Friday, September 28, 2007

Mackinac and the Budget

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I was up in Mackinac last weekend for the Republican Leadership Conference. Every Two years the Republicans take over the Island and turn it into a two day party. I love Mackinac Island and the weather was beautiful. I was able to connect with several people who I haven't seen in a long time. In fact, I couldn't walk more than 20 feet without stopping and talking to somebody on the street. It was nice to feel so popular. Although, I do notice a little disconnect between myself and the rank and file Republicans as I become less and less black and white in my political views.

I did get to meet Sen. McCain Friday night and then again on Saturday. He was very gracious but he looks really old in person. Ron Paul was also there and had a boisterous crowd of followers that chanted his name up and down the streets. It was so obnoxious. Effective but obnoxious. I didn't listen to Fred Thompson's speech or meet him but I heard he bombed big time. His awe shucks country lawyer persona is already wearing thin and he hasn't even been on the trail two months. I was disappointed that my candidate Mike Huckabee didn't make it. Apparently he missed his commercial flight and doesn't have enough money to charter a flight. The perils of running a low budget campaign I guess. In the end Mitt Romney won the straw poll which was expected but I didn't sense a lot of enthusiasm for him. The conventional wisdom says that he wins the Michigan primary but don't count out Giuliani yet especially if independents think the Democrat primary is already decided and come over and vote in the Republican primary.

Now I am back in Lansing and to be honest it is not pretty. In fact, it is the worst I have seen in my 9 years here. Last night the Senate was in until 1 a.m. with the anticipation of passing a budget which prevents the government from shutting down on Monday. Negotiations are still going on but so far no compromise has been reached. One side wants to cut the full 1.7 billion dollars out of the budget and the other side wants to raise the income tax to fill the hole. I suspect the solution is somewhere in between but the anti-tax people are extremely vocal and have several lawmakers scared of a recall effort.

Personally, if the state shuts down I won't get paid which sucks but I have a vacation planned starting next Friday anyways so I'll just start my vacation early. But there are a lot of other state employees who are depending on their paychecks and many state residents who are depending on government services that simply will not be available. Just wait until people realize the casinos are closed and they can't buy liquor or lottery tickets next week. Then the average citizen will feel the pain.

That's all for now. If I am laid off next week, I'll have plenty of time to post more. Until then.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Last Thing We Need

I just read that Alan Keyes is throwing his hat in the ring for President again. What a terrible idea. Wasn't his Senate campaign against Obama embarrassing enough? I voted for Keyes in the 96 primary but haven't been real impressed with him sense then.

He told a radio station during his announcement that "We're putting together an effort that's not going to be like anything before, because it's going to be entirely based on citizen action. We're going to be challenging people to take a pledge for America's revival." These are code words for "we have no money and no organization and very few supporters but we are going to run anyway".

Yes, he gives the best political speeches and is very inspiring. But he has no chance to win. He has a track record of losing campaigns in both Illinois and Maryland and in previous primaries. And even if he did somehow win the presidency, I have no confidence that he would be effective.

His announcement is frustrating. We should be narrowing down the field of candidates at this time but instead we keep getting more and more lackluster people that we don't need (Fred Thompson). Gingrich will probably be next. And then who? Gary Bauer again?

Friday, September 14, 2007

If you can't beat em, join em

My friend Chad is fed up with Michigan football and seriously who can blame him. He has recently taken his frustration to a new level by auctioning off his football allegiance on E-bay. All the money raised goes to a local charity. As a long time Michigan fan this is painful to see but I admire his creativity. So for all you fans of lesser football programs this is your time to gloat and put your money where you mouth is and make a bid for Chad's allegiance to your team.

Anyone home?

Yesterday the Nationals-Marlins game drew a crowd of only 400 people. That's less than the members of the Kevin Federline fan club. And I thought the Pirates fans were bad.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Why We Don't Need Fred Thompson

There was an interesting column on Fred Thompson's candidacy today. I would encourage people to read it. I like Fred Thompson personally but I am still not sure why he is in the race. What does he bring to the table that the other Republican candidates don't have. He is not a down the line conservative that some want him to be and for all his communication skills, I haven't heard him say one thing yet as to why his being President would make our country any better.

For all you out there that are still undecided, you should check out Gov. Mike Huckabee. He has the experience, the personality and the ideas to be an effective president. He is not acting the part. Instead he is the real deal.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

my boys

I have a new favorite TV show. It's called My Boys and it airs Monday nights on TBS. The story is about a 20 something gal named PJ who works as a sports reporter covering the Cubs and hangs out with a group of guy friends playing poker and drinking beer at the local bar. Her only problem is that she has a hard time finding "Mr. Right" and even when she does find him, her guy friends tend to get in the way. It's a great premise and I found myself getting hooked over the summer.

They had the season finale last night which was very funny. PJ is leaving for Italy with her friend Stephanie and they were both supposed to bring boyfriends along with them. However, PJ cannot find a date and finally gives up and decides to go alone. Only days before the trip PJ bumps into ex boyfriends and other guys in her life that are now suddenly available and she must choose which guy to go with. At the end of the episode she explains that she invited one of them to come but waited for him to show and he never came. Then all the sudden the flight attendant invites her into first class to sit with who she decided to take. But they never show who the guy is and viewers are left with a cliffhanger. I hate that. Now I have to spend the rest of the year not knowing what happened.

