Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sotomayor it is....

Surprise, Surprise, exactly who everyone thought it was going to be. I've been listening to the reaction by the media and their guests in regards to the Sonia Sotomayor nomination and have some thoughts.

  1. Very good political pick by Obama (gotta leave a legacy of hope and change...) and its all going to be about how great her story is- Hispanic Woman grew up in government housing in the Bronx, underprivileged, law degree from Yale, worked way up through system (approved by H.W. Bush-see link below), Supreme Court Nominee. I can see it already, Republicans who ask tough questions, will be sexist and racist, which could cause them to take it easier on her for the fear of backlash from the Hispanic Community. She does have a great story, I didn't think stuff like this (the American Dream) happened though until Obama got into power...
  2. She will absolutely try to legislate from the bench. After 'joking' about it during a conference, Sotomayor ruled against white firefighters who didn't get promoted over minority firefighters even though they had higher scores on the testing criteria. Prime example of reverse descrimination and the left being so tolerant and empathetic (or you can leave off the 'em').
  3. She already has the votes in the Senate so unless she says something damning during the confirmation hearings she's going to breeze though and probably be a pretty outspoken voice on the Court.
The blog post I've copied below is from National Review Online on their Corner Blog. Thought that was especially interesting considering that the MSM is making it seem like conservatives should love her. Good work by Andrew McCarthy for some inside politicking information...

'It's at the top of the Left's talking-points that Judge Sotomayor was first put on the bench by a Republican president, George H. W. Bush, in 1991. That's pretty funny when you think about it — the Bush seal of approval is not usually thought an imprimatur by the Left, and it wouldn't likely be much comfort to conservatives given that Sotomayor's district court nomination came around the same time GHWB put Justice Souter on the Supreme Court. But there is even less to it than meets the eye.

The appointment of judges, U.S. attorneys, and other high federal offices filled by presidential appointment has been controlled for eons by the U.S. senators from each state. That is because a nominee must win confirmation by the senate, the rules and customs of which permit a single senator to block consideration of a nominee. For years and years (until Schumer beat D'Amato), the U.S. senate delegation from New York was split — one Republican, one Democrat. In order to keep the peace and, more importantly, to ensure that the senator from the party out of power (i.e., not in the White House) did not use senatorial privileges to block appointments desired by the party in power, there was an arrangement in New York: for every X number of appointments controlled by the party in power, the party out of power (from 1980 through 1992, the Democrats) would get Y number (a smaller number, but at least something, which is better than nothing). I believe in 1991 it was on the order of 2 Democrat appointments for every 5 Republican appointments.

That is how Sonia Sotomayor was nominated by Bush-41. She was a selection of Democratic Sen. Pat Moynihan. The Republicans agreed to her appointment in order to ensure that Moynihan would not block nominees urged by Republican Sen. Al D'Amato.

It is surely true that Judge Sotomayor is a Bush-41 appointee, and I have no doubt that our regrettably race-and-ethnicity-obsessed Republican Party would point to her appointment by Bush as more proof of how indulgent they are of Hispanic sensibilities. But Sotomayor was not a Republican idea; she was a Republican accommodation.'

Oh.... and Cubs win! Cubs win!

Supreme Court Nominee: 10:15 am

I've been slacking and haven't been posting as regularly as I had been, but I'm back!

Woke up this morning to see that Obama is going to announce his Supreme Court nominee this morning at 10:15 am (which will end up being around 10:20 am, Obama time) This is widely expected to be a woman who is going to replace retiring David Souter, and probably a Hispanic woman. There is a strong possibility it will be Sonya Sotomayor of New York (and there are some other notables) because she seems to fit the mold for what Obama and the left is looking for in a Supreme Court Justice (i.e. whatever they want THEY want the Constitution to be).

A few weeks ago after hearing that David Souter was going to retire after this years session, I didn't think it was that big of a deal, we were going to be replacing a liberal with a liberal. After doing some research on Souter, he was definitely no Conservative, but side with the rule of law on several important decisions. Check out this article. Its at the Heritage Foundation and makes some great points about the tenure of David Souter.

