Results tagged ‘ Abraham Lincoln ’

Collective Bargaining for Dummies

abe_lincoln_riding_a_grizzly_by_sharpwriter.jpgIt’s rare but sometimes two sides that can’t seem to agree on anything actually get it right.  Obviously I’m not talking politics here.  And based on most of the news I read, I’m not talking about the NFL either.  It turns out that maybe MLB has learned its lesson and gotten down to the dirty business of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement well in advance of its due date.  If things go as planned, there will be no rehashing of the 1994 stoppage that almost killed the game.  Sure, there are sticking points but both the players and the owners are attempting to get out front of the differences before they shut things down.

It’s too bad we can’t say the same thing of the government.  Instead of making tough decisions on real problems, we get grandstanding and gridlock.  Look, I’m no professional political analyst but I can tell you that the Obama healthcare plan isn’t going away.  So, instead of trying to score political points through a repeal vote that will lead nowhere, let’s figure out how to make it more workable and then figure out how to pay for it.

Same thing goes for Wall Street.  Yes, I understand that you’re angry with all those “fat-cats” and their fat bonuses but the simple fact of the matter is that America doesn’t work without Wall Street.  You wouldn’t have that fancy PS3 or the computer (or smartphone or iPad or…..) where you’re reading this blog either if it wasn’t for Wall Street and the American financial model.  More than that, until Wall Street gets healthy, your unemployed @$$ won’t be getting a job.

Here’s the deal.  Just like the ’94 MLB strike took baseball to its nadir, the government shutdown the following year brought American faith in the Congress to one of its lowest points.  Democrats don’t want to see that happen again and the Republicans in control of the House can ill afford it since they’re the ones who will ultimately take the blame. 

Both sides know they have a lot to lose and hopefully this will make them realize they have to work together.  Hey, if the MLB players and owners can finally wrap their heads around that idea, there must be hope for the politicians as well.  And if not, well, there’s always Abe Lincoln on a mother-f****n’ grizzly bear.

-A

*Image courtesy of Sharpwriter

Rockstars and Revisionism

sarah palin going rogue.jpgAlthough we tend to compare baseball and politics here and find the areas where they intersect, the truth of the matter is that sometimes it doesn’t work.  Baseball box scores tell stories and those stories are comprised of facts.  Either a guy gets on base or he doesn’t.  Either a team wins a game or it doesn’t.  It’s hard to revise baseball history, at least when it comes to the games and the records.

Politics is another matter.  Not only can history be revised, it happens regularly.  Abraham Lincoln came close to losing his party’s nomination for a second term but is now regarded as one of our greatest Presidents.  George H. W. Bush lost a second term because of the economy but his foreign policy now seems eerily prescient.  In fact, I even think there’s a good chance that down the road Iraq will once again become a stable, functional country and W will be somewhat vindicated for his actions.

But there’s one thing I have a really hard time believing.  I really don’t see how it’s possible that Sarah Palin could ever be considered a legitimate leader.  Sure, in an era of anti-elitism, she’s a rockstar.  But I like my leaders to be a little elite.  Why would I follow one of my peers?  I want someone who knows more than me but I also want someone who considers their options and makes an informed decision.  Based on what we’ve learned previously and seen over the past week, Ms. Palin fits neither bill.

Even if the midterms signal the start of the campaign 2012 is still a ways away.  A lot can happen in that amount of time.  Between now and then, I’d love to see Ms. Palin simply fade away.  The country has real problems and we need real leaders with real solutions to address them.  But if this is too much to ask for, maybe I’ll just wish that the Lions could win a road game in that amount of time.  Or maybe we could just retroactively decide that the Tigers won the ’06 Series.  Revisionist baseball.  Think about it.

-A

Leadership 101

Abraham_Lincoln.jpg

Leaders find ways to motivate even when the task seems impossible.  For instance, Jim Leyland is a leader because he took a team that lost 119 games three seasons earlier and led them all the way to the World Series.  On a side note, Matt Millen would be the opposite.

