Saturday, January 31, 2015

Setting the agenda

Commentary likes Scott Walker's style.
The Wisconsin governor is enjoying a bit of a boomlet right now, as Peter Beinart notes in a sharp piece on Walker’s unapologetic conservatism. And he’s earned it. He won three statewide elections in four years, and did so with national media attention and the concerted lunatic tactics of public unions (death threats, violence, compulsive Hitler comparisons) aimed at him and his supporters. He won comfortably and with a smile on his face. Walker never lost his composure and never stooped to the level of his fanatical liberal opponents.

What comes after the Super Bowl?

When the big game is done Sunday night, what's a sports fan to look forward to watching?
Sure, there's NBA, NHL and college basketball.
But February means pitchers and catchers report.

Upper middle class with the upper hand

A Salon writer tries to take on his current grouping - upper middle class.
After a column of complaining about their power, what's his conclusion?
What can we do to break the stranglehold of the upper middle class? I have no idea. Having spent so much time around upper-middle-class Americans, and having entered their ranks in my own ambivalent way, I’ve come to understand their power. The upper middle class controls the media we consume. They run our big bureaucracies, our universities, and our hospitals. Their voices drown out those of other people at almost every turn. I fear that the only way we can check the tendency of upper-middle-class people to look out for their own interests at the expense of others is to make them feel at least a little guilty about it. It’s not much, but it’s a start. 
How about tax cuts?
Lots of the income from upper middle class comes from government or academic jobs.
Reduce government spending and you can reduce the power of this group.
The thought probably never occurred to the writer.

Facebook quote of the week

You may have noticed my absence over the last 48 hours. One of the old cats pee'd on the router. Frontiersman Jimmy brought a new one today which Papa promptly hung on a nail.

Saturday song

Tim McGraw's "Indian Outlaw" continues our theme of songs in honor of Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Friday, January 30, 2015

SuperHog or Ground Bowl?

There's certain times of the year when you like weather forecasting websites - like Maryland's Foot's Forecast and Justin Berk's weather information.
They are focused tonight on Sunday and Monday - will there be snow and how much?
A Super Bowl/Groundhog Day storm.
Whatever happens, I bet Augusta County schools will be closed Monday.

Weekend watchdog

Before Super Sunday in Arizona, there's Super Saturday in Charlottesville.
The second-ranked Cavaliers host ESPN's College GameDay Saturday at 10 a.m. before hosting Duke at 7 p.m. The GameDay crew previews the day's contests around the college basketball world, along with contests for the fans arriving early in the morning for the show.
Virginia remained unbeaten after escaping Virginia Tech Sunday in its last contest. Duke has already lost three ACC contests, but got coach K his 1000th college victory Sunday at St. John's.
The sporting world makes way for Super Bowl XLIX Sunday at 6:30 p.m., with Seattle trying to defend its title and New England hoping to deflate those hopes.
It's the Patriots' second trip to University of Phoenix Stadium for the big game. Last visit, they came in unbeaten and left losers to the Giants.
The NFL honors show will be Saturday at 9 p.m. on NBC.
The Australian Open crowns its champion this weekend, with the women's title game Saturday at 3 a.m. on ESPN. The tournament closes with the men's championship match Sunday at 3 a.m.
Arkansas takes on Florida Saturday at 1 p.m. on CBS, and Sunday at 1 p.m. it's Michigan-Michigan State.
Iowa tackles Wisconsin at noon Saturday on ESPN, followed by Kansas State-Kansas and a big ACC battle between North Carolina and Louisville.
ESPN2 has six games on the schedule Saturday, starting with Auburn-Tennessee at noon. The Virginia battle between VCU-Richmond tips at 2 p.m. with Wichita State against Northern Iowa followed by Texas facing Baylor. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State tangle at 8 p.m. and Memphis closes the night at Gonzaga at 10 p.m.
There's a pair of Big East contests on FoxSports1 Saturday. Xavier faces Seton Hall at noon before Villanova battles DePaul. Fox brings Providence-St. John's at noon.
The ACC network offes Notre Dame against Pittsburgh Saturday at noon along with North Carolina State facing Georgia Tech.
On Comcast, William & Mary heads to James Madison Saturday at 4 p.m.
Davidson meets Saint Joseph's Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
It's off to the Ivy League Friday at 8 p.m. on MASN for Yale against Columbia.
MASN2 offers Marquette meets Butler Saturday at 2 p.m. and Marshall takes on Louisiana Tech at 5:30 p.m.
On the women's hardcourt, ESPN2 has a pair of games Sunday. Connecticut takes on Temple at 2 p.m. and Iowa meets Maryland at 4 p.m.
Comcast offers Florida State against Georgia Tech Friday at 7 p.m. There's a pair of games Sunday, with Wake Forest taking on Notre Dame at 1 p.m. and North Texas meeting Rice at 3 p.m.
ESPN offers the Mavericks meeting the Heat Friday at 8 p.m., then it's Bulls-Suns. Saturday at 9 p.m., the Clippers battle the Spurs.
The Wizards take on the Raptors Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
Comcast has the Capitals visit to Montreal Saturday at 1 p.m. The Capitals' traditional Super Bowl afternoon contest will be on NBC Sports Network against the Blues Sunday at 1 p.m.
On the college ice, New Hampshire visits Notre Dame on NBC Sports network Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Chelsea battles Manchester City Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on NBC. Hull City takes on Newcastle United at 7:45 a.m. Saturday on NBC Sports network before Manchester United meets Leicester City. Arsenal takes on Aston Villa Sunday at 8:30 a.m. followed by Southampton-Swansea City.
CBS heads to Phoenix for the PGA event Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. Don't forget to pick up the trash.
NBC Sports network has the induction ceremonies for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Friday at 8 p.m.
The Armory Invitational track meet will be on NBC Sports network Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The good old days weren't that good

Megan McArdle reminds us that modern Americans have so much more in the house and pantry than our ancestors - even 50 years ago.
The average working-class family of 1901 had a few changes of clothes and a diet heavy on beans and grain, light on meat and fresh produce -- which simply wasn't available for much of the year, even if they'd had the money to afford it. Even growing up in the 1950s, in a comfortably middle-class home, my mother's wardrobe consisted of a week's worth of school clothes, a church dress and a couple of play outfits. Her counterparts today can barely fit all their clothes in their closets, even though today's houses are much bigger than they used to be; putting a family of five in a 900-square-foot house with a single bathroom was an aspirational goal for the generation that settled Levittown, but in an era when new homes average more than 2,500 square feet, it sounds like poverty.

McTofu and Gruel

Vodkapundit doesn't have high hopes for improvement at McDonalds.
The Left has been waging a cultural war against McDonald’s for decades now, and the results are telling. It won its fight against the chain in the early 1990, forcing McD to remove the beef tallow from the french fries, in order to avoid offending the tender sensibilities of vegetarians. The company’s troubles began in earnest with the emasculation of its world-class fries, but the trend has accelerated with the ascension of Michelle Obama to First Lady. She rails tirelessly against affordable and wholesome-but-bland food which parents can actually get their kids to eat, because buttinskies can’t be happy without buttinsking. McDonald’s has tried to comply by offering healthy apple wedges in place of french fries in children’ Happy Meals, but it’s obvious that the Left won’t be happy with anything short of the chain converting to McTofu & Gruel.

