Results tagged ‘ Primaries ’

Namely a Name

Yesterday was election day here in the Chi.  I was there bright and early, standing in line with old ladies and a man who smelled like gasoline.  Working class neighborhood.

We have regular old boring names like Jeff. Bob. Joe. Myrtle. Louise. Evelyn.

I look down at my ballot and get dizzy from these crazy names!  Newt. Mitt. Barack.

Immediately my mind strays from politics, and does what it often does when it would rather be doing something else… focusing on baseball.

My favorite baseball names, in particular.

Candy Maldonado. Boog Powell. Calvin Schiraldi. Pete Incaviglia. Elias Sosa. Willie McGee. Boof Bonser. Homer Bailey. Catfish Hunter. Urban Shocker. Rocco Baldelli. Razor Shines. Al Kaline. Goose Gossage. Yadier Molina. Dick Pole. Fernando Tatis. Ugueth Urbina (despite his homicidal tendencies). Dickie Thon. Harmon Killebrew. Tom Candiotti. Ray/Bob/Bret/Aaron Boone. Coco Crisp. J.J. Putz. Rusty Kuntz. Oil Can Boyd.

And, perhaps my very favorite, Kevin Bass, if only because I pronounced it Kevin Bass (as in, the opposite of treble) for a long time before being corrected on the little league diamond with snickers (not the candy bar) and jeers.  Still, to this day, I prefer my pronunciation.  It is much more marquis worthy.

Sadly, none of the above were on the ballot.

Ron Paul it is.

Happy Hump Day!

Jeff

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Moonbases and Porn and Franchises, Oh My!

As electoral campaigns get rolling and as the candidates feel a need to distinguish themselves, the quotes become more and more interesting.  Sure, there is the obvious craziness of Newt Gingrich and his moonbases but that’s just a drop in the bucket.  You expect that sort of thing from a bipolar former Speaker of the House.

But what about Rick Santorum’s pledge to ban pornography in the United States?  Number one, anyone who feels this strongly about so many “vices” must have a real problem.  Has he even heard of Mark Foley or Ted Haggard?  Number two, the states that most support Santorum, the so-called “Red States” who revel in their religiosity, also happen to be the largest consumers of porn.  Are you really going to tell me that they’ll let Mr. Santorum take away their dirty little secret?

Finally, how would you even go about doing away with porn?  Are you going to start censoring the internet and blocking sites that you consider “morally reprehensible”?  The only place I’ve ever visited where they’ve been even moderately successful with this approach is Saudi Arabia.  I don’t exactly see that as a model for the US.  Besides, you’re going to have about as much luck banning porn in the US as MLB has had in banning PEDs from baseball.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and as long as boys and ballplayers are around, there will always be a will to access porn and PEDs.

Luckily it’s not just Mr. Santorum who’s divorced from reality.  In an effort to prove that he, too, is just a regular guy, Mitt Romney recently let us know that he loves sports just like us.  In fact, he has “good friends” who own NASCAR and NFL teams.  Now, I don’t know if Mr. Romney enjoys car racing or football but there’s a pretty major difference between enjoying sports and being friends with people who own the teams.  If you can’t make that distinction, you probably ought to go back and audit Running for Office 101.

I realize that I’m being pretty hard on the Republicans here.  But, since they’re the ones in the middle of a heated primary fight, they tend to also be the ones making the ridiculous statements.  I’m sure Obama will come out with some of his own once the general election gets underway but for now, he can just sit back and let the other side say what they want.  Sounds like a plan to me.  Moonbases and porn and franchises, oh my!

-A

The House that Ron Paul Built

There aren’t a whole lot of things that Mr. Lung and I agree on.  Or rather, we generally agree on the big picture things (capitalism is generally preferable to communism) while disagreeing on the smaller things (no, the dead ball era was not a superior form of baseball).  However, we usually agree that Cubs fans are the Midwest’s intellectual neanderthals.

Turns out we might have been just slightly off on that.  Or maybe “Cubs Fan 77″ is simply the exception that proves the rule.  Either way, Mr. 77 pretty much calls it exactly the way I see it.

Call me crazy but there’s a part of me that kind of wants to see Mr. Paul’s house.  I’m pretty sure it would like something like this:

-A

Divorced From Reality

Santorum and Gingrich both claim Catholicism as their religious raison d’etre.  And according to the Catholic church, divorce is a sin.  So, even ignoring Mr. Gingrich’s multiple failed marriages and subsequent divorces, both gentlemen would be guilty of sin.  How’s that?  Well, both of them are completely divorced from reality.