I also believe that leaders have innate abilities that can’t be taught.  You can hone the skills but some people just aren’t leaders and no amount of teaching or coaching will get them to that point.

Knowing whether or not you have that ability is also an important skill.  Politicians often learn these lessons the hard way.  Abraham Lincoln lost more races than he won before winning the Republican nomination and becoming President.  But he was a leader and even the losses taught him lessons and earned him respect he would later weave into a legendary presidency.

Sometimes when the losses keep piling up, though, they’re trying to tell you something different.  Like maybe you’re not suited for politics:

Ok!  Fine!  I’ll vote for you!  Just please stop yelling at me.  Please?

-A

RSBS Presents: Great Moments in Republican Hip-Hop

boombox_lincoln.jpgThe GOP forged its reputation on many great endeavors.  Lincoln freed the slaves and then battled to keep the Union together.  Reagan took the policy of containment and extended it to the point that the Soviet Union finally collapsed in on itself.

However, despite victories in these areas, the Republicans need to remember that there are other fields in which their skills just don’t quite pan out.  In honor of this fact, and perhaps in memoriam, RSBS presents great moments in Republican hip-hop.

MC Rove
If there is one moment that could be termed “the” defining moment in Republican hip-hop, it would have to be Karl Rove’s performance at the 2007 Correspondent’s Dinner in DC.  Between the dance moves and the attempt at ill (but mainly just ill-fated) rhyming, Rove set the standard by which all GOP rappers will be judged:


No Taxation Without Representation

Although the Tea Party movement claims no affiliation with the Republican party, most of its members are disaffected defectors from the GOP.  Where the Republicans dislike taxes, though, the TPers downright abhor them.  That feeling led to this memorable moment:

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=10969400&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

Untitled from elizabeth glover on Vimeo.


Hi-Calibre

How about I just let, uh, Mr. Calibre (?) explain it himself:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/swf/TheDailyBeastVideoPlayer.swf

So there you have it.  The party of Lincoln becomes the party of Linkin Park.  What do you expect, though?  The Democrats already have dibs on Jay-Z and the Black-Eyed Peas so the Republicans had to make due with what was left.  Hey, at least they have Pat Boone!

-A

Trickery Generally Comes with a Smile

allen krause inauguration day.jpgBefore you put all your faith in that pretty little sheep who wants to walk you home, perhaps you should ask for a closer look at its teeth… ‘cuz they might just eat you… as may the fledgling accusations of my vitriolic and oft misguided colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, who yesterday painted me as the type of man who joyously spreads inaccurate information throughout the interwebs, with no regard for reason.

Well, phooey, ‘cuz that’s a load of crap and everyone knows it.

Believe me, I spent almost 15 minutes researching the many reasons why the 2010 Tigers are more than set to stink up the AL Central.  If Mr. Krause cannot accept the brutal truth because he is blinded by his unmatched loyalty to the stylized “D”, then that is on him.

But I don’t think it’s fair to twist words and trick the masses as he did with this proclamation which aimed to maim my original point:

“Are the Tigers worse off than the White Sox, Indians, Royals or even the Twins?  No.”

Ah ha!  Did you catch that?  He asked (then answered in the negative) if the Tigers were worse off than all of the other teams in the division.  While in actuality, we all know it only takes one or two teams to be better than the Tigers to see their season sunk; and I assure you, dear readers, the White Sox and Twins will both rest well on top of the Tigers this season.

Come on now, Al, did you really think I’d let you get away with that?

Such lame and smile-stamped trickery is reminiscent of one Bill O’Reilly announcing to the world that he is writing a new book on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln — a fresh history book that will take the reader “into Ford’s Theater and into the mind of Lincoln’s assassin, John
Wilkes Booth, and on the manhunt to find and bring to justice the
killer of one our greatest presidents.”

