Tag Archives: Jon Huntsman

Ron Paul is about to become Mitt Romney’s worst nightmare. My question about public bathroom automatic faucets. And the ultimate car-surfer

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I almost, almost, almost feel sorry for Mitt Romney, as empty in the spine department as any jellyfish politician in the last 100 years.

Here he is, winning the New Hampshire primary Tuesday. He then gives a truly horrible speech (see below), filled with empty platitudes and mind-numbing rhetorical flourishes (I particularly love his eagerness to repeal “Obamacare” which he championed as governor of Massachusetts).

In the tradition of the Republican party, it’s his turn to be the nominee. He lost once, he sucked it up, raised a ton of money, and now he’s poised to win.

But nobody likes him. There is zero passion for his candidacy for anyone outside his base. He has had numerous occasions to rise to the level of statesman and take intelligent, measured positions, and he keeps failing to do that.

And now, with every other challenger tripping up in their attempt to beat him, he gets Ron Paul. An old libertarian doctor who no one in the establishment media takes seriously (note to CNN and others: Pay attention to him! He’s the only viable threat to Romney now! Seriously, the way they treat Paul as an afterthought is disgusting and disrespectful. I’m no huge fan of Ron Paul, but geez, he’s earned the right to be taken seriously).

Ron Paul, an unafraid bulldog who has money, a fired up-base of young people who love him, and a message that is 180 degrees opposite of Mitt Romney, may be the last man standing in Romney’s way.

Ron Paul is about to tear into the Mittster over the next few weeks. He’s going to expose every fraudulent bone in Mitt’s body, and it’s going to be glorious to watch.

I am no Ron Paul fan; I think he’s nuts on 11 different levels. But he makes enough sense on foreign policy issues to make Mitt squirm for a while. And sadly, Ron Paul is the last, best hope for the Anyone but Mitt wing of the Republican Party.

Paul may be crazy, but he’s authentic, and when Mitt Romney looks in the mirror every night, he sees a man who’s not.

Couple other New Hampshire primary thoughts:
–Amazing how the name “George W. Bush” has not come up once in this campaign. It’s like the GOP presidential candidates have just forgotten 2000-08.
— Jon Huntsman needed to come in 2nd tonight to have a real shot. Oh well.
— Only during election season do I endure Chris Matthews. What a smug, arrogant jerk he is on MSNBC.

**So these are the kinds of things I think about sometimes. I was in a restaurant in NYC the other day, and in the bathroom there was one of those automatic turn-on/turn-off faucets in which to wash your hands. And as always, the automatic water didn’t stay on nearly long enough, so I had soapy hands until the water came back on five seconds after it shut off.

And I got to wondering: At these manufacturing plants where they make these automatic faucets, who decides how long they stay on for? Because you know it’s never the same. The ones at the airport give you water for like, three seconds, and other times you get a good 10-12 seconds (like at a museum or somewhere).

So I want to know if there’s like a committee at these companies that figures out exactly what the optimal “water time” is for users. Do they sit around going “OK, we’re going to give them seven seconds,” and someone else retorts “No no no, that’s too much, if we do six seconds we can save a ton of water!” and it goes back and forth like that for hours until they come up with a mutually agreed-upon length of time.

Because you know it’s not random. Somebody, somewhere, is deciding how much water you get at the faucet.
And dammit, I wanna know who.

I can’t be the only person who ever wondered this, can I?

**Boys and girls, don’t try this at home. An insane man decides to surf on the top of his car, while driving:

A glorious day at Saratoga Race Course. My favorite Craigslist ad. And Jon Huntsman finally calls out the GOP crazies.

