Why Are You a Republican?

October 29, 2008

So, it really is my goal to make blogging a regular thing, but sometimes good things like your wife being pregnant and bad things like medical bills overwhelm you (yeah, I know, I shouldn’t write in the second person, but it’s my damn blog) and you can’t come up with any of the mildly pithy commentary you’re usually so full of, so I’ve been lax.

In an effort to get back on track I am going to write about something that I think others can probably do a much better job of. All I want to know is this, if you are a Republican, why are you a Republican? If you know Republicans, why are they Republican? But don’t answer yet, read the blog first, because I think I know what you’re going to say…

1. I’m a fiscal conservative.
As I understand it, most people who consider themselves to be fiscal conservatives think the government should provide basic services and not spend any more than it brings in. Now, go look at this: http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm

If you were too lazy to go look at the chart, I’ll tell you what it shows: For the last 40-45 years, Democrats have been the fiscally responsible ones. When Democrats are in office, GDP goes up and the deficit goes down (or, at least, goes up less). When Republicans are in office GDP goes down and the deficit goes up. This is bad. This means, in short, that trickle down economics do not work. Now, don’t go claiming they do, because I just should you empirical data that says otherwise. And I’m not fudging the numbers here. I’m using two, pretty basic things. GDP and the deficit. Find me an economist who thinks a growing GDP is bad and a growing deficit is good and I’ll show you and unemployed economist. Okay, fiscal conservatives, why are you a Republican?

2. I don’t want the government all up in my business.
A. Republicans want to tell you who you can marry and who you
can’t. I think this qualifies as in your business.
B. If you’re a woman, Republicans do not think you are entitled
to legal jurisdiction over all of your body. I think this also
qualifies as in your business
C. Republicans in some places still want to pass laws about what
happens between consenting adults behind closed doors. Again…

3. We need to protect ourselves from the terrorists.
Corollary: Obama wants to negotiate with them!
All I really have to say about this is that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. NUH-THING. I know, I know, you’ve been brainwashed into thinking it did, but it didn’t. Remember, first it was WMDs, then it was “Liberating the Iraqis.” In fact, it took a long time until we were informed the Al-Qaeda was alive and kicking in Iraq (cough*afterweinvaded*cough). Also, Osama bin Laden: Still doin’ his thing.
Corollary: Imagine you are a terrorist (or, for the purpose of this discussion a bad guy). You are not the biggest guy on the block, but you have pretty big friends like China. Now, as a bad guy, that puts you in a pretty strong position, because nobody really wants to start a rumble with China anymore than the do one of the good guys like US (sorry, I meant us). Now, you being a bad guy, look across the table at the good guy (the United States) then you look behind you at your bad guy allies then you look back across the table and you say, “You know, I realize I’m not the big dog here, so I’ll make some sacrifices, but I want something to.” Now, here’s where it gets rich, the good guy stares you right in the eye and says “FUCK YOU ASSHOLE! You’re a terrorist! I’m not negotiating with you! Give me what I want or else!” At this point, you look back behind you at your good friend and say, “Okay, later.” Why? Because we’re not doing shit to you. You’re friends with people we don’t really want to piss off. Of course, we could negotiate and maybe get you to stop talking about annihilating Isreal as openly as you have been and maybe get some supervision for your nuclear programs in exchange for ending an embargo or two, but then we’d be negotiating! Oh no! Stonewalling is what really works. Just look at Cuba.

4. I am Christian.
Corollary: Evolution is wrong.
I understand, I used to be Chrisitian, too. But here’s the thing, I read the Bible (yeah, the whole thing, or, at least, pretty damn close), and I didn’t see anyting in there about abortion. Yes, there was some stuff about homosexuality, but it was in the same part that tells you to stone your children and not eat pork and cut off your beard. I think homosxuality is mentioned twice. I did see a whole lot of stuff about helping the poor and being kind to your enemies and just general caring for all people type stuff. So, here are a couple of questions: Why is homosexuality bad but beard trimming okay? Also, why aren’t you stoning your disobedient children? Basically, how do you know which parts of which parts of the Bible God cares about and which parts of parts he (it) doesn’t? Also, again, if we’re going by what’s actually in the bible, which party’s policies do more to take care of the least among us (because, one more time, helping the poor is mentioned like 475,651 times in the Bible and at least 234,987 times just by Jesus)?

