Saturday, November 29, 2008

Opening Time, Closing Time, Equally Crazy

We already knew WalMart was killing the country economically, but it now has an on-site death toll on its hands. It not only sucks the life out of its towns, but out of its temp sales associates, too.

As does Toys R Us and its customers.

If these weren't so tragic, they'd be ridiculous.

It's said that nothing good happens after 2 a.m. Apparently, that now means when you start your day interacting with people, instead of just after the bar.

If you want to check out the movie, "WalMart - The High Cost of Low Prices," you can do so here.

Here's video on this year's New York WalMart stampede:

And here's a video of an early morning Black Friday WalMart opening from last year:

Think that this was truly unforeseeable?

Apparently, You Can Spell "Relocated" Without The D

After The Big Apple, The D ranks as the second least favorite U.S. city that people would relocate to.

Geez, we can't even come out on top when it comes to suckiness.

However, putting aside our perpetual tussle of whether the concept of "Detroit" includes anything north of 8 Mile Road, I find these results surprising.

Except for the deep-seated racial animus, city v. suburb bickering, Southeast Michigan v. the rest of the state bickering, shrinking tax base, horrible roads, cultural illiteracy, once-a-century economic implosion and the Lions, The D is a lil' slice o' heaven.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Non Sequitur of the Day: Al Green Cover Edition

"I haven't seen the worst of it yet."

This Just In: Detroit Lions Again Reach Historic Level of Futility

When the futility of one's performance segues from news article to a sidebar or feature, one should be worried.

So, Detroit Lions, as the NYT takes your futility to a new national high low, be worried.

Believe the dream! Shooting for 0-16, baby!

The silver lining in this Honolulu Blue cloud, however, was that Coach Rod was rocking the rockin' retro Mustang-inspired logo, which I think we should see lots more of.

"I'm shivering. Hold me." =>

Even Though They Both Have an "A," You Can't Spell Team with A.I.

So, Allen Iverson skipped Thanksgiving practice?

Are we surprised?

His (ridiculously super-obvious) track record:

And his "no, really, I'm down with whatever the coach says" hoo-ha upon arriving in The D:

So, wow, that was, like, fast.

Doo-Doo Dilgence in Auburn Hills?

As if the auto industry's operations aren't bad enough, now it can't even get a closed acquisition right, as Cerberus now claims that Daimler misled them during the Chrysler deal.

As I like to say, litigation as a business strategy is never a good thing.

This story, however, permits me to re-visit my favorite joke -- albeit now dated -- on this company:

Q. How do you pronounce Daimler-Chrysler in German?

A. The "Chrysler" is silent.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Straight Outta The D: Detroit's Thanksgiving Parade

You can check out the pagenatry here.

Enjoy the holiday, and, please, pray for the Lions.

P.S. to the Lions: If you think that you hosting a Thanksgiving Day game is a birthright, you might remember that the Cincinnati Reds, as baseball's oldest franchise, used to open every season.

Note: used to.

P.P.S. Me, I'm thankful for a lot, but here, for you reading.

Non Sequitur of the Holiday: Fowl History Edition

"Heritage turkey."

Ben Franklin would be so proud.

The Original Six Should Have, Like, Its Own Division

Nice to see the Wings playing fellow Original Sixer Montreal in Detroit for the first time in seemingly ages.

Hope it doesn't sully our, ahem, rivalry with annoyance by teams like the Nashville Predators, played out over what seems like a few dozen games each season.

Looks Like Hank Paulson Better Join Adcraft

Hello? Congress?

While relaxing this holiday weekend from all your exhausting posturing to look all fiscally responsible hypocritical by stiffing America's auto manufacturing industry, thank you for sending your latest weekend overnight blank check to Citi.

It makes this sports fan's heart all warm knowing that the Mets' $400M new stadium licensing deal is intact, thanks to taxpayer handouts.

Perhaps you might want to evolve the name of Citi Field, just to be, you know, sensitive to the situation.

This deal's fiscal irresponsibility ranks right up there with my favorite Premiership team, Newcastle United, still bearing the sponsorship of the now-defunct, government-owned Northern Rock.


Non Sequitur of the Day: Thanksgiving With the Family Edition

"If I if I if I if I if I /

If I didn't love you /

I'd hate you."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Olympic Hype Is Never Too Early or Too Hype-y

Many details of the Olympic Torch Relay for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver have been posted.

