Close the book on Donovan, Andy

With the Donovan McNabb era in Philadelphia evidently now in the rearview mirror, it’s time for Andy Reid to stop grumping and glowering, to cease conducting conversations with the media in mumbles.
The future for the Eagles is fraught with peril and Reid needs to be decisive. He needs to be the commander-in-chief and rip to shreds the cloak of dread that is wrapped around his team.
But I doubt if somewhere inside that huge body is lurking a microbe’s cunning.
Donovan McNabb was awful today. He now has morphed into a turnover machine. So Reid decided to yank the cork and benched his quarterback at halftime.
Alas, no champagne flowed in the second half. But the vinegar kept gushing.
McNabb’s air, or is it err?, apparent, Kevin Kolb, was equally as dastardly. The kid uncorked an interception that boomeranged on him for an NFL-record 108-yard return by Ed Reed.
You could hear the death rattle of a season rasp at that point as the Eagles got trounced by the Ravens 36-7 in Baltimore.
The Eagles were totally flummoxed Sunday. And they have to tee it up again Thanksgiving night against the Arizona Cardinals.
Reid said he will decide by Monday whether McNabb or Kolb starts.
Since it now is likely the Eagles will jettison McNabb after the season and now that the 2008 season has become a turkey, it’s no for Reid to wallow and waddle in postponing the inevitable.
Play Kolb the remainder of the season and see if he can play. If not, draft or trade for a new gunslinger.

Video game consoles squeeze the juice out of electricity until it runs down their joysticks

Remember when kids played checkers, board games, cards and marbles to amuse themselves and didn’t bankrupt the planet of all its energy reserves in the process?
It was such a green time even though we thought green back then was only a color.
Indeed, the only time we plugged in was to play electric football. The damn players vibrated so much it was like playing with a jackhammer. And since you could complete only one out of every 274 passes and the ballcarriers, blockers and tacklers all skated in mindless circles and astonishing arcs, we didn’t play all that long.
Today’s kids and adults who think they’re still kids now play video games in every waking moment they’re not text messaging or swimming in a Supersized soda. And they are consuming enough electricity during the course of a year to power the entire city of San Diego.
By the way, Sony Playstation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 use as much as nine times more energy than the Nintendo Wii.
Just thought you’d like to know that if you harbor any fondness for green.

The economy wasn't built Ford tough; so good luck seeing the USA in your Chevrolet

Once upon a time Detroit’s Big Three automakers were the keys to the ignition of America’s economy.
They were the titans of U.S. industry and nothing could foul their spark plugs.
General Motors, Ford and Chrysler were at the epicenter of a an economy that whirred with furious RPMs.
But things change, do they not?
After all, there was a time when nothing was as soothing as a water ice on a row-house stoop.
And Chevys, Fords and Chryslers were as familiar on America’s highways and byways as lightning bugs winking at dusk.
Those were cushy days, as comforting as a front-porch rocker or a Sunday afternoon drive with the family.
But with the economy melting into ruin, the Big Three’s chances of survival are closing like a shade being drawn quickly.
Those long-ago soothing times of big-engined America now are shrill and strident.
The Big Three are shuddering with the caustic cacophony of desperation.
It’s as disconcerting and disturbing as having bongos replace cellos at Carnegie Hall.
Detroit’s Big Three automakers begged Congress today for a $25 billion lifeline, warning of a national economic catastrophe should they collapse in a pile of rubble, tears and despair.
Millions of layoffs would follow their extinction, they said, as damaging effects rock our comatose economy with a seismic savagery.
But apparently Capitol Hill isn’t about to stomp on the accelerator and green-light a bailout for the U.S. automotive industry.
Evidently there are many among them who feel the Big Three’s fight with fatal illness is self-inflicted.
Like lung cancer.
It’s already tough to smoke in America. Soon it may be equally as tough to drive a Chevy or a Ford.
And who would have ever thunk that?
Dinah Shore must be rolling over in her grave.
And if you don’t remember Dinah Shore, well, never mind.

Eagles ARE fit to be tied by the lowly Bengals

The dudes on this Eagles team should all be working in the gift wrap section by the holidays.
In an overtime game that was longer than the Alaska pipeline, the Birds were more skitterish than a scared school of fish in getting tied up in a 13-13 knot with the Bengals Sunday in Cincy.
By the way, aren’t tie games supposed to be an extinct species in the NFL? I believe the last one happened just before the invention of the television set.
I wish I could do justice to this travesty, but I seem to lack a familiarity with the English language today.
Like Andy Reid’s, my mind is a dark woods full of lightning bugs at the moment.
How bad was it? Worse than climbing inside a gasoline pump and taking a deep breath!
Life sure can be a funny old possum, at least in the NFL.
Take Donovan McNabb’s afternoon. He threw 30, count ’em, incompletions and three picks and still passed for 339 yards. His game had more ups and downs than a hotel elevator at checkout time.
Throw in his lost fumble and he had more turnovers than a pastry shop.
Oh, well. Watching the Birds squander this one did keep me from trying to rake leaves on a day windy enough to blow the roots right out of your scalp.

