Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another "Perrybot" Response

I was at work this morning when I saw Stacy McCain's bitch-slapping post to the "Perrybots" and I couldn't respond at the time because, well, I was at work

Stacy, it seems, is aggrieved because Rick Perry's campaign burned through $20 million in his failed campaign.  Stacy, who was all for Herman Cain, by the way, is now on the Rick Santorum bandwagon; he seems to be harboring some resentment about his current candidate's cash raising status:

Just ask yourselves, Perrybots, what might have been possible if some other candidate — any other candidate, perhaps one who could remember how to count to three – had an extra $20 million to spend here in Florida. But no, you spent months telling the rest of us that Rick Perry was The Only Conservative Who Could Beat Romney, an argument you didn’t hesitate to repeat as late as December, long after it was apparent that he wasn’t ready for prime time. And you still refuse to admit that you were misled, and helped mislead others, into jumping aboard that hopeless Bandwagon to Loserville.

I'm quite fond of Stacy and I have great respect for his Shoe Leather Reporting; I link him often and have hit his tip jar several times, but he's dead wrong on this one.  Rick Perry had every bit as much right to run as did Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, or anyone else for that matter.  If he burned through $20 million then it was his to burn.  And the people had just as much right to support Perry as Stacy does his candidates of choice.

Troglopundit refutes Stacy's logic:

One need not be a “Perrybot” to see the logical fallacy McCain is making. To wit: “if Rick Perry hadn’t entered the race, somebody else would have gotten that $20 million.”
I dunno what’s in that pile, but it smells.

Short answer: no, neither Rick Santorum, nor Herman Cain, nor Michelle Bachmann, nor Thaddeus McCotter would have received that $20 million. A small proportion of it, perhaps. I’m speculating, but it seems likely that other candidates would also have received some of it. Therefore whatever financial impact this fictional Perrylessness might have had would be distributive in nature, and thus zero.

Perry had several large contributors who were likely donating for the sole reason that they liked Perry and his record of success in Texas.   Heck, I even donated to Perry (not millions!) but I haven't donated to anyone else as of yet.  In this little microcosm, my small donation would not have ended up going to Santorum even if Perry had never run in the first place.  I'd have kept it.

The fisking of Stacy continues with Wyblog:

Hey, Stacy McCain is a kick-ass gonzo journalist and all. He Knows Things. I'm just a random Polack from New Jersey. But it occurs to me that Rick Perry, a guy who's actually won elections and governed from conservative principles, might have gotten more traction if a certain gonzo journalist hadn't taken a flyer on the likes of Herman Cain, and in the process misled a whole lotta other folks into buying a one-way ticket on the 9-9-9 Restraining Order Express. Cain wanted to be president alright, just not President of the United States. More like president of Hooters, if you get my drift. 

How much cash did Herman Cain suck out of the Santorum coffers?   How much early traction could Santorum have gained had Stacy not been on the Cain Train?

Adrienne chimes in:

Well, who's sucking up oxygen now? 

Michelle Malkin has thrown her support behind Santorum.  I understand her reasons.  I like Santorum, too.  But I also believe that he is not going to be the nominee.  Neither is Ron Paul.
I think that in the end the only one making any sense here is Smitty:

The candidates all suck: get over it. 


Remember, when Perry got into the race he was viewed by many as the savior from this stinkin' field of RINOs we have now; he'd never lost an election and had a track record (while not perfect) of conservatism and job creation in Texas.  Why was it wrong to support that, pray tell?

It was much easier to support that than to support a guy who lost a re-election bid in his own state.

As it is, the process is working.  We don't like the candidates, but it's working.  Perry faltered and he failed.  I hate it, but it is the way it goes.  Newt says he's staying in.  Mitt is staying in. 

Krauthammer sees Missouri as Santorum's chance to make a stand (February 7):

I think [he's] staying in. I think the real sleeper event could be in Missouri. Missouri doesn’t have any delegates. It’s only a beauty contest. But Gingrich isn’t on the ballot. I think for Santorum, this is his great opportunity. He’d be essentially one-on-one with Romney.

If polls are to be believed, Republicans need to stop eating their own and start focusing on Obama.  As it is right now, we're handing him four more years.

None of our candidates are perfect.  In fact, Smitty is right - they stink.  All of 'em.  But in the end, blaming the "Perrybots" and continuing the blame game won't win back The Oval. 

Truth is, there's no real conservative in this race and in the end we're going to have to do the same thing we did in 2008.  Hold your nose and vote. 

Let's just hope we don't get the same result.

Charlie Crist Thinks Obama is Doing "What's Right for the Country"

In case you had any lingering doubts about Charlie Crist's true colors:

In a rare television interview, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who left the Republican Party during his unsuccessful 2010 U.S. Senate bid, told Chuck Todd on “The Daily Rundown” that he’d consider voting for President Obama in November.

“Consider? Sure, I would consider that,” said Crist. “I really think he’s sincere and genuine. I think we have a lot time, a lot of issues to talk about, but I think, in his heart, he’s trying to do what’s right for the country overall.”
More at Not One Red Cent!

(H/T:  The Corner)

A Message for Mitt and Newt

Dear Republican contenders: 

Please start going after Obama and not each other.

Via Legal Insurrection, Obama is trouncing both of you:

In potential Election 2012 matchups, it’s President Obama 47% and Romney 42%. However, if Gingrich is his Republican opponent, the president holds a double-digit lead, 50% to 37% (see tracking history).


Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around: The Perfect Weekend Edition

The camellias are starting to bloom but it's clear that mine have suffered from the drought last summer.  I spent a little time this afternoon pruning dead wood from my camellia bush and now I'm hoping it makes a comeback this summer.

But when the camellias start to bloom I know spring is not too far behind.

Mr. SIGIS and I had a busy Saturday and a lazy Sunday which is just about a perfect weekend.

Saturday I hit up a couple of estate sales early in the day then we headed over to Minden for the kickoff of Mardi Gras with their German Fasching celebration.  We had a grand time catching beads and watching the infamous Milly Rose dancing in Main Street along with the parade (video below).

My shopping treasures this weekend include this pretty jadeite vase (left).  I also picked up an old "depression era" green water bottle.  I remember we always had one of these in our refrigerator when I was growing up and it just reminded me of my childhood so I bought it.  I also bought an old Kosmos Brenner brass oil lamp.  And finally, Milly gave me a beautiful depression glass pink serving tray which I adore.  So as far as treasures go, it was a great weekend!

