Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What is the "New York Times" telling us about the health care bill?

I read this headline - Decision Looms on Advancing Health Care Bill - and a word flashes through my brain: Doom. Putting together decision and loom, I get doom.

I read the first line:
Seeking to avert the collapse of major health care legislation, the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress face a crucial decision about whether to use a procedural maneuver that would allow them to advance the bill despite the loss of their 60-vote majority in the Senate.

Yep, sure sounds like doom for the health care bill.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Nobody in life gets what they thought they were going to get."

So said Conan O'Brien last night, his final turn as the host of the Tonight Show.

But I wonder: how many people get $33,000,000 to not be on a TV show? Of course, the money wasn't his dream - hosting the Tonight Show was.

Yes, but what kind? Polar? Black? Grizzly? Koala? Panda?

Great headline from Reuters: "White House says bears part of blame for Senate loss."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Scott Brown, Senator elect

A Senate seat long held by a Democrat has passed to a Republican:
Scott Brown, a little-known Republican state senator, rode an old pickup truck and a growing sense of unease among independent voters to an extraordinary upset Tuesday night when he was elected to fill the Senate seat that was long held by Edward M. Kennedy in the overwhelmingly Democratic state of Massachusetts.

By a decisive margin, Mr. Brown defeated Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general, who had been considered a prohibitive favorite to win just over a month ago after she easily won the Democratic primary.

With all precincts counted, Mr. Brown had 52 percent of the vote to Ms. Coakley’s 47 percent.
What will this mean for the president, especially with the fall elections looming in the distance? What were the people of Massachusetts trying to tell America on the eve of Obama's one year anniversary as POTUS? Will a man who rode on the winds of change became change incarnate?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Killer movie

How many films have killed at the box office? We know of one for sure - Avatar.

Friday, January 15, 2010

"It is the paradox of the cyber era: A nation of exhibitionists demanding privacy."

A revealing article on the non-private thoughts of Michael Gerson:
The most interesting aspect of cyber culture, however, is not the quest for privacy but its disregard -- not the desire to protect private communication but the compulsion to make bra colors public.

The Internet is known for its milestones of exhibitionism. In 1996, Jennifer Ringley began broadcasting her entire life -- from brushing her teeth to making love -- on the Internet. In 1998, Elizabeth Ann Oliver delivered her baby live on the Web. In 2001, Josh Harris presented his breakup with his girlfriend and his nervous breakdown for Internet consumption.

But the real revolution of the Internet has been to make personal disclosure routine. Some, via Twitter, Facebook and the like, have taken to afflict others with a constant stream of their random thoughts -- an avocation that a columnist has no business to criticize. Less understandable to me are the revelations once reserved for the most
intimate friends.

If nothing else, we need wisdom in discerning what to keep hidden and what to reveal.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Scott Brown, candidate for U.S. Senate, was a "Cosmo" centerfold

Let us suppose that a physically attractive 50-year-old woman had posed for a magazine when she was in her early 20's. A magazine that was geared towards men. For this particular picture, she does not appear to be wearing any type of clothing, but her hands are modestly covering her "female parts." And let us say that this woman is now running for the U.S. Senate. What kinds of things might be said about her? How often would that picture be shown? What kinds of questions might she be expected to answer? If she was directly questioned about it, would she have a "meltdown?"

And now let us suppose that a man... Oh, we don't have to suppose. We have a man like that. A man who's running for the U.S. Senate. Who reportedly had a "meltdown."

Katie Connolly thinks there's a double standard:

Jokes aside, that this racy pic has been circulating for years and hasn't hampered Brown's career perhaps isn't that surprising. "It's a pretty tame photo compared to what you might see at an NFL halftime show," says campaign spokesperson Eric Fehrnstrom. "The fact is, when Scott was 22 years old, he was footloose and carefree." That may be so, but how would he be treated if he were a woman?

Although a nude centerfold might not kill a female politician's career, it would most certainly prompt questions about her character. Was she unacceptably promiscuous? Did she have a wild, compromising youth? While we scoff at the exploits of young men─they're allowed to be "footloose and carefree"─women are rarely afforded that luxury. For Brown, who just turned 50, it's a case of "boys will be boys." We can giggle at Brown's treasure trail and not think twice about how the sight of it affects his political career. But when Sarah Palin's head was Photoshopped on the body of a gun-totin', bikini-clad babe, it served as evidence for many of her unsuitability for office. Even when the photo was proved to be fake, it continued to haunt her. Palin's sexuality was at once titillating and threatening─for as many fans as she gained for being attractive, there were as many who used it in building the case against her. If Barbara Boxer had posed nude in her youth and declared her love for "buff boys," I predict her voters would be collectively horrified, and she'd probably never shake the crass jokes that would follow. As a culture, we simply don't like our female representatives to be publicly sexual.


(Via Althouse)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Peyton's 4th MVP prize

He's done it: Peyton Manning has captured the NFL MVP title for a historic fourth time.
Only one other player, Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre, has been honored three times by the Associated Press’ 50-member panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Manning previously won the award in 2003, ’04 and last season.

The face and foundation of the franchise since being selected with the first overall pick in the 1998 draft, Manning has helped direct the Colts to a league-best 14-2 record, the No. 1 seed in the AFC and an eighth consecutive playoff berth.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bart Stupak

The kind of Democrat I like.
Now he is enduring more hatred than perhaps any other member of Congress, much of it from fellow Democrats. His name has become a slogan: “Stop Stupak!”

Scott Schloegel, his chief of staff, said wearily, “I can’t tell you how many New Yorkers have called me up and yelled at me about this Stupak guy.”

