GOP Primary: The Event Horizon

Can you feel it?  We are getting close.  Event Horizon is a term related to relativity, describing the boundary by which an outside observer can no longer be affected by events through space and time.  In other words, it’s the point of no return.  Tonight we reached the event horizon of the republican primary election.  Governor Romney can’t officially win the nomination of his party until the Texas primary on May 29th at the earliest, but by sweeping the five states that voted tonight, he will no longer be affected by the Newts and Ron Pauls of the political world.  The republican party is at it’s event horizon, their point of no return, with Governor Romney as their nominee.

Now as we have seen over the past few weeks, there could always be a Columbian hooker in the closet, as in the case of the Secret Service, or a pregnant mistress and violation of campaign finance law, as in the case of former 08 candidate John Edwards.  If any of that were to happen that would of course change the game.  In this case I think the republicans are safe.  This is Governor Romney’s second go round.  You would think any issue would have come up by now, but hey you never know.

Just FYI; John Edwards could get 30 years in prison for what he has been accused of.  The trial started today and the first witness, one of Edwards’ closest aides during his failed Presidential run, put Edwards squarely under the bus.  The guy had receipts, e-mails, cashed checks, the works.  Johnny Haircut might be in a pickle on this caper.

Anyway, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware voted tonight.  Governor Romney swept all 5 states.  His lowest percentage was in Delaware, where he got 56% of the vote.  There were 231 delegates available tonight and Gov. Romney won them all.  His total now stands at 801 delegates.  He needs only 343 more to win the nomination.  He will do that easily.  There will be no floor fight at the convention.

Of course Newt finished last in every race but Delaware, coming in 2nd, some 3o percentage points behind Gov. Romney.  Naturally he gave a speech in North Carolina tonight.   Why North Carolina, well the Tar Heel state votes in the next primary on Tuesday, May 8th.  So you know what that means, Newt is staying in.  He claims he’ll reevaluate, but he said that about Delaware, and he got shellacked in Delaware.  He may just to drop out tomorrow, when he has the press all to himself.  He may just like having his Secret Service detail, you know the tax payer funded, heavily armed detail.

Paul finished 2nd in every race but Delaware.  He took 3rd behind Newt.  Interesting to note that Paul did not campaign in any of the states that voted tonight and he still beat Newt by sizable margins in 4 of the 5 states.  He appears to be hanging on for a sprint to the convention, again in all likelihood to get some more time for his Libertarian message.

Next primary is May 8th.  North Carolina, West Virginia, and Indiana are up.  Should be another 132 delegates in Governor Romney’s column.

We have another dead period as we wait the two weeks for the May 8th vote.  What will we find out next.  Will it be another dog meat buffet scandal, illegal immigrant hedge trimmers, fancy vacations, or an oldy but a goody, the birth certificate conundrum?

Rest assured, if it’s utterly ridiculous, heinously stupid, and completely manufactured, Frank’s Place will be all over it.

GOP Primary: The point of no return… maybe

This is it. Possibly.  Tonight’s the night.  I think.

This should be the final step for Governor Romney.  He is running basically unopposed now and while he can’t technically win the nomination tonight, that could come in Texas on May 29th at the earliest, he can effectively put the nomination away by sweeping the five northeastern states voting tonight.  If he can’t do that, the doubts that have been finding a voice the past three weeks may get louder.

The governor has already shifted to hammering the President, although he made that move after the Florida primary.  The big difference this time; the White House has shifted to hammering Romney, clearly believing he is the man.  The only person who doesn’t believe it is Newt, and a lot of the electorate.

Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director called it way back in August of 2011.  The Republican base may not fall in love with Mitt Romney but they need to fall in LIKE with him.  Still not sure the electorate is in like with Mitt Romney.  Tonight will go a long way to settling that down.

