Catholics, women and his big mouth cause Santorum to snatch two defeats from the jaws of victory

The Republicans played a doubleheader Tuesday night and, if you’re scoring from home, Mitt Romney swept the twin bill.

Romney was almost out at home in the Michigan game, squeaking out a three-point win over Rick Santorum while splitting the state’s delegates.

If Romney had been thrown out at home, pundits would have been speculating when he was going to hang up his, excuse me, Mitt.

If you look beyond the box scores, Santorum blew both games of the doubleheader.

Once Righteous Rick stops circling the campaign bases, he won’t find work as the Pirates’ next closer.

In Michigan, Santorum squandered double-digit leads in two polls. Shades of the Eagles last season (that’s my final sports analogy of this post, I promise).

Santorum got crushed in Arizona, where just a week ago polls showed him within easy striking distance of Romney. So much for Phoenix rising.

Santorum had to be delusional when he declared it “an absolutely great night.”

Get real, Rick.

Santorum’s absolutist and doctrinal spoutings about matters of faith turned his momentum into ashes. And ashes are only good for you on Ash Wednesday.

He hit sledgehammer hard on issues he believed would win over his fellow Catholics, attacking Obama’s rule on contraceptive coverage and assailing John F. Kennedy on church-state separation.

Unfortunately for Santorum, most Catholics, unlike their bishops, actually like contraceptives.

And while JFK had the fidelity of a rabbit in the White House, he remains a hallowed figure among Catholics because he was the first and only Catholic president. Besides, what’s a little adultery when you can hit the confessional.

Not surprisingly, Santorum struck out (oops, sorry about another baseball reference but this self-editing simply ain’t working) last night with Catholics, who went for the Mormon Romney by a 6-point margin in both Arizona and Michigan.
Moderate and independent women also don’t have Santorum posters glued to their bedroom walls since he is violently opposed to contraception and abortion and because he evidently prefers that they don’t work outside the home unless it’s cutting grass and pulling weeds in flower beds.
Besides the Catholic factor, Santorum lost the Michigan primary because of his weakness among women. Although he lost among Michigan men by just one point, he lost the women’s vote by a full six-point margin.
Chalk it up to that old adage that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Dow gets a good dose of Viagra

There are good days and then there are good days.
Granted, today could have been an even better day for many of you if a rogue cold front was turning Iranian leaders into icicles, Obama was looking for a new job, Santorum was dropping his role as America’s moral compass, and Bashar al-Assad was wearing tennis shoes and running backward out of Syria.
But today still was, in the immortal words of Larry David, pretty, pretty good.
After flirting with closing above 13,000 last week, The Dow Jones Industrial average finally hit the magical 13,000 mark today, closing at 13,005.
This is the first time the market has passed the number since the 2008 financial crisis hit.
The economic news today was good globally as well. Euro markets gained as chancellor Angela Merkel secured Germany’s approval for the second bailout of Greece.
Next thing you know, popular songs will have melodies and lyrics that actually say something.

Unlike Angelina Jolie, differing presidential polls don't have a leg to stand on

Angelina Jolie flashed some thigh at Sunday night’s Academy Awards and suddenly Twitter accounts were lighting up like a gigantic fireworks display.

I won’t bother harpooning society for being superficial because I believe we all already had a, ahem, leg up on that condition.

The bigger issue is how revealing this reaction is about the exposed credibility, or lack thereof, of a frivolous America.

No wonder that two new national polls that were released today show contrasting and confusing pictures of the presidential election.

Either the pollsters or the responders or both had Angelina’s thigh on their minds.

According to a USA Today/Gallup poll, Rick Santorum would beat President Obama 49 percent to 46 percent if the election were held today.

Not only is this gagging the Obama camp, but the Mitt Romney camp is equally as gagged because this poll says Romney would only tie Obama 47 percent to 47 percent. Which puts a huge divot in Romney’s claim that he is more electable. And also begs the question whether a tie forces overtime. Donovan McNabb is reviewing the fine print on this as we type this.

