Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday Musings

This is late because I was too into sports yesterday.

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Normally, I don't find videos of presidents doing stupid things to be all the hilarious. But Obama's teleprompter speech in a sixth grade classroom is pretty funny. He looks like a cat watching a tennis match. Next time, use index cards.

For quite some time, been saying that Obama's reputation as an outstanding speaker is largely unearned. He speaks with authority and confidence, in contrast to his often mumbly predecessor, but he cannot articulate big ideas and seems not to understand them.

The press seems to be hip to the game. The Washington Post lampooned his overreliance on the phrase "let me be clear", and the AP took a break from it's usual fashion consulting service to pen a piece critical of Obama's speechmaking.

What's my point? That I was right. That is all.

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So, Vikings owners are trying to use the team's success as a launch-pad for a new stadium. Everything that can be said about new stadiums has been said, but isn't this actually a spectacularly bad time to be discussing this?

We spent a billion dollars on two stadiums, neither of which is delivering the promised jolt to nearby businesses. The Vikings are actually selling out for once. So NOW we need to pay money to move the team to Anoka? Interesting argument.

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Obama is instituting a "spending freeze". You'll be seeing plenty of the debate during which Obama excoriated McCain for supporting precisely what he now proposes, so I'll spare you that. But isn't it a bit galling to simultaneously propose expensive healthcare and environmental proposals?

What is the strategy? Assume the Americans are dumber than molasses? Politics is a cynical business, but yikes.

David Frum has already labelled the spending freeze a "slushy". How can I keep this blog funny when gags get taken in minutes?

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I am saddened that my boy Mike Pence has declined to challenge Evan Bayh in the Indiana Senate race. As someone who opposed TARP and the stimulus, he would have had an excellent chance in a race likely to see low slum-precinct turnout. The Dems dodged a bullet, there.

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Had a chance to hit up La Sirena Gorda, the fish taco emporium in Midtown Global Market. One of the best cheap meals I've had in a long time. The ceviche, in particular, was splendid, but the tacos are best of breed as well.

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Victory 44 has a new chef, and putting a more innovative spin on their existing menu. Most of what I had was good (the cheddar ale soup is a standout), though a chicken cordon bleu deconstruction did nothing for me. Why deconstruct a dish that is so blah to begin with? The prices have stayed low, but I'm not sure there is a market for this kind of innovation in North Minneapolis.

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Finally, if you live up north, pay a visit to Kim Anh in Brooklyn Park. It's located by Lemongrass, one of the best Thai joints in town. It's a solid pho and banh mi stop for folks who don't want to drive all the way to Jasmine Deli.

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