Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NEWS FROM NOWHERE FOR A BEAUTIFUL MARCH SPRING DAY

Welcome back to another fabulous edition of News from Nowhere on this beautiful March day. Boy, do I have a lot to cover from the past week or so -- like the embarrassing St. Patty's Day riots in London, Ontario, the outrageous sexual abuse sentence that ex-coach Graham James got in Winnipeg, the earthquake in Mexico, Rod Blagojevich going to jail, and so on.

Of course, the big story from the world of sports last week was the news quarterback Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos, and you know what that meant -- all the Christians were all upset that Tim Tebow was getting traded. As it turned out, he went to the New York Jets.

In other sports news, the NHL season continues to crawl to the finish line, and the end couldn't come fast enough for the sinking Toronto Maple Leafs, who were officially eliminated last night to a chorus of boos and hisses in Toronto. Here's a story about the mess in Toronto.

Also nearing the end: the Winnipeg Jets, who lost 4-2 to the New York Rangers. Well, what can you say about the Jets other than the fact that Winnipeg fans shouldn't have expected much more than what they got out of them this season. It sure looks like Canada will have only two teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs: Vancouver and Ottawa. That ought to make for some interesting TV ratings for the CBC.

The American GOP presidential race is not over yet, but as I said, the fat lady is doing her concert tour. Right now the Newt Gingrich campaign seems to be in the most trouble. For one thing, the papers have pulled their reporters from the campaign. For another, the campaign is having to cut costs and Gingrich had to shake up his campaign team. All in all, the Gingrich campaign looks like a sinking ship.

In political news from here in frozen Canada the Alberta election is on and promises to be a big brawl between the two female leaders of the Alberta PCs and Wildrose. Also coming up later this week in Ottawa -- an actual brawl between MP Justin Trudeau and Senator Patrick Brazeau to fight cancer. Interesting stuff.

And speaking of boxing, some sad news -- legendary boxing writer Bert Randolph Sugar has passed away.

Finally, and I'll end with this for now, The Hunger Games set all kinds of box-office records for a non-sequel release in the month of March. It made a domestic $155 million last weekend, the third-highest in history behind The Dark Knight at $158 million and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at $169 Million; the highest weekend haul in history for a non-sequel ever, highest non-sequel opening day ever ($68 million), and highest March opening weekend ever.

That is it for today.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

NDP HAS NEW LEADER

Thomas Mulcair is the new leader of the NDP after that four-ballot convention yesterday, and it seems the problems with the online voting were the work of some hacker who tried to hijack the system and failed. Well, way to go Anonymous, or whoever the heck you are. You made a dull political day in Toronto even more boring for everyone.  

In other political news from yesterday, Rick Santorum won Louisiana.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

NDP CONVENTION VOTING WOES ARE DEFINITELY MAKING THE PARTY LOOK GOOFY ON TV

I am watching the NDP continue to look goofy on TV with their continued problems with online voting. We're seeing delegates in the convention hall holding up their iPads on TV, showing how they are locked out of voting.

Anyway, this kind of chaos is nothing new for leadership votes. There was one time in Nova Scotia when the Liberals' leadership phone-in vote was so riddled with problems that they had to cancel the whole thing. Now, that was way more embarrassing than what is going on here.

At least the NDP is doing the right thing by extending the voting hours so that everyone can eventually vote -- there have been conventions I know of where people were too obsessed about making sure they were on time, and who hung out to dry all the people who were having problems casting their votes. Unfortunately, extending the voting hours is also delaying the inevitable and making the party look bad on TV, with all the TV people making rude comments about it all.

I should note that delays are nothing new at conventions. I remember the 2004 provincial PC convention I was at in Ontario, and they took forever counting the ballots, and it went on and on and on. Listen, leadership votes are usually chaotic and don't run according to a script. The TV news anchors and reporters need to calm down.

As for where the NDP race stands now, it is down to three people with Thomas Mulcair still leading with 38 percent of the vote. Peggy Nash dropped from the ballot after the second-ballot results and, in keeping with the Kumbaya nature of this convention, refused to divulge who she would support next. So this convention is actually pretty boring that way, with not a lot of wheeling and dealing going on and, really, not as much division as the media would want you to assume.

Coverage of the convention is here from CTV.

MULCAIR LEADS

So the story this morning at the NDP convention is that Thomas Mulcair leads with 30 percent of the vote to Brian Topp's 21 percent, 16 for Nathan Cullen and 12 for Peggy Nash. Paul Dewar, Martin Singh and Niki Ashton have all dropped out and while Singh quickly moved to Mulcair, the other two announced they would not be publicly endorsing anyone. I think that's what we can expect today, a lot of Kumbaya sentiments and not much division. Here is a look at what is happening at the convention.


