January 31, 2012

beegees The other night while flipping through channels I came upon a Biography Channel biography of The Bee Gees, that iconic British group famous for their classic pop melodies, quivering harmonies, tender ballads, and smooth disco. Perhaps it’s because of their relative “lightness” when compared to, say, “serious” bands like the Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, etc., I’m not sure they’ve ever gotten their true due, but they’re one of the largest-selling acts in rock history (only Elvis, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold them to date).

While I hadn’t seriously listened to any of their music except for whatever might have come across the radio or supermarket speakers in recent years, hearing their story told with all of those great songs reminded me just how good these guys were. Without question they’d have a firm place in The Great White Shank’s top ten of all-time great bands. With that in mind, here are ten of my favorite Bee Gees tunes; if you have others feel free to chime in:

10. “Lonely Days” (1970). Not much of a tune, actually – at least compared to others in their catalog – but I always liked it.

9. “How Deep Is Your Love?” (1977). Another cut from “Saturday Night Fever”, perfect for slow dancing on the disco floor with that chick you hoped you could end up taking home, but never did.

8. “You Win Again” (1987). A great example of how the band could still churn out solid pop nearly twenty years after they broke upon the pop scene. A modern take on their classic ability to combine melody and great harmonies.

7. “Stayin’ Alive” (1977). I mean, how can any Bee Gees list not have this one from “Saturday Night Fever”?

6. “I’ve Just Got To Get A Message To You” (1968). I’ve always liked the beat of this song and its odd combination of lyric (about a man condemned to die) and jaunty arrangement.

5. “You Should Be Dancing” (1976). Hard-pounding disco and a monster hit that was played in and danced to in every club that year.

4. “Words” (1968). Love the piano throughout, the almost tentative start and the dramatic low notes. I equate this song with my “coming out” year of not just hearing music, but, thanks to The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”, listening to it for the first time.

3. “Run To Me” (1972). The last of the “old style” Bee Gees releases, a lovely ballad with great harmonies. When they would return nearly three years later, they’d sound like a different band.

2. “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?” (1971). Whenever I hear this song it brings me back to our last family vacation in 1971, driving to Niagrara Falls and Fort Ticonderoga and hearing my Mom singing the harmony in the chorus. Mom could always pick out the good harmonies!

1. “Nights On Broadway” (1975) – I remember when this came out, thinking how much of a departure it was from their traditional sound. A great rocker and the first sign they had exhanged one genre for another while still keeping intact their classic sound.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 09:25 | Comments (6)
January 30, 2012

155. That’s the official reading from the Sunbeam scale in the bathroom that, just four weeks ago back on January 2nd, when I was about to embark on my “Six-Week Cure For The Middle-Aged Middle” diet, read 170. That’s 15 pounds in four weeks! During that time, I’ve seen various articles of clothing from t-shirts to shorts to long pants that once were either too snug to wear (or at least wear comfortably) slipped back into my daily rotation and testifying to the tightened midsection I could never have imagined possible in just four weeks’ time. I haven’t taken a Prilosec for acid reflux since New Year’s Day, and, while I’m still not sleeping as well as I did prior to starting out on the diet, I feel better both mentally and physically than I have in years. Today I’ll be going to my doctor to draw blood in anticipation of my annual physical; it will be interesting to see if I have seen any difference in my blood numbers from last year.

While the first two weeks of the Eades’ diet were tough – those three daily protein shakes regimen were definitely a wake-up call – the meal recipes were delicious, and I found myself adjusting easily to the dietary changes and not missing the alcohol and caffeine nearly as much as I thought I would. After that, for the next two weeks (the so-called “meat weeks”), the only part I didn’t like were the amino acid supplement tablets which were the biggest damned things I ever saw. After almost choking to dath on one of them, I just started smashing them into powder and taking them with a big glass of water.

So now I head into the last two weeks of the diet, which the Eades’ call the “maintenance weeks”. It’s during this time that, after two weeks of abolutely zero carbs, dairy product limited to the half-and-half I’d put in my two cups of morning half-regular / half-decaf coffee, minimal alcohol (two 4 oz. servings a week), and no veggies with sugars or starches, I start enacting my own plan based on their recommendations. In short, the last two weeks are designed to help you find that delicate balance between lifestyle and diet based on the lessons you have learned during the first four weeks. Just the fact I no longer have to take the leucine supplements is worth it!

