Week 1: Sox Thoughts and Links: April 11, 2015

[Editor’s note: I’m going to start doing a weekly post, aim is for Saturday, which will focus mainly on the White Sox, but will probably feature thoughts on the Bulls and if I can find anything interesting, the Blackhawks. I’ll also throw in some interesting links and maybe a policy thought or two.]

I’ve got nothing. They’re 0-4 and look horrible. I’m officially worried that they’re going to be horrible and somehow misspent most of the money this winter (even though I endorsed most of the moves).  Four games is nothing, but looking like a AA team in three of the four games is ugly.  

Looking for a few positives? Johnson has been looked likely, I’ve happened to watch every good Tyler Flowers at bat, and I do like that Robin is using the roster flexibility that Hahn gave him this year. Platooning Gillaspie/Beckham is a very positive sign from Robin, someone who has underwhelmed me as a manager in his first three years.

Most Interesting Things I’ve Read this Week:
  1. How Bibi and Bush Made a Mess of the Middle East: Misplaced Focus on Saddam's Iraq Tore Region Apart
There are some assumptions and flaws in this piece, but it’s an interesting read none the less. As someone who was always anti-war in Iraq, none of this is exactly surprising, but still crazy to think that no one ever considered the ramifications of the Iraqi invasion in 2002-2003. ‘It will work because we want it to be’ was the thinking, always so so so so dangerous.

Pretty cool story, first birth of a wild bison east of the Mississippi nearly two centuries.

Since taxes are due next week, just a friendly reminder that a government hand out/service and a tax break are the same thing.

What I haven’t read:
Anything that comes close to capturing and providing solid analysis as to why Rahm Emanuel defeated Chuy Garcia in the Chicago’s mayor race. There have been a number of hot takes, mostly from national, Beltway types, who either declare progressives dead or that Rahm’s win can be a blueprint for Hillary (which I found hilarious since progressives were a major reason why Hillary lost to Obama in ‘08 but whateves national media).

They all seem to have forgotten that politics is local (usually). And Rahm spent a lot of money. And while the Rahm defenders (supporters?) are quick to, rightly, point out that Garcia’s campaign was so-so at the best of times; they neglect to admit that Emanuel’s campaign was fairly underwhelming too (even if he won by 12 points). Oh and race, which for some reason we’re all pretending played little to no role in anything. In Chicago. Okay… whatever guys.

The reality was that the race featured very apathetic voters, most who stayed home (in a city that historically does well to get the vote out). Both candidates had their strengths and weakness. But most people, outside of a number of Chuy voters, weren’t all that excited to vote for either candidate . In the end, the guy with the most impressive CV*, was the incumbent, and had the most money won. It really wasn’t all that surprising, even if it took a little longer and was a little closer than everyone realized.

*This takes nothing away from Garcia, who has a very impressive resume in his own right (and one which is much more Chicago focused), it’s just hard to compete with a White House official turned Congressman turned White House Chief of Staff turned Mayor of Chicago.


***“Mad Men” spoilers from here on out***

I don’t wanna go too deep on “Mad Men” since the last season/half-season just started, but I do find it interesting that the characters, despite being given new starts seemingly every year, rarely do anything to change or improve themselves given these (seemingly) annual new starts. I too often feel like I’m watching the same character arcs and plot lines year after year.

In a nutshell, Man Men is a character study of Don Draper, a man who isn’t who he says he is (at the start of the show at least), Don consistently does things (read: everything) to alienate people (read: everyone) in his life; this is mimicked by nearly everyone who works in his advertising firm. Eventually the firm merges (and/or Don gets divorced) and everyone gets a new start. And then everyone goes back to making the same mistakes they made in the first place. And...

More later as the season and series plays out.

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