The Death of Andrew Breitbart and Other News

March 9, 2012

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Media personality Andrew Breitbart gives a spe...

Who Killed Breitbart?  His Heart.

It’s been a week since conservative leader Andrew Breitbart died.  At the time, I asked a friend of mine how long it would be before conspiracy theories started circulating about his death.  It took only a few days before people were saying that the Obama administration had Breitbart whacked.  While it’s fun to spin the theories, sometimes 43 year old men simply die.  My brother was only a bit older when he died due to heart issues.  It happens.

Now, if Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly both turn up dead in the next week, then I’ll agree that we should be taking a long hard look at this.  But until that happens, I’d suggest that Breitbart’s fans celebrate his life rather than trying to indict the president for murder.

The Billionaires Club

Mitt Romney picked up six wins on Super Tuesday, Rick Santorum picked up three, and Newt Gingrich won Georgia (the state he represented in congress).  It’s interesting to note that Santorum and Gingrich each have their own person billionaire funneling tons of money to them via SuperPACs.  This is completely legal.  However, the existence of the SuperPACs means that both can stay in the race even if they aren’t receiving decent fundraising support from anyone else.  In previous years, lack of funding likely would have pushed one of them out of the race by now, leaving the other to go head to head with Mitt Romney.  Head to head with Romney, either of them would have a chance.  But as it stands, they are splitting the non-Romney vote and are coming up short.  Romney can get a plurality in a three candidate race, but would likely have problems gaining a majority in a two candidate race.

Peyton Manning

After 14 years in Indianapolis, the Colts cut Peyton Manning.  The Colts are catching a lot of flak for this move, with many saying that they haven’t been loyal to the player who had built the franchise.

It’s true that Peyton Manning took over a team that sucked and turned it into a great team – largely due to the fact that he’s a stud quarterback.

But bear in mind that the Colts paid Peyton $26.4 million last year – when he didn’t play a down.  He was due to get a $28 million roster bonus if he wasn’t cut.  This isn’t some sort of pro-rated amount that would allow the Colts to wait around a month or two to see how Manning was doing – it was $28 million all at once.  If Manning didn’t play in 2012, this would have meant the Colts has paid $54.4 million for absolutely no on-field production.  Even if money wasn’t an issue, NFL teams are bound by a salary cap, and that sort of a cap hit would make it very hard to maintain a successful team.

If I were Irsay, I’d try to sign Manning to a one year deal with a low base salary and hefty incentives.  If he plays, he makes decent money.  If he doesn’t, then the cost is minimal.

Are the Colts right to go after Andrew Luck in the draft?  Certainly.  Even if Manning were to play this year, at some point soon he’ll be at the end of his career.  There’s no guarantee that the Colts will be able to get a player of Luck’s caliber in a later draft (in fact, it’s very unlikely, as a healthy Manning means a better team and a worse draft pick).  You need to take the bird in the hand.  I also tend to be a fan of having a young QB carry a clipboard for a year or two,  While a handful of recent QB have had success being thrown into the fire, historically, this has burned a lot of teams.

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Who Agrees With Rush Limbaugh?

March 8, 2012

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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 23:  Sandra Fluke, a...

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably well aware that last week Rush Limbaugh called a Georgetown law student a “slut” and demanded that she post videos of herself having sex because she (according to Rush) wanted the government to pay for her birth control. There’s just so much wrong with this statement it might be hard to tackle it in one article, but I’m going to give it the old college try.

As the story goes, Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown Law student, testified in front of congress in late February in support of President Obama’s proposed mandate that insurance companies be required to offer women’s contraceptives like any other covered medication. She argued that birth control for women can cost as much as $1000 a year and low cost/free clinics could not help in many cases. In her testimony she stated her friend has a medical condition, polycistic ovary syndrome, and birth control pills are prescribed by a doctor to treat that condition. Despite this fact, the insurance company got in between her friend and her friend’s doctor (you know, that very thing Republicans argued Obama care would do? Yeah, it’s already being done by insurance companies). In response to this, Rush Limbaugh said,

What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.

Later that day Limbaugh also said the following:

Can you imagine if you’re her parents how proud of Sandra Fluke you would be? Your daughter goes up to a congressional hearing conducted by the Botox-filled Nancy Pelosi and testifies she’s having so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills and she agrees that Obama should provide them, or the Pope.

Furthermore, on March 1st (a few days later) he continued on this same subject and said,

So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.

