Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Snoop's Friends Are So Blessed

My Aunt Martha (age 87) writes a weekly column (sometimes if she feels like it) in the Hubbard City News.  Her pen name is "Snoop".  The following was published after the Christmas Holidays.

By Martha Nichols

I received an unusual but interesting Christmas letter, you know, the kind that relates the year’s activities of the family. I’d like to share it with my readers, as follows:

Dear friends,

Joe and I have had a rather productive year 2011. We have our health and enjoy our retirement.

Our daughter Nedell is pregnant again (her 2-year-old Nestle is the joy of our lives!), and we really believe her man Duke will offer her an engagement ring real soon. I’m making Nedell an off-white slipper satin wedding dress in case Duke comes through with a proposal. Pray for us.

Our son Joe Jr. is back living with us after his break-up with hell-on-wheels Durene. Junior planted us a nice garden in the backyard. He had to fence it in on account of that crazy goose, Honk, and that old dog Snure who never tires of digging. (That stupid Honk attacks me every time I go out to the clothes line, but Joe loves him). Well, Junior likes my gumbo (the secret is the roux!), so he doubled up on the okra. Things were going well until my nosy neighbor reported to the police that it was not okra. They dug it up to burn and announced to us that it was pot. Junior was arrested and we were warned, but we were able to bail him out and see that he got into rehab. We are so very blessed.

Number 2 Daughter Nedra, our scholar, flunked out of grad school and will be with us until she can get a job teaching (she has a degree she got in correspondence school from a place in Moose Breath, Saskatchewan, and did very well). She hoped to get into administration, but they said her writing and spelling were so poor they didn’t know how she got into grad school. We will love having her here with Junior gone to rehab. So good to have the children home. We’re so very blessed.

We had a lovely family reunion (50 attended!) last Thanksgiving. Everything was fine until Duke showed up drunk. My brothers, who are graduates of AA, persuaded Duke to attend a meeting. He’s working the Twelve Steps, and I do believe he will make it. Blessings just rained down in 2011!

Merry Christmas to you, dear friends, from Joe and me.

Tell us about yourselves.

Love to all, Joe and Beth Ellen Hampshire

Snoop says Happy New Year! So long.

Monday, January 23, 2012

This Time Don't Let the Television Set Select Our Nation's Leader

Two weeks ago Mitt Romney led Newt Gingrich (aren't these great names?) by 22 percentage points in the Rasmussen polling in Florida which consistently is the most objective and accurate of the polls. Today Gingrich leads by 9 points. What happened and what does it mean? Breaking down the polling numbers may give us some insight.

First, it is fluid in that one-in-three (32%) say they still could change their minds before they vote in the January 31 primary (there is another debate tonight).

Throughout the GOP race, Romney has always benefited from the perception that he was the strongest general election candidate in the field. However, among Florida voters at the moment, that is no longer the case. Forty-two percent (42%) now believe Gingrich would be the strongest candidate against Obama, while 39% say the same of Romney. At the other extreme, 64% see Ron Paul as the weakest potential candidate against Obama.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) have a favorable opinion of Romney, while 69% say the same of Gingrich. Sixty-four percent (64%) give Santorum positive reviews, but only 33% have a favorable opinion of Paul. In Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Paul did better among non-Republicans than Republicans. In the Florida primary, only registered Republicans are allowed to participate.

By a 45% to 30% margin over Gingrich, Romney is seen as the best candidate to manage the economy. Gingrich has a 54% to 23% edge over the former Massachusetts governor when it comes to who is best qualified to handle national security matters.

As for which candidate is best in terms of social issues, 30% prefer Romney, 30% Gingrich and 23% Santorum.

When asked which candidate has the best personal character, 41% say Romney, 30% Santorum, 11% Gingrich (whoa) and 10% Paul.

Gingrich leads by 28 among Very Conservative voters and by seven among Somewhat Conservative voters. Among all other voters, Romney leads by 20 (independents).

Gingrich picks up 52% of the Tea Party vote. Romney gets 17% and Santorum 16% of these voters.

It appears that Gingrich has convinced the folks that he is more conservative and that his Washington experience better prepares him for managing international affairs. And surprisingly to me, these issues trump the folk's perception that Romney is best suited to manage the economy and has the best personal character. How could this make sense when most agree the BIG issue is JOBS which translates into the ECONOMY?

It is my feeble opinion the answer lies in our mindless TV driven culture. We all love to tune in, lean back, and have the television take control of our total being. If it takes me where I want to go, I am a happy camper. If it bores me or contradicts my principles, I switch channels.

If I am an undecided voter, I tune into the debates, sit back, and have the process takeover. When Newt gets standing ovations by an audience that I relate to, I am moved. Last week Newt hit home runs when asked about his adulterous affairs (attacked the press), his views on food stamps (believes in work), and his attacks on Bain Capital and Romney's tax filings. The undecided audience was moved---BIG TIME.

Just over three years ago TV viewers kicked back, tuned in and watched a youthful Black presidential candidate artfully read from teleprompters (like in TELEVISION) and espouse grandiose schemes like HOPE AND CHANGE.  Enough of the electorate was moved to give this TV candidate a fairly easy victory over a war hero with a long and well established record of service.

I have just one question for all of us. How are TELEVISION POLITICS working out for you?

In summary, I love Newt Gingrich.  90% of the time I think he is brilliant.  10% of the time I think he does the stupidest things imaginable (Freddie, global warming, impeachment by his own party as the 'leader' of the House).  The problem is our next Republican President must, first, present an overwhelming leadership record and image over the current White House resident, and secondly, is required to be on duty 100% of the time in leading the free world once elected.

Think about it,