No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Day by Day cartoon

Archive for posts by Shoebox.

October 14, 2012

Debate Thunderdome!

Two men enter! One man leaves! Two men enter! One man leaves!

Yes, it’s time for the second Presidential debate. With the Dems down 0-2 and going back to the Great Grimacer, they are in desperate need of at least a tie. If the Dems go down 0-3, even my former home state of Minnesota might have a chance of recovering from the Mondale Muff!

Join us Tuesday evening. I should get it going about 7:45 for you Central timers. As usual, the family friendly light will be out so bring your best snark!

October 10, 2012

VP Debate

Yup, it’s another Thursday and that means another debate!

This time we’ve got Joe “gaffe is my middle name” Biden going up against Paul “I’ve got your balanced budget right here” Ryan.

Join Me and hopefully Steve, for another evening of scoffing, snark and derision. I should have us up live about 7:45 y’alls time.

September 30, 2012

First Presidential Debate

by @ 13:02. Filed under 2012 Presidential Contest.

Update: In a move that has come to be known in Wisconsin as “The Favre,” it is being reported that Steve Egg will be coming out of his self imposed retirement to join the live debate tonight….let’s see if his aging legs serve him better than Favre’s did!

Come one, come all. Bring your booze and your snark. Leave your thin skins at home!

I’ll try to get things rolling by about 7:45 Central

September 28, 2012

Out With a Bang!

Egg has announced that he will be putting up the closed sign here at NRE in the not too distant future. He’s graciously offered for me to take over here but really, can you imagine someone with my green complexion holding down a blog site for runny eggs? ewwwww!

All that said, there’s no reason to let many years of fun and friends go out with a whimper. We need to take advantage of the upcoming debates and take this baby out in style!

There are currently 4 Presidential/VP debates scheduled:

October 3rd at 8 Central
October 11th at 8 Central
October 16th at 8 Central
October 22nd at 8 Central

I’m a little challenged on the 22nd but think I can find a way to get live blogs going for all 4 events. Put these on your calendar today and plan on joining me and maybe Egg if he hasn’t succumbed to the Obamapacolypse by then. The “Family Friendly light” will definitely be extinguished for these events to plan on liquoring up prior to the start of the debate….you won’t want to be sober or sane for even a minute of these events!

Let’s take NRE out not with a whimper or simply a bang. Help me take NRE out in a fully engulfed in flames!

June 27, 2012

I wouldn’t want to be Bo tomorrow!

If you blog about politics, it’s hard not to toss a blog up prior to tomorrow’s announcement re: Placebocare.

I’m on vacation in the great northern parts of Minnesota so this won’t be long. I want it down to play against after the decision is revealed and for posterity…it’s too damn easy to say “yeah, I knew that’s what would happen!”

Placebocare is going down in flames. I say this not because I want it to…I do, but because of the signs along the way.

Ginsberg inkled the decision a few weeks back when she said that the decisions would have “sharp disagreement.” I can’t see her making this comment without the single most important case of the session, and arguably of this generation, in mind.

Second, it appears that Chief Justice Roberts himself will be writing the opinion for the case. There is much rumor on this but it makes sense as he is the only justice who has not written one this go around. I think the fact that Roberts writes the opinion makes the mandate a goner.

As to the rest of Placebocare, I think once the mandate is gone, the Supreme Court will also decide that the rest of the bill needs to go. I think there will be two likely arguments for this.

First, the Commerce Clause has been used as an excuse for Congress to pass legislation on damn near anything they wanted to for the past 40 years or so. “The slippery slope” is no longer a theory, it is real. I think that given that the administration argued for the right to do this under the Commerce Clause, the Supremes will take this chance to council Congress on what is and what is not acceptable to slide under the Commerce Clause door. I would expect Roberts to see this decision as his legacy in the court. I don’t seem him passing up this opportunity to put his stamp on the history of the court.

Second, the Administration gave the Supremes the perfect out on shooting the entire bill as they argued that the mandate was essential to make Placebocare work financially. I can’t remember who, it may have been Roberts, made the astute observation that it was somewhat indefensible of the Administration to ask the Supremes to figure out the financial implications of what should stay or go in the Placebocare law if the mandate was struck. Hell, Nancy Pelosi didn’t even know what was in the bill until it was signed but knew it was a good law. How could the Supremes be more omniscient than Nancy P and Harry R?

OK, so Placebocare is dead, then what?

Well, if you thought Obama was petulant after he got slapped on Arizona, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

If this goes as I see it, Obama is a lame duck. Worse, he’s a dead duck politically. Unfortunately, he will still hold the office of President for several more months. I don’t expect Obama to go quietly into that good night. Rather, like post Arizona, I think we could see petulance at a level not seen since the last of the Roman emperors. We are likely to see all kinds of Executive orders made dealing with administration and fund dispersal of various federally supported medical programs. Obama’s sole intent will be to leave office with a great big “I told you so” sign on his bumper. He will attempt to cause chaos in as many medical programs as possible just to be able to say that his plan would have prevented all of that. In fact, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see him do this and couch it as things he must now do to be fiscally responsible

Obama has shown himself to be a very sore loser. I wouldn’t want to be Bo his dog, tomorrow night!

