Tuesday 2 December 2008

Can Liverpool take the next step?

As a Liverpool fan, I think I speak for many in saying that if, in August, someone said we'd be a point clear at the top come December 1st I'd had said "yes please". Even so, it is not surprising to see some frustration creeping in following draws at home against Stoke, Fulham and just last night West Ham (no disrespect to any of those teams.

There are three obvious points which I see as recurring themes. I think Rafa has to make decisions on these, if Liverpool are going to be there until the end:

1 - The one up front policy isn't working
Especially at home where teams come and put 11 men behind the ball. Whatever your thoughts on Keane he has been working his socks off with little direct support. Why not play him with Babel in Torres' absence.

2 - The Robbie Keane substitution policy
It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Keane is going out knowing he has 60-65 minutes so he is already under more pressure than he should to perform/ score. (Add to that the previous point re: support up front). If Rafa believes Keane is going to be a key part of the team and a key provider of goals than he needs to start giving him 90 minutes every now and then - especially when Nando is out.

3 - Babel cameo role
Why the hell is N'Gog coming on after 65 and Babel not until 80?!? Babel showed glimpses of his quality again in ten minutes last night and while I don't think he's the finished article, he's close. N'Gog didn't look like the business yet again. I said it at White Hart Lane (Carling Cup R4) - he takes too many touches to control the ball and isn't physically strong enough to battle with centre-backs despite his height.

This isn't a wholesale criticism of Rafa as I think he's got it 90-95% right this year. But these are recurring issues that I believe are costing the team.

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Poll time: Future of the news...

OK, so time for a bit of reader interaction. I recently did a post on my company's blog about the future of media. Specifically, whether the Christian Science Monitor's decision to publish online only from April 2009, was the first step towards online only news. Click here to have your say.

Speaks for itself....

By illustrator Patrick Moberg

Friday 7 November 2008

Liverpool Legend: John Barnes

A friend alerted me to the Rio Ferdinand article on the BBC website, in which he picks his all time home grown XI. Picking himself is a bit rubbish and aside from the fact Roy Keane was 20 when he signed from Cobh Ramblers for Cloughie's Nottingham Forest and is therefore not exactly home grown, it's an excellent team.
The thing that really grabbed my attention was the description of John Barnes, who was my favourite player as a youngster. For anyone who questions Barnes' genius, I direct them to the youtube clip below. The skills he had we immense and when comparing to modern wingers, the diabolical surfaces should definitely be taken into account.



From that clip I couldn't help but indulge myself by watching the Match of the Day clip from the 1988/89 season when they ran a Liverpool only Goal of the Season competition. It's completely partisan, but it brings back some of my early football memories, from a time when Liverpool were a supremely confident team.



Here's hoping Rafa can continue the journey to bring those days back, with a new contract this month.

Thursday 6 November 2008

It's just a dream Homer...

This one was doing the rounds recently. I didn't want to post it for fear of tempting fate, but now that tyhe election is done and dusted, it's worth another look...

Monday 3 November 2008

Prediction time

OK, so I'm back and the wedding is all done. I had to get this quick post out as I wanted to put a prediction on paper before voting tomorrow in the US presidential election.
I am not one of those who fear the Bradley Effect hugely - I think it will be balanced out by increased black turnout.
So with a hint of caution - I predict an Obama win in the electoral college by 318 to 220. And this is how I see it happening...This is my map from the Real Clear Politics website, where you can go and make your own prediction. And I'll go for 51%-48% in the popular vote.
Some wider margins are being predicted out there though. Electoral Vote's map is predicting Obama to win 353 - 185 and the BBC suggest 311 - 160 with 67 still in play.
Let's wait and see...

Thursday 26 June 2008

Supreme Court quash Washington gun ban

I posted in January about the news that gun control was going before the US Supreme Court for the first time in 70 years. Whatever way the gun lobby choose to dress up the stats it's clear that more guns equal more people being shot. I'm not anti-gun per se, but I do think the ease with which they can be obtained in the US is a problem.
Justice Antonin Scalia said "Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defence in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid". This isn't a surprising ruling from a conservative bench.

