Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ringing In the New Year With Sam

Happy New Year!

Mr. SIGIS and I are headed out for dinner (Asian) and then to our local hangout with friends for a bit.  We'll make it an early evening and get home before the crazies get on the road.  We like to be safe at home on New Year's Eve and there is plenty of Sam Adams in the fridge.

Happy New Year to my SIGIS readers and stay safe out there.  Here's to a prosperous 2012!

I Suck

I suck. 

Once again I didn't make the Fab 50 list over at Doug's place

That's fine.  I'll *sniff* get over it.  I'm not one of the kool kidz.  I'm in good company though.  Bride of Rove isn't on the list and she's the smartest blogger around.  The Other McCain isn't there either and nobody does better on the scene coverage than Stacy.

He does, however, credit some of my favorite bloggers.  Pundit & Pundette won and she's one of the first blogs I check when I go online.  The other usual winners are there like Memeorandum and Hot Air.

There's a couple of surprises too, I guess.  No sour grapes though.

Oh well.  I'll keep doing my thing. 

I don't need no stinkin' award.

Yes Virginia, There May Actually Be More Candidates on Your Ballot!

Virginia's Attorney General is stepping into the GOP ballot bust.  Via Fox:

"Recent events have underscored that our system is deficient," he said in a statement. "Virginia owes her citizens a better process. We can do it in time for the March primary if we resolve to do so quickly."

Cuccinelli's proposal is expected to state that if the Virginia Board of Elections certifies that a candidate is receiving federal matching funds, or has qualified to receive them, that candidate will upon request be automatically added to the ballot.

Two former Democratic attorneys general are also backing the move, along with a former Democratic state party chairman and a former Republican state party chairman. 

Doug Powers points out that things will have to work quickly, however.  Absentee ballots need to be mailed out by January 21.


The last polling I saw from Virginia (and there is likely something more recent) showed Rick Perry with a decent chance there, but that was back in October.  Cain was still in the race then.  Much has changed.  


Here is how Virginia voted in 2008:







It does appear that the Virginia process is overly onerous and with Cucinelli getting bi-partisan support on this measure, we might be able to get a better result from Virginians as to their actual candidate preference.  




AddedFrom CNN:


Four candidates left off the Virginia Republican primary ballot joined Rick Perry Saturday in suing the state's board of elections over laws they say are "unconstitutional." Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum joined the lawsuit, originally filed Tuesday, challenging provisions that determine who can appear on the primary ballot.
 
Traction.
More at Memeorandum.

Obama Prepares to Surrender Afghanistan


Andrew McCarthy is sounding the alarm:  Obama is preparing to surrender Afghanistan back to the Taliban:

The surrender is complete now. The Hindu reports that the Obama administration has turned to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading jurist, to mediate secret negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.

ABC News reported yesterday that the Taliban is preparing to open its first official office in Qatar:

The office is expected to open as early as the next few months in Qatar, the officials told ABC News, and facilitate negotiations with the Taliban that will include unprecedented local ceasefires in Afghanistan and the transfer of Afghan prisoners from American prisons — even though they are labeled “high risk” to the U.S. and associated with the death of a CIA officer in 2001.
John Hinderaker at PowerLine points out that it would be a real "coup" for Obama to run for re-election on the boast that he's ended two wars, especially as unpopular as the Afghanistan incursion has been.

According to the Hindu report:

Earlier this month, the sources said, Mr. al-Qaradawi helped draw a road map for a deal between the Taliban and the United States, aimed at giving the superpower a face-saving political settlement ahead of its planned withdrawal from Afghanistan which is due to begin in 2014. 

In return for the release of prisoners still held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, the lifting of United Nations sanctions on its leadership and its recognition as a legitimate political group, the Taliban was expected to agree to sever its links to transnational organisations like al-Qaeda, end violence and eventually share power with the Afghan government.

Yet for Team Obama to recruit Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is stunning.  McCarthy has much more on him, referring to him as the "most influential Sunni Islamist in the world."  McCarthy also points out that in 2003 he issued a fatwa calling for the killing of American troops in Iraq.

Is this the best guy we can find to support American interests in the region? 

McCarthy has much more on Qaradawi:

I wrote about Qaradawi at length in The Grand Jihad and, here at NRO, have regularly catalogued his activities (see, e.g., here, here, here, here, and here; see also Andrew Bostom’s “Qaradawi’s Odious Vision”).
Debra Burlingame linked to this video in her Facebook feed of Qaradawi spewing vile antisemitism and vowing to kill Jews "even if in a wheelchair."  He is bent on the destruction of Israel.

This is who Obama calls upon to bring peace to the region?

McCarthy sums it up best:

After thousands of young Americans have laid down their lives to protect the United States from jihadist terror, President Obama apparently seeks to end the war by asking Qaradawi, a jihad-stoking enemy of the United States, to help him strike a deal that will install our Taliban enemies as part of the sharia state we have been building in Afghanistan. If the Hindu report is accurate, the price tag will include the release of Taliban prisoners from Gitmo — an element of the deal Reuters has also reported. The administration will also agree to the lifting of U.N. sanctions against the Taliban, and recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political party (yes, just like the Muslim Brotherhood!). In return, the Taliban will pretend to forswear violence, to sever ties with al-Qaeda, and to cooperate with the rival Karzai regime.

It would mark one of the most shameful chapters in American history.

It nauseates me.

Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Doesn't Look So Bright After All


As January 2012 rolls in the incandescent light bulb begins to fade away.

The Energy Independence and Security Act - signed into law under president George W. Bush in 2007 - requires light bulbs to use at least 25 percent less energy and that friend endangers the good old-fashioned incandescent bulb.

Here’s the good news: those bulbs don't disappear immediately because the law unfolds in phases.  But starting Sunday - the traditional 100-watt bulb will no longer be manufactured in this country.  The next to go is the 75 watt bulb next January... And in 2014 we'll be saying goodbye to the 40 and 60 watt versions.

It doesn't exactly speak well of the Republicans that they couldn't even save the light bulb.

The squirrely, curly CFL light bulbs, as we all know by now, practically require a hazmat team to come in when you break one:

  • Have people and pets leave the room.
  • Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment. 
  • Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system, if you have one.
  • Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb: 
    • stiff paper or cardboard;
    • sticky tape;
    • damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces); and
    • a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag.

