Author Archives: TD
I had previously let you all know here that I had been selected to play Fantasy Baseball in a league with Lieutenant Governor and 2010 Gubernatorial Candidate John Cherry, along with Rachel Friedlander, Josh LeVasseur, and 9 other brave souls from around the state. This is the first of what will hopefully be a weekly column that looks at the results and major events from each week.
Today was finally the big day. We set up an auto-draft on Yahoo, where a computer picked the teams based on our pre-assigned rankings, rather than picking each player individually, because of the time constraints of getting eleven players and the Lieutenant Governor’s schedules to meld. After a highly objective look at each roster, I would say humbly that mine is the best and will destroy everybody else’s. Or collapse incredibly quickly, but it’s definitely one of the two. I got the first overall pick with Hanley Ramirez and have a strong hitting team with weak pitching. This is okay with me as pitchers are expendable and replacable in the fantasy world. The LG’s team features a fantastic outfield, with his first four picks being Ryan Braun, Carlos Lee, Carlos Beltran, and Jason Bay. Fantasy is an issue of getting production where you can and having so many early picks tied up in a position where production is easier could maybe be a bit harmful down the stretch.
I am a decent fantasy player and have played in many leagues over the years. I will try to end each column with fantasy tidbits for the less initiated from my experience about how to run a successful team.
1. Past production is one of the most tantalizing things to take into account and ignore. This league was drafted a week into the season, so some stats have already been accumulated. It’s an incredibly difficult task to see which are legitimate future trends and which portend fantastic seasons. Kevin Youkilils is likely to end up hitting below .500, but Cliff Lee’s ERA is likely to go below 9.90. If it doesn’t, I will be angry.
2. These people are just sets of numbers. My team is named after my favorite player Kevin Youkilis who is Jewish, a member of the Boston Red Sox, and awesome. Yet, I will not trade everybody on my team for him, even though I think he is the greatest player ever and could probably cure cancer with his mind. At the same time, Rachel has 6 Tigers and 3 Yankees on her team, as those are her two favorite teams, while I have zero Red Sox. This is something important to look at and possibly exploit later through trades as Rachel clearly overvalues the members of her favorite team beyond their statistical output.
Congress is supposed to be a collegial place where we expect lawmakers to work together to do the best thing for the country. Supposedly at least. Yet, a Politico article today took the level of discord to a new level:
Peril awaits any first-term lawmaker who ventures to the House floor unprepared for a duel, but Ohio Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy had a particularly rough go of it the other day.
Kilroy took the floor to support an amendment to a popular public-service bill â€” only to face an ambush from Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), who hit her hard for her vote on an unrelated American International Group measure.
It wasnâ€™t an accident.
Foxx is part of a team of Republican members that House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has put together to create embarrassing, YouTube-worthy moments for vulnerable Democratic freshmen.
Cantorâ€™s floor staff has created a photo album to help identify the 42 most vulnerable Democrats. The aides send daily e-mails to the members of the attack team and alert lawmakers when these targeted members are speaking on the floor. They even draft quick scripts to help focus the questioning.
This is just bullying at its finest. They can’t do anything in the policy process and are instead picking on the new kids. This is what the Republican Party has been reduced to. It would be sad and pitiful were it not so wildly infuriating. When called upon it, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx from North Carolina said:
Foxx said sheâ€™s surprised that her encounter with Kilroy has gotten so much attention.
â€œAs just a country woman from western North Carolina, Iâ€™m surprised theyâ€™ve paid so much attention to me,â€ Foxx said.
â€œI just thought she should be held accountable for her vote,â€ Foxx said.
The mock humility is absurd. It’s almost kind of nice at this point. If ever you may be slightly frustrated with the Democrats or may not be infuriated, all you have to do is look at what Republicans are doing. This one is just ridiculous
Today I got fooled by an April Fools joke which I thought and hoped was actually true. Here was the joke:
A complete withdrawal from America’s premier racing series is expected to save more than $250 million between GM and Chrysler, a substantial amount considering the drastic measures being implemented elsewhere
What the hell is the problem with that? Seriously? We’ve already forced GM to sell its private jets and fire its CEO as part of the federal government loan guarantees. The company would be bankrupt without federal government support, giving the government carte blanche to change GM’s policies. One of the places where a lot of money is spent is on NASCAR and developing technologies for auto racing. There may be some technological uses that transfer over to consumer goods, but probably not enough to justify the hefty price tag. If they are dropping their sponsorship of the Motor City Bowl for college football, why is this sacred? My answer is that it shouldn’t be.
The picture up top was from an article here talking about past cuts that GM made in its sponsorship funding. I see no issue in cutting it all.
Earlier this week, a new plan for tuition in the state was introduced by State Senator Alma Wheeler Smith and our very own State Representative Rebekah Warren. They are proposing a refundable tax credit to pay for all tuition for students who graduate from Michigan high schools with family incomes below 107,000 dollars. For those between 107 and 127 thousand, a portion of tuition is paid and above 123 thousand, people pay their own. The plan would be paid for by a 1.15% increase in the income tax.
