Oct 31 2008

Zogby International Site: Obama Leading McCain by 7%

Category: 2008 Election,PoliticsTim @ 11:22 pm

In a follow-up to the post on Drudge Report claiming that McCain was leading Obama by 1%, the Zogby International site has some different numbers:

UTICA, New York—The race for President appeared to slip into neutral Thursday, as support for Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain moved only slightly in the last 24 hours, the latest Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby daily tracking telephone poll shows.

Part of one day’s worth of polling came after Obama’s 30-minute televised campaign pitch to voters on Wednesday, but voters didn’t seem to react one way or the other. The contest remained static with Obama garnering 50.1% support, compared to McCain’s 43.1%.

Saying the race is in “neutral” and there is a 7% lead for Obama sounds a lot different that what was reported on Drudge. I guess we will have to keep an eye on this one to see what is truth and what is fiction.

Update: As was correctly pointed out by Aaron T., the numbers on the Zogby site are actually dated 10/31 and Drudge Report has numbers for 11/1. I guess the Zogby site will be updated later. This is what I get for posting too late…

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Oct 31 2008

New Zogby International Polling – McCain Leading Obama

Category: 2008 Election,PoliticsTim @ 11:02 pm

Drudge Report had this surprising bit of news early Saturday:

ZOGBY SATURDAY: Republican John McCain has pulled back within the margin of error… The three-day average holds steady, but McCain outpolled Obama 48% to 47% in Friday, one day, polling. He is beginning to cut into Obama’s lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters.

This just reminds me that all the polling in the world doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts are the results on Tuesday. The big question here is, with the unprecedented number of early voters this year, does that poll even have any relevance? I guess we will have a lot for the pundits to study when the dust settles.

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Oct 31 2008

Mike Singletary Drops His Pants – Shows Assets to the 49ers

Category: Humor,Pro Sports,SportsTim @ 7:08 am

This story is just to juicy too pass up. Apparently, as a motivational ploy, San Francisco 49ers Interim Head Coach Mike Singletary dropped his pants during last Sunday’s halftime speech:

Mike Singletary Moon

Mike Singletary’s motivational message to the 49ers on Sunday in his inaugural game as head coach also included a visual aid.

When his team hit the Candlestick Park locker room at halftime trailing the Seahawks 20-3, Singletary called everyone to attention, dropped his pants and pointed to his rear end, to fully illustrate what the coach thought of his players’ performance.

According to a report that first aired on Phoenix-area radio XTRA-910, Singletary then berated the team for three to four minutes with his pants around his ankles.

Dropped his pants as a motivational ploy! In his first game as head coach! What was he trying to say, “If you don’t want to see this again, start playing better?” How about, “This too can happen to you if you don’t start playing better?” Or, “Do you think I could join Michael Jordan in a Haynes ad?” Seriously!?!? What makes a man decide to drop his pants in front of 53 football players as he is yelling at them?

According to Salkin, Singletary told the team at halftime: “We’re getting our tails whipped out there, now let’s get back out there.”

Singletary, whose team has a bye week, issued a statement: “I used my pants to illustrate that we were getting our tails whipped on Sunday and how humiliating that should feel for all of us. I needed to do something to dramatize my point; there were other ways I could have done it but I think this got the message across. I am excited about having the team back at practice on Monday so we can get back to work.”

Sorry, I have to borrow a message from the kids here…OMG! He used his pants to illustrate humiliation. This is a guy who used to be one of the most feared players in the league. As a middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears in the 80s, he was regarded as the best there was; he would hit you and you would feel it for weeks to come. His intensity and tenacity were the stuff of legends. What does it say when a guy like that drops his pants in front of a team he is supposed to be leading?

Humiliating is a good word for the once-proud 49ers franchise and how their fans must now feel.

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Oct 31 2008

The Beatles are Coming to Rock Band

Category: Entertainment,Kids & TechnologyTim @ 6:00 am

Exciting news for Beatles fans:

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple Corps Ltd (the Beatles’ recording company) and MTV Networks are expected to announce today that the Beatles have licensed songs to the popular video game Rockband, a 4-person game which allows you to emulate your favorite bands with 2 guitars, drums and a microphone.

There are a lot of missing details, but it sounds interesting:

“This game is not just a Rock Band expansion pack. It is a new, full game title production built from the ground up,” Harmonix co-founder Alex Rigopulos said during a Thursday morning conference call.

Giles Martin, son of Beatles’ record producer Sir George Martin and co-producer of the Beatles Love project, will serve as music producer.

