Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's Biden...

But much ado about about some of the reaction dealing with Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh.

Turns out that Bayh has known for a few days now.
Senator Evan Bayh says he's known for two days that he wouldn't be Barack Obama's running mate.

He tells the Associated Press that Obama called him Thursday afternoon to tell him he wasn't his pick, but he was sworn to secrecy. Word broke last night that Obama had selected Senator Joe Biden of Delaware.

Although he says being considered was an honor, he compared the experience to "the political equivalent of a colonoscopy." He says the Obama campaign went over everything and anything and tracked down every crazy rumor about him.

Bayh says not being chosen means he'll be able to be a better dad and a better senator for the people of Indiana - two things that mean a lot to him.
Like many, Bayh would have been the safest bet.
It seemed to be Sen. Evan Bayh's best shot of being chosen as the Democratic nominee for vice president.

But just like 2000 and 2004, it was not to be. After weeks of speculation, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama chose Delaware Sen. Joe Biden.

Bayh lost out even though many Democrats and political observers believed him to be Obama's safest bet.

A moderate Democrat with foreign policy experience. A fiscal conservative with executive experience as a former, popular two-term governor. Strong family values. No skeletons in his closet to speak of, no major gaffes to point to.[...]

Vargus said if Bayh continues to have eyes on the White House, he has to show himself as a more known and effective senator.

"He is going to have to simply really attract some attention," Vargus said.

Maybe, but Bayh is only 52 years old. And for the past several weeks, he got plenty of attention in a bright media spotlight. Last week, hordes of reporters staked out his home night and day. He talked or was talked about a lot on television, and was the subject of countless newspaper and Internet stories and blogs.

"This particular process has exposed to the country that Evan Bayh is not only mentioned as a great former governor, but a leader," said state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker. "This has only further enhanced his profile as a national leader."

Indiana's senior senator, Republican Dick Lugar, said Bayh's future was bright.

"I share the disappointment of many Hoosiers that my partner in the Senate, Evan Bayh, was not selected on this occasion, but I believe he will continue to have widespread support for higher office during many years ahead," Lugar said.

Several top Democrats had predicted that if Bayh were on the ticket, Indiana would go blue in November for the first time in decades. Bayh was not only popular as governor, but won his first and second terms in the Senate with more than 60 percent of the vote.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Leaked bumper sticker says Obama--Bayh

This from KSBW:
A leaked photograph of bumper stickers being printed suggests that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama will be picking Indiana Senator Evan Bayh as his running mate.

KMBC reported that a Kansas City company that specializes in political literature has been printing Obama/Bayh material.

The company, Gill Studio based in Lenexa, Kan., would neither confirm nor deny that they were printing the stickers.

At least three sources close to plant operations reported that the Obama/Bayh material was being produced.
Could it be? Will it? G-d, please let us know something before sundown!

Superman reboots

Warner Bros. Confirms Superman Reboot
Just a few days after this article was posted, Warner Bros. Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov has told The Wall Street Journal that the studio is going to be reintroducing Superman. We assume this will be similar to how Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk was a reboot of Ang Lee's Hulk. Here is what the article says:

Warner Bros. also put on hold plans for another movie starring multiple superheroes -- known as "Batman vs. Superman" -- after the $215 million "Superman Returns," which had disappointing box-office returns, didn't please executives. "'Superman' didn't quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to," says Mr. Robinov. "It didn't position the character the way he needed to be positioned." "Had 'Superman' worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for Christmas of this year or 2009," he adds. "But now the plan is just to reintroduce Superman without regard to a Batman and Superman movie at all."

The article also talks about Warner Bros. adapting other DC properties over the new few years. "By 2011, Mr. Robinov plans for DC Comics to supply the material for up to two of the six to eight tent-pole films he hopes Warner Bros. will have in the pipeline by then," it says. Those projects will likely be about single characters at first, and will be darker much like The Dark Knight:

With "Batman vs. Superman" and "Justice League" stalled, Warner Bros. has quietly adopted Marvel's model of releasing a single film for each character, and then using those movies and their sequels to build up to a multicharacter film. "Along those lines, we have been developing every DC character that we own," Mr. Robinov says.

Like the recent Batman sequel -- which has become the highest-grossing film of the year thus far -- Mr. Robinov wants his next pack of superhero movies to be bathed in the same brooding tone as "The Dark Knight." Creatively, he sees exploring the evil side to characters as the key to unlocking some of Warner Bros.' DC properties. "We're going to try to go dark to the extent that the characters allow it," he says. That goes for the company's Superman franchise as well.

The studio is set to announce its plans for future DC movies in the next month. For now, though, it is focused on releasing four comic-book films in the next three years, including a third Batman film, a new film reintroducing Superman, and two movies focusing on other DC Comics characters. Movies featuring Green Lantern, Flash, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman are all in active development.

Finally, it appears that DC is going to get it right. Maybe Christian Bale will appear in a Justice League movie after all.

