247 days….why are you reading this? Please, get a life, or at least a probe.

Seriously, even my own kids don’t read this blog anymore. Well, the older two at least. My youngest is still at home and confesses to checking for updates once or twice a week.

Any personal delusions of punditry evaporated with Rick Perry’s aspirations of presidential grandeur. It’s small consolation that I find myself in the company of several other professionals that are constantly updating their analysis of the ever-changing election cycle. Believe me, I looked in vain for someone who predicted a Romney/Santorum finale last summer.

When I look at the search stats that point readers to this site, Schrodinger and Hank Warton recur as  the usual suspects. Katy Perry has rightfully reclaimed the first page of Google searches for “perrylicious”, and I really can’t see anyone doing the advanced search for “Rick Perry”  until the next presidential election cycle.

Speaking of which, I once thought that the 2012 Republican nominee would come to be seen as either channeling 1996 or 1980 and, paraphrasing Dan Quayle, Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan. Once again, in a race against a wounded Democratic incumbent, the GOP is managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of certain victory. Which will lead to endless, hand wringing regret by the party’s base that will carry the “when we nominate a moderate, we lose” refrain into 2016. Perhaps had they been allowed to nominate the intestinal byproduct and suffer an ignominious defeat of Goldwater/McGovern proportions they might have learned Joe Scarborough’s dad was right, crazy never wins.

So here we are in March and I’m looking back at my last dead pool prediction from November where I wrote off Santorum as “done after Iowa”. Much has transpired since then, to wit, a majority of voters that lack a medical background are now intimately familiar with the term “transvaginal ultrasound” courtesy of GOP lawmakers. Curiously, when the Texas legislature enacted what is essentially a duplicate of the recently failed Virginia statute last year, the word “transvaginal” failed to make the hyperspace jump from Austin into the national discourse about the political penetration of women’s lives. You have to get well beyond the headlines of this Dallas Morning News story from January of this year to find  the words “vaginal probe”,  now nearly synonymous with Virginia governor (and VP wannabe) Bob McDonell. It’s all in the optics, people!

296 days…..#deletedbain

Here we are a week away from the South Carolina primary that Willard seems poised to win merely by the fractured nature of the opposition. Had the scarecrow followed his intuition and bailed after a single digit Iowa finish, this picture could be different. Rumor has it that Anita pushed hard to reinforce his megalomaniacally hopeless instincts, or perhaps he thinks the Texas social conservative confab this weekend will anoint him the prefered non-Romney and pressure Santorum and Gingrich out.

Speaking of Gingrich, I finally had a chance to see the entire 27 minute version of “When Mitt Romney came to town” which can truly be seen as the director’s cut of the 3 minute attack ad that has been out there for some time. For a hilarious waste of time check out the complete deleted scenes and add your own using the #deletedbain hashtag. My favorites:

As his coffee cup shatters on the floor, Newt Gingrich realizes too late that Romney was Keyser Soze the whole time.

Romney  hires Nurse Ratched to lobotomize laid-off workers.

Romney sends Maria back to the abbey…THEN fires all the nuns.

Bain spinoff produces Soylent Green.

 Using money from foreign investors, Romney finances the Star Wars prequels.

Romney feeds surplus workers into a woodchipper.

When Romney is told half the people on the boat are going to drown, he sniffs, “Not the better half.”

330 days…..the jacket broke my back.

By now the “Strong” ad has invoked dozens of parody videos, as evidenced here:

There are many more, mostly trending into NSFW territory that can be linked to from that one. The original ad engendered so much negative response that comments have long been disabled on youtube. What can I say? I’m quite sure that jacket comes in a veritable rainbow of other colors, some of which might not have provoked an  association with Heath Ledger’s movie role.

I have got to give Rick props for a fairly solid debate performance last night, during which he goaded Willard to step on a ten thousand dollar dog turd.


338 days…..there’s still some love out there for Rick and (last?) cheap laugh at Cain’s expense.

While I personally fall into the camp that the Perry campaign is essentially dead, it is interesting to see buyers remorse among the GOP faithful that were never sold on Willard and have misgivings about current flavor of the month “Doughy Marshmallow“.

