Tag Archives: Jon Stewart

The U.S. gov’t acts disgracefully in collecting debt from 40 years ago. A beautiful tale of leaving notes for kids. And NCAA hypocrisy exposed again

matzoh

I’m saving my review of last night’s “Mad Men” for Tuesday (oh Pete Campbell, you’re just so California cool!), but it was pointed out to me by numerous people on Twitter that every single date this week is the same written forwards and backward (4/14/14, 4/15/14, etc.)

I don’t know what that means, but I think we’re in for a weird, weird week.

And Happy Passover to my fellow Members of the Tribe! I hope you all enjoy the matzoh and gefilte fish, while my brother-in-law Flyers fan and I argue over who’s going to win the Rangers-Flyers series starting Thursday.

A few people I know were outraged about this on Facebook, but quite honestly I never took the time to read the story until this weekend.

Now I’m outraged, too. According to the Washington Post, the Treasury Dept. and the Social Security Administration have been going after the children and grandchildren of people who either received too big a tax refund or owed a debt to the IRS.

In most cases, the children and grandchildren never knew about any such debt, but they’re being notified and having their tax refunds withheld by the government.

This is affecting hundreds of thousands of people, and most of them

The Treasury Department has intercepted $1.9 billion in tax refunds already this year — $75 million of that on debts delinquent for more than 10 years, said Jeffrey Schramek, assistant commissioner of the department’s debt management service.

What’s even more ridiculous is that in many cases, the government can’t prove if any extra benefits were even awarded to the families of the now-deceased.

From the lawyer of one of those individual affected:
“The craziest part of this whole thing is the way the government seizes a child’s money to satisfy a debt that child never even knew about,” says Robert Vogel, Grice’s attorney. “They’ll say that somebody got paid for that child’s benefit, but the child had no control over the money and there’s no way to know if the parent ever used the money for the benefit of that kid.”

Just awful and unfair.

lunchnote

**Next up, something a little sweeter. Like tons of other parents (and like I’m sure I’ll do one day), Wendy Bradford’s husband got in the habit of leaving notes for his three children in their lunchbags every day.
Wendy didn’t leave notes. And her kids noticed.

And so she started to, and her kids started writing notes back… and it’s just a really sweet little story. Check it out on Wendy’s blog www.mamaonetwothree.com.

**Finally today, two pieces that continue to show the insanity that is the NCAA rules. First, Jon Stewart satirizes and mocks the idea that the players who make millions for the NCAA get bubkes from the deal.

Then there was this eye-opening piece on SBNation.com by Steve Godfrey, a semi- first-person account from an NCAA “bag man,” a fella who delivers cash to athletes at a major college, explaining how it’s done, and how easily it’s done.

Here’s the lede to get  you hooked:

The Bag Man excuses himself to make a call outside, on his “other phone,” to arrange delivery of $500 in cash to a visiting recruit. The player is rated No. 1 at his position nationally and on his way into town. We’re sitting in a popular restaurant near campus almost a week before National Signing Day, talking about how to arrange cash payments for amateur athletes.

“Nah, there’s no way we’re landing him, but you still have to do it,” he says. “It looks good. It’s good for down the road. Same reason my wife reads Yelp. These kids talk to each other. It’s a waste of money, but they’re doing the same thing to our guys right now in [rival school’s town]. Cost of business.”

Technically, this conversation never happened, because I won’t reveal this man’s name or the player’s, or even the town I visited. Accordingly, all the other conversations I had with different bag men representing different SEC programs over a two-month span surrounding National Signing Day didn’t happen either.

But that’s OK, NCAA< let’s just keep the status quo. Everything’s just fine.

Gun control suffers another body blow. Thank goodness for Jon Stewart. And a crazy B.A.S.E. jump off the Freedom Tower in NYC

gunlaws

As I watch gun laws across this nation get looser and looser, I just keep waiting and wondering when does it all end. When will the pro-gun people be happy?

Will owning a firearm and wearing it at all times become mandatory? How about instead of reading and learning to share, we make sure all kindergarten classes have shooting practice with real bullets for the 5-year-olds?

