Thanks to Vox for the cool graphic

Arizona's First Political Blog

E-mail Anonymous Mike at

By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Thursday, January 28, 2010
The Magic of Greg Patterson

At first I misunderstood this post by Mr. Patterson until I realized his intention.

First, I have been reading Patterson's Espresso Pundit for years and when it come to readership to say he dwarfs mine is an understatement. So I have alot of respect for him. He's a guy who has taken on the the hubris and over-sized egos in the dead-tree press and Democratic Party and helped bring them down to size. He constantly brings home the pertinent facts of how the traditional media is a dying industry.

So what to make of this post in which trumpets the fact that he was named one of the "10 Most Influential Arizonans of the Decade" by the Arizona Capitol Times? A little hypocritical self-aggrandizing for being named in the dead-tree press? At first I thought fame and fortune had led our fearless pundit astray.

It took me a minute to realize that much like all the times he mentions when he is going to be on TV that he is actually making fun of his popularity in the very media he rakes over the coals and that he continues to be the outsider fighting against the entrenched dinosaurs of the information society. You can tell he agonizes whether it would be immodest, a characteristic that is as distant from him as monogamy is to Tiger Woods, on whether he should even write about this recognition.

Well played sir, well-played. Jonathan Swift would be proud.

The Magic of Steady Eddie P

A few days ago I received a newsletter from my Congressman, Ed Pastor.

Said newsletter starts off with the header "District Projects Funded", proceeds to a front-page article entitled "Federal Funds Secured...", and then just goes from there. Page after page of headlines such as ....

"Phoenix and Glendale crime-fighting enhanced with federal funding boost...."

"$150,000 for Guadalupe seniors' transport..."

"Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS receives $300K for community project...."

Now you might ask why is the federal taxpayer funding projects that are so local nature; isn't that the duty of the local citizenry to cough up the dough? Yet that is how Mr. Pastor has built a two decade long career in Washington, by bringing home federal dollars to his district. Of course by the same token, taxpayers in his district are funding community centers, local police, and senior bus trips in places like Iowa and Arkansas so fair is fair.

We ship our tax dollars to Washington so we could then feel grateful when our elected officials manage to bring some of that money back home. Why not just directly fund the local and state government to implement those projects and skip the middle man? Because then people like Pastor would be out of a job.

It's sort of like going for the evening, being forced to use the valet service to park you car and then you are expected to tip the valet guy for doing something you would prefer to do yourself.

Other items of interest from Mr. Pastor's letter....

1) Phoenix is receiving $ million for "continued environmental and community outreach efforts required by the FTA related to a(n) Light Rail Corridor Extension." It's nice to secure federal money to pay for something mandated by the federal government in order to build a project that would have had a chance in hell of being built without federal money.

2) Mr. Pastor takes credit for supporting such programs as Cash for Clunkers, the American Clean Energy and Security Act ("Cap and Trade"), as well as "... to continue Congress' work to... lower the deficit." Seriously.

3) Not a peep about health care. When you are so secure in your district that you can win by 30 points and you don't say a word about health care, and this was probably was probably pre-Scott brown, well you know where things are going.

Sunday, January 24, 2010
You Just Cannot Find Good Zombie Cheerleaders These Days....

.... even in Chandler.

El Gringo is back

The Decline of Western Civilization- Part 2

Instant replay.

Remember when you played sports as a kid, maybe it was for the school or some league or maybe it was just down the street with the other kids? There would be some blown call by whatever schlub was refereeing the game, perhaps they missed a foul or thought that past the given time of the afternoon that every pitch in the dirt was a strike. You would get mad, go back to the bench and what would your coach or team captain say?

"Suck it up, it's part of the game."

