Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's not Bipartisanship, its Betrayal

Unsurprisingly, Obama folded under Republican pressures and watched the $250K+ club tax relief continue. Whether you realize it or not, this country is headed toward financial ruins and that very well may have been the nail in the coffin. Certainly, this is hard to believe when the Jayson Werth's of the world are commanding $130mil, and stock index levels have jolted slightly, but believe it or not unemployment is actually predicted to rise and the relief for the jobless to fall. Something seems wrong about that. President Obama campaigned on a message of hope and hope is exactly what he is sucking out of millions of Americans, just before the Holiday season.
Did Obama campaign on a bipartisan agenda, as well? Certainly. And, I would willingly concede that being able to reach across the aisle, is not just an important political skill, but also something all great leaders are able to do. However, any great leader would tell you that you do not do so at the cost of forsaking your greatest convictions. Obama is playing the fool now and is making everyone who campaigned and argued on his behalf - ahem - look stupid. Not only that, but he has taken the very dangerous step in letting the GOP set the agenda for the nation. Talk about showing weakness.
I mentioned in my previous blog entry how foolish it would be to end jobless benefits. I read today a jarring statistic, which essentially states that each $1.00 pumped into jobless benefits injects $1.60 back into the economy. Seems like a worthwhile investment, no? Obama knows this as well as anyone, his arguments prior to the election were incredibly convincing and emboldened, he had a hard stance: The tax breaks for the $250K + club are bad for the economy. So, why is he bending now? He has completely betrayed his supporters. Each day it becomes more and more clear that Mrs. Clinton was correct and Obama was not ready for the big time. This is not what we put him in Washington to do.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Democrats Should Show Fight

If the Democratic party is going to stand up to the GOP at all, this is the time. Just because they won the midterm elections doesn't mean you roll over and surrender complete control to them. Do you want cooperation and support down the road? Yeah, sure. I guess. But, if it means not just extending the Bush tax cuts, but making them permanent, than under absolutely no circumstances do you allow this to happen. In fact, if these tax cuts do become permanent it will be nearly impossible for even the staunchest base Democrat supporters to have faith in anyone in public office. Period.
What do the tax cuts mean to Americans, you ask? Well, here is a very simple break down from the great Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, who writes:

Here's what [the Republicans] argue: Extend the tax cuts for the richest Americans - in fact, make them permanent. Doing so would increase the deficit by $700 billion over the next decade, but this doesn't matter. We did tell you that we're the party of fiscal responsibility, however, so to prove it we'll block the extension of unemployment benefits for millions of jobless workers. Three weeks before Christmas.

In other words, there's no additional money in the national coffers for the victims of the most devastating recession since the Great Depression. But to help investment bankers start the new year right, perhaps with a new Mercedes or a bit of sun in the Caribbean? Step right up, and we'll write you a check.

Is this the type of garbage that anyone who voted Democrat in the midterms, or has ever voted Democrat, or has any liberal leanings, or really, any common sense is going to overlook? I really don't see how it would be possible. This one, in my mind falls on Obama, he is the leader of the party. It's time to rally up the troops and crush this in its tracks.
Anybody who has taken any type of Economics course in their life, or even has any sense of how an economy works, or how real world lives are impacted by a complete halt of financial support knows that ending jobless benefits HURTS THE ECONOMY. Think about it, people without any source of revenue take the money given to them by the government and funnel it directly into the economy. This is the money they use to pay rent, buy food, clothes, gifts, make car payments, etc. How is ending that going to help the economy at all?
But, alas, -and I hate to be cynical - the Republicans are not even that clueless to think the tax relief for the wealthiest Americans is actually good for the economy. So why be so adamant it get pushed through? The answer is simple. One, it stops a Democratic agenda, weakens the presidents resume, and what they hope will limit him to one term. Not to mention their chief donators are the ones benefiting most from the tax relief. So, this one falls squarely on Obama's shoulders. The Republicans are crippling the economy, stepping on the little man, and trying to drag Obama out of office after one term. Time for Obama, and the rest of the Democrats, to show some fight and kill the bill. No pun intended. But, I liked it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wikileaks, Whistleblowers, and You