Today we've moved at a slower pace.  I did some much needed housework, went to my mom's and took care of her, then Steve and I took the rest of the day off.  We sat on the deck in the sun, drank a beer, and watched the dogs play and visited with our neighbor for a bit.

I'm disgusted with the Republican race right now.  Like Pundette, though, I'm "bitterly clinging" to Rick Santorum as long as I can.  Deep inside I'm just enraged at the ignorant establishment at the head of the Republican party who has put us right back in the same mess we were facing in 2008.  I can't even verbalize just yet how pissed off I am at the state of things.


The Other McCain is still filing great "on the road" coverage of the campaign - this time from Florida.

Speaking of the bone-headed Republican establishment, Sister Toldjah wonders if they're out to get Allen West.

Legal Insurrection points out the "scorched earth" tactics of the Romney campaign.  It's not pretty, folks.  Not a bit.

Saberpoint likes Santorum and calls the Republican fisticuffs between Newt and Mittens "vicious, self-destructive, personal and bitter."

American Power thinks Sarah Palin is endorsing Newt (video at the link).  I'm actually surprised; I'd have thought her to be more of a Santorum kind of gal.

Doug Ross checks out Occuy DC (with photos). 

Wyblog posts on the mandatory contraceptive edict.

Herman Cain has endorsed Newt.

Global warming is out; Cycle 25 is IN.

Be sure to check out The State of Our Disunion at Political Clown Parade.

Mark Levin is very concerned about Romney's character.

Dan Riehl has analysis of Levin's comments.

All in all, this campaign has gone somewhere very ugly.  It doesn't do any good to think about what could have been at this point but there's a lot of that going on inside my head.  It does seem as if Mitt and Newt are eating each other alive and quite possibly Rick Santorum will be the last man standing.

Oh well.  Much will be made of the Florida primary and let the chips fall where they may.  ABO in 2012.

Here's Milly Rose dancing in the streets:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Loose Thoughts

If you're looking for debate coverage you might head on over to Legal Insurrection or The Other McCain.   I.Just.Can't.  Meh.

I've been busy at work and real life.  I tried to watch the State of the Union, got three minutes in, and had to bail.  When Obama starts spewing crap about "fairness and equity" and how the "rich" should give "their fair share" I start seeing spiders and creepy crawling things in my head and my head starts to spin.  I had to turn it off.

Speaking of SOTU, what did you think of Michelle's dress?  I thought it was ill fitting but I'm no fashionista.  You'll usually find me in blue jeans and a sweatshirt.  I liked the color and I even liked the brooch, but I thought the straps crossing above the boobs looked weird.  I didn't think it was tailored well for her.  I've read some blogs that criticized her for dressing as if she was going to a cocktail party rather than a SOTU speech but that part doesn't bother me.  I just didn't think the dress fit well.  It's not exactly "for the common man," either, at an estimated $2,400.  Not a Target dress.

Let them eat arugula.

Charles Krauthammer has some thoughts on the SOTU:

It sounded like the Clinton years with their presidentially proclaimed initiatives on midnight basketball and school uniforms. These are the marks of a shrunken presidency, thoroughly flummoxed by high unemployment, economic stagnation, crushing debt — and a glaring absence of ideas.
Of course, this being Obama, there was a reach for grandeur. Hope and change are long gone. It's now equality and fairness. That certainly is a large idea. Lenin and Mao went pretty far with it. As did Clement Attlee and his social-democratic counterparts in postwar Europe.
As for the Republicans, I'm sick of Newt and Romney going after each other.  When are we going to go after the incumbent, eh?  At this point I'd be just fine if they ate each other alive and Santorum came out on top.  

Surfing the links I see that Bride of Rove is struggling with some of the same issues.

Pundette is expecting Newt Fatigue to hit at any time.

As for me, tomorrow is Friday.  Centenary College will commemorate the 67th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz with a 12 hour loop screening of the testimony of local Holocaust survivors Rose and Louis Van Thyn.  I'm going straight from work to see both of them.  If you're around here I'd encourage you to go.

Speaking of the Holocaust, heck out this stunning poll (H/T: Mike).

Steve and I are headed to Minden on Saturday for the kickoff of Mardi Gras season; the Fasching Carnivale and parade will be the highlight of the day, plus some shopping with Milly Rose!

Oh, and I'm going to test drive a Jeep when we go, too!  Yay!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

McDonald's: NOT Lovin' It

Let me tell you about my experience at McDonald's today.  And before I do, I bet you have one to match or better it.

4:00 this afternoon.

I drive up to a local McDonald's franchise.  The drive-thru is seven cars deep but I'm worn out, long day, and figure it will be an opportunity to check my email while I wait.

Eventually I am second in line at the order window.  The car in front of me sits for, oh, maybe 7 minutes before pulling up.  This is a long time at a drive-thru window.  But when he advances, I pull up and stop at the window.  And wait.



"Hellooooo?" I said.  "Anybody there?"



"Is this thing working?"




So I pull to the side. "What the hell," I think.  Why not.  I go .... inside.

It gets good here.  When I walk inside there are five people at the counter and four are pissed off.  On the other side of the counter there are two employees and one of them is bitching out a customer.

"Excuse ME, MA'AM, but would you like a REBATE?  WHAT can I do for you NOW?!  I'm SORRY if you not happy with your ORDER but WHAT do you want ME to do about it?  MA'AM?!"

And this employee is wagging her head back and forth, hands on hips and using the most sarcastic tone you can imagine.  The customer is a middle aged woman with a child who looked to be about 7 or 8.

Meanwhile, another customer has a half unwrapped burger in her hand and is hopping from one foot to the other waiting to get her issue settled; another customer is standing at the counter, "Am I going to get my order?  I have to be at work!  If it's not coming, I've got to go....".

A manager finally walks up.

"What's the trouble here?"  She attempts to sort things out.  She sends Miss Sarcastic back to the window (which is why she was not there to take my order) and attempts to restore order.

This does not last long because as the woman with the child attempts to explain what's wrong with her order to the manager, Miss Sarcastic comes back from the window with that head wagging thing again and this time she's pointing her finger.

If this girl worked for me she would have been fired on the spot.  The manager, clearly frustrated, sends her back to the window.

Finally my order comes out (woman with child is still waiting for her plain hamburger, and woman that needs to get to work is still waiting).

My order is wrong.  It's missing one of the two sandwiches.  I give it back to the manager.

