Results tagged ‘ Democrats ’

Tevye Can’t Touch THIS Tradition

tevye.jpgI know what you’re thinking, dear readers, and let me assure you: yes, indeed I did just make a Fiddler on the Roof reference.

BAM!

That’s because, as I write this, Major League pitchers and catchers are reporting to their respective training camps; and after a long, cold, hard winter of Brad Lidge, Milton Bradley and Kyle Farnsworth bashing, we can all finally relax knowing our hallowed game is springing back to life.

A year ago this week, my cynical and oft busy-body colleague Mr. Allen Krause, and I took to the streets of Chicago to proclaim our undying crush on the game of baseball.  Luckily for you there was a film crew following us, not to mention an ebullient David Archuleta, who lent us his tunes, to make a point.

And as we hope will be a long and prosperous tradition of ringing in the new baseball season, we (re)present to you the definitive RSBS tradition:

Hell yes, we love our baseball and no, we aren’t afraid to show it.

Now, aren’t ya glad I didn’t write that Evan Bayh piece I was workin’ on?

Nah. You can’t hate me today. ‘Cuz you know I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Tea Leaves, Tarot Cards and Other Tools of the Punditry

murtha.jpgThe Democrats just can’t catch a break these days.  First it was the embarrassing loss in Massachusetts.  Then it was the realization that nearly a year’s worth of work on overhauling the health care system will probably go out the window.  And now, with John Murtha’s death, the Democrats have lost one of their more moderate members and someone who gave them the “national security” credentials they seek so much.

It remains to be seen what will happen.  The Democrats are in no danger of losing their majority in the House despite the special election but every time one of these circuses takes place, the press start chatting it up as a bellwether for the fortunes of the parties.  It’s like using a team’s record at the All-Star break as an indicator of their final standing.  Pretty much every year we see how ridiculous that is.

But, that doesn’t mean that pundits won’t continue to draw meaning from these useless statistics.  Sure, sometimes they point you in the right direction.  But more often than not they’re an anomaly or based on some fortuitous happenstance.  If you play a four game series with the Pirates heading into the mid-way point of the season, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be riding a four game win streak when you hit the break as well.

John Murtha is gone.  The Democrats have been making a pretty poor showing of it recently.  But there are nine months before the mid-term elections so there’s probably not a whole lot to read into at this point.  If you want a prediction, though, I have one for you.  I’ll go out on a limb and say that Murtha’s home state of Pennsylvania will not be sending it’s Pirates to the World Series this year.  Remember, you heard it here first.

-A

When Is It Okay to Beat Your Wife?

wife beater.jpgNever.

Right?

Well…

Personally, I gotta be an advocate against domestic abuse of all kinds.  Wife.  Girlfriend.  Kids.  Whatevs… don’t be beatin’ people, dear readers!  That’s my advice.

Of course, that’s not how it works everywhere.  Take the Middle East, for example.  Now I am no expert on Islam, but I have seen Law & Order and I know that in some Islamic communities, it’s pretty common practice for a man to beat his wife… to forbid she leave the house… to cover her entire body if she does.

In the west, I know that if you beat your wife and your name is Brett Myers you get to enjoy success as a Major League Baseball player and make at least $5 million a year.

I know that if you beat your wife and you play football, you might be Jim Brown and everyone will still say you were one of the greatest athletes to ever live.

scott lee cohen.jpgBut I also know that if you beat your wife and try to run for Lieutenant Governor in the state of Illinois, you BETTER THINK TWICE BUDDY!

And so it is that Scott Lee Cohen (D-Chicago) was recently forced to withdrawal from the Lt. Governor general election he earned a right to be in…  because he allegedly beat an ex-girlfriend.  And he probably beat his wife… though we can’t say for sure. 

We can say for sure (probably) that, if nothing else, Cohen is a creep.  I have no problems jumping on that bruited bandwagon, folks.  But here is my question: Isn’t Brett Myers a creep?  Isn’t Jim Brown a creep?  Sugar Ray Leonard?  Dr. Dre?  Chris Brown?  Darryl Strawberry?  Moses Malone?  Dwight Gooden?!?!?!?!

Don’t you see what I’m saying? 

Why is it okay to beat your wife and be a famous athlete or entertainer but it is definitely NOT okay to beat your wife and run for public office?

Believe me, no one knows nor cares (especially kids) who the Lt. Governor is.  Of any state.  No one cares.  Less than 20% of the population even voted in this election… so I assure you, no one cares.

But lots of people (again, especially kids) care about who is pitching for the Astros… or who the Sporting News considers to be the greatest professional football player of all time… or who made Eminem famous.

