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    Tuesday, March 31, 2009

    Idol, Top 9 Perform

    Tonight on American Idol, it's Itunes week. Here goes the semi-live blog:
    1. Anoop - Caught Up, Usher. Anoop says he wants to do "high energy." I thought it was highly boring. Simon thought it was a "mess." Simon is right.
    2. Megan - Bob Marley/Lauren Hill, Turn Your Lights Down Low. A prediction (I haven't heard it yet) - crap. Let's see...How has she managed to make it this far again? Being the only blonde and vote for the worst's favorite("She's going for the stoner vote and the Worster vote"). She sucks.
    3. Danny G - What Hurts the Most, Rascall Flatts - Not that good. This is kind of a signature Rascall Flatts song, and it's very uneven. He's going to get slammed for "pitchiness" by Randy or Kara. Just wait and see. Hmmmmm, I think Paula wants to sleep with Danny (he's a widower, did you know that?). Simon is going to like it - says it's his "best performance" so far. Randy - "tonight's show starts here." Kara - "you moved everyone." These guys are so pimping Danny. I like the guy alot, but, puuuuhhhhlease.
    4. Alison Iraheta - Don't Speak, No Doubt - she didn't sound good in practice...this should be a good choice for her, though. WTF. I just don't get it. I wonder if it was better live? Randy comments on the outfit. Kara comments on the outfit. Paula - liked it. Simon will speak truth to Allison.
    5. Scott MacIntyre - Just the Way You Are, Billy Joel - Another one I'd like to be rid of. Ok, I think it sounded like a Vegas lounge act. So, he has a career in Vegas. Kara, of course, liked it. Paula, ditto. Simon - another "best performance." Randy - "one of the best of the night."
    6. Matt G - You Found Me, The Fray - I was underwhelmed, and I like Matt G. Paula says "not great." Simon - "uncomfortable." Randy - "wrong song." Kara - her comments are pointless and she is right that he doesn't deserve to go home.
    7. Lil Rounds - I Surrender, Celine Deion - No one has ever heard this song. I feel like she's invading my home with screeching. Randy doesn't like the song that much, but says she sang it well. Kara - same comments. Paula - who cares. Simon - safe choice, wedding singer like.
    8. Adam Lambert - Play ThatFunkyMusic, Wild Cherry - Uh oh. Could be interesting. He's the only one who deserves to be there.
    9. Kris Allen - Ain't No Sunshine, Al Green - I loved him tonight. Turned this old song into somethingI enjoyed and felt new. Unanimous love for Kris tonight.
    Tonight, the contestants were supposed to show us what kind of recording artists they would be, and you know what, they showed us they would be C-R-A-P-P-Y ones, with really 3 exceptions (Danny, Adam, Kris).

    So, tonight, the top are:
    1. Kris Allen
    2. Adam Lambert
    3. Danny Gokey
    The bottom:
    1. Megan Corkrey
    2. Matt G
    3. Anoop
    1. Lil
    2. Allison
    Who's going home? Should be Megan, but I predict it will be Matt G.


    Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Idol, 10 remain, who will leave?