So why the growing fascination with instant replay in all sports at the college and professional level? Why the quixotic quest for the perfect call, to erase the fallible effect of human judgment? Seems kind of silly doesn't it? In baseball, it's limited to home runs but with the precedent set of getting the call right why not players involving runners on the base paths? In college football every play is under review by officials. At least the NFL for the most part throws an element of gamesmanship into the mix by requiring the coach to request a review, but even in that league all plays in the last few minutes of each half are automatically reviewed by the officials

I say Bah.

As a kid you learned fast that life wasn't fair and that the guy behind the plate or in the zebra shirt wasn't some sort of omniscient, let alone benevolent, god. You learned that Fate was capricious, that despite your best efforts that a stroke of bad luck could cost you the game.

You learned to play on through the injustice like a man and just like that scene in Deadwood, you learned that life was full of misfortune and that sometimes you got to dish it back.

There's no instant replay in life and there should be none in sports.

Thursday, January 21, 2010
One Year of Obama

In honor of the first anniversary of Obama's inauguration I was going to write about the major events of the past year and how it was all interconnected but then I realized that was going into too much detail so I decided on this....

Until Obama's inauguration, most people didn't know what sort of White House we were going to get; hope and change and all of all that meant you read into him what you wanted. Some thought we would get a lurch to the left in terms of policy while others thought that we would get a form of technocratic competency.

Instead we got none.

As I wrote yesterday, the main substantive achievements of the Obama Administration have been to jack up the deficit and intensify the war in Afghanistan, not exactly something either the competence or leftist camps would want. The major policy goals of the Administration, from economic growth to the environment to health care remained unfulfilled. That is despite large majorities in the House and Senate.

To top it, when Obama took office he had an incredible opportunity to not only set the agenda in terms of goals but also in terms of the policy outlines needed to achieve them. However from the outset he outsourced substance of those policies to Congress which is dominated by old leftist warhorses from the last time the Democrats ran Congress... come on does Nancy Pelosi, Harry Waxman, or Barney Frank scream hope and change and a post-partisan America?

Yet those are the people, not the Obama Administration, who wrote the initial substance to health care, cap and trade, and the economic stimulus. Obama came into office with a big-time mandate for change and instead did little but act as a salesman for whatever sausage churned out by Congress.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
If You Start to Take Vienna....

Obama's dropping poll numbers might be getting ink (or pixels or electrons) in the media but I think the reasons for that focus are misplaced. There's nothing inherently wrong with dropping poll numbers in your first year if you take on alot of tough issues and make headway; political capital exists to be spent and there is no time to spend it like your first year in office.

What should be analyzed is that Obama's numbers have dropped like a rock and he has accomplished.... what again?

Okay he got the stimulus passed and he boosted domestic spending and we all know how hard it is to get Congress, especially a Democratic-led Congress, to spend money being the tightwads that they are but then what after that?

Cap and trade, his signature environmental and energy legislation? Going nowhere in the Senate.

Health care? Equally dead.

Guantanamo Bay? Still open.

Education? If there was any legislation stemming from all that high fallutin' rhetoric in last year's State of the Union Address I haven't seen it.

Enhancing our image in the world? Well if that means effective diplomacy ask Russia, Iran, and China if the Obama's universal "reset button" has made them more amenable to us?

On the other hand Iraq seems to be doing rather well, good job Mr. President.

Oh that stimulus money and all the domestic spending? That will drive the federal debt to levels that make George W. look like a fiscal hawk? Wasn't that supposed to stimulate the economy? So I guess that didn't work either.

When you spend political capital, you should get a result either in increased poll numbers or in enacted policies. Given that just about every explicit policy goal that Obama has set out to accomplish, with the exception for now being prosecuting the war in Afghanistan, has not been met.... Obama has done the equivalent of liquidating the family assets and using the resulting financial capital to buy beer and Twinkies.

If you are going to wreck your Administration to pursue unpopular policy goals, then at least get your goals met.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
What Brown Can Do For You

Some thoughts on Brown's big win in Massachusetts...

