So let me make a case for something I will most assuredly be disagreed with about:
THERE IS NO PLACE FOR TESTOSTERONE-FUELD MACHISMO ON THE DIAMOND.
Last night's on-field brawl between the Phillies and the Giants (Dodgers? Who?), a rivalry that is becoming more bitter by the hour, was initiated by an inside fastball from Giants reliever Ramon Ramirez that went a little too far inside to Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino...about 18 inches too far inside. The fastball struck Victorino square in the back, which prompted Victorino to walk menacingly towards the mound (all 5'9" of him...I doubt he would have moved if 6'6" Guillermo Mota was on the mound). Giants catcher Eli Whiteside intervened, followed by home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski, and...well, you can probably guess the rest. If you need help, here's the video link:
Anyhoo, this is all part of a disturbing and ridiculous trend in baseball that needs to stop. Let me repeat...THIS NEEDS TO STOP! Hey, Shane, your Phillies have been hammering Ramirez since he came into the game, and Jimmy Rollins added insult to injury by stealing second base (after his two-run single gave the Phightin' Phils a 6 run lead in the sixth inning...not kosher, James), Placido Polanco reached on an infield hit...well, Shane, you have to expect a brushback here. So, you take offense to it, and instead of taking your base (loading the bases, by the way) you want to pick a fight? Seriously?
Listen, brushback pitches are a part of the game. In the good old days, you shook it off and made the pitcher pay the next time you came to the plate. You didn't charge the mound and initiate a brawl. Grow up, all of you. Yes, continue to pitch inside, move a guy off the plate, send a message, whatever. But let your pitcher get revenge for you by doing the same to one of the other team's best players (don't worry, Aubrey Huff...you're safe). Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey (when he returns) just have to accept it. As long as its not at the head. Never at the head. You hear me where you are, Don Drysdale?!? But drop this posturing, chest-pounding machismo, boys. It doesn't belong on the field.
Which brings to another place where this posturing machismo has no place. The halls of government.
Now that our credit rating has been downgraded (thanks bunches, Standard and Poors...did your report have to be so biased towards the left wing?), perhaps our representatives on the Hill will get serious about cutting spending and fixing our fiscal house.
"But what about revenues?!?" the liberals scream, foaming at the mouth, waving their arms frantically.
I'm fine with that. Really, I am.
First, let's fundamentally overhaul the tax code, starting with a reduction in corporate taxes and a tax holiday to get all that overseas revenue repatriated back here. Eliminate the loopholes so GE can't sit on Obama's useless "Council on Jobs" while paying zero taxes in 2010 and shipping jobs overseas.
Next, lets eliminate all those tax breaks and subsidies the liberals want gone: tax breaks for corporate jet owners (hey...YOU guys put that in the tax code, not us conservatives!), tax breaks for oil and gas companies, etc. But we also eliminate all the subsidies and tax breaks for "green energy," buh-bye ethanol subsidies, adios tax breaks for hybrid or electric vehicles. You want the welfare for industries that conservatives support gone, then your pet projects that all seem to be around environmental subsidies are gone, too. If ethanol can't stand on its own in a competitive market, tough. If consumers don't want to pay $33,000 for an ugly, subcompact Chevy Volt without a big tax break from Uncle Sam, so be it. If homeowners aren't willing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to put solar panels on their roof as a long-term investment, then the government has no business paying them to do it.
Finally, initiate a low flat tax coupled with a consumption tax. Nothing could be more fair, as the "rich" will pay more on both their income and the luxury items they buy. The last time I looked, "fair" still means everyone has to do roughly the same. And 10% of $1,000,000 is still ten times more than 10% of $100,000, and twenty times more than 10% of $50,000. For some reason, "fairness" in the tax code according to liberals means the government takes all the money they can from successful people and dole it out to those unwilling to work hard, whether that was in school when they were young or at a job when they were older.
The government does not provide jobs. The government has a responsibility to act like an adult and collect the taxes necessary to function while doing the least amount of harm economically. The current tax code has gotten away from that...WAY away from that. It is high time for the posturing and chest-thumping to end in DC, and let's get back to making this economy work for all of us.
Machismo has no place on the diamond, nor in the halls of government. Got that, Mr. President?