Thursday, September 29, 2011

In Less Than 24 Hours...

Less than 24 hours to go!

My costume is ready:

I've rehearsed my Mass lifting skills:

I have my tickets:

Steve has his alpine hat. 

We are READY!

In less than 24 hours we'll be doing the chicken dance:

(no idea where these people are but they look like they're having fun!)

and ohmigod I have to learn the Thriller dance in less than 24 hours!!!!

We'll be eating this:

and singing the Guacamole Song:

If you don't hear from me in the next 24 hours or so, no worries.  I'll be fine.


I will.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So You Want to Be a Waiter at Oktoberfest...

How would you like to be a waiter at the Munich Oktoberfest?  This guy can tell you:

For Germans, Oktoberfest is more for families and older people — a place where businessmen meet for lunch. When it comes to foreign tourists, the stereotypes kind of fit. English people tend to brawl more than others. It's not uncommon to actually see glasses flying through the air. But in my experience, I'd say people end up quite the same when they get really drunk. Doesn't matter anymore where they're from. 

I suspect they earn every single Euro and Mass they get!

Family Portrait

My niece took this picture this weekend.  Wish we'd have moved the dead plants off the step.

Why is everyone looking at the camera but me?  I'm kissing the dog. 


Thanks, Nene, for the picture!

The Ford Commercial

Since The White House doesn't want you to see this ad, I'm posting it:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oktoberfest Trivia 2011

Last year's Oktoberfest trivia was a big hit and a huge Google bomb through the year.  It seems lots of folks love Oktoberfest!  So let's update that old version and play the NEW Oktoberfest - 2011.

Click on the links to find the answers!

Not even Oktoberfest is immune from inflation.  How much are prices supposed to rise this year?

What have the organizers done this year to ensure that you never run out of beer at Oktoberfest?

How many different beer tents are there at Oktoberfest?

Why are some revelers upset about too much froth?

So how strong is the beer at Oktoberfest?

Is Oktoberfest JUST about beer?

Bonk boxes?  Seriously?

Which tent is the most tradition-conscious at Oktoberfest?

How many Oktoberfest breweries are there?

What year was the first grilled chicken stall set up at Oktoberfest?

What in the world is The Trachtenumzug?

Okay, so I can't get to Munich this year.  Where else can I celebrate Oktoberfest?

Is there an Oktoberfest radio station?

How many fans does the Lederhosen page on Facebook have?

What exactly is that toast song, anyway?  Ein Prosit?

I can't wait!  Where can I get an Oktoberfest costume?!  For a guy?

Do they have an Oktoberfest celebration in the SIGIS area?!  Where can I see pictures of that?

Who is READY for Oktoberfest?!

This trivia was so much fun, can I try the one from last year?

Oktoberfest Week at SIGIS!

This video by the Northeastern University international business students seems to capture Oktoberfest in Munich pretty well:

It's Oktoberfest Week at SIGIS!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Birthday Weekend, Estate Sales, and Old Houses

It's the birthday weekend here at SIGIS; my mom is 87 today and I'm....well, another year older tomorrow (Sunday). 

My daughter, her husband, and my niece are in from Dallas to celebrate and we're headed to The Cub for dinner tonight.  Fine steaks and au gratin potatoes!

We've spent the afternoon at my mom's, visiting.  I got a nifty book on Tiffin glass from my niece which I can't wait to get into.  My daughter conspired with Milly Rose at some point and gave me a terrific gift certificate so I'll be headed to Minden sometime after Oktoberfest to see what kind of goodies I can rustle up!

So I went to this estate sale today.  Oh for a million dollars!  I would so love to restore this house!  I am such a sucker for older homes.  I love the detail, the architecture, and the solidity of them.  The huge rooms.  The tall windows.  I'd take an old house over a new one any day of the week.  But, that's just me.

This picture is of the fireplace in the dining room:

I love the detail on those columns and the beveled mirror. 

This view is from the same position but looking back toward the living room:

The hardwood floors were once gorgeous and could be again.

This is one of the upstairs bedrooms on the back side of the house.

This view is from the landing at the top of the stairs on the second floor and looks over the front yard.  The wrought iron balcony is cool.

Okay so now that balcony is just behind me and this looks toward the back of the house; there are bedrooms on either side of where we are here:

This is toward the front and that balcony again:

And so I went on up to the attic and this is from the stairs looking into the attic.  There was a hole in the roof and the sun is filtering in.  It's clear that rats and other critters have had their way with the place.  There was a man up there digging through stuff but I didn't have the fortitude:

This is one of the sleeping porches on the back of the house, second floor:

This view is from the sleeping porch looking back to the front of the house.  That's the wrought iron balcony on top and the front door is visible below.  Those are the "front" stairs and we also had "back" stairs which was customary for "the help."

A downstairs porch:

There wasn't much to rescue from this house as far as estate sales go.  There were some worm eaten books and an ancient piano.  Various bits of furniture.  It was all pretty far gone.  But, boy!  Would I love to restore that place!  The grandeur of it! 

It's my birthday.  The house is for sale.  Anyone?