June 13, 2012

Your Shrinkage is Showing!

In the science of thermodynamics we learn that as objects are cooled they shrink, as they are heated, they expand.  I remember enough about high school physics to tell you that the reason for this is that as atoms are heated, they get excited, move vibrate more and the item expands.  The opposite effect occurs when the atoms are cooled.

At this point I must warn you that if you are squeamish about subject matter, you may want to skip a few paragraphs as I am known for being perfectly willing to discuss and have viewed, certain body parts that may not be considered “civil” discussion.  I’ll point out where to rejoin us if you skip ahead.

Most males, beyond a certain age, are intimately familiar with the effects of thermal expansion.  Drop a bunch of teenage males into a cold pool and you will hear a noticeable heightening in their voice tones as thermal expansion, or in this case retraction, works on their genitals.  Drop a bunch of 20+ year old guys into the same cold pool and not only will you hear their voices move up in range but you will hear these voices explaining to the other males how they are really much larger than the slight bump in their swimsuits would suggest.  They will argue that the cold water is having an enormous impact on them.  They will further argue that under normal circumstances, they are much more impressive. OK, if you skipped that last paragraph, you can return now. Last Friday during a press conference, President Obama said,

“The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government. “

As a bit of an aside, for any of you that believe that his was just another of Obama’s “Biden moments” because he didn’t work from a teleprompter, you’re wrong. Obama said clearly what he wanted to say. The proof? Listen to Harry Reid from October of last year…same line. This wasn’t a slip, this comes from Obama’s Socialist belief that government is the source of all economic good:

OK, back to topic…

Obama’s statement received an immediate reaction of incredulity from everyone not living in Obama’s big government bubble, and rightly so. Since then, Obama and his surrogates have been attempting to explain, deflect and walk back the statement.

White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, took the media to task for asking about Obama’s statement telling them that they should “do your jobs and report on contexts.” This was a follow up to David Axelrod, who traveled the weekend talk show circuit, using the same “context” explanation. Further, he argued that voters knew what the President meant and wouldn’t be sucked in by the Republican’s misrepresentation.

On Wednesday, James Carville basically told the Obama campaign to quit telling people how much he’s done for the economy…they don’t believe it!

Is it just me or do voices of Carney, Axelrod and Carville all sound like they’ve had a dip in cold water?

Meanwhile, like the 20 something standing in a cold pool, Obama continues to explain to us that it’s not really him, it’s the environment around him that makes him look small and ineffective. Using terms like “headwinds,” Obama blames everything including Buuuuuush, Japan, Europe, Congress and others for his inability to fix the economy.

Today, Reuters/Ipsos shows Obama and Romney in a statistical dead heat among registered voters (likely a Romney lead of likely voters for a variety of reasons) in a poll that was taken largely after the Obama statement. The poll also shows Romney preferred over Obama on economic issues.

Also today, Rasmussen has a poll that shows Romney up 3 among likely voters in Wisconsin. This is the latest poll that shows Romney tied or ahead in virtually every battleground state with momentum on his side in each case.

Obama and his spokespeople can continue to believe that the President should not be held accountable for the mess our economy has become. They can continue to believe that they will be able to fool some of the people all of the time. In fact, they may be able to do that….with some people. But, they won’t fool all of the people. In fact, it looks like fewer and fewer people are being fooled by Obama’s litany of excuses. It looks to me that despite his protests, Obama’s shrinkage is clearly visible. It’s time for him to get out of the deep end before he does himself and us any permanent damage.

May 21, 2012

Minority Nation

by @ 14:44. Filed under Elections.

The story of Elizabeth Warren just won’t go away!

If you aren’t up to speed, Elizabeth is running for a Senate seat in Massachusetts currently held by Scott Brown.

Elizabeth is a Democrat’s dream candidate. Female, Harvard law school professor, Obama administrative appointee and for frosting, native American ancestry…well, kind of.

Ms. Warren’s claimed Cherokee ancestry has run into a heap load of problems. Turns out she probably has no Cherokee blood at all. In fact, in irony only available from the “man bites dog” world of politics, her heritage does include family members who were responsibly for forcibly relocating Cherokees!

However, Warren’s biggest problem is not the lore of her ancestry but the fact that like Obama and his “Kenyan birth,” she allowed it to be used when it served to advance her desired agenda. Warren seemed to have a penchant for invoking her Cherokee status to benefit herself like when she allowed Harvard to list her as the law school’s “First woman of color.”

I’ve written a song for Ms. Warren. I think it would resonate with many of her supporters. I offer the following as the Elizabeth Warren campaign song. To be sung to the tune of “Cherokee Nation” which is embedded at the end.