    Ok, tonight, what will we learn on Idol, and who will leave?????
    1. Matt Giraud - Let's Get it On. Very good. Like him more each week. Sticking around
    2. Kris Allen - How Sweet it is. Also very good. Judges like him. I think the guitar thing is lame.
    3. Scott MacIntyre - You Can't Hurry Love. Judges don't like him. Like Simon, I thought the piano playing was off, and he's not growing on us. He's making us tired, as I know he is Simon.
    4. Megan Joy Corkrey - For Once in My Life. When they said "Stevie Wonder," I said - this has the potential to be a train wreck. Can vote for the worst save her? Gawd, I hope not!
    5. Anoop - Ooh Baby, Baby. He's da bomb. We knew Anoop was the judges first choice as wild card, and he's showing why.
    6. Michael Sarver - Ain't Too Proud to Beg. As I write this, I have caught up to the show, so, when he says he's going to sing it off the cuff, I have to think that this has the potential to be a male version of Megan. He's been on the edge the last couple weeks. Lame performance. Judges will hate him. Even Paula hated it. That's bad. Paula hates it. Simon couldn't wait for it to end. FYI - my AI partner said she didn't even want to watch it before it started. Megan may have been saved.
    7. Lil Rounds - Heatwave. She looks wierd, and her voice sounds like she's missing notes. What's with that Charleston costume? She's dressed for 1929, singing a 1950's song. She's quickly brushing the luster off her rose. Did anyone notice the Carly look? Odd. Randy - wrong song for her. Me - with all those Motown female songs to choose from, she chose this? Kara - "here's the thing." You're right, but, go away already. Paula - who cares what she thinks anyway. Simon - wrong song.
    8. Adam Lambert - The Tracks of My Tears. I don't know what to think. He's definitely the best creatively. AI Partner hates him, but, I have to admit, I kind of like him. Judges love him.
    9. Danny Gokey - Get Ready - Let's see if Smokey is right and people love it. I liked it, but I have already anointed Danny the winner. Simon speaks truth to power, but he's wrong. What he should have said was, "Danny, step it up, or Adam's going to beat you."
    10. Allison Iraheta - Papa Was a Rolling Stone - I think this is a good choice for her. Let's see...did she forget some words? I dunno. Judges will tell us, but it's not fair that she isn't getting more votes...Randy loves her, Kara loves her, Paula loves her, Simon...loves her, too.
    Tonight, the best are:
    1. Adam Lambert
    2. Allison Iraheta
    3. Matt Giraud
    4. Danny Gokey
    5. Kris Allen
    6. Anoop Desai
    Worst are:
    1. Michael Sarver
    2. Megan Joy Corkrey
    3. Scott MacIntyre
    4. Lil Rounds
    Predicted off:
    • Michael Sarver
    DialIdol as of 11:00 ET:
    • Buh-bye Michael Sarver

    Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    Red Eye vs. Canada - Get a grip Canucks

    The Canadians and my fave Fox Show, Red Eye, are having a little dust-up over a segment on Red Eye where Greg Gutfeld (the host) mocked the Canadian Army's comments that they would need a year to recover from their part in the Afghan War (among his satirical comments, Gutfeld said, "it would make a great time to invade Canada.")

    Look, it's no secret that many of our allies (the Brits and Aussies, notably excluded) have chosen to assist us in Afghanistan in less than dangerous ways, even though the War there is an article 5 NATO operation. These pansies, all of them, deserve some criticism, and, while we all mourn the loss of any allied soldiers, let's face it, we are bearing the brunt of this war, and not the rest of our allies. Hell, if they had their way (here, I will exclude just the Aussies), they would join the cut-and-run Obama crowd. They may get their chance.

    Anyway, apparently, Gutfeld has (mostly) bitten the bullet and apologized. Of course, on twitter he quipped that the Canadians could probably beat the Belgians. I think he doesn't give the Canadians enough credit. They could probably beat the French, too.


    Saturday, March 21, 2009

    Bam's Budget Busting Baloney

    Karl Rove has a summary of Bam's budget, based on the CBO analysis. It's recommended reading for your Saturday.

    Bottom line, deficits as far as the eye can see, government spending the greatest it's been (as a percentage of total GNP) since WW2, national debt eventually hitting 82% of the economy by 2019, spending increasing by $1T over ten years, and taxes that go up by $1.9T over the same period.

    All in all, a recipe, pretty much, for disaster.

    Read my super-summary, Rove's short summary, or the CBO's entire 59 page summary for yourself!


    Friday, March 20, 2009

    Uh-oh! USS Hartford Collides with USS New Orleans

    According to CNN, the USS Hartford (SSN-768) collided with the USS New Orleans in the Strait of Hormuz last night.
    Not going to be good, probably for the Hartford's CO.

    Thursday, March 19, 2009

    Idol Final 11: The Results

    Well, you would not have been surprised last night if you routinely checked dialidol (Spoiler below you Tivo'ers!).

    They had the bottom feeders pretty much nailed, only overestimating Michael Sarver's support somewhat (they still had him as low as 10, which is where he was). Alexis Grace went from hero to zero (to use Simon's phrase) quicker than you can say "Adam Lambert is a flaming homosexual."