Enter two items from redstate.com; in the first Tim Griffin implores Iowa conservatives to coalesce around Rick while acknowledging that he “discussed privatized social security and essentially pledged to go to war with Iran.”and ending with “one more thing, right now, Rick Perry is the only one that has the money to win Iowa in 35 days. Iowa conservative know what to do next.” Justin Spagnolo weighs in with his second attempt to persuade readers to support the Governor ending on the dire note “SHAME on you fellow conservatives that argue electability matters most… You deserve what you get.” A brief sampling of the commentaries following both posts also yields a lot of support for Perry as well as this from a more realistic reader ” I’m going to have to stop calling this site “Perrystate”. The dream is over.”

The site Men for Cain basically speaks for itself, a marginally NSFW celebration of men behaving badly with commentary from everyone from “T Woods” to “Phil Anderer” offering support under the tag “You gotta respect the Godfather”. My favorite:

Joseph Goebbels, Berlin

Have experience, will travel. I can help you gain power with a solid propaganda campaign. Remember to respond to all questions about extramarital affairs by repeating “Nein, nein, nein!”

345 days….closing the coffin. And remember that Schrödinger says “no peeking”

One of my favorite macabre scenes from Paul Verhoeven’s (yes, the director of “Showgirls”) 2006 Zwartboek involves a previously heroic character, recently exposed as a villain attempting to smuggle himself out of danger by hiding inside a coffin. Try as I did, the only video clip of that particular scene I could find was accompanied by Kelly Clarkson singing “Because of you” (if you must, it’s at 2:30 here, I can’t endorse this in good conscience)

In Rick Perry’s metamorphosis from hope to dope, the coffin is just as surely being sealed shut, mainly through his own stumbles that never seem to end. In light of his recent stump speech decrying government excess, Mittens has called him out with a veiled reference to the interim housing chosen by the Perry’s while the governor’s mansion is restored. The background story in Wednesday’s Texas Tribune features a quote from the Governor that begs the question, “do they make trailers that size?”

I’ll pull the U-Haul up and we’ll go live somewhere else,” Perry said in an interview with Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith.


Foreign and domestic

I recently finished watching Janus Metz’ 2010 documentary “Armadillo” chronicling a Danish platoons deployment in Helmand province. As I watched it, I strained my memory recalling parallels with the late Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger’s “Restrepo” also released in 2010, the journal of an US Army platoons year in the Kornegal valley. There are absolute differences between both efforts, from a cinematographic perspective I prefered Metz’ film despite the necessity of reading subtitles. I found the home front aspect made some of the characters a bit more relatable, doubtless, young men here also have raunchy send-offs and download internet porn though said portrayals would almost guarantee non-cooperation from Army authorities.

Interestingly, the IMDB message board for Armadillo has barely generated 90 replies, not even meriting a second page, as opposed to the four pages of messages devoted to Restrepo. The vitriol on the latter board also reaches a fever pitch in several threads that veer off topic rapidly. For the time being, I’ll defer my views on the long-term consequences of the nation building experiment that is Afghanistan and content myself with recommending both films highly.

347 days…..more fallout from Rick’s impending demise.

Beautiful to look at from a distance, but as you get closer the stench of day-old roadkill will be what you remember most. A similar odor no doubt emanates around the Governors moribund campaign, not that his likely end has had any impact on the Prince and his imaginary kingdom, visible only to the four or five faithful followers of this blog.

The same cannot be said for Jason Stanford (and  co-author James Moore), who has seen his literary fortunes sunk by the collapse of Rick. In his own words, from yesterday’s Texas Tribune:

My first book came out last week. The subject is constantly in the headlines, and the first review called it “wickedly witty” and “engaging, imminently readable.” It even had a controversial title that the New York Times refused to print — and more penis jokes than you find in your average Judd Apatow movie. You might expect it would be kind of a big deal.

