January 31, 2012

Gingrich - rude

To be fair, I mentioned Romney was rude earlier. CNN, only happy to ignore that, was eager enough to point out that Newt Gingrich was rude not to congratulate Romney as the winner in his speech after Florida saw Romney win.

Fair enough, but Romney was rude first.  More importantly, I was on Twitter at the time and I was stunned by the number of tweets I saw that said they were surprised that Newt was making a lot of good points in his post-Florida speech.

He's been making those points all along.  Voters aren't paying close enough attention.  In that vein, stuff I thought was highly redundant seemed to get a lot of positive reaction, on Twitter at least.  So Gingrich was probably smart to use the speech in the 9 p.m. time slot as a platform to talk about his platform.

Romney - rude

So I'm watching CNN and out comes Anne Romney and the boys. The victory speech did not wait for the concession speeches from Paul, Gingrich and Santorum.

Rude.  Slick campaign maneuver perhaps, but in poor taste.  Just saying.

Could not have said it better myself. But...

Via Robert Stacy McCain, the great "What If":
Just ask yourselves, Perrybots, what might have been possible if some other candidate — any other candidate, perhaps one who could remember how to count to three – had an extra $20 million to spend here in Florida. But no, you spent months telling the rest of us that Rick Perry was The Only Conservative Who Could Beat Romney, an argument you didn’t hesitate to repeat as late as December, long after it was apparent that he wasn’t ready for prime time. And you still refuse to admit that you were misled, and helped mislead others, into jumping aboard that hopeless Bandwagon to Loserville. And who warned you, huh?
“What I fear will happen is that Perry will spend several months sucking up media oxygen and burning through GOP donor cash, only to collapse early next year. This will have the effect of suffocating other conservative candidates, and thereby lead to … Romney 2012.”
Mitt Romney is Obama-lite. And in turn Perry, and now Santorum are enabling Romney 2012.

But...this is not over.  Florida is one state of many.  Romney winning Georgia or Texas, much bigger prizes is harder to see.  The press want's to coronate Romney now, both the liberal Mainstream Media, and the establishment Republicans.  Only 6% of the delegates have been allocated after Florida is done.  This is not over.

Gingrich may not be a perfect candidate, but he is clearly more conservative than Mitt Romney by far, despite the occasional brain cramps.  He is a better debater and he can connect with voters in a way Romney has failed to do.

Romney spends to win Florida

This won't work against Obama.  Via Hot Air;
Update: Romney and his PAC spent $15 million on ads in Florida. Total number of positive ads he ran in the state: One. It ran 15 times. And it wasn’t even in English.
His spending advantage against Obama will be a proportional disadvantage in the general election.

Gingrich turtling in Florida?

Mitt Romney has thrown a lot of money into Florida. A lot.  Did Newt Gingrich know he couldn't outspend Romney and turtle in Florida.  Was he sandbagging in the debates?

It's a possibility.  It would be a good strategic play in that Newt cannot outspend Mitt in Florida and he has to spend more intelligently.  Tactically however, what might be the fallout be optically for Gingrich when he followed a battering win with a battering loss?

It remains to be seen.

Let's face it, Romney is going to win Florida

It's been a crazy busy day for me but I want to get on record before the polls close.  I think Romney is going to win Florida by 10 points.

More posts on fallout coming shortly.

January 30, 2012

Florida - are you listening?

Romney is a bad choice right now.  Got it? Bad.

Romney - who IS this guy???

If this is the establishment candidate for the GOP, they are the party of progressive liberalism.  You might as well cast a vote for Obama as this guy.

Why are you voting for Romney?

How does this make any sense to you?  Check out this video for Ron Paul, that gets it right on Flip Romney.  Please watch the whole thing.

Mitt Romney Called His Own Views Progressive

Mitt Romney, 2002 sounds a bit like Obama 2008.

January 29, 2012

Weekend Link Around (2 of 2)

Zoomed in perspectives.
More goodness in your weekend reading.  Continued from here.  Please read these items from some terrific bloggers.


