The Morning Grumpy – November 29th
by Chris Smith (@ChrisSmithAV) - posted 7:15 am, November 29, 2011
I have a voracious appetite for internet memes, video, podcasts, news, and analysis. Each morning I’ll share several links that you can consume during your “morning grumpy”.
1. Andrew “$400K per year” Rudnick and his 1% accomplices at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership have released their 2012 Regional Agenda. As in previous years, the agenda sets the standard for cognitive dissonance in public policy. While simultaneously clamoring for the gutting of public spending and reductions in pesky regulations and taxes, the agenda demands massive public outlays for projects benefiting our region. In short, “We’re opposed to taxes, fees and obscene spending. Well, except for the spending that directly benefits us, we’re good with that.”
Some highlights from the agenda which proposes nearly a quarter billion dollars of new spending:
- Funding for expansion of the Peace Bridge and Port of Buffalo facilities
- Increased funding for Roswell Park
- Increased funding and expedited disbursement of said monies for UB 2020
- $2MM for an agribusiness park
- $25MM for various life sciences projects along with tax breaks and increased grant funding for research
- $10MM for renovations at the former Bethlehem Steel site
- $31MM in federal and state funding for tourism projects
- $28MM for a small business center at Buffalo State College
And the list goes on…I won’t even delve into the policy and regulatory demands being made. Oi.
Most of these projects would be positive for the region. However, doesn’t it seem slightly bizarre that these are the same people who constantly demand the public sector get out of the way of the private sector? Who demand cuts in taxes, that worker rights be trampled and regulations repealed? I guess it’s not as strange as the BNP bemoaning how awful it is to do business in New York State while their compatriots across the hall at the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise try to sell businesses on what a great place this is to live, work and do business. Odd group of people over there at 665 Main Street…Unshackle Upstate! But spend a huge amount of money here before you do!
2. Tim Tebow is a source of constant argument amongst sports fans. His personal devotion to God, his seeming lack of QB talent, and his ability to pull wins from the jaws of defeat like a magician pulling rabbits from a hat make him a very polarizing figure. As a devout godless pinko, I find Tebow’s public displays of faith to be a bit over the top. However, there is something I like about him and I’ve never been able to put my finger on it. Yesterday, a writer at The Atlantic summed up why I have a soft spot for a person I normally would loathe. He’s earnest.
We live in world saturated with irony and post-irony, and this affects how we consume mass culture—including sports. Athletes today are not judged solely on their on-field abilities but by how willing they are to show the culture at large that they get it, that they have their own brand of ironic humor.
It’s refreshing, then, when someone serious comes along and refuses to partake in the ritual. This is one reason Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is fascinating to die-hard football fans and casual viewers alike, despite his questionable skills as a professional quarterback.
This is what makes Tebow so appealing. He’s unafraid to be vulnerable and serious in a world so full of jokes that it’s often hard to discern the punch line from the set-up. And his serious approach to football makes it easier for fans to listen when he talks about the other things he cares about, such as being a good role model or building hospitals in the Philippines.
Tebow is refreshing and I hope his stay on the national stage continues, maybe it will help us all become a bit more serious.
3. So, breaking my hope to be more serious with my very next bullet point….Yesterday, former GOP Presidential Flavor of the Week, Herman Cain, told CNN that a woman named Ginger C. White would reveal that she had a thirteen year long affair with Cain. Of course, he denied the allegation. The most interesting part of the story?
Ginger C. White is an anagram for NEWT GINGRICH! What this means, I have no idea, but I feel like I just pulled the ghost mask off Old Man Huggins at the end of a Scooby Doo episode.
Fact Of The Day: On November 29th in 2001, the soul of the Beatles, George Harrison died of cancer.
Song Of The Day: “Here Comes The Sun” by George Harrison
Quote Of The Day: “If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it’s another nonconformist who doesn’t conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.” – Bill Vaughan