October, 2004 Archives

If you’ve been missing that hardy New England sports cynicism in the wake of the Red Sox World Championship ( ! ), here’s something that should warm your pessimist’s heart: the Pats’ historic win streak is no more. The Pittsburgh Steelers put an end to this glorious run at 21.

Go figure, the Sox, who never win, finally do, and the Patriots, who never lose, well they do too.

Streaking Out

Flipping through the public access section of the cable lineup last night, Em stopped on some sort of RIC student forum thingy, run by two students, talking with a crowd of students. They were discussing the election (poorly) and one young woman in the crowd asked a question that I thought I misheard. I thought I heard her ask about John Kerry and John Edwards being duplicitous because they do not support gay marriage despite one of Kerry’s daughters being gay.

I just assumed that I had heard wrong, and that she was actually referencing Dick Cheney’s daughter (oops, am I not supposed to say that?). Now I’m not so sure that I misheard. Are people out there really talking about Kerry’s gay daughter?

…the Superbowl!!

The outcome of the last Washington Redskins game before an election has correctly predicted the outcome of the presidential race every time since football came to the capital city, going all the way back to 1936. If the ‘skins win, the incumbent party wins. Well, Green Bay put Washington away this afternoon, presaging an electoral win for John Kerry. I knew it all along, but it’s good to see some scientific evidence to bolster my prediction.

(By the way, what is it with Kerry supporters who think Bush is going to win? Talking with my aunt yesterday she expressed this same sentiment. This thing is absolutely deadlocked, I would think both sides would be confident.)

Kerry Wins!

The Providence Journal editorial board lays further waste to its long tradition of Yankee Republicanism by endorsing George W Bush for president again. As they say, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Of course, the man they prefer to lead our nation can’t quite get a handle on that little adage, but I know Robert Whitcomb is a sharp guy so he would probably get it.

Fooled again. Shame on you, ProJo.

Osama bin Laden, not dead despite the president’s assertion that we’d get him, dead or alive, released a new tape recently to laugh in our collective faces. Amazingly enough, the mastermind behind the murder of 3,000 Americans in the worst attack in this country’s history, is not only alive and well, he’s got time to see Fahrenheit 9/11! I don’t understand how any American can find that remotely acceptable. He’s laughing at us.

Last night on some show the “experts” were speculating as to the mention of Sweden as safe from al Qaeda attacks. No one could understand why. If you ask me, if Osama is referencing “My Pet Goat” then he just as surely could have read Ron Suskind’s NYT article about Bush’s obstinance faith, which featured this anecdote:

The problem, everyone agreed, was that a number of European countries, like France and Germany, had armies that were not trusted by either the Israelis or Palestinians. One congressman — the Hungarian-born Tom Lantos, a Democrat from California and the only Holocaust survivor in Congress — mentioned that the Scandinavian countries were viewed more positively. Lantos went on to describe for the president how the Swedish Army might be an ideal candidate to anchor a small peacekeeping force on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sweden has a well-trained force of about 25,000. The president looked at him appraisingly, several people in the room recall.

”I don’t know why you’re talking about Sweden,” Bush said. ”They’re the neutral one. They don’t have an army.”

Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ”Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They’re the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.” Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.

Bush held to his view. ”No, no, it’s Sweden that has no army.”

The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.

Osama is ready for his own blog, I think.

Kidding aside, though, what the hell is this guy doing even being alive? Why is the president running for re-election on the platform that only he is strong enough to fight terrorists, when he has not only failed to take out the man behind 9/11, he’s actually ignored him in favor of creating a terrorist breeding ground in Iraq. Bush supporters are right when they say that this election is fundamentally about who “gets” the War on Terror™®. They’re just sadly mistaken in thinking the answer is W.

Official MugshotIt’s Halloween again!! Longtime readers may remember last year when Em and I couldn’t find a pumpkin to carve anywhere so we settled for a small cantaloupe that grew out of the compost pile (the archived post got eaten a while back. Pics one and two). This year we planned ahead and took a ride to 5 Towns Farms in Seekonk to get a real pumpkin, and we had a plan for what to carve on it too.

Taking that picture of David Ortiz, I ran it through Photoshop til we had a stencil-ish image, then Em used her considerable talents and endless patience with inanimate objects to carve and chisel this masterpiece, in honor of the World Champion Boston Red Sox (!):

with stencil

With the lights out:

spookiest mvp ever!

Jack O’tizzle

Putting a momentary dent in the beauty and wonder that is the first morning of the Red Sox World Championship Era, Curt Schilling this morning wrapped up an interview on some morning show with this: “Remember to vote on November 2nd, and vote Bush.”

I’m disappointed, but not surprised. This is a guy who believes God guides his splitters, so he’s a perfect match for the man who believes God wanted him to take out Saddam.

Of course, that means we can say this with certainty: Idiots are voting for Bush.

UPDATE: Curt received a phone call from the president not ten minutes after his endorsement, inviting him to a campaign stop or two. Today, though, Curt says he won’t be medically cleared to go (his ankle is, after all, ground beef). I think Dr. Morgan is a Democrat. (I’m pretty sure Theo Epstein is voting Kerry, too, since he was imploring people to vote “to make this a better world” yesterday.)

The Schilling Endorsement

1918

There are tears in my eyes. I’ll never forget this moment.

THEY DID IT! THEY REALLY DID IT!

Love That Dirty Water

This past May, as the first stop on our Great Midwestern Baseball Trip™, Em and I were in St. Louis. Unfortunately we got rained out, and since we had tickets to a game in Cincinnati the next night we couldn’t see any Cardinals games. Of course, as we walked around Busch Stadium we had no way of knowing that exactly five months later our Red Sox would be winning their third straight World Series game there. I’m even more disappointed that we missed seeing a game there knowing that I’ll never get to see a game in the park that will likely host the most important Red Sox win in my lifetime. Next year is Busch’s last season, so barring a weekend trip, we’re going to miss it. Damn.

