Tag Archives: 2012

Today’s the Day – VOTE!

Today’s the day. The process is quite simple — if you haven’t voted yet, go do it. Don’t depend on someone else, don’t rationalize or think your vote won’t “count”. You need to put aside whatever inconveniences may be thrown your way and vote. Then, if you are able, help others to vote as well. At the very least encourage them to vote.

This is the image, the message, the information that should drive your vote:

(h/t Big Government)

Time for me to go. I’ll talk with you all later.

I’ve voted. There were about 40 people ahead of me. That’s more than I’ve ever seen at my polling location, by far. Now, it’s your turn. VOTE!

Anecdotal Evidence Poll

Sure, it’s only anecdotal evidence, but here in the part of central Florida that I call home I have noticed a big shift in one election indicator that is very much different from 2008 – yard signs.

In the areas I travel I have noticed a huge gap in the number of yard signs. In 2008 there were much fewer yard signs for either candidate and they were distributed fairly evenly between Obama and McCain. That’s not the case this year. In the weeks since the conventions I’ve noticed a huge imbalance, so big that it was noticeable. I have seen dozens and dozens of Romney/Ryan signs but I have only seen two Obama yard signs. Two — total.

Does it mean anything? I don’t know. Is it scientific? About as scientific as the poll I’m about to ask you to participate in (that would be “No” for those of you who missed it). Over in the right side bar is a poll asking what anecdotal evidence you’ve seen in your area.

Regardless, we have less than a week before election day. Get out there and vote.

After a short delay, it’s time for #GOP2012

Well, after a one day delay, and with an eye on tropical storm Isaac as it heads toward Louisiana and Mississippi, the Republican National Convention #GOP2012 will get going for real this afternoon. And I will be there. As I’ve mentioned more than once, I am one of the hundreds of volunteers that will be helping the delegates, visitors, and press in and around the convention campus. Some of those who volunteered for the early shift on Monday could not be there today. I offered my time, so I will be there all day and until the session ends tonight.

I really am excited about this. I didn’t sleep very well, anxious to get over to Tampa. About 4am I gave up on waiting for the alarm to go off. Now I’m going to get ready. Actually, I’m going to go to Walmart and get cat food first, but that’s a never ending task that no one finds interesting, least of all me.

To be honest, I still don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing. That information is distributed when we arrive. I’ll try to have a few pictures when I get home. The host committee was very realistic about cell phone cameras, but naturally don’t want the volunteers to act like a bunch of star-struck tourists or paparazzi.

Today’s speakers include: John Boehner, Reince Priebus, Mia Love, Janine Turner, Senator Rick Santorum, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH), Governor John Kasich (OH), Governor Mary Fallin (OK), Governor Bob McDonnell (VA), Governor Scott Walker (WI), Governor Brian Sandoval (NV), Sher Valenzuela (candidate for DE Lt. Governor), Senate Republican Candidate Ted Cruz (TX), Artur Davis, Governor Nikki Haley (SC), Mrs. Luce’ Vela Fortuño, Mrs. Ann Romney, and Governor Chris Christie (NJ).

Now that’s a lineup.

Stay tuned. I’ll post when I can.

#GOP2012

All Eyes on Isaac

UPDATED 0800 8/23/12:

Here is the 8am advisory:

SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…15.4N 64.8W
ABOUT 225 MI…360 KM SSE OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
ABOUT 315 MI…505 KM ESE OF ISLA SAONA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…40 MPH…65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 270 DEGREES AT 13 MPH…21 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1003 MB…29.62 INCHES

And the latest forecast track graphic:

Click for larger image

Original post:

We are less than 120 hours away from the scheduled start of the 2012 Republican National Convention. But, it’s Florida and it’s August. I’ll be attending my volunteer briefing tomorrow afternoon. Before I leave for Tampa, and without a doubt all weekend too, I’ll be studying weather reports seeing what Isaac is going to do. Here is what the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center has to say as of 5:00pm this afternoon.

SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST…2100 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…16.0N 61.2W
ABOUT 25 MI…40 KM SSE OF GUADELOUPE
ABOUT 365 MI…585 KM ESE OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 280 DEGREES AT 22 MPH…35 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1004 MB…29.65 INCHES

[...]

ISAAC IS
MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 22 MPH…35 KM/H…AND THIS GENERAL
MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK…THE CENTER OF ISAAC SHOULD MOVE THROUGH THE
LEEWARD ISLANDS DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS…PASS NEAR OR SOUTH
OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO ON THURSDAY…AND APPROACH
THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 45 MPH…75 KM/H…WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS…
AND ISAAC COULD BECOME A HURRICANE THURSDAY NIGHT OR FRIDAY.

