Just in case you were searching for another reason to hate the New York Yankees

Image from twoseamfastblog.wordpress.com

It must be spring. The New York Yankees are already pissing me off.

The Yankees players who will start the season on the disabled list have a combined salary that is more than the complete player payrolls of 14 other major league teams.

  • Alex Rodriguez: $28M
  • Mark Teixeira: $22.5M
  • Derek Jeter: $17M
  • Curtis Granderson: $13M
  • Phil Hughes: $7.15M
  • Clay Rapada: $0.525M
  • TOTAL: $88.2M

This ranks these six players’ salaries right behind the Baltimore Orioles ($89M) and just ahead of the Atlanta Braves ($88M). And note that this is just salary: it doesn’t include performance incentives.

Plus if you were to subtract that $88.2M from the total Yankee payroll of $211M, just the remaining $122.8M would rank eighth in all team salaries. Just ahead of the Texas Rangers ($121M), and just behind the defending world champion San Francisco Giants ($140M). And consider too that the Rangers are still on the hook for part of A-Rod’s salary!

I say this every fall: how much pride can you take in winning your division, league, or World Series if all you did was go out and buy it?

It must be spring. I believe in the Twins, and the Yankees still suck. From the awesome Two Seam Fastblog:

My point here, is that what makes baseball so complex and interesting, is the fact that there’s a villain and there are small peasants who, every once in a while, through merit, can rise up and slay the beast who has every advantage. The Yankees are that villain. They outspend everyone and buy championships and their fans are cruel and merciless and the man spending the money’s name is (general manager Brian) Cashman. The fact that there is this evil power residing over the entire sport creates a sentimentality about it that is lost in other sports. In other sports, underdogs are underdogs because they’re worse than the other teams. In baseball, underdogs are defined not just by the talent of the team, but by the disadvantages they face financially. You can have the most talented team in the league (Tampa Bay Rays?) and still be an underdog. Everyone loves a good David and Goliath matchup, especially when Goliath is an aristocratic dickhole.

The tipping point, continued

William Pitt, who I cited previously on the topic of tipping, posted this one today.

Last week, 67 House Republicans refused to vote for monetary relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Image from wemeantwell.com

The relief bill passed anyway, by a vote of 364-67. Of the 67 members who voted against it 18 were newbies, just sworn in.

But of the remaining 49 veteran House members, 37 of them previously supported disaster aid for their home districts.

The list is in this article from ThinkProgress. Among the nay voters: former Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan from Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, whose very own website brags about how he supported Federal disaster relief after flooding in 2008.

This is pure douchebaggery. It really does appear to be true: Republicans are less troubled by hypocrisy than normal people are.

That is all.

Image from Facebook

Remember this clown?

Image from wikimedia

Former US congressman Joe Walsh (R-Naturally)? Lost by ten points last month to double amputee Iraq vet Tammy Duckworth? After he openly mocked her and said she wasn’t a “true hero”?

Turns out he now wants to run for Dick Durbin’s Senate seat. Durbin is the senior Senator from Illinois, the current Majority Whip, and has been in the Senate since 1997.

From TPM:

“People want me to look at that race among others. Fair to say it’s something I’m being encouraged to take a look at, and will take a hard look at, once I get settled in the next couple of months,” Walsh said.

Asked who was urging him on, Walsh responded: “The best kind of people in the world — real people, activists, conservatives and every day Republicans all over the state.”

From Politico:

The 50-year-old Walsh got thumped by Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth in the 8th congressional District after a bitter campaign in which he accused her of talking excessively about her military service and criticized her for dwelling over her choice of a dress for the Democratic National Convention.

Those off-the-cuff rants would remain prime fodder for Democrats should Walsh run again.

Indeed. From Wikipedia:

At a July 2012 campaign event, Walsh accused his opponent of politicizing both her military service as a helicopter pilot and her Iraq War injuries which cost her both legs and the partial use of one arm. He said, “My God, that’s all she talks about. Our true heroes, the men and women who served us, it’s the last thing in the world they talk about.” Walsh later suggested that she was, in fact, a “true hero,” but that she should not talk about her service so frequently, and that her service should not command votes.

But that’s not all. In May 2011 Walsh said that President Obama was elected “because he pushed that magical button: a black man who was articulate, liberal, the whole white guilt, all of that.” This past October he told reporters that abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of the mother, saying that “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of a medically necessary abortion. And in August 2011 the Chicago Tribune reported that Walsh lost his driving privileges for three months earlier that year because he let his insurance lapse. In response, Walsh criticized the Tribune for “wasting time and ink” scrutinizing his driving record rather than wasteful government spending.

Walsh knows about not spending, all right. Wikipedia notes that his ex-wife Laura sued him in 2011 for $117,437 to collect six years’ worth of past-due child support for three of their children. Walsh told her that he didn’t have the money because he was out of work: but she later saw from his campaign disclosures that he had been employed. Oops. His attorney said that Walsh did not owe “anywhere near that amount,” and that he had had no more problems paying child support than “any other average guy.” (Walsh’s financial problems inspired the proposal of a bill which would forbid people owing more than $10,000 in back child support from running for office in Illinois.)

