Results tagged ‘ Politics ’

The Staying Power of Logic

Michele Bachmann has been out of the Republican presidential race for quite a while now and, as a result, has seen whatever little relevancy she had go with it.  But, like most batshit crazy people, it didn’t take her too long to figure out how to get her name out there again.  The cynic in me says that is nothing but a publicity stunt but the idealist in me wants to believe that she really has no idea what she’s doing and is simply living life from moment to moment.  I’m pretty sure the cynic in me is going to win that one.  The thing most often overlooked in all that is that Bachmann is once again running for the seat she currently holds in the House and I’m guessing she’ll win it.

Meanwhile, a guy who made his name in the Senate by pushing the dismantling of weapons of mass destruction around the world will be departing Congress.  Dick Lugar was one of the few moderate Republicans left in Congress and that did him no favors in the current partisan climate.  His concession speech was a warning to the hyper-partisans on both sides of the aisle but will sadly go unheeded.

That’s the thing about these kinds of races, though.  It’s a long-haul and you just never know what’s going to happen.  Often, what does happen makes no sense at all.  Should the Rays have made the playoffs last year instead of the Red Sox?  Logically, no, especially if you look at the standings from the beginning of August.  But a month later, things looked much different.  Should Lugar be departing the Senate and should Bachmann be returning to the House?  Logically, no, but logic doesn’t seem to have much staying power in these parts.  I guess we might as well just sit back and enjoy it.

-A

“In the Line of Fire” Takes on a Whole New Meaning

It used to be that when I heard “Secret Service,” I pictured Clint Eastwood running alongside a limo in “In the Line of Fire.”

Now, I picture this:

Or, even worse, this:

Come on, guys.  We expect this from A-Rod but not from you.

-A

Ten Titillations!

April counts, yo!  And here are some reasons why, after just one month into the season, I’m as jazzed as Mitt Romney during a temple garment clearance sale!

The Oriole Way
I am old enough to remember the Orioles being a staple of sound, fundamental baseball.  And though those days seemed to disappear into Jeffrey Maier’s malicious mitt, it looks like they may be back!  Let’s hope they are back to stay.

The AL Central
The Tigers are going to run away with the division you say?  Not so fast.  I know it’s only been one month, but the White Sox and Indians are right there with ‘em, and unless the Tigers start putting a hurtin’ on the opposition instead of Jewish folks at a New York hotel, things could get interesting.

Bobby V
Love him or hate him, he makes things interesting.  And oh how interesting things have been for the Boston Red Sox.  I LOVE IT!!!  The NBA may have all the drama, but when every day could be your last as a Red Sox, I start craving chicken, beer and video games.

The Not-So-Natinals
Best starting rotation in baseball.  Bryce Harper.  Strasburgers.  Um, throw in a presidential race worth watching and I’m ready for Mr. Krause to buy season tickets.

The Pujols-less Cardinals
I’m not gonna bask in AP’s struggles, but I am gonna point out that the Cardinals have yet to lose a series (except that one against the Cubs where they were gifted a win by the umpiring crew).  Onwards and upwards!

The AL West
Have you seen a Rangers game lately?  I’ve been watching them almost every day!  THAT’S how ya git’er done, folks.  Meanwhile, the Halos are as nervous as Rick Santorum at a Santorum Party!  As the Yankees and Red Sox learned before them, a bazillion dollars worth of free agent signings does NOT a champion make.

The Toronto Blue Jays
Not only do their uniforms look right again, but they’re also making the AL East insanely good!  If only they could make Colby Rasmus less whiny.

The Youth Movement
I remember the excitement involved with Ken Griffey Jr. breaking into the league.  Chipper Jones too.  Now that Bryce Harper and Mike Trout have made their debuts, a similar buzz is in the baseball air.  Throw in a slew of sophomores and third year players making headlines and baseball looks to be badass for a very long time.

Pitching!!!
The Year of the Pitcher enters its THIRD year and I couldn’t be more excited!  As a self-confessed pitchers duel fiend, I live off serious heat, nasty breaking balls and backdoor sliders.  We’ve already seen a perfect game and some no-hitter flirtations.  But it’s the heroics of Joe Saunders, Kyle Lohse, Colby Lewis and the like that really get my gears greased.

And finally… the most titillating of them all so far…

ADAM. FREAKING. DUNN.
As a longtime resident of the south side of Chicago, the last thing I wanted to do was waste my summer days talking folks down off the ledge like I did last year.  But since it appears Dunn sold his 2011 soul to Albert Pujols, I’m free to party my ass off at the fake B-Dubbs on 35th & Halsted.  HOLLA!!!  And buy me a drink!