I'm still not convinced though that the popularity of guns as a method self-defence is a good enough line coming from senior legal figures. Most people don't like wearing seat-belts or obeying speeding laws, so lets do away with them too (I know New Hampshire is an exception).
The constitutional reason behind the right to bear arms is murky at best. Common references are made to the 'as part of a regulated militia' part of the amendment and my personal favourite take on this comes from Toby in the West Wing, who suggests this doesn't include "three guys in a Dodge Durango".

Interestingly, both presidential candidates have agreed with the ruling. For McCain it's no surprise as he tries to secure the right which he has never been particularly favoured by. It's also a chance to jump on Obama's previous 'guns and religion' comment.
Obama's support is a surprise and, in my opinion, a risk. By flip-flopping on issues like this he is making himself vulnerable to GOP attacks. And many a past candidate (Dukakis springs to mind) will testify to the excellence with which the Republican party exploit such vulnerabilities.

For Washington however I don't know what this means. Once the US' most crime-ridden city, it has undergone somewhat of a renaissance over the past 10 or 15 years. It may not make any difference, but I'd be interested to see some gun crime/ deaths statistics in 5 years time. I'll be there in October myself and don't' expect it to make any difference to me.
Must admit though, I'd feel a little bit safer if it was still in place.

Thursday 19 June 2008

Second vote would be a farce too far.

"The Irish government has been given four months to devise a strategy resurrecting Europe's grand reform project, with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France suggesting that the Irish may have to stage a second referendum on the incendiary issue." - The Guardian, 20 June 2008
It cannot happen again. Following Denmark having two bites at Maastricht and Ireland having two votes on Nice, we are now in a situation where the EU is likely to be undermined, by a policy of 'we'll keep asking until you say yes'.

The Irish political parties have a responsibility for the result, as do the people, but maybe it 's time (and this is controversial I know) to take EU treaties away form ratification by referendum. While I have reservations about this myself, at least it would remove the ability of groups to spin the treaties into things they're not and boost the 'no' vote with scare tactics and half-truths.
The lack of trust in politicians and the political process, and the impact it had on the treaty, has been well documented over on Dossing Times and it certainly played its part in the no vote. It's also a major obstacle to people accepting parliamentary decisions on such issues.

But when it comes down to it, who thinks we'd really be better off without Europe? Who thinks we'd have had the Celtic Tiger or the half decent road network that now exists? Who thinks the lowly Punt with its over reliance on FDI in the form of the $USD and £stg could have fared better in this slow economy than the support and relative stability of the Euro?
If you still think Ireland should be better off without Europe then the EU is entitled to a refund on the investment it made in Ireland over the past 35 years.

Tuesday 27 May 2008

Representative much??

I was just reading a piece in CNN about the US elections and stumbled upon a particularly interesting piece about the potential VP candidates to complete the John McCain ticket.
The obvious names are all there - Huckabee and Romney form the primaries as well as some of the senior senators from the southern states - so all very much as expected. However as I ran through the full list of 23 names, one thing that struck me was the lack of diversity.
Of the 23 there were only 2 non-Caucasians and 2 women. Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice falls into both categories and seems an unlikely running mate based on recent reports. The other three non-middle aged, white, males in the mix are Indian-American Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson.
This doesn't really match up too well with the demographics of the country which show that one in two people are female, one in six are Hispanic and one in eight are black.
So, before you all vote in November it's definitely worth thinking about the GOP and ask: "Does it represent me?"

Tuesday 13 May 2008

New blog for the big event

So, I may have mentioned that I'm getting married later this year. One of the things I am doing in preparation is keeping a Wed-log. This mostly going to be informative and knowledge sharing for anyone going the wedding. A lot of my posting energy will be moved here for a few months - check it out at http://ourwedlog.blogspot.com/.

