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Of Politics, Sports and Sex

OK, so there won't be a LOT on here about sex, but tell the truth, that's most of the reason you entered this site, right? So, I'll slip some things in from time to time just to keep you coming...back.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Rewards for reading this...mebbe

Andy Hachadorian, the editor of The Daily Local News, and more importantly, a local ice hockey referee, has asked me to post this and since they are kind enough to include me on their website, the least I can do, and also hopefully it's also the most I can do, is help them out here:

"The Daily Local News has dozens of gift cards to Chester County restaurants and other merchants that we are set to give away just in time for the holiday season. All you have to do to have a chance to win is follow @wcdailylocal on twitter."

Practically makes me wanna find out how to fact the very idea makes me all a-twitter, tho mostly I think of it as just for twits. <-- Those are all in case the national media has overlooked any lame variations on the word that they must have exhausted by now judging from the articles and headlines I've read.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jamie Be Not Proud

I never did get poetry, I don't now get poetry and I doubt I ever will get poetry....especially unless it rhymes, or unless it's in the form of lyrics by Springsteen, and I need look no farther to remind myself of it than one of the greatest poems ever written, or so they tell me.

John Donne
"Death be not proud, though some have called thee"

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

Heck, he loses me in the very first sentence. So, anytime I'm feeling particularly intellectually superior or pretending to be so, and you see it, please just utter these words: "Death Be Not Proud"

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm totally torn here between titling this post "Shopping at BJs", and "Shopping and BJs" but I haven't decided yet

Twentysome years ago, I went clothes shopping with a girlfriend of mine, and when we happened upon a popular women's clothing store, which was having a huge sale, I was shocked by the behavior, not just of my girlfriend, but by all the women in the store. All sense of propriety and generally accepted social graces such as waiting one's turn or saying "excuse me" had disappeared faster than the clothes they were fighting over.

And then more recently, going to the kids clothing sale at St. Matthews School just down the street from us, where thousands of articles of kids' clothing and toys are for sale, I was reminded of it, but this time, not so much in terms of the lack of good graces, but by the way, I, a male, was totally ignored, given no more attention than were any of the wee ones tearing around the premises. Women looked right through me, and I had a number of reactions.

My first reaction was kind of shock, as in, Damn, I haven't seen that look since high school! Then, I was sort of retroactively flattered that I had gone so long without seeing that look. And finally, I realized what women must feel the first time they go to watch their boyfriend play in any kind of sporting event, no matter how unimportant it her. It's not to us, whether it's a pickup hockey game or the championship of whatever league or sport we're playing. I imagine women must feel totally dissed by their boyf's, wondering why he won't even acknowledge her presence in any way, and why he is acting like an absolute maniac, as if the future of all humankind rests on the outcome of the game, which of course, it does. (And let me quickly add that in the unfortunate instance where at any point, during the game, or right after. or even days after, the woman were to make the unfortunate comment "It's just a game!"? Well, don't even expect a ride home. That relationship is immediately terminated. You might as well just be on the phone to the local cab company while you're making the comment.)

And notice I didn't say "...the first time they go watch their husband play in any kind of sporting event."? To me, there are two things that women do for their men on a regular basis when they are dating, but seem to quickly disappear once they are married.

And if you don't know the other thing...well then, you've never been married. And it's totally true in my marriage - I SWEAR she hasn't packed my lunch since the day we got married.

Friday, November 19, 2010

And of course the benefit of having alzheimers? Being able to hide your own Easter Eggs

I was also thinking driving home, which along with when I'm in the shower and sitting on the toilet, the times when I do my best thinking, about a post I could put on here and then wondering if I'd ever written it on here before, which made me think that maybe the one positive about having a blog is that I'll have proof some day of whether I have Alzheimers. I can just look to see if I'm posting the same thoughts over and over.

That's assuming I'd want to know.

Wanna have lunch...or dinner...or sex?

Driving home tonight, it struck me that those two previous posts may seem contradictory, first writing about various women I imagine myself having sex with and then saying that I don't find myself wanting to have sex with any other women than my wife (hmmm...not sure I mentioned that part).

I guess the best I can do to explain the difference is by saying that I think people generally have fantasies that we don't necessarily hope ever come true. And if you don't, well, first, I don't believe you and second, I don't believe you've closely examined the deepest and funnest recesses of your imagination....yet. I'm sure you'll get to it when you're maybe too late to do anything about it.

And I didn't want to interrupt myself in that first sentence above, but isn't "have sex" about the weirdest expression? Like I'll have a hoagie, or I'd like to have a nap, except those are nouns. To "have sex"...what else can you have, as a verb? I guess like wanting to "have fun". I guess that's not so bad. Just sounds weird.

Something tells me this is of way more interest to me than it would be to anyone else, but as usual that won't stop me from posting it here

...and on the subject of sex with other women now that I'm married (read the post below first if you need some context, tho it isn't too important), I think often of the scene in When Harry Met Sally, no not THAT one involving "what she's having", the one...well, this one:

Harry Burns: You realize of course that we could never be friends.

Sally Albright: Why not?

Harry Burns: What I'm saying is - and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form - is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Sally Albright: That's not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.

Harry Burns: No you don't.

Sally Albright: Yes I do.

Harry Burns: No you don't.

Sally Albright: Yes I do.

Harry Burns: You only think you do.

Sally Albright: You say I'm having sex with these men without my knowledge?

Harry Burns: No, what I'm saying is they all WANT to have sex with you.

Sally Albright: They do not.

Harry Burns: Do too.

Sally Albright: They do not.

Harry Burns: Do too.

Sally Albright: How do you know?

Harry Burns: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.

Sally Albright: So, you're saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?

Harry Burns: No. You pretty much want to nail 'em too.

Sally Albright: What if THEY don't want to have sex with YOU?

Harry Burns: Doesn't matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.

Sally Albright: Well, I guess we're not going to be friends then.

Harry Burns: I guess not.

Sally Albright: That's too bad. You were the only person I knew in New York.

That scene. I have referred to that scene to various young women, well, primarily just my oldest step-daughter who didn't believe me that "Harry Burns" was right when she was in high school, but by the time she was out of college, to her credit, did finally agree with me.
But the reason I refer to it here is in the perspective of an old, well soon-to-be 54 year-old, but happily-married fart such as myself in terms of havng women friends, and yet again, relying on the so far-boundless forgiveness of my wife.
I have many female friends, some of them very attractive, in fact some of them extremely sexy/attractive/shall I go on? and it struck me the other day how my view of them has changed. I really have no interest in any sense of physical interaction with them. Now, I know women are going to read this and say, well, duh, you're married, you're not allowed to, so of course you don't want to, but that's missing the entire point of Harry's spiel above.
Harry's point, and thus to a large extent, mine as well, is that we are biologically incapable of not thinking in those terms, or at least from an early age, probably starting at least at puberty, but maybe earlier, that is to not think of women as a conquest of some sort, as my 20's-something beach house buddies used to put it, calling ourselves Conquistadors, of course.
But anyway, back to today, or these days, not specifically today, as if it'll be different come Tuesday, I still find myself wanting the attention of attractive women, or even of their being attracted to me. I still want the most attractive young woman in any given seminar or conference to sit next to me, or in my breakout session, and I still look far too long at good-looking women walking down the street, the less they're wearing, the better. But to imagine hooking up with them, if they were to come on to me? I just don't find myself thinking that way anymore.
And honestly, it's a pretty big relief.

My advice to you if you want to fall asleep though, is just to think about how you felt when reading this entry...zzzz

Considering my awesome wife is one of the few people who reads this blog on purpose, that is, without first googling some variation of the word "sex" or "sex on amurica", as one person in the Middle East did to get here (see earlier post) , I'm probably ill-advised to write this here, but she's a forgiving sort and I hope she still will be after reading this.

I recently realized that when I wake up late at night and can't get back to sleep, which I understand happens more and more the older one gets, that a surefire way for me to fall asleep very, very quickly, I mean 100% of the time, within mere seconds, is to imagine sex with a particular woman. And I don't mean one person in particular, I mean, like pick out any woman I am even remotely attracted to, and start to imagine our hooking up, and every single time, even before we get a stitch of clothing off (have you ever really tried to take off just a stitch of clothing?!), I'm soundly snoozing.

Now here are my questions for you gals out there:

1 - If a guy told you that and that he was thinking of you, would you be:
   a - creeped out that a married guy was thinking of you that way?
   b - flattered that he would think of you that way?
   c - depends on who the guy is?
Or are you:
2 - outraged that he would fall asleep when imagining the two of you together?
3 - wondering how Cheryl has stayed with me for so long, or at least, once she's read this?
4 - glad YOUR guy would never do a thing like this?
5 - a guy and you find yourself oddly intrigued by the concept?
6 - glad for the advice and can't wait to try it?
7 - if you're a married guy, do you wonder if I'm thinking of your wife?
8 - and if so, are you:
  a - proud?
  b - ready to punch me out?
  c - oddly intrigued by the concept?

A different slant on a Quaker Education

I've often bemoaned my inability, seemingly honed to perfection, to stay focused on a speaker such as my college professors, or in professional seminars, and the resulting lack of absorption of the things they are trying to teach me. But I have to admit, though with more embarrasment than pride, that the talent has come in handy when listening to the opening sentences of some of the messages I hear in Quaker Meeting on any given First Day.

