Friday, January 30, 2015

ROMNEY OUT OF '16 GOP NOMINATION HUNT!

Mitt Romney has decided that a third time is not the charm and is not running for president as he announced in a conference call to supporters moments ago.
After a time of back and forth whether or not it would be a good idea to have a Battle of the Moderates as Mr. Romney would dig into the former Florida governor Jeb Bush's supporters, Mr. Romney just said no. Not going to do it.
Hugh Hewitt broke the news before the conference call.
Look, I thought he would have made a better president than the current occupant of the White House. I think that he would be a better president than anything the Democrats will have to offer in 2016. But the reality is what Mr. Romney said. That it is time for new blood in the GOP.
I do believe that comment is meant as a subtle, or not so subtle, jab at Jeb. I mean, come on! Jeb, actually John Ellis Bush, is not new blood. He last ran for reelection as Florida governor in 2002. He left office in 2007. That is eight years ago and a lifetime in politics. Mr. Bush is running on issues that will not excite the base and even the average Republican voter. Check that. Mr. Bush is running against the base and the average Republican voter by his vociferous support for Common Core and essential amnesty for illegal aliens.
It will be interesting how the moderates move forward.
And the interest will start tonight as Mr. Romney is having dinner with the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie.
I wonder what that is all about?
Maybe the Battle of the Moderates is actually just beginning. I sure hope so.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sen. Ma'am Boxer Will Not Run For Reelection in '16-Does The GOP Have A Chance?

In an otherwise sad and depressing week, surprisingly one senator made my week as Sen. Ma'am Barbara Boxer announced in her usually strange way that she will not run for a fifth term in 2016.
Thank God Almighty!
We in California will not be represented in the United States senate in 2017 by the most incompetent person elected in my lifetime.
That is the good news.
The bad news is that this is California and it is a better than 60-40 chance that the Democrats will retain the seat. If that is the case, one hopes that the person elected is better than the dim bulb that has been Sen. Ma'am Boxer.
Before I go one, I must remind you of how Sen. Ma'am got her name on this blog.
On Tuesday, June 16, 2009, during a hearing with Brigadier General Michael Walsh of the Army Corps of Engineers, he made a horrific mistake. Brig. Gen. Walsh called the senator such a foul name, I'm not sure that I can write it on a family blog.
He called her ma'am.
OH THE HORROR! HOW DARE HE USE SUCH LANGUAGE IN A SENATE HEARING! RIGHT TO BARBARA BOXER'S FACE!
Well, Barbara Boxer put this eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll, awful man in his place:

 “Do me a favor, can you say ‘senator’ instead of ‘ma’am’?” It’s just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title, so I’d appreciate it. Thank you.”

Take THAT you, you brigadier general!
So, due to Barbara Boxer's hypersensitivity and self-importance, this blogger refers to her as Sen. Ma'am Boxer.
Now on to the meat of this post.
While the task is daunting for the Republican party to snatch that seat from the Democrats, nothing is impossible.
So, who are some possible candidates that can do the job?
First on the potential list is one that has indicated he wants to run for another office. But could he be convinced to lower his expectations and settle for a senate seat?
Well that would be Mitt Romney, of course.

