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Happy Hump-day, everyone.  And, no, I'm not going to include a link to that silly commercial with the people saying that to the camels....

Suppose I should begin with last night's State of the Union address by President Obama, his sixth.  I'm always struck by the optics of roughly HALF of the House of Representatives chamber coming to its feet to applaud something that the President says.  Doesn't matter which party holds the office, that's been done for a long time.

Regardless, I thought the President did a nice job specifying some things that had already been mentioned, like middle-class tax cuts funded by additional taxes on the highest earners, free community college tuition (if you qualify), revised trade policies, etc.  Not that anything he put forward has any chance of passing the Republican-controlled Congress, mind you.  And did anyone else notice that we NEVER saw Mitch McConnell on camera after he entered the House chamber a couple of spots behind the President?  Often we'll see someone in his position reacting (or not) to what the President is saying, but not last night, at least not on the network where I watched.

Anyway, the next two years should be interesting, as those who assumed that President Obama would simply fade into the background as some lame-duck Presidents have previously done are in for a bit of a shakeup.

Here's another reason to dislike the NFL:  there's now been an investigation as to whether the New England Patriots underinflated several footballs during their AFC Championship game with the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday.  Seems that when something awful is brought to light, the people in charge apparently were aware DURING the game, but nothing happened.  Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has long been known as one who kind of thumbs his nose at the establishment in an effort to gain an edge.  He was fined $500,000 a few years ago for having an assistant videotape a practice by an opponent, and has been accused of same more than once.  He played with the rules about eligible receivers just a couple of weeks ago, playing musical chairs with his players and hiding receivers amid his offensive line.  And for the longest time, he has been the only coach who doesn't fully participate in the NFL's requirement of reporting injured player status as "probable," "doubtful," "questionable," etc.  When taken to task on this he apparently reported the status of his entire team as "probable" to hide injuries to his quarterback and others.  And to think that people laud this man as one of the greatest coaches in professional football history.

His team meets the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks.  Seattle is coached by Pete Carroll, who failed in his first couple of stints in the NFL, found success through apparent irregularities at the University of Southern California, then left just as the program was to go on probation for rampant rules violations.  Kind of hard to decide which is the "best" team going in.

Some friends and I are planning a guys' golf trip for the spring.  Hard to think about waiting two-plus months for this, since the weather here in central Kentucky has been tantalizing of late.  Anyway, the planning is in its early stages but thus far involves a golf course that one of our crew HATES to play.  Are we wrong to try to subject him to this punishment?  I think not.

Finally, I've started working on my taxes.  Have you?  I'm just about finished, actually, just need data from a former employer and I should be good to go.  Good thing, too, since I just saw last night that the IRS is already saying that refund will be processed more slowly than usual this year.  Assuming we GET a refund, right?


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