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1  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Life after defeat for Mitt Romney & the GOP on: Today at 09:59:01 AM
Mitt Romney: 'Circumstances can change'
By: Lucy McCalmont

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has repeatedly said he is not planning to run for president in 2016 but acknowledged Tuesday that “circumstances can change.”

“Circumstances can change, but I’m just not going to let my head go there,” Romney said during an interview on the nationally syndicated radio PROGRAM “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

“I had the chance of running,” the 2012 Republican presidential nominee told Hewitt. “I didn’t win. Someone else has a better chance than I do. And that’s what we believe, and that’s why I’m not running.”

Romney referenced a scene from the movie “Dumb and Dumber,” when pressed about running again for the GOP nomination, saying the chance he’d run is “one of a million.”

“Let’s say all the guys that were running all came together and said, ‘Hey, we’ve decided we can’t do it, you must do it.’ That’s the one of a million we’re thinking about,” Romney said.

Romney’s former running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, is one person who has said he wishes Romney would run again.

“I sure wish he would,” Ryan said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I think he’d make a phenomenal president. He has the intellect, the honor, the character and the temperament to be a fantastic president. … But he keeps saying that he’s not going to run.”

On Tuesday, Romney CONTINUED to bat away a bid, saying a possible GOP contender “not defined yet” and “perhaps … from the next generation” could take on Hillary Clinton if she becomes the Democratic nominee.

“Had I believed I would actually be best positioned to beat Hillary Clinton, then I would be running,” Romney said.
2  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: What Big Ramy MUST do to win the Olympia on: Today at 03:39:11 AM
Another year or two away. It's not who's the best on that day but rather whether he's paid his dues.

Correct.  He has got to peel on command with the right people... In public and private. Wink
3  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Rusty Jeffers still got it on: August 26, 2014, 03:29:03 PM
Bay likey. Tongue
4  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Life after defeat for Mitt Romney & the GOP on: August 23, 2014, 05:56:57 AM
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan Beg Each Other to Run for President
By Russell Berman

Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan sat down for their first joint interview since losing the 2012 presidential race on Thursday night, and after the customary round of bashing President Obama, Megyn Kelly of Fox News got down to the key question of the moment: Which of them is going to run for president in 2016?

What followed was some awkward laughter and a presidential game of chicken.

RYAN: "I'll give it to him."

ROMNEY: "He's very generous, but I had my turn. It's his turn now."

RYAN: "He should do it."

The mutual fawning continued after the interview at an event afterward in Chicago, where according to the Associated Press, Ryan teased Romney, who has twice run for the White House, that "the third time's the charm."

Romney returned the compliment by saying his former running mate "wouldn't be a bad president" himself. Earlier this week, Ryan joked to Bloomberg Television that if Romney tried again, "I'd drive his bus if he asked me to."

In reality, neither of the two men is likely to run in 2016.

Romney has settled into a role of elder G.O.P. statesman since his loss to Obama, and "third time's the charm" has never really applied to presidential campaigns, unless your name is Ronald Reagan.

Ryan, the House Republican budget chief, is considering a bid next time around, and he now out on tour promoting a new book that reads suspiciously like a campaign-style memoir. But he has also made clear that he is eager to take on the powerful-but-taxing job of chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee next year, and colleagues doubt that the 44-year-old father of three young children will jump into the race.

Ryan heaps praise on Romney in his new book, The Way Forward, but his push for Republicans to reach out to new voters and preach beyond the choir is an implicit critique of Romney's 2012 campaign, which made little headway with young or minority voters.

The two running mates capped off their reunion with, what else, an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video. Ryan dumped the water on Romney, who in typical Romney fashion, barely reacted. "It is cold," he said, before challenging his wife Ann and his former Saturday Night Live impersonator, Jason Sudeikis.
5  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: RIP - Mike Matarazzo - Sad Day in Bodybuilding on: August 17, 2014, 03:08:36 PM
Dam got to get myself to tier 1 level sounds like there is good money to be made.

6  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: RIP - Mike Matarazzo - Sad Day in Bodybuilding on: August 17, 2014, 01:05:11 PM
I'm shocked that nobody else has picked up on the fact that he got Singerman into prostitution.

In his prime, Mike was easily tier 3 with tier 2 potential.  Just saying.

$5000+ club (tier 1)
Coleman, Cutler, Doz, Nasser, Fux, Bautista, Warren, etc.

$3000- $4000 club (tier 2)
Atwood, D. Ball, K. Green, M. Kjellstrom, Z. Khan, Kovacs, J. Long, V. Martinez, Ruhl, Scholz,

$2000 and under (tier 3)
Arntz, Efferding, D. Riley, Constantinos, R. Burneika, Centopani, S. Milne, S. Farmer, L. Priest

$1000 and under (tier 4)
Ty Young, C. Martin, M. VanWyck

(tier 5)
the usual suspects
7  Getbig Alternative Boards / More Explicit Sex Board / Re: Muscle Daddy (schmoe content) on: August 16, 2014, 06:30:48 AM

I saved the best for last!  Wink
8  Getbig Alternative Boards / More Explicit Sex Board / Re: Muscle Daddy (schmoe content) on: August 14, 2014, 06:01:35 PM
CXCVXII:  Rich Lupkes  

He's 56, 6'3" 300lbs+  Bay likey!  Tongue
9  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Life after defeat for Mitt Romney & the GOP on: August 12, 2014, 06:13:05 PM
and anyway... the last 2 "businessman" presidents were Hoover and Dubya... lol...

