Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Photo Mitt Romney Wishes He Could Make Disappear

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking before a “crowd”

of 1200 people in 65,000 seat Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan

on Friday, February, 24, 2012.


“You people don’t have a clue as to how f**king crazy I really am.” 

WHAT WE LEARNED LAST WEEK

Arizona governor Jan Brewer is a unrepentant shrew of a human being, without a shred of decency and grace.

Barack Obama remains one of the best sitting presidents at fundraising in recent history.

Dysfunction rules in Lakerland these days.

Gasoline prices are changing the way many Americans are going about their daily lives.

Jeremy Lin can be contained.

Kobe Bryant remains one of the most controversial figures in recent NBA history.

Magic Johnson, Sean Combs and Robert Rodriguez have the opportunity to influence popular culture as never before with their new network alliances with Comcast.

Mitt Romney may be the worst “leading” GOP candidate since Bob Dole in 1996.

Newt Gingrich is getting increasingly desperate by the day, if not the minute.

Republican party leaders, both elected and unelected, are far less confident of their chances to defeat

President Obama in November than they were this same time last year.

Rick Santorum may and probably will say anything to get the Republican nomination, no matter how

outlandish and it may sound.

Tyler Perry remains “critic-proof” with his fan base, but is showing diminishing returns with any “non-Madea” films.

The Times’ NBA rankings

Heat moves into top spot after beating Jeremy Lin and Knicks.

LeBron James and the Miami Heat defeated Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks and moved into the top spot in The Times’ rankings in the process. (Robert Duyos / Sun Sentinel / MCT)

By Ben Bolch

February 25, 2012, 7:38 p.m.

LIVING AT THE FOUR SEASONS

1. MIAMI (27-7) Stop the Linsanity? The Heat at least put it on hiatus. (2) Nobody needed a break more than Jeremy Lin.
2. CHICAGO (27-8) Second City may be playing second fiddle again in Eastern Conference. (1) If there is a God in Heaven, and I firmly believe there is, a Chicago/Miami 7-game Eastern Conference finals series is already on order.
3. OKLAHOMA CITY (27-7) Kevin Durant only West All-Star starter who can laugh about L.A. traffic. (3) Still think Portland wouldn’t like a do-over of the 2007 draft?
4. SAN ANTONIO (24-10) Spurs‘ recent victory streak goes to 11 before stars get a breather. (4) Gregg Popovich is one sly old dog with many tricks up his sleeve.

PILING UP VICTORIES, MARRIOTT POINTS

5. CLIPPERS (20-11) Blake Griffin wants off Team Shaq after hearing DeMarcus Cousins slight. (5) DeMarcus who?
6. ORLANDO (22-13) Tax-free status, year-round sunshine may not be enough for Dwight Howard. (7) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Howard ain’t going anywhere.
7. INDIANA (21-12) Forget Orlando. Granger has right idea by heading to Turks and Caicos. (9) If the NBA really cared about its players, they would lock in the All-Star break for the President’s holiday long weekend, have no Thursday games before the break and not start up again until that Wednesday after the game.
8. PHILADELPHIA (20-14) Slide before break has fans wondering whether Philly’s best is good enough. (6) Doug Collins about to tear out what little hair remains on his head.
9. LAKERS (20-14) Fractured team needs everyone from Jim Buss to bus boys on same page. (10) Why do I get the feeling that GM Mitch Kupchak is quietly exploring his options?
10. DALLAS (21-13) Mavericks suddenly dreading potential playoff rematch against Lakers. (8) Been laying in the cut all season; about to turn it up a notch.
11. HOUSTON (20-14) Chase Budinger doesn’t stir reminders of Clyde Drexler in dunk contest. (12) Or even Rex Chapman.
12. ATLANTA (20-14) Whatizit? Hawks fans still unsure this up-and-down team is for real. (11) Sudden thought that has nothing to do with the Hawks: whatever happened to Jermaine Dupri?
13. MEMPHIS (19-15) FedExForum residents have delivered without Zach Randolph, going 18-12. (13) The West is r.o.u.g.h. from top to bottom. Well, except for the Kings, who may not be able to beat any of the upcoming #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament.
14. PORTLAND (18-16) Fans will turn it into a new kind of Rip City if Trail Blazers don’t win more. (15) Should be checking into if they can legally have Greg Oden “put down.” Metaphorically speaking, of course.
15. DENVER (18-17) It’s not exactly a Sweet 16 as Nuggets go 4-12 with three starters injured. (14) Look, you take away 3 of Jesus’ top players (disciples) and he wouldn’t have won either.

