With new headlines coming every day, I have to turn to the Brett Favre saga for my first post. There are two pieces of news today: first, the Packers apparently offered Favre $20 million if he stays retired, and second, the team is considering trading the quarterback to a division rival, namely the Minnesota Vikings.
First, let’s address the money. Ted Thompson is the most frugal general manager in the NFL. Despite more than ample cap space, Thompson’s free agent haul the last two offseasons has consisted of the illustrious Frank Walker and Brandon Chillar. He steadfastly refuses to spend money to bring players to Green Bay.
But offer a huge chunk of change to keep a player away from Green Bay? Thompson apparently doesn’t mind that as much. The sheer fiscal incompetence is mind-boggling (and it's not exactly what a classy sports organization would do). Thompson wasn’t necessarily the one who floated the proposal, but he is primarily responsible for the Packers being in this position. If this offer goes through and Thompson still has a job at the end of the year, I will be extremely disappointed.
Second, the Vikings scenario is scary. Consider Minnesota’s lineup. Adrian Peterson is the most dynamic runningback in the league. The offensive line features multiple pro bowlers. Bernard Berrian improves the wide receiving corps. Jared Allen and the two Williams make for a dominant defensive line. The linebacking corps and secondary are short of spectacular but still probably above average.
Add Favre to the mix and you have a 14-win team, one that along with the Cowboys will dominate the NFC. The Packers will stand no chance.
Sending Favre to Minnesota is simply untenable. As should be the prospect of spending $20 million simply to avoid a media circus. Releasing Favre is still not an option either, since Favre will also land in Minnesota under that scenario.
There’s only one option left. Welcome Favre back to camp. Treat him with the respect that a three-time MVP and face of the franchise deserves. Open up the competition for the starting quarterback spot. Favre will likely win, a blow to Thompson’s ego but a boon for the Packers’ chances to contend in 2008.
The Packers are something of a contradiction: overall, they're one of the NFL's youngest teams, yet most of their better players are in the latter parts of their careers -- Favre, Driver, Tauscher, Clifton, Harris, Woodson. If they want to win with the current core, they need to do so now. Chances are Favre is best-suited to do that.
After almost a year here at South Liberty Street, I realized it was time to take the plunge. It was stunning, really, how we have somehow managed to make it work.
For an entire year, three of us lived in a house with just one key.
And we had no problems. No theft, no lockouts, no major miscommunications. We talked several times about going down to the hardware store on Magazine to do the five dollar task, but somehow it never warranted the time nor energy. Everything just sort of worked out.
My two current roommates are moving on, one to another place here in NOLA since his program only runs for another six months and one north for business in the Windy City.
I'm staying, though, and I'll be joined by two fine law school classmates in a few days. And Mrs. Elsas is staying on downstairs, too, having hit her 93rd birthday a few weeks back - a finer, livelier neighbor one could not find.
So, I'm content tonight after our final meal together at Ignatius. Phil E has killed a final cockroach for good measure, the red beans and rice are settling nicely, and I'm tired from hauling furniture up the back stairs in the jungle heat. I'm excited for the next round.
The marshal just sobered up, and he's sending out a posse.
But is stopping controversial anonymous speech online really within his bailiwick?
It's great to see some grassroots Madisonian music scene fixtures taking matters into their own hands and teasing a new music festival forth from the glacial hills. It has long been talked about...and now it's in the wings.
a few weeks ago my uncle and i were talking about the little quakes they get every few months. he said most of them are not noticeable, it just feels like you are walking a boat for a few seconds. he also reminised about the '94 quake that caused serious damage. the conversation ended with him saying "you'll probably feel one before you leave.
my office is on the 20th floor of a building just north of downtown LA on wilshire blvd. i was at my desk, searching Lexis (a plug if this goes on the blog lol) and i heard the windows crack a little bit. my initial though is that is was just the wind blowing the large pains of glass, about 4 x 7. the noise continued and began to intensify. all of a sudden the entire building began to rock back and forth. the motion was definitely noticeable and continued for a little over a minute. (the building is on earthquake rollers, so once it starts to move it takes a bit before it stops. the quake was much shorter for the people on the lower floors (based on what a guy from the 6th floor said when i was out to lunch))
so the rocking was pretty consistent, back and forth. the shades on the windows were hitting the window frame, but nothing violent. nothing moved or tipped over on my desk, although the motion had my coffee rockin and rolliin pretty good. and that was about it. i haven't even looked at the news to see if there was any damage, but as far as i can see out my 20 story window it is all clear.
my aunt works at a firm in downtown LA and they closed the building for the day and sent her home, no such luck here.