Thanks for saving me the trouble of pointing that out.  Roll Eyes

What I find most interesting about Romney’s candidacy is how his campaigns effectively ignored his tenure as governor.  In the course of his campaigns (especially the most recent one) his time in office was almost completely ignored.  Typically, former governors point to their many accomplishments in office as evidence of what they can, and will, do if elected President.  That was not the case with Romney.  Why is that?

Any one living in Massachusetts can tell you why: when Romney left the governor’s office he was deeply unpopular to put it mildly.  He only served one term and he did not stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning a second term and everyone knew it—including him.  He did not even try to run for a second term. Lips sealed
10  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Life after defeat for Mitt Romney & the GOP on: August 12, 2014, 03:36:46 PM
Mitt Romney 2016? Advisers try to squelch effort, but it's gaining steam.
Mitt Romney and his top advisers are adamant: He won't run for president in 2016. But draft efforts by serious players – including the chairman of the Utah GOP – are picking up momentum.
By Linda Feldmann

 Chicago — Talk to any of Mitt Romney’s closest political advisers, and the answer is the same: He won’t run for president in 2016.

“I take Mitt at his absolute word. He’s not running,” says Ron Kaufman, Republican national committeeman for Massachusetts and a senior adviser to Mr. Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

“He’s been very clear – he loved running, gave it his best, and lost,” Mr. Kaufman told this reporter at the RNC’s summer meeting in Chicago last week. “Now he’s helping the Republicans win the Senate.”

Romney’s former finance chair, Spencer Zwick, has also put out word that Romney is focused on the 2014 midterms and to please stop the draft efforts, which are a distraction. Most significant among them is, organized by the chairman of the Utah Republican Party. The three-month-old site is closing in on 117,000 signatures. The campaign's Facebook page is also getting a lot of traffic.

"Look, the focus needs to be on the midterm elections. That's what Mitt is doing," Mr. Zwick told the Deseret News in Salt Lake City last month. "The organization has no merit. None."

But in Chicago last week, when asked about his draft effort, Utah GOP chairman James Evans was happy to talk.

“We are mindful of Romney insiders’ concerns, but we’re not going away,” says Mr. Evans.

He hasn’t shut down the site, but he did cancel the national launch he had planned in South Carolina – an early primary state – later this month. And he’s not actively raising money. There’s no “donate” button on the site. Any money that’s coming in to support his “low-cost operation,” Evans says, is from people with whom he already has a relationship.

“This is a grass-roots efforts,” Evans says, “and we want to demonstrate that, collectively, America got it wrong” in 2012, when President Obama beat Romney.

As head of the Utah GOP, Evans is well-positioned to keep his effort going. Utah is one of Romney’s “home bases.” He lived there for a time when he ran the 2002 Winter Olympics and owns a home there. Utah is also headquarter of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Romney is a prominent member. 

But Evans is, in other ways, an unlikely champion. He’s originally from South Carolina, a Southern Baptist, and black – the only African-American state GOP chair in the continental US.

Evans says he told Romney directly that he wanted to launch a draft effort, and the former Massachusetts governor smiled and was polite.

“He was kind,” says Evans. “I appreciate that.”

What about Romney’s wife, Ann? Evans hasn’t asked her. “She would be kryptonite to the plan,” he says. “If I don’t ask, then she can’t say no.”

In interviews, other Republican leaders attending the Chicago RNC meeting either ruled out a Romney run, saying they take him at his word, or expressed interest, depending on how the still-forming 2016 field shakes out.

Several pointed out that, under RNC rules, there’s no way to “draft” someone onto the GOP ticket. Romney would have to consent to be on the ballot.

Others chalked up all the Romney talk to “buyer’s remorse,” now that Obama is struggling both internationally and at home and mired in low job approval ratings.

“People tell him that if we could do the election over today, we might have President Romney,” says Steve Duprey, GOP committeeman from New Hampshire, home of the first primary (and another of Romney’s home bases). “He’s flattered by those comments, but I will say this, I think Governor Romney has the luxury of making a decision later than anyone else."

So far, the early, prospective GOP field for 2016 is large and has no clear front-runner. Mr. Duprey suggested that, despite their protestations, close Romney supporters have said “never say never” and advised him to keep an eye on how the field shakes out.

“Is it an early breaking field toward one candidate? Is it a late-breaking field? Who’s in?” Duprey says.

“I will tell you personally, not based on knowledge…. I think it would be a smart move to look at it and consider running,” Duprey said of Romney. “I think if there’s anyone who would have an easier go of winning the nomination, it would be him. The more you do it, the better you get at it.”

Still, for a top-tier presidential prospect like Romney, a third try would be unusual. In 2008, he lost the GOP nomination to Sen. John McCain of Arizona, then won it in 2012. One comparison is to William Jennings Bryan, who won the Democratic nomination three times (1896, 1900, and 1908) but never reached the Oval Office.

“A better model for Mitt might actually be Richard Nixon, who lost to John F. Kennedy in 1960, then lost the California gubernatorial election in 1962, only to win the presidency in 1968,” writes Matt Lewis in the Daily Telegraph.
11  Getbig Alternative Boards / Relationship Talk, Questions, Pictures & More! (18+) / Re: Would you seriously date someone who you knew had a bad credit score? on: August 10, 2014, 12:05:26 PM
Before marrying, ask the money questions
By Michelle Singletary

There are times when you’re right but you wish you weren’t. This is one of those times.

Ten years ago, a reader wrote to me asking for advice about his relationship with his girlfriend. It was near Valentine’s Day, and he wanted to ask her to marry him. But he had major reservations about how she managed her money.