The haymakers levied by the Wikileaks phenomenon and the repercussions that will potentially ensue are obviously not to be taken lightly, but the fact is, most people find the breadth of information both boring and overwhelming. Who am I to disagree with that? I have taken a keen interest in politics, but will be the first to admit I care a lot more about gearing up for a playoff run in fantasy football, or the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. But, I also think it's important that people really understand what is going on with Wikileaks and how it could and probably will impact each and every industry.
So, first and foremost, check out the Forbes interview with Julian Assange, wherein which Assange reveals his plan to unleash a potentially devastating blow to one (unnamed) major American bank at some point in early 2011. In a decade that will be marked most prominently by the prevalence of the internet - the new Wild West - it was only a matter of time before whistleblowers were given a safe haven to dump information leaks that cripple public and private entities alike. In the Forbes interview, Assange claims to have "dirt" on just about every industry you can think of, ranging from governmental agencies, energy, and finance. So, what do businesses do with the new threat of whistleblowing in the form of cyber-dumps? I don't know. Maybe they hope that the public is so inundated with the leaks that they become jaded and don't hold them accountable. Or perhaps, they hope that those who find Assange and other whistleblowers to be scum-of-the-earth types will write off anything they say in the first place. But, when it comes time to answer for their crimes and/or wrongdoings, what will they do? Well, hopefully they'll start to adopt fair and honest practices.
Transparency is always stressed in most every business, Wikileaks is almost forcing the hand of transparency, which, in my opinion, isn't a bad thing. I find Assange to be a self-indulgent, egomaniac more than the rogue arbiter of justice he bills himself as, but at the end of the day, I would have to say that I kind of fall on his side of the debate on transparency. The only real issue is that Assange is basically out of control with his grandstanding and self-perpetuating-hype that he is turning the leaks into a circus and made-for-TV-scandal, instead of a tool for accountability. But, if your company stresses and enforces integrity, then you won't have any issue with Wikileaks' existence.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thirsty Turtle: The End of an Era

With the recent stabbings that occurred at the Thirsty Turtle in College Park, rumors are swirling that the polarizing bar will be shut down for serving alcohol to minors. The Turtle has long been known as the easiest spot to utilize your fake I.D. in the region (I've always said that if a girl had a pulse, she could show the bouncer a baseball card and he'd let her in.) The bar is generally packed on Thurs-Sat nights, but also on their $2 pitcher night on Tuesdays and has a reputation for being a "freshman bar" as well as a place to meet women of "ill repute" whom one could take home with little to no effort.
Many in College Park, however, are completely oblivious to the overt racism that goes on at this establishment. Being a person with a diverse set of friends and, as has been on display in this blog for years, a keen sense of racial relations, I was quick to notice the way the bar treats it's non-white patrons. For instance, the bar on most nights has a policy that you must be a student at the University of Maryland to gain entrance, however, white people are never asked to show student I.D.'s while, specifically black and latino people are. I have seen on a number of occasions, droves of white people - most of whom were clearly underage - enter the bar with no hassle at all, while a black friend of mine was given trouble beyond belief at the door. On one particular night, a black friend of mine who attends another University had gained entrance earlier in the night, paid his $5 cover, and shown a legitimate I.D. to get in. When he returned a half hour after leaving the bar, he was told he would not be able to re-enter because he was not a student. No refund was given. He was told that if he did not leave, they would call the police. On another, even more egregiously racist occasion, I witnessed two UMD students in line at the same time, one a white student, one a latino student. Both wearing white t-shirts. The white student showed both forms of I.D. and was let in. The latino student does the same, but was told he may not enter due to a policy they have wherein which "no white T's are allowed".
So, while even the staunchest Turtle-goers would concede there is a certain "douche-factor" to the place, they can write that off as a sort of charm. The racist practices, though, can not be written off. It amazes me how few people are even aware of this, but that really just goes to show how most people are generally only concerned with themselves and their own trivial life-dramas. I'd also like to point out that I don't blame the bouncers for this, because I am positive that they were trained to do exactly that. I personally would never work a job that would require such practices, but, I'm not going to knock a guy for making a buck. This clearly came from management, and management is now getting exactly what they deserve. So sure, I feel bad for the people who made their living at that bar, the people who got enjoyment out of going there every weekend, etc. but am I outraged or even slightly bothered by the place getting closed? No chance. Good riddance, I say.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Still on iTunes

If you're tired of going through zShare to download the episodes of 2 Guys 1 Mac, we are also on iTunes. All you've gotta do is click on the "Subscribe in iTunes" link on the upper right hand corner of the blog. Or, simply search "2 guys 1 mac", "imjustlikemusiq", etc. in the iTunes store and you will find us. Thanks a lot, I hope you're enjoying our new project.