She had the whole minority nation
To aid her in her education
Female didn’t seem enough
For grants to cover all her stuff

Family lore was her basis
high cheek bones was their focus
never mind the lack of fact
partial squaw was her full act

Cherokee nation
that’s what she tried
so much to gain
she had to lie

a Senate seat she chose to chase
when there was question about her race
“wasn’t me” was her deny
But Cherokee nation wouldn’t die

Cherokee nation
that’s what she tried
so much to gain
she had to lie

And some day when she’s learned
Elizabeth Warren will return
Will return will return
Will return will return

[youtube]http://youtu.be/_ojRQ15My7s[/youtube]

April 1, 2012

Meme, Meme, Meeeeeme!

It somehow seemed fitting that as it reached it’s “terrible twos,” Placebocare reached the Supreme Court. After three days of arguments, whether Placebocare, in whole or part, gets to see it’s “terrific threes” is now left to nine people who regularly wear black robes to the work place.

I’m not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. However, it seems that the preponderance of opinion on both the Left and Right is that the Administration did a horrible job of making its case. Many, again on both sides, believe the individual mandate is in serious trouble. Beyond that, there is growing concern that whether the Justices believe the mandate to be severable or not may be moot. The whole of Placebocare could go down not over a severability argument but because the law is so complex and so intertwined on so many levels that the Justices may well feel that it is not within their ability to judge what stays or goes and instead give Congress a “do over” on the whole law.

Typically in a Supreme Court case, once the case is argued there may be a few days of public speculation as to the outcome if the case was unique or particularly important, like the Kelo decision. I don’t think that pattern will hold with Placebocare.

In a sign that the Left is both worried and is positioning for fall elections, we are seeing and will continue to see articles like this one from Slate.

Let’s skip past the “if you believe Placebocare is unconstitutional you must be a redneck from Kentucky” comment like:

The smart money before the argument was on an 8-1 upholding of Obamacare.

and head straight for what we will hear from now until the day the Supreme’s announce their decision…and if the Left loses, what we will hear as Obama’s campaign standard:

If it overturns Obamacare, the Supreme Court will have revealed its radical nature.

You see to the Left, the Supreme Court is only “Supreme” when it agrees with their agenda. When it doesn’t agree, it is there to be politicized like a group of nine “Joe the Plumbers.” President Obama showed us clearly how this works with his 2010 State of the Union Speech. During the speech, in reference to the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, President Obama openly criticized the Supremes. He claimed that they “reversed a century of law.” It was President Obama’s way of saying “they’re radical.”

Between now and the end of June when the Supreme Court is expected to release it’s decision, the MSM and other left media outlets will be attempting to taunt the Supreme Court to see things their way. Taunts like “radical,” “legitimacy” and “ideologues” will be included in numerous recounts of the arguments and the possible ramifications of the outcome. If the decision goes against the Administration, you can bank on Obama using these same taunts in an effort to galvanize his slipping support in an effort to make the Supreme Court the reason for his reelection. In fact, if, as I suspect, Sotomayer leaks the decision to the Administration, you can expect to see Obama cranking this rhetoric as a preemptive strike on what will be a harmful decision.

It’s going to be a long spring folks. Politics will not be leaving stage front and center for another several months, maybe a year. In the meantime, expect to hear a lot of taunting of the Supreme Court. Like the kids of our youth I can already hear the left yelling, “Meme, Meme, Meeeeeme!”

Update 4/2 10:38 AM didn’t know Allen West was a reader of NRE. Welcome aboard Allen!

update 2 4/2 3:01 PM No I’m not clairvoyant I just understand how the Left “thinks.” Expect to see a lot more of this in the coming weeks. In fact, the more you see of it the better as it will be a confirmation that Placebocare will be struck down

Update 3: 4/2 3:55 PM Oh, my gosh, my sides hurt I’m laughing so hard! I’m almost ready to declare Placebocare is going down in total…almost but not yet!

March 1, 2012

Thank you, Thank you very much!

It’s been a couple of interesting weeks on the Obamacare front.

First, Obama Inc. told the Catholic Church that they had to offer contraceptive coverage in their insurance plans. I covered that little episode here.

Obama Inc. made a poorly camouflaged attempt to acquiesce without actually changing anything. Their proposal was to not require the Catholic Church, but to require their insurers to provide the contraception at no cost.

After 22.5 seconds of consideration, the Church came back with their response..NYET! In fact, not only NYET but if you force us, we’ll close our hospitals and other institutions.

Also recently, a study was released that showed some interesting early information on the reality of costs associated with Obamacare. You may remember President Obama telling us time and again how Obamacare would bend the cost curve on health care. Well, it turns out he was probably right. The problem is that the cost curve appears to be bent up not down, and at a very steep angle. According to this analysis and report, the first year costs for the high risk pool that covers people with preexisting conditions are running at a rate that is twice what was planned!

