Sunday, September 30, 2012

Looper review

After seeing the time travel movie, Looper, I was reminded of a scene in a different time travel movie, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. (1999) The scene has Austin Powers questioning a paradox on time travel with Basil Exposition. Confused, Basil says Powers should not to worry about such things and tells him to just enjoy himself. He then turns to the camera and tells the movie audience the same thing. (Clip below.) And if you see Looper, you should follow Basil's advice and not worry about any time travel paradox.

Looper takes place in the future. The year is 2044. It's Kansas. The United States is suffering from severe economic distress. Ten percent of the population have a mutation which gives them telekinesis though it's a weak power. Thirty years later in 2074, time travel is invented, though it's illegal. The mob uses time travel in 2074 to send back people to 2044 for assassination. That way bodies can be disposed of without proof of their death. The hit men are called Loopers. They're called that because when the mob is finished with the hitmen in the future, they send them back to the past to be killed by their past selves. The act is called closing the loop.

Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of the Loopers. His life is dominated by killing, drug addiction and a desire to travel to France. Things change when Joe's older self, "Old Joe" (Bruce Willis), is sent back for him to kill. Old Joe has other plans and escapes. Old Joe has found a reason to live due to a wife (Quing Xu) he meets in Shanghai. She is killed by a super criminal named The Rainmaker. Old Joe's plan is to kill The Rainmaker as a child and thus change the timeline. However, failing to kill your target, especially your old self leads to the Looper being hunted down.

The performances in Looper are just excellent. Bruce Willis as Old Joe uses facial expressions to show a world weary criminal and later a changed man. Jeff Daniels plays mob boss Abe. He's practical and menacing at the same time. English actress Emily Blunt as single mother Sara, delivers her lines in a pitch perfect American country accent. Pierce Gagnon as her son, Cid, is believable which is remarkable for an actor so young. Joseph Gordon-Levitt with the help of mild facial prosthetics, channels a young Bruce Willis. He has a younger Willis' facial expressions and vocal inflections. It's a form of time travel.

Writer and director Rian Johnson uses different genres to make an imaginative film. There's film noir, westerns, and of course, science fiction. Looper is a mix of Terminator, Blade Runner and the Godfather. The film is helped by dialogue that feels real. The movie focuses on the emotional actions and moral decisions of the characters. Johnson also doesn't abuse us with fancy camera shots either. He lets his actors do their job and lets action sequences deliver the excitement. Johnson also has a talent for framing scenes. This is one beautiful looking movie. Many scenes look like a Hopper painting. Kudos to his director of cinematography, Steve Yedin.

Looper is not a perfect movie. There are problems. First, Johnson asks the audience to trust the rules of the movie he sets up. He doesn't explain how humanity got the telekinesis mutation. Then there is a flash forward that can get confusing since the movie doesn't really explain it.

Then there is the issue of time travel. If you're a Star Trek fan, you might have an advantage here. And I'm talking about Star Trek, the TV series. I won't get into the exact Trek episodes or series but time travel here is handled like the original series episode "The City on the Edge of Forever." That means if you change the timeline in the past, you change the future. Looper asks the question, if you could go back in time to kill Hitler as a child, would you? The problem occurs when you think about Old Joe's actions. I won't go over them since it would spoil the movie but all the things that happen to him can't exist. It's like the grandfather paradox in time travel. In fact, the film knows this when two characters Abe and Old Joe talk about the paradoxes of time travel.

Looper is a well made film. It's gorgeous to look at. And the moral choices are thought provoking fare. Just take Basil's advice. Don't think too much about time travel and enjoy the movie. The grade is B +.

Bengals win NFL catfight, 2012

The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 27-10 improving their record to 3-1. With the victory, the Bengals are tied for first place with the Baltimore Ravens in AFC North Division. And before you Steeler fans put down the Bengals for their victories over losing teams, let me just say you have to beat the weak teams. That's called taking care of business.

The Bengals victory wasn't as close as the score would indicate. The Jaguars only led once. After the Bengals took the lead, the Jaguars would never get close. Highlights include a fake punt which Bengals running back Cedric Peerman took for a 48 yard run. Wow. Bengals are getting creative in their plays. And Bengals receiver Andrew Hawkins again had a big play. He caught a pass on third and seven and moved the ball 31 yards. The defense played well enough to never allow the Jaguars to get near. Next victim is the Miami Dolphins.

Here's the story with video highlights.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Reds win a big one

The Cincinnati Reds won a big game today. They defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 in the last home season game. You might question why it was a big win. After all, the Reds had already clinched the National League Central Division. Well, the Reds have been in a stupor lately. They've been batting only .229 for September. So when the Reds won today's game in the ninth after trailing 1-0, it was an emotional lift.