Soon I expect law not only allowing guns in churches, bars and restaurants, but there’ll soon be firing ranges back near the restrooms, so you can order your meal, then go get in some target practice.

I want to laugh at these outrageous ideas, but really, are we that far away from them being reality? Look at this law being passed in Georgia right now, that both the right AND the left say is the most extreme law in a long time: Guns being allowed in bars, schools, restaurants, churches and airports (here’s a question: Under this law, where can’t  you have a gun in Georgia?)

This is a law being opposed by the police in Georgia, by the Episcopal and Catholic churches, and by a majority of Georgians themselves. And yet, far-right wing legislators (and, incredibly, the Democratic candidate for Governor, Jimmy Carter’s grandson) are pushing and supporting it.

The last paragraph of this story is heartbreaking:

The issue is a simple one for Barbara Lawson. On Saturday, the 53-year-old Sandy Springs resident went to Milo’s to tape posters with her son’s picture on the bar’s exterior, demanding it be closed. Her son, Tekilum Terrell, 34, was killed there last April. “My son was killed in a bar with a 9-millimeter gun,” she said. “Without that gun, we’d still have him here. Do we need more guns in bars? After this? Seriously?”

I don’t know how many more mass killings it’s going to take before we turn this gun-worshiping culture around, I really don’t. I would’ve thought a young man walking into an elementary school and opening fire, killing so many innocent young ones, would’ve done it.

But no, apparently that wasn’t shocking or painful enough. So what’s it going to take? How many more have to die?

So freaking sad.

**Thank God we have Jon Stewart to point out the further absurdity of the recent “controversy” regarding President Obama’s appointment for Surgeon General:

The idea that saying anything negative at all about the NRA, even if you’re a doctor, could disqualify you from serving as Surgeon General, is just ridiculous.

**And finally, four guys did a B.A.S.E. jump off the top of the NYC Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center in September.
They just uploaded footage of it to YouTube the other day. And, well, now they’ve been arrested. (apparently they were being investigated before posting the footage.)

Still, fast forward to 2:45 and watch something really, really cool.

“American Hustle” gives you your money’s worth at the movies. The Cowboys continue to creatively lose. And Jon Stewart, brilliant again

american-hustle-amy-adams-bale1-610x459
**FYI: I feel an epic “Homeland” rant coming on for Tuesday or Wednesday, whenever I have time to properly vent about the season finale Sunday night…

One of the many great things about living in New York City is that movies often open in a few theaters here a week or two before they land everywhere else in America.

So it was that I got to see “American Hustle” in a packed house in Manhattan Saturday, and I can happily report that it met almost all my expectations.

It’s a wild, unpredictable, sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic film, that leaves you no doubt it’s a capital M Movie. You know how sometimes you spend 12 bucks to see a film in a theater and you’re like “Really, that’s all I got for my money?”
“American Hustle” is not at all like that. It’s got beautiful people, like Amy Adams (who should get an Oscar nom she was so good), Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence. It has action scenes, a cracklingly-good script, great performances from all, and enough plot twists to surprise.

The first 45 minutes were fantastic, as we learn how small-time hustler Irving (Bale) and his faux-English girlfriend Sydney (Adams) get wrapped up in a plot by an FBI agent named Richie (Cooper) to take down bad guys much higher on the food chain than Irving and Sydney.

Lawrence is Irving’s wife, and Jeremy Renner shows up one of the con men, and for a while the movie all gives them time to shine.
About halfway through, though, it sort of stalled, for about a half-hour, and that’s why I don’t think it’s a four-star, amazing movie. It gets back going thanks to a super-famous cameo and a crazy ending plot, but it sort of meanders for a while.

Still, this movie is beautifully shot, and the 1970s clothes, hair and attitude are brilliant and hilarious. (Quick aside: Has Amy Adams ever not been great in a movie?).

Go see it, whether you lived through the ’70s or not. You will definitely get your money’s worth.

**And now, Jon Stewart at his eviscerating best, taking down Megyn Kelly and the Fox News Blondes for their ridiculous complaining about Santa Claus, Christmas, and a bunch of other crap they were complaining about.