THE CARPET’S WET AND THE BATHROOM’S DIRTY

16. MINNESOTA (17-17) Irony alert: Timberwolves may make playoffs, Kevin Garnett may not. (19) So, maybe it was Kurt Rambis’ fault after all.
17. NEW YORK (17-18) Jeremy Lin couches uninspiring performance in Orlando as fatigue factor. (18) Say what you will, players know he’s for real, that’s why he’s a target now.
18. BOSTON (15-17) When Celtics play outside TD Garden, they are the Antiques Roadshow. (16) This team got older faster than Joan Rivers.
19. UTAH (15-17) Not much to get Jazzed about after team goes 6-13 before All-Star break. (17) Somewhere, Jerry Sloan is smirking without moving a face muscle.
20. GOLDEN ST. (13-17) Victory over Clippers was one to remember in a season to forget. (21) I bet dollars to donuts, “Reverend” Mark Jackson prays more as Warriors coach than he ever did leading his Los Angeles-area church.
21. PHOENIX (14-20) Suns suddenly surrounded by optimism with spring training in town. (22) Hookers for everyone!
22. MILWAUKEE (13-20) Stephen Jackson was supposed to solve problems, not compound them. (20) Counting on Stephen Jackson to “solve” anything is like counting on your dog to drive you to work tomorrow: it ain’t gonna happen.
23. CLEVELAND (13-18) Rising Stars Challenge? Looks as if Kyrie Irving is already here. (23) I wonder if Byron Scott has smiled this season other than on the 1st and 15th of the month.

MOTEL 6 WON’T EVEN LEAVE THE LIGHT ON FOR THEM

24. SACRAMENTO (11-22) UCLA getting almost as much out of Tyler Honeycutt as Kings are. (24) The Kings have been become the league’s “Witness Protection” program; not even their players’ families know where they are.
25. TORONTO (10-23) Only intrigue left this season is whether Jose Calderon heads stateside. (26) For his sanity, I hope so.
26. DETROIT (11-24) Michael Moore expose on Pistons to be called “Rodney & Me.” (25) Talk about needing a bailout…
27. NEW JERSEY (10-25) Tabloids call Knicks‘ debacle with Carmelo Anthony back “A Net loss.” (27) Yawn.
28. NEW ORLEANS (8-25) Green Mardi Gras jerseys are a fitting tribute to an ugly season. (28) Sacramento with good food and music.
29. WASHINGTON (7-26) John Wall experiences what it’s like to be surrounded by talent in Orlando. (29) Wall’s college team, Kentucky, may be better than his pro team.
30. CHARLOTTE (4-28) Bobcats would need MLB‘s all-inclusive policy to get an All-Star. (30) I’ve come to believe that owning the Bobcats is the price Michael Jordan must pay for being “Air Jordan” in a previous life.

NBA @ THE BREAK

The lockout and lack of a real preseason, along with a complete training camp, has affected the Lakers more than any other contending team in the league. Unlike Chicago, Dallas (which got off to a slow start for other reasons, including the loss of free agent center Tyson Chandler to the Knicks), Miami and Oklahoma City, the Lakers underwent an almost total overhaul of its organization from the head coach position on down and it shows. (By the way, would someone be so kind as to introduce Derek Fisher to the players he’s SUPPOSED to be guarding this season). Then, after the commissioner rescinded the trades that would have put point guard Chris Paul in purple and gold instead of Clippers red, white and blue a few days later, they dumped reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom and haven’t really recovered yet.

So far, the biggest story of the season, besides the ongoing excellence of the Heat and Thunder and LeBron James lifting his game to unprecedented levels, has been the one no one could have seen coming even if they possessed Superman’s vision – the emergence of Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin.

Coming so soon after “Tim Tebow Mania”, “Linsanity” gave the NBA and the Knicks an uplifting and inspirational story that not only attracted national attention, but sped around the globe with the lightning speed of the digital social media world that we live in today. On so many levels, the Lin story reminds of the cultural differences that still plague our society even in something so trivial, on some levels, as sports. But, it also shows us that like music, sports can bridge those gaps that sometimes seem destined to keep us apart.

One thing’s for sure as we put All-Star Weekend behind us and look to the March 15 trade deadline that could and probably determine the future of both the Laker and Magic franchises in general, and Dwight Howard in particular, things are about to get very interesting for NBA fans both here and around the world.

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