Actually, the lady said someone is looking to buy it, restore it and rent it out for weddings and receptions and such.

I'm off to spend time with family now.  Happy weekend to you!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Know...

...I screwed up that last headline. When I get power I'll make "Cussword" be two words as it properly should be. I can't edit from the iPhone.
My phone is almost dead as is my rechargeable flashlight.
My tablet at least has the Dick Cheney book and my National Review subscription. It's charged.
No storm, no wind, no power. WTH?
How's the debate? I was following it on Twitter until I noticed my phone is dying. Meh.
Sent from my iPhone

Insert the Cuss Word...

...that begins with "f".
My power just went out.
Live debate blogging is over and cussing begins.
Sent from my iPhone

Live Blogging the Fox/Google Debate

We're about a half an hour away.  Are you going to watch?

8:00:  And here we go.  Introducing the candidates.  How long before Huntsman drops out?  And why is Gary Johnson here?  I mean....

Wow.  That spread graphic on where the questions came from is interesting.  Heavy to the east.

The first question is about small businesses.  I don't think I like the video question thing.  But, we'll see.  Rick Perry takes the first answer and it's boilerplate.  Jobs in Texas.  Personal injury trial lawyers - "don't come to Texas...".  Same thing we've heard.  He's touting Texas to the hilt.  Perry seems a little nervous out of the box.

Romney looks relaxed.  He's not a bit nervous.  He smirks, though.  Romney's first blast goes to Obama and how "he's done everything wrong" for small business.  Fox seems to be having a little microphone trouble.  We have to "crack down on cheaters like China" Romney says.  Romney gets the first over the time limit ding.

Romney says the way to "lift America" isn't to take from one person or group and give to another.

To Bachmann, a question from the last debate about "Out of every dollar I earn, how much do I deserve to keep?"  Bachmann says all of it.  She says private solutions that are permanent is the way to go.  What the heck does that mean?

To Santorum, a question about right to work states.  Santorum looks weird waiting for the video question to cue up.

Santorum says public employee unions are where we should focus our attention.  He says state and federal workers should not be involved in unions.  Applause.

To Newt:  A question about unemployment benefits.  He says it's "fundamentally wrong" to give unemployment benefits for 99 weeks for doing nothing.

Huntsman (who doesn't look orange this debate) blathers about his energy plan.  And gets dinged for time.

Herman Cain gets a question about his 9-9-9 plan and the audience applauds and cheers.  They like it?  I guess.  Cain, bless his heart, is personable and relaxed.  He needs a job in the Republican nominee's cabinet!  He knows business.  "It treats all businesses the same!"  of the 9-9-9 plan, he says.

8:20:   Governor Johnson says something about promising a balanced budget.  He's for the Fair Tax and a Consumption Tax. 

Ramesh Ponnuru (at NRO) says the Fair Tax won't work.

Jennifer Rubin:

A question to Perry about Social Security and how it will work if fifty states run it.  Perry says "We ought to have as one of the options" that we have options for state retirees and state employees.  (As a teacher, I don't pay into SS in Louisiana.  I pay an equal amount into the Louisiana Teacher's Retirement System).

Perry and Romney go head to head on this a bit.  Romney says Social Security is the responsibility of the federal government, not the states.

Why does Romney say, "Thank you" at the end of all his repsonses?

Perry drags out "RomneyCare" and quotes Romney's book back at him.  He's prepared:  he notes that Romney changed his paperback from his hardback on the subject of RomneyCare.  Romney goes on the defensive.

Romney says his health care system is a plan for his state, not the entire nation.   Romney said, "I actually wrote my book."  Ouch.

Romney says Obama is a "big spending liberal" who takes his ideas from Europe and that won't work here.  "I believe in free enterprise and capitalism.  I believe government is too big."  WTF:  "I didn't inhale."  Yes - he said that.  He said that he did not spend his whole life in government but in the private sector.  Dig at Perry.

Seems Romney isn't willing to call Obama a socialist.

Herman Cain says he'd cut the EPA "It's outta control...the EPA has gone wild."  Mentions their regulation "of dust."  Laughter and applause.  He offers a solution for Social Security:  the Chilean Model, he says.  I'm reminded of a tweet from Mary Katharine Ham after the last debate:  "DON'T Google Chilean Model at work!!!!!"    Heh!

Newt is the smartest guy on the stage - he just is.  But not electable. 

Here's a good question about massive overreach of the government into the classroom.  Gov. Johnson says he'll abolish the Dept. of Education.  Applause.  Santorum says education is the parents responsibility and not the feds.  Newt says you need profound reform at the state level and that most states should adopt Pell grants for K-12 so parents could choose what school their kids go to.  Ron Paul says get the feds out of the business of educating our kids.  He says don't enforce NCLB and advocates tax credits for those who want to opt out of a federal education system.  Rick Perry advocates school choice, vouchers, and the charter system.  Perry jabs at Romney for his support of the Race to the Top.  Perry got some Boo's on that.

Romney blows that dig off and says the feds ought to be out of education.  "We need great teachers," he says.  Romney says Arne Duncan "is doing a good thing" by evaluating teachers. 