Then there is the Politico/George Washington University poll that shows Obama whipping Romney 53 percent to 43 percent and Santorum 53 percent to 42 percent. I imagine Republicans feel that the Obama camp must have conducted that poll.

Every picture tells a story, don't it?

The world has been graced with a few blonde bombshells over the years. But for my money, Marilyn Monroe remains THE bomb.Now Lindsay Lohan stars in a recreation of one of Monroe’s most famous photo shoots. Check out the eye-candy photos in New York magazine, which goes on sale Monday.And if one picture is worth a thousand words, this photo spread must be worth about a billion words. Not that many people will be reading the text.

Obama isn't paying dividends for geezers

OK, I get it that many of you who read this blog believe that I’m such a flaming liberal that I constantly flick my Bic while blogging.

But I don’t smoke. Or worship at the altar of Obama. In fact, I voted for Nixon and twice for Reagan. And I was sober each time.

Would I lie to you during Lent?

As you should know, I think Obamacare is a national plague. If you get sick or injured, God bless you. And consider a move to Albania. but I’m not sure if it’s still on the map.

Now there is another thing about President Obama that frosts me like a Friendly’s ice cream cake: His 2013 budget.

One buried landmine is his proposal to triple the tax rate on corporate dividends.

The White House spin is that this new rate would apply only to rich folks whose cigars are even longer than their stretch limos.
The reality is that there is a heap of collateral damage to all shareholders.
And it’s even worse for retirees and near-retirees who depend on dividend income to butter their toast.
According to the IRS, and they employ folks who are pretty nifty with numbers, almost three of four dividend payments go to those over the age of 55 and more than half go to those older than 65.
Since I’m a tad closer to 65 than 25, this bit of nasty info gave me a bigger surprise than if an eel had jumped out of my bowl of Wheaties this morning.
Granted, after last night’s dreary GOP debate in which the Four Tops seemed to be spinning out of control, I’m not sure who will have my vote in November.
Short of writing in my own name, I’ll check out Buddy Roemer. A four-term congressman and former governor of Louisiana, those uppity Republicans excluded him from their debates and he’s now a third-party guy.
I don’t know a thing about him, but anybody named Buddy can’t be all bad.

All kidding aside, perhaps yet another GOP debate isn't just a loopy rerun

Don’t look now, but another GOP presidential debate is gaining on us. In fact, it’s tonight on CNN direct from Mesa, Arizona.

You can view this seemingly endless string of debates basically three ways:

1. It’s reality television programming without the Kardashians or rich, spoiled housewives.

2. It’s Chinese torture — a prolonged death march until the Republicans get it right and finally fall in love with Mitt Romney.

3. It’s become the purest form of democracy we have and unlike previous campaigns, routinely shifts the balance of power.

Then again, perhaps it’s all of the above. Or at least has elements of all three.

Or course, all the hot air these debates generate is worsening global warming. Granted, no such condition exists for Republicans.

Attacking Iran is riskier than flossing a lion's teeth

It seems as if there always are war hawks in America. It’s a shame they never become an endangered species.
The hawks are screaming bloody murder these days, licking their chops to turn Iran into a big ash tray.
Granted, there are compelling reasons why Iran should be crippled before it goes all nuclear on Israel.
But at what price?
If Israel, with or without the U.S. and other allies, strikes Iran, it could transform the Middle East and perhaps the entire globe into a gigantic TNT powder keg.
Not sure we’re in the mood for such a holocaust, especially with spring training under way.
Nevertheless, American hawks — including GOP presidential candidates not named Ron Paul — are getting itchy trigger fingers over Iran, comparable to when they went apocalyptic about the threat from Iraq and nonchalant about completing the mission.
You can Google it to see what a piece of cake that was.
These hawks also must be as deaf as Beethoven because they can’t hear the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the head of Mossad saying that attacking Iran is irrational.
My God, if somehow the blood lust of hawks must be quenched, let’s pick on easy meat. How about trading punches with a lethal country such as Nauru, a Pacific Island of 8.5 square miles? Plenty big enough to house nuclear missiles if you ask me.
Or if we want to go after a bantamweight instead of a flyweight, there’s always Liechtenstein, a sprawling empire of 62 square miles located on the Rhine River between Switzerland and Austria in the Alps. I hear they have great beer and we certainly don’t want a bunch of drunks launching nuclear warheads at the Yuengling brewery in Pottsville.