Personally, I think this is going to be a prime opportunity for Republicans to stand strong against Obama and make his nominee a lightning rod for criticism of the Obama Administration. They have been rapidly pushing legislation through the House and Senate since the start of Obama's term and I would hope that Americans would open their eyes and look long term at some of the consequences of this legislation. Scary stuff...well, we'll just have to see who the nominee is going to be, then we can start in on the debate.

Question for the day- Are the Cubs ever going to win another game?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mmmm...Beer! Budweiser American Ale

American Ale is a relatively new brew from Anheuser Busch released in 2008. Budweiser (the diesel) is one of my favorite 'low end' go to brews, so I was excited to try out the American Ale. I first tried it out this past fall, and its been a few months so I'm giving it another go-round. Jen and I have thoroughly enjoyed the craft packs that Michelob (another Anheuser Busch company) has been putting out, and they have clearly been trying to appeal to those of us who desire taste and quality in our beer. Good for them and luckily they've hit some home runs (most notably the Michelob Dunkelweissen). I'll probably be doing a full blown craft pack review here pretty soon. Enough with their other offerings, onward with the review!

American Ale is a Red Ale that clocks in at 5.1% alcohol content. As you can see in the stock picture above it pours a very pleasing, almost mahogany, color and a decent amount of foam that doesn't dissipate very quickly when poured into a pint glass. It smells pretty sweet, the cascade hops are definitely there, but not overpowering, and a little bit of that amber malt scent you get with most red ales.

The flavor is somewhat sweet upfront and there is little bit of red malt on the tongue. The cascade hops are definitely present, but not like you would expect from a pale ale or an IPA. I'm a hop-head, and this is by no means that, but this flavor profile fits with the Red Ale style. The bitterness from the hops lingers on the back of the tongue for about 5 seconds, but then again, it probably depends on how many you've had!

All in all a pretty decent beer. Not something that I will rave over, but it is a good go-to if you're looking for something that tastes a little bit more microbrewish, but is easy on the wallet (around 10-11 bucks a 12 pack). I would think this would be a good introduction for someone who isn't used to craft/micro-brew beers. Budweiser accomplished their goal with this one and put together a mass market brew that even beer snobs can't stick their nose up to...ok, not stick their nose up to that much! At least give it a try, you won't be disappointed. I give it 3.5 out of 5 pints. Cheers...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

100 Days - Obama's legacy

Hope, Change, Yes We Can...

We are now 100 days into President Obama's term. It is a relatively short amount of time, and unfortunately for Americans we have seen the foundations of America ripped down, stepped on and shoved out the door. We have seen taxes rise, the American people (government) become majority shareholders in GM, the government has taken over the financial industry (the Bank of America is the BANK OF AMERICA!!) and democrats have reached the promised land with 60 votes in the Senate (thanks Arlen, thought we were going to get rid of you finally next year). We've seen our president bow to the Saudi King, yuk it up with Hugo Chavez, bash America on his European trip, accept an anti-American book from Hugo Chavez, and sit through a diatribe from Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. We have seen the United States shed 3.3 million jobs over the last 5 months, our unemployment rate is nearly 9%. The housing market has continued to be on a downward spiral, yet nobody is going after Chris Dodd and Barney Frank for requiring banks to loan to people who didn't have enough income to pay the mortgage because, 'it wouldn't be fair' if we didn't. We've seen a bloated 3.5 trillion dollar budget because Obama is trying to push his insanely liberal agenda through. We saw Robert Gibbs and Rahm (the serpent) Emanuel go after Rush Limbaugh for speaking out against the administration. When has it ever been policy for an administration to go after a radio personality? We've seen that President Obama isn't even able to formulate a thought without the help from his teleprompter and when its not working correctly, he's toast! Sarah Palin is STILL under attack from the left. We've seen Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont legalize gay marriage. Obama was at a town hall today talking about health care reform....where is the money going to come from? I read a post by a Canadian online complaining that they had to wait 3 months to for a simple surgery people in the United States could have had in a week. Imagine what national health care would do to your paycheck and to our national debt...The liberal philosophy seems to be we need to spend our way out of this.

