The Republican Presidential version of “Last Man Standing”

I last wrote on this in early October, and had intended to revisit the Republican presidential field after the next major event, whether it was a major candidate getting in, dropping out, or the first caucus/primaries.  So I’m a little behind.  Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann have dropped out (and Gary Johnson… Who?  Yes, exactly.)  Iowa and New Hampshire have come and gone, and it seems the writing is on the wall for Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman.  Perry seems to know it, Huntsman not so much.

So here’s my take on where we stand going forward from here…

MITT ROMNEY:  I still think Romney will be the eventual nominee.  He keeps winning, and avoiding any major mistakes.
And I also think that Gingrich and Perry are abandoning principles and hurting the party as a whole by attacking him for being a capitalist.

Since when do Republicans attack other Republicans for having worked in the private sector, as opposed to being a career politician?  Seriously, WTH?

I can get behind Romney.  He wasn’t my first choice.  But I like him far more than the only other options who are still competitive (Newt & the Nut).  And the more I think about it, I can’t imagine Mitt Romney being a bad president.  At worst, he’d still be OK… and much better than the current occupant.

* * * * * * * *

NEWT GINGRICH:  I’ve always thought Newt had too much “baggage” to run for President.  But it seems that the not-Romney movement can overlook that.  Sorry, I can’t do it.  If we were just talking about the adultery while impeaching Bill Clinton, maybe.  There’s so much more.  And not all of it is in the distant past.

Sitting down with Nancy Pelosi for a global warming commercial?  Raking in $1.6M lobbying for Freddie Mac?  Calling the Paul Ryan budget plan “right wing social engineering”?  (Gee, I wish Congressman Ryan had run.)

For any of you in the not-Romney crowd who believe that Newt is the true conservative in the race, I need you to understand this — Newt Gingrich is a conservative when it suits him to be.  He’ll also jump on any “grand idea” that makes him feel smarter than everyone else, even if it’s far from conservative.
     That’s the key to Newt…  his sense of his own brilliance.  He’s absolutely convinced of it.  Republican voters, please beware.  This man is every bit as much a megalomaniac as Barack Obama.
Don’t believe me?  Try this:
“I have an enormous personal ambition. I want to shift the entire planet. And I’m doing it…Oh, this is just the beginning of a 20-or-30-year movement. I’ll get credit for it…As a historian, I understand how histories are written. My enemies will write histories that dismiss me and prove I was unimportant. My friends will write histories that glorify me and prove I was more important than I was. And two generations or three from now, some serious, sober historian will write a history that sort of implies I was whoever I was.”  ~ Newt Gingrich (1985)

* * * * * * * *

 RON PAUL:  Wow… where do I start?  As I said before, Ron Paul says a few things, mostly on domestic policy, that I agree with.  But there’s way more stuff that he says, or has said in the past, that gives me flashing red lights and alarm bells.

His anti-Israel stance comes across as anti-Semetic regardless of how many times he tries to explain it as a monetary (foreign aid) position.  There’s always just a little too much animosity sprinkled into his statements.

His position on Iran is non-intervention taken to dangerous extremes.  He tries to argue that a nuclear Iran would be no more a threat to world peace than the United Kingdom or France.  That alone, to me, means he can not be taken seriously as a presidential candidate.

And then there’s the newsletters…
Chock full of conspiracy theories and racists rants.
Not the “mainstream media” / Chris Matthews / Keith Olbermann definition of racist.  Seriously racist.
Paul’s excuses?  It wasn’t an official, authorized newsletter… and besides, he didn’t write the objectionable stuff.  Really?  That’s the best he can do?
It was published in his name and he occasionally wrote articles for it.
It was your newsletter, Dr. Paul.  Own it and everything in it.

And don’t get me started on the Alex Jones / / 9-11 “truther” connections.  No, no, no.  Another reason not to take him seriously.

* * * * * * * *

RICK SANTORUM:  I didn’t say much about him previously except that during his Senate time, I considered him a one-issue politician.  He’s still mainly known for social issues only, but I suppose he must have positions on the economy and foreign policy.  If he continues to do well, I might have to find out what those are. 