    Alexis never had strong support, but, probably didn't deserve to lose out on the Idol Tour. Sarver, Corkrey, McIntyre - all deserved to go before her. Since she really only could realistically expect to crack the top 7, you can understand why the judges wouldn't waste a "save" on her. Sorry Alexis, we liked you, but, America voted, and just as we got saddled with this joke of a President, we got rid of you. So sad.

    Anyway, life moves on. We found out that, surprise!, Adam's arrangement of Ring of Fire was not original (he could have at least given a shout out, like David Cook did last year when he stole arrangements), and that Allison's support is as weak as dialidol predicts. Although we're big Allison fans, she isn't going much farther.

    This really is a great group, with a clear top 3 (Gokey, Rounds, Lambert) and some strong contenders knocking on the door (Giraud, Allen, Desai - I'd like to put Iraheta in that group), and a couple of just ok singers (Sarver, McIntyre) and one train wreck (Corkrey).

    So, stay tuned for next Wednesday, since the big O is taking AI's spot on Tuesday (does this man do anything other than TALK??????).


    Check Out Patriot Post; and More Twitter

    Ok, all you people out there. This is another appeal for Twitter, and for you to sign up on Twitter. I will tell you why -
    1. You can get my wisdom in stream of consciousness, less than 140 characters, style.
    2. You can find all sorts of new, like minded people, with blogs and what not
    3. It's also a good way to keep in touch with family members (change your text messaging plan to unlimited beforehand, and turn your text alert to silent!)
    Now, if you're right-minded, go check out The Patriot Post. You'll be glad you did. If the editors there like my blog, yes, I noticed, not one person has a Virginia Class submarine as their weapon of choice. It'd be mine.


    Wednesday, March 18, 2009

    Idol Final 11

    Last night, the final 11 performed.
    We thought the best were:
    1. Danny Gokey
    2. Anoop Desai
    3. Matt Giraud
    4. Allison Iraheta
    5. Kris Allen

    We agreed that Megan Joy Corkrey was not that good. Can't she just go already!!!!


    There were mixed reviews in our viewing about Adam Lambert.  The teenager hated him.  I warned that messing with "Ring of Fire" was a big risk.   However, having come of age in the '80's, if you're going to change Johnny Cash, do it big, and go with the Frankie Goes to Hollywood/Soft Cell feel.  I can't wait until Adam Lambert sings a Bronski Beat song.  "Smalltown Boy" will do.


    Note to Lil Rounds - you're no Carrie Underwood or Martina McBride, and you shouldn't have tried.  Also, in the telling the story side of the song, you used the wrong verse.  As for Scott McIntyre, we're in agreement that he's a nice guy, but after Megan goes, please leave, also.


    The rest were boring.  Alexis Grace got the pimp spot, and really didn't leave us with anything great.  Very forgettable.  Michael Sarver was good, but saddled with the 2 spot, so forgotten after the 2 hour marathon.


    Dialidol.com has bad news for a couple of our favorites tonight, putting Allison and Alexis in the 10th and 11th spots..  I think the judges like both of them, but, would they use that precious "save" on one of them?  Rocker babes have had a tough time on Idol, and that works against Allison.   I don't think they'll use a "save." because she will just leave the next week, anyway.


    Alexis?  I dunno, I liked her, but she's starting to grate on me. They both are getting a lot of votes measured through dialidol, but no busy signals.  Alexis has been on top in the past, so, perhaps last night was just not a great night for her, and she could have a save used on her.  I doubt it, though, because I think it would only get used on Adam, Danny, or Lil.


    What do you think?




    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Taxing Your Health Benefits

    During the 2008 Presidential campaign, John McCain proposed fixing one of the largest problems with our health care system, the employer tax break for providing health benefits, by eliminating that break.  In the McCain proposal, the revenue raised for the elimination of that would have paid for a up to $5000 tax credit to families to use for health care plans. This would have at least partially addressed the issues of employer-funding (IMO the largest problem with our system), portability, and access to health care.
    The Obama campaign roudly criticized McCain for wanting to do away with the tax break, while, disengenously, never mentioning the tax credit that replaced it.  But, hey, why should we expect any honesty at all during a campaign...
    Now, according to this NY Times article, the Obama Administration is contemplating, you guessed it, taxing those health benefits, to fund a portion of their massive health care plan.  Is there any corresponding tax credit for individuals and families. Of course not!
    So, the Obama admin is deciding to keep the part of the McCain plan they used against him, while not retaining the good part they didn't want you to know about then.
    You voted for this crap.

