Ethan: I assume your flight to Arizona was uneventful and your seats are acceptable for the big game today?

Phil: Indeed it was, and yes, they are. I’m so eager for the game to start. What a great birthday present from my family to be here.

Ethan: Your birthday? That’s right. You turn the big 6-0! Congrats, big guy.

Phil: Well, thanks. But, honestly, I’d rather avoid talking about that milestone, almost as much as I would like to stop talking about “Deflategate”! When it’s all said and done, hopefully we’ll “deflate the hate.” Do you realize the headlines that were missed due to the media’s obsession with pounds per square inch?

Ethan: You mean like, “Mitch McConnell and John Boehner confirm that Republicans are the same old white guys’ party of no”? Did you see that “60 Minutes” interview? “Will you work with the president on raising the minimum wage, making community college free and taxing the wealthy to pay for it?” “No. No. And, definitely dead.”

Phil: Well, Boehner is more tan than white, but why would they want to tax anyone more, increase unemployment and put private colleges out of business? If we have a thriving private sector, all wages will rise.

Ethan: Ah yes, the return of trickle-down Reaganomics. Even just a “We’ll be happy to talk about that, as long as the president also talks about …” would have been nice.

Phil: The headline I wish the press didn’t ignore? “Angus King blocks thousands of jobs and cheaper energy in voting against the XL Pipeline.”

Ethan: More like, “Angus King votes to block the development of dirty, climate-harming oil when the United States should focus its attention on transitioning away from fossil fuels to renewable forms of energy.” That’s actually a direct quote from his news release. Go, Angus.

Phil: It must have come from his office since not even the liberal media would print something that biased. That said, I share his vision and his belief in alternative energy (not to mention his personal financial investments in the industry before becoming senator). In the meantime, middle- and low-income Mainers are benefiting from gas prices coming down.

Ethan: True, without even needing the XL to be built. Good point. Here’s a headline I would have liked to receive more attention: “Gov. LePage cuts aid to legal immigrants.”

Phil: You mean “illegal.”

Ethan: No, I mean “legal.” His budget cuts aid to Maine residents who are legally trying to build a better life but are not yet allowed to work. How do you take food away from a legal Maine resident who is not allowed to earn money to feed her family?

Phil: Maybe you should ask President Obama. The federal government doesn’t fund these things, yet decides they can stay till their legality is figured out.

Ethan: Yes, that was one of the cruelest parts of the Republican welfare reform bill back in the 1990s. Legal residents who are not allowed to work being denied basic food and housing while their paperwork is stuck in bureaucracy. Even Bill Clinton mentioned how unjust it was. Thankfully, the feds allow states and communities to alleviate some of this suffering.

Phil: And every community in Maine may continue to do just that. Just not on the state’s dime. How about this headline: “Clients at newly opened DHHS, Labor offices in South Portland say they’re as convenient as old Portland offices”?

Ethan: Wait a minute. That was a headline.

Phil: Yes, and no one noticed or discussed it. No editorials taking back all the nastiness thrown at LePage for moving the office and saving us all money. Less expensive for taxpayers and more accessible for those in need. That is Republicanism through and through.

Ethan: I think I need more than one day’s evidence before I rush to judgment.

Phil: You mean like the media’s rush to judgment on football pressure and maligning the reputation of someone like Tom Brady without proof? Even Obama’s press secretary and LePage piled on. The media should report on politicians breaking the rules of our Constitution like they have covered NFL rules.

Ethan: Don’t be talking football smack about LePage on Super Bowl Sunday. The most ignored headline from “Deflategate” is that our governor is actually a Giants fan! If I had known that before the election, I might have said some nicer things about him.

Phil: If we all had learned that before the election, maybe his victory wouldn’t have been quite so lopsided. And certainly not as lopsided as I hope the win is for the Pats.

Ethan: “Lopsided”? Since you aren’t playing my Giants, I do think you have a chance to win. But by no more than a field goal.

Phil: I’ll let that comment slide since the Giants haven’t played a meaningful game in over three years. I say Pats win by a touchdown, and let’s hope “Deflategate” loses all its air.