“I plan to propose to my girlfriend of a year and a half,” he wrote at the time. “Her spending habits are outrageous. She justifies [the spending] by saying she works two jobs and bargain-shops. She has more than 400 pairs of shoes, some she’s not even worn, and clothing falls in the same category. There is almost no room left in her home. I am the frugal one in the relationship, and I hope it’s beginning to sink in that she can’t spend the way she’s done in the past.”

He asked for my help. “What can I do to help her curb her spending habits without making her feel bad or as though I am putting her down?”

I told him to hold off on the engagement. He had a lot of work to do before hitching his life to someone he was concerned had financial issues, and in particular to a partner not willing to acknowledge she might have a spending problem.

“Realize the two of you are a classic case of money opposites attracting,” I answered. “This isn’t unusual. But having different spending styles that aren’t worked out can cause serious conflicts in a marriage. The important thing is to exchange your views about money before you exchange wedding vows.”

I laid out several specific things he needed to do before proposing. I recommended that the couple discuss their expectations. He should express his concerns. But I cautioned that the conversation shouldn’t be just about her spending. Otherwise, things might get confrontational. She might become defensive. And frugality isn’t always good if the penny-pincher is too critical or judgmental of a spouse’s different money style.

I suggested that they pull their credit reports and share them with each other. Same for their credit scores. You can get free copies of your credit reports every 12 months from You have to pay for the credit scores, but it’s worth the money to check each other’s creditworthiness.

I suggested that they seek professional help from a credit counselor who could provide information about budgeting and money management. I even gave him the contact information to find a counselor — or call 800-388-2227. It’s still the same site and number, should you be in a similar situation.

I ended with this warning: “You’re right to be concerned. It’s vital that you address your financial differences before you get married. After all, love does not conquer all, because it can’t pay the bills.”

Fast-forward to this month, and I get another e-mail from the same guy. He didn’t do any of the things I suggested.

“Your column that February 8th was spot on and, although I read it, I didn’t follow it,” he wrote. “Thus here I am on the brink of financial ruin and a failed marriage.”

Sometime after the wedding, he discovered that his wife owed $30,000 to the Internal Revenue Service. “While I already had one mortgage, I took out a second in order to pay off her tax debt. Had I asked all the pertinent questions early on, I would have also discovered [another] $15,000 tax bill from the city.”

Earlier this year, just in time for Valentine’s Day, the National Endowment for Financial Education released a survey that found that 13 percent of couples who have combined finances have deceived their partners by lying about such things as the amount of debt they owe or how much they earn.

Things have not gone well in the e-mail writer’s relationship in part because of the lack of financial disclosure.

“Here we are 10 years later,” he wrote. “The home I purchased, I now stand a good chance of losing by not asking all the right questions. I’ve put my financial health in a dismal, near-death state. This is not a good feeling, as I now also have a young child at home. Hopefully, I will be able to save my home to the point where it can just be sold and I can begin to stop the bloodletting of my financial woes, and prepare for my retirement (53 years old) and her schooling.”

It may not be too late to get help and save his marriage.

Nonetheless, the reader wanted to warn others. He ended his update with this: “It’s my hope that others don’t fall into the same mishap I’ve put myself into.”
12  Getbig Alternative Boards / Relationship Talk, Questions, Pictures & More! (18+) / Re: Would you seriously date someone who you knew had a bad credit score? on: August 09, 2014, 12:12:17 PM
New FICO criteria could help borrowers
By E. Scott Reckard, Tim Logan

The nation's dominant credit-scoring system is being revised in a way that could save consumers nationwide billions of dollars, especially in qualifying for mortgages, auto loans and credit cards at lower interest rates.

The changes to FICO criteria are aimed at reducing the negative effect of overdue medical bills and at removing the penalties to consumers who pay off debts that had been assigned to collection agencies.

The revisions, to take effect this fall, will alter the formulas used to generate the credit grades used in more than 90% of the decisions that lenders make about how much consumers can borrow and at what interest rates. The scores also are used by employers and landlords.

Improved scores could make it easier for millions of Americans with past credit blemishes to get loans or to get them at lower rates.

Experts cautioned, though, that borrowers might have to wait a year or more to see the effect of changes because lenders will not quickly overhaul their systems to evaluate consumers and price loans for them.

What's more, the effect on the housing market, a major key to economic growth, is likely to be muted. Analysts said change would be seen more rapidly in auto loans and credit cards than in mortgages.

"These are not changes that are going to turn on a fire hose of new loan applications any time soon," said Greg McBride, the chief analyst at consumer financial website "For a lot of people, it's not so much going to be the difference between being approved and denied as it is the terms on which you are approved."

For consumers whose only major delinquency is an unpaid medical bill, the changes would increase a credit score by 25 points, according to Fair Isaac Corp., the company that provides FICO scores to the three big credit-rating firms. Scores range from 300 to 850, and most lenders prefer a score above 700.

The revisions, released Thursday, address a major point of contention between Fair Isaac and consumer groups.

Consumer advocates had complained that medical patients frequently are left in the dark when insurers reject payment on a bill, which can then go to collection. What's more, unexpected medical catastrophes can swamp otherwise responsible borrowers with enormous bills.

A recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study, based on data from Fair Isaac and the credit bureaus, found that both paid and unpaid medical debts unfairly penalized a consumer's credit rating.

Although the changes will affect FICO scores, they won't remove any unpaid debts from a credit report.