Super snow

East Coast Super Bowl watchers have to keep an eye on the sky as well Sunday.
But there's good news in a Monday morning snow storm.
If you don’t like winter, cheer on this storm: It would likely keep Punxsutawney Phil from seeing his shadow Monday morning… thus calling for an early spring.

Paul's got this covered

The Facebook feed can alert you to stories you might not care about.
Or what really bad thinking is out there.
Like this old story about religious people being less intelligent.
I'll let Paul explain it to the non-religious.
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
Yes, I used the King James Version.
Hopefully those smart, non-religious people can understand these words.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

So wrong for so long

Powerline likes a new website highlighting the worst predictions about damage due to global climate change.
Finding predictions of opposite impacts for climate change - more coral reefs or fewer - is always fun.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Keep on saving

The Obama team wanted to tax withdrawals from 529 college saving plans as part of his tax enhancement plan.
The uproar was huge.
The plan is now dead.
Will the Obama team learn their lesson?

Threes in the presidential field

There's so much talk about a third Bush running for president.
What about the third Republican with Walker in his name?
Scott Walker could follow George Herbert Walker Bush and George Walker Bush to the Oval Office - if he can catch fire.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Marching back to West Virginia

The New Orleans Saints found a different area for their training camp in 2014 - the Greenbrier in West Virginia.
The season didn't go as well as expected, but they will return to the Greenbrier in 2015.
Coach Sean Payton is already thinking of the new season.
“When you finish 7-9, you have to take a good close look at not just one specific game but four or five that came down to the last series to win or lose,” said Payton. “We have to do a better job finishing.
“If you’re not careful you begin to look at other things and not blocking, tackling, not turning the ball over, closing games out. We have to do a better job of teaching that stuff.”

Farewell too soon

Rush Limbaugh spent several long segments Monday telling the story of his chief-of-staff Kit Carson, who died of brain cancer Monday morning.
He loved everybody here, and everybody loved him.  We've all heard people remembered by having it said about them that they never heard the guy say a bad word about anybody.  How many times have you heard that in eulogy?  Well, Kit Carson, honest to God, never, ever had a bad word to say about anybody.  Kit Carson never, never had a critical thing to say about anybody he dealt with, anybody else on the staff.  He did not engage in back-stabbing. He did not ever, not a single time, try to undermine anybody else on the staff for his benefit.  And you know that's common in office settings, but he never did it.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Will there be a dry slot?

It's been a day of snow panic.
Will there be an historic blizzard in New York?
Will there be snow in central Virginia?
Our area looks likely to miss out - depend on the dry slot developing as the storm passes on the way to the coast.
What will the weather be in the morning?
Go to bed and you'll find out when you wake up.

Where's the empathy for the coalfields?

Two columns from the Sunday papers.
In Virginia, one blaming people from the coalfields for not giving up on coal and moving on to other possible industries.
In the New York Times, one blaming society for the columnist's high school friend dying young.
In the coalfields, the columnist blames politicians for selling the former miners on the "War on Coal."
In the Times, it's the fault of others that the jobs left rural Oregon.
The Times writer wants empathy for his friends' struggle and early demise.
The Virginia writer doesn't suggest what jobs could replace the coal jobs - just the need to move on.
Times change.
Jobs disappear and move, and people have to adapt.
Whether they are your friends or not, they need empathy.
So do the taxpayers who help both groups because they have adapted to the current situation.

Time for new blood

Byron York's look at the GOP field going into Iowa repeats a theme of Instapundit - time for new blood.
Supporters aren't locked into their past decisions.
But the world has changed; issues have changed and new candidates have emerged. Moderates who backed Romney now have Jeb Bush and Chris Christie to consider, while conservatives who backed Huckabee and Santorum have Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. Even if the veterans run again, they won't be able to recreate what they had before. They'll have to do something different.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Go big and go bold

Scott Walker made a good impression in Iowa Saturday.
The man knows how to win over tough crowds.

Know your German toilets

For some reason, men peeing while standing is a problem in Germany.
If you want to know reason number one, check out German toilet design.

Going where the money is

Megan McArdle tries to explain why President Obama wants to tax college savings in 529 plans.
As I observed when I first wrote about the plan, the very fact that we are discussing taxation of educational savings -- redistributing educational subsidies downward -- indicates that the administration has started scraping the bottom of the barrel when seeking out money to fund new programs. Why target a tax benefit that goes to a lot of your supporters (and donors), that tickles one of the sweetest spots in American politics (subsidizing higher education), and that will hit a lot of people who make less than the $250,000 a year that has become the administration's de facto definition of "rich"?
You saved.
The government spent.
Now the government wants your savings to continue spending.

Saturday song

This guy asked Mr. Custer not to go.
Our theme of songs inspired by Sen. Elizabeth Warren goes on.

State of the race

This cartoon perfectly sums up the looming presidential nomination campaigns.

Facebook quote of the week

I didn't watch the President's SOTU speech tonight. I don't really care about the state of the country's golf courses.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Take a picture, it will last longer

ESPN has a new special telling the story of the four photographers who have shot every Super Bowl so far.
The game and equipment have changed greatly, but you still need a knowledgeable eye to capture the action.

Gearing up for Iowa

Scott Walker has some help starting his bid for the Republican presidential nomination - one of the top Iowa strategists.
The guy who helped Joni Ernst will help Walker.
That will make Democrats squeal.

Deflating their legacy

Nine more days of talk about deflated football before the Super Bowl.
Who knows how much talk about it after?
Looking like the Patriots' bubble has burst.
The Patriots can win another championship Feb. 1 in Glendale, Ariz. Belichick can join Chuck Noll as the only coaches with four Lombardi Trophies, and Tom Brady can join Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterbacks with four rings. 
But the most important thing — the Patriot legacy — is lost. The Patriots and their fans will never win the “best ever” argument. Everything is tainted. Footballs (reportedly) have been doctored, headlines have been written, and opinions have been formed.
Locally, the Patriots are revered. Nationally, they are loathed and branded as cheaters, and once again they have handed the hammer to their legion of enemies.