Finally, some had theorized that Obama may use the Blunt amendment as a way to let the Catholic Church off the hook while saving face on his administrations earlier edict. Unfortunately, the Blunt amendment was defeated on a mostly partly line vote today so the Catholic Church’s reason to close it’s facilities remains intact.

What are we to make of all this?

Some pundits, including the esteemed Ed Morrissey believe this is a high stakes game of chicken and that in the end, Obama will blink. I don’t buy it. Let’s look at the implications of the various actions I’ve previously noted.

When I looked at the premiums being charge for the high cost fund I noted that my family of 4 would be covered for about $800 per month. That may seem like a lot. However, for similar coverage from the high cost fund when we lived in Minnesota, we were paying nearly $1,500/month and that was two years ago. My point is that not only is the Obamacare high cost fund costing a lot more than it’s counterparts, it is also charging a lot less than its state counterparts. Last I looked, high costs and low revenue didn’t make a successful business. The outcome, if this is allowed to continue, is that insurance companies will be saddled with higher costs and lower revenues. This, over time, will force weaker insurance companies out of the business. Fewer insurance companies will lead to fewer choices which in turn, will lead to higher insurance costs.

I don’t think Obama will blink for the Catholic Church. As I noted earlier, he had the perfect opportunity to get a way out via the Blunt amendment. The amendment would have allowed church organizations to object and not provide certain coverages but would have required all other businesses to continue to provide whatever mandate Obama Inc. came up with. The tell for me is that this was voted down on nearly a party line vote. There are numerous Democrats in “swing” states who are up for election this year. There’s no way this is going to work in their favor. Had Obama wanted an out for the Catholic Church, there is no doubt in my mind that Harry Reid would have allowed just enough Democrats to vote for the amendment and “grudgingly” allowed it to pass. The fact that it didn’t means Obama is playing for keeps.

Finally, the Catholic Church threat. According to Morrissey, nearly 16% of admissions are served by Catholic hospitals. Nearly a third of those hospitals are in lesser served rural areas. If the Church does indeed pull their hospitals and other organizations, it will create a health care shortage of significant proportions in many areas of the U.S..

Contrary to the notion that Obama will blink, I think Obama is setting up exactly what he wants in health care.

If insurance costs skyrocket due to fewer providers and higher costs and access to care becomes scarcer due to a boycott by the Catholic Church, Obama, should he win a second election, will have the perfect pretense to declare a crisis and push, declare, impose or legislate for a national health care, single payer system…which is what he has wanted all along.

I will admit that it is possible that I’m wrong but I haven’t been wrong about much with this President. If I’m wrong, look for one of the following things to occur:

1. The Blunt amendment is brought back (it was tabled) and narrowly passes.
2. The Supreme Court rules that the health care mandate is unconstitutional before the election.

Any of these things could indicate that Obama won’t or isn’t able to eat the entire loaf. However, I don’t think either of these will happen. Rather, I think that Obama has planned this approach and as the Catholic Church threatened, if you listen closely you will hear Obama saying, “Thank you, Thank you very much!”

February 21, 2012

Wednesday, Wednesday, Can’t trust that day Debate

Breaking out the air folk guitar for this intro:

Oh Wednesday morning, Wednesday morning couldn’t guarantee
That Wednesday evening, we be closer to a nominee….

Join me and hopefully Steve, for another drunk or otherwise blog. Show starts at 7 Central. I’ll try to get it rolling a bit before that!

Revisions/extensions (11:44 am 2/22/2012, steveegg) - I’ll be here a bit late. We do have a special treat for you, however – Stephen Kruiser and Tony Katz doing commentary. In case Shoebox and I forget to throw it in the CiL window, I’ll also throw it here…

I also made this temporarily “sticky”, so new posts, at least until after the debate, will be below this one. Yes, I do have a couple of posts I’m working on.

February 12, 2012

Peek-A-Boo America!

As the battle between President Obama and the Catholic Church continued, President Obama attempted to diffuse the growing angst with something he classified as a “compromise.” The compromise from the White House’s fact sheet:

Under the new policy to be announced today, women will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she works. The policy also ensures that if a woman works for a religious employer with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide, pay for or refer for contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge.

Wow, that’s great! Religious organizations no longer have to pay for insurance that provides for contraceptive coverage! How magnanimous on the part of the President! In fact, the President who would be King, has fixed the problem by decreeing that all insurance companies must provide said contraceptive coverage in the plans offered to these religious institutions for FREE!

o Insurance companies will be required to provide contraception coverage to these women free of charge.

If I’m reading this right, Obama believes that the issue the Catholic Church had, was paying for the cost of contraception. I’m not Catholic but I do understand a fair amount of their doctrine. I’m pretty sure that the Church didn’t have a proviso that allowed for contraception if you could get someone else to pay for it! In fact, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have already called out Obama for his ruse that he claims is a “compromise:”

And in the case where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer’s plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer. This, too, raises serious moral concerns.

