Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sportsmanship

It showed up yesterday.


It's horrible to see bad things happen to good people. In addition to being an All-American football player, Marcus Lattimore is an All-American nice guy. He worked so hard to get back from last year's knee injury, which makes this injury seem so much worse. The guy just can't catch a break. I was at the game, and it felt like the entire game came to a stop, and no one cared about the score. Lots of things are more important than football, and this moment illustrated it.

The most important thing in recovering from an injury is never to lose heart. I don't know if that's true, but I'd like to believe it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Post Debate Thoughts

Don't worry, unlike some celebrities, there are no curse words here. (I used all mine up last Saturday anyway.) The debates were pretty interesting when viewed in the context of each other. The final debate was most interesting as to what the candidates thought about the state of the race.

First a little recap. In the first debate, Romney came out hard, attacking, playing the prosecutor. At the same time, Obama thought he could just show up, recite his stump speech and win. Alas, it was not to be.

The first debate showed two things. One, Romney wasn't the evil guy that all the attack ads made him out to be. He actually had a plan for the future, and he could explain it. Two, Obama just didn't have the fire that he did four years ago. He was just "checking the box" of the debate, and his plan is to continue with "investing" in roads, bridges, and the same stuff he's been saying for four years. Romney ate his lunch, and everyone knew it. Well, almost everyone.

I think that Obama was playing a prevent defense too early. He knew he had a good lead in some important swing states, and he was simply going to show up, recite his stump speech, not make any major errors, and keep the election on it's current trajectory. As John Madden once said, "All a prevent defense does is prevent you from winning." That's exactly what happened. Romney scored touchdowns, and Obama wasn't even trying to play offense.

The second debate was what everyone thought the first debate was going to be. Both candidates came out of the gate hard, challenged each other, and at one point, I actually thought they were going to start hitting each other with the cordless microphones. Obama to his credit, responded well, showing that he still wanted the job. The energy debate centered on who was more in favor of drilling, which must have driven the environmentalists insane. In any event, basically a tie. However, the damage had been done in the first debate. The people who tuned in for the first debate had formed their impression. Relevant quote for this debate: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

The final debate was on foreign policy. Or at least it was supposed to be. At a few points in the debate, both candidates decided that they were just going to talk about domestic policy. Bob Sheiffer decided that he wasn't going to interrupt and get them back on the topic of foreign policy (or maybe he fell asleep) and the candidates talked about domestic policy for at least 10 minutes each in a 90 minute debate. Oh well, when the economy and domestic policy is as important as it is this election cycle, there aren't many votes to be had going into detail about foreign policy. Just kill the bad guys, which both candidates are in favor of.

Very differently than before, though, Romney came across as not the prosecutor, but the calm guy who was reasonable. He wasn't going to be the "Cowboy" President, unlike that last Republican in the White House. Romney agreed with Obama more in 90 minutes than he did in the entire campaign. Romney didn't attack Obama when given chances. On the contrary, Obama attacked Romney. All I can take away from this is that Obama thought he was behind (which he is) and Romney thought he was ahead (which he is). It was just the flip side of the first debate. The question is, does Romney's prevent defense work at this point, or does the Romney momentum fade too soon?

Ultimately: Most people voted for Obama last time. Why? Remember where we were four years ago? The outgoing Republican incumbent was toxic, and Obama was such a great story. It was a great combination that created a tidal wave of support. The landscape today couldn't be more different. The economy has been mired in the doldrums for four years, and the inspirational candidate from four years ago isn't here. This version of Obama is petty and condescending.

People desperately want the economy to get better, and they have a binary choice: Government continues to try and solve the problem, or government gets out of the way. We'll know in a few weeks. It's going to get more intense before then, so brace yourself - especially if you live in a swing state.

Tweets from Celebrities on the Final Debate

At some point (hopefully tonight) I'll get a chance to give my post-debate thoughts. In the meantime, and for comparison, here are some Tweets from celebrities on the Final Debate. [Note: Sarah Silverman's is not exactly safe for work.]

The Rules of Bacon


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Report from the Carolina/LSU Game

Last weekend, I took my first trip to LSU. We drove the whole way because airline tickets were only slightly less expensive than hiring a private jet. Seriously, don’t even get me started on air-travel, but I digress. I had heard all sort of stories about how horrible LSU fans were. I had heard they threw AA batteries down on opposing fans from above, threw pee-filled water-ballons, and were generally rowdy, rude drunks. I wasn't really worried about a confrontation, but I was slightly apprehensive that I would face a bunch of rude folks who would spoil a great tailgate and game.