Corollary: I’m not going into this in detail yet, but creationism is not science and should not be taught in classrooms. Evolution is and should. Look, do some research. The Bible, especially the old testament, isn’t literal. It’s a collection of parables. Hell, there are even two creation stories, so it can’t ALL be literal. Also, it used to be doctrine that the earth was the center of the universe. What religion should learn from this is that it should stay out of science. How life evolved does not invalidate the idea of turning the other cheek. Further, evolution does not preclude the existence of God. I can’t believe I live in a state with a “Creation Museum.”

So that’s it, after you read all of this I want you to tell me why you are still a Republican? Now, don’t go taking issue with my facts because they are facts. If you want to bring something else up, fine, but don’t argue with facts. Facts are true. Arguing with them is like arguing that the sun revolves around the earth. It’s stupid.

Last, I’m not friends with a lot of Republicans, maybe you are, direct them here. I want to know what they think.

Really, last, I’m sure there are typos. I’m too lazy to profread this. Let me know and I’ll fix them.

“News”

October 26, 2008

Just a short post here:

Not to be insensitive to Jennifer Hudson and her family, but I really find it amusing that cnn.com thinks that is a more important news story than a US helicopter launching an attack in Syria near the Iraqi border.

One Last Thing

October 2, 2008

I need to vent about Corey Patterson, then I promise no more baseball for a while. Corey Patterson is terrible. He is one of the worst players in major league baseball. This year he played in 135 games for the Reds. Among players with at least 300 plate appearances, Corey Patterson’s .582 OPS is the worst in major league baseball. If you make it a 200 plate appearance min., then he’s still bottom 10. Let me be clear about this, Corey Patterson is terrible. He has no business being in the major leagues, but Reds Manager Dusty Baker put him in the game 135 times. There are onyl 162 games. Therefore, Dusty Baker is an idiot.

This is my pledge. If Corey Patterson gets even one at bat for the Reds in a regular season game next year, I will not follow Reds baseball until Dusty Baker is no longer the manager.

Okay, so you all got part one that you don’t really care about, now it’s time for part two wherein I dissect the Reds offensive prospects. Once again, the primary stat I will use (OPS+) is prorated so that 100 average, below 100 is below average, and if I have to tell you what above 100 is, then you are an idiot and should stop reading my blog.

To start off, let’s look at what the Reds got from each position this year:

C: Bako 62, Ross 95, Hanigan 91
1B: Joey Votto 124
2B: Brandon Phillips 92
3B: Edwin Encarnacion 106
SS: Poop
LF: Adam Dunn 130
CF: Corey Patterson 48, Jay Bruce 96
RF Ken Griffey, Jr. 103

So, just from looking at that, it should be pretty clear why the Reds stunk this year. Other than Votto and Dunn, no one really did much to speak of offensively (and Dunn was traded with two months left in the season). First, though, let’s look at the guys we know will be back, and then we’ll get to the question marks.

1B: Joey Votto 124 – Votto had an excellent Rookie season. He’ll probably finish second in Rookie of the year voting and he really came on at the end of the year, which bodes well for next year, so we will be glad to have him back as our first baseman. Bat him third.

2B: Brandon Phillips 92 – But me down as someone who thinks Phillips is overrated offensively. He is not a number three hitter. He just doesn’t get on base enough. Still, he does hit for power and he’s a fantastic defensive second baseman. Drop in the six or seven hole and I have no complaints. I’ll gladly take his numbers as my 2B, just don’t pretend he should be hitting at the top of the order.

