Feast of Fools

Friday, March 28, 2008

This is actually a post about beer.

But the name of the beer is cool enough to warrant a title on the post.

Magic Hat Brewing Company in Vermont has such a...weird web site it's almost unusable (and they have a "safe sex" part of their web site as well...huh??). But that absolutely must be because they put all of their creativity into their beer.

This week's selection from the weirdly-creative team at Magic Hat, is Feast of Fools. And indeed, after splitting the bottle with a good friend, I was a fool. It turns out that Magic Hat uses 2 pounds of raspberries for every gallon of this beer when they brew it. One Hell of a raspberry stout (weighing-in at 7.5% abv).

The beer was presented to me in a jet-black champagne bottle, corked and foiled and begging to be abused. Move over, Brut. The liquid that comes out of this bottle is just as black as the bottle itself.

It poured black-ink into my snifter and produced a thick tan head. Huge rivulets of lovely tan lace clung to the glass as I quaffed.

I was so eager to enjoy the aromas this beer produced, I got a bit zealous and accidentally stuck my nose into the lace. No bother; all the better to smell what it had to offer. Typical stouty aromas hit me in a pleasurable wave: roasted malt, light coffee, dark chocolate, a hint of vanilla, dark, bitter black roasted grains. But there, throughout the whole experience, was this sweet, tart raspberry. Not too much, not overwhelming, just there, a natural part of the whole beer as if it were an aroma natural to roasted malts.

The taste was an equally amazing experience. The raspberry was very present, but again didn't overpower the rest of the flavors. It was a significant part of the greater whole, without being the only thing. Like that movie Heat, where you had DeNiro, Pacino, Madsen and Kilmer. Each one is huge in their own right, but were integral parts of a total movie.

The raspberry mixed well with the coffee and dark, bitter chocolate. Think death-by-chocolate cheesecake with a raspberry liqueur drizzle and a big cup of espresso. That's this beer. The really interesting part was that as the beer warmed, it took-on Christmas-fruit flavors: rum-soaked dates, prunes and the like. Big dried fruit flavors really began to shine towards the end of the beer and as it warmed on the tongue.

Surprisingly, the beer is sweet and rather medium-bodied. Unsurprisingly, it finishes dry. Nice, tingly carbonation added to the lightness of the fruit flavors and the taste of the whole beer lingered nicely between what quickly became gulping quaffs.

I like this beer better than the framboise (raspberry) lambics, which seem to be just a tad heavy on the raspberry concentrate/fruit juice end. The solidity of the stout backbone in this beer served to temper the powerful sweetness of the raspberry and created some really interesting flavors off to the side. Very drinkable, and highly recommended.


The State of Beer in Michigan

Thursday, March 27, 2008

While Kwame is busy screwing his Chief of Staff and the taxpayers of Detroit and dragging the region down, Southeast Michigan brewers are doing their part to spur the economy...and citizens' happiness.

Mrs. Smitty, always looking out for my best interests, sent me this article about the success and engagement of the breweries in Southeast Michigan.

The first half of the article focuses on the success of each of these breweries during the recent Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival. But the second half gets into what I think is so damn American about the craft brewing scene. Despite the success of the mainstay European beers...the beers that defined the styles as we know them...it's American brewing ingenuity that have really made the States stand apart in the brewing universe.

Take for example, this brewery's response to the crippling world-wide hops shortage:

After winter thaw, Black Lotus will debut a green jasmine tea beer. "With a shortage of hops in the industry, it's important to find alternative ways to flavor the beer," says Harper, who is pleased with his test batches. Black Lotus is big on supporting local commerce, and even uses the tag line, "think global, drink local." It's partnering with Ono Teas, a Novi-based company, on the creative concoction.
Flavor your beers with alternative bittering agents, and use support local business partnerships at the same time. Sure, the drafters of the reinheitsgebot are rolling over in their graves, but screw 'em. That antiquated law has hamstrung German brewers for several centuries now from reaching even newer heights.