I know, I know, Mr. Romney wants to be president and he really thinks he can do it in this third time. But for the moment, in a reality burst, Mr. Romney says, "Ahh, I can't really win this president thing. Maybe I can serve in another way. I'm now pretty California connected. More than Hillary Clinton was when she carpetbagged her way to a New York senate seat. Maybe I'll give this senate run a try."
If he does, the positives are that he fits the overall California electorate. While a center-right politician, in his one term as governor of Massachusetts, he governed in the same manner. As conservative as one could when the state legislature and senate are two-thirds Democratic. Oh, and he ran for the senate before, you know.
In 1994, while the Republican landslide that saw the GOP take the house from the Democrats after 40 years, Mr. Romney decided to take on the legendary senator, Edward "Teddy" Kennedy. Mr. Romney did not win that race, but it was the closest a Republican had gotten or ever did get to Sen. Kennedy. Mr. Romney lost the race by a large 58% to 41% percent margin. OK, that is a wide margin, but the fact is he did well in his first political foray.
So, Mr. Romney does have the experience of running a campaign for the senate.
Also important is that he would have the kind of money to run a competent, issue-oriented campaign against any Democrat.
But the downside is that counting that senate campaign, Mr. Romney is a three-time loser. And that is a hard thing to shake.
I still hope that Mr. Romney considers a run.
Another potential candidate is one that has ran before, in fact in the last campaign against Sen. Ma'am Boxer.
That would be Carly Fiorina who lost to Sen. Ma'am Boxer by a 52% to 42% margin. That is one of Sen. Ma'am Boxer's largest margins of victory.
Like Mr. Romney, Mrs. Fiorina has made a run before. She is also more like a center-rightist in the Mitt Romney mold. Of course the California leftywhore media did it's level best to paint Mrs. Fiorina as a California version of Sarah Palin. Hardly, but remember that Sen. Ma'am Boxer has literally won every election telling women she supports their right to kill babies in the womb and that she prefers stone-age living all for the environment.
Mrs. Fiorina did have a coherent platform and spent a lot of money to lose in the end. She would do so if she thought that she had a decent chance again.
And being a woman does help somewhat. She comes off more polished as our senior senator, Dianne Feinstein. She is not abrasive and would certainly never dress down a member of the armed forces unnecessarily.
Mrs. Fiorina has real-world business experience in being the CEO of technology giant Hewlett-Packard.
But her negatives are very strong.
Obviously, she ended up losing the senate race to Sen. Ma'am Boxer. In a year Republicans did well across the United States, Mrs. Fiorina spent a lot of money to end up with 42% of the vote. One way to look at it is she did five points better than Sen. John "F--- You" McCain did in his failed 2008 presidential campaign.
Mrs. Fiorina's time at Hewlett-Packard was fraught with controversy and she was eventually forced out of her position.
A really major negative in my book is that after that campaign, she left California and is based in Virginia. In my serious opinion, to make any other run at office here in California, she needed to stay. That would seriously hurt her in a Republican primary.
And Mrs. Fiorina is also being bitten by the presidential bug.
But really, what can she offer in a presidential run? She lost her only serious campaign for office. But she could redeem herself with a move to run again for the senate from California.
I don't think that she will go for another chance to represent the voters of California.
The third potential candidate is one that I personally want to see get in this race and that is congressman Tom McClintock, a man that has run for statewide office before and while he lost, both times were by very close margins.

Mr. McClintock is no stranger to politics in California. He has successfully ran for and won in the state assembly and senate and in congress.
However, Mr. McClintock has not been so lucky in three statewide elections that he ran in.
In 1994,   he ran for state controller and lost to Kathleen Connell by a slim 48%-46% margin. Other candidates received six percent of the vote.
In 2002, Mr. McClintock tried again for the controller job and he lost in a closer and more heartbreaking loss to Steve Westley. Only 16,811 votes separated the top two candidates as Mr. Westley gained 45.4% of the vote to Mr. McClintock's 45.1%.
In the 2003 gubernatorial recall election, Mr. McClintock finished in third place behind the eventual winner, Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger and the then Lt. Governor, Cruz Bustamante. In that election Mr. McClintock only received 14% the vote. Out of about 130 candidates.
But the loss that grates on me is his loss campaigning for Lt. Governor in 2006.
In that election, Gov. Benedict Arnold was already assured of winning reelection. And Mr. McClintock had a good chance of defeating Democrat John Garamendi. But Gov. Benedict Arnold did not campaign for any Republican candidate down ticket. As is wont for most moderate Republicans, they look out for themselves. And in what was a bad year for Republicans, Mr. McClintock went down to defeat losing to Mr. Garamendi, 49% to 42%.
The positive is that Mr. McClintock has ran statewide elections. He has consistently received over 40% of the vote each time.
For conservatives, he is consistent and true to what he believes in. He does not waver and is not a flame thrower in his conservatism. He is a traditional values conservative, but has never made it an issue in any of his statewide campaigns. Out of the three candidates I have chosen to highlight here, Mr. McClintock is the solid conservative.
But the obvious negative is that Mr. McClintock has lost every statewide race he has run. And in the last go round in 2006, his percentage of votes went down to 42%. And that seems to be the ceiling for the GOP in statewide elections for the most part.
Again, I have not said it would be an easy climb for any Republican to win Ma'am Barbara Boxer's seat. But one thing to remember that while Californian's were voting for Republicans at the presidential and gubernatorial level, they were also voting the late Sen. Alan Cranston, a liberal Dem if there ever was one, back to office with solid numbers.
All three of the candidates do have baggage in different ways. Yet they all have certain appeal that can possibly pull them over the top. I do beleive that Mr. McClintock would please us conservatives and thus the volunteers would will get excited to support a candidate. And while Mrs. Fiorina and Mr. Romney might not excite a lot of the grassroots, they could run against the Democrat establishment in California.
Nothing is ever easy for the California GOP these days. But a chance to take a Democrat seat has to be tantalizing to leadership. There will not be an incumbent so it is going to be a race for someone new on both sides. But make no mistakes. They will be "professional" politicians on both sides.
The most exciting thing is that in two years at this time, no matter what, there will not be Sen. Ma'am Barbara Boxer.

