Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opening Day picks

Today is not a national holiday, but it should be. Opening Day of the baseball season is here!!! It's a day where every team feels they have a shot to make a run to the World Series --- but check back with them in June.

Anyhow, I've put on the record my American League picks. I have the Twins, Red Sox and Athletics winning their divisions with the White Sox getting in the postseason as the wild card.

National League? I say the Reds, Phillies and Rockies win their respective divisions with the defending World Series champion Giants taking the wild card.



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30, 1981: Reagan shot

President Reagan being whisked away by Secret Service just moments after being shot in the chest by gunman John Hinckley.

Do you remember where you were when President Ronald Reagan was shot on March 30, 1981?

I was a sixth grader at Highwood Hills Elementary School in St. Paul. I was in the midst of a Science class when it was announced by one of our teachers. As 11 and 12 year old kids, it really didn't resonate since there was mostly a blissful ignorance amongst young people that age (My how times have changed).

I do recall vividly our final class of the day as our teacher, Mr. Woodbeck (an unabashed Reagan supporter), was visibly distraught over the news. As he attempted to teach the class, he would occasionally rub his temple as if he was feeling the onset of a migraine headache. He apologized each time and would do his best to segue back to the lesson. Kinda bizarre to think how a long-time public school teacher in the city of St Paul could be such a militant conservative Republican.

Of course, President Reagan would survive and served two full terms as Commander in Chief. Despite such a harrowing start to his Presidency (it had been little over two months from inauguration to assassination attempt), Ronald Reagan's legacy turned out to be his bold and compassionate leadership, which in turn led to a renewed optimism in the American way.

It goes without saying how much this country needs that kind of guidance thirty years later.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Eerily prophetic, eight years later....

A PW slogan originated back in 2003:


Friday, March 25, 2011

Picture This

Let's face it. The Minnesota Secretary of State's office has done a poor job in minimizing the possibility of election fraud. And given the fact the past two election cycles have yielded a recount in a major race, election integrity has never been a more critical issue.

When Republicans attempted to past some sort of election law requiring photo identification at the polling place, many DFLers shrieked "DISENFRANCHISEMENT!!" And since the GOP didn't have a majority in either the House or Senate, a working bill never got to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's desk for almost certain approval.

The group Minnesota Majority has been tireless in its championing this issue. And per an e-mail I received from Dan McGrath of MM, it appears this long overdue legislation may finally reach the Governor's desk.

Your phone calls and emails have been heard! House leadership has given their assurances that 21st Century Voter ID will be advanced and passed this year.

Thank you for helping to make a difference.

Now, the only thing in the way of making 21st Century Voter ID law is Governor Dayton's veto pen. Please redirect your phone calls and emails to the governor's office and demand that he join the 80% majority and support Voter ID.

Governor's office: 651-201-3400

Naturally, there will still be strenuous objections from the DFL and its advocates, an issue which my pal Gary Gross addresses and subsequently eviscerates.

I'm not here to say that Photo ID is completely foolproof. But you can't tell me it isn't exponentially better than that sham of a vouching system currently in place.


Box Score of the week

My theme lately has been games where something unique has happened. Cardinals at Dodgers on April 23, 1999. What was the unique feat accomplished in this game?


On April 23, 1999, St Louis Cardinals infielder Fernando Tatis made history by becoming the only MLB player ever to hit two Grand Slam home runs in the same inning. He hit both homers off Dodgers pitcher Chan Ho Park in the third inning of that game in Los Angeles.

Kudos to Mark "Mr. D" Heuring for nailing the answer!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March 23, 1991: ROAD TRIP!!

Front row: Rick; Back row (l-r): Jon, Rolf and Brad

It was a dreary Spring morning in St Paul on Saturday, March 23, 1991. But for my three best friends and I, we were bouncing off the ceiling in anticipation of our nearly 1,700-mile trek to Fort Myers, FL. Our favorite baseball team, the Minnesota Twins, would be christening a brand new Spring Training facility in Fort Myers, so we wanted to go check it out. The fact it would be sunny and 80+ degrees didn't hurt either.