Woman with child gives up and takes her order the way it came and explains to her child that they'll just scrape off the offending ingredients.  Woman who has to go to work is still waiting.  More customers have stacked up behind us all.  Meanwhile, Miss Sarcastic is working the window.

My order comes out a second time and it is still wrong but I don't have the heart to send it back.  I just take it and leave.  As I go, I notice that cars are stacked up twelve deep in the drive-thru.

So tell me why McDonald's is posting record profits

Where's the civility?  The customer service?  The "home-training?"

So when The Teenager feels the need for fast food, I'll route him to Burger King or Wendy's from now on.

Got a similar story?

I've Paid My Debt to the Curmudgeon

I've made good on my bet with the Curmudgeon and gone one better. 

If you recall, we made our annual bet on the LSU-Bama game and LSU did not manage to pull a win out of the Mad Hatter's Hat.  Bama steam rolled the Tigers.

Our bet was for $100 toward the Wounded Warrior Project.

In the "one better" tradition, (last time the bet was for a six pack of Sam Adams and the Curmudgeon went "one better" and paid up $100 to WWP), I've signed up for a monthly donation of $19, which comes to $228 a year.   That's about two six packs of Sam Adams a month; I think I can spare that (and so can my waistline).

1/24/2012 5:40:27 PM EST

Dear Pat Austin,

Thank you for your generous donation to Wounded Warrior Project. Your gift enables us to provide comfort and aid to the wounded and families in need.

Your information is as follows.

Your Information

Name: Pat Austin

Payment Information

Payment ID: 325776
Payment Type: CREDIT
Payment Date: 1/24/2012 5:40:27 PM EST
Donation Amount: 19

Wounded Warrior Project is a public charity as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your gifts are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Please note your credit card will be charged $19 on or about the 20th of each month beginning next month. 
Thank you again,

Wounded Warrior Project 
Until next year, Curmudgeon

Geaux Tigers!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Centenary to Screen Van Thyn Holocaust Testimonies Friday

This Friday Centenary College and the Van Thyn lecture series will commemorate the 67th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz:

The all-day event will honor the memory of local survivors Dr. Rose and Louis Van Thyn and feature a continuous screening of their video testimonies on their struggles during the Holocaust. The screening is free and open to the public and visitors may stop in throughout the day.

"Sadly, we will soon be in a world without any living Holocaust survivors to teach us about the dangers of hatred and intolerance," said Dr. Lisa Nicoletti, Professor of Art and Visual Culture. "Collections such as this one are vital to Holocaust remembrance and education. For the last decade, Dr. Rose with Louis by her side, regularly spoke on our campus about life before, during, and after the Holocaust. We miss them terribly."
  • What: Van Thyn Holocaust Testimony
  • When: Friday, January 27, 8:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Kilpatrick Auditorium, Smith Building
This showing marks the introduction of Centenary College as the first Shoah Foundation Visual History Collection in the state of Louisiana. The College will provide the public with free future access to these testimonies, which will be housed in Magale Library. The testimonies are from the archives of the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education.

Steven Speilberg created the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation in 1994 when he was inspired by his experience making Schindler’s List. The Institute aims to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry—and the suffering they cause—through the educational use of the Institute’s visual history testimonies that it gathers from survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust.
More here.

If you're not local and can't attend, I encourage you to listen to Rose's story here.  I heard Rose deliver her testimony a few years ago; it's an amazing story and one I share with my students each year.  While I've met Louis (he was always beside Rose when she spoke), I've never heard his full testimony so this will be an experience for me.  These were two very special people. 

Never forget.

(H/T: Nico)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

At Least There Are No $16 Muffins Involved

We all know that ObamaCare is awash in new regulations and bureaucracies.  Here is just one more:

Embedded in ObamaCare is a toxic rule called the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. The Act requires all companies that manufacture medical products purchased by the government to disclose on a public website anything they give physicians valued above $10. Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued draft guidelines.
Wonder how many "jobs created" this one covers?

The Spin Begins

My mother said to me the other day, "I'll be so glad when this election is OVER!  It seems like it's been going on for a year!"

I hate to tell her, but it hasn't even started yet.  We've only been dealing with the Republican primary so far.  Just wait until the general election! 

True, Obama has been campaigning for re-election since 2008, but only now are we beginning to see general election 2012 ads cropping up on television.

I've even seen a few "Obama 2012" stickers on a couple of cars in town.  Whenever I see those bumper stickers I just can't fathom it.  Given this man's record, how can anyone still support him?  I tried to get Mr. SIGIS to explain it to me but he couldn't.

It's true that much of the population depends on the liberal mainstream media to inform them.  Much of the general population just doesn't care - they hate politics and politicians and will vote however their editorial page tells them to vote.  In truth, the number of political junkies like me (and you - you're reading this, aren't you?) are much lower in number than those who just vote blindly.

Yet still.  Consider Obama's first campaign ad.  Investor's Business Daily fact checks the energy statements in the ad:

The Obama re-election campaign is already shaping up as the most deceitful in American electoral history. "For the first time in 13 years our dependence on foreign oil is below 50%," the commercial declares, accompanied by goose-bumpy music.

Major economic downturns, in fact, unfailingly produce declines in oil imports. And so do higher gas prices — which went from an average of less than $2 a gallon at the time Obama took office to nearly $4 in the middle of last year and remain well above $3 today.

How could gasoline demand not drop with so many people out of work, businesses dying and jittery investors sitting on a trillion dollars?

Of course "our dependence on foreign oil" is lower.  It's not because we're producing more domestically; we're not.  It's because of the reasons stated above.

This is typical Obama spin.

It's sort of like saying "You will be able to keep your doctor," when ObamaCare was rammed down our throats.  Sure, you'll be able to keep him as long as he's able to stay in practice but once ObamaCare really kicks in, he will probably pack his little black bag and fade into the sunset.  Either that or he'll be so backlogged behind the deluge of patients waiting to see a doctor, any doctor, that you'll be a distant memory.


"Oh," but you say, "All politicians do that!"  And I won't argue that to some degree.  I take issue with those as well.

Consider this from ABC News:

Turning to the economy, the ad hails “2.7 million Clean-Energy American Jobs,” citing a July report from the Brookings Institution, the suggestion being that Obama deserves credit for the employment in those industries.

But the Brookings report does not claim Obama created or maintained those jobs, just that 2.7 million exist in that sector – which encompasses a diverse array of roles and industries, including all of the nation’s mass transit workers (e.g. bus drivers).

But who's going to read the fine print?

