Saturday, January 21, 2012

Last Call

Conflicting reports tonight on the health of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.  CBS Sports is reporting Paterno has died this evening at age 85, but those reports are being denied by the Paterno family's spokesman.

Paterno was listed in serious condition this evening, battling complications from lung cancer.

Given what both Bon and I think about his legacy at this point, I have little emotion at hearing the news other than sadness for what his program allowed to happen.


Not only did Mitt Romney lose in South Carolina tonight, he lost to Newt Gingrich by such a substantial margin that the networks called Newt the winner immediately at 7 PM after the polls closed.

Newt Gingrich has won the South Carolina Republican primary, capping off a remarkable comeback for his presidential bid that reshapes the trajectory of the battle for the GOP nomination.

Based on early exit polls, NBC News projects Gingrich as the winner of the primary, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will finish second.

The results mark the end of a tumultuous week in politics that saw Gingrich erase and then overcome the lead Romney had in the Palmetto State following his victory in the Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary. Gingrich came on strong in the closing days of the campaign, looking to rally under his banner the many conservatives unwilling to get behind Romney, who had sought to posture himself as the eventual nominee.

Combine that with the news that the Iowa GOP dropped their idiotic pretense of a tie and Santorum won, and Mitt goes from Mr. Inevitable to Mr. Inexplicable.  The battle is now truly on.  Let the bloodletting begin.  We're in this for the long run now:  Florida on the 31st and beyond to Super Tuesday in March.

[UPDATE]  This is why Newt Gingrich won in South Carolina:

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

Since it's a day that ends in "y", it's got to be Republicans playing the Birther angle.  This time it's Mike Huckabee on Billo's show and naturally the conversation went to how Romney's refusal to release his tax returns is just like the completely made-up tinfoil hat conspiracy about President Obama's "foreign student scholarship".

O'REILLY: Because of the media, the perception is if you don't release [your tax returns], you're trying to hide something. Look, Romney doesn't want his tax returns in the hands of The New York Times because they're going to cherry-pick it and make him look like a greedhead and he doesn't want to give them any more ammo. You know what this is all about.

HUCKABEE: Absolutely. And the thing is you get zero credit from the media for releasing them and then you buy yourselves a lot of grief. The question is, why would you help load a gun that's pointed at your own head?

O'REILLY: Because the people, the folks, most of them, want you to. I think that's the answer to your question.

HUCKABEE: Well, but he has to forcefully tell it why he's not going to, why it's irrelevant, say, "Look, I've disclosed more than I need to." Let him make this challenge: "I'll release my tax returns when Barack Obama releases his college transcripts and the copy of his admission records to show whether he got any loans as a foreign student. When he releases that, talk to me about my tax returns."

It's funny that the Huckster complains that Romney wouldn't get "credit" for releasing his tax returns, because that's the exact situation the President is in now, considering he's not only released his birth certificate, but his college records as well.

This is not the first time Huckabee has promoted falsehoods about Obama's background. During a February 2011 radio interview, he repeatedly claimed that Obama had grown up "in Kenya." Huckabee drew heavy criticism for his comments from the media and offered an evolving series of explanations for his comments, eventually blaming Media Matters for bringing his remarks to light and falsely claiming he had been taken out of context.

It would be truly hysterical, if the fate of the country wasn't at stake.

Saturday Afternoon Giggles

There's not much to add to this, but it was too much fun to keep to myself.

Short And Sweet: Shocking Good News Edition

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado woman who was struck by lightning last summer when she was three months pregnant has given birth to a healthy baby girl.

Stephanie Alberti, of Colorado Springs, was one of five people hit by a bolt while cheering for her husband at a stock car race.

Alberti was temporarily paralyzed and worried about her baby throughout the pregnancy. She says the family was relieved when Sophia was born, weighing 6 1/2 pounds. Her umbilical cord was wrapped around her tiny body, but it didn't create any complications.

There's not a lot to say except wow, and I hope this family regularly buys lottery tickets. A child in the core of a shocked torso, in a fluid sac no less, is a miracle. I'd have been worried every single day. That woman knows relief like few of us ever will.

South Carolina Barbecue

The GOP primary today?  Going to be close...close enough in fact that Mitt Romney is now quietly talking down a loss.  And he has nobody to blame but himself, and the fact that the more he's questioned, the more he falls apart.

The idea that the former governor of liberal Massachusetts may not win the primary in a state where conservative evangelical Christians make up about 60 percent of Republican voters isn't that surprising.

But Romney's path to a neck-and-neck finish with former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich has begun to look like a lost opportunity, defined by Romney's reluctance to reveal more about his vast wealth and his repeated inability to explain why.

The former private equity executive's discomfort in discussing such personal matters was again evident in Thursday night's debate in Charleston.

When asked whether he would release 12 years of tax returns as his father, George, had done while running for president in 1968, Romney said through a thin smile, "Maybe."

The answer drew a few catcalls from the conservative audience, and contrasted sharply with how Gingrich deftly turned a question about cheating on his second wife into an attack on the media that drew a standing ovation.

It may have been the defining moment of the campaign in South Carolina, the third contest in the state-by-state race to determine who will face Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 6 elections.

Two weeks ago, Romney had a 20 point plus lead in SC and he was buoyed by a win in Iowa and an inevitable pending win in New Hampshire.   Today, he's no longer the winner in Iowa, New Hampshire failed to put anyone but Perry out of the race, and he got ripped a new one time and time again.  I said then that a SC win would make him the nominee.

Now?  Not sure he'll win.  And as a supporter of President Obama, I want this race to go as long as it can, with Romney having to spend millions to fight against Gingrich, Paul and Santorum rather than Obama.  If Santorum bails and backs Gingrich, and Gingrich wins South Carolina, it's going to be the fabled GOP internal catfight that Democrats have been wishing for since Goldwater.

Time for some Carolina barbecue.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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