The game was a dreary one for the Reds bats. They were shut out for eight innings. In the ninth, the Reds got two outs. Then Reds third baseman, Todd Frazier stepped up to the plate. He launched a bomb over the right-center field fence and into the artificial grass. Tie score. Then Jay Bruce singled. Reds catcher and former All-Star Dioner Navarro came to the plate. He slammed a high breaking ball that went into the right field gap. Bruce was running on the 3-2 pitch and scored all the way from first. Reds win 2-1. Video below. By the way, we've been getting great stuff from Navarro. He's been bouncing around the league and been looking for that All Star performance. Let's hope he brings it to the Reds in the playoffs.

Yes, the Reds have come from behind many times this season. But they're headed to the playoffs. Baseball is mostly a mental game. A win like this will give them confidence in the post season. Here's the story with video.

Jon Stewart on the NFL referee labor strike

Here's why The Daily Show won an Emmy. Host Jon Stewart is fantastic in his delivery. And the writing is witty and smart. Here's his take on the NFL referee strike. Special hilarious guest spot by Star Trek: The Next Generation's Sir Patrick Stewart.

Samuel L. Jackson urges you to vote for Obama

God, I love the Democrats for having the coolest celebrities. George Clooney. Sarah Silverman. And now Samuel L. Jackson aka Nick Fury (The Avengers) has done a hilarious video urging you to vote for President Barack Obama. The Jewish Council on Education and Research Super PAC produced the video and four years ago, they produced The Great Schlep starring the lovely Ms. Silverman. Anyway, Jackson does the video like Dr. Suess but with his um, colorful use of the "f..." bomb. So watch out and enjoy.

Stephen Colbert takes on the bacon shortage and mocks Cong. Louie Gohmert

Stephen Colbert may have lost the Emmy to Jon Stewart's The Daily Show but he can take solace in his Peabody Award for television excellence. Look, his satire is just brilliant. Yesterday, he took on the bacon shortage and blamed President Obama for it. Ha, ha, ha. He then mocked crazy, conservative congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) for accusing Obama for bringing back The Ottoman Empire. Great stuff. Check it out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Conservatives get desperate

The polls are beginning to show President Obama opening up a lead on conservative Republican Mitt Romney. And the conservatives are getting desperate according to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. She reports they're accusing Obama of being in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood to Ralph Reed's survey accusing Obama a danger to American freedom. Reed's survey is hilarious by the way. It's not objective and way over the top, to say the least. Check out Maddow's piece.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The lesson from last night Seahawks-Packers game

Okay, you've probably seen and heard about the last play of last night's NFL game between Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. Trailing 12-7, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson heaved a Hail Mary on the last play. It looked like Packers safety M.D. Jennings intercepted the ball. But Seahawks receiver Golden Tate fought for the ball and seemed to have partial possession when he was on the ground. Hold on. He was on the ground?! Anyway the replacement referees ruled touchdown. Seahawks win. That came after instant replay. Here's the Yahoo story with video.

I could rant about the replacement referees. But there is a lesson here that has nothing to do with the replacement referees. On Hail Mary passes, defenders should punch the ball. That way you don't get the result you had last night or give the receiver a chance to catch the ball. Yeah, punching the ball could lead to a crazy reception by the offense but think about the chances. All the receivers are in the area where the Hail Mary is going. And I would bet the chances of any catching the ball after it is punched the other way is much less than defenders and receivers fighting for the ball. Want to see it actually work? Check out the last play of the Bengals-Redskins game. Here are the highlights of that game, it's the last play of the video. In the video, Bengals punch the ball and it falls harmlessly away from danger. Bengals win.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stephen Colbert on the GOP's angry white guys and Hispanic voter deficit

I've previously written that the Republican Party is going to be reduced to nothing but a bunch of angry white guys Well, that is not the rantings of a liberal. Conservative Republican Senator Lindsey Graham agrees with what I said.

Here's Stephen Colbert's piece about the topic, Mitt Romney's brown face and the GOP's Hispanic voter deficit.

The Master review

I believe film is art. Now, not all movies are high art. Obviously, some of it is for entertainment value only. See The Expendables 2. I also believe that high art should be be entertaining. The Master is an example of high art. The question becomes is it entertaining?

The Master takes place at the end of World War II, sailor Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a mentally ill, alcoholic veteran. His sickness causes him to move from job to job. After poisoning a fellow migrant farmer with homemade booze, Quell stows away on a ship chartered by Lancaster Dodd. (Philip Seymour Hoffman)

Dodd is the creator of a movement known as The Cause. Its devotees believe that a person's problems are due to a past life. Dodd "treats" people by a kind of hypnosis in which he connects to one's prior life. It's treated as time travel rather than actual hypnosis. Dodd sees Quell as a challenge. Dodd believes he can cure Quell of his mental illness. He allows Quell to follow him and treats him with various practices associated with The Cause.