The songs will be based on the U.K. versions, Giles said. “The thing we’re trying to keep to is for people to play the songs as if they’re playing the originals [and] preserve the sound quality as much as possible.”

I love the fact that they are planning to stay “true” to the original versions of these songs. I hate the ones that are butchered in some games systems. Even the two surviving Beatles are getting into the mix:

Starr and McCartney, the two surviving Beatles, talked up the game in a press release. “The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of The Beatles and their music. I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out,” said McCartney. “The Beatles continue to evolve with the passing of time and how wonderful that The Beatles’ legacy will find its natural progression into the 21st century through the computerized world we live in,” said the fan-averse Ringo Starr.

You have to admire a band whose music remains relevant even after 4 decades. I know from experience what Guitar Hero has done for reviving old songs; this Rock Band Beatles version will undoubtedly extend The Beatles’ music for generations to come.

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Oct 31 2008

Guitar Hero World Tour Ad with Kobe Bryant, Michael Phelps, Tony Hawk, and A-Rod

Category: Entertainment,Kids & Technology,Sports,VideoTim @ 5:21 am

Guitar Hero World Tour has been released and they have hired some big name stars to promote the game. Kobe Bryant, Michael Phelps, Tony Hawk, and Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez all do their best Tom Cruise:

Can’t say this makes we want to buy the game more, but I’m sure it will be a hit with others!

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Oct 30 2008

Big Ratings for Barack Obama’s Infomercial

Category: 2008 Election,Politics,VideoTim @ 12:52 pm

The ratings are in for Barack Obama’s infomercial last night and they are big:

More than 30 million people watched the Barack Obama “infomercial” last night at 8 across multiple broadcast and cable networks.
According to early ratings, about 30.1 million watched “Barack Obama: American Stories” on CBS, NBC, Fox and Univision.

That has to make the Obama camp very happy. Was the ad effective? I guess we will find out on Tuesday. You can watch the show on YouTube and I’ve included the first segment here.

It’s too bad the McCain camp didn’t have the money produce their own infomercial; it would have been interesting to compare the two.

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Oct 30 2008

Sarah Palin Hanging in Effigy No Longer

Category: 2008 Election,PoliticsTim @ 8:34 am

The mannequin dressed as Sarah Palin and hung with a noose that garnered national headlines for a home in West Hollywood has been removed:

ChadMichael Morrisette, a professional window display designer who set up the life-size mannequin of Palin, said Wednesday evening that he had met with West Hollywood Mayor Jeffrey Prang and decided it was best to remove the decoration.

“There was a huge mob scene,” Morrisette said of the onlookers — and protesters — the display attracted. “The whole thing became a life of its own.”

Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, said that Morrisette and his partner invited Prang into their home for a “heart-to-heart” about the display after a man parked in front of their home, his black truck bearing a male dummy wearing a noose and T-shirt that read, “Chad, how does it feel?”

Earlier in the day, about half a dozen residents went to the home on North Orange Grove Avenue and held up light blue sheets, trying to block the mannequin from the view of passing motorists, Whitmore said. Morrisette said his neighbors were mostly concerned that the Palin effigy would cast a bad light on the city’s gay community. The display includes a mock-up of presidential candidate John McCain sitting in a chimney surrounded by paper flames.

Sounds like the price of fame just got too high. I know this display was considered an extension of the First Amendment, but it was in poor taste and I’m glad it is down.

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Oct 30 2008

Barack Obama on the Daily Show with John Stewart

Category: 2008 Election,Humor,Politics,VideoTim @ 7:23 am

Two funny videos from the Daily Show with John Stewart. First, the Obama interview:

Second, his bit on Obamania:

Good stuff.

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Oct 30 2008

NFL in Trouble Again – Senators Leahy and Specter want their NFL Network

Category: Politics,Pro Sports,SportsTim @ 7:13 am

The National Football League (NFL) and its NFL Network are in trouble again with the US Senate.

A group of 13 U.S. senators wrote a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging the league to make the games televised on the league-owned NFL Network more widely available.

Among those signing the letter, dated Tuesday, were Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), the committee’s ranking Republican who was highly critical of the NFL and Goodell earlier this year for the league’s handling of the videotaping scandal involving the New England Patriots.

The NFL responded in a letter to the Senate on Wednesday saying:

The NFL said that it was following a TV policy that it has had for the two decades games have been in primetime on ESPN, first on Sundays and now on Mondays.

“That same television policy makes the NFL the only league that has all of its regular season and playoff games on free TV, including our limited number of cable games that are also televised on free TV in participating markets,” the NFL said Tuesday.