Club For Growth discusses Warren Buffett's faulty logic on wanting to be taxed more.  It's seeming more and more to me that it's about creating two classes of citizen using the tax code - capital gains tax payers and everyone else.  If you make $50 million in capital gains and $50,000 in regular income, who cares how how much tax you pay on the $50,000?  By taxing the latter at 95% you could prevent people from ever making it into the capital gains tax club.

A Conservative Teacher runs the numbers on Bush's job creation versus Obama's job destruction. It's exactly what you think, but it's good to see it in black and white.

Fredd says wake up and smell the oil. The obvious, re-stated very well.


Scottcarp Dream ruminates on government censorship

Diogenes' Middle Finger talks about an Oscar nod for Obama.

Left Coast Resistance has another spot on rant from Zo.

All American Blogger has a number of great links of his own, along with some Johnny Horton.

Right Klik talks about Hugo Chavez' daughter and her fist full of American cash. Such irony.

Angry White Dude talks about some Christian beheadings of Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Meanwhile Bonsai from the Right compares Tea Party versus Occupy Wall Street statistically.

Weekend Link Around (1 of 2)

Reading glasses required.
I've been busy with family this weekend, but I've had a few opportunities to do some reading and below are some great reads from this weekend. Part II will follow shortly.

On the GOP primary race:

Legal Insurrection writes about how Tea Party Congressman Allen West is being redistricted out of existence by - the Romney campaign?  This GOP primary race may turn out to be about establishment liberal Republicans versus grassroots conservatives.

Gateway Pundit has the video of Sarah Palin talking about how Newt Gingrich would clobber Obama in a debate.

Just a Conservative Girl muses about whether the Herman Cain endorsement will help Newt or not.

National Security:

The ideas of foreign policy have been distilled into security versus military adventurism.  There doesn't seem to be in many corners the idea that a mix of approaches is necessary for foreign policy.  Either America is an expansionist Empire, or a nation of patsies.  It's really not that simple.  There are however truths in both sides of those arguments.

The Republican Mother is concerned that America is acting like Britain during it's empirical period and is doomed to the same fate.

State of the country:

Conservative Perspective talks about the state of America's disunion and quotes from very inspirational words about the differing views of what Americans believe. 

Western Hero talks about the Fear Driven Economy.

We The People has a parable on how the stimulus doesn't work.

Liberty At Stake talks about the dumbness of crowds and the herd mentality.

Verum Serum reminds us that Newt was cleared of those ethics charges.  Are you listening New York Times?

Western Experience notes military experts' divide on military cuts.

On God:

Gorges Grouse doesn't believe in atheists. How's that for turning it on it's head?

TeresAmerica has the Muslim news roundup.


Remember the 'peaceful' Occupy movement?  Right Wing News notices a large number of arrests that don't really equate to peaceful.

Eccentric Conservative has a humorous editorial cartoon on media bias.

January 28, 2012

Saturday Learning Series - Game Theory 4

This is a continuation of the Yale lecture series on Game Theory, an economic proposition that has a myriad of other applications to it as well. In this lecture, Ben Polak discusses the idea of best response.

More on the global warming hoax

Contrary to Al Gore's panic, and in line with the BBC dosumentary The Great Global Warming Swindle (which is increasingly hard to find online), more opinion is surfacing that the science behind global warming is seriously flawed.

January 27, 2012

Debate Winner: Not Gingrich

The person who looked best in the final Florida debate was Rick Santorum.  That means Mitt Romney, who did well won.  Newt Gingrich who did okay, lost.  Gingrich needed a really solid performance and he only  had decent performance.  In the dying days of the Florida campaign, with polls suddenly turning against him, Gingrich needed a win and he didn't get it.  He may have lost the state as a result of that debate.

Rick Santorum is competing now for the same space in the electorate as Newt Gingrich.  He won the debate but he won't win Florida.  Florida is a momentum state.  If Santorum doesn't get out (or Gingrich), there is still one too many not Romney candidates in the race.  The remaining not Romney vote will be split and it will effectively ensure that Romney racks up delegates very quickly.  It will ensure Romney wins the GOP race.  With Nevada coming up shortly after Florida time is quickly running out.

