Throwing a bunch of unrelated threads into this article.  Consider it an article casserole.

I’m in Iowa, so I’m hearing a lot of political ads these days. One of the most frequent seems to be a Rick Perry spot in which Perry says that if congress doesn’t pass a balanced budget “I say we cut their pay in half.”

This ad seems to underscore the God complex that seems to be prevalent with many (all?) presidential candidates. They don’t seem to realize that there is a separation of powers, and they can’t simply step in day one and impose their will upon congress (or the nation).

However, all presidential candidates have a big ego, almost by definition. If you think you’re qualified to lead the country, you likely have a pretty healthy ego.

Joran Vander Sloot, a suspect in the killings of Natalee Holloway and Stephany Flores, is suing Chile for $13 million, claiming that his human rights were violated when he was extradited to Peru. He goes on trial for the killing of Flores in January. If he’s found guilty, he might not have much need for $13 million. His lawyers, on the other hand, can probably find a way to spend their share.

Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has been fired amid allegations of sexual abuse. I doubt that this will be the last case we hear about. With tens of thousands of head coaches and assistant coaches at the college level, it’s almost certain that there are at least a handful more predators lurking.

The Rockies traded catcher Chris Iannetta to the Angels on Wednesday. As a fan of Iannetta, I was a bit disappointed. Although Chris never posted a very strong batting average, his on base percentage and power numbers were very good for a catcher. If he can ever find a way to hit .260 on a regular basis, he’ll be an offensive force.

My advice to Denver Bronco fans – enjoy it while you can. At some point, Tim Tebow’s penchant for winning ugly is going to turn into losing ugly. it’s been a nice run, but it’s still a pretty small sample size – be wary of extrapolating.

I’m going to be a huge fan of Georgia football this weekend. I’m hoping the Bulldogs can hang half a hundred on LSU, to knock the Tigers out of the top two in the BCS. If LSU does win, and proceeds to lose a close game to Alabama in the BCS title game, expect LSU fans to gripe when Alabama is crowned the national champion. They’ll likely ponder this question: “Isn’t an LSU win at Alabama more impressive than an Alabama win on a neutral field.” That’s an interesting point.

Can Barnes & Noble’s new $250 Nook tablet win a head to head battle with the Kindle Fire?  Probably not.  However, the Nook does provide support for ePub files (the Kindle does not) and also has a microSD expansion slot.  Personally, I’d still lean toward the Kindle, but I think the Nook tablet is a solid option as well.  Barnes & Noble also offers free in-store tech support (although I haven’t tested the quality of the support), something that Amazon obviously can’t do.

A couple of bowl-eligible teams are attempting to set records.  UCLA will face Oregon in the Pac 12 title game – only because USC is banned from participating.  The NCAA has granted a waiver that would allow UCLA to play in a bowl game even if they lose to Oregon and finish with a losing record of 6-7.  If they’d lose a bowl game, they’d finish with 8 losses … as a bowl team.

And in Champaign, Illinois, the Fighting Illini are also bowl eligible at 6-6.  That doesn’t sound terrible … but once upon a time, the Illini were 6-0.  If they were to ride their six game losing streak into a bowl game and then proceeed to lose, I think they would be the first bowl team to ever finish the season on a seven game losing streak.

Of course, I can’t find definitive proof of this (they aren’t the sort of records people keep track of), but surely I’m right …