I'd also point out the efforts of Bobby Mason over at Michigan Brewing Company. Over the past few years, he has switched some of his recipes so that all of the grains he uses come from Michigan. Further, he is using his spent grains and other brewing biproducts to create biodeisel. He does this in conjunction with Michigan State University, who uses a corner of their now-vast brewing warehouse to teach students how to make biodeisel. Soon, he hopes to power his entire brewery off of biodeisel created by his own brewing waste, and even be able to sell some energy back to the grid. That's how to run a business, people.

Local brewers are creating local business partnerships and powering themsleves more and more on energy created from their own products. They are relying on local farms and creating products that challenge what we know about beer...and by last year's sales figures, the public loves it as microbrewed beer continues to out-pace the macrobrews in growth.

There's a new revolution. And just like the first one here in the States, it is starting in a bar.


The 5 Most Badass Presidents of All-Time

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I haven't posted a list in a while, so I decided that in the spirit of the upcoming election we should look back at some of the more interesting exploits of our past leaders as it relates to badassery.



Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dammit. The risk of checking out other peoples' blogs. I go to one I like, next thing you know...BAM! Tagged with another meme. Blogging is sometimes like unprotected sex in this particular light.

4x4 meme. Keep in mind, these are more random than they are "favorites."

4 jobs I've had: Ice Cream "Soda Jerk," bookstore manager, rifleman, lobbyist (current)

4 TV shows I watch: The Daily Show, Colbert, Robot Chicken, How I Met Your Mother (I am sometimes a sucker for a sitcom...)

4 places I have been: Somalia, Ireland, London, Boston

4 foods I like: steak of all kinds, chips-n-salsa (I am a salsa FIEND), olives, beer (beer is food, goddammit).

4 people I tag: Mike, B Mac, Steves, Bob.


100 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wednesday night turned into a train wreck. Before I knew it, it was 2:30 in the morning, the lights were on in the bar and I realized with a queasy feeling that by the time I got home, I'd get a whopping 4 hours of sleep before I had to gt up again with a 2 year old quivering with happy, bouncing energy.

Thursday, I decided, was truly going to suck.

I had some amazing beers Wednesday night at my new favorite beer bar, Brannigan Brothers. Their selection is incredible and their new General Manager, Marc, knows his beer. And saying that is understating his knowledge and love for it.

So today, instead of a review of a single beer, I am reviewing a bar.

Brannigan Brothers is located at 210 S. Washington Square in downtown Lansing. Recently, it made a few major changes, including the hiring of the new General Manager and the hiring of the University Club of Michigan State's former Chef. The menu is now a challenging affair, with a eclectic mix of pub grub and a "specials list" worthy of the higher-end restaurants in the Lansing area.

But enough about the food. Let's get to the beer.

Here's a smattering of their extensive beer list.

His taps rotate beers from:

Arbor Brewing
Dogfish Head
Erie Brewing
Flying Dog
The Livery
The usual (Miller, Coors, Bud, Pabst, Guinness)

Impressive. Great beers, and he has made a point to get to know the brewers and thus makes sure he gets the really good beers from those breweries that other people don't get. Founders Breakfast Stout on tap? Yup. Secured himself 3 kegs of it.

He has an equally impressive selection of "Big Bottles (bomber-sized bottles):"

Chimay Tripel (White)
Delirium Nocturnum
Deus Brut Des Flanders
Flying Dog Collaborator Doppelbock
Founders Blushing Monk
Gouden Carolus
Great Divide Hades
New Holland
Ommegang (including 3 Philosophers Quadrupel)
Rogue (including XS Imperial Stout and Imperial Red)
Saison Dupont
Southern Tier
Stone (including the RIS)
Victory Golden Monkey

Wow, wow, and more wow. One could get plaowed just on the first 3 bottles.

And then there's the bottle list. Instead of listing every brewery and type, I'll just list some of my personal favorites:

Avery Mephistopheles
Breckenridge Vanilla Porter
Brooklyn Double Chocolate Stout
Corsendonk Pater
Darkhorse Sapient
Dogfish Head 120 Minute
Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout
Founders Devil Dancer and Breakfast Stout
Great Divide Titan IPA
Great Lakes Conway's Irish Red
Ommegang Hennepin
New Holland Lucid and Poet
Unibrue Trois Pistoles
Victory Storm King

...and so many more that I skipped to save time and space.

