Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ornstein and Mann Identify the Problem in Washington: Republicans

You might have missed this one, concerned as I know all of you were with the annual White House Correspondent's Circus Dinner and the prospect of a Lindsay Lohan/Kim Kardashian throw-down.  Is there any better symbol apropos of our government?  But, I digress.

No, on Friday, really, really famous and really, really respected Washington based political scientists Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann (with a book out next week) took the pages of the Washington Post to inform us all of what their forty years (each) of experience has led them to conclude. "We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party. The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition."  There you have it folks.  It's the Republicans fault.

I urge you to read the whole article.  What fascinates is the easy/breezy way that the two present their "studying Washington politics and Congress..." as if it is, in fact, fact.  And because one of the criticisms they levy against Republicans is a rejection of logic and science, well of course, then any objection to what they write must rightly then simply be a manifestation of the same Republican pathology that caused all this mess.  Get it?

This kind of (il)logic is familiar to anyone who spends time around liberals, who tend to present their views as if ideology were non-existent and whatever it is they think springs solely from the font of reasonable, logical policy-making.   Again-this sets up and feeds their accompanying view that any objections thereto are in fact SOLELY ideological, and without basis in logic, a practice I believe Jonah Goldberg treats in his upcoming book "The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas" (which goes on sale 1 May).

Ornstein and Mann lay it out in such a reasonable manner that there cannot possibly be any objection.  If one objects by pointing out that the Democratic Party has been captured by its baser fringe, that it has in fact moved as far left as the Republicans have moved right--we get this:  "The post-McGovern Democratic Party, by contrast, while losing the bulk of its conservative Dixiecrat contingent in the decades after the civil rights revolution, has retained a more diverse base. Since the Clinton presidency, it has hewed to the center-left on issues from welfare reform to fiscal policy. While the Democrats may have moved from their 40-yard line to their 25, the Republicans have gone from their 40 to somewhere behind their goal post."  And how do we know this is true?  Why, because they SAY it is true, and they are not ideological--therefore, they must be right. The complete disappearance of a pro-life wing of the Democratic Party?  Nah.  Not evidence.  The embrace of the the "Occupy" movement by the leadership of the Party?  Nah. Not evidence.  The savagery of the opposition to George W. Bush?  Dismissed thusly:  "No doubt, Democrats were not exactly warm and fuzzy toward George W. Bush during his presidency. But recall that they worked hand in glove with the Republican president on the No Child Left Behind Act, provided crucial votes in the Senate for his tax cuts, joined with Republicans for all the steps taken after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and supplied the key votes for the Bush administration’s financial bailout at the height of the economic crisis in 2008. The difference is striking."  Eight years of venom against GWB is elsewhere sloughed off as "Democrats are hardly blameless, and they have their own extreme wing and their own predilection for hardball politics. But these tendencies do not routinely veer outside the normal bounds of robust politics. If anything, under the presidencies of Clinton and Obama, the Democrats have become more of a status-quo party. They are centrist protectors of government, reluctantly willing to revamp programs and trim retirement and health benefits to maintain its central commitments in the face of fiscal pressures."  

So when Democrats do it, it is within the bounds of robust politics, especially when their "status quo" approach of being "...centrist protectors of government, reluctantly willing to revamp programs and trim retirement and health benefits to maintain its central commitments in the face of fiscal pressures."  is---and I stress it once again--so damn REASONABLE and RATIONAL.  Please read this once again, friends.  Is the Democratic Party you know willing to (reluctantly or otherwise) revamp programs and trim retirement and health benefits?  Where is that happening?  Please, someone--anyone, give me that information.  The very same newspaper that published this heap of steaming dung masquerading as scholarship published an insider's view of the great debt compromise breakdown last Summer between Speaker Boehner and the President--which ultimately broke down NOT because of Republican intransigence but because of the President's cowardice toward his own, unready to compromise, ideologically emboldened base by taking $800B in new revenue vs. $1.2T.  Presumably Mann and Ornstein "missed" this one in their forty years of study and research into the nature of the current logjam.