The circus hits Windsor and Sarnia and points between next Christmas Eve, 2009, and the day before, so mark your calendars.

Perhaps us Americans can check it out, too, if we're able to get back home then.

Maybe Common Law Marraiges and Divorces Would Be Cheaper

Apparently some married couples are living lives of quiet desperation.

No, really?

Oh, it's because they can't afford a divorce.

Yeah, that too.

If people aren't getting divorces because they're too expensive, I must be doing something wrong very kind and economical.

Check out some background here and here.

Lions Avoid Blackout So Local Fans Can Enjoy Their Wipeout

Hard to believe that the NFL would not lift the local blackout of the Thanksgiving game for want of selling the last 1,000 tickets.

That's about the price of a couple of :30's. Cheap bastards.

But the tickets did get sold, so we get to watch the train wreck.

But should the NFL be nice to an abused Detroit-area fan base who are so much in shock in so many ways that they can't even tell anymore if they are being abused?

Non Sequitur of the Day: Eurotrash Dance Meets Capitalism Edition

"I've got the brains /

You've got the looks /

Let's make lots of money."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Getting A Jump On Sunday Slacking: Puppies on the 53-Yard Line

1. It's Grey Cup Sunday, baby!

2. It's Puppy Cam!

Live TV : Ustream

Patrick Waaaah Got His Number Retired Tonight

Patrick Roy got his #33 retired in Montreal tonight. Some of my favorite memories:

* Roy tells his GM on the spot he wants a trade when he's finally pulled after giving up nine goals in 31 minutes to the Red Wings:

* Roy going all Statue of Liberty against the Wings, losing a pivotal game in the 2002 Western finals:

* And my favorite, the '97 melee with the Avs and the Wings, payback for Malts:

Great goalie, and just as accomplished as a prima donna.

Open Letter to U-M Coach Rich Rodriguez

Dear RichRod,

Man, that was pathetic.

You were 8-3 in your second season at West Virginia.

You've been given the benefit of the doubt by the alumni this season.

That, however, based on today's performance, is over.

You have 279 days to make something like 8-4 happen during Season 2 in Ann Arbor.

You, sir, are on the clock.

Good luck, Mr. Spread.

P.S. My favorite last year for your current position, Brian Kelly, is doing quite well at Cincinnati and is in the crosshairs of Tennessee, as noted in Item 4 of this piece. (Note that Item 3 is how bad U-M sucks this year.) You better pray that he goes to the SEC and not to Notre Dame to replace Charlie the Tuna, where the comparisons, then, would be annual and, I fear, not good for U-M.

Non Sequitur of the Day: Wolverine Alumni Edition

"The Game."

Follow it online.

And the Michigan Daily is live blogging.

Don't know if U-M will win, but I predict they will cover.

Go Blue!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Minnesota Senate Recount Goes Super Meta High Tech

You have specialized reporting sites, up-to-the-minute vote counts, and even the opportunity to virtually re-enact the process of judging challenged votes.

As Andrew Sullivan notes, that last feature is quite meta, no?

No saints in this game, far as I can tell. ^

Who Says the National Media Doesn't Feel the Pain of Detroit and Michigan?

Oh, wait. It's only Deadspin doing a (well-deserved) take-down of the Lions.

It's Blackout Sunday again, baby!

Wonder if it'll be Blackout Thanksgiving, too?

Why Does Sen. Richard Shelby Love Foreign Auto Workers and Hate American Auto Workers?

So, Sen. Shelby represents a state with a boatload of foreign automakers who were lured with government subsidies, but he now won't do the same for American carmakers?

Is it payback because not passing the bill will be payback to Midwestern blue states?

As the Big Detroit Three go whip up their viability plan report for Congress on what they'll do over their Christmas break if they get a check, I imagine they'd like to review the viability and change plans all those banks and insurance companies wrote up in order to get the American taxpayers to pony up about $300 billion (so far) for them. (A special shout-out to AIG, now at $150 billion.) And to see what givebacks their white collar employees would have to make.

Oh, wait. They didn't need a plan or employee givebacks.

While some Dems aren't innocent of pandering, this is yet another case of rampaging, race- and class-fueled hypocrisy quarterbacked by an old southern white guy from the GOP.

There is a special place in hell for Sen. Shelby, but as a Republican senator from red state Alabama, he'll be in something close to it January 21, 2009.

Non Sequitur of the Day: Homer Alumni Edition

"Go Blue!"

