented group ever, for the forty-sixth consecutive year... which is why we're cramming them into one hour instead of going for 90 minutes.  That, and we hate ad revenue.  THIS.... is American Idol!

Ellen is nuzzling Simon, continuing the earlier gag where he allegedly came on to her during Hollywood Week.  And during these shows, Kara has been leaning against him as if he were Casey James.  Poor Randy, not getting any Cowell-lovin'.  He shouldn't boo every time Ryan introduces Simon if he wants a turn.  Not fooling anyone, dawg.

With all the distinctive voices on the ladies' side this year, it's going to be tough on Katie, Paige, and Katelyn, who have much more traditional voices and are thus competing against each other. The weakest performance from those three is going to wind up putting her out on her ear; perhaps two of them if none can step up.  The good news is, if one of them gets there she's almost guaranteed to get in.  Of the other five, I think Didi is in the shakiest spot coming in, because she was savaged (unfiarly, IMHO) last week and was bottom three.

Katie Stevens is first, with Kelly Clarkson's "Break Away."  The vocals are decent, that's not her problem, but it's all very "whatever yourself."  I keep waiting for her to really take off on the "make a wish, take a chance" part, but she just putters along, 45 mph in the passing lane, blinker still on.  Should have done better.  Judges aren't feeling it.  Simon in particular says that she's gotten so much advice that she tried to take, "10 out of 10 for eh-fourt," but that she "sucked all the energy out of it."

Siobhan "Ally Sheedy" Magnus, with "House of the Rising Sun."  Nice a capella start, she's changing the melody here and there as well, to good effect.  Liking this a lot.  Band joins in and we get a big strong finish.  Gorgeous.  Vote-worthy.  Judges?  Three of four, but Simon thought it was nothing special or different.  Maybe he couldn't dig Katie's performance out of his ears.

Lacey Brown, the flame-haired Leigh Nash soundalike, is singing a song I don't recognize, because I'm not one of the cool kids, and that's why we can't have nice things.  She is very good.  I'm even getting hints of Blossom Dearie in the vocal, I'm digging whatever-song-this-is.  Hitting notes all up and down the register.  If you just sing well, and connect to the song, you don't necessarily need to break out the fireworks.  She gets uniform praise for the judges.  Simon is somewhat reserved, says Lacey risks sounding forgettable.  He's taking the "final cut before the final 12" thing very seriously, trying to see who will raise their game to get in.

Katelyn Epperly is standing at the keyboard, singing "I Feel the Earth Move" by Carole King.  That makes one of her.  This is the sleepiest earth-moving I've ever heard.  It takes her half the song to finally start moving around a bit back there - not that she needs to writhe around like Ray Charles or something, but at least bob your head.  Maybe all that hair is too heavy to move.  Booooooorrrrrrring.  And she looks like one of the Weird Sisters.  I expect her to tell Ryan that he can kill Simon and be King of the Judges' Table.  Aside from the classic 60's keyboard, there was almost nothing to like about this.  Very Muzak.  Randy liked the keyboard, Ellen thought there was no wow to the song, Kara thought she didn't compete, and Simon says she sang it "quite well" but it was like request night at a restaurant.

That's 0-2 from the traditional voices. If Paige steps up she's sailing in.

Didi Benami is singing "Rhiannon," by Fleetwood Mac.  Tough song to take on.  She's going singer-songwriter with it, just a guitar and vocal.  Very stripped down.  She sounds wonderful, very ethereal, it fits the song well.  Big plus - I can finally understand the lyrics.

Stevie Nicks: Auhwl yrLIIIIIIIIIII, you nevuh seen a wumaunn, takn blytheblinnnnn
Didi Benami: All your life, you've never seen a woman taken by the wind

This is brilliant.  She really helped herself tonight.  Randy was lukewarm, but the other judges, having paid attention, give Didi her due, with Simon calling the whole performance a "wow moment" and Kara saying it was one of her favorite moments of the season.

Ohhhh.... "Dreams unwind, love's a state of mind."  Ohhhh!

Now it's Paige Miles, with a huge chance to step up.  Singing a tune called "Smile."  She is, however, not smiling.  Nor is she on key.  Wow, she's only hitting about two-thirds of the notes.  This is a turgid performance.  Arrangement is horrid, too.  Oh, no.  Oh... oh me oh my, we are in trouble, aren't we?  She gave up and shut down.  Randy calls it "bossa nova."  (She would have been better off singing "Bossa Nova Baby" than what she actually did.)  Ellen called it sad and heavy, not uplifiting.  Simon calls it "Holiday Inn, 1974."  I call it a swan song.  She's done.  Offbeat voices 3, Traditionalists 0, and it's not as close as the score suggests.