Nowhere in this treatment of the ideologically unhinged Republican Party is there even a shred of discussion about what it is the two sides are fighting about, what it is that is at stake.  What Mann and Ornstein dismiss as "...fiscal pressures..." is more to the point, the bankrupting of a great country.  What Mann and Ornstein dismiss as ideologically driven objections to reasonable and sensible programs to provide healthcare and other entitlements is--in the view of Republicans--continuing to dig when you are already in an abyss of debt.  The President ran on criticizing GWB for running up $5T in debt in eight years, only to equal that number in a third of the time--and not a peep from our wizened old think tankers, Ornstein and Mann.  It isn't WHAT they are objecting to that has them so riled up, it is the WAY they object.  So damn unreasonable.  So  inconvenient.

Update:  Yet another--and better done--disputation of Mann and Ornstein.

Friday, April 27, 2012

CW Romney Fund Goes Over $7000!

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, we have collectively chipped in over $7000 to the Romney for President campaign.  Lots of work left to do, and a lot of time between now and the day we eject Mr. Obama from Mitt's House.  Please consider making a donation by clicking this link--and don't forget to check the box stating that you know your referrer!

Big Fat Friday Free for All

Whazzup?   Happy that American Crossroads is already in the game with a great ad?   Disappointed in your football team's draft performance?   Vaguely uncomfortable that the Vice President is telling us that the President has a big stick? Emote, people. We're here for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Woman in picture is NOT the author of this post!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Reflections on the John Edwards Trial

Does anyone care about this stupid story?  Really, is this guy's trial worth any press at all, much less than the coverage it's getting on every network and news site?  I say no, this is even less interesting than the Casey Anthony news overload, and I doubt anyone is that fascinated by it.   So why the coverage, when there was a total lack of interest four years ago?

Maybe it's just too salacious a story for reporters to ignore, but I think the media is trying to right the egregious wrong of ignoring the story the first time around, when the National Enquirer was left to cover it.

This is NOT a defense of John Edwards...just a criticism of the breathless coverage of it.     

Newt Gingrich is a Grown-up. Rick Santorum...Not so Much

Despite his petulance, childishness and arrogance during the campaign, it appears Newt Gingrich is finally accepting reality.  While he may have been a bit late in coming to this reality, he sounds ready to get behind Romney and to help unify the party.  Thanks to some of his behavior during the campaign, one could safely assume that that was a marriage that was not ever going to make it to the altar.  Yet he's accepted Romney as the nominee and is offering his support, despite the animosity displayed toward him these past few months.

Rick Santorum, on the other hand, appears to be a bit more reluctant to get behind the Mittster.   The support he's offered has been tepid at best, and he won't come out and use the word 'endorse.'  (Though I suppose that's frankly silly at this point.)   If he'd done better or contributed something substantive to the debate over the last year, he'd probably be in a position to bargain for something.  But one could make the case that Santorum really brought the conversation down; his anti-contraception rants have contributed mightily to the folly of the 'GOP War on Women' meme.  His intolerance has really helped color the GOP as intolerant in general.   While the media helped fan those flames, he surely knew the playing field.  Grow up, Rick, and help retire O.  Or shut up.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Campaign Finance--Still Broken

WaPost on the shadow fundraising efforts of both parties.  Bottom line for me?  No limits, total transparency. 

Obama Solves Illegal Immigration

Chalk up yet another accomplishment for our water lowering, land raising, hope and changing President. He solved our illegal immigration problem with Mexico.  How'd he do it?  Why, he harnessed the free market of course.  Seems that if you drive OUR economy into the toilet, the incentive to swim/climb is diminished, and you stay where you are.  No word yet on Mexico's protests of illegal American immigration....

"It's Still the Economy....and We're Not Stupid!"

Go ahead.  Watch it.  Tell me you don't want this man to be the next President.  Tell me he isn't going to take the fight right to the President.  Tell me he's not going to remind Americans every day between now and November 6 that we elected a President without a record of accomplishment, and now that he has one, it isn't much to crow about. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oooo Ahhhh, Oooo baaaa maaa!