Took a two-day drive through my past this weekend.
Went up to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where I lived for three years from 2002-05. It was where I had some of the greatest times of my life, which now have led to some painful memories.
It was where I met my wife. It was where I proposed. And now that I’m divorced, well, it was a little tough, emotionally glimpsing the memories for the first time since the breakup.
After feeling pretty blue for most of Saturday, I needed a pick-me-up on Sunday. Then I remembered: I was going to Saratoga Race Course Sunday.
And it is impossible not to have a smile on your face inside those hallowed grounds.
If you’ve never been, Saratoga Race Course is one of the most wonderful places on Earth. Even if you don’t like horse racing, it’s a good time at the track. The strange and enormous hats worn by ladies there, the aroma of wonderful food (the Carolina Barbecue pulled pork was as good as I remembered it), the excitement as post time nears, and the beautiful spectacle of the thoroughbreds racing toward the finish line make for a truly wonderful day.
I was there with my friend Matt, whom I met as part of the Big Brother/Big Sister program eight years ago, and who now (egads) is almost 19 years old. He used to love the track when he was younger, so I hoped he’d enjoy it as much now.
He did. We dodged raindrops and sloshed our way through the gates, and through the first five races, we weren’t doing so well at the ticket window. Four picks, all losers, as our money washed away.
Finally, we decided the 7th would be our last betting race of the day. He pointed to horse No. 2, Motion Lounge. “That’s the one we should pick,” he said. The odds were 13-1. I was kinda hoping he’d pick a favorite. But nope, he thought No. 2 was our choice.
We walked to the window, placed our bet, and walked back outside with my friends Sally and Trevor, also visiting from out of town. Just about 3 minutes before the race started, the skies emptied and rain drenched us.
We ran back inside into the hallway and watched the race on the TV monitors. But it was raining so hard we couldn’t tell who won.
Finally, the results popped up on the screen. Motion Lounge had won.
“Whoo-hoo!” we screamed, and high-fived. Turns out the odds had ballooned to 19-1 by post time, so we were 38 bucks richer.
What had already been a great day at Saratoga got just a little bit better.
If you’re ever in the Adirondacks in August, I highly recommend a day at Saratoga. For the $3 admission price, there’s no better value in all of sports.

**The following ad was placed on Craigslist last week. I pray that it’s real, and quite frankly, who would make up something this bizarre? It read:

“A guy broke into my house last week. He didn’t take my TV, he took my remote. Now he drives by and changes the channels.
I need someone to sit at the end of my street and get his license number. I will pay $10 an hour till he is caught.”

**Hallelujah. Just when I thought every GOP presidential candidate had gone completely over the sanity bar and veered into looney-ville, Jon Huntsman stood up Sunday morning on ABC’S “This Week” and called out Michele Bachman and Rick Perry for being out of touch with reality. I don’t know where “this” version of Huntsman has been the last two months,  but this interview was fantastic. It gets really good at the 3:30 mark, when he calls out Perry.

The Obama opponent I fear most jumps in the race. Venus Williams’ hideous new outfit. And Jon Stewart, thoughtfully, appears on Fox News

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We’re only about 16 months away from the next presidential campaign, and up until now I’ve been pretty uninterested.
Seeing the complete lack of serious candidates on the Republican side (Santorum? Gingrich? Really?) had me feel pretty comfortable. Even if Sarah Palin jumped in, I wasn’t really worried. Mitt Romney is a phony, Tim Pawlenty keeps making one mistake after another, and I saw no one in the field who truly could look, act and talk presidentially. If Barack Obama was to lose, it’d be a self-inflicted wound that killed him, I thought.
Until Jon Huntsman got in the race, which he apparently will do today. Jon Huntsman scares me a little bit, I have to tell you.
He’s a former governor of Utah, so you know he’s conservative (Utah likes Democrats about as much as kids like lima beans). He’s not a nut-job, which immediately puts him in the upper-tier of candidates.
He’s smart, not nearly as conservative as some GOP primary voters will want him to be (he supports civil unions), but from what I’ve seen he’s a very smooth speaker who can get his point across without shouting or browbeating the audience.
Of course, the fact that he worked for the Obama administration as the Ambassador to China will hurt him in GOP circles. But as this NYT story points out, it also helps him in a lot of other ways.

I don’t know enough about Huntsman to be truly frightened of him. But he’s certainly the most electable Republican I’ve seen so far this cycle.
So yeah, I’m a little worried as a Democrat. 

**OK, I’m no fashion expert. It was until I was in my late 20s that I really learned what “matching” meant, and there are still some sweaters I was forced to throw away by women that I still will fight to the death for.

But even though I ain’t no Tim Gunn, certainly I can’t be the only one to wonder what the hell it was Venus Williams was wearing on Centre Court at Wimbledon Monday.
Seriously Venus, it looks like something a “Star Wars” character would wear on the spaceship. Or maybe it just looks like a frock of some kind. Either way, it’s really, really bad.
Isn’t there someone who could’ve told her that?

**Finally, I’m always fascinated with how Fox News treats people who call them out. Jon Stewart, of course, has been taking shots at the Roger Ailes propaganda machine (very warranted shots) for as long as he’s been hosting “The Daily Show.”

Sunday, Stewart went on Fox to have a sit-down with Chris Wallace, one of Fox’s more toned-down idealogues. It was really fascinating television; watch the whole thing if you have time.
The false equivalency of Wallace baffles me; watch how he continues to try to say Fox News is just like the NY Times and CBS, while Stewart keeps trying to show him that they’re not.
Really entertaining stuff. (For the full, unedited version of the interview, click here.)