Here’s the deal, maybe Super Tuesday wasn’t so super for Romney and maybe that has given the other candidates’ backers some little hope but the fact of the matter is, Romney is well on his way to winning the nomination.  If you want to put this in baseball terms, it’s like it’s August and the Pirates are in their perennial last place position but claim that they’re going to play this out, make some mega trades and hope that by some miracle, the baseball powers will decide that in spite of their record, Pittsburgh will go to the playoffs.  That’s just crazy.

But, crazy never stopped anyone from going into politics.  Reason and logic no longer play much of a role, either.  When you consider that Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC has raised over one million dollars, well, that pretty much says everything.

So, the Republican primary campaign will continue, Romney will end the up the nominee but he’ll be so bruised and bloody by that point that, barring a second recession, Obama will cruise.  And where does that leave the Republicans?  Just another broken family.  Blame it on divorce.

-A

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Feeling Less Than Equal

America has become an unequal place.  Yes, there’s the enforced salary cap equality of sports like football that has led to a more competitive game.  But in general, the haves and the have-nots of baseball more accurately reflect what’s really happening in our society.  Sure, money doesn’t always ensure that you’ll win it all but there’s a reason why the New York Yankees are the winningest team in MLB history while teams like Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Oakland and Denver have flourished in the NFL.

Inequality in sports is bad enough but the inequality between people matters even more.  What does it say about a country when a Congressional committee hearing on contraception has exactly zero female invitees?  I think it’s safe to say that even Kenny Powers respects women more than Darrell Issa.

Inequality also appears to be rearing its ugly head among the Republican presidential contenders, although at least one of them doesn’t necessarily see that as a bad thing.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that Santorum was trying to throw the race by saying the most patently offensive things possible.  And yet, he’s not only still in the running, he’s also somehow leading Mitt Romney in polling for upcoming important contests.  This continued surge of Santorum (…ahem) seems to prove not only that a portion of the country supports his worldview, it also shows us that quite a few Americans really are batshit insane.

Inequality tends to right itself eventually.  The conspicuous consumption of the 1920’s and the ensuing Depression led to a recalibration in the 30’s and 40’s.  Today, a similar series of events has left a recession that seems to tenaciously hold back growth outside of a fraction of the population, while a small-scale revolt against income equality has risen up in areas of the country.  Are we seeing another recalibration?  Me, I’d say there’s hope because there’s one place where we are all still equal.

-A

Just in Case the Nukes Don’t Work

Considering it’s the off-season, there’s sure a lot going on.  Ok, maybe not so much in the world of baseball where the AL’s Prince Fielder hangover is finally starting to wear off, but everywhere else, it’s pandemonium.

Of course there was the Superbowl, which, once again, was a phenomenal game.  If you’re not American, there’s a good chance you’re following either the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament or tuning in for the ongoing rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona.  And somehow people care about basketball again.  But, that’s just sports.

In the non-athletic domains, the action is even more intense.  Syria is descending into civil war and threatens to take the rest of the Middle East with it.  Mitt and Newt, both of whom should be excluded from presidential consideration based solely on their first names, continue to slug it out in the race to the Republican nomination.  If that’s not enough for you, we also have Iran’s war-mongering which seems to consist mainly of vaguely Monty Python-esque threats.

There’s another Iran note that truly caught my attention, though.  It seems that they’re hedging their bets on the whole nuclear program by creating an unconventional back-up plan:

I’ll tell you what, you can laugh off Iran saying they’re going to close the Straits of Hormuz.  But ninjas?  No one laughs at ninjas.  Except maybe Chuck Norris.

-A

Candidates Say the Darndest Things

One of the best parts of election years is watching the candidates say things that you know are going to come back and bit them in the ass.  The classic example is George Bush Sr’s famous “Read my lips: No new taxes” quote.  It’s kind of like guaranteeing a victory in the NFL playoffs or calling your shot in baseball.  If you make good on it, you look like a genius.  And if you don’t, well, you just look like an ass.

The thing about GB Sr., though, is that his promise was rather benign.  No new taxes.  Sure, that sounds good even if it isn’t really all that realistic.  And compared to what the candidates are saying this time around, well, it also sounds rather sane.