Beyond the theological issue, I’m having a tough time figuring out how exactly, Obama believes that forcing the insurance companies to provide something “for free” does not result in having the insurer pay for it? Does Obama really believe that by simply saying “it is free” that it actually is free? I’ve been a Southerner for nearly two years now. However, unless they’ve rewritten the rules of economics in that time, the only thing Obama’s mandate has done is shift costs and increase the costs for all of our insurance to pay for the contraceptive services for those who get it for “free”. In fact, some accounts have the costs for this “free contraception” as high as $2.8B, a portion of which will now be shared by all 60+ year old women and all males. Speaking of which, if we’re all so concerned about making sure contraception is free, where are my coupons for condoms?

Peek-A-Boo is a game played with young children. We’ve all likely played it at some time. In Peek-A-Boo we play on the young child’s lack of understanding about reality. We attempt to convince them that when we cover our eyes, we somehow disappear even though the child can still see us. it’s a game that loses it’s cuteness as the child grows to understand that reality is reality and that words or claims that reality isn’t so, doesn’t change reality.

Obama’s contraception “compromise” is in the end, nothing more than a game of Peek-A-Boo with the American public. Obama makes claims about insurance economics that simply are not born out by reality. Of course, you would have to have matured beyond the economic age of two to actually realize such a thing. An economic age that most on the left never approach, let alone grow beyond.

Peek-A-Boo seems so innocuous with toddlers, and it is. However, as adults, Peek-A-Boo is escapism and an inability to deal with the world in real terms. Unfortunately, it is this very game of Peek-A-Boo that most in DC would use to tell us that: Massive Deficits aren’t a problem, Every increasing debt isn’t a problem, growing numbers of people on the government dole is not a problem, fewer and fewer actual tax payers aren’t a problem, Iran isn’t a problem, increasing costs of energy aren’t a problem and 8+% unemployment is the new norm. To those people who want to continue to play Peek-A-Boo rather than solve problems I say:

“I see you!”

February 5, 2012

The Frog and the Crocodile

During the past week, the Catholic Church has gone slightly apoplectic as HHS secretary, Kathleen Sebelius has informed them that their hospitals and doctors will not be exempted from the requirement to distribute contraceptives and provide abortions. Numerous bloggers have covered this controversy including this post.

What’s ironic about the Catholic outrage is not that they don’t agree with Sebelius on this issue but, the lack of consistency on the part of the Catholic Church when it comes to government involvement and dictation of our lives.

A little over two years ago, in the heat of the Obamacare battle, Catholic Bishops wrote letters supporting Obamacare. While they seemed to like the idea of forcing everyone onto a government mandated healthcare system, they somehow held out hope that they would escape requirements that they found objectionable.

the Church had a similar conundrum when Illinois decided to remove its support unless it agreed to allow homosexual couples to adopt via its programs. They were happy as the the government supported their efforts. However, when the government decided that it’s social agenda didn’t align with that of the Catholic Church, well, things became difficult.

The Catholic Church has been in support of social change via taxation for the past several years. In 2009, as cap and trade legislation was being debated, US Catholic Bishops came out in support of the Waxmen/Markey bill which was one of the core bills for implementing cap and trade in the U.S.

More recently, President Obama has been calling for increasing taxes on the rich. Not coincidentally, progressive Catholics have fallen in line claiming that tax increases were required so that “fairness” and support for needed social programs could continue.

The Catholic Church’s recurring embrace of big government programs while expecting them to respect the teachings of the church is something akin to the Church being subject to Stockholm syndrome. Worse, it takes only a grade school education to understand the risks in putting your life in the risk of the hands of one who would rather see you done in.

The story of the frog and the crocodile is taught as a lesson against succumbing to the creep of temptation. The Catholic Church teaches a lot about the perils of temptation. I wonder if they ever see the institution of the Church succumbing to it?

January 26, 2012

The “Who’s the Reagan protege?” Debate

by @ 15:31. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Here we go again…..

Since the last debate there has been media wrestling by the candidates or their spokespeople over who the real Reagan protege is. Is it:

Newt – “I taught Reagan about Reganomics”
or
Mitt – “I didn’t like anything about Reagan when he was President but he’s dead now.”
or
Paul – “Reagan should have left the Soviet Union alone. They never did anything to us!”
Or
Santorum – “Reagan? Yeah, I think I’ve heard of him.”

Once again, join Steve and me as we make fun out of these four candidates and the people who pose as intelligent enough to ask inane questions.

January 23, 2012

Mitt, Not Mitts and Whacko Debate

by @ 17:21. Filed under Miscellaneous.

It’s a new state and that must mean a whole new set of debates. Steve and I will attempt to be on time…but we both have engagements tonight. If you bear with us, I promise you will have fun as we snark at each of the GOP candidates

January 7, 2012

The “Not Quite Thunderdome” Debate

by @ 11:56. Filed under 2012 Presidential Contest.

It’s been a while since we’ve had the chance to poke fun at this group of mediocre candidates.

