Overhead At Work

“What’s more important!? Candy or living!?”

Yes, the debate over whether or not to cancel Halloween is continuing and it’s getting heated. This has been going on for weeks now. The majority of my co-workers think that it’s fine to trick or treat. A small but vocal minority believes that all holidays should be canceled until COVID has been wiped off of the planet (which, I’m always tempted to point out, is something that most scientists agree will probably never happen). And then there’s one woman who says everyone should put out a sign that says they’ll only give candy to vaccinated children.

My own opinion? Get vaccinated and live your life.

Cleaning Up New Jersey With The Corleones

I recently re-hooked up my old XBOX 360 and played a few of the old games. Most of them seem pretty primitive now but nostalgia is a hell of a drug. I’ve even come to appreciate the old Godfather game.

Yes, the game is still a cynical cash-in on a great work of art and many of the missions are just filler. Making the main character the most important figure in Corleone history feels like fanfic gone mad. But damn, it’s fun to play. Once you get a few of the better safehouses and you’ve leveled up enough that you can actually take on several gangsters without dying, it’s an addictive game. It also doesn’t require much thought, which makes it good for people who just want to turn off their minds and play. Just wait for someone to start shooting at you and then you shoot back.

After a stressful day, I’ve come to discover that driving into New Jersey and forcing out the Straccis is the perfect way to relax.

Spider-Man Meets Frankenstein

Since I shared a cover of Tomb of Dracula yesterday, it only seems appropriate to give Frankenstein’s Monster his due. Here’s the cover for Marvel Team-Up #36, in which Spider-Man and Frankenstein teamed up to battle a one-shot villain called The Monster Maker.

Of course, since this was a Marvel comic, Spider-Man and Frankenstein had to fight each other before they could team up to fight the bad guys.

Only Spider-Man could get away with calling the Monster “Patches.”

In Honor Of October and The Tomb of Dracula

With the first day of October less than a week away, I decided to share my personal favorite cover from The Tomb of Dracula.

The Tomb of Dracula was a comic book that ran for 70 issues, from 1972 to 1979. It was published by Marvel and it’s generally considered to be one of the best of the horror comics. It was also the first comic book to feature the character of Blade, who was later brought to life by Wesley Snipes in one of the first successful films to be based on a Marvel comic.

I’m a Tomb of Dracula fan and a collector. I’ve got nearly every issue of Tomb of Dracula and it’s companion magazine, Dracula Lives. Below, to help set the mood for October, is my favorite cover:

October’s right around the corner!

2024 Profile: Rick Scott

Yesterday, when I was profiling Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez, I mentioned that Florida’s senator, Rick Scott, was also thinking of running for president in 2024.

I was pretty dismissive of Scott’s chances, which should not be taken to mean that I was being dismissive of Scott as a public figure. He was a good governor, serving for two terms. After defeating Bill Nelson in 2018, he’s been a good Senator. I haven’t heard any complaints about him, beyond a few controversial stock purchases and financial investments.

Immediately after the 2018 election, Rick Scott seemed like the most likely Floridian to run for President. He’s since been overshadowed by both Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump and, as I wrote yesterday, it’s hard to imagine him having a lane to run if either one of those two enters the primaries. Scott’s been overshadowed, which is an occupational hazard when you’re a member of Congress. All eyes are on DeSantis right now.

Add to that, Rick Scott will be 72 years old in 2024 and, after a combined 8 years of Trump and Biden, one would hope that the voters would be ready for someone a few years younger.

Again, Rick Scott seems like someone who could be a good President but it’s hard to see any circumstances in which he could win the Republican nomination. Both Trump and DeSantis would have to fall apart (or, in the case of DeSantis, lost reelection in 2022) and Scott would have to find a way to make him stand out from the large number of other senators who are considering a run.

I will actually be surprised if Scott runs. He doesn’t seem to be the type of politician to tilt at windmills. I get the feeing that, as far as 2024 is concerned, Scott will forgo the presidency and continue to do a good job representing the people of Florida in the United States Senate.

2024 Profile: Francis X. Suarez

There’s a surprisingly large amount of Florida politicians who are considered to be likely to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

Ron DeSantis is the most obvious contender. He’s the one who gets the most press and, judging by the negative tone of the majority of that coverage, he’s the one who most worries the Democrats.

Sen. Rick Scott has been pretty obvious about his ambitions, though it’s hard to imagine him having much of a lane if both he and DeSantis enter the race.

Sen. Marco Rubio undoubtedly wants another shot at the nomination many expected him to easily win in 2016.

Even Jeb Bush sometimes sounds like he might be thinking of giving it another try.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz has been hinting at a possible presidential run, though one hopes that he’s merely trolling.

And, of course, former President Donald Trump is now a legal resident of Florida and has made little secret of his desire to get his old job back.

And then there’s Francis X. Suarez. The mayor of Miami may not be a national figure but, out of all the possible candidates from Florida, he strikes me as the one who, excluding DeSantis, might have the best chance to someday be President.

Suarez has been mayor since 2017 and, though it’s officially a nonpartisan position, he’s also a registered Republican. He did, however, endorse Andrew Gillum over DeSantis in 2018 and he reportedly declined to vote for Trump in 2020. Those will definitely be obstacles should he run but they won’t be impossible to overcome. Unlike someone like Adam Kinzinger, Suarez hasn’t built his entire profile on being anti-Trump. Suarez actually does have some accomplishments that he can tout, including a record-low homicide rate. If crime is as big a concern for GOP voters in 2024 as it is in 2021, Suarez could benefit.

(If Suarez does run, he will struggle with anti-Vaxx and the anti-mask mandate crowd. Of course, there’s no way to know how strong either of those movements will be in 2024.)

Earlier this month, Suarez gave an interview in which he said he was interested in running. He would only be 47 years old in 2024 and, if nominated, he would be the first person of Spanish descent to run as a major party nominee. Nikki Haley has apparently already met with him to gauge his possible interest in running for vice president with her. Could Suarez go straight from being mayor to being President? Anything is possible, though it’s easier to imagine him making a credible run for the nomination and then serving in a Republican president’s cabinet before making a second run in 8 years.

Suarez has often spoken of the need to have a new generation of leaders. With Biden’s dazed performance as commander-in-chief, that’s a message that should resonate even more than usual. Suarez is also a good campaigner, more charismatic than someone like Rick Scott while not coming across as being as scripted as Marco Rubio. Francis Suarez is one to watch.

Is Nature Healing?

Earlier today, I was driving through Plano and I was happy to see that people are actually putting up Halloween decorations. That’s quite a contrast to last year, when almost the entire holiday season went both Halloween and Thanksgiving were largely ignored in the suburbs.

I was happy to see it. At some point, people are going to have to start living again.

Pop Politics Endorses Curtis Sliwa For Mayor of New York

For the record, I like Eric Adams. I think that, if he’s elected mayor of New York City, there’s a good possibility that he’ll prove to be worthy of the job. He has already done both America and the Democratic Party a huge favor by showing that voters want to hold the police accountable but, at the same time, they don’t want to defund or abolish them. By finishing ahead of Maya Wiley in the Democratic Party, both Adams and Kathryn Garcia showed that there is room for sanity in the Democratic Party. Though I’m not a Democrat, I do realize that there are going to be times that the Democrats are going to be in charge. I would prefer the party be led by people who realize that there’s more to setting policy than getting retweets on Twitter.

That said, Pop Politics still endorses Curtis Sliwa for mayor of New York, just on the general principle that it would be interesting to see what Sliwa would do with the office. As mayor, would he continue to wear the red beret? Probably.

Sliwa is a uniquely New York character. His love for the city is obvious and he’s proven to be a stronger campaigner than I think anyone expected him to be. It’s true that he won the Republican primary be default. (He was the only well-known candidate running.) It’s also true that, if elected, he would have New York’s entire political establishment against him. But so what? Sliwa has proven himself to be someone who is willing to take his case straight to the people. And who better to stand up to the epidemic of crime than the original Guardian Angel?

If New York truly wants to shake things up and fully escape the legacy of Bill de Blasio, voting for Curtis Sliwa is the way to go. And while I have to be honest about Sliwa’s chances of becoming mayor of as blue a city as New York, I personally would love to someday see Curtis Sliwa in the U.S. House, wearing his beret and ignoring the Speaker.

New York City is lucky this year. They’ve got two good candidates to choose from. Regardless of who wins, at least it won’t be de Blasio.

Beto Again?

Beto’s never going to go away if people keep giving him money!

That’s my way of acknowledging that Beto O’Rourke, the Texas version of Justin Trudeau, is now threatening to run for governor.  Every two years, Beto runs for something.  Regardless of what happens in 2022, he’ll probably be running for President in 2024.

At this point, though, most people are used to Beto’s schtick.  He’ll climb on counters.  He’ll ride his skateboard through the parking lot of Whataburger.  He’ll live stream the entire campaign.  The same people who laughed him off stage in 2020 will fool themselves into thinking he’s the Great Blue Hope in 2022.  He’ll burn through a lot of money.  Is this really the best that Democrats can offer?