Friday, January 09, 2015

72 Hours Of Islamofacist Terror Ends In France

There is so much information to digest regarding the Islamofascist attack on the headquarters of the left-wing satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo this past Wednesday that I will start with the latest update of the killing of the suspects today near Paris.

As of this writing, two suspects that were wanted by French authorities in the Islamofascist terror attack on the left-wing satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were killed outside of Paris today.
But in the interim, another terror situation unfolded in a Jewish neighborhood in Paris as two Islamofascist terrorist, including one woman, seized a market and held hostages.
The main suspects in the assault on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters, two brothers named Cherif and Said Kouachi, were on the run yet seized a print shop near Charles deGaulle international airport and held a hostage.
In Paris itself, two people seized the Hypercacher (Hyper Kosher) market and held an undetermined number of hostage. One of the Islamofacist terrorists, Amedy Coulibaly, was killed in the assault on the Hypercacher. However, it appears that Mr. Coulibaly had an accomplice and she escaped. Her name is Hayat Boumeddiene. According to the Fox News Channel report, these two are suspected in the murder of police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe as she was in the process of investigating a routine traffic accident in Paris.
In simultaneous raids, French police raided both locations killing the main suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre and Mr. Boumeddiene. And as noted Miss Boumeddiene apparently escaped and there is now a manhunt for her.
Also, it appears that four of the hostages in the Hypercacher were killed but it is undetermined if it was during the raid/rescue operation or at the hands of the terrorists themselves.
The following link to CNN is informative as to what is known and what is unknown. Most important is what is known and three out of four Islamofascist terrorists are dead.

On Wednesday, three Islamofascist terrorists at the lunch hour shot their way through the headquarters of a left-wing satirical magazine known as Charlie Hebdo and killed 12 people and wounded 11 others.
Charlie Hebdo is a left-wing satirical magazine that has mocked the three monotheistic religions (Christianity, Islam and Judiasm) with some racy, vile cartoons. But of course it is the fact that they had cartoons of Mohammad, the prophet of Islam, well we all know how that upsets the radical Islamics.
Apparently, they don't know such Western ideas such as freedom of the press. And if they did not like it, hey lead a boycott.
No, no, no.
Three heavily armed and well trained Islamofascist terrorists sent a message to this magazine. You will NOT, EVER, in ANY way draw and or mock the prophet, Mohammad. And to remind you of that, we will kill, wound and maim as many as we could.
In ensuing assault, at least one of the Islamofascist terrorists sought out one of the villains in the mocking of Mohammad by name. That name was that of St├ęphane Charbonnier, also known as Charb. He was the editor of Charlie Hebdo. And he was savagely executed along with 11 others for daring to poke at the main dude of Islam.
Say, notice something here?
Why as I noted, Charlie Hebdo mocked Christians and Jews. Religion was not something to revere but to mock for these folks. But why hadn't any Christian terrorists done such a deed? Jewish terrorists? Because these are advanced religions that would resort to reason rather than savagery and intimidation.
Here is a good place to show you what got Cherif and Said Kouachi and a third suspect all riled up. Here are some of the cartoons that pissed these Islamofascists off

 
Here's a depiction of the Islamic
prophet, Mohammad
 
As noted, this publication is not specifically
anti-Muslim as this cartoon
mocks Islamics and Jews.
 
