Oct 31, 2007

Curt Schilling Would Pitch for the Brewers

On Curt Schilling's personal blog, he has written a post where he discusses his impending free agency. In it, he expresses a desire to go to a team that has "a legitimate shot at being in the post season and/or World Series." The Brewers are on that list.

It's true, Schilling is getting old - but he proved in the playoffs that he can shut other good teams down. Who knows if he can do it for a full season. He has said he's looking for something in the one-year, $13 million range.

This begs a larger discussion of what the Brewers plan on doing in the offseason. They have a little money to spend - dumping Geoff Jenkins nets them $9 million. Kevin Mench being gone saves $3 million. Getting rid of Corey Koskie saves them $2 million - his salary was over $5 million, but the Blue Jays were still picking up the majority of that.

Since the end of last year, I've been thinking a lot about what Torii Hunter would look like in a Brewer uniform. It seems like money-wise, they could make that happen. Hart in right, Hunter in Center, and some kind of platoon of Gross, Nix, and Hall in left would be ideal. And I still like Gwynn.

Although if some team goes crazy over Hunter and outbids the Brewers, I can see Schilling as a decent option. He may be able to prevent the team from completely collapsing when Ben Sheets' arm inevitably falls off in August.

Either way, it's nice to see Milwaukee get the love it deserves from the game's stars.

Oct 30, 2007

Hitler's Hotbox

One of the things I love most about the History Channel is the fact that they've covered Hitler's life so completely, they're now left reporting on some really arcane aspects of his life.

For instance, in a documentary called "High Hitler," it was revealed that Hitler suffered from extreme constipation, and therefore, uncontrollable flatulence.

From the documentary description:

But the Fuhrer himself was an appalling hypochondriac who abused laxatives and suffered for much of his life from stomach cramps and embarrassing flatulence. And that was simply the start.
It looks like this has been reported elsewhere. In fact, one website reports:

A rabid hypochondriac, he would also examine his own feces on a regular basis and administer himself camomile enemas.

I'll spare you all the obvious "Hitler" and "gas" jokes. There certainly isn't anything funny about the Fuhrer.

However, this does set a troubling precedent. If someone does a documentary about me after I'm dead, how do I make sure details like this stay out? Sure, I have the benefit of not slaughtering millions in attempting to create a master race, but some of my post-burrito stories are pretty funny.

Blog of "Interest"

I'm a stickler for spelling and punctuation myself, so I got a kick out of the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. Funny stuff.

Spooktacular Packer Notes

Big win by the Pack last night. Also, an outstanding performance by Mark Tauscher in introducing Brett Favre as "Vinny Testaverde's dad." More importantly, it keeps up the eerie pattern of following my Madden 2008 season - winning 6 of the first 7 games, with the only loss against the Bears.

The bad news is, my faux Packers went down to the Chiefs on the road next week. Might not want to watch. Although a Packer loss won't be nearly as difficult on the eyes as the photos from this Packer-themed wedding. In keeping with the theme, I demand this couple eventually have a Packer-themed divorce.

Oct 26, 2007

Comings and Goings

It's true, I have been lax in updating "The Trousers" here. But it's not like I've been asleep. I have two fairly long budget-related pieces over at WPRI here and here. Plus, I can barely get out of bed with Virginia Tech's collapse against Boston College last night.

More importantly, while the so-called "mainstream media" has been keeping itself amused with its "Number of Days Budget is Overdue" countdown, a much more important countdown has gone virtually unreported.

That countdown, of course, is the "How Many Days Until Mr. Brownstone Makes Its Triumphant Return To Madison" Countdown. And the answer is now: one. Come on out on Saturday night to the High Noon Saloon to get the full-on Guns n' Roses tribute experience.

Oct 22, 2007

GOP Candidates: The Debate Within

Last night, the Republican presidential candidates debated in Florida. Finally, the debates are starting to heat up a little bit with candidates sniping at each other.