Surfeited academics, discontented leftists and simpleminded college students were absolutely rapturous today at the sight of our acclaimed and esteemed leader Barack Hussein Obama as he spoke at North Carolina's flagship institute of higher education, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The President reassured the crowd of malcontents, eggheads and women's studies majors (in his much improved "black" accent) that jobs were waiting just around the corner, although the economic recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression which he inherited from the Republicans and George W. Bush was in no way the fault of the Democrats or more precisely himself. He warned the assemblage that they would almost assuredly be required to repay their government backed student loans, per the terms of their contracts, should the Republicans be allowed to "take over". He also reiterated that should the unthinkable happen, women would be debased, minorities would be subjugated and old people would be euthanized.

All in all a wonderful day at Carmichael Auditorium (capacity 10,000) and much more intimate than his last appearance at the Dean E. Smith Center (capacity 21,500) in 2008.

Have You Made Your Romney for President Contribution?

We had a $2500 donation yesterday that pumped us up to our current grand total nearing $7000.  Who will put us over that figure?  What great patriot will step up and help stop the failed Obama Presidency?  Are you with me?  To contribute, click this link and don't forget to check the box that states you know your referrer. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Narcissism Alert

The Prez tweets the following today:

Meeting President Obama at a party hosted by George Clooney—check two things off your life list:

Does O really think that meeting Obama is on everyone's bucket list?

Let's Do the Math

Obama's job approval
Colorado 53
Florida 47.5
Iowa 45
Nevada 49
NH 45
NM 52
NC 45
Ohio 46.0
Pa 45.6
Virginia 47.3
Wis 51.3

This is what the numbers look like now. These are not Romney vs. Obama polls, I'm basing this on job approval numbers which is a bank-shot at best. But it should be close enough for discussion purposes because as Dick (can I suck your toes baby?) Morris is fond of saying, most undecideds go to the challenger.
In the swing states Obama is looking good in Colorado, New Mexico and Wisconsin. So, if the election were held today, with the traditionally Democratic states listed above plus these three, Obama would be at 236, 34 shy of 270. Now, let's say he picks up all the states within striking distance (47 and above), then good night Irene, he wins at 284. But what if he doesn't? He could win CO, NM and WI along with all the smaller states (IA, NV, NH) while adding either VA or NC, and still be 3 or 4 short. What this all boils down to is Obama will have to pick up at least two big states (FL, NC, OH, PA or VA) to win, and at this point in time VA and FL are the most competitive and they would indeed lock it up for him. Obviously the key here is Florida. Take Florida away and Obama has to be nearly perfect everywhere else, and that's easier said than done. Plus the Dems must be worrying about New Jersey, Michigan and Minnesota which are potential pick-offs for the Republicans. A misstep in either of these would make Obama's already precarious situation hopeless.
A lot of things can change before election day and there are countless permutations and possibilities, but in my view the President is in trouble. And if Romney picks Rubio for VP, then turn out the lights the party is over.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"If I Wanted America to Fail..."

Got 4:39?  Take a look at this video.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's got you down, chum?  A bit of undigested dog got your bowels in an uproar?  Suddenly finding yourself in a tight race?  Tired of the "sticker shock" of South American escorts?  Fess up, then!  Today is your day, and this is the place!

Have You Made Your Romney For President Contribution Yet?

Folks, I think the last two weeks has really shown what the contest is going to be like with Romney as the candidate.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the combined forces of the GOP machine working in his favor, all the while he was focusing his message squarely on the President.  The campaign is expanding and bringing on more full-time folks to raise money in order to target the dozen or so states that will be in play this Fall (which include NC and VA, to my readers in those states/commonwealths).

Dig deep folks, and let's keep the momentum going.  Click this link to contribute, and don't forget to check the block indicating that you know your referrer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What Do Democrats Have Against Individual Achievement?

The President recently reached into the Elizabeth Warren campaign manual to inform us that "...I believe in investing in basic research and science because I understand that all these extraordinary companies that are these enormous wealth-generators -- many of them would have never been there;  Google, Facebook would not exist, had it not been for investments that we made as a country in basic science and research."  Warren, as you recall, confidently informed us that "I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever. No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did."  