Director and writer Paul Thomas Anderson's film is more than a drama about cultism. Tom Cruise won't be happy about The Cause's similarities to Scientology. But The Master explores other ideas related to Scientology. It examines the treatment of neurosis and mental illness. It takes a look at psychology. One can't help but compare Quell to Sigmund Freud's patient Anna O that led to the science of psychoanalysis. And there are ideas about religion. Are followers of The Cause members of a cult, followers of a philosophy or a religion?

While Anderson should be applauded for raising these ideas, the question remains is this work of art entertaining? The problem with The Master is that it needs better editing. There are scenes that are needless or are too long. I wonder if this film was screened to an objective, film expert. Because I'm sure the advice would be that it was too long. The excess saps the dramatic energy of the movie. The Master requires the audience pay more attention than the usual art house fare.

But there is no doubt that Anderson is a master director. Many scenes are framed like paintings. He doesn't rely on camera gymnastics. Something I wish other filmmakers would follow. Hear that J.J. Abrams? He also knows when to rely on his actors to carry a scene. There's no need for a moving camera when filming a face as interesting as Joaquin Phoenix's. His forehead wrinkles, and expressions are fascinating enough.

The Master features some career performances. Philip Seymour Hoffman gives a performance of a lifetime as Dodd. He doesn't believe that The Cause is a bunch of malarkey. He actually believes that his philosophies even though made up, help people with their lives. It's a performance that reminds me of Orson Welles at the top of his acting game. Amy Adams as Dodd's obedient wife, Peggy, is solid. She's helped by make-up and costumes. Her physical appearance is reminiscent of the women of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS Church)

Joaquin Phoenix gives another Oscar worthy performance. He should be nominated for his role as Quell. Phoenix transforms his body to demonstrate the demons within. He contorts the body and his face to show his mental illness.

The Master is a slow, thought provoking piece of cinematic art. It's a mesmerizing look at cults, psychology and religion. The grade is B+.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bengals survive

When the Cincinnati Bengals blew a seventeen point lead to the Washington Redskins, you thought here we go again. I mean the Redskins tied the score at 24-24 in the third quarter. Then the Bengals defense held. Bengals win 38-31. Yeah, the defense is not all the way back but Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap is back. Wow. That guy is a stud. Had a sack and forced a fumble in one play. He and the other end Michael Johnson were bringing the pressure on Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. A quick comment about RGIII. He's a great athlete but he better throw the ball. Sooner or later that option that they run is going to hurt the Redskins because RGIII is going to get killed.

Not everything worked for the Bengals. There was that silly fake field goal at the end of the first half. It didn't work. Folks, they should have gone for the three points. Bengals cornerback Terence Newman made a couple of bonehead plays. Touched the ball on the one after a punt. Stupid sideline hit on RGIII after he went out of bounds. The Bengals defense also let RGIII move the ball up and down the field too easily. That stuff can't diminish the Bengals victory.

But let's talk about the Bengals offense. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton brought the Bengals back. He made some great throws. He's one cool customer. And the TD pass to Andrew Hawkins was a thing of beauty. Hawkins split the coverage and Dalton hit him in stride. Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden called a masterful game starting with the first play. Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu lined up in the Wildcat and faked hand off. He threw a pass to A.J Green who ran it in for a 73 yard touchdown.

Here's the story with video.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Reds clinch the NL Central

Today, the Cincinnati Reds beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-0 and clinched the National League Central Division championship. Reds starting pitcher, Mat Latos, was masterful and pitched eight strong shutout innings. It looks like the Reds made a good trade by giving up all that young talent for a future ace. It's time for Reds October. Here's the story with video.

Dredd 3D Review

Dredd 3D is the second live action film adaption of the British comic strip Judge Dredd. Taking place in a post nuclear holocaust, America has been reduced to mega-cities with other areas outside that has areas of nuclear pollution. It's a dystopian future with high unemployment and overpopulation. Maintaining order are the Judges. They are cops who are judge, jury and executioners.

Dredd 3D opens up with Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) patroling Mega-city One in his motorcycle. He is dispatched to catch a car full of drug addicts, high on Slo-Mo. It's a drug which causes the user to believe he is living in slow motion. When they run over a pedestrian, Dredd believes he is justified to using deadly force. When the car crashes killing all the occupants except one, Dredd finds the survivor holding a hostage. He is able to kill the criminal with a auto-seeking bullet that burns an individual from the inside out. Welcome to the world of Judge Dredd.

