That's Me All Over

My tentacles were apparently reaching everywhere today, as another of email of mine ended up on Sully. If I helped introduce the Presets to new people, then I have done some good.

I Iz Faymuz?

I've seen quotes from my reviews used before, but this is the first time they've actually used my "name", as opposed to just slapping a generic Ain't It Cool label on it. Sweet! (It's at about the 1:40 mark, if you want to jump ahead.)

Look at me, ma, I'm a real film critic now! Kinda.

(h/t my friend Dan, who spotted it first)

UPDATE: OK, now I have a dilemma.

I went back and re-read my review of the Good, the Bad & the Weird from the 2008 TIFF.

The words attributed to me in that trailer ("A pure piece of entertainment... a must-see!") do not appear anywhere in my review.

There's nothing even close.

Mind you, it's a pretty glowing review, and I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment. But now I'm wondering if they took quotes from someone else's review and stuck my name to them, or just made it up out of whole cloth -- and either way, does my fake internet name really have that much cache that it was worth using to add some credibility to the quote?

Anton Sirius apparently has a critical reputation worth stealing. Which is fantastic, because if you click the link above you'll find that my review of GB&W got posted on AICN alongside my review of a terrible little indie horror film called Deadgirl. In said review I basically said the film wasn't sick enough, and proceeded to offer examples of various sick things I thought it should have included.

Frankly, I think this makes the whole thing even more awesomely amusing, in a very Robert Anton Wilson sort of way...

NFL Draft First Round Thoughts

Because a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and there is nothing more spectacularly futile than analyzing draft picks before they've even taken the field:

St Louis - They were locked in on Bradford, and it almost doesn't matter who they take with the rest of their picks. I don't think he's worth a first overall pick though.

Detroit - Had a great day. Suh was a no-brainer, but jumping up to grab Jahvid Best at the end of the first round was a smart move.

Tampa Bay - again, no surprise with McCoy, who won't be Warren Sapp but should be good.

Washington - I'm not sure Trent Williams over Russell Okung was the right call, but you have to think Shanahan knows his blocking scheme well enough to recognize who will work in it and who won't.

Kansas City - Eric Berry will be very, very good, and that's not just the Knoxville in me talking.

Seattle - Okung dropping to them was a nice surprise for Pete Carroll, and adding Earl Thomas was solid too. People expecting sexy skill picks like Jimmy Clausen or Dez Bryant might have been disppointed, but those are two nice building blocks.

Cleveland - I'm not sure Joe Haden will be the shutdown corner the Browns need. Can't really put my finger on why... every time I've seen him I've just got the impression that he won't really stand out in the NFL.

Oakland - McClain's another guy I think is over-rated, simply because he's the best inside LB in the pool. Makes sense the Raiders would bite on him, but he's not top 10 value.

Buffalo - This is where the draft started to get crazy. Spiller's got some serious skills and home run potential, not unlike Felix Jones in Dallas (or, for that matter, Reggie Bush) and will look great in a RB tandem with Fred Jackson. Marshawn Lynch should probably start packing his bags though.

Jacksonville - Alualu looked like a strange pick at the time, and looked even worse after everyone behind them was able to trade down. Jared Odrick fell all the way to 28; it's hard to imagine the Jags couldn't have traded down to somewhere in the 20s, still gotten Alualu, and added some value later in the draft.

San Fran - Hello, new offensive line. Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati are Frank Gore's new best friends.

San Diego - They gave up way too much to jump up and take Ryan Mathews. I've heard the talk that Houston was looking at him at #20, and maybe the Chargers couldn't find a trading partner further down in the teens, but Mathews is not going to be a replacement for Tomlinson. He's solid and will be a good stopgap in a tandem with Sproles until they get a franchise guy, but I don't think he'll be a difference maker.

Philadelphia - Adding to the pass rush was a definite need, and if Graham was the guy they liked the best it's hard to argue too much with moving up to get him, especially with Morgan and Pierre-Paul going just a few picks later. Again, though, I think they gave up too much for the move up, in terms of pure value.

NY Giants - Pierre-Paul's a project, but it's one they can afford to wait on. Solid pick.

Tennessee - Morgan will have a more immediate impact than Pierre-Paul, although he doesn't have JPP's upside. Another solid pick, both for value and need.

Pittsburgh - No surprise here. Pouncey is a born Steeler.

Atlanta - I like Weatherspoon at 19 better than I like McClain at 8 in terms of value, but neither one is Patrick Willis.

Houston - There wasn't much to separate the corners behind Haden, so Kareen Jackson is as good a pick as any.