To think all those years when I was alone, I didn't realize what I really wanted was a shopoholic.

I'll bet I'm not the first one to make this observation, but when one compares women to men, as I seem to do on this site way out of proportion to how much time I spend the rest of my life thinking about it, it seems to me that shopping and sex illustrate in parallel ways how we are different.

Men know what they want and often are very eager to get it over with. They want to get in and out as quickly as possible. Women want to take their time, and enjoy making it last as long as possible.

Though of course one big difference is how much each of us seems to be willing to spend on it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Have you ever started off the day with a Bang?

Never am I more aware of the affects of what testosterone does to a man, than after sex in the morning, when I then go out into the brightness of day, and find myself incredibly contented, but also void of any sense of nervous energy or any false sense of power. All just feels right with the world, and it's hard to keep a smile off my face.

Of course, it may be true at night too, but by the time I might figure it out, I'm asleep.

Hey it's Veterans Day week - time for a salute!

My letter in today's Daily Local News:

A salute to Democrats and Obama -

The comments afterwards are always entertaining, and are rarely anything but mean, angry and apoplectic.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Or maybe it's just because Nancy Pelosi is for it that I'm against it

Lest anyone think I am in lockstep with Dems on all things political, and against anything the Rs are for, this will surprise you. President Obama's deficit reduction commission released their preliminary report today and, well, here is a NY Times summary:

"A draft proposal released Wednesday by the chairmen of President Obama’s bipartisan commission on reducing the federal debt calls for deep cuts in domestic and military spending starting in 2012, and an overhaul of the tax code to raise revenue. Those changes and others would erase nearly $4 trillion from projected deficits through 2020, the proposal says.
The plan would reduce projected Social Security benefits to most retirees in later decades — low-income people would get higher benefits — and slowly raise the retirement age for full benefits to 69 from 67..."

And Nancy Pelosi immediately called it "unacceptable" and all the unions and liberal groups I get emails from, jumped in just as quickly shooting it all down.

I actually love the plan - what I know of it so far anyway, since all the details have yet to be announced.

Welcome Bra? (yawn) Detachable 2-piece miniskirt?! (Zzzz) Wait just one minute - It's got MAGNETS?!

Another beaut of a post on Huffington Post today:

Japanese Company Creates Welcome Bra For Tourists

"Yes, it's come to this. Japanese company Triumph has created a "Welcome Bra" to create a visual aid to show tourists where famous landmarks are in the country, according to Reuters.

Japan aims to attract 15 million tourists by the end of 2013--think this might entice people to come?"

(Not all people, just men who either like to look at women wearing only bras...or men who like to wear them.)

 The undergarment comes with a detachable two-piece skirt with magnets of noted Japanese sites like Mount Fuji. And so much more!

(Talk about missing the lede...Yo, has a detachable skirt!)

Only thing we do know is that most tea-baggers would be more excited thinking about Karl Rove than about masturbating on Christine O'Donnell

This was a recent headline on Huffington Post that probably got a lot of clicks: Christine O'Donnell Talks Karl Rove, Witches, Masturbation On Leno.

I just wonder if this headline would get way more or way fewer clicks: Jay Leno Talks Karl Rove, Witches, Masturbation On Christine O'Donnell.

That's just equal parts revulsion and I-just-gotta-see-this.

Friday, November 5, 2010

But I Didn't

If I had invested $100,000 in the NASDAQ average on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated, as of election day, Nov. 2, 2010, my $100,000 would have been worth about $177,000.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My mom was right: "It's not clean "down there", tho I didn't realize she was talking about Washington DC til now

It probably won't take me more than a month or two to wish I hadn't said this, or at least to change my mind, but after careful thought, I've decided that my hope for the outcome of the 2010 mid-terms is that the GOP will take control of the House by 5 or fewer people. It's the best hope, though not the only one, that we have for getting Obama re-elected. I was trying to figure out how I could explain why, but John Boehner took care of it for me, via The Hill and the dailykos:

Boehner: "We will not compromise"
 For the third time this week, a top Republican leader has made it clear that the GOP will not cooperate with Democrats after the election. The Hill reports:

Boehner: 'Not a time for compromise'

Republicans aren't in the mood for compromise, especially on repealing healthcare reform, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday.

Boehner, the party leader who would likely become Speaker in a GOP-controlled House, distanced himself from a senior senator's suggestion last week that trying to repeal the new healthcare reform law wasn't in Republicans' best interest.

"This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles," Boehner said during an appearance on conservative Sean Hannity's radio show.

Boehner echoes comments by Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell who said that the GOP would not compromise with Democrats after the election and that the GOP's top goal after November is defeating President Obama in 2012.

For the next two years, the only thing these guys want is paralysis. And that's exactly what they are promising to deliver

Politicians just don't learn - they get swept into office and the power makes them lose all sense of right and wrong and what people really want - smart people, working together to do what's best for the country, not their own particular self-interest, which usually translates into, first and foremost, re-election, and a close second, control of the committees and chairmanships. In other words, all the stuff that makes us want to take a shower after we've paid even just a little bit of attention to what's going on in the political world.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Or even just Anti-one-of-my-friends

"Maybe the president could be anti-me for a while. I could use the money."

Slow to Spend

The anti-business president’s pro-business recovery.

by Ezra Klein
August 07, 2010

This White House has “vilified industries,” complains the Chamber of Commerce. America is burdened with “an anti-business president,” moans The Weekly Standard.
Would that all presidents were this anti-business: according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, corporate profits hit $1.37 trillion in the first quarter—an all-time high. Businesses are sitting on about $2 trillion in cash reserves. Business spending jumped 20 percent last quarter, and is up by 13 percent against 2009. The Obama administration has dropped taxes for small businesses and big ones alike. Maybe the president could be anti-me for a while. I could use the money.
The reality is that America’s supposedly anti-business president has led an extremely pro-business recovery. The corporate community has recovered first, and best. The populist tone that conservative magazines and business groups decry is partly in reaction to this: as corporate America’s position is getting better and better, the recovery is looking shakier and shakier. Unemployment is high. Housing looks perilously close to a double dip. Job growth is weak. And corporate America, for all its profits, isn’t hiring. The 71,000 jobs the private sector added in July aren’t sufficient to keep up with population growth, much less cut into the ranks of the unemployed.
Pundits have expended a lot of energy on this puzzle, but there’s actually no puzzle at all. A look at the history of financial crises shows that our slow, halting recovery is right on schedule, and the business community’s caution is predictable.
In their book, This Time Is Different, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff look at every financial crisis over the last 800 years. It’s an exhaustive study, and its conclusions are depressing for a country that believes itself exceptional even in its suffering: we’re not special.
If you look at unemployment, housing prices, government debt, and the stock market, Rogoff says, “the U.S. is just driving down the tracks of a typical post–WWII deep financial crisis.” In some areas, we’re even a bit ahead of the game: economic output usually drops by 9 percent. We held the drop to 4 percent.
Even the unevenness of our recovery is predictable. “Housing and employment come back much slower than equity and [gross domestic product],” Reinhart says. GDP usually falls for two years and then recovers. Equity can move even faster, which helps explain corporate America’s rapid recovery. But employment tends to fall for five years, and sometimes it never quite recovers. And housing? That’s usually a six-year slide.
So business may be back, but its customers aren’t. That’s the Catch-22 of our recovery. Businesses will start hiring when the economy recovers. And the economy will start to recover when businesses start hiring. But that shouldn’t obscure what is, in fact, sort of good news (the frustrating stuff recoveries are made of): businesses can expand, they’re just waiting around to do so. “If you’re running a business, you can’t start hiring on speculation [that the economy is getting better],” says Joseph Kasputys, chairman of IHS Global Insight. “You have to wait until you see market signals that things are getting better. The smart businesses are looking for the early signs so they get the first advantage. They’re ready to move.” That’s a lot better than a world in which they don’t have the ability to move.
So what can we do to speed things along? More government stimulus—either through direct spending or further tax cuts—could offer some quick help, but Senate Republicans won’t allow anything large enough to make much of an impact. The Federal Reserve could step into the breach, but so far it’s been reluctant to do so. The Republicans want to see the Bush tax cuts extended and Obama’s health-care and financial-regulation bills repealed, but none of that will make a big short-term difference.

Instead, we’re left with that frustrating old standby: time. A financial crisis, Reinhart says, “is not something that policymakers can undo quickly. If you look at the big, historic panorama, deleveraging takes time. That’s not the answer people want to hear, but these [recoveries] are lengthy.”

So businesses are watching consumers, consumers are watching businesses, and everyone is pointing at Washington. But given the history of financial crises—and in the absence of further government intervention—there’s not much left to watch but the clock.

Never you mind that President Obama won by about the same margin!

I'm reading all sorts of advance predictions of what will happen in the days and months after the Republicans gain overwhelming control of the House, mostly in the NYT. And also advance reasons for its happening.

One prediction I haven't seen, that I'll make here is that dozens, or more, of the races will be won by Rs by less than 5% of the vote at which point partisan D's, which is to say, people like me, will claim it doesn't mean that the country is overwhelmingly upset with us or Pro-Republican, but in fact, it is a squeaking edge, and possibly, someone will add up all the votes cast and see that the overall total actually bears that out...unless we need to twist those numbers to even better advantage, as needed!

