Friday, September 7, 2012

The Make Up Song (Friday LINKS)

The last night of the Convention felt like that part at the end of a Rom-Com where the guy buys flowers and shows up in the rain to say that he's sorry for building-a-relationship-on-a-lie/kissing-another-girl/allowing-his-inner-jerk-show-through and reminds the girl of all of the good times they had together.

How different is "You are the change" from "You make me want to be a better man"? (That line still gets me).

And I have to admit, I was a little underwhelmed with the President.  Minutes before he spoke, I turned to Jane and said "This is the most important speech he will ever give."


"Because he has all of the momentum on his side right now and if he can blow this open, it may be the difference between being a failed one-term President and a historic two-term President during what may be recalled as the most severe crisis this Country has seen in a century."  Hyperbole?  Don't mind if I do.

Acknowledging that I was 75/25 watching the Orioles game and the Convention last night, the overall tone of the evening had the slightest tinge of conciliation.  Not so much "We messed up", but rather "We know this didn't go the way that we had planned."  That's good.  They needed to say that or else lose every voter that never really bought into the "Hopey Changey" thing (that is the last time I will ever use a Palin quote in a non-sarcastic or non-sardonic manner).  These voters want a confession before they re-up.  In fact, CNN had a panel of undecided voters that they surveyed after the speech who had little dials to record their impressions.  The "You are the change" moments scored poorly.  They mini-confessions scored very well.

Regardless of the outcome of this election, I think the history books will look back at 2008-2012 as a consequence of having an over-confident President being confronted with a lack of legislative experience.  Partisans will point fingers, but if Civil Rights legislation could be passed in the 1960's, the debt ceiling can be raised in the 2010's.  Contemporary historians (is that a real noun?) are already noting President Obama's errors (read this link), but I don't think these missteps are so severe as to upset a re-election bid.

If I were to give the GOP Convention a B- for being overly focused on the base, I have to give the Dem Convention an A.  It really felt like you were watching a talented musician play their favorite instrument.  Sure, there were problems, but no matter how much the press tried to inject controversy, the "stars" shone through.  I would be surprised to see a fair-minded Republican (or independent) disagree with that assessment, but welcome the response.

Nevertheless, as I noted yesterday, Conventions do not matter all that much.  But neither do debates.  This election is a drop of molasses between now and November.  It will take a lot of time and effort to move it.  Democrats promise to roll out a ground game never before seen in Presidential elections while Republicans have money to burn on the air.  If you feel strongly about this election, you're going to have to get in your car or on the phone.  Ohio and Virginia are key.  Obama is gaining steam in the Midwest, with reports that Team Mitt is pulling out of Michigan.  That means with Pennsylvania looking more and more in the bag, the President may only need one more swing state to lock this election up.

Don't listen to the National polls.  They are worthless.  Follow the map. 


ORIOLES MAGIC!  FEEL IT HAPPEN!  If you have a baseball fan in your life, buy them Orioles tickets right now.  It's ok.  The rest of the blog will wait.

I went to high school with this guy.

If you want a holistic view of creating a pro-business climate, whether at the state or hyper-local level, you need to read this piece in the Washington Post about the Siemens plant in North Carolina.  It will become apparent why Ken Ulman, and other politicos, were reticent to shut the door on the intermodal plant in Elkridge.  That's not to say that there are no trade-offs or that the red carpet should have been rolled out for CSX, but it definitely gets to the context of such decisions and why there are no easy outs in politics.

Art Modell died this week.  As I said on Facebook, I cannot think of another stranger who brought more happiness to my life than this man.  Call sports silly, but as I've become older and my brother and I moved out of the house, Ravens games have become a lasting bond between my Dad, my brother, and I.  Don't get me wrong, my family is, and always will be, very close, but sports adds that sticky stuff to bring people together.  Except for Steeler fans.  I do not like Steeler fans.

I also found it touching that many Ravens players and Coach Harbaugh visited with Mr. Modell in his final days.  Tell me sports are silly now.

Now, what is silly is a duly elected Democratic member of the Maryland General Assembly writing a letter to the owner of the Ravens telling him to "quiet down" his linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo for being vocal about his support for same-sex marriage.  He owns the team, doofus.  Not the players.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: Sarah posts about CA's upcoming screening of "Urbanized" on 9/18.  These presentations are a great way to get people excited about Columbia and take ownership of its future.

Sorry for the late posts this week.  I've been burning the candle at both ends and try to fit in the extra sleep where I can.  I don't know why I am apologizing, but I feel like I should.

Have a great Friday doing what you love!  See you at the Yard.