Monday, January 28, 2008

All the presidents' action stars

First Chuck Norris endorses Huckabee, now Sylvester Stallone has endorsed McCain. But where does Steven Seagal stand on the issues?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Great Horse Race

From the National Affairs Desk
a few thoughts on bookies and polls

The big story so far in this year's election season has been how shamefully wrong the polls and pundits have been in calling the early primaries. I've never given much credence to the polls or the talking heads, when I want an opinion on what the future holds I turn to people who back their prognostications with cold hard cash, i.e. bookies. Chris Matthews and people of his ilk will continue to get paid no matter how inaccurate their predictions might be, but bookies pay big time if they're wrong. Economists will tell you that the prediction markets tend to be more accurate than polls. Just look at McCain, seemingly dead in the water 6 months ago, he's now the front runner to win the GOP nomination. This came as no surprise to the odds makers who've been predicting a McCain-Clinton match up since 2004.
With this in mind let's look at the odds to your left. Hillary's running at 6-5, or 1.2-1; almost even money. Now, compare her odds to the New York Giants' odds of winning the Super Bowl. The current money line on the Giants is +340, which means that a $100 bet pays $340. That translates to 3.4 to 1 odds, which means that the Giants have a worse shot of winning than Hillary. I find this both funny and perplexing. There are only two possible outcomes for the Super Bowl, while the election is much more wide open. Hillary first has to beat two contenders in the primary then take on one of five yet to be determined candidates in the GOP race. So are the Giants that bad or is Hillary that good?
The other fact I find confounding is that Al Gore has better odds than any Republican other than McCain. At this point it seems incredibly unlikely that Al Gore could win the nomination so he would almost certainly have to bank on an independent bid. Do the bookies know something that the media doesn't or are these odds simply a reflection of a weak field of candidates? Bloomberg's equally high odds surprise me but are less confusing, one can imagine a scenario in which the nominations are so polarizing (I'm thinking Huckabee/Hillary) that an independent could run up the middle and win, but even that seems like more than a 5-1 shot. I certainly wouldn't offer those odds.
My odds look like this:
Clinton 3-2
McCain 2-1
Obama 3-1
The Field 10-1
Here's my explanation, I don't like Obama's chances to win the Democrat nod at this point, but Super Tuesday can still change that, so it's hard for me to put him above McCain since he might not even break to the finals. Clinton has to be first since right now it feels like the Dems will win in November unless George Bush personally captures Bin Laden, we win the war (somehow), and everyone forgives the GOP after they get their tax rebates. McCain is the only Republican that I can see standing a chance in the general election or picking up any independents, so any other Republican seems to be non-factor. Which brings me to the field (gambling term for anyone else). I don't take any independent candidate seriously, not in our system, and I'm surprised the bookies do. Finally, I cross Al Gore and any Republican off my list for the above mentioned reasons. Right now I feel the same way about the presidential race as I do about the Super Bowl, I'm just pissed that someone has to win it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rocking the Vote to Sleep

From the National Affairs Desk

an editorial

If you've turned on the TV, listened to the radio, gone online, or just like to read bumper stickers, then you're probably well aware that election season is upon us. And you're also most likely bored as hell by it. One would think that first election since 1952 without an incumbent or Vice President and the supposed "most important election of our lifetimes" would produce better candidates. The Iraq War is dragging into it's 5th year (someone better buy Rumsfeld something wooden), the dollar is weaker than a chemo patient, and the chances I'll ever cash a social security check are about as good as the chances I'll be driving my flying car to my retirement home on Mars - oh, so many broken promises. All of this and the best the two parties have to offer are a woman who's only qualification is being the wife of the last president to be impeached (so far), a minister who thinks Earth's 6,000 years old, the dude from Law and Order, a man who sounds like he's from the Middle East but only has experience in the Midwest, a mayor (honestly, how hard can it be to run just one city?), a man who might be the Manchurian Candidate, a trial lawyer that probably still gets carded, a Mormon who may actually be a robot, and a libertarian.
Despite all of this, I recently updated my voter registration so I can perform my civic duty. America's really asking a lot this year. But I remain resolute in my decision to vote and will not be disenfranchised by the Man. As we speak, the Supreme Court is deciding whether requiring a photo ID to vote is a poll tax and discriminatory. I'm not sure about all of that, voting seems at least as important as cashing a check, applying for work, or buying a beer to me, but I entertained the idea that it could be discriminatory as I visited the Secretary of State's website to register to vote. Two options were presented to me: I could print a registration form, put it in an envelope, place a stamp on it, and mail it; or, I could request that a postage paid registration card be sent to my house. This got me thinking, if the argument goes that requiring an ID is discriminatory because the cost of a license is a de facto poll tax then why in God's Free America should I spend money on printer ink, paper, an envelope, and a stamp just to vote? Especially this year. I requested that postage paid card, would it kill them to send me a pen too? I'm not made out of office supplies. I didn't stop with registering, oh no, I also sent a letter to the Secretary of State demanding that a voting machine be brought to my house so that I may vote. Gas is expensive and I'm not walking. I will not be disenfranchised and I await the Secretary's response.