Bachmann says local control with parents is the way to go.  She plugs her mom credentials and her foster mom credentials yet again because there might be life on Mars that doesn't know that by now.

Herman Cain is on board with all of the above.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's Not Just About Beer...

...but who in their right mind would get on THIS ride without having had a couple?

It does look like fun, though!  Look at their faces! (click to enlarge.)

More great Oktoberfest pictures here.

Rick Perry's New Ad

Love it.  It gave me chills; no, not the scary kind.  The good kind.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rep. John Fleming: "Class Warfare Never Created a Job..."

All these liberal lefties hyper-ventilating about Congressman Fleming's checkbook need to breathe into a paper bag for a few minutes and listen to the rest of his quote. 

Over at Think Progress, the quote is:

Fleming responded by saying that while his businesses made $6.3 million last year, after you “pay 500 employees, you pay rent, you pay equipment, and food,” his profits “a mere fraction of that” — “by the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over.”

You see that period at the end of their quote?  It's not actually there if you listen to what he said.

What he actually said was:

"Yeah, that's before you pay 500 employees, you pay rent, you pay equipment and food.  The actual net income of that was only a mere fraction of that amount....I would say that since my net income, and again, that's the individual rate that I told you about,  the amount that I have to re-invest in my business, and feed my family is more like $600,000 of that $6.3 million, and so by the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over to invest in new locations, upgrade my locations, buy more equipment, all of that."

He points out, "Class warfare has never created a job and that's people that will not get jobs...".

So after Fleming takes care of his family (house note, insurance, taxes, bills, car notes, etc.) he has $400,000 to re-invest in his business. 

That's $400,000 to re-invest in new jobs by theoretically upgrading his locations, as he says, or buying new locations, hiring more people, upgrading equipment, paying health care costs that are soon to increase...well, $400,000 won't go terribly far.  

And he's right. Obama's decision to raise taxes on the millionaires is a job killer.

I think Fleming's comments illustrate that perfectly.

Unless you're a liberal who interprets his remarks to mean that he walks around with $400,000 in his pocket and lights his cigars with $100 dollar bills.

(H/T:  Memeorandum)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around: The Oktoberfest Munchen Edition

We're a little tardy with our FMJRA this week but better late than never.

Oktoberfest kicked off in Munich this weekend and I've been vicariously watching through the internet:  YouTube videos, live web cams, news reports and pictures posted to Twitter.  Here at SIGIS, it's been a quiet weekend here at SIGIS with a little bit of rain here and there.  The next few weeks look busy, busy, though.  My daughter and her husband are coming next weekend to celebrate my Mom's 87th birthday and then the next week is, of course, Oktoberfest at Barksdale Air Force Base!  The weekend after that, we are overdue for a visit to Milly's Second Hand Rose Antiques.

And around the blogosphere...

Eric Clapton is ALWAYS a hit with me and The Daley Gator has video.

Smitty has posted a really cute baby picture at The Other McCain.

Legal Insurrection is advocating flogging.

Those great Al-Gore-Light-Bulbs, otherwise known as CFLs?  Doug Ross reports a price spike coming up.

American Power reports a 12% unemployment rate in California.  In a related post, The Pirate's Cove reports on a supermarket union in CA threatening to shut down hundreds of stores.

Ann Althouse is starting to find Rick Perry "appealing"? 

When you finish with my round-up, head over to Mind Numbed Robot.  He'll keep you busy for a while.

Bride of Rove had an interesting post this week on the Cherokee nation decision to oust blacks from their rolls.

I totally missed this monstrous outfit.  Wish is hadn't seen it now.  Bread Upon The Waters.

Pundette posts on latest controversy about the Obama White House and their hostility to women.

The Reaganite Republican joins the million hit club!  Congratulations!  SIGIS is still several years away from that honor, I think.

Speaking of blogs and hits and such, I mentioned this on Twitter the other day, but I just hate hitting a blogger's tip jar and not even getting a thank you in return, much less a link.  I know, you're supposed to give without expectation in this world, but in the blog world, it's customary, I think, to say thanks.  If you've hit my tip jar and I didn't thank you, please accept my profound apology.  I know sometimes we get busy and overlook things so I won't hold a grudge, but still...

And so ends the SIGIS roundup this week.  I must go practice my stein hefting skills for Oktoberfest.  A full mass of Oktoberfest is pretty heavy!


Maureen Dowd:

Our education system is going to hell. Average SAT scores are falling, and America is slipping down the list of nations for college completion. And Rick Perry stands up with a smirk to talk to students about how you can get C’s, D’s and F’s and still run for president. 

And how about Obama's grades, eh?  Oh, wait...

BREAKING: There are People That Write About Rick Perry!!

Politico needs some new headline writers. 

Their piece this morning that seemingly targets Rick Perry's skeletons is titled "Old Texas Story Lines Resurface as Perry Goes National."  The caption of the photo of Perry that is with the article says, "Old issues have taken at least some of the bloom off of Rick Perry's candidacy."

So...what do you expect might be in an article with that title and caption?  Maybe I'm too literal, but I was expecting an article about, oh, say, old Rick Perry story lines in Texas.

Instead, the article isn't really about Perry so much as it is about the people that write about Perry.  After opening with an introduction to some guy that's written a book about Perry, the article goes on to explain how much in demand said author and others like him are now that everyone wants to know about Perry.

The only thing I could find about "old story lines" is a brief mention (two sentences) of the crony capitalism charge hurled at Perry.  From there the article explains how Perry's entrance into the race has been a hit-a-palooza boon to the Texas Tribune site:

This exposure translated directly into dollars for the Tribune. Smith said he was able to raise $300,000 since Perry announced, expressly for covering Perry.

The Tribune’s all-Perry, all-the-time coverage has helped the website achieve record numbers - more than 660,000 unique visits in August, according to its CEO and editor-in-chief, Evan Smith.

“This is the only time in my 45 years on this earth that my prayers have been answered,” Smith said. “I have dropped to my knees before bed every night and prayed that this man would run for president.”

Presumably, Smith has been praying for Perry's entrance into the race because it's been such a financial boon to his website, not because he's all that into Perry.

And how sad for him that "this is the only time" in his 45 years that his "prayers have been answered."

For me, my prayers are answered every day when I wake up that I have one more day.  Just sayin'.

For their part, Politico doesn't link to The Texas Tribune site; presumably they've gotten enough hits on their Perry coverage without any linkage from Politico even though Politico does link to the Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, and the New York Times, among others.  For their part, The Texas Tribune describes themselves:

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that promotes civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government, and other matters of statewide concern. Our vision is to serve the journalism community as a source of innovation and to build the next great public media brand in the United States.

The entirety of the Politico article, however, is about the people that write about Perry rather than any "old story lines" that are "taking the bloom" off Perry's candidacy.  It's a misleading headline at best, intended to have you think that there are scurrilous story lines in Perry's past that should make supporters second guess his viability as a strong candidate.

Is it a big deal?  Not really.  It just goes to show the Politico bias, though.  And we already knew that.  And if you aren't convinced about Perry's tarnished candidacy by their headline, buried near the end of the article is "a rumor" about Perry's sexual orientation (linked back to...of course, Politico).

How about just some honest reporting, Politico?  If you want to write about the people that write about Perry that's fine.  Interesting, even.  But don't attempt to mislead with an inflammatory headline and unsubstantiated rumors.

We get enough of that from the main stream media.

Update:  Politico changed their headline.  It now reads:  "As Rick Perry Goes National, So Do Tales From Texas." 

Is that better?   Or even different?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quote of The Day

"The president is comfortable with a technocratic approach because he is an imperious, arrogant, know-it-all left wing technocrat who leaves the details to his congressional Democratic allies, like Congressman Dave Obey with the stimulus bill," Rove adds. "He is content to check the box on his list of achievements and tour the country with his teleprompter giving speeches."

"O'zapft is!" (VIDEO ADDED)

“O’zapft is”

The keg is tapped and Oktoberfest Munich is underway!

A complete guide is here and the official website is here.

For the next 17 days over 6 million people will participate in Munch's grand festival of beer.  Oh, there's a little more to it than that, but who are you kidding?  The reason one attends Oktoberfest is for the beer, the atmosphere, and fun.

The Washington Post:

Last year’s visitors consumed some 7.1 million 2-pint (1-liter) mugs of beer. This year a mug, called “Mass” in German, tipped the €9 mark, selling at €9.20 ($12.66).

Of course, for your $12.66, that's a lot of beer.  Not your average mug.

SIGIS is, of course, your home for Oktoberfest blogging so get your gear and be ready!


See Also:  Previous Oktoberfest blogging.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sophomoric PhotoShop Mess from Vanity Fair

It's sad to see the depths to which Vanity Fair has fallen.  Who knew they could fall any further?

Posting an entire, ridiculous, offensive series of PhotoShop images of Governor Rick Perry, Vanity Fair also links to a Mother Jones (of course) article filled with anti-Perry rants by Molly Ivins (who died in 2007).

Meanwhile, Perry seems to be holding up pretty well despite Vanity Fair's sophomoric slurs.

He's polling pretty well in Florida, even after the debate which was supposed to reveal his Social Security vulnerability.

He's not looking too bad in Virginia, either.

But, while I'm still tentatively on the Perry train, I'm not willing to commit just yet.  It still feels early to me. 

Over at Hot Air, Karl is tentatively calling him the nominee (barring Sarah Palin's entry and mucking things up).

And as Perry's star rises, Obama's seems to burn out.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oktoberfest Countdown

Two days, seventeen hours, and fourteen minutes until Oktoberfest in Munich kicks off. 

Oktoberfest at BAFB?  September 30.

This year's Oktoberfest will be held Sept. 30 at 4:30 p.m. at the Barksdale Consolidated Club. Tickets can be purchased from group point of contacts or at the Base Exchange from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday for the rest of the month. The event will have a live Oompa band along with food, beverages, games and door prizes. 