Right now Isaac is a tropical storm. I’m betting that will change. The current track looks like this:

I’ll be keeping my eyes on Isaac, and pass any new information along here.

GOP Convention Starts in One Week

We are just one week away from the start of the 2012 GOP Convention. This is a historically important election and a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to be a part. I am one of the thousand or so volunteers that will be assisting in tasks ranging from Airport and Hotel Greeters to Event Way-Finders to other operation positions.

I’ll be filling one of the positions in Operation. I’ll find out the specifics later this week. Let me tell you, I am really excited.

One thing they made very clear to us from the outset, is that the Volunteers are not working for the Republican Party or the Romney Ryan campaign, but we represent the city and greater Tampa Bay area. I can respect that, but I’m still excited about being so close to the proceedings.

This will be a historical election and that starts with a great convention. Let me know if I am going to see you there.

Romney-Ryan 2012

The “secret” is out. Every source on the planet is reporting that Mitt Romney will announce Paul Ryan as his running mate at an event in Virginia about one hour from now. Here is what other bloggers have to say about the choice.


Guy Benson – Townhall

Paul Ryan is one of the sunniest, most likeable conservatives on the scene today. He’s also the party’s top wonk and is completely fluent in fiscal issues. I predict that Democrats will publicly gloat over this pick (“he’ll be so easy to demonize!”), even as they privately worry. Paul Ryan is earnest, smart, articulate, attractive, calm, good-humored, and exceptionally gifted in explaining his case in persuasive and unthreatening terms. He’s from the Midwest, has blue collar appeal (unlike Romney, he did not grow up wealthy), and has a beautiful young family. The Left will launch vicious and totally dishonest attacks, as they have throughout the last two years of budget debates. But never before has Paul Ryan enjoyed a larger platform from which to make his case to the American public: The country is going broke, a fiscal calamity awaits, but we can avoid it if we take responsible, urgent action. This campaign is about to get a major (and needed) injection of seriousness.


John Hawkins – Right Wing News

The selection of Ryan will definitely energize conservatives and it sends the right message: Mitt Romney is serious about governing the country. On the other hand, it’s not a cautious choice. There’s conflicting polling data, but the Ryan plan doesn’t seem to be particularly popular with the public. Ryan’s selection insures that it’s going to be front and center in the campaign from now until election day and the Democrats are going to respond with demagoguery while refusing to offer a serious plan of their own.

I’ll be gathering more, and watching the announcement. Your comments are welcome. I’ll be adding other reactions as I find them.


Aaron Goldstein – The American Spectator

By picking Ryan, Romney has both elevated and embraced one of the leadings lights of 21st century American conservatism. More than any other Republican, Ryan has articulated a spirited defense of the free market, fiscal responsibility, what limited government should like and how we pay for it.

A Rare Wednesday Off

Normally, I’m a Monday to Friday kind of guy. It’s one of the many things I like about my day job. Every 5th week I have to work Saturday, and typically get the following Monday off. I worked this past Saturday, and this week I asked for Wednesday instead of Monday as my day off. More about why in a moment.

I could probably count on one hand the number of Wednesdays I’ve not been at work over the past five plus years, and yet this is the second time this month. Independence Day was just two weeks ago and the office was closed.

Anyone who is accustomed to working Monday to Friday and having a two-day weekend, a day off mid-week is a bit disconcerting. I worked six days last week, Monday to Saturday. I was off on Sunday, worked Monday and yesterday, off today and then I’ll work two more days before I get my normal two-day weekend.

So, why did I ask for Wednesday off this week?

In just over five weeks the Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Nearly 4,500 delegates and alternates, around 15,000 credentialed media, and other visitors whose numbers will approach 50,000 will be in the Tampa Bay area the week of August 27-30. They will be traveling from their 16,000 rooms in 105 hotels on 400 motor coaches to the Tampa Bay Times Forum and the adjacent Tampa Convention Center. 1

To help pull this off, around 7,500 volunteers have been recruited. I am one of those volunteers, and tonight is our orientation. I am really looking forward to being involved with this convention. As of now I don’t even know what my role will be. I’m pretty sure my job won’t be escorting Mitt Romney, his VP pick, or other speakers to the stage. If they go with my talents I’m sure I’ll be standing in a hallway somewhere, pointing, and saying, “the public restrooms are that way.”