    Thursday, March 12, 2009


    Taxpayers for Common Sense has an excel spreadsheet that lists who took earmarks in the Omnibus Pork Bill, and how many, sorted a bunch of ways.

    I recommend you check this out, if you care.

    In the Senate, McCain, McCaskill, Feingold, Coburn, and Demint eschewed earmarks.

    In the House, many did, though I admit to being too lazy to break them down by party, you can look for your Rep and see for yourself. My rep, Tom Price, took none! Good for him.


    Idol, buh bye 2 of you, and the twist revealed

    Caution: Spoiler below, so if you haven't watched it, don't read.

    First, the twist, which is revealed as a save by the judges. Ryan explains that the judges get one chance to reverse America's vote, if they believe someone has been unjustly eliminated, and they agree unanimously. They can use it just once, and it does not come into play after the final 5. And, if they save someone, it means 2 will be eliminated the next week, and it only saves that contestant for one week.

    Ryan says it could have saved someone like Daughtry or Jennifer Hudson,or Michael Johns. While under these rules it could have saved Johns or Hudson, Daughtry was in the final 4, so it couldn't have saved him.

    Anyway, on with the show, this is it. As I predicted in this space last night, Jasmine and Jorge were the bottom feeders, and the judges refused to spare them.

    While Ryan tried to convince us the judges would use the time the singers sang their song again to "deliberate," does anyone not believe that they already know the results and have already "deliberated?" All one had to see to confirm this was Paula dancing while Jorge resang his song. Clearly, Randy and Simon were deliberating who was going to tell Jorge "no." And, clearly, Simon relished it.

    Anywho, nothing unexpected here. Later Jasmine, and Jorge, you really didn't deserve to be in the finals anyway.


    Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    Idol Tonight, the top 13 perform

    Well, I have to admit, for an opening night, it was pretty good. Usually, you can count on about 1/2 the performances, uhhhh, sucking.

    Tonight, though, the contestants were all quite good, and the producers promise us some kind of twist in tomorrow night's show, in addition to seeing 2 contestants disappear. Poof!

    Tonight was Michael Jackson night, so let's go through who is safe:
    1. Danny Gokey - great, as expected
    2. Lil Rounds - also great
    3. Adam Lambert - i liked the performance, I hate him
    4. Alexis Grace (with the pimp spot) - solid, and a popular choice
    5. Michael Sarver - also solid, and popular
    6. Anoop Desai - crap performance (tell it, Simon!), but he's popular
    7. Scott McIntyre - boring, but he's also popular

    Who is in danger?
    1. Jasmine Murray - just lost in the crowd
    2. Jorge Nunez - awful
    The rest were so-so, but I think they'll survive. I will admit, I peeked at dialidol.com, and after East Coast voting, there is a suprising 12th place, and that's Allison Iraheta, who I really like as the rocker chick. But, that appeal has never carried any girl very far, and she doesn't have the looks of previous rockers, but she does have the voice.

    Maybe the West will be kinder to Allison. Also in danger on dialidol, is Kris Allen. But, I will remind, that in his week of 12, dial idol underestimated his vote totals. It also underestimated Jorge, so, perhaps Allison and Jasmine should be really worried.

    Ok, I wish Megan didn't have the big Carly tattoo. She'd be really hot, like her mom. I also wish she could sing and dance, so votefortheworst.com has adopted her. Can they save her? I hope so, because I believe, like them, that she has the potential to be a huge train wreck!

    What's the twist for tomorrow? Some think the judges may be picking the losers. I think the lowest vote getter is going home, then the judges are going to pick from the next two. I hope that is the case, because I think Jorge is going to finish last. That may save Allison, as the judges would have to off their Hollywood fave, Jasmine, who has yet to show me anything in live performances.