Monday 12 May 2008

Six degrees of separation #29

Great work by Simon to get #28 in four moves - especially seeing as Zach Braff has only been in one movie of note. I managed it in three like so: John McGinley to Johnny Depp in Platoon; Depp to Ian Holm in From Hell; Holm to Zach Braff in Garden State.

#29: Robert Duvall to George Clooney

Thursday 1 May 2008

Movie review: 21

It's not too often that you go to a movie which totally fits your mood, particularly one which you go to on a whim. Well, last Saturday afternoon 21 was just that for me.
Cast brilliantly, this is another example of the excellence of Kevin Spacey as a producer. In 21 he renews his partnership with Kate Bosworth who plays across from newcomer Jim Sturgess and the always excellent Lawrence Fishburne.
Based on the true story 'Bringing down the house' the plot is a simple tale of the MIT students who, led by their wily lecturer (Spacey), perfected card counting and took on the Vegas casinos.
Overall the film was refreshing and well made. Only one slightly formulaic segment of the "lose old friends because of new friends" variety. That aside the audience was treated to a sharp and witty piece of cinema.
The pace is suitably quick once the scene is set. The story jumps from Las Vegas' neon glow to the more mundane classroom life in Boston. The casino scenes are sharp and the detail surrounding the blackjack tables and card counting is both impressive and accurate. Even if cards is not your forte 21 is a must see.

Six degrees of separation #28: The Scrubs Edition

It's been a while since I've done a six degrees, so taken I was by CK's put down! He correctly pointed out that Donald Sutherland and Jamie Lee-Curtis were in Virus together. Ouch!
But it's back and we kick off again with a Scrubs edition as that's what's on the telly right now!

#27: John C. McGinley to Zach Braff

Wednesday 16 April 2008

Crazy Japanese Ads

I was looking at some tech news in the course of the day's work and found this article full of crazy Japanese ads. Some funny(lots crazy) stuff.

Feature length movies ruining trailers!!

I love the Onion and this one was too good not to share!


Wildly Popular 'Iron Man' Trailer To Be Adapted Into Full-Length Film

Wednesday 2 April 2008

This didn't take long...

And it looks like I missed a name in my list of Bertie Ahern's potential successors...

Bertie to resign

Breaking news this morning that Bertie Ahern is set to resign as Taoiseach on May 6th. It seems the pressure of recent investigations over personal finances and irregularities have driven this move.
He was never going to last until the end of this term anyway so I'm more interested in the succession race. The new leader of Fianna Fail will most likely have a couple of years to bed in as Taoiseach prior to facing a general election.
Front runners are yet to be confirmed but my money is on one of Michael Martin, Brain Cowen and Brian Lenihan. Either way Enda Kenny is going to have to find something else to talk about.

Thursday 27 March 2008

Voting for bullsh*t

Previously in posts about 2008 US presidential candidates we looked at who voters most want to get in a bar fight with.
Now it's the turn of bullshit and the important role that it plays in election politics ;-)


Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Wednesday 26 March 2008

News on 'The Hobbit'

Excellent news in today's Guardian, which contains an interview with Ian McKellen, where he indicates his interest in reprising the role of Gandalf for the upcoming Hobbit movies. Guillermo del Toro is set to direct with peter Jackson producing.
This is an exciting develpment and one I look forward to seeing on the big screeen.

Wednesday 19 March 2008

Six degrees of separation #27

So the Heroes Edition has been on the go for a bit now and it did elicit 2 successful responses. The anonymous first answer in five followed by Simon (a six degrees regular) nailing it in three: Ali Larter to Luke Wilson in Legally Blonde, Luke to Brother Owen in The Royal Tenenbaums. Owen to mcdowell i spy. There is always value in linking the Wilson brothers.

I also got it in three moves, like so:
1. Ali Larter to Scott Caan in Varsity Blues (hee-hee); 2. Caan to Topher Grace in Oceans 11; and 3. Grace to Malcolm McDowell in In Good Company.