Later at judge headquarters, Dredd is asked to evaluate a judge recruit, Anderson. (Olivia Thirlby) She has average scores on her tests. The thing she does have is that she is a psychic due to mutation caused by nuclear radiation. They are dispatched to investigate a triple homicide in an apartment complex known as Peach Trees. But this is no simple building. It's a mega-building that houses seventy five thousand people and is ruled by criminal gangs. One of these gangs is the Ma-Mas ruled by Madeline Madrigal. (Lena Headey) It was Madrigal who ordered the deaths of the three.

When Dredd and Anderson capture one of the killers, Kay (Wood Haris) she fears that he will talk and lead to her arrest. She has the building shut down, trapping the judges. She then asks the residents to kill them. Dredd and Anderson must find an escape with their suspect.

Karl Urban plays Dredd like Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry. He plays it with a lack of camp and his sincere performance sells the character. Praise should also be given to Urban for acting with a helmet that conceals his forehead and eyes. Olivia Thirlby's Anderson is more than an ingenue. She's a damaged person, haunted by the loss of her parents and mutation. Lena Headey is not just a black and white villain. She has good reason for her criminal behavior as she was a victim of crime herself.

Alex Garland has written a script that is no mere shoot 'em up. You get a feel for this future America. Yeah, there's plenty of action but between the gunfights, you get subtle hints at the problems with this society. Dredd may be a good guy but he doesn't inspire the people he protects. Executing people without appeal may sound good but the movie raises a question whether it is just.

Director Pete Travis builds a believable dystopian America. It feels real. Action scenes are well staged. His use of slow motion violence featuring bullets entering people and their exploding exits may shock some but it shows the reality of gunfire. I like his use of psychedelic colors in some scenes contrasting the gritty browns of the slum. For a film with a modest budget, Travis uses CGI and other tricks to make the film look like it had a much bigger budget.

Dredd 3D was filmed in 3D. It shows. I am from the school of 3D filming where the movie must use it or lose it. Dredd is not shy about emphasizing the 3D effects. Scenes have pop. Action scenes look great in 3D. Little things like smoke and water push out of the screen. For some reason, the last third of the movie largely ignores the effect. But there's so much eye candy that it's well worth seeing this movie in 3D.

Dredd 3D is well made, thought provoking science fiction, action thriller. You will get your money's worth with this film. The grade is A.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Colbert and Stewart address the bogus Obama redistribution comment

Wow. Two days after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was caught putting down 47 percent of the population, conservatives have found a tape of President Obama making controversial statements.

"I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot. How do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities."

Conservatives are excited about this? They think it shows that Obama is some ype of Marxist. Really? It's not about the redistribution of wealth. It's about government serviees. In fact, Obama doesn't even talk about redistribution of wealth. NBC reports that Obama praises competition and the marketplace. Oh and by the way this statement was made in 1998!

So what does Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart have to say about this? Here they are. Colbert is up first. And they take on the right-wingers at Fox News.

Here's Jon Stewar of The Daily Show.

Get well Dusty Baker

Last night, the Cincinnati Reds won their ninetieth game by beating the Chicago Cubs, 6-5 in eleven innings. The win dropped the Reds magic number to clinch the National League Central Division down to three. It's been a great season for the Reds.

One concern. Reds manager Dusty Baker was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat. From this Reds fan, get well Dusty Baker. He's done a great job, guiding the Reds to win the division. It should be noted he managed the Reds for a large part of the season without their best player, Joey Votto. He deserves to be awarded "Manager of the Year."

Here's the story of the game, with video.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stephen Colbert on Romney's 47 percent comments

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comments about 47 percent of Americans is providing fodder for comedians. Last night Stephen Colbert made fun of Romney's defense of the comments when he said he could have said it more eloquently. Brilliant stuff from Colbert.

Romney gets racist

Previously, I've accused the Republican Party of being racist. Well, the leader of the party, presidential candidate, Mitt Romney just made my case. During that May fundraiser in front of super-rich people, Romney decried the movement of minorities of African Americans and Hispanics to the Democratic Party as being bad for the country.

"[W]e are having a much harder time with Hispanic voters, and if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting block has in the past, why, we're in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation."

So it's a bad thing if minorities support more liberal ideas for the country? And if whites do, it's not so bad? Last night's "The Last Word" covered this. Check it out.

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Jon Stewart exposes conservative hypocrisy on the Middle East

Last week, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show exposed the conservative hypocrisy as the right-week screams at President Obama for Arab spring. But under Republican President George W. Bush, it was great to encourage democracy in Arab countries. Check out his smart piece.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rush Limbaugh supports Romney's 47 percent comment

Previously, I wrote that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comments about 47 per cent of the American people are what conservatives really think of a lot of people. In case, you missed it, here are the comments again.