Missing Busch

There’s lots of endorsements flying around out there. Some are surprising, some not so much. Very much in the latter category, here’s the editorial position of this group blog: John Kerry for President.

I do want to add, though, that I’m not in the camp of those who don’t like Kerry but really don’t like Bush. I live in the bluest of blue states, so I could comfortably vote my conscience and cast my ballot for a third party, or for David Ortiz, and not worry about it affecting the election. However, I am going to proudly vote for John Kerry, who I believe will make a very good president. I think he’s the right man for the moment, and, recognizing the realities of national party politics, I trust him in the Oval Office. I don’t think anyone should feel the need to qualify their vote (ie “I’m voting for Kerry, but it’s more of a vote against Bush”). I’m ready for November 2nd.

I woke up this morning and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. The paper told me that the Boston Red Sox were 27 outs away from snuffing out four generations of futility. Now, I watched last night’s game. I saw Pedro dominate. I cheered Manny’s bomb. I nearly blew beer out my nose watching Jeff Suppan implode on the base paths. So I knew what was up. Yet what I saw in the newspaper I still can’t fathom.

Among Red Sox diehards, I’d always considered myself among the most optimistic. Being young enough, I didn’t have the hangups of most long-suffering Sox Rooters. I’m not immune to fears of collapse, of course, since I clearly remember every millisecond of last year’s game seven walk-off. Still, not even through my rose-colored imagination did I foresee this day. Seven wins in a row, the first four of which were win-or-go-home games against the Yankees. Curt Schilling pitching his butt, and possibly his ankle, off. Pedro and D-Lowe, in perhaps their last days of wearing the Boston uniform, giving us everything we could possibly want. Keith Foulke… so clutch, so good, so selfless. And then there’s Tim Wakefield. No fan needs to hear more.

Someone asked me what I would do if the Sox actually won. Wouldn’t it be a let-down? Wouldn’t the magic be gone? Unequivocally, the answer is no. I told him it’s not as if I’d been rooting for this team for 86 years. I love this team. I loved them last year, and the year before, and the year before, and so on back to my papa taking me to my first game at Fenway. I loved them after they lost in seven games to the Yanks last year. I loved them when they missed the playoffs the year before. Have they disappointed me? Sure. But the Boston Red Sox are family, and you don’t give up on family. If the 2004 squad wins this thing I will be so proud of them. And then I’ll be buying my tickets next February, just like I do every year. I’ll watch every game, just like I do every year. What I won’t do, though, is buy a new Sox cap. The one I have now will be worn til all the stitches pop out.

Tomorrow morning, there’s a decent possibility that the Boston Red Sox will be world champions. Could this really be?

One Win

My entire world is in a cloud of disbelief. After all this waiting, the Sox are in the World Series? After over a year’s worth of closely following the presidential election, there’s only seven days til we know who wins (I hope. Please.) Since I did it for the playoffs, I figure I should make my election predictions too. We won’t discuss how close I came on my baseball postseason picks, ok?

This post is also motivated by a request for predictions from Hal Meyer’s RIPolitics listserv. Hal is like a Republican cartoon character, so he’s predicting a landslide for Bush, with spotty losses in RI and MA.

Remember, you can pretty much ignore national polls, because there’s no national election. It’s all about the electoral college and the swing states. Here’s my map (click to enlarge):

Kerry wins 283-255

You can play with the map for yourself here, among many other places. Predictions are welcome in the comments (I’m not holding my breath)

That’s a Kerry win. I think he’ll eke out a small plurality in the popular vote, too, based on what I read about turnout and new voters. I think it’s clear to most pundits that New Hampshire is not going Bush again, after his decidedly not conservative first term. I put Colorado in the Dem column becuase it’s close there and it really shouldn’t be. Plus my brother lives in Colorado and I think he’s voting Kerry, and he’s a white, 30-45 year old father. That’s a Bush demographic. I’m switching Nevada and New Mexico from 2000, since NM was so close last time, and because of Yucca Mountain and the urban growth of Las Vegas. Wisconsin goes to Bush because… I don’t know why. Security moms and George Bush likes cheese. Whatever. Kerry is going to win Ohio for one reason: jobs (or the lack thereof). There’s some hinky stuff going on there now, but in the final count, Ohio is going Dem (and no Republican has ever been elected president without winning Ohio. Get ready to hear that over and over and over). In Florida, I think more of the people who go to the polls will intend to vote for the Democrat, and once again that won’t matter. Florida, close as it may seem today, is locked up for Bush.

So those are the changes I see. Kerry wins 283-255. Unfortunately, there’s all sorts of scenarios where we won’t know who wins on November 3rd. We could even get a 269-269 tie in the electoral college! (which means Bush wins). Someone is going to get sued in Ohio.

Just as I feel with the Sox, I am cautiously optimistic. Things are looking good for my team(s), but anything can happen, and there’s no underestimating the competition. I’ve read quite a few Bush fans predicting a landslide, which is fine by me. I hope they’re so sure of a big win that they stay home. There’s an idea out there that a lot of people are lying about supporting Kerry for one reason or another, and once they get into the privacy of the voting booth they’ll pull the lever for Bush. I think this is ridiculous, but we’ll see. And remember, historically, most undecided voter on election day end up voting for the challenger. And, as they say, all bets are off in the event of another terrorist attack or the capture of Osama bin Forgotten.

It’s going to be some week. I promise to have local election stuff before the weekend.

One Week