|October 13, 2012||The VP Debate.||no comments|
|October 13, 2012||Halloween Preparations.||2 comments|
|October 06, 2012||Caturday Poll.||1 comments|
|October 06, 2012||Giving Romney The Bird.||1 comments|
|September 30, 2012||Texans Soar! Week 4 In The NFL.||2 comments|
|September 29, 2012||National Coffee Day 2012!||2 comments|
|September 23, 2012||Hoo Wee! Week 3 In The NFL.||1 comments|
|September 22, 2012||First Day Of Autumn.||2 comments|
|September 16, 2012||NFL Week 2: A Tale Of Two Teams.||1 comments|
|September 15, 2012||The Jig Is Up.||1 comments|
With that one word, spoken in the opening minutes of the vice presidential debate, Joe Biden signaled he was fighting back. Biden gave the Democrats the debate they needed. He grabbed Paul Ryan by the scruff of his neck and gave him a thorough thrashing.
Biden pounced on Ryan for seeking to cut funding for embassy security, even as he played politics with the terror attack on our consulate in Benghazi. The Malarkey Moment surprised Ryan and energized Biden. Perhaps smelling blood in the water, Biden kept Ryan on his heels for the rest of the evening.
Ryan gulped water as Biden spoke, and Biden smiled (sometimes you could tell it was forced) as Ryan talked. And for all the times they called each other "my friend" and said, "with all due respect," both candidates had a tone of exasperation at times.
Biden hammered Ryan and Romney for sneering at a giant percentage of Americans. Ryan has called as many as 40% of our fellow citizens "takers." Yet he more than once spoke of his family's dependence on Social Security and Medicare. Biden wouldn't let him get away with it. Finally, it got to Ryan, who snarled, "I know you're under a lot of duress." Whoa, sonny-boy, watch the snark. You're getting your butt kicked, and it shows.
The Obama campaign released a photo of President Obama watching the debate. Good. The president was criticized for being too passive in the first debate. Some may criticize Biden for being too aggressive in this one. So be it. But I loved his performance, and I bet the president did as well.
By Paul Begala
Two of the more memorable observations to come out of Mitt Romney during the first presidential debate had to do with fibs and Big Bird. The candidate said that as the father of sons, he knows that repeating a lie doesn't make it true. As to the latter? Look out, "Sesame Street," your days as a "victim" on the federal dole are numbered.
The two seemingly unrelated remarks are worth mentioning because they intersect in Mr. Romney's tax and budget plans which, even by the most generous of interpretations, don't add up. If President Barack Obama failed in the debate, it was in not making that point strongly enough.
Let's make it clear: What Mr. Romney has pledged so far in this campaign — that he can cut individual income tax rates without either favoring the wealthy or losing tax revenue — is a mathematically impossible feat. Don't take our word for it. Just call up any objective tax analysis you can find on the Internet. This really isn't a close call.
Better yet, take a look at what even a conservative, pro-business organization like the Tax Foundation has concluded. It projects that the Republican tax plan would produce a tax cut as much as six times greater (on a percentage basis) for the rich than for middle-class Americans, even if the tax changes spur considerable economic growth.
The proposal would seriously hamper efforts to cut the deficit. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center figures it could actually end up increasing the deficit by nearly $5 trillion over the next 10 years. As economists have repeatedly pointed out, the nation will need both budget cuts and substantially more tax revenue to eventually whittle down the U.S. debt load. Giving tax breaks that skew to the wealthy does not achieve that end any more than eating cake helps a person lose weight.
What seemed to throw the incumbent off during the debate, however, were Mr. Romney's repeated and effusive pledges that the wealthy won't end up getting a tax break because he's going to limit their deductions. ("I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut," he said in Denver.) But how, exactly, is he going to penalize high-earners to offset the rate reduction? He has said in the past that's a matter to be hashed out with Congress.
Now, wait a minute. We've heard that before. The candidate is promising all the stuff people like — lower tax rates — but hedging on the stuff they don't (no more deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions, accelerated depreciation or the other major write-offs that would be required to offset such a large tax cut to make it revenue neutral).
That's the kind of approach that helped get the nation in trouble with the George W. Bush-era tax cuts and the failure to finance foreign wars. Washington is only too happy to dispense the goodies but loath to ask voters or special interest groups to make real sacrifices — except cutting Big Bird.
That's right. When it came time to talk budgets, the only specific item Mr. Romney offered to actually cut was federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which amounts to all of $450 million, or a mere 15 percent of CPB funds. The nation gets an awfully good return on that modest payment, including "Sesame Street" as well as performing arts, news and public affairs programs of integrity. Cutting Big Bird trims the deficit by roughly — nothing.
We'll say this about Mr. Romney's performance last week. He was forceful, confident, energized and well-prepared for the debate. Small wonder that most observers declared him the "winner." But what he was selling is pure fantasy, and he needs to be taken to task for it.
The nation is facing serious economic challenges, and it requires a serious debate over how best to spur growth but also reduce the deficit in the long term. What Mr. Romney has offered so far is little more than tax policy flimflam — well-packaged and convincingly presented, perhaps, but no more real than a giant, yellow talking bird.
Today (Sept. 29) is National Coffee Day, a highly important, thoroughly made-up event.
Although Hallmark has yet to create an official greeting card, others have hopped mightily on the caffeinated bandwagon.
It might be a good idea, too. According to a report from the National Coffee Association, coffee consumption is up 7 percent from 2011. A study from the “New England Journal of Medicine” tracked the health of more than 400,000 older adults for nearly 14 years. Coffee drinkers were less likely to die during the study than those who didn’t drink it. The study also found that men and women who averaged f o u r or five cups of Joe per day had the lowest risk of death.
Soon, the days will start getting shorter and the nights longer as we head deeper into autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, building toward the longest night of the year on December 21, the winter solstice.
Today's equinox officially happened at 10:49 a.m. EDT (1449 GMT). This is the point when the sun arrives at the intersection of the ecliptic (an imaginary line marking the sun's path across the sky) and the celestial equator (Earth's equator projected onto the sky). Today the sun appears to cross this equator, moving from north to south in the area of the constellation Virgo.
Although technically both day and night are exactly 12 hours today, in practice, this isn't quite so. Because of the way the sun's light refracts in Earth's atmosphere, we can actually see the sun for a few minutes before its disk rises and for a few minutes after it has truly set. Thus, daylight on any given day lasts roughly six or seven minutes longer than it seemingly should. [Earth's Equinoxes & Solstices (Infographic)]
Autumnal equinox usually heralds many good things in North America, such as red leaves, apple pie, warm scarves, and pumpkins. But there's another reason to celebrate today's seasonal change: it means a better chance of seeing the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights.
That's because geomagnetic storms, which are disturbances in Earth's magnetic field, are more common in spring and fall than in summer and winter. And such disturbances often cause gorgeous displays of the aurora, which are created when charged particles from the sun slam into our planet's magnetic field.
Earth's f o u r seasons — winter, spring, summer and fall — are demarcated by equinoxes and solstices. After the winter solstice on Dec. 21, the next season change will come with the spring, or vernal, equinox on March 20, 2013, and then the summer solstice on June 21, 2013. Finally, we'll come full circle one year from now, with the next autumnal equinox on Sept. 22, 2013.
These seasons, and all the equinoxes and solstices, are caused because Earth's axis is titled 23 1/2 degrees from vertical. That means that the Northern and Southern hemispheres usually don't receive the same amount of sunlight — except during the equinoxes.
From Space.com -