This past April, just before the campaign kicked into high gear, they reached a settlement and the case was dismissed. Walsh himself issued a statement on behalf of himself and his ex-wife which read, in part:

“Having resolved these issues together and cleared up these mistakes in private, we now agree that Joe is not and was not a ‘deadbeat dad’ and does not owe child support.”

Asked about a potential match-up with the firebrand congressman, Durbin’s campaign manager Mike Daly replied:

“We’d be delighted if Mr. Walsh were a candidate.”

Reblog: Comeuppance for Loudmouth CEOs

A great post from The Booman Tribune. One of those “whaddya-know-about-that” moments.

It turns out that people hate rich assholes who threaten to cut back employees’ hours so they can avoid taking responsibility for their health insurance. Who could have guessed that publicly ripping on ObamaCare would cause Olive Garden and Red Lobster to downgrade their quarterly profits outlook, or cause Papa John’s to beg for mercy and plead misunderstanding? It sounds like one large, loud-mouthed franchisee crippled Applebee’s whole brand.

I avoid corporate food because it’s bland and unimaginative. It looks like other people are avoiding it because they don’t like their politics. Whatever works. Buy local.

And some great comments:

What I will suggest is that, if people are in fact choosing to eat at restaurants or shop at stores that treat their employees decently and justly, they are rewarding good behavior on the part of those CEOs. That in turn rewards their employees.  If it happens on a large enough scale, that means those good CEOs will have to open more stores and restaurants and hire more employees; perhaps even hiring employees away from the CEOs who mistreat their workers. – massappeal

Since fast food is basically interchangeable, any marginal difference between one place and another can make a big difference; especially because it only means driving one more block, or going to another place in the food court. So, yeah, being a dick can hurt your business. – sabudabi

It’s really funny: these guys’ pizza, food, etc. aren’t even at the type of their respective industries. So when faced with paying to eat their crap or just not patronizing their establishments, people just choose to save their money and maybe go get something better owned by less idiotic people. – lamh31

Don’t care what they do, now that their side lost the election. I still refuse to ever patronize them ever again. When it counted, they showed their true colors; and now that they might lose some money, they want us all to ignore it? Sorry. My principles ain’t for sale, like theirs are it seems. – clif

And, as always, karma is a bitch. – boran2

I’m digging being a Democrat these days.

Image from pubquizusa.com

My party is unified again, and seems to know what it’s doing. It’s a nice feeling to have, and it’s been a long time a-comin’.

Case in point: today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid bushwhacked Senate Minority Leader Mitch (The Turtle) McConnell into filibustering his own bill. That’s right: the Party of No said “no” to itself.

“The ability of the minority to obstruct is dependent on the willingness of the majority to be obstructed.” – Jim Naureckas

“Filibuster” is a word we hear over and over. Courtesy of Examiner.com, it’s about Senate rules for passing a bill. They specify that before debate on a bill can end, and the bill can proceed to a floor vote, a separate vote must be held on ending the debate, or “cloture.” That vote requires 60 votes. So essentially, they vote on whether to vote on the bill!

Now if a Senator feels really strongly about the bill, either pro or con, that Senator is allowed to prolong the “debate” as long as he or she wants and stall the cloture vote. This stall game is known as a “filibuster.” The only way to stop a filibuster is to either wait for the Senator to run out of wind, or force him or her to stop speaking with a vote of 60 Senators. Potentially then it takes 60 votes to make the Senator shut up and sit down; another 60 votes for “cloture”; and then a simple majority to pass the bill itself. It’s amazing bills ever get passed. This Stupid Senate Trick happens all the time; the House doesn’t roll like that.

Image from politico.com

So how did McConnell end up stalling his own bill? According to Talking Points Memo, McConnell was trying to be cagey and it backfired. He wanted to prove that Democrats don’t have the firepower to change Congress’ control over the US debt limit. He brought up a bill that allows the President to unilaterally lift the debt ceiling, unless the Senate musters a two-thirds vote to stop him. He didn’t really want this bill to advance to a vote; he expected Reid to get nervous and shoot it down so then he could say, “See? The Democrats don’t even have enough votes to give this to their own President!”

Reid, however, had another idea. He quickly conferred with the rest of his party and then said, “Go ahead. Make my day.”

So here’s McConnell, who had just introduced a bill he didn’t expect to advance any further in an effort to diss the Dems, having to argue that he didn’t want it to go to a floor vote after all. Homina-homina-homina.

“The Republican leader objects to his own idea,” Reid declared on the floor. “So I guess we have a filibuster of his own bill.”

Senator Chuck Schumer told reporters that McConnell thought he’d thrown Democrats for a loop. “It was a little too clever by half,” said Schumer, adding that it “would have been a great moment.”

“This may be a moment in Senate history when a Senator made a proposal that, when given an opportunity for a vote on that proposal, filibustered his own proposal,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “I don’t think this has ever happened before.”