Was it the botanist that lives in the suburbs who didn't get along with her guy friends and who she thought was blowing off but really simply busy working? Or how about the baseball player whom she had feelings for and was recently traded from the Cubs thus freeing her up of any ethical dating questions? Maybe it's the dashing reporter that's her old flame and who just left his fiance? Or even more shocking, will it be one of her guy friends that she spends so much time with?

I remember when I was younger there was a show called It's Your Move staring Jason Bateman that ended the season on a cliffhanger only to get canceled the next season. Thankfully, I just read that My Boys got picked up for a new season so at least we don't have to wait forever to find out who is on the plane.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Those lovable Cleveland Browns

For those that missed the Pittsburgh - Cleveland game yesterday there was a play that demonstrates just how pathetic the Browns truly are. It was fourth and long down deep in their own territory and they bring in the punter. First the punter muffs the snap and barely gets off the kick which is a wobbler that just gets passed the line of scrimmage. But that's not the worst part. They were called for four separate penalties on that play. Two holdings, one illegal formation and one ineligible player downfield before the ball was kicked. One play, 10 seconds and 5 mistakes. That sounds about right for the Clowns, I mean the Browns.

Deja vu

I just watched Deja vu last night. It stars Denzel Washington as a federal agent attempting to solve a terrorist attack on a ferry. During his investigation, he falls in love with a murdered victim and then goes back in time to try and save her so they can fall in love. It was a ridiculous plot but I was willing to suspend belief for the sake of entertainment. But at the end, when he has only 2 hours to save the ferry and he doesn't call the police because he wants to do it himself so he both catch the bomber and disable the bomb, I began to lose interest. Why do Hollywood movies treat their audiences like idiots? At least pretend to respect our intelligence.

As I was complaining about the ending, my roommate told me to not be so critical and enjoy the movie. I realize I am critical, especially when it comes to movies, but I simply cannot enjoy a movie that has no connection to reality. Being subjected to impossible and stupid story lines does not entertain me. Instead they just frustrate me and I think "Is this really the best that Hollywood can come up?". I mean they spend millions of dollars making these movies and they can't even write a coherent script.

Deja Vu did contain some elements of two much better movies. The concept of going back in time and retelling certain scenes comes from a really cool movie called Memento. And the idea of a cop falling in love with a dead victim came from a 1940's movie called Laura which is actually one of my favorites. Instead of renting Deja Vu I would encourage people to rent either of those movies. They treat the audience to well thought and well written stories instead of the drivel that's usually for rent at the video store.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Stupid Predictions

Once again I feel compelled to share my NFL predictions for the upcoming year. But since I picked the Bengals over the Panthers last year, I no longer have confidence in my own football knowledge. So instead I am simply drawing names out of a hat. Without further ado here are my predictions for this year's NFL season:

New England
New York

Kansas City
San Diego



Baltimore over Indy

Tampa Bay
New Orleans

Green B ay

New York

San Franscisco
St Louis

Carolina over Washington

Superbowl winner:
Baltimore over Carolina

Friday, September 07, 2007

By popular demand

I have been asked to give my thoughts on the Republican debate from a few nights ago. This will be tough because I actually didn't watch it. In fact, I was putting in a new garbage disposal instead. Well actually my good friend Aaron did most of the work while I assisted him.

My only thoughts on the debate are what I read about it and the clips I've seen. From what I can tell, Huckabee continues to outshine the others in this format. There was a great article in the observer about his performance. He is the one candidate who has the authentic conservative credentials without scaring off average Joe Americans. His mix of populism and good government results along with his ability to clearly communicate make him the best choice in the race.

I know that some of my friends are jumping on the Fred Thompson bandwagon. I like Fred. In fact I have a picture of he and I proudly displayed in my office. My question however, is what's his message? What does he bring to the table that the other candidates don't? He looked and sounded tired on the Leno show and he hasn't even hit the ground running yet. My guess is that he was nervous and he will improve but he is hardly the savior of the party that some want him to be.

My analysis of the current race is that there are three conservatives; Romney, Thompson and Huckabee that will battle it out on the right. Romney will win the NE and Midwest while Thompson and Huckabee will split the south. Whoever wins the conservative base will then face off head to head against Giuliani. And frankly, I am not sure if any of the conservatives can beat him. My heart wants Huckabee, my professional judgement says Romney but my gut tells me nobody.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Well the University of Michigan's football team didn't take long to disappoint this year. Yesterday they lost to division 1aa Appalachian State in what some are calling the greatest upsets of all time. I missed the game because I was at the MSU game but the crowd there sure did enjoy getting the scoring updates.

While Michigan should never lose to a school like Appalachian State, I can't say I am terribly surprised. I knew they were overranked and was just telling my Stepdad last week that I didn't have a good feeling about the team this year.

The most frustrating part of yesterday's result is that this season is already lost. Even if they run the table and win the big ten and a BCS bowl game it won't matter. They lost to Appalachian State. That's the story of this season period. Despite a fourth year starting QB, an NFL left tackle, a star wide receiver and a potential Heisman candidate in Mike Hart, they still couldn't beat a division 1aa school. What does that say about our coaching?

By all accounts they were out coached and unprepared. Hmmm? That sounds familiar because they say that after every loss. And the reason they that is because it's true. By all accounts Lloyd Carr is a good man but he is simply not a good enough coach for Michigan if they really want to compete for a national title. We should have gone after Urban Meyer two years ago. It worked well for Florida. Instead, we will have to ride out this year with Carr. If yesterday is any indication it could be a long year.