Capitol Punishment (or Day 1 as a Lobbyist)

Our first day was a blast! A blast of rain.

It all started because of AT&T. We were waiting to have internet set up in our apartment/office. Right at the last minute, AT&T kindly informed us that they couldn’t make it.

Now we were behind schedule. We crammed ourselves into the car and arrived near the Texas capitol building just as rain began falling.

“Nooo!” Paul Hastings, our team leader, shouted. The parking garage was full.

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NH debate analysis

The version I was watching had frequent interruptions, so I’m not going to emphatically declare anything. But my opinion of the debate was this:


Tim Pawlenty

After stumbling over his words several times, and repeating stories he used last debate, he failed to confront Romney when given the clear opportunity to. In my opinion, Pawlenty is toast.

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South Carolina Debate Conclusion

I watched the 1st GOP debate at And from a strategic standpoint…

Herman Cain won!

2nd Place: Tim Pawlenty played his normal strong self, but he goofed. He ended his closing spiel with his website info, as if this was an ad!  More importantly, up against Cain and Paul, he looked like an actor.

3rd Place: Rick Santorum

Former Congressman Santorum was able to draw Congressman  Paul  into a skirmish about water-boarding between moderator questions. Ron was only able to get out: “Not true. Not true.” While Rick took the opportunity to give a sound rebuttal to Paul’s position.

Ron Paul gets a point for the laugh he got when answering a question about Michelle Bachmann. Had she eclipsed him as the leader of the Tea Party movement: “Well, she’s not here tonight, so she hasn’t.” *

After the debate, an undraft Gary Johnson movement began on twitter. It was only half in jest.

Although the media mostly mentions Tim Pawlenty’s responses, a cut away to the Governor of South Carolina’s  glowing reaction to both Pawlenty and Cain sent the message: Herman Cain is at least Pawlenty’s eqaul.

Until the next one!

– Trent

Balloons and the Inflated Primary

I have been doing some balloon modelling. Made a baby Rhinoceros. Sometime soon I want to make a larger red rhino and name it Romney.

Hey! That reminds me of the GOP primary.

I’m eagerly awaiting May 5th – the first primary debate.

Despite my first impressions, I am going to be closely watching Rick  Santorum (the only Senator officially exploring the possibilities of a 2012 campaign so far), Tim Pawlenty (his ability to put a strong team together intrigues me) and Ron Paul (has he gotten his act together, or is it still Dr. No?)

Until the 5th,

– Trent


I’m sure those two letters have different meanings to different people… but when I see them I think of my latest accomplishment.

Two days ago, I earned the level of Competent Communicator (or CC) at my club Big T Toastmasters (no, the club was not named after me – although sometimes I pretend it was!). I think this level was named just to make your audience laugh after you twist your tongue over it trying to show off your qualification (try saying it a couple times and you’ll see how funny it can sound).

Competent Communicator is only the first level in Toastmasters, only the first drop in the bucket, but I’m excited all the same.

Now I’m waiting for the next set of workbooks…

And in the meantime, I’m twisting balloon animals – a year late on that idea (you can dig through the back issues and find out what I was thinking of doing last year and never had the guts to try…)

More on that next week!

– Trent

2012 Demands

I’m looking at the 2012 prospects… not pretty.

No, I’m not referring to marriage prospects. I’m thinking aloud about prospective presidential candidates.


Just to be different, I never say much against the Democrat Party. Why should I? Us Republicans make some of the most ill advised mistakes ever. So yes, I will only talk about the Republican side of things.

And, everything I say is my first impression made with no research and subject to change drastically : )

Summary of the race so far: Too many “GOP hopefuls.”

Why exactly is Rick Santorum running? Why is Rand Paul talking to Iowa leaders? Why is Newt Gingrich even thinking about running?

The Main Characters:

Donald Trump, (always keep your eye on the money, also old guys are wily) , Michelle Bachmann (tea party is going to pick somebody and that somebody will throw their weight, no matter how much around), Mitt Romney (simply because he has more of the look and feel of Reagan than anyone else, which means the Republican’s running things will back him – another reminder of their lack of creativity), Ron Paul (this guy is trouble, but he doesn’t scare as many people anymore), Mike Huckabee, and Tim Pawlenty (hey, he’s trying to be a little more bold and exciting, that’s a start).

I put them in level of importance.  I don’t expect much from Pawlenty. And the media seems to be saying Huckabee has to win all over again just to gain the credibillity he already gained. Like it or not, the media is a huge player in elections. But I’m hoping Mike gets Vice President at least.)

I evaluate campaigns from a showbiz perspective. Do people like what this guy sounds like? (Guess what, people do what they want to do even if it doesn’t make a lot of sense.)

My Demands:

Haley Barbour, without reading much about him, reminds me generally of Huckabee. But Huckabee already has a following, a record of primary wins, and a style people love. So I think he’s out of luck. The poll saying the state he governs will go for Huckabee seems to support this logic.  Drop out/never enter.

Huckabee will start things off nicely with a win in Iowa, if he doesn’t, he’s toast. But he’ll have to follow with a string of early wins in order to make things work. With two rich guys fighting each other this may be his best chance ever. Run now.

The only good thing about Michelle Bachmann running for President is that she will mess things up for Palin. Jump in, make some fireworks, and bow out after Iowa and a one other “early” go to Huck.

Santorum, endorse Huckabee, period.

Trump, modify your talking points, use your money for campaign, and take Mitt Romney down with you.

Ron Paul, if Huckabee goes and gets a few “earlies,” stay out and keep your son out.

No, I they won’t take my advice. And no, I’m not in the position to give it. But I’d thought it would be fun to consider what I would recommend if I was in that position.

Until the next exciting event!

– Trent

Nothing Basic About It

I know I said I would post a birthday picture… I will, but not this week. I missed my chance earlier in the day. Now I am on the wrong computer. Please forgive.

But I bring more than excuses. That’s right, I went the extra mile and wrote something. Instead of just a picture, now you have a picture and some text that you didn’t want to see! Yes, it was the extra mile, but in the wrong way…


Hello, disagreeable me speaking. I’m feeling cranky again, so here is a little rant I decided was toxic enough to publish on the internet.


NOTICE to paranoid individuals: I am not making a theological point.


Q: Is man basically good or basically evil?


A: There is nothing basic about man.

The only point I’m making is a perfectly brilliant and true one: there is nothing basic about man. But that’s not what I was taught. I was told that man is basically evil.


Well, you know, because Adam sinned and now we have a sin nature. That’s why we steal and lie and —

How does that make man basically evil?

Because he has evil in him.

Huh? If you believe that man is evil, just say so: Man is evil. There’s nothing basic about it.

Until next week,

– Trent

Trent Acting, VBS 2009