Click here for Watershed 'Brick and Mortar"/"Hitless Wonder" reviews+press + weekend edition story---Colin Gawel & The Lonely Bones Live at Woodland's Tavern Friday Nov 16th.8pm sharp. free show!
In lieu of clogging of Facebook/Twiitter with political chatter, I mostly abstain from partisan politics online to stay focused on shameless self promotion of my music and coffee shop along with insightful sports analysis and worthy intellectual endeavours such as ranking the entire Cheap Trick song catalog. However, every couple of years I take a dip in the mud pit and organize a handful of political musings. So..
Colin Gawel's 2012 Election Day Manifesto
But before we go any further, I thought it might be helpful to establish some ground rules and have a political science refresher.
See, there is this thing called "democracy", and under this system of government, everybody gets a vote and is allowed, if not encouraged, to voice their opinion. The founding fathers set it up this way because they were tired of a "King" telling everybody what to do all of the time. This revolutionary approach seems pretty groovy until you realize that sometimes your candidate and/or issue loses. In fact, I've been doing a little research, and it turns out that this has happened every single election in US history. Go figure.
Even worse, the real bitch of it all with this "democracy", is that no matter your best efforts, you might occasionally hear a differing viewpoint than your own. Free speech? Ugh!!! So aggravating! So please, before reading any further, if you are one of "those people" who get all pissy when somebody disagrees with you, why not just stop now and save yourself the agony? I own a small coffee shop and I hear opinions all across the spectrum (Obama or Romney) every day. That is how it is suppose to work. I welcome your opinion. Post it on facebook. Stop by the coffee shop and talk some smack. We may disagree, but it isn't personal. Only a person of low character would lose a friendship over something as trivial as politics. Or put another way, I don't agree with Ted Nugent, but I still crank up Wango Tango when it comes on the radio. Dig?
ISSUE #51 Upper Arlington School Levy
Full disclosure: I am a little biased on this one. I didn't overpay for my quaint house in Upper Arlington to enjoy the wide sidewalks, family rec. center or hopping night life. No..I moved here for the same reason everybody moves to U.A., the outstanding school system. Our son Owen is now in 3rd grade and I have nothing but great things to say about his experience in UA schools. High expectations have been exceeded. Still, money doesn't grow on Buckeye trees and lord knows times are tight so it is reasonable to make sure hard earned/inherited money is being spent wisely. I have seen numbers favoring both sides of the issue so let's call that a wash and put it another way: Imagine this scenario--
"Times got a little tough for the community, but we came together and voted down the school levy, and after that, things really started to change for the better."
Please cite an example of this happening and I will consider changing my position. Until then I will be voting "Yes" on Issue 51.
Issue #56 - Something About Feeding the Seniors?
Ugh, these seniors are just bleeding us dry with their socialized health care system and now they want a hot meal and a bath once an while? When do the entitlements stop? I thought we just gave them some new board games in 2004? I'd make a joke about the practicality of "death squads"except that sort of remark might come back to haunt me if i ever ran for office. Still, at my advancing age, there is an increasing chance I could actually live to be 65 and in that case, a hot meal and a bath would sound pretty good. So, I will vote YES on Issue 56
Maureen Reedy for Ohio State Representative ~ 24th District
I know Maureen as a neighbor and Colin's Coffee regular. She is whip-smart and on the side of working families/moms and small business. I have seen this first hand. She won "Teacher of The Year". And to top it all off, she is a huge Springsteen fan. Obviously, this makes her WAY over qualified to be serving in the Ohio State House but if she wants the gig, who am I to argue? An absolute no-brainer here... I will be voting for Maureen Reedy come Nov 6th.
ISSUE # 2 No More GerryMandering of Districts by Politicians
Speaking of no-brainers, this is the wonkiest and by far, most important issue on the ballot this year. Incumbents win re-election something like 95% of the time. A big reason for this is that they are allowed to re-draw their districts to guarantee victory. Passing Issue #2 would take this power out of the hands of politicians and give it to a non partisan civilian board. Or let me put this simply: If you vote against issue #2, you don't have the balls to "throw the bastards out" as I so often hear around the coffee shop so spare me the rhetoric. Tea Party where are you when we need you? This should be your issue. No gerrymandering + term limits would go a long way to restoring power to the people. Once again: If you support career politicians vote no Issue #2. If you want real change and competitive races you must Vote YES on ISSUE #2
Sherrod Brown vs Josh Mandel (this could have been a whole essay)
We can argue all day long about how big that pie should be they are splitting up in Washington, but bottom line is they ARE splitting it up even as you read this. As a Senator for Ohio, your job is not to parrot conservative/liberal ideology, no, your job is to do right by the state of Ohio.
Or put another way,"Your job is to help us, not to, fuck us up. Does this seem clear to you?" In fact, that whole scene from the movie Glengary Glen Ross seems pertinent.
Presenting "Glengary Stimulus Money Lost" starring Al Pacino as Senator Sherrod Brown, Kevin Spacey as Josh Mandel and featuring Jack Lemmon as former President Bill Clinton... WATCH IT here (Achtung!! Adult Content- NOT for virgin ears)
Sherrod Brown went balls to the wall to save the auto industry for the state of Ohio and that meant real jobs for real people, not just talking points. By any measure, the economy of Ohio has really improved over the last 4 years and I think Governor Kasich and Sherrod Brown both deserve credit for this.
As for Mandel, I see absolutely nothing on his resume that qualifies him to represent Ohio in the United States Senate. I'd guess Rob Portman must shudder at the thought of Josh being his "Jr" Senator. In fact, when Rob walks in with Josh, it might get mistaken for take your kid to work day. Even my hometown uber-conservative news paper the Columbus Dispatch endorsed Sherrod over Josh. First time in 30 years they have endorsed a Democrat for Senate.
But I have even worse news for Josh Mandel, he fails the most potent argument know to man, "Just Look At Him?"
Ex: "Geez, I don't know if I can vote for Mandel, I hear what you are saying and you have some good points but...ya know,.... just look at him?" look here
Instead of the Senate, why doesn't Josh just run for the House of Representatives? I mean, any jack-ass can serve there, I mean, just look at them?
Isn't There Some Issue about More Bars on Lane Avenue?
I Vote Yes
Ding. Ding. Ding. Are You Ready To Rumble? It's Time For The Main Event!! In this corner, the Master of Disaster and defending Champion, President Barack Obama!! And this corner, from the great conservative state of Massachusetts, challenger, "Iron Mitts" Romney!!!!
The thing I like most about Mitt Romney is how much he reminds me of President Obama. Recent political rhetoric aside, both are pragmatic moderates who won't stray very far from the middle. I'm sure either one could do a decent job over the next four years. I personally think Obama was dealt a terrible hand and has played it well enough to deserve four more years.
It took major balls to tackle health care reform. It was a politically unpopular position to take but he did it anyway which tells you he felt it was the best thing for the country. Otherwise, why would he bother? I love the mandate. Everybody pays, asshole. Just like car insurance. "But why should I pay, I'm not gonna get hurt..." yeah right, fast forward to emergency room and who is picking up the tab? You and me, suckers. Everybody pays. Damn, I sound like a republican, oh right, that was a republican idea. Hell, it was modeled on Mitt's idea. I think he was right the first time. Still, like any bill, it is loaded down with every congress man's bacon and will need to be ironed out over time. Stupid constitution.
Bored to tears with all these words? I feel you. For a musical version watch my song Chemotherapy
Other things I like. Health Care Exchanges (another good republican idea-let the markets work!) Race to the Top (built on top of "No Child Left Behind"), FINALLY making our hospital records electronic (a cop can tell from his car that I got a ticket in Texas in 1994, but go to a hospital and I am filling out paperwork? embarrassing), the end of don't ask don't tell, support for same sex unions, picking March Madness on ESPN and killing that bastard Bin Laden. He had it comin'.
Oh and the debt, easy. I'll solve it now. Bush tax cuts expire, social security age raises 2 years over 8 year span. 10 cent gas tax goes to pay off war debt and war veteran care, it's called the Patriot tax. That should do it.
And let's be frank, Mitt's whole 47% speech wasn't exactly reassuring to this small business owner who pays all kinds of taxes and still hears and I quote, "My job isn't to worry about those people". I mean, what kind of sensible citizen in my position could hear that and not at least re-evaluate whether or not this is the best canidate to represent your family in the White House. Now I concede, if your house has two kitchens or you can see boats from your living room, Mitt probably is your guy. If not, might be worth investigating further. I think we can agree to disagree here.
In closing, coffee shop business is up, wars are wrapping down, and in my opinion now is no time to change course. Or to directly quote a Republican coffee shop regular, "I hate to admit it because I don't want Obama re-elected, but my business is booming".
But once again, and I cannot stress this enough, I think Mitt and Barack are both good, decent men who are doing what they think is best for the country. No matter what the result of election day, I will be humble in victory and magnanimous in defeat. I have my preference and you have yours, but I am confident both candidates would handle the office OK*.
I will be voting for Barak Obama
*Ok = better than George W Bush.
Colin Gawel writes songs and plays in the band Watershed. He is a featured character in the best selling memoir "Hitless Wonder" written by Joe Oestreich. He owns a small coffee shop in Upper Arlington where people express opinions but are usually wrong.He is married and has a 9 year old son. Recently they have been shooting baskets in the driveway listening to the new KISS CD "Monster". sometimes he writes things like this but not very often as he prefers beer and rock n roll. He has no idea what his taxes are and doesn't care. www.colingawel.com
Bonus tracks and unreleased B-sides!!
1)Who gives all this money to such obvious duds like Josh Mandel? Don't they visit Nate Silver 538? He has no chance. 3 days out from the election and still the air waves are flooded with his ads. I know people have money and causes but yeesh....If you must throw good money after bad give it to your favorite charity. Or visit the new casino. I mean, I love the Cleveland Cavaliers but I am not going to bet a million dollars on them to win the NBA title this year.
2)---"Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen." -Indiana Senatorial Candidate Richard Mourdock (R) Oct 23rd, 2012
Those aren't the words of a FOX pundit or even Don Trump. That is a Republican candidate for Senate. He has a big R next to his name. Just like worthy Republican candidates have an R next to theirs.. I don't know who is in charge of the Republican party these days, but that kind of crazy talk is damaging your 'R' brand like Tiger Woods banging a waffle house waitress on the hood of his car in a church parking lot. Not good for business. Might want to get the boys in line and tell them to save that kind of talk for the stag bar at the country club. where it belongs.