Tag Archives: barack obama

They Fought the Math, and the Math Won

I wrote this about Nate Silver four years ago, shortly after Barack Obama was elected president for the first time. Four years have dimmed a lot of the optimism and starry-eyed hope on display within it, as I think it has for many people. Still, I stand by every word of that post, especially where it pertains to Silver.

Looking back on it, what I find most amazing is how you could apply nearly everything I said about him in 2008 to this year’s election. Four years ago, Silver made electoral predictions that were mocked and downplayed by professional pundits who didn’t like the outcome they pointed to. This year, with Silver’s profile much higher, the attacks were more pronounced, but the results were the same: When you fight math, you lose.

I supported Obama with reservations. I wish he’d close Gitmo, like he promised. I wish he’d stop sending drones out to kill people–both for basic human reasons and because it creates more terrorists than it eliminates. I wish he’d do more to end our reliance on fossil fuels, and to stop a pointless and destructive “war against drugs.”

However, none of these issues would have been improved by Obama’s only viable alternative. If anything, they would have worsened, and nearly all of the tangible good Obama has done (marriage rights, affordable health care) would have been reversed. For me, it came down to this: The party that opposed Obama spent much of the campaign season trying to rationalize rape, and their presidential candidate did absolutely nothing to distance himself from fellow Republicans who did so. As the father of a daughter, as a husband, and as a human being, I do not want that party making laws, let alone appointing Supreme Court justices.

Another reason why I couldn’t bear the thought of Mitt Romney becoming president was Nate Silver, the man who spelled out Mitt Romney’s demise months in advance. Or rather, how Silver was treated by people who perceived him as The Enemy.

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The Crooked Frame: Eric Nusbaum

Hello there again! Thanks for stopping by for another edition of The Crooked Frame, wherein I ask a pal to describe their most “memorable” live experience. If you want a better idea of why I put “memorable” in quotes, check out the first two posts in this series. Go on, check ‘em out. We’ll wait here for you.

Today’s tale comes courtesy of Eric Nusbaum, who is a co-editor of Pitchers & Poets and contributor to future sports publication The Classical. His work has appeared in publications including Slate, Deadspin, and The Best American Sports Writing. His tale unfolds after the jump.

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The President’s Orders

Hello, this is Capitol Hill Pizza Hut, home of the endless buffalo buffet. May I take your order?

I want to be clear about this. I want a two large pies, one Meat Lovers, one with peppers, mushrooms, and extra garlic. The American people deserve no less.

Okay, that’ll be $24.50.

The Meat Lovers pie is off the table. Never let it be said that this president can not compromise.

You don’t have to compromise. You’re the president; you can order whatever you want.

No, no, just the large pie with peppers, mushrooms, and extra garlic. In the spirit of compromise, however, I might be persuaded to ditch the extra garlic.

If you want extra garlic, you should get extra garlic.

Fine, no extra garlic. You drive a hard bargain, but I think bipartisanship at all costs in all of our best interests.

Okay, so one large pie with peppers and mushrooms.

Make it a medium. With just the mushrooms.

You sure about that? You seem less and less hungry each time…

I will order one breadstick, and that’s my final offer.

If that’s what you want. With one breadstick, your total is 89 cents.

This breadstick will ensure the prosperity of our great nation for years to come.

America Owes Curt Schilling

If you ask me, we did not deal with Osama bin Laden’s body properly. What, nobody asked me? Whatever, never stopped me before.

From top to bottom, this operation was handled all wrong. Look, I know these were Navy SEALs, some of the deadliest, most highly trained operatives on the planet, but I used to throw baseballs, okay? So I think I know what I’m talking about.

For instance, from all the reports I’ve read so far, not one mentions any of these operatives delivering a “kicker” line before sending Osama to kingdom come. Not even a “Message from Uncle Sam” or “Special delivery courtesy of the red, white, and blue!” If anyone had consulted me, I’ve got a 300-page Word document filled with such phrases, ranging from punny to ironic to righteously indignant. I have one for any conceivable scenario. If we found him on the moon, I would’ve said “The Eagle has landed–on your motherfucking face!

Another failure of imagination: They didn’t booby trap his house, Death Wish 3 style, so when he tried to flee the scene he could be whacked in the face with a board filled with nails. At the very least, his demise could have been far more humiliating. For all their skills with the deadly arts, these Navy SEALs didn’t think to shove a hand grenade up his poop chute? Is this where our tax dollars are going?

So no, I don’t give so-called President Obama any credit for this. I agree with my good friend Rush Limbaugh; Obama acted like he was responsible for this operation just because he approved it and gave the kill order and monitored it from start to finish. It’s amazing–some people have to make everything about them, don’t they?

And don’t get me started on the Muslim burial thing. Honoring other people’s religious traditions, ugh, it makes me sick. I think we should have desecrated the body. And when I say we, I mean me. I think America owed it to me, a millionaire athlete who was nowhere near New York or Washington DC on September 11th, to exact my own personal revenge on someone who once made me nervous to fly.