I’ve thought a lot about where and how I go from here, and here will be my strategy from here on out:

1. No consumption of anything containing high-fructose corn syrup. I’ve already checked everything in my refrigerator and pantry, and tossed out anything containing the slightest amount of HFCS.

2. Restricting alcohol consumption to weekends only (Friday night through Sunday night), with four days of zero alcohol every week to maintain my liver balance and health. This I don’t consider much of a sacrifice at all, as I’ve come to truly enjoy and look forward to my club sodas on the rocks with a twist of lemon or lime.

3. Emphasis on foods with low carbs (no more than 60 grams a day) and eating organic as much as possible.

4. A drastic reduction in the nightly potatoes and rices, and sauces and gravies I used to enjoy regularly. Surprisingly, while I’ve missed my pastas and rice dishes, I’ve found that I enjoy a sliced tomato drizzled in olive oil along with some veggies either steamed or done on the stove top with olive oil just as enjoyable. There are some nice low-carb pasta options out there (the Dreamfields line is readily available at most supermarket chains), and, as long as you don’t go crazy you can find a pretty good balance there.

Considering that I was only looking to lose ten pounds and tighten up my midsection, the Eades’ diet has worked beyond my wildest dreams. Of course, I don’t think staying at 155 is a reasonable goal going forward (and to be honest, I would be ecstatic if a year from now I found myself stable somewhere around 160, give or take a pound or two), but I can’t wait to see what, if any, changes take place as I enter the final, maintenance weeks of my diet. Stay tuned.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 07:34 | Comment (1)
January 29, 2012

Even if you’re a fan of Barack Obama, there is a Mark Steyn article in this week’s National Review Online that should be required reading for everyone concerned about the direction of this country. His idea for how the President could have saved everyone 89 1/2 minutes of their lives during his State Of The Union speech last Tuesday is, sadly, all too true had the President had the courage to lay it all out for the American people in language anyone could understand:

“The State of our Union is broke, heading for bankrupt, and total collapse shortly thereafter. Thank you and goodnight! You’ve been a terrific crowd!”

Of course, he didn’t, and even the most ardent liberal Democrat who stuck around for the whole thing could not have helped but come away with some sense of an incredible shrinking Presidency where the great ideas behind “Hope and Change” have dissolved into a simple and cynical class warfare against “billionaires” and their need to pay higher taxes in the name of “fairness” – as if simply by doing so it would poof our economic problems away, thus eliminating the need by the President and our elected officials in Washington to have to actually face this country’s desperate economic situation head on:

The president certainly had facts and figures at his disposal. He boasted that his regulatory reforms “will save business and citizens more than $10 billion over the next five years.” Wow. Ten billion smackeroos! That’s some savings — and in a mere half a decade! Why, it’s equivalent to what the government of the United States borrows every 53 hours. So by midnight on Thursday Obama had already re-borrowed all those hard-fought savings from 2017. “In the last 22 months,” said the president, “businesses have created more than three million jobs.” Impressive. But 125,000 new foreign workers arrive every month (officially). So we would have to have created 2,750,000 jobs in that period just to stand still.

An honest leader would feel he owed it to the citizenry to impress upon them one central truth — that we can’t have any new programs because we’ve spent all the money. It’s gone. The cupboard is bare. What’s Obama’s plan to restock it? “Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary,” the president told us. “Asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.”

The so-called “Buffett Rule” is indicative not so much of “common sense” as of the ever widening gap between the Brobdingnagian problem and the Lilliputian solutions proposed by our leaders. Obama can sacrifice the virgin daughters of every American millionaire on the altar of government spending and the debt gods will barely notice so much as to give a perfunctory belch of acknowledgement. The president’s first term has added $5 trillion to the debt — a degree of catastrophe unique to us. In an Obama budget, the entire cost of the Greek government would barely rate a line-item. Debt-to-GDP and other comparative measures are less relevant than the hard-dollar numbers: It’s not just that American government has outspent America’s ability to fund it, but that it’s outspending the planet’s.

Read the whole thing – it’s truth-talking few, if any of our electeds are talking about. And it should be – every day.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 15:05 | Comments (0)
January 28, 2012

A few notes and news to start the weekend off:

I’ve had this happen with one of our cats before, albeit in a car. Our cat Sparkle always found ways to get into places that were nearly impossible for her to get out of. One time that happened, she thanked me by puking all over me.

