Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Liberty Bowl

From early season winners to Post Season contenders, a far too rare rematch of Conference USA champions, the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes, and my Alma Mater, the Iowa State Cyclones.

How cool of a match up is this? Hurricanes versus Cyclones. The words ring with a sense of epic implications that excite me on a plateau that surprised even myself when you consider this is a match up against a team that we have already cut our teeth against and won early in the season.

The Golden Hurricane seemed to be in control with a 16-7 lead after the opening quarter. Iowa State then took command by scoring 24 unanswered points. Shontrelle Johnson, who will be out for the bowl game, ran for a career-high 120 yards and a touchdown in that victory while senior Steele Jantz, who has since been sidelined for freshmen Sam Richardson, passed for two TDs.

Iowa State's new QB Sam Richardson in his last two games has accumulated an impressive 161 QB rating, but his biggest feat has been 58 pass attempts without an interception, compared to Steele's 24 attempts/INT or the other quarterback Barnett, who has several starts between this and last season, throwing an INT for every 27 attempts. Iowa State fans are hopeful that protecting the ball will be the key to a Cyclone victory this time around.

Tulsa, meanwhile, will lean on their 11th Nationally ranked rush offense to bring home a Liberty Bowl trophy. Fueled by a duel running back threat of Watts with 959 rushing yards and Douglas with 857, the Iowa State D-Line will have their hands full as they are still missing senior All Big-12 Line Backer Jack Knott.

The Iowa State Defense will have to force some plays in the air and then come up with some big plays and turnovers defensively to prevent Tulsa from setting the pace of the game with slow and steady running drives,   and Tulsa will have to get pressure on the young Iowa State QB to prevent them from running up the score early. In the end, I think a very talented Senior class from Iowa State will be hungry to end their collegiate careers on a high note, and the list of notes for Tulsa is a lot more complete then Iowa State's new look offense, and Iowa State will hold on to a 34-24 Cyclone victory. 

Oh yeah, and one more thing, guess who have 2 thumbs and going to the big game? This guy right here!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


A Rare Victory for Cable News.

How Hilarious this is, the frustration of a reporter that is trying to pierce through the rhetoric of a trained Politician. Followed by a rapturous applause of the people burdened with the consequences of a lame duck congress in the background. If a free media was devoted to challenging the words of our leaders in Washington rather then just choosing a side and singing 'rah rah rah' all the way through an election cycle (or a continuous 'boooo...' depending on the news organization and the party in power). Then we would get the best of both worlds much more often, a greater level of accountability and a fantastically entertaining news industry.

This past week, Maria Bartiromo of CNBC's "The Street" Interviewed Senator Cardin (D-MD) about the impending fiscal cliff by challenging such bloviating and over-ripened statements such as "Balanced approach" and "Lack of Leadership" by aggressively pointing out a lack of proposing or even condoning revenue in any form other then raising the rates on the wealthy of our country, getting him to openly nixing revenue raising ideas such as cutting charitable contributions and mortgage interest. Alas, what can words say that YouTube can't. Here is the clip from last Thursday;

There is also a more complete recording of the interview available here; although it is of much lower quality brought to you by people who know how to use a webcam to record but can't figure out how to run a coax feed into their PC, but I digress.

The best part about this news cast is that, despite it being a grilling of a Democratic Senator, these same questions could have been given to a Republican member of the house with almost the same impact. "You have once again rejected Boehnor's plan for raising taxes on the extremely wealthy, and you know that we need to shrink the deficit, so what ideas are you bringing to the table? Social Security reform? OK, so in 10 years when people who fall outside your grandfather period start retiring we'll save, what, $50 Billion a year?  $100 Billion? We need some deficit relief now Congressman, what is your plan?"

It was said best in the video, people are just frustrated, and have lost any real respect for the role of Congress. Perhaps it takes the stench that comes from our capital getting so grotesque for reporters to begin putting down their campaign yard signs and begin to act a little bit more like journalists. Thank you, Maria.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Secretary of State Candidates

With all the news of Newtown, Benghazi, and the fiscal cliff flooding the news, who has time to research the candidates to fill in for outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? Now that Ambassador Rice has bowed out of the competition, who has the time to look into who may be stepping up to replace her? I'll tell you who has the time! I DO! Here is a list of the front runners for the job, along with some dark horses.