Lenders could still use the items as a reason to deny a loan application or charge more in fees or interest.

Credit unions will need time to study the new FICO criteria but are likely to adopt them quickly, said Arnold Ramirez, a consultant for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. He said a consumer who pays off a debt that went to collection years ago would be regarded favorably.

"Credit unions were created to help people of modest means," Ramirez said. "We want to help people who may have had problems but are now putting themselves back in good financial standing."

Many mortgage lenders use a previous version of FICO, which also is still favored by industry financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Together they buy or guarantee more than 60% of home loans.

A credit score is just one of many factors a lender looks at when considering a loan.

A survey by FICO of bank risk managers last month found that they were nearly six times more likely to reject a loan application because of a high debt-to-income ratio — the amount of a borrower's income devoted to housing and debt payments — than because of a low FICO score.

"The credit score plays less of a role [in a mortgage decision] than most people think," said Kelli Isaacs, vice president and regional sales manager for Southern California at Bank of the West. "I think what people should be looking at is the overall picture. Regardless of your scores, are you paying your bills?"

Meanwhile, lenders have eased up on the credit scores they have been requiring in the aftermath of the mortgage meltdown and financial crisis. The average FICO score for a closed mortgage in June was 728, down from 742 a year earlier, according to Ellie Mae, a company that processes mortgage applications for lenders.

Still, a higher score often translates into lower interest rates and lower payments.

A borrower with a FICO score of 675 can expect to pay 4.75% interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, according to Informa Research Services in Calabasas. That amounts to $2,086 a month in principal and interest on a $400,000 loan.

At a FICO score of 700, that rate drops to 4.212%, and the monthly payment falls $127, to $1,959.

Access to credit is still a big hurdle for the housing market. A survey this week by the Federal Reserve found that 29% of renters hadn't bought a house because they couldn't qualify for a mortgage.

Anything that makes qualifying easier and cheaper should be welcome news, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Assn. of Realtors.

"In recent years the [credit score requirement] has been dialed so tightly that only fairly upper-tier consumers were able to qualify for a loan," he said. "We're looking at people, who are currently being denied, potentially being offered a mortgage because of this."

Nick Clements, a credit-scoring expert who heads Magnify Money, a personal finance site, said the changes have the potential to save consumers billions of dollars, noting that 64 million Americans have a medical collection item on their credit reports.

But Clements said banks probably will take a year to 18 months to analyze the effects of the new scoring on their loans and set up new pricing strategies. And improvement won't be automatic.

"Just because FICO says that someone is low risk does not mean a bank will treat them as such," Clements said.
13  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: James Brady, former Reagan press secretary, gun-control advocate, dies on: August 08, 2014, 05:59:20 PM
James Brady’s death ruled homicide by Virginia medical examiner
 By Peter Hermann August 8 at 5:21 PM

The death on Monday of President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary James S. Brady, has been ruled a homicide as a result of the gunshot wound he suffered in an assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981, according to District police department’s chief spokeswoman.

There was no immediate word on whether the shooter, John W. Hinckley, who has been treated at St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital, could face new criminal charges. Hinckley, 59, was found not guilty by reason of insanity after he shot Reagan and three others on March 30, 1981.

The ruling was made by the medical examiner’s office in Virginia, where Brady died in an Alexandria retirement community. The shooting of Brady three decades ago, and the revelation of Hinckley’s mental illness, had largely faded from the headlines until his death this week at age 73.

Barry Wm. Levine, Hinckley’s attorney, said Friday evening that he had not seen the medical examiner’s report, but he felt confident the U.S. Attorneys office would face “insurmountable legal barriers to any prosecution.”

 “The idea there is a causal relationship that they can prove that this death came from that assault is fairly far fetched,” he said. “Is there any conceivable theory of facts that would differ from the facts that applied to the prosecution in 1982? Is there something new or different other than the fact that Brady died? [Hinckley] was found not guilty of the assault. How could he be found guilty of the more serious charge?”

Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said prosecutors are reviewing the ruling and that his office “has no further comment at this time.”

 Gail Hoffman, a Brady family spokesman said she could not immediately comment, adding, “Jim had been suffering health issues since the shooting.”

Brady’s death will now be added to the District’s 2014 homicide list. He becomes the District's 71st homicide of 2014.

Last December a federal judge gave Hinckley more freedom from St. Elizabeth’s, allowing him to spend 17 days a month in Williamsburg, Va., where his elderly mother lives.

“John has lived his whole life since that event, riddled by guilt and he has the greatest respect for the Bradys and the greatest amount of remorse for what happened,” Levine said. “A sensitive public would know that at the time he committed that act, he was ravaged by mental disease.”

14  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Pavol Jablonicky on: August 03, 2014, 03:17:30 PM
I think you may be misinterpreting Bay's "tiers"  Cheesy Kiss

You know too much! Grin
15  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Pavol Jablonicky on: August 03, 2014, 02:41:51 PM
Tier 2   Kiss
16  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Mercedes S Class drives itself on Autobahn on: August 03, 2014, 01:17:31 PM
My favorite feature is the active multicontour front seats with massage "active side bolsters can be set to automatically increase lateral support in cornering maneuvers."  You have to feel this to believe it!  Pure MB magic.  Bay likey!  Tongue
17  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Pavol Jablonicky on: August 03, 2014, 12:52:13 PM
can't speak English

x2.  Undecided
18  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Life after defeat for Mitt Romney & the GOP on: August 02, 2014, 04:32:41 PM
Romney is in demand on the midterm campaign trail
By Robert Costa and Philip Rucker

President Obama thumped Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, but now their political standings seem reversed. During a summer in which Democratic candidates are keeping their distance from an unpopular president, Romney is emerging as one of the Republican Party’s most in-demand campaign surrogates.