Stewart really is a national treasure, isn’t he?

jamaalcharles

**You know it’s been a delightful Jets season when they lose by 10 and you’re happy they kept it close.
That’s kind of how I felt Sunday; even when my boys showed life against the mighty Carolina Panthers down in Charlotte, cutting their deficit to 16-13 in the third quarter, I knew something was bound to go wrong soon.
And it did, in the form of a blocked punt that quickly got turned into a TD. Geno Smith did some good things, but did many bad things, and I still think they need another QB in 2014.

Two more losses and I expect the Rex Ryan era, which started with such promise, to mercifully come to an end.

Around the NFL with some quick-hit thoughts…

— Ah, the Cowboys. Entertainment from them is more guaranteed than death and taxes. Somehow they blew a huge fourth-quarter lead at home to Matt Flynn (Matt Flynn!!!) and the Packers Sunday, and Tony Romo threw two INT’s in the final minutes, like he’s legally required to do. And here they saw Philly lay an egg earlier in the day and figured to gain control of the NFL Least. Don’t ever change, Cowboys.

— The Giants haven’t looked this bad on offense since Ray Handley was their coach (look him up, younger readers).

— Can’t decide which team was more pathetic Sunday: The Bengals, getting blown out early in Pittsburgh, or the Raiders, giving up 56 to Kansas City. Will Oakland ever be good again?

— Always nice to see Tom Brady so pissed in a post-game press conference that he curses on live TV.

— Jamaal Charles (above), I love ya, but scoring 5 TDs after my fantasy team with you on it already failed to make the playoffs doesn’t do squat for me.

— Keep forgetting to link this, but Peter King on themmqb.com did a great 3-part series on the life of NFL officials, going deeply behind-the-scenes with them for a week. I came away with a whole new sense of respect for their job, their lives, and their skill at making split-second decisions. Check it out when you can.

Chris Christie, bullying teachers as usual. Jon Stewart is brilliant again. And the cheerleader spirit in Texas is frowned upon

christie.betterpic

Writing this Monday night as yet another gunman is terrorizing a public place, this time in New Jersey. Last week it was at an airport in Los Angeles, with a TSA agent killed. When will it ever end, and when will ANYONE get serious about our gun culture? Charlie Pierce is fed up. And so am I.

Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, is going to cruise to re-election today. He is as popular as ever in the state, he’s a rising star in the Republican Party (despite calling out Republicans whenever he feels like it), and even his embrace of President Obama after Hurricane Sandy has pretty much been forgiven by GOP stalwarts desperate to take back the White House.

But in case you had forgotten, he is still a despicable bully, a my-way-or-the-highway arrogant jerk.

For the latest piece of evidence, check this out. Christie was at a Rutgers University football game last Saturday, when a public school teacher in New Jersey named Melissa Tomlinson (pictured above) walked up to the governor and asked he repeatedly portrays New Jersey’s public schools as “failure factories?”

Christie responded by hectoring the woman loudly, according to onlookers, and screamed “You people!” and “Do your job!” at the Tomlinson.

That’s our Chris Christie, berating teachers. Maybe this story hit me hard Monday because I spent the day substitute teaching fourth-graders in Harlem, and I saw just how far behind some of those kids are. But if I hear one more politician bleating on about how the teachers aren’t working hard enough or aren’t doing their jobs, I might just throw up.

Chris Christie, you do your damn job, and stop hectoring teachers.

**Ah, the right wing news media continues to entertain. Somehow, the talking heads on Fox News and other places got in their heads that since “The Daily Show” and Jon Stewart made some jokes about the awful website rollout of the Affordable Care Act, that all Democrats everywhere have turned against it, and once President Obama “lost” Jon Stewart, well, it was all over.

So Jon Stewart decided to have some fun. I laughed really hard at this. (Warning: NSFW language toward the end).

**Finally today, I thought this was a gross overreaction by a school district in Texas. The cheerleaders at Wharton High put together “spirit bags” to give to the football team members before a Homecoming game.