And here is what Charlie Hebdo
has done to the three great
monotheistic religions.
Mock 'em.
Now what do you notice in the few cartoons that I have shared with you?
That Charlie Hebdo is a pretty equal opportunity offender.
And yes, there are other cartoons I choose not to share. Not because I am scared or worried. Because I will at a later date.
And you know what?
This stuff is not my cup of tea.
I mean, again this is a left-wing publication that I would not be attracted to in the first place. I would not be thrilled if one on my side was doing such things. And really, the cartoons are sort of not all that great to my taste again.
But you know what I would do if something really, really pissed me off?
I would encourage and or lead a boycott. It's what we do in the United States. If we do not like something, we point it out and we find peaceful ways to deal with such things.
Yet there are those influential in the radical Islamic world that are celebrating. That are happy of the event that took place. And of course, defending it, albeit at the edges.
A debate took place between Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity and a radical Islamic cleric, Anjem Choudury, who operates freely in London, England.
Mr. Choudury tries to play down the middle not outright supporting the terror spree that took place in Paris. I will give Mr. Choudury credit in that he is down with the explanation of Islam as its meaning, submission, and that in that submission, its cool to take out those that "insult" Mohammad. Here is a transcript of the salient part of Mr. Hannity and Mr. Choudury's discussing the events and Mr. Choudury's rather defense of what happened. Here is also the video because it is worth watching.

 
I think that Mr. Hannity hits it out of the ball park with this wrap up:
 
All right. Anjem Choudary, I still think you're an evil SOB.
 
Damn straight, Sean Hannity!
Understand that Mr. Choudury is able to spew his vile interpretation of Islam freely in a nation that, if he had his way, would not have the very freedom he abuses.

Part of the development of Western culture has been the idea of education and the free exchange of ideas. It is why, by and large, the West has lived in peace with each other. When we have not, it has been at the hands of non-believers in either Christianity and or Judiasm. Communism, Nazism, Fascism are but some of the examples of when the Western experiment has almost failed. But all were defeated in the theatre of war and the theatre of ideas.
It does not behoove an idea, the idea of Islam, when three gunmen, who did not commit the attack on their own, decide that they will determine what is right and wrong.
Not only did these thugs kill those inside the Charlie Hebdo headquarters but in the most cowardly manner force an unarmed policeman, laying on the ground, to beg for his life. Of course they killed him. And he was also a Muslim. Such a sad irony.
And they were not alone in terror. With the hostage drama that unfolded in a Jewish market in Paris, these terrorists forced a nation literally on its knees.
But to the credit of the French police, they did not stay on their knees. They took out the bastards before more harm can come to those being held against their will.
It has been a frightening 72 hours of Islamofascist terror that gripped Paris and a great deal of France. But they do have to look as we all do at why this scourge has taken root not only in Europe but in the United States as well.
Because some day, it could be as soon as tomorrow, we will face an event such as France just got over.
We must be vigilant and honest. That there is a very radical strain of Islam. That there are many that will die for that radical Islam. That we can not allow this cancer to metastasize any further.
Then we will not face terror of the nature that spews from the bowels of radical Islam.