I think based on these numbers Mulcair will win, but I think it will take a long time. By the way, these TV anchors are really looking goofy saying how complicated a voting system this is. This is no more complicated than these past leadership contests which have used preferential balloting in one-member one-vote systems.

Friday, March 23, 2012

CONVENTION COVERAGE

Well, today was my day off at work -- for most of the day, anyway, because I did go in in the morning. So what have I been doing?

Why, what else. I've watched the NDP Leadership Convention, held this year at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Of course I find that interesting because of the two leadership conventions I was at in the early 2000s at the same venue. Still, I should have found something else to do, since it has been all politics for me all this week.

I happened to tune into the CBC coverage right at the very moment that former NDP leader Ed Broadbent went on a rant against frontrunner Thomas Mulcair, saying on CBC that Mulcair's speech was a "bomb" right in front of Evan Solomon and Alexa McDonough. Then I saw former MP Lorne Nystrom, a Mulcair backer, also go on CBC and slam Broadbent for trashing Mulcair. All in all, it wasn't a very dignified show today on TV; then again, the media people may be making a bit too much of the whole thing, too. It livened up the day, anyway.

As well, a lot of people were going over the speeches in the hall and noticed Mulcair seemed to rush through his speech, while Peggy Nash ended up getting cut off at the end. So the pressure was really on the candidates today, but the way the process works this year, a lot of votes were already cast, so who knows whether it will have an impact.

Right now is the big tribute to Jack Layton in prime time. You can catch the coverage of the convention here from CBC, from Global and from CTV News. First ballot results are tomorrow morning, bright and early.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ROMNEY TAKES ILLINOIS

I think I will wait for tomorrow to do a rundown on all the rest of the news, but with respect to Tuesday's results in Illinois, I think it looks like it's pretty much over but the shouting for the GOP. Mitt Romney's lead seems insurmountable now after this latest blowout over Rick Santorum, and now he's starting to rake in more endorsements from the likes of Jeb Bush and other folks. The rest of the field need to start thinking about what is best for the party in the long run, and prepare to bow out gracefully, because this is only a matter of time now.

The fat lady is definitely singing, and her concert tour has just begun in Illinois.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ILLINOIS PRIMARY TONIGHT

Unfortunately I don't think I will be covering it here tonight, as I will be decidedly too busy. In fact this whole last week or so has been an exceptionally busy time for me covering the news. I cannot wait for Friday when I will finally have some time off. I'll hopefully have more to say about the Illinois primary, Peyton Manning, the Mexico earthquake and other news tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

RICK SANTORUM WINS, NEWT AND MITT LOSE IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI

I agree with Newt Gingrich's statement tonight that Mitt Romney's two third place finishes don't make him look like much of a frontrunner anymore.

I disagree with Newt, though, when he says he's going to fight on to the convention in Tampa. What baloney. He needed to win tonight and didn't do it. I think the pressure is really going to be on in the next few days from the conservatives out there for Newt to withdraw so Santorum can go up head to head with Romney. These were two states Gingrich should have had and they slipped away.



Oh, and Hawaii also votes today, but none of the political people care about them. The race goes on.

RESULTS COMING IN FROM ALABAMA, MISSISSIPPI PRIMARIES

This is the most critical night yet in the Republican presidential race, it appears. Primary results are coming in right now from Alabama and Mississippi. 

Newt Gingrich needs both of these to survive but based on the CNN exit polls it looks like he is trailing in both of them. It looks like Mitt Romney might be ahead in Mississippi and if he takes that, he will really be celebrating because nobody was giving Romney any chance in the South. As for Rick Santorum, you can expect them to definitely step up their calls for Gingrich to get out of the race after tonight, because it looks from the exit polls that all Gingrich is doing is helping split Santorum's vote and helping him lose.

I really do think we are at a critical juncture tonight. We could either have the end of the Gingrich campaign or possibly the end of the entire race tonight. 

COURTNEY MAKES A ONE-WOMAN MAN OUT OF THE BACHELOR

As you know, Courtney Robertson was the lucky lady who got the marriage proposal from Bachelor Ben Flajnik on The Bachelor finale last night.

Why am I not surprised? The rumors about Courtney winning were flying for weeks on end. Besides, it was so obvious this 'bad girl' was the star of this year's show. All the tabloids were running stories about her.

