Results tagged ‘ Republican ’

The Iron Lady and the Americans

Last week was a rough week for the Republican presidential contenders.  Or maybe I should say “contenders.”  Both Gingrich and Palin suffered setbacks but this seems to have become the norm for these two.  Gingrich had already started off his campaign with his foot in his mouth, talking off the cuff about Paul Ryan’s budget plan.  And Palin had watched her ratings tank after an inventive retelling of Paul Revere’s ride.

But this past week took them to new lows.  Gingrich disappeared to Greece after his initial gaffe but was forced to resurface when most of his senior campaign staff resigned on Thursday.  I don’t know how closely you follow politics but it’s very difficult to run a campaign when all of your top advisers quit.

I’m sure it’s hard not to take it personally when your closest aides leave your campaign but you can at least try to chalk it up to a business decision.  Palin didn’t have quite that luxury when Margaret Thatcher’s staff not only refused Palin’s attempt to visit the former Prime Minister but also said “Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts.”

So yeah, you could say it’s been a rough week for the Republicans.  Although you could probably also argue that it has been a great week for candidates like Mitt Romney and John Huntsman who can continue campaigning in quiet while their opposition self-destructs.  Slow and steady often wins the race.  Just ask last year’s World Series champions.

-A

Judge Lest Ye Be Judged

Sad news: only one more day until the world ends, dear readers. Indeed, it’s days like today when I really wish the Mayans knew what the hell they were talkin’ about.

Instead, we all wait in weary anticipation of a 2,000 year old Jewish zombie (they call him “The Jesus”) so he can come down from the skies and act as Judgey McJudges-a-lot.

Ordinarily, I ain’t much of a judgmental person.  I let folks be as they be, even if they be crazy.  But if The Jesus — a supposed paragon of virtue — is gonna come down and act a judgin’ fool, then I’d like to get in on that action too, just for today.

So here ya go.  Let the judging begin!

Yankees fans, I’m judging you.  You lost six measly games in a row and suddenly the sky is falling?!  When my Cubs fans friends (yes, I have a few) watch their team lose six games in a row they call it “April”.  And don’t even get me started on M’s fans or Pirates fans… jeesh.

Mitt Romney, I’m judging you.  Come on, dude.  How can you pass universal healthcare in your state and still call yourself a Republican?!?  Not only that, but how am I supposed to take you seriously when you believe in a book that was “translated” by a whackjob “aided” by an invisible bearded man in the sky?

National Football League… oh yes, I’m judgin’ the hell out of you.  Didn’t you learn ANYTHING from baseball?!?!  Good grief!  Don’t you know that the strike of ’94 nearly KILLED the national pastime?  You may benefit from having less intelligent constituents, but even the ignorant have a hard time forgiving betrayal.  Just ask Whitney Houston.

Donald Trump, I’m judging you.  The birther thing, well, I can see past that.  But your hair.  Seriously.  It’s not funny anymore.  It’s disturbing.  I’m sure there’s a crime being committed there.

And finally, as we prepare to say ‘see ya’ to the cosmos…

MLB throwback uniforms, I’m judging you.  If we’re gonna bring back the baby blue road duds… if we’re gonna bring back the Oakland puke yellow tops… if we’re gonna bring all this stuff from the 70s and 80s back in earnest, then we need to stop making them in the baggy size.  Everyone in his/her right mind knows that those only work if we can see some protruding jock action.

Hate me ‘cuz it’s Thursday, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Making Sense out of Static

static.jpgEarly in the baseball season, it’s hard to separate the contenders and the pretenders.  Kansas City regularly sits somewhere near the top of the AL Central after the first couple weeks and sometimes even holds on through the first couple months.  Last year even the lowly Pirates looked decent for the first month or two.  Unfortunately for both teams, it’s a lot better to be in first place at the end of the season then at the beginning.

It’s not all the much different in the political world.  It’s pretty safe to assume that Obama will get the Democratic nod heading into the next Presidential election but the Republican field is wide open.  A prime example is Donald Trump’s “candidacy.”  This is a man who’s really only famous for being famous and who, despite his reality TV shows and real estate empire, still managed to go bankrupt.  Yet somehow he and a decent number of Republicans think he can steer the country through it’s current financial straits.  Let’s see what Donald actually looks like on the trail:

http://abcnews.go.com/assets/player/walt2.6/flash/SFP_Walt_2_65.swf

He may be on to something.  I’m sure the Gettysburg Address would have been much more memorable if Lincoln could have dropped a couple F-bombs in there.

