Opposition Research: Mitt Romney

With Romney’s win in New Hampshire, the pressure is on in South Carolina.  It is definitely the last hope for any challenger candidate.  As such, the campaigns are now doing their worst.  SuperPACs (not affiliated with the campaigns and certainly not in coordination with the campaigns) are funneling money like crazy in negative ads, and everyone is hoping for a Romney gaffe so that this thing can drag on into the spring.

Professional opposition researchers and national news media have now had over 6 years to do serious opposition research and skeleton digging with Romney, but they have met their match.  Recent smear attempts show that the worse they could do was:

#1. Romney, as a volunteer ecclesiastical leader, once counseled a single-parent to give her child up for adoption.  The woman alleges that Mitt threatened her with Church disciplinary action, but Mitt has denied that allegation.  Keeping a child conceived out of wedlock is not grounds for church discipline in the LDS Church anyways, so clearly there is a disconnect in the story.  It’s possible that Mitt informed her that continued sexual promiscuity on her part would lead to church discipline, as adultery and fornication are not especially encouraged (but are grounds for a church disciplinary council).

At any rate, take a step back – he is being attacked for — wait for it — encouraging an adoption.  Whoa.  The horror!  Imagine that, an ecclesiastical leader trying to encourage people to raise their kids in homes with both mothers and fathers.

If you think about it, this isn’t even a smart attack for the left.  President Obama himself has campaigned on and been outspoken about the need for both mothers and fathers in the home, and the importance of having both parents engaged.  He himself is a model of this, insisting to his scheduling staff that he be with his young family for dinner every night possible, only allowing missing up to two dinners a week.

#2. Romney, as leader of Bain Capital, laid people off.  Now Romney says over and over that he actually hired more people and saved more jobs than he laid off, but what baffles me is that his fellow republicans – the type of folks known for doing practically anything to make a buck (inside and outside the law, regardless of ethics or morality) – would be pounding him on that.  I doubt that many republican business owners struggled to lay a few people off in the name of saving their own business or increasing their profitability.  You can’t be the part that touts free-enterprise and unregulated economies on one hand and then punish your own for adhering to those principles.

So… that’s it.  That’s all they could find.  No mistresses.  No love children.  Just those two things and an odd religion.

Compare that to the recent competition between Herman Cain and Dr. Ron Paul (the obstetrician) to see who had more exposure in their lifetime to female genitalia…  If your decision for a presidential candidate is based largely on character or morals — not only spoken of but also lived by — I think you might have your man.

My Ornery New Year’s Blog

I just finished catching up on all my friend’s new year’s posts and photos on the blogs – and just can’t bring myself to complete mine here.  I’ve tried – three times – to write a new year’s post, and I’m not sure what’s wrong.

It’s not that I haven’t had good ideas.  I thought about creating videos of footage of WEJr to go with each paragraph.  I thought of creating a really cool interactive post.  I thought about creating personalized posts – like christmas cards.  I had one or two good starts – but – nothing.  Nothing.  I couldn’t bring myself to finish anything.  My effort and stamina ran out before I could even start any of my brililant ideas.

So I’m going to try something a little odd.  I’m going to post an ornery New Year’s post.  I’m just going to lay it all out here, and I pledge one thing – I will post this blog, come hell or high water, whether I finish it or not.  Why?  Because I’m just going to focus on writing some raw emotion here.  Editing will be minimal.  Cutesiting up with pictures?  None.  Giving it thought?  Not a chance.  You’re just going to get the ornery white guy’s pontification on all his problems.

Lately, we’ve had a cough running through our house.  This sounds as boring or mundane as saying something like “I clipped my fingernails” – everyone has boring colds all the time.  I realize I’m not special, here.  My sister’s family spends at least 1/2 the year with someone ill in the house.  (When you have 5 kids, the statistics just don’t fall in your favor that everyone will stay healthy all together for very long.)  But this cold, for me, has been a backbreaker.  For some reason, a lot of the time I feel like I’m constantly wiping a nose, picking up garbage that was pulled out of the garbage can (just to have it pulled out again as soon as it was replaced), and holding someone just right so they could go to sleep, then gently leaving them be so I dont’ wake them up.  Yes – I said them.  These things seem to apply to both of my lovely sickies.

I’m happy to be the less-sick person in the house, and I’m usually happy to do my part to help and serve, but right now – I’m struggling to not have a bad attitude.  I think it’s because only a few days ago, I had high hopes for the new year starting on a real strong “git ‘er done” note.  I was going to tackle my large projects and knock some real doozies out of the park that I’ve been thinking about for a long time.  I was in a good, execution mood – ready to jump back into work with full force!

Then January 2nd rolled around and the coughing started.  Ugh.  No progress has been made on my big projects.

 To give you an example – when Audrey and I were looking at our list of stuff we wanted to do last year, I took particular note that “back yard landscaping” had made it through year #3 with absolutely NO progress.  In fact, with the only tree dead and a hole in the fence where the gate once stood – I think it’s actually getting worse.  There are more, but I don’t want to plunge too deeply into ornery land.  I’ve had a bunch of large-ish projects just languishing on the to do list for years.

So this ‘stuck-in-neutral-ness’  has been my 2012.  In spite of getting zero traction on a long list of large projects that require a certain amount of concentration, I’ve been trying to compensate by hacking wildly at the leaves of the small to-dos – you know, the ones that you can easily check off your list in less than an hour’s work.  The routine auto maintenance is done on all the vehicles, the trash is taken out, the sheets are all washed, the beds are all made the carpet is vacuumed, and the kitchen counter is clean, and my email inbox is as pared down as it can get.  I feel like I’ve been putting in epic amount of effort to just keep this little bit of progress from falling back into disrepair.

So where do I go from here?  Well, I think I need to get a little more organized.  I need to get my kid and my wife back to health, and then I need to take a vacation to Tahiti.  Or somewhere.  I need an attitude transplant.

So maybe let me reflect on some 2011 memories…

2011?  It was a spectacular year.  If I had it to do over again, I’d do it all the same.  You probably know pretty much everything that happened to us in 2011 – and that it mostly revolved around welcoming our new little WEJr.  Boy does our lives revolve around him now.  And that’s a good thing.  He’s a fun little project.  He’s cute to take pictures of, and he’s fun to share with everyone else.

The best part of walking around with a kid is that it takes all the pressure and attention off of me.  No one is looking at you when you are holding a kid.  No one really wants to see you or talk to you too much.  No one wants to listen to your woes (or read your blogs) when there is a cute kid with cheeks to pinch and diapers to fill with poop.  In a way that’s a big relief, and in a way it’s a huge new burden.  But one that I’m getting used to.

And the poop doesn’t always smell bad.

Thankfully, our new ball and chain didn’t keep us too grounded in 2011.  WEJr is a great traveler, and we enjoyed trips to several places last year.  Eli met a lot of family members and drooled on things in 3 or 4 different states.

Both of our careers continue to grow and flourish.  I really can’t complain about anything there, except for the fact that we’re both starting off 2012 in the middle of large reorganizations at both of our workplaces.  This could all work out for awesomeness – or it could stick us in neutral there too… I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic for now.  I don’t want to tempt Karma.

Lets see… what else can I whine about??

I think that’s it.

I’d like to end this post on a positive note.  You know what’s amazing about our world?  I can shop from anywhere.  Anywhere.  Literally.  Home, work, the doctor’s office, the dentist’s office, the drivers seat of my car while traveling at 80mph down the freeway – and I can buy anything – and it will magically arrive on my doorstep a few days later.  Have you thought how crazy that is!  It’s insane.  We can get anything anywhere we want.  God bless the over-commercialization of America!