Sorry to have been out of touch for a couple days. I have yet again been without Internet access–and a phone telephone, since both operate out of the same non-functioning modem–at the house and, much to my chagrin and despite the assurances of ComCast (one of a few companies that illegally spied on Americans, by the way), no one has been out to the house since the outage/modem failure Friday afternoon. I saw that PaVoldemort pitched a heck of a game Friday night in out-dueling A.J. Burnett, 2-1. Four years too late and $40 million too much. Sorry, I’m just not impressed. Nice job, #45, in your audition for another team on the Yankees’ bill. I also saw that the Yankees blew a big lead yesterday, dropping a 7-6 decision to the Jays after leading 6-2, with another bullpen implosion blowing Rasner’s good start.
I had a few other things going on. Without Internet and since ComCast would allegedly call me on my cell phone, we went as a family to a big corn maze nearby, with GLG and her friend challenging my wife, son, and me to who could find the hole punchers strategically placed around the maze, fill the card, and get out first. We did within 45 minutes, kicking butt. We’ve done it every year for a few years, and it’s always a blast. Since we always seem to go when it’s 85 and sunny, we sunscreen the kids and bring bottles of water. My son was a trooper, leading us to the last hole puncher and the subsequent bragging rights. As a treat, my wife and I actually got to go out last night on a date, one of very few we actually get to take, going to a local restaurant for appetizers and a drink before seeing “The Dark Knight.” Brilliant movie with extremely good acting performances from Heath Ledger as the very creepy, anarchistic, completely insane Joker (far better than Nicholson’s very good performance), Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes, and great special effects. The chase scene when Dent was in transit in an armored car was classic and highly intense. It’s impossible to over-estimate how good and downright creepy Ledger was as The Joker. If you’ve not seen it, you’re missing out. Don’t. As a side note, a mother had her 3 or 4-year-old daughter behind us at the movie, and the poor girl was just crying and complaining to leave. The obnoxious, pathetically stupid mother adamantly refused to do so, and really had no brains or business taking her poor daughter to that long, truly frightening movie. My son is older than that girl and I won’t take him. It’s in no way appropriate to young children. This movie is far from Adam West’s hokey TV show. My wife and I had to stifle the urge to yell at the woman to usher he daughter out, and a good part of me wishes I had told her off, but figured no good would come of it. Amazingly stupid person this mother was.
Following up on the last couple days’ events, it seems that the McCain campaign’s main meme will be that VP choice Palin has credentials to lead based on presiding over an oil-rich state, her right-wing views, her being an outsider in line with pseudo-maverick McCain, and that she has more experience than Obama. In fact, watching this morning’s “Meet the Press,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty continually changed the subject from Palin to Obama when discussing questions on Palin’s lack of experience. This to me illustrates how odd the choice of Palin was, and how on various fronts, as I discussed Friday, this compromises certain arguments McCain has tried to make about Obama. One can argue whether or not Obama has sufficient leadership and political experience to become president. Personally, I think this matters little, as the recent manifestation of Bush has shown about being governor and therefore “chief of [a] state.” More importantly for this post and I think in general, McCain’s campaign has no way of effectively making the case in favor of Palin’s supposed credentials while criticizing Obama’a supposed lack thereof.
The outsider argument about Palin is a bit funny, since her being chosen purportedly to help fix a “broken Washington system” is to join a man who has been in Washington for three decades. So let me get this straight. Palin can help clean up Washington by…joining the ticket of a man who has either not done enough to fix Washington on his watch, or has downright helped to “break” Washington’s federal political system? Sure. That’s not a campaign trope I can believe in–not that right-wing politics has traction or ever has with me, anyway. This is meant to help bolster McCain’s faux image as a “maverick.” Here’s a question: what did maverick McCain do during the biggest do-nothing Congress in American history? Play along, go home early, help pass late-night and early-morning appropriations bills but reconvene Congress for the Terry Schiavo fiasco, and vote with Bush 9/10 of the time.
Since we just passed the third anniversary of the Bush administration’s utterly abject, grotesque, inhumane failure in handling the disastrous Hurricane Katrina, what did McCain do when Bush was strumming a guitar at a f%*#ing hootenanny, a modern-day Nero on the lyre? Join him to share in some cake as America saw one of its oldest, most important cultural and economic centers destroyed. Let’s not forget this incident, good readers. While it should not have been a mystery to people how ill-equipped the governor of Texas was and has been for the job of president (at the same time that another GOP governor has been chosen as VP candidate), this image was all anyone for some reason either enamored with or uncertain about the effectiveness of the Bush presidency should have needed to assess his concern about effective governance:
Strumming a guitar at a f%*#ing hootenanny, with McCain in attendance, as Katrina blasted New Orleans’s city structure and culture apart. Three years ago. If you weren’t enraged by Bush’s inaction, ignorance, wanton foot-dragging, and naked pandering to employers by waiving Davis-Bacon prevailing wage provisions in what modest and painfully slow clean-up and rebuilding of New Orleans has thus far occurred, I have nothing polite to say at all. Let’s just leave it at that. This lens into Mr. “Heckuva Job, Brownie” and his merry band of miscreants was more than a last straw. It was also a glimpse into the past about how McCain viewed and reacted as Senator to this. How important a late August hurricane has become in the aftermath, and on the anniversary of the natural and Republican disaster that was Katrina, to the GOP.
[Edit: The above post was written early this afternoon but, since the Wi-Fi cafe where I wrote it limits lunch-time Internet access to 30 minutes, I couldn't quite finish it before I was booted. Ah, the travails of the Internet era. That said, it obviously doesn't include anything about today's 6-2 loss, which I was checking up on the cell phone during the afternoon. Halladay got staked to a first-inning 3-0 lead and never looked back, while Pettite struggled through 6 1/3, allowing 6 runs. Amazing how pitching can shut down one "vaunted" offense while making a mediocre one look potent. Yet again this year, we all know which one was which. The Yanks are now 7 behind Boston for the Wild Card (Magic # = 20), 12 1/2 behind Tampa in the East (Magic # = 15). Ugh and ugh.]