2 Guys 1 Mac - Midnight Episode

What Happened to College Park? Harry Potter Hotties, Chu's Clues, and much more. Enjoy it!

Friday, November 19, 2010

2 Guys 1 Mac - Episode 1

Our first podcast was recorded last night, it's a lot like the old show. I hope you enjoy it:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Devastating Hits

With news that the NFL will now levy suspensions against players who distribute "devastating hits" or "head hunt", we are entering a dangerous territory for fans and players alike. The integrity of the game is really coming into question. I appreciate that the NFL is looking out for the players and trying to limit concussions, but the league is coming to a crossroad. If the league continues to over-protect the players, though, defenses are going to become helpless. As a Redskins fan, the team is developing a reputation of hurting players, with clean, but potentially "devastating" hits. If a key contributor, be it Landry, Fletcher, Alexander, or whoever is suspended for making a big hit, I will strongly consider protesting the league. The players these days are so big, so strong, and so fast that when we see these collisions in slow-motion, of course it's going to look like they're "head hunting", but from the perspective of the player, they are trying to make a play to help their team win. For the most part, players are trying to make clean, hard hits. Sure, I feel terrible for DeSean Jackson, he is a very small guy in comparison to the rest of the league, and he got absolutely blown up. But, listen, the players know the risks of the game. If you don't want to get hit, then don't put the pads on. Nobody is forcing these players to suit up on Sundays. There is no way to avoid bad injuries in the league, and if you force these defensive backs to let up, then wide receivers are going to float across the middle of the defense with no fear and shred everyone.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Post about the Sports Junkies and The Redskins

Could this be more of an inside-post? Anyway, there are about 8 people on the planet who would find this compelling, and none of them probably read this blog. Nonetheless, I present to you: -- Why The Junks Are Clueless --

Lets face it, when you want a sophisticated, analytical, intelligent debate/conversation about sports the Junks aren't the best option. They surely don't know the in's and out's of sabermetrics in baseball, or the X's and O's of football. In basketball they rely solely on the sniff test and what Tim Legler says. They're just "Joe the Fan" and thats it, we all enjoy the show for the zings and the inside jokes, but when they talk sports all day their ignorance really shines through. They even market themselves that way, as Lurch says on the MASN spot "we drink beer and watch sports on TV (if we're not asleep by the end of the 2nd quarter)". Nonetheless, they do have the power of the microphone and they have really infuriated me this week with their analysis of the Skins victory along with the Moss/Welker debate.

Lurch, how many "if's, shoulda's, coulda's, woulda's, and but's" are you going to throw out about the Philly game? Sure, I get it, you were making your prediction based on the knowledge that Vick would play 4 quarters. Are you going to tell me that you don't take into consideration the fact that Vick is a running quarterback with a history of injury against one of the hardest hitting secondaries in the NFL? That's your own lack of insightful fore-thinking. Vick didn't get hurt falling off the team plane, the Redskins KNOCKED HIM OUT of the game. You keep saying "if Vick would have played, it would have been a different game". (Yet, when it is brought up that if Santana were in the Patriots offense, Lurch quickly says that he "hates when people use that 'what if' argument". So what is it? What-if's are allowed when they benefit your argument but not when they contradict it?). Also, use your brain Lurch, the Redskins shot out the gate with a TD, another TD, and then a drive that went to the 4yd line but ended in a FG due to penalties and Armstrong stumbling out of bounds. With that heavy lead and Kolb in at QB, the gameplan offensively completely changes. We intentionally went into a running box and tried to milk the game away. Boswell made a great point about McNabb being conservative throughout his career when he has a large lead. The strategy paid off. If Vick were in and the game were closer, maybe Philly would have won, but I can assure you that there wouldn't have been as many run-run-run-punt drives.