Who is holding the anti-Gingrich spending hammer?

Earlier I posted a piece about how independent spending was directed heavily against Newt Gingrich.  Who is doing it?  Primarily one Super PAC.  In it I noted that $15.9 million was spent against Newt Gingrich.  Digging deeper in Open Secrets, it's interesting to note that $15.7 million of that spending has come from just ONE PAC.

That PAC, Restore Our Future, was responsible for 98.99% of the anti-Gingrich spending.  They've spent more than any other PAC.

CandidateParty    OfficeTotalForAgainst
Gingrich, NewtRPresident$15,746,870$0$15,746,870
Romney, MittRPresident$759,227$759,227$0
Santorum, RickRPresident$396,653$0$396,653
The PAC, according to Wikipedia, is one founded by former Romney aides;
Restore Our Future was founded by Romney aides in 2010.[2] Charles Spies, the group's treasurer and former general counsel for Romney's 2008 campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination, described Restore Our Future as "an independent effort focused on getting Romney elected president."[1] The group reported raising over $12 million in the first half of 2011, in the form of large donations from approximately 90 wealthy individuals and corporations.[3] Spies declined to discuss specific contributors to the PAC.[4]
 Thanks to the Citizens United decision, there's nothing illegal about that, as long as the Super PAC does not co-ordinate or communicate with the candidate.  Assuming they are not doing so, they clearly have violated Reagan's 11th Commandment.  They are not alone by any means, but they are far and away the worst offender, and they are in the Mitt Romney camp, along with the Newt-Bashing Bob Dole and John McCain.

January 26, 2012

Anti-Gingrich Spending Hammer

Via Open Secrets (see snapshot below is from today), below is a summary of the independent expenditures (primarily from 527 PACs).  Out of $22.4 million spent on negative ads to date, 70.7% has been spent against Newt Gingrich.  Out of the money spent pro-Newt or anti-Newt, 83.9% have been run against Newt.  Out if all the money spent both pro and anti any candidate (i.e. all campaign spending by independent sources), 55.6% of all money spent, has been anti-Gingrich.

With all of that negativity aimed in his direction, not only is it amazing Newt Gingrich hasn't blown a gasket yet (indicating that he probably won't during the remainder of the election cycle), but it's truly astounding that he is in this race at all at this point.

That has to bode well for the long term of his candidacy if indeed he can win Florida even come close, the money should come.

Candidates Opposed/Supported

CandidateEntire Cycle TotalLast Week TotalLast 24 Hours TotalSupportedOpposed
Gingrich, Newt (R)$18,955,343$7,069,723$0$3,049,023$15,906,320
Romney, Mitt (R)$6,311,434$1,507,013$0$1,689,400$4,622,034
Obama, Barack (D)$2,086,413$10,490$0$637,468$1,428,699
Santorum, Rick (R)$2,498,560$0$0$2,099,559$399,001
Paul, Ron (R)$3,694,206$173,918$350$3,561,216$132,990
Perry, Rick (R)$3,964,824$0$0$3,964,824$0
Huntsman, Jon (R)$2,453,454$0$0$2,453,454$0
Cain, Herman (R)$501,718$0$0$501,718$0

Romney's back on top in Florida

It has nothing to do with the amazing amount of Newt-bashing coming from the establishment.  Bob Dole's trashing of Gingrich is convincing no one - Elizabeth Dole is probably already onside with him.  Add Dole's comments  to the McCain endorsement and it amounts to a kiss of death.  McCain and Dole both lost really big to Democrats.  Why would someone want to have both of them onside?  Nevertheless Mitt Romney is back on top apparently.  It's not that Romney has been on the attack effectively or is suddenly the darling of Florida voters.  The reason he is in first place again in Florida is his massive spending advantage and his ad buys in key markets.

