Obama to dice and mince American Jobs Act so he can shove it piece by piece down gagging Republican throats

You remember President Obama’s American Jobs Act, of course. He addressed Congress on it and even the networks and other media outlets mentioned it. The whole thing had more drama than Broadway, if I recall.

Obama’s speech apparently fell on deaf ears in Congress. The bill sat around getting dusty for a bit, and seemingly suffocated last week in the Senate when only 51 Democrats voted to bring it up for debate and that was rather wimpy in the face of the Republican filibuster.

Even though Americans are screaming for jobs and the left is protesting all across the land, even Reading, as if the 1960s came back to life without the great rock music, Republicans suddenly are against positions of the bill that broad swaths of the party have supported in the past.

The White House built the jobs bill with pieces of legislation that had been previously supported by leading Republicans so that the Obama administration could hammer them with those past votes and statements, making the case that the GOP’s opposition to jobs legislation is rooted in pure politics.

Which, astonishingly, it is.

So frustrated over this that his upper back and neck have more knots than a den of Eagle Scouts and my gym sneaker laces, Obama, with a backdrop of blue sky in these stormy times, said today that “maybe they couldn’t understand the whole thing at once.” So, to do Congress a favor, “we’re going to break it up into bite-sized pieces, so they can take a thoughtful approach.”

About time, Mr. President. What took you so long? Preoccupied with Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 and galvanic personality? People said from Day One that the bill was way too sprawling. If you print it out, you need a nearby oak tree to supply enough paper to replenish your printer. Not to mention going through only-God-knows-how-many print cartridges. Sort of like the Obamacare bill, come to think of it.

Granted, chopping the American Jobs Act up into small bites may facilitate the GOP digestive tract, which seemingly has been paralyzed by indigestion. Still, Obama is gambling that Republicans will be able to then piece it all together like some gigantic puzzle. Don’t hold your breath unless you have your favorite funeral home on speed dial.

In the midst of all the desperate and raucous clamor for jobs, don’t you find all this is rather puzzling, if not downright demoralizing?

Perhaps it’s time to replace our hobbled democratic system with a benevolent, enlightened monarchy. King Herman I strike anyone’s fancy? King Rush I? Queen Rachel I? Or how about King Zeke I? Of course, I wouldn’t want to work weekends during football season.

Eagles stop the wailing by playing Picky Picky Head by The Wailing Souls reggae band

Just when you thought that the Eagles’ entire franchise somehow fell into a crater bigger than the Grand Canyon, the Birds somehow found a way to climb out of it today. Barely.

After losing even more this season than the human blimps on The Biggest Loser, they rang up a 20-0 lead and then hung out to pick off the Redskins 20-13 at FedEx Field in Landover.

Pick off being the operative words Sunday as Philly intercepted Bad Bad Rex Grossman four times, three by Kurt Coleman in a dramatic return to the starting lineup at safety after being benched for playing like a stuffed sausage.

The last Eagle to have three picks in one game was Joe Scarpati against the Giants in 1966. I remember watching that game as a toddler in my high chair after getting spanked by my dad for messing with his hedge fund.

Speaking of really dialing it back in the Way Back Machine, it was darn good the Eagles won today. This was more of a must than breathing. It’s been 41 years since an NFL team made the playoffs after a 1-5 start. It was a different game back then. Playing it in HD was against the rules.

Besides getting a big hand from Grossman, the Birds won today because yours truly picked them, they kept their turnovers below 75 for the first time this season, their OL and run defense finally looked more like the Seven Blocks of Granite than the Marshmallow Party Mascots, and corners Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel actually tackled Redskins instead of oleing them. Imagine that.
So after a bye, I guess the Dream Team’s Rolling Carnival will gain full steam and stop Iggles Nation disciples from swallowing lawn darts in despair. But who knows? After all, that’s why they play the game.

After getting cut from his high school debate team and in a MMA brawl to tap out Cain, Romney and Obama, Perry vows to tap energy to create 1.2 million jobs

While Herman raises Cain, Rick Perry is trying to raze Cain.
With Herman Cain flashing past Perry and hot on the rear bumper of Mitt Romney, thanks to his simplistic vision that could bore a hole in a vault, Perry is on the offensive.
Now that everybody knows that Perry ain’t no master debater, he apparently is a master creator when it comes to jobs. Or so he says.
Taking a page from the Cain 9-9-9 laser-focus message, Perry rolled out his Drill Baby Drill laser-focus message today.
Speaking at a steel plant near Pittsburgh, he said he could create 1.2 million jobs by rolling back federal regulations and opening up more areas for oil and gas exploration.
Perry is all about energy and said he would repeal the EPA’s authority over greenhouse-gas regulations, too. Evidently he’s not all about the ozone layer and our lungs.
This guy wants to drill so badly he should have been a mad dentist. And unlike Barack Obama, he sure isn’t green at the gills.

We don't have to travel the highway of hell to road rage and congestion if we go with the flow

Allow me to take a break from politics for a moment and draw a bead on bad driving from my PC.