Once you've cleaned up the mess (don't use the vacuum!), sealed it and placed it outdoors, you should continue to air out the house for several hours and leave the heat or a/c off.

Look, incandescent bulbs are inexpensive, provide nice light, and can even be a heat source, thus potentially reducing heating bills.  But the bottom line is the total nanny-state-ness of the government, Republican or Democratic, telling me what kind of light bulb I can use, well, it's just intolerable.

And in case we're all too stupid to figure the light bulb situation out, some greenie has even developed an app to help us out:

View bulb images, cost, savings, and environmental impact.  Create shopping lists, and buy bulbs directly through the app or at local stores.

If you haven't planned ahead and stocked up on incandescent bulbs, there is still time.  Stores will be allowed to sell them until supplies run out.  Home Depot and Lowes are reported to have plenty at the moment, and there's always Amazon.

As for me, I've been stockpiling 100 watt bulbs for a couple of years. I'm not likely to ever run out unless I open a black market operation.  I hate the CFLs and am not a big fan of the LEDs.

I guess we could just go back to candles and do away with all of them.  But then, it wouldn't be too long before liberals found something wrong with that, too.




Thursday, December 29, 2011

Have an Espresso...

...and Tiramisu. Heaven.

Jon Huntsman Doesn't Have a Clue What Happens in Iowa


If Jon Huntsman was ever going to get any votes at all in Iowa, I'd say he just lost most of those:

"They pick corn in Iowa," Huntsman said on CBS' The Early Show, "and pick presidents here in New Hampshire."

Seriously?  Jon Huntsman doesn't have a clue about Iowa (and neither do many of those folks leaving comments at the CBS link, either).

Mr. Huntsman might be interested to know that Iowa is home to over 4,100 manufacturing firms that employ over 198,000 people;  in 2008 the total GDP for Iowa's industries was over $135 billion.  According to this report from Iowa State University, "Iowa ranks 2nd among all states in the percentage of total GDP derived from the manufacturing sector."

Rockwell Collins has its headquarters in Cedar Rapids and is a leader in aerospace and defense engineering.  They employ about 7,300 people.

John Deere has divisions in Dubuque, Urbandale, Davenport and Waterloo Iowa.  The Waterloo Division alone employs about 4,700 people.

Alcoa has an aluminum manufacturing plant on the Mississippi River in Davenport which employs about 2,200 people.  This plant develops the metal for America's aerospace program and for America's major aircraft for Airbus and Boeing.

Certainly Mr. Huntsman has heard of Winnebago?  They're headquartered in Forest City, IA.

Vermeer Company is in Pella, IA and makes agricultural and industrial products that are distributed worldwide.

Has Mr. Huntsman even been to Des Moines?  What a beautiful, wonderful city that is!  There's a world class art museum, a top notch science museum, and any number of four star restaurants and fine dining at your beck and call.  The city sports modern displays of public art, fountains, and sports events.  The state capital is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen.  Blank Park Zoo is one of the finest zoos anywhere with everything from birds, to bald eagles, flamingos, monkeys, elephants, lions, seals, you name it.

Do they grow corn in Iowa?  You bet they do.  But is that all there is to Iowa?  No way.

No wonder Mr. Huntsman is polling 3% in Iowa.

I bet it's less than that after this boneheaded statement.

(H/T: Sara)

New Year's Eve 2012 in Shreveport BUMPED AND UPDATED


Scroll down for updates

It's Christmas Eve but lots of folks are already making New Year's Eve plans.  I'm posting my annual guide now because many of these events require advance reservations.

Here is a line up of your choices this year if you're in Shreveport:

At Harrah's Louisiana Downs there will be a free New Year's Eve party featuring entertainment by Disco Inferno, DJ Love and a spectacular fireworks show!  The show starts at 8:00.

At Valencia on Cross Lake there will be a grand Gala.  Website here:

BWebbConnected is looking forward to raise the bar and bring to Shreveport-Bossier City one of the hottest celebrations to welcome in 2012! ~All-Star Line Up Entertainment~Shreveport-Bossier City's Own~ **Alter Ego Live Band Entertainment** *Louisiana Go DJ Slim Live in the Mix** NYE Gala Details: The VIP Pass grants you Early Access -Guided escort to your VIP seating area to enjoy an intimate 5-course meal**, Champagne or Premium Brand drink of choice and a Jazz ensemble with lakefront view. Champagne Toast at Midnight. NYE Party Favors. General Admission: -Hot Hors D'Oeuvres Buffet Style -Champagne Toast at Midnight -NYE Party Favors >>Formal/Semi-Formal Dress Attire Appreciated<< ~Tickets Info~ **This is an ALL-INCLUSIVE EVENT**VIP PASS-$85 **General Admission (Open Bar Armband)-$40 *General Admission (Entry & Hot Hors D'oeuvres)-$25 Tickets can be purchased at www.nye2012gala.com or TOO GROOVE in Pierre Bossier Mall or call 318-820-6395. Space is limited!! 

Dominique's Event Facility on Texas Street has a party:

Dominique's Event Facility now open: New Year's Eve party will be over the top, the tickets are $20.00 at the door come and bring in the New Years in an elegant and historical atmosphere. There will be free food and cash bar . Please call for more information (318)402-935.
Sam's Town Casino in downtown Shreveport will have Rockin' Dopsie, Jr., free party favors, and champagne at midnight.

The El Dorado Casino is having a masquerade ball with a cash prize; details here:

The Elite Masquerade Ball, sponsored by Stoli Elit Vodka, is December 31 in Eldorado’s Celebrity and Allure Ultra Lounge. Dress for the Masquerade and walk the red carpet – the best masks win cash. Reserve your table with bottle service, featuring Stoli Elit and champagne, or order your entry wrist band today. Rock in the New Year with Triggerproof live in Celebrity Lounge. Sophisticated nightlife attire required. Doors open at 7 pm and space WILL GO FAST. Table reservations and general admission wristbands are available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Holiday Lanes on Old Minden Road in Bossier City is ringing in the New Year bowling.  It's a kid friendly event.  See here for options.