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what, ...All right -- there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax. [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.],"

First, let me address the idea that 47 percent of the population pay no income taxes. That's just brain dead. Here's the Huffington Post debunking this idea. While it sounds accurate, Romney forgets to mention that those in the 47 percent pay payroll taxes, sales taxes and property taxes. Yeah, there are those who are so poor, and the elderly who don't pay income taxes. But Romney is actually making the argument that all those in the 47 per cent are undertaxed.

Second, the leader of the conservatives and hence, the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, supports Romney's comments. So, when I wrote that this is what conservatives believe, it wasn't the rantings of a liberal. Here's what Limbaugh had to say about Romney's 47 per cent comments. (From the Huffington Post.)

"This could be the opportunity for Romney, and for that campaign, to finally take the gloves off and take the fear off and just start explaining conservatism, start explaining liberty to people and what it means. And explain that they don't need to be in that 47 percent. There's no reason for them, for everybody to be -- essentially having given up on their future in this country. There's no reason for it. This is, to me, such an opportunity to espouse conservatism."

Yes, my fellow Americans. Conservatives believe that about half the country are deadbeat losers.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Britney Spears and Psy

Last week, Korean pop star, Psy was on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. He came out to show Britney Spears how to do the Gangnam style dance. I've posted the clip below. And as a bonus, I've added the original song, "Gangnam Style", below. Okay, this is a SHAMELESS attempt to drive up the traffic on this site. So, what? Just enjoy it.

What do conservatives really think of a lot of people

The Huffington Post and Mother Jones magazine are reporting these comments from Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. They were recorded from remarks that Romney made to 30 major contributors.

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what, ...All right -- there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."

So Romney thinks that 47 per cent of the electorate are a bunch of welfare queens. Why should that surprise anyone? I talk to conservatives all the time. And that's what they actually think. In fact, that should consolidate Romney's conservative credentials. Can we now way he is "severely" conservative or right-wing?

The problem is that Romney has let the cat out of the bag. Conservatives look down upon a great majority of the people, particularly the working class. This explains why they support the rich. To them, a whole bunch of us are deadbeats.

But the more shocking comments come later in the recordings. Romney shows admiration for Chinese capitalism. He seems to be enamored with a Chinese factory that pays dirt poor wages. No wonder why Republicans don't like unions.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

SNL riotous opening

Last night, Saturday Night Live opened with a skit that featured a confident President Obama unveiling his secret weapon to re-election. Hilarious.

Bill Maher on the pizza man hug

One of my favorite jokes on this week's Real Time with Bill Maher is when he commented on the pizza guy giving President Barack Obama a bear hug. You see the guy was a white male, one constituency that is not in Obama's camp. Maher said this, "Look he touched one and nothing happened." And check out his New Rules which had the panel in stitches.

Excellent day for the Cincinnati sports fan

It was an excellent day for the Cincinnati sports fan. The Reds and Bengals both won. And to top the day, it was a beautiful day here in Cincinnati. Temperature was in the high seventies. Low humidity. Brilliant sunshine.

First, let's talk about the Bengals. The Bengals beat the Cleveland Browns, 34-27. The first quarter looked like a typical Bengals game of old. Best defensive play. Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson sacks Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden by accidentally tripping him. Best offensive play by the Bengals? A penalty. But Pac-Man happens. Cornerback Adam "Pac-Man" Jones returned a punt eighty one yards for a touchdown.

The Bengals defense is still a concern. They didn't get enough pressure on Weeden. And Browns running back Trent Richardson made some big plays, scoring two touchdowns. So not everything was sunshine for the Bengals. I will note that the Browns are a better team than last year. Rookies Weeden and Richardson look like good draft picks. Still, the Bengals defense must play better.

WHERE DID ANDREW HAWKINS COME FROM? The bright spots of the Bengals game was the offense. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw for three touchdowns. He hit multiple targets. That's a good sign. Because if a team wants to focus on Bengals receiver A.J. Green, they're going to get burned by Dalton going to Bengals receivers, Armon Binns and Brandon Tate. Then there's this guy named Andrew Hawkins. When I first noticed Bengals receiver Hawkins, it was on special teams. He would come out of nowhere to make a tackle. That's a metaphor for Hawkins who was not drafted by a NFL team. He comes from the Canadian Football League. Out of nowhere. Well, Hawkins caught a short pass and ran for fifty yards for an important touchdown in the fourth quarter. He was quick and made excellent cuts to score. Wow, it was a hell of a run

The Bengals held on. First round of the Battle of Ohio goes to Cincinnati. They go one and one. Here is the story with the video highlights.

Meanwhile in Miami, the Cincinnati Reds beat the Miami Marlins, 5-4. It took eleven innings. Guess who drove in the winning run? Outfielder Ryan Ludwick. The Magic Number for the Reds is now five games without taking count of Los Angeles Dodgers-St. Louis Cardinals game. Here's the story with video.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Delusional conservatives

The Huffington Post published this AP story from the Values Voters Summit. The story quotes one of the conservative attendees on Republican presidential candidate, MItt Romney.