Marc takes the time to cellar certain beer, and serve beers as close as fridge space and commercial limitations allow him to serve them fresh and..correctly. He looks at every detail, right down to what kind of glas the beer should go in.

So there it is, folks. Get thee to Brannigan Brothers and get thy drink on.


A More Perfect Union

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Barack Obama gave a speech on Tuesday afternoon in which he addressed the 800-pound-gorilla in the room:

Apparently, he is black.

Now, obviously everyone knows by now that Barack Obama is black. Dude has been on TV every day for like 3 years. But I say "apparently" because until now, the issue has remained at the periphery of the campaign. Questions of race have come up, but only regarding the candidate himself: Is he black enough? Can he energize black voters? What about white voters? Or latino voters? Is America ready for a black president?

It was in this context, and coupled with a conversation about an inflammatory black pastor, that Senator Obama gave the following speech. And if you have 37 free minutes, I highly recommend that you watch the entire thing. For my money, this is the best summary of current race relations I have ever heard:

This is not just a guy who happens to have darker skin than most presidential candidates. He is a Black American. He has lived the Black American experience. He has been subject to the latent racism. He has been accused of being a "product of affirmative action". He has seen the societal inequity. And those experiences have affected him.

And so begin the real questions about race. Not the questions about the relationship between the candidate and the American people, but rather the questions about the American people themselves; are we ready to deal with the racial issues that exist in our society?

Black people are mad. They are mad about slavery. They are mad about segregation. They are mad about social inequality. They are mad at a society that tells them that the competition is fair even though the runner next to them got a 300 year head start. This is the anger we saw with Reverend Wright.

White people are mad, too. They are mad about affirmative action. They are mad about welfare. They are mad about immigrants. They are mad about an America in which they are told they were born with an advantage, even if they had to scratch and claw for every inch of ground gained. This is the anger we saw with Geraldine Ferraro last week.

(Side note; my people, the Native Americans, would be mad too, but most of us are dead. Thanks a bunch, white people...)

Equality is a tough needle to thread. I feel like we've reached a point where, to a large extent, a black kid and a white kid growing up next door to each other have many of the same opportunities in life. But the fact remains that the average black kid and the average white kid are not born in the same place. I think this election may force us to face some of these issues. And it may not be pretty, but the resulting moment of gestalt could be really good for our nation.

Plus, it'll make for some really interesting speeches.



Monday, March 17, 2008

I caught this SNL sketch on Spitzer. It kinda sums up the whole, uh, affair.

Hilarity ensues.


Wild Blue, Thy Name is Assandcatfood

Friday, March 14, 2008

This puts it lightly:

This, however, is a much more apt reaction to this beer:

I had the recent displeasure of sampling a bottle of Anheuser-Busch's Wild Blue Blueberry Lager. If someone asks you to try this beer, you can no longer consider them a friend.

This beer could be used to end the war in Iraq.

No...the Geneva Convention won't allow the use of this beer in combat against humans.

Now, before I am criticized by the masses for simpoly being biased against a "microbrewed" beer that's actually from AB, I am always willing to try something a brewery wants to market, even the big ones. Including AB. Their "cask-aged" ale is actually a decent specimen and at least drinkable. This beer, however, was undrinkable.

You may ask aloud: how undrinkable was it? Well, let me tell you. My wife, 7 months pregnant with twins, has done noting but crave...sometimes tearfully crave...the beers I carelessly and callously flaunt in front of her. She sipped this beer, and literally recoiled in horror. So desperate for beer is she that she caught a whiff of someone's Michelob Ultra and nearly went into fits of drooling desire, and she recoiled in horror at a mere sip of this...this...monstrosity.

Served in a 12-oz brown bottle with a twist-off cap (should have been my first warning) with a pic of an ugly blue dog kicking a blueberry. Ha! Looks funny. I bet the beer has real moxie, just like that crazy, messy dog kickin' that blueberry. Marketing genius, I tell you.