In each case, lip service is given to the genius of individual achievement while trumpeting the benefits of collective processes.  This is of course, not by accident.  These are the statements of minds shaped by socialism and bathed in the rhetoric of the new left, one in which capitalism is tolerated as a necessary evil to be guided and controlled by wisdom of the State; ever-mindful and all-knowing. 

The logic here is breathtaking, as if the true genius at work was in the accretion and exercise of government power, while groundbreaking advances achieved by individuals are treated as the mundane, predictable results of enlightened policy. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Romney Has a Problem With SOME Women

Ok, let's get real. Romney doesn't have a problem with women, he has a problem with SOME women. Hardcore leftist women, lesbians, women who work in government or academia, women who have inherited money and "never gotten off their asses to work" (to quote Bill Maher) and women who live off government subsistence; those are the women Romney has a problem with. Working women, stay at home moms running a household and women entrepreneurs are firmly in the Romney camp. I'm talking about women like our wives and mothers, the ones who buy the groceries, fill up the mini-van and pay the taxes; those are Romney's women.

Producers are producers, leaches are leaches, and never the twain shall meet. And guess what?  Pocketbook issues don't have a whole helluva lot to do with gender regardless of the media spin. So don't worry about it, Romney will get his share of the women vote. And those other women? They can go to hell.

If Al Franken Can Get Elected, Why Not Kim?

Publicity whore Kim Kardashian, she of the generous booty and a degree of fame and fortune that defies all logic, is looking to expand her profile.

She's going to run for mayor in the city of Glendale, California. In, like, 5 years.

And were she to win, she'd be far from the worst California politician.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

David Axelrod Signs on as Romney Advisor

Well, not really, but he sure made the case for Mitt on Chris Wallace's show this morning:
“The choice in this election is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead and their kids a chance to get ahead, and an economy that continues down the road we are on."
I'm fairly certain that's what Romney's been trying to say, but it's awfully helpful to hear it from Team O.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Debbie Gets a Makeover

New hair (good work, Deb!) and what appears to be a new nose. No word yet on the voice, snarl, personality or viewpoints. Still, a journey of a thousand miles...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Good day, friends.  What has you troubled?  Your lame potshot at stay at home mothers got you in hot water with your own party?  Ran for President for 18 months and all you have to show for it is a T-shirt?  Share your troubles and concerns.  Today is your day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Game On: The Race is Set. Have You Contributed Yet?

Rick Santorum did the right thing yesterday, after trying everything else.  His nearly certain loss in the upcoming PA primary would have put a sad punctuation point on a candidacy of some attraction within the GOP.

Mitt Romney will be our nominee, and he will take it to Barack Obama in a way that will make Republicans proud.  You want an election with a clear choice--well, here it comes.

Please consider a donation to the Romney for President Campaign, which you can do by clicking this link.  We haven't had a contribution through The Conservative Wahoo site in almost a month, so please do what you can.  If you have already contributed, thank you--but would you consider more?  Individuals can contribute up to $2500 for the Primary and then another $2500 for the general election. 

Mr. Obama is traveling around the country to $40,000 a plate fundraisers talking about "fairness" in the tax code, which he defines as soaking those who already overpay.  We need to defeat this man.  Be a part of it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

For Those Interested in Navy Stuff

My friend the Under Secretary of the Navy and I are having a bit of a back and forth.  See this, this, and this. 

The Great Gender War: Women Win in a Rout!

For about 40 years now women have complained that they haven't been treated fairly. In all walks of life, the complaint went, they were handed the short end of the stick. Their role in our unjust society was as the old German cliche, Kinder, Kuche und Kirche (children, church and kitchen). And it must be said, more often than not they had a point. Women should be paid as well as men for the same job. Women should be given the same opportunities and access, all things being equal.

But the pendulum has swung in their favor, in some areas years ago. Women are the majority on campus in every discipline apart from engineering, and they're quickly catching up there. They earn most of the degrees, graduate and post graduate. Women make up the majority of the labor force. 40% of women make more money than their husbands. Women's healthcare, both funding and research are skewed heavily in their favor. And it goes on and on.