In addition to the usual inspirational messages and candy, the ladies decided to put condoms in each player’s bag as well, as a joke.

Well, the Wharton Independent School District didn’t think it was so funny, and they suspended the cheerleaders for one day of school and didn’t let them perform at the game.

As one of the parents said, these were kids being kids, and it was just a joke.

Although maybe I’m the wrong guy to comment on this, since I think high schools should be giving out condoms to all teenagers, since they’re having sex anyway and why not prevent some teen pregnancies while we’re at it?

Are we the same people we were in college? A brave young woman from Pakistan speaks out. And the man who forgot his fiancee on their honeymoon

Review.reunion

So October, 2013 has turned out to be nostalgia month in my life, as I’ve got reunions with people from my past on back-to-back weekends.

This Saturday night I’m going to my 20-year high school reunion, which wasn’t organized by the school and will only be attended by about 50 of the 420 kids I graduated with at Commack High School in 1993, but still, it should be interesting. Lots of people I didn’t really like in high school will be there, and I’m curious to see how they turned out.

Last weekend was a reunion I eagerly awaited; my smart and funny friend April from my old college newspaper at Delaware arranged a gathering of about 25 former staffers of The Review, our kick-ass school paper.(that’s a staff photo, above, circa 1995).

I hadn’t seen most of these people in 16 years or so, and what struck me most when I looked around the picnic tables while we all ate was not just how different almost everyone looked (except my old friend Pete, who looked exactly at 38 how he looked at 18, and damn did that tick me off :), but how so many of us were still somewhat living the dream, and how happy most of them seem.

We all wanted to grow up to be famous journalists, and while none of my old crew is really well-known (my boy Pearlman wasn’t there, and let’s face it, he’s probably semi-famous at best), many of them are still in the journalism biz. Some of us have been laid off, some of us found greener pastures elsewhere (we’ve got a few professors, a few PR people among us now, and even a medical health professional), but just about all of them seemed content with their life. It was heartwarming to see.

When we’re 19, we have no idea what our life will be like. We dream of happiness and success, but who knows if it’ll ever be achieved. We grow up, become adults with kids and spouses and responsibilities, and we change.

But I was really pleased to see that for a lot of my old chums, that dream of happiness and contentment has been realized.
And it’s never to late to get famous, right?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Malala Yousafzai

Next up, a brief but remarkable interview from “The Daily Show” last week, where Jon Stewart had on one of his bravest guests yet. Her name is Malala Yousafzai, and maybe you’re familiar with her story: She’s a 16-year-old Pakistani woman who was targeted for assassination by the Taliban after campaigning for women’s rights and education in her native Pakistan.

She’s written a new book, and here she tells about why she feels education is so important for women, why she stood up to the Taliban, and more. She left Jon Stewart speechless, which is hard to.

What a courageous, heroic young woman.

**Finally today, I love this story so much. It seems a man on his honeymoon with his new bride made a bit of a faux pas the other day: He left her at a gas station and didn’t realize it for 2 1/2 hours while driving.

The German fellow took off in the car without his bride because he knew she had been sleeping in the backseat of their mini-van on the trip.

She had gone to use the restroom when he filled up for gas, and she came out to find herself stranded with no phone or way to reach him, as her new husband had gotten back in the car and driven away.

OK, I’ll give the guy a break, he thought she was sleeping.
But it took him 125 miles to realize she wasn’t in the car anymore!

“I’m not angry with my husband,” the bride said. “He didn’t mean it.”

OK, maybe not, but he’s going to be hearing about this for the rest of his natural-born life.

A new sports trend I just don’t understand. Jon Stewart eviscerates CNN, rightly. And HBO’s “Glickman” is fabulous

Jaguars-Lounge-slide-40T3-articleLarge (1)

OK, I need someone to explain this to me. For real, I just cannot understand this.

I’m reading this story in the New York Times about the Jacksonville Jaguars, and other NFL teams, and their new approach to make the “in-stadium” experience better for their fans, because we all know that, for a variety of reasons, football is the one sport that’s much better on TV than in person (no one blocking your view, it’s not freezing, you can check scores and watch other games since they all happen on Sundays, etc.)