1) How long will it take for people start to hollering that Brown is a RINO or some sort of notion that he is a squish like Snowe or Collins? I'm guessing about 12 months, after the Democratic debacle this November and power shifts more from the Ben Nelsons and Mary Landrieus of the world to Republican moderates like Brown and Snowe. Just keep in mind people Brown was probably the most conserative Republican who could have won tonight.

2) Relating to the point above.... keep in mind that this election was held not only during a time of economic hard times with growing disatifaction with the Democrats and Obama but also with one of the worst candidates in memory. Her lackadaiscal campaign style, verbal gaffes such as the Curt Schilling quote, and actions like attending the fund raiser in Washington with health industry representatives.... and it was only a 7 point win. Bluest of the blue states and the Democrats lost.

3) What happens to health care overhaul? I think regardless of what happened tonight, it was dead for the simple fact that the race to pick the elected successor to Ted Kennedy, to whom this legislation was so near and dear and in this bluest of states, was so close. I've been hearing alot of posturing by Democrats and how they would force through the legislation regardless bu that's nonsense because the election showed any Democrat who might be wavering that it's a far bigger electoral danger to vote for health care than against.

Let's say Brown lost and the Democrats tried some sort of conference maneuver meaning votes in both the Senate and House. I think the Democrats not fall below what they need in the Senate and House as those who are running in 2010 and facing tough elections bail on the issue. Now I think given that a number of House Democrats were allowed to vote against health care in order to build street cred in their competitive districts, I think you would need about 25 defections. However if your choice is between angering Nancy Pelosi or having to get a real job after November which would you pick?

The same legislative vote counting logic holds true with a Brown win except you have one less vote in the Senate. Say they go with a Senate vote before Brown takes his seat, if that is even possible; I think the Democrats get the worst of both worlds by being exposed as the crassest of opportunists and would still suffer enough defections in the House and Senate to lose anyway. If there's anything worse than being corrupt, it's being corrupt and incompetent.

Too much analysis has been fixated on how could the Democrats otherwise find that 60th Senate vote if Brown won instead of trying to figure out how many votes they would lose in both houses of Congress. We're about to see if the Congressional Democrats can withstand the urge to panic and that's when the real rout for November will begin

Thursday, January 14, 2010
The Lujanesque Strategy of Arizona Democrats

I was discussing yesterday's post with a buddy of mine who asked if I was implying that Rep. Lujan was an idiot given my mocking of his op-ed. I replied not at all, that given the format of that day's op-ed page, with pieces by each party leader of the 2 chambers in the Legislature, that Lujan had to write something. It's just like with Sherlock Holmes who illuminated the fact that the dog didn't bark, I found his lack of substance to be enlightening.

Look the State of Arizona is in the fiscal crapper. If I went back two years, I'm sure I could dig up JLBC analysis that by now would predict we would be bouncing back revenue-wise.... but of course we aren't. The rainy day fund is long gone, funds have been swept, agency budgets have chopped been repeatedly chopped, and we burn through hundreds of millions in lines of credit faster than the ASU football team could win games.

Also for the past 12 months, both political branches of government have been run by the Republicans. Forget the fact, and the media largely has, that through inaction by Napolitano that the resulting fiscal mess was even worse than it should have been. The Republicans now own the problem and are expected to fix it and with all the tricks used up we're down to some politically deadly combination of spending cuts and tax increases.

You think the minority party in the Legislature wants to touch that pile of crap with a 10-foot pole? Heck no, that's the luxury of being in the political minority; you can attack targets of opportunity without the same sense of responsibility. Back during Napolitano's first term, the Democrats could achieve their political objectives by using her veto pen as a backstop and then lure over enough moderate Republicans to create ad hoc majorities on given issues. Now they can sit back and let the Republican fiscal initiatives founder on fissures within the GOP caucus.

The political up-side to this is not only do the Democrats remain relatively untainted but by making Governor Brewer and the other Republicans look incompetent, they pave the way for a Governor Goddard come November. Don't think so? Then why haven't the Democrats voted for the sales tax referral?

