- 2019-12-01: Big Ten football in the snow. Wisconsin gets Paul Bunyan's Axe, clinches Big Ten West championship and a place in the Big Ten title game.
- 2019-12-01: The Irishman (2019): Scorsese directs De Niro, Pacino, Pesci (that's all you need) in a 3.5 hour intimate epic (there can be such a thing) about the mob and the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. A disapproving look from De Niro's daughter, just a look, supplies the morality. A-
- 2019-12-03: Ford v Ferrari (2019): A sports movie. A good one, but still. Predictable plot. Two-dimensional characters. ClichÃ©d dialog. The guys from Ford are supposed to be the good guys, but I found myself cheering for the "wops" from Ferrari. Good performance by Christian Bale. B-
- 2019-12-06: The Sixth Extinction: Global warming, ocean acidification, crop and animal disease, poor land use patterns, all are involved in extinctions rivaling the death of the dinosaurs. Why don't we act? If anything, this book is not alarmist enough. B-
After the jump, more idle thoughts.
- 2019-12-06: A fact @JohnCornyn would like to distract voters from knowing: "In 1990, Texas and Florida had higher life expectancy than New York and almost matched California; today, theyâ€™re far behind.
- 2019-12-08: I'm smelling roses in winter.
- 2019-12-10: DMN: "Teams that left SWC, Big 12, find grass isn't always greener."
Silly. @KSherringtonDMN admits the schools that left get bigger paychecks in SEC and Big Ten. That's the "green" that matters.
- 2019-12-10: "Study: Dallas Is Bleeding Innovation Jobs as Techies Head for the Coasts."
If the high-paying, highly technical jobs are moving from Texas to California, then when Gov. Abbott brags about all those Californians moving to Texas, who are they?
- 2019-12-11: "We need to remember that reflexive hostility to testing always comes down in the end to hostility to the outcomes. When ... the WASPs and the Jews start seeing too many Asians, all of a sudden the tests are bad."
- 2019-12-11: "I could stand in the middle of Mongolia and shoot a deeply endangered sheep and my father would not lose any voters."
-- Donald Trump, Jr., paraphrased.
- 2019-12-18: Duncanville is in the district with the RISD schools. Duncanville dominated play in that district and has marched through the playoffs, only to lose their star QB one game shy of the state championship game. It's a shame for him and his teammates.
- 2019-12-19: "The question impeachment raises is this: If the effort to hold Trump accountable fails, and the 2020 election isn't enough to break the Republican fever, what can Americans do to safeguard their democracy in the long run?"
- 2019-12-20: Headlines that are too good to read the story: "Utah man found dead in a freezer had a notarized letter saying his wife wasn't responsible for his death."
- 2019-12-20: Trump's biggest foreign support is coming from dictators: Putin and, now, China. Expect Trump and Kim Jong Un to kiss and make up (again) soon.
- 2019-12-22: The Aeronauts (2019): Account of a record-setting balloon ascent in 1862. Not a documentary, not a biopic, not even a very good drama. Story arc is entirely predictable. But still, it gives some idea of a time of life-risking scientific exploration mostly forgotten today. B-
- 2019-12-28: How a bill becomes a law: The House passes a bill. The Senate passes its own version. Then there's a reconciliation committee made up of House and Senate members to come up with a mutually agreeable bill.
Mitch McConnell's version of this process: NO.
- 2019-12-28: It was pass interference. Rest of game, even rest of playoffs, is now tarnished.
- 2019-12-30: Little Women (2019): Clever meta-adaptation of the classic novel. If you are unfamiliar with it, the many characters and arcs and jumps in timeline will be challenging to follow. But by the end, it all comes together. Great acting all around but Saoirse Ronan excels. A-
- 2019-12-31: Uncut Gems (2019): Fast-talking gem dealer is a compulsive gambler whose debts spiral out of control. Shouting, bullying, foul language, and manic intensity from start to finish. Like watching a pot boil over. Adam Sandler is great and atones for every bad movie he ever made. A-
- 2019-12-31: "Conservatives might disagree on the small matter of whether the release of heat-trapping gasses into the atmosphere traps heat, but they can agree on the big question that environmentalists annoy them."
- 2019-12-31: When I grew up, every American knew this was evil. Now I have to consider the possibility that what I thought everyone knew wasn't the case at all.