Thursday, May 31, 2012

George R.R. Martin Interview

If you are a Game of Thrones fan - this interview with George R. R. Martin is must viewing.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The unforced errors by the Obama Administration will be the cause that in the end costs him re-election. Talking about "Polish Death Camps" is just the latest example. I'd be willing to bet that 75% of Polish-Americans would identify themselves both as Catholic and as Democrats. Obama is making it hard for them to vote for him. Good chance they just stay home on election day... Wow - some of these photos literally brought tears to my eyes... For the record - I did not order the code red. You're goddamn right I didn't... Robert Parish's 1981 Celtics World Championship ring sold at auction for $45,578. I would have liked to own that...  If I was Mitt Romney - I'd check into what Ivan "the Polish Hammer" Putski is up to. Having Ivan Putski appear at some events may be the best way to pick up that Polish vote that the Obama Administration is tossing aside.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hemingway and Gellhorn

I'm a big fan of Ernest Hemingway so the HBO produced Hemingway and Gellhorn naturally drew me in.

Oh what an awful show. I mean really bad. But it was so bad that it became good in an Ed Wood sort of way. I can't believe that as I type this - the show has an 8.3 rating out of 10 on IMDB. It was crap. But unintentionally funny crap.

To start off - it has lots of name stars. You start playing - I know that guy! And I know that guy! And that guy! From Clive Owen as the cartoon Hemingway to Nicole Kidman as Martha Gellhorn. The only positive thing I can say about Kidman's performance is at least she gets naked (in one of the most awkward sex scenes I've ever witnessed). Robert Duvall makes an appearance as some Russian general. I kept waiting for him to say "I love the smell of Communism in the morning!" Tony "Monk" Shalhoub was a Russian propagandist. Awesome character actor David Strathairn was John Dos Passos except I think he was actually playing "gay eye for the anti-fascist guy." Molly Parker played Hemingway's wife Pauline and in one scene where she explained that her money bought Hemingway his nice things and even his manhood - I almost expected her to explain that her money came from a gold mine in Deadwood.

All-in-all it was a bad, bad film. But so bad that I might actually watch it a second time.

The Rains of Castamere by The National

Very cool. Reading the books I always wondered how this song would sound.

Now I know.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Some day soon Josh Hamilton's life will be immortalized by a Country and Western song. There may even be a whole CD of ballads about Hamilton... Would the Mets do a Johan Santana for Clay Buchholz swap? The Mets would get a young pitcher under control for years and also shed a tremendous amount of cash. The Red Sox would get an ace under contract for at least this season and next... Donald Trump should legally add an "O" to the end of his name to make his "brand" more appealing to Europeans. Besides I just like the idea of calling him Donald Trumpo... In June of 2006 - Barack Obama was a 30-1 shot to win the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination. That would have been a good bet... Stunt Custard would be a good name for a band (or a fantasy football name)... Curt Schilling should have put it on the Underhill's bill... Airport taco should be slang for something - or it could be a good fantasy football name...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

How History Could have Been Different

Fidel Castro had a law degree and when he was young he joined the firm of Azpiazo, Castro and Resende. He didn't do very well in the practice. Castro was a young lawyer without any clients.

I can't help but wonder how history could have been different if only Castro had been a better lawyer. Or if he happened to get a big case or client. Would Fidel have been so hot for communism if he was sitting on a pile of money?

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
Jim Gaffigan's take on Subway sandwiches
I got a big kick out of some of these photos. Good stuff. 
Very cool story of 19-year old entrepreneur who worked out of AOL's offices for 2 months  
These GIF's are awesome - wicked awesome. 
Interesting profile of perhaps Mitt Romney's biggest groupie 

Birther Politics

Donald Trump is still stalking about President Obama being born in Kenya. As Jim Treacher points out - that's a lie. Obama was born in Hawaii.

The meme got me thinking though. The reason this may not go away is because somebody knows something. My guess is that this has to do with Obama not releasing his college transcripts. Could it be that Obama went to college as a "foreign exchange" student or had his tuition paid under the impression he was from Kenya? Some old college admissions person probably vividly remembers something.

Now it could be that Obama is not releasing his transcripts because of bad grades (which wouldn't be a shocker either). But what if Obama received some scholarship meant for foreign born students?