That said, there IS something to be said for being organized and well-backed.  Prior, proper planning leads to better outcomes, no?  Organization is a good trait in an executive.  I question whether it is a better quality than vision.  Mitt Romney does not have a vision for America. He has a vision for Mitt Romney.  It translates into flip-flopping simply because his vision is to get elected president.  But let's grant that he would be organized.  That doesn't provide great leadership.  Ronald Reagan was the great communicator and he communicated a specific vision.  Newt Gingrich has a lot of great visions - probably many of which will never come to fruition.  But having a vision you can surround yourself with organization to get it done.  Having a great organization and surrounding yourself with the vision of others is not leadership.  It's stewardship and frankly lackluster.

Why Romney is back on top in Florida is money.  The more interesting takeaway from the Florida polls, is the amazing volatility.  It's not just that the lead has changed back and forth, it has changed by very large numbers.  It speaks to an electorate that clearly is not locked in to specific candidates to a large extent.  There are likely more changes to come.

January 25, 2012

McCain trashing Romney

A mere four years ago, the McCain primary campaign put this ad out about Mitt Romney - the same candidate McCain is now inexplicably endorsing.  A pair of flip-floppers if ever there were ones.  Seriously, do not put this guy up against Obama.

Just a reminder.

State of the Union: Obama IV

Last night I was on Twitter, live-tweeting translations of the president's speech.  I'm not all that excited about re-hashing what was a truly mediocre speech and essentially a re-run of SOTU III...or SOTU II.  Recycled speech.

So instead, enjoy this:

January 24, 2012

Rally Round the Romney?

Establishment GOP: "No! We mean someone else!"
A while ago I stopped reading National Review online because of their porous defense of Mitt Romney and associated attack on Newt Gingrich.  What became of National Review?  Conservatism is about being conservative and not about electability.  Nor is conservatism about protecting the candidate who best represents the establishment interests best.  National Review has proposed the premise that Romney is the best choice for Republicans.  That notion did not hold.  What does that mean?


The Crist Romney Connection

If you are a voter in Florida's upcoming GOP primary, you probably remember Governor Charlie Crist veering left and facing Marco Rubio as an Independent in the 2010 midterm election for Senator.  Rubio won, and Crist came off as really, really badly.  So what bolder, more shrewd campaign move for Romney than to use Crist's campaign staff?


January 23, 2012

Arab Spring Hangover

Found on Drudge Report, the following three news stories showing a common thread.  The Arab Spring isn't exactly what the president has been promising.  Forget Afghanistan, Syria and the problems in Iran, just check out the news items below, and see for yourself, things are falling apart fast.

That's not good news for those who held out the Utopian hope that the Arab Spring would usher in a Western, secular, liberal set of cultures in the Middle East.  It turns out, not so much.  Who would have thought?

Gingrich speaks a little too Inside Politics sometimes

Newt Gingrich mentioned in his victory speech that the president has been driven by Saul Alinsky radicalism.  If you've followed politics over the last few years, you know who that is.  I know who that is - I even wrote about countering Alinsky over two years ago.  The problem is, there's a lot of people who have no clue who that is, as CNN was forced to explain in a sugar-coated piece their political ticker blog;

In framing his attacks on President Barack Obama for a possible November showdown, Newt Gingrich repeatedly brings up the name of an influential radical organizer from the first half of the 20th century.
"Saul Alinsky radicalism is at the heart of Obama," Gingrich said Sunday in an interview with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley... 
And earlier, at a New Year's Eve campaign event in Iowa, Gingrich declared that Obama "really is sort of a classic Saul Alinsky radical whose basic ideas are the opposite of what we need to create jobs."...
Alinsky's most famous book, "Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals," describes a confrontational method for curing economic inequality - something most conservatives would shun.