9:00 pm - Bowl in our New Year with Holiday Lanes. You can enjoy a great night of bowling, food and drinks with your friends and family. Our fantastic New Year's Eve party package gives you:

  • UNLIMITED Intergalactic Bowling all night (9 pm - 2 am)
  • Breakfast Platter
  • Party Favor Pack
  • Glass of bubbly at midnight (or regular fountain drink for under 21's)
Another kid-friendly event is at SciPort at noon:

Start the New Year off with us this year at our annual New Year's at Noon party on Saturday, December 31. As the clock strikes Noon in Shreveport, we will be commemorating our East Asian counterparts as they celebrate their New Year at Midnight. Come celebrate, and learn about the traditions of East Asian cultures, which include our traditional Dragon Dance! Plan to count down to Noon at Sci-Port with a balloon drop! 
Fatty Arbuckle's in downtown Shreveport is hosting an event with Flow Tribe.

Chicky's Boom Boom Room on Texas Street downtown will have Bushrod Jenkins kicking off at 11.  I can vouch for the wonderful oysters on the half shell at Chicky's!

Nearby, The Noble Savage will have Dirty Red Jazz.  Dinner is from 7-10 and reservations are required.  Those spots are going fast so act quickly.  Wild Boar is on the menu!

Lake Street Dance Hall will feature the Bayou Boogie Band but seats are limited to 100 so make your reservations!  (Bonus!  Buddy Flett will be there Friday for a Blues Happy Hour from 5 - 7!)

Updates with more events to follow as they develop.  If you know of an event, drop me a line and I'll post it.

Added:

The Northwest Louisiana Square and Round Dance Association will be dancing in the New Year at the Promenade Hall, 5400 Benton Road, in Bossier City.  Snacks and finger foods provided; Admission is $15 per couple and $8 individual.  Call 318-752-1474 for more information.

The American Legion Post 14 hosts its annual NYE bash.  Music will be provided by the Rockin Red Eye band.  A breakfast buffet will be served and there will be a cash bar, party favors, and fireworks.  Details here.

Code 3 will host its New Years Eve bash again this year with The Smith Brothers band.  This will be the club's last big party before it goes under new ownership so there will be deep discounts at the bar.  It should be a grand time!  Code 3 is located right next to Beams Restaurant at 2826 Barksdale Blvd.

The Robinson Film Center will be screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show at 10 p.m.  Come dressed up, of course, and enjoy some cheap champagne.  After the film, watch the ball drop on the big screen.  Big fun!

(12/30/11:  The event at the RFC is now sold out)

UpdateFat Cats is having a party:

One of the area's hottest, most buzzed about new bands of the year, Super Water Sympathy, will help ring in the new year at Fat Cats, 10 p.m.- 2 a.m. Dec. 31.  Fresh off the release of their debut album, "Vesper Belle," the quintet will perform live with Jacob Davis on stage under a big heated tent between Fat Cats and City Bar.

The event will include drinks, a light show, Mario Kart and Super Mario 3 video games, as well as Micronesian designer Vegas Rose IV, who will be developing Oxygen Child Y.

A reader asked about taxi services - a very good point.  Put some of these numbers into your cell phone before you head out:

Golden Stripe Cab:  318-675-0411
Able Taxi:  318-459-3800
Action Taxi:  318-222-8294
Yellow Checker Cab:  318-621-9823
Ace Cabs:  318-425-3325

I've used most of these companies to shuttle The Teenager to work before he got a car.  I don't have complaints from any of them.  Ace Cabs gets high marks here, though.

Added:

You want to eat first and you're not going to an event that serves food?  Well, if you're partying at one of the casinos, they each have multiple dining options.   Other than that, here are some SIGIS recommendations (and I'm noting local places, not chains.  We have plenty of those too if that's your preference):

We love The Blind Tiger in the downtown area.  It's casual, has great food and atmosphere, and has a bar.  It's on the corner of Texas and Spring so you can people watch while you eat.

Close to downtown but on the fringes, we like the neighborhood Fat Boys Bar and Grill.  They've got the best hamburgers in town.  We like the onion rings and sweet potato fries, too.  I also like the beef quesadillas.  An added bonus, the service is the friendliest I've found anywhere.

You want something a little more formal?  You can't beat L'Italiano on Barksdale Blvd. in Bossier City.  It sits in the shadow of the casinos and five minutes from downtown Shreveport.  It's fine dining Italian and if you're lucky, Claudio will cruise by your table and sing in Italian.  Beautiful!  They've got fabulous specials each day and I favor the fish dishes.

Away from downtown yet nestled amongst all the plain vanilla chain places is Vince's Southport Restaurant.  We love the Steam Pot: a plate full of boiled shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn.  Can't beat it!

Another great neighborhood place is Marilynn's; it's located in a renovated service station and follows that theme.  There's a deck for outside seating and jazz playing over the speakers.  The menu is New Orleans style:  po-boys, red beans and rice, shrimp creole, and beignets on demand.

If you're in the mood for Mexican food, our favorite is Nicky's on Airline Drive.  Again, great service and the best Mexican food. 

Added 12/30/11The Shreveport Times list of events.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quote of the Day

Of all the arguments for giving amnesty to illegal immigrants, the most foolish is the argument that we can't find and expel all of them. There is not a law on the books that someone has not violated, including laws against murder, and we certainly have not found and prosecuted all the violators -- whether murderers or traffic law violators. But do we then legalize all the illegalities we haven't been able to detect and prosecute?

Thomas Sowell

Irony Flips and Flops and Other Loose Thoughts

Can't seem to get my head to focus on any one issue today.  We've been working on Mr. SIGIS's man-cave today and I'm pondering the irony of that.  If it's a Man-Cave, shouldn't HE be decorating it?  Yeah, so I'm done with that. 

Speaking of irony, isn't there some irony in Rick Perry suing Virginia over its "onerous" ballot requirements?  Taegan Goddard beat me in noting that out loud, but it's true, nonetheless.  That being said, I'm not sure he doesn't have a point.  Allahpundit:

So I ask again: Is he right? A law professor interviewed by NBC says the lawsuit “now faces long odds, both legally and politically” (partly because they should have challenged Virginia’s requirements earlier), but some federal appellate courts have sided with Perry on this. Here’s one case, from the Tenth Circuit, finding state residency requirements for petition circulators unconstitutional; two other federal appellate courts have ruled similarly. The question is whether the Fourth Circuit, which covers Virginia, will rule the same way. How lucky do you feel?