The beer pured into my glass...purple. Not dark brown with purple or blue hues. Purple. With a lavender head, thin, which dissipated quickly. I fouled a perfectly good beer glass with this foul purple liquid. How purple? Kool-Aid purple. Mrs. Smitty said "Wow. That's purple. You sure you want to drink it?"

With great trepidation, I lifted the glass towards my nose with a shaking hand. I smelled with the kind of a smelling reflex used for when one of your friends says "Oh Jesus dude...oh God...you gotta smell this." All I got was a noseful of artificial blueberry flavoring. Not real blueberry flavoring. The kind reserved for Jolly ranchers and bubblegum. I sniffed and sniffed, trying to find a speck, a mere hint, of a standard lager aroma; caramel malt, graininess. I got nothin. No hops. Alllllll artificial blueberry.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, Mrs. Smitty, my therpaist and the ER doc, I decided to hoist the glass to my lips and take a sip with wild abandon. Had this not been labeled as a "lager" I would have mistaken this for a blueberry martini. There was no discernable beer taste at all. Sip after gut-wrenching, tear-inducing sip produced no noble hops, no grain, no malt. I anticipated each sip in the same fashion that one might use to anticipate tasting month-old milk in their fridge. All I got as my reward for each painful quaff was a mouthful of fake blueberry and a slight alcohol bite. If I wanted to drink something like this in a bar, I'd order a martini. But seeing as how I like beer, I felt cheated.

At the end of the day, this is a malt liquor with blueberry concentrate added. Save yourself the trouble and go buy a 40 of King Cobra, a can of blueberry concentrate, find a pitcher, pour and mix. I'd have felt better about myself, after trying this atrocity, if I'd have bought Boon's Farm.

I even felt bad about pouring thios beer down the drain not because I was dumping a beer (as this is clearly a misrepresentation....this is not beer), but because I didn't want my drain and garbage disposal to suffer the same fate as my mouth.

I am a more bitter person because I tried this beer.


To Arms, Geeks! Slate Blasts D & D

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I am well aware of the geek creds of many of the contributors to this blog, but in case you didn't know, a major icon in the Geek pantheon passed away this past week.  Gary Gygax, one of the originators of Dungeons and Dragons died after a long illness.  Most of the comments and obituaries have been flattering and full of praise.  Arguably, D&D is the most popular and well-known RPG and Gary Gygax, from what I can tell, was a decent guy and a good businessman.

The one exception to the praise was a snobby, elitist piece by Erik Sofge appearing in Slate.  Here are a few gems:

So while it's one player's job—the so-called Dungeon Master—to come up with the plot for each gaming session and play the parts of the various enemies and supporting characters, in practice that putative storyteller merely referees one imagined slaughter after another. This is not Tolkien's Middle-Earth, with its anti-fascist political commentary and yearning for an end to glory and the triumph of peace**. This is violence without pretense, an endless hobgoblin holocaust.

Or you can start slitting throats—after all, mercy doesn't have an experience point value in D&D. It's the kind of atrocity that commits itself.

I haven't played D&D for years, but I have mostly fond memories of the game.  It certainly wasn't perfect, but it offered a fun diversion to everyday life.  The author of this critique seems to think very highly of himself and is overly critical of what I remember most people wanting to do in RPGs, which was not being merciful to orcs.

**Tolkien was not writing anti-fascist political commentary, dumb ass, he was writing about the Romantic Movement as a counter to the Enlightenment (see this essay by David Brin).  The good guys in the LOTR weren't exactly promoting a democratically elected government.


S.C. Sheriff's Department Armored Vehicle with Belt-Fed Machine Gun

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Some interesting points from the article:

Sheriff Leon Lott told the Columbia State newspaper that he hoped the vehicle, named "The Peacemaker," would let the bad guys know that his officers are serious.

We don't look at this as a killing machine," Lott told the paper. "It's going to keep the peace. We hope the fact that we have this is going to save lives. When something like this rolls up, it's time to give up.

