October 2, 2004

On not watching the Feingold-Michels debate last night.

I was planning to serve up some juicy observations on the second biggest political debate of the week (as seen from Wisconsin): the big Tim Michels/Russ Feingold debate that aired last night. But I got a late start watching the TiVo'd debate, and I fell asleep somewhere in the first few minutes. I was very impressed by Michels' opening statement. The man is a good speaker, very smart and confident, and he knows what he stands for. I'm committed to Russ Feingold out of sheer respect for the virtue of the man. I think he deserves to keep his place in the Senate. I disagree with a lot of his positions (a lot!) but I want his voice in the mix. Still, I will watch the whole debate and give Michels a shot at winning me over. I didn't follow the primary, and I had just assumed the Republican candidate would not be able to compare to Feingold, but Michels looked pretty impressive, right before I lost consciousness.

So why did I wait until so late to start watching? Well, first I called my sister and had a long talk with her about the after-effects of the hurricanes. She lives in Apopka, Florida, near Orlando. Nothing major happened to her property, but there are a lot of branches on the ground and in the pool. Hey, it takes a long time to talk about that. And her son, Cliff Kresge, was playing the last few rounds of golf at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic. He needed to make up one stroke to make the cut, then he got an eagle, and we were thrilled. With an extra stroke cushion inside the cut, he had two more holes to play. He made par on the second to the last hole. Then on the final hole, he had a nine-foot putt to make par. And I said, "But he doesn't have to make par to make the cut." She responds, "Oh nooo! They moved the cut! The cut is four under now!" She was watching on PGA Tourcast, an internet service that lets you follow each stroke of any player as it occurs, well before it shows up on the scorecard that I watch. Oh! He misses the putt and thus misses the cut. Damn! Remember how great we felt when he got the eagle?

Then, I wanted to watch the newly TiVo'd episode of "Joan of Arcadia." I love "Joan of Arcadia" and have since the first episode last fall. Amber Tamblyn is a fascinating actress. Sometimes I see Sally Field in her, especially in the sound of her voice. One story line this fall that's driving me up the wall and ought to be driving any lawyer up the wall (if lawyers are watching), is the lawsuit brought by the driver of the car that crashed and left Joan's brother Kevin paralyzed. The driver, Kevin's former best friend, is trying to hold Kevin liable for not stopping him from driving that night. The friend's only injuries are emotional. The family is forever going on about how bad it is for the ex-friend to sue them when they refrained from suing him. Quite aside from what theory would allow suit against Kevin's parents in addition to Kevin, why doesn't anyone ever talk about a counterclaim! If you refrain from suing someone, but then they go ahead and sue you, that's the end of your restraint and time to assert the counterclaim. That's the reason, aside from the ethics the show likes to agonize over, that the ex-friend should have refrained from suing Kevin. Kevin hadn't sued him yet, but if you sue, he will bring his counterclaim, and his damages are far, far greater. And what jury will feel moved to make Kevin pay the physically uninjured ex-friend? Bringing the lawsuit was not just an ethical lapse by the ex-friend, it is also a financially disastrous attempt at selfishness. Oh, okay, I know ... when lawyers watch television ... I'll pretend not to notice such things and enjoy the rest of the show.

I also watched a few minutes of "Lost," which I'd TiVo'd largely based on Television Without Pity's high grade last week. The actors seemed to have all been chosen for their good looks. Not only was the acting bad, but it was also impossible to believe these people just happened to get on a plane together. I know plane crashes are very unlikely, but it seems far more unlikely that a plane would happen to have nothing but good looking people on board.

So "Lost," didn't detain me long, but nevertheless, I did not get very far into the big Senatorial debate. I will update here later with a better report.

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