Back to a straight link up this week:
#27 - Donald Sutherland to Jamie Lee Curtis

Hacker follow up...

So, previously I blogged about the hackers who were getting in the face of Scientology and thought it a bit of a lark. Little did I know the Machiavellian lengths to which these dastardly types were going. Their hack attack used Rick Astley no less! A harsh punishment for anyone.

Friday 14 March 2008

Iron stomach anyone?

Not for the fainted hearted, but a friend sent me this post, which takes the iron stomach to an agonising new level - it lasts a week!

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Six degrees of separation #26: The Heroes Edition

The Smallville edition was solved in 4 moves by Erica in my office who said: "Tom Welling was in Cheaper by the Dozen (ha) with Steve Martin, who was in The Out-Of-Towners with Goldie Hawn, who was in The First Wives Club with Diane Keaton, who was in Annie Hall with the freaky assed John Glover".
The above views are not those of this blog or its proprietor!

#26: The Heroes Edition - Ali Larter to Malcolm McDowell

Monday 3 March 2008

New outlet for the Roaming Rebel

So, I made my blogging debut on Measurement Matters today. If you are interested in the world of PR evaluation, media measurement and commentary on consumer generated media, read my post and others here.

Friday 29 February 2008

Six degrees of separation #25: The Smallville Edition

Ok, so no guesses at no. 24, that's the first time in a while. It was a fairly tough one too, which took me an entire 40 minute tube ride to figure out. Here goes in five:
1. Gillian Anderson to Forest Whitaker in Last King of Scotland; 2. Whitaker to Natasha Henstridge in Species; 3. Henstridge to Bruce Willis in The Whole 9 Yards; 4. Willis to Brad Pitt in Oceans 12; and 5. Pitt to David Duchovny in Kalifornia.

#25, The Smallville Edition:
Tom Welling to John Glover

Wednesday 27 February 2008

So, what's Paco been up to?

The loss of Paco Ayesteran has been present in almost every forum / blog discussing the 'where did it all go wrong this season?' question.
John Aldridge amongst others is convinced that the loss of Paco has been a crucial point in the poor consistency of the team:

“A lot of people are getting the wrong idea of what’s happening. You can look back to when Paco Ayesteran went a couple of months ago, Rafa’s right-hand man, I think that’s got a massive bearing on it.

“He’s holding the fort on his own without a right-hand man. He’s working very hard on his own and under very difficult circumstances and I think he needs a bit of help right now.”

A lot of the same names come up as a possible no.2, Sammy Lee returning is one and Gary Mac is a big fans favourite. I'm not sure this is a route Rafa wants to go down. But what about a reconciliation with Paco??

I was surprise to learn that Paco was the Director of Football at Real Sociedad since January this year and more surprised to learn that he had already left the post when it became apparent the club President was going to be the one making decisions on Chris Coleman's replacement.

The reasons behind Paco's departure seem to have been well protected in the months since, so maybe I'm grasping at straws. It would be pretty great though .

Tuesday 26 February 2008

Funny video/ song ...

...insulting programmers everywhere.

Friday 22 February 2008

Six degrees of separation #24: The X-Files Edition

A.Nonymous got the West Wing special in two moves last week, although it was at the second attempt. Props to Simon at Dossing Times with another successful 3 move tilt.
Anyhow, the two move solution was: 1. Allison Janney to Michelle Pfeiffer in Hairspray; 2. Pfeiffer to Tim Matheson in The Story of Us.

This week the X-Files (you can't use the X-Files movie!)
#24: David Duchovny to Gillian Anderson

Monday 18 February 2008

Yes we can!

There's no doubt who's winning the catchphrase contest in the Democratic nomination race...

US Gun rights under scrutiny for first time in 70 years

A fascinting event is due to unfold in the coming months as the US Supreme is set to rule on the right to bear arms of its citizens. The case is between the city of Washington - which has had a ban on hand guns for 30 years - and a citizen of the city, who claims it is right to hold such a weapon under the second amendment of 1791.
This is one of the most divisive issues in US politics and will surely cause much furore between now and the ruling in June. Read the Guardian coverage here.

