Links o’ Political & Economic Interest

John Kerry’s bodyslam on McCain’s campaign suspension

Video of Sarah Palin beauty queen tryout. (Completely irrelevant of course.)

Palin’s retake with Katie Couric. Well, not so much, McCain sits in to make sure that Palin doesn’t screw up. It’s not much better.

The Sarah Palin interview answer generator

Why does factcheck.org suck so bad? I go to factcheck.org once in a while and I am continually surprised how they slip in their own interpretations as facts, give facts that don’t relat, and don’t provide cites.

Obama said 95 percent of “the American people” would see a tax cut under his proposal. The actual figure is 81 percent of households.

One’s got nothing to do with each other. Given that poorer people have larger families, 81 percent of households could easily equal 95 percent of citizens or taxpayers. This guy feels the same way.

McCain’s earmark obsession. It is justified?

Another former McCain supporter/biographer jumps ship. For different reasons, I feel the same way as him (and the previous link I gave). Something happened in 2004, and John McCain is not the same man. Since then he has been a corrupt ignorant lying politician who does not put country first.

Campaign Ads designed by 6-year olds

Links o’ Interest

A buttered floor and a slow learner.

Cool percussive guitar

Jump, you ***ers!

Porn that’s safe for work

I don’t understand this, but it made me laugh.

Directions for revolt

Best football play of the year

42 funny and dumb things with cars

Chris Rock destroys Bill Clinton. Bonus dis on the Patriots.

A bit of blame assignment in our financial mess.

Metaphors of the mind. Being given the cold shoulder really makes you cold, acting immorally makes you literally feel dirty, etc.

Palin ducks the press, banning reporters from her new meet-the-world tour. Press bites back. And the press wins.

The 12 lies of Sarah Palin. Frankly, Sullivan doesn’t understand the difference between facts and interpretation, and half of these go into the Who Cares category. But still.

Hershey’s milk chocolate products substitute vegetable oil. Milk chocolate no more.

The size and scale of planets and stars

Mediocre NFL players and playmates

Near the end of a hard life.

Poker Update

I just couldn’t get a hand. It was the kind of outing where A-3 seemed very strong. When I did have decent hands, they weren’t working out. I had 6-6. The bet was raised, I called. The big blind pushed it another 3x. Everyone else called. I was getting 8-1 on my money, so I called too. The flop didn’t have a 6 so I folded. It was the right play, but that was a good 25% of my stack.

On my right was Klaus. Klaus is ignorant. He understand the order of hands, but he doesn’t know when the action is on him, doesn’t understand the blinds, bets under the minimum, etc. But Klaus is lucky, and near impossible to read (if he doesn’t know what he has, how can you figure it out?). In a 3-way showdown he had a straight and didn’t know it.

I have been very conservative all night. That’s easy when you aren’t getting good cards. It felt like it was time to bluff. With K-8, I raised big pre-flop. Klaus and one other stayed in. The flop was A-9-5. Both of them checked to me. I got a little subtle, and made a big show out of staring at the first player, as if trying to decide what he had. I was trying to represent that I had A with a small kicker and was scared he was checking with an A and a higher kicker. I checked. The turn was another A. They both checked to me, and I confidently went all-in. It felt like a perfect bluff. The good player folded. Klaus didn’t think hard before calling me. He flipped over… J-5. Jack Five! You’re calling me with J-5!!? What the hell are you doing? I was still seething when a gratuitous 5 came up on the river.

Now that is being Hellmuth’d. Getting Hellmuth’d isn’t getting bad cards. Getting Hellmuth’d isn’t getting a bad beat. Getting Hellmuth’d is when the other player is too stupid to play the hand correctly, and that someone screws you. He had no business in that hand. Bottom pair with a bad kicker, two other players in, one guy raises big then goes all-in, you’re not pot-committed, the table talk is telling you that the raiser is a good player who wins all the time… why on earth are you in that pot? Garggghh!!

Not to mention that my table rep has been wounded, by going all-in and having to show a naked bluff.

I rebought. And lost the next hand to give up 20% of it. Nyyyarrgghh!! Just not my night.

Or was it? First, Klaus goes nuts. In two successive hands, he knocks out three players. He mortally wounds a fourth on the next hand. That gets us to five people. I’m thinking might limp into third if I just stay out of his way.

Then my luck starts turning. I get playable hands.