Over three days in mid-August, Romney will campaign for GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidates in West Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas, aides said. In September, he is planning visits to the presidential swing states of Colorado and Virginia.

Romney is filling up his October schedule, as well. Senate hopefuls in Iowa and New Hampshire are eager for him to return before November’s midterms, while Romney is weighing trips to other Senate battlegrounds. At least one high-profile Senate campaign said it has produced a television advertisement featuring Romney ready to air in the fall.

“Democrats don’t want to be associated with Barack Obama right now, but Republicans are dying to be associated with Mitt Romney,” said Spencer Zwick, a longtime Romney confidant who chaired his national finance council. He added: “Candidates, campaigns and donors in competitive races are calling saying, ‘Can we get Mitt here?’ They say, ‘We’ve looked at the polling, and Mitt Romney moves the needle for us.’ That’s somewhat unexpected for someone who lost the election.”

For a party without a consensus leader — nor a popular elder statesman like Democratic former president Bill Clinton — Romney is stepping forward in both red and blue states to fill that role for the GOP.

“There’s a pretty big void in the party right now for national leaders, and Romney’s in a unique position, having been around the track, to help fill that void,” said Scott Reed, a veteran GOP strategist who oversees the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s political operation.

Romney continues to deny interest in a third presidential run in 2016, but his moves have his supporters yearning for him to give it a go and arguing that he would be a stronger candidate than last time.

In recent months, Romney has been endorsing candidates, including a number of establishment favorites who went on to defeat tea party firebrands in hard-fought primaries. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R), whom Romney recently endorsed for reelection, said in an interview that Romney remains the GOP’s best hope of winning back the White House.

Asked whether he and other Republican officials are coalescing around Romney as a 2016 favorite, Mead said: “There is a movement afoot. . . . I’d tell him, ‘Governor Romney, people here in Wyoming and around the country would encourage you to take another look at it.’ ”

Supporters also point to Obama’s struggles on crises ranging from his health-care law to Russian aggression to conflict in the North African country of Mali — all issues Romney raised in the 2012 campaign — and say time has proved Romney right.

Obama won the popular vote 51 percent to 47 percent in 2012, but a CNN/ORC International poll this past week showed Romney winning 53 percent to 44 percent if a rematch were held today. The same poll showed Romney losing to former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton 55 percent to 42 percent in a hypothetical 2016 matchup.

Democratic strategists said GOP candidates who appear with Romney in their states are misreading voters.

“He is a walking, talking caricature of a Republican Party that favors only the very rich and big powerful corporations at a cost to middle-class families,” said Matt Canter, deputy executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Republican 2016 contenders such as Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Tex.), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) also are building political capital while stumping for GOP candidates this summer and fall.

But in the minds of many Republican operatives and financiers, Romney stands apart from the others because he appears above the fray and without any overt personal ambition. He is also one of the few national Republicans who can raise significant amounts of money and capture the attention of voters in most GOP blocs.

After a retreat into seclusion following his 2012 loss, Romney’s reemergence on the political stage coincides with a softening of his public image. “Mitt,” a Netflix documentary about Romney’s campaigns released this year, shows him as a devoted family man committed to his Mormon faith. And last week, Romney posted widely shared pictures on social media showing him, wife Ann and five of their 22 grandchildren hiking, swimming and rock climbing during a summer tour of national parks in the West.

In June, Romney’s donor retreat in Park City, Utah, had the feel of a revival. Although Christie and Paul spoke at the elite confab, the buzz was about drafting Romney.

Romney insisted to reporters he would not run
: “The unavailable is always the most attractive, right? That goes in dating, as well.”

Still, the Chamber’s Reed said he expects Romney to assess the GOP field sometime in 2015 and give serious consideration to another candidacy.

“He could come on the scene around Labor Day [of 2015] because he’s able to flip his switch,” Reed said. He argued that Romney could activate his fundraising network and be in a “commanding position” faster than any other prospective candidate.

For now, Romney’s associates said, he is focused entirely on helping Republicans win the majority in the Senate in November. He communicates regularly about the campaign landscape with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who is a close friend, and other political allies. Longtime advisers Beth Myers and Ron Kaufman, as well as aide Kelli Harrison, help field requests from candidates and manage his travel.

During the week of Aug. 18, according to aides, Romney is set to campaign in West Virginia with Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R), who is favored to win the seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D); in North Carolina with state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R), who is challenging Sen. Kay Hagan (D); and in Arkansas for gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson (R).

Aides said Romney has also scheduled September campaign trips to Colorado, for gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez (R), and Virginia, where he has campaigned for Ed Gillespie (R), a senior Romney adviser in 2012 who is challenging Sen. Mark R. Warner (D).

Romney campaigned this year with Scott Brown (R), the former senator from Massachusetts now running in neighboring New Hampshire against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D). Romney has deep political roots in New Hampshire, where his family owns a summer vacation home. In June, he returned to the farm in Stratham where he announced his 2012 campaign to stage a rally with Brown.

“Mitt Romney is one of the most unifying figures in the party, and having him here was a huge shot in the arm,” said Colin Reed, Brown’s campaign manager.

Advisers said Romney is expected to return this fall to New Hampshire and to Iowa, where he campaigned in May for Joni Ernst in the run-up to the Republican Senate primary, which she won handily.

