Tag Archives: Chris Matthews

An Iowa caucus post-mortem: When a tie is really a win. An awesome 360-degree view of Alaska. And the greedy NFL vs. the guy who owns the only Super Bowl I tape

Bernie_Sanders_by_Gage_Skidmore

We political junkies were looking pretty bleary-eyed Tuesday, as the Iowa caucuses went deep into the night before anyone knew who had won.

When it comes to the Democratic primary, I have a quote and a video to sum up the night:

First, a quote from that noted political authority, Gloria Clemente, from the 1992 movie “White Men Can’t Jump.”

Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism, from which one extracts what one needs.

Thanks, Gloria. I think that quote perfectly sums up the night for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.  When all was counted, tallied, and coin-flipped (more on that in a minute), Bernie and Hillary were just about tied, 49.8 percent to 49.6 percent. That .2 difference is so negligible that it was hilarious the media and Mrs. Clinton declared Tuesday she had “won” Iowa.

Yes, of course I’m biased here as an avowed Bernie backer, but this was a big win for Bernie, just to tie Hillary. I love the media spin Tuesday that the tie helps Hillary more because Bernie had the “demographics” in his favor in Iowa. Yeah, because the overwhelming frontrunner for the last two years doesn’t win the first contest, it’s somehow disappointing for the other guy.

Puh-leeze. This was absolutely a draw, and when you’re the huge underdog like Bernie is, a draw is great.

This is officially a real contest, now. Thank heavens. Which leads me to my other quote that sums up Monday night’s results:

Thanks, Apollo and his trainer (Duke, was his name, right?).  Now Bernie has to win New Hampshire by at least 8-10 points, and then keep it close in Nevada, within a few points. And then, South Carolina will be the real big test of his candidacy.

Couple quick thoughts from the batshit-crazy side of the caucuses:

— Marco Rubio was the happiest 3rd-place finisher you’ve ever seen in your life. Man was he excited. Truth is, though, this was huge for him. As Trump slowly starts to fade, it’ll be Rubio vs. Cruz, and Cruz has the support of exactly zero establishment political leaders.

— Speaking of Mr. Gasbag, you gotta hand it to Donald; after guaranteeing he’d win and blow everyone away in Iowa, he comes out for his concession with the theme of “Hey, there were 17 candidates when I joined the race, they said I had no chance, and now I finished second in Iowa, whoo-hoo!”

My prediction? Now that he’s lost the first contest, the media narrative will swing, GOP primary voters will start to find a new candidate, and in a few months Donald Trump will be back on TV, out of the race, where he belongs.

— Ted Cruz was Bible-thumping so much at his victory speech I half-expected him to shout “And tonight I’m announcing God will be my vice-presidential pick!”

— Cool fact for my fellow Members of the Tribe: Bernie is first Jewish presidential candidate to win delegates! We’re taking over, baby!

**Next up, the always-interesting Jared Leto partnered with the Sierra Club a few months back to take a 360-degree look at the glaciers melting in Alaska. It’s fascinating as a piece of art, but also scary as hell.

But yeah, climate change is a hoax and all the scientists are wrong.

SuperBowlI

**Finally today, the Super Bowl is this week, so it seems as good a time as any to remind you that the National Football League is the greediest, most arrogant sports company in the world.  

Today’s proof comes from a fascinating story in the New York Times from Richard Sandomir. He found the man who owns the only known surviving copy of Super Bowl I, Troy Haupt.

Haupt has been trying for years to sell the tape back to the NFL, who made him a ridiculously low-ball offer, and the NFL is just … just read the story. It’s really well-done, and you’ll get a small glimpse at how awful a corporation the NFL really is.
Greed, greed, greed.

A damn entertaining Super Bowl, with some great commercials to boot. And Serena and Djokovic rule again at Australian Open

Pats.SuperBowl

Never in Super Bowl history have so many jaws hit the floor at the exact same time as they did a little after 10 p.m. Sunday night, in one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played.

You don’t have to ask what I’m talking about. From sea to shining sea, all 110 million football fans watched the Seattle Seahawks just GIVE away a championship to the New England Patriots in the final seconds of Super Bowl 49.

At the 1-yard-line, with :30 left, with the BEST SHORT-YARDAGE BACK in the NFL on your team (Marshawn Lynch), with a touchdown winning the game, the Seahawks decided to throw the ball.

I had to watch it four times to actually believe what they did. But it happened. And Russell Wilson’s pass was intercepted, and the Patriots won, and oh my God that was one sensational football game.

And it’s too bad that so many great moments from the game will be forgotten because of the worst play-call in Super Bowl history. The incredible Jermaine Kearse catch to get Seattle down there in the final minute (and if that had led to a Seahawks win, on yet another fluke/crazy catch in a Super Bowl, the entire New England region would’ve been on suicide watch, I think).

Tom Brady, cool as Fonzie, bringing his team back from 10 down. The great games by guys you never heard of, like Seattle’s Chris Matthews and New England’s Malcolm Butler.

One of the five best Super Bowls of my lifetime, with an ending that’ll never be forgotten.
It pains me, really, really pains me to type this.  But congratulations to the legends, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. To win four Super Bowls in 14 years is insanely difficult, and worthy of much praise.

Some other Super Bowl thoughts from my scattered brain…

— Idina Menzel sang the hell out of the anthem. God, what a voice.

— Loved the cool new NBC overhead camera angle they showed us at times; really let you see the whole field.

— Real classy, Doug Baldwin of the Seahawks, pretending to poop out the ball after scoring a TD (NBC cut away from this delightful act, but it’s all over the Internet if you haven’t seen it.) Your whole life, you wait to score in the Super Bowl, and that’s what you do?