In Newt’s case his ego just won’t let him quit.  His debt on the other hand…  Currently the Gingrich campaign is over 6 million in debt and that number is rising.  For some reason Newt and Calista have refused to accept they are the fringe campaign.  Both still use a private jet for travel, and Calista still maintains a personal body guard service, even though she has a secret service agent assigned to her.  Speaking of the US Secret Service, guess which candidate who is against frivolous government spending still demands a secret service detail, costing the tax payer some serious gitas (money).  Newt and Calista will have that detail until he drops from the race; something he say’s he’s not willing to do until the convention.

However, because of the mounting debt there has been rumblings that Newt may pull the cord after the Delaware primary.  Delaware?  That’s his last stand according to his campaign.  Not really sure what a portion of 17 delegates will do for a campaign that’s over 500 delegates behind and 6 mil in debt but hey what do I know, he’s the PhD.

Don’t Look Now…..

Remember all those dumb little non-binding delegates from all those dumb little caucuses in the mid-west?  Well, they have been conducting their respective state conventions and guess who’s been winning a lot of those un-bound delegates?  If you guessed Congressman Ron Paul, take 10 dollars out of petty cash.  The Paul campaign has 2+ million in surplus cash, no debt, no on coming debt.  He’s not traveling much, speaking at local events in his districts or at colleges where the school puts up the fee.    In other words it turns out Ron Paul practices what he preaches.  It has put him in good position for …

Guess what, Ron Paul may survive to the convention.  He can’t win it but he’ll finish second in overall delegates which would be a huge feat.  He’ll probably be offered a speech in close to prime time network coverage at the convention; in the dinner hour most likely, and that’s the victory Paul is looking for.  He knows he can’t win, but if he can keep getting his message out there through the remainder of this election, that will be victory enough.

All five states are in the correct time zone, so polls close anywhere from 7 to 8pm eastern.  Check back for results after 8.

Oh and any polls you see in April have absolutely no bearing in November.  Romney has drawn even with the President, the President trails Romney, it will be all over the map.  The only poll that matters now is the one you’re standing in on Tuesday, November 6th.

Diary of a Stay At Home Dad: The Cartoon Wars

So, yeah we let the kid watch a little TV; even before he was two. I know that may make some of you shudder, but if you know me then you know you’re wasting a perfectly good shudder. For those without kids I will tell you that it’s hard to pick up a parenting book, read an article in a parenting type magazine or see a post on parenting type blogs, that doesn’t condemn letting the little tyke watch the flat screen before the age of two.

Frank was watching the golf channel when he was barley 6 months old.  That wasn’t by choice obviously, it was just my preferred background noise whilst I was choring.  Of course now that he has a choice he would rather hit golf balls than watch it on TV.  Ah they grow so quick.  If he chooses to watch TV, his choices have become more age appropriate I guess.  I mean golf is any age appropriate in my opinion, but what do I know.  I do know that I have learned a lot about kids cartoons in the last two plus years.  Here are a few of the shows Frank watches and my opinion/review of them.

Baby Einsteins was the first non-golf show he ever watched. Not too bad.  If I had to watch it over and over it wouldn’t make go on a killing spree or anything, but not my first choice for mindless entertainment.  The show has a lot of animals and music, a good combo for any long car trip.

He then graduated to the Little Einsteins.  This gets 2 thumbs up from me.  It’s really for older kids, 3 years and up I think, but Frank was digging it when he was around 18 months old.  Four little kids using classical music to solve issues ranging from lost animals to putting the rings back around Saturn, it’s must see TV.  They even have a rocket ship named Rocket, of course.  The little band of merry sleuths ask for help in getting Rocket’s engines started and helping him go super fast.  Again all this is done using the basics of music.  Pretty cool concept.

Special Agent OSO.  This is a tubby bear special agent who goes by the name OSO, as in “He’s O SO Special” as his theme song happily sings.  Get it?  Well I’m here to tell you Special Agent OSO is not So Special.  He’s a dope.  Apparently he’s also deaf.  The show’s bid to get kid interaction revolves around OSO being told his mission and then immediately turing to the camera and saying, “I forget, which way was I supposed to go?”

