December 2 –


Republicans are going to face an even more daunting choice over the next two years.
    The reality is that the Republican majority in the House of Representatives is the only obstacle to Obama imposing the most left-wing government policies in the history of the nation. That pertains if, and only if, that majority stonewalls his extremism.
    The choice and its resolution depend upon the confidence of a huge majority of those Republican members of the House that by 2014 most voters will see the folly of Obama policies and maintain or expand that Republican majority; perhaps even return control of the Senate.
    One thing certain: the party cannot afford more exercises in stupidity such as nominating the sort of candidates who echo the idiocy of the two fools in Missouri and Indiana who went wandering off into the wilderness of incoherent rhetoric about the relationship between rape, pregnancy and abortion. Those two cost the Republicans two easily winnable Senate seats. Such nonsense must be avoided.

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Mark Steyn takes a clear-eyed look at the “fiscal cliff” …

As America hangs by its fingernails wiggling its toesies over the vertiginous plummet to oblivion, what can save her now? An Even More Super Committee? A bipartisan agreement in which Republicans agree to cave and Democrats agree not to laugh at them too much?
The problem facing the United States government is that it spends over a trillion dollars a year that it doesn’t have. With the best will in the world, you can’t interpret the election result as a spectacular victory for less spending. A few months ago, I dined with a (pardon my English) French intellectual who chortled to me, 'Americans love Big Government as much as Europeans. The only difference is that Americans refuse to admit it.'”
My Gallic charmer is on to something. According to the most recent statistics: government expenditures per person in France, $18,866.00; in the United States, $19,266.00.
Generally speaking, functioning societies make good-faith efforts to raise what they spend, subject to fluctuations in economic fortune: Government spending in Australia is 33.1 percent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product – the value of all goods and services produced within a year), and tax revenues are 27.1 percent. Government spending in the United States is 42.2 percent (of GDP), but revenues are 24 percent — the widest spending/taxing gulf in any major economy.”
    Gee … a cynical person (like me) might conclude that America has become a nation dominated by self-deluding deadbeats.

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Given that a leftist government like our own can never resist the temptation to get its grubby mitts on any possible source of “revenue,” can anyone doubt the following?

    It's only a matter of time until liberal Democrats find a way to tax not only internet purchases, but use of the web itself, including e-mails and web-browsing. You WILL pay, the likely rationale being something like, “After all, a postage stamp costs 45 cents, so paying a nickel or dime to send an e-mail is still a bargain, etc., etc.” Count on it . They will try it.

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Democrats, hypocrites as always, find it unacceptable for Republicans to oppose Susan Rice's possible nomination to Secretary of State on grounds of devious incompetence. However, they had no problem with calling Condoleezza Rice George Bush's “house nigga.”

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A life in radio ... and travel (cont.) ...
     There is a century-old novel, much later made into a movie, called "Death in Venice." I only know the title; never read the book or saw the film. But I had the experience. Almost.
     I was Operations Manager at WGBS in Miami. It was during a key rating period (live-or-die time in broadcasting) and I was putting in long days and weeks at the station. Meantime, back in Chicago our travel agency was organizing a tour that involved a first stop in Venice. Since I was the well-known "face" of the agency, I was to meet the group in Venice and join them for part of the European odyssey.
     I had mentioned the forthcoming trip to friends in Miami, one of whom knew a teacher who had a friend, a fellow teacher, in Venice. Somehow it was arranged that I would meet the Venetian lady on my first evening in that magical place and pick up some information unavailable to most tourists; information that would be useful for entertaining my clients in greater depth among the labyrinthine streets of the city.
     After a long, long day at work in Miami, I flew to New York, changed planes, flew overnight to Paris and connected there to a Venice flight. I'd barely caught a nap when it was time to take the group on a morning boat-trip out to the glass-blowing shops on Murano Island in the Venetian lagoon.
     While watching the artisans at work, I suddenly felt crushing pain in my chest and collapsed. When I awakened, I was in a totally dark room; no light anywhere. My first though was, "I'm dead." While pondering the possibilities of my present location, grateful there was no intense heat, a door opened and a small person, barely visible, muttered something in Italian -- and left.
     Shortly thereafter the door opened again, a man entered and turned on the lights. He was a doctor who informed me I'd been brought to this canal-side hospital in a water ambulance. In passable English he told me I had not, contrary to my own suspicions, had a heart attack. He said I was suffering from the most severe exhaustion he had ever seen in a human being. He'd shot me up with vitamins and by now I did, in fact, feel quite well. He told me I could leave. A nurse -- the nun who had entered earlier -- would get a water-taxi to take me back to my hotel near the Doge's Palace.
     By the time I arrived at the Hotel Londra Palace my group had gone to a restaurant for a prearranged dinner. I understand the evening went well with no diminished appetites, although there were a few toasts to "Poor Lee ... he died so young."
     Meantime, back at the hotel, the Italian teacher called me from the lobby and, after I assured her that I was quite well despite the events of the day, she insisted on showing me "her" Venice; areas not on the beaten tourist paths.
     We returned to the hotel about 11PM and were having a nightcap in the lobby bar when my tourists come trooping in after their dinner. They were much surprised to see the ghost of their tour leader enjoying the company of a (yes, she was attractive) lady.
  • A vital footnote: On our stroll around Venice, the glass-blowing capital of the world, the Venetian lady suggested we stop at a small shop owned by a friend of hers, where she insisted on buying me a small souvenir. I have it to this day, despite Susan's (pretended?) annoyance at some imagined symbolism and despite my protestations of total innocence.
         After all, only a person suspicious to the point of paranoia would read anything questionable into a gift of a small glass ... rabbit.
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Chris Matthews, MSNBC's reincarnation of Karl Marx, had an on-air gas attack and was burping. At least he said it was burping.

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Alex Smith of the 49'ers has reasonable grounds to tell Coach Jim Harbaugh and the management, “Play me or trade me.”

Kaepernick has the hot hand and perhaps that does justify his promotion to #1 QB, but Smith has put together a sterling record and deserves to be a starter – somewhere.
    Let's see … the Jets are facing a total rebuild, doubtless under a new coach. As are the Eagles … maybe the Dallas Cowgirls ...
    Possibilities abound.

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Marjie contributes a seasonal tidbit …

    Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly

    “In honor of this holy season' Saint Peter said, 'You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven.”
    The Englishman fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. “It's a candle,” he said.
    “You may pass through the pearly gates,” Saint Peter said. 
    The Scotsman reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, “They're bells.”
    Saint Peter said, “You may pass through the pearly gates.”
    The Irishman started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of womens' panties.
    St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, “And just what do those symbolize?”
    The paddy replied, “These are Carol's.”

    And So The Christmas Season Begins......

Lee Rodgers"...and now, if you'll excuse me..."