Insight. Antics.

Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

A Cents Of Entitlement.

In Economy, Government, Television on January 25, 2011 at 8:04 pm

The State of the Union address is less than an hour away and there have been hints and suggestions from the president as to what major themes and issues he will highlight. Republicans have been laying down the sand and salt to contain any new spending proposals slipped in by Obama tonight.

I’m taking a year off from live-blogging the event, because I haven’t yet mastered how to juggle that task while engaging in a rigorous drinking game, rife with sips and gulps on buzzwords like “bipartisan” and “competitiveness,” and selected prepositions like “by” and “on.”

Undoubtedly, the horrific shootings in Tucson will be referenced in the speech. Job growth and American perseverance will be a key component, with the unemployment rate stubbornly in the 9%-range, and China, brimming with production, on the brink of becoming a full-fledged global rival.

Other topics that will likely be broached are Social Security, Medicare, the national deficit, and tax policy. The debate around these subjects has increased in the last few months, not only with the November elections, but with the plan unveiled by a bipartisan panel on addressing the debt, commissioned by the White House.

The panel released an extensive set of recommendations to bring our maxed out credit card into balance. I wonder if anyone on it considered redeeming our Membership Rewards points to do this. We must have enough now to at least pay for the flight to China, so that we can then bust open the main cabin door and hose them down with all their gobs of money. If they did mull this one over, they didn’t opt for it. Read the rest of this entry »

Third And Wrong.

In Media, Sports on January 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I took a Daily Show-like end-of-year hiatus, but have returned to let you know what’s really grinding my gears with the new year afoot. It’s not the Republican House or the trash piling up on the streets. Instead, it’s the NFL.

If you recall, just before Thanksgiving, I engaged in a lengthy analysis of the harassment allegations against QB Brett Favre dating back to his season with the New York Jets in 2008. I favored Jenn Sterger, then in-house sideline reporter for the Jets, for a number of reasons, one of which was we happened to meet once, and I came away thinking she was “smart, kind, and principled.” No legal case was brought at the time. Rather, all parties relied on the NFL, which conducted its own investigation… and dragged its feet so hard they resembled a wide receiver trying to make sure both his were in-bounds for a touchdown.

Nearly three months passed since Deadspin broke the story using questionable practices. Favre’s seemingly-genuine retirement loomed. Injury caused his streak of consecutive starts to snap. His current team, the Minnesota Vikings, whimpered into a playoff-less postseason. The two-year statute of limitations in New Jersey to bring a workplace sexual harassment claim appeared to expire.

And then, buried just before New Year’s Eve, the NFL finally issued a decision: a supremely underwhelming and perplexing ruling. Read the rest of this entry »