One more prediction - if the Senate ends up at 50-50 or 51-49, the two most powerful people in the Senate will be Two Guys Named Joe: Manchin and Lieberman, both of whom will be heavily coddled by both sides for every close vote.

Interesting that the Senate could end up with more Rs than Ds but that the Ds will retain control because the two Independents caucus with the Ds. I think most people will see Lieberman continuing to straddle the middle, but if he really wants to be reelected in 4 years, which I'm not sure he does, he'll go farther left, than right.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Juan was a good time to fire him? How about a year ago?

I totally disagree with NPR's decision to let Juan Williams go after his comment on Fox that he is afraid of boarding a plane if he sees a group of Muslims get on too. I think they should have fired him long before he made the comment.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lets just hope we don't go the way of Betamax

If you worked for a company that made a product or provided a service that was WAY better than their main rival, but was terrible about showing the country, or even the world, that your product or service was much better,wouldn't it drive you crazy?

Well, then you know how I feel as a Democrat.

You either believe in a country By and For the People...or the Corporations.

Let's review. In less than two years:

1. The Democratic-led Congress enacted major reforms to the federal student loan program for college students, freeing up an additional $60 billion for students that would have gone for bank fees and profits.

2. The Democratic-led Congress enacted a “bill of rights” for credit card holders that will prevent credit card companies from gouging ordinary people and wrecking their credit. We are already seeing the results of that law.

3. The Democratic-led Congress enacted major reforms to the banking and financial sectors, reining in corporate excesses and restructuring many things, so that our nation will not soon be wracked by the same type of recession that hit us in 2008. One part of that law is a new consumer financial protection agency, an entity sorely needed.

4. The Democratic-led Congress enacted one of the most significant income tax cuts for middle-class and working families in history last year. The Republicans don’t want you to know about that, so they claim that Democrats oppose tax cuts. But the Republicans are wrong on this – Democrats cut income taxes for the middle class. If you aren't aware of this, you may check it out on fact check.

5. The Democratic-led Congress also enacted significant tax cuts for small businesses – more than once. Republicans enjoy ranting about how Democrats hurt small businesses, but they are wrong on the facts. Democrats have taken numerous steps to help small businesses, including tax cuts, which the Rs consistently voted against them. If you don’t know about this, please look it up.

6. The Democratic-led Congress enacted legislation to provide better and more comprehensive health care to combat veterans from our recent wars, as well as benefits to their caregivers.

7. The Democratic-led Congress raised the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour. When the Republicans held the majority, they stonewalled any increase for years and years, exacerbating poverty and homelessness for working Americans. The Democrats also enacted a law guaranteeing equal pay for women after the super-conservative, super-activist Supreme Court said that existing law did not guarantee such equality.

8. The Democratic-led Congress passed a landmark health care bill that we should all be thankful for. Among its many provisions are these: 32 million people who have been without coverage will soon be able to have it; insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime expenditure limits on anyone, even those with major illnesses; no one can be denied health coverage because of pre-existing conditions; all of us now have a “patients’ bill of rights;” and Medicare is strengthened for years to come. Furthermore, everyone can keep their current health coverage if they wish. These are huge steps forward for our nation. Ironically, on the very day that several of these provisions took effect, Republican leaders declared their fundamental opposition to such progress and vowed to repeal health care reform if they obtain a majority in Congress. In addition to the comprehensive health care bill, the Democratic-led Congress expanded the SCHIP program that provides health care for low-income children, and strengthened the Medicaid program for low-income adults.

9. The Democratic-led Congress faced up to the recession and extended unemployment benefits for those who are out of work and unable to find work, while Republicans strenuously opposed such payments to those in great need.

10. Finally, there is the stimulus package, enacted by the Democratic-led Congress. Republicans rail endlessly about how terrible it was, but a majority of unbiased economists declare it a solid achievement, a real success. Every American should be thankful for Democrats’ thoughtful and prompt action on the stimulus package, because it helped to halt our steep slide into recession, and put millions of unemployed folks back to work. The stimulus package was and is a solid, practical response to difficult times, a true building block for the economic recovery.

11. The Democratic-led House enacted a major clean energy jobs bill that will benefit our nation in numerous ways. Senate Republicans have so far blocked it in that chamber, but Democrats will keep trying to achieve bipartisan approval.

12. Democrats have proposed a thoughtful, workable plan to deal with immigration issues. Republicans have no plan beyond rounding up millions of immigrants and sending them back, plus placing more troops at the Mexican border.

13. Democrats in Congress are striving to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” so that every American who wants to serve in the military will be permitted to do so. Republicans have blocked repeal because they fundamentally oppose full freedom for gay people.

14. Republican leaders have pledged to increase the nation’s deficit even further in order to cut taxes for the super-rich. They attempt to scare the rest of us by suggesting that President Obama’s proposal for graduated higher taxes of the super-rich will translate into higher taxes on everyone, even though there is no evidence for that.

15. The Democratic-led Congress enacted an increase in vehicle fuel standards that will both decrease our dependence on foreign sources of oil and clean up our environment.

16. Several Republican candidates for Congress are committed to privatizing Social Security, while Democrats strongly oppose such an effort. Imagine what pain and anguish would have set in among our nation’s seniors during this recession if their monthly Social Security checks depended on the stock market. Democrats will protect Social Security and make it solvent for decades to come. (In a further attack on seniors, one Republican candidate has even pledged to work for the elimination of Medicare.)

17. The Democratic-led Congress worked closely with President Bush in 2008 to enact the TARP bill, which prevented the recession from becoming much more serious than it was. We hear Republicans routinely decry that bill, but it was actually a stunning bipartisan success, saving many American companies and jobs. Although the initial projection for TARP expenditures was $700 billion, the success of the program and the rapid rate of repayments now point to a final cost to taxpayers of less than one-tenth of that amount.

18. Republican leaders announced their goal to remove reasonable rules and controls on Wall Street, so that investment bankers can return to their Wild West approach and make themselves richer.

19. The Democratic-led Congress voted to penalize American companies that ship jobs overseas, while Republicans again opposed such legislation.

20. Finally, the Republicans have several candidates who are truly beyond the pale. A Republican House candidate in Ohio sometimes wears a Nazi uniform in public. The Republican Senate candidate in Alaska urged repeal of the 17th Amendment, which provides for Senators to be elected directly by the people; he wants to go back to the days when state legislatures chose senators, with lots of backroom horse-trading. The Republican Senate candidate in Kentucky have called for repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Some Republicans are even backing repeal of the 14th Amendment, which enabled African-Americans to become citizens of this country.

We can re-elect a thoughtful, forward-looking Congress that has been in place or bring back the party of opposition and obstruction.

Beyond the 20 points above, take a minute to think about: military spending, nuclear weapons treaties, public education, living wage, approach to terrorism, reproductive choice, farm policy, climate change, stewardship of natural resources, personal liberty, labor issues, meals-on-wheels, transportation and Indian affairs. I trust Democrats to handle all of those matters in a much more thoughtful and effective way than the Republicans.

Big money is flowing to the Republicans in this election, hoping to buy a Congress that will ignore the interests of average people. We need to fight big money and cronies with our ideas and votes. Two simple suggestions:

(1) Forward this message widely. Send it to everyone in your address book. Urge them to vote on Nov. 2 and encourage their friends too.

(2) Get out and work for Democrats between now and Nov. 2 in any way that your local group or organization is in need of or asks for.

Despite the unprecedented personal attacks and smear tactics against this administration and congressional leaders, there are still such things as facts, truth, and reality. Don't let these be lost.

I vote for Napkin Rings!

I'm guessing someone else has asked this question long before I thought of it, but...I just wonder: What was the greatest thing BEFORE sliced bread?!

And have we really not come up with anything better since then, that we can all agree on, so we can start updating the standard comparison to something besides sliced bread?

Unless she'd prefer that we hold her under water for 5 minutes as the determinant

I say if Christine O'Donnell loses her Senate race in Delaware, we can all agree that she is not a witch, but if she does, it will confirm that she is one.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

At least it beats keeping my eyes peeled

Having been in 48 of the 50 states, and at many different times of year, I can honestly say that there are times when I think about a place like San Diego, where the temperature is 72 and sunny, pretty much 350 days a year, and I think - yeah, that wouldn't be so bad - as proud as I am of our 4 seasons here, it would be nice to be warm every day and not to be drenched in sweat on other days, but then there are weeks like this one.

Driving down route 282 from Glenmoore to Downingtown should be a requirement of anyone thinking of moving anywhere else because of their weather issues. The colors are just so incredible on such a windy road, that it's difficult to stay focused on staying between the lines of the road on some of the curves. I just can't take my eyes out of the trees sometimes.

Wait, maybe I should re-phrase that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Well, that and when they start spending more time in front of a mirror than the television

I think the precise point at which a person changes over from childhood to being a teenager has nothing to do with puberty and everything to do with when we are no longer fascinated by using our straw to blow bubbles in our chocolate milk.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yet more evidence that hate and ignorance go hand-in-hand (too bad the colors of those hands always seem to be the same)

I don't know which is more disappointing: that so many people think President Obama is a Muslim or that, of those who do, they automatically use that as another reason to dislike him, instead of thinking that Hmmm, then maybe all Muslims aren't bad people after all.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What's black and white but not read or red all over? My Blog!

