Tag Archives: 2012 general election

Padre Steve’s Look Back at 2012: The Year that Was and Still Can Be if You Have Access to Time Travel


“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
~T.S. Eliot~

Well my friends it is my time to look back at 2012, the year that should have been the end of the world had the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. However the Mayans couldn’t see that possibility and life goes on. With that in mind I decided to look back at the more that 300 articles that I have written since the the babe wrapped in Champagne soaked clothes and lying in Times Square gutter belched out his first words… “Is this live?” 

If we lived in the Star Trek World things could be different. We could find an alternate universe, find a time portal at the City on the Edge of Forever or if need be whip the Enterprise around the Sun to throw us back in time.

However we don’t have that ability yet and the year of our discontent began in January. It was a year filled with political carnage, war, man made and natural disasters including the BCS Championship, the athletic drama of human competition, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Much of the year was consumed by the American 2012 General Elections and Presidential primaries and campaigns. It was a year where we thought things might be different but sages like me looking back on the wisdom inscribed in my Bloom County Comic Strip Collection knew was not.


Back to the Future in Iowa: A Bloom County Redux

It was not just politics as usual it was also media as usual something again that I predicted was the case by looking back at history.


Doing the Sidestep: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and American Politics and Media

But as the campaign season snaked its eerie course through the hills, dales, bayous and valleys of our fair fruited plains the rest of the world experienced joy and pain, triumph and tragedy.

It began in this country as all things do when the University of Alabama, a fully accredited school of higher learning won the BCS College Football Championship game, something that the University of Phoenix will never do.


Alabama wins the Boring Pseudo-National Championship Game…aka the BCS BS Championship Game

Not to be outdone the Italian Merchant Marine got into the act when Captain Francesco Schettino while joy riding in hie massive 115,000 ton Cruise Ship, the Costa Concordia  managed to hit a rock and sink the ship.


Sinking the Costa Concordia: A Lesson in Hubris and Cowardice


In February we saw the renewal of of love affair with television commercials as the Super Bowl XLVI: Commercials, Madonna and a Football Game as Madonna lip synced between the halves as the New York Football Giants defeated the New England non-Tea Party Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, pronounced “Exlivy” in the original Latin.

Politics continued in March with the indecisive “Super Tuesday” Primaries:

Super Tuesday Agony: Indecisive, Inconclusive and a Portent of Things to Come


But thankfully for all baseball returned in April bringing some sense of normalcy back to a world gone mad. Opening day brought me back to an even keel and the fact that it coincided with Holy Week made it more special to me. Opening Day and Holy Week and being able to attend a home opener was nice. A Home Opener and thoughts on Rick, Ozzie and George

But even in the midst of this there was perfection, in fact perfection done several times in Major League Baseball one of those being when Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants pitched a perfect game on June 13th.

Houston Astros v San Francisco Giants

The Mark of Cain: Matt Cain Pitches 22nd Perfect Game in MLB Historyand Johann Santana did the same for the otherwise hapless New York Mets 8020 Games and Finally….a Miracle for the Mets: Johan Santana Pitches First No-No in Mets Historyand “King Felix” pitched his first perfect game for the Mariners The Perfect King: Felix Hernandez Pitches Third Perfect Game of 2012while Phil Humber of the Tigers threw a perfect game against the Mariners Perfect! Phillip Humber Joins Legends as He Pitches Perfect Game against Mariners


Baseball produced other surprises this year but probably none bigger than that of the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles, underdog and underfunded teams that surprised everyone with their playoff runs and playoff appearances. September Surprises: O’s and A’s Shake up the American League


The Major League Baseball playoffs were filled with amazing comeback stories but none more than that of the San Francisco Giants who played on the brink of elimination in both the NLDS ( Giants Sweep Red’s in the River City: On to NLCS ) and NLCS ( Raining on a Parade: Giants Make Giant Comeback to Win National League Pennant ) before sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. SWEEP! GIANTS WIN SERIES!


But around the world and away from the rich green baseball diamonds there were other events. In April Kim Jong Un #1 the new dictator for life in North Korea shot a rocket in the air, and where it landed he knew not where Missile Impotence: Kim Jong Un’s Rocket Launch goes Splat even as an American preacher turned fake historian became the star of the Religious Right Faux Fact Factory: The Twisted World of Fake “Historian” and “Hero of the Faith” David Barton  Not to be outdone a Roman Catholic Bishop made his own bad history comparisons Bishop Jenky’s Obama and Hitler, Stalin, Bismarck and Clemenceau Comparison: Bad History, Bad Theology and Bad Politics


Meanwhile in the background Europe and the European Union faced their own problems. Economic and political crisis engulfed the continent. Europe on the Edge: France and Greece Point to Dangerous Times Ahead