Like it or not, those are the people who influence your kids.  Those are the ones they look up to.  Those are the ones they emulate.

So good luck trying to explain to your kid why Cohen is an @s$ but Jim Brown is a god. 

This is why I don’t have kids.

Well, that and I fail in making women happy long-term (short-term, no problem).

Don’t hate me, ‘cuz I”m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Terra Infirma

haiti_earthquake.jpgThis has been a week of upheaval in both the physical and existential sense of the word.  We continue to be bombarded by images of Haiti and even today a new quake brought new fear.  And in the US, both minor and major tremors shook us as McGwire admitted what we had always suspected and the Democrats lost what was supposed to be a sure thing.

In times of upheaval people search for solidity, for something they can cling to as their world is dashed to pieces.  For Haitians this is an ongoing search as even their government and their public services have fallen apart.  And for baseball fans, even though we knew what McGwire was up to, we go back to the basics and try to rediscover again why we love this game.

For the Democrats, they are in much the same spot as the Haitians.  I remember standing on the lawn between the capitol and the Washington Monument a year ago as President Obama gave his historic inauguration speech.  But a year later his star power has faded to the point that a virtual unknown was able to take the seat held by Ted Kennedy, the Liberal Lion, for nearly the past five decades.

The real question before all of us is what happens next?  Is it possible for Haitians to go back to living a normal existence when even the ground betrays them?  Can we trust any of our baseball heroes anymore or do we have to assume that they are all lying?  And does the promise of a universal health care system fade away for another 20 years until we once again realize how broken and rigged the current system is?

Upheaval forces us to answer difficult questions.  And whether major or minor, these answers take time.  Me, I’m a realist and always have been.  I expect people to take the easy route.  In another two weeks, Haiti will disappear from the news and we won’t hear about it again until the next time a disaster strikes.  Despite the nearly universally accepted realization that health care is broken, our leaders will shy away from making us taste the bitter medicine and unfortunate people (who, luckily for the politicians, don’t tend to vote) will continue to fall through the cracks.  And Mark McGwire, a self-confessed liar and cheater, will continue to make an exorbitant salary as a hitting coach while Pete Rose is banned from baseball.  That, my friends, is reality.

-A

Jose Offerman: Still a Creep Who Will Murder You in Your Sleep

jose offerman.jpgSometimes it’s nice to go through life knowing certain constants remain… constant.  You know, like the sun will always rise in the east; Republicans and Democrats will always hate each other; Jose Offerman, as a player, coach, manager, whatever, will do everything possible so that he can continue to assault people on the baseball diamond. 

Oh sure, this time the weapon has changed — preferring a clenched fist over a maple bat.  And the victim is one of the men in blue instead of the opposing pitcher.  But the one reassuring constant in this matter is that no one in professional baseball seems to care that Jose Offerman is a complete psychopath.

hannibal lecter.jpgIf I were running a team in the Dominican Republic or the Independent Leagues or even the Majors, and Jose Offerman was involved with my club somehow, I would make sure that he always remained secure in one of those Hannibal Lecter type restraining device get ups.

I would let him take his swings or go out to the mound to talk to his pitcher or argue with an umpire if a play called for it; but I would definitely make sure the creep was strapped down to a board so tight that his every word would just barely squeak out.

Pedophiles are strongly advised to stay away from playgrounds.

Washed up, asinine, troglodyte excuses for baseball players who can’t resist attempted murder during a game should be kept just as far away.

Don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz you know I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Harry Reid and Al Campanis Sittin’ In a Tree…

harry-reid.jpgNo matter what magnitude of socio-political strides are made in US America, if you wait long enough, some belligerent old white guy will eventually send us back a few decades by saying something un-politically correct.  And whether such belligerence explodes during a live interview with Ted Koppel or simmers in the pages of a newly published book that most people haven’t yet read, one thing is absolutely clear: evolution could use a little help in the humanoid self-censor department.

To me, what is most peculiar in the case of Harry Reid saying our country “was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a ‘light-skinned’ African American with no Negro dialect” is that he was quoted as saying this some time ago, presumably knowing it would eventually show up in a public forum, somewhere.  I find that just a bit less forgiving than telling a live, nationally televised audience that “blacks may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or, perhaps, a general manager,” which is exactly what Al Campanis said when donning his ignorance cap back in April 1987.

In both cases, someone in power — a white someone in power — said something offensive, something abrasive, something that nicked at years and years of progress; and for that, we cannot allow ourselves to just be silent.  We have to say, do, discuss something

al campanis.jpgCampanis’ remarks got him fired.  Reid’s probably won’t, though that is not to say they shouldn’t.  I’m not the racism czar, so I don’t really know, and I’m glad that I don’t have to make such decisions. 