Maybe this is just my left-wing bias, but after numerous "discussions"..ok, "debates"...ok, "arguments", with my conservative friend...friends, it strikes me that there is an interesting dichotomy in looking at our approaches.

Conservatives like to deal in a black and white, you're with us or you're against us, mentality. It's one of the reasons far-right, all-hate radio is so popular. They tell us the answers to all our problems, with no hesitation or sense that it would be one way or the other, it just is THIS way, as we explain it to you

We Progressives dwell in the gray areas, consider all the more subtle sides of any issue, and that makes our opinions far less palatable. It doesn't make for especially good radio....witness NPR.  We all want ANSWERS. We all want to know who's good and who's bad. We want to know good policy and bad policy. We want a definitive answer as to what will happen if we choose option A vs option B.

And to me, that's why there are such obvious links between political cconservatives and fundamentalist religious types. They want clear and obvious answers to all the unknowables, foremost among them being what will happen to us when we die, telling us what kind of lives we must lead and things we must say and do, to go to the "right" place when we do die, where we will spend all of eternity.

OK, those are all the observations that are not particularly revelatory. What suddenly struck me recently, in reviewing the discussions/debates/arguments I have with Conservatives is that when I argue, I stick mostly to facts. Few of the examples I use to prove my point have to do with opinion. As Steven Colbert said. "reality has a well-known liberal bias". On the other hand, my conservative friend/s speak in supposition and conjecture and in terms of what might happen if this and that happen. Like the need to hire 16,000 IRS agents as a result of the health care bill. And most amazingly, they don't see it as opinion, they seem to see it as fact.

So the people who like to deal in black and white use opinion as their proof and the people who wallow in the gray areas, use facts as their proof.

And if you need more facts to prove that, let me know. It's just my opinion.

Except my awesome wife, I mean...I can always listen to her!

Oh, and in reference to the previous post, below this one, there is one thing that seems to separate my friends of equal intelligence to me and puts them at a level well above me is their ability to sit and listen to one person talk for hours on end.

I was at a conference in Hartford last week and went to 7 seminars in 3 days, ranging from 90 minutes to 8 hours, with breaks of course. But it is just torture for me, listening to people talk for that long, no matter who it is, or what they're talking about. And part of why I am so bad at speaking to anyone for even short amounts of time is that I really can't believe anyone really cares that much about what I have to say...about anything. So I just unload it here, never having to care how many people "listen" or ever really knowing if they do.

Besides Wall Street, I mean

Probably 90-95% of the people I know and hang with are in the same general range of intelligence as me. That said, of those who are clearly smarter, pretty much all of them are lawyers. It's probably not their fault that's how they've chosen to apply said intelligence. Just seems like we oughta find a better use of that brainpower than lawyering.

And just think how deprived they are, ya know, not being able to ever have access to brilliant observations like these

I remember when this new thing called an answering machine was invented and people were so freaked out by them at first. I heard people say so many times, "I'm not leaving them a message on that machine! If they need me, they can just call me back!" As if the person was supposed to intuit that someone had called and not reached them.

Then people were a little freaked out by computers and emails. Of course, I'm mostly talking about people who didn't have to adjust to these things because they didn't have to learn for business purposes. Ok, mostly, I'm talking about my mom here, but honestly, don't we all know people to whom the idea is still quite uncomfortable and to whom there really is little point in sending an email?

And forget about the "internets", as George W. Bush one famously called it...them. I can still remember just within the past few years hearing someone say, "I can probably plug a computer in, but after that, I wouldn't even know what buttons to push to go to a website.

And I still know people who are afraid to use Facebook for any number of reasons, the most prominent being that the CIA monitors everything we do there...and the Russians too. Seriously. And this includes someone I know under the age of 30.

All that said...I'm drawing the line at Tweets. I went to the site, signed up and went back once a month later. Sorry - I just don't get it...them.

Or maybe we have Reagan to blame for all of this...on more than one level

I'll bet if I think hard enough, I can find someone who was elected earlier than Jesse Ventura to mark the start of what I think may be even more responsible for the results of some recent elections than their respective platforms, and that is a combination of our fascination with celebrity and the desire to just shake things up.

It seems to show more on the Republican side, but there are examples everywhere: Al Franken, Jerry Brown, Christine O'Donnell. Heck, I think it's one of the main reasons the Tea Partiers have been so successful. It's not just that people like what they stand for, tho they think they do. It's more because they are so different: Carl Paladino, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Sharon Angle.

Or maybe I just have such a hard time thinking people really want, not just to to significantly cut spending and taxes, which most people would support but to repeal health care legislation and financial regulations passed this year, and to phase out Social Security and Medicare in favor of personal savings accounts, to permanently extend the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush and to eliminate the estate tax, but also to replace the progressive income tax with a flat tax or a national sales tax. Several candidates advocate abolishing the Internal Revenue Service entirely and to eliminate the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Interior, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy and others to return to a "constitutionally pure government."

If you went down line by line on each of those issues, I don't think you'd find a majority in favor of any of those positions, but here we are with, according to a headline in today's NYT: "Tea Party Set to Win Enough Races for Wide Influence".

Let me be the first to say it: Crazy times we're in.

Don't vote for him - he's one of the ones who got us into this mess!

CHICAGO — An Illinois gubernatorial candidate's name was mistakenly listed as "Rich Whitey" instead of Rich Whitney on thousands of Chicago electronic-voting machines and will be corrected, elections officials said Thursday.

This is news? Hasn't this same guy been running for hundreds, nay, thousands of years?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

How republicans argue - When you can't win on facts, attack the messenger

This was an actual exchange on my facebook page, after I posted this "status update" which was just a joke from Jimmy Fallon's show. Even though you can see it on my FB page, I have changed the name of my Republican friend, who is a Supervisor in a nearby Township. And in his defense, I find that the later it is in the evening, the more bitterness and vitriol he spews, and let's just say, I don't think it's because he's getting tired, if you catch the way I've drifted:

Jamie P. McVickar: Jimmy Fallon: "EA Sports released a new version of the video game NBA Jam that features Obama, Biden, Bush, and Cheney. Bush and Cheney play the first half, then Obama and Biden try to come back from a 6 billion point deficit."

John D. Republican: LOL. Problem; there's no comeback; the hole just gets deeper.

Jamie P. McVickar: except for the part where when Obama took office, we had just lost 780,000 jobs in just the previous month! And now we've had 9 straight months of private sector job gains...and the part where the Dow has gone from 6500 to 11,000, but other than that, i guess you mean.

John D. Republican: You are sooooooooooooooo biased that it is not worth a conversation. If the most wonderful person in the world was a Republican, they would still be an idiot in your mind and would never get your vote. So much for Quaker tolerance.

Kate Fitz-Henry Wow, John, really?! For real? -I'm tempted to copy what I posted on MPR's page the other day and post it here. And then everyone will tell me that of course you're joking, and I'll feel sheepish - that's how it'll go, right?!

Judy McVickar Biased? Those are facts, John. What about Jamie's retort is biased? Sorry for butting in, but I just don't get it.

John D. Republican: Well, first of all you have to remember that I love Jamie from all my heart despite my disagreements; then you have to remember that "facts" are used by all sides to support their particular view. I would so love to say lets just love one another and forget these petty political disagreements. In fact, that is my world view, totally above politics, just love the people that God puts into your life.

Kate Fitz-Henry ‎...while falsely (and publicly) accusing them of character flaws which they obviously do not possess - yep, I feel it! I feel the love! -May you find a more helpful way to express that love in the future.

Kate Fitz-Henry ‎(I will also point out that this current discussion went like this: Jamie: humorous reference. You: unfounded cynicism and implied insult of current administration Jamie: Relevant, factual rebuttal You: Unfounded, irrelevant and rambling... insult of Jamie Judy: challenge to insult You: complete change of subject addressing neither Jamie's rebuttal nor Judy's challenge, and completely at odds with the spirit of your previous statements. --If you want to have a political discussion where your views are taken seriously, you'll really need to change your tactics.)See More

John D. Republican: I did not accuse anyone of any character flaws; bias is not a character flaw, it is normal. Besides, I wasn't catering to the rest of you; this was Jamie's post and he knows me very well. If you actually knew me Kate, you wouldn't be so reactionary in your counter comments. But I do not blame you; you took them at face value.

Kate Fitz-Henry Bias? You didn't accuse him of bias. You accused him of being so unable to rise above bias that his views aren't worth hearing; you accused him of being so blinded by it that he's incapable of rational, critical judgment, and on top of tha...t, you insulted his faith.

That said, if the true intent of your message is so obscured by your method of delivery that it becomes irretrivably lost in the chaos of misplaced negativity - to the extent that it is intelligible only to those who 'know you well', then I'll also advise you to improve your style of communication, cause it sure ain't workin'.

Jamie P. McVickar Goodness gracious. I go to bed, wake up the next morning and all kinds of stuff has busted loose! Kate & Judy - nicely done. When they get beat on facts, they go to the personal attacks. It worked for Karl Rove for 8 years, right?

Craig Hughes My god, Bush and Cheney did their best to imitate Democratic spending and get hell for it. I would think you would have been proud of that accomplishment Jamie.