EB, you are making me sick this week. After one bad loss you completely turned on the team. Don't you dare jump on the bandwagon when we beat Green Bay and improve to 3-2. Don't you dare. When a team comes off a heartbreaking emotional overtime loss, on the road, in a DEAD stadium against a dead franchise, a letdown is almost inevitable. Its not excusable. But, it happened, and over the course of a 16 game season all good teams have bad losses. The Redskins aren't the Colts of last year, we aren't going to breeze through the season, but we have a good team and we're going to have good wins and bad losses. The season is going to come down to the divisional games and with a 2-0 start you have to feel good about your chances. We are a blocked FG away from 3-1. That's the reality of the situation. And, for those of you who say, you are a holding call away from 1-3, that is COMPLETELY different. That holding call was not a "flukey" play like a blocked FG. Had Orakpo not been held, Romo would have been sacked and the game would have ended. Either way it's a Redskin win. That's just the facts. We have wins over Philly and Dallas through week 4 and yet, you are only predicting 6 wins at best and add that we are underdogs every week? Please.

JP is actually being the most level-headed and reasonable of all when it comes to the Skins. And that is UNBELIEVABLE. But, I have figured out why... its a perfect balance. The guy has man-love for McNabb and loves to disagree with EB, so in one sense he wants Washington to succeed. On the other hand, he knows EB gains joy out of the Redskins winning and has a deep-rooted hater bias against the team, so in that sense, he won't go all-in on the team.

Cakes, why are you being such a girly-man? Go out on a limb for a change. I know you love to be non-confrontational and primarily care about zings, but it's obvious you don't agree with the Lurch and EB hate toward the team, so voice your opinions. Please, we Skins fans need someone besides Bret in our corner, who is great at making initial arguments, but awful when it comes to countering.

I would call in, but I know that I'd get cut off within seconds, hung up on and then called a moron. They would then ask me to respond to a point that I could easily respond to, but E.B. will say "he bailed". When, in reality, I would have been hung up on by his fat clumsy fingers. Anyway, I really am a huge fan of the show and haven't missed a segment since podcasting began at JFK. I remember when Bret would just select 4 of the 12 segments and post them. We've come a long way since then. I'm sure nobody is going to read this, but I'm willing to debate anything I've said, so comment away.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More Tea Party Stuff

I'm really killing it with these blog post titles, aren't I? God, I'm good.

Anyway, here is an article by a British political analyst in the guardian about the Tea Party. Great read. You should check it out.

Heres my own little cliff note version of it, and a lot of this stuff is really the obvious points that I've been making for months now, but he raises some unique points, as well.

The Republican "tent" is straining: witness the cannibalism already taking place this weekend, with Karl Rove attacking the tea partiers, with moderate senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska announcing a "write-in" campaign against her extremist opponent Joe Miller (the guy that says unemployment benefits are unconsititutional).

As America – admittedly, slowly – becomes more socially moderate (see polls on greater acceptance of gay rights, belief in healthcare, etc), Republican leaders in Washington are doing their best to portray an inclusive party. Many in the Republican camp are on board with the moderate strategy (see Ken Mehlman – Bush's chief strategist's – call for acceptance of gay rights, or Karl Rove's repudiation of the Tea Party).

It's tempting to compare the Republican party to the British Conversative party of the late 1990s: at war with itself; unsure of its identity; fundamentally torn by the issue of Europe and forced into being the party of "no" (remember William Hague's "Five days left to save the pound" campaign?). The answer for the Conservatives was to modernise, tack to the middle and embrace social change. They were able to do so not least because of the ageing population of the most rightwing elements.

