Friday, April 22, 2016

Ted Cruz Comeback Strategy

When asked for my thoughts on the remaining Republican candidates, it generally breaks down like this.

For the most part, I find Kasich remotely tolerable.
The thought of Ted Cruz becoming President of the United States literally terrifies me.
But the slightest thought of Donald Trump becoming President of the United States absolutely petrifies me to the point where I lose all control of my bodily functions.  I simultaneously urinate, defecate, snot is running down my nose, swallowing my own vomit, sweating, swampass, the works.

Like I said, that pretty much encapsulates my thoughts on the GOP.

At the moment, things are lookin' pretty bleak for Lyin'  Ted.  He got thumped in New York and the general consensus is that he's going to fare poorly this Tuesday in PA, MD, DE, CT and RI.  I don't think that's up for debate.  Not sure how he'll spin it.  But here's what I'd suggest.

Consider the current delegate count:

Trump has 844.
Cruz has 543.

Immediately after the Tuesday primary, Ted is going to need a quickie, inspiring narrative.

I'd extrapolate and use a baseball analogy.  Hey, it's America's favorite past-time.  Yeah, right.  Maybe back in the mid 1950's.  Anyway, the current math (844-543) translates to 8-5.  Let's round down.  After Tuesday, it'll probably be 9-6 or something like that.  Before Trump breaks the 1,000 mark, here's what I'd say in my concession speech.

"Well, lemme tell the voters a little secret.  Life on the road to the presidency is a lot like a game of baseball.  We're currently in the 7th inning stretch and heading to Indiana.  Well, there are still a few innings left.  Donald wants me to pack it in and forfeit the game.  Well, I've never heard of any team that decided to just give up in the 7th.  The score is 9-6.  Ya wanna know something?  The game's not over and I'm not giving up.  And hey, sometimes these things go into extra innings.  You wanna know where we're gonna have overtime??? Well, it's a city called Cleveland.  It's this summer in July and I can't wait to celebrate my freedom!!!"  (misc. cheers and huzzahs erupt from a run-down Econolodge ballroom on the outskirts of South Bend or Gary or wherever)  

When you use the "this game is headed for extra innings," play up the notion of how we got there.  Because Trump had poor management, nobody in the scouting department, no vendors, no ushers, nobody doing payroll.  He just thought that he could win it all alone.  Well Donald, there is no "I" in team.  Use Trump's greatest qualities against him --- narcissism, arrogance, unbridled enthusiasm, etc.  Use all that shit to his detriment.

This does a few things.  One, it makes Ted Cruz look like more of a populist, commoner.  A character trait he is severely lacking.  He needs to relate better to Joe 6-pack Republican, not suburban housewife on a steady diet of Prozac, Starbucks and circus peanuts.  Right now, he still resembles more of a creepy insurance actuary or disaffected funeral mortician.

It's also a superior narrative as opposed to talking about the rules committee and the potential for backroom deals and bribery, the art of persuasion with delegates and super delegates.  Steer clear of the precision details.  Ironically, it's the part you excel at... but you shouldn't bring it up.  Gives off a seedy vibe. 

This baseball idea also portrays him as the underdog, fighting a courageous comeback against a billionaire bully.  Americans love the story of a comeback.  Whether its the 1980 amateur Olympic hockey team, or the big 2016 Villanova victory, or Leicester City winning the English Premier League (5,000-1 odds at the beginning of the season)... as if anyone reading this blog has the slightest clue of what I'm talking about.

And when you use the reference the baseball analogy, don't forget to mention that a small market team (KC Royals), with one of the lowest MLB payrolls, beat the big league NY Mets in the World Series last year.  That was 2015... and guess what, it's 2016.  

Anyway, heading into the heartland, this is Cruz's last stand.  He already did that fucked up Duck Dynasty commercial with bayou god-father Phil Roberston.

Trust me, Teddy.  My idea is far less of a stretch.  And you needn't engage in the duck-quackery and simulated backwoods farting noises.

If all else fails, you should trot out that disturbing look-a-like who showed up for a paternity test on the Maury Show.  Perfect for Indiana.

Just hold a news conference and tell everyone that the two of you are going to put a stop to every abortion.  Rape?  Doesn't matter.  Incest?  Who cares, it's called "keeping it in the family."  Life of the mother?  Well, my daytime doppleganger is willing to give her own life to protect the sanctity of her unborn child.  Shouldn't every woman be that courageous... to accept a death sentence over a medical procedure?  Cheers from the crowd --- Kill her!  Burn her at the stake.  Make her repent!  Sacrifice her to our Gaaawwwwd!

When it comes to the next Commander-in-Chief..... Ted... (dramatic pause) you are the President!  

