2016 NFL Super Contest Picks, Week 4

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Last week is here. I'm 8-7 overall.

TB +3 Denv loss
Mia +7.5 Cin loss
Cle +7.5 Wash loss
Tenn +5 Hou loss
NYG +4.5 Min loss


Let's Pick Some College Football Games, Oct 1 2016

Last week is here.  I'm 17-15 overall.

WVA -3.5 KSt loss
Pitt -15.5 Marsh win
Navy +7.5 AForce loss
GTech +7.5 Mia loss
Clem +1.5 Louis win
Mich St -6.5 Ind loss
Ore -1.5 Wash St loss
UConn +27.5 Hou loss
BC -18 Buff win
Rut +38 OhSt loss
Virg +3.5 Duke win
UCF +3 ECU win
Col St -6.5 Wyo loss


Top 10 Television Shows July-September 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Here's April-June

9 months and now 30 television shows down - here are the ten best for the past 3 months of 2016.

1. Fleabag (BBC/Amazon)
2. Mr. Robot (USA)
3. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
4. Lady Dynamite (Netflix)
5. Atlanta (FX)
6. The Night Of (HBO)
7. Documentary Now (IFC)
8. Casual (Hulu)
9. The British Bake Off (BBC/PBS)
10. Real Housewives of New York (Bravo)

The two best shows of the third quarter of 2016 both feature main characters talking directly to the audience; Fleabag is a near perfect six episodes and most of the other shows on the list would have benefited from being a similar length. I don't know if there's a season two planned, but there doesn't need to be - it felt exactly the right shape for that story.  Mr. Robot, the way top end shows tend to do, gave some ground in its somewhat uneven second season - but the high points were as compelling as television gets.

Orange is the New Black is another example of starting off like a lightning bolt and then subsequent seasons settling into some version of competency - this was its best season since its first.  Had Lady Dynamite stopped about halfway in, it would top this list, it stumbled a little near the finish. Atlanta, at the time of this writing, hasn't even reached the six episode mark; a note here as to the rules of this endeavor - Atlanta won't be listed in the top ten for the 4th quarter of the year, but those episodes will "count" when the year end list is considered.

If Night Of boiled down its entire season to the best 6 episodes, it would place higher on the list; Documentary Now has only aired two episodes (similar to High Maintenance, which now becomes a carryover candidate for the 4th quarter's list, along with You're the Worst, Better Things, and Halt and Catch Fire) but they were just too tremendous not to acknowledge.  In a smaller way, Casual suffered from the second season settling - the Bake Off is the best non-Survivor competition show on television, and this season of RHONY was one of the very best in franchise history.

We'll do this again at year's end, 10 shows for the final quarter of the year and then a year end top 20.

September, 2016 Athlete of the Month

Monday, September 26, 2016

August was here.

Lamar Jackson. 

Runners-up: Gary Sanchez, Brian Dozier, Angelique Kerber

3/4 of the year down.  Here's where things stand in the race for 2016 Athlete of the Year.

January-Von Miller
February-Lionel Messi
March - Buddy Hield
April-Breanna Stewart
May - Klay Thompson
June - LeBron James
July-Serena Williams
August-Michael Phelps
September - Lamar Jackson

Tendown, September 25 2016

Sunday, September 25, 2016

242 is here. This is Tendown 243

Sanders, recall, was the unelectable one.

1. Trump. 


3. Kapernick saying smart stuff this week:

 There’s a lot of racism disguised as patriotism in this country and people don’t like to address that and they don’t like to address what the root of this protest is. You have players across this country, not only in the NFL but soccer and NBA and high school players, they don’t like to address this issue that people of color are oppressed and treated unjustly. I don’t know why that is or what they’re scared of, but it needs to be addressed.


 This year’s Republican platform is dismissive of the federal minimum wage, declaring (in a stance similar to the one Trump appears to have evolved toward) that decisions about base hourly wages “should be handled at the state and local level.” It endorses the anti-union “right-to-work” laws enacted by Republican governors such as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, and calls for taking the anti-union crusade national with a proposal “for a national law” along “right-to-work” lines. The 2016 GOP platform also attacks the use of the Fair Labor Standard Act to protect workers; rips the use of Project Labor Agreements to raise wages and improve working conditions; and proposes to gut the 85-year-old Davis-Bacon Act, which guarantees “prevailing wage” pay for workers on federal projects.


