Friday Links

No, I’m not hitting the golf course today. Can’t remember the last time I actually did pick up clubs and try to play (emphasis on “try,” of course). But maybe a haircut or trip to the gym…?

So here goes…

Rick Klein’s daily Note with everything you need to know from the Capital and beyond.

Yesterday’s news that the Senate won’t finish up its healthcare debate before a scheduled recess will apparently trigger a multimillion dollar interest group war in the weeks to come. Lovely. Get the popcorn ready! Or youtube…

Cillizza also thinks that despite Republicans still have an uphill climb as far as gaining seats in the Senate next year, even though President Obama has clearly taken some hits lately and his party will most likely lose some seats in the House (especially in districts which voted for John McCain last year). On the other hand, the GOP may find it easier to hold some of the seats that conventional wisdom held might be tough ones because of all the swing-states which Obama won or narrowly lost last year (especially Ohio, Florida, and Missouri).

The President hasn’t given up hope on a speedy resolution to healthcare (and he insists he won’t be ‘broken’), as he’ll meet with two very important senators today. Probably won’t be able to goad either Max Baucus or Harry Reid that much, the Senate tends to do things in its own sweet time, and was, after all, designed to be a deliberative, federalist body. At least President Obama can still bask in the glow of Mark Buehrle’s perfect game, and DeWayne Wise’s spectacular catch to preserve it. Buehrle was actually on the mound for a little over 30 minutes, and didn’t need more than 3 minutes for any one hitter. Amazing.

Apparently, New York does not have a monopoly on corruption and greed at the local levels of government. You only have to cross the Hudson River for evidence

California’s budget crisis is getting closer to resolution. It’s not going to be pretty for anyone.

The federal minimum wage officially goes up to $7.25 per hour today (states are allowed to set higher minimums if they wish). For workers in a few states, the increase could be worth $1,400 or more over the next 12 months- which could really help with paying debts or stimulating local economies-, but some economists worry that it could kill jobs for businesses lacking strong profit margins. I don’t think the wage has gone up so much in recent years that it’s going to be a huge problem yet. But we should keep an eye on the small businesses most affected by minimum wage laws, because they do provide a lot of jobs when put together.

This won’t happen, but I think it would be nice for cooling off our political discourse and providing voters with competitive elections.

Michael Phelps returns to action this weekend. What can he possibly do for an encore? In fact, it might really be a second encore considering he took home quite a few medals in the 2004 Athens games.

Michael Vick may also be back soon, but he will apparently face a suspension to start the new NFL season. Oh, and he has to find a team. Obviously, Vick hopes that a definite decision on his future will lead one or more teams to show real interest.

Roger Federer now has twins to go along with all of his trophies. At least one oddsmaker is already taking bets on whether or not his daughters will win tennis majors.

Nike is no longer trying to suppress videos of LeBron getting dunked on. Not that what we saw turned out to be much of a big deal. Nor is it really that big a deal that he apparently tried marijuana while in high school.

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Day Old, But…

You must be joking.

Probably not the type of audience she was expecting.

Probably not the type of audience she was expecting.

While I don’t have an issue with Rep. Cantor or anyone else in Congress not watching Obama’s press conference– I did watch and thought he did alright, but also recognize that not too much of substance came out- I just can’t see what someone like him would be doing at a Britney Spears concert. Certainly can’t imagine he’d be accomplishing too much business with clients with the loud music and crowd screaming. Taking one of his children would be a bit different, but we haven’t heard any indication that he did that either.

Since one of his staffers made a comparison to President Obama (and in theory, others in both parties) enjoying a night at Washington’s Verizon Center, I will say that seeing a basketball game or certain other singers/bands seems socially acceptable for someone like members of Congress or the President. Britney? It would take pretty unusual circumstances…

Honestly, I really don’t think it’s “being cool” in this case. It just gives me the creeps, especially coming from one of the leaders of a party which talks a lot about traditional social values (and I’m not a liberal on some of those culture wars).

End tangent, back to more enjoyable matters.

Update: CNN posts an explanation from Cantor.

A Quiet Saturday Night…

One more very cold night here in NY, and since it hasn’t been this bad in a few years, let’s hope it’s at least that long before it happens again. That’s really supposed to happen Upstate, or in the interior of the country, not the Coast or Southeast!

So just staying in and taking in loads of college basketball and news coverage. Plus a tuna melt (with onions, mustard, and even a little horseradish) and dessert. Yum. Oh, and I spent an hour or so explaining HDTVs to my grandmother, who is thinking about getting one for her apartment.

One other thing. Did anyone else see those Chevy Silverado ads with this guy? One of them says Silverado gets 21 MPG on the highway with a V-8 engine, while either the Ford or Dodge equivalent is V-6 and gets 19 MPG. Excuse me, but do you really buy a truck for MPGs or to floor it on the highway?

Saw these ads during at least one game today, and just had to post about them.


Or do you get one because it’s useful for towing stuff, carrying supplies or crops to where you need them, and other tasks like those? If you really want fuel efficiency, you get something smaller, or a hybrid version of an already popular and eco-friendly car. My car doesn’t qualify as green, but I’d never deceive myself about that fact.