Lucky!


We shall see.

And speaking of Rick Perry, his new stance on abortion is raising some eyebrows.  He now opposes abortion in all circumstances:

“That transformation was after watching the DVD, ‘The Gift of Life,’” Perry said. “And I really started giving some thought about the issue of rape and incest. And some powerful, some powerful stories in that DVD.”

Perry said a woman who appeared in the movie who said she was a product of rape moved him to change his mind about abortion.

Iowa caucuses are a week away; coincidence or no?

“She said, ‘My life has worth.’ It was a powerful moment for me,” Perry said.

It sounds sincere.  Allahpundit, again:

For argument’s sake, I’ll give you three reasons why this might not be pure political expedience at work. One: It wouldn’t be the first time personal testimony on a hot-button issue made a deep impression on Perry. His experience with Heather Burcham clearly touched him too. Two: It seems almost too desperate. Precisely because the timing reeks of expedience, there’s a risk that more social cons will perceive it as pandering and will dismiss him as a phony than will be charmed by his newfound commitment. If he was going to flip on this for reasons of political gain, why not do it several weeks ago instead of in the middle of his final Iowa push? Three, most importantly: How does he gain from it, really? 

One of the comments at Hot Air:

It is part of the problem I have with him. He is too easily led astray of what is right by what is “right” in a progressive way. Obviously moving to the right on abortion is not a progressive direction, but what happens when it is illegal aliens or even people in other countries who want to come here on the tax payer dime for life saving medical care? I sure as hell do not want to be paying for their healthcare because Perry met some Guatemalan refugee in need of a transplant.
It's a valid point, but again, it's a stance that is consistent with Perry's faith and positions.  I'm willing to believe him on this one.  He's going to spend the rest of the campaign defending it, though.  He's forfeited the "flip-flopper" card against Mittens now.

People that know Perry and have met him, for the most part, trumpet his sincerity and down home, plain folks demeanor.  There is, it seems to me, a reason why he's never lost an election, and that may be part of it. 

I'm still pulling for Perry.  Even if it IS a flip-flop, it's one against the many of Mittens.  This one at least has a smatch of sincerity in it.  

Of course, there's Santorum, surging, who hasn't needed to flip on this issue.

Ah well, Iowa is but a brick in the long road of this campaign and Iowa's record of picking the eventual nominee is just over 50% (if you go by a Paul-Bot's analysis.)

Here's Rick Perry's latest ad:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas: The Down Side

Friday, December 23, 2011

SIGIS Gets Restless

We got a little stir crazy yesterday and had to get out of the house.  As much as I loathe the Christmas traffic, we found a way around that:  there's not usually a lot of traffic in a cemetery.

Our first stop was the veterans section at the Greenwood Cemetery.  I've posted before about the Kelley brothers who are buried there, and we wanted to leave a Christmas wreath for them.  Regular readers will recall that Bose Kelley died on D-Day in France; his brother William died shortly after, in September.   For some reason, we've sort of 'adopted' them and leave flags on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and July 4. 

When we arrived someone had already been by with fresh flags for each and a little Christmas bouquet.  They must have surviving family here because there is always some remembrance on the graves regardless of the holiday. 

We left our wreaths anyway.



Steve has become intrigued with another soldier buried there:  Kenney Dean Chappell.  He was a Purple Heart recipient and died at the age of 20, apparently in Vietnam.  Just a kid.



We left him a Christmas cross and a flag. 

And I found this fellow:


...who died on Christmas Day, 1941.  Purple Heart.  We left a flag.

If I had enough time on my hands, money, and the crafty skills, I'd make a Christmas wreath for every soldier out there and place them every single year. 

From there, we went to investigate a couple of antique stores in town. 

I fell in love with this little dog and had to bring him home:


He just looked like he'd been loved once, a lot, by someone and needed a new home.  I'm a sucker for stuff like that.

I thought this dress was Christmasy and festive, but didn't spring the $165 for it:


"Vintage Victor Costa" the tag said.

I liked this cute milk glass plate:


And my jaw dropped when I saw the price on these Shiny Brite ornaments:


I know those things are collectible, but $50?  Seriously?! 

I found a cut crystal powder bowl with a sterling lid that happened to have my grandmother's name engraved on it, and I bought that. 

We finished off our day by coming home and watching Christmas Vacation which is funny every time I watch it! 

Our restlessness abated, we are settled in now for the holiday and I don't plan to emerge until sometime next week with the exception of my daily trip to my mom's.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rick Perry for President: A SIGIS Endorsement

The conservative blogosphere is beginning to eat its own, it seems, in a microcosm of the state of the Republican party as a whole.

Should we fall in line behind the bland, flip-flopping Mitt Romney with his RomneyCare baggage or the cranky, bristly, erudite Gingrich who has so many facets that invite attack?  Is it too late for Rick Santorum?  Will Bachmann make a comeback?  Ron Paul?  Out of the question.  Yet, each of these candidates has supporters.

The Republicans have been struggling for quite some time to reconcile the conservative side with the "big tent" side and that argument is playing out quite clearly in the nomination process.

Several conservative bloggers have come out this week for Rick Perry.  The run down:

Ace of Spades came out on the 19th with a lengthy endorsement of Perry.  A snip:

The media and liberals (but I repeat myself) will attack Perry, predictably, as stupid, but there is a strong rebuttal to such a claim: If he can't perform the duties of Chief Executive, then how is he's been successfully performing the duties of Chief Executive?

America, and especially the Republican party, has long favored elevating governors to the presidency. Governors are, after all, the presidents of single states. They have nearly the exact same duties and functions (including even maintaining and controlling the state national guards). They have similar executive powers and set the agendas for their respective legislatures. In the case of border states such as Texas, they even require some foreign policy making duties.
No job in the world really prepares someone for the Presidency. But one job, more than any other, comes fairly close to doings so.

So Rick Perry cannot handle high executive office?  Then how is it he's been doing just that for 11 years?

