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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,616

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Low testosterone causing “irritable male syndrome" in Washington DC

Get off my lawn! Why some older men are so grouchy

The look: A scowling face, a wagging finger, and a shaking head. The targets: The economy. Teenagers. Windmills. Some informally dub it “grumpy old man complex.” British author Carol Wyer labels it “irritable male syndrome,” a spike in the outward crankiness of guys of a certain age. As more baby boomers hit 60 — the age when male grumpiness seems to kick in — be ready for a growing chorus of grouchy flare-ups, like a Donald Trumprant set to explode.[...]

Testosterone levels generally fall as men age, according to the Mayo Clinic. Such hormone drops are known to dampen male moods, says Dr. Ridwan Shabsigh, head of the International Society of Men’s Health and a urologist in New York City. “Testosterone is a hormone that grows muscles, reduces fat in the body, affects energy, and improves sexual desire,” Shabsigh says. “However, it also has neural-psycho effects. And in some men we encounter in our practice, those affects can be mostly visible: low mood and irritability.”

Take that Ann:

Did Democrats plan to go over the cliff all along?

Giving the appearance of movement in fiscal talks
By Steve Benen - Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:00 AM EST


Putting aside all the posturing, press releases, and finger pointing, the fact remains that nothing has changed except the calendar. Republicans still don't intend to compromise, don't want to present specific ideas to further their own goals, and don't intend to act until the president negotiates with himself, coming up with a plan filled with preemptive concessions, predicated on guesses as to what GOP officials might find acceptable.

So what's the point of today's White House chat? I suspect one of two scenarios is true:

1. Participants have been very quietly working out the details of a compromise, and today's meeting is about sealing the deal while working out a legislative strategy. They're closer than is publicly known, and today, they'll try to work out the final details.

2. Everyone knows failure is inevitable, and there's no way a deal can be reached with Republican extremists, especially with so little time remaining, so today's meeting is motivated by theatrics -- they'll go through the motions so no one can say they didn't at least try to sit in a room and talk to one another.

If I were a betting man, I'd put money on the latter.


A Haiku Review of 2012, Part 2: Gun Crazy


A Haiku Review of 2012, Part 2: Gun Crazy:

Death in Florida
Trayvon was shot dead.
The NRA backed up George.
Can't blacks stand their ground?

Death in Colorado
Crazy-eyed coward.
Theater of sitting ducks.
Joker would be pleased.

Death in Wisconsin
Hate crime against Sikhs
By a racist thug who bought
his gun legally.

Death in Chicago
More murdered children
By guns than Newtown times six.
One year, one city.

Death in Newtown
The funeral home
Laid to rest eleven kids,
Didn't take a dime.


Thank A Teacher Today & Everyday

Decades Later, Student Finds Teacher To Say 'Thank You'
December 28, 2012 3:25 AM

John Cruitt reunited with his third-grade teacher, Cecile Doyle, to tell her about the impact she had on him as he coped with his mother's death.

"Then you bent over and kissed me on the head. It was really the only time someone said to me, 'I know what you're feeling, and I know what you're missing,' " Cruitt says. "And I felt, in a very real way, that things really would be OK."


Decades after his mother's death, when Cruitt became a teacher himself, he began to think more and more of Doyle.

"And I started to think to myself, here I am, with a memory of a teacher who changed my life, and I've never told her that," he says.

So, that's when he finally wrote a letter:

Dear Mrs. Doyle,

If you are not the Cecile Doyle who taught English at Emerson School in Kearny, N.J., then I'm embarrassed, and you can disregard the sentiments that follow.

My name is John Cruitt, and I was in your third-grade class during the 1958-1959 school year. Two days before Christmas, my mother passed away, and you told me that you were there if I needed you. I hope life has been as kind to you as you were to me.

God bless you, always. With great fondness,


Doyle says his letter, which arrived in February, could have not come at a better time. Her husband, who passed away this August, was struggling with Parkinson's disease.


Portrait: Wayne LaPierre

Obama to send fiscal cliff tax measure to Congress Thursday

Source: CNN

Obama to send fiscal cliff tax measure to Congress Thursday

Posted by
CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash

(CNN) - Two sources on Capitol Hill say President Barack Obama told Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell he would send to Congress on Thursday a scaled back fiscal cliff measure.

The bill would include elements of Obama's tax plan which would prevent for some the tax hike scheduled to take place in the new year.

McConnell has said he can not say whether he would require a simple majority or 60 votes for passage in the Senate until he sees Obama's proposal.

It is expected that the measure would extend the Bush-era tax breaks for income under $250,000, extend the current estate tax rate, and extend unemployment insurance. The estate tax extension is on Republicans' wish list for a deal.

Read more: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/27/first-on-cnn-sources-obama-to-send-fiscal-cliff-tax-measure-to-congress-thursday/

A Reminder Of How The GOP Spent Its Last 4 Years

This is a post from a commenter on Huffington Post. It's the kind of list that should infuriate anyone who feels the government should cater to those who vote and the country it supposedly represents.