I am still completely undecided as to which candidate I’ll support. By the time the Wisconsin primary rolls around, it’ll probably be decided for me, anyway. From my perspective, the debate between the candidates is over. The only debate that matters now is the argument each GOP voter will have within themselves to decide how much they can tolerate in each candidate.

That being said, here are my thoughts on the candidates last night:

Mitt Romney: Mitt Romney wants to be president, and he’s willing to say the words “Ronald Reagan” as many times as it takes to make that happen. Watching Romney’s calculated and rehearsed schtick actually makes my skin crawl – I’m 100% convinced that if I vote for him, I’ll get a free set of steak knives in the mail.

Obviously, his big downside is his consistent support for Democratic positions while running for office in Massachusetts. Now he claims he has had an epiphany and recants all of his previous positions. During the debate, he consistently blames all of his lefty positions on having a Democratic legislature. Fortunately, if elected president, he will still be able to blame Ted Kennedy when he signs a bunch of crappy lefty bills.

Fred Thompson’s Skeleton: Thompson is asked whether he’s too lazy to be president. The problem is, he has to be woken up to hear the question. He ticks off a list of his accomplishments, to prove that he’s not lazy. He then collapses from fatigue after going through the whole list. I figure this will be a good strategy the next time my wife accuses me of being lazy – I’ll list all of my lifetime accomplishments starting with the ribbon I received in 3rd grade soccer.

John McCain: It really is a shame McCain has become such a retread. He has a sharp mind and a quick wit, and he is clearly an American military hero. He wins the “line of the night” contest with several pre-rehearsed zingers. Unfortunately, his positions on campaign finance reform and other measures have euthanized his appeal with Republicans. Nobody trusts him – plus, I think a lot of people secretly think he’s too old and in too ill health to serve out a term.

Ron Paul: Time to go make a sandwich.

Duncan Hunter: Answers a question about terrorism in Turkey with an explanation of lasers and missiles in Alaska – which I am 90% sure is the plot of an old “Battlestar Galactica” episode.

Mike Huckabee: Everyone’s favorite Vice Presidential candidate. I really like him – he looks relaxed and confident, and throws in the occasional joke to lighten things up. I would LOVE to support him if he can establish himself as a first-tier candidate, which is a terrible thing to say. It would be like a girl in high school saying she would want to date me if only I were just a little more popular. But I only get one vote.

Tom Tancredo: Ironically, during one of his anti-immigration rants, four Mexicans slipped into the country hiding under his toupee.

Rudy Giuliani: Here’s the tough one for me. How much of his lefty positions am I willing to put up with in order to have someone who can clearly beat Hillary Clinton? (Incidentally, I’m a little uncomfortable with all the GOP derisively referring to her as “Hillary” during the debates – she is, after all, a U.S. Senator, and deserves a modicum of respect, as hard as that may be.)

Abortion is a big one with me. Gay rights, not a big deal. But is Giuliani’s perceived strength in law enforcement and terrorism enough to counterbalance his positions with which I disagree? I think he has great answers about the importance of school choice. He clearly believes strongly in fiscal responsibility and free markets. But am I willing to sacrifice the balance of the Supreme Court for these other principles? I tend to think the Bush presidency has been successful solely because of the Roberts and Alito nominations. I really am torn.

I don’t necessarily buy that Giuliani is the only candidate that can beat Hillary Clinton, but I think he has the best shot. Of course, my opinion and $1.25 will get you a bus ride downtown.

Oct 17, 2007

Rallying Around the Capitol

I headed down to the Capitol today for the Americans for Prosperity "No Tax Hike" rally. I had read there was going to be a union counter-rally at the same time, so I figured I'd go check it out in case someone got beaten to death with a Hayek book or something.