And what the Jaguars have done is create an in-stadium lounge for their fans, complete with TVs, computers, food and drink, the whole works.
So that way, instead of paying for your ticket and watching the game happening right there in front of you, you can buy your ticket, go to this lounge, and watch everything BUT the game you paid to see.

I don’t understand this at all, not from either perspective. If you’re a fan, why are you spending $50 or whatever the ticket costs, to go to a stadium and sit in a room and watch other games while eating or drinking? We already have that people, they’re called “sports bars.” So why not just watch the game you paid to see?
And from the team’s perspective, shouldn’t you try to put a good product on the field that makes people want to see YOUR team, not others? You’re encouraging people with these lounges to not watch your own team, but watch others and wish you rooted for them!

I’m serious. Please explain this to me if you can.

**Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” have been on fire since he got back from his three-month hiatus from the show.

And sadly, he’s not lacking for material when it comes to criticizing cable news. In the wake of the Washington Navy Yard shooting, CNN was once again abominably bad and irresponsible in its journalism. Watch Stewart pick them apart in the first 10 minutes of this; it’s hilarious but also sadly accurate.

**Finally, I’m a couple weeks late on this, but I just got around to seeing the new HBO documentary “Glickman,” on the life of legendary sportscaster and former Olympian Marty Glickman, and it’s superb.
If you’ve never heard of Glickman, he lived a remarkable life. Born and raised in New York, he was a standout track athlete who qualified for the 1936 Olympics in Munich, and was a teammate of the great Jesse Owens.

Glickman was scheduled to run as part of the U.S. 4×100 relay team, but in an unconscionable decision, the U.S. coaches removed him and another fellow Jewish runner, Sam Stoller, so as not to anger Adolf Hitler.

Despite this incredible mistreatment, Glickman went on to become maybe the most influential sportscaster of his era, which spanned about 50 years. He invented many of the common basketball terms we hear today (like “in the paint,” and “swish.”), and was a major force in popularizing pro football as well.

The documentary, airing all month on HBO, shows what a terrific individual Glickman was, always helping out young sportscasters (he mentored Marv Albert and Bob Costas, among many others), giving high school athletes recognition on TV, and amazingly, seeming to let go of the bitterness of that Olympics travesty.

There’s a scene toward the end of “Glickman” when he goes back, 50 years later, to the stadium in Germany where he was to have run, and the pure power of that moment is startling.

It’s a great, great film devoted to a man who sadly isn’t as well known outside New York as he should be. Check it out if you can, it’s definitely worth the time.

Good News Friday: A Middle East story of brave pioneers. Some college football players show their true honesty. And Jon Stewart is back!

jordaniansoccer

And a Happy Friday to all! I’m happy because this coming weekend is always one of my favorites of the year: The first week of the NFL season, and the U.S. Open semifinals and finals. (For the record, I predict the Jets to go 3-13, and Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic to win the Open.)

But here are three more things to be happy about, if tennis and football aren’t your thing:

First up, a fantastic human-interest story with a positive spin from the Middle East, where we get positive news about as often as Rush Limbaugh makes sense. But Chuck Culpepper of SportsonEarth.com has found a wonderful tale, of the pioneering women’s soccer team from Jordan, trying to become the first Arab team to make the Women’s World Cup.

They are bravely breaking barriers for women, for women in sport, and bringing some hope and joy to girls around the region, making them believe (we hope) that anything is possible.

Culpepper has written a beautiful tale, that’s well worth reading as a reminder that even in the Middle East, progress is possible.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**Next up, Jon Stewart is back on “The Daily Show,” after a three-month break, and all seems right with the world again.
This clip from this week isn’t the funniest one ever, but it’s just a small slice of what we miss by not having him on TV. I love me some Jon Stewart.

footballplayers

**And finally, I love this story.

Jelani Bruce, Anthony Biondi, Kell’E Gallimore and Thomas James are all football players at tiny William Paterson University in New Jersey. On August 25, the quartet walked into a 5 and 10 store during a break between practices.

