Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Making sense of Lewis Black’s pre-election prophecy

One month before the election, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart holdover correspondent Lewis Black turned up on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to record a fresh segment of Back in Black. He highlighted how few Americans choose to vote and urged eligible voters to overcome personal distaste for both candidates:

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Why does Russell Wilson no longer shill for American Family Insurance?

Divorces are never easy. And that difficulty can be magnified when the split occurs in the spotlight, as it did for quarterback Russell Wilson and ex-corporate sponsor American Family Insurance.

The couple seemed to be going strong as recently as Superbowl XLVIII. Do you remember the commercial Wilson filmed for American Family Insurance back in early 2014?

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Why I’m not too worried about the Seahawks’ early deficit

The Seahawks are down early against Green Bay, but I’m not too worried. Why not? Check out what’s on the White House schedule for the coming week:

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The Green Bay Packers couldn’t even beat the Seattle Mariners

On Opening Night of their 2014 season, the Seattle Mariners hosted a number of recently-anointed World Champion Seattle Seahawks. It was, by all accounts, awkward. As the Seattle Times noted, the Hawks received louder cheers than the real home team, and the words “SEA” and “HAWKS” reverberated throughout Safeco Field all night long.

The outcome of that encounter should not really have come as much of a surprise: the Hawks recently captivated the city of Seattle, while the Mariners haven’t been to the playoffs since 2011. Compounding matters, while the Mariners front office recently suffered a hit job at the hands of Geoff Baker at the Seattle Times — who painted a picture of dysfunction from top to bottom across the organization — the Seahawks offer the cutting-edge blueprint for success in the NFL:

Continue reading The Green Bay Packers couldn’t even beat the Seattle Mariners

Of Moose & Men: an amateur history of Teddy Roosevelt & cannibalism &c.

I don’t only write about late-night Comedy Central television programming. It only sometimes seems like I do. And in this case, it seems too much — this post is about Teddy Roosevelt, not Stephen Colbert.

When Colbert’s guest, Rob Rhinehart — the inventor of soylent, the food-like food substitute — pointed out that “the environmental burden of animal products is massive” and invoked President Theodore Roosevelt in support of a pro-conservation agenda, the Colbert Report host was ready to retort in kind: “Teddy Roosevelt also said, ‘I’m going to go kill and eat a moose.'” Touché, Mr. Colbert. As host, you get the last word — fortunately, the internet has empowered me with the ability to write words and scatter them to the ether(net), and I intend to take full advantage of that opportunity to take a slightly more nuanced look at Teddy’s relationship with animal consumption.

Roosevelt’s was, of course, a hunter who loved to pose with victims he’d have to pony up $350K+ to embullet today (partly thanks to his own pioneering efforts in land and animal conservation — but more about those momentarily):

Continue reading Of Moose & Men: an amateur history of Teddy Roosevelt & cannibalism &c.

First name Russell, last name Potter, so sayeth the Lord

[Editor’s pre-prescript: Earlier today, my dear Aunt who shall not be named asked me to give a Dvar Torah two months from now. So I thought it was as good a time as any to show her what she’s getting herself into.]

[Editor’s prescript: RW3 and JK Rowling both drew inspiration from a single Rashi. That’s basically the punchline — the rest of this post serves as an elaboration and explanation of that idea (with the exception of a very short list of parallels all the way at the bottom — feel free to skip ahead). If you choose to read all the way through, don’t say I didn’t warn you what was about to happen.]

Continue reading First name Russell, last name Potter, so sayeth the Lord

Someone over at Google ads is on the ball

I should be studying for finals, so I’m gonna keep all my posts (if not my posting) to a minimum. We’re all the better for it.

Anyway, I’m watching Russell, Last Name, Wilson — chorus: ♩♩his name is Russell, last name Wilson♬* — because screw finals and Natalie Portman and just as Tim Crispy sings the best line of the whole song — ♬And just like Tom Clancy, people learned his name. He made a name for himself** with the Patriot Game♩♩– check out the ad Google decided to display:

Patriot Games

The way it works, Google cycles through a three-ad queue. The one captured in the screenshot showed up first, and then came back for fourth just as Tim Crispy started singing about New England. The other two ads that display during the video were pretty much perfect for Russell Wilson, too: “Tips to succeed” and “Want #1 ranking?”

Tough Mudder New England, indeed. As for the rest of the ad — “The toughest endurance challenge is returning to New England” — Super Bowl 2013 prognostication?