"He ought to be killing Obama, and he's clearly not doing that," said 32-year-old R.J. Robinson, one of the thousands of activists attending the annual Values Voters Summit this weekend. "He should be doing better."

Huh? First the country is not that conservative. And President Obama is not that hated among moderates and liberals. Second, Romney doesn't score well with African Americans. One poll showed that he gets zero per cent of that vote. Third, the country is doing better than it was four years ago. Look the country was heading to the Great Depression, Part 2. And because of Obama's policies, Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive. Yeah, I like Vice President Joe Biden's slogan. So, if you view life through conservative eye glasses, you're going to miss the truth.

Bill Maher is hilarious

Yesterday Bill Maher was a riot on Real Time with his New Rules. Here's Huffington Post story with video. Below are the New Rules. Check out how hard the guests are laughing.

Obama shows resolve

We've been hearing how President Barack Obama is not showing resolve as far as foreign policy. This Republican criticism comes as radical Muslims protest worldwide over a private Internet video which was offensive to Islam. The question is what they would do? Attack other countries with the military for these protests? Realize this. Obama has been killing terrorists with drone attacks. Last night on "The Ed Show", guest host Ezra Klein noted that Obama has authorized six times more than his predecessor President Bush.

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The Onion publishes blasphemous picture and nobody dies

Count on the satirical website, The Onion, to print a cogent story about what's happening today. They published a depiction of Jesus, Moses and Buddha engaging in explicit sex acts. The title of the article was called, "No one murdered because of this image." The point? They published the depiction and nobody got killed. So when some nut job makes an offensive film about Islam, some Muslims go crazy and kill people. But other religions don't react in that twelfth century manner. I would link the story but it's so explicit that it violates the PG-13 rating that I use to guide this website. Plus I figure you can go over to the Onion yourself and check it out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

This is how conservatives act

I've debated angry conservatives before. And there's one thing that you need to know about them. They politicize everything. The one thing on their brain is conservative ideas. I feel for them. There are other things to enjoy in this life. Love. Good food. Star Trek.

Yesterday, we lost a United States Ambassador to Libya. Four American diplomats were killed. Ambassador Chris Stevens is dead. These heroes gave their lives in service to their country. It's a national tragedy. What caused the riots in Egypt and Libya? It was a movie critical of Islam that was going to be released in America.

So what was the response to this tragedy from conservative Republicans? Politicize it. Republican chairman Reince Priebus and conservative intellectual Sarah Palin have criticized President Barack Obama

And what was the response of the "severely" conservative Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney? He also politicized the deaths by criticizing Obama. He said this,

"When our grounds are being attacked, and being breached, that the first response of the United States must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. And apology for America's values is never the right course,"

So what was this apology that Romney was talking about? Here it is. And it was released by the American embassy in Egypt before the attacks.

"The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims -- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

So a statement that criticizes those who make an anti-religious movie is an apology? Criticizing an attack on a religion is bad? I guess because it defends the religion of Islam, that right-wingers can't deal with it. Look, Islam is a legitimate religion. The statement was designed to stem the kind of violence that happened. Note the statement didn't try to stop the release of the movie. It talks of the abuse of the "universal right of free speech." And Romney just abused his right of free speech. Shame on you, Mitt Romney.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bengals humiliated

I used to say there's a reason why the Cincinnati Bengals don't get national television games. They tend to stink. Now, I could be wrong. Maybe the Bengals are good with nationally televised football games but it seems they are usually not ready for prime time. Anyway, the Bengals lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 44-13. I left when the score was 41-13 in the fourth quarter. Here's a quick summary of the game.

The Good. Nothing. I was going to say the Bengals offensive line played well. But forget about that. Towards the end of the game, the Ravens got good pressure on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.

The Bad. The Bengals defense. Ravens quarterback Joe Flaccid, er, Joe Flacco ran Baltimore's offense up and down the field. The defense was overmatched. Absolutely miserable.

The Ugly. The officiating. I saw a Bengal DB get called for interference for blocking a pass without touching the receiver. Then a Ravens defender ran over the top of a Bengals receiver. No call. Brutal. The NFL has to do something with the striking referees. That means settle. The replacement referees are terrible. The product is suffering.

Listen up Bengals Nation. The NFL season is a sprint. But the first game does not make a season. Neither does the second game. But next week, the Bengals face the Cleveland Browns. I believe things will be different.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jon Stewart nails Fox News

Last week , Jon Stewart of the Daily Show slammed Fox News for its hypocrisy in its coverage of both political conventions. It seems that Fox News favored the Republicans over the Democrats. Surprise. Surprise. Anyway, here's his excellent piece.