* * * * * * * *

RICK PERRY:  Still my personal favorite, but I think the fat lady is singing, Governor Goodhair.
The Texas economy and jobs record couldn’t overcome poor debate performances.  People got worried that if he couldn’t hold his own against the other Republicans, he’d be toast against Obama’s perceived oratory skills.  I don’t know if that’s accurate, but it seems to be over for Perry.

* * * * * * * *

 JON HUNTSMAN:  Former governor of Utah, Obama’s ambassador to China.  I keep hearing that his record in Utah was quite conservative, but that doesn’t change the fact that he chose to run his campaign in a very bizarre fashion.  Who is he trying to appeal to?

For awhile it seemed he was working hand-in-hand with the “mainstream media” to promote himself as the only “sensible” Republican choice.
Then he went out of his way to position himself as the only Republican who believes in evolution and global warming.
Whose votes is he trying to win?  Evidently not mine.
UPDATE:  Shortly after posting this, it was announced that Huntsman will drop out tomorrow.

* * * * * * * *

So…. that’s where we’re at right now.  I still like Perry, but here’s my prediction…
eventual Republican nominee and next President of the United States:
Willard Mitt Romney

And if you’re curious to know who I liked at this point 4 years ago?

That’s all for today, folks!
If you agree or disagree
(and want to debate)
any of these opinions…
hit me up in the Comments!
I’ll be glad to play some more.



OCCUPY the Treehouse!

****  OCCUPY the Treehouse  ****

  That is, occupy the Treehouse if you’re a hard-working American who believes in the values that this country was built on.  On the other hand, if you’re one of these sign-waving knuckleheads “occupying” our cities with your list of demands for endless freebies (provided by leprechaun shops and powered by unicorn farts, no doubt)… if you’re one of those guys or girls, you can come in too… provided you’ve had a bath recently and that you’ll keep your mouth shut unless you have something intelligent to say.
  I’ve been meaning to write on this for a week, and keep having trouble knowing where to start because IT’S ALL JUST SO FREAKIN’ RIDICULOUS!!!

  Many in the media have been equating the “Occupy” movement as the liberal equivalent of the Tea Party.  Really?  Really libs, you want to claim this whiny rabble?  They’re all yours!  Congrats!

  I’ve seen some of their “demands”.  Granted, none of these demands are official, since this movement is supposedly leaderless.  But, still…  Wow… here are some examples:

  1.  A living wage, to be attained by raising the minimum wage to $20 per hour.  Clearly they have no understanding of economics and the rampant inflation that would follow this.  And if the guy flippin’ burgers gets $20/hr, what do you pay the kid standing behind him making sure he’s doing it right?  And get ready for that burger to cost $17.
  2.  Single-payer 100% government run healthcare.  Didn’t we reject this not too long ago?  But we’re just getting started on bankrupting the country…
  3.  Guaranteed living wage regardless of employment.    Please… read that again, in the context of #1.  A guaranteed living wage (of $20/hr, right?) REGARDLESS OF EMPLOYMENT?!?  $20/hr is over $41,000 per year.  And someone really believes every person should be entitled to $41K whether they work or not? 
  4.  Free college education.  Sure, why not?  And while we’re being so magnanimous, it would be terribly unfair to put any limits on that.  You know, grades, attendance, switching majors, etc… Skippy could stay in school FOREVER if that’s his dream.  And who are you to tread on Skippy’s dream, you meanie?

  They go on and on… one trillion dollars spent immediately on infrastructure… one trillion dollars to spend converting from fossil fuels to solar and wind power… another trillion spent planting trees and restoring wetlands.  These “Occupiers” sure are generous with those trillions of dollars from taxpayers who are too busy WORKING to join in their silly little movement.

  Another thing they want:  Immediate across-the-board debt forgiveness, from international debt to your mortgage, car, and credit card debt.  Yeah, that would be sweet… so would a Beautiful Weather Law… ain’t gonna happen.