Go Hawks.

Continue reading Someone over at Google ads is on the ball

When not-Americans write about football

This one will be short. These two, really.

First up, an amazing article you’ve probably seen because everyone should have seen it by now. A Russian’s first taste of American football: Deafening, incendiary, confusing was written by “Ivan Yurchenko, a 27-year-old journalist from Komsomolskaya Pravda, a Moscow newspaper, is visiting the United States on a one-month internship with The Seattle Times.” Here’s a taste:

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Monday night’s game is not why the lockout had to end

As of last night, I had no intention of commenting on the call. But after a good night’s sleep, I decided to weigh in, for the sake of sanity – mine, and everyone else’s.

It seems that much of the outrage has been directed at the Lingerie Football League referees, and at the NFL owners who hired them. The opinion hardly varies whether you’re asking a professional mainstream journalist, a sports journalist, or a sports fan:

Continue reading Monday night’s game is not why the lockout had to end

Mislabeling data to score political points (my most exciting post title yet!)

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared as ‘That time Obama for America doctored the data’, but has been updated to reflect the benefit-of-the-doubt.

It’s no secret that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan hope to beat Barack Obama on the economy.

I’m not going to quote Mitt, because it’s pretty much all he talks about, but Ryan’s shiny and new: “Without a doubt, President Obama inherited a difficult situation. Here’s the problem: He made it worse.”

No, Paul. Here‘s the problem: it’s one thing to claim – with a straight face – that the economy could have grown faster under your economic policies. It’s quite another to argue that Obama made the economy worse.

Heck, even Republican governors can’t help themselves. Per the Los Angeles Times, in Republican governors tout job gains — to Obama team’s delight:

One by one, Republican governors of three presidential battleground states took the floor at the party’s national convention and touted recent job gains in their states – not Mitt Romney’s preferred message.

First up was Gov. John Kasich of Ohio: 122,000 jobs created since he took office last year, he boasted, and a state that has leaped from 48th to fourth in job creation.

Next came Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia: “Over the last two years, with Republicans and Democrats working together, our unemployment rate is down 20% to 5.9%,” he said. “We’ve added 151,000 net new jobs.”

Finally, there was Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. “Like many places across the country, Wisconsin lost more than 100,000 jobs from 2008 to 2010,” he said. “Unemployment during that time topped out at over 9%. But because of our reforms, Wisconsin has added thousands of new jobs, and our unemployment rate is down from when I first took office.”

These inconvenient truthtellings come on the heels of a week-old NYTimes blog post – from which the above Paul Ryan quote was drawn – Has Obama Made the Economy Worse? The answer – if you can’t guess – is ‘No’. The article includes a chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing job gains and losses under Presidents Bush and Obama:

The graph clearly shows that while the economy has not nearly regained the jobs lost during the recession, suggesting that Obama made the situation ‘worse’ is simply the wishful thinking of a campaign without a rabbit in its hat.

Meanwhile, I recognized the graph’s basic shape from Barack My Timeline! (purveyor of prObama Facebook cover photos, and about which I wrote  just over two months ago):

But something looked a little off. See if you can spot the difference (Hint: it’s circled in red.):

And this is where my original post (see Editor’s Note above) went off-track: it decried the change in polarity in the Barack My Timeline! graph, and shared the website’s source: an email sent by Obama for America:

As you may have gathered from the post’s original title, I used the opportunity to slam the organization for stretching the truth to bolster Obama’s record on the economy:

Listen, it’s politics: everybody stretches the truth. But it’s one thing to distort someone’s words, and it’s quite another thing to start messing with what should be cold, hard facts. Color me unimpressed.

But a friend suggested that despite a superficial similarity between the two graphs, it is likely that they are actually drawn from different datasets.

More specifically, the Obama for America graph is labeled ‘Private sector’, while the BLS data’s more generic label (‘Jobs Gain/Loss’) implies that it includes all job gains and losses, including those in the public sector. The enormous bump in hiring and firing that appears during the summer of 2010 most likely reflects public-sector hiring as the result of that year’s census. In other words, though the Obama for America graph omits this surge in temporary employment, and the consequent contraction that followed, it actually provides a more accurate picture of the overall job market – not less, as I had originally alleged.

In other words, the only party that can be legitimately held responsible for numerical misdirection is Barack My Timeline!, which failed to label the data it presented, but which clearly states that “This site is not affiliated with Obama for America, the DNC, or any political organization.”