Despite Jon and I going to different colleges, our respective Spring Breaks fell on the same week! And since Rolf and Rick were already in the job world and had plenty of vacation time, we made plans sometime around New Years that we would indeed partake in a road trip to Florida that March! Once we set our plans in stone, I began a countdown to our departure date. From about mid-January on, you could ask me how many days it was until we left for Fort Myers and I could tell you instantly.

As we pulled out of the driveway on that Saturday morning in March, we agreed that we didn't want to stop for anything other than gassing up (and seeing Rick's girlfriend, who was going to college in Indianapolis). Since we left home at about 8:00 a.m. CT, our ETA at our hotel was sometime Sunday afternoon.

After a looooong trek through several states, we crossed the Georgia-Florida border around 8:00 am Sunday morning. I happened to be driving at the time and was so tired that I swear I could hear myself blinking. But when I saw the sign indicating to us that we were entering the state of Florida, I let a loud YAHOOOOOO, thus waking up all three of my slumbering buddies. Sure they were less than amused but soon shared in my excitement, as we were less than five hours from our destination.

Around 3:00 pm we FINALLY pulled up to our hotel and sprang out of the car. We got to our room, frantically unpacked and decided to head to the outdoor swimming pool. It had been a long Winter in Minnesota, so just taking time to bask in the sun was a welcome activity! Invariably, we fell asleep in our deck chairs as we watched the beautiful sunset.

We decided to sleep in Monday since the Twins didn't play until late afternoon. As we pulled up to Hammond Stadium that day, there wasn't a parking spot to be had. As a result, we parked near the cow pasture beyond the stadium grounds. But when we arrived at the ticket window, we learned that every single ticket for the entire spring season had been sold. Since we weren't willing to pay a scalper $20 for a $5 ticket, we decided to head to the beach. As we got within a mile of Fort Myers Beach, it was bumper-to-bumper traffic. Most of the cars were filled to capacity with college-aged students, which told us we were heading in the right direction. As we found a parking spot within a block of the beach, we got out of the car and practically sprinted to that sandy paradise. And thus began our week-long tradition of rising in the morning, heading straight to the beach after breakfast, hanging out there about 4-5 hours, resting up at the hotel, dinner and flippant frivolity at night and then back to the hotel so we can get some rest in anticipation of the following day.

If you're waiting for seedier details of the trip (i.e. wild keg parties, picking up hot chicks, etc.), I'm sorry to disappoint you. Although I will say we were enticed to stay another day by a couple of attractive (and bikini-clad) Southern belles. On what was supposed to be our last day in Florida before heading home, I happened to be sitting by myself while my buddies were off grabbing some lunch. The aforementioned co-eds approached me and said "Excuse me? Did I hear y'all say you were from Minnesota?" Now when a hot chick would talk to me back in the day, typically I would get this feeling of my heart dropping into my stomach, splashing my innards, causing condensation on my brain thus rendering me speechless. Somehow, though, I managed a "yes" in this situation. We engaged in some small talk but I was actually stalling for time in the hopes my friends would return and provide me a little backup. Unfortunately, the gals had to move on but did indicate a little interest in another meeting. "Well, if y'all are in this same spot tomorrow, maybe we'll see ya." A few minutes later my friends returned and I shared with them the conversation I had. Naturally I was hammered incessantly for not getting a phone number or arranging a meet-up that evening, etc. Whatever the case, we decided to stay for another day and returned to that exact same spot on the beach. However, the fetching lasses never returned so we merely spent our time engaging in the same activities as the previous days. That is, we laid in the sun and gawked at all the attractive co-eds as they walked by.

Compared to some of the debauchery you hear about on a typical Spring Break, our time in Florida may seem incredibly boring. But to us, it was the trip of a lifetime. Whenever I happen to see one of my three buddies these days, rarely does a conversation take place where some facet of that adventure isn't brought up. And while there aren't a lot of photos from that trip, there is a VHS video cassette featuring some of the more memorable outtakes. If one were to sit down and watch that today, one would seriously question whether any of the four of us should bear children. Turns out, there are seven kids courtesy of my three pals. And you'll be happy to know that each of us is still in his first marriage, with each couple having been together for more than 10 years (in the case of Rick and Wendy, they'll be celebrating 20 years of wedded bliss this November).