BREAKING NEWS: Barack Obama chooses Vice Presidential nominee

Senator Barack Obama has called the folks that he's vetted but didn't make the cut. The world awaits his public comments.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

To interested blog ad purchasers

To account for economic inflation and the campaign season, I have upped my blog ad rates.

Vote for Fred Bird!

Home Run Derby's Mascot Brackets have reached the Second Round...
And they have got a feathered matchup between two Central Division rivals...
#1 -Pirate Parrot (Pittsburgh Pirates) vs. #5 - Fredbird (St Louis Cardinals)

Keep your Fred Bird alive in MLB Mascot Brackets...

You can vote until Aug 24 at Midnight CDT.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

News roundup

Rogen's high times on the set
Metromix talks with Judd Apatow
You famously had critical but not commercial success with your TV shows [“Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared”] and yet your movies have almost all been hits. Why do you think that happened?
Well in TV you’re a victim of marketing and scheduling. You’re dealing with a lot of flipped out executives who want a hit instantly and they have a lot of opinions. I never think that’s good for the work. If you tell them you disagree, they get mad at you and cancel your show. In film you can find the people who get what you do and it’s an easier collaboration. In television you can have a debate every week, on every episode, on every choice and that’s awful. Unless you have a big hit, you can tell them to hit the road. But I never had a big enough hit where I could ignore their calls.

Have you thought about doing a series for cable TV? It seems like the perfect medium for someone with your interest in characters.
In a way I just continue to make “Freaks and Geeks” episodes as movies. “Pineapple Express” is like a “Freaks and Geeks” episode from season five. You know, when I see a show like “Mad Men,” it makes me miss television because I like writing for the same people, obviously. I’m just making a lot of movies with the same people. Maybe one day.

Can you tell me a little about your next directorial project, “Funny People?"
It’s about a stand-up comedian who has a near death experience and it takes place in the comedy world but it’s not about comedy. It’s just an interesting texture to the movie that this experience happens to someone who is a comedian.

Are you pulling stuff from your own experiences in stand-up?
A little bit, it’s mainly fabricated. It’s more based on the feelings we all have and insecurities and neuroses that make any of us want to do this.
SuperBad, meet Pineapple Express. Pineapple Express, meet SuperBad. That would be an interesting crossover!

While campaigning for John McCain, Senator Joe Lieberman has been busy donating to the DSCC.
Lieberman, a former Democratic vice presidential nominee, donated $115,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this year, matching what he contributed to the political arm of the Senate Democratic Caucus in 2007, Lieberman's spokesman confirms to CNN.

Since leaving the Democratic Party in 2006 - Lieberman supporters have said the party left him - the Connecticut senator has crafted a new identity as an Independent Democrat. He is a prominent campaign surrogate for presumptive Republican nominee McCain, but still included in the Democratic head count that gives them a majority in the Senate by the slimmest of margins — one vote.

In turn, Lieberman chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee — a powerful perch with wide jurisdiction over the Bush administration.

"Senator Lieberman supports both Democrats and Republicans, and he gave to the committee as a senior member of the caucus," Marshall Wittmann, Lieberman's spokesman, said Friday.
Why you won't hear certain people voicing their movie characters in The Clone Wars...
“When we decided to do the feature, we went back to the actors and said, ‘Look, we’re doing a feature. Would you like to do the voice? Could you come in a month?’ Some of them were all over the world. It was hard to get all the actors that would be off on set,” Lucas told reporters at a press conference last week. “You need people available every week. [Also] you can’t really afford multi-million dollar actors to do a television series. Those guys make more during their coffee break.”[...]

“It used to be in animation you just had [unknown] actors do the parts. The idea of hiring a really good actor – Tom Hanks [for instance] – was a really revolutionary idea,” Lucas said. “Partly they did it because they were great actors, partly they did it cause they wanted to use them for publicity. To be very honest with you, I don’t really think I need to hire a big movie star to publicize my movie. I don’t need Angelina Jolie here. That’s what it comes down to in the end. They have two days in the studio and then they have like two weeks doing press. They are mainly paid for the press stuff.”
In baseball news, Jason Isringhausen's career is likely finished.

Where I've been lately?

You, the long time blog reader might be wondering why I've disappeared and pretty much stopped blogging. I haven't stopped blogging. You'll see about four posts for the month...period.

No, I've not gone into the Batcave or called it quits or just simply gone into hibernation.

My recent job ended and I've spent the past few weeks trying to find a new one. Suffice it to say--my search isn't going so well.

I'm going to try and catch up on the soon as possible.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Did China use underage gymnasts?

It may be the case as the AP reports:
Just nine months before the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government's news agency, Xinhua, reported that gymnast He Kexin was 13, which would have made her ineligible to be on the team that won a gold medal this week.

In its report Nov. 3, Xinhua identified He as one of "10 big new stars" who made a splash at China's Cities Games. It gave her age as 13 and reported that she beat Yang Yilin on the uneven bars at those games. In the final, "this little girl" pulled off a difficult release move on the bars known as the Li Na, named for another Chinese gymnast, Xinhua said in the report, which appeared on one of its Web sites,

The Associated Press found the Xinhua report on the site Thursday morning and saved a copy of the page. Later that afternoon, the Web site was still working but the page was no longer accessible. Sports editors at the state-run news agency would not comment for publication.

