Results tagged ‘ Barack Obama ’

Method. Madness. Obama.

The human mind searches for patterns in everything.  Numbers, deaths, waves of killer bees.  We’re programmed to find a rational underpinning for why things happen.

That’s one of the reasons why Operation Geronimo thrills us to our core.  Sure, we got public enemy number one.  We killed the boogie man.  But there’s a symmetry that makes the story even more compelling.  Ten years ago the US was attacked and now, ten years later, we finally got the SOB that did it.  We can ignore the ongoing wars and the financial ruin they’ve wreaked because OBL’s arrival and departure neatly bookend a ten-year stretch in which we were forced at times to question who we were as a nation but ultimately overcame.  It’s the American Dream writ large.

Outside of the existential thrill of taking down Bin Laden and reaffirming the American Dream, though, there’s another story here.  Where was the President during those long days fighting over the budget?  What was he doing while people accused him of being a secret Muslim sleeper agent and insinuated he wasn’t even American?  Turns out we finally have our answer:

Obama_set_match.jpgIt’s Mother’s Day weekend.  Go wild!

-A

The Filibuster

Selig and the owners finally had enough of McCourt and took action, but
what about the franchises that are still technically solvent but just
suck?  Why hasn’t the commish done something about the Pirates?

Dan
Ferndale, MI
____________________________________

friendly pirates.jpgAhhhh yes… once again, the revolving doors of ineptitude bring us back to…

The Pirates.

And
why shouldn’t they?  In all of professional sports, one would have quite a
difficult time finding a more moribund team than the lowly Buccos. 
While all of the big four US American sports thrive by having a healthy,
parity-laden cycle of teams going from the top of the ranks to the
bottom and everywhere in between, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been stuck
at bad.  For 18, long, terrible, horrible, awful, green-pea-spew inducing years.

In a row.

So, indeed, Mr. Dan, you bring up an excellent question: How is it that MLB sees no issue intervening with financially strapped clubs like the current Dodgers or the late Expos de Montréal (pouring out some liquor for my boy, Youppi yo!) but meanwhile sits back and says nothing as the Pirates organization embarrasses itself year after year after year, alienating the five or so fans left in western Pennsylvania in doing so? 

That’s easy, Dan.  One word:

MONEY!!!

The Pirates may have more issues than Lindsay Lohan on $5 Jaegerbomb night, but, when all is done, the Pirates still MAKE MONEY

obama money.gif
Haven’t you noticed?  To the suits picking each other’s noses up in the luxury boxes, it’s not about winning.  It’s not about getting better.  It’s not about keeping score or the waft of freshly roasted peanuts or the soothing effects of finely cut green grass on the old eyeballs. 

It’s about making bank.

And as long as they line their pockets with plenty of paper, MLB ain’t gonna say jack.

Like my loquacious and oft contorted colleague, Mr. Krause recently pointed out, sometimes MLB gets it right.  King Bud could not sit back and let one of the league’s most storied franchises fail because of atrocious financial mismanagement.  And other times, MLB gets it way wrong… like they did in intervening with the Florida Marlins (a very successful organization in regards to winning) and the way they chose to spend profit sharing funds trickling down from the top*.

But one thing is certain: MLB is a business.  MLB is about being a profitable business. As much as romanticized baseball super-nerd-dorks like Mr. Krause and I would like to believe that a certain utopian joy for the game and its purity is at the core of Major League Baseball’s business philosophy, the truth is: it ain’t.

If it were, the Expos would still be alive.  The Dodgers would have never left Brooklyn.  And someone would have intervened in the gargantuan atrocity also known as the Pirates’ front office.

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

Peace,

Jeff
 
*For an excellent read on just how wrong MLB was in their handling of the Marlins, check out this article from the Prince of New York.

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a
free pimp for your blog?  How ’bout just peeling back the layers of Mr. Krause’s feminine wardrobe

Send us your Filibuster questions
by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below
.

Winning One for the Gipper

obama_cool_again.jpgThe only thing worse than supporting a team that loses all the time is supporting a team that doesn’t even put up a fight.  I’m fairly open about the fact that I’m a Lions fan and as anyone who watches football knows, that’s a painful cross to bear.  But a couple years ago, when they set a modern record for futility in losing every single game, they at least put up a fight. The seasons where they went 2-14 and, despite winning a couple games, it was obvious they just didn’t care, that was much worse.  Honestly, I’ll take 0-16 over that any day.