The crane is meant to steady the barge as workers try to pump the remaining oil out of its hull, an effort that could take days. The barge, which won't be salvaged until it's completely stabilized and pumped, was split in half after a tanker hit it early Wednesday morning, spilling 419,000 gallons of oil into the river.
I suppose the important part is the response to avoid further damage, though.
In that vein, if you get out along the river and happen to find any oil-soaked animals, call the hotline setup by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 504-393-0353.
Egrets, herons, fish and pigeons are still romping around in the mudflats here off Gretna (which have increased by about 30 feet in places since last Friday due to a drop in water level). I've only seen a crab belly up in the muck near the ferry terminal, though.
As a Journalism major, I took a number of courses on PR, and it's always intriguing to see some of the concepts in action or be some of the concepts in action. Angelo from Youcast contacted me with a lengthy email about reviewing a free sample of the new razor - and about his interest in one of my blog posts. As I responded:
Creative writing, personalization, and a product that might be genuinely useful.
And so a free razor arrived in the mail. A pretty sweet razor, I must say. And now you'll hear...the rest of the story...
First off, the razor has some heft to it, since it's both a razor and a trimmer. Because it manages to sneak a small battery into its handle to operate the trimmer, gripping it feels more like the comfortable sensation of holding a mug rather than the sort of anxious, overly-delicate dixie cup feel one gets when handling a disposable razor, as I'm used to otherwise. That's not to say the Titanium is the size of Batman's armored vehicle. It still fit nicely into my travel toiletries bag this past weekend, and it looks classy enough - sort of sleek, really.
Second, the four blades 0f the Quattro do make for a slick shave. After the first few passes, I prepared to clear the razor, only to find that the design was far better than my existing razor at preventing buildup while in progress. That was nice. The pivoting head was also an improvement in covering contours. When it comes down to it, I'm looking for functionability, and I found it.
Third, the trimmer is a nice feature, and, despite my skepticism, it fits into the ensemble pretty well. I was a bit leery about having a battery in something that's constantly near water, but I had no problems. The trimmer blades themselves seem rather deep-set, so it's a bit tough to calibrate how to trim shaggier sideburns with great accuracy. But the handiness of having the occasional trim right in hand - one that simply cleans up a bit when in a hurry - is worth the addition of the feature to the design. Especially when traveling.
I didn't get to try the edger yet, nor have I been able to see how much replacement heads will cost. But, coming from a disposable line of shaving, having to replace only the heads should be a bit more environmentally friendly, and likely more cost-effective.
All in all, I was impressed. The thing is drying on my bathroom countertop. I got a product worth reviewing, one I would actually recommend to a friend if the person asked.
If you want your own free Titanium Trimmer in the mail, head to this site and whip up a little videoclip. Or perhaps you can try this.
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It's a piece from NRO Online advocating an end to Don't Ask, Don't Tell - from a perspective on the right. It's rather pragmatic (although it has a pretty hardcore anti-terrorist subtext). And it's convincing.
After speaking to quite a few friends who are in the various military branches, it seems the reality in the armed forces has rendered the policy somewhat hollow. While I understand the concerns entailed, I think they aren't significant enough to bar service - especially when it would coincidentally result in a lack of crucial experts.
Here's an article on the Congressional hearings presently underway on the topic.
2. Whomever is ultimately responsible under Maritime Law for the Mississippi River Oil Spill. Thank you for stopping the ferries, cruise liners, steamboats, barges, ships, and other port, commercial, and tourist activity, as well as harming wildlife and wildlife habitat.
3. Tujague's. When your doors are open and sober patrons walk in at 9:41 p.m. on a Saturday evening to grab an old school cocktail in an old school environment, don't hiss "We're closed!" at them repeatedly when you're standing behind the bar serving other non-private party patrons. And don't do something similar on multiple occasions. We simply wanted sazeracs.
4. Whitney Bank at 1320 St. Charles Avenue - Why are you closed at 3 p.m. on a weekday? You're not a beloved local mom-and-pop po-boy shop. And why won't you let a person walk up to the drive-thru to cash a check in a pinch after said ridiculous hours?
5. The U.S. Postal Service - Thank you for losing my stimulus check.
I walked across the street to the levee here in Gretna with my compatriots, and I took a few shots of the aftermath of the diesel spill on the Mississippi that occurred upriver last night.