If the age reported by Xinhua was correct, that would have meant He was too young to be on the Chinese team that beat the United States on Wednesday and clinched China's first women's team Olympic gold in gymnastics. She is also a favorite for gold in Monday's uneven bars final.

Yang was also on Wednesday's winning team. Questions have also been raised about her age and that of a third team member, Jiang Yuyuan.

Gymnasts have to be 16 during the Olympic year to be eligible for the Games. He's birthday is listed as Jan. 1, 1992.

Chinese authorities insist that all three are old enough to compete. He herself told reporters after Wednesday's final that "my real age is 16. I don't pay any attention to what everyone says."

Zhang Hongliang, an official with China's gymnastics delegation at the Games, said Thursday the differing ages which have appeared in Chinese media reports had not been checked in advance with the gymnastics federation.

Bayh to address convention on August 27th

This is also the same day of the convention that is usually reserved for the vice presidential nominee.

One way or the other, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh will speak at the Democratic National Convention the night Barack Obama’s running mate addresses the party.

Bayh is scheduled to speak at the convention on Aug. 27, the night dedicated to national security issues, according to Bayh's office.

That’s also the night the vice presidential candidate will speak, fueling speculation Obama will choose a running mate with national security credentials.

Bayh has worked to develop those credentials through service on the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees.

But another name on the list of possible running mates for Obama -- Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- already is an acknowledged expert on foreign policy.

Biden, who is also scheduled to speak Aug. 27, has another advantage over Bayh in the running mate competition: Bayh was one of the first Democrats to back President Bush's request to use force against Iraq, which made him unpopular with many in the Democratic Party’s liberal wing.
In response to liberal bloggers that created an anti-Bayh facebook group, I created a group in which people trust Sen. Barack Obama to select his own darned VP.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Buzz on Obama-Bayh

Senators Evan Bayh and Barack Obama shared the stage today in Indiana.

The New York Times:
As Senator Evan Bayh introduced Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, at a town hall style meeting here today, there was more scrutiny than usual of the interaction of the two men. That’s because Mr. Bayh’s name is said to be on the short list of candidates Mr. Obama is considering as his running mate.

But for those who parse such things, the pickings may have been slim. Mr. Bayh made the only introductory speech at the event at Concord High School here, referring to Mr. Obama as “my friend, our neighbor” and noting that this was Mr. Obama’s 42nd visit to the state.

Mr. Bayh, however, focused his remarks on the political battle that lay ahead and marveled at the effort Mr. Obama is making to win the state, calling it “a very unusual thing.”

When Mr. Obama took the stage, the two men embraced, Mr. Obama smiling broadly as he patted Mr. Bayh on the shoulder. And during the question-and-answer session that followed his remarks on energy policy, Mr. Obama went out of his way to praise Mr. Bayh.

In response to a question about an issue that has not been much in the headlines, he said that Mr. Bayh has been working “diligently” on “locking down nuclear weapons and loose nuclear material.”

On Tuesday, The Indianapolis Star interviewed Mr. Bayh, who said that he hadn’t been asked to join the ticket. Despite speculation surrounding Mr. Obama’s stop in the Hoosier State today, Mr. Bayh told the Star: “”I’m absolutely confident there will be no announcement,” he said. “I guess the best way to put it is, if there’s an announcement, I’d be as surprised as anybody else.”
TIME notes that both worked a diner today:
Obama and Bayh came in the front, turned right and started working the booths, ropeline style. Obama passed a table of steelworkers and reached beyond them. A bulky steelworker, a local named Tony Capriglione, shouted out at Bayh, “you get a job offer yet?”

The table fell out laughing. Bayh shifted his eyes with mock stealth and discomfort. “Shhhh,” he said, walking his eyebrows in Obama’s direction.

Then a lady in a pink shirt got in on the fun. “He your vice president?” She shouted at Obama. He chuckled and pretended like he was going to ignore her. “I haven’t made a decision about my vice president yet,” he said over his shoulder.

Obama went through a succession of admirers and supplicants: a guy wearing a wife-beater, a fireman, a kid wearing an “I..Am…So…Pissed…Off” t-shirt. He made his way to the formica counter, ordered a cheeseburger with mustard, lettuce, tomato and three more with the works. A few diners sat sullenly as he worked the second half of the room, stonefaced and staring ahead as they worked through their nosh. Other people clearly were as excited to see Bayh as they were Obama. But most everyone in the room was about the senator from Chicago, had pens and cellphones at the ready, and angled hard for a keepsake to mark their brush with the presumptive nominee. There is a tape if you fancy a sampling of the individual conversations.

Outside was another scrum of local press and latecomers, maybe 100 people in all. Obama and Bayh worked the crowd, moving toward the bus. It was here that Bayh announced he was a big White Sox fan (Hey! Just like Obama!), prompting more than a few knowing eyerolls from the jaded national press corps.