**Loved a bunch of the Super Bowl commercials, including the Dove for Men ad (yes, of course me being a new father had a little to do with that), the Budweiser Lost Puppy ad, and this Snickers “Brady Bunch” ad was hilarious:

I also loved the Dodge commercial featuring the 100-year-old people giving pearls of wisdom. And I thought the Nissan commercial with the race-car driver and Harry Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle” was good too, though as many pointed out on Twitter, Chapin died in a car accident so maybe not the best idea to have his song there, Nissan?

**On the other hand, that Nationwide commercial? Way too dark. Scared the hell out of me. Yes, let’s talk about kids dying from being unsafe on the Super Bowl.

— Didn’t watch much of the halftime show, since Katy Perry doesn’t do it for me. But seeing dolphin mascots dance alongside her was … interesting.

— It’s unconscionable that the Pats’ Julian Edelman wasn’t checked for a concussion after that severe hit he took in the fourth. It’s all about the safety of the players, right Roger Goodell?

— No more football for awhile. Boo.

Serena-Williams-5

**Finally today, I want to say a few words about Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic, who just completed dominating performances in winning the Australian Open, once again.

Serena, who it’s no secret to anyone who reads this blog I have long loathed for her poor sportsmanship and arrogance on and off the court, was once again her dominant self. She now has 19 Grand Slam singles titles, rapidly closing the gap on Margaret Court’s total of 24 (and let’s be clear, it’s MUCH harder to win Slams these days, because the field is so much tougher than it was in Court’s day.)

She’s inching up the ladder toward being considered by most tennis experts as the greatest of all time. I still have her behind Steffi Graf and Martina, but it’s damn close. Serena is an incredible athlete, an unmatched competitor with a killer instinct like few others.

And Novak Djokovic? Well, he just about owns the Australian Open now, winning it for the fifth time. His defense, his shot-making, his mental toughness, just so impressive. Andy Murray had plenty of chances to win Sunday, and he played great at times.

But Djokovic was fitter, stronger, and better. He’s not in Rafa or Roger Federer’s category yet when it comes to all-time greats, but shoot, he’s getting closer.

Great Australian Open.

Ron Paul is about to become Mitt Romney’s worst nightmare. My question about public bathroom automatic faucets. And the ultimate car-surfer

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I almost, almost, almost feel sorry for Mitt Romney, as empty in the spine department as any jellyfish politician in the last 100 years.

Here he is, winning the New Hampshire primary Tuesday. He then gives a truly horrible speech (see below), filled with empty platitudes and mind-numbing rhetorical flourishes (I particularly love his eagerness to repeal “Obamacare” which he championed as governor of Massachusetts).

In the tradition of the Republican party, it’s his turn to be the nominee. He lost once, he sucked it up, raised a ton of money, and now he’s poised to win.

But nobody likes him. There is zero passion for his candidacy for anyone outside his base. He has had numerous occasions to rise to the level of statesman and take intelligent, measured positions, and he keeps failing to do that.

And now, with every other challenger tripping up in their attempt to beat him, he gets Ron Paul. An old libertarian doctor who no one in the establishment media takes seriously (note to CNN and others: Pay attention to him! He’s the only viable threat to Romney now! Seriously, the way they treat Paul as an afterthought is disgusting and disrespectful. I’m no huge fan of Ron Paul, but geez, he’s earned the right to be taken seriously).

Ron Paul, an unafraid bulldog who has money, a fired up-base of young people who love him, and a message that is 180 degrees opposite of Mitt Romney, may be the last man standing in Romney’s way.

Ron Paul is about to tear into the Mittster over the next few weeks. He’s going to expose every fraudulent bone in Mitt’s body, and it’s going to be glorious to watch.

I am no Ron Paul fan; I think he’s nuts on 11 different levels. But he makes enough sense on foreign policy issues to make Mitt squirm for a while. And sadly, Ron Paul is the last, best hope for the Anyone but Mitt wing of the Republican Party.

Paul may be crazy, but he’s authentic, and when Mitt Romney looks in the mirror every night, he sees a man who’s not.

Couple other New Hampshire primary thoughts:
–Amazing how the name “George W. Bush” has not come up once in this campaign. It’s like the GOP presidential candidates have just forgotten 2000-08.
— Jon Huntsman needed to come in 2nd tonight to have a real shot. Oh well.
— Only during election season do I endure Chris Matthews. What a smug, arrogant jerk he is on MSNBC.

**So these are the kinds of things I think about sometimes. I was in a restaurant in NYC the other day, and in the bathroom there was one of those automatic turn-on/turn-off faucets in which to wash your hands. And as always, the automatic water didn’t stay on nearly long enough, so I had soapy hands until the water came back on five seconds after it shut off.

And I got to wondering: At these manufacturing plants where they make these automatic faucets, who decides how long they stay on for? Because you know it’s never the same. The ones at the airport give you water for like, three seconds, and other times you get a good 10-12 seconds (like at a museum or somewhere).

So I want to know if there’s like a committee at these companies that figures out exactly what the optimal “water time” is for users. Do they sit around going “OK, we’re going to give them seven seconds,” and someone else retorts “No no no, that’s too much, if we do six seconds we can save a ton of water!” and it goes back and forth like that for hours until they come up with a mutually agreed-upon length of time.

Because you know it’s not random. Somebody, somewhere, is deciding how much water you get at the faucet.
And dammit, I wanna know who.

I can’t be the only person who ever wondered this, can I?

**Boys and girls, don’t try this at home. An insane man decides to surf on the top of his car, while driving: