Happy Thanksgiving!

Whether you call it Turkey Day, Black Friday Eve, or that holiday between Halloween and Christmas, tomorrow is a special day for seemingly all Americans. It’s amazing to me, someone who meets people from many different cultures on a daily basis (substitute teacher guy is quite cosmopolitan), the number of foreign families who adopt Thanksgiving (so their kids claim, anyway). You come from the other side of the world, no doubt with your own holidays and observances, and you eschew some that we have here. But Thanksgiving you like… you take that one. It’s a universally appealing thought, no? Giving thanks?

I, for one, am for it.

And I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just when you think you’ve seen it all

I’ve been watching sports for almost 30 years, and the end of yesterday’s game between my hometown Washington Redskins and the Saints of New Orleans was the most unbelievable conclusion I’d ever seen. Asinine, actually, is the way I’d describe it as a Redskins fan, though I suppose by now I should be used to it.

Without going into great detail, let’s just say the ‘Skins had the game won, only to have victory snapped from the, well, you get the idea. (And after blowing the lead… to have so many chances still to win… ugh.)

By way of comparison, only the 1972 Olympic gold medal basketball match between the U.S. and the Soviet Union comes to mind. Think of that game, then imagine if there had been no cheating Communist officials to hand the game to the Soviets. Just imagine that it happened legitimately. That’s how the Redskins lost yesterday.

That’s pretty bad.

Binghamton again!

Might as well go a full week on Binghamton basketball.

Can you believe the Bearcats had a six-point lead last night on the road against George Mason? A real team in a real conference that plays in a real arena?

Well, in the second half they played like a real team and Binghamton played like Binghamton.

Speaking of Binghamton basketball…

Remember in 2008 the BU player from Serbia? Beat a fellow student in at a bar in downtown Binghamton and they fled back to Serbia with fake travel papers? We never got him back to the U.S. (despite the intervention of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a host of other politicians) and Serbia let him off with a slap on the wrist?

Okay, yeah, so think about that, then think about our idiot basketball players from UCLA, facing something like eyeball gouging or finger mutilation for theft in China. We get ’em back (thanks, President Trump!) in a matter of days, somehow avoiding an international incident.

I’m still not quite sure what to make of this, and t’ll be interesting to see what their punishment is. (Making them transfer to Binghamton?)

There’s only one guy in the world who wishes it had all been a bigger deal.

I’m looking at you, Al Franken.

It’s on

Upstate New York clash of titans tonight as undefeated Binghamton University travels to Ithaca to face the Big Red of Cornell. Next up for the Bearcats, of course, is their trip my way to play George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, looking to continue their perfect season.

Do I see Dancing in their future?

When I was a kid Veterans Day was a holiday

I’m not sure whether it was Veterans Day, or Veterans’ Day, or perhaps Veteran’s Day, but when I was a kid, on November 11 or thereabouts we celebrated a holiday that recognized American veterans. We had the day off from school and most businesses were closed.

What happened?

Is this political correctness rearing it’s ugly head? Nah, Columbus Day is way more controversial and we’ve still got that one. Too many other holidays in November? Perhaps. But that’s almost worse, to shut it down for that reason.

Whatever the reason, whatever the season, we at mikeoconnelljr.com (that’s me) salute American veterans and those serving all over the world. Every day.

Loudoun strikes again!

Loudoun County, my home and not native land, is the most important county in the nation. We’ve tipped gubernatorial elections, presidential elections, nearly handed Hillary Clinton the last one (thank God for the rest of the country), and last night made Ralph Northam the new governor of Virginia.

Finding blue cities in red states is nothing new. As a matter of fact, that’s pretty much the norm. Every city is blue and every state is red, except the states whose cities are big enough to blot out the rest of the state. (That’s four years of poly sci classes boiled down to one sentence right there. You’re welcome.) The interesting thing about Loudoun County (and several other counties around here in both Virginia and Maryland), is that it’s not a big city, it’s the Long Island-y “exurbs” of Washington, D.C., embarrassingly rich and embarrassingly blue. The folks at CNN always seem surprised to note Democratic successes in these parts. They’re rich! They must be Republicans!