The Candidates for Secretary of State:

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)
Acceptance Response - "I'm just a scared little boy from out of town, and I'll do anything to be in the national spotlight"

Favorite Color -Ohio Blue
Favorite Hobby - Voting for bills, and then voting against them
Best Qualification - Met with several foreign dignitaries over lunch back in '04, but he can't tell you their names. But man, where they ever impressed by him.
Resume - Senior Senator from Massachusetts. The Home state of Scott Brown, senate hopeful in 2013.

National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon
Acceptance Response - "Let me guess, you couldn't find anyone better?"
Favorite Color - Pink Slip Pink
Favorite Hobby - Eliminating Competition
Best Qualification - Recommended Amb. Rice be appointed World Bank President and removed from Secretary of State competition way before she was ran out of the running, now he backs Samantha Power for Secretary of something-something not the job he wants.
Resume - Graduated from the Catholic University of America, yes, this place exists... , currently on Review Team for new Secretary of State.

NSC official Samantha Power
Acceptance Response - "Free Tibet!"
Favorite Color - Luck of the Irish Green
Favorite Hobby - Protesting
Best Qualification - Has been with Obama since nearly the beginning of his National career, that's right, 7 long years.
Resume - Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs. Yeah, we have no idea what that means either.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)
Acceptance Response - "I think I can squeeze that in."
Favorite Color - Dark Horse Candidate Black
Favorite Hobby - Skirting around his tax bill
Best Qualification - A Black, Muslim, politician who doesn't pay his taxes. What more do you want?
Resume - See above.

Fmr. President Bill Clinton
Acceptance Response - "Hot Digidy!"
Favorite Color -Stained Dress White
Favorite Hobby - Turning off the Air Conditioner and seeing how long it takes for a bead of sweat to run from your neck to your butt crack
Best Qualification - That Slick Willy Charm
Resume - Too loaded to be brought down to the level of Secretary of State.

Acceptance Response - "Yes, I can"
Favorite Color -Black and White, but never Grey
Favorite Hobby - None
Best Qualification - $347 Billion worth of stimulus funds went in to Obama-Bots design, construction was outsourced.
Resume - About the same as Obama's back in '08

Saturday, December 15, 2012

How Do We Respond?

In the wake of every murder and every tragedy arise terrible questions that no trial, no law, no punishment, or even looking into the eyes of the person who perpetrated the violence can answer. What forces make it possible for one human being to take the life of another, especially such young children? Murders can be solved and even explained - at least, modus operandi is the operating assumption of criminal investigation and the narrative logic behind every whodunit - but to think about a specific act with any clarity, or for very long, can be difficult, and viscerally painful. Maybe the brisk trade in lurid violence as spectacle has something to do with it. One either watches or averts one’s eyes. Either morns with tears or watches in stunned silence and disbelief. Dispassionate reflection rarely enters into it. Scholars ranging from theologians and psychologists to evolutionary biologists have offered theories about murder, but the analytic burden placed on any general discussion of murder, freighted, as it is, with atrocity, is nearly unbearable. Nothing suffices, or can.

Between the convulsive emotional response to the horrifying scenes as they where acted out on an office break room TV half way across the country, and an elusive general theory of what makes a murderer 'tick' lies another kind of contemplation that is relevant on almost every social feed. The United States has the highest homicide rate of any affluent democracy, beaten out in this ugly comparison by only Columbia and South Africa, and defeating by several old western countries like France and the United Kingdom.


Historians haven’t often asked this question, but in the shadow of recent events it is hard not to have the query creep to mind. A critique of the question itself makes us wonder if historians or sociologists are the better people to ask. Taking a day to reflect, and another to try, and fail, to forget, pondering if I'm even in the right to do anything but mourn the spilling of innocent blood, lead me to this conclusion; There is, always has been, and always will be, an American way of murder. It is the price of our politics.

Benjamin Franklin said “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” The difference of such a quote in America compared to our counterparts in Europe and other lands, is that this quote represents a founding principle of one country, and the ramblings of a rebel foreign land to another. For centuries Europe was ruled by an elite few that fealty was determined by who could and would defend you and your family. Although those days are long and gone, any approach to address violence within their society originates from at this end of the spectrum. However, in America, it is very much the opposite. Over the era of emerging democracies in western culture, concepts of gun ownership and the capacity of government to regulate all weapons has taken the approach of what the government gives up in Europe, and what it takes away in America.

