Although I like to consider myself a reasonable distance from retirement, I happen to have an energetic and persistent mother who, between 12-mile hikes in waist-deep snow and bike trips through Canada, lectures me about the evils of the Bush administration.

I should preface this by saying that since she moved to Vermont more than a decade ago, she has morphed into a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, who, despite being in her 70s, is probably this close to being included on former President Nixon's infamous enemies list.

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