Stay tuned to SIGIS for Oktoberfest updates, videos, trivia fun, pictures, music, history and beer.

Get your gear.

The "Attack Watch" Website Is "Fishy!"

Need some comic relief this afternoon?  I know I do.  Just go to the #attackwatch hashtag on Twitter to see how well Team Obama's new information gathering website is working out.  It's enough to make me break out my "fishy" emblem once again!

If you're out of the loop, Team Obama is gathering "information" on attacks against the president:

The categories for passing along an “attack” include significant events like a TV interview or broadcast ad, but also include such trivial categories as “forwarded e-mail” and “rumor.”  Presumably, the campaign would then debunk the “rumor,” which would then give it a lot more attention and oxygen than it otherwise might receive.  In fact, it’s not inconceivable that people who really wanted to spread “rumors” would do so by reporting them through AttackWatch and waiting for the campaign to publicize rumors through their response.

Michelle Malkin points out that this strategy didn't work out so well the first time and has links to more good fun with the site.

Some of my favorites:

There's even a video mocking the site, already.  It's kind of irritating, but a lot of truth in it:

I simply can't recall a president as thin-skinned and paranoid as this one has turned out to be.  Simply incredible.

The Washington Post reports on the mockery.   Memeorandum has a thread.

Do his minions have nothing else to do but track down all this "information" coming into this site?

What's the over/under for how long this one lasts?  I'm taking 4 days.

AddedMore hilarity from NRO.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Much Does the Gardisil Question Matter To the Average Voter?

It's just too far out for me to get over-wrought over polls but I find them fascinating nonetheless.  Like a moth to the flame.

PPP has a poll out today that appears to sink Perry's rapidly rising star:

Obama tops Romney, 49-45, up from a 45-all tie in PPP’s August national poll.  He leads Rick Perry, 52-41 (49-43 in August); Newt Gingrich, 53-41; and Michele Bachmann, 53-39 (50-42).  Were voters given the choice to reconsider the 2008 election, they would still elect Obama, but by only five points (51-46), when he actually won by seven, indicating some voters have changed their minds, but that not just any GOP nominee will do. 

 Seriously?  There are still 50% of the voters in America that would re-elect Barack Obama?

I find this simply amazing.

Unemployment is over 9% and likely to stay that way.  How can one get re-elected with numbers like that?  Oh!  But wait!  Obama has given those folks nearly unlimited unemployment checks. 

The poverty rate is now 1 in 6 Americans: the highest in two decades.  But it's okay because your health insurance will be FREE!

Polls drive me crazy.

Rasmussen's poll makes my head spin:

Romney earns 43% support to the president’s 40% in the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters. Nine percent (9%) prefer some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.

Lordy.  Just put McCain back up there, then.

More from Rasmussen:

Obama has the support of 79% of Democrats, while 73% of Republicans back Romney. Among voters not affiliated with either of the major parties, the Republican leads by 13 points – 42% to 29%. Eighty-two percent (82%) of Tea Party members favor Romney. Non-members prefer the president 50% to 34%. 

Americans still want the "generic candidate."  He/She carries 49% to Obama's 41%.

Even Gallup has Romney encroaching on Perry's initial lead:

Mitt Romney is the only announced candidate whose Positive Intensity Score has improved significantly in recent weeks. His current 16 is up from 11 in late August and is his highest rating since mid-July, thus narrowing the gap with Perry. Rudy Giuliani, who has yet to decide if he will run, still edges out Romney with an 18.

Is it too soon to say Perry is fading?  Was his wide lead just "new kid on the block" idolatry?  

I'm curious.

How much does the Gardisil issue matter to you?  How closely will the average voter watch that debate?  I guarantee you, most people that aren't political junkies like we are (you're here, aren't you?), don't know a damn thing about that (unless you're from Texas, and even then, maybe not.)

If that debate has hurt anyone,  I think it has been Michele Bachmann.

And how much does the "Ponzi scheme" meme scare the average voter?

I'm willing to bet that the average voter is more scared of the Social Security issue because most of them think Perry wants to just lop it off the entitlement grid.  They haven't taken the time, yet, to figure out that that's not what he said.

Perry is coming around in his attempt to clarify that issue, but it hasn't resonated yet.  So far, most people hear him just threatening their monthly check.  And he isn't the first one to have raised the issue:

Jonathan Last has already identified a 1967 Newsweek column by liberal economist and Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson as perhaps the earliest use of the Social Security/Ponzi-scheme comparison in public argument. Samuelson was actually drawing on the Ponzi analogy to defend Social Security. His claim was that the perpetual succession of human generations establishes the conditions for a sustainable Ponzi scheme.
But the issue seems to be pulling Perry down.  Or at least down to earth.

The next debate is September 22 and is sponsored by Fox and Google.  You can submit questions here.  

I think Perry has to get better at this debate business.  He starts out on fire but fizzles out.  He should have been ready for some of the questions that seemed to flummox him last night.  He runs the risk of being all bluster while Romney, having been to this rodeo before, is polished and smooth (even if he does have major policy problems).

So.  Again, how much do you think the Gardisil issue matters?  Or the Social Security Ponzi scheme meme?