Cincinnati Bengals 2012 Preview

Are you ready for some football? Yes, Cincinnati Bengals fans, it's time to preview the upcoming season. So let's get to it.

1. The Offense.

The Offensive Line. Last year, quarterback Andy Dalton received too much pressure from the middle of the offensive line. To cure this, the Bengals drafted guard Kevin Zeitler in the first round. They also signed free agent guard Travelle Wharton but he was lost for the season due to a knee injury. Center Kyle Cook was also hurt and won't be back until week eight. That means talented second year guard Clint Bolling will start at the left guard. It means that the Bengals will start free agent center Jeff Faine. Am I worried? Yep. But there's still talent there. Zeitler and Faine were first round draft picks.

Less concern are the tackle positions. Andre Smith is beginning to look like the talent at right tackle the Bengals were hoping for when they picked him in the first round of 2009. Andrew Whitworth is the foundation of the line and does an exemplary job of protecting Dalton's blind side.

Receivers and tight ends. Your top receiver is A.J. Green. Fast. Great hands. He's one of the best in the league. But who's Dalton's second guy to go to? The Bengals have two cast offs. Brandon Tate and Armon Binns. Let's hope he's as good as he was when he played for the University of Cincinnati. (Footage from the Louisville game.)

The Bengals are pretty good at tight end. Expect Jermaine Gresham to split the seams and make some big receptions. Look for veteran Donald Lee and rookie Orson Charles to make contributions.

Running back. This could be a problem. The Bengals don't have a home run threat. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is solid and won't fumble. That's about it. Bernard Scott has speed but is untested as a starter. Brian Leonard will make clutch plays as the third down back.

Quarterback. Quarterback Andy Dalton made the Pro Bowl last year as a rookie. He's accurate as passer and has moxy. He'll only get better this year. Bruce Gradkowski is a solid back-up.

Conclusion. There are questions at the line and at running back. But I look for the offense to take a step up. The grade is B.

2. The Defense.

The defensive line. Defensive ends Robert Geathers and Carlos Dunlap are the starters. Dunlap is a stud. Period. Unfortunately, he's hurt for the first game with a knee injury. Michale Johnson is big and tall. Could wreck havoc.

Finally, the Bengals have some good talent at the defensive tackle position. Domata Peko is a solid run stopper. But it's Geno Atkins who will again shine. He'll put pressure on the quarterback. Look for contributions from talented rookies Devon Still and Brandon Thompson.

Linebackers. While Thomas Howard led the team in tackles last year, this group is nothing to write home about. Rey Maualuga needs to bring his game up a level. Manny Lawson needs to make an impact in blitz situations. Don't expect much from the rookie Vontaze Burfict. Though one hopes he will surprise us.

Secondary. Cornerback Leon Hall looks as if he has recovered from last year's Achilles injury. The interesting thing here is that four of the other corners were first round draft picks. They are Jason Allen, Adam Jones, Terence Newman and Nate Clements. Yeah, they're a little long in the tooth but hopefully their expereince will make up for lost steps. Don't look for first round pick Dre Kirkpatrick anytime soon since he was injured during the training camp.

Safety. The Bengals have Reggie Nelson doing yeoman's work at safety. And let's hope that Taylor Mays is in the right places in coverage. His athleticism makes him a force in the center.

Conclusion. The excellent pass rush should help the secondary. But the linebacking corp needs to step it up. The grade is B.

3. Special teams. The Bengals have a clutch kicker in Mike Nugent. Punter Kevin Huber also does an excellent job. The issue for the Bengals are the return specialists. Brandon Tate is okay for kickoffs. But the Bengals need more from the punt returners. Andrew Hawkins and Adam "Pac-Man" Jones look to be the candidates for returning punts. The grade is C+.

4. Management. I can't believe I'm saying this, but owner and de facto GM Mike Brown has made some excellent draft picks for the last three years. Those drafts plus the excellent draft of 2012 will set the Bengals for success for many years to come.

The Coaches. Head coach Marvin Lewis has the respect of the team. He knows how to motivate his men. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is more creative than his predecessor. That's a welcome development. Players want to play for defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. He knows how to get his players to perform at their apex.

5. The Prediction.

Look, I would like to say the Bengals will win the Super Bowl. But I have to be realistic. The schedule is tougher than last year. I predict the Bengals will go 7-9. I just hope I'm as wrong as I was last year. Maybe the Bengals win the Super Bowl. One can dream.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bill Clinton commands the room

If you asked me that a person could make a point about tax policy into an inspiring moment of a speech, I would have said you're crazy. But Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton kicked ass at the Democratic National Convention with a hell of a speech endorsing President Barack Obama. With passion, and charm he commanded the room. Whereas the Republicans didn't use details, Clinton used numbers and details. This could have been deadly, but Clinton's sincerity shined through. Check out his speech below. As a bonus, here's Chris Matthews from Hardball.