The down-side of this strategy is by sitting on the side-lines, Arizona cotinues to slide toward fiscal ruin but that's the Republicans fault.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
We'll Call It "Lujanesque"

I haven't done a proper fisking since the days of Jonny Talton but after reading this op-ed piece by Arizona House Minority Leader David Lujan I couldn't resist. It's nice to know when the state is facing a fiscal crisis of epic proportions in an election year that Arizona Democrats stand tall in the saddle.

Let's begin.

Arizonans watched Republican lawmakers and the governor fail last year to solve one of the biggest budget deficits in history - and they continue to take our state down the wrong track.

Wow. There's so much to pick apart here that I'll have to leave some things like "wrong track" for another time but allow me to point out the two obvious points. First when Mr. Lujan says, "one of the biggest budget deficits in history" he means "biggest STATE budget deficits in ARIZONA history" because he needs to distinguish it from the "biggest NATIONAL budget deficits in AMERICAN history" that we see was created by Democratic lawmakers and the President in Washington .

Second, Governor Brewer came into office when again? Oh that's right January, more than half-way through the fiscal year. So she inherited one of the largest STATE budgets in ARIZONA history from who again? Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano that's who.

Janet spent the previous 18 months ignoring the mounting deficits and then when her bag of tricks was just about to run empty, she quit and took off for Washington leaving the mess for someone else to clean up and take the blame.

So for Janet Napolitano the system worked.

It's not surprising Arizonans are aggravated with the Republican majority of lawmakers and their wrong priorities, driving our state into more debt, eagerly cutting education and jobs and harming middle-class families across our state.

"Eagerly cutting education...." Yes it's too bad that the Republican lawmakers (women too!) don't each grow Snidely Whiplash mustaches and cackle as they tie education, jobs, and middle-class families to the tracks in front of the oncoming locomotive.

House Speaker Kirk Adams.... super villain!

We begin 2010 with more than $3 billion in the red because Republicans and Gov. Jan Brewer refused to employ common-sense solutions.

Wow only common-sense solutions stand between us and fiscal nirvana? I thought we were $3 billion in the hole because of a historic collapse in the housing market and the fact that revenue has been dropping for 18 months after then Governor Napolitano said the downturn will be short-lived.

Anyway go on Rep. Lujan! What do we need to do to the close the second largest budget deficit in the country? What pearls of common-sense wisdom will you throw in front of the Republican swine?

It makes no sense that country-club memberships and spa treatments aren't subject to sales tax, while middle-class families pay sales tax on clothes and school supplies. Closing loopholes are //is a smart budget-balancing solution that Republicans refuse to use.

So taxing country-club memberships and spa treatments is your answer?

Republicans also cut funding to the Department of Revenue, resulting in cuts to staff who go after tax cheats. Arizona now is losing $220 million in collections and is set to lose a projected $300 million more.

I love how people use numbers to support their own ill-conceived beliefs, 73% of all people see right through that practice.

Two quick points for Rep. Lujan.... first how do you come up with the figure $220 million lost in tax collections? Second, how much of that money do you honestly hope to get back even under the best of circumstances? Even your sainted Janet Napolitano, she who misunderestimated the amount of money we could generate off photo radar cameras by a multiple of 3, thought that hiring 112 more Revenue employees to go after tax cheats wouldn't generate more than $50 million or so.

Maybe the trick is to position those 112 employees outside of country clubs and spas.

Currently, big corporations receive thousands of dollars in accounting credits for fling their taxes, while most middle-class families pay an accountant to do their taxes. Eliminating this tax loophole would save the state millions.

How do you get from "big corporations receive thousands of dollars" to "save the state millions"? Is this some sort of New Democrat math? Do you mean big corporations EACH receive thousands of dollars when they "fling" their taxes?

Actually most middle-class families probably aren't paying for a CPA per se but here's a wacky idea that Rep. Lujan could propose which would save Arizona taxpayers millions...