Jamie P. McVickar ‎:-) Difference is, Craig, the Dems practice fiscal responsibility where if they increase spending, they pay for it, like back when the economy was humming at full speed in the Clinton presidency...with higher tax rates on the wealthy. Or you go the R way, cut revenue and increase expenses...but they pretend to know more about how to how to run a country? Let's invade countries, even if they are no threat, and lets give more money to rich folks! Nice plan. Now, as we're starting to dig out, let's give them another shot to see if they get it yet!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

People come and go so quickly here!

I think I had to read this story about ten times in three different newspapers before I finally figured out what they were trying to say. Oh heck, I just read it again, and now I'm not so sure. See if you get it:

More people calling Philly home, study finds
Philadelphia Daily News

The number of people moving into Philadelphia has steadily risen over the past 16 years, according to a new study that supports recent census estimates that show the city's population stabilizing.

The report on migration patterns from the Pew Charitable Trusts' Philadelphia Research Initiative explains that while there are still more people leaving than entering the city each year, the difference has dropped in recent years. Aided by births and foreign immigration, the city's population is rising, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to IRS data analyzed by Pew, the city suffered a net-population outflow of 9,846 in 2008, compared with 20,284 in 1995. The data, which do not include information about births, deaths or foreign immigration, show just one part of residency patterns.

Roy Halladay Fun Facts

Three interesting facts about Roy Halladay that I haven't seen anyone else mention:

1 - He has now allowed just 2 hits and 1 walk in his last 18 innings pitched.

2 - That's gotta be the two most statistically, quantifiably dominating back-to-back pitching performances in baseball history, and one of them was a playoff game against the best hitting team in the league. Johnny Vander Meer famously pitched back-to-back no-hitters in 1938, but he walked 12 guys in the process.

3 - The most dangerous contact any Reds' hitter's bat made with any ball last night was when the ball hit the bat that was lying on the ground on the last play of the game.

If only they were as good at testing as they are at texting

I frequently hear parents say about their allegedly underachieving kids that their special kid just isn't a good test-taker, and will never get good grades as a result.

In retrospect, I now realize I had the same problem, and, interestingly, I found it to be especially true when I didn't study before taking any said test.

Swing at a Myth

There are a number of myths surrounding past political events that the numbers just don't support. One of the ones I've maintained for years is wrong is that the reason that Gingrich and the Rs swept into office in 1994 was because of the Contract with (on?) America. I remember hearing at the time, the day after the election this is, that in exit-polling, very few people had even heard of it. But somehow it had become conventional wisdom that it was the main thing that drove people to vote Republican. Ever since, I've wanted to see the numbers to see if I had remembered it wrong. And after the recent "Pledge to America", Jed Lewison on Daily Kos wrote this:

"The GOP's Pledge to America was a complete dud. 66 percent said they had never heard of it, and of those who had, more people said it would make them less likely to vote for the GOP (29 percent) than said it would make them more likely (23%). Compare that to the Contract With America which had similar awareness numbers but was a small net positive for Republicans (24 percent more likely, 21 percent less likely).
Second, and probably more importantly, President Obama's numbers have improved since he started campaigning after Labor Day. That they've improved isn't exactly a surprise, but the extent of the improvement is a bit surprising. One month ago, his net approval rating was minus 6 -- 46 approve, 52 disapprove. Now it's plus 3 -- 50 approve, 47 disapprove. That's a nine-point swing in just one month. Obviously, there's no single reason why the race is getting closer, but when one out of ten voters improve their rating of President Obama, that's a really big shift, and it's no doubt part of the explanation."

So, it's not overwhelming evidence that I was right, but it's pretty difficult to make the case that the CWA had a huge impact with just a 3 point edge in approval.
Two other myths that seem to have become conventional wisdom are:
1 - If Ross Perot hadn't been on the ballot in 1992, Clinton would have lost. Again, exit-polling showed that when Perot voters were asked for whom they would have voted if Perot hadn't been on the ballot, they were pretty much split between Clinton and Bush.
2 - John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate is what doomed him. Actually, McCain had been behind all summer until the Republican Convention. When he announced Palin as his choice, and she gave her very successful speech at the convention, she was a huge hit, and for the first time, McCain had a small lead in the polls. It was a lead that disappeared within a week or two as we came to learn more and more about his choice of a running mate.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A test you probably didn't get in school...and please show all work

A friend on Facebook commented that I had plenty of posts on here about sports and politics and not as much about "ya know", so, as I sat in some Land Trust seminars here in Hartford today on IRS issues regarding substantiation versus administrative technicalities, my mind wandered, as it so often does to, well, ya know.
And as I thought of things to post, I thought, what the heck do I know about sex really. I may not have the broad swath of experience to draw from that some guys say they do, and anything I could say has probably been written about extensively by people who either have a great deal more experience or who get paid to research and write on such things. So that said, instead of making statements about sex, I'll ask questions. I doubt anyone will respond, if only due to the sensitivity of the topics, but regardless, I'll spout away:
 - Is it true that the more women have sex, the more they want/need, and the more guys have sex, the less they want/need?
 - Do women have fewer sexual fantasies than men, and to the extent they have them, are less willing to share them? And are they more likely to share them with their girlfriends in just girl talk-like conversations, or their husbands/boyfriends?
 - Do most women have, brace yourself, rape fantasies of some sort? (This can be misconstrued. I think we have occasional fantasies that I am quite sure we would never really want to have happen. And I often wonder if that's just because of the repressed social mentality we have to sex.)
 - I wonder who has more fantasies of having multiple simultaneous partners during sex - men or women?
 - Is it true that women have a much larger variety of possible ways they like to be sexually satisfied, whereas men, it's all pretty simple really. Or is it?! Or is it that women don't necessarily have a larger variety of ways, but it's much more difficult to hit the right spot, as it were, whereas, again, guys have a pretty easy target?

How'd I do, Martie? Is that enough for now? I'm sure there is a lot of head-scratching and looks of - you are SO right, Jamie - you have NO idea what you're talking about! But heck - I'm not just sayin', I'm just askin'!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Obama's bigger (tax cut) package

Senator Ben Nelson, speaking before the conservative Heritage Foundation attempted to mute the conservative critique that Obama is spending the country into historic deficits. Defending both Bush's Troubled Asset Relief Program (bank bailout) and Obama's stimulus, he reminded the audience that one-third of the latter included the very tax cuts that they worship.

"It's interesting that when one side of the political aisle supplies tax cuts, they tout them as reducing the burden on taxpayers. But when the other side of the political aisle supplies tax cuts... they're labeled as deficit spending," Nelson said. "To me, a tax cut is a tax cut. They save people money they use to promote economic activity, from the ground up. The Bush tax cuts and the Obama tax cuts are both... tax cuts."

Though President Obama's were way bigger.

I'm sure Mrs. Stifler would be very proud

I just discovered a "stats" tool on this blog, where I can find out how many people have visited this site - incredibly over 1000?! And what country they are from (Vietnam and Malta among them) and most interestingly, and maybe most revealingly, what site the person was on, before they came to this one. (Don't worry - it doesn't reveal anything about YOU, just the site you came from).

Of recent links, my favorite was the person who came to my site after googling, and this is not a misprint: "Sex Im Amarica".

Frustratingly for the person, the first link on Google's list was a link to an article in Scientific American. Imagine their disappointment.

Incredibly, mine was the 18th link listed, just two spots ahead of a link to the movie American Pie. 

Oh, and she doesn't sweat much either...I mean EVER, She doesn't sweat EVER!

I just glanced at my blog this morning (I guess that's kind of like googling yourself - a little narcissistic!) to see if I had missed any typos in my recent posts and realized that the juxtaposition of the two posts below this one is just a little bit awkward!

When I wrote about my wife in the post right under this and then entitled the one under it "But she doesn't sweat much for a fat chick" I was NOT, repeat NOT, referring to my wife who is thin and perfect. OK, just wanted to clear that up.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guys - Don't look at this picture without following the instructions below -->

One of the most important qualities we look for in a spouse is honesty, but then why do we get upset when our partner looks at someone of the opposite gender with some level of physical...OK, sexual, interest?

And I should first point out that one of the MANY things I admire about my wife is that not only does it not bother her when I look at an attractive woman, AND she doesn't mind if I make a comment about it, in most cases she'll even agree with me...or not, as the case may be. And similarly, it never bothers me when she comments on Pat Burrell or Chase Utley's ASSets.

I think the ability to accept this scenario, particularly when a guy comments on an attractive woman, comes when both people involved understand basic qualities, actually inequalities may be the better word, of the two genders. And of course, I'm about to make broad generalizations here.

Men, I believe, have an innate need, or at least desire, to propagate the species. As has been pointed out, we think about sex way out of proportion to women, tho not necessarily my awesome wife (also known here as My Devoted Reader), and when we see a hot young babe walk by in 5 inch heels, a miniskirt and a tight blouse, well, heck, I get turned on just writing the words here. And to gaze, look, stare...and yeah, leer at that PYT, is just what we do.