With final negotiations on a health care overhaul beginning this week, complaints about “the evil Stupak amendment,” as the congressman dryly called it over dinner here recently, are likely to grow even louder. The amendment prevents women who receive federal insurance subsidies from buying abortion coverage — but critics assert it could cause women who buy their own insurance difficulty in obtaining coverage.

Mr. Stupak insists that the final bill include his terms, which he says merely reflect current law. If he prevails, he will have won an audacious, counterintuitive victory, forcing a Democratic-controlled Congress to pass a measure that will be hailed as an anti-abortion triumph. If party members do not accept his terms — and many vow they will not — Mr. Stupak is prepared to block passage of the health care overhaul.

"If you can find a better deal, take it!"

I really don't know if Ann Coulter is a fellow believer, but I can see by what she's written that she gets the heart of the Gospel.
In a boiling rage, liberals constantly accuse Christians of being "judgmental." No, we're relieved.

Christianity is also the hardest religion in the world because, if you believe Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead, you have no choice but to give your life entirely over to Him. No more sexual promiscuity, no lying, no cheating, no stealing, no killing inconvenient old people or unborn babies -- no doing what all the other kids do.

And no more caring what the world thinks of you -- because, as Jesus warned in a prophecy constantly fulfilled by liberals: The world will hate you.

With Christianity, your sins are forgiven, the slate is wiped clean and your eternal life is guaranteed through nothing you did yourself, even though you don't deserve it. It's the best deal in the universe.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Epiphany

Thanks, Rev. Paul, for today's history lesson.
The Epiphany of our Lord was, in the ancient church, a day that was set aside to commemorate not only the visitation of the Magi, but the Lord’s Baptism, and his first miracle. The season of Epiphany was developed to offer separate meditation and reflection on each of these events in our Lord’s ministry, so on this day, the focus is on the visit of the Magi. Many churches observed Epiphany last Sunday, using the custom of observing a major feast falling on a week day, on the Sunday immediately preceding it.

"dung good"

For some people, nothing says I love you quite like manure.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

10MillionWords

Tim Challies, one of Christianity's most prolific and well-known bloggers, has started his new project - reading every single nonfiction book that lands on the New York Times bestseller list.
My wife thinks I’m a little bit crazy, I’m sure of it. During eleven years of marriage I’ve done a lot of things that have led her to roll her eyes and sigh. I guess she is getting used to it, though, because even she is interested in what I am planning to do in 2010. I plan to read all of the New York Times bestselling books over the course of the whole year. Do the math and you’ll see that this will come in at somewhere around 10 million words.

While the project proper begins on January 1, 2010, in the months leading up to it, I will be attempting to read all of the current bestsellers to reassure myself that I can actually do this without losing my sanity. In so doing, I will be trying to “find my voice,” so to speak–finding the best way to deal with as imposing a project as this one, and looking for the cultural and worldview themes that I think will be so interesting.

I'm sure your wife isn't the only one, Tim, but good luck.

"Open", Andre Agassi


I really can't explain why I'm such a fan of tennis. I've never played a complete match, just a few games with a childhood friend. I've never owned a racquet - I've had to borrow one from others when I played. I can't remember the last time I was actually on a tennis court, other than to watch someone else play. I remember well that last match I attended. My wife and I obtained tickets for a night at the RCA Tournament in Indianapolis in 2003, to see Andy Roddick in his quest for that title. He won it, of course, and two months later he went on to win the U.S. Open.

But Andy wasn't my favorite player. Andre Agassi was. He had such style and flair, and an incredibly formidable return of serve. Pete Sampras may have been the better player, but he was boring compared to Agassi. I watched his career - and his personal life - go up and down. His joy at finally winning at Roland Garros. His marriage - and subsequent divorce - to the actress Brooke Shields. His relationship to one of tennis' brightest stars, Steffi Graf.

And now, he has written his life story for all to read. Open is truly one of the best autobiographies I've ever read. Agassi writes extremely well, and with refreshing candor. It seems that in many memoirs, people wish to gloss over or diminish the uglier parts of their personal history. Agassi refused to do that. He writes about his frustrating relationship with his father, who pushed him into the sport at a very young age. About his dalliance with crystal meth, and how it almost cost him his career. His doomed relationship with Shields. His hair loss. His disappointing losses. The fleeting and surreal characteristics of fame. Everything stays in the line, nothing is out of bounds.

Agassi states numerous times throughout the book that he hates tennis. He tells this to other people in conversation, but none of them really believe him. Not even fellow tennis player Brad Gilbert, who coached him for several years. "You don't really hate it, do you?" is the reply he often gets when he's willing to admit the truth to them. Only his wife Steffi understands this.

Open is an compelling look inside the world of one of sports' most beloved and charismatic figures.

"Tiger, turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."

That's Brit Hume, giving advice to Tiger Woods on the Fox News Channel earlier today:



As expected, there is a lot of chatter about this.

Update: A lot of non-surprising chatter. And, La Shawn is right, the Gospel is offensive to those who don't believe.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

And here we are in 2010! Well, those of us on Central Standard Time, at any rate. Most of the world has been in this new decade for hours already. But here in Vermilion County, Illinois, we've just watched the ball drop (an hour delay) at Times Square in NYC. Yes, we watched Dick Clark here at Chez Brownie, because there really is no one else to watch. I mean, Carson Daly? You were great on TRL, but you're no Dick Clark. The Sweet One and The Cute One both stayed up to ring in the new year/decade, but The Wife had gone to bed.

And now, I'm shuddering with a single thought... Next year, I turn 40. Four-oh! Oh, man, now I need to go get a blanket.