Thursday, January 08, 2015

How Not To Unseat A Speaker Of The House

Let's face it.
I am not a fan of Rep. John Boehner (R-Oh) as speaker of the house. I think that he way too often seems willing to accommodate the Democrats and the current occupant of the White House, the Dear Leader, President Obama.
But I do have to admire the fact that he is a survivor and this past Tuesday survived an insurrection and was elected speaker for a third term.
While Mr. Boehner had a victory on Tuesday, it was illuminating on why conservatives at times can't be taken seriously.
The die was essentially cast shortly after the November midterm elections when the Republican house leadership were reelected with not one bit of opposition.
One of those that was expected to join the insurrection, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), ended up voting for Mr. Boehner holding his nose. In this press release, Mr. Mulvaney gives a reasonable explanation as to why he ended up voting for Mr. Boehner. And he points out that before the die was cast in November, someone should have ran against Mr. Boehner and Republicans could have had a secret ballot vote.
And what Mr. Mulvaney did not articulate on is that those opposed to Mr. Boehner could have rallied around one candidate. One solid conservative against the establishmentarian. And Tuesday's vote may have turned out very differently.
But, alas, we conservatives did not do any of that and it was a production of the conservative Keystone Kops.
First, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), a likable fellow and solid conservative, announced that he would throw his hat in the ring.
Where was he in November? Did he oppose Mr. Boehner for the speaker ship then?
Then an unknown just elected to a second term house member, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) decided, hey, I'll throw my hat in the ring.
I will ask Mr. Yoho the same couple of questions that I have for Mr. Gohmert.
Then, out of nowhere came Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and he ended up getting the most votes.
Same two questions for Mr. Webster.
But how did Mr. Webster come out of nowhere? The absolute least conservative of the three that announced got the most votes at 13.
The fact is that all it would have taken was for 29 votes to force a second ballot and then all hell could have broken loose.
It's not me making that point but California Rep. Tom McClintock who knows how leadership elections sometimes turn into unbelievable fiascoes.
Mr. McClintock was a member of the state assembly after the 1994 midterm elections in which the GOP actually became the majority party in the state assembly.
Not to go into the history of how a very close Republican majority, only one vote, led to several months of jockeying that did end up with a Republican speaker of the the Assembly. But these three names, Doris Allen, Brian Setencich and Curt Pringle were all players in the drama. Oh, we can't forget the puppet master of this problem, Willie Brown.
Would it have been better to end up with something like a co-speaker ship?! We don't know and thank goodness we don't have to find out.
And if anyone calls Mr. McClintock a RINO* or a weakling or in with leadership, they are out of their collective skulls.
Again, had conservatives thought this through, they should have gotten together before this came up in November. They knew that a vote would take place right after the election for continuity reasons in dealing with the lame-duck session of congress. Had they done that, I absolutely believe that they had a chance to find a solid conservative that could be acceptable to establishmentarians and Tea Party types alike and all in between.
Now some think a lot of this angst was fueled by conservative talk radio types. I do not think that they fueled it because many were making the same case in November that there was no backbone to challenge Mr. Boehner and the leadership at any level. All were reelected by acclimation. There were enough that thought to challenge Mr. Boehner publicly. And while it provided high drama, the sad fact is that it was a foregone conclusion.
The key is to have challenged right away. Even not having the votes then did put Mr. Boehner on notice that if he does not show some backbone, he would be challenged. And by the time this past Tuesday came, a strong candidate may have emerged and Mr. Boehner might have actually lost.
Conservatives need to know how to play the long game. By that it is to build up strength and to wisely pick and choose the hill to die on. Otherwise, as I noted, those that we like and respect start to look like the Keystone Kops and we forget why we oppose Mr. Boehner, et al, altogether.
There will be more battles ahead and the real test of Mr. Boehner as speaker will be how he keeps his caucus in line.
And conservatives can and will have another fight and many fights along the way. And hopefully, better leadership to be victorious.