10. My Review of Pitch, Fox's new show about the first woman to play in MLB:

She threw six innings. They never showed her at the plate. Not a second of the first episode discussed her batting. Why did they put her in the NL where that's a thing that happens?  And slow down with the Jackie Robinson talk; African-American players were good enough to play they weren't being allowed to play, that's not, to this date, been the case with women.  Historic, yes, ending a discrimination, no.

And one more...

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time....if there is a next time...

Your pal,


2016 NFL Super Contest Picks, Week 3

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I was 3-2 again last week  I'm 6-4 overall.

NE +1 Hou win
Carol -7 Minn loss
Tampa -5.5 LA loss
Buffalo +4 Ariz win
Tenn -1.5 Oak loss


Let's Pick Some College Football Games, Sep 24 2016

I was 5-5 last week. I'm 15-12 overall.

SCarolina +2.5 UK  loss
EMich +3 Wyoming win
UMass +21.5 Miss St  win
Akron +6 App St. loss
Penn St. +18.5 Mich loss

17-15 overall

Tendown September 18, 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016

241 is here.  This is Tendown 242.

1. When There Are No Public Defenders.

Kentucky defenders took, on average, 448 cases apiece in the past year, 54 percent above recommended national standards. Attorneys take on 11 percent more cases than they did a decade ago, and in areas like Louisville, they now take close to double the national standard.

In Utah, an estimated 62 percent of all misdemeanor defendants had no access to counsel. Indigent defense is funded entirely at the county level, and in all but two counties, it’s provided by contracted attorneys who are not subject to state oversight and are paid a fixed fee per case. A recent study by the Sixth Amendment Center, an advocacy group for the right to adequate defense, concluded that defense attorneys in most of Utah are financially motivated to work their cases as quickly as possible, regardless of the merits or complexity.

And in Missouri, where the defender office is funded entirely at the state level, the Democratic governor, Jay Nixon, has repeatedly blocked the passage of state legislation to cap defenders’ workload and increase their funding. Most recently, in July, Nixon withheld $3.5 million of a relief fund approved by the state legislature to hire additional staff.

Gen. David Petraeus, the major architect of the 2007 Iraq War troop surge, which brought 30,000 more troops to Iraq. Picking him indicates at partiality to combative ideology. It also represents a return to good standing for the general after he pled guilty to leaking notebooks full of classified information to his lover, Paula Broadwell, and got off with two years of probation and a fine. Petraeus currently works at the investment firm KKR & Co.
Another notable member of Clinton’s group is Michael Chertoff, a hardlinerwho served as President George W. Bush’s last secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and who since leaving government in 2009 has helmed a corporate consulting firm called the Chertoff Group that promotes security-industry priorities. For example, in 2010, he gave dozens of media interviews touting full-body scanners at airports while his firm was employed by a company that produced body scanning machines. His firmalso employs a number of other ex-security state officials, such as former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden. It does not disclose a complete list of its clients — all of whom now have a line of access to Clinton.
Many others on the list are open advocates of military escalation overseas. Mike Morell, the former acting director of the CIA, endorsed Clinton last month in a New York Times opinion piece that accused Trump of being an “unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.” The Times was criticized for not disclosing his current employment by Beacon Global Strategies, a politically powerful national-security consulting firm with strong links to Clinton. Three days later, Morell told Charlie Rose in a PBS interview that the CIA should actively assassinate Russians and Iranians in Syria.

The 9/11 attack killed close to 3,000 innocent people, but the 15 years of wars, bombings, invasions, occupations, and other abuses it spawned — the bulk of which are still raging — have killed many, many more than that. Americans love to memorialize the victims of the 9/11 attacks, though the abundant victims of their own government’s actions (both leading up to 9/11 and in response to it) are typically ignored. Whatever else 9/11 is used to commemorate, Barbara Lee’s visionary warnings and solitary courage should always be near the top of that list.