The store was closed, but the lock malfunctioned and the lights were on, making it appear open. They picked out batteries for a game remote and an auxiliary cord costing a total of $5 and searched the store calling out for a clerk.
They couldn’t find a clerk, so they left the money that the items cost (about $5) on the counter, waving the bills at the security camera (that’s my favorite part!) to show how much they were leaving. They also left $.80 in tax, and walked next door to a Rite-Aid to tell someone there what they had done, and that the store was unlocked.
The owner of Buddy’s Small Lots was moved by the gesture, and had the security camera footage aired on TV, when a sister of one of the players identified the men.
Such a simple, honest act, but a beautiful and unexpected one, don’t you think?
They were already on the “Today” show and may soon be on “Ellen.”
We hear so many negative stories about the Johnny Manziels of the college sports world. Please, oh please, let these William Paterson kids get 1/10th of that attention this season.

The Baseball Hall of Fame properly elects no one. Celebrities reading mean Tweets. And Jon Stewart, pissed off about guns

bonds

There are lots of issues in sports that I can see both sides on.
The idea of baseball players who used steroids being elected and inducted into the Hall of Fame is not one of them.

This is a very, very simple thing in my eyes, and apparently in the eyes of a majority of baseball writers who on Wednesday declined to elect Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa or any other members of the “Steroid Generation” to the Hall of Fame.

I don’t want to hear any of the ridiculous arguments friends of mine, and many baseball writers (including my beloved Joe Posnanski) make to say that Bonds, et. al should be enshrined in Cooperstown.

Don’t tell me “everyone was doing it,” don’t tell me “it wasn’t against the rules at the time,” and most insultingly, don’t try to tell me that steroids “don’t help you hit a baseball.”

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and their juiced-up brethren knew they were cheating to get an unfair advantage. They took steroids, they were either caught, implicated or presented SO much physical evidence of steroid use (Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell, I’m looking at you, and those are two photos of Barry Bonds, above, notice the huge difference in head size), and now they will suffer the consequences.

Of course the Hall of Fame has cheaters in it. So we should excuse the 1990s stars because of past misdeeds.

These guys cheated, prospered, and were never truly punished. Well you know what? They don’t belong in the Hall of Fame.

And I’ll feel that way until I’ve watched my last-ever game.

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated says it much better than I could here.

**And now, one of my favorite features of the “Jimmy Kimmel Show,” which oh by the way has now moved to 11:30 p.m., to go head-to-head with Letterman and Leno.
In this bit, Kimmel got celebrities to read, out loud, some of the meanest Tweets they’ve received lately. Warning: Language NSFW (Not Safe For Work).

Pretty darn funny, especially the Tenacious D one.

dailyshow.guncontrol

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**Finally, Jon Stewart and the brilliant “Daily Show” team have been on vacation for a few weeks, so they hadn’t had a chance to weigh in on the Newtown massacre and the gun control debate we (hopefully) are about to have; one positive step was New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (who I believe will be the Dem. nominee for President in 2016) announcing strict new proposals on Wednesday).

Stewart took a very strong but reasoned approach on his show last night, keeping the humor to a minimum but laying things out very plainly and simply. I couldn’t embed the clip but please watch it here.

Jon Stewart slays Fox for hypocrisy on guns. The NHL lockout has my blood boiling. And a drone that will babysit your kid for you

**As you may have heard, NBC sportscaster Bob Costas went on TV at halftime of a Sunday night football game two weeks ago and had the gall to actually speak out about gun violence in America.

And the right wing of this country lost their damn mind. Fox News led the way, of course, saying Costas should stick to sports, how dare he “hijack” the football game with a two-minute discussion of gun violence. Oh wait, what’s that? A day earlier an NFL player had shot and killed his girlfriend, then himself? Sorry, that’s not a good time to talk about gun violence. Nope, not at all, they moaned.

Well as usual, Jon Stewart has a slap-back for those folks (above). Enjoy.

nhl-lockout-fans-signs

**I haven’t talked too much about the NHL lockout on my blog, because I know most of you don’t give two pucks about the sport.
But I need to vent. I am so disgusted, especially after last week’s “close but not really close” series of meetings that left both sides accusing the others of lying.