  Some of these yahoos are even calling for an end to money and a return to the barter system.  Please, kid… attend a Renaissance Faire, feel medieval for a few days, crap in the woods (instead of on a police car) and then come to grips with the realization that it wouldn’t work in the modern world.
  Feel free to disagree with me, but the problem with way too many young people these days is that they think they’re too special for a crappy job.  They’re unwilling to start at the bottom and work their way up.  They expect to start at the middle (or higher) and rise quickly to the stratosphere.

  There’s something deeply ironic – starting with their failure to see the irony – about these kids with their iPhones and iPads protesting capitalism and corporations.

  May I have your attention, kid? … No, you can play
Angry Birds in a minute. …
Listen carefully… it takes a corporation to make your iPad.  The village blacksmith can’t do it.  That’s a free lesson on The Industrial Age from your Uncle Nick.

  I could just keep going and going and going on this like the Energizer bunny, but seriously, kids… you’re making the hippie protesters of the 60s look like rocket scientists.  Go home until you have a clue what you’re talking about.



  I’m now reading the third and final book in the Millenium trilogy, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”.  There’s a slightly unusual set-up with this trilogy: 
  The first book in the series, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” pretty much stands by itself.  The plot does carry over into the next two books, but the story does stand alone, without reading the others.  With the second and third book though, it’s a two part story.  “The Girl Who Played With Fire” leads directly into “Hornet’s Nest”.  I haven’t finished it yet, so I’ll save a final review until the end, but there’s definitely a reason these books have sold millions of copies around the world.

OK, now… Something You Didn’t Know About Me… I’m usually reading more than one book at a time.  I TRY to limit it to two – one fiction and one nonfiction – although I find myself breaking that rule every now and then.  And I must confess, I’m notoriously slow about reading the nonfiction books.  I enjoy them, and I learn things from them, but all things being equal, I tend to pick up the good novel I’m reading more often.  In other words, I’m eating dessert or junk food before eating my meat and veggies!

  Now that you know a little more about my reading habits, I’ll tell you that I’m also reading “Decision Points” by George W. Bush.  And because of the slowness factor I mentioned above, I’ve been reading it forever.  (I’m almost to the end, really!)  But it has been worth reading.  You get a real feel for his perspective from the decisions a President must make and the consequences of those decisions.

  The book also contains a lot more information on events that the media largely ignored during the Bush years, notably the really impressive gains that were made in slowing the spread of AIDS in Africa.

  It’s interesting to note that despite the really negative tone and personal attacks that were a political constant throughout his presidency, in my opinion, W only gets really negative in his remembrances of two people in this book.

  The first is Kathleen Blanco, the governor of Louisiana at the time of Hurricane Katrina.  Bush has taken a lot of criticism on the federal handling of the disaster response, but the book details how Blanco repeatedly refused federal assistance.  Ultimately, Bush had to send in military personnel without law enforcement authority as a means to get around Governor Blanco’s refusal of assistance.

  The other person who merits an intensely negative description is Jacques Chirac, then President of France.  Bush’s problem with Chirac could be summed up as Chirac being the epitome of the stereotypical snotty anti-American Frenchman. I’m probably over-simplifying that, but that’s about how Chirac comes across.

  Anyhow… good read so far.



  OK, y’all… adios for now.  I will try not to take 9-10 days between posts in the future. 


 P.S.  If there’s anything I write about that you’d like to hear more on, just let me know in the comments.  Likewise, if there’s anything you’d like less of, same thing.
Feedback is always very welcome.


Sophomore Jinx? …. Let’s hope not.

   Welcome back!  I’m glad to see you came back to the Treehouse.  I want to thank everyone for reading and for commenting.  And now to the meat & taters…

    ****  POLITICAL PUZZLING  ****   

   The Republican nominee for President…
who’s it gonna be?  Two weeks ago, I’d have said it was absolutely going to be Rick Perry.  Now he seems to be fading back into the pack.  If I was guessing now, I’d say Mitt Romney will avoid saying or doing anything too controversial and will eventually be the nominee.  This seems even more likely now, since in the last few days both Chris Christie and Sarah Palin have said “Nope… not this time.”  My thoughts on this crew:


Romney:  Probably the safest bet.  Looks presidential… for whatever that’s worth.  Many in the GOP still seem to be looking for someone else.  Why?  Probably over concerns that he’s a RINO (Republican In Name Only for y’all who might not be as immersed in politics as your faithful blogger).  I was concerned over whether he’d be too cautious and unwilling to attack Obama on issues where he’s vulnerable.  I’m a little less worried after some comments he made in the last debate.  The Mormon issue doesn’t bother me.  Just try to be a little less… mannequin-like… OK, Mittster?

