Tag Archives: Gail Collins

Gail Collins’ new book explains how Texas took over America. The Jets are an utter disgrace. And kids eating ice cream for the first time: priceless

“Homeland” is back! I am very happy. I will be doing weekly recaps and thoughts on each episode, but will save those until Tuesday, since I know not all of you can stay up late Sunday night to watch it when it airs live on Showtime at 10. So glad the best show on TV is back. And the first episode was awesome.

It’s not enough that so many of us just shake our head at the craziness that is Texas. We really should look at how destructive and dangerously trend-setting it is for America.
From health care and social services (worst in the nation) to polluting the air (also near the bottom) to being the biggest textbook publisher in America, thereby setting the agenda for what kids around the U.S. are learning, Texas has an outsized effect on the U.S. (Plus, they’ve sicced both George W. Bush and Rick Perry on us, which is a plague all it’s own).

Gail Collins of the N.Y. Times, a really smart op-ed writer, has decided to examine Texas and figure out why the hell it’s always puffing itself up when there are so, so many things wrong with it in her newest book, “As Texas Goes.”
I just read it last week and really enjoyed it as a book, but it scared the hell out of me.

Besides Texas’ rightward slant on everything, it was depressing to see how much it has held down its own citizens, actively stolen business from other states, and slanted our nation’s textbooks.

I don’t want to give away all the fun stuff in the book (and it is a really fun read, Collins is really witty), but it’s truly staggering to think that this state sets much of the Republican agenda, and sometimes the nation’s.

Check out more about the book here; I definitely recommend it.

**Here’s something I know I wish I could’ve had recorded in my own life: Little kids eating ice cream for the first time, and how deliriously happy it makes them.  This should make you smile on a Monday, and make you hungry for some Ben & Jerry’s… (my favorite is the kid at :31)

**Finally, football. Here were some phrases thrown around via text among my Jets support group/posse that I communicate with every Sunday in the fall:
1. Disgraceful
2. Pathetic.
3. Kotite-level incompetence (I was particularly proud of that one).
As bad as I expected the Jets to do against maybe the NFC’s best team Sunday, they played worse in getting shut out by the Niners, 34-0. The less I say, the better.

Except two things: 1, This coach and GM ought to be embarrassed by the level of talent on this team right now, and 2, They had better draft or sign a quarterback for next season. Because Mark Sanchez will never become a successful QB in this league. He’s getting worse every week.

Some other quick-hit thoughts from Week 4:
— A friend who shall remain nameless texted when the Bills were up 21-7, saying the Patriots were done, headed to 1-3, not that good, etc. I told him it was way too early to say that.
Um, yeah, the Pats won 52-28. Scary how good that offense can be.

— Fantastic endings to the Carolina-Atlanta and Washington-Tampa games. Matt Ryan led his team from his own 1 into field goal range to keep the Falcons unbeaten, and RGIII beat Tampa on the last drive when Billy (Shank) Cundiff finally made a field goal after missing three others.

— The real refs were back! And yeah, they made some bad calls, but SO much better than those imposters.

— How good are the Texans? So pleased the Jets get them next week. That’ll be fun.
— Peyton Manning, that’s more like it. You helped me to a (likely) fantasy win this week.
— The Chargers are going to fall apart like they usually do, right? Because they look damn good right now.
— Finally, the Giants just can’t seem to beat the Eagles. Stupid penalty at the end by Ramses Barden, but you know, the guy has hardly played. I was still hoping Tynes made that kick at the end to punish Andy Reid (and all other coaches) for that split-second timeout they always call right before a game-deciding kick.

Such a stupid rule that you can do that.

The Rangers are in the playoffs, and I am happy. Colbert has Beck withdrawl. And Gail Collins hits a home run

Good news for Wide World of Stuff readers who like hockey: I’ll be writing about it more for a little while now that my New York Rangers have crawled into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Bad news for Wide World of Stuff readers who don’t like hockey: I’ll be writing about it a little more now that my New York Rangers have crawled into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Oh don’t worry, this baby won’t turn into All Pucks, All the time (though when I was a hockey writer in New York, one time some fans who were mad at something I wrote held up a “Trade Lewis for Pucks” sign. I was so proud. Gotta find the picture of that sign.)
But whew, the Rangers did so many good things this season that to see them miss the playoffs in the last game of the season for the second year in a row would’ve been wildly painful.
As it is, my boys beat the Devils Saturday, then lucked out when Carolina gagged, losing to Tampa 6-2, allowing the Rangers to clinch the eighth and final spot in the East.

Can they now beat Washington, the top seed? Well, the Rangers took ’em to 7 games a couple years ago, and won three of four from the Caps this season … nah, it won’t happen. But I’m still totally psyched for playoff hockey, starting Wednesday.

**I missed this last week but a Facebook friend alerted me to it, and I laughed pretty hard.
Stephen Colbert, afraid he’ll be missing Glenn Beck, has prepared accordingly:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**A hat tip to my friend and fellow WordPress blogger Dave Markowitz (he writes about baseball and music)  for tipping me off to this outstanding column by Gail Collins, once again delightfully tweaking the insane Donald Trump. Seriously, when even Marco Rubio is telling Trump to cool down, that should be a sign.

Still, as I said last week a GOP prez debate involving Trump, Palin and Romney would immediately attain “save until I delete” status on my DVR.

Governor Rick Perry is bat-shit crazy. And an Iowa high school boy refuses to wrestle a girl: chicken

Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, is everything you would expect a Republican governor of Texas to be.
Much like his predecessor, some dude who astonishingly became President, Perry oozes swagger, cockiness, and very few brain cells. He illustrated this a few years ago when he suggested that Texas should secede from the United States, a notion at which many non-Texans nodded approvingly.
Now Perry  is refusing federal funds for education, because the Democrats actually had the chutzpah to put language in the laws of the state saying the money actually had to be used for, you know, schools and not whatever Perry wants.
Perry also has some, eh, interesting thoughts about contraception and abstinence. Thoughts that in 2011 make him even more bat-shit crazy and pigheaded than previously thought.
Check out Gail Collins’ excellent column for all the details.

**Unfortunately, this next story isn’t an original one. At the Iowa state high school wrestling championships this week (which is by far the biggest scholastic event in the state each year; a great book was written about it by Mark Kreidler) a boy named Joel Northrup was scheduled to compete against a girl named Cassy Herkelman in the first round.
Northrup refused, and forfeited the match. He said he didn’t believe, in his conscience and his faith, that he should be wrestling against a female.
Some have applauded Northrup, a 10th grader, for his decision. I think it was disrespectful and silly.
Cassy Herkelman had earned the right to compete. Northrup knows there’s nothing sexual about wrestling, and there have been hundreds of girls who’ve competed against boys in this sport with no problem whatsoever.
I suppose you could argue, as my father did when we discussed this Friday, that Northrup only hurt himself by doing this. He was the one who forfeited.
But I disagree. It hurts Herkleman, too, because it reduces her to a sideshow, a spectacle, when all she wants to do is wrestle like thousands of others do in Iowa.
Northrup and his father (who attempted to use religious grounds as a reason for his son’s decision) tried to look big by making this move. I think they end up looking extremely, extremely small.