And if your guy doesn't do that when you're with him, he is either being dishonest with you or more likely is damn boring in bed. And part of what I think it helps a woman to understand is that in looking at that girl, it doesn't mean we want to have sex with her. There is no intent to go try to pick her up or find her later. OK, OK, in a perfect world, we maybe could have sex with her and then come home for dinner (or dessert?!), but at least now speaking for myself here, but I really think for 98% of men, we get it, it just doesn't work that way, and we are beyond content to just stare and enjoy the passing moment in the same way we eat a donut, love it and then move on to cutting the grass.

But from the other point of view, if a guy does that without understanding their partner's view of this is unwise as well. If the guy hasn't made it clear, in word and deed, that his wife is the most perfect, delicious, awesomely beautiful woman any guy has ever laid eyes on, which sadly for any of the rest of you guys is only true for me and by definition can't be for you, then he has lost any right to stare/leer/glance or just turn his head in the general geographical longitude of said pretty young woman.

But she doesn't sweat much for a fat chick

I've been thinking about this the past few days and hate to admit I was hesitant to post it, because it is so unflattering yet likely true. But then I realized, there are only about 2 or 3 people that read this blog regularly anyway, maybe even including my wife and me, so what the heck:

I realized over the weekend that I take some pride in virtually never saying anything bad about anyone without also mentioning something I like about them as well.

But then I also realized with some embarrasment that I probably also never say anything nice about anyone without saying something negative as well.

I'm going to try to monitor this to see if this is accurate over the coming weeks and months and get back to you...well, get back to my wife and myself, I guess.

And I'll bet they had a lot more legroom


On Sept. 28, 1924, two United States Army planes landed in Seattle, Washington, having completed the first round-the-world flight in 175 days.

I'll bet it would have taken a lot less time if they hadn't weighed the plane down with a 5 month supply of little bags of peanuts.

It's news that makes me just wanna go apeshit

NYT News Item:

Dr. Beatrice H. Hahn, who has built the world’s most comprehensive treasury of great ape fecal samples, has found the beginnings of the falciparum strain of malaria and taken the blame off chimps.

Finally! Chimps around the world are declaring a Day of Independence! All hail Queen Beatrice!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Some people just get songs stuck in their head

A line from Mad Men I can't get out of my head from 4-5 episodes ago: "Isn't it funny that we spend so much time trying to figure out what our weaknesses are, when everyone else can tell us exactly what they are?"

And which is tougher - asking someone/everyone what our weaknesses are or, if someone were to ask us, telling them what we think they are?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Keep screwing things up and we'll put one of you in the White House too - dammit!

News Item from today's NYT:

Poll Suggests Big Opening for G.O.P. Going Into Midterms

Republicans are heading into the general election phase of the midterm campaign backed by two powerful currents: the highest proportion of Americans in two decades say it is time for their own member of Congress to be replaced, and voters are expressing widespread dissatisfaction with President Obama's leadership.

But the latest New York Times/CBS News poll also finds that while voters rate the performance of Democrats negatively, they view Republicans as even worse, providing a potential opening
for Democrats to make a last-ditch case for keeping their hold on power.

So basically Americans are saying to the Republicans "We'll show you, just for that, we're going to vote more of you into office!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Eagles game #1 post-mortem

So what did we learn from game #1, besides not much:

1 – Omar Gaither just cannot play MLB.
2 – When Stewart Bradley’s in the game, they actually have a pretty good defense, much better than I’d have thought when training camp opened.
3 - (as posted earlier) If they want to win as many games as possible this year, they should be starting Michael Vick. If they want to win as many games next year and for the foreseable future as possible, they should be starting Kevin Kolb. I'd go with Kolb, until or unless he proves he'll never be what they hoped he would be.
4- Shady McCoy is a talent. I loved that play for the TD – I don’t even remember seeing that play before.
5 – You rarely go wrong predicting that Andy Reid is going to throw the ball on any given play, but when the announcer asked out loud what play they might run on 4th and One at the end of the game, I answered it with total confidence – they’ll run left, behind Herremans. Turns out I was wrong. Herremans wasn’t in the game, but I was right about the play call.
6 – Bobby April has a lot to prove.
7 – They can still end up with a decent record this year, but a pretty decent draft pick seems more likely.

Wishing the Rs would oppose the President more often?

I was upset to hear that John Boehner was finally conceding that he would support President Obama's Middle Tax Cut Plan last week, as I think this is a dream scenario for the Dems, exposing the R's as beholden primarily to the wealthy ahead of the middle class.

But today he recanted and said he wouldn't vote for any bill that doesn't include tax cuts for the top 2%. Whew.

Now whether the Dems can avoid being equally stupid and can take full advantage of this remains to be seen.

And just to be clear - raisins have an IQ of about 17

The worst homemade Chocolate Chip cookie I've ever had is still better than the best store bought Chocolate Chip cookie I've ever long as there are no dumb fruits in the homemade ones.

If they have any fruit in them, then you can pretty much reverse that statement.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Here's my take on who should be starting the rest of this year at QB for the Eagles:

If they want to win as many games as possible this year, they should be starting Michael Vick.

If they want to win as many games next year and for the foreseable future as possible, they should be starting Kevin Kolb.

I'd go with Kolb, until or unless he proves he'll never be what they hoped he would be.

Chance of a lifetime

Sometimes, though not often, I feel like I just am not in touch with my Progressive when I see headlines, in this case from the Huffington Post, like this one:

Redskins Star Makes Shocking Claim About Female Reporters

OK, the headline isn't the problem, or at least until you read his shocking claim:

"Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis spoke out about the situation on Tuesday....(explaining) that when there is a "nice woman" in a room with 53 men, they will "want to say something."

Portis didn't stop there. The Redskins star believes that Sainz was likely attracted to at least one of the Jets players. "You put a woman and you give her a choice of 53 athletes, somebody got to be appealing to her." he said. "Somebody got to spark her interest, or she's gonna want somebody. I don't know what kind of woman won't, if you get to go and look at 53 men's packages."

Maybe there is no better way to explain the mental differences between men and women than the scenario in which one gender would happen to enter the locker room of the opposite gender.

A woman insists she could do it without any titillation, as it were, and would be offended by any "catcalls" or being treated as a sex object, as was the apparent case with the reporter in the story above.

A guy in a room full of partially dressed female tennis players would have his head explode either from the choices of who or what to look at or by trying not to look. And the thought of being "subjected to" being thought of as a sex object by the women in the room? Seriously, does anyone of any gender or preference think the guy would be insulted by that?

Now, from personal experience, I can say that I once not only entered a women's locker room, but was lead into it by the female coach. More specifically, I was lead through the high school girl's locker room at a local private school where I was about to start as coach of the girl's volleyball team. We were about 4-5 strides in when the partially undressed girls yelped, the coach said "Oops, sorry!" and we kept walking.

How did I react? I shielded my eyes and looked down all in one motion. Seriously. And I never thought of it again. Not seriously.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A new category of onomonopia?

Not that one sees the word "ineffable" every day, as I did this morning in the NYT, but nowadays when I see it, it seems to have a whole new meaning, as if describing someone who...who what?
- can't be eff-ed with?
- is so out of your league, you could never dream of eff-ing them?
- is so ugly, you wouldn't dream of eff-ing them?

The word practically defies expression, it's like it's indescribable. It's practically, well, ineffable...old-school, that is.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Liberals love the crossdressers!

The second most viewed item on the Huffington Post this morning is this story about Demi Moore having a teenage boy try on her bikini:

No wonder Dems are going to lose so many elections this coming November, when we have important things like this to spend our time on.

A huge drop...of 3 points!

The latest Wall Street/NBC poll came out this morning and it shows that President Obama's approval/disapproval rate is 45/49. Considering 45.7% of folks voted against him in 2008, give me a minute while I do the math here...let's see, his disapproval rate has risen all of 3.3%! How precipitous.

Usually I like watching Foxes

I was watching Morning Joe on MSNBC this morning, and they were saying that the Dems are probably going to lose 50-60 seats in the upcoming congressional elections.

I decided I'd rather be angry than depressed, so I switched over to watch Fox News instead.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Predictions - II

Follow-ups to the previous predictions:

1 - Not only will the Phillies win the division, tho I now think it might be by only 2-3 games, I also predict they'll finish with the best record in the National League.

2 - I had forgotten until I was reminded yesterday that Glenn Beck is a Mormon. Taking that into account, I'll make Mitt Romney the clear frontrunner for the R nomination in 2012, family pets strapped to roofs of cars, notwithstanding. Assuming the state primaries are in the same order as last time, he'll win Iowa in a squeaker over Huckabee at #2 and Palin at #3, win NH easily and then his biggest test will be South Carolina. That state will decide the nomination.

Friday, August 27, 2010

This is going to go over like a lead rug, as my sister Laurie once said (when she was about 12, I think, in other words, about 15 years ago), but I finally reached the conclusion that where men are thought to only think about one thing - sex - and I don't think that's at all fair - we care about a lot more than that, but generally you can break it down, as my wife does, to Food, Football, F*king and Farting. Where was I? Oh yeah, the main thing women want is to be desired.

I was hesitant to post that simplistic conclusion, until I read an email from a group called All Pro Dad. I joined their email list a year or so ago and I like a lot of what they say, even though there seems to be a fairly religious tone to many of their suggestions on how to be a better Dad, which is their general raison d'etre.

Their email today was entitled: "Are you Meeting your Wife's Deepest Need?

