+ Pinning the GOP for not helping the unemployed? In a way, the accusation that President Obama made in his weekly radio address has some weight, but it'd be best to wait until his other acts of federal intervention kick in before pushing more legislation through Congress. The Democrats will likely lose seats in November, and the partisan gridlock in all three branches of government are tight enough without worrying about reelection, but there is such a thing as too much too soon. In spite of widespread criticism of his handling of the Gulf Oil spill --which only tapered off somewhat when he demanded and received $20 billion from BP last week-- Obama's approval rating is still hovering around 47%. His critics are confident that he won't be reelected in 2012, but it's far too soon to tell. His enforcement of costly, slow-cooking legislation could have a silver lining, and maybe his handling of a Katrina-level disaster will be nothing more than a lesson learned in missed opportunities, who knows. He's still personable enough that you wish he'd find a way to succeed.
+ Over in Illinois, the trial of our former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is in full swing, and to the surprise of no one he's still mugging for the cameras with doe-eyed glee. Nearly 18 months since his impeachment, our pompadoured ex-gov is still treating his corruption trial like a minor annoyance, dishing sound bytes to hungry reporters as his legal defense slowly falls apart. If you looked up Blago on a Yahoo news search late Tuesday morning, you'll see that five stories about his wife Patti's hair trumps the real story: an ex-aide's testimony that Hot Rod ordered him to pressure then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel and his brother Ari into illegally staging a fundraiser. During his 75-minute stint on the stand, former Deputy Gov. Bradley Tusk painted a picture of Blagojevich quite similar to other witnesses' testimony: the governor was often disengaged and aloof to the responsibilities of his job, often leaving important decisions up to Tusk and others. He's just the gift that keeps on giving...
+ Fantasy Update: I'm slipping. In the TV.com league, after spending the first week of the season at the top of the heap, I've been in seventh place (out of eight) for three of the last four weeks. My other team has been in or near first almost the entire season so far; now I'm one game out. Rockies closer Manny Corpas was my secret weapon for awhile, but he got rocked last week; plus, it seems like he'll be giving up fireman duties to a refreshed Huston Street very soon, so I dropped him on both teams. Reliable closers are in short supply in both leagues, but I'm hoping that neither of Corpas' replacements are short-term answers. Otherwise, I'm emphasizing power and speed and letting the bats do the talking.
+ Improv Update: a week ago, I completed Improv Level 1 at IO and started Level 2 last weekend. I also went to another audition last night, not for the Second City Conservatory but for an actual show (the Writing Level 6 revue) at SC. Hopefully things went well.
+ Finally, some good news from the Gulf of Mexico: for every 100,000 gallons that BP spills, you get a free NFL glass. ;)
Next week: the year in music, 2000.