Image from thedailyomnivore.com

McConnell claimed he never agreed to hold a simple majority vote on the bill – yet he bought it to the floor. Brilliant. For his next trick, McConnell will hit himself in the face with a banana cream pie.

“Senator McConnell’s filibuster prevented us from having this vote today,” Reid later said in a statement. “But I will continue to seek an agreement to hold an up-or-down vote on his proposal to avoid another debt ceiling debacle.”

As blogger Smartypants put it: if you’re not enjoying how badly the Republicans are getting beaten these days, you’re not paying close enough attention.

Republicans file past Bob Dole in a wheelchair. Why? To vote AGAINST a UN treaty for people with disabilities.

Image from politico.com. Bob and Elizabeth Dole on the far right edge of the picture.

From Politico:

Former Senate Republican Leader Bob Dole came to the Senate floor Tuesday to make a personal appeal for lawmakers to ratify a United Nations treaty for people with disabilities.

Dole, who was in wheelchair, came to the floor shortly before senators began to vote. Accompanied by his wife, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, he listened as Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) made a final push for the treaty. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) walked over to greet Dole, smiling and patting Dole’s back.

In a touching moment, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), who also uses a wheelchair and has publicly urged the Senate to ratify the treaty, joined Dole at one point, holding hands with him as they talked and listened to Kerry.

“Don’t let Sen. Bob Dole down,” Kerry told senators, gesturing toward Dole.

Image from thecable.com

It failed in a 61-38 vote. 67 votes were needed. All Senate Democrats voted for the measure, joined by only eight Republicans.

From Rachel Maddow on Twitter:

“The spectacle of Senate Republicans voting against the UN treaty on the rights of the disabled — and walking past Bob Dole in a wheelchair on their way to do it — should be news, real and big news.”

Dole is one of the last Republicans with any integrity.

You stay classy, GOP.

Stop acting like you won the election, dammit!

Image from newyorker.com

Image from newyorker.com

“Boehner: Obama Needs To Stop Acting Like He Won The Election.”

David Letterman is demeaning to weasels.

Image from epguides.com

But in this case I think it’s justifiable.

As NBC anchor Brian Williams appeared as a guest on “The Late Show” the night after the election, David Letterman charged that Republican political strategist Karl Rove “lied to” and tried to “frighten” the electorate in 2012, referring to the former George W. Bush strategist as a “tubby little weasel.”

And I believe, including that tubby little weasel Karl Rove, I believe they just, they tried to frighten the electorate, they lied to the electorate. Even right up to the last minute, Karl Rove, did you see him? He nearly, I just thought, “Well, the next thing will happen is someone will puncture him and he’ll fly away.” They wanted their people to believe a lie.

But there now, there’s a lot of money left over. Oh, Karl Rove and that 400 million dollars. I believe that the people who gave him the money, I think it was the Koch brothers, they gave him $400 million, and they said, “Here, hey, tubby, go get us a president. We got stuff we want to ramrod through. We want to turn this America, we want America back. Here, what’s it going to take to get America back, Karl? Here, come on. 400 billion – bring back a real America, will you?” So a lot of that money is left over. And, boy, I tell you, the Koch brothers, don’t be surprised if you read that Karl Rove was beaten up by the Koch brothers.


Witness The Furious Back-Pedaling

Image from thatreallyawesomeblog.wordpress.com

Remember John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John’s? The guy who threatened massive layoffs and cutting employee hours due to ObamaCare? No, no; you see, he was was just badly misunderstood. From HuffPo:

Many in the media reported that I said Papa John’s is going to close stores and cut jobs because of Obamacare. I never said that. The fact is we are going to open over hundreds of stores this year and next and increase employment by over 5,000 jobs worldwide. And, we have no plans to cut team hours as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Clearly there was some misunderstanding somewhere.

I’ll tell you where the misunderstanding was. His stockholders misunderstood why Papa John’s stock was dropping like a stone.

And remember John Metz, the Denny’s franchise owner who posted signs in his restaurant announcing a 5% surcharge to diner’s checks due to ObamaCare? And when asked about it, he said that displeased diners could just elect to stiff their servers for part of what they would normally tip? Denny’s corporate laid down the smack on him. From HuffPo:

Denny’s Corp. is trying to protect its brand and other franchisees by publicly distancing itself from Metz’s statements. “While we respect the decision of an independent business owner to speak out on this or other topics and express their personal views, his statements do not capture the respect by Denny’s, the Denny’s Franchisee Association or our franchise community at large for our hardworking employees or for our valued customers,” John Miller, CEO of Denny’s Corp., said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the comments of this franchisee, who represents less than 1 percent of our system and who owns restaurants in other concepts, has been portrayed as reflective of the entire Denny’s brand,” Miller said. “I am confident his perspective is not shared by the company or hundreds of franchisees/small business owners who make up the majority of the Denny’s community. Specifically, his comments suggesting that guests might reduce the customary tip provided to their server as an offset to his proposed surcharge are inconsistent with our values and approach to business throughout our brand.”

Yup, the invisible hand of the market economy at work. Don’t strain yourselves back-pedaling, fellers. And wake me up when a decent restaurant complains.