But now we have reached the point of diminishing returns. Women quite obviously no longer need a helping hand, and the unintended consequences of many of these perhaps once needed programs have been to degrade opportunities for men. For example, Title IX was designed to give women more athletic opportunities in high school and college. Ok fair enough, but women are less interested in athletics than men and they tend to participate in non revenue generating sports. And although quotas were specifically prohibited in the law, it would be useless without de-facto quotas. As a result hundreds of men's golf, tennis, track, swimming etc. etc. have been eliminated by schools all across the country. And just for the record I haven't seen any affirmative action for college theatre or dance where males are woefully underrepresented.

The facts are crystal clear. If there is one sex that is falling behind, it ain't women. If the criteria for affirmative action, set asides or quotas is the actual state of men, especially young men, then we need a law for them. Unfortunately perception is not always reality and politics rule the day, and women hold the victim card.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Consorting with the Enemy

Brother Tom, settling. 
This is what happens when you sire children unlikely to be offered admission at Virginia's flagship university in Charlottesville. 

(Sung to the tune of John Denver's "Country Roads)

``Almost high school, Virginia Tech
Herds of cattle, good ol' boys and rednecks
Life is dull there, but we think it's fine
Got me some tobaccey, and Boone's Farm Apple Wine
All dirt roads, lead to Tech
The only place that let me in
Virginia Tech, free diplomas
All dirt roads lead to Tech''

Bubba Wins at Augusta

Take that, stuffy Butler Cabin green jacket ceremony--you had to accept a winner named "Bubba"!  If there is anything more goofy, contrived, anti-climactic and forced than that silly "ceremony" in Butler Cabin after the Masters for the "presentation" of the green jacket, I don't know what it is.  Good on you, Bubba.  Hell, Hammer may become a golf fan now.

2012 Presidential Candidates Relax

Mitt Romney:

Barack Obama

Friday, April 6, 2012

From LAX, Terminal 7

It is 3:11PM on Good Friday in Southern California, where I have been now for 16 hours and from which I will fly (back to Baldy-more, hon) in seven hours.  My business is done for the day, and I am ensconced in the United Club, catching up on email, making a few calls.  Soon, I will insert earplugs and put on a mask and take a bit of a snooze.

This is the trip I tried three weeks ago, but from which United's cancellation of my westbound flight forced a scrub.  A few thoughts?

--I sometimes have pity for conservatives who live in California, what with the taxes they pay and the horrific background noise of omnipresent liberalism. But I no longer pity them.  They really do live in paradise, at least the parts I've been to.  LA is very nice, with the sea and the mountains within sight of each other, and a vibrant, desert climate separating the two.  If they have to pay higher taxes for this, so be it.

--LAX is simply not keeping up with the rest of LA.  It is a bit seedy, sorta run-down.  For some reason, I have a sense that LA should have a hipper airport.  Like Dulles, its dining choices are abysmal.   I may simply gorge on free trail mix in the United Club.

--I made a tactical error on the flight home, choosing an aisle seat for the red-eye.  What I should have done was select the window, as then I could evacuate my kidneys just before the flight and hunker down unmolested for five hours.  Now I will have to deal with my seatmates and their in-flight needs. Curses.

--I am a fan of the red-eye for the eastbound leg of trips to California.  I usually get plenty of sleep and arrive chipper and rested back on the East Coast.  

--There are few things in life as good as Hertz #1 Club.  When I hopped on the Hertz shuttle last night--tired and bedraggled--it was quite crowded.  Upon reaching the car farm, that crowd turned into a customer service line, while I looked for my name, saw my number, and went and got in my car.  I have no clue what this costs me each year, but I would probably pay more.

--I drove a Nissan Sentra as my rental car while here.  Small, but plenty of room and a cavernous trunk.  It seems to me that even relatively low priced cars are pretty good these days, sorta like TV sets.  Remember what low priced cars were like in the 70's?  Man, they sucked.

That's all for now.  Should I think of anything else, I'll let you know.