This is why it’s also frustrating to follow US politics.  It’s not so much seeing the democrats flounder away the high ground in all this budget mess or even seeing the republicans bully their way back into control of the House.  It’s the absolute lack of fight in the democrats.  Sure, there’s some occasional posturing but even that only serves to remind me of this:

I’m sure there are multiple reasons for this.  Ok, not so much for the Pakistani boxer but for the democrats inability to stand up for themselves.  According to one study, democrats systemically favor compromise.  Honestly, that’s all right.  That’s how government happens.  But there’s a difference between compromising to keep the government running and compromising your basic principles.

Last year democrats finally showed some cojones when they jammed through the health care overhaul.  They looked for compromise, they worked with their republican colleagues to come up with something that both sides could appreciate but at the end of the day, they finally made a stand.  For that we can thank Obama.

And that’s the one thing that gives me hope in the current mess.  Sure, the democrats lost control of the House.  Yes, the republicans claim that they won’t stop pushing until health care is repealed and the US becomes some sort of Ayn Rand themed fantasy-land.  But like the health care debate, democrats only seem to find their backbone when Obama enters the fracas.  If recent microphone “slips” can be believed, it looks like the president might getting ready to once again ride that snake.

You know, I could deal with the Lions going 0-16.  At the end of the day, football isn’t life and death.  I don’t accept the democrats going 0-16 or even 2-14, though.  I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that Obama gets his colleagues to realize it’s time to win one for the Gipper.

-A

Flying Too Close to the Sun

icarus.jpgConfidence is a good thing.

But, too much confidence can be deadly.

To Red Sox Nation, who declared the season over before it even started, this message couldn’t be more true.

Or how about Charlie Sheen and his self-destructing, bridge-burning rampage against all-things reasonable?  Couldn’t he have boned some pornstar chicks AND STILL gotten to work on time?

And to the US American electorate who expected the Obama administration to clap its hands and make 8 years of mess magically disappear, do you not understand that these things take time?  That a Mitt Romney or Michelle Bachmann led fascist regime is not the answer?  That political infrastructures aren’t as simple as iPhone apps or ordering chicken fried rice from your local Chinese joint?

Confidence is a good thing.

But, too much confidence can be deadly.

Just ask Mike Leake about his confidence in the good ole five-finger discount.

Hate me ‘cuz I say what you’re thinking, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Keep ‘Em In the Closet

scott powers locked in closet.jpgBefore you start jumping to conclusions, dear readers, let me just say that I don’t think Vice President Joe Biden’s aides were in the right for locking Orlando Sentinel reporter, Scott Powers, in the closet during a recent Alan Ginsburg-paid soiree to raise money for the 2012 election campaign.  If Biden’s aides are as sexy and savvy as the RSBS interns, then they surely had a good reason for keeping Mr. Powers confined to a small space for such a long time.*

As a bonafide megafortified soused-out baseball fanatic, I can honestly say that I’d like to keep a few players in the closet for the entire 2011 season, so that I can concentrate on the games being played rather than the asinine soap-operatic subplots of the whiny and perpetually irritating.

Who shall we keep locked up this season you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you:

NYJER MORGAN

This is a tough call because Nyjer’s antics often result in beanball wars and Jeff Lungian smackdowns — both staples of maintaining my healthy psyche.  But, when a player constantly runs his mouth and ends up getting his teammates hurt, then I think it’s time to get out the jaw-wiring.  Besides, Morgan’s a Nat Brewer.  No one will even notice he’s gone.

LUKE SCOTT

He’s an idiot.  He’s a birther.  He’s an Oriole.  And all of those things make him… irrelevant.  A perfect candidate to be closeted.  For the season.  All of it!

And finally, if we’re going to be throwing folks in the closet for the season, let us not leave out…

MILTON BRADLEY

I know that being a Seattle Mariner inherently keeps Milton’s whining out of the headlines (few people care to read the perils of such a slogging team), but this dude isn’t just a baby.  He isn’t just a clubhouse cancer.  He’s also a wife-beater.  Not only that, but the man is not a good baseball player.  He had one decent year, got paid and then went back to being a snake.

To the closet they go!

Hate me ‘cuz I’m slingin’ mud, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

*This is also how Mr. Krause’s parents shielded him from the temptations of adolescence.

Mysteries of the Universe

Carl-Sagan1.jpgMy insatiable quest for knowledge is rooted in the works of that dapper fella pictured here to the right.  That’s Carl Sagan.  You can call him Mr. Awesome if ya want.  I do.

I was but a child when I first watched his infamous Cosmos series — a series that, for the very first time, made me realize that the mysteries of life, of the universe, of existence as we know it are far more grand and far more expansive than anything I could ever understand in my lifetime. 