    Thursday, March 5, 2009

    The Top 12 finalized. Oops, 13

    Tonight on Idol we're live blogging via DVR. We're about 20 minutes behind, so you may know the results before we do.

    My prediction, Anoop Desai (unless he sucks) and 2 girls, making it 7/5 boys/girls in the final 12.

    Through Von Smith so far, and he's definitely out.
    • Matt Giraud - an outside chance now
    • Jesse Langseth - they like her
    • Judges loved Megan Corkrey, she's in.
    • Von Smith - no.
    • Jasmine Murray - my impression is they want her in, and they mostly tried to praise her. Based on Simon's comments, she's in.
    • Ricky Braddy - dangerous song choice with Superstition. Girls loved him. Simon is throwing water on it. As does Randy.
    • Tatiana - Please. I wish she was just gone. I don't love you, Tatiana. Please fall on your face singing Whitney. Just shut up. I think at least a couple of them are waiting to say they don't like her. Simon gives much grief for singing the song again. He hates that, too. So does Randy and Kara. It's a no.
    • Anoop - My Perogative - Personally, I like the song, I don't think he did as much with it as he ciuld have, but he's very popular with the crowd, and should be in top 12. Simon says some gibberish about people liking him. They want him.
    Now the picks -
    • Jasmine - Yes, they really like her.
    • Ricky - no
    • Megan - yes, they really like her, too.
    • Tatiana - no
    • Our DVR stopped as the show ran late (thank you drama queen Tatiana).
    • Anyway, checking Ricky.org, we see that Jesse Langseth did not make it, but Matt Giraud, and Anoop Desai did!
    Go Anoop!!


    Wednesday, March 4, 2009

    Idol. Round 3 and the judges final 8 square off

    Tonight on American Idol, we were not surprised that Scott McIntyre, Lil Rounds, and even Jorge Nunez made it into the final 12.

    What surprised, however, were a couple of the judges choices for the final 8 to sing off tomorrow.

    Were we really surprised by Megan Corkrey, Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, Jesse Langseth, and Ricky Braddy. If you look at this post, and this post, you will see we had them pegged as the top 5.

    While we HATE Tatiana, we knew the judges liked her, so she's not a massive shocker to us. Jasmine Murray must have been very good in Hollywood, because she was very forgettable in her top 36 performance. Von Smith would have been one of our choices as well, but doubtful that we would have put him ahead of Ju'Not Joyner. However, we are happy with this choice.

    We would have taken Kendall Beard ahead of Jasmine or Tatiana, and Ju'Not ahead of Von, but, we can't complain too much.

    We still think Anoop, Megan, and Jesse or Matt will emerge from this group. Unless Anoop falls on his face tomorrow, expect him to make it. And, since we're short on girls, I expect 2 girls to go ahead.

    We will see tomorrow night!!


    Tuesday, March 3, 2009

    American Idol, Final 12 - UPDATED!

    Tonight's final 12 is the easiest to choose the boy and girl.

    Lil Rounds was far and away the best tonight, and Scott McIntyre is going to sail through from the guys.

    3rd is much harder to figure out. In early dialidol.com voting, Jorge Nunez is narrowly ahead of Felicia Barton, but, I don't think Felicia has the legs to survive the West Coast feed. Ju'Not Joyner is a close 3rd to Jorge as I write this, and they both lead Felicia, so, I'd say we're looking at 2 guys again. Which will mean, 6 guys, 3 girls chosen by America. Will the judges, in their final choices, balance it to 6/6 by just choosing girls?

    We think not here at the AI braintrust, since we think Anoop is a dead-lock cinch for the final 12. We also think Megan Corkrey is pretty much a lock, too. So, that is going to leave only 1 slot from the rest.

    We'll see tomorrow who the judges have to choose from for their picks, and Thursday, we'll get a special Idol to see those final performances and their picks.

    Ok, in an update - my prediction for the final 3:
    Danny Gokey
    Lil Rounds
    Scott McIntyre


    Monday, March 2, 2009

    Flying car, submerging submarine. Audi has James Bond's next car.

    Check out this cool rendition of the future of automobiles...

    It's a flying car/submarine, and while it is just a concept, I like it.