At issue, the major cable companies are not happy with the fees being charged to carry the NFL Network and they want to pass the fees on to their subscribers by making the NFL Network available as a package upgrade. In Houston, with Comcast Cable, you have to order their Sports Entertainment Package and pay an additional $7.95 per month to access the NFL Network. The Senators want NFL Network to be part of “basic cable” and not an additional package. The real problems begin next week when the NFL Network starts carrying regular-season NFL games on Thursday nights and millions of Americans will not have access to those games.

The senators want quick action so fans in every market receive free TV access to games played by their closest team or the team it has been historically aligned to. Eight games will air this season on the NFL Network, which is available in less than 40 percent of households. The league is in a dispute with major cable companies over whether they should carry the channel as part of a basic package.

In a statement, the NFL said the goal is to provide the NFL Network to a national audience, but the “goal has been undercut by several of the largest cable operators.”

You bet they want quick action. After all, there are only a couple of days left until the election.

Last year, I stood on principle and refused to pay extra for the NFL Network. I believed, and still do, that I spend too much money on NFL tickets, jerseys, memorabilia, hats, jackets, decorations, etc. and paying $5 for Cokes in the stadiums on game day. The NFL seems to be the modern-day version of Count Dracula; sucking all the cash they can out of fans until they are dead or become one of them. At some point, with a worsening economy, they will go too far and realize they are breaking the backs of those who support the league the most. The problem is, I’m addicted to football.

This year, I caved and paid the fees. My boys discovered the NFL Network over the summer at their grandparent’s house (they have satellite and the NFL Network is part of the basic package) and they became hooked. The NFL Network does a great job of coverage and they also have condensed games on Tuesdays that are very cool. The boys liked it so much they agreed to pay the extra monthly fee to get the NFL Network in our house. How could you say no to that?

Hence the problem; we want the NFL Network, but we don’t want to pay for it. All I can say is, “Go Senators!”

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Oct 29 2008

Nebraska Safe Haven Law – A Place to Dump Your Teenager

Category: ParentingTim @ 3:03 pm

While Nebraska may have had the best of intentions in mind, they are having big problems with the execution of their new “safe haven” law:

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A 17-year-old boy was confirmed Wednesday as the 23rd child abandoned under the state’s unique safe-haven law, as the governor prepared to address changes in the law.

State officials said the boy’s stepfather and mother took him to BryanLGH Medical Center West in Lincoln late Tuesday and that the boy was in state care.

Lincoln Police Capt. Jim Thoms said the parents told officers the boy wouldn’t follow their rules and that they couldn’t afford some programs he needed.

Nebraska’s safe-haven law is the only one in the country that lets caregivers leave children as old as 18 at a state-licensed hospital without fear of prosecution for the abandonment.

The law was intended to protect infants, but it failed to define “child” in its wording.

The law is apparently the answer to the age-old question, “What do you do with a teenager who won’t listen to you?” In Nebraska, you drop them at the hospital and let the state deal with them:

A woman drove her troubled 12-year-old son to Nebraska from Georgia and abandoned him under the state’s safe-haven law, which parents have used to leave 20 children at hospitals since the law took effect in July.

According to the Fort Mills Times, of the 23 kids dropped off so far, the majority are in their teens, they come from Nebraska, Michigan, Georgia, and Iowa, and include a family of 9 kids ranging in age from 1 to 17. Can you imagine dropping off your 9 kids and leaving for good? Who could do that?

The law was intended to be a safe-haven for infants and toddlers, not a dumping ground for teenagers. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman is taking action:

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Deciding he could wait no longer to address what has become a state embarrassment, Gov. Dave Heineman said Wednesday he will call a special legislative session to amend Nebraska’s loosely worded safe-haven law, which in just a few months has allowed parents to abandon nearly two dozen children as old as 17.

Heineman had planned to wait until the next regular legislative session convened in January, but changed his mind as the number of children dropped off at hospitals grew. Two teenagers were abandoned Tuesday night alone, and three children dropped off previously did not even live in Nebraska.

“We’ve had five in the last eight days,” Heineman said in explaining why he called a special session. “We all hoped this wouldn’t happen.”

The special session will begin Nov. 14. That’s less than two months before the regular legislative session, but the governor and others see a need to act quickly.

This entire situation is funny on the surface but tragic at the core. It provides a graphic illustration of the skills needed to parent teens and the glaring lack of support for those in the middle of the teen years. Teens can be a pain, but driving to Nebraska and dumping them off should never be an option. Hopefully, Nebraska will get things right again soon.

In the mean time, if you have a teen who is troubling you, get to Nebraska quickly!


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