August 31, 2012

Thoughts as we head into a Labor Day weekend juxtaposed between the two national political conventions:

1. If there’s one thing that stands out from the GOP convention for me, it was how boring most of the Republican goverors (and former governors) speeches were. They may indeed be good (or were good) at running their states, but the speeches given by Ohio’s John Kasich (whom I’ve always liked), Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, Florida’s Jeb Bush, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty, and Arkansas’ Mike Huckabee were real snoozers. And maybe that’s a good thing: give me someone who can run a state effectively and efficiently over someone who spouts fancy phrases and talks pretty any day. Haven’t we seen the alternative in the White House to drive that point home?

2. The future of the GOP is very bright indeed – you look at folk like Walker, McDonnell, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Mia Love, Susana Martinez, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and Allen West and others, I’m pretty stoked about the future of the GOP and conservatism in general. Compare those young and charismatic leaders with the line-up the Democrats have prepared for Charlotte and the difference is pretty striking – I mean, old war horses like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Harry Reid (whose Senate still hasn’t passed a budget in three years), Nancy Pelosi (who was so successful as Speaker of the House that her party got smashed in the 2010 midterms). Sure they’ll have rabid feminists like Elizabeth Warren (in the midst of a campaign shrouded in scandal) and Sandra Fluke (a college student who expects taxpayers to subsidize both her birth control and the abortions that result if she forgets a day), but I don’t see a lot of carving out a message geared towards independents. They’re obviously in desperate need to charge up their base.

3. Which brings me to this: I’m going out on a limb here and make a fearless prediction: by the end of the Democratic convention Hillary Clinton will be Obama’s VP on the ticket. I don’t buy that she’s planning on being overseas; they’ll come up some sob emergency involving poor Joe Biden. Why? I have little doubt they’re freaking out in the White House over the internal polls and need Hillary to carry them over the goal line. Watch for the Dems planned “surprise” to be hubby Bill introducing her on Wednesday night. It ought to be quite the spectacle, and a game-changer in the 2012 elections.

4. I watched Clint Eastwood’s remarks last night, and the only problem I have with his bit was that it could (and should) have been done a night earlier. The planners did a great job laying the groundwork for presenting Mitt Romney’s past, and then, rather than ramp it into the stratosphere with Marco Rubio, they stick Clint right in the middle of that. His eleven minutes were like watching one of the Flying Wallendas over Niagra Falls – you didn’t know where on earth he was going – but the lines he used to jab at the Obama administration drew blood. You can tell because: a) the YouTube videos of his presentation going beyond viral, with over 1 million views already, and b) all the howling and hand-wringing of the liberal left afterwards. Like the old bomber pilots in WW II used to say: the closer to target, the thicker the flak.

5. I’m with Larry Kudlow on Mitt Romney’s speech. I liked it enough and think he did what he felt he needed to do, which was, shred the meme that the Obama campaign spent July and August (and millions of $s) doing, that Romney was a bloodthirtsy, non-human bean counter / corporate vampire, but he’s going to have to lay out an economic plan with specifics before the October debates. It’s not enough to critique the Obama presidency and say you’re going to take the country on a different track – this time around, voters are going to be wanting, and expecting, specifics. If it’s a battle of personalities, Obama wins. That’s what the Democrats are hoping for, because that’s all they’ve got left in the tank. Liberalism as an concept and movement may be dying a slow death, but Obama has enough believers to make the sale for his own re-election if Romney can’t put forth and alternative that goes beyond slogans and competing concepts.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 21:40 | Comments (0)
August 29, 2012

After two days of speeches, briefly:

Hot:
1. Paul Ryan – totally knocked it out of the park. He not only jabbed the Obama administration mercilessly, he did it surgically and did so in a disarming way that’s bound to hurt. It’s gonna be very tough for Democrats to run negative ads against a guy who comes across as genuine and earnest as Ryan does. Compared to Joe Biden, you’re talking humans vs. vegetables.

2. Condoleezza Rice – what can I say, the woman exudes class in every sense of the word. Like others, I found her speech electrifying, moving, and passionate. I’d vote her for anything she would run for in a New York minute.

3. Ann Romney – yeah, she started off slow, and the the “talking about love” thing made me cringe a bit, but still, she came off as genuine, non-partisan, and someone whom you’d love to see as a First Lady. She gave a great speech, and, unlike the witch currently in that position, Ms. Romney exudes both class, humility and positivity.

4. Susana Martinez – the governor of New Mexico did a great job following Rice’s speech – no easy feat, to be sure. She’s refreshing, forceful, and genuine.