Weekend watchdog

As we await the Super Bowl commercials and halftime show (there's a game too?), some of the top athletes in their fields will gather this weekend.
The NFL moves the Pro Bowl to the Super Bowl site this year, with the best of both leagues competing Sunday at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Hall of Famers Cris Carter and Michael Irvin drafted players for their teams Wednesday, and the coaches of the Ravens and Cowboys' staffs will guide the teams from the sidelines.
Columbus hosts the NHL all-star game Sunday at 5 p.m. on NBC Sports network. What will be the rosters of the two teams? The teams will be drafted Friday at 8 p.m. and the skills competition hits the ice Saturday at 7 p.m.
College football players look to impress the scouts at the Senior Bowl Saturday at 4 p.m. on the NFL network. Mel Kiper knows everybody on the field.
NBC offers the U.S. Skating Championship this weekend, with action Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. then Sunday at 4 p.m.
Sunday afternoon NBA starts on ABC this weekend, with Heat-Bulls at 1 p.m. followed by the Thunder's visit to Cleveland.
The Wizards head west, facing the Trail Blazers Saturday at 10 p.m. and the Nuggets Sunday at 8 p.m. on Comcast.
The Bulls meet the Mavericks on ESPN Friday at 8 p.m.
On the college hardcourt, VCU visits St. Louis Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
Kansas heads to Texas Saturday at 2 p.m. on CBS, followed by UCLA-Oregon. It's off to the Big Ten Sunday as Indiana clashes with Ohio State at 1:30 p.m. before the ACC matchup between Pittsburgh and Louisville.
Coach K goes for his 1000th coaching win Sunday at 2 p.m., meeting St. John's on Fox.
Top-ranked Kentucky visits South Carolina on ESPN Saturday at noon. North Carolina faces Florida State at 2 p.m., followed by Michigan State-Nebraska at 4 p.m. and Wisconsin against Michigan at 7 p.m.
Weekend action on the ACC network starts Saturday at noon with Wake Forest's visit to Clemson, and Virginia travels to Virginia Tech Sunday at 1 p.m.
ESPN2's Saturday slate of four games begins at noon with Oklahoma State-Kansas State. It's off to the SEC for Arkansas against Missouri at 2 p.m., then Miami meets Syracuse before Oklahoma battles Baylor at 6 p.m.
Marquette hosts Georgetown on FoxSports1 Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and Creighton clashes with Villanova Sunday at 7 p.m.
The CAA takes the stage on NBC Sports network Saturday, with College of Charleston against Drexel at noon followed by Northeastern-William & Mary.
Richmond heads to Dayton on Comcast Saturday at 7 p.m., and Boston College battles Georgia Tech Sunday at 1 p.m.
On MASN, Marshall meets UTEP Saturday at 3 p.m. and it's off to the WAC at 9 p.m. for Utah Valley against New Mexico State. Sunday, Ohio Valley-Belmont goes against Tennessee State at 6:30 p.m.
There's a pair of Big East games on MASN2 over the weekend, as DePaul faces Xavier Saturday at 6 p.m. and Seton Hall battles Butler Sunday at 3 p.m.
On the women's hardcourt, Virginia Tech takes on Wake Forest Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast. Pittsburgh battles Boston College Saturday at 4 p.m. then it's an ACC doubleheader Sunday as N.C. State visits Syracuse at 3 p.m. before Miami meets Louisville.
FoxSports1 has Big East play Friday, with Seton Hall facing Villanova at 7 p.m. and Creighton-DePaul at 9 p.m. Butler meets Xavier Sunday at 2:30 p.m., then it's Iowa State-Texas.
ESPN2 has Connecticut taking on Cincinnati Sunday at 3 p.m. before North Carolina tangles with Duke.
Charlotte clashes with Middle Tennessee Saturday at noon on MASN2, followed by West Virginia-Kansas.
Play continues at the Australian Open with the round of 16 on ESPN2 Friday at 9 p.m. Action continues Saturday and Sunday at 9 p.m.
It's time for the X-Games, with action on ESPN Friday at 10:30 p.m. ABC offers ski slopestyle finals Saturday at 1 p.m. and coverage continues on ESPN Saturday at 9 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Play continues in the FA Cup this weekend on FoxSports1, as Cambridge United meets Manchester United Friday at 3 p.m. and Manchester City faces Middlesbrough Saturday at 10 a.m.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Don't Risk this

Smitty has the inside story of the Obama team's European strategy.

Warren - Senator from the state of cheaters

Liberals are trying to get Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president.
They are planning parties for Super Bowl weekend, even including the game in the events.
Now, the Patriots have reached the big game.
And the deflategate story follows them.
What's Warren's opinion on this?
Did the team from her home state bend the rules for their advantage?
Like she claims big business does.
Should the Patriots be punished before the Super Bowl?
Or are they too big to fail?
Warren and liberals rail against businesses they claim cheat to boost their bottom line.
Will she call out the Patriots?

Right way to tell a story

Don Surber honors the memory of  "Wrong Way" Corrigan.
The story of Wrong Way captured the hearts of Americans. He was given ticker-tape parade down Broadway and in Chicago. They made a film about him. He was the working class Lindbergh.
There are two ways to do things, the right way and the wrong way. In this case, the wrong way was the right way.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Small credit; big pile of tax money

Jane the Actuary looks at whether childcare tax credits help parents - or just government get more tax money.
In this raw fiscal-impact perspective, it makes a ton of sense for the government to push women to work, to increase GDP and tax revenue.  In fact, in discussions in Germany (back a while ago, when we were living there) on state subsidy of childcare centers, this was front-and-center:  these subsidies would more than pay for themselves by increasing tax revenue, and bringing more mothers into the workplace was an explicit goal and method of dealing with the declining working-age population relative to retirees.
 I took off six years from work to raise the boys, and the tax bite was a major consideration. The partner with the lower earnings may be basically working for free - factor in daycare, transportation and added costs due to less time to run the house.
Obama only wants to give out things that benefit his crew.

Deflating the Patriots' excuses has an attorney look at the legal angles on the Patriots' alleged ball deflation activities.
If Goodell decides to suspend Belichick, do not expect the suspension to take effect until after Super Bowl XLIX. As noted above, the NFL will likely take some time to fully review the Deflategate accusations and any evidence against specific Patriots coaches and officials. Suspending a team’s coach before a Super Bowl would also be highly disruptive. Obviously, the sports betting community would be up in arms, but of greater concern to the NFL, so might the league’s sponsors. Any action that harsh would not be imposed until next season.

A real speaker in the House

The Republicans have invited Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu to speak about Iran in February.
It will be good to hear some truth from the podium.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Let the pros handle it

When there's NHL games on two channels, why bother with the State of the Union address?
You can follow the Drunkblog.
Powerline has volunteered for the dangerous mission.
And there's always Iowahawk.

Coaching trade

It's been an interesting season for NFL coaches.
The Bears fired Marc Trestman as head coach.
The Broncos parted ways with John Fox as head coach.
The Bears hired John Fox as head coach.
The Broncos hired Baltimore offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak as head coach.
The Ravens hired Marc Trestman as offensive coordinator, replacing Kubiak.
Hopefully, the Ravens got the better end of this transaction.

Save for college my way

Like many parents of school-age children, we have 529 accounts for the boys in preparation for college.
President Obama wants to increase the tax bite when those funds are withdrawn - soon for me.
You hear lots of talk about free community college, and here's how they want to pay for it - taking money already set aside for college.
According to the Investment Company Institute (the trade association for the mutual fund industry), there was $245 billion accumulated in 529 plans in 2014. With just south of 12 million accounts open, that means there’s an average balance of about $21,000 in these plans. This is not a mechanism for rich Democrats like the Kennedys or the Gates to shelter wealth.
529 plans tend to be opened up by aspirational parents who are on the “mass affluent” side of the middle class earnings spectrum. They are an odd target for a tax increase.
It's money, so Obama wants his cut.