Romney called Ernst “a real Iowan,” telling voters that she “didn’t just sit at home needle-pointing” but was raised doing “squealing work on the farm” — a reference to Ernst’s television ad in which she boasts of “castrating hogs.”

“When he was here last time, he offered to do whatever we felt he needed to do,” said David Kochel, who was Romney’s top Iowa adviser and is informally advising Ernst. “He’s invested. He wants her to win.”
19  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Markus Rühl's update - Legs Workout on: July 20, 2014, 09:16:34 AM

That's a great everyday look, easy to maintain without a ton of gear.

Still funny after all these years!  Grin
20  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: New Capt America is black and Thor becomes a woman. Thanks Marvel. on: July 19, 2014, 04:27:35 AM
These change ups happen every few years or so in comics and have for decades.   Now, I hate this change up, but Thor will come back and so will Steve Rogers.  

Plus, why did a woman "become" Thor?  A person that possesses Mjolnir doesn't become Thor they are simply worthy to possess Mjolnir and thereby wield the power of Thor, but they remain who they are.   Thor is still Thor.

One other thing, Captain America is a super-enhanced soldier that commands and leads.  Sam "Falcon" Wilson is not super-enhanced nor is he a military commander of sorts.

Sorry, not buying this change up hiss Marvel!!  Angry

Are you a long time reader of Thor?  In issue #338 in the 1980s Beta Ray Bill proved worthy of lifting Mjolnir and effectively became Thor (one of the best Thor story lines).  Nonsense?  We are talking about comic books, remember, so anything can happen.  As has been suggested, the objections and similar reactions to these changes in the Marvel universe are not really about Thor and Captain America.  Our society IS changing and it is fitting that our mythologies and fantasies change with it.  Of course, some people do not like the idea of that change much less the reality of it.  They will get over it.
21  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Companies with the worst customer service on: July 18, 2014, 06:22:20 PM, a platform that produces thousands of crowd sourced answers to opinion-based questions, collected nearly 14,000 votes on what people think are the companies with the worst customer service.

10. Ticketmaster
Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. is an American ticket sales and distribution company based in West Hollywood, California, USA, with operations in many countries around the world.

9. Gold's Gym
Gold's Gym International, Inc. is an American chain of international co-ed fitness centers originally started in California by Joe Gold. Each gym features a wide array of exercise equipment, group exercise classes and personal trainers to assist clients. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas.

8. Best Buy
The Best Buy Company, Inc. is an American multinational consumer electronics corporation headquartered in Richfield, Minnesota. It operates in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, and China. The company was founded by Richard M. Schulze and Gary Smoliak in 1966 as an audio specialty store; in 1983, it was renamed and rebranded with more emphasis placed on consumer electronics.

7. CitiBank
Citibank is the consumer banking division of financial services multinational Citigroup. Citibank was founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York, later First National City Bank of New York. As of March 2010, Citigroup is the third largest bank holding company in the United States by total assets, after Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

6. Comcast
Comcast Corporation is the largest mass media and communications company in the world by revenue. It is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States, and the nation's third largest home telephone service provider.

5. American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is a major U.S. airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. It operates an extensive international and domestic network, with scheduled flights throughout North America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, and Asia. Its route network centers around five "cornerstone" hubs in Dallas/Fort Worth, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago.

4. Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., branded as Walmart, is an American multinational retail corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's second largest public corporation, according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2013, the biggest private employer in the world with over two million employees, and is the largest retailer in the world.

3. Bank of America
The Bank of America Corporation is an American multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is the second largest bank holding company in the United States by assets. As of 2010, Bank of America is the fifth-largest company in the United States by total revenue.

2. AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation, headquartered at Whitacre Tower in downtown Dallas, Texas. AT&T is the largest provider both of mobile telephony and of fixed telephony in the United States, and also provides broadband subscription television services. AT&T is the third-largest company in Texas.

1. Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable Inc. is an American cable telecommunications company that operates in 29 states and has 31 operating divisions. It is the second largest cable company in the U.S. behind only Comcast. Its corporate headquarters are located in the Time Warner Center in Midtown Manhattan, New York.
22  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Cool pic of the Mentzer Bros on: July 03, 2014, 07:30:44 PM
Looks like Ray had better legs than Mike

I think they were about even in legs.
23  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Cool pic of the Mentzer Bros on: July 03, 2014, 02:52:37 PM
Who has the better physique? Mike or Ray?


24  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Life after defeat for Mitt Romney & the GOP on: July 03, 2014, 05:58:26 AM
No, Mitt Romney isn’t running for president
By Chris Cillizza

Mitt Romney hasn't disappeared from the political scene the way many people thought he would after coming up on the losing end of the 2012 presidential race. But, that doesn't mean he's running for president -- or even thinking about running for president -- in 2016.

Talk of a possible third presidential bid for Romney has surfaced of late -- with poll numbers that show he is well regarded by Republican voters and a growing sense within the GOP smart set that no candidate has really emerged from the pack as of yet.

Romney has, of course, batted down such speculation. "I'm not running, and talk of a draft is kind of silly," Romney told "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory earlier this month. That's consistently been his position for quite some time; he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in February that  "I'm not running for president in 2016. It's time for someone else to take that responsibility and I'll be supporting our nominee." (Kudos to CNN for gathering the many ways Romney has said he's not running for president into a single blog post.)

But, one quirk of human nature is this: We always want what we can't have. Or, in Romney's own incredibly awkward (but accurate) phrasing: "The unavailable is always the most attractive, right? That goes in dating as well."