#smh

Virginia is a red state with a blue splotch in its northern counties. This is where new residents have moved in over the past 10-15 years and have tipped the commonwealth from red to blue. As a scientist I would call this an infestation of locusts. As a partisan I just call it embarrassing.

D.C. types who live in the “exurbs” have tipped Virginia the way they tipped Maryland a generation ago. It was just easier and took less time with Maryland because they had fewer people in the real part of the state to counteract the assault. D.C. itself has actually never voted for a Republican president. That’s fourteen elections in a row. Think about that one for a minute.

Still the folks at CNN and elsewhere express shock and awe at Democratic success in Old Dominion. The state that last night also elected the nation’s first transgender legislator. Yeah, that’s Northern Virginia, real bedrock of conservatism.

Not really caring who wins and loses elections anymore I’m just looking to see…

is it funnier to laugh at the voters? Or laugh at the “experts”?

New controversy surrounds the Redskins

Never mind my hometown football team’s exciting and surprising win yesterday against the Seattle Seahawks. The real news around Washington football had nothing to do with the game, the national anthem, or our politically incorrect nickname.

It had to do with pizza.

Yes, pizza was a main topic of discussion in yesterday’s press, specifically the page-two story in The Washington Post concerning players’ favorite pizzerias in town. The debate arose among allegations that Papa John’s, the NFL’s official sponsor, had lost business because of said league’s current controversy surrounding the national anthem. You see, players protest the anthem, fans get angry, and respond not by boycotting the league, but by boycotting its pizza sponsor.

Yup. That’s the line towed by Papa John’s brass in response to its slumping third quarter sales.

Yup.

Investigators at the Post–same folks who gave you Woodword and Bernstein, remember–wanted to know: Is Papa John’s really any good?

According to players? Third place, by a very unscientific survey. Ahead of it? Pizza Hut and Domino’s. Talk about uninspired choices.

To be fair some ‘Skins players gave unusual answers, but those answers were sort of diluted in this pizzagate inquiry.

Hard-hitting journalism never stops in this town.

Game Seven was no Halloween

Anti-climactic.

That’s how I’d describe Game Seven of the 2017 World Series. Still, though, one of the greatest series of all time.

To be honest I’m not sure I could have taken much more drama, following the five-day candy bender that was Halloween. As I wrote last week, Halloween on a Tuesday seemed like such a good idea at the time… but with parties starting Friday and continuing all weekend I was limping through the final stages on Tuesday night.

The past two days, of course, have been what we call the Halloween Hangover. Oh, those candies still look so good. Then next week… the jawbreakers, the gobstoppers, and finally the bubble gum.

And then it is Christmas.

And it all begins again.

This is just bizarre

An organization called the “New Virginia Majority Education Fund” has delivered several fliers to my home recently. These are full-color, high-gloss jobs, and as someone who used to be in the business (both actually… politics and the mails) I know these ain’t cheap.

The NVMEF (if I may) is promoting its “Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy,” urging me to vote on November 7. Vote exactly how and for whom I’m not sure, as the flier doesn’t list any candidates or ballot initiatives. “Paid leave!” “Affordable college!” “Living wages!” “Affordable elder care!” and other vague platitudes are pretty much all they got. “It shouldn’t be so expensive to live and raise a family here,” reads the advertisement. Exactly whom we’re putting the screws on to lower prices everywhere is a bit unclear. Just make things cost less? That’s how six-year-olds think.

“In a Family Friendly Economy, hardworking people would have more time and money to invest in themselves and the people they love. And Virginia businesses could attract and retain the best employees, helping strengthen our economy for everyone.”

One-eyed communism.

Here are a few things we might invest in first:

  1. Magical money trees.
  2. Suspension of the laws of economics.
  3. The rare ability that certain lawmakers possess in which they can spend money other people’s money on you without spending any of your money on anyone else.

What was the number of that ballot initiative again?