Monday, September 12, 2011

The CNN/Tea Party Debate: LIVE BLOG

For those worshiping at the House of Football, and those not inclined to watch, we've got your back at SIGIS.  Live-blogging to commence shortly.

And here we go...

Why does it seem  incongruous to me that CNN has teamed up with the Tea Party for this debate?

I'm not sure why Jon Huntsman is still in this race.  Maybe tonight will show me.

I should get hazard pay for having to listen to Wolf Blitzer.

And here come the contenders.

Romney busses Bachmann when she comes out.  He didn't kiss anyone else.  Hmmm.

Ok, all joking aside.  Here we go.  Santorum and Romney lip synced the national anthem.  Everyone else stood respectfully.

One minute to answer?  That's fast.

I know why it's a 2 hour debate.  We still haven't started.  Now the candidates are about to introduce themselves in 30 seconds or less.

Bachmann touts her Tea Party roots in her intro to some nice applause.  Cain touts his credentials as a non-politician.  Perry:  "I wanna make Washington as inconsequential in your life as I can.  Newt  celebrates the 9/12 date and says it's time to profoundly change Washington.  Santorum  ... hunh?

First question:  "How will you convince senior citizens that Social Security and Medicare need to be changed and how will you get their vote?"  And Blitzer repeats the question even though we heard it clearly.

Bachmann answers first.  Reform, she says.  "Obama STOLE over 500 billion dollars out of Medicare to switch it to Obamacare!"  Ooooo fine line she walks - says she's been there long enough to know the problems but not long enough to be part of the system.

Perry:  To the people who are on Social Security today it is "slam dunk guaranteed" that program will be there for those individuals.  But says we need to reform.

Romney says most people agree with Perry but says "Ponzi scheme" is "scary."  He goes on to quote Perry saying Social Security is unconstitutional and ought to go back to the states.  Romney is shaky here.  He's not accurately quoting Perry and is twisting what he said.  Someone needs to ask Mitt when he changed his mind; he said the same thing in his own book.

Perry's stance is that things have changed in all these years and it needs reform.  Romney hammers him and pushes him on the "unconstitutional" thing.  Perry wins this argument.

Romney continues to hammer.  Perry finally quotes Romney's own book to him to great applause.  Blitzer finally goes to Ron Paul who says young people should be able to get out and "go on their own."

Herman Cain:  "It's broken."  He touts optional personal accounts.  "Allow younger workers to have personal retirement accounts as an option.  Seniors would not be affected."

Huntsman:  "I don't think anything should be off the table."

Newt:  LOL!  "President Obama scares" the people "every single day" so he isn't worried about Mitt and Perry scaring the people with the word Ponzi scheme.

He says "You get back to a full employment economy" to fix Social Security and he says if you're younger and you'd like a personal account, you should be able to do that.

Santorum:  Blitzer asks "are you with Romney or Perry?"  He says, "The question is, Who is with ME?"  Applause.  The teenager is sitting here.  He says, "This guy isn't winning anything.  Nobody knows who he is."  The oracle.

7:26:  Next question is about balancing the budget.  Wolf paraphrases it because he's the smartest person in the room.   Newt challenges the Super Committee on this question.  Santorum gets challenged on the prescription drug vote (he voted for it).  Would you repeal it?  Wolf asks.  "We have to pay for it," Santorum says.  He says Washington doesn't "know better than you" how to run your health care.

Wolf:  Would you vote to repeal the prescription drug benefit?  to Perry.  He says no, you can find the savings and still deliver the services.  And touts his Texas record.  "I'm thinkin' there might be more waste and fraud in the federal government than there was in the Texas government."

Mitt:  Reform.  He says we're not going to balance the budget by taking out the waste.  We need to cut spending, he says.  Plus, we  have to "grow the economy again."

Ron Paul on the repeal: " It wouldn't be on my high list."  We spend too much money on wars, he says.  (The teenager applauds.)  "We need to cut the Department of Education, the Department of Energy..."  applause.

7:37:  Next question is about getting the economy moving again.   Again, Wolf clarifies the question because he's brilliant.

Oh.  Jon Huntsman is here.  He's orange.

To Perry -"Obama had $800 billion worth of stimulus and created zero jobs.  $400 billion in this package.  I can do the math on this one - half of zero jobs is ... zero jobs."  Snickers in the audience.  "Quit the spending, give clear regulatory relief and reform the tax code."

Wolf argues about the Bush tax cuts.  Bachmann says the deficit went up and up and up because you have a trillion dollars worth of spending that you aren't paying for.  She said she did not advocate raising the debt ceiling.

Herman Cain - "this economy is on life support.  We need a bold solution...I believe we throw out the entire tax code and put in my 9-9-9 tax code!"  He's fighting hard!

Cain says American entrepreneurship will provide the jobs.

