Archive for March 2nd, 2012

What’s My Betting Line?

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

This is to publicly document that I’ve bet Lawrence $5 that the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series this year.

Headline of the day.

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

From the Statesman:

Julie Taymor claims there was a ‘Spider-Man’ plot

Sadly, when you read the article, it turns out she means there was a conspiracy to kick her out of the production, not that there was actually a plot to the musical.

Gregg Easterbrook to the white courtesy phone, please…

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Between 22 and 27 defensive players on the New Orleans Saints, as well as defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, maintained a “bounty” program funded primarily by players in violation of NFL rules during the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons, the NFL announced Friday.

Holy crap. The Saints were paying their defensive players to injure opposing players.

In some cases, the amounts pledged were both significant and directed against a specific opposing player, according to the league’s investigation.

I’m going to out myself here as something of a closet Saints fan, at least since Katrina. I thought they had a great comeback story, and I was delighted when they won the Super Bowl (especially after being so historically bad for so long).

But this? This is beyond the pale. This doesn’t even compare to what the Patriots did; say what you will about Bill Belichick, but illegal videotaping doesn’t even begin to come close to what the Saints have been doing.

This is the kind of thing where the NFL needs to get out in front of this story now. There’s talk of suspensions, fines, and giving up draft choices; my first reaction is that some people need to be tossed from the league for life. Gregg Williams, who is now defensive coordinator with the Rams, participated. Mickey Loomis, the Saints GM, was told by both the team owner and the NFL to shut down any bounty program that may have existed (the NFL has been investigating since 2009); he did not. Coach Sean Payton “was aware of the allegations, did not make any detailed inquiry or otherwise seek to learn the facts, and failed to stop the bounty program. He never instructed his assistant coaches or players that a bounty program was improper and could not continue,” according to the NFL

I would start with lifetime bans for Loomis and Williams, and a suspension for Payton, and work from there.

In other breaking TMQ related news, Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold has been indicted on charges that he misused his personal security detail. This is still a breaking story, and details are sketchy, but the WP is currently stating that he had his security detail drive him to parking lots and wait around while he “engaged in sex acts with another county employee.” (Apparently, they used a separate vehicle for the sex acts, not the one the security detail was hauling Leopold around in. So at least he’s got that small element of class going for him.)

And more from the legal beat.

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Continuing with the Kerry Max Cook coverage, the Tyler Morning Telegraph ran a story today about the case. There are some things mentioned in the Telegraph story that were not mentioned in the previously noted Hall story.

However, Hall disputes many aspects of the Telegraph‘s coverage, and has put up a second post in response.

In non-Cook related news, Durham County, North Carolina, is about to have their third prosecutor in five years. Prosecutor #1, Mike Nifong, was notoriously disbarred for his conduct in the Duke lacrosse case.

Prosecutor #2, Tracey Cline, has been removed by a judge because…she’s apparently batshit insane.

Really. I am not making that up. Rather than go into details here, I will point you to Patrick over at Popehat (who quotes parts of Cline’s statements, and has a link to the court’s opinion removing her from office), because:

1) I haven’t linked to Popehat recently.

b) I want to encourage the Popehatters to post more.

III) Patrick works in a reference to one of my favorite Al Pacino scenes.

In addition, Durham-In-Wonderland is also on the Cline beat: here and here, so far.

Not since…

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

This is a little old, but I only just stumbled across it:  a revival of “Carrie” has opened in NYC.

Here’s Ben Brantley’s review for the NYT. Spoiler: Brantley makes it sound less like a fiasco, and more like an exercise in tedium.

Important safety tip (#10 in a series).

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

If you’re going to have cosmetic procedures done on your body, I recommend you seek out someone qualified to do so.

Generally, I think you’re best off with someone who has a degree from a medical school you’ve at least heard of (probably a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges) and ideally a board certification from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

I know, you’re thinking I’m just a tool of Big Plastic Surgery, and there’s nothing wrong with getting your cosmetic enhancements at a bargain price. Hey, it’s your body, you can make your own decisions.

But I think we can all agree that getting your cosmetic enhancements from “a self-described hip-hop/goth/pop and funk musician” or your beautician is a bad idea. I’d also suggest that, if you’re going in for cosmetic enhancements, and you see your doctor using the same kind of superglue you can buy off the shelf at Walgreens: run.

The strange case of Kerry Max Cook.

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Over at the Texas Monthly web site, Michael Hall has an interesting blog post about the case of Kerry Max Cook.

To be honest, I’d heard the name, I’d seen some of the press coverage, but I never quite had a handle on what happened with this case. Hall’s post is a pretty good introduction.

In brief, Cook was charged with the 1977 murder of Linda Edwards. He was convicted at his first trial in 1978: ten years later, the Dallas Morning News exposed various issues from the first trial (a lying jailhouse snitch, a detective who claimed he could tell how old fingerprints were). Cook was granted a retrial in 1991.

The second trial ended in a hung jury. During that trial, even more evidence of prosecutorial misconduct came out in court. Cook was tried a third time in 1994, and was found guilty (again) and sentenced to death (again).

That third conviction was reversed in 1996 by the Court of Criminal Appeals, which specifically called out the misconduct on the part of the prosecution and police.

Cook, for various reasons, ended up entering a no-contest plea “in which Cook would maintain his innocence while only acknowledging the evidence the state would offer to try and convict him” before the fourth trial. DNA testing (the results of which became available only after Cook’s plea) seems to point to another man as the actual culprit. Cook is attempting to get additional DNA testing done, and to get a declaration of actual innocence from the Texas courts.

The entire case is much more complex than I’ve outlined here; I commend Hall’s post to your attention.

(Hattip: GFB.)

Another go around at the rodeo.

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

The HouChron is running a second story on rodeo food, complete with (Warning! Slideshow!) a 90-slide slideshow (Warning! Slideshow!) of various offerings. The slideshow in the previous rodeo food article appears to have been updated, so both articles point to the same photos.

The hook for this article is the “2012 Goldie Buckle Foodie Awards”. The fried red velvet cake sounds interesting, as does the banana split funnel cake. I don’t see any photos of the fried Kool-Aid, sauerkraut hush puppies, or fried Fruty Pebbles, and that’s probably just as well; I’m having dinner at Cajun Pizza Place tonight and would prefer to keep my appetite.