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The Undecideds

This idea that there are people that fall somewhere between Romney and Obama who haven’t decided who they’re voting for I think is a myth. There are about as many of them as there are readers of B&E these days.

It’s far more likely that this high number of “undecideds” in various polls are actually people to the right of Mitt Romney and to the left of Obama (or those Libertarian drifters-in-space who float nebulously around the political spectrum), who can’t decide if they’re going to hold their noses and go with the person they align with most, or just not suffer the stink at all and stay home on election day.

I have no proof about this, of course. But honestly, how many Michael Bloombergs can be out there?

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

The Mets showed some promise early on this season, and then had the meltdown everyone expected. August was pretty rough. The good news is that I spent August out of the country.

Still, even with the (expected) disappointment, the Mets had three pretty significant highlights:

  1. Johan Santana had the first no-hitter in Mets history.
  2. David Wright broke the Mets all-time hits record.
  3. R.A. Dickey has won (at least) 20 games.

And somehow, having attended a total of about a half dozen games at Bailout Ballpark, I was actually in the stands for two of them.

Johan’s no-no…

And David’s sixty-foot dribbler to break the record…

David’s hit was just the other night, and he got some gentle ribbing from his first-base coach on the lameness of his record-breaking hit, especially since his previous at-bat was a 390-foot out.

Anyway, this is just my chance to gloat that I managed to see some pretty good stuff out at Bailout Ballpark in this (yet another) disappointing Mets season.

It’s Hard Being Loathsome

Back in 2008, during the Republican primary, I was expressing my keen dislike for Rudy Giuliani, and a friend who’d lived in Boston for a while said, “Well, wait until you get to know Mitt Romney.” Mitt never really had his breakthrough moment in 2008, thanks to his amazing ability to finish 2nd in just about every primary contest. But now we’re finally getting our chance to meet the man.

It seems my friend was correct. The more I get to know Mitt Romney, the less I like him. I feel like the kindest thing I can say about him is that he has no moral center. And that isn’t very kind.

Hindsight is 20-20 and all that, but it seems that Mitt Romney would’ve run away with this election if he’d just stayed hidden somewhere so that we couldn’t get to know him at all.

To be fair, this has partially been his strategy — to keep us in the dark, especially about his policy positions. But then he opens his mouth and says something, and everyone except the hardcore Republican partisans get that visceral skin crawl usually associated with really rich old men dating teenage girls. Ew.

Let Lawrence Vote

I’m not going to pretend that voter ID laws are anything other than an attempt to suppress the vote and steal the election. But there’s an argument I never hear voting rights advocates make when they debate the voter-suppressing Dickheads.

Lawrence is one of our local neighborhood panhandlers. I occasionally give him the loose change in my pocket. The missus gives him bills. I honestly think that he stays on or very near our block because he knows the missus can be counted on. I’m also pretty sure that he’s actually the biggest recipient of our charity donations.

I’m going to make some assumptions about Lawrence now. Let’s assume, for example, that he doesn’t have a home. Let’s assume he doesn’t have a driver’s license or other form of ID. Let’s assume that the majority of his income goes to getting some goddamned food (and I’ve seen him in our local butcher getting a sandwich when he’s got the cash).

As far as I’m concerned, and assuming that Lawrence agrees, he’s a member of the Sunnyside, Queens community. So his City Councilman is Jimmy Van Bramer. His State Assemblywoman is Catherine Nolan. His State Senator is Mike Gianaris. His Governor is Andrew Cuomo. His Representative to Congress is either Carolyn Maloney or Joseph Crowley, depending on which side of the street he’s standing. His US Senators are Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. And his President and Vice President are Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

I’m also going to assume that Lawrence doesn’t participate in the election process. Maybe that isn’t fair of me, but again, I’m leaping to some conclusions about Lawrence this morning.

This point is that Lawrence is a fucking American, and he has as much a right to vote for or against any of these people as I do. No lack of home or ID should stand in his way. Lawrence is American. He can vote. And fuck anyone who tries to stop him.

It’s Like the Dean Scream

I can’t help but consume too much media during election seasons, and it’s really not good for my health. But with Obama extending a minor lead in the polls, political media types are wondering just how devastating that 47%-of-the-country-are-victims comment was from Romney. Some put more significance to it than others.

I don’t know that this will be the event that hands Obama the election (and I still think it’s pretty likely to be stolen on election day — thank YOU, voter ID laws!), but it does remind me of a certain Democratic primary back in early 2004.

Howard Dean (who I supported) got third place in Iowa caucuses and then made the infamous Dean Scream in his concession/let’s-kick-some-ass speech. That moment hurt Dean because even people who liked him weren’t sure he had the discipline to be President. His passion sometimes made him look just on the sane side of unhinged.

So when he let that “YAR!” go flying in his speech (and especially when it got played over and over and over again in the news), our deepest concerns were confirmed.

This, I suspect, is the real problem with Romney’s comments. He just seems like an asshole who’s only tolerating us because he has to. His 47% comments confirm it.

Snakeheads — Now for Dinner!

