Bullseye

fly

So I’m in bed, reading a book, when I notice that this one fly that’s been hanging around for a few days is in my bedroom. But I can’t find my flyswatter, and I really don’t want to get out of bed, anyway.

I grab a magazine and figure if it comes close enough, I can get it. But it’s as if the little fucker can read my mind, and flies just out of reach. (Bastard.)

Then I have another idea. I have a pile of six rubber bands on my bedside table, and I start shooting them at the fly, which is now happily poised on the top of the teevee. One after another, I let them fly at the fly, but I’m wide every time. I’m down to my last rubber band, and I’m muttering to myself, like Bill Murray in “Caddyshack.”

Be the rubber band, become one with the rubber band,” I tell myself, and fire. Bullseye! Now I can go to sleep without worrying about a goddamned insect flying into my mouth. (Flies are attracted to the carbon dioxide you exhale. Now you can worry, too!)

And when I wake up this morning, I hear: “Bzzzzz…..” Little fucker survived. This is war.

Katelyn’s prom

I heard about this young girl a few days ago when she had a prom in her hospital room. Life is precious, don’t waste it.

Katelyn Norman, a Tennessee teenager whose bucket list rallied and inspired supporters from all over the country, died today after a two year battle with osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer.

Katelyn, 14, died at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital at 8:19 a.m., according to hospital spokeswoman Erica Estep.

After fighting the cancer for two years, she was told last week that it had spread and there was not much more doctors could do. She was sent home to spend her last days with her family, but returned to the hospital on Tuesday when she was having trouble breathing.

Katelyn made a bucket list that included attending a prom, a last slow dance, learning to drive a car, a day with each sibling and seeing Italy.

A special prom for her was planned for Tuesday night in LaFollette, Tenn., but during the day Katelyn was having difficulty breathing and had to be taken to the hospital. Doctors told her she couldn’t go to her special prom, but she didn’t want that to stop others from going.

“Katelyn wanted the prom to go on. That’s her. That’s Katie bug,” Sharon Shepherd told ABCNews.com.

Shepherd works at Campbell County High School, where Katelyn was a freshman. She has known Katelyn since she was 5 years old and has grown even closer to the teen since her diagnosis in eighth-grade.

Katelyn then enjoyed her own prom in her hospital room, complete with disco balls hung from the ceiling, her white suit-wearing date, other friends in dresses and suits and her own prom queen sash and crown.

Call the White House today

Someone reminded me of that old story about the pre-Russian revolution days. Peasants would lament how bad things were, and at the end would add, “If only the czar knew!” Because they somehow believed the czar had no idea of their conditions, or how they were treated. (Some historians joke that the revolution finally happened once the peasants realized the czar did know.) Oh, if only President Obama knew that Republicans were trying to trick him into cutting Social Security and Medicare!

Well, Obama really is going to try to cut Social Security and Medicare. No, it’s not a clever ploy — unless you count the part where he’s counting on you thinking that.

So here it is: The biggest trial balloon of them all in today’s Wall St. Journal. Get your dialing fingers ready. There’s a reason they let this story out on Good Friday, they’re counting on you not noticing or being too busy to do anything about it. The White House switchboard is 202-456-1414, the comments line is 202-456-1111 or you can email here.

WASHINGTON—The White House is strongly considering including limits on entitlement benefits in its fiscal 2014 budget—a proposal it first offered Republicans in December. The move would be aimed in part at keeping alive bipartisan talks on a major budget deal.

Such a proposal could include steps that make many Democrats queasy, such as reductions in future Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security payments, but also items resisted by Republicans, such as higher taxes through limits on tax breaks, people close to the White House said.

These measures would come as President Barack Obama continues his courtship of the Senate GOP in an effort to thaw tax-and-spending talks. The White House’s delayed annual budget is scheduled to be released April 10, the same day Mr. Obama plans to dine with a group of Senate Republicans to discuss the budget and other issues.

President Obama’s inclusion of the proposal would be aimed at breathing new life into bipartisan talks on reaching a deficit-reduction deal.

Oh yes, the Bipartisan Wet Dream of a Grand Bargain.

Including entitlement curbs would be notable, as Republicans often have criticized the White House for offering such steps in private negotiations but never fully embracing them as part of an official budget plan.

People close to the White House believe a proposal to slow the growth rate of such benefits would use a variant of the Consumer Price Index to measure inflation. The new inflation indicator would cut overall spending by $130 billion, according to White House projections, and raise $100 billion in tax revenue by slowing the growth of tax brackets. The White House earlier called for an additional $800 billion or so in cuts on top of those resulting from the inflation adjustments.

“We and all of the groups engaged on this are starting to feel it may well be in the budget,” said Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president at AARP, an advocacy group for seniors that opposes such changes.

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