Hassan didn’t have to say anything more. A lifetime living in Iraq had taught Abdul to listen to and understand the unsaid, the implied, the tacit warning which in prior days, if ignored, could lead to prison or worse.
(Hint: Those Republicans who supported Santorum, Paul, Gingrich, Bachmann, Cain or Perry in the G.O.P. primaries, but ended up "settling" for Mitt Romney, are in love with me.)
Competitors are judged on the number of strokes, the length of the strokes as well as the extent of the area of the competitor’s own back which is scratched during three successive 90 second periods. Points can be added or subtracted for the grace with which the competitor handles his scratcher. For example, a "satisfaction stroke" (scratching deeply) rather than just touching on the skin surface is a plus although drawing of blood does result in disqualification. The choice of the accompanying music is not counted in the scoring.
Erskine Bowles, a chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, was co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. He wrote this for The Washington Post last week.
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