The Middle East was not to be left behind in the the political tumult. Syria continued its post-Arab Spring plunge into the abyss of full out civil war. Fear and Loathing in Damascus eventually bringing the deployment of NATO Patriot Missiles in Turkey. NATO Patriots to Turkey as Syria Teeters on the AbyssIn the broader Middle East War threatened on almost every front The Gathering Storm: Shades of 1914 as War Threatens in the Middle East and the Arab Spring heated up again Arab Spring Fever: The Revolution Begins Anew in Egypt as Syria Begins to Melt Down

In June the United States saw something akin to what our European cousins were going through when my home town, Stockton California declared Bankruptcy. When City Dreams Become Nightmares: Stockton California to Declare Bankruptcy


But Britain was able to celebrate as Queen Elizabeth marked her 75th year on the throne in June  The Diamond Jubilee: All Glory is Fleeting and hosting the XXX Olympic Summer Games in London in July and August


British Humor: Bond, Bean, Poppins and The Queen Kick Off XXX Games , Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” Goodbye London: XXX Olympics End on Musical Note


After a bitterly contested primary campaign Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney lost the General Election to President Obama. Obama Wins….Now the Real Work of Healing the Wounds Must Begin However that healing didn’t begin and as of today the nation stands at the brink of political and economic crisis that could harm everyone in this country and sink the world economy. Fiscal Cliff Notes: There are Always Results

Then there was the senseless violence of massed murders, some obviously motivated by some kind of insanity while others simply due to hatred of people different.


The Hatred of “the Other”: White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, Politics and the Oak Creek Massacre

Man of Murderous Mystery: James Egan Holmes and the Aurora Dark Knight Massacre

The worst of these was just a couple of weeks ago in Newtown Connecticut A Cry in Newtown: Anguish after a Massacre

The War in Afghanistan dragged on while no politicians really addressed the subject even though the toll in American lives passed the 2000 mark and casualties at the hands of our Afghan allies rose to unthinkable levels. Likewise the crisis in the rise of suicides among active duty and reserve troops as well as Veterans continued unabated.

Johnathan B. McCain

The Afghanistan Quagmire and the Escalation of “Green on Blue” Attacks

Why Aren’t Any Politicians Talking About the War and Why don’t Voters Care?

Padre Steve Remembers 9-11 and the Forgotten War


Natural disasters were not absent from the news this year, the biggest as far as the news went was Hurricane Sandy which struck the week before the US Presidential Election and devastated large parts of New Jersey, New York, the Mid-Atlantic and New England. A Massive and Deadly “Freak” Storm: Sandy Hits the USA while in the forgotten country of Bangladesh a fire at a clothing factory claimed over 100 lives A Juxtaposition of Contradictions: Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the Bangladesh Clothing Factory Fire

There were deaths of noted people this year:

Disgraced former Penn State College Football Coach and legend Joe Paterno died in January barely 2 months after his final game.


The Death of a Tarnished Legend: Joe Paterno dead at 85


Singing great Whitney Houston died of what appeared to be an accidental overdose One Moment in Time: Rest in Peace Whitney Houston 1963-2012 


Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon passed away in August One Giant Loss for Mankind: Neil Armstrong Dead at 82


1972 Democratic Presidential nominee, war hero and Senator George McGovern died in October A Loss for the Country and the World: A War Hero and Prophet of Peace George McGovern Dead at 90


Iconic General H Norman Schwarzkopf, victor of the First Gulf War died just this week The Loss of an Icon: General Norman Schwarzkopf dies at 79 


Of course much more happened over the course of 2012 including the end of the world that didn’t happen The Failed Mayan End of the World Prediction and the Chicago Cubs 

There are other things that I might have or should have written about but looking back over the past year if I was a full time writer. However I don’t think that I did too bad for being just one person who has a day job and who is maintaining two residences in different states. Besides as much as I want I still don’t have access to Warp Drive, transporter beams or time travel.

So I write today hoping for a good end to 2012, a better 2013 and peace on earth.


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True Grits: Santorum Sweeps South

Mitt Romney may have adopted a Southern drawl, learned the word y’all and tasted grits for the first time but Rick Santorum has won the south defeating Romney and Newt Gingrich in Alabama and Mississippi. This was despite the advantage of Mitt Romney’s advertising carpet bombing campaign and Newt Gingrich’s supposed Southern advantage.  Both Alabama and Mississippi were close races with Mississippi being a “barn burner” in which the candidates were separated by under 3 percentage points while Santorum won Alabama in a relatively comfortable manner by 5% over Gingrich and 7% over Romney.

Rick Santorum campaigning in Alabama (Eric Gay/AP)

The biggest loser was Romney who again struggled to gain over 30% of the vote in a Southern state.  Santorum and Gingrich more than doubled the votes cast for Romney. This is a consistent narrative in this primary season, even where Romney “wins” his totals are almost always below his opponents. As I have said since Iowa this has become the search for the anti-Mitt anti-Mormon candidate.  Romney is viewed by the Evangelical Christian and Conservative Catholic base of the Republican Party to be a flip-flopping Massachusetts moderate who belongs to a religious cult. That is the bottom line. Romney has tried hard to ingratiate himself to the base but has not been able to seal the deal despite the weaknesses of the Republican field and his massive advantage in campaign organization and financing.  The results demonstrated Romney’s inability to seal the deal with the conservative base that not only the are the key to the GOP nomination but the General Election as well.