I don't have a problem with police having the gear they need to keep the public safe and protect themselves, but this seems extreme.  The rise in paramilitary style police raids is problematic, in my opinion.  This map shows some of these problems.

If I keep this up, I will be the official gun nut/crank on this forum.


Tuesday Pre-emptive Election Wrap

As the chief political correspondent, it is my job to do the post-game on primaries. But I probably won't have time tomorrow, so I'm going to summerize the Mississippi primary in advance.

  • Obama wins handily, declares himself the frontrunner
  • Clinton claims that Mississippi is "not representative of the country at large". In other words, she thinks there are too many black people, which is somehow unfair.
  • McCain says some stuff. No one listens, and the old guy gets tired and takes a nap.

I'll post more information as it becomes available...

*** UPDATE ***

I forgot one prediction, which was on full display last night:

  • Black people will vote for Obama. White people will vote for Hillary. And the media will marvel over this fact, declaring with great shock that "there seems to be a racial divide in Mississippi". In other similarly shocking news: oxygen is good, and having 6 dollars is better than having 5 dollars.


Monday Blogwhoring

Monday, March 10, 2008

I am way too lazy to post anything today. I had fellow ATK contributors Joel, Andy and many others over to the house this weekend to help me with drywalling the basement.

You want to know the true measure of freindship? A true friend will help you move or put up drywall.

So, still being sore and suffering from drywall dust-induced emphasema, I am ripping-off a few posts from other blogs universally recognized as "excellent," "funny," or "at least not overtly offensive." ANd by "universally," I mean from my own point of view.

First, go check out Mr. Furious's blog. He's got a nice post about finding your perfect TV girlfriend. No matter how many different answers I thought I was trying, I kept getting Lana Lang from Smallville. She looks pretty enough, and supposedly fits my personality profile, so move over, E-Harmony. I'm taking the Who Is Your Ideal TV Girlfriend quiz.

Next, head over to Rickey Henderson's place. Rickey has a post he found about Stuff White People Like. I read through the list. Yup. I'm pretty fucking white. The stuff on the list that I agree with is numerous enough that there is no escaping it.

Finally, the Sam Adams Long Shot contest is complete. This is the contest for homebrewers whereby if your beer wins, Sam Adams will brew your beer. Turns out this year's winner is a Michiganian! Go check out the article, and go find some of his beer. I personally enjoy a good weizenbock.

Enjoy. I'm off to chug more coffee and take some pain killers.


More Movie Quotes

Friday, March 07, 2008

Okay, Noah has passed the torch and challenged me to come up with 15 quotes of my own to test yo skilz. I'll clasify these as "Moderate" on the difficulty scale, with a few easier ones in there to break it up.

1. Marriage is an important part of getting ahead. It lets people know you're not a homo. A married guy seems more stable. People see the ring, they think, "At least somebody can stand the son of a bitch." Ladies see the ring, they know immediately that you must have some cash, and your cock must work.

2. Sucking all the marrow out of life doesn't mean choking on the bone.

3. For those regarded as warriors, when engaged in combat the vanquishing of thine enemy can be the warrior's only concern. Suppress all human emotion and compassion. Kill whoever stands in thy way, even if that be Lord God, or Buddha himself. This truth lies at the heart of the art of combat.

4. The night's as hot as hell. It's a lousy room in a lousy part of a lousy town - I'm staring at a goddess. She's telling me she wants me. I'm not going to waste one more minute wondering how I've gotten this lucky. She smells like angels ought to smell, the perfect woman... the Goddess.

5. I distrust a man who says "when." If he's got to be careful not to drink too much, it's because he's not to be trusted when he does.

6. What's the matter, Colonel Sandurz...CHICKEN?!

7. Hee hee hee. "Get her." That was your whole plan, huh, "get her." Very scientific.

8. Valentine: STAMPEDE! Stampede, Earl! Get out of the way, get out of the way!

Earl: You dumb shit. I was in a stampede once. Five hundred head, all hell-bent for the horizon.