Friday Veepstakes

Ok, folks.  A new feature.  Every Friday, I want you to comment on this blog post who you think the GOP VP nominee will be.  Not who you want, who you think would be best, who would help the ticket--etc.  But who you actually think it will be.

My guess?  Marco Rubio.  Three-fer--conservative, ethnic, Florida.

Have You Made Your Romney for President Contribution Yet?

Ok folks, no more excuses.  This "I don't want to send my money in, only to have him lose--then where am I?" line doesn't cut it anymore.  Mitt Romney is going to be the nominee, and he's got nearly five full months of campaigning before the general election contribution period starts.  In order to spend the next five months pummeling Barack Obama--he's going to need cash.  Please click this link to show that CW readers get it.  Don't forget to check the box that says you  "know your referrer". 

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Sorry I'm late on this folks, I'm just waking up on the left coast, a little work in Redondo Beach CA.  But it is never too late to whine!  What's on your mind, people?  Falling behind in your home state's primary, you know, the state that sent you packing six years ago?  Wondering if the big guy thinks you are VP material?  Did you leave that $105M lottery ticket in the deep fat fryer at Micky D's?  Tell us about it! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Santorum Taking Four Day Break From Campaign

Perhaps a little time at home with his family will help him conclude that it is time to pack it in

Professor Obama and the Supreme Court

The Washington Post is out today with an editorial lauding the wisdom of the President for toning down his recent criticism of the Supreme Court, which include his horror that “an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law,”  which would be “an unprecedented, extraordinary step.” 

In a speech yesterday before a fawning audience of newspaper editors, the President apparently walked back  from those remarks, after re-familiarizing himself with the concept of judicial review, which Marbury v. Madison established in the early days of our Republic.

It is both predictable and incomprehensible that the Bought and Paid For Media  (BAPFM) has not pounced on the President's earlier words.  Yes--they have reported them, and they have in some cases editorialized against them--but can you imagine the absolute storm of criticism that would have burst forth if GWB had uttered words like the President had?  The vitriol that would have accompanied the reaction from the Press had Sarah Palin spoken like the President?  Any relatively conscious high school junior should be familiar with the concept of judicial review and the role and power of the Supreme Court in our system of checks and balances.

That Mr. Obama lacked the experience and competence for the job of President was known to many of us and has been borne out by events.  That he was unqualified for the role of Constitutional Law Professor (a job he has also held) can now be surmised.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Santorum Must Go

Last night's three state sweep (ok, ok, two states and a federal district) is just the latest event in the now inevitable road to the GOP nomination for Mitt Romney.  Rick Santorum's presence in the race--which at one point had some grounding in both fact and hope--now is grounded in neither. 

1.  Rick Santorum will not amass the required number of delegates between now and the convention. Therefore, he believes he has a chance at a brokered convention.
2.  If the convention is brokered, Rick Santorum's continuing to stay in the race assures that Romeny's supporters will not switch allegiance. If forced to abandon Romney, they would support someone not currently in the race before they would support Santorum.  Given that and  #1, there is no possible way for Rick Santorum to be elected President as a Republican in 2012.
3.  If Santorum has any sense that what he has accomplished is worth repeating in 2016 or beyond, he should understand that the goodwill he has accumulated by running a scrappy campaign has now begun to turn to animosity.
4.  If Santorum stays active in the race and loses Pennsylvania, his political career is over, forever.

You've run a good race, Rick.  But it is time to go.

Jeffrey Stewart, CW March Madness Champ

Jeffrey Stewart, South Boston fashion plate
Jeffrey "Pride of South Boston (Va.)" Stewart demolished the field in this year's CW March Madness Challenge.  Contacted for a quote, Mr. Stewart indicated that he had not time to dwell on this epic victory, as he was preparing a dinner of baked chicken, broccoli, and Lipton chicken noodles for his family.