Driver Ed, courtesy of Zeke.

A disclaimer is in order here: My wife hates how I drive. Says I drive too fast and like oxygen, I’m all over the place. Perhaps so. But I can handle the wheel like one of Joie Chitwood’s Hell Drivers. If you’re not familiar with Joie Chitwood, who performed so long ago at the Reading Fairgrounds that the local papers were forced to refer to them as Joie Chitwood’s Heck Drivers, he did not drive like the little old lady from Pasadena.

OK, do you know what’s wrong with driving today? Granted, crummy roads, urban and suburban sprawl, and more congestion than an emergency room full of pneumonia victims don’t help. But the real problem is drivers. Just look in the rearview mirror. Not at approaching traffic. At you.

Drivers make driving more treacherous and frustrating than wrestling your way through a Keats poem. Why? Because some drive too fast while others drive too slow. Both are the culprits in slowing traffic and revving up congestion.

Studies have shown this ground truth of traffic: Sometimes you have to go slower to go faster.

For every dolt slowing down traffic on an interstate doing 50 in the passing lane and refusing to budge short of taking a direct hit from an impatient SUV or a rocket launcher, there’s a wimp and/or nervous Nelly doing 20 in the right lane. Not to mention those fast and furious NASCAR wannabes who do 120 no matter what lane they’re in.

The result of all this? Furious weaving, the sudden squalls of brake lights, and fate waiting behind the next curve with an eel poised to pounce on your windshield.

Rolling speed harmonization holds that by encouraging speed compliance and reducing speed differential between vehicles, volume throughout can be maximized without a physical increase in roadway dimensions.

Cops must enforce that everybody drive at the same speed, whether it’s 65 or 55, like we’re all on a NASCAR pace lap.

Big speed differentials not only create chaos and congestion, they’re dangerous. Crashes are not related as much to speed as to the range in speeds from the highest to lowest. Studies show that, regardless of the average speed on the highway, the more a vehicle deviates from the average speed, the greater its chances of becoming involved in a crash.

Nobody wants to die in a horrific crash. Like I always say, a brush with a bodacious lady is always more appealing than a brush with an unthinkably agonizing death. There’s no reason we all should risk our skin on the road just because most of us drive like morons.

We gotta stop be dumber than fish, birds, cattle and elephants — most of whom never graduate high school. Flocks of birds and schools of fish and herds of cattle or elephants don’t travel with alarming deviations from the group’s average speed and crash into one another with ridiculous regularity.

Yep, unlike politics, we’re all in this together.

Perry not one for the history books but he may be history himself

Apparently Republican presidential candidates are not avid students of history, especially when it comes to the Revolutionary War.

No big deal, I guess. After all, that war is so yesterday and they’re so busy today.

Following Tuesday night’s debate in New Hampshire, Rick Perry — who hardly is the debater-in-chief by the way — suggested that one of the “reasons we fought the revolution in the 16th century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown” in response to a question on the issue of states’ rights.

Of course, the Revolutionary War transpired in the 18th century. You can look it up. It’s in all the history books. In the 16th century, only Indians and dinosaurs lived in America. Imagine our land without Democrats and Republicans. What on God’s green earth did they ever talk about?

You may recall that Michele Bachmann in March told New Hampshire Republicans, “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord.”

Close, but no cigar. Lexington and Concord were in Massachusetts. In fact, still are the last time anybody checked.

Last night Mitt Romney was silky smooth. If the guy’s got a glass jaw, you wouldn’t know because none of the other candidates ever hit it. And when the candidates did get a turn to ask each other questions, they lobbed Romney softballs and he easily ducked them as if he were the young Muhammad Ali.

Actually, most of them were trying to land their punches on Herman Cain and his 9-9-9 plan. Cain is skyrocketing in appeal and moving past Perry into the No. 2 spot behind Romney, even though Cain’s calling for a national 9 percent sales tax (except on pizza).

Bachmann had a great line, to give her props, when she cracked that 9-9-9 is 6-6-6 upside down and that the devil always is in the details.

Like facts about the Revolutionary War.

Whether we need yet another GOP debate is highly debatable

I sort of think the GOP presidential debates have run their course but the networks do need counter programming to all the reality shows. I must admit though that sometimes the Kardashians speak with more clarity.

There’s another debate in less than an hour when they tee it up in New Hampshire, a state nobody cares about except during presidential race cycles.

Tonight perhaps we’ll see if Mitt Romney closes the deal now that Chris Christie has thrown his (one last time, promise!) weight behind him without knocking him over or whether Rick Perry stops imploding or whether Herman Cain continues to swell like a blowfish and blows them all out of the water.

As for Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, don’t you all have something better to do than waste your and our time?

Watch the debate and feel free to join the always lively debate on the Zeke Blog.

Stocks surge as French and German leaders vow to make European banks stronger than body odor

I’m not exactly certain if the stock market swings like a knockwurst pendulum, having never actually seen a knockwurst pendulum up close and personal.