Simplify the tax code so Arizonans don't have to pay millions to accountants or tax preparers to do their taxes. It irks me that the government writes the tax code in such a way that we citizens often have to pay experts to figure out how much we need need to pay in taxes or how much of that interest-free loan that make to the government every other week (called withholding) we can get back in terms of a refund.

However, I get the feeling for Rep. Lujan it's not so much about saving taxpayers money as it is for everyone to pay their fair share.

The budget is too big to solve from one side of the aisle, and if Republicans would work in a bipartisan way, we could balance the budget without doing irreparable harm to Arizona's future.

If the Republicans would work in a bipartisan way in the same way the Democrats haven't voted for the sales tax referral.... or come up with any ideas outside of taxing spa treatments

Solving the budget and protecting middle-class families and kids requires making cuts to wasteful non-essential services, using federal stimulus dollars, closing tax loopholes and implementing tough immigration reform.
But Republican lawmakers, who have been in office for too long, and Brewer, refuse to meet us halfway. It's time to walk down the middle of the road toward a stronger Arizona

All I have heard the past 12 months or so from House Democrats is that there is no more budget fat left to cut and that we are now cutting into muscle or bone or some sort of ligament tissue. So where's that list of non-essential services?

Also the first thing I think of when I see the terms "saving the budget" and "tough immigration reform" in the same sentence is cutting services to illegal immigrants coupled with deportation and the day I see that proposed by an Arizona Democrat is the when I see pigs fly through blizzard conditions in Hell. I guess Rep. Lujan cannot be any more specific on this in the same way he is regarding taxing spa treatments and country club memberships.

Monday, January 11, 2010
The Difference Between Memorable and Tragic

Of all the aphorisms I have heard, one of my favorite is "the difference between comedy and tragedy is often time and distance."

Well people are saying that the Cardinals 51-45 OT playoff win is "memorable" but given that the Cards yacked up leads of 17 and 21 points I would say the difference between memorable and tragic is an uncalled face-mask penalty.

Sunday, January 10, 2010
The Wisdom of Admiral Ackbar

After drinking beers with fellow bloggers yesterday, I have come to the conclusion that the Republicans taking control of Congress after the 2010 mid-terms would be a catastrophic mistake; on the surface it looks like a good idea but you peer a little deeper in you realize it's a trap.

The mistake of 1995 for the Congressional Republicans was that they generated the perfect storm of the momentum of a historic win, an ambitious agenda, and a White House held by a president who badly needed a foil to position himself against. Under the best of circumstances, it's hard enough to govern the country from the legislature and 1995 was hardly the best of circumstances. You know the rest; Newt and the Gang tried to pick a fight with Clinton, Willy Jeff used them to triangulate against, and the result in 1996 was cakewalk for Clinton-Gore.

So in a perfect world, where your exact wishes could come true, here's what the Republicans should wish for this November.

1) Pick up seats in the House and Senate, say get to 47 or so in the Senate and maybe 200 or so in the House.

2) Back off in Nevada, let Harry Reid win.

3) Find some races in vulnerable blue strongholds and pick them off, Massachusetts would have been perfect if it was in November.... but 1 Senate victory in Massachusetts is worth 3 or 4 House pick ups in the South.

The reason for these 3 wishes is for solid policy reasons as well as tatical politics.

The real prize for the Republicans is 2012, not 2010. Remember the great mistake of 1995 when Newt and the Boys were ascribed responsibility without the commensurate authority. It would be close to impossible for the Republicans to pick-up a large enough majority in 2010 to be able to effect the kind of conserative agenda they want, but if they gain organizational control of Congress even by the slenderest of margins they provide a public foil that Obama can work against.

I mean having responsibility but no authority is no way to go through life.

Second, Harry Reid as the Senate Majority Leader is the gift that keeps on giving for Republicans. He hits that rare trifecta of looking ineffective, corrupt, and a chronic victim of foot-in-mouth disease. The man makes Bill Frist look a genius. Is it really worth giving up all of that for a Republican senator from Nevada?