"In the book Captivating, author Stasi Eldredge writes about a woman's deepest need: "Little girls want to know, Am I lovely? The twirling skirts, the dress up, the longing to be pretty and to be seen-that is what that's all about. They are seeking an answer to their question. When I was a girl of maybe five years old, I remember standing on top of the coffee table in my grandparents' living room and singing my heart out. I wanted to capture attention-especially my father's attention. I wanted to be captivating. We all did. But for most of us, the answer to our question when we were young was 'No, there is nothing captivating about you. Get off the coffee table!'"

"Nearly all a woman does in her adult life is fueled by her longing to be delighted in, her longing to be beautiful, to be irreplaceable, to have her question answered, 'Yes! You are lovely.' And down in the depths of our hearts, our question remains. Unanswered. 'Am I lovely? Do you see me? Do you want to see me? Are you captivated by what you find in me?' We live haunted by that question."

Truth be told, most of our wives want to know that they are lovely... that they captivate their husbands."

Notice it doesn't say that's all she wants, just that she wants to know it.

So...staying away from the political arguments herein, let me state for the record: Cheryl - I STILL think you're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, and have ever since I first laid eyes on you.

Old Folks Fight!

I was really upset about what Alan Simpson said this week to the leader of the OWLs, the Old Women League, or whatever they're called. I didn't mind what he said about social security now being a milk cow with 310 million tits. I cared more about how disrespectful he was to the woman. No one should talk to someone else like that, especially in his position.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hear me know, believe me later. (These can be deleted, right? Actually, I'm hoping you'll forget, unless I'm right, then I'll remind you!)

I've been meaning to make some predictions on here for awhile, and I'll get to some more later, but here's one:

Michael Bloomberg with run for President as an Independant, with Chuck Hagel as his running mate. And they will be a huge factor in the race. If they siphon off enough angry, disappointed Ds, frustrated with how moderate Obama has turned out to be, and moderate Rs who have become afraid of the far right wing of their party, they could win.

OK, here's another, the Phils, who are currently 2 1/2 games behind the Braves, will win the division by 4-5 games. And as I write this the Phils just today got finished being swept in a 4 game series vs the lowly Astros, scoring 7 runs in the 4 games.

And as for who will be the R nominee in 2012, I'm still working on that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Yet another important problem solved - what else ya need help with?

There is a lot of talk these days about expanding the NFL season from 16 to 18 games. My suggestion is that they expand to 20 games, but only allow any individual player to play in 15 of them. Wouldn't that make for great talk and strategy and controversy as to when to sit out certain players, in particular the Quarterbacks? They'd need to expand the rosters considerably, but that would please the players union, who is generally against the expanded schedule.

And I don't care how cold and snowy it gets in February - anything that fills in the slowest of sports months makes it worthwhile.

If a sociopath married a sociologist, would they have a pathologist for a kid...or maybe a pathological liar?

I'm sure there are smarter people than me - sociologist-types - who figured this out long before I did, but it doesn't seem to be just coincidence that Middle America and the South are more resistant to change on so many things compared to the Northeast and Far West. Just by thinking about who lives there and why, and their historic motivations for the way they live helps me understand it.

And please forgive the stereotypes, but I'm a big believer that stereotypes are usually rooted in some measure of truth, even though they sometimes hurt. It's the roots of those alleged truths and how they came to be that should be examined more carefully than the stereotype itself.

The South, as illustrated clearly in Gone With the Wind, has been and I think, continues to be, so set in its historical ways, wanting to preserve the past and the tradition of their heritage. Middle Americans are tied to their land and generally move more slowly, something of which I've heard they are quite proud.

The Northeast is fast-paced, forced to consider different ways of doing things, if only because of the challenges of fitting so many people in increasingly small places. Well, I guess the places stay the same size, but there are more people to fit in them!

And the Far West is where people went a few hundred years ago, and even into the past few decades wanting to seek greener pastures, as it were. They wanted to change their lives, either by economic necessity or just to try something different.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

And that's all it is...heart, will, technique. And tone-setting...and football playing... and this paddle game

Football coaches all speak the same language:

Defensive co-ordinator Sean McDermott said, when asked about linebacker Akeem Jordan. "He's a football player, as you guys have seen."

About another linebacker Ernie Sims, McDermott said: "Coach Reid said it best yesterday when he said he's a tone-setter. That's what he is for us."

And finally about his third LB, Stewart Bradley, he said, "You don't have to be that big to do some damage, it's all about heart, will and technique, pretty much."

Pretty much? Well, what else? C'mon, man, we need to know!

Ah, I just needed to keep reading this same article, this time on rookie, Te'o-Nesheim: "I love his motor." said McDermott.

Read more:

Move along...nothing to see here

Something tells me way more people will read the post below this one than will read this one...unless I can find another pic to link with it of a beautiful woman in a bikini.

No, but it does show your insecurites

News Item:
LAS VEGAS -- A 22-year-old Mexico woman has won the Miss Universe pageant after donning a flowing red gown and telling an audience it's important to teach kids family values.

Jimena Navarrete of Guadalajara was first to answer an interview question Monday night and the last of 83 contestants standing in the headline-grabbing pageant on the Las Vegas Strip.

Her one-strap gown flowed behind her like a sheet as she walked. Earlier, she smiled in a violet bikini as she confidently strutted across the stage.

She's Miss Universe, but don't you just know when she looks in the mirror, there is still something she sees about herself that she wishes she could change?

After the show, as she changed into a different look for her first interviews with the press, she asked one of her aides, "Do these pants make me look fat?"

I say Yes to both

John Stewart to Rod BlaGOYevich: "You're either the victim of a terrible persecution or you're a sociopath".

I thought this was maybe Job Stewart's lowest moment as an interviewer. He seemed obsessed with RB testifying next time around and trying to prove RB was wrong about something he said last time on the show, as if anything the man says is to be believed.

Lovin' me some JoeBuh...well, except for the "literally" part

Vice-President Joe Biden earlier today: "Mr. Boehner and his party ran the economy and the middle class literally into the ground," Biden said at one point. "I'm still waiting for what it is that they are for... I know what they are against. What I don't know, other than a tax cut for the top two percent of the taxpayers in America, I don't know what they are for."

Here are some more excerpts:

"Let's just review a little history here: For eight years before we arrived, Mr. Boehner and his party ran this economy and the middle class into the ground. They took the $237 billion surplus they inherited from the Clinton Administration and left us with a $1.3 trillion deficit, and, in the process, quadrupled the national debt - all before we had turned on the lights in the West Wing. They gave free rein to the special interests to write their own rules at the expense of everybody else. And the sum total of it was the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression--a crisis that wreaked havoc on families and businesses across this country--a crisis from which we are still digging out. "

Random thoughts

Why does any team kick more than one or two field goals in any one exhibition game? Seems like once they have that down, they'd be better off trying their 4th down plays.
Another thing I hardly ever see in Chester County anymore? Hitchhikers. I saw one this morning - an African-American in bright Islam-ish garb. I've picked up hitchhikers before, but it seems now like one of those things I have to think differently about now that I have kids and am the sole wage-earner in the least for now.
I got to meet someone I've wanted to meet for a very long time now over the weekend - Sean Johnson who married the daughter of some lifelong friends - the Marohns. He was the Political Director for Hillary Clinton's PA primary campaign. I wish I could say I'd thought this first, but we were talking all things political over the weekend and he made the observation, and I may be exaggerating it a tad - that maybe the best thing that could happen to Barack Obama's re-election chances would be for the R's to retake the House this November. They would provide a perfect foil/bad guy for the President to run against. It sure helped Bill Clinton. If only they could get Newt to lead them again, though John Boehner may be even more of a cartoon character than Newt.
I guess I should really be separating these into individual posts...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Channeling my inner Ed Grimley

I wish the Daily Local were paying me something to do this blog, so I could claim to be part of the "Professional Left" Robert Gibbs was all grumped up about the other day. I could pretend he was talking about me, like he was reading this regularly. And then who knows, maybe we could become best friends, I must say, like i could call him at his house and say "Is Robert there?" I suppose it could get any better than that. Oh, this is making me half-mental!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

So who's whinier: the White House or those of us on the political left?

From today's Huffington Post:

"Given the economic straits we are in, the stimulus was too small, and had too many tax cuts in it, but it is still the biggest jobs bill in American history, and the biggest investment in public goods (schools, teachers, roads, bridges, clean energy, firefighters, cops, broadband, etc.). The health care bill had big flaws, including the lack of a public option, but Obama succeeded at extending coverage to virtually everyone and reining in major insurance abuses (on pre-existing conditions, lifetime caps, etc.) when every other President before for a hundred years had failed.

The financial reform bill didn't break up the banks, but we won very significant victories in reining in the financial sector, and went the right direction on financial regulation instead of the wrong direction as we did in the last four presidents' tenures. The federal budgets Obama submitted have been the most progressive in many ways, at least since 1993, and maybe since the 1960s. We won a major victory on, and expansion of, the student loan program for college students. Tobacco is regulated by the FDA for the first time. The equal pay law got passed, S-CHIP got expanded, the hate crimes bill got signed, unneeded weapons systems got eliminated. And Obama has at least pushed for other big legislation on climate change, immigration reform, and more jobs programs, even if he didn't succeed at everything.

