If you simply must party in the new year, here are some powerhouse drinks that will have you stiffer than Queen Elizabeth well before midnight

Partying on New Year’s Eve ain’t what it used to be. DUIs are no way to ring in a new year because they sort of put a crimp in your bank account and your reputation. Plus, you may have to hire Nick Nolte to be your driver for six months.

But if you have a designated driver, which is why the Lord invented wives (God bless them), party on.

If you have to be where there’s an open bar tonight and don’t give a damn whether your head feels as if Paul Bunyan split it with an axe on the first day of 2011, here are the 10 worst hangover drinks.

To prove to Fast Eddie Rendell that you are not a wuss, have two of each.

Clink the glasses because the top 10 hangover drinks are, in order, Vodka Martini, Long Island Iced Tea, Planter’s Punch, Gin Martini, Rob Roy, Negroni, Margarita, Gibson, Manhattan (my particular favorite) and Tequila Sunrise.

Makes you thirsty just scanning the list and nostalgic as well. I remember New Year’s Eve parties where everybody was buy-a-vowel drunk, spewing cuss words, donning lampshades, kissing Dick Clark on the television screen and looking to fight. And the men were sometimes worse.

Happy New Year to all of you — on the left, on the right, or smack dab in the middle (an endangered species).

Not to be a stuffed shirt, but please don’t drink and drive.

Extended vacation in Hawaii gives Obama more time to search for his birth certificate

OK, I know this is not going to meet with a warm embrace by many of you.
Nevertheless, risking the scorn of thousands who think President Obama and his family vacation even more than Paris Hilton, I think the president and his family are smart to extend their Hawaiian vacation a couple days until January 3rd.
Having been to Oahu seven times in the dead of winter, one would have to be a moron to come back to the East where cold winds, snow and ice create more torment and suffering than do the hounds of hell. Besides, ever try to play golf in D.C. this time of year? Even if the greens aren’t snow covered, they’re harder than Republican minds.
Of course, daughters Sasha and Malia will miss two days of school. No problem. Do you really think either one of them will grow up and find it impossible to go to college?
Children of presidents always are Ivy League material. After all, George W. Bush went to Yale and it wasn’t because he could read Greek philosophy in seven different languages.

Did persecuted Christine O'Donnell grab some lumps of sugar from her Tea Party faithful?

Pity poor Christine O’Donnell. Not only is Halloween long gone, but so are her political ambitions. Maybe the feds are probing to see whether she broke the law by using campaign funds for personal use, but those accusations are utter nonsense because she has been victimized by thug political behavior and disgruntled former campaign workers.
Or so she says. And we all know her credibility is top shelf.
At least O’Donnell still is clinging to her 15 minutes of fame like a drowning woman clutches a life preserver.
“There’s been no impermissible use of campaign funds whatsoever,” O’Donnell told ABC’s “Good Morning America” today.
She suggested the accusations are driven by political establishments on the right and left, including Joe Biden
Granted, a paranoid witch can be scary.

Henceforth, let the Eagles be known as the Hens because they excel at laying an egg

I guess the Eagles were poisonously hung over from the snowstorm that shellacked Philly and Jersey but thankfully not Greater Reading. Because they were more awful than watching a jackal puke. Because they were flatter than stale champagne.
The Birds blew a chance at a playoff bye by stumbling and fumbling to those rumbling Vikings 24-14 Tuesday night at the Linc.
Granted, the Eagles do not have a great track record in Tuesday Night Football. But that is no excuse to sleep walk through a game. It’s tough to play when you keep stifling a yawn. Those two extra days of waiting to play must have turned them all into a squad of Rip Van Winkles.
It was an ignoble time for Philly, which now is locked into the NFC’s No. 3 seed and will host the No. 6 seed on Jan. 8 or 9. Its final game against the Cowboys Sunday now is as meaningless as elections once were in the Soviet Union.
Michael Vick took another vicious pounding and was limping around with another quad contusion. He misfired more than my old 1963 Comet. He would have thrown a six-pack of picks if the Viking secondary people were born with hands. Talk about noxious droppings.
And the Eagles’ defense, decimated by injuries and populated with rookies greener than their uniforms, emitted one atonal shriek of despair after another. If it is a championship defense, I’m Brad Pitt.
Andy Reid was hotter than a vat of Cajun chili about hissing away a shot at a bye. He looked like a man watching his lobster-and-steak dinner catch fire on the stove.

“We don’t deserve it after that performance,” Reid growled, looking like a porcine serial killer. “Every phase was terrible. We didn’t coach well enough. We didn’t play well enough. I’m disappointed in myself. It’s embarrassing.”
I guess they should have played Sunday but Mayor Nutter let Mother Nature play him like an accordion.

Ed Rendell, a big fan of the Eagles and Frosty the Snowman, says we've become of a nation of wussies. Is he right? Man up and weigh in

Ed Rendell is a lame duck as governor but evidently is one tough lame duck.
Tougher than a five-dollar steak. Tougher than morning breath after a night of cigars, onion rings and rot-gut whiskey. Tougher than the Chinese (more on that in a Pennsylvania minute).
Tough enough to apparently to wear just his undies (bad image, I know) at Ice Station Zebra. Tough enough to wrap his big tongue around the North Pole.
Rendell, an unabashed Eagles’ fan who moonlights as a supposed football expert on Eagles Post Game Live on Comcast SportsNet, is not thrilled that the Birds and the NFL wimped out Sunday night.
So instead of playing the Minnesota Vikings Sunday night in a snowstorm at the Linc, they are getting it on tonight when the only flakes will be dandruff falling from too-cold scalps.
Indeed, Rendell now is calling the good ol’ USA a nation of wussies. And when is the last time you heard a governor call everybody in the country a wuss?
After calling the postponement “a joke” and saying that “Vince Lombardi would be spinning in his grave,” on Sunday, Rendell’s anger certainly heated up thereafter.
“My biggest beef is that this is part of what’s happened in this country,” Rendell said in an interview on 97.5 radio in Philly. “I think we’ve become wussies. … We’ve become a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down.”
Never mind that Rendell stereotyped the Chinese for being math whizzes. He may have a point. And not just about us being candy asses about snow. Nobody walks in America anymore, even in San Diego-type weather. And when Americans are forced to walk at gunpoint, they ain’t listening to calculus lessons on their iPods.