I guess the moral of the story is Spring Break doesn't necessarily corrupt all of America's youth. A few of us occasionally turn out OK.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quick Hits: Volume XXIII (All Sports edition)

-After this past weekend, the NCAA men's basketball tournament has been dwindled down from 68 teams to 16. This year I actually got involved in an office pool with nine other individuals and am currently sit in second place!

With that, here is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly with my bracket.

Good: I correctly selected two of the double-digit seeds (#11 Marquette and #10 Florida St.) to qualify for the "Sweet Sixteen."

Bad: Number six seed St. John's University was my sleeper pick to make the Final Four out of the Southeast Region. They were routed in their opening game by #11 seed Gonzaga.

Ugly: My entire Southeast bracket. No matter what happens, I will obtain zero points from that region the rest of the tournament. Of the four remaining from that region, Florida was my only correct choice but I had them losing in the region semifinal to ----- St John's.

-The show must go on. Despite the labor unrest in the National Football League, teams are busy scouting for the upcoming NFL draft taking place next month.

Everything I've been hearing about my favorite NFL squad indicates that they are looking seriously at the many quarterbacks available in this draft. Obviously the physical tools are important, but so too is a player's character. In fact, ESPN Twin Cities guy Tom Pelissero sent out a "Tweet" today regarding one of the aspects of the Vikings' vetting process.

Frazier said the #Vikings have talked to at least 1 janitor about a QB prospect to see how the guy treats those he may feel are "below" him.

As I began to read that tweet, I was half-thinking that the Vikes were considering a janitor as a possible QB prospect. Heck, give the perilous situation the Vikings are in at the quarterback position, it may not be all that far-fetched. Hey, if a stock boy at a Hy-Vee grocery store can lead a team to a Super Bowl win........

-Opening day of the Major League Baseball season is a mere nine days away, though you wouldn't know it by the weather in the Twin Cities today.

For my favorite MLB squad, their home opener in their second season at Target Field will take place Friday, April 9! Personally, my first game will be the following Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals.

As far as how teams will fare in the American League this season, I have the Twins winning the AL Central division once more, with the Chicago White Sox finishing a close second (but making the postseason as a wildcard). The Boston Red Sox will conquer the AL East and the Oakland Athletics will prevail in the AL West. That would be the ideal scenario for so many reasons, not the least of which is we wouldn't have to endure the incessant bitching from some Twins fans on how the club has no shot against the Yankees. That's because the Yanks won't make the postseason!!!!

I'm still mulling over my National League picks, but I'll post my predictions for them prior to Opening Day.



Friday, March 18, 2011

Box Score of the week

Phillies at Reds in June of 1971.

Once again, we're going with uniqueness. Something was done in this game that had never been done before and has not been done since.


Phillies pitcher Rick Wise tossed a no-hitter in this game. While it's a rare feat, it's certainly not unique. What's unique is Wise joined Wes Ferrell (1931) and Earl Wilson (1962) as the only no-hit pitchers to hit a home run in the same game. But Wise set himself apart in that 1971 matchup against the Reds, as he became the only pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter and hit two home runs in the same game.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Have we learned anything?

As Tea Party politicians made a resounding statement last November with nationwide electoral victories, the hope amongst their supporters (myself included) would be to end the myriad of fiscal crises. I will never forget 2004 when the GOP strengthened their majorities in both the US House and Senate, as well as maintaining the White House. Unfortunately, that group of Republicans sent to D.C. back then succeeded only in growing the size of government. At the 2008 GOP Convention, Sen. John McCain fully admitted that his party was "elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us." Hence, the veritable bloodbath suffered by Republicans (and ultimately this country) in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

Last week, despite the best efforts of 53 GOP House members refusing to discuss a Continuing Resolution, some weak-kneed Republicans sought House Democrats to help them pass yet another CR in an effort to avoid a Government shutdown. Heck, in my mind, a shutdown would serve to prove the conservative Republicans' sense of urgency in curtailing the out-of-control (and unsustainable) Federal spending. Unfortunately, too many Republicans have it in their head that such a maneuver would torpedo their respective political futures.

