Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Presidential Debate #1 Recap: The President is Cut!

I wonder if anyone will blame the thin air for something...
Well...the first presidential debate is in the books. In one corner, you had Mitt Romney, of Massachusetts, Bain Capital and the most patronizing facial expressions of all time. In the other, you had Barack Obama, who has become so embattled at this point that it is hard to remember this is the same guy who has been compared to Cyrus from The Warriors on numerous occasions (here's the link, for those who missed it: Link).

Let me quickly say that I'm not voting for either of these guys...naturally. But...I have to say that I was not prepared for the unbelievable smackdown Mitt Romney laid on the President tonight. At one point, Barack Obama actually asked Jim Lehrer to move onto the next issue. I think he was hoping we'd think that it was because they were beating a dead horse - unfortunately, I think he was the dead horse at that point.

I honestly don't know what to think, at this point. I have predicted that no one could beat Obama since last year, and I stood by that prediction without any question until tonight. I don't know...I'm not sure if I'm ready to call it the other way, but when I think I read the President's lips at the end to say, "I'll win in Danbury," it's pretty clear how this one went.

Romney was clear, decisive, logical, prepared and at one point, successfully compared the President's policies to the lies his sons tell him. The President kept smiling to himself, almost ironically, as if he wanted to simply scream back, "F*** YOU! ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? I THINK I KNOW WHAT THE ANSWER TO THOSE WILL BE, TOO!!!" 

So I guess we're going to see if this turns out to be an election after all. None of the polls had Mitt in the lead before tonight - I'm wondering what they'll say tomorrow.

Lastly...does anyone know when Jim Lehrer turned into Milton from Office Space? "Excuse me, Mr. President...I believe you have my stapler."

Friday, August 24, 2012

In Defense of a Dope

Lance: This post should not be taken to mean that I like you.

Good morning, everyone! Your friendliest of all deranged political nuts is back from hiatus. As with many good things, work intruded.

Anyway, I noticed in the news that Lance Armstrong has decided to cease his opposition to the USADA's investigation of doping during his 7 Tour de France wins, and that his decision will likely cost him his medals. Regardless of the veracity of the charges, this investigation breaches onto a larger issue at work in sports today.

Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera were both recently given 50 game bans by Major League Baseball due to violations of the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. Sports as disparate as baseball, American football and professional wrestling (if you can permit me to call it a sport) have all endured scandals over the years due to performance-enhancing drugs.

My take on PEDs is, I believe, a bit different from the mainstream.  Quite simply, who cares?

PEDs should not be banned or punishable at all. They should not be subject to criminal charges. They should not be subject to Congressional hearings. And, they should not keep athletes out of their respective Halls of Fame.  Here are the two reasons why:

1) Athletic achievement is athletic achievement. Athletes excel not only because of their genetics, but also because of the efficacy of their training regimens. It is unclear to me what makes taking a drug any different from doing a certain kind of exercise more than your competition, or more importantly, simply eating right and taking your vitamins. I'm not saying that they are the same things...but I am saying that it's all a matter of degrees.  

2) The deleterious effects of PEDs on the human body are well-documented. Scores of athletes have died early of heart attacks or other ailments usually reserved for older people. As I have mentioned about those who choose to take narcotics, if these people want to take the risk and shorten their lifespans for some kind of glory, then that is their business. If this means that we have an entire generation of athletes who are juicing or that it becomes the norm, so be that, too. I'm okay with being the old guy in the bar talking about how it was purer in my day.

To be clear, I think PEDs are terrible and I think no one should ever use them. But, part of being competitive is always seeking the edge on one's competition. If these people want to endanger themselves and risk breaking down like a racehorse, then that's their business. Maybe there will be records set while people are using drugs. There's no reason to suspect records in place already haven't been.  It's still impressive, regardless of the path taken to get there.  No amount of steroids would ever make most people world-class athletes...myself included.