    Sunday, March 1, 2009

    Courtney Speaks on Porkulus

    Joe Courtney (D-Electric Boat), has an interesting Op-Ed in the New London Day today, defending the Porkulus package just signed into law by President Obama.

    Rep. Courtney must have been reading some of my old posts, because his argument is at least partially correct.

    When he says, "Shipyard workers at Electric Boat building nuclear submarines, assembly line workers constructing Blackhawk helicopters in Stratford, and factory workers in East Hartford manufacturing F-22 aircraft engines all get their paychecks because their primary customer - the U.S. government - spends taxpayer dollars to buy their products," he is singing my song. He is right. This kind of government spending focuses on the legitimate role of government, national defense, and these kinds of jobs are good, high paying jobs requiring highly skilled workers, with spin-offs that benefit consumers in all sorts of other idustries beyond national defense.

    I think I can even agree with him that some Federal spending on science research at the National Science Foundation can even be justified.

    But, the Congressman fails to point out in his Op-Ed that the porkulus provides no funds for additional spending on any of these weapons systems that are so important to his state (CT). In fact, if Obama eventually has his way, we can be certain that the ballooning deficit is going to be used as an excuse for cuts in defense spending. Since the Virginia class is so important to Connecticut's economy, what will he be saying when Obama seeks to slash Virginia spending to 1 sub per year from the current 2? Will he be so enamored of Obama then?

    Perhaps then, we'll hear him extolling the virtues of these great jobs submarine production brings, vice the nationalization of health care, or any of Obama's other great projects.

    I applaud Rep. Courtney for opposing the original $750B bailout of banks. He made the right call there, and he is what passes for a moderate, Northeastern Democrat, so, on the whole, I expect he's not doing a bad job for his constituents.

    But, remember, Congressman, that this money is OUR money. To support the increased Medicaid, Medicare, school spending, and everything else, someone else has to have their money confiscated or the Feds have to borrow it, or, print it. Maybe option 1 can be justified, but options 2 and 3 are not ideal, and have long-term consequences that stand to be very painful some day, for a generation not yet fully cognizant of those consequences.

    Democrats used to justify everything they did by saying "Do it for the children." Now the mantra seems to be "Do it to the children."



    Getting the facts out on the Gregg "Pay for Play" Scheme.

    Rob's Blog is at it again with what I will characterize as blogging that is either intentionally misleading, willfully ignorant, or lazy. Since Rob's a left-wing blogger, I expect Dan Rather is a hero and he's just imitating the modus operandi of the left wing (aka Mainstream) media.

    In this post, Rob claims that Judd Gregg was involved in some kind of Blago-like pay-for-play scheme for his own Senate seat, would he have joined the Obama cabinet.

    In his post, Rob fails to cite the article he sourced (it's here), and he decided to cherry pick this quote from the article, to back up his contention. I guess this is the blogosphere, and we all have our individual axes to grind, but, it is customary, if you're going to quote from an article, to link to it, so that your readers can see what you left out. I suppose if the whole thing is inconvenient, why bother, but, well, you know...

    Anyway, the cherry-picked quote is:

    "Besides its activities at Pease, Two International also develops properties elsewhere in Portsmouth, recently selling a $1 million-plus condominium at its One Harbor Place development to J. Bonnie Newman, Judd Gregg's former chief of staff. Gregg agreed to become commerce secretary if the Democratic New Hampshire governor named her to succeed him."

    While I freely admit Gregg has probably been trying to increase the value of property he is invested in (with his brother), I can find nothing in the AP article to indicate he has a personal stake in Two International, which owned the building his former COS bought a condo in. His brother, yes. Judd Gregg, no.

    Bonnie Newman is Gregg's former COS and her story on the condo purchase is:

    "'We [her and Gregg's brother, Cyrus, who is also active in NH GOP politics] see one another on a pretty regular basis socially, so I think I may have said, `Let me know what you're doing with the apartments. I could be interested.' She used to have an office in the building, and it was well-known around Portsmouth that one floor was being converted to condos, she said. Newman negotiated the purchase through the fall and said she signed the purchase agreement in November, long before there was any indication Judd Gregg might be a Cabinet pick."

    I don't know how there could have been a pay before there was anything in play.