I'm not a conspiracy theory guy in general but Occam's razor would seem to point to Obama not releasing his transcripts for one of two reasons A: the grades were disappointing or B: he has something to hide. Would either answer surprise you?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Challenge: Ryan's Story

Wow. Just wow.

I can recall being in Washington D.C. on Memorial Day one year. Visiting the Vietnam Memorial was one of the most overwhelming experiences in my life. The emotion was so overwhelming I felt claustrophobic in the open air.

Happy Towel Day

Today is Towel Day - a day of tribute to the late author Douglas Adams.

BBC America has 25 Douglas Adams quotes to live by.

Here's a talk by Adams that I've linked to in the past - Parrots the Universe and Everything.

Happy Towel Day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I think a Romney / Petreaus ticket would really be a big winner... Seeing a confused middle aged guy in the tampon section of a CVS is one of the most bemusing moments of my week... Scott Podsednik wearing 26 for the Red Sox is the final nail in any argument people may have about Boston retiring Wade Boggs' number (even though Peter Gammons guaranteed that the owners were going to do it about 5 years ago)... Where did the phrase "steal my thunder" come from? I love stories about phrase and word origins... God's teaspoon of seawater contains billions of bacteria and around 5 million walruses - according the Bible I was reading in my dreams... Manny Ramirez is forgotten but not gone in Boston. The Red Sox still owe him 14 more yearly payments of $1.9 million. They will be paying Manny until he's 54-years old. Don't tell me that steroids don't pay...

Nina Simone - Sinnerman

Just because.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
Very interesting address by Neil Gaiman. Excellent advice.
This was awesome. Kyrie Irving disguised as old man schools street ballers.
Nice look at Derek Lowe's season and Lowe's perspective on it.
Interesting insight into why Adam Lind may have been placed on waivers.
Triple Crown Odds - I'll Have Another has 39% chance to make history.
Medicine for the Dead - an interesting new blog.

State of the Red Sox

For a guy who is down on the Red Sox - I sure do think about them a lot. That's what it's like to be a Red Sox fan these days. It's like having a blood relative cousin who seems to be doing OK on the surface but who you know is having all sorts of issues behind the scenes. You are concerned, you want to do something but it really isn't your place.

At one point you couldn't have been more proud of your cousin. You used to brag about him to all your out of state friends. But your cousin had a couple of rough months last year and now your cousin is getting over a tough divorce (Terry Francona and Theo Epstein) and you aren't so sure that the new flame(s) are good for him (Bobby Valentine and Ben Cherington). But who are you to say anything?

You also think your cousin is not hanging with the right sort of friends. One of the guys he's hanging with is much more concerned with finding snitches than being a good member of the community. You see this as a bad thing but the professional counselors (sports writers) think anyone who wants to get rid of that bad friend is stupid because the friend has had great success when he was younger and that's all that counts.

The thing about relatives who have issues and may not be all that likable when you take a good look - you lose interest in them and their problems after a while. Even if they have some success - it doesn't mean as much to you as it once did. That's the state of the Red Sox in a nutshell.

Warning to Red Sox front office types - once people stop caring it is very hard to get that passion back. Expect lower NESN ratings. And lower advertising revenues.

Three Points:

1. Perhaps the most heart warming team success story this year is that of the first place Cleveland Indians. It should be noted that the core players for the Indians Sin-Soo Choo, Asdubal Cabrera, and Carlos Santana were players Cleveland obtained in trades for veterans. Are we to believe that Josh Beckett and Kevin Youkilis would not have the sort of trade value the Indians found for Ben Broussard, Eduardo Perez, and Casey Blake? Kevin Youkilis and Casey Blake are almost the same player!

2. Not to rain on the accomplishments of very likable Mike Aviles this year for the Sox but look at this player comparison:

Mike Aviles - 25 R/ 7 HR/ 25 RBI/ .272 BA/ .300 OBP/ .781 OPS
Player B      - 15 R/ 5 HR/ 16 RBI/ .274 BA/ .357 .OBP/ .801 OPS

Player B is Jed Lowrie who the Red Sox traded away. Would the Red Sox have been better off if they had just kept Lowrie? I think the answer to this question still hasn't been answered.