Granted, there are also serious contenders.  Like him or not, Mitt Romney has the pedigree and the record to make a serious run.  Jon Hunstman looks a lot like the 2010 Giants or Rangers and everybody loves a dark horse.  When you figure in the Tea Party contingent and their sway in the primaries, there’s just no telling where the race will end up.

What is apparent at this point, though, is that with the economy apparently picking up jobs and OBL slowly disintegrating in the Indian Ocean, Obama is enjoying a momentary upswing.  If the economy continues to pick up, he might end up like the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, an inevitability if there ever was one.  After all, let’s face it.  The man is as cool as the day is long.  This performance at the Press Corps Dinner took place hours after he made the decision to take down Bin Laden and hours before the raid happened:

Admit it, if you were in the same position you would have been sitting in an empty room, rocking back and forth and staring at a blank wall.

It’s still early in the season.  There’s a lot of ball to be played.  But despite all the speculation and analysis, no one has any idea what’s going to happen.  Don’t worry, though.  You keep coming back this way and we’ll make sure you stay up to date.

-A

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

RSBS Presents: Being Right

gop_elephant.jpgI’ll be the first to admit that we point a lot of fingers over here without always recognizing people who are doing a good job.  For instance, Bud Selig, although old, ugly and responsible for some of the worst excesses in the game of baseball’s long history, has also helped several teams secure the funding they needed to build new stadiums and has so far managed to avoid contraction.

The same thing goes for the government.  It’s easy to focus on the guys who show up on MSNBC and Fox News to spout whatever partisan talking points have been approved for the day but we tend to hear a lot less about the guys who stand up and give it to us straight or who quietly support something they believe in personally even if it doesn’t necessarily follow the party line.  So here’s a few guys with whom I generally disagree but who deserve some respect anyway.

William Gates
This one is pretty easy because Gates has actually been a very effective and post-partisan Secretary of Defense.  However, he recently brought it to another level as he took Congress to task for wasteful defense spending and then spoke his mind in front of the graduating class at West Point.  Gates is on his way out so it’s a little easier for him to call it like he sees it but it’s still something worth mentioning.

Samuel Alito
Alito is a conservative’s conservative.  Even when he does something I agree with, it’s usually for a completely different reason than why I would have done it.  However, when he voiced the sole dissent with the Court’s opinion in the Westboro Baptist Church case, you had to feel a little twinge of pride.  Sure, I don’t agree with his legal reasoning and the court made the right decision in light of the First Amendment.  However, Alito expressed what pretty much all the rest of us were thinking when he wrote “In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and
vigorously debated, it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of
innocent victims like petitioner. I therefore respectfully dissent.”  I respectfully concur.

Dick Cheney
Yep, he made the list, too.  And honestly, generally Dick is a dick.  But like any parent, when you mess with his kids, you wake up a giant.  You don’t want to do that, especially when it’s a giant who shot his own friend in the face with a shotgun.  So it really shouldn’t come as any surprise to find out that Dick does not toe the party line when it comes to gay marriage, especially since one of his daughters is gay.  Cheney even famously parted ways from his Commander in Chief when it came to the issue of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.  Hey, maybe he’s not such a dick after all.

Lindsey Graham
Being a Senator means that sometimes you get to be above the fray.  In general, it’s a contemplative body that acts as a check on the hot-headedness of the House.  So in an era when disentangling the US from any sort of foreign involvement has become the mantra of the Right, it’s nice to see a Senator from the Right stand up and say that what we need is a more robust and intelligent foreign involvement.  You tell ‘em, Lindsey.

Sure, Graham and Gates tend toward the more moderate positions so maybe this isn’t all that bold of a list.  But I still think it’s important to give credit where it’s due.  More than that, it’s nice to see some politicians show some balls.  Too bad the Democrats can’t do it from time to time.

-A

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

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

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!

Vicenteticus Padillicarpeus

ardi.jpgWhile you and I spend our time wondering when the Phillies bullpen will
next self destruct or why there aren’t as many green M&Ms as there
are brown, or how long it will take Glenn Beck to realize we’re laughing at him, not with him, there are some people in the world (scientists and such as) who pass the time by making ground breaking discoveries, actually furthering the intellect of the human mind.