5. Off the Record

“It’s terrifying,” said one GOP consultant, who like others spoke to BuzzFeed News on condition of anonymity. “He’s not qualified … and it’s a massive problem. I’m not a fan of Hillary Clinton, but at least I feel like some of those jobs that are required for president, she could do them.”
“It would be terrible for America, and for the world,” said another Republican strategist, referring to a prospective Trump victory. “I can’t think of one good thing that would come of it.”
A third Republican said that after watching the Clinton campaign’s missteps in recent days, “I’m curled up in the fetal position watching The West Wing and drinking a basketful of deplorable liquor.”


Access, appointments and influence over a Clinton administration’s policies is the just dessert that a growing slate of conservative policy wonks, Capitol Hill veterans and former GOP administration officials say they expect for endorsing and in some cases raising money for the Democratic presidential nominee.
Story Continued Below
And they’re already getting it. From messaging help delivered by Clinton’s communications team to direct and regular access to senior staffers and in-person meetings to discuss policy and strategy, Republicans who have abandoned Trump say the Democrat has given every indication that the GOP view will be reflected in her administration.

And one more...

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...

Your pal,


2016 NFL Super Contest Picks, Week 2

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I was 3-2 last week

Browns +6.5 Ravens win
Buffalo +1 Jets loss
Rams +4.5 Seattle win
Cowboys +2.5 Redskins win
Miami +6.5 NE loss


Let's Pick Some College Football Games, Sep 17 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I killed it last week, 6-1  I'm 10-7 on the season.

WMich -2.5 Ill   win
CMich -12.5 UNLV  win
LA Tech +10.5 TTech loss
NIll +10.5 SD St loss
Oklahoma +1.5 Ohio St. loss
Navy -5.5 Tulane win
Utah -12.5 SJ St. win
UTEP +3.5 Army  loss
Fresno +20.5 Toledo  loss
Sflorida -14 Syracuse  win


2016 Emmy Award Predictions

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Emmys are Sunday, I watch a lot of television.

Will Win: Veep
Should Win: Veep

Will Win: Game of Thrones
Should Win: The Americans

Actor Drama
Will Win: Kevin Spacey
Should Win: Matthew Rhys

Actress Drama
Will Win: Viola Davis
Should Win: Keri Russell

Actress Comedy
Will Win: Julia Louis Dreyfus
Should Win: Julia Louis Dreyfus

Actor Comedy
Will Win: Jeffrey Tambor
Should Win: Jeffrey Tambor

Supporting Actress Comedy
Will Win: Allison Janney
Should Win: Judith Light

Supporting Actor Comedy
Will Win: Tony Hale
Should Win: Louie Anderson

Supporting Actor Drama
Will Win: Kit Harrington
Should Win: Jonathan Banks

Supporting Actress Drama
Will Win: Lena Headley
Should Win: Constance Zimmer

Limited Series
Will Win: People v. OJ
Should Win: Fargo

TV Movie:
Will Win: All the Way
Should Win: All the Way

Movie Actress
Will Win: Sarah Paulson
Should Win: Kirsten Dunst

Movie Actor
Will Win: Courtney B Vance
Should Win: Courtney B Vance

Movie Supporting Actress
Will Win: Jean Smart
Should Win: Jean Smart

Movie Supporting Actor
Will Win: Sterling K Brown
Should Win: Bokeem Woodbine

Reality Comp
Will Win: The Voice
Should Win: Top Chef

Variety Talk
Will Win: Last Week Tonight
Should Win: Last Week Tonight

Variety Sketch
Will Win: Inside Amy Schumer
Should Win: Portlandia

Variety Special
Will Win: Adele
Should Win: Lemonade

Tendown September 11, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016

240 is here.  This is Tendown 241. It's a HalfDown.

1. Let's Talk About Ailes

“Fox News masquerades as a defender of traditional family values,” claimed the lawsuit of Fox anchor Andrea Tantaros, who says she was demoted and smeared in the press after she rebuffed sexual advances from Ailes, “but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-­fueled, Playboy Mansion–like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny.”