Don't get me started

Billy Crystal thinks there's too much gay sex scenes in the media.
Can this thought be allowed to stand?
Probably not.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Deflating their win

I didn't take long for another questionable tactic putting a New England Patriots win into question.
Making balls easier to handle in a game where it's raining and cold?
Sounds like a Patriot tactic to gain an edge.
Think the NFL and Seahawks will be watching very closely Super Bowl Sunday.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Making a killing at the box office

American Sniper is getting lots of love from audiences across the country.
Hollywood, not so much.
We've had Iraq movies about how bad the United States was.
Never did we have complaints those movies were unbalanced in presentation.
Just this one.
Complaints that Kyle may have lied about his activities, and that he was too enthusiastic a killer, have been around since the publication of the book. But the success of the film both with Academy voters and now with the public has ramped up the criticism, even as it has brought out staunch supporters of Kyle’s.
And there are plenty of supporters.

Third time not the charm

Mitt Romney began making serious noises this week about running again for the Republican presidential nomination.
The ship may have already sailed.
"We have a field of some 20 candidates now that is very strong, has been out there and working. And a lot of people have been working with and moving on to other candidates," said Anuzis, who is close with the Romney family. "So I think that everybody's trying to figure out what this means. It's not necessarily a frustration – but it is a frustration."

Lessons from the NFL

DaTech Guy finds a new venue, writing about school choice at Watchdog.
The most competitive NFL player doesn’t want a Superbowl ring as badly as a parent wants success for their child.  Give the parents the ability to choose who educates their child via a tax voucher and the entire game changes.  The underperforming schools and teachers are forced to improve and even the best of the best, with a chance to attract the best of the public school pool, will improve as well.

Factoring the cost

Augusta County is studying moving its courthouse from the historic location in downtown Staunton to Verona.
Where there's space.
And parking.
Both sides looked at the impact of the courthouse.
Staunton thinks it brings in $15,000/year in tax revenue.
Augusta County thinks the move will bring in $150,000/year in tax revenue.
Staunton thinks paying $5 million to help with renovation doesn't make sense.
Looks like the lawyers and judges will be packing up for Verona soon.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Taking a bite out of D.C.

After the success of Sharknado 2, you knew there would be Sharknado 3.
The only question was where.
The answer to that question now appears to be Washington and environs.
Can't wait to see the sharks stuck in Beltway traffic.

Is Allah asleep, or on a journey?

The attackers of Charlie Hedbo claimed Allah's name had to be avenged.
Why can't Allah do the job himself?
It reminds me of the Old Testament story of Elijah and the Prophets of Baal.
Elijah let them go first - build an altar and have Baal rain down fire.
They worked hard all day long, and nothing happened.
It came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened.” 28 So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. 29 When midday was past, they [n]raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no [o]one paid attention.
Elijah built his altar and made God's job tougher. He filled the area with water before asking for fire.
 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
The people who watched Elijah found out who God really is.

She's Finnished

Protesters blocked I-93 in Boston Thursday.
Traffic was delayed, and an ambulance had to divert to another hospital.
And a part-time city worker taking part in the protests lost her job.
Nelli Ruotsalainen, a part-time youth communication specialist for the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, was noncooperative and “pled the Fifth” at her City Hall hearing yesterday, after which a Labor Relations committee recommended she be terminated, according to city officials.
DaTech Guy wonders which party the 11 protesters belong to.
The anger against these fools is almost universal and all kinds of creative names are being used to describe them, but there is one description that should be the first one out of the lips of everyone but for some reason is not.
These people ARE the Democrat base, you will not find a single Romney or even a Charlie Baker voter among them, These are the folks who have been crying “War on Women”, Heteronormative Patriarchy and all that good stuff, and right now they have managed to anger almost the entire voting population of one of the most liberal states in the Union.

Saturday song

Continuing the Senator Elizabeth Warren them with Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Facebook quote of the week

Facebook follies....
Facebook kept asking where I worked. I tried to tell them I was retired, but Facebook wasn't happy until I spelt it "Retired" with a capital "R". That was fine for months, but now it is asking me: "What position do you hold at Retired?"
I contemplated replying "Horizontal" but decided the wouldn't understand the humor and would be encouraged to ask more inane questions.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Gun control - let it go

PJ Media compares gun control efforts with the storyline of "Frozen," where magic scares the King and Queen.
They try to ban magic.
They fail.
Just like banned guns would fail.
Magic is obviously an established part of Elsa’s world. The trolls know that with the right teaching and attitude, it is a tool that can benefit others. However, the King and Queen are so overcome with their own fear (and understandably so) that they refuse the advice of the trolls, who are the experts here. Instead of guiding their daughter in the proper use of magic, finding her teachers, setting rules and making the effort to accept the magic and its potential benefits and dangers, they make a blanket rule and repress the use of magic.

You'll squeal with delight

The State of the Union address is Tuesday.
Big whoop.
The Republican response will be delivered by Iowa's Joni Ernst.
She said she'd make Washington squeal.
We can squeal with delight when she speaks.

News flash from the second coming

You just know this is how the end of the world is going to go.
  • Jesus Christ returns tonight to reign over Earth.
  • The New York Times warns of anti-Muslim backlash.


Howie Carr has advice for those who blocked the Boston interstate Thursday.
Two weeks ago, the economist Thomas Sowell posed a question that I can’t get out of my mind:
“Has anyone asked the question, ‘How could so many people across the country spend so much time at night marching, rioting and looting, if they had to get up and go to work the next morning?’ ”
New East Milton Hashtag: “#GetaJobHippies.”

Weekend watchdog - who's going to Super Bowl XLIX?