The list above is not by any means all inclusive, it was merely what came to my mind in regards to the president's first 100 days. One of the most frustrating things as a conservative, is the lack of conservative leadership in Congress. We have unbelievably brilliant minds with conservative philosophies on our side, yet it seems like we have trouble connecting with people. These are people who are genuinely conservative in their own life and beliefs, but the Republican Party doesn't have a cohesive message to give them. The biggest message that was sent was with the Tea Parties on April 15th, which the mainstream media either made fun of or didn't cover (or made sex jokes...). I don't have the answers for the road map to get this country back on track, but it has to start with people who are fed up of the same old song in Washington (us!). Obama's mantra of 'change' is hardly that. He is appeasing what the far left has been wanting to do for years, and that my friends (John McCain) is not change. Its irresponsible for people to blindly follow what Mr. Obama preaches. Do your research, keep tabs on the government, they work for you! They are spending your money, your kid's money, your grandchildren's money. Over the next 100 days of Obama's administration we need to have a different mindset. Instead of always attacking, we need to offer up alternative solutions and what the outcomes of those solutions will be. America has been dumbed down by having everything force fed to us through different medias. Start thinking for yourself over the next 100 days. Look at the big picture instead of tiny individual pieces and you'll be able to formulate arguments for your point that will push people on the fence towards you. Obama puts a beautiful coat on everything he says so you don't know how disturbing what he is saying really is. Lets get our country back to the greatness it has always been! God Bless America...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mmmmm...Beer! Duvel Review

Duvel...Delicious? Delectable? Devilish? Heavenly? Yes, Yes, Yes (if you had too many), Absolutely!! Its the best beer I have ever tasted, end of story, put a stamp on it, Fed-ex it! I have no words...

Ok, now that I'm finished drooling (for now), lets press on. My dad has been talking about this beer for probably a month or two now, (he had it at some B&B in Zionsville, IN) and we finally were able to sit down and polish off a bottle of this stuff. It comes in either a 750mL bottle or an 11.2 oz bottle as you see above. We were lucky enough to have the 750mL bottle, but unfortunately we didn't have the glasses to match, yet... It is classified as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale and it clocks in at 8.5% alcohol. If I had not checked out the bottle beforehand, I could have been in some big trouble with that alcohol content! If you pour it correctly (i.e. very very slowly! directions are on the bottle...) it has a beautiful light pale color, and a head that clings and almost clumps to the side of the glass. I think the lacing on this thing would stay on a glass for weeks, maybe months. Sure it looks great, but looks can be deceiving right? Well, fortunately this only gets better. I think I caught a hint of clove, very nice apple aromas, slight alcohol smell, very slight yeast scent. The flavor of this thing is just incredible, absolutely heavenly. I made the comment that if Jesus made beer, this had to be it. It also has great carbonation which made me ponder why Duvel isn't the champagne of beers? Sorry Miller High Life... It has such a refreshing taste that started with a little bit of hops, little bit of fruit, some spiciness, mild alcohol flavor. It is remarkable the a beer with this high of alcohol content can be so refreshing and make you forget you are drinking a Belgian Strong Ale. I would highly recommend this for any special occasion, as you cannot go wrong and you will have anyone who has a remote appreciation for quality beer ranting and raving that they can't believe they hadn't tried it before. Something this good has got to cost upwards of a nice bottle of wine right? Well guess what? It costs the same as a cheaper bottle of wine. I've seen it anywhere from $8.50 to $12 for a 750mL bottle. Go pick yourself up some, but just be prepared to be disappointed with every other beer you try for the rest of your life. Bravo Duvel. I can't even put a rating on you as you truly are the King of Beers, Beer of the gods, the Michael Jordan of brewski's, the Tiger Woods of... well you get the point...I award thee the Golden Pint Glass...cue the music...

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Lounge - Mmmm..Beer - Sea Dog Blue Paw Review

This is my first review in a series I'm going to start called "Mmmmm-Beer." Its going to be part of a bigger ongoing series tagged "The Lounge." In the Lounge, Jen and I will be reviewing various beers, liquors, cigars, and wine (that's more Jen!) So kick back, take off your shoes, relax, put on some good music and enjoy the Lounge!