Get ready for a long campaign, Mom.  The lies and the spin are here to stay.  I just hope voters care enough to decipher them and read between the lines.  From both sides of the aisle.

The Keystone Kops Would Run America's Energy Policy Better Than Obama

There's been much written in the past few days about Obama's disastrous Keystone decision.  There is little doubt that Obama is simply punting on this decision and attempting to appeal to his environmental base.  The thing you need to know about the Keystone decision is that the environmental threat doesn't exist and that Obama's own DOS cleared the way for it to go forward.

Jonah Goldberg:

The environmentalists to which Obama is pandering have an understandable, if at times irrational, fear of oil spills and a religious faith in the dangers of global warming. The only problem is that blocking the pipeline will, if anything, increase the likelihood of oil spills because Canada will still bring the oil to market.

The project has been studied for three years (much longer than the Solyndra bailout took) and to be sure would not be a project that creates new pipeline over virgin territory:

The Keystone pipeline had already been essentially cleared by environmental bureaucrats. Adding the pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf wouldn’t scar some pristine wilderness; it would be more like adding just one more string to a spider web, given how many pipelines already crisscross the region.
Take a good look at this map that shows all the pipelines running through the Ogallala Aquifer.

That's some 21,000 miles of pipeline there.  Jonah Goldberg again:

Opponents say it would threaten the groundwater in Nebraska, where some 21,000 miles of pipeline already exist. But, as the American Enterprise Institute’s Kenneth Green notes, any spilled oil would have to flow uphill to reach the Ogallala Aquifer.

So you've got three things going on here that are all now debunked.

The first is that the big evil Republicans imposed an arbitrary deadline on the president forcing him to decide prematurely.  Bunk:

The President’s claim that the State Department needs even more information before it can make a sound decision is equally ridiculous. State didn’t start reviewing the project last month when Congress set a sixty day deadline on making a decision. The review process has been going on for over three years now. The State Department has studied thousands of pages of detailed reports, data, maps and studies, and his issued thousands of pages of its own reports, including a massive eight volume environmental impact statement.

The President wants the public to believe that Congress imposed an arbitrary, impossibly short deadline on it. In fact, what Congress did was force the administration to end the years of dithering and an actual decision for a change. The President had more than enough information to make the right decision, but – sadly and all too predictably – he choose to appease the environmental fringe once more.

The second fallacy is that this pipeline would cross virgin territory and threaten previously unspoiled ground.  Bunk. Look at the maps.

The third fallacy is that the administration needs more time and information.  Bunk again.  Obama's own State Department has already cleared the way for the pipeline to go forward:

DOS studied a number of alternative routes to minimize or completely avoid the pipeline crossing over Sand Hills. The department worked with the Bureau of Land Management and state agencies where the pipeline passes through and made more than 340 minor realignments to the pipeline route.

There is absolutely no reason to delay the entire project when DOS explicitly signed off on additional route variations that could occur throughout the construction process.

Clearly it is Obama, and not the Republicans, who are making this decision a political one.  In fact, Obama phoned Prime Minister Stephen Harper to explain that the merits of the project were not the issue but that the evil Republicans are:

Obama called Prime Minister Stephen Harper to explain that the decision on Wednesday was not on the merits of the pipeline but rather on the “arbitrary nature” of a Feb. 21 deadline set by Republican legislators as part of a tax measure he signed, Harper’s office said.

Canada will grow weary of Obama's shenanigans and turn to China:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a telephone call yesterday, told Obama “Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports,” according to details provided by Harper’s office. Canadian Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver said relying less on the U.S. would help strengthen the country’s “financial security.”

The “decision by the Obama administration underlines the importance of diversifying and expanding our markets, including the growing Asian market,” Oliver told reporters in Ottawa.

Why not?  Brazil already has:
Less than a month after President Obama visited Brazil in March to make a pitch for oil, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was off to Beijing to sign oil contracts with two huge state-owned Chinese companies.

The deals are part of a growing oil relationship between the two countries that, thanks to a series of billion-dollar agreements, is giving China greater influence over Brazil’s oil frontier.

Obama has made it perfectly clear that he's not interested in developing United States energy reserves.

Mark Whittington:

Obama's policy in regard to oil and gas has been a study in incompetence driven by an ideological mania against hydrocarbon fuel in favor of more politically correct forms of energy production. This has not only led to what amounts to a campaign against oil and gas production in the U.S., but embarrassing scandals such as Solyndra, brought on by unwise federal loan guarantees to dubious green energy companies. 

This is occurring at a time when Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz through which much of the world's oil passes from Persian Gulf fields. The very threat has led to a spike in the price of oil and of gasoline. 

Between shutting down the industry in the Gulf of Mexico for months, killing hundreds of jobs and auxiliary small businesses that go along with that, and now the Keystone decision, it's clear that Obama would rather tilt at windmills and solar panels.

So now we don't get Canada's oil, we don't get Brazil's oil, and we're stymied at nearly every turn in trying to get to our own oil  (When's the last time you saw a rig in ANWR?).


(Photo/Map credit:  PennWell MAPSearch)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In a Funk

I've been in a funk. 

It's not that I thought Rick Perry was a Perfect Candidate - he wasn't.  It's not that I thought he was the second coming of Ronald Reagan.  He definitely wasn't.

I'm just out of sorts with the process.  When Rick Perry dropped out only Iowa and New Hampshire had voted.  By the time Louisiana gets around to voting, we'll likely be down to just two candidates.  90% of the country won't get to vote for the candidate they want but will have to chose from the candidate a handful of states have deemed worthy. 

Oh, I know, national polls and all that.  I'm still just in a funk because I don't like any of the remaining candidates.  I'll get over it. 

If you are interested in the South Carolina primary, Stacy McCain is running some great coverage over there at The Other McCain, even if he is drinking a Blue Moon.

As for me, I engaged in some estate sale therapy to ease my woes.  There was an estate sale in an old year 1921 home on Kings Highway today that was filled with gorgeous heavy antique furniture.  I wasn't in the market for any of that but I picked up this pretty jadeite candy dish:

I love the creamy green color of jadeite.  It's be great filled with chocolate covered espresso beans! 

I also got this neat framed Remington print "Fight for the Waterhole."  It'll look good in Steve's man-cave:

I also got a neat white and blue enamelware square piece with a lid.  It's seen better days but I thought it was unusual and I wanted it:

It's about six or seven inches square. 

My shopping didn't get me completely out of my funk but maybe the voters in South Carolina will cheer me up a little.  I'm not sure how, but maybe. 