5. Nikki Haley – similar to Martinez, the governor of South Carolina did a great job Tuesday night. Another rising star among a legion of rising stars for the GOP. You take a look at the up-and-comers on the Republican side and compare them with the Democrats, and you can see which party has the most vibrant and refreshing up-and-comers.

And we haven’t even heard from Marco Rubio yet!

Not:
The boring white-bread (apologies if that sounds racist!) bunch they dragged up earlier both nights – the Mike Huckabees, Bob McDonnells, Rob Portmans and Tim Pawlentys of the GOP just sound so boring. Fortunately, those who have impressed have created a lot more buzz than these guys.

I sure wish Michele Bachman and Sarah Palin were speaking.

Footnotes:

1. What’s wrong with the Arizona Republican Party? Sarah Palin was appearing 15 mins. from my house on Monday and I never received one word of notice about it.

2. I’ve always liked Fox News’ Juan Williams, but I lost all respect for him for what he said about Ann Romney and will change the channel whenever I see him on again. I don’t accept his explanation for what he said; he’s nothing more than a hateful spiteful, racist ignoramus who deserves nothing but scorn. But that’s a liberal for you… they always show their colors sooner or later. What a jerk…

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 23:04 | Comments (4)
August 27, 2012

One of my favorite blogs is The Anchoress, whom I’ve been following for years. She’s a tough bird, and not one prone to excess and hyperbole, so when I read a post like hers today, not only do I think things are even worse than they seem out there, but that talk once thought of as totally extreme has gone mainstream:

In the past few weeks I’ve heard some surprising people admit they’ve been arming themselves and purchasing ammunition — one such discussion happened all around me at the hairdresser’s while I sat and listened. The stylist and his boss, they’re storing food and arming themselves. The chiropractor who popped in to say hello while taking his afternoon stroll said he is armed, too: “never in my life thought I’d have a gun in the house, now we have two.”

They’re arming, they say, because they “see it all going bad.” These same folks who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 were now asserting an idea the far-left had floated around before that election, but instead of “Bush is going to install martial law and suspend elections.” they’re saying it of Obama. “He paid off his friends and did nothing to create jobs and he wants it all to go bad, because then he can stay in power and dictate.”

There is an absolute collapse of faith in our systems and in the guy they helped put into office. These folks who were so quick to believe the press in ’08 and to believe in “hope and change” are now willfully believing the absolute worst. While I was getting my grey washed away I heard about local goings-on that I won’t write about here until I check it out for myself, because I don’t know what is real and what is paranoid fantasy or conspiracy theory. But the thing is, the anxiety is real, the doubt is real, as is the willingness to believe the absolute worst of all of our institutions — the press, the churches, the government. These folks are utterly convinced that the only thing that is going to be installed come next January is chaos and oppression. They’ll vote for Romney (“assuming there is an election and we’re allowed to vote and the vote is actually counted…”) simply because he’s not Obama, but they’re convinced that America’s best days are over.

“Soon, it’s going to be every man for himself, mark my words” said the salon owner. “I’m telling you, get a gun. Get a generator, now, because in six months you won’t be able to. Stock up.”

I’ve said before there’s a real climate of fear out there – people who fear that if their employer gets wind of their political leanings that they’ll lose their jobs or have violence committed against them. And it’s real. So when someone like The Anchoress starts writing about this kind of stuff you know it’s not just the rantings of some paranoid, conservative, racist loon. The fear has gone mainstream. Just food for thought…

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 22:32 | Comments (8)
August 26, 2012

R.I.P. Neil Armstrong. In an era where there are few, if any, true “heroes” that everyone can agree on, Armstrong was that kind of man. A man made of “the right stuff” in every sense of the word. I’m afraid the likes of his kind will never be seen again…

I’m a little concerned about the future path of Hurricane Isaac, as is Brendan Loy (hat tip: Instapundit).

Honestly, you can’t make this kind of story up.

All those who think either the Democrats or Republican choose a south or southeastern site for their 2016 conventions raise your hands. I’m guessing Ohio and Minnesota are safe enough choices, anyways.

I’m with Curt Schilling: I love the idea of retired and well-respected catcher Jason Varitek taking over as manager for the Red Sox. No one can dispute the guy’s knowledge and preparation, both on the field and how it relates to the clubhouse.

“I voted for FDR like 26 times”. What a great video. I hope this goes viral.

