Tagged: Barack Obama

A Tradition that Can’t End Soon Enough

Barack Obama finally came out in support of gay marriage.  I’m not exactly sure why this is news since a majority of the country holds the same position.  By definition, our elected leaders are our representatives and should represent the views that we hold.  Obama’s change of position (which isn’t really all that much of a change if you really think about it) merely puts him on the right side of history and firmly with the majority.

How did we get to this point anyway?  There’s the easy answer that it’s the fault of religion and the myth of “traditional” marriage (which conveniently ignores the other acceptable definitions of marriage laid out by their holy books):

I think it’s simpler than that, though.  People are just afraid of what they don’t know.  Plenty of baseball fans hated Jackie Robinson when he first started playing but 60 years later, the biggest stars in the game are a veritable rainbow coalition.  25 years from now, we’ll be telling similar stories about gay marriage.

Here’s the thing.  Marriage is supposed to be about two people who love each other committing to live and work together.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t but the sexuality of the person has nothing to do with their ability to love or make a commitment.  If you want to simplify things even further, here are two examples.  Kim Kardashian had a “traditional” marriage.  This gentleman’s two mothers did not.

Now, would you rather have his two moms as parents or Kim Kardashian?

-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

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

The Filibuster

So the Cubs traded their best lefty (Sean Marshall) for Travis Wood and then Travis Wood doesn’t even make the team. Is Theo doing it right?

Gabe
Harvey, IL
___________________________________

Remember when Barack Obama first came into office and the U.S. and world economies were doing their best impressions of 1929?  Well, that’s kind of where Epstein sits right now.  It would be easier to just burn the place down and start over (which is always an option when you’re talking about Chicago) but there’s no way anyone would support that.  So, he’s going to have to make the most of what he has and slowly try to rebuild.

That doesn’t necessarily mean simply accepting the situation, though.  Normally, when you pay big money for a guy or give up a big name in a trade, the expectation is that new guy is going to play and you’ll just have to suffer if he doesn’t quite catch his groove right away.  Think Carl Crawford on the Red Sox.  Think Dontrelle Willis on the Tigers.  Think Barack Obama with TARP.  But leaders don’t always accept that situation.  Sometimes they have to make the tough decisions and break with expectations.  That’s what Obama did with GM and even made the government some money in the process.  It appears like maybe that’s what Epstein is trying to do with the Cubs, too.

Sean Marshall is a good reliever.  According to Epstein, he’s maybe the “most valuable left-handed reliever in all of baseball.”  But what good is having the most valuable left-handed reliever in baseball if your starting pitching is terrible, your defense is atrocious and you can’t score runs?  Epstein realizes the Cubs aren’t going to be a winning ball club this year.  He realizes they probably won’t be a winning ball club next year either.  But he’s setting himself up for success three or four seasons down the line.

Remind you of anyone else?  Bailing out the auto industry wasn’t popular but three years later, after watching the recession crest and slowly subside, we now see hiring going back up and the economy beginning to grow again.  That’s the difference between guys like Epstein and Obama and wannabes like Hendry.  Attempts to implement quick fixes for immediate results more often lead to systemic failure.  Epstein, like the president, has to slowly flush that through, suffering short-term difficulties for long-term success.

So, long story short, yeah, Theo is doing it right.  But that’s not going to stop people from yelling and screaming during the first few painful years.  Marshall is gone and Wood got sent to the minors.  But they have more money to go after other important pieces, they have a solid prospect in the minors who could work his way back and they didn’t try to force someone into a role they simply couldn’t handle at this point.  When you think about it, Theo seems positively presidential.

-A

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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 Filibuster

Dear RSBS Linguistics Dept.,

How the hell do you pronounce Mike Stanton’s new name?  Is it “Gee-an-carlo” or “Jon-carlo”?  I’m going to keep pronouncing it “Mike”.

Jonestein
(pronounced “Joan-steen”)
Fort Worth, TX
___________________________________

Being a nation of immigrants means that US phone books are full of many sometimes unusual names.  Some of my favorites include Christian Okoye, the KC Chiefs’ Nigerian Nightmare; Juan Pierre, who can’t seem to decide if he’s French or Spanish; and, of course, Barack Obama.  Unless you’re a modern-day Nativist, like the un-ironically Catholic Newt Gingrich, you realize that this inflow of names, traditions and cultures makes our country a more interesting place.

That makes me wonder how a guy like Stanton got tagged with the name “Mike” in the first place.  He was drafted by the Marlins, a team based in south Florida where there is no shortage of hispanic first or last names, out of southern California where the same holds true.  So how, in either of those environments, does a guy like Stanton get forced into assuming a name he has never used?

I find it even more interesting that I’m answering this question the day after St. Patrick’s Day as the Irish were undoubtedly one of the primary targets of mid-19th Century Nativism in the US.  Part of it was poverty, part of it was religion.  But all of it was xenophobic.  150 years later, not only are people with Irish last names found everywhere in the United States, we also dedicate a day to them each year on March 17th.

True, sometimes this influx of last names from all corners of the earth leads to problems.  For instance, I’m not really sure how Keith Jackson would handle a name like Ndamukong Suh.  But athletes, just like any other American, have the right to use and be called by their real name.  Sure, it might get mispronounced from time to time but I think that if the tables were turned and it was any Tom, Dick or Harry arriving in another country, they’d still rather be called by their own name.  Hell, sometimes it even works out in your favor.  My last name often gets mispronounced as “Cruise,” which leads to getting asked if I’m related to Tom.  I just smile, give a non-committal answer and let them keep pronouncing it however they want.

-A

P.S. I’m pretty sure he’ll respond to either pronunciation.  I’d just avoid using Mike.

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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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