Since last we gathered….Michelle, I’m a tax attorney and, and GARDISIL!, Bachmann has dropped out.

That leaves the following line up for a debate that may not be quite Thunderdome, but will likely have just as many bloody noses.

Mitt, How’s my air? Does my hair look ok?, Romney continues to lead by default.

Ron, Just because lots of whackos follow me doesn’t mean I’m a whacko, Paul moved into the top tier of candidates with an Iowa third place finish.

Rick, Pork, it’s not just the other white meat, Santorum

No more Mr. Nice guy Newt Gingrich, Rick, why can’t the whole country be like Texas, Perry and Jon, I supported Obama until I wanted to run for President, Huntsman will also be on board for tonight’s festivities.

Join Steve and me…sober or otherwise, for fun. One of us should get here by about 7:45 Central or so.

And, as an added bonus, Steve has committed to cover the Hair of the Dog debate tomorrow morning while I travel with the Things to another wrestling match.

January 6, 2012

The Donkey Whisperer

by @ 7:54. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Not to get in the way of the NRE awards ceremony but, this was too good to pass up:

December 23, 2011

How will you respond?

by @ 8:28. Filed under Miscellaneous, Religion.

In the first two chapters of Luke we read the Christmas story. Included in these chapters is the foretelling of John the Baptist, Mary’s conception and finally the birth of Jesus. Unique to Luke’s telling of the birth of Christ is the inclusion of three angelic visits.

The first visit, as told by Luke, was to the father of John the Baptist, Zechariah. The angel came to tell Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth, would bear a son. Zechariah and Elizabeth were both advanced in years so it was hard for Zechariah to believe that his wife and he would become parents. Zechariah was so incredulous at the thought of becoming a father that he actually argued with the angel:

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” Luke 1:18

The third appearance is on the night of Jesus birth. This appearance occurred to shepherds who were working outside of Bethlehem:

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12

This angelic interaction was characterized by Luke as “terrifying.” If we think about it, it’s not hard to understand why the shepherds may have felt “terror.” Imagine standing out in the country, a long way from any population or roadways. Suddenly, not only does someone appear out of nowhere but that someone has an aura or other appearance around them that makes them look unlike any person you’ve ever seen before. It’s not hard to understand how at least the initial response, might be terror.

The other angelic appearance was to tell Mary that she was going to be the mother of the prophesied Savior:

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:26-28

Initially, we are told Mary was “troubled” by the Angel’s statements but the visit ends with Mary’s confident statement of trust in God’s provision:

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:38

About now you’re asking why you’re reading this and why I’m reprinting Luke for a post.

My Bible study looked through these chapters of Luke over the past few weeks. As we looked through the passages it hit me how different, even though each of the angels were bringing a message directly from God, the reaction to each of the three angelic visits were. The Priest, the person who you could argue should have been most comfortable with the idea of an angel acting on behalf of God, argued with the angel. The Shepherds, arguably the bravest of those visited by the angels, were terrified. The young girl who was just told that she would be pregnant out of wedlock, an offense for which she could have been stoned to death, responded with complete confidence in the Angel’s statement and God’s plan.

As I contemplated these chapters, I thought about how my reactions to God are so much like those of the people visited by angels those many years ago.

There are many times where I argue with God. Oh, I don’t yell or shake my fist. By my actions, my thoughts and words, there are numerous times where I show or indirectly tell God that I’m not happy or satisfied with the plan He has for me. Can’t he move faster, why can’t XXXX happen, I need answers…NOW are all ways that I argue with God.

There are other times where I am terrified of God. Yes, I’m a Christian and yes, I know the saving grace of Jesus. But, regardless of the veneer of “a pretty good life,” I’m a sinner, and as Paul said “… the worst sinner.” I guess it is this recognition that confirms my Christianity but it is also this recognition that at times, leaves me terrified when my faith slips a bit and leaves me exposed to what my future would be without the saving grace of Jesus.

Finally, there are times when I can respond as Mary and say, “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Times when I am at peace and have confidence in the promises God has made to me as a believer. Admittedly, there have not been many of those times as of late. I won’t bore you with the details, let’s just say that a reason to be anxious seems to hide around nearly every corner I have turned the last few months.

Christmas is nearly here; the day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus and the promise of a different life if we believe and take him as our Savior. It’s also the time of the year where most of us spend time thinking about the year. I think about the blessings I’ve had and begin the process of gearing up for the new year.

After looking at the passages I’ve listed and doing some contemplating this past week, I know I have a choice to make as I enter the new year. I can chose the path Zechariah took and continue to argue with God about the things He has allowed in my life or, like the shepherds, I can chose to be terrified of things that don’t fit into my paradigm of how things should work. Or, like Mary, I can CHOOSE to exert my faith more and trust the God who has never left me and has fulfilled every promise He has ever made.

2,000 years ago, Mary made her choice as to how she would respond to God’s calling on her.

This Christmas, as we hear the Christmas story and reflect on our year, each of us will get a chance to choose how we will respond to God’s desire to be in our life.