China and Iran stir the Syrian boiling pot

The agony in Syria these days is incomprehensible. The country is roasting like a rotisserie chicken.
Evil is such an ugly condition that maims body and soul. The hot winds whip up the blood and tears until they paint the back of throats.
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is doing more than just a sustained military crackdown on opposition. He’s trying to ventilate the opposition.
It’s a global crisis that is threatening to spill over into catastrophic consequences.
China today accused Western countries of stirring civil war in Syria and two Iranian warships docked at a Syrian naval base, underscoring rising international tensions to the near snapping point.

The Red Cross is attempting to negotiate a temporary ceasefire today so that the international aid organization can get medical care and supplies to Syrians, particularly in the beleaguered city of Homs.

No subtle foreshadowing is needed to foresee a denouement that won’t be pretty.

Obama's mantra: Show me the money!

I realize that some of you would rather spend a Russian winter naked in Siberia than give some props to Barack Obama.

Granted, the guy may not be the same presidential timber of Lincoln. But Obama is a superdooperstar when it comes to raising money.

In fact, instead of bringing in oodles of dough for his campaign, he simply should raise money to delete a few commas in the national debt. Then maybe the GOP will stop seeing a 666 on his forehead.

Obama raised $29.1 million for his campaign and for the Democratic Party in January, ballooning his fundraising for this election cycle to a nifty $250 million and change.

That should pay for enough Reelect Obama buttons and bumper stickers to blanket Maine to Southern California.

These totals were counted before the campaign’s announcement this month that, in a reversal, Obama would embrace the big-money fundraising groups he once criticized and let them help in his reelection.

After all, if the Republicans can cozy up to super PACs, why not Dollar Barack?

And we ain’t seeing nothing yet. He has two (count ’em) $35,800-a-couple meals lined up Sunday!

For that money, hope spam and hash aren’t on the menu.

Payroll tax cut deal the Eighth Wonder of the World

Something is happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public?

Fortunately, the ol’ Zekester, as always, is here to save the day.

Working undercover because they planted Jeremy Lin in the NBA to cannibalize America’s attention, Congressional negotiators reached a final deal to extend the popular payroll tax cut for the rest of the year.

Making the globe wobble on its axis, Republicans agreed to tack the $100 billion cost onto the deficit and Democrats accepted diminished jobless benefits as well as some drug testing for the unemployed.

Can you imagine that?
Short of having a shark jump out of your john while you’re brushing your teeth, nothing could be more shocking than having Compromise with a capital C return to Capitol Hill. After all, Compromise in Congress has been MIA for ever and a day.
Next thing you know elephants will be driving taxis in Manhattan.
Hyperbole? I think not!
Indeed, the payroll tax break is being paid for with borrowed money — a major concession for GOP leaders who had adamantly opposed new deficit spending. Democrats in turn gave up their traditional stance that emergency unemployment benefits should not be offset with cuts elsewhere.
While both sides gave in, it seems evident that Republicans suddenly are picking their battles. The Party of No must have realized that obstruction is too painful long term and can lead to fecal impaction, a particularly nasty slice of business.
Granted, the key here is to see if Compromise sticks around a bit.
Questions still persist about whether John Boehner can keep his ducks in a row, what with a number of conservatives who would love to say “nay” to this bill.