Cincinnati - Gresham was the pick predicted in most mocks, but I'm still not sure the Bengals will even know what to do with a real tight end.

Denver - Demaryius Thomas over Dez Bryant? Hell yes. They just chased Brandon Marshall out of town; character matters now for the Broncos. As witnessed by their next pick, Tim Tebow. This is the draft that will determine Josh McDainels' future in Denver - if the choir boys pan out, he's in for the long haul. If Tebow can't handle anything but the Wildcat and Thomas gets outperformed by Bryant, the team will be looking for a new coach in 2013 or so.

Green Bay - Bulaga is great value at this point, and fits a need. Score.

Dallas - Jerry Jones lives in the past too much. They jumped up a few picks to grab the best wide receiver in the draft, in an effort to redress the 'wrong' of passing on Randy Moss way back when. Bryant doesn't really fit a huge need though, and if they don't find )-line help (of which there was plenty still on the board) and a safety (granted, there's no one available I would have rated as worth picking at the end of the first round) this pick will end up being a big mistake.

Arizona - Dan Williams dropping to them was a nice gift.

New England - McCourty is a classic Belichick first round pick, a guy who will be on the field a lot and play both on defense (nickel corner at worst, but he could end up being better than that) and as a force on special teams.

Miami - Jared Odrick is another good value pick at this point, and a nice reward for Parcells for trading down.

NY Jets - Just what Rex Ryan needed, more toys on defense. I think Wilson could end up being just about as good as Haden.

Indianapolis - With Freeney and Mathis getting older, adding another pass rush specialist in the form of Jerry Hughes was a nice get.

New Orleans - Patrick Robinson may not be special, but he should be solid.


My new favorite band: Fang Island

Of course, I stumble upon them (via M4R) four days after they play Toronto. D'oh!

John Cole Bait

Moody's CEO Ray McDaniel Jr. will appear before the Senate on Friday to try and explain why his agency were so colossally inept at rating subprime mortgage-backed securities.

Here It Comes

According to the WSJ, Obama called Scottie Brown to let him know immigration reform was coming down the pike in about a month, presumably on the theory that Brown is the Senate's Gossip Girl.

Getting the process started by the end of May seems more like a genuine effort to get legislation passed, rather than a purely political move to put the issue on the table (without any actual action on it) prior to November. Either way though, I think getting immigration reform out there is the right move. It'll galvanize the base, give Republicans big opportunities to alienate the center, and it won't cost Democrats votes that they hadn't already lost. Win-win-win.

McCaskill Seems Peeved

According to Boo, Claire McCaskill is threatening to get medieval on the ass(es) of whoever is putting all these secret holds on various Obama administration nominees.

With the possibility of a Pub filibuster looming on financial reform next week, the timing of McCaskill's push is certainly interesting...

Not Getting It

A quick summary of Goldman Sachs' Q1 conference call here. Two things stand out:

Goldman is definitely going to settle. Yes, right now, they're fighting the SEC, but they very clearly acknowledged that their options are wide open. They did this multiple time. When they can get to a deal that's reasonable, they'll settle.
They were suckerpunched. They have no idea what the SEC plans to do next.

In other words, they still think the old rules are in effect, and that the end result will be a slap on the wrist. Even though, by their own admission, they didn't see this coming and don't have any idea what the SEC's plans are for the suit.

It's the same idiotic hubris on display that led to the subprime meltdown in the first place.

And to that point, they think it's not material whether the Paulson or ACA selected the assets, since EVERYTHING crashed from that year.

Morons. "But, officer, it doesn't matter that I shot her through the window, since she'd already been thrown off the roof and was going to die anyway." Who the hell is giving them legal advice right now? Or is this just more bluster and bravado from a group who don't yet realize their Masters of the Universe club membership has been revoked?

Channeling My Inner John Cole

The WSJ does a solid job summing up the main issues in the SEC's case against Goldman Sachs. But here's the passage that made my skin crawl:

The SEC's complaint says Paulson "heavily influenced the selection of the portfolio" for the CDO. But Paulson said in a Friday statement that portfolio selection agent ACA Management LLC "had sole authority over the selection of all collateral in the CDO." Those securities were later rated AAA by credit rating agencies.

Here's a CDO that was essentially created for the sole purpose of being shorted. You can debate over whether Paulson actually cherry-picked which specific investments would go into the portfolio, but even if you credit Goldman's position that Paulson was hands-off in the assembly of ABACUS, it only existed in the first place because Paulson wanted something to bet against.

And this festering pile of crap got an AAA rating.

Cole over at BJ rants about this all the time, and this is one more example of why he's absolutely right -- the rating agencies need to be held accountable for completely and utterly failing to do their job.