Go ahead, hate me ‘cuz I’m easily titillated, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!

Peace,

Jeff

Subsidizing Beauty

It has been quite a while since we last checked in with our friends in the baseball crazy nation of Venezuela and during that time, things have gone from bad to worse.  Obviously the bad could only be Venezuelan superhero Mr. Ozzie Guillen and his self-confessed love of Fidel Castro.  We expect that sort of thing from El Presidente Chavez but Ozzie?

Even worse, though, is what’s happening to prices and stocks of essential goods over there.  The point of this article is that the government has been forced to subsidize beauty supplies which is understandable in a country with so many beauty queens.  But what I found more interesting is this sentence: “Premium toilet paper…is expected to slowly disappear from the shelves.”

I don’t know about you but if you’ve ever spent time in a country like Venezuela, you know that premium toilet paper is more than a luxury.  It’s a necessity.  Its slow disappearance from the shelves also means the gradual disappearance of your colon.

Speaking of colons and Colons, what happens to Venezuelan baseball players under the Venezuelan subsidy regime?  Is there a clause in there to underwrite cowhide for baseballs, leather for gloves and maple for bats?  Let’s be honest, after beauty queens, Venezuela’s only real cash crop is baseball stars.  Unfortunately the article doesn’t address this topic but let’s keep our fingers crossed.

-A

You Are What You Eat

If you have a stomach strong enough to stand the neverending barrage of political headline craptitude, then you might already know that the Mitt Romney camp is eager to point out that Barack Obama ate dog as a child.  Obviously, this is pretty important stuff.  As the Republicans know, you are what you eat (is Astroglide edible?), and no doubt, Obama’s youthful ingestion of doggie treats certainly makes him unfit for a job as demanding as the presidency.

Which got me thinking about my favorite baseballers and what they eat.  Sure, some probably go for too much hot dog and not enough arugula salad, but let us examine to make sure.  The interns have graciously prepared some slides.

Jonathan Broxton

Eats…

McPizza.  Right?  Weighing 300 lbs. as a baseball player ain’t easy, but when you only pitch every once in a while and you eat crap like the above, then it’s easy as McPie.

Tom Gorzelanny

Eats…

Baby Ruth.  Duh.

Josh Hamilton

Eats…

T*****s.

Dee Gordon

Eats…

Nothing??!!  Dude is about to disappear!

And finally (you probably knew this was coming)…

Prince Fielder

Eats…

The known universe.

To be exact, this idea references a fascinatingly disturbing thought theorized by famed astrophysicist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  One could look at it the way he explains — that an entire universe could be within each and every one of us.  Or, you can think (like me), that dude doesn’t get that large unless he eats everything in the entire known universe.

Either way, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

Technically the Cold War ended in 1991 when the Soviet Union finally fell apart.  However, the war has stayed pretty chilly down in the Caribbean where the US and Cuba continue to party like it’s 1969.  As a reminder of how chilly things remain, just take a look at the recent blizzard that blew through Miami when Ozzie Guillen made the mistake of declaring his love for Fidel Castro.  But then a funny thing happened.  Sure, Ozzie got a five-game suspension, and yeah, plenty of people got pissed off, but no one tried to kill him and people are still going to Marlins’ games.  The times, they are a-changin‘.

On the other side of the world, things are changing as well.  Previously the province of rappers, drunk investment bankers and Joba Chamberlain, “making it rain” has been taken to entirely new levels on the Arabian peninsula:

Frosty in Florida, rainy in the desert?  Looks like climate change is more widespread than we originally thought.

-A

Texts from Mitt

It’s official.  The Battle Royale known as the 2012 US Presidential Election will pit the titleholder, Barack Obama, against the challenger, Mitt Romney.  But that presents a problem for Mitt.  He won the primary by being the least bad choice and through blatant pandering to the base.  That probably won’t work for the general.  The fact of the matter is, Mitt is looking for ideas and he’s looking for them anywhere.  So, why not turn to Obama’s last real challenger:

image via textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com

That’s not a terrible idea.  Kind of unfortunate for a Mormon, though.  Hold on a second.  I know!  Maybe man’s best friend can help out:

image via textfromdog.tumblr.com

Uh, nope, not so much.