I know how I will respond.

How will you respond?

December 9, 2011

Hey Hey Ho Ho

by @ 14:44. Filed under 2012 Presidential Contest.

Another debate is about to go!

Join us, sober or drunk. This one is sure to be a lot of fun!

November 9, 2011

CNBC GOP Debate

by @ 18:56. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Why not?

November 5, 2011

Cain/Gingrich Debate

Yah didn’t think we’d miss one of these did you?

Steve and I will be drunk blogging the Lincoln/Douglas style debate tonight. The debate starts at 7 PM central and is covered on CSPAN.

Prior to this week, this debate while interesting, would have been missed by a lot of people due to the LSU/Alabama game. Instead, I think a lot of people will watch to see whether Cain can get back on his game and whether he can go toe to toe with Newt. On the other side, there fair evidence that Newt is “Plan B” for many Cain supporters. This may be Newt’s one chance to kick a leg out of the Cain campaign’s wobbling stool and pick up some momentum.

November 3, 2011

Time for an Adult to be President

I’ve seen numerous blog posts and tweets complaining about the GOP Presidential debates.  Some complain that there are too many and we’re getting the same answers over and over again (did you know Michele Bachmann was a foster mom?).  Some complain that there are too many candidates involved and it dilutes the ability to answer questions.  Yet others complain that either the format or the fact that most of the questioners are from the hard left, puts the candidates at an automatic disadvantage in communicating their positions.

To some extent, all of the gripes about the debates have some validity. However, I think the complaints miss an important point.

One by one as the various candidates have flashed, or surged or gained viability, they’ve gotten scrutiny and vetting that Barack Obama avoided for an entire campaign.

The scrutiny has told us much about these top tier candidates. It’s shown us that Mitt Romney is not a conservative, is unrepentant in his implementation of Romneycare and has had more positions on more issues than John Kerry, who served in Vietnam. If it weren’t for the long tradition of the GOP nominating the “next in line,” Romney would already be a footnote in this campaign.

The scrutiny has shown us that the great anticipation of Rick Perry (I’ll admit, I thought he could be a contender at one point) was all about anticipation and nothing about substance. Perry is probably a very smart guy but he is unable to convey that in any of the debates. Combine this with Perry’s penchant for answering questions from a Texas context rather than an American context and it’s no wonder he’s having a tough time recovering from what should have been some easily recoverable early issues of Gardisil and the tuition break for illegals. I’m beginning to believe that Perry had so many people clamoring for him to enter the race that he thought he didn’t need to work at the campaign. I think he believed he was a shoe in for merely showing up. At least that’s what his on going sputtering suggests to me.

Once Romney and Perry sputtered, attention turned to Herman Cain. Again, in candor, I liked a lot of what I heard from Cain. His business experience clearly comes through as he consistently gives specific, actionable recommendations for many of the issues facing the country. However, like the previous two, a bit of time in the spot light has shown Cain to be lacking in the ability to close the deal.

I like the fact that Cain comes from outside of politics. However, it’s this very issue that is his weak spot. Cain seems unaware of the realities of what it takes to get through a campaign and engage a governmental bureaucracy that will be anything but friendly to change from an outsider. From his numerous “I didn’t say that,” responses, the non denial denial of the alleged harassment claims and subsequent inability to handle the media issue, to his 9-9-9 plan that would require a hurculean effort to move through Congress but is only a transition plan to a flat tax plan, Cain just seems like he’s not ready for big league politics.

My point in this is not to say I won’t vote for any of these 3 gentlemen. In comparison to Obama, any of them would be superior. My point is two fold: First, the debates have given us a chance to see each of these candidates hit first place, get some vetting and see how they react. In this, we have gotten a better sense of how each of them would handle a bare knuckle contest with Barack Obama. Second, I think we all realize that regardless of who we end up nominating, there is no Reagan in the mix. In fact, the best we’re going to get out of this year’s candidate slate is one fairly flawed endorsee.

Given the realities that I’ve noted, I’ve decided that the candidate who will get my support in the primary is Newt Gingrich. Ok, I hear the groans. Come on, honestly, is there a debate that you’ve watched that you didn’t walk away saying something like, “Geez, Newt is the only one that sounds like he knows what he’s doing,” or “I don’t think he can get elected but Newt should be a VP or at least on someone’s cabinet.” I know you I have and I’m betting you have said or thought those things. Yes, Newt is flawed, but show me a candidate who isn’t AND show me a candidate at this point who isn’t SERIOUSLY flawed! Really, you think Mitt isn’t a seriously flawed candidate? Whether any of the allegations against him are true or not, Herman Cain has proven he is not ready to play in the big leagues of professional government mud wrestling. Perry? Puhlease!

My support for Newt is two fold: First, he’s the smartest guy in the group and with nearly no exception, has a policy answer that is conservative (OK, we have to work on his answer to ethanol a bit). Second, for all of Newts character flaws, they’ve already been vetted. Newt has been in the limelight so long I doubt there are any October surprises to let loose on him.

