Yesterday was the final day of the regular season in Major League baseball, and what a regular season it was. Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers won the triple crown (finished first in home runs, RBIs, and batting average) a feat accomplished for the first time in my lifetime, the Oakland A’s won their division on the final day, the Washington Nationals became the first team from DC to make the postseason in merely 80 years, and the Baltimore Orioles made the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. But the baseball regular season wasn’t the only thing that ended last night.
With the first presidential debate last night in Denver, the fog of deception that was fabricated to make Mitt Romney look like he is an unacceptable choice for the highest office in the land has been permanently dispensed. In fact, some of the more enjoyable moments of the debate were those when President Obama appeared absolutely lost because Mitt Romney refused to accept the caricature of his positions created by the left. But Mitt Romney is not a caricature and his legitimacy shone brightly in contrast with the president last night in this debate which focused exclusively on domestic policy.
Without the filter of campaign commercials or slanted media analysis, the candidates were presented bare (without teleprompters) and had to rely on their own knowledge and wits. In this setting, it was clear who had command of the issues of the day and that was the challenger. A long running CNN poll, which has been taken after every Presidential debate since 1980 had Romney winning by an astonishing 67% to 25%, shattering all previous margins.
A lot of the initial analysis of the debate claimed that Romney won because he was more “aggressive” and one analyst actually said Romney got the edge in time using a football analogy. Actually, President Obama clocked in with nearly five more minutes than Governor Romney and it only felt like Romney spoke longer because his words had so much more substance than Obama’s well used platitudes and stereotyped preconceptions.
There are still two presidential debates remaining this month along with one vice presidential debate, so this race is far from over with 33 days until the election. However, anyone who paid close attention last night has got to like Romney’s chances at this point.
I was a professional disc jokey for several years starting in the late 1980s through the early years of this century. One of those incarnations of my DJ business was called R & R Music Express, which was a partnership between my buddy “Rico” and me . This morning I found that we have a new “R & R express” as Mitt Romney chose Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan.
I love this choice as Ryan is brilliant, bold, young, and from a modest working class background. In the last two years, he has become the clear fiscal leader in Congress and has put out a bold budget each year as a fiscal guru. This has made him a lightening rod from some quarters, but shows his willingness to put himself out there as an agent of change in an era when the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in over three years. In this health care summit in early 2010, Ryan shows his absolute mastery of budgetary matters:
Ryan is 42 and has been in congress for most of his adult life, having been first elected in 1998. This makes him a good counter-balance to Romney’s vast business experience (as well as in several other factors). Yet, in a near-hilarious article in The New Yorker this morning, Ryan Lizza lamented Paul Ryan’s lack of private sector experience by stating he has no business-world experience “…besides summer jobs working at McDonald’s or at his family’s construction company, or waiting tables as a young Washington staffer…” As if to say we don’t want anyone who has had to work THOSE kind of jobs. No, Ryan does not fit into the left wing’s narrative about Republican “Wall Street” elitists. In fact, even though Ryan has been in Washington for nearly 14 years, he still sleeps on a cot in his office when congress is in session and returns to his wife and three children in Wisconsin at every possible opportunity.
In announcing Paul Ryan as his VP running mate this morning, Romney mistakenly called him the next PRESIDENT of the United States. Well, perhaps not the NEXT President.
Years ago (I believe it was the mid 1980s) I had a business in New York City with a few partners. Although I am prohibited by pending litigation from disclosing the finer details about this company, I can say that we were a startup which used cutting edge technology and set up shop in an old municipal building. Anyway, we were out on a service call one night when one of my partners said to me “Ray…” (they called me ‘Ray’ back then, long story) anyway, he said;
Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say ‘YES’!”
Although this was some sound advice which I’ve never forgotten, I really hadn’t given it much thought through the years as, surprisingly, no one has really asked me if I’m a god in the past 30 years or so. But lately I’ve been considering it.
About a year ago, my son Jacob and I were driving home from visiting my eldest son in New York City. When we passed the exit for Annandale (New Jersey) I was naturally moved to exclaim;
California tumbles into the sea, that will be the day I go back to Annandale…”
At first Jacob looked at me strangely, not getting the reference but just then “My Old School” by Steely Dan (the very song I had just quoted) came on the satellite radio. Was this a coincidence? I think not!
Just this morning, a new Walmart commercial came on the television in which they advertised all the brand name clothing that they are offering this back-to-school season. At the end of the commercial they showed the logos for all these brands and I noticed an “Angry Birds” logo. “Angry Birds?” I asked out loud, “Since when do they make clothing?” “What was that, dear?” my wife asked. “Angry birds!” I shouted, just as a large bird flew into our bay window with a loud “thump!” Now would someone please explain just what supernatural forces I conjured up to compel that bird to risk life and wing at the very moment when I shouted?
This is something that will need much more exploration.