*-Republican In Name Only.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

First It's Jeb Bush, Now The Rev. Mike Huckabee In The Running For The '16 GOP Nod

Let's get this out of the way.
Whenever any candidate for president is either "exploring" or setting up an "exploratory committee", you can bet your bottom dollar that they are and will be running for president.
Late last year, former Florida governor and latest member of a certain family, Jeb (John Ellis Bush) Bush announced that he is setting up a presidential "exploratory committee" for a "possible" run for the 2016 Republican nomination for president.
Tonight on his Fox News Channel program, the former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate, the Rev. Mike Huckabee, announced that he is leaving the Fox News Channel as he too is "exploring" entering what should be a crowded GOP field for 2016.
As I have my issues with Mr. Bush, I have issues with the Rev. Huckabee.
My main issue with the Rev. Huckabee is that I believe, despite denials on both sides, that he teamed up with the eventual GOP 2008 presidential nominee, Sen. John "F--- You" McCain to deny the former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, the GOP nod.
Also, the Rev. Huckabee did seem to love his tax hikes while governor of Arkansas.
But he sure can say this.
He led the way for the Republican party to take over the state of Arkansas. Granted much of the GOP gains in Arkansas occurred after he left office and was capped off by the GOP winning control of the state legislature and all elected offices in the state.
The Rev. Huckabee has a lot of supporters and he does talk up a cultural populism. But again, I am not sure that he can gain much beyond his base of primarily Evangelical Christian voters.
Having a weekly talk gig on Fox News Channel has helped him communicate a message beyond politics and he has had many guests on his show that are very political polar opposites such as singer Melissa Etheridge.
And the Rev. Huckabee had the highest-rated cable show for his time slot on Saturday night.
It is possible that because of that he could be appealing to the populist wing of the GOP, which is growing and the strongest it has been in many years.
And why even if Jeb Bush does run for the GOP nomination, as I suspect he will, he will have a hard time winning over those voters period. He will lose many votes on his pro-amnesty for illegal aliens and strong support for Common Core educational standards. And Mr. Bush was a very good, conservative governor of Florida, his last year was 2006 as governor. Twelve years and many issues ago.
The fact is one can't win the nomination today being a moderate and or a Bush.
Another reality is don't count two moderates out from setting up their own "explorations" into the '16 campaign.
That would be the aforementioned Mr. Romney and the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie.
The usual wisdom is that a center-right candidate usually emerges as stronger conservatives field multiple candidates. Kind of what happened in 2012 and Mr. Romney was the beneficiary of conservative infighting.
But what a treat it would be for us conservatives to watch three moderates, Messrs. Bush, Christie and Romney duke it out. And a conservative consensus candidate emerges. That candidate probably will not be the Rev. Huckabee. I would look very seriously at the former Texas governor and 2012 candidate, Rick Perry. He is emerging now that he is no longer governor, is not fighting the effects of a back operation as a serious candidate.
But as of now, in the death march for just the Republican nomination for president in 2016, we have two serious candidates. Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee.