Wait a minute.  I’ve got it!  Since Florida is important and the Republicans aren’t doing so hot with the Latino vote, why not kill two birds with one stone.  I’m sure Ozzie Guillen would be willing to help out:

"I love Fidel Castro!"

Oh boy.  That’s gonna hurt.  Ozzie just turned himself into Florida kryptonite.

Actually, you know what, maybe Hillary wasn’t such a bad idea after all.  Couldn’t hurt to try again, right?

textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com

There’s always drinking…

-A

Dirty Dancing at the World Bank

In response to the twin shocks of the Great Depression and World War II, the allied powers decided to cooperate on a system that would hopefully prevent another catastrophic financial collapse.  The plan they came up with, the Bretton Woods system, created two of the most powerful financial institutions in the world today, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

By convention, the IMF is headed by a European and the World Bank by an American.  And since voting is by quota, not by a one vote per person system, it’s relatively easy for this practice to continue.  That doesn’t mean the unwritten policy is always appreciated, though.  For instance, the World Bank is in the process of electing a new president who is not the top choice of the African continent and most of the developing world, the constituencies most served by the Bank.  If you’re curious as to who this person might be, wait until about the two minute point in this video and you’ll see him:

Yes, he’s the former President of Dartmouth.  Yes, he’s a founder of Partner’s in Health which has ostensibly helped many poor people in Haiti access health care.  However, Mr. Jim Yong Kim is not a good dancer.  He also has no background in economics despite that being somewhat germane to the subject matter.  Actually, let’s really simplify this.  Bud Selig is more qualified to be MLB Commissioner than Kim is to be World Bank president.  Man, that statement even scares me.

-A

Three Up, Three Down

Just like a rainbow themed slap bracelet, this is gonna be loud, colorful and could quite possibly cause a ripple in your otherwise tame relationship.

The Iron Fist of King Bud’s Court
Troy Tulowitzki pisses off Ubaldo Jimenez.  Jimenez subsequently beans Tulowitzki.  Jimenez gets slammed with a 5-game suspension.  And speaks:

“I can’t control what people say. People act like this is the first time that somebody got hit. It happens in the game. That’s part of the game. It’s always been part of the game.”

Ubaldo is right.  We don’t know if it was on purpose.  Beanballs happen all the time.  We can assume it was intentional considering the circumstances, but we can’t be sure beyond a reasonable doubt.  This is the beauty of the unwritten rules of baseball, a game where players police themselves and do what they gotta do to survive.  But alas, there is no constitution in King Bud’s dictatorship.  If these guys didn’t bank millions of dollars I’d expect an uprise.

If Only 4 Days Meant “Forever”
Pennsylvania Taliban leader, Rick Santorum, is taking 4 days off from his fledgeling  (not to mention INSANE) republican primary campaign.  Why?  I dunno.  Maybe he realizes a 4th grade life skills level isn’t enough to be in such a demanding position.  Maybe he fears a widespread Santorum epidemic.  Or maybe his invisible friend in the sky who hates women and gay people told him to.  I don’t know.  I only wish it were forever.

The Heat Is On!
Baseball is back to FULL THROTTLE, my friends, and that means no more dirt kickin’, no more gloomy day sobfests, no more Perfect Strangers marathons on sleepless nights (okay, maybe I can’t go that far, yet).  But the truth is: baseball is back for a long, long time.  So let’s live!  To celebrate, Igive you the song I remember most from my youthful, endless summers at Busch II.  Whenever I hear this song, I immediately picture an Ozzie to Tommy to Jack double-play.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Two for One on Wordplay

I love analogies, similes, metaphors, allusions and every other word tool that allows us to paint a picture of the unknown using something we’re already aware of.  Some authors make entire worlds come to life with their words while others redefine things we thought we had always known.  That’s one of the joys in writing these posts.  Trying to think of new ways to describe political events using baseball terminology and vice-versa exercises the brain and occasionally leads to eureka moments.

So, you can imagine how excited I was to come across the following passage the other day:

“You can’t point to any one weather extreme and say ‘that’s climate change’. But a warmer atmosphere loads the dice, increasing the potential for historic spikes in temperature and more frequent and bizarre weather extremes. You can’t prove that any one of Barry Bond’s 762 home runs was sparked by (alleged) steroid use. But it did increase his ‘base state,’ raising the overall odds of hitting a home run.”

Hot damn!  Not only does that provide a great explanation of what climate change really means, it also presents Barry Bonds and his ever-present asterisk in a way I had never considered before.  That’s two for the price of one.  Too bad I didn’t think of it first.

-A

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