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20 Questions (and a Confession): The Common Reader

Posted: 09/16/11 02:37 PM ET

1. Just so we're clear: writing a song in support of a woman you believe to have been wrongly convicted means you should never set foot in the White House, but presiding over more executions than any governor in modern times is qualification to lead the nation?

2. What are the odds that Governor Perry authorizes a stay of execution for Duane Buck?

3. If Anthony Weiner is a "disgraced" former Congressman and Dick Cheney is a "disgraced" former Vice President, it kinda makes you think we need a different word for someone who advocated torture, supported unwarranted surveillance of Americans, and was the co-architect of domestic policies -- dramatic increases in federal spending coupled with drastic reductions in tax revenue -- that led to America's most severe economic recession in decades?

4. It reminds you of the lazy "Washington is bad" narrative that is the stock and trade of political journalism in America, doesn't it?

5. Say you're sick. Really sick. So sick that all you want to do is climb into your mother's bed and have her care for you. She brings you food, blankets, the pills your doctor prescribed, some over the counter stuff that only mothers know about. It's been a week, but you're still not well. Do you keep taking the medicine, take more medicine or get naked and stand in the rain so you'll get soaked?

6. The people who said they voted for Bob Turner (R-NY) because they wanted to "send President Obama a message" would probably stand in the rain, right?

7. Speaking of rain, aren't you a little worried that if we don't do something about emissions and really get serious about implementing a comprehensive climate change program, we might be able to set fire to it?

8. Democrats probably shouldn't read too much into Turner's win over David Weprin. Remember the Pennsylvania House race (won by Democrat Mark Critz) and the New York House race (won by Democrat Kathy Hochul) that gave Democrats hope leading up to the 2010 midterms? We see how that turned out.

9. Besides, what are the odds that New York's 9th Congressional district will even exist next year?

10. Just so we're clear: former President Bill Clinton and Governor Andrew Cuomo both campaigned for David Weprin, but his defeat is a referendum only on President Obama?

11. Are you excited Elizabeth Warren made it official?

12. Have you ever heard that wearing white shoes means you can't commit?

13. Now that you've heard it, "whatcha gonna do with that lovin'?"

14. Ever found yourself wishing you had a wand?

15. What would you do with it? (I would wave mine around my head as a prelude to performing amazing magic just like Professor Dumbledore did in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.)

16. What if top NCAA basketball players had gone through with their planned boycott in 1995?

17. Have you read Taylor Branch's The Shame of College Sports?

18. How much longer before "student-athlete," as we understand the term today, goes the way of short shorts?

19. How long before Fords and Chevys become as common on the streets of Tokyo and Seoul as Toyotas and Hyundais are on ours?

20. Is it that surprising the leader of the Tea Party would screw a black man?