3. People are still talking about moving Daniel Bard back to the bullpen. Why? Despite a bad first inning the other day - Bard has been perhaps the most consistent Red Sox starter this year. Why mess with the guy? Especially when you have Mark Melancon (the guy Lowrie was traded for) tearing it up at AAA Pawtucket. Melancon has a 0.00 ERA in 13 games for the Pawsox but he hasn't been recalled because the Red Sox bullpen has been doing so well. But if they are doing so well - why do people want to chuck Bard back into the mix and out of the rotation?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

George McGovern's Illegitimate Child

Little piece of history that I found interesting - near the end of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72 there was a brief mention of George McGovern having an illegitimate child. Though I have read the book a half-dozen times - this line never really stood out. This time I was curious.

Turns out there's an author out there who claims that McGovern did father a child while a teenager training for the Army Air Force. George and his wife were afraid during the last month of the 1972 campaign that his secret would come out. It never did. The cynic in me thinks that Richard Nixon's people knew they had won and thus declined to sling that particular bit of mud. If the race had been closer? Who knows.

As I said - just an interesting "what if" bit of history now.

Kevin Youkilis

Steve Buckley has a column in today's Boston Herald discussing why the Red Sox should bring back Kevin Youkilis and give him the starting role at 3rd base. His logic is - to say the least - lacking. Here are the three bullet points Buckley points to on why Youkilis should get his job back.

1. If Youkilis can return and show his old hitting prowess then the Red Sox will have added a proven veteran to the line-up. To this I say - old hitting prowess may be a bad choice of words because Youkilis has looked old at bat and in the field. Since last year's All-Star break Youkilis has hit .205 with a sub .660 OPS. Let's also be honest - the days of Youkilis hitting 20+ HR are gone. The years of Will Middlebrooks hitting 20+ HR per year are just beginning. Give the kid a shot.

2. Buckley wants Youkilis to get his job back to increase his trade value because to use Buckley's own words, "Youk is worthless [on the trade market right now]." There's a reason Youk is worthless Buck. Nick Punto is worthless on the trade market too - should we give him a starting job to try and improve that?

3. The third reason Buckley gives is the old - a veteran shouldn't lose his job to injury. To which I'd say in my best Don Draper voice, "THAT's WHAT THE MONEY IS FOR!" Youkilis is making $13 million this year. He isn't coming close to returning value on that investment.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Red Sox Magic Number -131

It seems like many of the reporters covering the Red Sox have been beating fans over the head after Josh Beckett's last game and regarding Will Middlebrooks and the fact if you listened to some of them you would think Middlebrooks was 1 for his last 131 at bats (hey had to work 131 in there somewhere).

Their message comes down to, "Hey dumb-asses do you still want to trade Josh Beckett and Kevin Youkilis?" And my answer is not only "YES!" but to point out that these reporters just don't get it. Even after that great last outing - Beckett still has a replacement level ERA of 4.97 and he still is a petulant self-entitled multi-millionaire. Beckett pays more in taxes than most Red Sox fans make in a year. I don't want to hear him complain about wanting to do what he wants to do on his "18 days off". Screw him.

Trade him. I don't care about him any more. And I know many fans feel the same way. Free up his roster spot for someone who at least will act like he cares about the fans and about wearing the uniform. Get him out of the clubhouse. Get him off the team. He should bring back a good prospect or two from an NL team.

When it comes to Kevin Youkilis - I feel bad for him but my sympathy only goes so far for a guy who will make $13 million this year. The fact is Will Middlebrooks has struggled the last half dozen games. But the fact also remains that Middlebrooks has been much more effective than Youkilis this season (73 OPS+ to 124 OPS+). Besides people want to see what the kid can do. People don't really want to see Youkilis complain after a bad at bat or grimace in the field after making a diving attempt at a ball that is just outside his reach any more.

The Red Sox are still in the hunt for both the AL East and Wild Card spots but that doesn't mean they are likable. Only Dustin Pedrioa and Will Middlebrooks make me want to check the boxscores the next day. Boston ownership will be reaping some pretty poor numbers from NESN ratings because this team is so unlikable. Which will in turn mean less revenue for advertising. The Celtics will probably go deep into the NBA playoffs and suddenly it will be pre-season for the Patriots. That's when you will start seeing some moves.