We can buy our way out of this economic nightmare

On this good Friday comes the bad news that retail sales in October took the biggest dump in history.
Shoppers who are hoarding their pennies like zealot misers because the economy has scared their pocketbooks into Ziploc mode are falling prey to a fallacious logic.
Now is not the time to tighten our belts until we split our guts in half. Now it’s time to loosen our belts so that we can fit a Santa in there with us. If we don’t, Santa won’t have a damn thing to do this holiday season.
We all gotta spend money like drunken sailors to fill the yawning vacuum that the Wall Street meltdown and credit crunch conspired to create.
To save the economy, to save our jobs, to save our very way of life and to ensure we’re all back on Easy Street sometime before all our 401ks become mere party favors, we must all march in great columns and perfect moving squares, millions as one, in measured, unconquerable lockstep to stores and BUY!

Tough times hitting bellies hard

With the economy as cracked as ruined leather, the hard times are enfolding more of us in the chill and dark of depression.
Depression that is mental as well as financial.
The sense of fiscal fear is palpable enough to raise the hairs on arms.
Not surprisingly, Berks County food pantries and soup kitchens are facing an increased demand for supplies.
Poor people need to eat.
Hungry people don’t ingest enough food to even concern themselves with flossing their teeth. They’re too busy wailing and gnashing their teeth.

Turn out the lights, the party's over for the Eagles

Some distant day when the Eagles’ 2008 season is covered by dust and the cobwebs of time, historians will recall that the Birds’ season actually ended in November.
When Philadelphia lost to the New York Giants 36-31 last night, its chances of winning the NFC East rested in peace. When you’re 0-3 in the division, you’re lower than the underbelly of a snake.
Peace, of course, was not what the Eagles felt while the Giants were mauling them on both sides of the ball. The Eagles couldn’t run the ball nor could they stop the run.
It’s too late this year to caulk the cracks in both the offensive and defensive lines. So the Birds won’t be able to prevent the sloppy reality of a lost season from oozing through the seams.
Granted, some diehard members of Eagles Nation still may harbor hopes of the Birds claiming a wild card.
That is one miracle that likely won’t be breaking a sweat as long as Donovan McNabb continues to get out of the box slower than a turtle weighed down by a 458-pound anvil.
And as long as the Birds’ opponents keep struttin’, stylin’ and profilin’ after stopping them in crucial short-yardage situations.
To be blunt, these Eagles aren’t honeycombed for survival.
At least we still have the Phillies’ World Series championship to savor.

With no 222 North bypass, the only way we can get to Allentown may be by listening to Billy Joel's song

With no money apparently available now that every bridge in our state’s older-than-dirt infrastructure might fall down at any moment, PennDOT has done a lawn job on the proposed Route 222 North bypass.
Which means soon that clogged artery as well as the clots on Routes 73 and 662 will not exactly be time’s winged chariot for motorists.
In fact, you likely will find it quicker to get to Pago Pago than Allentown.

With the prize his, Obama must be a gift for all of us

The transcendent conquest is his.
Barack Obama has won the presidency, beating John McCain like a snare drum.
His personality galvanizes multitudes. His campaign was a virtuoso performance of strategy and execution.
With all of us mired in ignoble times, the time is upon us for change.
But atonal shrieks for change are not enough.
The devil always is in the details.
Obama’s victory has ushered hope into millions. But only days ago a sense of dread was infecting millions. The destruction of wealth makes cowards even out of heroes.
Obama’s challenge is to institute change while tempering expectations. He will not change the world in a day. Or in the first 100 days. And he must hope the adoring faith his followers bathe him in doesn’t disappear like the morning dew in the interim.
Obama faces monumental issues — the economy, Iraq, Iran, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, China, taxes, health care, aging infrastructure, energy and education.
There are those among us who feel that Obama truly is a catalyst for change … a man with the intellect, the vision, the courage and the congressional majority to effect the unity, reconciliation and hope he has trumpeted for months.
Let us all hope that this political rock star is the real deal. He doesn’t have to be a messiah, although that would be nice. But he has to be a man among men. Cool, confident and in command.

Cast a vote and tune in BCTV's election coverage tonight

Today is election day. So support democracy and vote. And if you don’t, may your conscience be entombed for eternity.
When the polls close tonight at 8, tune in BCTV for outstanding election coverage of the presidential race and all the local races.
We will be talking with plenty of area candidates and homeviewers. So give us a call at 610-378-0425 and join the conversation. BCTV is all about community and conversation.
Joining yours truly on our election coverage team are co-hosts Jodi Radosh and Mark Abrams. Our special guests will be Alvernia University professor Victoria Williams and Alvernia students who will offer their perspective on today’s crucial election.
For more information, check out BCTV’s site.