Mittens in third place might do the trick.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Time to Stick My Head in the Oven

Okay so we all saw Perry's big announcement today coming.  You can't hang around in last place in the polls for too long before you become a drain on the whole system.  I hate that Perry's bid played out the way that it did but what are you going to do?  Wasn't his time.

Perry had improved a great deal since those first debates but maybe it was too little too late.  I think also that too many people listened to Rick Perry and heard George W. Bush and they just aren't over Bush yet.  Although I still think history will redeem Bush in the end.  Somewhat.

So where to go from here?

Pundette has gone to Rick Santorum.   Stacy McCain has been with Rick Santorum since Herman Cain dropped out.  Legal Insurrection is still with Newt.

I don't know where I'm going right now.

To be honest, I just don't like any of them.  I don't.

How can the Republican establishment have farked this up so badly?  That's a rhetorical question - you don't have to answer it.  It's because they're the Republican establishment.  All this PR about "we really do have a strong field of candidates" is just crap.  I don't even want to begin listing my grievances with these candidates.  Not enough time and it's all been said. 

Is it too late to get Michele Bachmann back?

I suspect that the Democrats are more afraid of Newt than anyone else and you can call me a conspiracy theorist if you want to but I think that's in part what pulled Marianne Gingrich back into the limelight.   I don't think Team Obama wants to debate Newt.

And when in the hell did debating skills become a prerequisite for running for president, anyway?  Speaking skills are important but so is executive experience, intelligence, foreign policy knowledge and experience, business acumen, character, integrity, and honor.

Coming into this election I've always said that "a dust bunny could beat Obama," because WTF is he going to run on?  His record?  His job killing, debt hiking, food stamp raising, partisan, scandal ridden record?  Seriously

But here's the Republican establishment about to hand it right back to him.

I'm going to stick my head in the oven.  Maybe there's a beer in there.  And a match.

(Cross posted at Not One Red Cent!)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Live-Blogging the South Carolina Debate UPDATED

We're just getting started.  Stay tuned.

Update 1:   We begin with Newt trying to defend his negative attacks on Romney after vowing not to go negative.  Romney defends by touting his private sector record.  If an Olympics reference is on your bingo card, DRINK.

Update 2:  A "vulture capitalism" question to Rick Perry.  DRINK.   Perry seems a little stiff.  He's calling on Mitt to release his income tax records and gets applause.  Perry calls for the repeal of Dodd-Frank and when he says we have way too many regulations in this country he gets lots of applause.

Romney gets a chance to respond but says he needs more than 30 seconds.  Uh, okay.

Update 3:  Romney:  "You never want to see anyone lose a job."  That ought to play well with his "I like to be able to fire people," comment.  Context or not.   Romney dodged the call for his tax records, by the way.  Why is that?  What's he hiding?

Update 4:   Shift to Ron Paul who comes out swinging on Santorum by explaining he couldn't hit Santorum on everything he wanted to in one single ad.  Ouch.  Santorum says he voted for NCLB and "I shouldn't have."  On right to work, Santorum says he supports it.

Juan Williams asks Santorum if "barbed personal attacks" should be abandoned.  Dumb question.  Santorum hits Romney with question about a negative ad his PAC ran.  Romney dodges the question from Santorum and says "We've got plenty of time, I'll get to it when I want to."  The crowd is applauding Santorum who is really drawing blood here.  "It's MLK day!" he says.  The question is about felons being allowed to vote.  "I don't believe that people who have committed violent crimes should be allowed to vote again," Romney says.

Santorum calls him on it.  Bam!

Santorum is relentless on this and Mitt is stuttering. 

Update 5:  Perry just stuck them both by pointing out that the "Washington insiders" need to get out of it and let the states decide.  Applause.

Update 6:  Fox sets Romney up give a summary of his "conservative" positions.  He's pro-life, he says, against gay marriage, believes in freedom and free enterprise, on and on and on.  Oh, and not a flip-flopper.  Yeah, okay.

Juan to Perry on the voter ID law in South Carolina.  Are you suggesting on this MLK day that the federal government should not scrutinize the voting laws in states where blacks were once denied the right to vote?

Perry's response is that the federal government should stay out of it and pulls the right to work issue into it as well.  He says this administration is at war against religion too, for that matter.  Strong answer by Perry, I think.  "South Carolina is at war against the federal government."  Huge applause, too.

Update 7:  When asked how long someone should be able to draw unemployment checks, Newt says it should all be tied to a training program.  "99 weeks is an Associates Degree!" he says, to applause.  Newt just called Obama "the food stamp president."  Heh!

Update 8: Romney:  our tax rates are too high and regulations too burdensome.  We have an energy policy that doesn't take advantage of our natural resources.  This president has opened no new markets around the world.  Bailouts aren't the answer.

To Ron Paul a defense cuts question:  "what do you say to people in this state" that worry that your positions will cost jobs?  Paul says we would not be weaker under his policies and says he gets lots of donations from active military.  "There's a difference between military spending and defense spending," Paul points out.  Building embassies is not defense spending "it's waste," he says. 

What is the highest federal income tax any American should have to pay?
Flat tax - Perry
25% - Romney
15% - Newt
0% - Ron Paul

Question to Mitt:  "Will you release your income tax records?"  Romney says he looked at what other candidates like Bush and Reagan did, they released in April.  He'll probably do that in April, then.  He's stammering on this a bit.  "What's happened in history is that people released them in April and that's what I'll probably do."

Update 9:  Why is every question from Juan Williams race related?  He's asking Ron Paul now about disparate numbers between arrested blacks and whites.

Next he goes to Newt and asks if he could be perceived as anti-black.  "Only the elites despise earning money," he says.  Juan says people of all races ask him if Newt's comments are "anti-poor."  Juan gets boo'd.  "It sounds as if you're trying to belittle people," when you use the term "food stamp president," Juan says.  Newt schools him on political correctness and using uncomfortable facts.  The crowd stands and applauds.

Juan should be under the desk about now.

Update 10:  Ron Paul gets to spend a long time rambling about his foreign policy position.  He sounds nuts.

Newt is strong on the Bin Laden question - "He's not a Chinese dissident!"; in other words, you kill your enemies.

Going to Romney after Paul only makes Romney sound more sensible.  A run over dog would sound more sensible than Ron Paul when he gets cranked up on "all these WARS!!!"