The Rose Parade And Rose Bowl Football Game Sure Signs Of A New Year

Yesterday was the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade and the 101st Rose Bowl college football game and they are the surest signs that the Christmas season is over and a new year has begun.
I live in Pasadena, California and I am a fan of both. However, I have never been to an actual Rose Bowl football game. That's on me bucket list.
The whole idea of a parade and football game was started by the local elite organization called the Valley Hunt Club in 1890. And within five years, the VHC could no longer handle the fact that the event became such a hit. The VHC could only do so much. In those days, however, there was no Rose Bowl football game. What they did was have such events as polo matches (remember, the VHC was the elite club of town then and now), foot races and tug-of-wars. Later there were chariot races, ostrich races, bronco-busting demos, and a race between a camel and an elephant. In 1902 there was the first Rose Bowl game and another one was not played until 1916 and has been on every New Year's Day since.
Unless New Year's Day falls on a Sunday.
Yup, we still maintain that tradition even in this secular day and age.
There are quite a few churches along the five and a half mile route that mostly runs along the main drag, Colorado Blvd. Back when the parade started, most people still got around on horses as the primary form of transportation. Horses were tethered in front of the churches and thus the parade would have clearly been a huge fiasco in frightening horses and the high probability that many would escape and wreak havoc. Obviously there are no longer horses to deal with and there are still churches. But the "Never on a Sunday" rule has been kept in place.
My first time at an actual Rose Parade was back in 1978. I just started high school and, by sheer coinkidink, New Year's Day fell on a Sunday. So I got to tag along with my older brother and his friends who had a Winnebago and away we went to spend the night at a parking structure near the parade route on Colorado Blvd. The grand Marshall of the parade that year was former president Gerald R. Ford. That was a pretty big deal. but he was not the first former president to serve as grand Marshall. Both former president's Dwight D. Eisenhower and Herbert Hoover served as grand Marshalls. Anyhow I remember staying up all night. How could I sleep? And at dawn the next morning, we staked an area to watch the parade.
And it was awesome and hooked me since.
All the marching bands and floats that are totally decorated with roses and other natural stuff. huge motorized fantasies going slowly down Colorado Blvd.
Since I have not always lived in Pasadena, my attendance was sporadic after that. And at least once I went but really have no idea what happened. Yeah, just keep in mind that it is New Years.
A tradition of many a local family is staking out a spot the day before along the sidewalk. Officially, it can not be done until 12noon on New Year's Eve. But there are a lot of sporadic unofficial spot takers already claiming a piece of sidewalk. But once noontime comes around, it becomes the world's largest block party and continues until the parade starts at the corner of Orange Grove Blvd and Colorado Blvd. promptly at 8am. Amazingly, there are very few incidents of craziness. It is estimated that anywhere from 750,000 to 1,000,000 people line up on the parade route in a combination of sidewalk and temporary grandstands.
Needless to say, when you have the worlds largest block party, you get some yayhoos. And while there are prohibitions to public alcohol consumption, as long as one is not stupid, it will be looked the other way. Same with warming devices. The overwhelming majority of campers are families that have been doing it for generations. And they are very friendly.
But with the world's largest block party/campout comes a massive clean up.
The City of Pasadena public works is on the scene as soon as the last of the parade moves. As trash litters the main drag, within a day it is as if there was no event. Like nothing occurred.
This year was an unusual year.
The grand marshal was supposed to be Louis Zamperini. Mr. Zamperini was a 1936 track and field competitor and entered World War II in the air force. He eventually became a prisoner of war at the hands of the Japanese empire. the movie Unbroken is about Mr. Zamperini from his high school days to the end of his captivity in World War II.
Only one problem.
Mr. Zamperini was 97 years old when he was named to the prestigious role. I remarked to Mrs. RVFTLC that I hoped the committee had a back up due to Mr. Zamperini's advanced age. And shortly after, Mr. Zamperini did die. Mrs. RVFTLC joked that I willed his death. I was just being realistic.
No change was made.
Mr. Zamperini is a graduate of University of Southern California, better known a
s USC. So along with the Tommy Trojan mascot of a white horse, there was a riderless horse going down the parade route. And his family sat in the grand marshal's car behind the riderless horse. The city of Torrance, where he grew up, had a float dedicated to Mr. Zamperini.
It was a great way to keep with the theme of the parade and not try to find a replacement grand marshal. Very classy.
I think some photos from the Rose Parade are a great way to end this post and to wish all a Happy and Blessed New Year, 2015.
The first float of the Rose Parade
 
The front of the float from the city of Torrance
honoring Louis Zamperini
 
 The side view of the city of Torrance float
(Sorry, hey, I'm not a professional photographer!)
 
United States Marine Corp
 
There are many more photos that you can look at here on my Facebook page. Only 90 photos and that is not even all I took.
Oh, what about the Rose Bowl game?
Well, that sure did not turn out like I hoped it would.
The hideous colors of the Oregon Ducks scalped the crimson-colors of the Florida State Seminoles, 59-20.
For many a moon, the Rose Bowl was the match up between the winner of the Pac-8, then Pac-10 and now Pac-12 conference and the winner of the Big-10, which I believe should be the Big-14. But hey, who's counting. Now with the supposed playoffs with the top for ranked teams in the country, that is why we were treated to Oregon-Florida State.
Ohio State defeated Alabama and will play the Oregon Ducks on January 12 in Dallas, Texas for the national championship.
Say, shouldn't this game be in the Rose Bowl since it is a Pac-12-Big-10 match up?!
Well, both events end the Christmas season and now we are supposedly back to normal. A new year and God willing new heights for all.