Gingrich is another loser tonight although in my mind not as much as Romney because Gingrich really has nothing to lose at this point because he will not be the nominee.  He does not have much in terms of organization and most of his advertising comes from Vegas Casino owner Sheldon Adelson who has said that should Gingrich withdraw that he would switch his support to Romney.  One has to wonder why he stays in the race except that this is so personal for him that he cannot let it go even if it means undercutting his fellow conservative Rick Santorum.

If Gingrich was to leave the race the Republican party would finally be able to define what it intends to be not only for 2012 but maybe for the next several election seasons. A Santorum versus Romney showdown would determine if the old guard moderates or if the new more socially conservative Christian voters finally gain the ascendency at the national level that they enjoy in many state and local races.

Ron Paul finished lower than in other outings in these states and should cease to be much of a factor in the coming weeks except to draw off support that might go to one of the front runners.

There are a number of primaries coming up. While I do not any of the next primaries to be decisive they could provide some measure of momentum to Santorum or buttress the Romney campaign.  Hawaii’s caucuses will close in a couple of hours and it is more than likely that Romney will will Hawaii. On Saturday Missouri will caucus and it based on Santorum’s convincing wins there in the unofficial non-binding popular vote primary and his continued ability to beat Romney in heavily Evangelical areas I expect that he will win the majority of these delegates. Puerto Rico is Sunday followed by Illinois next week. Romney should win Illinois but the way things have been going Santorum may well challenge him hard in that state. Two weeks from now is Louisiana which I expect Santorum will win in a convincing manner.

When all is said and done by the end of March Romney should still lead the delegate count but I expect that he will not stop the bleeding. Gingrich will face pressure from Santorum and possibly senior GOP officials to leave the race. If he does there is the possibility that he could still be a Vice Presidential nominee.

The race is certainly interesting especially since President Obama remains mired in low approval ratings which promises that the General Election in November should be a nail biter unless something really happens to upset the apple cart.  This makes it fun  for me because I am actually coming to enjoy writing about politics.


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How Padre Steve Survives the Election Year…and how You Can Too

“It’s such a beautiful sport, with no politics involved, no color, no class. Only as a youngster can you play and as a pro can you win. The game has kept me young, involved and excited and for me to be up here with gems of baseball.” Jack Buck

“I would change policy, bring back natural grass and nickel beer. Baseball is the belly-button of our society. Straighten out baseball, and you straighten out the rest of the world.” Bill “Spaceman” Lee 

Well my friends we have just 285 day until the 2012 General Elections to be held on 6 November we will again elect a President, the whole House of Representatives, one third of the Senate and an ass load of Governors, State and Local government officials.

Of course the big kahuna is the Presidential election.  This is the election that usually brings out the most people to vote. We Americans have priorities and electing a President is right up there with voting for the next American Idol.

The Presidential campaign is now in what we call the “Primary Season.” Can you say primary season?

I knew that you could, but I digress.

The Primary season is where the major political parties, those bastions of uncritical thought and ideological bastardization backed by unlimited monetary donations from the wonderful new super-hero called Super-PAC choose who they will nominate for the Presidency. It is an exciting process for of unexpected twists and turns. Well, let me not get too overboard here, most of the time they are boring and predictable once the New Hampshire primary is over, but not this year.

Thanks to the Citizens United decision the amount of political advertising will set records, especially the negative stuff that decides elections will air at all hours of the day will interrupt any television program at any time. Candidates will buy whole blocks of time to sell themselves and Super-PAC will aid them with powerful truth deflection shields and lie-ser beams.  It will be amazing and if you are like me you probably have had enough.

So what can we do?

Well here is what I am going to do.  In 24 days my television is going to be parked on the MLB Channel and any other channel I can get that has a baseball game or baseball show on.  That is when spring training starts and real life begins again.

Now that does not mean that I won’t stay in tune with what is happening in the world or in the elections.  I will because need to be informed so I be informative in a time of disinformation because I don’t want anyone to be dissed by information.

But to do this is stressful and sometimes the high toxic inflamed sphincter speech of the Unholy Trinity of Politicians, Pundits and Preachers gets to me.  Thank God that he created baseball and that there is a refuge for me from the 18th of February when pitchers and catchers report until if the World Series goes the full 7 games until the 1st of November. That means that I only have 29 days without this sure refuge. However there is enough about baseball between now and the official beginning of Spring Training and post series euphoria to limit my exposer to the toxic stew being brewed in the smoke filled rooms of the political campaigns.

Thank God for baseball.


Padre Steve+

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