January 22, 2012

SSOTU: Supposed State of the Union

Oxymoronic SOTU
A quick preview of the president's State of the Union.would be remiss if it did not include the notion that the president is going to take the opportunity to use the opportunity as a campaign speech.  Indeed, many see it as the president's kick-off of his 2012 re-election effort (aside from the myriad of fundraisers that have been going on for months).  The president's speech in that spirit will do three things.  It will argue that the country is hurting and it will require more of his efforts to fight income inequality.  Secondly, in an oxymoron destined to go mostly unchecked, it will call for more spending and lower deficits.  Finally he will work in there somewhere, a narrative that he hopes will hold is that the country is spinning its wheels because of a Do Nothing Congress.

What is that going to look like?

January 21, 2012

Is Romney Over?

Bachmann had a surge too early. That's also true for Cain and Perry and for a while it looked like Gingrich was peaking just a smidge too early as well.  Santorum surged at the right time for Iowa.  Each of those candidates for the GOP primary ultimately fell back to earth.  With all of that it looked like Mitt Romney was taking on an air of inevitability.  That's especially true after he won New Hampshire.

Saturday Learning Series extra - the evolution of the States

Did you know that 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the lower 48 states all being states? On February 14th, 1912 Arizona achieved statehood. 

History of the map of America in 3 minutes:

Italian Cruise Ship Looks Like Some Euro Economies

I haven't had a lot of opportunity lately to surf the Internet to look at blogs and opinion pieces of late, but I'm still left wondering if anyone else doesn't see the images of the Italian cruise ship run aground and half sunk, as more than just a little symbolic of the debt crises in the Euro zone economies.  Clearly the worst case is Greece, but with Italy having a debt -to-GDP ratio of over 1.1 isn't all that stable either.

According to Wikipedia,
According to the EU's statistics body Eurostat, Italian public debt stood at 116% of GDP in 2010, ranking as the second biggest debt ratio after Greece (with 126.8%). However, the biggest chunk of Italian public debt is owned by national subjects, and relatively high levels of private savings and low levels of private indebtedness are seen as making it the safest among Europe's struggling economies...
Nevertheless, debt is debt and it ultimately doesn't matter who holds that debt if it goes to high and a reckoning happens. The symbolic irony is a warning sign for Europe.  If you don't want to run aground you have to steer your ship out of the dangerous waters.  The problem is that for many passengers aboard the Cruise Ship Euro, the ride and the view are just too sweet to bother changing course.

Saturday Learning series - Game Theory 3

This is a continuation of the Yale lecture series on Game Theory, an economic proposition that has a myriad of other applications to it as well.  In this lecture, Ben Polak discusses iterative deletion. If you haven't seen the previous lectures in this series and are new to game theory, I'd encourage you to watch them first.

January 20, 2012

After the debate - Newt's next problem

Newt Gingrich is a terrific debater, and on the surface it would seem that he won the debate last night, within the first 3 minutes with his response to John King's opening question.  Fair enough.  Although each candidate had their moment(s) to shine.  Mitt Romney even provided a couple of good answers himself.  Good in the sense that they sounded more genuine than they did car salesman, as he often does (to me at least).  Whether Gingrich actually won or not, there's an observation to be made about his debating style that could prove to be a weakness in the long run.

January 19, 2012

Did Santorum actually win Iowa?

Tonight's CNN debate just got even more interesting.  More "not Romney-mentum".  With the final confirmed count on hold while missing ballots are located, it now appears Rick Santorum may have beaten Mitt Romney.

Seacrest OUT! Wait, I mean Perry.

What do Rick Perry and Ryan Seacrest have in common?  Neither one is running for the Republican nomination for president.

While word is that many of his financial backers might jump to Romney, his endorsement of Gingrich, and his dropping out of the race might be just enough not Romney momentum to make the rest of the race interesting.

Popular Mechanics nails the SOPA problem

One site of thousands blacked out in protest.
Leave it to, um, Popular Mechanics (?) to point out the problems with SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) that are being pushed hard by Democrats in the Senate. They nail it, something you'd expect from mechanics.