Mitt says we "absolutely not" negotiate with the Taliban.  "We should not negotiate with the Taliban, we should defeat the Taliban!"

Update 11: Rick Santorum does not support a military mission into Syria but wants the international community to help remove Assad.

To Rick Perry:  "Does Turkey still belong in NATO?"

He advocates cutting foreign aid to zero.  "Our president has a foreign policy that makes our allies very nervous and emboldens our enemies."  I'm not sure he answered that question, exactly.

Perry has mentioned his military service several times in this debate.  Somehow the marine urination video comes up here.  He blasts Biden for calling those Marines despicable, and he says "Let me tell you what is despicable: cutting Danny Pearl's head off" is despicable.  Hanging our contractors from bridges is despicable, he says.  Applause.  Perry suggests that this administration has strong disdain for our military.

Update 12:  When asked if he would have signed the national defense act as written, Mitt says yes.  He gets boo'd.

Pivot to the housing market - Perry basically says to get the federal government out of it.

To Newt - a Social Security question.  The Chilean model comes back out.

Update 13: Santorum and Newt duke it out on Social Security.  Santorum calls Newt's privatization "irresponsible" right now.  Newt defends the personal savings account model.  Draw.

Romney agrees with Santourm:  "Rick is right," he says.

Update 14:  A gun owners question for Romney from Juan.  No race baiting on this one.  "How can you convince gun owners you will be an advocate for them?"   Mitt says he's signed pro-gun legislation in his state.  He disagrees with new legislation and does not believe in new laws restricting gun use and gun owners.  Juan asks Mitt if he's gone hunting since '07.  Yep - elk hunting, he says.  Heh - Romney says Rick Perry is probably a more serious hunter than he is.  Perry agrees.

Update 15:   Santorum attacks Ron Paul on gun liability.  Sigh.

Woah.  Newt just jabbed Romney saying if he can't control his SuperPAC "it makes you wonder how much influence he would have as president."  Random.

Final update:  We end with Romney disavowing SuperPacs and Perry vowing to secure the border.  Who won this one?  Man.  Tough one.  They all had strong moments.  To my mind, though, this is the first time Romney took any hits.  Perry continues to improve.  Newt was strong as was Santorum. 

Glad it's over. 

Heigh ho - there's another damn debate this week! Thursday?   Good grief.

Leaves and Acorns

<------- is what I did yesterday and today.  I raked up 17 bags of leaves (and acorns), filled two trashcans with sticks, pruned three crape myrtle trees and blew of the driveway twice.

As I was raking today the acorns were falling so fast it sounded like popcorn in a microwave.   Like hail hitting the cars.


Time for a beer.

Debate Prep

Another day, another Republican debate.  This time from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Watch live here.  The moderators will be Bret Baier of Fox News' 'Special Report' and Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal.  Kickoff:  9 ET, 8:00 SIGIS time.

SIGIS will be live-blogging, of course.  Professor Jacobson will be covering at his place, too.

In the meantime, here's your debate prep:

We are down to five now that Huntsman has bowed out.  Michael D. Shear and NYT has What to Watch for in Tonight's Debate.

Nate Silver has a poll analysis and says Romney is it.

Newt says he can unite Republicans.

Senator Jim DeMint won't endorse but he does predict Romney wins S.C.

South Carolina state Senator Tom Davis has endorsed Ron Paul.

Christian conservative leaders have gone with Rick Santorum although there are now cries that the vote was rigged.

Rick Perry joins the chorus of those who want Mitt Romney to release his tax returns.

Cognitive Disonance will have Bingo cards for the debate up shortly.

As for me, as long as there are no long dissertations on contraceptives again, I guess it'll all be a win. 

Live-blogging later, folks.

"Are You Better off Today Than You Were Four Trillion Dollars Ago?"

Rick Perry filed a great performance Saturday night at the second Huckabee forum in South Carolina. 

I particularly liked this segment:

The polls are not favoring Perry, of course, although some polls have Perry making gains ahead of Santorum in South Carolina this week.

Pundette is still on the Perry bandwagon:

His limited-government message, with his impressive record as Texas governor to back it up, should appeal to conservatives who understand the terrible mess we're in.

I'm still there, too.  So he had some poor debates...he's more than made up for those in his most recent performances.  Perry's record in Texas is more consistent and conservative than Romney's record; Santorum's conservatism can't stack up to Perry's, and Newt has so many issues I find myself wondering why he's still polling so high.

It's time for people to take a second look at Perry before it's too late.  The media has already anointed Romney as the nominee.  That's enough to give me pause.  Team Obama's obvious glee in a Romney nomination is enough to stop me in my tracks. 

Rick Perry is the leader we need to get us out of this mess.  No doubt in my mind.

Pajamas in Public

How concerned are you that you might go to your local CVS or Target and find some person in their pajamas walking the aisles?  Is this a big concern for you?

It is to District 3 Caddo Commissioner Michael Williams:

Caddo Parish District 3 Commission Michael Williams said it was an incident at a local Walmart that offended him and some elderly customers that spurred him to push for an ordinance that would prohibit wearing pajama pants in public."I saw a group of young men wearing pajama pants and house shoes," he said. "At the part where there should have been underwear," his private parts were showing through the fabric.

Offensive?  You bet.  Nanny state?  Yep.  Trying to legislate common sense?  Absolutely.

Passing a law like this might put the People of Walmart site out of business.

Of course the ACLU has already come out against the proposed ordinance:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana released a letter from Executive Director Marjorie R. Esman Friday afternoon, saying “clothing is a form of expression protected under the Constitution of the United States.”

I agree with Commissioner Williams that this is inappropriate behavior but I have concerns about legislating things like this.  We've all seen the sagging pants and I remember the discussion when a no-sagging ordinance was passed:  many people insisted it was just a passing fad and would go away on its own.  (It hasn't.)  Others said the ordinance was "profiling" and would target certain groups.  (It didn't).  Overall, the sagging ordinance in Shreveport has resulted in 31 misdemeanor charges since it was passed in 2011.

Is this a sign of an overall decline in America?  Inconsideration of others?  Or is it just poor "home-training?"  Laziness?

I'm reminded of my mother and grandmother who would never consider going out shopping without stockings and gloves on.  You dressed to go downtown!  What would grandmother think of the young mother with three kids going to Walmart in her Family Guy pjs and slippers to buy PopTarts?

Since we already have indecency laws on the books, possibly we should just consider going with that one if some guy wants to go to Walmart with his junk exposed.