I got there about 15 minutes before both the rally and counter-rally were scheduled to start. It really felt like a big event, with all the TV cameras and elected officials milling about. There were hundreds of people there - the anti-taxers on the sidewalk in front of the East Wing, with the union demonstrators held back by police tape. Hundreds of union folks were all decked out in their green t-shirts, identifying them as AFSCME members. Union members flooded the Capitol square in their pickup trucks, driving around the loop honking their horns and blowing air horns in order to drown out the speakers (I fully expect the ACLU to intervene to protect AFP's free speech rights.) Apparently the joke going around the Capitol before the demonstrations started was "looks like the government shutdown started already."

In fact, most of the union crowd was from local government - firefighters, cops, etc. All decked out in their work uniforms, of course. Let's just say it would be a bad day to be a kitten in a tree in Greendale today - Buttons better pack a lunch. As a side note, most of their state funding comes from the shared revenue program - which Governor Doyle froze in his most recent "compromise" budget. I eagerly anticipate the union anti-Doyle rally forthcoming. I think that's scheduled on the same day that Michael Vick is elected president of PETA.

I walked around both sides of the crowd, just people watching. I spotted a news reporter of whom I had been critical in a WPRI post last week, and I felt kind of bad. (Would I have felt bad if she was a man? See the end of this post for the answer!)

I spotted some friends of mine and stopped to chat. Of course, these guys were all wearing ties. As you may know, wearing a tie at a union rally is like wearing a Boy Scout uniform at Neverland Ranch. You're immediately a target. So these guys had some insults hurled their way, since everyone assumed them to be Republicans.

When the speakers started, I wedged my way up to the front left part of the stage, outside the ropes. It looked too cramped in the anti-tax crowd, so I just laid back in pro-union territory. A woman came up to me and said "can I make this real for you?" I was hoping she had drugs, but I wasn't that lucky. She started in on her medical problems, how Wisconsin Republicans are trying to repeal the Family and Medical Leave Act, and on and on. Never mind that FMLA is a federal law - what really mattered was that this lumpy guy in the sweater vest was going to hear her damn story, whether he liked it or not.

It wasn't until Owen Robinson started speaking that the union-led "BULLSHIT" chant really got going. And you wonder how stereotypes get started. I guarantee that at no point anyone thought to chant "we beg to differ!" or "your facts are in dispute!" No, they had to go low. As P.J. O'Rourke once said, "freedom of speech is their own punishment."

The most puzzling chant I heard from the pro-tax crowd was "DO YOUR JOB!" Naturally, this was in reference to lawmakers having to pass a budget. Yet none of the speakers on stage was a legislator. They started chanting it when Reince Priebus, chair of the state Republican Party, was speaking. Actually, I'm pretty sure Reince was doing exactly what his job entails at that very point. So it's good that he took their advice.

Someone walked by me with the sign: "BUSH AND HUEBSCH: GASSHOLES." (Brian Fraley has a picture here.) You are free to come to your own conclusion about how such a sign was formulated, and the self-gratification felt when it was finally completed. Probably much like when Louis Pasteur invented the first rabies vaccine.

The speakers were difficult to hear, but I stuck around to hear Vicki McKenna - knowing she would be unnecessarily provocative. Sure enough, she started out by firing directly at the union crowd - suggesting that they should be thanking the taxpayers for paying them to protest today. Sure, her facts may have been a little "loose," but she achieved her intended effect, which was to jab a fork in the eye of the counter-protestors. As noted Gasshole George Bush said, "Mission Accomplished."

After the rally ended and the cameras left, protestors of both sides were left to mill around. Some union folks climbed up on to the stage to have a smoke - which left the ironic image of green-shirted union activists standing in front of a 10-foot high sign that said "NO NEW TAXES."

(Note that many of the messages in this summary are in all caps - needless to say, protests aren't necessarily warm to nuance.)

