Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2012: Armageddon Doesn't Sound So Bad

With just a mere 17 months until Election day 2012, the GOP Presidential nominees have already had one debate and are starting to jockey for position to take on President Obama. So who are these candidates and what are their chances?

Mitt Romney

The former businessman, Massachusetts governor and Old Navy display mannequin is banking on the idea that the economy is going to continue to be in the tank between now and election day. He has experience running for president, which is good for some reason.

How he could win:
Unemployment continues to stay close to 10%, the housing market falls into a double dip recession and Dow plunges back under 10,000, freaking out the GOP primary voters enough to hold their nose and vote for a Mormon. Once in the general election, he plays up his moderate side to win over independent voters in Ohio, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina and beats Obama.

How he could lose:
Gay marriage becomes law in New York and new provisions of Obamacare come into effect and rest of the GOP candidates successfully turn him simply link him to Obama and he becomes “just another Massachusetts liberal” before the first primary vote.

Sarah Palin

She hasn’t said whether or not she’s running, but that’s mostly because she hasn’t figured out a way to turn her campaign into a reality show called “Running with Sarah.”

How she could win:
She is a full-fledged superstar in the GOP and especially the within the Tea Party and among people who aren’t really sure what happened in history but like it when people pretend like they do. Polls show that the voters are dissatisfied with the current field, so she could show up fashionably late to the party and pick up a bunch of undecided votes before they realize she actually has to have three head-to-head debates with Obama.

How she could lose:
If you don’t love Palin, you hate her. She’s like vegemite that talks about things it doesn’t understand and then quits halfway through its term. She also is making about $650 billion a day right now, so there’s a good chance she just won’t run since it probably will only hurt her ability to make money and be an outsider who just makes comments.

Newt Gingrich

The former Speaker and current talking head is still technically in this race despite losing most of his top advisors and fundraisers just a couple weeks into his campaign.

How he could win:
It would have to be a Marshall Football team situation with all of the GOP candidates and then on Election Day eve we would have to find out Obama is actually from Kenya.

How he could lose:
He would take a two week vacation right after starting his campaign, pissing off his staffers and causing most of them to quit and eventually leading to a mass exodus of fundraisers. (I’m sorry, I couldn’t think up anything better than what he already did)

Rick Santorum

The former Senator from Pennsylvania and anti man-on-dog marriage enthusiast has gotten bored doing whatever it is that he’s doing and wants to get back into politics.

How he could win:
Gay marriage passes in New York and then is brought up in other states making in the number one issue. As the far right investigates the gay agenda they discover that it was actually the homosexuals who were behind 9/11. Santorum puts Ron Paul on his ticket to get religious nuts and fiscal nuts out to the polls they win every state except California and Massachusetts.

How he could lose:
As long as sometime between now and 2012 we don’t start referring to “The Gays” the way they refer to the aliens on “Falling Skies,” he’s going to lose.

Tim Pawlenty

The former Minnesota Governor is best known for, um, for, uh, his name coming up a lot during the Al Franken senate recount in 2008.

How he could win:
Imagine if you will: Your average GOP primary voter walks into the booth and stares at his options. He fears that Bachman, Paul and Santorum are too crazy to win in a general election and Romney is too liberal (And too Mormon-y). And he’s no racist, but he can’t bring himself to vote for Herman Cain because the idea of having the presidency come down to TWO black guys just doesn’t sit right with him. Maybe he should just not vote for anyone and walk out of the voting booth. But wait, what’s this? Tim Pawlenty? Sounds like just the kind of not-crazy-not-Mormon-not-black kind of candidate he’s looking for.

How he could lose:
Has anyone been watching politics over the last couple of years? The GOP voters are not looking for boring right now. He’d do great in 1992, though.

Michele Bachmann

The founder of the Tea Party Caucus in congress, Bachmann has made the national debt the number one issue since 2009. It’s probably in her “interests” section in her Facebook profile.

How she could win:
We would have to find out that the national debt is much worse than we thought. I don’t mean that the number is higher; I mean that national debt has sex slaves, a stash of child pornography and sold nuclear secrets to Iran.

How she could lose:
Just keep showing up to debates.

Herman Cain

The pizza chain CEO and Tea Party activist is known for being anti-healthcare reform, anti-Sharia law, and an example for Tea Party activists to use to prove they aren’t racist.

How he could win:
He has plenty of conservative credentials and no actual political experience, which if you have been following a long the last few years is a good thing now. He’s a pretty good speaker, charismatic and black. He’s everything the right hates about Obama except the political views, and they just might vote for him.

How he could lose:
Instead of talking about jobs he’s talking about Sharia law and making bills less than three pages long. Oh, and I’m not saying his skin told will hold him back, but I think there could be some racist people voting and there are white guys on the ticket, so we’ll see how that goes for him.

Ron Paul

So adorable.

How he could win:

How he could lose:
See: 1988, 2008.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm So Excited, I'm So Scared (Pirates Edition)

As I write this, the Pittsburgh Pirates are 29-30, and I am excited. My friends and I are exchanging emails wondering if this is “the year.” Not the year where they win the World Series, or win the division, or even make the playoffs, but simply make it to .500. They haven’t done so since 1992—when I was six years old—and there is a buzz in the ‘Burgh that Clint Hurdle has this rag tag group of nobodies playing mediocre baseball like no one expected.