Valentine: Now, exactly how many cattle are required for a stampede, Earl? Is it three or more? Is there a minimum to 'pede?

Earl: I wish they'd stampede up your ass.

9. And crawling, on the planet's face, some insects, called the human race. Lost in time, and lost in space... and meaning.

10. Listen to your friend Billy Zane. He’s a cool dude. He’s trying to help you out.

11. Good question, Aguado. First, I'd establish a motive. In this case the killer saw the size of the bug's DICK and became insanely jealous. Then I'd lose 30 pounds... PORKIN' his wife!

12. Dames are put on this earth to weaken us, drain our energy, laugh at us when they see us naked.

13. Ooh! Now that's good work! The skulls... the bodies... you give it all such a glow! I don't know if it's art, but I like it!

14. You got low self-esteem baby, you're a fantastic fuck.

15. How would you like it if you had balls in your ears?


No Beer Today

I was sick all of the weekend, then my son was sick the past 3 days. I finally got out to drink last night, and all I had was Guinness.

At any rate, Mr. Henderson tagged us with yet another meme. This one is kinda neat, though, and right up ATK contributor Joel's alley.

What I have to do is look up 15 of my favorite movies on IMDB, take a quote from each one and post them for my fellow drunks to identify. As each of you correctly identify the movies from whence they came in the comments section below, I will cross them off and acknowledge the commentor sober enough to figure each one out.

No cheating. That means no Googling, Yahooing or any other -ing that you would use. You only get your memory and your brain.

Now fortunately, I am an unsophisticated moviegoer, so you'll not be guessing over weird foreeign flicks and such.

So that's it. No beer until all the quotes are properly attributed.

In no particular order:

1) What's the matter? The CIA got you pushing too many pencils? Predator (Joel)

2) Take this...wave it at anything that slithers. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (b mac)

3) Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. Saving Private Ryan (b mac) Bonus points to b mac for identifying it as Private Jackson.

4) I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. Monty Python/Holy Grail (joel)

5) Yeah, I remember the first time I got shot out of a cannon. True Lies (joel)

6) Shit-eating son-of-a-bitch! Bastard, douche-bag, twat, numb-nuts, dickhead! What About Bob (joel)

7) The only thing that worried me was the actual killing. How does one do that? Hmmm? How does one kill a man? It's one thing to dream about it; very different when, when you, when you have to do it with your own hands. Amadeus (joel)

8) I'll be honest with you, I love his music, I do, I'm a Michael Bolton fan. For my money, I don't know if it gets any better than when he sings "When a Man Loves a Woman". Office Space (joel)

9) There's no strength left in the world of men. Lord of the Rings; Fellowship of the Ring (joel)

10) I find your lack of faith disturbing. Star Wars Episode IV (b mac)

11) Oh, you English are *so* superior, aren't you? Well, would you like to know what you'd be without us, the good ol' U.S. of A. to protect you? I'll tell you. The smallest fucking province in the Russian Empire, that's what! So don't call me stupid, lady. Just thank me. A Fish Called Wanda (Mrs. Smitty)

12) Thirty years from now, when you're sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee and he asks you, "What did you do in the great World War II," you won't have to say, "Well... I shoveled shit in Louisiana." Patton (b mac)

13) Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast. What kind of hamburgers? Pulp Fiction (joel)

14) Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son. Animal House (b mac)

15) Ready my knights for battle. They will ride with their king once more. I have lived through others for far too long. Lancelot carried my honor, and Guenevere, my guilt. Mordred bears my sins. My knights have fought my causes. Now, my brother, I shall be... king. Excalibur (joel)

The last one's kinda a dead giveaway, but there are a zillion versions of that long-told tale. Good luck, suckers.


Is Hillary Clinton Math is Driving the “Do-over”?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

What is driving the sudden reconsideration of a Michigan and Florida “do-over”? It’s the math and the fact that under the current calculation, Clinton cannot likely win. What’s a candidate to do?

Change the math.

According to CNN.com, Barack Obama has 1520 delegates compared to 1424 delegates for Hillary Clinton, a deference of 96 delegates. This includes the super delegates.