Move over Lucy.  Make way for Ardi.

That’s right.  Australopithecus afarensis,
an extinct hominid (most commonly known as Lucy), who was once thought
to be our oldest common ancestor, now must take a backseat to the most
recently proclaimed elder of bipedalism: Ardipithecus (or Ardi for short).

Like it or not, this is a big deal because Ardi is a million years older than Lucy!  Consider her the
cougar of the archaeological bar scene.  And with her discovery, the
entire evolutionary map of modern day humans and just exactly where we came
from, how we evolved, what we once were, has been totally rewritten.

It is no longer safe to say we share a common ancestor with
chimpanzees.  More likely than not, we came from Ardi and whoever (or
whatever) came before her.  Her construction is rare, odd, striking: a
bipedal creature with an opposable big toe; an animal that walks
upright on land but acts as a quadruped in its arboreal environment,
Ardi is the corner border in a 5 gazillion trillion piece puzzle that
is the evolutionary road to modern day humans.

We’re starting to know where we came from.

Yet the only plausible explanation science can come up with for where the
ugly flop-sweat of a man known as Vicente Padilla came from is this
thing from the Clash of the Titans:

clash of the titans.JPGYep.  We’ve come a long way… just not long enough.

Hate me ‘cuz I don’t pull punches, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace

Jeff

**Special thanks to Jason Russell for the pic and assist. You can follow him on Twitter at @JasonrussellUT

Decoding the Magic of Mystery

albert pujols on fire.jpgThe Truth is: the view from Pujols-ville is more than satisfying these days.  Despite my colleague’s dastardly attempts to poke holes in the euphoric reality of the game’s best player hitting walk-off homeruns to champion the St. Louis Cardinals to its current nine game lead in the NL Central over the Chicago sCrUBS, I continue to attest to the wondrous ecstasy that is having a bonafide man-crush on Number 5.

Say what you want, Mr. Krause, Pujols-ville is full of winners.

The same cannot be said for the barely above mediocre Detroit Tigers.

And when times are tough, Mr. Krause — when the .500 Minnesota Twins and sub .500 Chicago White Sox have legitimate shots at besting your patchwork club — I understand that human nature may force you to criticize, to chide, to castigate.  Indeed, your rural upper middle class gun-totin’ religion-clingin’ Republican roots have crept their way into the conversation with your most recent closing statement:

“Don’t hate me because of my inability to fantasize about Albert Pujols
in a kiddie pool full of tapioca pudding. Hate me ‘cuz I’m right.”

Jealously does often cause one to slander.

But the above statement is more than just blasphemy.  It’s code.

You see, dear readers, Mr. Krause and I both fancy ourselves as learned linguists.  With two foreign languages under each of our respective belts (that’s four total, not counting the mother tongue), it’s easy for us to slip hidden messages here and there.  In this case, the curious Albert/kiddie-pool/tapioca-pudding reference has deeper meaning…

In French:

Ne me détestez pas en raison de mon incapacité de fantasmer au sujet d’Albert Pujols dans un regroupement de kiddie complètement de pudding de tapioca. Détestez-moi ‘cuz que j’ai raison.

To Chinese:

不要仇恨,因为我无法对阿尔贝荷斯幻想一组我小童木薯布丁充分。我恨因为我是正确的。

To Spanish:

No odio, porque no puedo Albert Pujols un grupo de fantasía para niños que pudín plenamente tapioca. Odio porque yo tenía razón.

To Arabic:

لا اكره لأنني لا أستطيع ألبرت Pujols مجموعة من الخيال للأطفال بشكل كامل التابيوكا الحلوى. أنا أكره لأنني كنت على حق.

And finally, back to English:

“Did not force!  For that I, Albert, did not can Pujols’ group from the horseman for the children, thoroughly Al-Hulwah! I forced for that.  I was justified.”

Yep.  Mystery solved.  Mr. Krause wishes he were Albert.  He fears those pesky horsemen, the children and most importantly, those more than creepy Al-Hulwahs.

Hard for me to hate Mr. Krause for that.  Sometimes the Al-Hulwahs even keep me up at night.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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