I guess this is where the saying, “if you can’t raise the bridge, lower the river” comes from. Yikes…

I have to agree with NRO’s Jonah Goldberg on this. I’m glad I never didn’t watch President Obama’s State Of The Union speech, I would have tossed my club soda and lemon right through the flat screen. He quotes the President and then nails him for his incredible hypocisy and misguidedness:

“This nation is great because we worked as a team. This nation is great because we get each other’s backs.”

No. Wrong. It is not so with America. This nation isn’t great because we work as a team with the president as our captain. America is great because America is free. It is great not because we put our self-interest aside, but because we have the right to pursue happiness.

I don’t blame the president for being exhausted with the mess and bother of democracy and politics, since he has proved so inadequate at coping with the demands of both. Nor do I think he truly seeks to impose martial virtues on America. But he does desperately want his opponents to shut up and march in place. And he seems to think this bilge will convince them to do so.

What I can’t forgive, however, is the way he tries to pass off his ideal of an America where everyone marches as one as a better America. It wouldn’t be America at all.

Oh yeah, like you “have the back” of anyone who happens to disagree with you and your destructive policies – we’re just racists out here, you know. But what should one expect from a so-called “genius” of a President whose goal for economic health includes this gem of wisdom:

“I laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last, that has a firm foundation. Where we’re making stuff and selling stuff and moving it around and UPS drivers are dropping things off everywhere.”

Yeah, as long as that “stuff” is not black and gooey and leads this country to less dependence on foreign Middle East oil. In the spirit of AZ governor Jan Brewer, I’ve got a piece of advice for you, Mr. President: stuff it.

UPDATE: Replaced “foreign oil” with “Middle East oil” – after all, the Keystone pipeline would draw oil from Canada, and last I checked, Canada was a foreign country. :-)

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:44 | Comments (2)
January 27, 2012

onceupon The final GOP debate before the Florida primary was as entertaining and combative as was expected, with lots of fireworks and sharp contrasts being painted by each candidate against the others. At the outset it looked like it was going to be a tiring tit-for-tat between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, but that ended pretty quickly after Rick Santorum (displaying a far more combative and colorful persona than he has to date) brought everyone back to earth and refused to let moderator Wolf Blitzer play willing antagonist. While the debate was far better than Monday night’s snoozefest – primarily because the audience’s questions were excellent, putting old Wolf to shame – there’s just no point in expecting any debate hosted by the main TV networks or cable channels to be anything than “gotcha” questions asked for the purposes of a cheap sound bite.

Still, any good gundown has winners and losers, and there were some tonight. Given the theme of this post, let’s rate them with bullets:

1. Mitt Romney (4 bullets). Not because he had a better debate than all the others (that goes to Rick Santorum, for which I’ll explain below), but because Santorum did so well compared to Newt Gingrich. If the sense was that Newt hit his ceiling after winning the South Carolina, partly because of the Romney’s attacks at the Monday debate, partly because Newt once again drifted off message and back into dream-weaving, Romney’s performance was enough to keep that going. Last night showed a more forceful Romney while displaying the same annoying weaknesses that Republicans and conservatives tear their hair out over: he got caught not knowing one of his ads criticized Gingrich out of context, and he got absolutely pistol-whipped by Santorum on RomneyCare. Still, he had good answers on his private sector experience, and he showed a more human side to him on the (stupid) Blitzer question on how his wife would make a good First Lady. His answer on why he was the most qualified to beat Barack Obama was solid, if not totally convincing. Because Newt didn’t win, Romney wins on points.

2. Rick Santorum (3 bullets). Santorum was much more animated, more substantial, and thus better able to separate himself from Gingrich and Romney last night than he had been able to do previously. Most will think he came out ahead in terms of style and substance, but one can’t help feel that this is all too little, too late for him. Unless GOP voters suddenly (and overwhelmingly) decide that both Romney and Gingrich are so flawed as candidates they can’t trust or take a chance on either of them, I don’t see Santorum as a major player in the primaries going forward. Lacking the money and the organization, a good debate alone is just not going to propel him anywhere at this juncture.

3. Ron Paul (2 bullets). Same Ron Paul. If you love him, nothing he can do will change your mind. To me he looked more pale and tired than usual. Got in his usual effective one-liners and quips that endear him to his following, but he’s not going to win the nomination.

