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Harold Kepnes, my friend, has died. I’m very sad.

Harold S.Kepnes, 1947 – 2012

He was a year younger than me, but we were both in the Class of ’64 at Tabor. Harold was my best friend and in the summers, when I worked on Cape Cod at the Candle Factory doing tours, Harold, who lived close by in Hyannis, had the home I hung out in.

Harry and Billy… that was how everyone knew us… wandered the Cape, went to drive-in movies, chased girls and hung out at his family’s private chunk of Craigville Beach. Even when I went off to college in Illinois and Harold went off, too, we would get back together in the summer.

Harold was the kind of friend you didn’t have to see in years and yet nothing changed. You don’t get many like that.

He spent the last couple of years fighting pancreatic cancer… in and out o9f hospitals and with the caring support of his wife, Monica, and his daughter, Caroline, who came in from California to be with her Dad. Caroline, a television writer of talent, has been keeping everyone informed about Harold and his condition.

Now he has died at age 65 and I shall miss him. What awful news to get from Monica this morning as I packed for Georgetown Hospital.

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I Ran The Polls on Republican Voters in Mississippi and Alabama…

…so here is the similar poll of Illinois Republicans before their primary.

Here’s the results of a PPP poll of Republican voters planning to participate in the Illinois primary — you know, the state where President Obama was a resident, state senator and U.S. Senator.

Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?
Christian: 24
Muslim: 39
Not sure: 37

Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States, or not?
Was born in U.S.: 36
Not born in U.S.: 36
Not sure: 28

Do you believe in evolution, or not?
Believe in evolution: 41
Do not: 43
Not sure: 16

These folks who are “not sure” are a curious bunch…especially on Obama facts, a politician associated with Illinois for years.

Quote for the Morning – Santorum has it in the bag (trash bag, of course)

“If we’re able to come out of Illinois with a huge or surprise win, I guarantee you, I guarantee you that we will win this nomination.”

Rick Santorum

Guarantee? Is Illinois a “winner take all” state? Did everyone forget that the Santorum campaign failed to file a full slate of delegates in four districts in Illinois so odds are Romney will emerge the delegate winner despite who wins the state.

Politicians who make guarantees are worth ignoring.

Scott Walker is looking forward to making REAL money…

English: Scott Walker, 45th Governor of Wisconsin

Wouldn’t you consider the $144,423 that Scott Walker makes as Governor of Wisconsin is a good salary? Gee… it would make MY life a lot easier. Walker, however, told right-wing radio host Charlie Sykes, that he was about to “make some real money” if he were to leave politics and enter the private sector:

And if we fail to win, it will take us down the path we see, failing, people like the people in Illinois, down in Springfield, and I for one don’t want that. Not because this job is that important to me, ‘cuz frankly my wife in some ways would love it if I’d go back to the private sector and make some real money.

So I guess he doesn’t care what happens in his upcoming recall election… and if that’s true, why doesn’t he just quit? Most of Wisconsin would be happy if we did.

 

And as long as we’re talking about Wisconsin I’d like to say “Hi” to my son in Milwaukee. Chin up, Bud!

My Superfocus Glasses are supposed to be here tomorrow! I’m excited…

It will be lovely to see well at all distances with my adjustable SuperFocus glasses that I ordered nine weeks ago. While that seems like a long time to wait, the waiting time used to be 12 weeks, but, as one of the SuperFocus employees told me (after getting tired of my weekly “Are we on schedule” calls) told me, the shipping times have shortened because response to advertising and increased sales has allowed them to put on more staff.

Anyway, according to UPS tracking, they left Van Nuys, CA, on the 22nd and as of this morning they have left Illinois and are heading toward Shepherdstown.

I’ll talk about these more when I get them.

Indiana Dems: This Is Our Moment And We’re Seizing It

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com

Indiana Governor Mitchell Daniels delivers his...
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) changed his tune on Wednesday, after Democrats said they’re staying put in Urbana, IL rather than letting the GOP majority push through Daniels’ education reform agenda. Gone was Daniels’ conciliatory tone from Tuesday, when he told his party to drop the right-to-work bill that sent House Democrats across the border to Illinois. In its place a was a pledge to wait out the Democrats and keep the Indiana legislature open as long as he has to in order for votes to take place.

Color Indiana Democrats unimpressed.
“At first we thought the Governor was being the good cop and [House] Speaker [Brian Bosma] was being the bad cop,” state Rep. Scott Pelath (D) told TPM in a phone interview from his Illinois hotel room. “Now it looks like the governor is taking both of those roles in his own person.”
Democrats are also upset over Daniels statewide school voucher plan, which would let public school students use state money to attend private schools if they chose.
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State Democratic Party chair Dan Parker said his party is seizing a political moment. 

“Is there a certain political benefit? That’s yet to be determined,” Parker told TPM. “But I can tell you the base of the Democratic party is pretty riled up in the state of Indiana right now.”

“We may not have a lot of numbers right now,” he added. “But this shows…we’re not just going to roll over and play dead.”

The Economy Teeters on the Edge as Politicians Play… So what do the majority of Americans want?

A new poll shows that 53% of Americans support the  ending of tax cuts for the Wealthy 1% while maintaining them for the Middle Class. John Boehner, however, comes out today saying it is not time to increase taxes on anyone (so I assume he’s in that 1%… or is dominated by it.) At the same time, the US poverty rating has now increased by 43%… more of us are impoverished by this economy and the lack of jobs is seen as the major cause.

S0 let’s look at that Wealthy 1%. As the major business investors (in terms of money, if not in the creation of new businesses), these folks have NOT created new jobs… at least not in the US. While China and the far east have gotten more employees (for pennies!) and Mexico has received new factories that used to be in Indiana and Illinois and Ohio, the Wealthy 1% have held onto their dough and have not used it to, as the trickle-downers maintain they would, “save America.”

By ending the “temporary” (as originally limited to 10 years… the decade that destroyed our economy) tax cut for the rich, enough money could come back into the American investment sphere through employment subsidies, highway development and bridge repair (much more necessary than anyone is admitting… just wait until our nmajor routes fall apart and truckers are out of business), among other things, to bring us back on a positive track. It may NOT be what does happen. Congress has not shown itself to be on the side of Working America as much as it has been on the side of Money America
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We should at least realize what COULD happen and use all the influence we can expend on our Representatives and Future Representatives. If we don’t, then we deserve what we get.

Senator Burris: Twas the Night Before Christmas

Here’s a fun one:

The text is available at The Senate Agenda Blog.

Politics make for an interesting Holiday season.