Derailing the Cain Train

As recently as this month, I posted on the meteoric rise of Herman Cain. This post here is notable for two reasons. First, of course, it is very, very rare that I will mention one of my prior posts that I wrote earlier in the same month. On average, with only one or two posts a month on various topics, it’s like actually watching lightning strike by referencing another same month post. I probably haven’t done that in nearly two years. Second, it goes to show how quickly a candidate can fall into ill-repute in a matter of weeks. Yes folks, less than three weeks ago, we were looking at King Cain, the GOP frontrunner rivaling Mitt Romney. Now, King Cain has been thoroughly dogged by yet another alleged mistress. Maybe Herman Cain is the Tiger Woods of politics?

Herman Cain supporters no doubt need only point to Ginger White and say: consider the source. She has filed a sexual harassment claim with her employer about ten years ago, declared bankruptcy, has been evicted numerous times, had a restraining order against her for stalking, and sued for libel and defamation. Surely Herman Cain could do better. That said, the Cain Train is likely derailed and (I believe) unlikely to get back on the political fast track for this presidential election.

In the meantime, the new guy on top: unlikely Newt Gingrich. One can only wonder if he will be the next one up on the chopping block. Think: wack-a-mole.

In the meantime, I leave you with this gem from Jon Stewart. I would embed this if I could figure out how, but in the meantime, click the link and watch. It’s only five minutes.

Black Friday’s Encroachment

Has Black Friday swallowed the importance of Thanksgiving?

I understand the motivations for Black Friday shopping. It’s almost a cultural pastime that is practically heralded as a holiday in and of itself. Many people are probably more aware of Black Friday than they are of the start of Advent. In recent years, stores all throughout the country close their doors (and reinforce them with metal rebar) the day before Thanksgiving as they prepare for the onslaught of frenzied shoppers camped outside and anxious to pillage the bounty inside.

From a strictly economic perspective, Black Friday is generally a losing proposition for those wanting to score the big ticket items: TVs, computers, and other electronic widgets. If one arrives at a Best Buy in Anywhere, USA at precisely 5AM, I am assured that any of the door buster item has already been purchased at 5:01AM. The alternative – to wait in line – is also generally a losing proposition unless one comes with camping gear, sterno, blankets, hot chocolate, and company (the latter is of vital importance. Misery loves company). Even then, waiting ten hours to save $200 sounds miserable. Sleep is worth at least $20/hour. Yes, I am speaking from first-hand experience. Last year, I camped outside Target with my dad and sister to score a 42″ LCD TV for $298. It’s mounted in the garage now with all the pomp and circumstance that accompanies hanging a trophy buck in the man cave. Was it worth it? Only with the right company.

This year, however, many stores will be opening their doors at 12:01AM, a minute after Thanksgiving Day.

There was a time, I’m told, where most stores were only open six days a week. The purpose, it was said, was to allow people to spend time with their families. It was called: a day of rest. A blue law. Now, a store not opened on a Sunday is the exception than the norm. With all the hustle and bustle of modern life, the only days where one can guess that a store will be closed is on a federal holiday. Even then, exceptions exist. This year, stores are pushing against the limit of when doors will open. Midnight is the new 5AM.

For a store employee, Thanksgiving becomes synonymous with “Thank God I have a job.” For a consumer, this means no waiting through the wee hours of the night. Of course, this also means possibly skipping the Thanksgiving Day dinner to land a spot in line. Or, quite possibly, it could require pushing up Thanksgiving Day dinner to finish early enough to make it in front of the store. At the very least, Americans should consider holding the turkey if they plan on shopping afterward.

As I sit back, I wonder: with everyone lining up earlier and earlier – has the frenzy to scoop up the best deal taken place of the family shared Thanksgiving Day turkey? If so, how is this negative and what, if anything, should be done about it?

Comments appreciated.

If 9-9-9 Wins, The Republicans Lose

I confess, I am astounded by the meteoric rise of Herman Cain. I suppose Romney turns off many conservative voters, understandably so. I can’t say that I’m surprised though. I am sure I probably mentioned this before (I’m just not prepared to dig back three years so check whether I predicted this), but ever since the last election, I have been ridiculously skeptical of anything offered by the GOP, especially when it comes to candidates. There isn’t a single one that excites me; that was true as three years ago as it is today.

I was completely disenfranchised with “Maverick” McCain who seemed to shift his position to the right much more when he was running for office. Even putting Mormonism aside – which a portion of Americans cannot do – Romney’s east coast governing sends shivers down many small-government conservatives.

Now comes Herman Cain touting his 9-9-9 plan. Never mind the plan not being thoroughly vetted and him not having any foreign policy experience. He continues to hold high numbers in the polls. I personally think that if he is elected, the GOP will be solidly thumped in the general election. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan is catchy, but that’s exactly what it is – more of a catch phrase rather than a meritorious, plausible program. But he seems to be capitalizing off the slogan. This morning, while reading the Drudge Report, I came across this advertisement.

myWPEdit Image

If this is the best the GOP has to offer, I submit that November 2012 will be Obama’s election to lose. Even though much hay has been made in the tabloids that no sitting president has won reelection when unemployment has been above above 7.2% with the exception of Reagan. Low approval numbers are also not in Obama’s favor. As mentioned by the Washington Post:

At 43 percent approval in a Gallup poll conducted Oct. 28-30, Mr. Obama recently referred to himself as an “underdog” — with good reason. Of all the presidents since World War II whose job-approval scores were lower than 50 percent one year before Election Day, only one went on to win a second term.

The exception – President Nixon.

But with the circus of candidates in the Republican party, Obama doesn’t need low-employment numbers or high approval numbers. The cards are still in his favor.