Americans Republicans don't have that luxury. Tea Partiers aren't dying out. Their extremism is sustained, in part, by thriving Christian fundamentalism. They're here to stay. And they're here to be vocal.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tea Party Stuff

Well, shocker, my Econ professor never responded. I'll just keep it moving, I guess. Anyway, I had a few thoughts about the Tea Party, which has accrued even more buzz and momentum with Christine O'Donnell winning her primary in Delaware. First, I don't consider this some kind of huge blow to the Democrats, or to the United States as a whole. I think if we let the Tea Party into office completely, it will actually do us some long-term good. The buffoons who run the Tea Party and campaign largely - if not wholly - on wedge issues are sure to crash the economy and make a mockery of foreign policy if the controls are left in their hands. Hopefully, that will put an end to people voting solely on wedge issues. O'Donnell, for instance, has made the claim that masturbation should be considered adultery. Claims like this, along with other conservative extreme viewpoints, somehow have a history of rallying the voting base. Perhaps, though, once in office the country will finally see what an abomination the trickle down economics thought process has been, especially in its current form in the recession as businesses exploit the "recession" to cut costs, stop hiring, and commit layoffs all under the guise of a recession, all the while, they turn profits. The rich get richer. The "fair tax" and ultra-conservative misinterpretations of the Constitution lead by the clueless tea party continue to split the Republican party in half, though. So, odd as it is, the Republicans are actually blocking themselves from getting into office and trouncing progressive race/religious/cultural advancements. Not that I'm rooting for the Tea Party to get in office because I want them to succeed, it's more so that if the Cowboys were in the NFC Championship game and the AFC team was sure to embarrass whoever the victor of the game were, I would root for Dallas to win just so I could watch them get pummeled in the Super Bowl. Except, in politics, you don't get credit just for making it into office, your judged on results. The Tea Party would surely be at a loss for those.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Conservative Bias in Collegiate Economics

Below is an e-mail I sent to my Macro Econ professor this afternoon, hopefully she will respond and I can put her answer on this blog. She also, ironically enough, said something that completely contradicted my previous blog on drugs/Mexico and enraged me in class again this morning. I will certainly send her a link to this blog and continue to question her on her conservative biases throughout the semester.


My name is Jason Harlow I am a student in your Econ 201 course. On the first week of classes you made the implication that wages are inelastic, or rather, that people would be unwilling to accept certain paycuts because they could not maintain their way of life. As an example, you said that someone who had to pay their mortgage and put their child through college would not accept a paycut from $25/hr to $10/hr. Over the past few weeks, though, this statement has bothered me quite a bit, considering it is the basis for much of economic theory in this course, I felt it prudent for me to e-mail you my concern. Over the course of time we have seen that those in 3rd world countries have accepted pittances for wages, because those are all that employers are willing to offer. The "banana replublic" in Central America, for example, is notorious for offering wages of a mere $1/day. Certainly not enough for anyone to send their child to university, and yet, throughout the state people beg for the jobs in banana fields, or any job that will pay them any wage at all. Would it be possible for you to defend your statement or correct me if I misunderstood the position you assumed? In class or by e-mail works for me. Thanks so much for your time.

-Jason Harlow

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday Night Football

The defending champion Saints host the Vikings tonight and are 5 point favorites. Defending Champs have won their season opener the last 10 years and i expect it to continue. 70% of teams that cover su cover ats as well so take the Saints(-5) to the bank tonight. If the Saints lose tonight, i will reimburse everyone's losses by hooking them at Buffalo Wild Wings.

My sit and start for fantasy purposes tonight look like this:
Start: Reggie Bush(12 points) and Bernard Berrian(10 points)
Sit: Brett Favre(6 points) and Devery Henderson(2 points)