(And if you want to object that Texas has a weak-governor system, with a lot of power vested in the lieutenant governor position -- well, they claimed that about George W. Bush, too. And claimed that Rick Perry actually was doing all the hard stuff in his then-position of Lieutenant Governor. So wherever the power lies in Texas, Perry has handled it, in both jobs.)
 
It's a quite lengthy post and you should read the whole thing.

A group of Red State bloggers also have come out for Perry:

Perry is well-prepared by experience and temperament to take on the presidency. He’s the longest-serving Governor in the history of the nation’s second-largest state. He’s a calm, steady hand at the helm, with strong Christian faith and a stable family. He’s come up from humble, rural roots, served his country overseas in the Air Force, and made a living in the private sector as a rancher and cotton farmer. Perry is studious and deliberate in making decisions, and resolute without being unduly stubborn in carrying them out; when he’s erred, as with the Gardasil controversy, he’s backed down, but when he’s right he sticks to his guns. He’s been tested by crises in office, including Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008 (as well as the 300,000 refugees sent into Texas by Hurricane Katrina) and 2011′s wildfires. And he’ll appoint conservatives aplenty to his administration: a look at who he will owe his nomination to, if he pulls this out, tells us that. Armed with conservative convictions and surrounded by solid conservative advisors, Perry has the necessary experience and temperament to get the job done.

It's not a site endorsement, but still, ten of the Red State bloggers signed the post.

Mike Flynn at Big Government posts his personal endorsement for Perry:

Perry has clearly been a good Governor. He has not, however, been a great candidate. His early campaign was too Texas-centric. We all know about his debate performances. He has positions I disagree with. And his campaign has made some steps I also disagree with. But, I believe he could be a great President. He understand the limits of government, the power of the private sector to create prosperity and the dangers government policies pose to that. And, I believe he understands these principles in a more fundamental way than the other candidates.

Over the next few years, America will face some existential questions. Will American exceptionalism endure or will we slip into a quasi-European welfare state in permanent decline? Our present trajectory is unsustainable. Even with a Republican House and, most likely, a Republican Senate after next year, the GOP in Washington doesn’t seem quite up to the task of reclaiming that “shining city on the hill.” They can’t quite get beyond repainting a house whose foundation has cracked. We will need a President who is a strong leader with very grounded conservative convictions to navigate our way back to prosperity. One who understand that Washington has already assumed too much power and that future economic growth and personal liberty requires rolling back much of that power.

Rick Perry is that man.

Don Surber has NOT endorsed Perry but he has noted Ace's post and calls Perry "the last conservative standing":

Rick Perry needs to stop trying to work the social issues and instead relax, be himself and have fun with the whole campaign. He seems to enjoy pressing the flesh and of everyone running, including President Downgrade, Rick Perry is the guy you want to have a beer with because he’ll pay and it will be a Lone Star. I can see voting for such a man.

That said, I am not endorsing anyone at this point.

But on a scale of conservatism with 10 being Reagan and 1 being Carter, I give Rick Perry a 9. Sure, the HPV vaccine was a mistake but it was one made for the right reason: To save lives.
Michele Bachmann has no chance. Rick Santorum ditto. Rick Perry is the last conservative standing.

Pundette has not offered an endorsement yet, either, but she's had one foot on the Perry train, like myself, since day one. She offers this:

I have a dream: As the Newt balloon continues to deflate, it will come down to a choice between Perry and Romney. A comparison of their records will yield a clear choice for conservatives.
I don't think she means Romney.  Pundette posts Perry's most recent ads here.

That said, Stacy McCain is very much NOT on the Perry bandwagon:

You know, I remember attending a speech Labor Day weekend where somebody talked about the problem with “crony capitalism.” Looks like there’s a sort of Solyndra thing going on in the Lone Star State.

But never mind me: I’m just a “low-information” guy, not part of the AOSHQ/Red State Rick Perry Blog Bandwagon...

In fact, Stacy seems rather befuddled that anyone would even consider Perry.

SIGIS is not one of those big traffic blogs like Red State or Big Government and my endorsement likely won't carry much weight with anyone.  But I've never been shy about going on record.

When the Louisiana primary rolls around in March, I'm pulling the lever for Perry.  My reasons coincide with all of those previously stated by the above cited bloggers.  I can't vote for Mitt Romney.  If ends up being the nominee, I'll have to vote for him.  But as long as I've got a choice, I'm going with the conservatism of Perry.  I like Bachmann but she doesn't have the executive experience of Perry.

The main case against Perry, as far as I can tell, is that his debate skills are not as polished as some of the other candidates (although he has improved drastically), and the Gardisil mess.  If, as Newt contends, those in public service for a long time learn from their mistakes, I'm willing to believe that Perry learned from that one.  He says he has, and I believe him.  The other case against Perry is apparently that he sounds too much like George W. Bush and that America may not be ready to elect another Texas governor.

Bullhockey.

What America needs is a true conservative and I believe most Americans are ready to vote for one.  I think a dust bunny could beat Obama at this point.  Can Rick Perry stand up to the billion dollar Obama war chest and the sneaky machinations of ACORN other dirty dealings?

All I can say is don't mess with Texas.  Rick Perry will make a very formidable opponent. 

Via Pundette, meet Anita Perry:



Rick Perry for President.

AddedThe Daley Gator endorsed Perry too, which I missed.  Sorry, Doug!

AddedPecan Corner is a longtime Perry supporter!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Links


It's taken me a few days to recover from the SIGIS family Christmas gathering and to get the fall semester closed out at school, but today I slept until 9:15 and feel almost human!  I got out this morning and picked up the last couple of items on my Christmas shopping list and now that's done.

I have to run mom to a doctor's appointment this afternoon and after that, well, it's time to settle in and enjoy the season.  I'm going to start watching my annual lineup of Christmas movies.  The Bishop's Wife (pictured) is up first.  Steve and I are planning a day trip to Natchitoches to see the lights and enjoy the historic district right after Christmas.

While I'm celebrating Christmas, my blogging buddies have the political front covered:

Pundit and Pundette has some great stuff this week.  There's a couple of posts on Rick Perry and/or conservatives I thoroughly enjoyed, and today she takes on Newt.