As I was leaving, I noticed one of my friends having a discussion with a female union member. The two women were discussing whether an unflattering picture had been taken of her by my buddy. The union woman was discussing the need to be civil and fair. Oh, and she was wearing a button with a picture of Mike Huebsch that said "AND YOU THOUGHT JOHN GARD WAS AN ASSHOLE."

Upon reflection, I really thought it was a great event. I'm a big fan of political theater, and there was plenty of it. Despite some of the questionable tactics of the union folks to shout down the speakers, I really don't mind bare-knuckle politics. I enjoy a good fight - and there it was, for everyone to see. Naturally, the people whose paychecks are dependent on increased taxation were vocal, as they think their jobs are on the line. They will always be more strident than taxpayers, who are more diluted as a group. But this was an old-fashioned confrontation - something I'd like to see more of in the future.

Answer: No.

Going to the Dentist for a Drilling

A groundbreaking new dental procedure:

Embattled Calif. Dentist Says Breast Rubs Necessary

WOODLAND, Calif. — A dentist accused of fondling the breasts of 27 female patients is trying to keep his dental license by arguing that chest massages are an appropriate procedure in certain cases. Mark Anderson's lawyer says dental journals discuss the need to massage the pectoral muscles to treat a common jaw problem.

Police say Anderson said during recorded phone calls that he routinely massaged patients' chests to treat temporo-mandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, which causes neck and head pain. Attorney Robert Zaro told administrative law judge Jonathan Lew at a hearing Thursday that he should let Anderson keep his dental license while disciplinary appeals proceed. Anderson would be supervised by two assistants and would no longer do the chest rubs, Zaro said.


Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Phillips gave Lew three new complaints, including one from a 31-year-old woman who said Anderson fondled her at least six times over two years.

She took to wearing tight shirts with high necklines, "and Anderson would still get in under her shirt and bra," according to a police report.

I would love to see the dental school textbook that prescribes a little under-the-shirt action as a cure for TMJ.

Furthermore, this woman says she was fondled six times over two years? After you go to the dentist once and he puts his hand up your shirt and starts groping you, wouldn't that maybe be a red flag that something might be awry? So on the sixth time, she said "you know, maybe my dentist should be wearing pants?"

And where were these 26 other women while this was all going on? Apparently, he got away with this for quite a while.

I'd hate to see how he gives fillings.

Oct 14, 2007

Perseverance Pays

I just happened to catch a little of the Sonics-Pacers preseason game on TV the other night. And while most preseason NBA basketball is unwatchable, I was interested both in seeing Kevin Durant play, and in watching Marquette's own Travis Diener get a shot with the Indiana Pacers.

As it turns out, Diener started the game (Jamal Tinsley, the Pacers' regular point guard was injured), led his team in scoring (15 points on 6-for7 shooting), and earned "Player of the Game" honors from the Pacers' announcers. Most importantly, his team cruised to an easy win.

Marquette fans probably know that Diener has spent two years buried on the end of the Orlando Magic bench, stuck behind some talented young point guards. But clearly he has stuck with it, and it looks like he may finally be getting a realistic chance to play a role with this Pacers team. Best of luck to him - he deserves a shot.

Oct 11, 2007

You Can't Spell "Flunk" Without F-U-N

Last week, I was listening to Charlie Sykes' radio show, and he mentioned that his book (The 50 Things Kids Won't Learn in School) had cracked the top 30 education-related books on Amazon.com. I went to the site and checked it out, and indeed it had - in part due to his appearances on national talk shows.

As I perused the top education books, I got a good chuckle. The #3 education book in the country was written by Winnie Cooper of "Wonder Years" fame. (Actually, it's some actress that goes by the name of Danica McKellar, but who's keeping track?) Any males in their mid-30s will be able to speak of the special relationship they had with Winnie Cooper in high school. She taught many of us the wonders of the nascent, blossoming female form. And now Winnie writes math books.