Added:  After I posted this I went to Super One (local supermarket) and lo and behold...a gentleman about 50 or so was walking with a young child through the grocery store.  He was wearing a fur hat, a white crew neck t-shirt, and cartoon print black pajama pants with his slide on fuzzy slippers.  

Photo credit:  Mike Silva - The Shreveport Times

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around: The Good Friends, Good Times Edition

We're lounging around today just watching football and snacking on football-watching-food;  the Saints are having a tough time with the 49ers.  The second half just started.  Mr. SIGIS yells at the TV a lot when we watch sports.  The World Series nearly did him in.

We went to Hangar 2 on base last night; it was a light crowd (holiday weekend) so our DJ friend, Larry, played lots of Jerry Jeff Walker for us in anticipation of our February date to see him.  It's a nice bar, Hangar 2, and one of those places where we have good friends and have good times.  That's our "bar-guard," Joy, pictured left.  She makes a mean beef Thai salad! 

That said, we were home early and I got up this morning, hit a couple of estate sales, then went to my mom's.  The rest of the day has been fairly lazy. 

Let's look at some links:

We'll start off with my currently featured blog, Andy's Place.  I can't explain why but his latest video made me laugh until I nearly cried.  Goofy as shit!  I loved it so much I even made Mr. SIGIS watch it and he laughed too. 

Doug Ross has Obama's new campaign poster.

Legal Insurrection's Saturday Night Card game is up.

American Power has video of Liz Cheney blasting Obama's defense cuts.

Smitty has a little video of John Wayne on liberals.  Stacy McCain thinks it's time for Rick Perry to get out of the race.

Fuzzy is on a rant and reminds us all to keep our focus.

Pirate's Cove has a bleak outlook for all those green ventures.

Althouse celebrates 8 years.

Bride of Rove is reading Steyn's After America has has thoughts.

Reaganite Republican ponders the consequences of a third-party run.

Pundette explains Stephanopoulous's strange obsession with contraceptives at the NH debate.

Ed Driscoll has a totally depressing post about a world with no bookstores or video stores. 

Sarah continues to live with a black cloud above her but manages to make it hilarious all the same.

And that's a wrap.  The Saints are stressing me out.  Here's a little Jerry Jeff Walker for you: love this song:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thank You Senator Peacock!

Back in October I endorsed Barrow Peacock for Louisiana Senate 37 in his race against term limited Rep. Jane Smith and I took some heat on this blog for it in the comments:

Thankfully, people do not take stock in what a low traffic blogger has to say about politics. Your bias against Representative Smith discredits you as a viable source of anything other then ignorant opinions.

I have to say, we at SIGIS enjoyed the give and take on that one!  (It got worse from there.)  Heh! 

 Mr. Peacock won that race and this week he showed his constituents why we voted for him.  He was the lone vote against John Alario for Senate president.

John Alario has served as an elected politician for 41 years now;  thirty-seven of those years he served as a Democrat until he decided it would be politically expedient to switch to Republican.  I wrote about Governor Jindal's outrageous support of Alario in late October.

John Alario was quite open at the time of his party switch about the fact that the switch was motivated by political expediency.

From my American Thinker article in November:

Alario was elected to the House in 1972, was term-limited in 2007, and decided to run for the Senate.  His primary goal was to serve as Senate president.  As Alario said:
"Whether I'm a Democrat or Republican or the Whig party, I'd like to be president of the Senate," Alario said. Switching parties "certainly plays into the politics of the situation ... it doesn't hurt to be in that party."

If this happens, Alario will become the second politician in Louisiana history to be president of both chambers, but to attain that objective, he needed to change parties, after 37 years, from Democrat to Republican.
At any rate, the election has come to pass.  Alario has been elected and as demanded by his constituents, Senator Barrow Peacock was the lone vote against him:
The lone vote against Alario was cast by Sen. Barrow Peacock, R-Shreveport. He said after the housekeeping legislative session at the inauguration that he promised his conservative district during the campaign that he would vote against Alario. "It was a campaign issue in District 37," Peacock said.

Senator Peacock chose to stand up against career politicians and the good ol' boy system.  

The only question now is will he be punished with a sorry committee assignment or ostracized by the system?  

SIGIS thanks Senator Peacock for his courage in taking a stand and for honoring his promises.  This is the kind of politician we need - one who recognizes he is a public servant, not there to feed from the taxpayer trough for 41+ years. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Loose Thoughts

I've just got some quick links this afternoon.  Too much going on in real life right now: the new semester started and I'm working on getting my new kids settled and accustomed to the routine of M205.  This takes lots of planning, even after 16 years.  On top of that, we lost a friend to cancer this week (only 46!) and that's been sad.  The debacle in New Orleans didn't help last night, either.  

For New Hampshire results, stay with Legal Insurrection tonight.  I'm not too interested in NH for some reason.  Any state that rates Jon Huntsman that high has got to have issues.  Not to alienate my NH friends, but..., well, maybe it's just everything else going on.  I just can't drum up the enthusiasm.  Might just be the crop of candidates in general.  Who knows.

Didn't Christopher get whacked in the sixth season of The Sopranos?

Erick Erickson still has hope for Rick Perry.  As do I, but it looks grim.  Like LSU in the third quarter last night.

Pundette's "disordered thoughts" are so totally not disordered. 

Why wasn't Johnny Depp on the WH visitor's log

I'm going to curl up with a book and nurse my wounds.  Behave yourselves.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Live-Blogging the New Hampshire Debate

Start up in a couple of minutes.

Update 1:   You can watch on ABC's site if you've got NFL on your TV!

Mitt comes out swinging on Obama blaming him for the jobless rate.  Santorum points to Iran as "the most pressing issue today," but I'd bet all those jobless people think the economy is the most pressing issue.

Newt defends free enterprise.

Stephanopoulos questions Mitt's jobs created numbers.

Huntsman says his record in Utah is better than Perry's in Texas.  Why is he going after Perry who is floundering in the polls?  Romney says having jobs experience is necessary to creating jobs (something Obama wouldn't know about).

Ron Paul rises to Stephanopoulos's bait and goes after Rick Santorum as a "big government person."

Santorum:  "I'm a conservative, I'm not a libertarian."  Defends his record as protecting the interests of his state.  Ron Paul comes back and accuses Santorum again of being a big government person.

Is Rick Perry here?

Update 2:  Ah, here comes Perry.  After the Ron Paul/Rick Santorum bickering, Perry cites too much Washington insider experience;  Perry says with the exception of Huntsman, he's probably the only outsider in the race.