Don Fehr, the NHL player rep and the man who ruined many a baseball season, has no interest in saving this season. He wants to get the players’ every cent they can, which is his job, I understand. But his job is also to realize that NO ONE is getting paid if there’s no season, and his righteous indignation is galling right now.
And commissioner Gary Bettman, well… there aren’t strong enough pejorative words to express how I feel about him. He’s presiding over his third lockout in 18 years, a dubious track record for any head of sport. He’s spiteful, he’s stubborn, and he gives not a whit about fans or what’s good for his game.

The serious negotiating that finally started a few weeks ago, three months after the season should’ve started, has led us nowhere. I have lost almost all faith that there will be a season (an aside: Why do these lockouts always happen my Rangers are actually good?), and I no longer care who “wins” the lockout (though owners always win these things).

It’s mid-December and I miss my NHL hockey. I wish all parties would shut up and stay in a room and not come out until a deal is reached.

I’m an addicted fan who needs my sport, and it’s disgusting how little anyone in this mess cares about their loyal customers.

PAUL-WALLICH-large

**Finally, a new way to babysit your kids. Can’t say I recommend this for everyone, though.
Paul Wallich, a father from Vermont, got sick of walking his son to the school bus stop every day.
So he did what no father has ever done: He built a drone helicopter, with a camera mounted on it, to follow his son to the bus stop.

“If I am walking my kid to the bus stop in December and January, I would really rather not be doing that,” Wallich told NBC News.

Really, Mr. Wallich? You had to go to all this trouble to build a robot because it was too cold to walk your son to school? I’m sorry, but I think that’s ridiculous.

He should’ve built a helicopter that would take he AND his son to the bus stop. That’s what a good parent would do!

Drone babysitter story from Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

#DrunkNateSilver cracks me up on Twitter. Justice for the crazy woman who drove around the bus. Charles Darwin gets votes. And my last favorite re-elected Democratic President

A hodgepodge of Good News Friday items from your correspondent, who waited nearly two hours on line Thursday night trying to get gas, only to fail. It’s like 1978 all over again in these parts…

So you may have heard a lot in the last few days since the election about Nate Silver, the New York Times statistical wizard who, for the second Presidential election in a row, predicted every state correctly, and all but one Senate race.

Silver (who was pretty good on this Jon Stewart clip the other night) was mocked roundly by the right in the lead-up to the election, as they ridiculed him and his algorithms for predicting Obama would win.
But of course, Silver was right, and now he’s an Internet star, with people on Twitter Thursday creating a #DrunkNateSilver hashtag.

Some of the comments that cracked me up the most:
#DrunkNateSilver knows the actual probability of Taylor Swift ever, ever getting back together.

— #DrunkNateSilver just shouted at a jukebox blasting Biggie, “Erroneous! Mo’ money only correlates with a 42% chance of mo’ problems!”

— Last night, I walked onto a maternity ward and pointed out the 53rd President of the United States. #DrunkNateSilver

Good stuff. Hey, the guy’s a wizard at this.

**So this made me like the state of Georgia a little bit. A GOP Congressman named Paul Broun gave a speech a few years ago declaring that evolution and theories like it “were lies straight from the pit of hell.”

So in Tuesday’s election, 4,000 people in Georgia wrote in “Charles Darwin”  on their Congressional ballot.

**Next up: Remember a few weeks ago I wrote about the horrible woman who drove around a stopped school bus and onto the sidewalk to get passed it? Well, she’s an awful hideous person who deserved to get punished, and Thursday she got a terrific and just sentence handed down to her.

For two days next week, Sheena Hardin of Cleveland must stand at a busy intersection holding a sign saying, “Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”

Perfect. Humiliation is a lot worse to people like her than any fine or community service hours could be.

**Finally, for my fellow Democrats out there, someone we all wish was real but existed only on our TV screens. A nice moment with Jed Bartlet, the last great liberal President.

There were many goosebump-inducing moments to choose from, but this has always been one of my favorites.