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Colbert on the Democrats diversity

Stephen Colbert points out the diversity at the Democratic National Convention. You didn't see this at the Republican convention. Funny stuff.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

No bounce for Romney

If you follow presidential politics, you probably know that candidates get a bounce upwards in support after their party's national convention. For Republicans, it should be about a 5 point bounce in the polls. That's according to Ed Schultz, who used Gallup Poll numbers. (September 3, 2012 "The Ed Show."

According to the same show, the Gallup Poll showed no bounce at all for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Look you've got to start trending up if you want to win. I recall how Republican George H. W. Bush started to move up after the Republican convention in 1988. He went from seven points down to four points ahead. Romney didn't get a bounce or much of any movement. That's a sign of a weak candidate. Here's Ed Schulz's video piece.

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We're better off than we were four years ago

Republicans are touting an old tatic from the past to attack President Barack Obama. The are using St. Reagan's (Bill Maher's name for President Ronald Reagan) attack on President Jimmy Carter which asked voters, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"

Really? Do the Republicans want to make this argument? Yeah, times are not good. But four years ago, we were looking at the Great Depression, Part Two. We are not in that abyss. If I can paraphrase Vice President Joe Biden. Bin Laden is dead. GM is alive. Listen up Sarah Palin and you right-wingers. You betcha, we're better off than we were four years ago. Ed Schultz did an excellent piece on it yesterday. Check out his video.

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Republican National Convention was missing things

At the Republican National Convention, did you noticed that some things were missing. First, let's talk about the last Republican president. Where was George W. Bush? What about the nuts? These recent candidates weren't there or not given any time to speak. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) Crazy, crazy Herman Cain. And where was Tea Party darling Sarah Palin? And how about a reasonable conservative? Where was former presidential candidate John Huntsman? Why didn't Mitt Romney talk about the Afghanistan war? I've embeded Bill Maher's New Rule on some of the absences. (Here's the same video courtesy of HBO and Mediaite.)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Colbert on Clint's empty chair

I've watched actor-director Clint Eastwood's RNC speech. And my comment is that it was strange. He talked to an empty chair that was supposed to be President Obama. Look I get it. It's like those Bob Newhart routines where's he is talking on the phone and we don't hear the other person talking but he relays the meaning. The problem is that the other voice must be a heightened reality. Eastwood implies that Obama would use vulgarities. Obama has never publicly used the vulgarity that Eastwood implies. So it's not funny. But who is funny is Stephen Colbert. Here's his take on the Eastwood fiasco.

The Romney "We built that" slogan

If you've watched the RNC, the Republicans were using an alleged gaffe that President Obama said that businesses didn't "build that." But Republicans took the whole thing out of context. What he was talking about the roads and bridges. The businesses didn't build that. "That" was roads and bridges. What Obama meant success got help. You see roads and bridges lead to their businesses. They helped to get the goods to market. I'll let Jon Stewart explain it in this piece from July 25. There's also a hilarious Fox and Friends video where they use two little girls to make a political point.

Another crazy conservative

She's probably not the intellectual elite of conservatives but actress and former SNL cast member, Victoria Jackson is making news on her views of rape. At the Republican National Convention, she said if she were raped, she would carry the baby to term because it would be a blessing. She also said that the baby would have its own DNA and not the father's. As I pointed out earlier, Republicans have downright insane views on rape. So it's no surprise that you would find those views at the RNC.

Daily Show 's faux Romney video

At both parties' national conventions, there's usually a video praising the presidential candidate. Well, The Daily Show "built" its own. Narrated by Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy, it features the one guy who helped the struggling, young Mitt Romney. It was his rich father.


Minorities not welcome

A NBC/Wall Street Journal poll indicates that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is getting zero percentage in African American votes. Zero. Wow.

So what does my man, Stephen Colbert have to say about this? I love his comment as the GOP marched out its three minority members to give speeches.

Colbert and Stewart on Paul Ryan lies

On Wednesday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, gave his convention speech. And it was panned for having mutiple whoppers. Even Fox News called it deceiving. He told lies on the GM plant closing by blaming it on Obama when it happened in 2008 before Obama was elected, the cutting of 700 billion dollars from Medicare, etc.
Of course this is par for the course from Republicans. Why let facts get in the way. Just recently, Ryan told a small fib about his marathon running time. Small lies. But what happens when one tells big lies. Now where are those weapons of mass destruction?

So what do my favorite satirists, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart of the Daily Show have to say about this? First, up it's Jon Stewart and then Stephen Colbert.