Consider Newt Gingrich’s recent promise to colonize the moon by 2020.  Now aside from the fact that there is really no good reason to establish a permanent base on the moon nor any feasible way of doing so, it also seems like maybe we should focus the immense resources needed for such a mission on infrastructure projects or the like, things with tangible benefits that can not only be shared by all citizens but also put the those same citizens to work.  Call me crazy but that’s just how I look at things.

When it comes to crazy, though, the moon base is only one of Gingrich’s many issues.  In fact, the more you look at what the guy says and does, the more you realize that he probably is legitimately mentally ill.  Megalomania, irrationality, wild mood swings.  It’s all there on the public record and in the numerous articles written about the former Speaker.

I don’t know, though.  Even though it’s terrible for the country and would turn the general election into a joke, there’s a part of me that wouldn’t mind seeing Newt get the nomination.  Who knows what other gems might be uncovered as he reaches for the highest office in the land?  More than that, at least his crazy is kind of fun.  It’s much better than the kind of crazy that says rape victims should “Make the best out of a bad situation.”  That, my friends, is truly insane.

-A

Showdown at the Country Ham House

I told myself that I wasn’t going to write about politics today.  Yes, this blog is all about baseball and politics but with the Republican primaries going on, it seems like all I can do is mock the ridiculousness of the candidates.  So, today, I wasn’t going to do this.  Then I read about “the incident that almost was” yesterday at Tommy’s Country Ham House in South Carolina.

Yes, I know, the zaniness of Newt and Mitt both scheduling events for the same time at Tommy’s Country Ham House is almost unfathomable.  It’s like a British farce without the intelligence.  Or the British.  Actually, I guess it’s just kind of a farce.  I particularly like the fact that Newt seems to be intent on making the contest as high school as possible.  The exact quote is, “I have a question. Where’s Mitt?  I don’t think they have New England clam chowder on the menu.”

This guy is seriously being considered as the next president of the United States?  It’s only a matter of time before he resorts to yo’ momma jokes.  “Hey Mitt, yo’ momma’s so stupid, she named you Mitt.”  To which Romney will of course reply, “Your name is Newt.”  I ask again, these guys are seriously being considered as the next president of the United States?

Anyway, so much for not writing about politics today.  I blame the Ham House.  And South Carolina.

-A

I’m Not a Racist But….

Ty Cobb was a great baseball player but not a very nice person.  Actually, he wasn’t a very nice baseball player either, regularly trying to hurt the competition.  The thing about Cobb, though, is that he never pretended to care about other people.  Love him or hate him, you could never say that he was a hypocrite.  He did everything balls out and that included his racism.

That’s the difference between Cobb and two of the remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination.  When Cobb said something, he owned it. He was an awful person but he didn’t try to hide behind obfuscations and pseudo-intellectual drivel in an attempt to prove that he actually meant something else.

What is truly amazing is that  50 years after Cobb’s death, Rick Santorum can say he doesn’t want to  “make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money” and Newt Gingrich can regularly call Barack Obama “the food-stamp President.”  And then both men try to claim that they’re just trying to help black people.  I have a feeling that Newt’s phrase “I know among the politically correct you’re not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable…” has a good chance of becoming the new “I’m not a racist but…”

The only thing black that Santorum and Gingrich should be talking about is the space inside their respective heads.  Come to think of it, there was an article written about that recently, too.  “Abyssal yawns 10 times the size of our universe.”  Yep, that sounds about right.

-A

The Messy Fun of Democracy

I’m a big believer in the adage that you don’t count your chickens before they hatch.  But after prevailing in Iowa and cleaning up in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney sure is starting to look like a full on chicken.  This could mean either that a certain influential (and voting) subset of Republicans is making its voice heard.  Or, it could just mean that New Hampshire is made up of relatively normal people and once South Carolina gets its say, Romney will again have to face his Santorum problem.

The process kind of reminds me of the recently completed Hall of Fame vote.  There are the clear winners, like Barry Larkin and Mitt Romney.  But it’s a lot harder to make any sort of conclusion about the other guys, the Ron Pauls and Jack Morris of the world.  Did they come close?  Sure.  Will it be enough to get them over the hump at some point?  Your guess is as good as mine.  But are they going to keep on going?  You betcha’.

McGwire, Paul, Santorum.  It’s all part of the messy fun that makes up democracy.

-A

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