3B: Edwin Encarnacion 106 – As much as Phillips is overrated, I think Edwin is underrated. He’s still very young (25) and has seen his power numbers improve steadily. I like him as a #5 hitter. I can see the arguments for moving him to a different position, but we’ll get back to that later.

CF/RF: Jay Bruce 96 – Jar Bruce is 21. This was his rookie year. He is going to be a superstar. Just give it time. For now, bat him sixth or seventh, move him to 4th if he takes off.

That’s it. Really, I’m not kidding. The Reds still have serious questions at catcher, short, and two outfield spots. That is half of your everyday lineup. This is not good. I’m getting depressed; it’s going to be hard to finish this. Okay, let’s try to look at the questions:

C: It looks like Hanigan is going to get a shot. I am mostly okay with this (as long as he bats 8th), but what if he isn’t as good as he looked at the end of the year, and they have to replace him? Their are a handful of catchers out there who might accept the second banana role with the potential to start, but how many? And what kind of numbers will they put up? I don’t know.

Conclusion: give it to Hanigan and cross your fingers. Maybe resign Valentin (who was mostly a PH this year), if he’s willing.

SS: Okay, let me get this out of the way right now. Jerry Hairston, jr. is not the answer. He had a career year this year, he was fantastic. He is also 33 years old. Do you want to bank on him repeating this year’s numbers? I don’t. He can come back as a utility man, but that’s it. I DO NOT want him starting (obviously, my opinion matters). Alex Gonzalez is supposed to be the SS, but he keeps getting hurt. Keppinger can’t defend, and this year, he didn’t hit. It’s quite a conundrum, and there aren’t a lot of great free agent options out there.

Conclusion: the Reds should go with what they have and hope some combination of Gonzalez & Keppinger with spot starts by Freel and or Hairston can put together some kind of non-disastrous season.

Second Conclusion: I miss Barry Larkin.

OF: Bruce CAN play center, though he’s better suited to right. Dickerson was excellent in limited time, but I’m not foolish enough to think he’s as good as he showed at the end of the year. Still, I can be persuaded to some sort of Dickerson/Freel (if he gets healthy)/Stubbs (if he’s ready) combo in CF and at the top of the order. They all get on base enough not to hurt me and they can all run. I’m interested to see how this turnd out. For the other spot, their are two options:

1. Trade for or sign an outfielder. Oddly, I think the best move would be for the Reds to sign Dunn, who they traded to Arizona in August. I could also see Burrell, who is basically Adam Dunn light. I’ve heard talk of trades for Holliday from Colorado or Ordonez from Detroit. Either of those would be fine with me (though I’m always skeptical of hitters from Colorado).

2. Move Votto to left. This allows you to sign a 1st baseman or move Edwin to first and sign a 3rd baseman. Of course, I would love to see them sign Teixera, he of the 153 OPS +, but I am not holding my breath. Other than Teixera, though, there’s not much on the market. Again, I’ve heard talk about potential trades for Beltre, but I don’t really like him. He doesn’t get on base much anymore and seems to be on the decline.

Conclusion: Unless something fantastic comes up, stick with option 1.

So, if I’m making out the lineup, it probably looks something like this:

1. Dickerson/Freel (CF)
2. Bruce (RF)
3. Votto (1B)
4. Free Agent OF
5. Encarnacion (3B)
6. Phillips (2B)
7. SS Crap Shoot
8. Hanigan (C)

I know, I moved Bruce to 2nd, but Christ there is not a lot of prowess here. Frankly, this scares the shit out of me. I do not know how this team is going to score enough to be competitve unless management spends A LOT of money. So, if you care about my well being at all, cross your fingers and hope Bruce breaks out, Phillips starts getting on base, Edwin takes a step forward, Votto keeps getting better, and ownership drops some change on a free agent, otherwise, it’s going to be a long summer.

Conclusion: I miss Adam Dunn and Barry Larkin. They could hit.