At the end of the day I don’t think it is OK to just beat Obama. Yes, that is the first step but we need to have something more. We don’t need someone who can just beat Obama, we need someone who can fundamentally change what is happening in Washington. We need to dismantle the EPA, reign in or eliminate the Department of Education, defang the Depart of the Interior, so on, so on, so on. I think the only person who has the knowledge of DC workings and the intellect to maneuver through or around them and that is Newt Gingrich. While he may not be your first choice, I’ll bet in your heart of hearts, you know that’s right.

October 20, 2011

The $35B Hostage

In an effort not to be seen as a lame duck President, or worse yet, completely irrelevant for his last year in office, President Obama is fighting harder and harder to pass legislation, any legislation that could be viewed as populist.  One such effort at populism is his effort to pass a jobs bill.

After getting shut down by his own party on a jobs bill that was a smaller version of the original stimulus plan, Obama has decided to try to slip through individual components.  The first effort of piecemeal has been whittled to $35B and is ostensibly focused on hiring or keeping police, fire fighters and teachers employed.

Obama let Biden loose yesterday to stump for the new jobs bill.  In attempting to make a point for passage of the bill, Biden said:

“In 2008, when Flint had 265 sworn officers on their police force, there were 35 murders and 91 rapes in this city. In 2010, when Flint had only 144 police officers, the murder rate climbed to 65 and rapes, just to pick two categories, climbed to 229. In 2011, you now only have 125 shields. God only knows what the numbers’ll be this year for Flint if we don’t rectify it.”

When confronted on his remarks, Biden followed up with:

“Let’s get it straight, guy. Don’t screw around with me. Let’s get it straight,” Biden responded. “I said rape was up three times in Flint. Those are the numbers. Go look at the numbers. Murder is up, rape is up, burglary is up. That’s what I said.”

Joe, Joe, Joe….

Joe attempts to argue that the number of police officers are the single largest reason for the number of violent crimes, especially murder and rape. He makes this assertion by using statistics from a microcosm, Flint Michigan, and wants us to believe that they extend to the country as a whole.

If you would ask Joe, he would tell you that we are woefully short of police and other law enforcement personnel. Under Joe’s logic, we should be seeing unchecked increases in violent crime during the current economic times. Joe may want to check with the FBI on what their statistics show. The FBI statistics clearly show that over the past few years, violent crime has been coming down. That fact is true on both a total basis as well as based on the rates per 100,000 population. In fact, contrary to Biden’s view of near anarchy, rapes per 100,000 were down to levels not seen since the mid ’70s and murder rates not seen since the early 60s.

OK, so I think it’s safe to say that Flint has bigger issues than the number of police they have on the street. At best, they are an outlier to national statistics. But, let’s says Biden is right, let’s say we do need more police to reduce rapes. If that is true, why is the administration only putting $5B of the bill towards policemen? Does Biden believe that $5B will eliminate rape completely in the United States? If not, what will he tell the woman whose rape would have been prevented by the $1 spent beyond the $5B? Will he tell her that teachers were more important? Will he tell her that firefighters were more important? Maybe Joe will tell her that additional DMV clerks were more important than her physical safety and self esteem?

Doesn’t matter how you slice it Joe, your comments are bad logic if I am kind and asinine if I’m honest. If you really believed what you were saying, you would put every last dollar of the $35B to hire police. Even then, there would be one woman who’s officer wouldn’t be hired inside of the $35B and she would be raped as a result…at least according to Joe. I guess we can just refer to this poor woman as the $35B hostage.

October 11, 2011

Another GOP Debate

Things are getting interesting:

Palin and Christie are definitely out.  The field is set.

Bachmann and Hunstman are no where to be seen on the polling but are still showing up to debates…for how long?

Johnson is invited.  Will he answer any question without starting with “I will pass a balanced budget!”

Ron Paul won a straw poll…or did he?  Does it mean anything anyway?

Reports are out suggesting that Romney’s team were advising Obama on how to do a healthcare mandate.

Perry seems to have lost all positive energy.

According to the MSM, Herman Cain is not really a black man.

All these things are likely to be discussed or commented on during the live blog tonight.  The debate starts at 7 PM central.  I’ll probably get started a bit before that.  Drunk or sober, you’re all invited!

September 22, 2011

Fox Presidential Debate Live/Drunk blog

by @ 12:10. Filed under 2012 Presidential Contest.

Join us tonight for the Fox Presidential debate. You can join sober or drunk, your choice. My guess is that even if you join sober, you’re going to want to drink by the end of it. I’ll try to get this going about 15 minutes before the official go time.

September 12, 2011

CNN Teaparty Debate

by @ 15:22. Filed under Politics.

I know there’s football as well but there’s a debate tonight. I’ll be watching it (with football on the other channel). Join us as CNN runs up a whole new series of questions intended to embarrass Republican candidates!

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