Leave it to conservative radio host Jason Lewis to capture the quintessential mindset of an ideal politician (paraphrasing what Lewis said on his Tuesday evening show).

Think about this for just a moment. Let's say you are a politician. All your pollsters say the country's broke but if you propose what you want to propose raising the retirement age, raising the age eligible to collect Social Security, eliminating the Department of Education, issuing vouchers, eliminating H.U.D., privatizing Fannie and Freddie, getting the government out of the business of insuring mortgages, the housing sector. If you propose all that, you will probably lose your next election because people don't want that. Even though the country is broke, they don't care, they don't want it. So I, as a politician, would then say what? Oh, I would lose. OK. Let the country implode. Turn the country into some third world Banana Republic. We'll let the currency dawdle, we'll let inflation take hold. We'll shove the country back into a great depression. We'll let that happen because I don't want to lose another election.

No. What Americans are looking for is someone to stand up and say “I don't care if I lose the next election. I came here to do something and if I can't do it, I don't want to be here anyway”.

Where is that politician?

Uhhh.....busy being chief executive of the state of Wisconsin perhaps?

Speaking of which, I rather enjoyed this "Tweet" I read from Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN).

Sen. Schumer called us “Scott Walker Republicans?” That’s the nicest thing anybody has said about me in a long time!

Personally, I think the Congressional Republicans still have a ways to go before they can live up to that mantle.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quick Hits: Volume XXII

-As heart wrenching as it was to hear about the mass shooting in Tucson, AZ in January, it's been exponentially saddening to watch video footage of the tsunami in Japan. As of this moment, an estimated 10,000 are dead, even more without a home, food or water. And to top it all off, there's the issue of nuclear reactors possibly melting down.

Certainly, the leftists couldn't blame this horrific tragedy on conservatives, much as they did the Tucson incident.

C'mon, not even certain lefties could sink that low......could they????

Well......not directly. But God help us if the USA were hit with a similar disaster, especially if the eeeeevil Republicans are in charge.

Congressional Republicans’ 2011 budget would slash funding for government agencies directly responsible for issuing tsunami warnings and severely reduce the government’s capacity to track and respond to these disasters, the president of the union that represents employees of the National Weather Service told ThinkProgress today in the wake of the tragic tsunami in the Pacific. The House Republican budget, which was rejected by the Senate this week, would have cut funding to NOAA — the agency directly responsible for tsunami monitoring and warning — restricting the government’s ability to respond.

Call it a "preemptive strike" launched by the leftist demagoguery machine.

-The shocking events in Japan certainly put a little perspective on the fact it won't be tragic if there's no NFL football in 2011. This past Friday, NFL owners locked out players, prohibiting them from engaging in any football activities until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached. Predictably, the NFLPA has opted to decertify and looks to get an injunction in an April 6 hearing.

One of the more common sentiments expressed by sports commentators and NFL fans alike is how this could permanently damage the game if the lockout extends into the regular season, maybe even jeopardizing the postseason and (**gulp**) Super Bowl.

But to imply this would cause fans to leave the game entirely is a complete fallacy. This most recent Super Bowl was the most watched TV program ever, usurping the final episode of the TV series M*A*S*H. While fans would be angry if their favorite sport is in the midst of a work stoppage, the overall NFL aura is too great. The millisecond this labor spat is resolved, all will be forgiven.

-I often wonder aloud when the DFL will make the distinction between "income" and "wealth" when discussing "tax cuts for the rich." Then I ponder if they really know the difference.

As of Monday, Governor Mark Dayton has yet to catch on.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Box score of the week

A May 2002 regular season matchup between the Mariners and White Sox. Something happened in that game which had never happened before and has not happened since.

Know what it is?


In the history of Major League Baseball, only one time has a pair of teammates hit back-to-back home runs twice in the same inning. Bret Boone and Mike Cameron pulled off that feat in the first inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox on May 2, 2002.


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

You can't spell Wisconsin without W-I-N

I was a little concerned today when I learned that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had been negotiating facets of the state budget with the 14 absentee Democrat Senators.