RankTeam NameScoreCorrectBest ScoreBest CorrectChampion
1Jeff Stewart1484314843Kentucky (157)
2Paul Lyons1143911439Kentucky (141)
3bill bayer1023510235Kentucky (138)
4Jonathan Mosier1013510135Kentucky (165)
5Sean McGrath87418741Michigan St. (155)
6Bryan McGrath81378137North Carolina (158)
7Kevin Mooney64346434North Carolina (145)
8Greg Dail48314831Indiana (176)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Romney Veepstakes

A couple of articles floating around the blogsphere this weekend talking about Romney's VP pick--so it looks like all the cosmic tumblers are beginning to align to bring this GOP primary to a close.  If Santorum gets trounced in three states Tuesday (which I predict---whoops, two states and a federal district), he'll need to think really, really hard how getting beaten in his home state would look in 2016.

Here's a little ditty from the Washington Post on the Romney VP pick.  Chris Cilizza of the Post looks back in history and sees "ideological balance" as being the default approach from GOP nominees, which then would suggest a "conservative" pick for Romney.  He's solid on Rubio and Bobby Jindal, but even a cursory bit of research would have revealed that Chris Christie is NOT a conservative.  He's a fun, blustery guy--but he's NOT a conservative.

So if Cilizza is right--he's overlooked Mitch Daniels--who has huge Tea Party Cred--and he's overlooked the slam dunk, no joke, savior of the conservative wing of the Republican Party--Jim DeMint.

But, what would a strong conservative do on the ticket?  Romney is already going to win the Southern states that Santorum was beating him in, because voters there are not going to vote for Barack Obama.  So, clearly a conservative on the ticket isn't going to help him there.  Where a conservative COULD help out is in swing states where Romney and Obama will contest for independents.  The question for Romney's team will ultimately be--will they get more votes in those states by picking a strong conservative, thereby hoping to increase conservative turnout?  Turns out, I think the answer is no.  I think Romney needs to go after a VP who helps him with moderates--I know, I know--my Tea Party readers are coming out of their chairs.   But one can't forget the electoral college.  Romney has got conservative states locked up.  He needs to win swing states.  Three are a lot more voters in the undecided/independent category than three are voters who will stay home because the ticket is insufficiently conservative.

Marco Rubio's a bit of a two-fer though (and my favorite for the spot).  He's very conservative, he's got ethnic flair, and he's from a HUGE swing state.  Plus, women seem to dig him.  That said, talking with the Kitten yesterday, she said that his looks won't move independent women nearly as much as a woman on the ticket would.  When I mentioned Condi Rice as a possibility, my little lefty love-bug said, "I would have to consider voting for them in that case."

This is gonna be fun.

CW March Madness Challenge--Going Into The Final

RankTeam NameScoreCorrectBest ScoreBest CorrectChampion
1Jeff Stewart1164214843Kentucky (157)
2Sean McGrath87418741Michigan St. (155)
3Paul Lyons823811439Kentucky (141)
4Bryan McGrath81378137North Carolina (158)
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Why We MUST Re-Elect the President

I know what you're thinking: "Hammer, have you gone crazy?" Well, yes actually, but that was years ago. No friends, I'm deadly serious. I've had an epiphany, a revelation, a moment of clarity, whatever you want to call it, and I've concluded we should re-elect President Obama.

Here's why...
•Some of you may not think Obama is up for the job, but the rest of the world does. He continues to be the most popular American President, at least overseas, in my lifetime. We have to live on this planet so we may as well try to get along.
•Why buck the trend? We know socialized medicine, green energy, a weakened USA is coming; it's only a matter of time. So let's adjust to the new reality and get on board the gravy train. You might just like it.
•Things are getting better, whether you acknowledge it or like it is irrelevant. Unemployment is coming down and the stock market is booming. Fat times are just around the corner. It seems Obama has successfully laid the groundwork for a restructured European style economy that works. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.
•Obama is way cool! Do you people actually want some tired old white guy running the show, especially Romney? The press will be writing about how it's "meatloaf Wednesday" at the White House, or how the Romney's refuse to drink wine at State dinners embarrassing hell out of us in front of the Spanish Ambassador. We just can't take a chance on a nerdy Mormon. His wife drives a Cadillac for Pete's sake.

So do what you want, but "The Hammer" is officially and enthusiastically endorsing President Barack Hussein Obama for re-election!

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