Good Luck this week Richards

A Few Opinions on Mexico

Lately, I have chosen not to comment much on politics, because frankly, it's just been discouraging me a lot. I'm really starting to regret choosing to pursue a politically-based degree, because, I don't know if I can work in the field. In other words, I've been taking the stance that I care way more about Jose Calderon than Felipe Calderon. But, nonetheless, I felt compelled tonight to comment on Mexico following another Mexican mayor being gunned down in his office in broad daylight. My stance on both immigration and drugs have been well documented on this blog, I don't believe I really have to re-visit them too much in depth.
First, let me just say that you can not fight a war on drugs with a law enforcement approach. That's something I learned watching HBO's "The Wire". A lot of my fellow hippy liberals say, hey why don't you just legalize drugs, that'll wipe out the entire black market. Sorry pals, it doesn't work like that. You don't legalize drugs and then expect an entire underbelly of drug lords and criminals to vanish. If you load a safety in the box to stop the run, maybe you can hold Adrian Peterson under 100 yards, but at was cost? Brett Favre is going to kill you over the top. What I'm getting at is that if you wipe out one industry, the criminals will just adapt and find a new industry or they'll produce drugs at a much lower cost, considering the prices they pay for labor are basically nothing (they strong arm cats) and that the black market doesn't tack on taxes. So if you wan't to legalize drugs because of your libertarian belief-system, thats one thing, but don't try to use eliminating crime as a cheap add-on benefit to your argument.
Not to mention the role that America has played in what Mexico has become. Unfair trade agreements we have entered in with corrupted Latin American leaders have crippled much of the potential economic successes Mexico and other nations may have enjoyed. Without legitimate options, rampant joblessness, and dire economic conditions of course violence will persist.
Anyway, it's Dallas week and I don't feel like proof-reading this, so don't grill me for misspellings or poor syntax or sentences and phrases that flat out make no sense. Go Skins. lol

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ken Burns - 10th Inning

Can't wait for this. For those of you who haven't seen Ken Burns - Baseball, you are seriously cheating yourself. Anyway, they're doing a screening in D.C. a month from today, definitely gonna check it out. Details below...

If you loved Ken Burns' classic Baseball documentary, you'll probably want to pencil this event onto your calendar. On Thursday, September 23rd, Burns will join filmmaker Lynn Novick for a preview screening of his new film, the Tenth Inning, at Lisner Auditorium in Washington D.C. at 7 p.m.

This preview screening is a PBS and WETA event which will feature a discussion with Burns, Novick and ESPN writer Howard Bryant.

The Tenth Inning, a two-part, four-hour documentary, premiers on September 28 and 29th on PBS. It's the latest chapter in the Baseball series. The film will focus on the national pastime from the 1990s to the present day.

Burns kicked off a cross-country tour to promote the film at Nationals Park earlier this season.

Reservations are required in advance, but tickets are free. Call 703-998-2065 or go to


Cool Tune - Orange Marsupials

This chick has a bunch of really good videos up on YouTube... most notably a cover of Simple Man which is really dope. But, she has a band which has a ska feel to it, anyway, this is a pretty cool tune. Check it out.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Haynesworth Saga

A lot of people have got this whole Albert Haynesworth thing all wrong. Sally Jenkins article in the Post just now, though, is the worst. In fairness, I'll post a link to it at the bottom of this blog, but frankly, I could barely get through reading it, because it outraged me so much. Before, I say what I need to say, it's important to know that I don't necessarily think Albert is some sort of great guy or great competitor. In fact, I stood at the front of the line, calling him out for taking plays off and his embarrassing pride and competitive will, being carted off the field several times last year was really painful to watch as a Redskin fan. But, does that give Shannahan the right to throw Albert under the bus at every turn? Does it give him the right to make him the scapegoat for any future missteps or misfortunes this season? No. It doesn't. And, this isn't the first time Shanny has done this. The guy likes to play games and have pissing matches. He tried it with Brandon Marshall in Denver and he's trying it here now. He is just as childish and foolish as Haynesworth as been since day one. Now, should, Albert have showed up to the offseason conditioning program? Probably. Without a doubt there is a camaraderie that a lot of the great football locker rooms have and it would be nice if your best player showed up. But, he didn't need to show up to get in shape. Do you think that Ma'ake Kemoeatu could have passed that conditiong test? I know, for a fact, he could not have. So spare me the conditioning angle. Haynesworth is in his 9th year in the league, he knows what he has to do to be ready to play. He can dominate as his weight. The fact is Shannahan is couching himself. It couldn't be more obvious. If the Skins start out 2-6, then the media and Skins fans all over the region will target their venom towards Haynesworth, rather than Shannahan or his hand-picked quarterback Donnovan McNabb. A coach and a quarterback are the two most inviting targets when things go wrong, but if you scapegoat your high-priced defensive tackle from day one, maybe the town will take him to task over you. I just hope I'm not the only one seeing through the smoke screen.