There was just one problem. The book was about Rick Perry. And when he plummeted in the polls, our publisher dropped us faster than the governor could say, “Oops.” (Granted, that took almost a minute.) Adios, Mofo: Why Rick Perry Will Make America Miss George W. Bush is now out as an e-book and will soon be in paperback, but now without a publisher.

It’s pretty bad news for the authors when the Prince of Pho isn’t giving their book a major plug on a blog that is 95% about Rick Perry. I have downloaded the e-book, but my reader is already littered with impulse purchases waiting for an extended airport layover or delayed doctor’s appointment, so it is doubtful that a review will be forthcoming here soon.

As if more proof of my inattention to the current political realities were necessary, I now realize that I had totally left Newt Gingrich out of my dead pool predictions two weeks ago. Seeing as he has elapsed Black Godfather as the anti-Willard of the month, and is being given a credible chance of placing first in Iowa, my neglect is inexcusable. Though I doubt he lasts much beyond super Tuesday, he may be one of the final three headed for tribal council….there are books to be sold, and every signing helps.

361 days…”I don’t mind saying…clearly…that I stepped in it last night”

There had long been speculation about the Governor being an ideal host in search of the perfect game show, what with the hair, smile, and folksy charm he would have been perfect. Not that the GOP debates this fall haven’t had more than a passing resemblance to staples of daytime television, even extending to the audience participation.

Now it appears the tombstone has been carved for Rick Perry’s career on the national stage, all that is missing being the closing date which may come before votes are ever cast in Iowa. As a (reluctant, disheartened, pick your adjective) supporter of Barack Obama’s re-election effort, I would have hoped Rick had been able to hang in a little longer, at least long enough to bloody Mittens in the early rounds. Not that the others would not relish that task, it was just a matter of his having the financial resources required to land some serious body blows on mister flip-flop.

Given the vanity candidate factor, it is with some trepidation that the Prince makes his dead pool predictions:

Herman Cain- Currently noteworthy mainly as a result of the sideshow that doesn’t seem to end and may stay in the news cycle for that reason alone well past the new year. Likely second place Iowa finish, single digits in New Hampshire, bounces back a bit in South Carolina IF Mittens doesn’t have decisive victories in Iowa and NH. Done after super Tuesday.

Michelle Bachmann- Expiration date could be extended only with a (currently unlikely) second or very strong third place finish in Iowa. Poor third place or lower, and she won’t miss the New Hampshire staffers that left this sinking ship some time ago.

Rick Santorum- Done after Iowa

Ron Paul- Enough resources and core support to go through until next summer merely as a matter of principle. If you’re in the “Republican stoner” demographic he’s your Obi Wan.

John Huntsman-My personal favorite in this field, has staked everything on  the supposedly more mainstream (read rational thinking, non ideologically crazed) voters of New Hampshire. He doesn’t need to win, but anything less than a strong second place finish leaves him with nothing. Even a win doesn’t give him legs for much more. Probably the only one who wouldn’t turn down a VP offer, but the all Mormon ticket is not going to happen.

Rick Perry- What to do with all that super PAC money? Probably being advised to pack it up and head home as this is being written.  My advice would be to throw a party a la Micheal Dukakis, but he won’t listen to me either. Aggie stubbornness keeps him in it through Iowa and maybe NH. Don’t fret Rick, you still have a job and when that’s over you can take a page out of Fred Thompson’s (didn’t several pundits call you the 2.0 version of him) book and become a television pitchman for….uh….Gingko Biloba.

366 days…..Rachel Maddow, pulling back the curtain


And exposing the Wizard of Cain as a performance art project beginning at the very first GOP debate when Herman Cain’s closing statement quoted an unnamed poet “life can be a challenge, life can seem impossible, but it’s never easy when there’s so much on the line“. It really is worth putting up with the commercial intro to watch the entire  18” clip that segues through (SPOILER ALERT) Pokemon, sim city, the Cain Train, and a Jackie Chan movie.

I want to say, like Rachel, “I should have known at Pokemon, we all should have known at Pokemon” but a part of me thinks this joke still has legs; it will be interesting to see if her expose plays out on the Sunday morning shows.