The more Romney insists he's not interested, the more people become intrigued at the prospect of him running. Remember how Al Gore suddenly became a figure of maximum intrigue in the political world just a few years removed from losing an ultra-winnable presidential race in 2000?  He did it by making clear he didn't want to run.  Works every time.

Now, Romney has been around the political game long enough to know that people are only interested in you as long as you are uninterested in them. As soon as Romney indicated that, well, sure, he might want to run again, all of the old complaints -- he's too wooden! he's out of touch! -- would come roaring back.

Think of Romney's current popularity like this: There is a ball just out of his reach. He could definitely grab it. But, as soon as he lunges for it, the ball starts to move away from him. The faster he runs toward it, the further it gets away from him.

Say what you will about Mitt Romney but he is no dummy. He gets it. And that's why he's not running.

Now, on to the 10 men (no women!) with the best chance of winding up as the Republican presidential nominee in 2016. Agree or disagree with our picks? That's what the comments section is made for.

10. Paul Ryan:  The Wisconsin Republican's total lack of interest in making a play for a House leadership post following Eric Cantor's stunning loss earlier this month left me, again, wondering just what the heck he wants out of his political career. The answer is elusive but now seems to be that he wants to bide his time and see where the party -- in Congress and nationally -- goes over the next few cycles. At 44 years old, he can afford to wait. (Previous ranking: 9)

9. Bobby Jindal: The Louisiana governor is running for president. The latest piece of evidence was a two-day swing through Iowa, stopping by the state Republican convention and raising money for the state party. Jindal, in his day job, is building a record that hard-core conservatives will love. He rejected the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and, more recently, issued an executive order to withdraw the state from the Common Core education standards program. (Previous ranking: 7)

8. Ted Cruz: The last week in politics has to give the Texas Republican Senator some pause. His preferred candidate in Oklahoma's Republican Senate primary got walloped on Tuesday, the same night tea party insurgent Chris McDaniel inexplicably lost to establishment pick Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Senate runoff. Cruz has a loyal base of support. But, it's not big enough to be the nominee. (Previous ranking: 6)

7. Mike Huckabee: The former Arkansas governor is doing the sorts of things one does when he wants to run for president.   He stumped for Mike Campbell, a candidate for North Carolina South Carolina lieutenant governor earlier this month. He's giving the wink and nod statements of interest that are part of the game. And, polling in Iowa at least shows he remains popular; a recent Des Moines Register poll showed Huckabee had the second highest favorable ratings of any potential 2016 GOPer. (Paul Ryan was at the top.) (Previous ranking: Cool

6. John Kasich: The Ohio governor is the "it boy" of the smart-set in DC at the moment. He looks to be on his way to a comfortable re-election victory in the swingiest state in the country at the presidential level. He's run for president before and no one we talk to says he doesn't want to again.  If Kasich wins this fall and shows some interest in the race, he could move up these rankings. (Previous ranking: N/A)

5. Chris Christie: Just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in. The news, which broke this week, that the feds are investigating the New Jersey governor's use of Port Authority funds to repair the Pulaski Skyway, further complicates Christie's political rehabilitation efforts. Whether or not anything in this latest investigation gets to Christie remains very unclear but it's just another bad storyline that he has to deal with at a time when he wants to pivot to the process of running for president. (Previous ranking: 4)

4. Scott Walker:  Speaking of bad headlines, the Wisconsin governor has had to weather some of his own lately over allegations of illegal coordination between his 2012 recall campaign and outside groups aiding that effort. But, earlier this week, an attorney for the special prosecutor tasked with looking into the allegations made clear that Walker was not a target of the probe. That was a nice piece of news for Walker -- and should help him quiet the storm of coverage that had popped up over the past 10 days or so. (Previous ranking: 5)

3.  Rand Paul: Paul is the most interesting candidate running for the Republican presidential nomination. He's also the one -- with the possible exceptions of Rubio and Jeb Bush -- who can make a credible case that nominating him would expand the GOP into parts of the electorate it hasn't been able to reach in recent years. Paul remains somewhat unpredictable -- that's also part of his appeal -- and it remains to be seen whether he could win a one-on-one fight with a more establishment candidate. (Previous ranking: 2)

2. Marco Rubio: The last time we wrote about the 2016 presidential field in this space, we recommended buying stock in the Florida Senator. That's still our recommendation -- particularly as Walker and Christie have stumbled a bit as of late.  Rubio's record in the Senate -- with the exception of immigration reform -- is solidly conservative and he is probably the most naturally gifted candidate in the field.  We keep hearing whispers that Rubio's record during his time as Speaker of the Florida house is ripe for an opposition researcher but we're not there yet. (Previous ranking: 3)

1. Jeb Bush: Until he says "no" -- and we still think that's more likely than him saying "yes"  -- we are going to keep the former Florida governor at the top of these rankings. That ranking is largely built on his last name and the political and fundraising muscle it represents. As Philip Bump noted in a recent Fix post, however, Jeb's record on core conservative policies is not so good. (Previous ranking: 1)
25  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: July 03, 2014, 05:47:06 AM
Cheney’s Back, Blitzing Rivals and Drawing Scorn

As his heart failed a couple of summers after leaving office, former Vice President Dick Cheney slipped into a coma and, by his later account, spent weeks dreaming that he was in a countryside villa north of Rome, padding down a stone path every morning to pick up a newspaper or coffee.

Yet Mr. Cheney was never one to slip into quiet retirement in Italy or, for that matter, at his Wyoming ranch. Two years after a heart transplant reinvigorated him physically, he seems reinvigorated politically, too, as he takes on President Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bill Clinton, radical Islam, Senator Rand Paul, his own party — and history.