But by that time it may be too late.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
Very good political ad. There will be lots of ads like this using Obama's own words against him. 
Heh heh - funniest dog picture ever 
This is spectacular photo and a spectacular use of light
Have you seen this Ricky Williams interview with Dan LeBatard? What did you think? 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Stairway to Heaven (on the Harp)

I thought this was both pretty cool and yet strangely soothing at the same time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bruce McCall's Ascent of Man

A little silliness on a Saturday afternoon.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Every military action by the US since Vietnam has at some point been called a quagmire by the media. How come social "wars" are never called quagmires? The War on Drugs is a quagmire, the War on Women is a quagmire, etc... Even making tea is dramatic when Alan Rickman is involved. Kinda long video but I thoroughly enjoyed it... If Mitt Romney wins the popular vote but loses in the Electoral College - will the mainstream media chime in that Obama was "selected and not elected"?... Speaking of President Obama - his recent pronouncement on gay marriage may hurt him at the polls. The independent vote is the key... Nicolas Cage is an Oscar winning actor. That's like Barack Obama being a Nobel Prize winner - right?... Social Darwinism? Is that like Social Drinking? I only believe in evolution when with friends and then only in moderation. And never when I'm alone... Interesting history - some evidence supports theory that gay marriage within early Catholic Church was no big deal...

General Welsh Speech to USAFA

Wow - the video is 50 minutes long but every minute is worth your time. General Welsh has been nominated to be the next chief of staff of the Air Force. I'd say the Air Force is in good hands.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Josh Beckett Solution

Josh Beckett - I keep trying to think of a player who went so completely from champion to chump so quickly or so completely. I can't think of anyone. Josh Beckett was a World Series hero back in 2007 and now less than 5 seasons later the city of Boston is disgusted with him.

Brett Favre in Green bay maybe? But the Packers really initiated that because they had Aaron Rodgers waiting in the wings. The Red Sox don't have a replacement waiting for Beckett - although it would be hard to argue that ANYONE could have performed worse than what Josh Beckett has done so far this season (except maybe Clay Buchholz).

I found myself hoping that some starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers gets hurt because Beckett as a 10/5 ma would probably OK a trade to Texas. That's the wrong attitude though. What the Red Sox should do with Josh Beckett is startlingly simple when you think of it - the Red Sox should place Josh Beckett on irrevocable waivers. BAM! One two things could result from that move; 1. some team claims him thus freeing up all that salary and ridding the team of the cancer that Beckett has become or 2. Beckett sees that NO team in baseball wants him because of what he has become. That would either be the cold slap of reality that maybe Beckett needs or at the least it would grease the skids for any future move the front office might make.

They did this with Manny Ramirez in 2003 and they should do it with Josh Beckett today.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
I thought this was awesome - paralyzed woman runs marathon in bionic suit.
Communism vs Capitalism - these photos may be a few years old but the point they make could be any more pronounced
Jon Hamm rapping about Taxi is just great. Big Jon Hamm fan.
Very cool series of videos that explain backstory of Game of Thrones. 

Popular Crime

Bill James is a very good writer. He is best known as the father of Sabermetrics but in my opinion he's a better writer than statistician. That's saying something. And I haven't even mentioned how what a great sense of humor Bill James has.

His most recent book Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence was a very good read. James combines his excellent writing skills, history that most of us probably never knew or had forgotten and a sense of logic and common sense to give explanations of what probably actually happened in these sensational crimes.

I grew up knowing the Lizzie Borden rhyme about giving her mother 40 whacks. Now I know the whole story thanks to James. I do admit that I did get a bit bogged down with James' idea of giving points to decide guilt but that is a small quibble. If you like history, crime or just good writing then you'll like Popular Crime.

Obama and Gay Marriage

I do have to hand it to President Obama. The day after he lost 40% of the vote in West Virginia to a prison inmate and the day after Wisconsin completely repudiated the unions who are his biggest supporters  - he was able to change the discussion to a subject that made him look enlightened. Talk about West Virginia and Wisconsin was completely shunted aside.

Nice political jujitsu. But how many times can he do something like this between now and November?

This was the best analysis I've read yet of the President's "evolution" on gay marriage.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

North Carolina Amendment 1

North Carolina passed their Amendment 1 by an overwhelming majority of 60-40. Amendment 1 basically outlaws gay marriage in North Carolina.

Let me say for the record that I don't have a problem with gay marriage. If two people want to commit to each other - great. No skin off my knees. If a gay couple wants to adopt - great. Better to have a kid in an environment where he's wanted.