Friday 15 February 2008

It's all over

The Cork players v county board dispute is over. Read a more detailed report here.

Thursday 14 February 2008

Give over, Boris

I am beginning to tire of Boris Johnson's constant media presence. The man is just annoying at this stage.
His run for mayor seems based solely on claims that he'll fix everyhting that's wrtong in London. Today's targets are petty criminals, last month it was teen gangs. In a way I wouldn't mind seeing him get the job and hearing his response when crime doesn't stop.
I have no great affiliation for Ken Livingstone but Johnson seems to think no-one else has ever tried to make things better. Get real.
Stick to charity football games ...

...actually, no don't.

Tuesday 12 February 2008

The never-ending strike ... coming to an end?

It seems we may have light at the end of the tunnel, for the Cork players/ county board dispute. The county board have agreed to a binding arbitration, from an independent official appointed by LRC chief executive Kieran Mulvey.
This is a clever move by the board and can benefit them in two ways:
  1. If the arbitration suggests the removal of Teddy Holland from his position as Senior football manager, then their hands are clean and they have not gone back on their appointment.
  2. If the players do not also agree to the arbitration, it is likely the tide of public support may begin to wane, as it will appear the players want the conflict to continue.
From the players perspective they have a bit more to think about. If they agree to it - and a decision is expected later today - they may face a year of Holland in charge of the football team. This would be a troubling prospect and one which could have further repercussions during the season.
My sympathy has been with the players for the simple reason that a patch-work management team will lead inevitably to divided dressing room. The coach is the one who takes the blame and needs control of his entire squad (playing and coaching) in order to get things done.
These players play to win. The results are their to be seen in both codes in recent years. So lets give them the stable footing they need and deserve - and get the rebels back on the field again.

Sunday 10 February 2008

Six degrees of separation #23: The West Wing Edition

Plenty of offerings again on number 22. I had it in 3 moves but was out-done by a a two move solution from A. Nonymous!
1. Robin Wright (Penn) to Sam Shepard in The Pledge; and 2. Shepard to Orlando Bloom in Black Hawk Down.

For #23 I am mixing it up a bit. As the West Wing is one of my favourite shows I have taken two of the regular cast and pitted them against each other. .I have seen both in more than one movie so it's not a crazy ask.
#23: Allison Janney (CJ Cregg) to Tim Matheson (VP John Hoynes)

BAFTA's 2008

Daniel Day Lewis continued his march towards seemingly inevitable Oscar glory at the BAFTA's last night, adding that to his Screen Actor's Guild award. Click here for a full set of results. The top prizes went to:

Best film
Winner:
Atonement

Leading actor
Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood

Leading actress
Winner: Marion Cotillard - La Vie En Rose

Supporting actor
Winner: Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men

Supporting actress
Winner: Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton

Director
Winner: No Country For Old Men - Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Original screenplay
Winner: Juno - Diablo Cody

Monday 4 February 2008

Spanish fans shameful display

It's sad that we are getting used to hearing racial chanting and football players being singled out for abuse in Spanish stadia.
Now it seems this has spread to the world of F1. The picture below is a pretty sad indictment of the Spanish public - in this case Lewis Hamilton was the focus of their unwanted opinions.

Hackers attack Scientology

I've noticed quite a bit in the news recently about the 'church' of Scientology. As is customary, Tom Cruise is front and centre, as well as a notable contribution of $10m from the voice of Bart Simpson, Nancy Cartwright. I find the publicising of her involvement a bit worrying given the massive influence the Simpsons has on the world's youth.
There is a good article in today's Guardian about an on-going protest by hackers, who have waged war on the organisations online profile. Global protests to follow.

Tuesday 29 January 2008

Six degrees of separation #22

OK, so we have two one link solutions to #21, both from Dossing Times contributors eager to shame CK and his poor run at the six degrees ;-)

Tuathal gets partial credit only, however and admitted to feeling unclean after the second move of his solution. Angelina Jolie to Jude Law in Sky Capt, World of Tomorrow and Law to Paul Newman in Road to Perdition.

