An earlier version of this post said Tuesday. It was Wednesday. Need more sleep!!
Happy New Year to Everyone. Here’s today’s News Roundup
Congratulations to Stanford University. I guess it is time for us to consider Stafford a legitimate football powerhouse. Really? Stanford? 🙂
There was lots of consternation and handwringing in the House last night. The Senate overwhelmingly passed a lukewarm bill and for some reason this bill drew instant scorn from Eric Cantor and other conservative Republicans. In the end, 85 Republicans joined almost all of the Democrats to lock in the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class. I think that this, as a whole, is a good thing. I do not, however, think that this is cause for the happy dance. I think we have many challenges ahead and the House GOP has basically told us that they want, that they lust after, spending cuts. This is not going to get any easier.
The House decided that the East Coast did not need any relief from Hurricane Sandy. They adjourned without taking any action. I just don’t understand how that is acceptable.
Finally, I saw this from the South Carolina – Michigan game. It was tweeted out by Rich Eisen. This is an incredible hit. When you’re talking about an explosive hit, this is what you’re talking about. Wow!
The NFL is having trouble trying to figure out what to do with Tim Tebow. I have no such consternation. If you’re over the age of 25, you have enough experience to stand back and look at the NFL. How does a quarterback win consistently in the NFL? Quarterbacks win in the NFL by throwing the ball accurately – consistently. It is that simple. When you go back and think about some of the great running quarterbacks of all time, who was successful? Randall Cunningham, Steve Young and Roger Staubach are just a few quarterbacks that come to mind who made a name for themselves by running. They became champions (with the exception of Randall Cunningham) when they stayed in the pocket and delivered the ball accurately. Right now, Tim Tebow reminds me of Doug Flutie. Doug Flutie was able to generate the same type of excitement. He had a lot of these fourth-quarter comebacks with emotional victories. Yet Flutie was never able to lead his team to the Super Bowl or even deep into the playoffs.
Let me say a few words about Atlanta’s fourth down and inches call in overtime. Brian of Advanced NFL Stats explains that Mike Smith went with the odds. I believe that Brian Burke’s stats are correct, but I’m not sure he’s looking at the right situation. He’s looking at all fourth down calls with a yard or less to go. I would say that going for it in the first quarter is a lot different than going for it in the fourth quarter or even in overtime. The other thing that Brian did not factor into the equation is the formation that the Atlanta Falcons used. Atlanta used a goal line formation. If I’m not mistaken, there were no wide receivers on the field. I think this changes the calculus. The New Orleans Saints are basically playing 100% run. The Atlanta Falcons are showing 100% run also. The Atlanta Falcons gave away the only advantage they really had, which was to make the New Orleans Saints hedge their bets. Anyway, I thought it was an awful call.
Cincinnati Bengals versus Baltimore Ravens – if Joe Flacco plays well, Baltimore will win. Unfortunately, Joe Flacco has not been dependable this year. Ray Lewis is out (most probably). The Baltimore Ravens are struggling. The Cincinnati Bengals are playing solid defense. I’m givimg a slight edge to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jacksonville Jaguars versus Cleveland Browns – Blaine Gabbert has not been all that good. As a matter fact, he might be the worst quarterback in the league. He has a quarterback rating of 63.5, which is worse than Rex Grossman, Curtis Painter or Tim Tebow. He has only six touchdowns and five interceptions. He has a completion percentage of 47.9. Yuck. The Jacksonville Jaguars got rid of David Garrard for this? Cleveland’s Colt McCoy is clearly playing better than Blaine Gabbert. Cleveland should win this one.
Carolina Panthers versus Detroit Lions – Cam Newton has not been playing as well over the last two weeks as he did earlier in the year. For the Carolina Panthers to win this game he has to play well. Detroit has their backs up against the wall. They simply haven’t been playing well. By the way is Matthew Stafford playing? I’m leaning towards the Lions since they’re playing at home.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Green Bay Packers – Green Bay.
Buffalo Bills versus Miami Dolphins – Ryan Fitzpatrick has to play better if the Bills are going to win. The Miami Dolphins have been playing much more competitively over the last two weeks. Reggie Bush is running the ball hard and strong. I think that this is going to be a little bit closer than people believe. I look for the Buffalo Bills to edge out a victory.
Oakland Raiders versus Minnesota Vikings – Carson Palmer is starting to play much better. It looks like Darren McFadden is still out. Michael Bush is a good running back, yes, but he is not Darren McFadden. I look for Carson Palmer to make enough plays to eke out a victory.
Dallas Cowboys versus Washington Redskins – I could give you a lot of convoluted analysis, but the bottom line is that the Washington Redskins are simply not playing good football. They have been playing terribly for the last four weeks. The Dallas Cowboys will go as far as Tony Romo will take them. Tony Romo must continue playing error-free football. Hopefully, Miles Austin will be back in the lineup this week. The Redskins desperately need a quarterback and a running back. I believe the Cowboys will win but they will not win big unless Rex Grossman is in a generous mood and turns the ball over. Continue reading NFL week 11: Thoughts and Predictions→
Over the past week, we have seen your passionate protests and heard your concerns about Democratic proposals for health care reform. We have considered your insightful and well reasoned arguments, and on behalf of progressives everywhere, I am here to say: OK! We give up! We are willing to compromise on the proposals that concern you. You’ve won! Yay!
In accordance with your cogent and potent criticisms, these are the terms of our concession:
We will not euthanize your grandmother. This is the big one, and I really hope you guys appreciate how much of a concession this is on behalf of the progressive movement. Since the days of the Bull Moose Party, progressives have wanted nothing more than to slaughter old people by the millions. That much is obvious. After all, if we wanted senior citizens to have long and healthy lives, why would we have created Social Security and Medicare? Think about it. Death to grannies has long been the core of progressive policy, so it’s not without some consternation that we give it up. So there: no euthanizing old people. You’ve got it.
Rahm Emanuel’s brother will not kill Sarah Palin’s baby. While this will require us to gut HR 3200 “America’s Health Choices and Murder Sarah Palin’s Baby Act of 2009,” we’re currently working with Henry Waxman to remove the extensive Sarah Palin’s baby-killing provisions from the final bill. While this will probably cost us Andrew Sullivan’s support, we recognize that this is a necessary sacrifice for securing broad bipartisan support of health care reform.
The government will not nationalize hospitals and other health service providers. This is another big one. Though the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has correctly pointed out that current Democratic proposals involve adopting the British health care system, we now recognize that this is not politically viable. The final bill, accordingly, will not involve the nationalization of hospitals and other health service providers. This will be a major setback to Obama’s well known communist agenda, but again, we progressives agree with the Blue Dogs that we need to reach a broad national consensus by responding to Republican concerns.
We will make the health care reform bill available for all Americans to read as soon as possible. I know that conservatives and pundits have been eagerly anticipating an opportunity to read the final health care reform bill, and after extensive discussion, we have decided to comply with your request. While we would like to have unseen drafts languishing in committee forever, we have asked Senate Democrats like Max Baucus and Kent Conrad to deliver a bill as soon as possible in order to allow the public to read it. As you know, progressives wanted nothing more than to keep these drafts hidden for as long as possible, but in the interests of transparency and bipartisan consensus, we recognize that it’s vital to move the legislative process forward. In fact, it is our hope that Baucus and Conrad will return from the August recess early in order to ensure that the public has as much time as possible to inspect their work. Continue reading A letter to Republicans and conservatives – We give up. You win.→