A Jindal pick is the definition of unorthodox. But, in an election cycle where the Republican brand is as badly tarnished as at any time in recent memory, a "Hail Mary" (or "Hail Bobby") may be warranted.
Also, we currently do not have a fridge. I would like one but it has't manifested itself to me. We use the one next door, in the other half, and their door is always open, and it's no big deal."
In the Treme, courtesy of craigslist. For $250, you may partake.
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Sponsored by the Democratic Leadership Council and the Congressional Institute (Republican), "Congress Debates" is a series of bipartisan national policy discussions. Launched by U.S. House Democratic Caucus Chair Rahm Emanuel and Republican Conference Chair Adam Putnam, the discussions are designed to foster bipartisan debate on the most important issues facing Americans. Previous debates, earlier this year, were held in Washington, D.C, and in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the economy and health care, respectively.
In each debate, eight members of Congress, four Democrats and four Republicans, formally debate the issue of the day. A moderator maintains order. The time is limited to 90 minutes.
I've been following the flap primarily through the swirling lens of Althouse.
But Obama's stoic, not comical about his image. His bearing says, almost invariably, martyr rather than mirth. He's serious.
That said, I think it was smart for The New Yorker in that:
3. It's doubly funny to some who find a little black humor (no pun intended) in the fact that the spoof is somehow still not a spoof in the minds of people in some corners of America.
4. The image breaks ground. It touches a number of taboo Obama topics and pierces the aura of invincibility and hushed image command that has continued to surround him like an extended honeymoon. It piles up a number of uncomfortable topics and, in the ensuing overblown absurdity, makes them all less serious, more openly debatable, actually less in need of debate.
When asked if he felt that it was more difficult to run against Mr. Obama because of the sensitivities of race, Mr. McCain responded wryly: “I’d like to make a joke, but I can’t.”
While senior Democratic and Republican officials in successive administrations have for many years repeatedly denied that the trillions of dollars of debt Fannie and Freddie issued is guaranteed, the package, if adopted, would bring the Treasury closer than ever to exposing taxpayers to potentially huge new liabilities. The two companies could face significant new losses this year as the wave of housing foreclosures continues.
Determined to protect the K-Doe cache, she lasted seven days before she was airlifted out.
"I heard guys in the water talking about breaking into the lounge for the whiskey. I fired my shotgun right over their heads, close enough to scare them away. And I yelled, 'I have more bullets!' Nobody was getting in."
When Antoinette returned to town, driving her 1991 Cadillac hearse toward the lounge, the National Guard turned her away. "I told them I'd been called for a pickup, and they let me in," she says with a sly smile.
I know one of the artists involved, Colin B. Miller, quite well - and he has a number of rather provocative pieces in the show, part of a series entitled "Talking Heads," centering on technically proficient works commenting on the newsmedia.
Here's an example:
I'm beginning to see parallels to the saga of Tommy Thompson; Favre's image diminishes with every passing day of a rumored return spurred largely by his own ambiguous actions and words. It's the frustration with uncertainty and second-guessing that bleeds the faithful.
"He died. I couldn't deal with it so I just left him there," Adams said Monday while fighting back tears. "I blocked it out of my mind. I was stressed out after Katrina. I just, just don't know."
While forensic pathologists await the results of DNA testing that might help positively identify skeletal remains found in the Metairie house six weeks ago, Adams, the home's owner, confirmed Monday that the body was that of his father, Leroy Adams.
This particular gruesome story goes beyond Faulkner, though, spiraling into the dark Flannery O'Connerish depths of Southern Gothic:
Adams said he isn't sure when his father died. An unnamed neighbor has said she complained to the parish more than a year ago about "gigantic flies" swarming in the windows of the upstairs bedroom where Leroy Adams was found. A decaying body gives off a distinct, pervasive odor. Adams said he blocked it all out.
The vines have grown higher on the house since I departed two weeks ago, the insect choir outside in the gathering dark has hit a higher pitch.
and Brad checking in from Indie Coffeeshop on Regent Street down in
the Greenbush. Out on the back patio, one can see the old Slanty
Shanty itself immediately across the alley, looking ramshackle as ever
(seems someone's been using the garage roof as a drinking pad complete
B: Mike, any thoughts? How's the weather?
M: A rather pleasant sunny Thursday. We're on the verge of another
July 4th and I missed the fireworks last week.