Also NOT in Newt's camp would be Bride of Rove.

Political Clown Parade has an Obama Christmas carol you shouldn't miss.

Professor Jacobson has a bit of a contest going.

In all the Christmas prep around here, I missed the news that the incandescent light bulb has been reprieved. 

A Cop's Watch has cop Christmas cards.

I'll be back to political blogging in a day or so.  Meanwhile, check the links and enjoy the season.



Sunday, December 18, 2011

The SIGIS Christmas Party


I believe we have survived the family Christmas gathering.  After cooking, shopping, cleaning, and decorating since Thanksgiving, Christmas exploded all over my house last night. 

The tree began to accumulate gifts underneath early in the day:


Everyone gathered around 4:00.  The son-in-law played "doggie golf" with the black Lab (the dog loves this:  you lob the tennis ball out into the backyard with a golf club and he'll fetch it as long as you can stand to play):


Steve and his son:


Inside, this was a popular spot:


We got my mom over and she held out for a while.  She enjoyed seeing the grandkids and great grandkids.  We took her back home when she got tired:


My daughter will hate this picture but I think she's so cute.  She parked herself by the Chex Mix and I sent her home later with a huge bag full:


When it was time to eat we all feasted on ham, au-gratin potatoes, green bean casserole, and wild rice 'n shrimp casserole.  For the sweet tooth there was fudge, pralines, rum cake, fruitcake cookies and gingerbread men:


After dinner it was time for presents...:


...which the kids loved:


The guys had to keep a check on the Dallas game:


There was lots of visiting and playing with new toys:


But eventually things wound down and Christmas is now pretty much in the books for this year. 

On Christmas Day we will have a quiet day and exchange a few last gifts.  The Teenager will get his haul then.  On the 26th the tree will be on the curb!

All in all it was a fun evening!  Two more days of school and I'm off for a couple of weeks for some much needed rest!

And now?  Time to catch up on what's been happening in the world this week.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Random Thoughts


It would not be Christmas without some family drama, no?

I love, love, love Darius Rucker's voice.

Why don't people send Christmas cards anymore?  I mean, I get a few, but....not like I used to.

When you get down to cleaning the leaves of your corn plant, you've cleaned enough.

Why does my XM radio forsake the 40s on 4 for Holidays songs?  Why not a rap channel?

I get maudlin at Christmas and really miss people that aren't here anymore.

Why doesn't the school board end the semester on a Friday rather than have kids come back on a Monday and Tuesday before we break for Christmas?

I spend a month decorating for Christmas and whip that bitch back into the closet in one day.  Done!

What are the chances of a Rick Perry resurgence?  I'm hopeful.

And delusional.

I wish I lived on the ocean. 

I saw a TV commercial for the Wounded Warrior Project last night and told Steve:  "That's who Carol will write a check to when LSU wins the BCS Championship!"

I really like The Dave Matthews Band but wish he'd keep his politics to himself.  I can't even watch Sean Penn or Johnny Depp or listen to Barbra Streisand without hearing their personal political views.  Entertainers should just entertain.

Steve posted this hilarious photo on his Facebook that he took today:





Seriously?  You can spell "furniture" but not "huge"?  And you color "Hugh Yard Sale" and NOT NOTICE?  

WTF????!!!!


Is anybody there?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Live-Blogging the Sioux City Debate UPDATED


We're about half an hour from debate time.  I've been busy this evening wrapping gifts and making a rum cake so I haven't done much debate prep.  I'll send you over to Pundette for that who has two excellent posts (and like me, seems to still be pulling for a Rick Perry resurgence).  Also check out Professor Jacobson who is also blogging the debate tonight and has some excellent debate prep.

Meanwhile, I better go eat some dark chocolate covered espresso beans if I'm going to stay awake for this thing.

8:10:   Wow.  No fluffy introductions or battle music.  Straight to the questions.  Brett Baier asks Newt if he's electable.  Newt's response?  Merry Christmas!  Oh, wait.  Now Newt is saying he should get the nod because he can debate Obama.  Yeah, well, that might make for interesting TV but ...

Newt is trying to convince us he's conservative.  I'm not convinced.  So far he's rattling off credentials that show he's been in Washington a long freaking time.  Not a plus for me.

Megyn Kelley points out to Ron Paul that lots of folks don't think he can get elected.  Ron Paul says anybody up there can beat Obama and the crowd loves that.

Rick Santorum is here sporting a peppermint striped tie.  That is all.

Mitt smirks.  Irritating.

Mitt touts himself as a private sector dude.

Bachmann has an up-do tonight.  Are you too conservative, she's asked.  Seriously?

To Perry:  Why aren't you a great debator?  How can you possibly run for president against Obama because of your lousy debating skills?  Perry:  I'm gettin' better at this and I hope Obama and I get to debate a lot!

He actually is getting better at debates, but that's not saying much.  He pulls the Tebow card.  "I hope I'm the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses."  WTF?

Huntsman is orange.

"We're getting SCREWED as Americans!" says Huntsman as he notes that we're "on the cusp of a third government shut-down."

8:20:  A gridlock in Washington question with a 30 second response time down the line.

Newt:  We have "a Saul Alinsky radical" as commander in chief....

Perry:  Obama is the biggest example of "on the job training" we've ever seen and we need someone with executive experience that knows how to lead.

Romney doesn't like the 30 second limit.

Mitt:  "This president doesn't know how the economy works.  I believe to create jobs you have to have created jobs."

Chris Wallace gets a Fannie Mae question and is asked how that is not hypocritical to his current stance.  "I was a private citizen engaged in business!"  "I worked for years for Habitat for Humanity!" 

To Ron Paul, a question about his negative Newt ads.  Chris Wallace is inviting a throw-down between candidates here and I guess Newt will jump all over him for that before long.

Mitt looks confused as Ron Paul babbles.

Newt:  I did no lobbying of any kind for any organization.

Bachmann:  He cashed checks from Freddie Mac!  He's defending the continuing practice of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae!  I'm SHOCKED!

Newt:  That's not true!  "Sometimes people ought to have FACTS before they make wild accusations."

Throw down.