I tailgated over by the law school and walked all over campus. Everywhere I went, people were nice, polite, and after a "tiger bait" chant, which was not really in a mean spirit, I had great conversations with folks. LSU fans were generous with their food, were knowledgeable about the game, and were really polite. One student even gave me a koozie right off his beer because he wanted me to keep it as a souvenir. Off his own beer.

I walked all over the parade grounds, went to the student union, and over to The Chimes before heading to the stadium, so I got a good cross-section of the fans. Young, old, everyone. They couldn’t have been nicer. Now granted, I wasn’t out there talking a bunch of trash. Mostly, when I would ask advice on where to go, the LSU folks really wanted me to feel at home and have a great time. One little old lady (who was drinking a Bloody Mary the size of a small car) kept telling me “You’re in the Old South now, dear. You’re our guest.” It was certainly borne out. Everyone was great.

As for the game experience – the stadium was loud. Wow. I was sitting way up in the cheap seats and I had to scream to Mrs. Permanent Press (sitting right next to me) to discuss the plays. I cannot imagine how loud it must have been down lower where the sound would concentrate. That stadium came alive that night, and the energy went right to the LSU players.

I wish that we could have stopped LSU's first down running more, but we couldn't. That was the difference in the game (overall), and that's how it usually goes in the SEC. If you win the battle in the trenches, you win. That's what happened. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other team.

If any LSU fans make the trip to Columbia next time, I'll be sure to check back here and offer my thoughts on where to go and what to do. Heck, I may even give an LSU fan my ol' Gamecock Koozie. Maybe.

Thanks to all the great LSU fans for making my first trip to Tiger Stadium a great one.

The view from my seats.

Monday, October 15, 2012

SC District Court Approves Voter ID Law

The law goes into effect after the election, so no big deal. I actually think that's a pretty good compromise. If you can't get your ID by 2016, you're not trying. Heck, you still don't need an ID anyway.

If you read the opinion, you realize that you still don't actually need an ID to vote. If you sign an affidavit that you have a "reasonable impediment" to obtaining an ID, you still get to cast a provisional ballot. As long as the affidavit is true, you get to vote. Funny, you never hear that in all the rhetoric surrounding this issue.

The law sounds pretty darn reasonable when you get beyond sound-bites actually get into the details.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Early Weekend Open Thread

Mrs. Permanent Press and I are hitting the road for Baton Rouge, LA to see the Gamecocks take on the Tigers on Saturday night and see the best of Baton Rouge. Posts will resume on Monday, but twitter will be active.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Holland and Holland Range Rover

This Range Rover has a custom-integrated gun cabinet,a console/fridge, and a liquor cabinet. It's everything that a growing boy needs.

You can drool over more pictures and details here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Obama Thought He Won the First Debate

If you watched the first presidential debate between President Obama and Mr. Romney (and you weren't totally in denial) it was clear that Mr. Romney got the better of President Obama. And when I say "clear", I mean, 72% to 20%. That's a Clemson vs. West Virginia in the Orange Bowl kind of win. Which leads into this: When Obama walked off the stage after the debate, he thought he had won.

Here's my take: If the President didn't prepare for the debate, slacked off playing golf because he thought he was going to win, that's one thing. It's overconfidence, and it can be forgiven. It's easy to see why he thought he was going to win. Everyone around him for the last four years has been telling him how great he is, how awesome he is, how he's the smartest guy around. So it's understandable that this happened:
'President Obama made it clear he wanted to be doing anything else - anything - but debate prep,' the Democrat said. 'He kept breaking off whenever he got the opportunity and never really focused on the event.
 But here's the thing that is more problematic than laziness/overconfidence:

 Obama believed he had actually won.

It's one thing to not study for the test because you think you're going to ace it. It's one thing not to practice hard before a big football game because you're playing a school from a lower division. However, if you flunk the test and lose the football game, you have a much bigger problem than laziness/overconfidence - you're out of touch with reality and/or you're so incompetent that you don't even recognize what competence looks like.

I don't want a lazy president, but hey, it happens. What I really don't want is a president who can't tell when he's just gotten his butt kicked.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

First Presidential Debate

I was going to try and live-blog this sucker, but due to technical difficulties, I can't. So, instead I'm going to give you this cute kitten.

If you watch the debate, you're going to need this afterwards as a palate-cleanser.

Kitten below the jump.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Octoberfest!

For some good actual Octoberfest beer info, check out this post from Another Pint Please. If you just want to see a nice collection of pictures from the real Oktobefest in Germany, fine. Here you go.