Random thought #1: the GOP is trying to fix their nominating process again. The deal is, though, that to fix anything, you've got to have a clear idea of what the problem is.
I'd argue that the biggest problem with the nominating processes of our major parties isn't the four or five months of primary and caucus voting; it's the year before the first primary/caucus vote is cast. During that year, anybody can throw his or her hat into the ring, show up at the interminable cattle-call debates, and be pumped up by one or another segment of the media as the next big thing. And for that year, there's little to no evidence to the contrary. In particular, there's no evidence that allows anyone to gradually winnow the field so that there aren't a dozen candidates in every debate, to shut up pundits that are pushing candidates that don't have a chance, and to allow voters to focus on a reasonable number of possibilities.
My solution would be to move the first four caucuses and primaries into 2015. Iowa's a nice place in June, I'm told (it's one of the few states I've never been to), and I can speak from experience when I say New Hampshire and South Carolina are quite pleasant in September and October, respectively. And I'll bet the Nevada desert isn't too hot or too cold in November.
There's your primary calendar for 2015. It would cause vanity candidates to close shop early on when they failed to get any votes, and if they kept going, it would give debate organizers grounds to exclude them. Heavy hitters, if they wanted, could hold off on declaring their candidacies, and thumb their noses at Iowa and New Hampshire if they desired. (That would be a Good Thing right there.) By November 2015, you'd be down to no more than three or four relatively strong candidates in each party (hell, on the Dem side, it might be down to just Hillary) that the voters in the remaining 46 states would have plenty of time to consider.
Random thought #2: the Chris Christie scandals aren't all that important nationally (other than eliminating what small chance he had for the GOP nomination), but damn, Marx nailed this one: this is Watergate, repeated as small-time farce. (And playing out a good bit faster, too.) 'Watergate' wound up standing for not just a certain "third-rate burglary," but a host of other scandals as well: the burglary of Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office, the dirty-tricks campaign aimed at the Dem primary field, the almost-firebombing of the Brookings Institution, and of course, the cover-up. Seems like the same thing is happening here.
Random thought #3 (well, not random to me): five years ago today, in the baby house in Samara, Russia, my wife and I first met our son. He's now a very lively and intelligent six year old, doing great in first grade, and a lot of fun to be with. I'm a very lucky guy.
So what's up with anyone else? If anyone's still reading this blog, feel free to jump in. And if nobody is, I'll probably keep talking, just because.