The Bachelor and the Election

I watched the last few minutes of the Bachelor last night. A few minutes is really all I can stand without being overwhelmed by the urge to heave - at least I knew it was all going to be over soon. So, why did I tune in for even that long? It's a question I asked myself, as well. No good answer. That watching an accident unfold before your eyes thing: You pause, you look, you're powerless to stop it, or change the outcome....

Two things about the rose ceremony in that cheesy, candlelit, so opulent yet so cheap parlor room where the choosing bachelor shakes his head, 'i wish i could pick all of you....' struck me. One. The raw feelings. As the camera pans to the emotionally charged women - so desperate for fame, for the bachelor, for the chance to matter to someone who doesn't - emotion is spouting all over the place. The sighs. The downward slanted false eye lashes. The parted lips....can he just PLEASE choose me.....

Then, there was the second thought. This is why people don't vote. They are simply voted out by the time elections roll along. Think of all the responsibility we have as voting Americans. We have to vote who stays on American Idol. For weeks. We have to vote for the Supernova Cosmic Universal Rockstar. We have to vote for who stays on Dancing with the Stars, Skating with the Stars, and whatever other derivation of 'XXX with the Stars' enters our living room.

We even have to vote for viewer's choice of top designer on Project Runway (though I admit, that is one of my favorite shows - at least the contestants are manufacturing new things - something that in the BUSH years is a lost concept - jobs for people making cars...crushed by a few thousand a day...hence the millions of manufacturing jobs having disappeared.)

At any rate, we're responsible for so much, that one political election night every couple of years, is just exhausting to contemplate...So, I renew my request to the networks and cable stations - it might be too late for the midterm elections- but for the next Presidential election, let's make it an American Vote - on TV, by text, over the Internet - vote as many times as we can. We'll get more suspense and regular involvement in the process.

We could even start the show with the dumbest thing the contestants (all presidential hopefuls) did that week, throw in the smartest, too - to be fair. I'm all for Ryan Seacrest hosting. And once you get kicked off the show, pack your bags, are booted off the island, whatever - you're done....the people that are left must up their game to keep those they should be doing now, anyway.


Dems: Don't let Foley get the issues JACKED, too!

There's no doubt in anybody's mind. Mark Foley likes young men. He resigned. He should have resigned ages ago because of conflicts of interest - being interested in taking advantage of the group of citizens he was appointed to protect, as co-chair of the House Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus.

But, most Republicans JACKED the citizens they pretended to protect. This does not give Democrats the right to waste all sorts of time and outrage on Foley's follies. You should use every opportunity presented to say - yes, what Foley did was unconscionable. Yes, Hastert was in a position to, at the very least, have him removed from the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus.

The fact that he didn't was a mark of the very same hypocrisy and dodge game that characterizes politics in general, the Republicans in particular.

Acknowledge it. Call for investigations. Move on.

In the five weeks remaining until elections, start talking about the real issues that affect Americans every single day.
Spend a minute on the moral high road, and get back to business. That of making this country economically secure for as many Americans as possible. Look at the other things that went on while Foley was texting young men. Your record has some problems of its own.

You voted unanimously last week for another generous helping to the Iraq war chest - 100-0 - come on people - yes, we know you want to help the troops, we all do - but don't you think bringing up the question - hey, where's all the money we have appropriated in Bushian addendum fashion (while the defense budget keeps increasing in the regular federal budget) gone? I mean, don't you wonder?

You helped Republicans vote for the largest bankruptcy overhaul in decades - making it harder for struggling Americans to get out of debt, even while this administration has piled on National Debt ($9 trillion of it, people!) at record speed. You allowed them to cut Medicare, Medicaid and slash higher education. You stood by while Bush & Republican Co. grossly underfunded No Child Left Behind and HeadStart.

You don't have a plan for single payer healthcare, even though 47 million Americans (a number up 17% since Bush took office) have no insurance, and tens of millions merely have catastrophic insurance that only kicks in after they've depleted their savings on out-of-pocket expenses. And do something about a living wage.

FOLEY has given you the floor again....
Use it for something intelligent and long lasting.....

Use it to get back the economic and financial security that the conservatives JACKED from us!


Ode to my corner deli

Call me nostalgic. But, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Especially - remembering the little things. That’s how I feel about the death of my corner Deli. For years, the Bread Deli brightened my New York City block. Patricio, a.k.a. ‘the flower guy’ would get fresh blossoms every morning, their seasonal colors decorating the sidewalk. He’d hold onto my dogs while I got breakfast.

Inside, Jose would prepare an order of egg and cheese on a roll before I reached the food counter. He just knew. That’s customer service – remembering the little things. Everyone smiled, greeted each other in English or Spanish; a morning ritual of intimacy amongst strangers.

Sure, prices on various items fluctuated wildly. Sure, a pack of Advil could go for anything from .75 cents to 3 bucks. But, no matter what you wanted, whenever you wanted it, there it was. And, though not everyone knew your name, everyone knew your face - which in a city of 8 million people, provides a lot of wordless comfort.

All of which is gone now. It happened in stages. First, Patricio. Gone. Then, the flowers. Then the outside ATM machine that was near the flowers. Then, the inside salad bar. Then, the fruit. Then, the counter guys. Then, the chocolate. Then, the Bread Deli was no more. Boarded up. Darkened. Scaffolded over. Making way for the Condo Management company that bought the building and kicked out the remaining tenants and the Bread Deli. To transform the corner into something else. Something new. And, most likely - not as friendly.