There are 611 delegates remaining, therefore, to catch up to Obama, Clinton must get 353.5 of the remaining delegates, compared to Obama earning only 257.5. Clinton would need to earn 57.9% to Obama’s 42.1%. (Clinton beat Obama 54% to 44% in Ohio based on the popular vote.)

Based on what primaries are left. It is highly unlikely that Clinton can make up the difference. In fact, she may be further behind once Pennsylvania rolls around because Obama will do well in the smaller caucus states and will likely clean her clock in Mississippi due to the extremely high proportion of African American voters in that state’s Democratic electorate.

Clinton needs more contests.

This is where Michigan and Florida come in. Clinton doesn’t think these states are going to be added to the calculation, so the only way to get them included and provide her enough relief is to call for a do-over. Obama isn’t likely to complain about this change, which would alienate the voters in those two states because he will need them in November.

Now that Hillary has done well in Ohio, I am betting that she thinks that win can translate to votes in Michigan, giving her a shot at the nomination. She also already won the non-contest in Florida, so Obama may have to do some serious campaigning there, in a very limited time, to catch up.

If Michigan and Florida return to the polls, it will decide the nomination.

Side note: One interesting tidbit is that Obama’s negative comments about the auto industry last year, which may have given him favor with the Environmentalists, may cost him Michigan and the entire nomination.


Reports of Clinton's Demise...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

“These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world …
… and then we fucked up the end game”
-- Charlie Wilson

Charlie Wilson's comments about the Afghan defeat of the Soviets could just as easily come from David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, this morning.

In case you missed it, two things happened last night. First, Hillary Clinton beat the standing eight-count, and has temporarily shushed the drumbeat of Democrats calling for her to drop out. And second, Barack Obama managed to maintain most of his (nearly) insurmountable lead among the pledged delegates.

As an Obama supporter, it was a disappointing evening. But as someone who wants to see a Democrat in the White House, it was mortifying. Coming into last night, I saw three plausible end-game scenarios for the Democrats-

  1. Obama wins Texas and/or Ohio, and Clinton bows out gracefully.
  2. One of the candidates emerges strongly enough, presumably in mid-to-late May, to force the other to release their Superdelegates.
  3. No clear winner, brokered convention, general disarray and chaos.

Obviously, #1 is out the window. And unless someone absolutely goes ape-shit in Pennsylvania on April 22, I don't see another possible "kill date" like last night for another 11 weeks (if Obama can win Oregon and Kentucky on May 20, on the heals of Indiana and North Carolina two weeks earlier, that might do it). That is nearly three months of a divided Democratic party, which gives John McCain time to sell himself among the Republican base. That's why he's having breakfast with George W. this morning. He couldn't cozy up to the right if he was already in "general election mode". But now he has the time.

I still think Obama will be the nominee. But this was a HUGE opportunity to put Clinton away. Imagine if Mr. T had gotten up off the mat in Rocky III, and Rocky had been forced to go the 15 rounds to win back the belt. Or if the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team had given up a late goal to the Soviets, and had to play an overtime period. That's what we're talking about here. You can't give Goliath a second chance (and make no mistake, the Clintons are atill Goliath in Democratic circles).

This brings a few new and intriguing scenarios into play. First and foremost among them:

Do Michigan and Florida hold "do-over" caucuses in June if necessary?

I'll elaborate later; gotta start working.


The Dork Test

Monday, March 03, 2008

Let's face it. Despite how cool we try to tell ourselves we are, what with this "getting chicks" and "drinking beer" we are primarily a collection of dorks on the blog. I won't go as far as saying our loyal readers are in the same category, but you do keep coming here...

Thus, I give you: Which Fantasy/Sci Fi Character Are You?

Apparently, I am Aragorn.It says that I am known for "Putting your appointed path ahead of any inner conflicts, you make your own rules for the benefit of all." Yes, indeed. That, and for having swarthy good looks, windswept, long black hair and a smashing 5-day beard.

I went back through and answered some questions again...and came up with this guy:

Go ahead. Take the test. You know you want to.



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