I know I’m not as active on the B&E site as I used to be, but that doesn’t mean I’m not looking out for you, my five faithful readers. Especially where the snakehead is concerned…

But after years of fearing snakeheads — the walking, biting, air-breathing, blood-thirsty “fish” — I finally have some promising news to report. Fancy-pants restaurant Gramercy Tavern, here in NYC, doesn’t care that the snakehead is covered in mucus. It has figured out the best way to deal with the snakehead: Eat them before they eat you.

So perhaps someday we’ll have to worry that Gramercy Tavern has created a demand for these bastards, but in the meantime, I say, “Fuck you, snakehead. Looks like you’ve got a predator, after all.”

Sweet Russ “Oh, So” Feingold

You may have thought that since his re-election loss in 2010 I’d forgotten about my old boyfriend, Russ “Damn, You’re” Feingold, but you would be incorrect. His recent appearance on Democracy Now reminded me why he’s one of my favorite people in the world — critical of Obama policies while simultaneously offering full-throated defense of the president. Gosh, I sure like the Russ. Please find a half hour to listen to his Words of Feingold.

I Totally Stalked Gary Carter

Legendary Mets catcher Gary Carter finally succumbed to brain cancer this week. Gary was, of course, a member of the legendary ’86 Mets, and as I’ve explained before, that was actually a heartbreak season for me, because the Mets beat my beloved Astros in the playoffs before going on to beat the Red Sox in the World Series.

Still, the winter after that heartbreak, my family went down to Florida, and we visited some former members of my dad’s church in a fancy pants neighborhood down there. Well, Gary Carter was their neighbor. So I packed my many Gary Carter baseball cards and then just sorta waited around outside his house until he came out. Which he finally did.

It was probably the first time I was in the presence of someone famous, and it was intimidating, and although he wasn’t the friendliest guy in the world, he was mostly pretty kind to an annoying 14-year-old stalker.

He seemed to curate the cards he signed, and he ended up signing four of them (probably about half of cards I brought). It was like he wasn’t allowed to sign some for contractual reasons or because signatures devalued the cards (he collected cards, too). Who knows? I was way to intimidated to ask.

The part that must’ve been weirdest to Gary, at least in retrospect, was that while Gary signed baseball cards, my dad snapped photos. I need to dig up those photos. I have no idea where they are now. Ma, if you’re reading this, they’ll probably be among the photos from our Disney trip over 1987 New Year’s.

Thanks for the thrill, Gary. Your curls and yellow sweater from that day will always be burned in my brain. And I totally found the autographed baseball cards this morning. They’re from your days with the Expos, but I still like them a lot.

Mayor, Just Hug a Hoodie

It was a big news week, and I let a lot of things fly by again. Because that seems to be what I do well here on B&E lately: Let others do the commentary on events.

Just over a year ago, I wrote a “Fuck You — For the Cure” post about Susan G. Komen For the Cure going after smaller nonprofits for copyright infringement over the phrase, “For the Cure.” Which was pretty fucking stupid of them.

But their work this past week was spectacular. First, they said they weren’t going to fund Planned Parenthood’s breast cancer screening programs anymore, technically because Planned Parenthood is under investigation by Congress. It was a rationale that smelled just a little bit too much like bullshit. They clearly didn’t think through the inevitable backlash because no matter their intention, their defunding became about the abortion issue.

In the nonprofit communications world (in which I have a job), there was much discussion about how quickly and easily and thoughtlessly they hurt their own brand. This article was one of the best I saw and is totally worth a read if you’re interested in branding in the nonprofit world.

I would just like to say that, although Komen eventually apologized, they didn’t actually reverse course with the policy they laid out at the end of the week. But most people seem to think they did. The fact is, we won’t know if they reversed course until the next funding cycle, when they either fund or don’t fund Planned Parenthood’s breast cancer screening programs for low-income women. I predict that they won’t. And I hope the outcry continues then.

The other story from this week that is just stupendous came out of my hometown of Topeka, Kansas. The mayor apparently asked the City Council to consider regulations on hoodies and caps, so that the wearers can be seen by video cameras in stores.

Great idea, Mr. Mayor! Because if someone’s about to rob a store, and they’re wearing a hoodie, they’ll totally take it off when the store owner asks, before they rob the store, so that the security cameras can see them more clearly while they rob the store.

But Mr. Mayor, didn’t you listen to Prime Minister David Cameron (before he was PM)? He argued that hoodies are more defensive than offensive, and that the wearers simply need love. Mr. Mayor, you need to hug a hoodie today.


It’s common knowledge to the five of you who still read this blog that I’m no fan of Rick Santorum. If you’re curious, you can do a quick search for “Santorum” in the search box to see some of the results. Or click on the Dickhead tag. You’ll find him eventually.

Or Google “Santorum” because that’ll work out well for you.


Rick Santorum is running for president and even won the Iowa caucuses. The Republican voters hate Mitt Romney so much that they actually momentarily considered Rick Santorum a viable alternative. What a shitshow.

The good news is that Rick Santorum has a really great promotion on his website. And believe it or not, I mean it sincerely, not sarcastically.

For a mere $100, you can get the iconic Rick Santorum sweater vest. Heck, I like his promotion so much, I’ll even link to it.

What the website doesn’t tell you is whether it comes with the iconic Santorum stain on it.