Perry:  Still the guy I like the best.  I think Obama is very vulnerable, but we need a candidate to go on the offensive and not be afraid of the media or of being accused of racism at every turn.  Perry and Obama seem to genuinely detest each other.  Perry would play hardball, and that’s what is needed.  I also love his stance on the 10th Amendment (more on that in a future blog, friends).  And he goes jogging locked and loaded… a true Texan! 

Herman Cain:  I like him, but I don’t know enough about him yet.  Many of us seem to like the idea of someone who is not a politician getting in there… but then we worry about whether an amateur can handle a modern presidential campaign.

Michelle Bachmann:  Unelectable, in my opinion.  There are things about her that the media would have a field day with.  Also has a tendency to verbally shoot from the hip with little or no regard for actual facts.

Ron Paul:  Has great ideas on a few things… but then he says things that make you think, “Get Grandpa back to the home and on his meds!”  
However, he has the “tin foil hat” vote locked up.

Newt Gingrich:  Unelectable.  Too many negatives.  Too unlikeable.  Too… “newty”.

Rick Santorum:  Zzzzzzzzz… Primarily a one-issue guy when he was in the Senate.

Gary Johnson:  Who?  Exactly.  He did have the funniest line in the debate I watched: “My dog has created more ‘shovel-ready’ jobs than this president.”

… anyone I’ve forgotten?… oh, yeah…

Jon Huntsman:  RINO.  Seriously… RINO.  Seems to be the Republican candidate for Republicans who don’t like Republicans.  Did I say RINO?   






OH NO, ROMO!    I still don’t know what to say.  But since I’m blogging about it, I have to try.  Against the 49ers and Redskins, Romo was brave and brilliant.  Against the Lions, great… for about 2 1/2 quarters.  Then… what th’ heck!?!?!? 
Cowboys, my Cowboys… you have got to learn to put games away. 

Jason Garrett?  I think you’re going to make a great head coach, but when you have a lead, run the ball!  Kill the clock!  That’s Football 101.
And back to you, Tony Romo… I’ve supported you more than most…
but THINK, Dude!  Stay focused for 60 minutes!  Please!

BIZARRO SEASON so far… Honestly, Cowboys… you’ve won the games you were supposed to win and lost the games you were supposed to lose.  But you’ve done it in the craziest fashion!  You had to come from behind in the games you were expected to win, and gave away the games you were expected to lose. 
No more ROLLER COASTER! OK?!? I’ve had enough!

And just because I’m a nice guy and not a sore loser…
a King-o’-the-Jungle CONGRATS to the Detroit Lions for an amazing comeback!


(You got that, didn’t you?)


 ****  RANDOM THUNKS  ****

[This is going to be a little section for short random thoughts of whatever.  Still not settled on the name for this part.  Options considered have included Random Thunks, Tidbits, and To-Go Menu.  Like those or got any of your own?  Let me know… maybe we’ll vote on it.]

  • I have this Barcode Scanner app for my phone.   Is it just me,
    or does it look like a barcode wearing a thin pair of red panties?
    Probably just me…  maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it.  


  •  “Dolphin Tale” is the No. 1 movie in the country. It just goes to show what dolphins can do if they don’t play football.   ~ Jay Leno   



  • Jake and I have been watching “Terra Nova” on Fox
    and we’re really liking it.  Also, since we got into “The Walking Dead”
    via the Season 1 DVD, we’re really looking forward to Season 2
    starting soon on AMC.



That’s all for now.  See you again soon!
Thanks for all the advice & encouragement!
~ Nick