And, I’m playing very aggressive when I do go in. No one sees cards for free.

And I’m bluffing. I stole the blinds with 3-5, did it again later with 8-3.

I climb back. Chips start flowing my way. Klaus loses a lot of chips – all five cards are out on the board, his opponent goes all-in, he calls with nothing. He had four hearts, he may have gotten confused and thought there was another card coming. I get my revenge when my all-in 9-9 holds up against his Q-5. Bye bye Klaus*, I’ve made the final three.

We are now down to three-handed. I have a slight chip lead. I’ve pushed all-in six hands in a row. As dealer with K-9, I should play the hand, but I have to sit one out. It’s mentally fatiguing to be involved in that many hands.

It’s a long slog, but 30 minutes later I have a significant chip lead. We up the blinds, and I continue to push-push-push. I suddenly realize I’m going to win this thing. I now have 26K in chips, there are 32.5K in play.

I go all-in with K-J and get called by A-x. The flop is A-10-x. I am behind, but the queen comes up and the straight knocks him out. Second place!

The next hand I go all in with J-10, I’m called by K-x. The flop is K-9-x. Again I get my queen and the straight knocks him out. First place baby!

This was a big win for me. It’s the first time I’ve rebought in months, the first time a naked bluff has been exposed in months, the first time I was playing from behind, and I somehow pulled it out. The chatter is a huge ego-boost, they seem to accept that I’ll get first place most weeks. I’m starting to believe my own hype also. This is an amazing streak.

Tonight: $90
Running Total: $418

*Klaus is not his real name. He’s a nice guy and will probably be a good player when he gets through paying his dues. I intend to be his dues in the meantime.

Muttrox Woes

My home computer is undergoing catastrophic failure. If I can get to turn on and have it boot up all the way without a blue screen of death, it is an achievement. Getting it to shut down cleanly makes me feel good things inside. In between it whirs and whirs and thinks and I can’t figure out what it’s thinking about. I have the issue narrowed down to either Adobe, AVG, Windows Update, bad disc sector, or something else.

www.dell.com for me…

Fantasy Football – Week 3 update

No one gave an opinion on my fantasy football roster. So I suppose I will have to tell you the correct answer.

The answer is: I’m amazing.

After 3 weeks, I am 3-0. I’m the high scorer in the league. Two of those three weeks I doubled my opponents score. Two of those weeks I had the highest score in the league. After dominating this week, I didn’t want to trash talk. It just felt mean. It’s like arm-wrestling a nine-year old, sure you win, but where’s the fun in it?

Links o’ Interest

Humor
50 greatest Charles Barkley quotes

LeBron James gets whupped in Horse.

We’re not that different

South Park in Virginia

Telemarketer Fax JuJitsu

The worst job in the world

Evolution

Pie chart done right

Graffiti removal

Ricky Gervais takes his Emmy back


Other Stuff

What American accent do you have? (Apparently I have a midland accent. Which is a lame to say “you don’t have an accent”. And this assumes I know how I speak. And if there’s any research here, I can’t find it, seems like any idiot can create one of these quizzes. Still kinda fun though.)

Humans are good runners. In fact, we’re the best endurance runners around.

Falsely imprisoned for 16 years – here’s what we should fix. (Surprisingly unbitter)

17 years of his life in 2 minutes. (One frame per day)

Andy Reid analyzes a 1958 football game

Why it’s worth it to hurricane-proof your house.

This man allowed himself to be captured by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz so he could send information to the Allies.

Links o’ Interest (Current Events)

So many interesting links, I’m splitting it into two pieces. First the current events portion:

Politics

Who cares about the national poll numbers? We still elect presidents by aggregating 50 state elections. www.fivethirtyeight.com is my favorite website to see the state of the election. It has a sophisticated model that uses state polls and reputations of the pollsters to predict the election. This site is not quite as good, but still very worthy.

National Popular Vote. A great idea to get around the electoral college. A state passes a law that they will give all their electoral votes to the winner of the national vote, as long as enough states have passed the law to get 270 electoral votes. Once 270 is hit, it doesn’t matter what any standout states do. This is really clever, it completely gets around the need to amend the Constitution. How’s it going so far? They’re 19% of the way there.

The media is turning on McCain. They’re not the only ones. His biographer has jumped ship too. Hear it from someone who has studied him in depth.