But, more importantly, it taught me to always ask questions. 

And that’s what I’m doin’ today… ‘cuz some of this shizzo just doesn’t make any sense. 

Let’s take a look at some contemporary mysteries of the universe, shall we?

Kyle Farnsworth Has a Job. Gregg Zaun Has a Job. Jermaine Dye Does NOT Have a Job. Again.

How does this work?  How does a bonafide game-yacker who cries a lot get paid $3 plus million a year while Jermaine Dye sits at home drinking scotch, watching NBA League Pass and surfing the 900 channels?  And Gregg Zaun?  Isn’t he an AARP officer?  The dude’s knees must be concrete by now!  Dye had what it takes to play last year and no one gave him a deal because he supposedly wanted too much money.  Well, I’m sorry, but I’d rather pay Dye decent money to do his thang rather than throw it at the above two fellas knowing the bad days have a good chance of outweighing the good.

General Electric No Longer Holds Majority Ownership of NBC

WHAT?!?  What is Jack Donaghy gonna pimp now?  Skin-a-max?  Oh, wait… that’s not such a bad idea!

Armando Gallaraga’s Very Bad… Life

He went from rookie sensation (2008) to minor league road block (2009) to work-in-progress (2010) to the imperfect game… THEN… in just a matter of hours went from agreeing to a $2.3 million contact to being DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT! DFA’D YO!!! That’s the sort of thing that happens to the Wilson Betemits of the world, not someone who had a perfect game ripped from his reach!

Matt Drudge’s Recent Lapse in Calling President Obama a Socialist

drudge homepage 1.18.11.JPG

Oh… wait.  Nevermind.  Mystery solved because there is no mystery.  He just went two days without a dig.  That’s… strange, but not mysterious.

And finally… one of the universe’s biggest mysteries…

prince fielder hungry 2.jpgHow Many Donuts Can Prince Fielder’s $15.5 Million Contract Really Buy?

As far as I know, vegetarians can eat donuts. 

And that’s a whole lot of donuts.

Yet I do not doubt Prince’s ability to devour them all.

Hate me ‘cuz I went a whole week without a Prince-Fielder-Is-Fat joke, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Practical Predictions for 2011

We’ve spent quite a bit of time the past week looking back over 2010.  But the start of a new year is also a chance to look ahead and imagine what might be.  Sometimes those predictions are way off, like when I (and almost every sportswriter) thought the Tigers would be unstoppable in 2008.  Sometimes those predictions are a little more accurate, like when people predicted the Democrats would lose seats in 2010.  Sometimes the predictions are eerily prescient, like this:

So, I guess I want to build on that and take this opportunity to make a couple predictions for 2011. 

First, I predict that Obama will pull an Obama and find a way to mediate between the extreme craziness of the Tea Partiers and the extreme idiocy of the crazies in his own party.  I also predict that even though he will do this in a very different way than Bill Clinton, it will still be continuously compared to Clinton’s own recovery following devastating midterms.

Secondly, I predict that hiring will pick up by the 4th quarter of this year and people will be amazed.  All this despite the fact that we have seen time and time again how the economy is cyclical and it was really only a matter of time before things turned around.  I also predict that both sides of the aisle will claim that their actions are the only reason things got better. 

Finally, I bet that 2011 will see many instances of Mr. Lung maligning the Tigers and Cubs whilst opining the Cardinals.  He will also ask you many times not to hate him.

Hey, I didn’t say my predictions would be earth-shattering.  I’m not a betting man.  If I’m going to predict something, I like to know that I’m going to be right.  And in that same vein, here’s another one you can take to the bank.  Apple will release a new version of the iPad that includes either Flash compatibility or a camera and then release another version several months later that includes the upgrade they decide to forgo in the 2nd generation.

Just remember, you heard it here first.  Now get out there and start spending your upcoming tax breaks.  Like your girlfriend, this economy ain’t gonna stimulate itself.

-A

We All Lose

terry_jones.jpg

Special days historically fall prey to those who use them for their own gain.  Like when god decided to send Jesus to earth on Christmas and then have him die on Easter.  Seriously, you’re god and that’s the best you could do?

It’s no different now.  From simple and relatively justified things like MLB putting players in pink for Breast Cancer awareness or having everyone wear number 42 to commemorate Jackie Robinson to things that don’t quite feel right like Glenn Beck marching on the National Mall and claiming the mantle of MLK on the anniversary of the “I have a Dream” speech, these days give both demagogues and dissenters context for their issues.