2. The First Ever College Faculty Lock Out

3. You Aren't Allowed to Criticize Clinton Anymore

That Donald Trump is an uber-nationalist, bigotry-exploiting demagogue and unstable extremist does not remotely entitle Hillary Clinton to waltz into the Oval Office free of aggressive journalistic scrutiny. Nor does Trump’s extremism constitute a defense to anything that she’s done. It is absolutely true that Trump has at least as many troublesome financial transactions and entangling relationships as the Clintons do: These donations to the Florida attorney general are among the most corrupt-appearing transactions yet documented. Even worse, Trump has shielded himself from much needed scrutiny by inexcusably refusing to release his tax returns, while much of the reporting about the Clintons is possible only because they have released theirs. All of that is important and should be highlighted.
But none of it suggests that anything other than a bright journalistic light is appropriate for examining the Clintons’ conduct. Yet there are prominent pundits and journalists who literally denounce every critical report about Clinton as unfair and deceitful, and band together to malign the reporters who scrutinize the Clintons’ financial transactions. Those prominent voices combine with the million-dollar online army that supreme sleaze merchant David Brock has assembled to attack Clinton critics; as the Los Angeles Times reported in May: “Clinton’s well-heeled backers have opened a new frontier in digital campaigning, one that seems to have been inspired by some of the internet’s worst instincts. Correct the Record, a Super PAC coordinating with Clinton’s campaign, is spending some $1 million to find and confront social media users who post unflattering messages about the Democratic front-runner.”
4. Long Live the Estate Tax

The estate tax has historically raised substantial revenue from those with the greatest capacity to pay. Even in its weakened condition today, it will raise over $270 billion in the next decade entirely from households in the top 1 tenth of one percent. But revenue has always been a secondary consideration with the estate tax. Its primary purpose historically has been to put a brake on the build-up of concentrated wealth and the threat that poses to our democratic institutions

5. Look At this Terrible Thing Hillary Clinton Said.

Hillary Clinton suggested in a television interview in Israel, broadcast on Thursday, that the Islamic State is “rooting for Donald Trump’s victory” and that terrorists are praying, “Please, Allah, make Trump president of America.”
Had Trump said it, Maddow would have added an extra hour just to talk about how terrible it was.  Zero from MSNBC, Zero from your favorite liberals.  They'd rather talk about Larry King being the Red Menace.

And one more...

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...

Your pal,


Let's Pick Some College Football Games, Sep 10 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016

I was 4-6 last week.

Ark +7.5 TCU win
Ohio +2.5 Kansas win
Miss St -6.5 SCarolina win
ECU +4.5 NC St win
SD St -7.5 Cal loss
BYU +3.5 Utah win


2016 NFL Super Contest Picks, Week 1

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Each year I post my picks for the NFL Super Contest (5 picks ATS each week). Here's Week 1.

Titans +1.5 Minn loss
Browns +4 Eagles loss
Chargers +6.5 KC win
Jags +5.5 GB win
Dolphins +10.5 Sea win


2016 NFL Predictions

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

2016 NFL regular season starts this week.  Here are the picks (I may reconsider up to the first kick)


1. NE
2. Buff
3. NYJ
4. Miami

1. Cincinnati
2. Pittsburgh WC1
3. Baltimore
4. Cleveland

1. KC
2. Oakland WC2
3. Denver
4. SD

1. Houston
2. Jax
3. Indy
4. Tenn

AFC Champs: New England


1. GB
2. Minn WC2
3. Detroit
4. Chicago

1. Arizona
2. Seattle WC1
3. LA
4. Niners

1. Carolina
2. Atlanta
3. NO
4. TB

1. NYG
2. Dallas
3. Wash
4. Philly

NFC Champs: Arizona  

Super Bowl 51: Arizona d. New England

Tendown September 4, 2016

Sunday, September 4, 2016

239 is here. This is Tendown 240.

If I had any guts, I would never stand for the National Anthem and have felt that way for at least the last two decades.  My senior year of high school there was a kid who stopped standing for the Pledge of Allegiance, and I felt the same way about that.  I haven't wanted to kiss that flag since I was maybe ten years old and have always complied (and will continue to) to avoid the scorn which will follow.