Crystal Bowersox takes on Tracey Chapman's "Gimme One Reason."  Blows it right out of the water.  Tremendous.  What's more impressive is that she followed up last week's star-making performance with another hgih-water mark.  Fantastic.  Easily your leader in the clubhouse.  Judges agree.  Simon even breaks out his Carl Sagan impression by saying she's "one million billion percent" in the top 12.

So now it's poor Lilly Scott's job to follow up Crystal.  She will use the power of her superfluous "L" to wow America - well, no, she's just singing "I Fall to Pieces" by Patsy Cline.  Nice mandolin.  Same relative size to her as the regular guitar to Michael Lynche.  (ba-DUM pum!  Thanks, I'll be here at the '74 Holiday Inn all week!  Try the veal!)  I do like this.  She sounds nothing like Patsy Cline, so just by singing well, she sounds original, despite the straight-up country arrangement.  And she is singing quite well.  Like it a lot.  On the downside, it looks like she emptied her dryer vents before coming on, and she's wearing the giant lint balls as earrings.

Top Three - Crystal by a mile, Didi, Siobhan.  Bottom three - Katie, Katelyn, Paige.  One of the three will eke it out, but I have trouble saying which.  Katie has the youth vote and the sick gammie sympathy vote, so I'm kind of thinking she stays... It's tough, because going first didn't help her, but Paige went last and left such a terrible impression that it may not matter.  And Katelyn, I'm done done done with.  Out, out, brief candle.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I luv ya, tomorrow!

Update: It's bad, Rubio is beating Crist 60-28.

You're only a day away.

We are going to have absolutely brutal numbers out on Charlie Crist tomorrow.

Here's a little preview: among Republican primary voters 19% would like to see him as Governor a year from now, 14% want him in the Senate, and 56% want him out of elected office.

If there is any path to his winning office in Florida again- and there may not be- it's as something other than a Republican.

So Rubio got a $100 haircut. Marco could be offering up his firstborn to Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites and he'd still get my vote. And it looks like I'm not alone.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

C'mon guys, make up your minds!

Christian Science Monitor (3/6/2010): John Patrick Bedell: Did right-wing extremism lead to shooting?

John Patrick Bedell, whom authorities identified as the gunman in the Pentagon shooting on Thursday, appears to have been a right-wing extremist with virulent antigovernment feelings.

Christian Science Monitor (3/6/2010): Political extremism: Not so easy to categorize.

Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedell was an anti-Bush registered Democrat who believed 9/11 was planned and carried out by the US government, so he must be left-wing, right?

The truth here is way beyond such facile political analysis.

The truth is that it wasn't his politics that caused him to do this, but the fact that he was a nutjob. But what explains this first article? Wishful thinking on the part of the writer?

And these people wonder why their industry is dying.

This will never happen in New Jersey

Getting attacked by an otter on a public street, that is.

For Morrell Denton, 96, it was a little early-morning walk.

Then the rabid otter attacked.

A witness found him on the ground on the 300 block of Venice East Boulevard, not far south of Center Road. He was covered in blood, waving for his life and trying to shake off the otter when North Port resident and truck driver Raymond Duval spotted him at about 4:10 a.m. Friday.

Of course, if it's not radid otters then it is escaped monkeys.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Well done indeed

No... beyond well-done.  Spectacular stuff from Doc Zero:

The right to protect yourself, and your family, from injury and death is an essential part of your dignity as a free man or woman. Without the First Amendment, you are a slave. Without the Second, you are a child.

The Western nations which have abandoned this essential understanding of an individual’s right to self-defense have become rotting orphanages filled with dependent children.
As the cool kids like to say: read the whole thing.  Brilliant.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I am loving this blog so hard right now

If you're a fan of a hard-luck sports franchise, you get completely crazy (see: all New York sports teams) or develop a darned good sense of humor.  Lately, the Isles fans are going the wrong way... witness this spectacular nitwittery in the (400+ and counting) comments, most of them ready to toss GM Garth Snow under the Zamboni for getting a low second-round pick for Andy Sutton.

Dudes... the guy is turning 36 next year, makes $3 million, and will probably leave as a free agent after the year.  Did you expect that Sid Crosby was coming back the other way?  I hate that so many of my fellow fans have decided to turn into typical "Louie from the Bronx" WFAN caller types.  Get down off the ledge, guys, woncha?

As an antidote I hang out over at Down Goes Brown.  The draft advertisement post alone is worth your repeated clickage.  ("Customers who viewed this item also viewed: Pylon, Turnstile, Wasted Money..."  HAHAHAHAHAHA)

And BTW, Isles Point Blank is also on the Pantheon, and Chris Botta, who is Lord of the IPB, is very very good.  No beef with him (even if he does spike my comments on occasion!).  It's my fellow combox jockeys who need to get back on their meds.

update and BWAHAHAHAHA - from Greg Wyshynski (Puck Daddy), the Milbury Trade Scale.  Never has mental scarring from epic failure been this amusing!