4. Newt Gingrich (1 bullet). Newt needed a big performance tonight and came up short. Started off going negative on Romney before turning on Wolf Blitzer with another blame-the-moderator response that seemed forced and awkward (ultimately leading to a Romney counterpunch that left Newt ducking for cover), then spent the rest of the debate again emphasizing his Washington experiences in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. When Newt concentrates on substance and problem-solving, he’s the best up there, but lately this continous walk through the Reagan and Clinton administrations just makes him seem like a well-connected Washington insider living out past gun battles. I’ve counted out Newt before, so I’m hesitant to do it again, but his star seems to be fading, and fast.

So there you have it. Thankfully, there are no more debates for a month! My prediction is that Romney wins Florida by 7-8 points, which will send conservatives into a panic. In the unlikely event Newt arises again, it will only be because of a GOP repudiation of Mitt Romney and the thought of nominating yet another weak-kneed, spineless moderate as the nominee.

Make no mistake about it: the fear and trembling in conservative quarters is palpable and could turn into full-blown panic if Romney wins Florida. Santorum’s campaign is on fumes, and while Paul will continue to rack up enough delegates to make him a player at the August convention, no one seriously considers him a viable nominee. There’s a huge schism forming in the Republican Party – a lot of conservatives (count me among them) very worried about Romney in a head-to-head match against Barack Obama, and it’s not out of the question that someone like Indiana governor Mitch Daniels (who gave a boffo GOP response to Obama’s State Of The Union address the other night) could be prodded to enter late with the goal of gathering momentum into the convention and being a brokered choice everyone could get behind. I’d love to see that happen…

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:30 | Comments (4)
January 26, 2012

rabbit_yawn …says Cosmo the rabbit.

So I think I will.

Oh, but before I go, thank you,Governor Brewer! Someone needs to stand up for a state under repeated and concerted attack by the President and the Attorney General of this country. I wish the GOP in Washington woul show the same kind of fortitude.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:07 | Comments (0)
January 25, 2012

It looks like last night might be the last sub-40 night the NWS is expecting for the rest of the winter here in the Valley of the Sun. The extended forecast says we may even hit 80 for the first time the weekend after this, and once it does that it starts the steady climb of the highs and lows for each day. I’ve got baby limes already starting on my tree, and the air yesterday had just a hint of sweetness, so Arizona spring can’t be far away.

Still, for many, it’s the dead of winter, so here’s a poem more in keeping with January, hope you like it:

“Clouded with snow
The cold winds blow,
And shrill on leafless bough
The robin with its burning breast
Alone sings now.

The rayless sun,
Day’s journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Unearthly white.

Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon.”
- Walter de La Mare, Winter

Hat tip: egreenway.com

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:40 | Comments (0)
January 24, 2012

Tonight’s GOP debate hosted by NBCPolitics.com was, in a long list of poorly-conceived and moderated debates, the worst of them all. Brian Williams ought to be ashamed of himself for committing the one cardinal offense you can make in the television/entertainment industry: being boring. Let me ask you something: how on God’s green earth can you moderate a GOP presidential debate without asking any questions – not one – about the current Commander-in-Chief? Nothing about the federal debt. Nothing about the “Fast and Furious” scandal and a senior Department of Justice official announcing on Friday he was taking the 5th at the next Congressional hearing. Nothing about the President’s State of the Union address tomorrow evening. Nothing about the Keystone pipeline decision.

What did we get instead? Questions about sugar subsidies (!), the Terri Schiavo controversy of a few years back, a bizarre question about what if China and Cuba switched places – bizarre questions that offered no sense of the issues facing this country or how the candidates might differ from Barack Obama. It was boring, unsubstantial, and a waste of time. Everyone knows Brian Williams is an avowed leftist and his network the #1 Barack Obama ass-kisser, but if you want to host a GOP debate to begin with, shouldn’t you at least give what little journalism chops you might have left have some self-respect?

Conservative commentator David Limbaugh, I think, summed up the night’s proceedings best when he tweeted at the debate’s close: “No one won the debate because there wasn’t a debate. To say someone did win is to accept the false premise that there was one.” Indeed. Shame on Brian Williams, shame on NBC, and, most of all, shame on the GOP candidates for allowing such a snoozefest to take place.