super bowl 49Brady or Luck?
The defending champions or the Cheeseheads?
Which two teams punch their tickets to the desert and Super Bowl XLIX Sunday?
The NFC goes first this year, with Seattle hosting Green Bay on Fox at 3 p.m. The teams met on NFL's opening night in September, with the Seahawks taking a 36-16 decision.
Seattle is trying to become the first repeat NFC champion since the Dallas Cowboys of the 1993-94 season.
Andrew Luck tries to take the Colts to their first Super Bowl since the Peyton Manning era, facing the Patriots on CBS at 6:30 p.m.
 The Patriots will be seeking their sixth Super Bowl since Tom Brady became the starter in 2001, but they lost the last two AFC championship games and haven't won a Super Bowl in 10 years.
The college all-star bowl season continues Saturday, with the Shrine Game on NFL network at 4 p.m. and the NFLPA game on ESPN2 at 4 p.m.
The Capitals take on Dallas Saturday at 8 p.m. on Comcast, while the Red Wings face Buffalo Sunday at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
On the college ice, Notre Dame hosts Connecticut on NBC Sports network Friday at 7:30 p.m. Massachusetts meets New Hampshire Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
The Wizards take on the Nets on Comcast Friday at 7 p.m.
The Thunder host Golden State on ESPN Friday at 8 p.m., followed by the Cavaliers clashing with the Clippers in the nightcap.
On the college court, CBS has Florida faces Georgia Saturday at 2 p.m., and Michigan State meets Maryland at 4 p.m.
North Carolina State battles Florida State on the ACC network Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Georgia Tech takes on Pitt at 4 p.m. while Syracuse travels to Clemson.
Duke visits Louisville Saturday at noon in a top-10 ACC matchup on ESPN. Ohio State heads to Iowa at 2 p.m., followed by top-ranked Kentucky against Alabama. The night concludes with a pair of top-25 matchups in the Big 12, with West Virginia-Texas at 6 p.m. before Kansas plays Iowa State at 9 p.m.
LSU hosts Texas A&M at noon on ESPN2, then Miami heads to Notre Dame. Oklahoma battles Oklahoma State at 7 p.m., followed by Connecticut clashing with Stanford and BYU meeting St. Mary's.
Georgetown faces Butler at 5 p.m. on FoxSports1, then it's Providence-Creighton at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday's action on Comcast starts at noon with Towson hosting William & Mary at noon, followed by Virginia-Boston College at 2 p.m. and Drexel dueling with Delaware at 4 p.m.
NBC Sports network has three contests from the A-10 Saturday. St. Louis faces Dayton at 12:30 p.m., then Rhode Island takes on Massachusetts and George Mason battles George Washington at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at 2:30 p.m., Saint Joseph's meets St. Bonaventure.
On MASN, Fairfield faces Marist Friday at 7 p.m. and there's a pair of C-USA games Saturday afternoon - UTEP against Texas-San Antonio at 3 p.m. followed by Marshall taking on Florida Atlantic at 5:30 p.m. New Mexico State heads to Seattle Saturday at 10 p.m.
MASN2 offers Louisiana Tech battling Middle Tennessee Saturday at 4 p.m.
There's an ACC women's doubleheader on Comcast Sunday, as Miami meets Duke at 1 p.m. before Virginia heads to Louisville.
Connecticut takes on South Florida on ESPN2 Sunday at 1 p.m., then it's Iowa-Michigan State. NBC Sports network has Dayton-St. Bonaventure Sunday at 5 p.m.
West Ham United meets Hull City Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on NBC Sports network, followed by Manchester City-Arsenal.
The Australian Open starts its two-week run Sunday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

Cartoon of the day

The new Charlie Hedbo cover inspired more art.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Call to prayer and pig pickin'

For a day, it looked like Duke would allow a Muslim call to prayer from it's cathedral.
Now they won't.
Duke could teach religious tolerance by inviting Muslim students to a pig pickin'.
It makes as much sense as letting the Muslim call to prayer echo from a cathedral.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Jobs numbers from Fantasy Island

If you like the current unemployment numbers, you must remember the reason it's so low - many fewer Americans are looking for work.
Don’t believe for one minute the official unemployment rate of 5.6%, because the Polar Bear Club-level shrinkage in the workforce makes an unfunny mockery of the BLS’s headline number. The labor force participation rate hasn’t been this low — 62.7% and declining — since Fantasy Island debuted on ABC exactly 36 years ago today.
Take millions out of the pool looking for work, and your unemployment numbers are bound to look better.

Thank the Keystone XL pipeline

Do you like the lower gas prices?
How low will they go?
Why are they lower right now?
Multiple factors, including increased supply and lower demand.
OPEC usually would slow production to keep prices at a certain level, but they aren't doing that now.
How about thanking the Keystone XL pipeline proposal.
Just the proposal making progress should be considered a key reason for the price decline.
The pipeline will make it easier for Canadian tar sands fuel to make it to market, both now and in the future.
Liberals say there's no real benefit for the pipeline.
It will only create 35 permanent jobs, and the fuel will go overseas.
The benefit is real now.
And the pipeline is a great investment in our future.
Isn't that a big interest for liberals?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

More bad news for McDonnell

Former governor Bob McDonnell's attempt to stay out of prison for a while was thwarted Tuesday - the judge denied him bond.
First the trial.
Then the conviction.
Then the sentence.
Now denial of bond.
Prison looms Feb. 9.
But the judge hasn't been too harsh.
He hasn't ordered McDonnell to spend time with his wife Maureen.

So what didn't happen will never happen again

The Other McCain and others blast the University of Virginia for adding rules to fraternities - instead of admitting they jumped to wrong conclusions.
This is sort of like the way gun-control advocates use any mass-shooting incident to urge passage of new laws which would have done nothing to prevent the highly publicized atrocity. They’re always trying to “close the gun show loophole” by exploiting hysteria over shootings committed with guns that weren’t bought at gun shows. And never mind the violent crimes in cities like New York and Chicago that have ultra-strict local gun-control laws.
You fraternity brothers better be good.
because people are looking for an excuse to punish them again.

Monday, January 12, 2015

What do you see?

Je Suis Charlie is everywhere.
An interesting choice of words.
Look closely and you see Jesus.
What other language makes it so easy for Jesus to shine through in tragedy?
The name is there.

Enjoying Saudi chicken

Filling up for less than $30. Good.

The local gas price is down to $1.85/gallon, and with a three cent per gallon loyalty card I filled up tonight.
Saudi Arabia and OPEC are trying to price the Keystone XL pipeline and fracking out of the market.
They are playing chicken with American business.
Russia and friends will struggle with oil prices dropping under $50/barrel.
I trust American know-how to beat the problem before the Saudis beat us.

Another year of Rush

Rush Limbaugh haters can be really disappointed today - it's another birthday for Rush.
The only good news for Limbaugh haters - he's distracted by his staff for a few minutes at the start of the show.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Before the Crusades

Defenders of Islam remind us always of the terrors of the Crusades.
Don Surber reminds us of the first battles between French and Muslims forces - on French soil in 732.
In 732, the Muslims came back and sacked Bordeaux. Charles Martel agreed to rescue Odo if Odo formally recognized Charles Martel's power. It was a deal. Thus was born the Battle of Tours -- seven days of hell in October 732.
The Muslims having looted town after town were burdened by booty and did not take the medieval infantry of Charlie Martel serious. After all, the Muslims had a great cavalry. Although greatly outnumbered, Charles Martel's forces inflicted far greater casualties and won.

This week's attacks have reminded France of their victorious past.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Islamophobia is a myth

How many times will Muslims kill - without a backlash against other Muslims - before the idea of Islamophobia will die?
There is no fear of Islam - unless you consider fear of being killed by Muslims irrational.
The more deaths like Charlie Hedbo, the less irrational that seems.

How to speculate

Will Elizabeth Warren run for the Democratic presidential nomination?
Politico tries to figure it out.
The writer seems to have two ideas.
1. She is a unique Senator.
2. She is not doing what candidates usually do, so she's not running.
If she's unique, wouldn't she have a unique way of going at the White House?
It's a column where the writer tries to inform, but gives you nothing.

An Ebola death

The Ohio bridal shop where a Dallas nurse visited before finding out she had the Ebola virus has been killed in the aftermath.
The store temporarily closed and cleaned before reopening in November but has lost significant business, prompting the decision to close.
Did we overreact over Ebola in the fall?
Or did the government underreact?
Ebola definitely fatally wounded this business.