But I do know that the markets do get a little tipsy with the intoxication of the moment. Or, conversely, quickly reach the snapping point of depression. Even teen-agers don’t overreact so dramatically.

For instance, stocks spiked dramatically (after all, Wall Street isn’t that far from Broadway) in the U.S. and Europe today after French and German leaders promised to strengthen European banks.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 330.06 points, or 3%, settling at 11,433.20. Even bigger leaps were taken by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, up 3.4% to 1,194.89, and the Nasdaq composite index, up 3.5% to 2,566.05. I immediately went out and bought another yacht to sail on Blue Marsh.

Of course, pardon my cynical self, but I don’t believe that the European financial crisis is that easily solved. So don’t look for it to be up, up and away indefinitely for the markets. So I had better not get too fond of my new yacht.

The Eagles are so bad at football they've turned to limbo to see how low they can go

The Eagles, my friends, certainly have stepped into a world of deep doo-doo. One and four. With four straight losses. Yep, things pretty much have gone into the crapper.

They’re living in the NFC East basement and at this rate, soon they will be living in the doorway of an abandoned building.
The Eagles hit the road to Buffalo and went splat yet again, this time 31-24 to the Bills. The Birds played such a berserk game today, you wonder if any of them finished elementary school.
Turnovers, dumb penalty after dumb penalty, missed tackles, horrible play-calling, shoddy game management. A defense that keeps getting crushed like old peanut shells, repeatedly split like a cantaloupe left out too long in the sun.
And while their offense at times features dancers who move like a clarinet glissando, their self-destruction blows all that up. The Eagles squandered a 489-yard offensive day and an 8.2-yard average gain per play.
The Eagles played totally out of control. They’re so helter-skelter you wonder if they’re playing on crank. They’ve lost their way and their identity as a tough-minded and fundamentally sound football team. Its almost as if some monster bit off their heads and sucked out their lungs.
What are they feeding these guys for their daily nourishment? Thin gruel? They’re weak, man.
The Eagles need to put Superglue on their hands and gloves. They’ve turned it over a whopping 14 times the last four weeks. A truck-stop waitress isn’t that sloppy. No wonder they’re 1-4 for the first time since 1999.
And the first shall be last.
By the way, yours truly picked the Eagles to win today. I was hardly alone. The boys in Vegas, like me, failed to realize that the Eagles would fail to execute, thus executing themselves and us. The 1-3 Eagles were favored on the road against the 3-1 Bills, reportedly the first time that unlikely betting line has played out in 23 years in the NFL.
I’ve got a hunch the Birds won’t be favored in this coming Sunday’s division game at Washington.

The Philles are dead. They won't rest in peace.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

The Phillies were baseball’s heavyweight champ. They had the best starting rotation in the majors, the most regular-season wins, a payroll to rival the federal government’s, and an endless spool of sellout crowds that adored them as gods of the diamond.

The Phillies in recent years had injected an antibiotic into the polluted pool of losers that had been their history. No franchise in any sport has lost as many games as the Phillies over the decades.

None of those losses hurt like last night’s loss. This was worse than having a root canal, kidney stone and gall bladder attack simultaneously. Much worse. For their legions of devoted disciples, it was a death in the family.

When the Phillies lost 1-0 to the Cards at home in Game 5 of their NLDS, they squandered everything that had preceded it. Their lack of offense spoiled everything at the root. It all became a cropless undertaking because the front office was remiss in designing the tectonic plates of a consistently productive lineup. And if the offense hadn’t killed them, their bullpen with all the dead arms surely would have.

When Ryan Howard, who has now entered Donovan McNabb territory as the City’s Clutch Choker, crumbled with an Achilles injury as the Phillies’ season crumbled, you knew that the script had been written by the Grim Reaper.

And now this team never will be the same. Their aura has been knocked out. Their roster will change. Their signature shining moment has been swallowed up by twilight’s shadows. There was no boatman with a big bat to steer them clear of Hades on the River Styx.

Cantor fingers Obama for the "mobs" on Wall Street as if he were Moses raining locusts on Pharaoh's Egypt

Politics and partisanship, like oxygen, are everywhere. Even a crowbar couldn’t pry them from any and all subjects and events.

Just the other day when I was buttering my breakfast toast, conservatives eating on my right criticized me for being too generous with the butter on the left side of the slice while liberals sitting on my left said nothing and turned to their Reading Eagle morning read.

So you couldn’t have knocked me over with a feather when I read that House GOP leader Eric Cantor belittled the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators today as “mobs” in a statement at a conservative “Values Voter Summit” in Washington and slammed President Obama the day after he weighed in on the protests with empathy.

“Some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans,” Cantor said.

You didn’t need your GPS to realize that Cantor was pointing left in Obama’s direction.

Funny thing about politics that you may have noticed. Cantor, I don’t believe, ever slammed the Tea Party protestors as “mobs” and Obama, I don’t believe, ever expressed empathy for them.

Go figure.