Tonight and tomorrow.

Also, with something to think about for Rich Rod (and us), and some love for Michael Rosenberg.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Non Sequitur of The Day: Rust Belt Karaoke Edition

"Detroit breakdown."

Details here.

As Seger Would Say, Turn the Page

I said a few weeks ago that it would suck for Detroit and Michigan if Henry Waxman ousted John Dingell as head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Well, I guess that, around here in The D, we're now up to multiples of suckiness, because it's happened.


Geez, what's next around here: floods or locusts?

Mitt Romney Flip-Flops So Fast, You Can't Tell Which One of His Two Faces Is Speaking

When Mitt Romney was trying to wrest the 2008 Michigan Republican primary from John McCain, the native Michigander criticized Gramps for saying that lost jobs were never returning, and made all sorts of warm, comforting noises about he wanted to bring Michigan back.

He lost. So, now . . . PSYCH!

Apparently, what he really meant was: Screw you domestic automakers and, by extension, my fellow Detroiters who I've left behind high and dry.

Former Gov. Romney is clearly a smart guy, and, the way things turned out, he probably would've helped McCain more than Moose Mom in the general election.

Intelligence without a rational core belief system beyond malignant self-interest, however, is worthless. I think that's why his Mormonism first became an issue in his political career this campaign; people were looking for an answer to explain his constant policy whipsawing and craven opportunism and became so desperate for answers that they sought God's Elohim's intervention.

The answer, as it turns out? At least for his hometown, Romney's heart is two sizes too small.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tasty Video Nuggets of Star Trek Geekiness

Behold: the trailers for the re-boot.

One of the few times I cut high school (see geek reference above) was to go see the first Star Trek movie with John Monaghan, who's done well for himself as a movie critic. We deemed it "slow-paced and poorly directed," which made all the more sense when I realized years later that it shared a director with "The Sound of Music." ST:TMP was one of Robert Wise's last films, and it shows.

It even gave Voyager a bad name. But it's still worth a look back:

Yet another reason to look forward to Spring.

Religious Wingnuttery is Subjective

If Newsweek can justify killing trees to cover dumbasses who think Obama's the anti-Christ, I fully expect a cover story on the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Maybe W was the anti-Christ; his results speak for themselves.

Remember what Albert Brooks said in Broadcast News:

"What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he's around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No. I'm semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing... he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important. Just coax along flash over substance... Just a tiny bit. And he will talk about all of us really being salesmen. And he'll get all the great women. "

Happy Birthday to the Acme of British Journalism (NSFW)

Happy #38, Page 3.

Be careful when you lean over those candles.

Oh, No, The Federal Government Never Ever Helps Private Industry

So, the federal government only bails out financially wobbly industries -- like the airlines in 2001 -- with billions of taxpayer dollars when the tipping point is a domestic terrorist attack?

Refresh your memory of that deal here, here and here.

But when the industry which re-started the American economy after 9/11/01 -- the car business in general, and GM in particular (with the zero percent financing it carried itself) -- needs help because of many p0litical problems caused domestically, that's when we start pondering political philosophies?

What were some of Detroit's tipping points? How about: the rise in gas prices due to the diluted America dollar; the unregulated lack of oversight of the financial markets which undermined consumer confidence and ability to borrow; reckless oil futures trading; or tax breaks of out-sourcing American jobs.

And how about the big one? No national health care insurance, which puts us at a disadvantage against all competing foreign automakers, which have national health care, and makes Michigan lose new plants to the otherwise very similar Ontario.

For those who want to put strings on a deal with Detroit, look at how grateful ungrateful the airlines have been to us, their saviors, a mere seven years ago.

Seems a bit inconsistent to me. Or could it just be that the car makers are caught up in some post-AIG schadenfreude?

Here's an idea. If you don't want to put $25 billion directly toward the car companies, use that to transfer all their health care responsibilities into Medicare. That'd be a big help.

Non Sequiturs of the Day: Detroit Auto Maker Bailout Soundtrack Edition

"Panic in Detroit":

"Motor City Is Burning":

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not all Racin' is as Racin'-y and Other Racin'

My boss from a lifetime ago runs Roush Racing, so that's who I root for in NASCAR. So, you go Carl Edwards. Hope you win the championship, though the "Sprint for the Cup" playoff is ridiculous. You take the top racers, start all over with 10 races to go, but keep them on the track with all the other drivers? Those "un-worthy" drivers can directly impact who wins or loses -- which, admittedly, they can do in year-long series championships. But if you really want to create tension and interest and, as they've recently decided, save money, go back to the old school IROC format. Park the non-qualifiers, and leave a certain number of the top racers alone on the track for, let's say three races. With ten cars, first place would be ten points, last would be one. No bonus points, just wins and losses. You would have insanely intense and safe driving, but with all the pylons taken out of the way.

