Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From Obama to Posada to the Oscars

*Listened to the State of the Union address driving back from New York City last night. Lots of applause. If you didn't know better, you'd have thought it was coming from the entire House chamber. The partisan divide wasn't evident unless you watched the highlights.

*Sure it was a campaign speech as much as a State of the Union address. All the incumbent presidents to it in the year they're seeking re-election. Whatever you want to call it, it was well-crafted and skillfully delivered. If Newt Gingrich does get the GOP nomination, President Obama ought to take him up on those seven three-hour debates. Obama will more than hold his own.

*Finally bit the bullet the other night after years of muttering under my breath and turned from NBC's Brian Williams to CBS' Scott Pelley for the evening news. Pelley quickly introduces stories and correspondents and gets out of the way. Williams takes too much timing setting up the stories as if he's getting paid by the word. I've been watching NBC News for decades. I'll now watch on weekends when the solid Lester Holt is in the anchor chair. I'll catch Brian Williams when he's on Letterman, where his story telling and sense of humor are better suited.

*Jorge Posada: solid player, good numbers, winning athlete. Hall of Famer? Not quite. Same with Bernie Williams and Andy Pettitte. (Going back a bit more, ditto Don Mattingly.) Not a knock on them to say the closest they'll get to Cooperstown is when they attend the induction ceremonies for Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. (By the way, Joe Torre will likely get in as a manager, but I'd have long ago elected him as a player.)

*New presidents often are judged by their success in the first 100 days. Following that measurement, it's worth pointing out that Kingston's new mayor, Shayne Gallo, is off to an impressive start in the first 25 days.

*As always, lots of deserving people didn't get Oscar nominations. Here are my Top 2:
Patton Oswalt of "Young Adult" (an oft-mentioned name) and Ann Morgan Guilbert in "Please Give". Who? She played the cranky, aging grandma in that film. But she's best known by people of a certain age as "Millie" in the old Dick Van Dyke Show. If you haven't seen "Please Give" (and I'm guessing that's most of you), seek it out. Other wonderful actors in the cast include Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet. (Apologies if I'm off a year on this movie. If so, Ann Morgan Guilbert was snubbed last year!)

*By the way, if you haven't caught up to "Shameless" on Showtime, you're missing one of the most entertaining series currently in production. William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum head a fantastic ensemble cast. Macy's character is particularly despicable. It's a testament to his acting chops (and the writers' skills) that he comes off as lovable in a sick sort of way.
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