Two Years Ago, John Boehner promised to be "Laser Focused on Jobs and the Economy" So what has the GOP House been up to?

House Bills passed:
46 Bills on Abortion
113 Bills on Religion
73 Bills on Family Relationships
36 Bills on Marriage
72 Bills on Firearms
604 Bills on Taxation
437 Bills on Govt Investigations

Bills attempted and failed to be passed even by the GOP:
33 attempts to Defund Obamacare.....Failed
15 attempts to Cut Funding for Planned Parenthood......Failed
3 Attempts to Cut Funding for VA Hospitals.......Failed.

GOP blocked bills:
Blocked bill to aid Small Business
Blocked Unemployment extension
Blocked Bank Reform Bills
Blocked Campaign Finance Reform and open Contributions Law
Blocked MULTIPLE Jobs Bills
Blocked Infrastructure Bill
Blocked Ending Tax Breaks for companies that Outsource Jobs
Blocked Wall Street Reform
Blocked Energy Legislation
Blocked Mine Safety Bill
Blocked Oil Spill Liability Cap increase
Blocked Bill to lower Oil Company Tax Breaks
Blocked Bill to impose charging American Oil Companies on Oil achieved in the Gulf

Number of TRUE Jobs Bills even allowed to come to a vote in the House....NONE.


My Grandmother has brain cancer

THU DEC 27, 2012 AT 08:30 AM PST
My Grandmother has brain cancer


The doctors say she has a tumor pressing up against her brain. She no longer responds to people, and only days ago she had troubling recognizing my sister when she had gone to visit. She has developed pneumonia and the fever is getting worse. The doctors have asked if we would sign a "Do Not Resuscitate" waiver, or something of that sort.

And then it all comes home. This is what we are fighting about. All politics is personal. It's not just about the ideas or the principles, it is about actual people and how to make their lives better. After all my advocacy for health care reform this is when it hits home, because we love people and we want them to be safe and cared for, and because sometimes those people are real people we know and love and sometimes we will never meet them at all, but goddamit we can do better for people, better than this, and that is worth fighting for. I see the nurse caring for my Grandmother and I ask myself what can we do for her to make her life better, I think of that nurse's family and I wonder if they struggle and I ask myself what can we do to make their lives better, more fulfilling, more prosperous, so that this short struggle we all endure on this silly spinning orb can be made slightly better, if only for a time. I saw my grandmother yesterday for perhaps the last time, and though she was never awake I told her I loved her and I wished her peace with my father at last. I believe she heard me.

I don't pray a lot, but I prayed, and I gave thanks for the little I have and for the people I love. Ours is to take what is and make it better, not just for ourselves but for everyone and for those who shall come after us. That is worth fighting for.

So I offer this as a way of expressing emotions and as a way to honor my grandmother, the mother of my father.

To make the world a better place, one small act of kindness at a time.

I give blessings for my Grandmother, and to each and every person out there.

Peace and love to all

update to add,
this is a really touching story and one that many of us will relate too...kp

Boehner & House Repukes - OFFICIALLY AWOL!

Boehner and House Republicans are still on Christmas vacation — what are they supposed to do… come back to DC? Work?

Steve Benen on John Boehner’s ridiculous “pass” to the Senate:

Left with no “Plan C,” it’s come to this: hope the Senate can figure something out.

After a high-level telephone conference call, House Republican leaders called on the Senate to act but opened the door to bringing to the House floor any last-minute legislation the Senate could produce.

“The House will take this action on whatever the Senate can pass, but the Senate first must act,” said the statement issued on behalf of Speaker John A. Boehner and his three top lieutenants.

If you’re thinking, “Wait, this doesn’t make any sense,” you’re not alone. For one thing, the Senate already acted, passing a bill to freeze lower rates on income up to $250,000, and the House GOP leadership is choosing not to take up the Senate version. For another, there’s a Democratic majority in the Senate — are Harry Reid and his caucus expected to just guess what kind of plan can generate some modicum of Republican support?


re: George H.W. Bush (a little respect, but no tears from me...)

Kicking the Vietnam Syndrome

On Feb. 28, 1991, just hours after the fighting stopped, Bush gave the public a fleeting glimpse of his secret agenda when he celebrated the ground war victory by blurting out the seemingly incongruous declaration, “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all.”

By Robert Parry (A Special Report)
February 28, 2011

Twenty years ago, with a resounding victory in a 100-hour ground war against Iraqi troops in Kuwait, the first Bush administration completed the restoration of a powerful public consensus, a renewed national commitment that the United States should act as the world’s imperial policeman.


Bush knew that the extra killing of Iraqi and American troops wasn’t needed to achieve the military objective of getting Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, because Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had long signaled his readiness to withdraw.

But Bush and his top political advisers, including Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, insisted on the ground war as a dramatic climax to a story line designed to thrill the American people – and get them to embrace warfare again as an exciting part of the national character.

Bush, Cheney and other senior officials judged that the slaughter of tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, mostly poorly trained conscripts, and the combat deaths of some 147 American soldiers was a small price to pay.

much more:

and, perhaps even worse, he spawned this:
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