Third, I'm guessing that if you pick up enough Republican seats in the House that Pelosi's iron grip on her caucus is going to start cracking. Committee assignments and other carrot/stick techniques work great for a Speaker if it looks like you are going to run the House for the next decade but they start to look less effective if your members are worried about saving their own electoral skin. If the Republicans can cut the Democrats' margin down enough to "put the skeer" in them perhaps they can pick up a working majority on key issues.

Just like a team that starts the season with a big winning streak, you can peak early. Let's be cool about things as there is still a long way to go.

Saturday, January 9, 2010
Zombie Kennedy

Way back in 2000, then Senator John Ashcroft lost his bid for re-election to the deceased Mel Carnahan. Rather than fight his loss on the solid legal basis that you cannot have a corpse win an election, Ashcroft conceded the race based on the principle that you cannot legitimately hold an office if you get less votes than a corpse.

This is well-known in my family as the Political Law of Corpse Legitimacy with my brother later adding the famous "Cook County Exception."

So what to make of this in the tightening senatorial race in Massachusetts?

The first is simple, if controversial: Get it through between the time the polls close and the new senator is sworn in.

Sen. Paul Kirk, currently in the seat, told reporters today he would vote for a health care bill even if Massachusetts voters elect Brown.

“Absolutely,” Kirk said, according to the State House News Service, when asked if he’d vote for the bill even if Brown captures the seat. “It would be my responsibility as United States senator, representing the people and understanding Sen. Kennedy’s agenda and the rest of it."

There are three things that you need to know about using the words "senator" and "Paul Kirk" in the same sentence.

1) Paul Kirk was appointed to fill Kennedy's seat after the Senator's death last year.

2) Kirk was appointed because he was a long-time Kennedy aide who would act as basically Kennedy's zombie surrogate

3) Kirk was only able to be appointed because the Massachusetts legislature suddenly changed the law in order to fill the tactical needs of the Democrats regarding health care legislation, inserting an appointee instead of keeping the seat open for a popularly elected official.

In short Kirk is a place-holder with no political legitimacy of his own, in fact he is in Roland Burris' class when it come to legitimacy given that he holds his seat based on discredited political shenanigans. Ted Kennedy might have been a giant of Massachusetts politics but the mojo died with the man.... we know Ted Kennedy, we followed Ted Kennedy, and Paul Kirk is no Ted Kennedy.

I think it's a pretty fair assumption that if the Republican nominee wins the Massachusetts Senate seat in the next 2 weeks, it will be because of opposition to the health care overhaul bill. So where does Kirk get off believing he has the legitimacy to vote for that same bill in between the time of the election and the Republican being sworn in? Because he happened to hold the seat at the time based on a corrupt deal?

Corrupt deal? Yep... because otherwise why wouldn't the Democrats wait until the special election was held and a properly elected senator with a fresh mandate was elected to fill Kennedy's seat before a final vote on the bill? Because at the time the Massachusetts law was changed, the Democrats were hell-bent on ramming through on partisan lines the biggest piece legislation in decades and they felt it was safer to rely on a political appointee rather than chance the electorate.

So an appointee acting as a surrogate for a corpse, holding office based on a corrupt deal, just said that he would contradict the will of the voters before his duly-elected successor could take office. If the Republican Scott Brown does win in Massachusetts, I would get him down to Washington the very next day with an eviction notice for Paul Kirk and if I were the Republicans I would use Zombie Kennedy as the symbol of the corrupt Democrats for the 2010 mid-term elections.

Friday, January 8, 2010
The Decline of Civilization, Part 1 – The College Bowl System

Here we are ¼ of the way through January and what do I notice on the TV at the gym last night?

College football.

My kids are amazed (or just bored to tears and hoping my stories will lead to ice cream if they feign interest) when I tell them how the bowl system worked when I was their age.