Saturday song

Cher starts our run of songs in honor of Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Facebook quote of the week

Best Bumpersticker This Year: "Driver Carries No Cash He Is Married"

Friday, January 9, 2015

Memories of Fork Union

Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones spent the fall of 2011 at Fork Union Military Academy in Fluvanna County.
Doesn't sound like he'll be doing promotions for the school soon.
Jones grew up in Cleveland with so little supervision that he often roamed the streets and slept at friends’ houses many nights each week. The difference in structure, jarring for anyone, hit him like a plunge in a cold tub. He fought. Hard.
“This is terrible,” Jones recalled thinking. “Like, we don’t have cheerleaders? I was heartbroken. We couldn’t have our phones, no electronics.”
We'll find out Monday night how well we learned his lessons from Fork Union.

Inside the Patriots' practice

A Facebook friend - who roots for the Steelers - has been talking up the Brady Bunch heading into this weekend's playoff game against the Ravens.
Good thing I found this clip from a practice.

Weekend watchdog

ESPN's Chris Berman always lauds this NFL weekend - the top four teams of the season hosting playoff games.
This year, the NFL has company.
After the four big playoff games over the weekend, Oregon and Ohio State will meet Monday at Cowboys Stadium for the first National Championship playoff finale. ESPN has coverage at 8:30 p.m.
The Ducks rolled over Florida State with a big third-quarter rally at the Rose Bowl New Year's Day while Ohio State knocked top-ranked Alabama out of the field at the Sugar Bowl.
Around midnight, the winner will hoist this National Championship trophy for the first time.
The playoff series crowns its champion Saturday at 1 p.m., as North Dakota State faces Illinois State on ESPN2. The Bison will be seeking their fourth straight crown.
NBC Sports network has the Medal of Honor all-star bowl game Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
The NFL weekend begins on NBC Saturday at 4:30 p.m. as top-seeded New England hosts Baltimore. The sixth-seeded Ravens ousted Pittsburgh last weekend, and have won two of three playoff games against the Patriots in recent years.
Defending champion Seattle takes on Carolina Saturday at 8:15 p.m. on Fox. The teams met earlier in the season, with the Seahawks taking a 13-9 decision during the Panther's seven-game winless string.
Prepare for plenty of "Ice Bowl" talk as the Packers face Cowboys Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fox. It's the first postseason meeting between the teams at Lambeau Field since then, and the Packers have won all eight of their home games this season.
Peyton Manning's new team meets his former squad on CBS at 4:30 p.m., with the Broncos hosting the Colts. Indianapolis advanced last Sunday by beating the Bengals, and Manning looks to add a Denver Super Bowl championship to the one he won with the Colts eight years ago.
The Wizards battle the Bulls Friday at 8 p.m. on Comcast and ESPN, and the Cavaliers travel to Golden State in ESPN's nightcap. The Wizards visit Atlanta Sunday at 3 p.m.
On the college hardcourt, CBS has Kentucky's visit to Texas A&M Saturday at 1 p.m., and Duke takes on N.C. State Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Ohio State travels to Indiana Saturday at noon on ESPN, followed by Louisville against North Carolina.
Cincinnati clashes with Connecticut Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPN2. Baylor takes on TCU at 4 p.m., followed by Virginia-Notre Dame and Iowa State meeting West Virginia at 8 p.m.
The ACC network offers Georgia Tech-Wake Forest Saturday at noon.
Comcast has three contests Saturday, starting at noon with Clemson-Pittsburgh. Northeastern travels to Towson in the CAA at 2 p.m., followed by Boston College against Miami.
FoxSports1 brings Big East action Saturday, starting at noon with Georgetown-Providence before Seton Hall takes on Creighton at 2:15 p.m. It's off to the Pac-12 Sunday evening, with California taking on UCLA at 7:30 p.m. before Arizona heads to Oregon State at 10 p.m.
Southern Mississippi visits Texas-San Antonio Thursday at 8 p.m. on MASN. Rhode Island faces Duquesne Saturday at 1 p.m. and Coastal Carolina clashes with Liberty at 7 p.m.
On the women's hardcourt, top-ranked South Carolina plays Kentucky at 1 p.m. on ESPN2 and Maryland meets Minnesota at 3 p.m.
Duke duels with Florida State on Comcast Sunday at 1 p.m. Fordam faces St. Bonaventure on NBC Sports network Sunday at 4 p.m.
Butler plays St. John's on FoxSports1 Friday at 8 p.m. and Georgetown battles Villanova Sunday at 5 p.m.
Texas takes on Iowa State Saturday at noon on MASN2. Alabama-Birmingham plays Florida International Sunday at noon, followed by Kansas-Kansas State.
Oak Hill Academy takes on Hamilton of Tennessee Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN.
The Capitals host the Red Wings Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
NBC Sports network offers the Wild's trip to Chicago Sunday at 8 p.m
On the college ice, Dartmouth takes on New Hampshire on NBC Sports network Friday at 7:30 p.m. Western Michigan faces Notre Dame Saturday at 6 p.m., followed by Harvard-Yale at 8:15 p.m.
Warmup with some PGA golf from Hawaii, as NBC shows the Tournament of Champions Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Crystal Palace meets Tottenham Hotspur on NBC Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Sunderland takes on Liverpool at 7:45 a.m. on NBC Sports network, with Chelsea-Newcastle United at 10 a.m. Arsenal takes on Stoke City Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and Manchester United meets Southampton at 11 a.m.

Je suis Steyn

Mark Steyn reviews the Je suis Charlie campaign and finds it wanting.
The French establishment is co-opting these brave men's deaths for their own purposes, and for the most part the world's media are helping them get away with it. I spent much of Thursday on TV and radio, and my irritation with the dismal #JeSuisCharlie campaign increased as the day wore on. The self-flattering evasiveness of all those cartoonists around the world offering lame variations of "the pen is mightier than the sword" was especially feeble.
Will you do more than a hashtag and some concern?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fearing the call

The New York Times gives space to a retired police officer relating his daily routine when he worked.
When I was assigned to the Fugitive Division of the New York City Police Department, in the ’90s, I would get out of bed at 3 o’clock each morning, trying not to wake my wife. I would gently kiss her goodbye and leave for work. By 5 a.m. my team and I would be executing the first of several warrants assigned to us for the day. (Mornings are the best time to catch bad guys.) We were arresting the most wanted and dangerous criminals in the city, and the work was, to put it mildly, stressful. By 9 a.m. we would be back in our office processing our arrests, and I would call my wife without fail, in case she had overslept, and to let her know that I was O.K. and still in one piece.
Years later, during a tearful venting, my wife confided that those calls were seldom needed to wake her because she was usually lying in bed, tossing and turning and fearing that she would get another kind of call. She couldn’t rest until she had word that I was off the streets and safe for another day. I accepted the dangers of police work because I loved doing it and understood its value to society, but I sometimes regret having dragged her into the life with me.
The deaths of two police before Christmas hit really hard.
These brave men were shot without warning, sitting in their patrol car while looking for crime, something every cop on the street does every day. They were like two shepherds guarding their flock, and they were brutally murdered for it.
Can we get some understanding for our police?

What was your name?

Have you heard of Kirby Delauter?
Frederick County, Maryland has.
The Wall Street Journal has.
He's going to wish nobody has heard of him soon.