Ron Paul attacks Santorum for voting to increase the national debt.  Santorum is on shaky ground, I think, trying to defend increasing the debt ceiling.

Diane Sawyer jumps in with a national security question.  She goes to Huntsman with a question on Iran.  "Why would you be better as commander in chief than anyone else on this stage," she asks.  Huntsman says his was the best managed state in America and he created jobs.  It's all about trust, he says.  Americans don't trust their leaders anymore.

Sawyers continues the baiting and offers Huntsman the chance to go after "someone on this stage," but he refuses.

Same question to Romney who says that anyone can do better than Obama.  He cites Obama's total lack of experience upon election and he's made one error after another.  He's blasting Obama on his Iran policy.  "This is a failed presidency."

Romney refuses to attack his fellow candidates.

To Perry:  "Do you believe that having worn the uniform of our country better prepares you" to be president?  Perry says yep and then pivots back to Iran.  You cannot cut one trillion dollars from America's defense budget and believe that we won't be compromised, he says.  Obama simply doesn't understand the military.  Excellent answer. 

Newt cites his father's military service and his experience growing up in a military family.  About veterans, Newt says, "I feel for veterans." 

Ron Paul comes after Newt for his military deferments and Newt gets rankled.  Accuses Paul of being dishonest. "Newt:  I wasn't eligible for the draft."

Paul gets asked about the newsletters and he says it has already been explained.

Ron Paul turns this question into some civil rights, Rosa Parks moment and says blacks are disproportionately arrested and sent to death row.  The drug laws are "unfairly enforced" he says.


Update 3:   Why in the world are they spending so much time on the right to contraceptives?

This debate doesn't seem to be firing well; the candidates are seldom sure what the question is and end up answering about whatever topic they want to answer.

Diane Sawyer tries to lead them into the gay marriage issue.  Huntsman is all for civil unions which "add dignity" to a relationship.  Romney stands by his position that marriage is between a man and a woman.  He says children will be better off if they're raised in a setting with a male and a female.

Newt seems disgusted that they've spent so much time on "these issues," and takes off on media bias and the Catholic church.

Did Romney just say that John Adams wrote the Constitution?  Hunh?
Update 4:   Santorum gets schooled by Ron Paul for interrupting him.  I don't mean to be petty, really, but I could not stand four years of listening to Ron Paul's whiny voice.

Ah.  Perry is still here.  On third party candidates, Perry rejects that question and opts to answer someone else's gay marriage question.  He blasts this administration for its war on religion.

Jon Huntsman says the Taliban is no longer in power.  For now.

Newt runs through all of the foreign policy pitfalls that lie ahead and paints a scary picture.

Santorum fires back at Obama on foreign policy; the moderators continue to bait the candidates against each other.  The candidates need to reject the baiting and stay focused on Obama.

Update 5:  Perry says he would sent troops back into Iraq.  Ooops.   He says "this president just wants to cowtow to his liberal leftist base."  He says Iran will move back in and all our efforts will have been done for nothing.

That won't help him in the polls any.

Newt says if you're worried about the Iranians in Iraq then deal with Iran.  Good point.

I'm not loving this debate.  No questions on Fast 'n Furious; little discussion of the economy.  Baiting and pitting the candidates against each other.

Update 6:   Mitt Romney hasn't taken any hits at all tonight.

Diane Sawyer is warming up to a jobs question about investing in infrastructure and economic growth.  Yawn...Romney is all for it.  Like, who wouldn't be?  He points out that government doesn't create jobs.

I'm sure Perry is itching to get in on this question.  After his send troops back to Iraq bomb, he needs to do some damage control.

Newt says you can't compete with China if you don't have a decent infrastructure.  He supports and energy program that breaks us free from foreign oil and would invest some of those proceeds to infrastructure.

Huntsman is off on the tax code tangent and supports Simpson-Bowles

Romney suggests we are "only inches away from no longer being a free economy."  The middle class has been hurt in the Obama economy, he says.  Simpson-Bowles becomes Bowles-Simpson under Mitt Romney, who also supports it but does not support raising capital gains taxes.

Rick Perry is being ignored again.  Still.  Huntsman is getting much more airtime than Perry.

Update 7:   Perry finally throws himself into the debate by answering a question when not called upon.  He spins off his "get America workin' again" spiel and gets applause.

Huntsman seems to be getting more air time than anyone else.

Romney rejects a question from the moderator and blasts the moderators, gently, about not being focused on the important issues, like the fate of America.   He's off on an apparently untimed speech about what America needs and how we don't need to be like Europe.  He's hammering Obama pretty eloquently.  Score for Mitt.

Mitt gets applause at the end of his speech.

Update 8:  Newt tries to land some hits on Romney saying Romney's plan is a little cautious and not as bold as his own.

Santorum seconds that.

Santorum rejects the term "middle-class" and says there are "no classes in America."  Hunh?  His bigger point is about not waging class warfare but it is awkwardly stated.

Romney blasts Obama for not opening up trade; he's defending his growth plan and insists it is bolder than they give him credit for.  Cites his business experience and his knowledge of regulations.  He steals Rick Perry's line and says he will "get America workin' again."

Shocker.  Back to Huntsman.  More air time than anyone so far.

Update 9: Romney interrupts Huntsman and says uh, excuse me, but you were working for Obama, dude.  China is hacking into our systems, manipulating their currency, stealing patents from us, and you were right there.  Ouch.  If I'm president I'm not going to spend my time talking about how great China is.

If you're playing the drinking game you just got the jackpot - Huntsman responded in Chinese.  Oh.My.God.

Update 10:  Close and wrap up now.  What else would you be doing if you were here tonight, is the question.  Perry:  At the shooting range.  Newt:  watching football.  Same for Santorum.  Ron Paul would be reading an economic textbook.  Huntsman would be on the phone with his two sons in the US Navy. 

Thankfully this horrid debate is over.  Too full of non-issues and too full of candidate baiting.  Nobody laid a glove on Romney, Perry was ignored, Huntsman got way too much air time for a non-contender nationally.  Santorum seemed a bit stiff and off his game.  Maybe that's just him, though.

When the highlight of the debate is Huntsman's Chinese, well, hell.  It's not good. 

Romney came off good when he blasted Huntsman for defending China and for his service for Obama. 

I rather missed Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann.

If you care, there's another debate on Meet the Press tomorrow.  I think I'll be skipping that one.  I've had enough.

Back to the Saints game now.