First in the old days there were fewer bowls so getting invited to one meant something; unlike today where college football is more akin to the NBA and NHL in that more than half the teams get to go to some form of post-season. Nothing watching Wyoming play in front of less than 25,000 at the “New Mexico Bowl” and needing double OT to avoid having their record fall below .500.

Hey look at the bright side Wyoming fans; you dug deep and beat the likes of Florida Atlantic and Weber State to just get those 6 wins you needed to be bowl-eligible. Unlike say those losers at Michigan in 1972 which lost only 1 game all season, but in those days you had to win the Big 10 title to even go to a bowl and since that 1 loss was to Ohio State.... well too bad so sad Big Blue, you stayed home.

Second there was a rough ordering to the quality of bowls in that the closer the bowl game was to New Year's Day, the better it was. You started off with your Independence and Blue Bonnet Bowls in December, then your Sun and Holidays Bowls toward the end of the month, and then early New Year's Day you had the Gator Bowl until you finally got down to the real meaty bowls played by conference champions like the Cotton, Rose, Orange, and Sugar. In later years you had some party crashers with bowls that managed to squeak in and play early in the day like the Fiesta and Florida Citrus but those were still quality games.

Family tradition would dictate that my mother would kick my brother and me out of the house by half-time of the Cotton Bowl for an hour of exercise in the yard; otherwise we would be in front of the TV for a good 12 hours that day. Family tradition also dictated that this one hour of exercise would be filled with a rousing game of football; they still talk about my impersonation of Earl Campbell that led to my brother getting his face split open and the resulting trip to the hospital for stitches.

Anyway in regard to rough ordering of bowls.... so what we were they playing the other night, nearly a week past the Rose and Sugar Bowls and long past when your HOA requires you to take down your Christmas lights? The GMAC Bowl featuring Troy State and Central Michigan. That game was the warm-up for the national championship?

I know it's all about money, both in terms of the number of bowl games and stretching them out to fill ESPN's television schedules but are we really better off as a country for giving a mediocrity like Wyoming or Texas A&M a bowl payout or allowing traditions like the “New Mexico Bowl”to exist? Couldn't Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank satisfy their nefarious urge to over-regulate the economy by instead stepping in and stopping this nonsense.... okay maybe not Nancy and Barney but you get the idea.

At the rate things are deteriorating, one day in the distant future my boys will be telling their children about the good old days of the “St. Petersburg Bowl by Beef 'O' Brady” and when the bowl season ended before pitchers and catchers reported for Spring Training

Thursday, January 7, 2010
On the 13th Day of Christmas

Okay I'm back, it's only been what? 9 months? Yeah I know I have taken leaves of absences before but this one was a doozy and it wasn't like you guys were screaming for me to start writing again so well.... hey.

Where in the heck was I all this time?

Well I had some pressing personal business to take care of and time just flies. Yeah some people may use the term “pressing personal business” as an euphemism for “major prostrate surgery” but not me.

However despite the lack of major surgery, the past 9 months was a pretty ghastly experience that only daily doses of Maker's Mark saw me through (Mom was always smart about things like that.) You know that Nietzsche quote “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”? That sounds pretty good and I'm going to say that's what I got out of the last year or so though to my mind if you had the lower half of your body eaten by a shark like Felix Leiter did in Live and Let Die I'm not sure you would be stronger for the experience.

Maybe Goethe said that instead of Nietzsche, when it comes to German philosophy I am grateful that I have forgotten far more than I ever remembered

Why did I come back?

Because after all this time, I am now tanned, rested, and ready and just a little bit pissed off.

Oh also because over the past 9 months I got a puppy.....

and also a cat....

So there you go a puppy and a cat. That really doesn't explain anything but they are pretty adorable except when the puppy was teething and started chewing on the cat's head.

Now if we can find out what happened to El Gringo, we'll be set. The last I heard he was fighting off zombie cheerleaders in Chandler... serves him about right.