8:45:  Had a computer freeze and lost a bunch of fascinating live-blog commentary but Rick Perry had a good burst there for a minute.   He said, in response to the comments about Newt's lobbying activities that the fact that we can't tell the difference between "lobbying" and "consulting" is exactly what's wrong with Washington right now.  He cited his part-time Congress meme and got wild applause from the audience.  When it was pointed out to him that Congress worked 152 days last year and he was asked, "How much more part time do you want them to be?", Perry replied, "I would suggest to you 140 days every other year which is what we do in Texas."  Wild applause.  Good showing by Perry.

8:50:  I'll update more often since my computer is acting funky.  

8:55:  Much discussion on Newt's lame-brain plan to have Congress oversee justices.  Panel question:  Favorite Supreme Court justice?

Perry:  We should no longer have life-time terms on the bench.  He likes Alito, Thomas and Roberts.  As does Mitt.  And Newt.  He says Scalia is probably the most intellectual.  Ron Paul:  They're all good and they're all bad.  Bachmann:  Scalia at the top of her list.  Likes Roberts, too.  Huntsman:  The great thing about this country is that we have rule of law!

Break.

What was up with that favorite justice question anyway?  Did they think anyone would say Ginsberg?  Lame.

9:05:  Hour number two.  Here we go.  Foreign policy.  And of course to Ron Paul first.

Why no Fast and Furious questions, by the way?

Ron Paul doesn't believe Iran has nukes.  No UN evidence!  It's all war propaganda!

He scares the hell out of me.

9:15:  Another computer freeze.

Ron Paul babbled for several minutes about Iran not having nukes and Bachmann stared at him like he's an alien.  Ron Paul is just dangerous.  Period.

Romney had a good answer on American strength through the military.  A strong military keeps other nations from testing us, he said.

Ron Paul is about to stroke out about a drone flying over Iran and seems convinced that we just want to go bomb Iran for the hell of it.

9:16:   Bachmann says Ron Paul is dangerous.  She points out the IAEA report and Ron Paul says "There's no UN report!"  He falls back to Cuba and the Bay of Pigs.  No real correlation there but he's stickin' to it.

From that crazy train we go back to Newt.  A UN question.  Newt wants to dramatically reduce our reliance on it.  Amen to that.

9:17:   Huntsman says fix problems at home before we fix problems overseas.  He gets double dinged with the timer.

To Perry, a question on Syria.  At what point should the United States consider military action there?  Perry restates his previous no-fly position and says Obama has the "most muddled" foreign policy he's ever seen in his lifetime.

Cavuto moves on to energy issues and has a Keystone pipeline question.  To Newt:  How should Republicans force the issue?  Newt:  I'm trying not to appear "zany!"  Heh!

So then Newt proceeds to blast Obama's position on Keystone.  "Utterly irrational" is what Newt says Obama's position on that is.  "It makes no sense to any normal, rational American."  Wild applause.

Cavuto:  You didn't answer my question.

Newt:  Attach it to a middle class tax cut, send it to the president and force him to veto it.  Don't back down.

9:23:   To Huntsman:  Does the need to protect land every trump the need to create jobs?  He's babbling something about disrupting the oil monopoly.  We have to have natural gas, he says.  He isn't answering the environment question.

To Bachmann:  What would be an acceptable period for oil drilling to cease (following a similar accident as the BP accident).  She says the moratorium hurt the economy more than the original disaster.  Keystone is extremely important, she says.  "If I was president of the US, I wouldn't have taken the position he did."  It was all political to appease the environmentalists, she says.  He's put his re-election over jobs.

9:27:   Perry:  Today is the 220th anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights.  I like the 10th Amendment a lot.

He's answering a tax policy question and Solyndra.  "Government shouldn't be pickin' winners and losers from Washington!"

9:32:   A border question for Perry.  Finally!  A Fast and Furious question!  Audience applauds.  "Are you and other Republicans politicizing this issue?"  Perry says as president, if his Attorney General DIDN'T know about such an operation he would have him resign immediately.  Applause.

Perry says despite what the president says, our border is NOT safe.  Venezuela has the largest Iranian embassy in the world, he says.  (Ron Paul would not see a problem with that.)

Oh!  Rick Santorum is still here.  He'd fire his Attorney General and not give him a chance to resign.

9:35:  To Romney:  "Why would illegal immigrants voluntarily leave America" and return to their country of origin in order to apply for legal status when you said you aren't going to round them up?

Because they'll have a plastic card.  If they're legal, they'll have a card.  If you hire them and they don't have a card, MAJOR sanctions.  In other words, they won't be able to work so they'll go home.  Back of the line.

9:38:  Newt stands by his if-you've-been-here 25 years or more thing.  He'd drop all the lawsuits against Arizona, etc.

Huntsman says we don't need to pander; Republicans need to stay true to their values.  The president has screwed up the economy so bad, he says, nobody is coming anymore anyway.

9:40:  Abortion, gay rights, and guns.  Flip-flop question to Romney.  Are you a flip-flopper?  Romney takes exception to the gay rights issue:  I am firmly against people being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation but I am against gay marriage.  Hunh?

9:42:  I'm pro-gun!, Romney says.  Wallace points out he supported a 5 day waiting period and an assault weapons ban.

9:44:  Romney:  I have been a champion of traditional marriage.

To Bachmann:  Wallace now pits her against Newt on the issue of when life begins.  Bachmann says Newt opted not to defund Planned Parenthood when he was Speaker.  She also throws partial birth abortion at him.

Newt:  "Sometimes Congresswoman Bachmann does not get her facts just right."  He believes life begins at conception, he says.  Says he is against experimentation on embryos.  Bachmann insists on defending herself:  she says "I'm a serious candidate for president of the United States and my facts are accurate."  Good for her.

9:50:  Brett Baier:  Reagan's 11th commandment:  Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.  You've all broken that.  Who is less electable than Obama?

Santorum:  Let's find out who has the best record; who can stand up.  Who fights for the principles we believe in?

Perry:  The Republican chairman said that, not Reagan, he says.  Perry gives kudos to the other candidates.

Romney:  Obama has a billion dollars to go after me or whoever the nominee is, but it's Obama we have to be talking about - not each other.

Newt:  Overall I've tried very hard to talk about big solutions.  All these people would be better than Obama.

