Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Little Tea; A Little Wake

Senior Fitness has gotten me worked up this morning. It went well. I not only used the stationary bike for 20 minutes this morning, I increased its intensity level by two numbers, but I have no idea what those numbers represent. The rest of my program also went well. Not much to say about the weather. We’re in a relatively nice stretch right now with decent temperatures and lots of sunshine. Next storm isn’t forecast until next week.

Tax day has come and gone. There was some coverage of it, but the President did his best to upstage the protests by tea party goers. Locally, I caught the coverage of all three stations at different times and, to my surprise, I would rate the best coverage as that on WGME, Channel 13. You’ve read me enough to know Channel 13 isn’t my favorite station, but yesterday it did the best job in my humble opinion.

WCSH, Channel 6, had a mild report of the protest in Augusta, but the host announcer apparently didn’t know there were two events in Portland. WMTW, Channel 8, also had a somewhat mild report quoting basically the same people as WCSH with just about the same quotes. The stations were at the same events so I’m not suggesting any plagiarism here.

WGME did a ‘live’ report from the Maine State Pier in Portland and included events in other cities in its discussion. So, my nomination for the best would be Channel 13 for the local tea tax coverage.

I didn’t see the coverage this morning except for the pitiful stuff offered by Channel Six. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Mainers were out yesterday to express their feelings. WCSH this morning found the cuts in volleyball and men’s soccer at the University of Maine to be much more important. If fact the tea party story was fourth or fifth among its “top” stories.

The Democrats tried to pooh-pooh the events saying their only purpose was a Republican effort to encourage the same “failed” policies of the past eight years. President Obama tried to overshadow the events by telling us he would get the tax code changed to make filing easier. He also said his tax breaks would benefit all Americans.

Across the country hundreds of thousands of protesters at least got the attention of governments and their taxing policies, as well as the so-called recovery spending plan approved by Congress. There’ll be some talk about it for a few days, then it’s “return to same old same old” time.

The protesters were expressing their feelings about the bailout of large corporations and the spending plan and amount. There were too many people complaining not to be noticed and heard. Will anything change? Probably not.

A state Democrat leader said that such protests will do more harm than good. He said everyone should get behind the Democrats to help improve the conditions of our citizens. I would say they’ve been making those improvements since the 1930s and the biggest accomplishment is to draw more people into welfare. One would think that after all these years, they’d begin to learn how to do it, wouldn’t one?

The President’s tax breaks were also being touted. I must admit that my last income check was a little larger with less federal tax withheld. But the spending over the last three months has been in the trillions of dollars. Unborn generations will be saddled with paying it back. I suspect those current tax breaks are leading only to major tax increases just down the road.

There is, of course, only one way to stop the out-of-control spending in both the state and nation. Stop repeatedly electing the congressmen and legislators who continually vote for the spending. We’ve learned nothing in the last 35 years and just keep sending them back. Until we get new people in power, preciously little will change, except for the spending/taxing growth.

I watched the Red Sox on television yesterday afternoon. They won a game, 8 to 2 over Oakland. It was the performance of Tim Wakefield that kept me glued to the tube. For eight and a third innings he held Oakland hitless. Only two Athletics had reached first base, one on a rare error by Mike Lowell and a walk in the eighth.

Fielding gems, two each by Jacoby Ellsbury and Nick Green, highlighted fielding behind Wakefield. A report on ESPN from an AP report last night said that Wakefield had told manager Terry Francona to leave him in no matter what to give a tired bullpen some rest. It was a decision Francona didn’t have to make.

I think a long, 25 minute wait while the Sox scored six of their eight runs in the top of the eighth possibly allowed Wakefield to cool off too much to make it all the way with his no hitter. Those six runs, however, may have awakened the bats and offense the Sox needed to now continue on the winning ways.

In any event, the performance was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. And Wakefield’s knuckle ball was as devastating as I’ve ever seen.


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