I’m really not sure how best to comment on this kind of story. I better stop there… :-)

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:10 | Comments (5)
August 25, 2012

Have to admit that you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw the news about the Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers coming together on a trade that would send Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford – and all but $12 mil of their total contracts! – to SoCal in return for a group of prospects. I think I might have gasped “holy sh*t” or some thing to that effect; I mean, teams in any sport just don’t make those kinds of deals anymore. And, when it comes to Major League Baseball, deals like that don’t come together except at the July 31 trading deadline or during the winter GM meeetings. And even then, no team in the history of sports (at least any I can recall) has ever traded three players of such caliber to a single team. It’s a blockbuster in every sense of the word, the likes of something you’ll probably never see again.

…I remember Charlie Finley’s attempted “fire sale” of Oakland As players back in 1976, but that wasn’t to a single team. And, he was just dumping salary for the sake of dumping salary.

As far as I’m concerned, this was the best news I’ve heard all season. I’ve lamented in this spot previously just how unlikeable the Red Sox team has been, enough to make me forego my MLB Extra Innings package this year, and Beckett and Gonzalez were big reasons why. In Beckett’s case, the Sox made the big mistake in locking up an aging pitcher to a long-term contract, removing any incentive for him to keep himself in shape and serve as a role model to the pitching staff. In Crawford’s and Gonzalez’s case, it was clear neither player was suited for the high-powered, emotionally-charged atmosphere that goes along with playing baseball in the Northeast, especially Boston.

Here’s hoping the Red Sox have learned once and for all that you can’t just open your wallet and expect big-time players to replicate their past success in Boston. You need players who embrace pressure, not run away or attempt to hide from it. In addition, this certainly puts the final exclamation mark on the Theo Epstein era in Boston. Look, it was great while it lasted – two World Series championships in nine years – but towards the end he was just throwing away money like Barack Obama at solar companies.

Now, my joy will be complete once (hopefully) the Red Sox realize their mistake in hiring Bobby Valentine as manager. He’s been a joke.

Last word goes to the guys at Surviving Grady, who never fail to please when it comes to their uncanny ability to call things as they see them:

…I look at it this way: as the Planet of the Apes films taught us, sometimes you just have to blow up the world to set things right again.

Indeed.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 19:59 | Comments (0)
August 24, 2012

Let me just say that I’m a simple guy who has learned over time not to expect much of the human race, such as it is in its fallen state. And that’s the case especially when it comes to politics and politicians.

I’ve always believed that you can tell people by the friends they hang around with. And, with politicians, by the people they surround themselves with.

Of course, we all know that when it comes to politicians you expect them to stretch the truth as far as it can possible go, but there ought to be in the end at least some kernel of truth in what they have to say.

Unfortunately, in the case the Obama re-election campaign, they’ve taken the art of the lie to a whole new level.

Everyone who frequents this spot knows well the disdain I hold towards Barack Obama, his administration and re-election campaign, and Democrats and liberals in general. Believe me when I say I wish it wasn’t so – believe it or not, I do respect differing views and opinions, just don’t friggin’ lie about it. You want to punish success, increase the size of government and the influence of the labor unions (private and public), and raise taxes as a way to redistribute income in a socialist, European model that runs counter to everything America has stood for since its founding? Fine, just come out and say it! Put it out as your platform and let the voters choose. Don’t obscure your intentions by calling people law-breakers, racists, unpatriotic, or selfish.

And this is where I come back to Barack Obama, who is running the most disgraceful and disingenuous campaign backed by people who not only lie without any sense of conscience or deceny, but do so without any pushback by the slobbering lapdogs of the mainstream dino-media. Don’t believe me?

You have campaign spokesperson Stephanie Cutter accusing Mitt Romney of being a felon. And Barack Obama denies it.

You have a Obama PAC accusing Mitt Romney of contributing to the death of a woman from cancer. And the Obama campaign denies knowing anything anything about the spot’s intention, even though the forementioned Ms. Cutter participated in an earlier phone call that led to an “official” Obama campaign ad featuring the same person!

You have Ms. Cutter (again), this time stating that the Obama administration has created more jobs in the last three years than the Reagan recovery.

You have the Democratic National Committee sending out a fundraising e-mail that deliberately misquotes a L.A. Times news story, and the head of the DNC seemingly unconcerned about the lying involved.

And, most recently, you have the Obama campaign putting out an ad featuring so-called “Republican” women voters disenchanted with their party who turn out not to be Republicans at all, but Democratic activists to boot.

As I said above, I have no problem with a campaign just telling people what they stand for and what they hope to achieve in their next term of office. The fact that Barack Obama surrounds himself with such a circle of absolute lying liars tells me that he’s as much of a liar as they are. If you’re unconcerned about your campaign staffing itself with emboldened liars, what are you willing to lie about? Both he and his campaign are a disgrace – even more so because in 2008 he ran as someone who, under the banner of “Hope and Change”, promised to unite the country and change the way Washington works. Instead, he’s been revealed as nothing more than empty suit with no ideas, and someone who appears to have little problem with surrounding himself with a pack of vicious, lying liars.