The name of the book is called "Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail." I think books like these are questionable for the following reasons:

1. Math does, in fact, suck. It's certainly nice to try to get students more involved in their schoolwork, but I never liked the whole idea of pitching homework as being exciting (Reading is FUNdamental!). Most of schoolwork is an attempt to teach students that in order to achieve the things they want (college, money, one day having a blog, etc.) they have to do things they actually detest doing. The road to a good career isn't paved by chores that are fun.

2. From middle school on, I never really responded to stuff that was geared towards my age demographic. I always wanted to be into stuff that was more adult. Anything that purported to make things "dumb enough for a middle schooler," I wanted no part of. Just seemed too condescending. If someone tried to convince me any part of schoolwork was fun, I'd roll my eyes and say "dude, just give it to me straight."

Anyway, good for Winnie - at least she seems to have made a nice transition into adulthood. Next up: "The Rise and Fall of the Scythian Empire" by Tootie.

"My Grandfather's Son"

I just finished reading Clarence Thomas' autobiography, entitled "My Grandfather's Son," and I couldn't recommend it more. For Clarence Thomas fans, there won't be any big revelations, other than the description of the abject squalor in which he grew up in Pinpoint, Georgia. And there isn't any discussion of complex legal principles or theories.

Instead, it's a very plain-spoken account of his life (and also happens to be a quick read as a result.) The book jumps to life when Thomas takes on his critics - it's like he just flips on a light switch and attacks his doubters with a veracity one wouldn't expect out of a Supreme Court justice. He continually uses a snake analogy when discussing his white, liberal critics - and he kicks it in to yet another gear when expressing the pain caused by his black critics, who question his commitment to his own race.

He does mention a few of his shortcomings, and doesn't really go into great detail other than to say "I drank a lot" or things like that. He kind of glosses over his divorce, merely spending a half a page on how he and his wife "grew apart," although he spends a great deal of time describing the pain it caused him after the fact.

In promoting the book, Thomas granted a half-hour interview to 60 Minutes that really gives a good glimpse into his story. In ways, it's even more powerful, as you get to see Thomas' steely resolve in person. It's broken up into three parts, and can be watched here:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

And on a side personal note, Phyllis Berry-Myers, one of Thomas' ex-co workers and staunchest defenders, was also my sister's high school basketball coach. Thomas lived directly behind my high school in Northern Virginia. Berry-Myers actually testified in front of Congress on Thomas' behalf - her testimony can be read here.

Oct 9, 2007

Aspiring Luddite

Honest to God, this actually happened to me 30 seconds ago:

At work, I walked into the bathroom and sidled up to one of the two urinals. There was a guy in the one next to me. As I begin my mental preparation, I hear him bellow:


(Awkward pause)

I didn't see it at first, but the guy next to me had one of those Bluetooth earpieces and was talking to his wife in mid-stream. For a second there, I thought I had wandered into the Minneapolis airport bathroom.

Seriously, though - I know people have all kinds of different viewpoints, but we should all be able to agree that talking on your cell phone in a bathroom while peeing should be forbidden. At least give me that.

God, I hate technology.

Oct 8, 2007

My Son the Cheesehead

Balanchine. Nureyev. Baryshnikov. All masters of the dance. But no more.

In my never-ending quest to make sure my son can never get a date, here's a video of him perfecting the most fluid and poetic of dances - the chicken dance. This is first in a long history of him performing this dance at weddings, Brewer games, and possibly one day the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Coach McCarthy on Line One...

You know it was a tough Packer loss when you're still mumbling to yourself in anger on your way home from work the next day. I mean, it would have made too much sense in the second half to run an offense that got you to 4-0 in the first place, right? Must be hard to call plays with both hands around your throat.

After the game ended (okay, well, after I stopped swearing) I realized something strange. Before the season, I got Madden 2008 for the PS2. I played a season with the Packers, and started out 4-0. At that point, I was chuckling, saying "yeah right." Then in game 5 against the Bears, the Packers lost their first game. Here's proof:

So I'm thinking there might be some supernatural at work here. There's actually a 90% chance I am controlling the Packer season through my video game console. The good news is, the Packers took care of business next week against the Redskins and against the Broncos after that.