E-gad!  Don't worry about me though.  I'm gonna be relocating to a more diverse, open-minded region of the world.  I hear that Yemen is the new Dubai. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Bob Nutting Garden Gnomes

Yesterday, I went to my first Pirates game of the season.  They put on a relatively convincing beat-down of the intoxicated Brewers (9-3).  I gave the artificially generated stampede propaganda a rest and tried a different approach to ballpark safety.

As you might know, every Sunday is Kid's Day.  Considering the influx of young boys, I thought it might be a wise idea to establish "Catholic priest-free zones."  Inside the venue and on the outer periphery.  Keep in mind, this would only be on Sundays.  Please let it be known that I am NOT proposing a permanent ban on men of the cloth.  After all, that would be discriminatory and unconscionable.  Think of it more in terms of a natural extension/sexual progression of the North Carolina transgender restroom legislation.  Say that one 10x fast.

So anyhoo, they were giving away Josh Harrison garden gnomes.

This promotional trinket was intended for children 14 and under, but I managed to snag an abandoned one.  J-Hay Huzzah!

I'm not too hip on the bobbleheads or miniature replica bats, but I do like t-shirts and gnomes.  In fact, I think they should take it to the next level.  Emeril Lagasse of Food Network fame used to refer to this as 'kicking it up a notch.'  So how could the Pirates organization achieve this objective?

Bob Nutting Garden Gnome Giveaway

Let's face it.  Our beloved owner has a whimsical, elven management style.  It's part of his meticulous, bean-counter approach which extends deep into an aggressive monitoring of the frozen hot dog inventory. 

Truth be told, he even has the actual look and feel of a diminutive gnome. 

Probably has something to do with the fanciful eyebrow curvature.

Could you envision  a "Nutting Nome" or "Ogden Ornament" immersed in the pea pods, enveloped in the leaf lettuce or entwined in the cherry tomatoes?  Gardeners of the world unite!

It's eerily reminiscent of the "I'm a wise elf from a far off shire" in the overplayed General Electric commercial.

I'm a nice owner, your money I'll acquire
Please contribute, to the Nutting empire

I'd also be willing to endorse an angrier gnome version.  Gargoyle-like tendencies with a grimmer disposition. 

Here's Bob losing in the "win-and-yinz-in" wildcard game... twice in consecutive years.  Frumpy and distraught.  Has kind of a Mitch McConnell Senate majority leader thing goin' on.

Let's compare.  Here's Mitch reflecting on the two-term Obama presidency... to be followed by Hillary, of course.  That's one unhappy McSenator.

Our esteemed politician from Kentucky would make a fine gnome.  It's an ignominious distinction --- to be mass replicated in gnome form.

So here's the million dollar question.  Will the Buccos embrace my Gnovel Gnutting Gnome idea?  It's 3-G, short for third generation.  Hey now, that's cutting edge!

But will they get the ball rolling for next season?  Hmmm, I gotta be honest.  I seriously doubt it.

So I came up with another idea.  And it's perfectly suited for kids day.  I'll even set up the tent myself.  On Federal Street just off the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

It's gonna be an interactive arts and crafts project.
I call it... getting "Socked in the Nutting."  A distant variation of getting "tased in the butthole."

Now everyone remembers pro wrestling great Mick Foley and his beloved character Mr. Socko.  He was a schizophrenic little guy.  Capable of love and empathy.  Sometimes the silly comedian.  Often prone to outbursts of hostility.  Fits of rage.

The coolest thing about Mr. Socko --- the manifestation of his existence was open to interpretation.

Think of the possibilities!  You could design your own Socko.  Dress him up as you see fit.  Adorn him with glitter and sprinkles.  Maybe throw in some John Jaso yarnlocks.

Maybe give him a cool hat with that authentic Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean feel.

You know what?  How about we get creative for a change?  Instead of distributing a ton of mass produced crap from China or Bangledesh, why not "hand-craft" your own Mr. Socko for anything Pixburgh related?

Maybe a Mayor Bill Peduto Socko?  How about a hefty, fuller-figured Mark Madden Big Sexy Socko?  What about a stunningly vivacious Christina Aguilera Socko.  I really like the idea of a "Build it Back Up" Fetterman Socko, dressed in a classic black Levi's short sleeve button down.

The beauty of this idea is the DIY aspect.  Plus, try to envision the ensuing camaraderie that will take place once inside the ballpark.  Ooooh, who's that?  Lookie over there, it's a Mario Lemiuex Socko.  Maybe it's a balding Terry Bradshaw.  Maybe a Michael Keaton.

Everywhere you go, there'd be a unique Mr. Socko comin' atcha.  Taking a stroll on the river walk, sauntering through the concourse, buying a $12 warm Bud Light draft... Socko could even appear in the Lexus Club seats behind home plate... staring down a Root Sports television audience.