My dream job would be to work with the “Special Media”, those who, “do not fall into a category represented by the Congressional Press Galleries.” It would be great to meet some whose work I’ve only read online.

I’ll know in about 12 hours just what my role will be. I’ll share it with you, if I can, tonight. Until I leave for Tampa there’s still a yard that needs mowing. I’ll get on that now. Enjoy your Wednesday. I know I will.

I Was Wrong

Nine days ago Florida held their 2012 GOP Primary. In this post I examined the four remaining candidates and gave you my thought on each one. About Newt Gingrich I said,

He does angry a lot better than Rick Santorum. While he isn’t the perfect candidate, and some of the stances he’s taken over the years give me pause, he is the one I voted for.

While I had this to say about Rick Santorum:

I really like him. I like the consistency of his message. I like his principles and the clear way he articulates them. I think he was wrong on supporting Specter, but I can’t fault his reasoning. I don’t care for his spending history, but even that I can accept his explanation. What I don’t like is his “Angry Rick”. While that may be the role he needs to play based on his underdog position, it just doesn’t work for him.

What was unsaid was a belief that between the two Gingrich was the more “electable”. I justified my thoughts about electability with my disappointment regarding Santorum’s debate performances. I still believe that his debate attacks can sound whinney and that, as a strategy, he could find something that works better. “Angry Rick” aside, I honestly would prefer Santorum to Gingrich, but bought into the idea that Newt stood a better chance of winning.

I was wrong.

I was wrong, not because of Santorum’s Tuesday night hat trick, but because I let “electability” be the deciding factor. I should have voted for Santorum because I believed, and still do, that he is the conservative in the race who’s beliefs most closely mirror my own.

I don’t get a do-over here in Florida, but I hope that I will be able to correct my error in November.

Regression Analysis and the GOP Primary

When looking at a system, in our case the GOP Primary and it’s candidates, you don’t always have data that matches the “ideal.” In statistics they use a method called Least Squares.

The method of least squares is a standard approach to the approximate solution of overdetermined systems, i.e., sets of equations in which there are more equations than unknowns. “Least squares” means that the overall solution minimizes the sum of the squares of the errors made in solving every single equation.

Least Squares GraphThe candidates and their credentials are our overdetermined system. We know these men, or at least we have our opinions on them, and try as we might we just can’t get them to match up on every single point along the line that is our ideal. In this examination, “there are more equations than unknowns.” If we wanted to take the time we could rate each one on every criteria that we feel is important from their positions on financial matters to national defense to how presidential they look. If we plotted each value for each candidate we could see how their regression line looks compared to our own.

So what?

There are a couple of things that we can learn from this. A much simpler expression is, “there is only one perfect person, and Jesus ain’t runnin’.” Sorry if I’m the one breaking this news to you, but none of the candidates is going to match your idea of perfection on each point. They’re not. Get over it.

It would also be clear from any analysis that President Obama’s plotted regression would look like a graph of the Chicago Cubs World Series wins. The inverse of that is that each Republican candidate looks much better by comparison. That leaves us to determine which candidate looks the best.

But there’s a problem.

You and I are going to score the candidates differently. Not only are we going to have a different opinion on where a candidate ranks on a particular issue, we are also going to differ on which issues are the most important, and which don’t matter to us.

Again I ask, so what?

Let’s not take our eyes off the goal. We need to defeat Barack Obama in November. We’re not going to do it with the perfect candidate. We just need to determine which candidate, for each of us, is our Least Squares Fit.

Random Thoughts

I only have a few minutes this morning, but I do have a few thoughts running around in my head that I want to share.

First, Congratulations to Newt Gingrich for his win in SC. The question, as I see it, is how much of his momentum will carry over here in Florida. Of course that was days ago, which means I am really behind in posting here.

Second, I hate Direct TV but I think their latest commercials are really funny. See, I told you these were random.

Rick Santorum is scheduled to be in Lakeland (where I work) this Saturday. I have tickets to attend the event. It is also a straw poll of the local 9-12 group.

Finally, back to the primaries, I have a post started in my head about the right’s need to find the perfect candidate. The short version – one doesn’t exist. Check back later to read it.

One more thing about the debates, and this is for all of the candidates, whatever question the moderator asks, your answer should include the word “Obama”. Let’s focus here people. Just because I’m all over the map doesn’t mean you can be. In my mind, I really don’t care that much about what you think about each other. The person who is going to get my support is the one who will take on Barack Obama. That is the reason for this little exercise after all.

Have a great day. Let me hear your random thoughts in the comments.