The question I have is how will the Democrats handle the hypocrisy? A few years ago when Arizona passed a law that Democrats thought was wrong - they called for a boycott of MLB's All-Star game.  The Obama Administration so disagreed with the law that they had the Justice Department sue to try to prevent the law from taking effect.

Will Democrats now call for a boycott of the Democratic National Convention? To do otherwise would be hypocritical. Will the Obama Justice Department sue to prevent Amendment 1 from taking effect? To do otherwise would be hypocritical. The Democratic National Convention is as political as it gets. Every big name attending or speaking at the Convention better not have called for boycotting the MLB All-Star game or the MSM will surely expose their hypocrisy. To do otherwise would be hypocritical by the media.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Delta Drops Daily Show

I read this about Delta dropping out from advertising on The Daily Show because of an offensive "vagina manger" skit.

The skit may have been over the line and I do agree that if they had tried to place an image of Muhammad in place of the manger - then it would have been censored - but I think the reason Delta decided to stop advertising on the show is more simple. The target audience of The Daily Show is not really the target audience for Delta. How many college students or slackers buy airline tickets? Not many. This viewpoint also explains why Kellogg's isn't dropping their advertising over the "vagina manger". What percentage of The Daily Show's audience buy boxes of cereal? Pretty much all of them.

I'm guessing that The Daily Show isn't too worked up abut losing Delta Airlines - Ramen Noodles has probably been waiting in line for some time.

Tribute to Maurice Sendak

In tribute to the passing of Maurice Sendak - here's Christopher Walken reading Sendak's masterpiece Where the Wild Things Are.

RIP Maurice Sendak.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just saying but if I wanted to kill an ex-NFL player - I'd shoot them in the chest at close range. Right now everyone would just assume it was a suicide on the part of the player... Bill Belichick on the red carpet at the Kentucky Derby. I love Belichick but man does he look goofy here... Michael Bowden has a 2.70 ERA since joining the Cubs. Is it me or could the Red Sox use a reliever like that?... The owner of I'll Have Another got a little over $1.4 million for yesterday's win. The jockey got 10% of that - so a little over $140,000. A caddy for a winning golfer in one of the four majors probably makes more than that... I love this story about Jeff Francoeur buying a round of beers and it makes me like him all the more. The sad thing is even though he could easily afford to do this every game - if he did it people would come to expect it and feel entitled to it. Best to do it every once and a while as a surprise for the fans... Elementary kids in my neighborhood are selling light-bulbs for a school fundraiser. Is this like kids selling apples in the Great Depression? Under Obama are light-bulbs now luxury items like magazine subscriptions or chocolate candy bars?... Cool - an octopus dining on sea gulls... What's up with Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson? He should be a Cy Young contender but instead he's pitching like he's the second coming of John Wasdin... Finally saw the movie In Bruges and I liked it so much I immediately watched it a second time. Two big thumbs up...

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thoughts I'd share.
Interesting - the science of Martian sunsets
This sounds like a very cool project - 94 Elements
Wow - How 4 years of Barack Obama have undone 8 years of Ronald Reagan
This makes sense - why men no longer wear hats. It should be noted that you can still wear a baseball cap in a car.
An excellent example of how a sportswriter's ego gets in the way. Ron Borges is a clown. 

Why Hot Microphones are Better Than Citrus

Heh heh - I love these behind the scenes moments in history.

Red Sox Magic Number - 144

Many people have made the point that the Red Sox have more contract dollars on the DL then teams have in total salary. The people talking about this are missing an important point - it is not the players on the DL that are making this Red Sox team a mediocre unit - it is the players on the active roster. In specific it is the starting pitching.

Before last season some people were arguing that the Red Sox starting 5 of Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Buchholz and Matsuzaka was the best in baseball. This season some people are arguing that the Red Sox starting 5 is the worst in the AL East. Talk about the bloom being off the rose.

Daniel Bard has the best ERA among the starters with a 4.38 which equates to an ERA+ of 98. That means that even the best Red Sox starter has been worse than the MLB average (average being 100). Put it another way - of the Red Sox starting pitchers only Clay Buchholz has a winning record (3-1) and that's only because he's been "lucky" as evidenced by Buchholz's 8.69 ERA.

Red Sox fans have been rooting for this team out of habit - not because of anything they have earned on the field.

As an aside the USS Worcester (CL-144) was a post WWII light cruiser. I'll use any excuse to mention Worcester.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

What's Happened to the American Dream?