Look, those are the rules. When you kill the bad guy, you get to do bad stuff to his corpse. Sure, it might not be “politically correct,” but that’s what war is like. At least it is from what I’ve gathered from Tom Clancy novels. Prime example: Mussolini, hung upside down. Now there’s a desecration you can set your watch to!

There are some who say that mutilating his body would have incited riots and endangered hundreds of thousands of American troops stationed overseas. Well, that’s a risk they’ll just have to take. What are we paying them for, anyway?

That’s why I’m leading a team of the world’s best deep sea divers to retrieve Bin Laden’s body. We’re renting a bathysphere and we’re gonna comb the ocean floor until we find that bastard’s body. Then we’re gonna bring it back to America and I’m gonna pose with it on a pier like it’s a huge marlin I just landed. Then I’m gonna hand out baseball bats so people can whack it like a piñata. Signature Curt Schilling bats, only $175 a pop.

And then I’m gonna fly a fighter jet and shoot all the other bad guys. Pew-pew! Pew-pew! Ack-ack-ack-ack! Nyow!

Trump Says You’re Welcome, America

As usual, it took Trump to do what no one else could. Look, I didn’t really think Obama wasn’t born here. Only a brainless, racist moron would think that. But I was smart enough to recognize how many brainless, racist morons there are in this country and how I could use their unfocused rage to get the president to finally produce his birth certificate. You’re welcome, America. Consider it an early 4th of July present from yours truly. Yes, when you’re a true patriot like myself, even six months ahead of time isn’t too soon to celebrate the day we took back Plymouth Rock from the Chinese.

It took Trump to force this issue, folks, and that’s exactly what I did. I forced it. I pushed and poked and prodded the issue. I got in the issue’s face, like an inch away, and said “Hey issue, does this bug you? Does this bug you? I’m not touching you. Are you gonna cry, issue? Go ahead and cry! 1-2-3 cry!” That’s what I call leadership.

The fact that I got Obama to release his birth certificate proves that I can be presidential. Because that’s what a president does: he badgers and pesters and whines until he gets his way. If I was president, I’d be all like, “Hey Russia, cut it out.” And they’d be all like, “What do you mean-ski?” And I’d be like, “You know what, just knock it off, ya knuckleheads.” There isn’t a world leader who could stand up to the grilling I would give them across a large mahogany desk. Not the king of France, not the Sultan of Norway, not even the czar of Antarctica.

Next, I’m turning my sights on Obama’s academic record. Sure, he went to Harvard Law School and headed the law journal and graduated zooma cum loudly, or whatever it is. But did he really deserve it? Now, I’m not saying all his professors didn’t just breeze him along because they’d been paid off by a powerful cabal of Muslim extremists and Black Panthers to introduce him to effete liberal society and one day be installed as president. Luckily, other people are saying it for me, so I just have to suggest it.

I haven’t announced my candidacy officially yet. But just think, if I was your president, every day could be like this!

Obama Says You’ll Understand When You’re Older

Look, I know I said a president couldn’t declare war without an act of Congress back when I was a senator. But this isn’t a war, it’s policing a no-fly zone.

No, it’s not the same thing. Because it’s not, is why!

Iraq was a very different situation. The Bush administration changed its mind about the rationale of that conflict many times, with disastrous results. They said it was weapons of mass destruction, then they said it was to spread democracy, then…hey, look at me when I’m talking to you! The point is, it’s a war that should never have started to begin with.

Then why are we still there? Because we are. We just are, okay? Sometimes things don’t have answers, they just are.

Why don’t I change the way things are? You don’t get how the world works. You’ll understand when you’re older. Why don’t you go play XBox with your brother or something. And don’t gimme that look!

The People Have Grunted

boehner.jpgWASHINGTON–Midterm elections have gone overwhelmingly in favor of Republicans, giving them control of the House of Representatives and narrowing the Democratic majority in the Senate, thanks in large part to the growing influence of the Tea Party movement. Representative John Boehner, the presumed Speaker of the House for the next Congress, declared, “This election has sent an unmistakable message from the American people. And that message is, ANGRY!”

“We have heard your cries,” Boehner said, “your unfocused, rage-filled, blood-curdling cries. And in response to those cries, we say BLARGH! And we shall not stop saying BLARGH until the White House hears us!”

Rand Paul, newly elected senator from Kentucky, said he was motivated by the people he met along the campaign trail. “I heard many folks in my travels. From the man who said GAH! to the woman who said something that sounded like FERNBLOO!, to a number of other things I couldn’t quite make out because the people saying them were frothing out the mouth. Those words sustained me during this long campaign, although I think many of them do not technically qualify as words.”

The mood was reflected in ballot initiatives as well. In California, Proposition 13–also known as the GET OUT OF MY WAY! law–passed easily, while Michigan voted yes on HEY BUDDY, YOU LOOKIN TO FIGHT?!

With each Republican victory, Tea Party headquarters across the nation rejoiced with loud wall-punching and feces flinging. Ted Burlap, regional Tea Party director in Topeka, Kansas, reflected on his movement’s sudden success. “You have to understand, people are fed up with… ARGH!… DAMMIT!… SKRULB!… THERE’S A BLACK GUY IN THERE!”

President Obama said he looks forward to working with the newly elected Congressmen who have sworn to destroy him.