Today, we're going to be enjoying a delicious, refreshing beer from the Sea Dog Brewing Company , located in the great state of Maine, "Americas Mitten." Jenny and I love this beer and get extremely excited when we are able to find it. The latest batch has traveled back from our vacation in Florida with us and we are saving and savoring every last drop. Usually it is around 8 bucks a six pack, but unfortunately we had to pay a couple of bucks more for it down in Florida, but it was worth it! Sea Dog has several different fruit beers, but I'm always so excited when I have the opportunity to have the 'Blue Paw,' I haven't been able to try any of their other brews, even though I'm sure they are just as great. Enough with the background, on with the brewski! The Blue Paw is a wheat,fruit-based ale that is infused with blueberries. I first tried this down in Bloomington, Indiana while still in college and got my first 6 pack from the legendary Big Red Liquor store off of Walnut Ave. I have yet to have a bottle that disappoints. This beer is best drunk out of a pint or pilsner glass so you are able to enjoy the aromas this puts out. It pours a nice amber color, little bit of lacing on the glass. Smells like blueberries, but doesn't lose the wheat beer scent. The flavor is reminiscent of a blueberry muffin, ton of blueberry goodness, but not overpowering or overly sweet. Very refreshing and Jen and I actually nicknamed it 'the breakfast beer' because the flavor is so similar to blueberry muffins. If one had to go tailgating in the morning, this would be the beer to do it with. One of my favorite fruit beers, if not my favorite. Mmmmm..Sea Dog, we salute thee. Pick yourself up some, you will not be disappointed and you'll impress everyone who tries it. I award the Blue Paw 5/5 pints!

Restaurant Review: Club Soda

Located in Downtown Fort Wayne off Superior St. (235 E Superior St.), Club Soda is downtown Fort Wayne's classiest hang-out. The food smells delicious, unfortunately I have not yet had the pleasure to enjoy dinner, but I have had the privilege to enjoy several martinis and desserts. Walking up to the old school building you know you are going to be in for an enjoyable evening. Neon lights spell out Club Soda on the brick outside of the restaurants with neon bubbles moving up the brick. Once inside you'll be greeted with quotes on the wall and pictures of the Rat Pack. Super-cool, swanky atmosphere that is you wouldn't expect in a city the size of Ft. Wayne. Make sure you call ahead for reservations as we nearly weren't able to be seated, luckily a party downsized and we swiped in to get their seats. Great customer service as we waiting for them to get a table ready. We sat next to the stage where the band plays, and although we went too early to hear the band this time, it is a great experience to be that close and listen to some terrific jazz. It also has an upstairs and a pretty large outdoor space which tables if that is your thing. I believe you can smoke purchased cigars outside (very cool...), but I'm not positive. On to the martinis! The martini list is fun and extensive. Each martini has its own clever name and a description below it. I read through the entire thing every time I go. My drink of choice is under the 'Dark Side' category, a Manhattan. 2 parts Maker's Mark Bourbon, 1 part vermouth, a dash of bitters, and a maraschino cherry, if you like your bourbon, this is a go-to drink. They make their drinks strong here, so you definitely get your money's worth. If you don't customize your martini's much your looking at around 8-9 bucks a drink, which for what you are getting and the experience is a fairly good value. Of course not all of their drinks are as strong as the Manhattan, they have the Classic Dry Martini, the Vesper (a James Bond homage), the Harrison Ford ( self explanatory), the Chocolate Kiss (vodka,creme de cacao, cream, Hershey kiss), the Purple Haze, the Blue Moon, and the Molotov Cocktail (vodka,whiskey, and more whiskey!) They have a wide variety and anyone who enjoys a well made beverage will be extremely happy with their selection. Their desserts are also incredible, so if you saved room make sure to try something from their menu. Its one of my favorite places to go in the Fort, and if you have the opportunity to try it, you will too. Perfect for a sophisticated (until you have a couple of their libations) night out on the town... Cheers!