B: Well, you can stop up on the Capitol Square tonight. I saw the
setup there earlier for the Concerts on the Square rain date while
visiting a few people and grabbing some Ian's Pizza. Watch out for
the mosquitoes though. According to Isthmus, there's zillions of them
M: I think I saw them playing Rhapsody in Blue on tv the other day.
B: Nice. Heard any good music lately or read any good books? I just
picked up the latest Wolf Parade cd at B-Sides on State (some guy was
busking outside, and I really wanted to grab an accordion suddenly!).
M: I'm in the middle of some non-fiction books. On the music front,
I haven't really heard anything new lately, mainly just filling in the
gaps with some of my roommate's Smashing Pumpkins and U2 cd's.
B: Cool. Yeah, I'm hoping to head down to the Terrace this evening
for pitcher or two of Spotted Cow. Any big plans for the Fourth
M: Nothing special; just keeping cool.
B: I'm hoping to keep it pretty low-key, too. It's pretty cool that
even though we can't access blogger for some reason, we can just post
directly via e-mail like this. Oh yeah - also, have to make a big red
white and blue shoutout to the Man in the Hat across the seas! Keep
on rockin' in the quasi-freeish world.
M: Stay tuned out there...
B: Let's hope this thing works.
It's difficult for me to see it as much more than pandering in Appalachian Ohio. And generally unwise.
As I've noted here before, I tend to oppose faith-based initiatives along the lines of those put forward by Bush because a) they are still spending federal dollars on social programs, and b) they undermine the altruism that should guide and distinguish charitable causes from government action.
Obama's embrace disguised as critique of - and apparent desire to expand - Bush's faith-based initiatives is disconcerting. It simultaneously demonstrates to me that Bush was no fiscal conservative (which needed no confirmation at this late date) and that Obama is a fiscal liberal pushing for some twist on a Nixonian grand coalition at any cost on the campaign trail.
It brings to mind a friend's appropriately religous-themed facebook quote:
A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul.
– George Bernard Shaw
What a great headline to see one month into hurricane season.
It seems levee board members are resigning en masse to protest enaction of Louisiana's new financial disclosure ethics law.
My initial reaction? This must be evidence of widespread low-level corruption. Admittedly, I am not intimately familiar with the exact scope and nature of the required disclosures, so it may in fact be overly onerous to low level officials. Here's a pretty innocuous summary of the requirements:
The legislation outlines seven areas of disclosure for the commissioner and his or her spouse, including name and brief description of businesses in which the person holds an office or at least 10 percent stake; gaming interests; certification of federal and state income tax returns and a promise that neither has personal or financial interest in entities that would pose a conflict of interest that could sway performance on the public board.
But to leave levees and their attendant systems suddenly vulnerable in any way post-Katrina during hurricane season seems selfish and juvenile. The levee boards are local governmental boards to the best of my knowledge, but it seems leaving crucial safety systems to the elements at this time of year, though less dramatic, might be considered... loosely analogous to the Massachusetts police strike put down by Governor Calvin Coolidge back in 1919. With vice presidential consequences...
I wonder if Governor Jindal will have anything to say.
Here's a very good 50 minute show (in five clips, link to #1) that concisely explains the scientific developments in biology and geology Darwin built upon and some of the dark things the theory has been used to justify.
The book is a year younger and it's still going strong.
The hegemon reels:
Starbucks Corp. has announced it's closing 600 underperforming stores in the United States.
The Seattle-based premium coffee company also announced Tuesday it expects to open fewer than 200 new company-operated stores in the United States in fiscal 2009.
I hope the company stanches the bleeding, cuts out the deadwood, and - above all else - keeps pumping out bottled mocha frappuccino.
If nothing else, though, it may be a positive sign for local coffee shops. Or perhaps it's simply a transfer of loyalties to less costly - and still solidly corporate - options like McDonalds in the face of economic uncertainty and rising commodity prices.
And there's even cold hard data to buttress my gripe:
Monitoring efforts by Public Health Madison and Dane County and the University of Wisconsin Medical Entomology Department show a dramatic increase in mosquito populations.
Mosquito monitoring traps were catching less than 50 mosquitoes per trap per night before this spike. The monitoring done this past Monday and Tuesday(June 24th- 25th) yielded 3,750 mosquitoes per trap. After last fall's flooding, the traps were averaging about 200 mosquitoes per trap per night.
These monitoring efforts also revealed that most of these mosquitoes are classified as floodwater mosquitoes (Aedes vexans). While this type of mosquito does bite humans, the good news is that it is not generally considered a carrier of West Nile Virus (WNV).