Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tea Party Kills the Islanders

The Yankees opened their roadtrip by beating the Chicago White Sox, 3-2 last night at U.S. Cellular Field (a.k.a. New Comiskey Park). CC Sabathia (16-5) pitched 8 innings, allowing 10 hits, but no walks -- in other words, he refused to beat himself, and made the South Side Hit Men try to beat him -- and 2 runs. Mariano Rivera, as he so often does, got the save (28). Former San Diego Padres ace Jake Peavy got the loss (4-5), thanks to a pair of RBI doubles by Curtis Granderson.

The Red Sox lost to the Cleveland Indians last night, so the Yankees are once again just 1 game behind -- with each team's next series against each other in Scum Town this weekend.

But that's not the biggest story in New York Tri-State Area sports this morning. Nor is any preparing-for-the-new season move by the local football teams.

One of our area's 11 major league sports teams (9 if you don't count the WNBA or MLS) may have been killed last night.

On May 24, 1980, thanks to an overtime goal by Bobby Nystrom (and possibly also due to a bad offside call by referee Leon Stickle, who admitted afterward that he blew it), the New York Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers at home, at the Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum, in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and won their first Stanley Cup.

It was the 1st Cup won by a Tri-State Area team in 40 years, since the Rangers in 1940. It was a great moment in hockey history. Unless you're a Flyer fan.

Just 164 days later, on November 4, 1980, the American people made a terrible mistake, and overwhelmingly elected Ronald Reagan to be their next President. There were a lot of issues, and incumbent President Jimmy Carter had handled few of them well -- and in the next 8 years, Reagan and his corrupt Administration reversed them so much that even Carter's achievements (such as creating more jobs per year than any President since, including Reagan and even Bill Clinton, and actually reducing America's dependence on foreign oil) evaporated.

Winston Churchill taught us that history is written by the winners, and the Reagan people rewrote history to say that one of the biggest reasons Reagan won was taxes. These people have made raising taxes the equivalent of treason.

No, it's not. Selling weapons to the enemy is treason -- and if a Democratic President had done that, the Reaganauts would have wanted him hanged first and impeached later. But it was Reagan who did that.

And so, following the Reagan wins of 1980 and 1984, the win by the elder George Bush in 1988, the rise of Newt Gingrich in 1994, the George W. Bush thefts of 2000 and 2004, and the Tea Party movement (bowel movement) of 2010, we now have this myth in America that raising taxes is bad.

Last night, there was a referendum in Nassau County, home of the Islanders, designed to raise $400 million to build a new arena to replace the Nassau Coliseum, currently the 2nd-oldest (1971), 2nd-smallest (16,250) and probably most-obsolete arena in the National Hockey League.

This referendum replaced the failed Lighthouse Project, which would have renovated the existing arena and built retail space around it, creating a "Main Street" for Long Island, for which the Roosevelt Field Mall has usually been a stand-in.

Last night, voters overwhelmingly rejected the plan.

Why? Because it would have raised taxes.

You know what's worse than raising taxes? Killing jobs. And when the Islanders' lease on the Coliseum runs out at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season (just 4 years from now), all the people who depended on a sports team being their for their jobs will lose their jobs. They'll be out of work.

They will lose their pay, which hurts more than getting your taxes raised.

This "I don't care who suffers as a result, just don't raise my taxes!" mania has spent the last 30 years killing jobs and making Americans suffer. Last night, the Islanders, a franchise that not only won 4 Stanley Cups -- in a row -- and was the only major league sports team on Long Island, were dealt a wound that may be mortal.

Congratulations, Teabaggers, you murdered a sports institution.

Oh well, Long Island hockey fans can always switch to the Rangers. Right?

They'd sooner share their toothbrush with a Flyers fan.

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