Sadly, most of the time it’s the demagogues who get the coverage.  I have spent a bit of time in Muslim countries and most of the people I have met are nice people who want to make a living and provide for their families.  Yes, they’re serious about their religion but they don’t use it as an excuse for violence. 

So what’s the point in getting them riled up by staging a Quran burning?  I know the event has been canceled and I know that the pastor of a small church in Florida does not deserve as much coverage as he has been given.  But when David Petraeus, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama and the Southern Baptist convention all agree that what you’re doing is a bad idea, maybe it’s time to stop and rethink.

As odious as the planned act may be, even worse is the day on which it falls.  Sometimes a Saturday
is more than just a Saturday.  Like when it’s September 11th.  Using a day like today that should be reserved for contemplation and mourning as a vehicle for the same kind of bilious beliefs that fueled the hijackers nine years ago means we all lose.

I preferred it when September 11th had no meaning, when it wasn’t a special day.  But that is no longer possible.  So maybe it’s time that people stop grandstanding and allow this day to have one simple message.  Hate kills.  That goes for Terry Jones, Glenn Beck and Michael Moore just as much as it does for Bin Laden.

-A

A Tale of Two Ads

In the world of advertising, there are two popular ways to promote and/or sell one’s product.  One way, which isn’t recommended, is to be a real dick about it.  Ya know, start off by saying your opposition (or whoever really, doesn’t matter) is the worst… ever…. in history.  Then make some funny faces into the camera to make us forget that you’re the son of one of earth’s dumbest human beings.  Then, threaten violence.

Sorta like this:

Kinda lame, yeah? 

That’s because the product itself is lame (sorry, Arizona, but y’all are really failing me on your decisions of late).  Bottom advertising line: avoid lame products.

morgan freeman undercast.jpgBecause when the product is as awesome and as captivating and as moving as the hallowed RSBS Podcast, then the good vibes of promoting it just sorta roll out… naturally… on the interwebs and beyond, as is the case at UNDERCAST.  Go to this episode of UNDERCAST and listen to the sweet-@$$ commercial at the beginning (you’ll probably wanna listen to the rest of the show too, if you like enjoying life that is).

Q:  What’s Red State Blue State?

A:  It’s a podcast.  About baseball.  And other things.

Q:  What’s baseball!?!

A:  America’s pastime.

Q:  What’s America!?!?!

Ask yourself that question again, dear readers, and ask it often: What is America?

And how disturbed are you that part of it is going to be run by another Quayle?

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Real Men Read the Constitution

constitution.jpgWhether you like him or not, whether you agree with him or not, one thing can definitely be said about our President.  He has some cojones.  I don’t mean this in the pejorative sense, as in, “Where he does he get off saying that?”  No, I mean nothing but respect.  His stances may not always be popular but at least they reflect a sense of integrity and a fundamental understanding of the law.

Let’s start with sports.  The President is a White Sox fan and even though I don’t like the White Sox, I respect him for sticking by his guns.  When he showed up at Nationals Park to see the Sox during interleague play, he didn’t throw on the home team cap.  He wore a Sox cap, same as opening day.  In fact, one of my many issues with Bill Richardson during the primary campaign was his claim that he liked both the Red Sox and Yankees.  We all know that’s not possible.  Baseball law says so.  There’s none of that tomfoolery with Obama.

And when you get into what are often referred to as more “substantive” issues, Obama also rejects tomfoolery.  Like health care or “Don’t ask, Don’t tell.”  People may not like his stands but what he does is based on a firm understanding of the Constitution.

Which is why I’m also proud of the President’s stand on this ridiculous Ground Zero mosque kerfuffle.  Yes, I understand that the men who crashed those planes into the WTC claimed to be Muslim.  Timothy McVeigh claimed to be Christian.  Does that mean no churches should be built near where the Oklahoma City Federal Building stood?

You can argue that the President may not have chosen the best time to weigh in on the controversy.  But what you can’t argue is that the United States is a country built on the rule of law, the foundation of that law being the Constitution.  When the Constitution grants the freedom of religion, that’s not just the freedom to be Christian.  It’s the freedom to follow any religion or even no religion at all. 

Sometimes this freedom isn’t pretty, like when you’re dealing with Hare Krishnas at the airport or Moonies milling about in Central Park.  But it’s also the reason your mom and sisters don’t have to shave their heads and why we men don’t get in trouble for trimming our beards.  It’s sad that a public figure being willing to say this requires cojones.

-A

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