Of course, in the same misleading vein as Mr. Krause above, Mr. O’Reilly fails to remind us that that book has already been written… quite well actually… by James L. Swanson.

I imagine O’Reilly could only muck it up.

Hate me.  I don’t care.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Go See Him While You Can, People

albert pujols red.jpg

Albert Pujols has played just nine Major League seasons and in each and every one of them he’s hit over 30 homeruns, collected more than 100 RBI and batted over .300.  Those aren’t just good numbers, folks.  Those are astronomical numbers.

And this is his best year yet.

I think it’s time we stop referring to Albert Pujols as the future Hall of Famer that he is — because let’s face it, if the man’s career ends today he’ll be a first ballot lock* — and start acknowledging that he is indeed one of the greatest players to ever play the game, all-time, in the history of the game.

mlb.com.screengrab.jpgCan we just stop and think about that for a minute?

In our present game, today, right this second, we are witnessing a rare and genuine paragon of baseball supremacy.

Stop — and — think — about — that.

My Dad saw Gibson. 

My Grandpa saw Musial.

And Albert will trump them both.

By a long shot.

I know it’s hard to understand while it’s happening.  I realize that, in most cases, we do not realize what great feats we are witnessing firsthand until it’s too late, until our heroes are lifted in the 7th for defensive replacements, until they’re embarking on sappy, over-produced farewell tours.

But right now we all have the opportunity to savor the greatness, to take it all in, to let it move us.

There are many beautiful women: Erin Andrews, Heidi Derosa, Allison Stokke… but none of them are Marilyn Monroe.

Great presidents abound in Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Washington; but there is only one Abraham Lincoln. 

Sure, Metallica is great and all but there’s only one Pink Floyd.

And yes.  There is only one Albert Pujols.

Don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

*As one reader pointed out, a player needs 10 years in the Majors before being eligible; consider my phrase a simple bout of hyperbole

Friday Afternoon Madcap Recap

AROD_Radar.jpgYou know, just a week ago I was lamenting the lack of baseball related drama and filling up space with videos of kids on (legal) drugs. Man, things sure changed in a hurry. A-Rod, Tejada, Abreu, Oswalt, Dunn. All of them hit the news in the past week, although under very different circumstances. Add in pitchers and catchers reporting today and you got yourself one heck of a week in baseball.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the week in politics (our bread if you consider baseball to be our butter) got a little crazy, too. Stimulus plans, Juan Williams invoking Stokely Carmichael and Michelle Obama and more cabinet nominee hyjinks were just the beginning. Seriously guys. If y’all could parcel this out over the course of a couple weeks instead of just one, I’d really appreciate it.

However, it’s times like these when we really need to concentrate on what’s important. And those things, in no particular order, are:

-Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Birthday was yesterday. I think you’ve heard of him before. Really? Not ringing a bell, huh? 16th President. Born in a log cabin. Face on the penny and five dollar bill. Still nothing? Thank god for Wikipedia.

-Despite the fact that Erin Andrews doesn’t do it for me, apparently she does it for quite a few other people. (via Deadspin but you may not want to open that link if you’re at work or your computer is monitored)

-Jose Offerman is one crazy *** mother-f@&%#er.

-Despite lying on national television and then turning around and eating a big ol’ slice of humble pie, A-Rod will still get more action in one night than I will see in the next year. Possibly two.

-But the most important news item is that RSBS has reached its paper anniversary and in honor of that (and because I need a vacation), I will be heading to Chicago tomorrow to hang out with Mr. Lung. There are a few ideas simmering in the ol’ crockpot and if it all works out, we hope to serve up a nice, thick RSBS stew next week. Man, if that metaphor was Whitney, I guess that would make me Bobby.

Happy Friday!