Democracy requires dissent. If a high American murder rate is a function of not placing our trust in government, are we doomed to endure a high murder rate? Will a narrowing of the social divergence of European and American Culture ultimately lead to a more closely linked murder rate? Does the trust placed in a government needed to surrender a right to arms remove the need for them to be removed? Why do Americans carry so many more weapons then in other countries? Do we even have the ability to remove guns in any meaningful volume?

Most of these questions are not answered because they make most of us sick. Trying to accept what appears to be an epidemic as a mere symptom of our own freedom and liberty seems to do nothing but frustrate anyone trying to determine how we can stop the horrific scenes in Connecticut from ever happening again.

There is no good answer, someone will disagree, someone will take offence, that is the root vitality of our democracy. The horrible irony that this is also, ultimately, the closest root cause of why we, as Americans, seem to be confronted by these pernicious acts time and time again.  

So here we are. I, typing away. You, reading and drawing your own conclusions, with what seems like so little to gain from all this. Most likely, we will continue to look over our shoulder from time to time, to stay up late at night wondering if there is anything more we can do as individuals to make our children safe. People will talk of true evil and how it can never be rooted out, others will speak of the need to take action and pay whatever cost to avert such a catastrophe again. These questions have been asked before, and are all but doomed to be asked again someday.

My prayers, thoughts, and sympathies to the families in Newtown that grieve and look for answers, and to any others that have been affected by senseless violence.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Road Rage Diaries

The following internal monologue was observed circa 2012;

Yeah, I see you there...

If your crappy Silverado stays up the arse of my Santa Fe any longer, I'll expect a bill for colorectal services  in my mailbox. Yes, the light for the cross traffic is yellow, which is practically red, which means our light is practically green, which means I can practically go. I can tell this is all very upsetting to you because your face is taking up half of my rear view mirror and you still seem to be inching closer.

Oh nice, you need to take a left turn at the next intersection as well. At least that's what I'm assuming since you followed me into the turn only lane while never leaving more then 5 feet between our respective vehicles. You know they put turn signals on these things for a reason, not saying that people can't "figure it out", but it's just common courtesy. Ah, I see, NOW you turn on your signal, you must have needed the last 10 seconds of being at a complete stop in a turn lane to really absorb your surroundings.

The speed limit here is still 55, they didn't change the signs the instant we passed them, at least I don't think they did. You know the National Highway Traffic Safety Association recommends at least a 2 second count between vehicles, I'd say right now you are sitting right around 'Zero Mississippi'.

Finally, I need to make a turn that you don't, at least it appears that way since you are once again not using any turn signals, but the instant I dropped to 54 mph you run up on the shoulder of the road to get around me. I have a feeling you were well on your way to your destination, or to the ditch. Yes, your beat up old Chevy makes that cute little revving noise letting all the residents in a 3 mile radius know how much of a hurry you are in.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Perfect Republican Candidate

One last 'hurrah' post about the election, then I promise to go back to my hilarious critics of politics as is, instead of politics as they could have been.

Last Month, the country rejected a candidate with an impeccable business resume, citing that he was out of touch and un-charismatic. They also looked down the bench of candidates, from Donald Trump to Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann to Rick Santorum. While many would regale us with stories of their poetic upbringings, none could convince the masses that they encompassed the America dream of opportunity.

Let's take a step back, the Republicans speak of a country where anyone can make it if they work hard, that to persevere in this country you have to be tough and humble, but lack a candidate that has actually lived it. They need someone who has a great "Only in America" story, an organic charm about them, and not just a pretty face. Heck, loose the pretty face all together, look where that got John McCain.

The question is, who will rise into the Republican nomination that can appeal to minorities, a true rag to riches story, one who is charismatic in front of a camera, can deliver a line that captures the attention of a nation, and preferably is from a major swing state... I got it! <Mouse Over Image to Find out Who It Is!>



Monday, December 3, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Solved

Like a bully holding a child's favorite toy just out of reach during a school yard altercation, so too, this government holds the promise of lower taxes and responsible government hostage to the innocent middle classes. After decades of wealth being created by those who now mysteriously have wealth, while those who never had wealth continue to not create wealth, are doomed to suffer in a world where they still don't have wealth. Gone are the never existing days when a generation of middle-class families where not having to worry about paying bills or putting food on the table, after a historic recession that plunged our economy into a crisis from which, three years after technically being over, we are still fighting to recover from, it is time to construct an economy that is built to last longer then the three weeks the current one was designed to last for. To this end, I give you my proposal to put America back on the path that led to this problem in the first place... In the hopes that the laughable left and the ridiculous right will find some common ground to start from and fix this mess we are in.