It seems everyone else on the show hated her, based on the previous week's cat-fest where the contestants all got together before Chris Harrison and piled on Courtney. Not only that, but everyone in America hates her too. I understand this is because she hasn't acted like any Bachelor contestant in history. Apparently the regular viewers of this show expect the winning Bachelorette to be some boring girl-next-door type, and were offended by Courtney's brazen outrageousness and (according to Huffington Post) her 'penchant for nudity', doffing her clothes at the drop of a hat.

She was apparently sunbathing topless and skinnydipping and doing all these crazy things this season. I haven't been watching this season so I can't really tell you what I think of Courtney or her personality. All I know is based on these screaming headlines about the show in the supermarket tabloids. But if this exhibitionism is really what she was up to, then no wonder she won! There are probably lots of guys who are turned on by her antics. 

You know, Courtney reminds me of Richard Hatch, that guy who won the first season of Survivor. He was another outrageous individual who everyone hated, and Hatch also couldn't keep his clothes on. Just like Courtney.

Anyway, I didn't watch the finale last night either, and I gotta say, I worry for the people hooked on this show and on reality TV. This stuff rots your mind, and reality show fans  really do need some lives. Then again, I'm one of the people hooked on following sports, and sports is just as crazy and stupid as reality TV is.

(Speaking of which -- there's a flimsy rumor going around that Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow could be picked to be the next Bachelor. To which sports fans say: God help us all.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

TIME FOR ANOTHER NEWS FROM NOWHERE -- AND TIME IS ALMOST UP FOR NEWT GINGRICH

Welcome to yet another News from Nowhere yet again, and I apologize for my absence from here over the past number of days. That is what happens when you cover a fire, go on the road on Thursday and Friday and then sleep all the time to recover from both the fire AND the trip. Anyway, I thought I would do this posting on this evening in advance of the next set of primaries coming on Tuesday night.

As you know, the last set of Super Tuesday contests sort of ended with a narrative of Mitt Romney winding up ahead, but still not by enough to clinch a nomination or deliver the knockout punch. (He did end up winning Ohio by a bare margin over Rick Santorum in the end.) However, the Fat Lady is beginning to definitely clear her throat for the rest of the field, and that is particularly true for Newt Gingrich (right).

Yes, he did win Georgia, his home state, but his 'Southern strategy' seems to be taking him nowhere fast and the calls are on -- from Rick Santorum in particular -- to throw in the towel. The bottom line is Newt has to win Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday or Newt is going to look like a dead man walking. A story on the upcoming contests is here.

As for the rundown on the previous contests from last night, here are those results here.

A couple of other items to touch on tonight, since I am just too tired to really write much tonight. One is a leftover story from Ohio: news that former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the wild man of the Democratic party, lost his primary contest for his congressional seat to Marcy Kaptur. So that is it for him. He's out.

Also out: Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, who was given his unconditional release by the team this week.

That is all for the moment. Hope you all enjoyed the time change -- all the rest of you, anyway, since Saskatchewan is the place where time stands still.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

SUPER TUESDAY

Welcome to our live coverage of Super Tuesday's primaries and caucuses in the USA. The polls are about to close in three states just as I write this now, and the big contests tonight are yet to come, in Ohio, Tennessee and Oklahoma. CNN has the latest update here.

The question is whether Mitt Romney will be able to clean up tonight and finally put an end to this sideshow involving these obvious pretenders Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

I doubt it. This weekend I tuned into NASCAR radio on satellite radio and heard, no joke, a Rick Santorum political ad! The ad blasted Romney and called him a liberal who was no different than Obama, and was complete with Santorum himself approving this message! So I don't know, folks. There seem to be a lot of conservative voters out there who aren't all that thrilled with Romney.

Also due tonight are results from North Dakota which interests me because of all the times I've been there. North Dakota ranks as the most popular state among Saskatchewan cross-border shoppers, plus we sports fans listen to our sports-talk radio from there. Anyway, that race seems to be completely unpredictable.

FIRST POLL CLOSINGS: CNN projects Newt Gingrich wins Georgia. No projection yet in Virginia and Vermont, though they think Romney's ahead.

More Super Tuesday results to come.

UPDATE: Projected winners are Romney in Vermont, Virginia and Massachussetts and Santorum in Oklahoma. Ohio and Tennessee are still too close to call.

Newt Gingrich is giving his Georgia victory speech right now. (7:49pm CST)

SECOND UPDATE: Now hearing word Santorum won Tennessee (7:51 CST).

Friday, March 02, 2012

TORNADOES!!!!!

Horrible twisters have gone through Illinois, Indiana and Alabama today and are going through Kentucky right now. What a mess. Story from CNN.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

BIG LOSS

Sad news from the online journalism world. Andrew Breitbart of Breitbart.com has died, age 43. The story here.