Obama & McCain’s views on science issues

Obama’s got your back (funny)

Palin and Elitism (funny)

Chuck Hagel disses Palin

Places closer to Moscow than Wasilla, Alaska (Palin’s hometown)

Economics
Why did Wall Street Fail? Was it deregulation? Maybe… if so, Bob Kuttner lays it out here.
Seven Deadly Sins of Deregulation — and Three Necessary Reforms

Another insight into economic troubles

Another way of looking at the economic crisis. I always like a good gambling analogy.

Freakonomics explains the economic crisis. Still hard to understand.

Reed Hundt (former FCC chair) walks through the economy. Very good overall view of the differences between McCain and Obama on the economy.

Poor timing from AIG

Yet another summary of what’s going on, a very clear one. If you read enough these, you close in on understanding.

It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Today is national Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Need instructions? Learn more here. Don’t know how? Use the translator!

Senator Obama has been able to develop innovative approaches to challenge the status quo and get results. Americans are tired of divisive ideological politics, which is why Senator Obama has reached out to Republicans to find areas of common ground. He has tried to break partisan logjams and take on seemingly intractable problems. During his tenure in Washington and in the Illinois State Senate, Barack Obama has accumulated a record of bipartisan success.

Becomes

Senator Obama be able t’ develop innovative approaches t’ challenge th’ status quo an’ get results. Americans be tired o’ divisive ideological politics, which be why Senator Obama has reached ou’ t’ Republicans t’ find areas o’ common poop deck. He has tried t’ break partisan logjams an’ take on seemingly intractable problems. Durin’ his tenure in Washington an’ in th’ Illinois State Senate, Barack Obama has accumulated a record o’ bipartisan success.

pirate

YAAAARRRRRGGGHHH!!!!

Restaurant Floor Managers

You’re in a restaurant eating your meal. Minding your own business. Just eating your meal, quiet like. You’ve just started the corn on the cob when it comes.

“Everything OK?” The man asking is in his mid-forties with significant hair loss. You don’t recognize him. He wears a nice outfit but he asks a little too quickly and there is sweat in the armpits.

“Um yeah. It’s all good.” Who is this mysterious man? Who seems genuinely interested in your meal — but who would be? Who breaks in on a dinner to ask strangers how the food is. It must be an act. Who’s he with? Let him know if there are any problems? What does that mean, is it a threat? What’s his game anyhow?

That’s how I feel about the restaurant floor manager. Don’t ask me dumb questions in the middle of my meal. If you insist on knowing about my meal, ask me when it’s over. I’m eating. I’ve already been asked by the waiter. That’s his job. You have people to do that for you, don’t lower yourself to their level.

And wear some ID. How do I know who you are? Maybe you’re not with the restaurant. Maybe you’re just some weirdo that gets his jollies by putting on some nice slacks, wandering into a Chilis and go from table to table asking people about their meal. Hm. That sounds pretty fun actually. Feels like a improv comedy sketch waiting to happen.

Brady v Belichick

But if you were starting a team right now, would you rather have Belichick as the coach or Brady as the QB? Who’s more valuable?

That’s a really difficult question. There are four people involved, not just two.

Robert Kraft: The big guy has worked miracles with the salary cap. With 20/20 hindsight his pursuit of Belichick has been justified, but it didn’t seem that way at the time. He more or less declared war on the Jets and ended up paying multiple draft picks for Belichick, who at the time was unproven.

Scott Pioli: He’s the guy who arranges the drafts and trades. Brady has had a team built around him with top talent. What would Brady be like with a team of scrubs? Would he be like Barry Sanders, a franchise player wasted? He’d probably be worse. Without the existing Patriots system, his skills would probably never be rewarded.

Am I starting a team with other good players? Am I building a one-year drive to the Super Bowl or a team that will compete every year?

Nevertheless, I have to agree with Ox. I think Belichick is one of the best coaches out there. But the gap between him and the many good coaches in the league is not as big as the gap between Brady and most quarterbacks. That gap is shrinking these last couple years, but for four or five years it’s been him and Peyton Manning and no one else. Everyone knows that the real Super Bowl has been Colts vs Pats in the playoffs because the winner was going to win the Super Bowl. Without Belichick, we might not have been in four Super Bowls this decade, we might not have won as many close games. And every Super Bowl win (and loss) was close, as were many of the games leading up. So maybe we only win one. But without Brady, I don’t think we win any.