The country deserves better. Of course, if Obama is re-elected, maybe we just get in the end what we deserve.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 19:49 | Comments (0)
August 22, 2012

TelePrompTer of the US (TOTUS) stages a coup against its POTUS owner:

obama-teleprompter-reuters

Hat tip: PJ Media.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:35 | Comment (1)
August 21, 2012

It’s so strange being here in the mid-to-late August and not having the Red Sox in the playoff hunt. The last time I remember feeling this way was back in 2001 with the Joe Kerrigan crew that basically imploded, then quit amidst a whole bunch of bad feelings. This year’s team is a bunch of odd pieces that never desired, nor tried to work together cohesively as a team, and that goes from the owners down to the ball boys. You have aging has-beens with huge contracts, prima donas who head to the disabled list at the first sign of a hang-nail, and a manager who failed almost from the start. Sure, he wasn’t allowed to pick his own coaching staff, but he’s also shown himself to be oddly disconnected from his players and the day-to-day stuff managers need to involve themselves with. Worse yet, especially in this day and age, he’s shown himself to be a poor communicator with his players. I wasn’t sure from the outset that Bobby V. was the answer, but he’s displayed a horrendous inability to relate to today’s ballplayer and media in every sense of the word.

Worst of all is the fact that this team is simply inherently unlikeable. Sure, there are a few players that, at least on the surface, appear to give a rat’s a$$ about how they perform, but the so-called “leaders” of the team – the Becketts, Pedroias, Ortizes and Gonzalezes – have made a mockery of what being a Boston Red Sox is supposed to be. And to make matters worse, I don’t see a whole lot of reasons for optimism for 2013 – simply put, the Sox have been passed, and will continue to be passed, by teams heading in an upward direction faster than the Sox are. As much as this team requires an infusion of talent and leadership – manager, coaching staff, catcher, shortstop, and the outfield come to mind – more than anything else this team needs a heart transplant. Hopefully they’ll identify a core group of young players who can begin the transition to the next generation of Red Sox who will play tough and hungry, get dirty, and show that they at least care.

Exit question of the day: this headline is supposed to make a Red Sox fan feel good?

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 22:01 | Comment (1)
August 17, 2012

What does George Soros know that the rest of us don’t? I keep tellin’ y’all that there’s something really bad coming just around the corner…

Why have Red Sox stopped taking pitches? I mean for gawdsakes, I watched two innings of their loss to the Yankees on MLB Network tonght and saw them take a total of twelve pitches over two innings! And talk about no life – it’s obvious the players are just playing out the string. Sox fans deserve better…

Perhaps the Sox should consider Peter Abraham’s four-point strategy for the off-season strategy? I’d go for it…

Is there a video and song Katy Perry hasn’t done that makes you laugh in some way? I happen to love Ur So Gay and Hot N’ Cold… I think she’s one of the all-time bests. And one of the hottest…

Is the fact my pool has dropped four degrees in the last week (to 90) a sign that fall is (finally) around the corner? For us here in the Valley of the Sun, less than two months to go, and we’re counting the days…

Think frequent commenter Jana would appreciate a box of fresh limes off our tree?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:22 | Comments (2)
August 16, 2012

Johnny Pesky, a great Red Sox. Here’s hoping he gets to see his best bud Ted on the other side.

After 35 years, Elvis, one of the all-time greats. It’s hard to believe it was that long ago, I still remember the night I heard the news; it was a hot, humid night and I was driving to see my brother Dave, who was working on a pair of eyeglasses for me, the moment I heard Elvis had died. I didn’t know what else to do, so I made sure the next day I picked up a blue vinyl copy of his most recent release “Moody Blue”. It was a damned fine album; unfortunately, it’s not worth a whole lot these days on eBay. Elvis would understand, I’m sure, and even chuckle at the thought. But without a doubt he was THE best – better than The Beatles, better than the Beach Boys, better than anyone. As far as rock n’ roll was concerned, he was “The King”.

…here’s one of my all-time favorite tunes (yes, I do mean ALL-TIME). Strangely, it’s the last song he ever recorded. The vocal is incredible, and the James Burton‘s lead (recorded later) is as good as it gets – listen to the strummed chord that closes the song out. Does it get any better than that?? Hard to believe, so the story goes, Elvis was so agitated on Halloween 1976 (the night the song was recorded) that he sang a very hurried and disinterested vocal. Are you kidding me?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:24 | Comments (3)

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