Mitt concedes Texas is a "terrific state."  He's not cutting Perry and credit though.  Mitt says we have to make our tax code competitive with the rest of the world.  We need energy security.  Perry is nodding.  Balance the budget, Mitt says.  Wolf asks if Perry deserves any credit at all.  Mitt says sure.  Wolf says, tell him.  Fast on his feet - Mitt says, "If you're dealt four aces that doesn't mean you're a good poker player."  The audience goes "OOOooooooooo."

Perry - "Mitt, you were doin' pretty good until you started talkin poker."  He touts his Texas record of job creation during tough economic times.  He touts tort reform.  "Tell the trial lawyers to get out of your state."  Applause.  (I guess no trial lawyers are there.)

Ron Paul isn't willing to give Perry any credit either and says his taxes have doubled under Perry and says most of the jobs have been government jobs.

I'm afaid my 19 year old is going to vote for Ron Paul.

Back to Perry - We've cut taxes by $14 billion while I've been governor.  Texas population has increase over the past five years.  "They're not comin' because we're over taxin' 'em."

To Newt:  He looks incredulous.  Newt just answers whatever he wants to despite what is asked.  "The American people create jobs, not government."  Applause.  "Ronald Reagan taught me a great lesson if you have democrats in charge.  Go to the American people on principle" and have them educate their congressmen.

Next question.  Can you be pro-business and pro-worker at the same time?

Cain.  Absolutely.  But we need the right leadership. 

Huntsman.  "This country needs more workers."  Didn't Marco Rubio say that?  Huntsman touts his record in Utah.  "We were the best managed state in America."

7:55:  Next question.  What is your position on the Federal Reserve.

Someone ask about immigration, please.

Santorum says the economy would have to improve greatly to be a disaster.  Gets a laugh.

Cain says the Reserve should be audited and its focus should be narrowed.

Bachmann on Perry's statement that Bernanke should be tried for treason.  She says she wouldn't renominate Bernanke.  Mitt smiles condescendingly at her.  Wolf presses her on the treason comment.  She says, "That's for Governor Perry to make that decision."

Perry clarifies:  "If you are allowing the Federal Reserve to be used for political purposes, that is almost treasonous."   Applause.  And Mitt smiles condescendingly at Perry.  I guess that's just Mitt.

Romney:  My own view is that the fed should preserve our currency.  "People will not invest in this country...if they don't have faith in our currency."  Mitt says if we don't have a Federal Reserve who will control our currency?  "Congress?"!

Next question:  Out of every dollar I earn, how much do you think I deserve to keep?  Bachmann - "oooo I love that question!"

Huntsman answers first and calls for a competitive tax code.

Newt slams GE on his answer.  "I was astonished the other night" to see the president of GE sitting there during the president's speech!   Trying to raise taxes at this time is a bad idea.

Question:  Would any of you be willing to support the Fair Tax?

Wolf clarifies the question:  "The Fair Tax is basically a national sales tax."

Romney says the way the Fair Tax has been structured has a real question.  His answer gets some Boos.  He wants to dramatically reduce the tax burden on middle class.  "Let people save their money" as they see fit, he says.

Question:  Under what circumstances should a president sign an executive order?

Paul says the ExO has been abused.

Perry gets a Gardisil question and says he would do it differently, "absolutely."

Bachmann is, of course, totally against the Gardisil issue; Perry has already backed off of it so...; she says you "don't get a mulligan."

Wolf presses Perry on Gardisil.  He says there was an "opt out" but at the end of the day, "I'm always going to err on the side of life."  Bachmann says, "We cannot forget...there was a big drug company that made millions of dollars because of this mandate."  Crony capitalism.

Perry:  "The company was Merck.  It was a $5,000 contribution I received from them.  If you're saying I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended."  Bachmann says, I'm offended for all the little girls who had to get that vaccination.  Good comeback by her.

Santorum says Perry is not sorry for the vaccine, just sorry about how he did it.

Perry says Texas is a place that protects life and he's been the most pro-life governor in the state of Texas.  Santorum says "Give parents the opt IN, then."

Next question is about health care and the cost of health care so health insurance can be reduced.  Cain says to repeal Obamacare.

Romney stands by RomneyCare.  He says the reason health care is expensive is because of the cost of providing care.  The more the provider does, the more he gets paid.  We have to make sure individuals care about what things cost.

He says again he's going to grant a waiver for all 50 states on ObamaCare.

Romney:  The Democrat president cut Medicare!  What the president did was simply WRONG!  But he still touts RomneyCare for his state.

To Ron Paul:, Blitzer asks who would pay for 30 year man with no insurance in a coma:  "In a society where you accept welfarism and socialism he would expect the government would pay for that."    We should legalize alternative health care, he says.

Bachmann:  Waivers and Executive Orders "won't cut it."  She says no state should be able to force anyone to buy health care.  "It's unconstitutional."  She says, "2012 is IT!"  If you don't stop it now, we're totally screwed.  "We are never going to get rid of it unless you have a president willing to get rid of it."  She vows she "is committed" to repealing ObamaCare.  Applause.


Here is the link to CNN's live blog.

8:24:  New question.  "What would you do to remove the illegal immigrants from our country?"  Santorum says "I'm the son of an Italian immigrant." He says we have an unsecure border and need a fence.  We don't need storm troopers or amnesty.  After the border is secure, we can deal with the problem.