From my ballot to Cooperstown

With the latest additions to the Baseball Hall of Fame, SI looks at the next five possible classes.
Their list of possible candidates for 2018 include first baseman Jim Thome, who started with the Cleveland Indians and finished his career with the Orioles' playoff run in 2012.
Back in 1990, he was a third baseman in the Appalachian League.
I was one of the voters who chose him for the all-star team that year.
The first of his professional honors, with a possibility of the biggest one looming in three years.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Drink up

A new brewery had its debut in Fishersville Wednesday - Seven Arrows Brewing.

Enjoying that global warming?

Temperatures are in single digits in Augusta County.
The start of school has already been delayed by two hours due to expected brutally cold weather.
How does this match with the "hottest year ever" talk some say about 2014?
It's less than 90 days until baseball opening day.

How shall we then live?

The murderous attack in Paris Wednesday reminds us of evil in the world.
Do we hide?
Or shine the light?
Jesus is Lord of all.
That's what you need to know.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Golden Dome digger

The McDonnell story keeps getting stranger.
His wife once had his sister asked former Notre Dame quarterback Steve Beuerlein for money - 25 years ago when he was in the NFL.
“I am the one she’s talking about,” Beuerlein, now an analyst for CBS Sports, said in a telephone interview. “I did date Maureen,” he said, referring to his former Notre Dame classmate, the governor’s youngest sister.
“I remember very little about that whole episode,” Beuerlein said of the future first lady asking him for money. He said he “kind of laughed it off at the time.”
Trouble was brewing before Bob McDonnell even got close to the governor's office.

Building the Harbaugh legend looks at the impressive resume of Baltimore Ravens' coach John Harbaugh - and how it can grow.
The Ravens head to New England this weekend.
The Patriots have only lost four of 19 home playoff games in their history.
Two of those happened to the Ravens during the Harbaugh era.
Looking for number three Saturday evening.

She won't have to pay for an attorney

Powerline and Volokh highlight the bumbling of Frederick County, Maryland supervisor Kirby Delauter.
He went to Facebook to warn a reporter about using his name in a story.
And threatened that she would need a lawyer if she did again.
I think volunteers are lining up to assist her if needed.
Terry Headlee, The News-Post's managing editor, said the newspaper typically does not seek permission or authorization to publish a person's name or reference, except in the case of children.
"Kirby Delauter can certainly decline to comment on any story," Headlee said. "But to threaten to sue a reporter for publishing his name is so ridiculously stupid that I'm speechless. It's just a pointless, misguided attempt to intimidate and bully the press and shows an astonishing lack of understanding of the role of a public servant.”
Will he comment on the widespread notice to his bumble?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Young blood; I can't get you outta my mind

Instapundit goes to the blood bank in talking Republican candidates for 2016.
But nice guy or not, he's old blood. Leaving aside the matter of the Bush name — though neither his 2016 opponents nor his 2016 supporters will — he last ran for political office back in 2002. He's fresh only insofar as he's George W. Bush's younger brother.
Meanwhile, the GOP has a lot of actual fresh blood out there. Governors such as Scott Walker, Nikki Haley, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal or Susana Martinez, or senators such as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul or Marco Rubio, as well as some other possibilities such as Carly Fiorina or Ben Carson. Their freshness is accentuated when you look at the Democrats' tired standard-bearer, Hillary Clinton, and perhaps even more-so when you look at the Dems' alternatives to Hillary, such as Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren.
Sure, anybody appears to be young blood compared to Hillary Clinton.
But it's hard to look to the future when you're grabbing your leader from the past.

Theory vs. practice

The New York Times tells of troubles at Harvard - hikes in their insurance due to Obamacare.
Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the heart of the 378-year-old university, voted overwhelmingly in November to oppose changes that would require them and thousands of other Harvard employees to pay more for health care. The university says the increases are in part a result of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which many Harvard professors championed.
The faculty vote came too late to stop the cost increases from taking effect this month, and the anger on campus remains focused on questions that are agitating many workplaces: How should the burden of health costs be shared by employers and employees? If employees have to bear more of the cost, will they skimp on medically necessary care, curtail the use of less valuable services, or both?
Your theory sounds nice.
How does it work in practice?
When you have to pay more, not just the theoretical rich guys you want to soak.

Friday - party at Sullivan's house

The University of Virginia's ban on social activities by fraternities and sororities ends Friday.
The ban came about from a now-discredited Rolling Stone article.
What's the best way to celebrate the end of this ban?
A committee report?
or a party?
A party would help the healing process more, right?

Sooo long, everybody

It's a different day on local radio - no Sonny Randle sports update.
It's been a pleasure listening to him over the years.

Read this now

NRO's Kevin Williamson examines the tyranny of the "now" chant.
Now!” is the eternal cry of the infantile — “What does baby want? Diaper change! When does baby want it? Now!” — and Barack Obama, who has a keen appreciation of that fact, has made immediacy the hallmark of his style. Executive amnesty, minimum wage, climate change — these are all within the realm of the holy Now!, the sort of thing that cannot wait. (Wait for what? Democracy.)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The coming year in space

When my oldest son was in the third grade, I told him a spacecraft launched then would reach the Pluto the year he finishes high school.
Graduation will be in early June.
The craft is getting closer.

Facebook - keeping friends together

Growing up in Baltimore, many of my friends are Ravens' fans.
One guy from our high school really likes the Steelers.
We rib him and he ribs us through the season.
This morning, he even had a special greeting for us after the Ravens' win. I would share, but this is a family blog.
It's so nice to hear from old friends.

And you think your kid was tough

I love this book excerpt.
How did the schools and medications fail my monster child?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Obamacare before the death panel

2015 should provide significant problems for Obamacare.
Tevi identifies three reforms that conceivably could command enough support from Democrats to pass the Senate. They are: (1) repeal of the “medical-device tax,” (2) raising the definition of the full-time work week from 30 hours, so as to end the incentive for employers to cut employee hours below 30 per week, and (3) repeal of the so-called Cadillac tax on high-value employer health-care plans, which encourages employers to reduce the value of their health-care plans, lest they be subjected to the tax.
President Obama would be free, of course, to veto any of these changes, and might do so. But, as Tevi argues, the fact that these matters, and others like them, will be on the legislative agenda will keep Obamacare on the defensive. And the next president, from whichever party, will likely be far more open to significant alterations.

The thrill of "drill, baby, drill"

Across Virginia, prices for gas have dropped just below $2/gallon.
Some never thought we'd see that again.
They were wrong.
Michelle Bachmann thought it was possible.
She was right.
It is possible.

100 years of Frank

Pundette debuts a new website, where she will count down her 100 favorite Frank Sintara songs.
And she'll do it her way.

Facebook quote of the week

My New Year's resolutions are:
1. Stop making lists.
B. Be more consistent.
7. Learn to count.
Happy New Year everyone !
Be safe tonight!

Saturday song

The Band Perry has a new version of this song, but I'll go old school with Glen Campbell.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Sorrow in Bolt

Sad to see the passing of Little Jimmy Dickens.
I drove through his hometown of Bolt, West Virginia this afternoon on my way home from a family visit.
Thanks to Brad Paisley, his comic touch received video fans in recent years.