But I hate that shit.  Now, if it were culturally required that we rise for Neneh Cherry's Buffalo Stance I'd be in.

1. Kaepernick

Few people know this because we only ever sing the first verse. But read the end of the third verse and you’ll see why “The Star-Spangled Banner” is not just a musical atrocity, it’s an intellectual and moral one, too


3. More Kaepernick

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Quite naturally, the flying monkeys were aloft within seconds. One fan achieved Internet glory by lighting Kaepernick’s jersey on fire, and did so while it was hanging from a tree, just in case, you know, you didn’t get the point. C. Montague Schilling, a former major league pitcher and now proprietor of one of Twitter’s most luxurious reptile farms—which is one too many, as far as I’m concerned—was beside himself, tweeting out pictures of soldiers who are not him and accusing Kaepernick of betraying them. By and large, the arguments against Kaepernick ran that, because he is a wealthy and prosperous (if not, at the moment, an altogether successful) professional athlete, he should shut up and be grateful for the country that has condescended to let him entertain it, although the country did not deign to allow itself to be entertained by African-American professional football players until 1946. This is a curious business indeed. Famous and wealthy Americans should not criticize the country because they are famous and wealthy. Poor and anonymous people can criticize the country all they want, but nobody listens to them anyway. This works out very well.
This is what a stand looks like. For better or worse, stands that demand people come together rarely have that effect. And contrary to popular belief, stands do not create divisions and fissures. Theyamplify them. The whole point of a stand is to put them on display, to ask the world to confront and examine their hypocrisies and ask why they’re on one side and not the other. Protests that don’t offend aren’t worth the effort. The ones that do are the ones that can change the world.
5. Clinton gave a speech about American Exceptionalism this week.  I'd rather vote for Kaepernick.  Here's the part where she said we need to increase military spending.

7. Yes, I know, what we're supposed to do is thank military, whose campaigns in the Middle East have somehow protected our freedoms.  
Or - thank unions.  

In the debates over the causes of wage stagnation, the decline in union power has not received nearly as much attention as globalization, technological change, and the slowdown in Americans’ educational attainment. Unions, especially in industries and regions where they are strong, help boost the wages of all workers by establishing pay and benefit standards that many nonunion firms adopt. But this union boost tononunion pay has weakened as the share of private-sector workers in a union has fallen from 1 in 3 in the 1950s to about 1 in 20 today.
While we avoid strict causal claims about wage determination, the analytical approaches summarized in this report enable us to assess the independent effects of union decline on wages and lend confidence to our core contention that private-sector union decline since the late 1970s has contributed to substantial wage losses among workers who do not belong to a union. This is especially true for men. And most hurt by the decades-long decline in the nation’s labor movement are those nonunion men who did not complete college, or go beyond high school—groups with the largest erosion of union membership over the last few decades.
Two easily identifiable issues with the focus on how military members feel about Kaepernick.
1. Who cares?
The Military doesn't get a veto on political protest.  Even people supporting Kaepernick have felt the need to say "he's not saying anything at all against the military" as if that would be a bridge too far.  Fetishizing the military makes it easier to deploy the military.  
2. Seriously, who cares?
Stop saying the military fights for my freedoms.  WWII, sure.  After that? What the hell are you talking about?  Unless we kill a lot of Middle Easterners I might lose the freedom to listen to Buffalo Stance?  Get out of here with that. It's stupid.  
And one more...

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...
Your pal,

Let's Pick Some Football Games, Labor Day Weekend, 2016

Saturday, September 3, 2016

I guess we'll do this again this year.  Picking football games, 2016.

N.Texas +10 SMU loss
Oklahoma -12.5 Houston loss
USC +12 Alabama loss
NCarolina +3 Georgia loss
Purdue -14 EKy win
WMich +4.5 Northw win
LSU -13.5 Wisc loss
Miami(oh) +28 Iowa win
Tex +3.5 ND win
Miss +5 Fl St.loss


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