The Fiscal Year 2013: Kurmudkin Budget Proposal.

The Budget Message of the President

In the Year 2008, this house of Cards we call an economy collapsed,  and  unlike a pole dancer who was under the stage lights too long and collapsed into a sweaty naked pile of well toned feminine flesh, this collapse was ugly, like an ugly pole dancer who collapsed after being under stage lights too long. In this budget, I hope to address everything from the rising cost of groceries to the rising cost of college tuition. This may come as a bit of a shock since at no point I propose any real plans to address tuition or groceries, but there is a line at the end of one of the pages, I forget which one, that talks about a $6,000,000,000.00 slush fund. Just assume that part of that will go to solving a lot of the problems with the country today. Thank you.

Building a Strong Economy

What is an economy? Webster defines it as " the management of household or private affairs and especially expenses". Who better to build up a strong economy then the government? 'nuff said.

"Tax" Reform, Reducing the Deficit, and Asking All to Pay Their Fair Share

After minutes of contemplation it occurred to me. Why are we wasting so much time trying to get money from rich people only to end up without their money and occurring all this debt? The answer seems clear. Rather then taking people's money, we are just going to start handing out the government's debt! Everyone look in your mailboxes for a stack of I.O.U.'s with uncle Sam's name scratched out and a space for you to fill out your name and phone number, and expect some calls from creditors soon. 

Investing in Our Future

Most Sci-Fi novelists agree, that in the future, we will be conquered by a super intelligent race of aliens that vaguely resemble giant slugs. In preparation for such a day, several new government bureaucracies will be developed, charged with the task of designing welcome signs for our soon to be alien overlords.

Budget Changes to Major Government Entities

Department of Agriculture - $60,000,000 in new spending to discover a weight loss diet that consists of cheeseburgers and pudding pops.

Department of Commerce - $100,000,000,000 in federal backed loans to Wal Mart, in the hopes of showing that the Federal Government can invest in a company that doesn't go bankrupt within a year.

Department of Defense - Cut by $4,000,000,000,000 and outsource all military operations to Canada. 

Department of Education - Increase funding by $5,000,000,000,000 from the defense budget savings and then outsource to Canada, also. (There are no typos in this line.)

Department of Energy - Pass new Auto regulations that will require all automobiles to run off the tears of children by 2023.

Department of Health and Human Services - Raise the funding to Medicare, Obama-care  Medicaid, Medicare Part D, SCHIP, Planned Parenthood, AARP, and Extreme Makeover: Wightloss Edition bu 7000%, then appoint a special panel that will figure out how to pay for the other half of these programs.

Department of Homeland Security - Funding for a research program to determine why this department exists in the first place.

Department of the Interior - Develop plans to move this department outdoors.

Department of Justice - Reduce Judicial staff by 80% as new laws do not require as many warrants to be signed. Use savings to allow Department of the Interior to purchase plants for their new location.

Department of Labor - Increase staff by 500,000 per month until unemployment goes down below 4%, with a 'trigger' that will fire them all unless incumbents are all re-elected.

Department of State - Grant one "Get out of a Political Debacle Free" card, then use said card. 

Department of Transportation - Develop plans for a super extensive luxury commuter line, then forbid anyone from using it HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Department of Treasury - Like we could actually tell these guys what to do.

Department of Veteran Affairs - $80,000,000,000 for a new administrative building, authorize the hiring of several new bureaucrats, then several more bureaucrats to address the needs of the ever expanding bureaucracy. Then outsource the task of determining why Vet's aren't getting the benefits they where promised.

In Summary

We're screwed.

There you have it, the new benchmark for negotiations. I suspect that it has has as good of a chance of being implemented as anything that comes out of Washington over the next few weeks. Thank you for reading, or as our to-be alien masters would say, "Ess-Karr-Go'h!"