Perry says he's had a lot of experience with this and that our government "has been an abject failure" at securing the border.  Says a fence is dumb (my words); he said "not reality".  "We understand and know how to secure that border but we can't do it alone but the federal government has to step up and do their constitutional duty" to secure the voter.

Wolf wants to know how you'll get the Hispanic vote.  Santorum says Perry offered in-state tuition.  Open door.  Answer that, Rick.

Santorum:  We are a melting pot, not a salad bowl.

Wolf goes back to Perry:  He says, If you've been in the state of Texas 3 years, if you're workin' toward your college degreee and if you're on on the path to citizenship, you get in-state tuition there.   He gets boo'd.

Bachmann says this is not the American way to reward people who have broken our laws.  Come in legally.  Learn to speak English, the Constitution and American History, she says.

Perry:  "I'm not for the DREAM Act they are talking about in D.C.; that is Amnesty."  Says what he did in Texas is a states right issue.  If you want to live in Texas and pursue citizenship, "we're going to allow you to be contributing members" to the state of Texas and not a drag on society.

Huntsman:  "For Rick to say you can't secure the border is a treasonous comment."  I think that was a joke.

Huntsman was asked about the drivers license issue for illegals.  He touts the 10th Amendment.

Romney:  Latino voters did not come here for a handout.  If they came here for a handout, they'll vote for Democrats.  He says, "Of course we build a fence.  And of course we don't give in-state tuition credits to people who come here illegally!"  Applause.

Perry:  We basically had a decision to make.  Are we going to give people an incentive to be contributing members of society or are we going to put you on the government the state of Texas...we decided it was in the best interest of those young people to have the opportunity to go on to college. .."  He sounds flustered but he should have been ready for this.

Next question is about energy independence.  To Herman Cain:  "We've got to remove some of those barriers out of the way...I would start with the EPA Gone Wild...".  He says he'd appoint people who've been abused by the EPA to the Regulatory Commission.

On national security:  Newt says we greatly underestimate the threat to this country and we should never forget the threat of foreign terrorists.  Cites North Korea and Iran.  We need a serious national dialogue on security and says there's a civil war in Mexico right next door to us.

Ron Paul says there's a difference between military spending and defense spending.  He says slash military spending but not defense spending.  "We're in 130 countries!" he says.  We don't have to be the policemen of the world, he says.

Ron Paul says the Muslim world "is not" attacking us because we're free.  He says it's because we have bases on their soil and that they said we haven't been fair to the Palestinians.  He gets boo'd.

Question:  A lady from Afghanistan asks what they would do to secure safety for the women and children if Afghanistan from the radicals.

Huntsman says it's time to get out of Afghanistan.  We don't need to be nation building.  We're dim bulbs he says.  He's blathering about shining lights.  Al Gore bulbs, probably.  No, wait...

To Perry:  Is our money well spent in Afghanistan?  He says we should come home but have a presence there.  He says our military has a target on their back in Afghanistan; their own military needs to take care of their people.

Commericial.  Oh no.  A "This or That" coming up.  Wolf promises a "What would they add to the White House if they get to move in" question.  Groan.

8:50:  To Santorum.  What would you bring to the White House?  A vegetable garden?  A horse shoe track?  He says, "A bedroom."  They have 7 kids.

Newt says he'd kick out the czars, and have more music, ballet, and chess sets.

Paul:  Common sense and a course in economics.

Perry:  The most beautiful first lady this country has ever seen.  Awwww!

Romney:  He'd restore the Churchill bust.

Bachmann:  A copy of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Cain:  A sense of humor because America is too uptight.

Huntsman:  My Harley Davidson.

Perry won that question!

Well, okay.  Perry didn't lose, but he didn't gain much.  They hammered him on the Gardisil issue and I don't think he impressed the Tea Party audience with his answers on the in-state tuition issue.  I think he should have been more prepared for that question but he seemed actually flummoxed that people don't think the way he does on it.

Bachmann held steady and was more of a presence than she was in the last debate.  I think it's just Perry and Romney now and the rest are just background veep contenders.  Romney didn't lose any ground but I don't think he gained any either.  He's definitely willing to go after Perry on the issues, though.  It should get more interesting as the field narrows.  When Perry and Romney actually go head to head we might get somewhere.

Now, I hear there's a football game on, so I'm out.

"7.1 million litres of beer..."

Munich Oktoberfest kicks off Saturday and last year revelers drank copious amounts of "bier"!  Wow!

There are very few times during the year when one can get away with wearing leather shorts and stumbling about with a litre stein of beer. The strictures of modern society are such that if you were to attempt that on an idle Tuesday in April, you would probably receive a stern talking to, if not a straight-jacket. However, for about two weeks a year, this behaviour is just fine. Such is the magic of Oktoberfest.

How can you not LOVE a sixteen day celebration of beer!

SIGIS will be Oktoberfest blogging through the duration.  Order your gear now.  I've taken my dirndl out of storage! (THAT ought to get Mr. SIGIS home from Iowa!)