Given all of the above, there were winners and losers to tonight’s debate:

1. Mitt Romney. If Romney ends up winning the GOP nomination and beating Barack Obama in the general election, he’ll have one person to thank – Newt Gingrich. Gingrich’s ascension in the polls, culminating in Romney’s crushing defeat in South Carolina, was the best thing that could have happened to him. While he missed some obvious chances to blast Brian Williams for his inane questions, he nevertheless was sharp, to the point, and pointed in his criticism of Gingrich when he had his chance at the opening of the debate. Was the first candidate to mention our nation’s debt crisis. Took my advice and wiped that stupid grin off his face, replacing it with a slighter smirk, and was forceful in his defense of his own private sector success. His last answer about the seven things he’s do to get the economy moving were crisp and to the point. The bad news is that few, if any, actually watched this debate, the good news is that the commentary on his performance will likely stop his campaign’s bleeding and even turn it back around a bit.

2. Ron Paul. Not a winner, not a loser. He was just there. Typical answers to typical questions. He’s not even campaigning in Florida, and seems to have hit his ceiling in terms of support, so tonight he was just taking up space.

3. Newt Gingrich. Had numerous opportunities to question the inanity of some of Williams’ questions but for whatever reason chose to do not. Romney hammered him hard at the outset about being a Washington insider, lobbyist, and influence peddler, and that seemed to knock Newt off his stride. While he had some decent answers to questions as the “debate” went on, his performance and persona seemed subdued throughout, making him to appear like just another old and tired career politician. Wouldn’t be surprised if today’s polls out of Florida following his SC win are his campaign’s high-water mark.

4. Rick Santorum. Had the most to gain tonight by being forceful and attacking the almost-embarassingly liberal slant of Williams’ questions but instead just repeated the same old positions in the same old way. I’ve come to realize his strengths are as a legislator proposing legislation and debating the same by opponents. He simply can’t let go of policy and talk to people’s concerns and pocketbooks. Time to say goodnight, Rick.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:52 | Comments (0)
January 23, 2012

Three weeks down, three weeks to go on my six-week “Cure For The Middle-Aged Middle” diet, and the scale says I’ve lost three more pounds. I’m down to 157, making it thirteen so far, three over my goal of losing ten pounds. Obviously, I’m thrilled. I haven’t weighed less than 160 in I don’t know how long.

To tell you the truth, I was surprised to drop the additional pounds, as the past week (the first of the diet’s two “meat weeks”) has been filled with little more than chicken, beef, and pork in a variety of ways (soup, meatloaf, chili), plus eggs and a small amount of their recommended veggies cooked with a bit of olive oil. But, with the exception of Saturday (when, in the Lenten tradition of a Laetere Sunday, I permitted myself an additional glass of wine and – gasp! – a little bit of chocolate to reward myself for good behavior these past few weeks), I’ve stuck to the diet faithfully and haven’t found myself feeling wanting in any way.

While I haven’t noticed the additional weight loss, I have noticed additional, albeit small improvement in how my clothes fit. I have a Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville “The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful” t-shirt that I had stopped wearing because I didn’t like my paunchy look in it; now I can wear it and it doesn’t even fit sung. Pants that used to require a little tug to fasten slip on easily. To me, that’s reward enough. I’m still craving wacky things like macaroni and cheese, cheese and crackers, beef enchiladas, and spaghetti and meatballs, but I tell myself my time will come when I can have these kinds of things in moderation.

So where to from here? Week four will be similar to the past week, with lots of meat meals with continued recommended exercises and vitamin supplements. Next week I plan a physical and blood test to see how various numbers might have improved along with the weight loss as I enter the final two weeks of the diet, which is setting up the maintenance program I plan on following after that. More on that when the time comes.

Bottom line: this diet has been an unqualified success, not so much because of the weight loss itself (which is important), but, more importantly, I’m learning how to eat better (and less) and what kinds of foods and food ingredients to avoid – for example, all refrigerator and pantry items containing high-fructose corn syrup have been tossed out, and when I go to the supermarket I’m actually reading labels. The recipes for this diet also have me cooking using different techniques than I have in the past, which has been interesting. It is definitely an eye-opener when it comes to my diet in the past and what I plan to keep on following going forward.

…it’s been more than three weeks since I’ve had a boat drink. Now THAT’S something to look forward to when I get to Vegas in less than three weeks!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 12:21 | Comments (0)
January 22, 2012

What a difference a week makes.