My first thought is that if Mr. Limbaugh thinks he has a right to watch videos of women who want birth control covered by their health insurance companies having sex, then I want videos of Rush Limbaugh in agonizing pain because his health insurance company paid for his extreme doses of oxycontin. I’m just following his line of logic, shouldn’t be a big deal to him, right? Also, Rush really is showing his ignorance if he thinks you need to take more birth control pills the more sex you have. I guess he’s just too used to popping his narcotics from dozens of different prescriptions he got from his housekeeper when he has issues, so he figures throwing more pills at something should help get rid of the problem faster or better.

Ms. Fluke’s testimony was a response by Democrats in response to Republicans inviting an all-male, all-conservative panel to discuss the requirement that health insurance companies provide contraceptives in the same fashion as other drugs. If the democrats really wanted to balance out a panel of 10 conservative males discussing contraceptives, they could have called Ellen DeGeneres, Rose O’Donnell, and Iceland Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir to discuss Viagra and prostate health issues. Again, it’s along the same lines of logic, just taken to the opposite extreme.

I’m actually not quite sure why the big conservative religions are so uptight about this issue. It’s pretty widely known that the Catholic church (still) opposes the use of contraceptives, ironic considering 98% of Catholic women use or have used birth control. You’d think they would want to make sure their own people were following their views before trying to actually speak out vehemently about them. I guess it’s along the lines of Republicans being so outspoken against homosexuality when so many of them are caught having or soliciting gay sex.

I’d like to end on a note of linking this issue with another current event, the Republican Candidates. The response of the current 4 candidates has been tepid, at best, with Ron Paul being the most honest – he said Limbaugh is most concerned with his fiscal bottom line.  Yet any candidate not named Ron Paul is completely willing to keep railing about how we need to attack Iran, despite the fact that wars in the Middle East tend to be unpopular and cost the lives of thousands of young Americans and simply throw more fuel on the fire of terrorism. What does it say about a man who’s willing to start a war that will have nearly zero repercussions for him, but he’s unwilling to stand up to Rush Limbaugh? Do we really want someone like that for president?

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News, Entertainment, Sports trifecta

May 26, 2009

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GOP infighting

A battle continues within the  Republican party, with Rush Limbaugh lining up on one side and guys like Colin Powell lining up on the other side.  Some feel that this is a necessary battle being fought in order to separate the chaff from those who hold the true Conservative Repblican ideals at heart.  This might be true if you’re simply trying to build the most united party possible.  However, there is a large contingent of unaffilated voters in the middle of the political sprectrum.  It is difficult to win a national election without snagging a large chunk of these voters.  Will the GOP infighting make many of these voters stay away, for fear of jumping onto a rudderless ship?  I’ll admit that I’m biased, as I am a unaffiliated centrist and probably overvalue our importance as a voting block a bit.

Dancing with the Stars

I’m not a big fan of the show, but it was nice to see fellow Iowan Shawn Johnson on the show.  It was even better to see her win.  On the first night of the show, I declared to my wife that Johnson would win, because the balance and footwork she uses in gymnastics would serve her well on the dance floor.  Obviously she still had a lot to learn, but it seemed like she had a leg up on the other competitors.

I was disappointed to see Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak sent packing early, though (and pretty much stopped watching after that show).  Woz is just a cool guy.  Not only is he a technical genius, but he does a lot of good works in the community.  It would have been cool to see him stage an unlikely upset.


Helio Castroneves picked up his second biggest win of the year  by winning Sunday’s Indy 500.  His biggest win of the year, however, was his recent acquittal on tax evasion charges.  Danica Patrick finished third, the best ever finish for a woman.  I think it is just a matter of time before she wins an Indy 500 – unless, of course, she bolts to NASCAR first.

NASCAR’s Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte was scheduled for Sunday but was bumped back to Monday because of rain.  The race got started on Monday, but was interrupted several times by rain.  Finally, the NASCAR gods decided to call the race on account of rain.  The win was awarded to David Reutimann, who was in first place at the time the rain began.  Reutimann’s crew chief gambled and decided to forgo a late pit stop when other cars were getting tires and fuel.  The gamble paid off, as Reutimann was  able to hold off the pack until the rains came.  It was Reutimann’s first win in the Nextel series.  I understand the reasons for the decision to call the race, but I still hate to see a race end this way.  Perhaps domed race tracks are in the future.  (Kidding, just kidding.  Maybe.)


Fans were treated to a great pitcher’s duel in Milwaukee on Monday.  Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter took a pefect game into the 7th inning.  He was nearly matched by Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo, who still had a no hitter alive into the 6th.  The winning – and only – run finally scored as Brewers rookie Casey McGeHee scampered home on a Bill Hall pinch hit in the 10th inning.  The batters combined for 5 hits and 5 walks in 10 innings (along with 18 strikeouts – 10 by Carpenter).  And for those who like quick game, it was completed in a zippy 2 hours and 26 minutes.