If the Pirates do end up making it to 81 wins this year, then we can look back and feel like all this excitement will have had some merit. As a Pirates fan, however, I feel like I have been duped before, and I worry that this I am just getting set up to be embarrassed again.

If I put up a list of the most embarrassing moments of the Pirates’ last 19 years, I would probably be able to write 20,000 words on Kevin Young alone. So instead, here is a list of the most embarrassing things that I actually got excited about while through the almost two decades of futility of Pirates baseball:

Chad Hermansen
Drafted in 1995 with the 10th overall pick, Hermansen was immediately named the savior of the franchise. For years, the front office touted how well he was doing in the minor leagues and how he was progressing into a future superstar, ready to be the next great outfielder to replace Barry Bonds and Andy van Slyke.

Finally, in September of 1999, the Pirates called up the Baseball Jesus in what would surely be the beginning of a long and illustrious, Hall of Fame career. Aaaaaand he hit a whopping .233 with 1 home run and one RBI in 19 games. But no big deal, right? It was just the September call ups. Certainly in his first full season he would really start to hit.

Or not. .185 over 33 games with 2 home runs, 8 RBIs and a coach ticket right back to AAA to work on his swing.

He came back in 2001 and hit .164 over 22 games and finally the Pirates let him go. He bounced around in the Cubs, Marlins and Mets organizations for a few years before retiring. His final stat line in the majors: .195, 13 HR, 34 RBI in 6 seasons.

Moving Jason Kendall to left field
Jason Kendall was a fun player to watch his first couple of years in the league. He didn’t wear batting gloves, he had a big wad of chew in his cheek, he led the league in getting hit by pitch almost every year, and he was a catcher who could bat leadoff. We had to do whatever we could to make sure we kept him around for a long time, because he would certainly lead help lead us to the playoffs one day.

In 2001, right after making Jason Kendal the second richest catcher only to Mike Piazza, the Pirates decided that the best way to protect their investment was to try to move him to left field. It made sense. Craig Biggio had moved from catcher to second base a few years into his career to help protect his knees and it allowed him to play well into his 30s.

On paper, it actually still looks like it wasn’t such a bad move. In his worst season he hit .266 and that was the only season with the team that he hit below .280. However, from 2001-2003 he hit 19 home runs. Total. And that includes the magical 2001 season when he went crazy and hit 10 dingers. Forget that he was such an awful left fielder that (.906 fielding percentage) that the Pirates abandoned the experiment after just 27 games. The Pirates had 18% of their salary locked up on someone providing the offensive prowess as Placido Polonco, who cost about 1/6 as much.

The 2003 Season
In the 2002 offseason, the Pirates finally went out and signed some veteran talent. They went out and got Kenny Lofton, Reggie Sanders and Randall Simon in free agency. They already had young talent with Aramis Ramirez at third and the up and coming Jason Bay in left, with some young pitching that could really get some confidence behind what looked like it could turn into one of the better offenses in the league.

But by the beginning of May, the Buccos were already six games under .500 and never recovered. Everyone forgot that the group of veterans they got might as well have been stand-ins from the movie “Space Cowboys.” It’s okay to have one or two old guys who have lost their abilities and are their just to teach the young guys how quickly the game can pass them by, but you can’t have ALL of your good players be on AARP’s mailing list.

Eventually the whole team just became wonderfully sub-mediocre, and to make matters worse, they Lofton, Ramirez and Simon’s salaries on the Cubs in exchange for Matt Brubeck, Jose Hernandez and Bobby Hill. No, I’m not making that up.

I’m still excited about the 2011 Pirates. I’m actually going to the game tonight. But there’s a part of me that’s expecting us to lose 95 games and trade Andrew McCutchen for a middle reliever.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Palin's 'Merican History

Today, Sarah Palin said the Paul Revere rode to warn the British that Americans had guns and that he just wanted to let them know that they weren’t going to be able to take them away. Also she talked about how he was ringing bells for some reason. I know this sounds stupid, but that’s only because you understand American history the way the lamestream media has explained it to you.

Here are some other stories from the founding of our great nation that can help you get a better understanding of what Sarah is talking about…

• Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to discover America. Along the way he realized that the energy sources were best right in the middle of the ocean and only got worse as he got closer to the shore. Drill, Baby, Drill!

• The 1765 Stamp Act was an unnecessary tax on the American colonists and spurred the American Revolution. It showed that Americans were upset with rising stamp prices and the best way to deal with parcels was to privatize the postal service like Ben Franklin wanted to from the very beginning.

• The Declaration of Independence is the most important document in our nation’s history, establishing us as a separate entity from the British. It says that “All men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights but they don’t get any special rights just because they’re minorities.”

• As a child, George Washington cut down his the family cherry tree. When his father asked if he did it, he said “I cannot tell a lie.” What is less famous is that Washington’s brother, Jerry, was also asked if he had cut down the cherry tree. While he had not done so, he knew that his brother had done the deed and his father spanked him until he gave up the intel that lead to George.

• Abe Lincoln grew up in a single room log cabin, despite liberal’s attempts to make logging illegal and over regulate housing safety laws to consider log cabins as a fire safety hazard.

• The Great Depression was the worst economy our nation has ever faced and was caused by liberals like FDR trying driving up the deficit and most economists agree that we it would not have happened had we just lowered taxes.

• To end Jim Crow laws, whites and blacks went on “Freedom Rides” through the South to help spread the message of the Constitution and showed the bus companies the power of the free market by allowing everyone to ride no matter the color of their skin.