I was able to talk to Senator Smith about this and she was really excited about her legislation. Part of the problem in the state is that with this many people losing their jobs, they are not able to afford the costs of higher education. This gets around that issue and ensures that everybody would be able to afford state schools. It is a rather bold and visionary plan to deal with tuition issues and I really like it.
The fly in the ointment of course is the Republicans. They will be wildly against this plan as it pays for everything with this tax increase. To quote the first commenter on the MLive article:
The taxpayers of Michigan are already drowning in tax overload.The majority of school funding comes from real estate taxes.How can we afford any more taxes?Smith and Warren and any other politicians that vote for this should be kicked out of office!!!!!
Even if it does not pass, at least it can help bring some attention to this important issue and hopefully move the discussion towards a place where something like this could pass some day. Michigan needs some kind of radical change and this could be it.
Following up on Dana’s post here, I was picked to be in the Lieutenant Governor’s baseball league. Josh LeVasseur will be in the league as well. I have played fantasy leagues for many years at this point. I look forward to doing this and will be sure to update the blog with my skills and utter dominance. Either that, or I’ll just complain a lot about what’s going on. Here is a picture that describes what will happen to my life:
I am a hardcore Michigan basketball fan, and have blogged about the team many times on this site. Michigan lost on Saturday to Oklahoma. For those who roll that way, here is a picture of what happened:
Yet, I am happy and highly satisfied. The last games of the season show why:
2007-Tommy Amaker is our coach. We choke away our two different games against Ohio State at the end of the season which potentially could have gotten us into the tournament, continuing our streak of futility. Our only question would be if he was fired yet. I skipped the NIT game because I just didn’t care. He was fired on St. Patrick’s Day. It was a great day.
2008-John Beilein is our new coach. I had lots of hope, but those hopes were bashed against the rocks when it came time for Big 10. I understood it was his first year with an absurdly young roster and an entirely new system, but that was horrible. The losing grated and I just didn’t care enough to go to the last home game. It took a lot to get to that point.
2009-I come into the season hoping for a tournament bid. My wildest hopes are exceeded when we beat both UCLA and Duke. Big 10 season was a little rough, but the team pulled together to have huge victories against Minnesota and Purdue to clinch a tournament spot. Once we got into the tournament, I was happy. To win that first game was amazing. To keep the game against Oklahoma close, against a team that was much better than us and had the national player of the year on it was extraordinary. The best part was how I watched it. I was at Dance Marathon at the time surrounded by a huge crowd of fans, living and dying on every shot, free throw, and rebound. Michigan Basketball had finally arrived. I proudly watched the last seconds tick away in our season, but I was happy. For once.
Disclaimer: Please note that the opinions reflected in this satirical take of our great student publication are those of the author alone and do not reflect those of the College Democrats, MFCD, or the Democratic Party
1. UofM’s endowment wasn’t hit as hard as other schools’ endowments because we didn’t invest much in mortgage backed securities. I knew this the whole time. All we need is Michigan grads running ever major position in the country and we’ll be all good.
2. The elections software malfunctioned last night and wiped out 747 votes, causing those people to have to revote. If Pat Buchanan ends up winning MSA elections, that’s when we’ll really know that there may have been too much error.
3. A pediatric opthomalogist professor operates on kid’s eyes all across the world in the back of a plane all around the world. This is so awesome that he deserves a super hero title like Dr. Aireye or maybe call the plane “Eyes in the Sky”. Why yes I did get five hours of sleep last night. Why do you ask?
4. The crime notes today are pretty good. Allegedly a student peed outside of Martha Cook at 1230 am on Wednesday morning. I am shocked, shocked that this would happen on St. Patrick’s day night. I personally celebrated Irish culture by reading traditional Irish folk stories and reading histories of St. Patrick. I am highly disgusted at those who would defile this important cultural holiday with drinking and public acts of urination.
5. The stimulus bill will increase food stamps in Michigan and medical marijuana is now legal and won’t be raided in states who legalized. Both are good and I feel like they are somehow related.
6. The editorial page was average today except for one op-ed. Skip down three paragraphs if you don’t want to read my diatribe. There was an editorial decrying any free health care in America. His points:
a. My family went to the emergency room a lot when we were younger-1. That’s what copays are for. 2. In any system, there will always be people who consume more health care. The point is that if people are covered they will be healthier in general and won’t need to go to the emergency room as much 4. They are already overcrowded, even for people without their free health care that he decries, so we’re not really talking about much of a change. 5. Obama’s plan covers community health centers which serve the same function, while still allowing emergency services. See here: http://www.eschatonblog.com/2009/03/community-health-centers.html
b. The VA buys older drugs for military veterans which is abuse-1. VA Care is the best in America-http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2005/0501.longman.html 2. See here for a refuting of the exact points:
And that’s it. He doesn’t account for people who can’t afford health care or who are underinsured right now. He draws wild conclusions based off his families actions and an out of context study that ignores the larger picture of VA Care. It’s a poor op-ed piece that some basic facts can refute rather easily.
