I'm Back (I Hope)
In case anyone was wondering, I have a good excuse for my lack of posting. About two weeks ago, Isaac, Jr., became a big brother. Understandably, this is taking up much of my time. I need a name for the new little man (just for blogging purposes--he has a real name), and Isaac III just don't cut it. And Ishmael doesn't work because (1) Isaac, Jr., is older, (2) they are not half brothers, and (3) one is not more entitled to the patrimony than the other. But enough biblical asides.
A few random comments:
1. Even in the midst of all of this, Mrs. Bartender and I have been watching the excellent John Adams on HBO. When HBO does a show like this, it really pulls out all the stops. Great cast, great locations, and a really good job of trying to condense some important and complex history into under 9 hours. I note that I have a soft spot for Paul Giamatti, not only because his father was the commissioner of major league baseball (and President of Yale), but because someone once actually thought that I was he. Two points: (1) She kept asking if I was the guy from Big Momma's House; I knew she didn't think I was Martin Lawrence, but it was not until I saw Giamatti on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart mocking the role that I finally knew to whom she was referring and (2) Mrs. Bartender assures me I am much better looking than Giamatti is (faint praise, I know); I pray she is right.
2. I also managed to make it to the first game at Nationals Park. First, the Ryan Zimmerman walk off could not have been a better way to consecrate the park. Second, the new stadium is excellent, particularly after three years at RFK. Third, having been to 32 major league stadiums (I'm a little nuts), I would put it in the upper category, but not in the elite few parks such as PNC (Pittsburgh), AT&T (SF), and Camden Yards. (Wrigley, Fenway, and Yankee are in their own category because of their history.) Although my seats have a view of the Capitol (!), it does not equate to the settings offered by the parks mentioned above. It is, however, a great place to watch a game, and hopefully will encourage some top notch players to join the Nats. I give the park a B+, and if the neighborhood develops as appears likely, this grade can certainly improve. I'm heading back tonight (with Mrs. Bartender) for the second of many, many trip in the days and years to come.
3. Finally, a brief political aside. Barring something shocking (e.g., tapes of Obama preaching a la Rev. Wright), Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, and it is high time to end the fight. If Pennsylvania voters recognize that a vote for Clinton is simply a vote for McCain at this point, perhaps they will mercifully end this battle. (The tightening polls offer grounds for hope, but I still think HRC will win PA by between 5 and 10 points.)
I also must disagree somewhat with the optimism some in the McCain camp are offering because the polls all essentially show him tied with Clinton or Obama. Considering that McCain has a unified party behind him while 20 to 30% of Clinton and Obama supporters indicate they will support McCain if their preferred candidate is not nominated and we know that most of these individuals will ultimately support the Democratic nominee, I believe these polls are misleading and the Democratic will quickly find himself (or herself) ahead once the nominee is chosen provided that it does not completely blow up on the way to Denver. And it hasn't yet. So Pennsylvania--we can end it now or we can wait for NC. What do you want to do? Just end it no later than June 4. (I point out that once enough superdelegates announce support for Obama to put him over the 2025 threshold and the networks say as much, there is nothing Clinton can do. This is what happened to Gore when the networks erroneously called Florida and the presidency for Bush. )