"If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it."
- Mark Twain

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wait 'Till Next Year

From the Sports Desk

an editorial

It's been a rough couple of days here at the OrGiveMeDeath compound. What happened? We were so close to brining back the good times when the Cowboys were in the Super Bowl and life made sense. Now I'm not sure what to think. It's easy to point fingers and pass the blame around, so I'm going start by placing most of the blame on offensive line coach Tony Sparano. Anyone who watched Sunday's game could see that the offensive line didn't show up, they might as well have patted the Giants' linemen on the ass on their way to take out Romo. This has everything to do with Sparano's widely reported plans to coach the Dolphins next season. I lost count of how many times Dallas was flagged for false starts, an obvious sign of no discipline. That's what happens when you have a line coach who's already cleaned out his desk and is dreaming of palm trees, sea mammals and the train wreck of a supposed "professional football" team. Bill Parcels has had his revenge.
Many will be quick to blame Romo. With two straight blown final plays in the playoffs it's easy to become a Romo-phobe, but I say give him time, not every undrafted QB can take the Dallas Cowboys to the playoffs in his first two years as a starter. I know TO agrees with me, his tearful performance at the post-game press conference had me hugging the TV and sobbing with him. Romo may have seemed to fall apart towards the end, but the play calling by the boy-genius Jason Garrett in the last two minutes seemed panicky and someone needs to teach Patrick Crayton how to catch. At least Jessica Simpson wasn't there. The biased, east coast, anti-Texas, liberal media tried their best to rattle Romo by making Simpson an issue. They've lowered themselves to name calling, labeling Simpson "Yoko Romo" and Romo "Tony Romeo" (although I personally think "Romosexual" would be funnier). They even went as far as sending a look alike to the game to distract Romo. Despite the loss, I doubt any of this really affected the game, although a case could be made that many things become irrelevant once you've gone to Cancun with Jessica Simpson.
Finally, a word to Brett Favre: Please destroy the Giants. I know I give you a hard time and point out your overrated career every chance I get, but I don't think I could stomach a Boston-New York Super Bowl (although I'm picking the Chargers).

In other news

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Texas state representative Boris Miles (D-Houston) allegedly brandished a pistol at a recent party and started all kinds of trouble. David Harris, a rival of Miles, alleges that Miles showed up at a hotel ballroom uninvited and began to harass guests while displaying a gun. Harris claims that Miles threatened to "take him down" and told him that there "wasn't room in town for the two of them." (Houston population: 2.14 million) Miles then proclaimed himself to be a "gangster" and a "thug" and proceeded to give Harris a Bugs Bunny-esque kiss on the lips. Before leaving the party, witness and Harris claim that Miles forcibly kissed Harris' wife.
This event comes just months after Rep. Miles shot and wounded a man he claims was stealing copper wire from his home, he was not charged in the incident.
My question: is Miles hiring? Where do I email my resume? I would be a great capitol staffer/thug. As a policy wonk and a journey-level gangster I can analyze policy, shine shoes, and extort protection money out of shopkeeps, whatever it takes; plus I can provide my own gun and fedora. This could be the break I need to make it in politics/crime. Think about it Boris.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Helpless Victim Strike Goes Unnoticed

3 January, 2008 (Hollywood, CA): As the Writers Guild of America's strike, now entering its third month, brings work at television and film studios to a halt, audiences are now turning to alternative forms of entertainment. The snuff film industry, left untouched by the WGA work stoppage, is now seeing record growth.
One explanation is that the issue at the heart of the WGA's dispute, compensation for online media and DVDs, has not affected snuff films. According to an unnamed snuff film producer the industry avoids this area of contention because many films are only available in 8mm and are typically shown in private screenings.
"It's all about who gets the biggest slice of the pie," explained another unnamed spokesperson for the industry. "In the traditional film industry big name actors cost big bucks, as do good writers. Our industry cuts costs by relying heavily on improvisation. Also, the actors typically do only one film; in fact, some of our biggest stars are never seen again. Residuals are rarely an issue," he continued.
While the industry is on the rise, experts don't expect the trend to last. Bruno Kowalski - an undercover police officer inadvertently contacted online while investigating this story - was highly skeptical of sustained growth for the industry. "Their days are numbered you sick [expletive deleted]," stated Kowalski. Ultimately, the strike will end, as evidenced by the return of late night programming. But, as Jay Leno proved last night, there will always be a market for watching a person die on film.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008!

“New Year's Day - Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” - Mark Twain