Simon followed up with Angelina Jolie to Daniel Craig in Tomb Raider and Craig to Paul Newman in Road to Perdition.

#22
Robin Wright (formally Penn) to Orlando Bloom

Monday 28 January 2008

Obama's top ten campaign promises

You may have seen Hillary Clinton's top ten campaign promises on Letterman last year. Obama has now contributed his top ten. Good way to keep the momentum up!

Sunday 27 January 2008

Charlie Wilson's War

I am just back from my first trip to cinema in longer than I care to remember and it was almost worth the wait. I knew relatively little about Charlie Wilson's War other than that it had something to do with Afghanistan and the Soviet Union, and that it boasted the stellar cast of Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and the criminally under-rated (until Capote at least) Philip Seymour Hoffman.This movie is fun and witty, irreverent at times and still succeeds in delivering it's message without preaching. The Aaron Sorkin script had more than a touch of the West Wing about it which was a big plus for me.
That aside it was entertaining and I enjoyed seeing Hanks in a rare comic role. Worth seeing!

Thursday 24 January 2008

Giuliani fighting for his life

Rudy Giuliani looks to be ruing his decision to wait till Florida to kick-start his campaign. He now trails both Romney and McCain there. More here from CNN.
Just to put it in perspective. Up to the week before Christmas Giuliani was averaging over 30% of the Florida vote. That number was still in the mid twenties into the second week of January. Now it's 17%! Which leaves him trailing both Romney and McCain by ten points in the state that was to springboard him into Super Tuesday.
A poor performance on Tuesday and he may be a lame duck the week after. Ominous looking graph here.

Eerie coincidence

In the wake of Heath Ledger's death one comment on the NY Times web-site compared his death to that of Brandon Lee, who also died aged 28 when filming a movie where he played a dark character with bizarre make-up.

Lee in The Crow and Ledger in The Dark Knight

Tuesday 22 January 2008

Heath Ledger found dead

Breaking news in the last 15 minutes that actor Heath Ledger has been found dead in his Manhattan flat. Ledger was just 28 and became the second young actor to die in quick succession following Brad Renfro's death last week. Initial stories from the BBC and the New York Times.
Ledger was one of Hollywood's brightest young stars and was filming the new Batman movie in the role of the Joker. Sad news and a huge loss as a talented actor and as a father.

Ledger below as Joker (left) and out of costume.

Who misses the West Wing?

Last night I went back to the beginning of the West Wing. I was a late-comer to the show and watched it all one box-set at a time. Ultimately I think it is one of the greatest shows ever made.
CK @ Dossing Times posted a couple of my favourite clips previously, including the Big Block of Cheese day 'Map' scene. Below is a clip which I had forgotten about until I started watching episode one again and I thought it worth sharing. Enjoy!

Sunday 20 January 2008

Six degrees of separation #21

Good work by Simon of the revamped Dossing Times on #20. His three move solution went, 1. Stuart Townsend to Sean Connery in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 2. Connery to Nic Cage in The Rock, and 3. Cage to Sam Rockwell in Matchstick Men.
Not too many other places to go with Townsend really!
#21.
Angelina Jolie to Paul Newman.

Monday 14 January 2008

Bang out of order, Hicks!

Owner-manager relations at Anfield are at risk of deteriorating again after Tom Hicks admitted he and George Gillett had spoken to Jurgen Klinsman about becoming Liverpool boss. It is appalling that they cannot keep these matters in-house, where they belong.

I'd hate to see Rafa go and fear that perhaps they are trying to draw Rafa into a verbal slagging match - looking for a final excuse to sack him. Unfortunately I fear Rafa's position may be untenable anyway, given what's gone before.