Big fan of Niall Ferguson. Couldn't agree more with his views on the US economy and the American dream.

If you have the time be sure to read his book The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
The Scream sells for $120 million. Did not know there were 4 copies of this painting. This was not the one that was stolen a couple of years ago.
I love science questions like this. What would happen if you placed your hand in the way of the Large Hadron Collider?
Very interesting look at some old-timey sportswriters who called themselves "the Chipmunks". This was the sort of think I hoped Grantland would be putting out.
In depth story of Joss Whedon and how he came to helm the new Avengers movie. Good read.
Amusing Mad Men / Watchmen mash-up
15 Spectacular Libraries in Europe. Spectacular may be underselling the awesomeness of these libraries.

A Quibble

I like reading James Taranto's Best of the Web but I do have a small issue with yesterday's lead paragraph:
Imagine if President Nixon had decided to base his 1972 re-election campaign on the boast that he landed on the moon. His predecessors tried and failed for eight years. It wasn't an easy decision - what if something went wrong? But that's why you hire a president, to make those gutsy calls. Which path would George McGovern have taken?
I've liked the landing on the moon to killing bin Laden comparison but I have to take issue with the last sentence. I don't think any thinking person believes that Romney would have hesitated to also give the order to kill Osama bin Laden but McGovern actually might have decided against the moon landing. People forget but one of McGovern's campaign planks in 1972 was a pledge to end the nascent Space Shuttle program. McGovern planned to use those funds on domestic programs. Who is to say that if elected in 1968 he wouldn't have made the same decision when it came to the moon landing?

Paul Pierce

Last night's performance against the Hawks has many people talking about Paul Pierce today. On sports talk radio they are debating his place in the Celtics all-time pantheon. Is he in the top 5 of all-time Celtics? Well he's obviously behind Bill Russell and Larry Bird. Behind John Havlicek too. What about Cousy, McHale and don't forget former MVP Dave Cowens? Talk about a wealth of riches.

What struck me was the thought of what if Paul Pierce wasn't a Celtic? He probably would be THE greatest player in franchise history for the following teams; Toronto, New Jersey (I'm going to say that he's better than Buck Williams), Milwaukee, Cleveland, Charlotte, Los Angeles Clippers (maybe a few years will let Blake Griffin pass Pierce), Memphis and the New Orleans Hornets (the New Orleans Jazz had Pistol Pete).

Think of that - 8 franchises for whom Paul Pierce would be their greatest player of all-time. Paul Pierce is one of those players who most likely won't get his historical due.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Credit Where Credit is Due

Obama Spiking the Football

President Obama's campaign ad touting the fact that he made the call to have Osama bin Laden killed (actually he made the call to have an Admiral make the call but let's not quibble) has created some controversy but I think the people complaining about the ad miss an important point. Yes President Obama said that bragging about killing bin Laden would be the equivalent of spiking the football but spiking the football can sometimes be awesome (as Rob Gronkowski keeps reminding us). Yes every President would have made the same call (even Jimmy Carter).

The thing people are over-looking is the timing. It was just revealed that Barack Obama has been to more fund raising events than all of the previous 20th century Presidents combined. President Obama also recently changed a $3 raffle from dinner with him to dinner with him and George Clooney (the equivalent of a late night pitch artist offering to double your order of Sham-Wow if you order today). There's a reason for all the events and needing George Clooney. The President is having trouble raising money.

His advisers know that his poll numbers received a bump when news of bin Laden's death were first announced. They also know that bump only lasted so long. Bringing up bin Laden's death will probably result in another bump but Obama's advisers must know that it is bound to be smaller and of less duration than the original. Why go for that bump now? Why not use that bump closer to the election? Using it now will probably just serve to fatigue the voters in the long run. "Yeah yeah - you made a phone call and killed bin Laden, you've told us a million times now but that still doesn't help my unemployed son get a job."

I think the reason President Obama is touting killing bin Laden now is simple. He's having trouble raising money. Yes - Republicans are right to complain that even Jimmy Carter would have made that same call but in their heart of hearts they should be a little pleased because the ad tips Obama's hand. Team Obama is worried because they got nothing else to sell. Obamacare? The Stimulus? Doubling the price of gas at the pump? Having killed bin Laden is the only trick their pony knows.

The President is having trouble raising money. That probably would not have been the case if he didn't spend the last 3-years blowing through all of our cash (and the cash of future generations).