If you don't think a season-long championship can be suspenseful, check out Lewis Hamilton winning the F1 series a few weeks ago on the last turn of the last race of the season. Pretty sweet.

Non Sequitur of the Day: Mopey Lyricist Edition

"All I ask of you /

Is the one thing that you never do /

Would you put your arms around me?"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Attention: Beavers Are Officially in the Global Zeitgeist

Domestically, in sports:

Classic TV, of course:

Medicine cabinets:

And even abroad:

Looks like the lil' feller could use a shave, too.

One Prejudice Down, There's Still More To Do

Though Michigan passed its own version of Prop 8 a few years ago, the opposition to officially inserting discrimination into our state constitutions is finally crystallizing in California and spreading nationally.

Today marks the Nationwide Protest Against Prop 8.

Though it seems to me that, legally, the horse has left the barn in California, the fight against discrimination of any type should never sleep.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Non Sequitur of the Day: French Vocab Edition


So nice that, while Putin and Sarkozy are having un dialogue about Russia invading Georgia and Putin wanting to hang their president "by the balls" because W did it to Saddam, Nicky felt comfortable familiar enough with Vlady to tu him.


This Weekend's Most Excellent Timewaster

"I'll take The Rapists for $200, Trebek"

"That's 'Therapists.'"

Behold, the 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches of All Time.

And they even remembered Chicken Lady, though the one below is my favorite:

"God have mercy on your soul."

"Yah, you, too, eh?

Some "Real" Americans Act Don't Act Very American

Behold the report from an Obama supporter who dared cross the political line in Northern Kentucky by exercising those pesky First Amendment rights.

The guy was driving a Hummer! Wasn't that stupid enough for the (probably) McCain/Palin-supporting vandals to give the guy a pass?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dear Campbell Brown, Is This Little Enough B.S., or Do You Really Mean Absolutely No B.S. Whatsoever?

Once upon a time, when The Internets were but a series of tin cans, string, D batteries and duct tape, I gleefully forwarded around as true an article which commented on an Indiana Wingnut Congressman advocating to change the number on freeway I-69, because, you know, it connotes something else, something, ahem, grown-up.

Later on, I discovered it was bogus, felt sheepish, said so, and became a dedicated believer in the no-b.s. brilliance that is

So, in the interest of fairness and karma, we must acknowledge the reality that the source of comments making VPILF sound even lamer than she appears were a hoax by a couple of 15 minutes of fame seekers angling for a TV deal. Not that it hadn't already been figured out by a non-MSM blogger in the Spring. Even the NYT weighs in.

Remember, on The Internets, no one knows if you're a dog.

We are reassured, however, that Faux News is a joke.

So, for whatever contribution I made to the new liberal echo chamber, I apologize.

I now await similar Wingnut atonement for the mythological ridiculousness that was the hubub over Bubba's LAX shutdown haircut and Edwards' $400 haircut. I will not, however, hold my breath while waiting, because then I would then die.

Somtimes, The Story Doesn't Get to Write Itself

You know the whole Wingnut meme of disparaging the "media elite"? As if either being elite or part of the media was a bad thing? So, by combining them, see, they're doubling down on the culture wars.

Of course, not everyone, or every media outlet, can be elite.

Or competent, for that matter.

Behold these front pages from November 5.

^ Think these guys missed that day's big story?

Cheers to Romanesko for the tip.

Non Sequitur of the Day: Lyric Edition

"Are we human? /

Or are we dancer...(s)?"

Fun with Pictures: Divas and Others




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Non Sequiturs of the Day

"Broad systemic event" and "TARP."

It all sounds so much more professional than plain old "depression."

<= "Yes, that's correct, I'm moving the bailout plan to your left."

The Other Foot Drops on the Satellite Radio Merger

I subscribed to to XM because I had friends who worked there, and have always enjoyed its programming. Then when we got a Jeep last year, I felt that XM's music programming was superior to the Sirius music that we got with the new car. And when their merger was announced, I wondered who would win the programming war, and whether the XM aesthetic begun with Lee Abrams would survive.