Frustrated by what he considers the president’s weakness as extremist groups seize wide portions of Iraq, Mr. Cheney, 73, has blitzed the airwaves in recent weeks and formed a new organization to promote American national security in a perilous time. He has drawn nothing but scorn from Democrats and even some Republicans who view his remonstrations as the height of hubris from someone they blame for many of the country’s difficulties. To them, he is a punch line.

But Mr. Cheney’s ability to command attention speaks to his distinctive place in the public arena. He is blunt, he is unapologetic and he is seemingly immune to the barbs aimed his way. He remains driven by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and determined to guard the nation against the dangers he sees. If the rest of the world has moved on, he has not. “I’m not running for anything,” he told Charlie Rose in one of his multiple interviews of late. “I get to say exactly what I think.”

Some have no interest in listening. On MSNBC and on liberal op-ed pages and websites, his re-emergence has provided endless fodder for who-is-he-to-talk commentary. Some activists even argued he should be barred from television because they view him as discredited.

For a White House beleaguered on multiple fronts, the former vice president’s return is in fact a welcome opportunity to focus attention on decisions made by Mr. Cheney and President George W. Bush rather than defending Mr. Obama’s own handling of foreign policy, which most Americans disapprove of in polls.

“He’s like the A-Rod of politics,” said David Plouffe, the longtime Obama strategist, referring to Alex Rodriguez, the scandal-tarnished baseball star. “No one wants to hear from him, especially when he is trying to create an alternate reality to the one he is responsible for.”

Mr. Cheney thrust himself back into the debate with a Wall Street Journal op-ed on June 17 that was written with his daughter, Liz Cheney, assailing Mr. Obama’s foreign policy as Islamic militants carve a virtual state of their own in Syria and Iraq. “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” they wrote.

The broadside prompted a variety of retorts. Mr. Clinton scoffed at Mr. Cheney for trying to blame Mr. Obama for “not cleaning up the mess that he made.” It was, Mr. Clinton said, “unseemly.” Mr. Cheney fired back with an allusion to Mr. Clinton’s sexual scandals. “If there’s somebody who knows something about unseemly, it’s Bill Clinton,” he said.

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
Even some Republicans took aim at Mr. Cheney. Rather than blame Mr. Obama for the current mess in the Middle East, Mr. Paul, the Kentucky senator considering a run for the White House, said, “The same questions could be asked of those who supported the Iraq war.” Mr. Cheney called Mr. Paul “basically an isolationist” and said “that didn’t work in the 1930s; it sure as heck won’t work in the aftermath of 9/11.”

The back and forth highlights the tension inside a party where some want to move away from the hawkish internationalism championed by Mr. Cheney. “With his long track record of bad judgment, Cheney’s efforts to depict more prudent and thoughtful Republicans, such as Rand Paul, as isolationists is ridiculous,” said Richard Burt, a former diplomat for President Ronald Reagan and the elder President George Bush who has been advising Mr. Paul.

Still others in the party worry that Mr. Cheney crowds out the growth of a new generation. “One of the challenges of a Cheney re-emergence is the party does need new leaders, new voices, new visions on national security policy and overall foreign policy to emerge,” said Kevin Madden, a party strategist who advised Mitt Romney.

But Mr. Cheney still has a strong following in some corners of the Republican Party that are glad to have him making the case when others do not. “A good number of people have contacted me and said it’s great to see him out there,” said John McConnell, a former speechwriter for Mr. Cheney.

Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, said Mr. Obama’s failures made Americans more receptive to hawkish arguments. “A lot of people will say: ‘Good points. Does it have to be Dick Cheney making them? He’s got so much baggage,’ ” Mr. Kristol said. “I always find that too clever by half. I think Dick Cheney is very popular among conservative Republicans.”

Mr. Cheney’s latest public foray, friends said, reflects a genuine dismay about the chaos rocking the Middle East. He and Liz Cheney, a former State Department official, returned from a March trip to the region expressing surprise at how much consternation they detected about what they see as America’s retreat.

In television interviews, Mr. Cheney acknowledged the Iraq war did not go as well as predicted but said he and Mr. Bush turned things around with a troop increase and alliances with Sunni tribes in 2007, leaving behind a relatively stable situation that in his view Mr. Obama then squandered.

The Cheneys in turn decided to form the Alliance for a Strong America and tapped Brian Jones, a former adviser to Senator John McCain, to help out. “The primary focus of the group will be to educate people of the dangers of an isolationist foreign policy, the type being advocated inside and outside the party,” Mr. Jones said.

The organization also provides a new public platform for Ms. Cheney after an abortive campaign for Senate, when Ms. Cheney spoke out against same-sex marriage. The Cheneys have tried to move beyond the subsequent family rupture that occurred: The vice president’s other daughter, Mary Cheney, who is married to another woman, publicly criticized her sister. Liz Cheney ultimately dropped out of the race, citing an unrelated family emergency.

It is not clear whether the sisters have made up. Asked about the foreign policy group, Mary Cheney demurred. “I’m not involved in his new organization,” she said by email, without elaborating.

Former Senator Alan K. Simpson, a longtime Cheney friend, said Mr. Cheney understood that speaking out on Iraq would draw fire from “the haters” who “love to demonize him.”

No matter, he said. “He’s got a skin that’s like a rhinoceros,” Mr. Simpson said. “When you have your skin ripped off as many times as I have and he has, it grows back double strength.”
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