Tickets may be purchased to watch me play the remainder of the season for a mere 50 bucks. For the ladies, I will play shirtless for an extra 20.

Brad Pitt: Modern Day Mother Theresa

I caught this ridiculously fawning Parade Magazine article about Brad Pitt yesterday, where he purports to be some worldwide philanthropic crusader. It was unironically titled "I Have Faith in My Family." Says Pitt:

"I do it because I'm a member of the human race. In Africa you see people on the street dying from AIDS, children left without parents. We're all cells of one body, with the same emotions and desires for our families—for a little dignity and a chance for a better life. Let's focus on that! I believe in the founding principles of America. I want to fight for that. I know most Americans feel the same way."
Actually, his recent actions have shown a downright hostility toward the hungry and malnourished:

Maybe the story should have been titled "I Have Faith in My Family (Unless, Of Course, a Hotter Piece of Ass Comes Along.)"

Oct 7, 2007

Rumor Has It

There's this rumor spreading around the internets that the Cubs were in the playoffs. I'm not sure if it can be substantiated or not - can someone see if it's on Wikipedia or something?

Oct 4, 2007

Master of International Finance

Some of you may have seen that the band Radiohead is offering up their new CD via dowload free from their website. They ask that you pay whatever you feel like to obtain the new disc - essentially a contribution of sorts.

As I am a Radiohead freak, I thought I would take advantage of this offer. (The "York" in "Dennis York" was an homage to lead singer Thom Yorke, just spelled differently.) And to show my appreciation for the offer, I figured I would contribute 10 bucks... what I would normally pay for a CD. I am all about showing my appreciation to bands I like.

The only problem is, their offer only allows you to contribute in British pounds, not American dollars. Easy enough - I went to the old handy-dandy currency converter to figure out how much 10 bucks was. As you look at the chart from left to right, it shows that one American dollar is worth roughly two pounds. So I put my order in for 20 pounds, which would be 10 bucks. Right?

Actually, it would have been helpful if I read the chart correctly - down, rather than left to right. Actually, it's the complete opposite of what I thought: 20 pounds equates to 40 American dollars. So I have now paid 40 bucks for a CD I could have downloaded for free-ninety nine. Hooray for me!

The lesson here, as always, is that I am a complete idiot. No wonder my Russian mail-order bride cost so damn much....

SIDE NOTE: If you could maybe not tell my wife about this, that would be fantastic.

Give These People Your Money

Check out the ad for these flip-flops by Adidas. It claims that merely by wearing these shoes Fitflops) around you will:
  • Burn more calories
  • Reduce cellulite
  • Slim and tone your thighs
  • Strengthen and tone muscles in the feet, legs, buttocks, stomach, and back

They are shoes. The only way they will help you reduce cellulite is if you actually eat nothing but the shoe itself over the course of a month.

Oct 2, 2007

Child for Rent

My wife and I recently juggled our work schedules around to accomodate some child care issues. Namely, we decided that I would be watching my 2 year old son on the occasional morning.

Little did I know that part of the package deal would be that I would also have to do the grocery shopping with my little man it tow. It occured to me that I haven't actually been grocery shopping since I got married six years ago. Until now, I just put stuff on a list, and it just miraculously showed up in my refrigerator.

So the boy and I went to Woodman's today, and I was completely lost. Seriously, if I were ever elected to anything, there would be a horrifying George H.W. Bush is-out-of-touch scene, like when he went to a grocery store for a photo-op and had no idea what a scanner was.

What I didn't realize, though, is what a ladies' man my kid is. Every woman that walks by gets a giggle and a "hello." He makes funny faces just at the right times. In fact, the girl at the checkout area said she recognized him, and he helped her take all the groceries out of the cart.