Paul:  Iran doesn't have nukes!  No, kidding.  The media hasn't asked enough questions and we have to fill in!  We have to draw the line and not hit below the belt. 

Bachmann:  Reagan brought clarity to the opponents in his primaries.  "Are we better off today than we were four years ago under Jimmy Carter?"  We have to ask ourselves if we are better off.

Huntsman:  I worked for Reagan!  Debate is good.  I'm orange!

*Sigh.

Good night for Rick Perry when he got air time.  Romney held his own.  Slow and steady.  Paul is crazy as a run over dog.  Bachmann was very strong.  Very strong. 

So glad this is the last debate of the year.

Peace.

The Dog Ate My Christmas Present

I'm going to try to live-blog the debate tonight.  I'm still pulling Christmas together for the family gathering this weekend, but I want to try to watch this debate. I've been wrapping, baking, and cleaning like a madwoman. 

I was in the middle of teaching Act 4 of Julius Caesar when I got a text message from The Teenager.  (See photo below).  I'd made the mistake of thinking the two year old Lab would not eat the presents I'd put under the tree.  Wrong.

The next 48 hours are going to be filled with more cleaning, polishing, setting things up, and lots more cooking.  But, the debate looms.  I want to see this one.

One thing we should all keep in mind is that Iowa doesn't seal the deal.  It seems that so many pundits are staking everything on Iowa but so much can change during the course of this campaign.  Remember, in 2008 it looked like Hillary was going to be the nominee for the longest.  Heck, Ron Paul might very well win Iowa.  Just sayin'....

If you missed the National Review's Not-Newt recommendation:

We fear that to nominate former Speaker Newt Gingrich, the frontrunner in the polls, would be to blow this opportunity.
More:

Gingrich has always said he wants to transform the country. He appears unable to transform, or even govern, himself. He should be an adviser to the Republican party, but not again its head. 

The NRO editors suggest another look at Romney, Huntsman, or Santorum.

Huntsman?!

Sigh.  I'm still wondering about a Perry resurgence. 

There's a long way to go yet.  While Iowa is important, it's not the end of the line.  There's still a lot of changing ground under us. 

Check back later for live-blogging.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Countdown Frenzy

We're in full Christmas mode here at SIGIS.  I've been cooking like crazy this week in anticipation of the big family gathering this coming Saturday here at my house.  We're a small family but I'm still expecting 20 for dinner.  We have much to celebrate and be thankful for this year.

So far I have made four huge batches of Chex mix (the traditional salty kind) and two batches of the sweet version.  I've made two batches of fudge, one batch of pralines, and one batch of fruitcake cookies.

I've bought all the presents except for one.  I've wrapped half of those.  The tree is done.  Since my niece's child doesn't read my blog (he's six), I'll show you one of his gifts:  the sock monkey that sings jingle bells!  It drives my black Lab crazy!  Sock monkey sings and dances and my dog barks and barks!  Of course Steve wants it but I had to remind him that Christmas is for children.  He's not convinced.

This week I've got to focus on the housecleaning, finish the grocery shopping, get the bar set ups, finish the last minute decorations, and assemble the food. 

Everyone arrives Saturday and I hope to have all this under control so I'm not in the kitchen the whole time they're here.  Steve and my son-in-law, Brett, will be in charge of getting mom over here.  We've, as is tradition, invited a couple of her life-long friends to come so I'm hoping that works out.

This is our last week of classes at school; finals are Monday and Tuesday the next week.  I still have nine more research papers to grade!  Eeeek!  To stay I'm stretched thin at this point is an understatement!  But, I'm really looking forward to Saturday and especially to the two weeks off that are coming up!  

If blogging is spotty this week, bear with me.  I'm probably in the kitchen making sausage balls or a seafood casserole.  But for now, time for a break and a Sam Adams! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden

I'm missing the debate tonight; we just got in from a Christmas shopping trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden. 

I was hoping to finish my Christmas shopping and I was, in fact, able to pick up a couple of things and knock my list down a little bit.

Milly goes all out for holidays and the shop was festooned in Christmas from front to back, from the basement to the fourth floor!  Oustide, in front of the store, Milly has a vintage white Christmas tree with a couple of ceramic cats and a rocking Santa.  Very festive!

I suspect Steve did a little Christmas shopping, too.  Hmmmm.  

For some reason I was drawn to mirrors today.  I like this one:


This one is neat, too.  I just don't have any place for either of them.


I thought this love seat was cool; very retro:


Pretty pictures:


An assortment of spoons:


Nobody on the planet has more Coca Cola stuff than Milly Rose.  These signs are cool:


And this cast iron Coca Cola van is heavier than a bag of rocks:


And in the basement, more collectible Coca-Cola bottles than you can imagine:


If you need to finish your shopping, maybe you know somebody who needs a coconut head?


Or this one:


Maybe you need an embalmed shark:


There was plenty of Christmas bling to go around:


The bell is pretty, and as Milly pointed out, "it's dinger really works!"; that is, it moves back and forth.


"Beer:  First and Last Chance":


How about these old locks:


Down in the basement I found these boxes of tiny Shiny Brite ornaments:


Maybe you know someone who needs...an astroturf purse?


This bar minder plays music whenever you pick it up.  Just the thing if you want to monitor your whiskey stash:


I loved these hair combs; they'd be perfect for my friend Nancy, but alas, out of my budget.


Milly has several vintage purses and bags; these old mesh ones are cool:


Maybe someone on your list needs a vintage kitchen clock:


More cowbell?


A basket full of angels:


The Star Wars lover on your list would go crazy for this case of collectible figures:


Milly's Boston Terriers are ready for Christmas:


Need a stick pony?


These are hand-painted and just too precious:


But all good things must end so we made our purchases and headed home.  Milly had a lot of work to do make preparations for her annual Christmas party she puts on for local prison inmates, their wives and children.  She and her husband put on a feast for them and bring presents for everyone.  This woman has a heart of gold:


If you see anything here (or in previous posts) that you can't live without for your Christmas shopping needs, give Milly Rose a call at 318-371-9830.  She'll ship it right on out to you.  She does gift certificates too!

And now, I'm off to see how the debate went.