October 16th, 2011

Ben Stein for Prez

Perry Dodge Thrust!

The honeymoon is almost over for Herman Cain.

I say this because he's learning what Fred Thompson learned, what Mario Cuomo learned, what every politician learns -- when you are the front runner, people start calling you on your bullshit.

Cain went on Meet The Press, and admitted that, yes, some people will wind up paying more in taxes under 9-9-9 than they do now.  “But most people will pay less, that’s my argument.”  He continues, "The people who spend more money on new goods. The sales tax only applies to people who buy new goods, not used goods. That’s a big difference that doesn’t come out.”

Uh, what big difference?  Is he expecting people to start hitting consignment shops and Goodwill to dodge the tax?  And we already pay state taxes on used goods from those places and on eBay.  Try again.

Cain is also backpedaling on illegal immigration, saying he "wasn't serious" about an electrified fence along the border.  It's not that he's changing his stances, politicians do that all the time.  It's that he said these things, and now that people are paying attention to him, they want answers.  Answers he doesn't have because he never expected the questions to come up or he would have been more careful.  Polls are finding that Cain has a lot of general support, but from people actually paying attention, Perry has the lead, and they are more likely to vote than a bunch of people simply saying they like somebody.  And among those people, Cain is hitting some very rough ice.

Meanwhile, Rick Perry is taking a page from Cain.  Cain's 9-9-9 is a slogan people are viewing as an actual fiscal plan.  Perry has responded with his own.  On Friday, Perry visited a steel plant in Pittsburgh (for the record, Chicago has bigger steel production.  Unfortunately, we're better known for political corruption and suck ass sports teams than that) and unveiled “Energizing American Jobs and Security”.  Whatever you might think about it, from a PR standpoint, it's brilliant, because it hits two targets at once, unemployment and gas prices.  Perry wants to expand gas and oil production and cut environmental regulations, creating 1.2 million jobs (so THAT'S why we haven't gone nuclear in this country -- it's to keep employment up!).  There are concerns that it will damage green start-ups and protected lands (which aren't as protected as people think).  My concern is that it still doesn't create new industries and new businesses, it just reinforces old conglomerates and stifles new ideas.  Then again, I'm not voting for Perry, so it's not like what I think matters.

Romney has scored the endorsement of Gov. Christie, who I suspect is thinking of running but wants to see the others off each other and thin the field a bit first.  Meanwhile, Bachmann has gotten the endorsement of Donald Trump and the two will be hosting a electronic town hall meeting together.  Good.  The sooner we gather and isolate the looneys, the sooner we can focus on the real issues.

Hope you enjoyed the ride, Cain.  Your stop is coming up.
Kermit And Piggy

Let Me Introduce You To My New Comedy Goddesses

I just discovered a great troupe from Britain called Fascinating Aida.  Damn, these women are funny!

Here is a representative clip of one of their performances.  (NSFW)

Their new DVD is region free, so even us Yanks can enjoy it.

I am very jealous of their skill.  My hat is off to them.
Hitch-hiker's Guide

Don't Forget Your Toothbrush

Last night, I'm out hanging with Mornblade and we stop at Menard's.  As we go through, I see an endcap with carry on bags for sale.

Wow!  Talk about happy accidents!

I had been shopping for one that day.  I found a couple in the shade of blue I like, but crap!  They were expensive!  One was $70, and that was half price.  I know, you get what you pay for, but this is my first trip, it's not like I'm zipping all over the country.  I found a few at Kmart for $35, color choices of red or black.  This was a basic black for $15.  The back where the extendable handle is has no padding or wall, so you can feel it through there.  But still, more than adequate for now.  Sold.

My primary concern was if I could fit my art portfolio and pages (11X17's) in there.  Snug and perfect.  I have always had problems with spatial relations.  Now, I have an actual carry on bag that I could figure out what all could go it in while the rest goes with Mornblade and his lovely wife.  He who travels fastest travels light.  I would rather not have to fool with an extra bag, even though I'm allowed two free bags.  I'm just too impatient.  Besides, Mornblade will have to carry some of my stuff anyway (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, razors).  If I can keep him to just one bag and my radio and I have one carry on and my pack, great.

So, I'm starting to compile the list.  These are things that have to come with me in the carry on:

*  Kylie (IBM S10 netbook) AND HER CHARGER!!!
*  My digital camera AND ITS CHARGER!!!
*  My GPS AND ITS CAR CHARGER!!!
*  My cell phone AND ITS CHARGER!!!
*  FERMATA'S (my Android tablet) CHARGER!!!  Fermata will be riding with me in the pack on the plane.
*  Waterproof MP3 player
*  Some art boards and a supply of pens and such.
*  Some immediate changes of clothes just in case.
*  Swim trunks
*  Towel
*  Water shoes
*  Flip flops (they have thicker soles than the water shoes, which may come in very very handy)
*  The combination lock I use for the public lockers when I go swimming
*  The rucksack I keep my swimming stuff in when going to the locker room
*  Laundry sheets.  I want to put one in my carry on going to and one going from to keep everything smelling nice in there (P.S. works great if you put one in each shoe before you pack them up, too)

Among the concerns --

*  My T square does not fit in the bag.  It sort of does, but at an angle, and I'm afraid of it getting broken.  I'm figuring that this weekend, I'll get a yardstick and cut off half of it (18") and it will fit just fine in the carry on.  I only really need it as a straight edge for drawing panels.

*  My regular MP3 player is toast.  I'm debating getting another one to take in the rental car with me or just getting a bigger memory card for Fermata and building a playlist on her.  I already take her with me almost everywhere.  Fermata is currently rocking a 16GB which is already loaded up with a bunch of videos and reading material, leaving me with about 5GB left.

*  Since I'll be in a completely new environment, I'm thinking a nightlight might be a good idea in case I wake up in the middle of the night and it takes me a minute to process I'm not at home at the moment.

*  Helping keep the clothing portion manageable is that the house has a washer and dryer, so I can do my clothes and they won't start smelling like my feet before I go home.

*  Selection of shirts, one pair of pants (basic black), one pair of sleep pants, and a couple of pairs of shorts.  Should be enough.

*  I'm taking an old ratty pair of sneakers with.  I might be hitting Sea World, and they have a walk among the penguins exhibit.  I love penguins.  Penguins, however, have an attitude.  My parents went on it, and each of them found a penguin that walked right up to them, looked them right in the eye, and pissed on their shoes before walking away like, "I don't sweat you."  I'd rather not have that happen to my nice driving mocs, and I need to throw out those ratty sneakers anyway.  So this will be their last hurrah.

*  Clionona might not be there when I'm there, so I'm thinking of leaving my Griffyndor robes at home.  Yeah, I can still get a picture, but it won't be the same without her.  So that's a lighter portion.

*  I'm thinking of getting another hat to help keep the sun off me when I'm waiting in line.  I'll be taking my straw gambler for sure, but I'm thinking an outback hat (not a bucket hat) would be sensayche.  I'll also be taking a couple of my watches with to coordinate with what I'm wearing.  Yes, I have some fashion awareness.  No black socks and sandals on me.  Likewise, no white belt and white shoes (also known as "the full Cleveland").

I'm going to assemble other things I'm thinking of, and then I'll do a dry run of packing it in the carry on, and we'll see what we do next.