Naturally, it wasn't entirely perfect. Being with a 2 year old in a grocery store is like being with a wolverine in a phone booth. He managed to rip open a box of cereal bars and throw my keys into a freezer of frozen pizzas.

But I'm throwing the offer out there to single guys - you can take him shopping, and you're golden. The only price I ask in return is that you actually keep him until he's 12 years old.

jk lol!

The Cop Code

I think everyone knows by now that police officers of all departments look out for their own. To think that they all have to follow the same laws as you or me is just naive.

However, this website seems to cross the line. It is a site dedicated to ratting out police officers who dare to issue tickets to other officers. It attempts to shame them by publishing their names, in the hopes of dirtying their reputation. All for insisting officers abide by the law.

The most disturbing passage is the first, from Illinois (big surprise there):

I really didn't mind the ticket once I knew I was getting one. I've written thousands and is it really that bad?? The thing that bothers me is 1) she showed no respect for me. All the years I have worked, the different units I've been on, the shitheads that I have arrested didn't mean squat to her. I've given breaks before for people doing 19 miles over the limit. I have even let one go for doing 150+ on LSD. She didn't know this and that's the whole idea! She should have given me the break knowing that I go out there everyday and risk my life. I wouldn't have given her a ticket!

So wait... he let a guy driving 150 MPH on LSD off the hook? And he thinks this is a reason he shouldn't get a speeding ticket? Like, anything that falls short of that should be permissible since he let it go?

Certainly it builds camaraderie amongst cops to have their own code. It's silly to think they won't look out for their own. But whining about getting a speeding ticket and threatening those officers with citations if they ever come into your area doesn't look good. It gives the people already skeptical of police power even more ammo to think there's a conspiracy against them.

Madison's Cultural Arrested Development

I was on the UW-Madison campus last week with a liberal friend of mine, and we passed a group of college-aged hippies. After bragging that he would be willing to stack his liberal credentials up against anyone's, my friend said:

"Dressing up as a hippie in 2007 is as ridiculous as showing up in 1967 dressed as a '20's-era flapper. It's just a costume - you're playing a part."

Figurines: I Remember

I'm posting this video solely because I haven't been able to stop singing this song for a month. And it's my blog, so I'll do whatever I damn well please. Wait... who am I even arguing with?

From the danish band Figurines: Mmmmmm, danish.

Michael Vick's Big Turnaround

Seeing this headline at ESPN.com instantly provoked a lot of questions with me:

PETA says Vick took, passed course on preventing animal cruelty

Exactly what kind of "course" teaches you how not to torture animals? Is this part of a Master's degree program at UWM?

Here's a tip for lesson number one: If what you are doing results in dogs being drowned or electrocuted, it is probably animal cruelty.

Who are these people that attend this class? Can I take it and get a certificate as a registered non-dog torturer? I think that would look good on a resume.

Pick Your Horse

Apparently this link has been flying around the Wisconsin Capitol offices today. It matches your answers to a few questions up with the presidential candidates' positions, which gives you a cold calculation of which candidate you should favor most.

I'm a little skeptical of quizzes like these, since I think a lot of candidate positions are too nuanced to be pigeonholed into a three word summary. In the case of Mitt Romney, his position depends on the state in which he happens to be running at any given time. But the results are interesting, and should make for good conversation fodder.

So I'll shut up and just let you take the quiz.

(Tapping foot, waiting...)

Okay, done?

Here's how I came out: McCain, Brownback, Thompson. Joe Biden was higher on my list than Mitt Romney. Dennis Kucinich was higher than Obama, Edwards, Dodd and Clinton (as I am with Kucinich on Marriage, Death Penalty, and Immigration). Contrast this with a guy like Tom Tancredo, who likely supports the death penalty for married gay immigrants.

Not all that meaningful, but interesting. Should give you an idea of which candidates you may favor based on style rather than substance.