Thursday, April 30, 2015

Quick Hits: Volume CXI

- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has decided to run for President in 2016, intending to challenge Hillary Clinton (and who knows who else) for the Democrat nomination. This announcement was met with pretty much a proverbial yawn since Sanders' candidacy is to Democrats what a Ron Paul candidacy was to the GOP.

Since he first became a member of Congress nearly 25 years ago, Sanders has made clear his ideological leanings.

"I am a socialist and everyone knows that," Sanders said, responding to an ad that tried to link him to the regime of Fidel Castro.

He continued: "They also understand that my kind of democratic socialism has nothing to do with authoritarian communism."

Yes, "authoritarian communism" would be "big S" Socialism. And that is a distinction the left wing rag New Republic was sure to emphasize.

As Sanders explained in a 2006 interview with Democracy Now!:

I think [democratic socialism] means the government has got to play a very important role in making sure that as a right of citizenship all of our people have healthcare; that as a right, all of our kids, regardless of income, have quality childcare, are able to go to college without going deeply into debt; that it means we do not allow large corporations and moneyed interests to destroy our environment; that we create a government in which it is not dominated by big money interest. I mean, to me, it means democracy, frankly. That’s all it means.

Yep. We get it. Still not interested in government controlling every facet of our lives however.

- How secure is a job with a Federal government bureaucracy as opposed to the private sector?

Government watchdog investigations have found that at least two EPA employees who were caught watching porn and sexually harassing female co-workers were also awarded or promoted by the agency.

Furthermore, senior EPA officials largely ignored complaints by 16 women, mostly employees, who accused one official of sexual harassment. Despite these complaints, this employee actually got a promoted.

Compare that to the actions of Chad Shanks, now a former social media manager with the NBA's Houston Rockets. As the Rockets were on the brink of eliminating the Dallas Mavericks from the NBA playoffs Tuesday evening, Shanks tweeted the following:

Yes, that's a horse head emoji with a gun emoji pointed towards it.

For that, Shanks was given his walking papers. Hopefully that tweet was removed posthaste. Never know how many excited Rockets fans would have been incited to open fire on nearby ranches.

- My Minnesota Vikings drafted highly touted Cornerback Trae Waynes on Thursday evening with their 1st round pick (11th overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft. Not so coincidentally, this selection occurred four spots after the Vikes' division rival Chicago Bears drafted stud WR Kevin White.

Given the fact the Vikings have to face some of the top Wide Receivers in the game twice per season (Jordy Nelson & Randall Cobb of Green Bay; Golden Tate & Calvin Johnson of Detroit; White & Alshon Jeffery of Chicago), it behooved them to upgrade the secondary. After the emergence of second year CB Xavier Rhodes in 2014, the Vikings hope to have one of the more formidable defensive backfields for years to come.

During NFL Network's coverage of the draft, guest commentator David Shaw (head football coach at Stanford) mentioned he was so impressed with Waynes after seeing his Michigan St. team take on Shaw's Cardinal squad in the 2014 Rose Bowl, he said Waynes reminded him of Pro Bowl corner Richard Sherman. Yes, that's a bit hyperbolic considering Waynes has yet to play a single down in the NFL. However, Shaw was an assistant at Stanford during Sherman's time there, so he definitely feels Waynes can also make that progression.

On a separate note, I thought the first night of the NFL Draft had a weird aura to it. One, it took place in Chicago as opposed to the usual location of Radio City Music Hall in New York. And two, the New York Jets fans were actually excited for their team's first round pick.


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