And while I appreciated the noble gesture of the Governor allowing the fleebaggers to conduct state business from a comfy Illinois hotel room, I don't think it would have been too much of a hard line stance to not negotiate at all until their return to Madison.

I digress.

Some of the counter-proposals made by Gov. Walker seemed to indicate that he may be caving in on some key aspects of his proposals regarding public employee unions, specifically stripping them of all collective bargaining.

• Public employee union bargaining over wages would no longer be limited to the rate of inflation.

• Unions would be allowed to bargain over certain economic issues, including mandatory overtime, performance bonuses, hazardous duty pay and classroom size. On this set of issues, both labor and management would have to agree to discuss them for bargaining to happen.

• Unions could bargain over workplace safety, but that would be limited to workers’ physical health and safety. It would not allow bargaining over hours, overtime, sick leave or family leave, work schedules or vacation.

• Unions would have to vote every three years to remain active, with the first of those votes coming within one year of the bill becoming law. The current version of the bill would require unions to vote to recertify every year – starting this April – and require them to get at least 51% of workers’ votes.

• Employees of the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Authority would not lose all union bargaining rights.

• The Legislature’s budget committee would have to approve changes to state health programs for the poor sought by the Walker administration. The budget-repair bill gives Walker broad powers to reshape those Medicaid health programs, which cover more than 1 million state residents.

In the end, the fleebaggers nixed Gov. Walker's compromise, apparently forgetting they're in the minority party. Thankfully, Democrats can be as insufferably arrogant (or flippin' crazy) as Republicans are wimpy.

But around 6:00 CT, the Wisconsin Republicans actually showed a little fortitude by rendering the Dems irrelevant.

The Wisconsin Senate voted Wednesday night to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, approving an explosive proposal that had rocked the state and unions nationwide after Republicans discovered a way to bypass the chamber's missing Democrats.

All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker's "budget-repair bill" - a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday separated from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, which spends no money, and a special committee of lawmakers from both the Senate and Assembly approved the bill a short time later.

As I have taken in all this news today, a couple of things come to mind.

First, I can only hope that Gov. Walker was counting on the Democrats being so arrogant that they would rebuff his reaching out. The fact the GOP didn't follow through on threats of fining Democrats for each day absent or withholding their paychecks gave an indication that Walker et al were spineless. So could it be that this was a calculated move by the Governor? That is, once collective bargaining rights were ultimately stripped away (Walker's main goal of this budget battle), he could fend off any backlash by reiterating how he attempted to compromise.

Another theory I have is that Walker may delay in signing this bill, giving the absentee Democrats one final chance to return to Madison and actually finish the job. That may be the less likely of my theories considering Gov. Walker's statement in reaction to this evening's Senate vote.

"I applaud the Legislature's action today to stand up to the status quo and take a step in the right direction to balance the budget and reform government," Walker said in the statement.

If that statement is any indication, it seems to me that if the Governor doesn't have a pen he might prick his finger and sign that bill in blood.


Friday, March 04, 2011

Box Score of the week

Most baseball fans are aware that pitcher Johnny Vander Meer is the only hurler in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in consecutive starts. On June 11, 1938, Vander Meer, then of the Cincinnati Reds, no-hit the Boston Bees. Four days later, he threw a no-no against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

What I'm looking for is the other significant aspect of Vander Meer's second no-hitter.

Usual disclaimer applies.


June 15, 1938 was a historic date for Ebbets Field. Not only was it the site of Vander Meer's second consecutive no-hitter, that date also marked the first night game in the history of that legendary venue.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Racing to 2012

Yeah, I know John Edwards has a lot of baggage. Whether it was his vapid screeds as Democrat VP candidate in 2004, his pathetic efforts to prove he was a "regular guy" when announcing his 2008 Presidential bid or his cheating on cancer-stricken wife Elizabeth, there's no doubt he has issues.

Regardless, I don't think I would have kicked up much of a fuss had Edwards somehow been elected President in 2008 and proceeded to advocate the nationalization of our health care system, hike taxes through the roof, destroy our economy and pass on trillions in debt to my grandchildren.

