The debate opened with CNN's Jake Tapper asking Donald Trump to comment on a negative comment Bobby Jindal had made about him. So, naturally, Trump responded by blasting Rand Paul.
So you knew it was going to be a fun night.
Before it was over, John Kasich -- the closest the Republicans have to an actual adult male in this whole shebang -- was admonishing his colleagues for their childishness, Paul was calling Trump sophomoric and Jeb Bush was loudly demanding that Trump to apologize to his wife for some perceived slight.
Mike Huckabee's explanation for his defense of the thrice-divorced, homophobe, whack-job Kentucky clerk was ridiculous, but then again he's just trying to land a better TV gig because he knows he has slightly less chance at the presidency than my dog Simmie. Chris Christie, who knows he will never live down hugging President Blackie McBlackerson during the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, failed to impress. Marco Rubio made a cute little joke about his hydration situation but was stiff and overly intense whenever he talked about policy. Scott Walker, my fellow Marquette alum (although he's the one who didn't graduate), is such a lightweight.
Bush, Walker and Paul tried to go back at Trump, but he swatted them away as if they were insects and he was an orange-haired beast.
Carly Fiorina emerged as the star of the debate. She zinged Trump good once, had all of her talking points lined up neatly in a row, drew raucous applause for her takedown of Planned Parenthood, showed some emotion when talking about her stepdaughter who died of drug addiction and had the best answer on the throw-away "woman on $10 bill" question. (The latter wasn't really fair, as she was the only one who could correctly label it a token gesture without getting in trouble for disparaging women.)
She also was one of the many loud voices in the Obama Is Wrong About Iran Tour.
I actually like Fiorina, but she has a pretty big problem: As the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, she oversaw a financial trainwreck. Years after the company sent her hewlett packing, it is STILL laying off tens of thousands employees. And she's supposed to be the one with the business acumen?
Trump was Trump. After getting called out for his offensive remarks about Fiorina's looks, he was at his patronizing best by saying she has a beautiful face. Big "ick" factor there. He tried to bully Bush, Paul, Scott Walker and even those who weren't there. He offered nothing of substance, as usual, and came across as an arrogant jerk, as usual.
So you know what will happen, right? He'll shoot up another 5% in the polls.
The Trumpster could call the Pope's robe "a stooopid gown" and could follow that up by urinating on little Scotty Walker's head, and he'd probably move up 10% more! It's the damnedest thing, no?
Ben Carson continued to play the role of the anti-Trump: soft-spoken, understated, calm. But he does share one thing with the Trumpster: He has no realistic plan on any issue. Of course, in this Year of the Outsider, he's running second in the polls.
As a pacifist who really hates getting involved in every other country's wars, I happen to agree with most of Paul's stances on that subject. But Republicans love a good war or two or 10 or 100, so he has no freakin' chance. (He actually has no chance for many reasons, but that's a biggie.)
Kasich remains the one Republican I'd consider voting for. He actually answered questions he was asked, talked about his many accomplishments, displayed great restraint on the Iran situation and discussed some of his goals and ideas.
The Ohio governor, who almost surely would win a state the GOP will need to recapture the presidency, again sounded intelligent, reasonable, confident and competent.
All of which probably will work against him in this crazy race.
I had an interesting softball game Tuesday.
First, I thought it started at 7:45 and got there at 7:15. I went to the schedule to see which field we were on, only to see that our game actually was at 8:45. So I had a LOT of time to warm up.
One of the things I did while warming up was take the bat out of our manager's bag, swing it a dozen or so times and then put it back. I later found out that I put it in the wrong bag, and so far it still hasn't been returned to Pat. Slick move, Mike.
Also before the game, I told Pat that this would be my last appearance for awhile because I am undergoing hernia surgery next week. He did a nice job of telling me how much I'll be missed, even if he had to make it up!
Once the game started, things went well. We went up 3-0 and, even after we messed up some in letting our opponents go ahead 5-3 in the bottom of the inning, we came right back to tie it at 5 in the second. I had a line-drive hit up the middle and scored in that inning.
As the game went on, though, we played quite poorly and ended up losing 18-10. Playing second base, I made a diving stop of a grounder and a decent scoop of a low throw by the pitcher, but I also didn't pursue a pop-up behind first base aggressively enough and it fell for a hit. I got an RBI single to right and drew a walk, but I ended the game by taking Strike 3.
Yep, I started the game by losing my manager's bat and ended it by not swinging the bat I was using. Ugh.
Here's hoping that Pat gets his bat back and that the Sons of Pitches get back to our championship form before I come back in 4-6 weeks.