Americans once were made of hardy pioneer stock who walked 17 miles uphill both ways to school in blinding blizzards and arctic temperatures. Their teeth may have shattered like porcelain from the cold but they still managed to happily gum their meals.
Suppose George Washington and his troops had postponed Valley Forge to the Fourth of July? The Declaration of Independence may not have been signed and we all would be British. And cricket would be our favorite sport. Slug me with Queen Elizabeth’s purse!
Football, unlike badminton, was invented to be played in the elements. But the doming of stadiums changed all that, I guess.
It wasn’t that long ago that the 1967 Ice Bowl between the Cowboys and Packers in Green Bay and the 1982 Freezer Bowl between the Chargers and Bengals in Cincinnati were the stuff of fable and frostbite for their brutal conditions. Players and fans who were there still are shivering, even those who now are dead. But nobody called them wussies.

With jobs being shipped overseas, American workers becoming as extinct as dodo birds

Remember when America was the Land of Opportunity?
Well, that quaint day as disappeared like morning dew and Captain Kangaroo.
Here’s some news that’s as charming as a rent collector, especially when you’re out of work and out of rent money: Corporate profits and stock prices are up but American companies are hiring at a faster clip overseas than they are here.
Sales are booming in international markets and Americans companies realize that what is good for the American economy isn’t necessarily good for them.
The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S.
The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent from its current 9.8 percent.

Apparently this is not a trend, which is even more scary than playing a football game in the snow these days.

Kids who once dreamed about being doctors, lawyers, CEOs and Indian chiefs now only aspire to be Red Roof Inn desk clerks, Denny’s fry cooks and Snooki’s tanning coach.

Mike O'Pake leaves behind indelible footprints

A lot can happen between today and the rest of time. But I doubt we will ever see another politician in Berks County like Mike O’Pake.
O’Pake, like oxygen, was everywhere. He never met a photo op or an event he didn’t like. He had an iconic presence like no other.
He turned service into a constant. As a powerbroker in Harrisburg, he used his clout to bring numerous projects and dollars to Berks. O’Pake, in his omnipresent dark suit, white shirt, crisp tie and big smile, was notable for handing out checks and state maps.
He truly was an advocate for the people and their causes/organizations. Silver-tongued, trim, charming and seemingly forever-young handsome, he may have looked like a patrician but he genuinely loved to mingle with folks.
Now that wonderful voice of his has been silenced at age 70.
He died today in Reading Hospital where he had been recovering from complications suffered during heart bypass surgery on Nov. 22.
Berks County will not be the same without him.
Mike O’Pake’s name deserves to be chiseled into a building around here. Probably more than one.

Gay marriage inevitable? If you say so, Joe Biden

First off, Merry Christmas everyone! May Santa stuff your stockings with all sorts of strong opinions on politics and a world that continues to jangle us like wind chimes in a hurricane.

I wasn’t going to blog today because I am somewhat busy helping the elves pack the sleigh. But then Joe Biden opened his big mouth again today and I couldn’t resist.

The vice president was on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and said the country is evolving on the issue of gay marriage and he thinks it’s inevitable there will be a national consensus.

Biden said the same thing is happening with the issue of marriage that happened with gays’ service in the military, referencing the Congressional repeal of DADT.

Well, Biden’s idyllic view is sprinkled with small fingers of doubt among many, to put it politely.

While he was at it, the vice president should have predicted by Christmas next year every American will live on a leafy cul-de-sac with a backyard lake where dinghies rock peacefully in the morning sun.

Then again, anything is possible in a world where even Mr. and Mrs. Rex Ryan put their best foot forward.

Obama hangs loose in Hawaii, celebrating a roll worthy of a pistol-hot craps shooter

After his midterm election shellacking, it seemed as if Barack Obama’s presidency was going down the drain to the strains of a Strauss waltz.
It appeared almost a lock that Obama would be vacating the White House in 2012, headed for a shack designed out of cardboard and tacked-up newspapers.
Now Obama is The Comeback Kid. Bill Clinton redux. The Christmas Miracle Worker.
The president now is vacationing in Hawaii, sprinting into the holiday break with impressive victories on DADT, START and 9/11. He’s on such a roll that if they suddenly suited him up in a college bowl game he’d be a god in a chinstrap throwing spirals through buttonholes.
Even Republicans have noticed Obama’s resurrection. By the way, aren’t resurrections all the vogue at Easter, not Christmas? But I digress.
Republican media guru Mike Murphy writes: “The GOP now has a great shot in 2012, but 23 months is a very long time in politics. President Obama is showing an impressive new ruthlessness with his liberal base that, combined with an economic recovery, will augur well for him in a national election.”
But first come 11 days in Hawaii for Obama and his family as they slurp shave ice on Kailua Beach.
I have been to Kailua Beach and I must tell you that it sure beats the hell out of Blue Marsh.