Special Agent No-So

This goes on the entire show.  He can’t remember a freaking thing.  He’s told to zip up his wet suit before diving in the ocean to swim to the beach.  What does mister Special do, swims to the beach unzipped and then can’t understand why his clothes are wet.  Then the other characters in the show tell him the right way AGAIN, and then he finally gets it right.  The only thing he’s teaching kids is that they don’t have to pay attention the first time because someone will be there to tell them again.  Not so special bro, not so special.

Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Ok show, great music.  Three kids in a pirate crew battling Captain Hook.  This is an offshoot of Peter Pan, who makes frequent cameos.  I warmed to this show; didn’t like it at first but they use a lot of rock style music at the close of the show and Frank always runs to get his golf club/guitar to play along.

Thomas the Tank Engine.  Pure awesome.  Hands down the best merchandised cartoon outside of Disney.  The difference: we took Frank to a remote town in North Carolina to ride the actual Thomas Train and it cost about 100 bucks total, including gas.  The town was all decked out in Thomas stuff, there was a big tent with train tables, a huge Lego Thomas.  We got Thomas tattoos.  Took Frank into one of the many Thomas stores there and he walked out with a Thomas whistle, that’s it.  Bummer.  Let’s buy some stuff man.  He’s not at the “I want everything” stage yet.  I should be thankful.

It was great as much as it was a disaster, and it was a disaster.  The full story is in the book, coming soon, so save your pennies.

Chuggington.  Trains again, a mild rip off of Thomas, Chuggington is a city run by trains.  Three trains are in training (no pun) to be Chuggers, full fledged members of Chuggington.  It’s really the vanilla wafer of the train cartoons.  I’ll eat a whole box in one sitting, but I probably won’t like it.

Handy Manny.  Big bummer here.  I really like Handy Manny but Frank never took to it.  Manny is a hispanic living in milquetoast America.  The town is called Sheetrock Hills and is possibly the whitest place on the planet.  But Manny does repair work for the good people of Sheetrock Hills as he is the only competent worker in the town and the only person with tools.

Too cool for tools.

And the tools are what’s cool.  They talk, with spanish accents.  Every tool has a different personality type.  Manny will always use a spanish word and then give the english translation.  Very catchy theme song too; which I find myself signing a lot.  I wanted to get Frank the tools and tool box for Christmas but he really doesn’t watch the show much.  I was bummed again.

Of course Disney gets a segment all alone.

The Disney Channel is the greatest invention since the airplane.  Sorry Tony.  Most of the aforementioned shows can be seen on the channel.  Micky Mouse Club is a great show as well.  Like Thomas, the Mouse needs no explanation.  All I’ll say is I can get most of the house cleaned, or laundry done, or bills paid, or dinner made with a little Disney Marathon.  But the House of the Mouse does not come without some pitfalls.

No Disney Movie is appropriate for kids.  Frank and I were both a little sick one day and we snuggled into the barco-lounger to watch Finding Nemo, airing on Disney Channel.  I had never seen the movie, but heard everyone raving about it when it came out.  It’s fish, in the ocean, swimming and singing.  Everyone in the commercial looks like they’re having a good time.  They have that great song, Under the Sea, sung by a cute little crustacean.  Should be great.

Bad move.  Should have pre-screened it.  Holy crap, in the first 20 minutes of the movie we see Nemo’s family, including his mother, being savagely murdered by a school of piranha.  Only Nemo and his father survive.  Damn you Mickey the Mouse!

The action is mostly implied of course.  Trust me, kids can read facial expressions, and the expression on Nemo’s father’s face screamed bad things.  His expression after the bloodletting was over screamed very sad things. Turns out every Disney movie is structured that way.  An endearing character goes through unspeakable tragedy and then triumphs in the end.  Who knew.  That never happens on Golf Channel. Thank God the back button on the remote took us to the Evian Masters repeat, a replay of the LPGA women’s Masters.  So yeah, no Disney movies.  Hopefully Anne Marie will benefit from the emotional scars Frank is taking for the team.

Since Disney is so fond of morals to the story, I’ll give you one.  If the little tyke is watching something you’re not sure about, switch to the Golf Channel, where the scariest thing he’ll see is a professional golfer miss a four foot putt costing him millions of dollars.