But I can say that the time for social readjustment is always now; it’s always relevant.  Reid (and Campanis before him) said out loud what many people still believe to be true.  Far from ideal, this country (and its people) still have a lot of learning to do.  Remember, it took our species thousands and thousands of years to finally realize the earth is round, not flat.

And the only way we can come to a mutual understanding of the truth is to work together.  So yeah.  Let’s do that, shall we?

In the meantime, this racially charged hiccup does have a fulfilling footnote.  Reid’s comments came to light through the publication of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s new book entitled Game Change.  And if you go to Game Change‘s Amazon.com entry, scroll down to the critical reviews, you will find a ginormous gem of a quote from Barack Obama:


“This s*** would be really interesting if we weren’t in the middle of it.”

Agreed, Mr. President.  Absolutely agreed.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

2009: A Year in Review (Pt II)

Thumbnail image for RSBS_Mlb.made.LOGO.jpgEverybody knows that baseball is a team sport — a team
sport where success hinges on the individual’s performance.  If you
don’t believe me, just ask Walter Johnson… or Ernie Banks… or
Willie Mays Hayes.

Likewise, RSBS wouldn’t be RSBS without the BS
*ahem* — as in “Blue State”, represented in high definition by our
very own misanthropic Tiger fan, Mr. Allen Krause.  Yesterday, Mr.
Krause (who also happens to be one of my best friends in all the world)
adequately summed up 2009 as only RSBS can; and while he was at it, he kindly featured some of my better pieces from the year.

Well, dear readers, what fun is life without reciprocation?

There’s
no better way to wrap up the decade than to highlight my friend’s best
work… so let us take a gander at some real Krausian masterpieces!

2nd Honorable Mention:
Being There (Part 1Part 2)
Historic, epic, monumental… I like to believe that most people were
able to set their political affiliations aside while our nation’s grip
on racism slipped.  There will only be one first non-white
presidential inauguration and Allen Krause was there.  He lent us his
senses.  He gave us some play-by-play.  Then he rejoiced that the
“unwashed hordes” were finally leaving his city.  Bravo!

Honorable Mention:

Nietzsche Was Right
Pessimistic as he may be, Mr. Krause still knows how to hit a homerun. 
This has never been more evident than in his simple line:
“you should all know that god is dead and the devil has won.” 
Referencing the Ghostbusters alongside Colbert and Nietzsche
was just icing on the existentialist cake.

2nd Runner Up:
A-Rod at the Plate
If you ever feel like pissing Allen off, mention any one of these
things with high praise: Notre Dame, Glenn Beck, the Yankees, Bud
Selig… but if you really want to get him in a tizz, you should talk
up Alex Rodriguez.  Still, unlike most folks, Al has a savvy way of
chiding fallen poster-boys.  This parody of Casey at the Bat is, in a
word, brilliant.

1st Runner Up:

RSBS Presents: Your Health
Hi-effing-larious.  Dude.  Seriously.

And the number one Allen Krause penned piece of the year is…

A Magical Mystery Tour (Part 1 & Part 2)


This sultry trip through PED-opolis, Politicotopia and Pujols-ville may
have been a sneaky way of insulting my obsessions and undermining my
sexual orientation (Jesus Christ, I’m not GAY! I like chicks! YOU
UNDERSTAND?!?!)… but the idea of there even being a
Pujols-ville where Albert hangs out in a kiddie pool full of tapioca is
oddly titillating enough to make this my favorite (albeit two-parted)
post of the year.  I hope that doesn’t make me a sicko.

And with that, my good pal Al and I would like to thank you, dear
readers, for making 2009 a fantastic experience.  This community is all
about like-minded baseball lovers; and it wouldn’t be any fun with out
the tethered creativity of Princes, She-Fans, Ranters, Deconstructors,
Phanatics, Renegades and everyone else in between.

Much success to all of us in 2010!

Now, go get drunk!

Peace,

Jeff

**Please drink responsibly… y’know… don’t drive drunk… or kill anyone… or I’ll kick your ^ss**

The Re-Edumacation of US America!

united_we_win.jpgTechnocracy is AWEsome. 

Isn’t it?

I think so.

In just the last few days we have learned things — almost instantly — that used to take weeks to find out about, back in the old days, when Kevin Costner was delivering the mail.

Thanks to the internets and interwebs, I knew exactly the moment Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan added “man-child disciplinarian” to each of their respective job titles.  Not long after, I also found out — immediately — that Rod Blagojevich still thinks he’s funny, that he views his federal scoff as but a minor annoyance, that his hair is cool.

It ain’t.