If you think the Pirates management despised the Nature Boy Ric Flair chants of Woooooooo,  how about a decentralized army of hand puppets, a veritable plethora in the form of an asymmetric militia, a teeming stampede of Yinzer Sockos! 

Hey, they already have Star Trek night.  They already got Pup night.  And praise be to God... they already embrace "Faith and Family" night and "Founding Fathers" night.  What's next?  "Freedom to Freely Frack" night?  Hell, they even have "Raise the Jolly Raja" night.

So why not a Mr. Socko night???

So here's the deal.  The Pirates organization will never take my real concerns seriously.  Maybe if this new Socko phenomenon takes hold, we'll finally get to see a little action!

Dare to dream.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Great Wall of Trump

Trump's coming to Pittsburgh tomorrow. 

He's making two separate appearances.  The first one is a "town hall" with Sean Hannity at Soldiers and Sailors Hall on the University of Pitt campus in Oakland.  I'm sure Hannity will grill him with some really challenging questions like, "Who's gonna pay for the wall?"  And the crowd will chant back "Mexico!  Mexico! Mexico!"

Seriously though, I have a question for Trump.  It's better suited coming from a 3rd grader... because no adult would ever be allowed to ask it.  At least, not on live national television.  That's just not how things work at the highest levels of fair and balanced journalism. 

So without further adieu, here's the most vexing, challenging question of the entire campaign.

Mr. Trump, you talk an awful lot about building a wall. 

Where will the wall start?  Where will it end?  How high will it be?  Can you go around it?  Can you tunnel underneath it?  Can you fly over it?  Will the wall have a door?  If so, how many "doors?"  Will we be building additional walls on the Northern border, West coast and East coast?  If so, please answer the same questions. 

And finally, if you're going to make another country pay for it... who will be ultimately held responsible for building it to the proper specifications?  Who will supervise and monitor the construction process? 

Isn't it peculiar that NOBODY is allowed to ask the most common sense, remedial questions pertaining to one of the biggest national security issues of the campaign.  This just doesn't bode well for a future, meaningful discussion on illegal immigration.

Following Sean Hannity's grueling interrogation, Trump will be whisked off for a rally at the David Lawrence Convention Center.  I'm sure he'll regale everyone with a rigorous look into foreign and domestic policy.  Lamentably, from what I've witnessed, he'll likely tailor the speech to his huge poll numbers, favorability ratings and express an affinity for anything that's yinzer related.  I wonder if he can conjure up a Steelers has-been to take the stage.  Can you say Bubby Brister?  Repeat after me... Buh-B, Buh-B, Buh-B!  

We just went to see Bernie Sanders last week.  He gave an hour+ speech at the Convention Center.  And we also saw Hillary Clinton at the Skibo Gymnasium at Carnegie Mellon University.  Both campaign stops were fairly predictable.  Bernie stuck to his core themes.  His crowd trended a bit radical.  Plenty of lizard people, dreaded weirdos, pierced freaks.

I thought Hillary's speech was superior as she tailored it toward the CMU crowd --- specifically issues about technology, fair wages, college debt and immigration.  The CMU audience was very ethnically diverse... comprised heavily of Asian and Indian students.  And of course, a spattering of elderly white grannies. 

Neither used a teleprompter.  Just some notes.  Both crowds were equally enthusiastic.  Both had decent "optics" but Hillary's appearance seemed a bit more professional, organized and polished. 

I suspect there will be protests for Trump.  Particularly in Oakland.  Lots of college kids and student housing nearby.  I'm curious to see how "heavy-handed" the cops will be.  I think there's some potential for chaos.  Here's why.  Soldiers and Sailors has a capacity of 2,300.  Having been there a few times, I think this number is inaccurate.  Seems to me like it's about 1,500.  Anyway, I have a hunch that people will be turned away and could find themselves amidst a sea of protesters.  Already agitated from being denied the opportunity to watch the venerable Sean Hannity and the megalo-maniacal imbecile in person, there's the makings for heightened tension.  And never underestimate the problem with protesters in a balcony setting.   Based on the spattering of campaign violence over the past month, Trump should NOT be making political appearances in these type of venues.  It's not rocket science.  Just building logistics. 

The DHL Convention Center also has the potential for some disruptive elements.  Just off the Strip and bordering the Northside and the Hill District, I could envision the black population making their presence felt.  Oh, and I almost forgot, just up the street... it's a playoff HOCKEY NIGHT in Pittsburgh.  Round 1, Game #1 against the New York Rangers.  Even Chelsea Clinton is part of the action.  She's coming to her mom's campaign headquarters in East Liberty.

Doesn't get much better than this.  Just ask Frank Costanza.  Pittsburgh's the "place to be."