I got the answer this morning: no.

An influx of Sirius programming will load onto my receiver this morning, Yet, if I want Howard or Playboy or the NFL, I gotta pay extra.

So, I'm left wondering: is this a merger, or not?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Non Sequitur of the Day

"Reasons to be cheerful /

Part 3."

It Sucks When Great Writers Stop Writing . . .

. . . especially when it's because they've died.

So, a bit belatedly, RIP:

* Studs Terkel, the personification of both Chicago and the Greatest Generation;

* Michael Crichton, who became a purveyor of great content either because of, or in spite of, his medical training and tallness; and

* John Leonard, whose fusing of media and cultural criticism was unique and compelling, and who I still miss from a show I love, CBS Sunday Morning.


The War Against Anti-Intellectualism Has Begun

Nice for Kristoff to notice that it exists, and that our president-elect is totally not down with it.

Remember: we're geeks, not nerds.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

This Just In: Lions Still Totally Suck

How nice for the Lions to break out the throwbacks for their traditional clash against Jacksonville.


And why on earth are these guys so happy?

They're 0-9, baby! Seven more losses to go for perfection! Believe the dream!

It Was 70 Years Ago Today . . .

Tonight marks the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the beginning for the attempted endgame toward Hitler's final solution.

I'd suggest that pinheads like these read up on the history of this nightmare to truly appreciate their freedoms, but then again, they're many times people who don't believe that the Holocaust happened, either.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Non Sequitur of the Day

"Wasilla hillbillies."

Context -- as if you need it -- here, here, and in a bit of piling on -- by fellow Republicans -- here.

I smell reality series; perhaps on E!, at least on CMT.

The Dems Have Their Own Circular Firing Squad, and John Dingell's In the Middle

Henry Waxman is challenging Big John for the Energy and Commerce Chair.

If Waxman wins, it's bad for The Mitten, regardless of who you voted for.

If You're From the Midwest, You Gotta Get a Labrador

Vote for the breed of the new First Dog @ The Today Show.

And, no, no symbolism intended by the picture. They're just cute damn puppies!

Geez, you people.

Republicans Concede. . . That VPILF Was Hawt

Impeaching Does Not Involve Storing a Fruit from Georgia

Which is what I imagine these dumbasses think, especially since you can't impeach anyone who doesn't yet hold an office.

A President Whose Last Name Ends In a Vowel Is Globally Attractive

I've long thought that the "War on Terrorism" would ultimately be won by winning hearts and minds around the world. Really, would we ever be able to kill every last possible terrorist who would do our country harm? Or is it better to bring into the American fold of allies the governments of where those potential bad guys live, and have those governments help us out by dealing with the bad guys?

Sort of, "fight them there instead of fighting them here." And it'd be cheaper for America, in both blood and treasure.

But, perhaps you've noticed after the French were all Americans, too, on 9/12/01, we've since lost squandered those hearts and minds around the word.

Yet, in one day, and with one election, the world sees America as a much more open and attractive and intelligent place.

Let the re-branding of America begin.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

If George Clintron Plays the Inauguration...

Will this be the opening song, the closing song, or the encore?

Soundtrack for Regime Change

Time to turn and face 'em, people:

It's Nice to Finally Vote for Some Winners

I might've been wrong in the past, but I prefer to think that the electorate's finally catching up to me:

Is that realignment I'm smelling?

For more details, here's the Oakland County Clerk's site and the Michigan Secretary of State.

I'm out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We're Free!

It's regime change, baby.

I'm thrilled to be living in a purpler America.

<= Don't have to worry about this old seal.

Now he can break out the real one.

Two Reasons Obama Won

1. He's a Democrat from a great American city in a state that is quintessentially American.

2. He's a Democrat from the next generation that has to pay for the checks the two previous American generations have written and couldn't wouldn't cover.

Adventures in Special Election Graphics

Nice work from Google. Wonder if it's clearing in China:

The 3-D green screen graphic chamber of death NBC has Ann Curry in is pretty cool, but sort of reminds me of Logan's Run death chamber.

And -- Holy Han Solo! -- CNN is rolling with some holograms.

> Posted by Lex's R2 droid.

Fat Lady's Singing

With Ohio being called for Obama, it looks like it's done.

Like it's been for a week.


Fingers still crossed for Gary Peters and Props 1 and 2.