Resolution - eat together

Looking for something to change in your life in 2015?
How about eating more meals together?
The dinner table can act as a unifier, a place of community. Sharing a meal is an excuse to catch up and talk, one of the few times where people are happy to put aside their work and take time out of their day.
Start tonight, or this weekend at least.

Did Obama seek $2 gas?

Hitting the road on New Year's Eve, I found gas for $1.99/gallon.
Deep in the West Virginia coalfields, the price is down to $2.49/gallon.
I'd praise President Obama for this good news if it was a goal of his.
It wasn't.
Just two years ago, when up for reelection, Obama reminded Americans, “We can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices.”
Obama ridiculed the Republican idea of lowering gas to $2 a gallon through new oil-recovery techniques. “They’re already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas,” Obama mocked.  “I’ll save you the suspense: Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling.”
Who do we thank?
Oilmen, not the government, returned hundreds of billions of dollars to American consumers. They, not Ivy League experts and Wall Street grandees, kick-started the economy where federal subsidies had failed to. They, not the policies of the Obama administration or the rhetoric of Secretary of State John Kerry, weakened our enemies.
Almost everything Obama tried for six years in an effort to rev the economy — from near-zero interest rates and $1 trillion annual budget deficits to Obamacare and vast increases in entitlements — has failed. His foreign-policy stances of resets and leading from behind led to chaos and emboldened enemies.
Yet the United States economy is slowly recovering with cheap energy. Consumers have more money. Industries are returning to U.S. soil.
Whatever Obama messes up, the American people overcome.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Best picture to Sharknado

Dave Barry continues his tradition of recapping the outgoing year.
There's a few Derek Jeter references.
We are not making this item up.

Checking the climate for 2015

Powerline highlights the observations of Dr. Roy Spencer on the climate mongers' best of 2014.
And what do 97 percent of scientists think?
3. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists surveyed agreed that if the global warming issue (and their government funding) went away, their careers would end.

In praise of Radio Shack

When we moved to Charlottesville in 1995, my wife needed a laptop for her studies.
We got this at Radio Shack.

I fired it up this morning, and it still works.
Anybody have some 3 1/2" discs?

30 years and going strong

Bob Kirchman celebrates 30 years of his business.
Sometimes we did some incredible things! [2.] We raised some great children and they often sat drawing at a little table beside mine. We had our good times and our bad, but looking back there is no way I would have changed my mind. We are who we are as a family because of the way we chose to live. Watching my daughter with her daughter, I have no doubts.
To continued success, in business and life.

Weekend watchdog

2015 starts a new tradition - two bowl games where the winners advance to a National Championship contest.
And continues a recent tradition - outdoor ice hockey.
ESPN has the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, matching the four teams selected to appear in the first National Championship playoff. Second-seed Oregon plays defending national champion Florida State at 4:30 p.m., with top-ranked Alabama against Ohio State from New Orleans at 8:30 p.m.
The winners meet 11 days later at Cowboys Stadium to battle for the title.
Elsewhere in the bowl season, ESPN2 has Auburn-Wisconsin Thursday at noon. Baylor meets Michigan State at 12:30 p.m. in the Cotton Bowl on ESPN, and ABC carries the Citrus Bowl between Missouri and Michigan.
Friday brings four bowl games on ESPN, starting at noon with Houston-Pittsburgh. Iowa tangles with Tennessee in Jacksonsville at 3:20 p.m., followed by Kansas State playing UCLA at the Alamo Bowl and Washington facing Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl.
East Carolina battles Florida Saturday at noon in Birmingham, while you can fire up your browser to see Toledo and Arkansas State Sunday at 9 p.m.
Washington gets to host outdoor ice hockey this New Year's Day, with the Capitals meeting the Blackhawks at 1 p.m. on NBC. The Capitals won their first New Year's contest at rainy Pittsburgh four years ago while Chicago lost the second Classic at Wrigley Field in 2009.
The Capitals head back indoors Sunday, playing Florida at 3 p.m. on Comcast. The Blackhawks take on Dallas on NBC Sports network Sunday at 8 p.m.
The NFL postseason starts Saturday, with ESPN getting a contest Saturday at 4:30 p.m. between the Cardinals and NFC South champion Carolina. NBC gets the battle between the Ravens and Steelers at 8:15 p.m.
Sunday, the Bengals visit Indianapolis at 1 p.m. and the Cowboys take on the Lions at 4:30 p.m. on Fox.
Among the high school stars, NBC shows the Army All-American Bowl Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Wizards visit Oklahoma City Friday at 8 p.m. on Comcast and San Antonio Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
CBS brings college hoops action Saturday at 2 p.m., with Connecticut against Florida. UNLV meets Kansas Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
Third-ranked Virginia faces Miami Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2, after Ohio State-Illinois at 3:30 p.m. The day starts at 11 a.m. with SMU against Cincinnati, and it's Big Ten play between Penn State and Rutgers at 7:30 p.m. Gonzaga visits Portland at 9:30 p.m.
Virginia Tech hosts Syracuse Saturday at noon on Comcast, followed by College of Charleston against William & Mary and Boston College taking on Duke at 4 p.m.
UCLA meets Colorado on FoxSports1 Friday at 10 p.m. Big East play heats up Saturday, with Villanova-Seton Hall at noon and Xavier against DePaul at 2 p.m. before Creighton goes to Georgetown at 4:30 p.m. Arizona meets Arizona State Sunday at 7 p.m.
North Carolina State meets Pittsburgh on the ACC network Saturday at noon.
NBC Sports network offers three games Saturday, as Duquesne duels with Dayton at 1 p.m. Rhode Island faces St. Louis at 3 p.m. followed by Richmond-Davidson.
Fairfield faces Siena on MASN Friday at 7 p.m. There's an Atlantic 10 contest between St. Bonaventure and Massachusetts Saturday at 2 p.m. and Liberty hosts Presbyterian at 7 p.m. C-USA takes the stage Sunday, with Old-Dominion-Charlotte at 1 p.m. followed by UTEP against Rice.
MASN2 has UTEP against North Texas Friday at 8 p.m. Marquette meets Providence Saturday at 2 p.m., followed by West Virginia-TCU and Xavier battling DePaul. Texas-San Antonio tangles with North Texas Sunday at 3 p.m.
On the women's hardcourt, Maryland meets Nebraska in a Big Ten contest on CBS Saturday at 4 p.m.
Oklahoma State visits Baylor Saturday at noon on MASN2, and TCU takes on Texas Tech Sunday at 5 p.m.
Comcast offers Notre Dame and Syracuse Sunday at 1 p.m. while George Mason meets St. Louis Sunday at 2 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
Georgetown plays Marquette on FoxSports1 Friday at 7:30 p.m., and West Virginia heads to Oklahoma Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
NBC Sports network starts 2015 with Premier League play. Stoke City plays Manchester United at 7:45 a.m., and Tottenham Hotspur clashes with Chelsea at 12:30 p.m.
In the FA Cup, Tranmere Rovers clash with Swansea City on FoxSports1 Saturday at 10 a.m. There's three games Sunday, starting at 8 a.m. with Crystal Palace against Dover Athletic. Manchester United meets Yeovil Town before Hull City-Arsenal at 1:30 p.m.
On the college ice, Union meets Boston University Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports network.