The state of their finances should be a much bigger concern to them with DIC waiting in the wings of they fail to re-finance their loans in the next six weeks. Rafa might be there a lot longer than the two of them!
Carra provided the voice of reason today, echoing what a lot of fans think when he said: "The sooner we are out of the press the better because it's not the
Liverpool way. The quicker that happens the better."

Wednesday 9 January 2008

Newcastle: Joke of a club!

What are the powers that be at St. James' Park thinking. I've lost count of the number of short term managers through the doors there in the past five years.
They really are kidding themselves if they think another managerial change will be a quick fix to their problems. Sam was right estimating it to be a 3-5 year job. The fans need to take a lot of the blame too.
That old definition of stupidity comes to mind: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Clowns!
Anyway, here is the BBC report if you haven't seen it:

Comeback Clinton (part 2)

The New Hampshire primaries last night have set up a royal battle as we edge closer to Super Tuesday. John McCain has blown the Republican race wide open, dealing a serious blow to Mitt Romney's ambitions in the process.
The big story of the night was again the Democratic ballot which saw Clinton recover from her third place in Iowa and a supposed double digit deficit, to win the state with 39% of the vote. We may also be seeing the shift to a two-horse race in the Democratic camp as Clinton and Obama both out-performed john Edwards by better than 2 to 1.
Even Arnie Arnesen was lost for an explanation for this remarkable turn around:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/video/2008/jan/09/arnie.arnesen.hillary.clinton
Obama scored well also and will not be too disappointed with his 36% result. Below is a clip from his speech in Nashua, where despite looking tired, he spoke passionately. This is the side of Obama that makes him a viable contender in November
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/video/2008/jan/09/obama.new.hampshire

Tuesday 8 January 2008

Is there anything better...

...than walking into a bank, seeing there isn't a queue, walking straight up to a cashier and being out the door within 3 minutes? Ok, there are lots, but it felt pretty good. It's quite the anomaly in a London bank!

Six degrees of separation #20

New year, new six degrees. I only did about two or three in the last 6 weeks of 2007, but I'm going to get back into my weekly offerings.

Solution to #19: Jamie Foxx to Jeremy Piven in The Kingdom; Piven to Luke Wilson in Old School; Wilson to Raquel Welch in Legally Blonde.


#20: Stuart Townsend to Sam Rockwell


Monday 7 January 2008

Iowa caucus not giving much away

I have been a bit surprised that the results of the Iowa caucus have been greeted with such, well ... surprise, in the press. On the Democrat side, Obama has been polling well there for weeks and Hillary was always going to be stronger in New Hampshire. Talk that her campaign has hit the rails is utter nonsense as national polls still give her, on average, a 20 point lead. Obama needs the momentum all the way to Super Tuesday.
Huckabee's win was more of a surprise but not by much. A baptist minister rallying heartland conservatives. Who ever saw it coming - tongue firmly in cheek. Romney will hit back in New Hampshire and while McCain is polling well there, I wonder will his age (71) come into play as the primaries continue.
Rudy Giuliani seems to be re-thinking his policy of ignoring the early voting states with a last minute push in NH. That's no surprise as the GOP nomination is turning into quite the dog fight. National poll averages put the top five candidates with ten points of each other.
I think the ability to win nationally is a huge factor and one which is not always to the fore in the early primaries. I read an interelisting piece about the Israel factor in Dossing Times. Click here for the blog post and link to the website which matches up the candidates on Jewish-friendliness.
Issues like these can differ from those discussed at primary level. On the republican side Guiliani has the pedigree it seems. Huckabee is likely to be a divisive candidate and Romney as the former Governor of a firmly blue state, may be able to bring liberal states into play, but may not be conservative enough for some of the red states.
On the Democratic side both Hillary and Obama can mount serious challenges against any opponent. The first black president/ first woman president factor may be the X factor in November.

Thursday 3 January 2008

Happy New Year

2008 is here! Now I'm not one for resolutions but I do feel compelled to improve the deplorable level of blogging I sunk to towards the end of '07. I'm also getting married this year so you may see some related posts. Happy new year everyone.