And of course, without our trusty series of tubes cranking out raunchy photos and seedy voice mails, how else would we know that Tiger Woods enjoys having sex — LOTS OF SEX — with people who are not his wife?

This is the re-edumacation of US America, people!

Ya gotta be fast.  Ya gotta be on point.  Ya gotta reinvent math!

fox news piechart 2.jpgThank you, Fox News, for taking the proper initiative, for getting it right, for setting the proverbial politico pundit record straight.

Or is it ‘strait’?

Yeah, it’s strait.  See, I got this!

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Images & Fox News Story from BuzzFeed)

Scott Boras Tactics on Capitol Hill?

When you have the right cards and you know you are going to win the hand, it’s natural to hold out and sweeten the pot the best you can, while you can.  The concept is as ancient as it is common: supply and demand; buy low, sell high… all those stock economic catchphrases.

We see this in sports all the time — in baseball in particular — most notably with the high profile clients of Scott Boras. 

Sure, we were all initially excited about the Matt Holliday show in St. Louis last July; but we also knew that despite its quaint, warm appeal, it would ultimately end like this:

http://www.liveleak.com/e/afe_1258501713

Naturally, our nation’s elected leaders are not immune from similar Boras-like tactics. 

You want that health care reform bill to pass the senate?  Give my home state of Louisiana an extra $300 million in federal dough.  Credit Sen. Mary Landrieu with that walk-off homerun to end the game (but not the series).

scott boras thinking.jpgDo that 59 more times (they need 60 votes to move this thing) and we’re looking at an extra $17.7 trillion we need to set aside to get a multi-billion dollar plan in place. 

Or senators could just vote according to their constituents.

Now there’s a thought.

Somehow, considering how much money is involved in motivating people to do… well… anything, I still feel like I must be doing something wrong. 

I am skilled.  I am intelligent.  I have good ideas and I perform well.

But I only have about $345 of liquid assets to hold me over until payday and there’s a lot of beer that must be consumed before then.

I wonder if Boras would be interested in representing a linguist.

Hate me ‘cuz I am willing to sell out, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

A-Rod finally has his ring and the Yankee faithful are overjoyed.
However, do you think there’s any chance that this will make him less
of a dill-hole? This is a guy who has dumped his wife, dated Madonna,
admitted to being a big fat liar and had somewhat major surgery in the
span of about one year. Does one ring atone for that?

Tamara
Cedarville, OH
____________________________________

alex rodriguez open mouth.jpgLike my mama always said, “Once a dill-hole, always a dill-hole.”

Okay, that’s a lie.  My mom doesn’t know what a dill-hole is (perhaps neither do I), but it doesn’t matter because it’s true.

Let us remember that.

But let us also remember that in professional sports, just as in politics, the most important question when evaluating merit will always be the same: What have you done for me, lately?

In Alex Rodriguez’s case, does it really matter that 9 months ago all we were talking about was his wayward romp in the world of performance enhancing drugs?  Does anyone remember that he flat-out lied to the press?  That he stained the game?  That he forced difficult discussions between parents and their children about the dangers of illegal substances and cheating the most sacred of US America‘s games?

No.  Of course not.  He led them to a World Series crown.  If Charles Manson hit .378 with 6 HR and 18 RBI during the playoffs, he too would be lifted up on the city’s shoulders, carted off to the tune of “27th Heaven” just like A-Rod was.

Because that is how the world works.

I don’t think ethnic Albanians in Kosovo really put too much thought into President Bill Clinton’s oval office sexual exploits when they erected their tributary bronze statue of him in Pristina recently.  He ended their persecution, man!  He knocked Serb forces out of the game by hitting in the clutch, with proverbial runners in scoring position!

Likewise, Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War!  Nevermind all the money and resources he threw at guerrilla specialists in Afghanistan (*ahem, Osam bin Laden, et al*) to fight the evil Soviet regime!  HE ENDED THE GODDAMN COLD WAR, MAN!

And let’s face it, folks: cold wars suck.  I think we can all agree on that.  To Yankees fans, an eight year absence from holding the highest position in the baseball cosmos had to feel a lot like a cold war, and like my mama always said: “character doesn’t mean s*** in love and war.”

Okay, that’s a lie.  She never said that.  But she might.  She’s got opinions.

Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

**PROGRAMING NOTE**

As is customary at RSBS, the Filibuster will be put on hiatus until pitchers and catchers report.  Very special thanks to all our dear readers who’ve bombarded us with Filibuster topics this season!  We’ll ask for them again in February!  Until then, please enjoy RSBS‘ continuing pursuit of the ironically fantastic and creatively eclectic.  You’ll be in for some real treats!  I’d almost bet my life on it!

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