Hard to believe just a week ago the Beltway pundits were all ready to coronate Mitt Romney as the de facto GOP nominee. Now, after getting crushed in South Carolina by a resurgent Newt Gingrich, all the pressure is on Romney to sell himself anew to Republican primary voters. He ought to know by now that the cool, business-savvy persona isn’t going to play this year: conservatives and Republican voters have had enough of a “Massachusetts moderate” schmoozer who plays get-along with a mainstream dino-media that openly shows its disdain for Republicans and conservatives. This year, GOP primary voters want a fighter who isn’t afraid to call out Barack Obama, his mainstream media ass-kissers, and the milquetoast Republican establishment in Washington out for what they are. As Hugh Hewitt writes:

The South Carolina electorate didn’t vote for a person or a platform; they voted for a personality — the fiery, combative, [mainstream media]-hating Newt. They want the GOP nominee to charge at the president, throw around the term Alinksyite, push back at John King and Juan Williams, and shout out the absurdity of Barack Obama as president and the destructiveness of his combination of epic incompetence and awful ideology.

I suspect that the GOP as a whole has a lot of this pent-up anger at the Manhattan-Beltway media elites, and they too have been cool to cool hand Mitt as a result.

As National Review Online’s Terence Jeffrey adds:

Conservatives not only resent the liberal media for trying to pick the Republican nominee (n.b. the media prefer Romney) but they also resent Republican politicians who, once elected, spend their careers appeasing the media while abandoning conservative principles (n.b. the supine leadership of the Republican party in the House of Representatives). Conservatives want a president whose attitude toward the media matches the attitude Gingrich has shown in recent debates. A president with that kind of attitude, they hope, might actually govern as a conservative.

As I alluded to on last Friday’s post after the Thursday night debate, if Romney wants to win the GOP nomination, he’s going to need some significant re-tooling of his message. As an amateur political consultant, here is what I would recommend:

1. Let Newt be Newt. Rather than go after Gingrich hard and negative, I would use my business experience to highlight the differences between you and he when it comes to getting this country’s fiscal house in order. Pound away at the deficit by personalizing to individual Americans what it would mean if this country continues down the reckless spending and borrowing road it is traveling. Comnpare this nation’s debt to something people can relate to – like the iceberg in front of the Titanic. Talk about the danger to people’s stock market investments and 401K plans if Obama is re-elected President. But more than anything, make it personal. You’ll never be one of “the people”, but you can use language that the “regular folks” understand to contrast your “disciplined approach” to Newt’s “grandiose ideas”.

2. Get rid of that weird, smug, used-car dealer half-smile you have while people are asking you questions. Project the kind of serious businessman demeanor you might have used at Bain Capital when reviewing a failing company’s ledgers. You’ve spent the better part of eight months acting as if the nomination was yours for the keeping, you now have to project a more serious and fighting demeanor without being seen as shrill, negative, and panicky.

3. Go after Barack Obama with specifics – people don’t understand “European-style socialism”, and it’s not as if there isn’t plenty to talk about: the blood on his administration’s hands as a result of the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal, the loss of billions of dollars in betting on “green energy” companies like Solyndra and others; the Keystone pipeline decision; Obamacare and its impact on Medicare; the administration’s undelared war on South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, and Arizona over voting laws and immigration, just to name a few. Get specific – that’s why Gingrich’s “food stamp President” line resonated so well with SC voters.

4. More than anything else, release your damned taxes and use it to tell your personal story. You’re a successful businessman, for God’s sake. Use your tax return as a way to tell your story about success. Make it a story that individual people can relate to. Show some humility and make the case that your story shows what any American can do if they work hard enough and educate themselves enough. Forget about the Occupy Wall Street losers; the fact is, American love to make money so they can buy things. Frame your success as a story that others can identify with, make it something like this: “Look, if I can do it, you can do it too, but if you don’t elect someone like me who will change the direction this country is going, no one, not me, not you – will be able to make it in America”.

Fortunately for you, Mitt, the odds are still with you and Gingrich remains a flawed candidate capable of self-destructing at any moment. But another debate where you’re hemming and hawing about your tax returns and not getting into specifics about where the problems are and what you’ll do to fix them if elected, and I’m afraid you’re in for more than a bloody nose.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:05 | Comments (0)

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