7. Michigan plays tonight against Clemson in the NCAA tournament. It will be a glorious victory, but it’s okay to miss it. We will have five more wins this season, so just watch those.
Come to the Blogging Convention tonight and remember to vote for Josh LeVasseur and our other endorsed candidates for MSA.
Doin’ it live since 1988,
Last weekend, I found a cool article about Detroit.
Rather than providing another examination of how depressing the city of Detroit was, the article stood against those depictions and for the people of Detroit. Now that the economy of the rest of the country isn’t doing so well either, , this article says that Michigan is the future for a lot of the country. Rather than standing and laughing at the examples of privation that have become national jokes, it becomes something more serious when a full-blown depression is potentially around the corner. The city of Detroit and the people who live there have problems, but they are still standing strong, able to overcome the economic tidal wave that we find ourselves in. The story of Detroit is ultimately one of triumph and persistence. This is something the rest of the country is going to need a lot of.
Disclaimer: Please note that these opinions are those of the author alone and do not reflect those of the College Democrats as an organization, MFCD, Barack Obama, or anybody else.
1. Lots of new transfers are coming back to the University of Michigan to get cheaper in-state tuition, leading to lots of financial issues and residency issues. That’s one way to get young people moving back into the state.
2. Wide Receiver Darryl Stonum got sentenced for his DUI and could get up to 90 days in prison. If he catches a break here, it will be the first thing he’s caught this entire year. No, but seriously, I really hope he has a good year next year. We need him.
3. Nickels Arcade is apparently going strong with their business model of being random stores in a corridor students walk through and don’t go into.
4. 405 people were picked up in a sweep around the state for outstanding warrants, including 150 sex offenders. If for some reason attendance tonight at Kick Ass Thursday seems light, you know why.
5. The Law Library is underground and amazing. It’s great that they’re telling us how awesome it is in the paper for undergraduates when we’re not allowed in the friggin’ place. Thanks a lot. I’m sure that there’s also some delicious looking cake in a locked display case somewhere that the Daily could tell us about too.
6. Editorial page isn’t really exciting today. The only major thing of note is the cartoon in the corner which is one of the most depressing things i have ever read in my life. Even Monopoly isn’t safe from economic recession jokes.
7. I turn to the next page and I see the source of hope and light and joy in the world: Michigan basketball. We play today at 230 against Iowa. If we win, we are most likely in to the NCAA Tournament. If we lose and we miss the tournament, I will be plunged into a strong state of despair. Please win and go to the tournament. Please?
8. The back page of the front section is a list of people who are better than you. The thing about being here is that there are a lot of them
9. Kiss of the Spider Woman will be on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Power Center. It’s a gritty musical, which is musical directed by Danny Abosch, a proud Dem. Please go, as it should be awesome and the music’s amazing. Yeah, I like musicals. What of it?
10. I generally skip entertainment stuff. Reading about new bands isnt really exciting to me.
For those who are unaware, Chuck Norris is a highly conservative writer and critic. During the Presidential campaign, this manifested itself with support for Mike Huckabee. Today, this manifests with support for secession and craziness. Chuck has become part of an increasingly strong conservative voice in favor of something approximating secession in opposition to the policies of President Obama and the Democratic Congress. Look at these passages:
When I appeared on Glenn Beck’s radio show, he told me that someone had asked him, “Do you really believe that there is going to be trouble in the future?” And he answered, “If this country starts to spiral out of control and Mexico melts down or whatever, if it really starts to spiral out of control, before America allows a country to become a totalitarian country (which it would have under I think the Republicans as well in this situation; they were taking us to the same place, just slower), Americans won’t stand for it. There will be parts of the country that will rise up.” Then Glenn asked me and his listening audience, “And where’s that going to come from?” He answered his own question, “Texas, it’s going to come from Texas. Do you agree with that Chuck?” I replied, “Oh yeah!” Definitely.
How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution?
Again, Sam Houston put it well when he gave the marching orders, “We view ourselves on the eve of battle. We are nerved for the contest, and must conquer or perish. It is vain to look for present aid: None is at hand. We must now act or abandon all hope! Rally to the standard, and be no longer the scoff of mercenary tongues! Be men, be free men, that your children may bless their father’s name.”
Can I call this what this is? This is crazy secessionist rhetoric. Scarily, it’s going mainstream. Glenn Beck has become a leader on this and is talking about seceding from the union. This is a guy who gets millions of viewers and listeners. This is becoming mainstream right under our nose. It’s an incredibly scary lack of patriotism here and a childishness that screams of taking their ball and going home. It could merely be dismissed if not for the strong undercurrent of anger here. An angry population does scary things. So yeah, I’m afraid of Chuck Norris. But not for the same reason that everybody used to be.