First they set up the background:
What’s got everyone so riled up? Well, it was obvious from the start that the bill’s language was over-broad and granted troubling enforcement powers to authorities. Under the original language of SOPA, copyright holders who found that a rogue foreign site was hosting and distributing their content could get a court order to force U.S.-based service providers to block access to that site. One provision that legislators now seem to be dropping was called DNS blocking, which would force the Internet’s main Domain Name System servers to block requests for these rogue sites.

With all of the attention, many of the details of these bills are still in flux, but critics claim that the legislation is so vague and sweeping that it is bound to end up censoring legitimate content...

You know, the GOP won on Keystone XL

The president's Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Kerri-Anne Jones laid out the case, as weak as it was, for declining to go ahead on the Keystone pipeline.
We wanted to talk today about the announcement that we have made. As you know, today the Department of State recommended to President Obama that the presidential permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline be denied and that at this time the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline be determined to not serve the national interest. The President agreed with the Department’s recommendation. This recommendation was predicated on the fact that the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act that was passed in December does not provide sufficient time to obtain the information that we think is necessary to assess whether the project, in its current state, is in the national interest.

As you – many of you know, we made a decision on November 10th that we needed additional information regarding this project, specifically about alternative routes through Nebraska. And we base this decision now on the fact that we don’t have time to get that information, information we think is essential for making a well-informed decision.
The more I think about it, the more I think the president got snookered by the GOP on the Keystone pipeline.  He was forced to decide on behalf of the environmentalists and against the unions pushing him to support it for jobs.  He couldn't let the GOP win the war of ideas.  The GOP could say they forced the president to back their efforts on jobs.  That's the last thing he wanted.

January 18, 2012

Newt's Ex Interview on ABC Proves Liberals Want Romney

ABC plans to unload an interview with Newt Gingrich's ex-wife right before the South Carolina primary, lending credence to the theory that the liberal media wants Mitt Romney to face president Obama. Why?  He's very beatable.  Maybe they don't feel the same way about Gingrich who could clearly undress Obama in a debate.
NEW YORK (AP) - An ABC News executive tells The Associated Press that the network has interviewed Newt Gingrich's second wife and is likely to air the segment Thursday on "Nightline." That's two days before the South Carolina primary, where the Republican presidential candidate is trying to topple GOP front-runner Mitt Romney.

The ABC News executive did not indicate what the ex-wife, Marianne, said in the interview and spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans for airing the interview were tentative.
The timing couldn't be more suspect.

That said, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  I've argued that attacks on Romney were justified now because the GOP can't change it's mind in September if he's the choice.  The same is true for Gingrich.  But I suspect he can weather it.  The other point is that if this swings the South Carolina race in favor of Romney, it quite likely locks him in as the nominee.

UPDATE: Why am I so sure this is an anti-Gingrich ploy?  Timing.

Obama re-kills Keystone pipeline

Really?  Think again.
President Obama had his hand called on the Keystone pipeline that he had hoped to stall until 2013, after the election.  The Republican congress tried to force his hand but president Obama has still found a way to stall which has been the primary objective all along.
In a decision sure to re-ignite a fierce energy debate, the Obama administration was announcing on Wednesday its rejection of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline because the 60-day deadline imposed by Republicans did not allow adequate time to review an alternate route through critical wetlands in the Midwest.

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns was to make the announcement on the project that would carry oil from Canada's carbon-heavy tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast and would indicate that TransCanada, the company seeking to build the $7 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline, will be able to reapply with a new route avoiding an ecologically sensitive area of Nebraska, sources told National Journal.
The president didn't miss the opportunity to blame the Republicans for his decision.  The National Journal is more than happy to carry his water in the wording;
Put more simply, the Obama administration is hitting Republicans back by saying no because of their forcing him to decide on the project in just 60 days. Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail promptly painted the decision as a rejection of thousands of American jobs purely for political reasons.
Only 60 days? Firstly the pipeline proposal has been around far longer than 60 days.  Secondly what more information is possibly justifiably needed to make a decision.