It hasn't all been perfect -- far from it -- but Obama deserves enormous credit for wading into these big fights, and for persevering on some of the toughest, like health care (where his chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel wanted him to back down and give up.) If I were in the Obama White House, I might be feeling a little irritable myself at the lack of credit I was getting.

But here's the thing, folks at the White House: your strategy for getting the credit you think you deserve sucks. It's not working, and bitching about the fact that people don't give you enough credit is not going to get them to give you more."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A true and false quiz where I'll give you the answers!

Dailykos researched these Republican Myths :

Tea Party'ers are not more likely to have racist tendencies than other conservatives.
(Except they are: )

Democrats are scheming to hit 94 percent of small business owners with tax increases.
(Except they aren't: )

Bloody violence is out of control along the Mexican border, and illegal immigrants are streaming into America at record levels.
(Except it's not and they're not: )

Obamacare will send Medicare spiraling out of control.
(Except it won't: )

Voters say cutting the deficit is more important than creating jobs.
(Except they don't: )

Social Security is going broke, it adds to the deficit, and we have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.
(Except it's not, it doesn't and we don't: )

As a Quaker, am I allowed to like a Secretary of Defense?

NYT 8/10/10: "Secretary of Defense Gates bemoaned that “this department is awash in taskings for reports and studies,” and he ordered a freeze on the number of such internal assessments. For those that remain and others ordered by Congress, the Pentagon will publish the cost of preparation in each document.

Mr. Gates has already canceled or trimmed several dozen weapons programs, with long-term savings, based on projections of what the programs would have cost, predicted at $330 billion.

Mr. Gates has ordered the armed services and the Pentagon’s agencies to find $100 billion in spending cuts and efficiencies over the next five years: $7 billion for 2012, growing to $37 billion annually by 2016."

Monday, August 9, 2010

But wait, this means some corporations actually DO pay taxes?!

"According to the White House, in 2004, the last year data on this was compiled, U.S. multinational corporations paid roughly $16 billion in taxes on $700 billion in foreign active earnings— putting their tax rate at around 2.3 percent." - Arianna Huffington, Third World America

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Really - they promise to trickle it down on you if you'll only cut them this one last deal

Everyone put your hands up if you want to borrow $700 billion over the next ten years to permanently extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent ! C'mon - lets see those hands!

Then I guess asking for them to make it a capital offense for ethics breaches is too much to ask

August 4, 2010
New York Times

House Republicans are chortling over the Democratic majority’s troubles with ethics allegations, but they also are ominously signaling their distaste for the Office of Congressional Ethics — the one new player on Capitol Hill with a clear determination to do something about the morass.

The Republican minority leader, John Boehner, said he wants to “take a look” at the office if his party regains majority power — a reminder that his members fiercely opposed the quasi-independent office when it was created two years ago by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Grumblers on both sides want to gut the ethics office. That is because it has been fulfilling its mission to put life into the lawmakers’ own stultified ethics process, to penetrate the murk of misbehavior and keep the public better informed. Republicans would be the ultimate hypocrites to subvert the ethics office while campaigning as the all-new party of reform that, ah, yes, learned its lesson after the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Uncharted Territorial Senate Gains

A recent post at dailykos, showing the improving chances of Democratic Senator candidates. Wouldn't that be something if the Senate stayed roughly where it is?

"The chart above (not pictured - for some reason, I can't seem to copy charts onto here) also shows how Dems are actually playing some serious offense this cycle -- Ohio, New Hampshire, Louisiana, North Carolina and Kentucky are all pickup opportunities. Throw in Missouri and Florida (with independent Charlie Crist), and you've got seven legitimate pickup opportunities to offset the guaranteed GOP pickups in North Dakota and Arkansas, plus tough contests in Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, as well as potentially tough races in California, Washington and Wisconsin.

Throw in fading GOP challengers in Nevada and Illinois, and we've got something approaching parity heading into November."

But if you watch Fox News, The Recovery will not be televised

A column in today's NYT by Obama's Treasury Secretary, Tim Geitner, on all the great things that have started happening since their Stimulus Bill passed last year. It's amazing, given how bad things were early last year, how quickly things have turned and started in the right direction. There is still a long way to go though, especially in the one number everyone understands: the unemployment number.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Just quoting Ronald Reagan again, as usual

Something for right-wing anti-immigration zealots to remember:

"I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it and see it still." -- Ronald Reagan (1989)

...and no fair inserting the words " long as they are the same color as me..." anywhere in there.

I just wish I'd figured this out back in high school

I know this is tweet-worthy, which by my definition means it is an incredibly narcissistic post of virtually no interest to anyone, but I'm putting it here anyway, dagnabit!

I've never been a big believer in the theory that if you drink a lot of coffee and then go without it for a day, you get a headache. In fact, I've never even been sure I've believed that it does much to wake me up. I just like the taste.

Well, I've been grumpy and sleepy here at work all morning, and I just now went down and had a large cup of coffee from the pot that Saint Karen here at work makes me every day and I've noticed how much more awake I feel and in a much better mood, and dang if my headache didn't just go away.

Oh, did I forget to mention that there was no coffee at home this morning, so I drank Cheryl's decaf on the way into work?

So if R's ruined the economy and Obama is supposedly making it worse, is he a secret Republican too?!

If you want to understand what the Republicans have done to our economy, here is an article written by David Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget under Reagan.

The article shows how Rs have devastated our economy over the past 30 years, but worse, he shows how unlikely it is that we can recover, at least in the next few decades.

Thank Goodness there isn't also a sign saying they have to wipe too

I went to a restaurant the other day and when I went to use the restroom there was a sign that said "Employees must wash hands".

I waited forever for an employee to show up but finally just washed them myself.

Thank Goodness the Party of No even says No to its best candidates

I keep hearing over and over from Republicans that Obama won't be re-elected, and because of the state of the country right now, it is hard to argue with them, except for one important thing. They have no electable candidates to run against him. Palin, Huckabee, Romney, Pawlenty, Barber, Thune - all of them have big strikes against them, so I have remained unworried, until I read this article in today's NYT:

There is a reference to one candidate I have heard of, but didn't know anything about. This is the sentence: "Did Mitch Daniels’s June trip to Washington, during which he managed to irritate both neoconservatives (with talk of defense cuts) and social conservatives (by floating the idea of a social issues “truce”), quiet some of the buzz around the Indiana governor’s candidacy?"

There are two things I now know about this candidate:

1- He is totally electable and may be the one candidate who can beat Barack Obama
2 - No way the far right of the Republican Party allows him to win the nomination to even get that far.

Friday, July 30, 2010

This picture may tell a thousand words, but it may have a hard time squeezing even one in.

This doesn't require a lot of comment from me, especially since my thoughts may draw a negative reaction from the people it reminds me of...people i love a LOT!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Sometimes, one silly statistic can tell you everything you need to know...and probably more than you want to:

Defense Secretary Gates recently noted that the military has more people in its marching bands than the State Department has diplomats.

Not the Shabab!!! Anything but that! Or wait, maybe that's good?!

I read, either in my hands or online, 2-3 newspapers a day as well as 3-4 magazines monthly and many news-related websites daily, so I like to think I'm pretty up on current events. But when I see news stories, in this case in the New York Times, where this is the headline, it makes me want to try to be less aware of things going on in the world, rather than more so:

Militant Alliance Adds to Somalia’s Turmoil
An insurgent commander in the semiautonomous region of Puntland has pledged his loyalty to the Shabab, which recently set off a bomb in Uganda

Friday, July 23, 2010

First there was Whitewater, now there's Whitewash

Lest we forget the facts, which have a way of changing through the miracle of political spin - from Paul Krugman:

"Last week Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, declared that “there’s no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy.” So now the word is that the Bush-era economy was characterized by “vibrancy.”

I guess it depends on the meaning of the word “vibrant.” The actual record of the Bush years was (i) two and half years of declining employment, followed by (ii) four and a half years of modest job growth, at a pace significantly below the eight-year average under Bill Clinton, followed by (iii) a year of economic catastrophe. In 2007, at the height of the “Bush boom,” such as it was, median household income, adjusted for inflation, was still lower than it had been in 2000.

But the Bush apologists hope that you won’t remember all that. And they also have a theory, which I’ve been hearing more and more — namely, that President Obama, though not yet in office or even elected, caused the 2008 slump. You see, people were worried in advance about his future policies, and that’s what caused the economy to tank. Seriously.

On the deficit: Republicans are now claiming that the Bush administration was actually a paragon of fiscal responsibility, and that the deficit is Mr. Obama’s fault. “The last year of the Bush administration,” said Mr. McConnell recently, “the deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product was 3.2 percent, well within the range of what most economists think is manageable. A year and a half later, it’s almost 10 percent.”

But that 3.2 percent figure, it turns out, is for fiscal 2008 — which wasn’t the last year of the Bush administration, because it ended in September of 2008. In other words, it ended just as the failure of Lehman Brothers — on Mr. Bush’s watch — was triggering a broad financial and economic collapse. This collapse caused the deficit to soar: By the first quarter of 2009 — with only a trickle of stimulus funds flowing — federal borrowing had already reached almost 9 percent of G.D.P. To some of us, this says that the economic crisis that began under Mr. Bush is responsible for the great bulk of our current deficit. But the Republican Party is having none of it."