-A

Being There (Part II)

Usher.jpgI didn’t attend just the inauguration this past weekend. Since the four days were jam-packed full of all sorts of goodies, I decided to partake in as much as the cold would allow me, which is how I found myself at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday afternoon. I have never seen such a star-studded event. In fact, I have never seen such a star-studded few days. If you were watching during the inauguration, you may have noticed that Jay-Z, Puffy and Magic Johnson were all up in the stage. And of course, Oprah. But this did not even begin to compare to the concert. Shakira and Usher singing with Stevie Wonder. Tom Hanks’ salute to the Great Emancipator. Jon Bon Jovi dueting on “A Change Gonna’ Come.” Jamie Foxx’s Obama impression. Denzel! Tiger! The Boss! The list goes on and on. All we needed was Jack Nicholson and it could have been court side at a Lakers game.

However, there was also something a little weird about the concert. Each performer acknowledged the crowd as they finished their piece but then each one of them also gave a little bow towards the man who had brought them there. The President elect gave only a short speech and he wasn’t even the one who ended the program (that honor went to the lovely Beyonce). But I couldn’t shake the sense that this felt more like a coronation than a concert. Now, I in no way want to imply that the event was intended as such nor do I think that our new President would think so of himself. It just felt kind of strange.

guardsmen.jpgBut if you really want to talk about strange, let me tell you about the locked-down state of the nation’s capitol. Almost every street corner had either police or National Guardsmen standing around. I’m not sure exactly what their function was and to be honest, it didn’t really bother me that much. But, it’s just a little disconcerting when in every place you walk in the town where you live, there are camouflaged men and women standing around.
 
humvee.jpgAll in all, though, it was a weekend to remember. It definitely had its highs and lows and I really wish that the 70 degree weather we enjoyed just a few weeks ago would have held off for this weekend instead. But, despite some miscues during the oath, power peacefully transitioned and the United States showed once again why “We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.

So, that brings our RSBS salute to the inauguration to a close. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go continue my attempts at thawing out.

-A

capitol inauguration.JPG

THANKS!!!

thanksgiving.jeff.allen.jpgIn just a short while, we US Americans will begin that hallowed tradition of spending quality time with family by gorging ourselves on a bounty of food, drinking excessive amounts of Johnnie Walker Black and falling asleep on the couch only to wake up with unidentifiable aches and pains in places never before felt.

Well, maybe that’s just me.

In any case, given the copious amounts of bull**** recently posted by my colleague, Mr. Krause, whose intellectual ineptitude forces him to fall into that age-old Blue State trap of logorrhea where valid questions are only answered with an arsenal of equally unrelated questions, I have found solace in you, Dear Readers, and your ability to see that — as usual — I am right.

Thank you.

In fact, since this time of year is all about giving thanks, I am going to rightfully refrain from causing any further damage to Mr. Krause’s ego by letting him be (just for today) and instead would like to take a moment to give my most wholehearted thanks.

Indeed, there are many things to be thankful for today.  I’m thankful that the Cubs have gone 100 years without a World Series title.  I am thankful that the Cardinals are actually considering filling some left-handed reliever roles (even if it is by courting a couple of scrubs).  I am thankful that I live in the Second City — that we have two firery baseball icons who are willing to make fools of themselves by performing a ridiculous rap song for the good of Chevrolet; and I am thankful that senior citizens ride the CTA free, fat senior citizens ride two for the price of one, which is also free.  I’m also thankful that Dubya is on his way out, that an Iowan turkey (ironically not Chuck Grassley this time) will be able to live a long, eaten-free life and that Minnesota has replaced Florida (for now) as the state where your vote might not really count.

But most of all, I am thankful for you, Dear Readers.  For it is you that truly makes RSBS the special little happy place where baseball-politico egos, arguments and aspirations go to make sweet, sweet love.  And for that, Mr. Krause and I couldn’t be more grateful.

We have given our staff the rest of the week off.  Allen has left for that cavernous pit of despair otherwise known as Los Angeles (or Where Souls Go to Die) while I will be spending the rest of the week reflecting on my podunk roots with my quaint family in Springfield, IL — once home to Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama and of course, Me.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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