Really?!?! You're an unabashed conservative, yet you're saying you'd sit idly by while this country went down the proverbial crapper?!?!

No, not really.

Yet if you believe Barack Obama, such destructive policies might be more tolerable if our President were a white guy.

In May 2010, he told guests at a private White House dinner that race was probably a key component in the rising opposition to his presidency from conservatives, especially right-wing activists in the anti-incumbent "Tea Party" movement that was then surging across the country. Many middle-class and working-class whites felt aggrieved and resentful that the federal government was helping other groups, including bankers, automakers, irresponsible people who had defaulted on their mortgages, and the poor, but wasn't helping them nearly enough, he said.

A guest suggested that when Tea Party activists said they wanted to "take back" their country, their real motivation was to stir up anger and anxiety at having a black president, and Obama didn't dispute the idea. He agreed that there was a "subterranean agenda" in the anti-Obama movement—a racially biased one—that was unfortunate. But he sadly conceded that there was little he could do about it.

Sure, Obama's lap dogs in the media tried to conjure up sounds and images of racism amongst the Tea Party movement. I guess it's easier than trying to defend horrific domestic policies.

To be fair, the President made these remarks 5-6 months prior to the midterm elections. For him to continue the racial narrative after the shellacking he took on election night would be at worst utterly foolish and at best incredibly naive. Lest we forget, some of the more prominent tea party candidates were Marco Rubio (Hispanic; FL Senator), Allen West (African American; FL Congressman) and Nikki Haley (Indian-American; SC Governor).

If the President is not careful to listen to the will of the American people, he may face an even harsher rebuke come November 2012. And once again, his race will be the least of the concerns amongst the American electorate.


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

New tone, same as the old tone

Carry on with the incivility.

Ruling in a case that pressed the outer limits of free speech, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that even anti-gay protesters who picketed the funerals of U.S. troops with signs reading, "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," cannot be sued.

In an 8-1 decision, the justices upheld an appellate court's decision to strike down a jury verdict against Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. Phelps and his family gained national attention — and stirred deep anger — for using military funerals as a backdrop to proclaim an anti-gay and anti-military message.

The church believes that the United States is too tolerant of sin and that the death of American soldiers is God's punishment.

This is a difficult one for me in so many ways. I am a steadfast supporter of the US Constitution, so on that basis I begrudgingly agree with the Supreme Court's decision. I am also a civilized and compassionate human being, which means I have utmost sympathy for any family which loses a loved one. As such, I wouldn't dream of exacerbating the emotional pain of a grieving family. And most of all, as a Christian, I'm abhorred how the Lord's name is besmirched by maniacal extremists. The mere suggestion that our Heavenly Father could "hate" a group of people goes against everything that has been documented biblically.

Since I too have First Amendment rights (free speech as well as freedom of religion), I can cite Exodus 20:7, which says "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."

I'm not sure how that got lost in translation with Fred Phelps & Co.


Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I blame Bush

I'm kidding, of course. Well....mostly kidding.

We'll come back to that.

First, drink this in:

Is it any mystery why the Tea Party movement has made such inroads in politics? The Obama administration is growing government at such an alarming rate that many Americans legitimately worry about their long-term financial future. This is precisely why the leftist kooks' attempts to discredit Tea Party politicians and their supporters has been woefully in vain.

In 2004, President Bush was re-elected and the Republicans increased their majorities in the U.S. House and Senate. How did they respond? By expanding government as well as flubbing an opportunity to reform Social Security.

Two years later, the GOP was shellacked in the 2006 midterms, as Democrats gained control of both chambers of Congress. And while it was a certainty that Democrats would...well....act like Democrats once they regained power (i.e.spend money like a crack whore with a gold card), the GOP woefully lacked credibility when pressing the fiscal issue. In fact, one of President Bush's final acts as Commander in Chief was, in his own words, "abandoning free market principles" by bailing out some of the nations high profile banks. And because few people could draw a distinction between Bush and 2008 GOP candidate John McCain, we wound up with the most far-left President in this country's history.

I guess the only solace I can draw is we had to endure a Carter before we got a Reagan. But I am concerned that not even a Reagan-esque President can reverse the damage that has been done over the past two years.