It's your decision Mr. President, own it.  Stop saying it's above your pay grade. Don't blame Bush, Don't blame Republicans.  You made a tough decision (of course you made the wrong side of a tough decision) - so take ownership.  Either that, or come out and admit you are just stalling.

Hey conservatives: Insights on message from a master

This is a topic near and dear to me.  In fact some of my earliest blog posts were about this topic.  Going into an election year, a reminder to all is in order.  It's not what you say that matters, but how you say it.  

So often conservatives try to frame their debates around being right about a topic.  The problem is, that doesn't always carry the day.  Sometimes, quite often in fact, the winner of a debate is the one who can best appeal to an audience's emotions.

SOPA Blackout Day (today)

There's a thought.

Obviously I'm not participating, although I support the goals of the blackout. However I think it's important to point out the stupidity of the Stop Online Piracy Act.  On a day where everyone is going black, it might be a good day to point out why everyone is doing it.

January 17, 2012

In case you still care - Sarah Palin says...

Sarah Palin kinda sorta endorses Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina primary.  Her cache has slipped since she didn't enter the race (better to enter and lose than not run), but she still has sway over a segment of the population.  Just because her star has fallen doesn't make her wrong either. So for what it's worth, here it is:

I need a cheeseburger. Or a pizza.

Over the Christmas holidays I ate. Not excessively at any one point in time - gluttony is not good - but I did eat often, and more than normal, and richer foods.  So, I'm doing my gastronomical penance now - I'm dieting.  I'm not doing the full on Atkins diet, but I have drastically reduced my carbohydrate intake.  No potatoes, no rice, no pasta and no flour (bread and baked goods).  I've done it before.  About 10 years ago I did the same thing and I lost 33 lbs. in 6 weeks, and I'm not a big guy.  In fact, I went down to 155 lbs.  So it worked.

I remember waking up one night at about 2 a.m. wanting to go to the kitchen to make a lasagna.  But after about a week, the cravings went away. I'm hoping that this time it will be as effective and that the cravings will fade.  I've been dieting since January 30th, and I've lost 10 lbs.  That's not bad but I am soooo craving pizza and a cheeseburger right now.

Nevertheless, I do have perseverance.  You'd probably know that if you've been reading my blog over the last three years...

Do we need fewer GOP candidates?

We aren't getting anyone else so let's concentrate on the ones we've got now. Huntsman is out, following Bachmann and Cain. And Trump for that matter. That leaves us with Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry and Paul as the possibilities. Would fewer candidates allow for someone to seriously challenge Mitt Romney? There's a strong case to be made that if everyone dropped out but one not Romney candidate, the eventual nominee would be not Romney. The problem is, Perry, Gingrich and Santorum are not going to blink. They all want to be that last man standing and benefit from the convergence of the not Romney vote. But the longer they hold out the further ahead Romney will get as the not Romney vote is split.


January 16, 2012

South Carolina GOP Debate #1

Some random observations from the first GOP debate tonight.

I'm not sure the GOP debate will have done much to alter opinions nationally, but I think people in South Carolina who were paying the most attention will probably drift away from Mitt Romney to some degree, and will end up amongst the others, but probably not much support.

Rick Santorum answered a lot of questions well, but was grating in the way he turned answers about his opinion turned into attacks on others like Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich.  I'm not sure that it's appealing to go after 

Newt Gingrich started weak on Bain Capital re: Mitt Romney, but got a lot of applause and a lot of positive tweets on the occasions he talked about the economy and poverty.

Fox News was running a tweet-in on their live web coverage where people could tweet their opinion on whether each response to a question by a candidate was an answer or a dodge. Gingrich did well, Santorum mediocre and Romney poorly after the first hour.  I'm not convinced the general public sees the debates through the same lens as hardcore politically junkies who are tweeting in their feedback.

Mitt Romney attacked McCain Feingold campaign finance reform laws - rightly - as being a disaster.  I wonder how his recent endorser, John McCain feels about that.

Overall, I think Gingrich won, but I'm not sure it was by much. Santorum was decent, Perry did pretty well and Ron Paul was Ron Paul.
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