These Gray Days of December

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

It’s nearly winter in southern New Mexico.  For the most part we’ve had sunny days, but lately we’ve had our share of gray.  Earlier in the week we actually had rain and there was snow up in the St. Augustin pass and the peaks.  A couple of weeks ago I took my short trip up to The Other Side of the Mountain…these days, that excursion wouldn’t be so inviting.

First Snow on Organ Peaks 12/08

First Snow on Organ Peaks 12/08

It’s always shock when the gray sets in this time of year because it feels so PROFOUNDLY gray.  Growing up in New Jersey, going to college in Ithaca, New York, and spending a year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin I accepted the rain, the snow, and the raw weather.  The occasional blizzard, too. By March, however, it was downright depressing. Sure, spring was around the corner and a 40° F day seemed warm. But it was the continuous gray that got to me.  It just hung like a shroud…

A series of gray days or days that start out sunny and turn gray with a low cloud cover is hard to take here in southern New Mexico. Maybe I’m just older. Maybe I’ve just gotten spoiled. But when what I call “Jersey weather” descends, so do my spirits.  A single day of completely gray weather affects my mood to the point where I am praying for the Sun’s return so that I don’t have to feel like I need to curl up into a ball and hide. I often wonder how I managed to tolerate the winters back East and the one in Milwaukee, which was just plain brutal!

The webcam has been showing the back and forth between bright blue skies, wispy clouds, and heavy clouds that look like it will rain any minute. By Christmas, the really “bad” days of winter set in. Sometimes we will have a rip-roaring wind and rain storm or perhaps an inch or so of snow that melts almost immediately.  It will feel like winter back East for about a week, then we get usually pleasant days with very cold nights through January and into February.  As long as the days are dry and sunny, I don’t care much about the nights, except for what the coldest spells might do to my garden under the “greenhouse.”  In that case, I throw a few blankets over the vegetables for a bit more protection.

The dogs know the weather has changed. Tico hates this time of year.  We adopted him on February 1, 2002, the same day that he was dumped in the cage outside the animal shelter after being kept for a month by people who had found him by the side of a road.  We had our name on a list for a small dog to be a companion for Toro, and when the shelter called I rushed right over. Tico was sitting in a box of shredded paper, alternating between shaking like a leaf or growling with bared teeth.  The attendant begged us to take him, as he wasn’t making a very good impression and most likely would wind up being put to sleep within a few days.   Once I held him, that was it.  Since it was a Friday, he couldn’t be picked up until the next Monday after his neutering surgery, so we brought Toro over to play with him and the two seemed to get along.  We took Tico home and since then we’ve seen that winters are hard on him. He curls up as if he’s hibernating and refuses to go out when he senses a change of the weather. He’s as sensitive as a precision barometer.  He is so upset that it’s even hard to keep him on a schedule to go out to the bathroom. He must have some very bad memories from being out on a cold road during the winter as a pup. Toro, on the other hand, is a New Jersey native who grew up playing in the snow and has no problems during the winter.

Slick, of course, was rescued from the streets at the end of 2002  just as the weather turned cold.  Now that he’s older, he doesn’t protest too much when I put on his little “jackie” for his early morning walk or his nighttime pj’s made of a cut-up sweat pants leg.   As a min pin, he really feels the cold to the point of shivering and it’s not unusual for me to wake up in the morning to find him out of his bed and under the covers with me.

This year there’s a real difference in how I’m feeling as winter approaches.  It’s just a few days shy of the two-month anniversary of the death of my ex-pat friend who lived in England.  Sharon and I never met in-person, although we talked on the phone and then via Skype.  We  first “met” while I was doing columns over at Buzzflash (ca. 2001). We started corresponding and kept at it until this October.

I  knew she had been having health problems, but she was very private. She told me she had pneumonia (which turned out not to be true) and that she was getting better. But her emails, which had been an almost a daily ritual, became less and less frequent.

Suddenly, she wrote and told me that she loved me.  A few days later, I received an email that she had died.

Continue reading

The Past Week: November 23-29, Recaps and Random Thoughts (Dogs; Obamabilia and “Mt. Crapmore”; Jobs; Black Politics; CNN Delivers In-Depth Report on Our Best Hope to Save Us from “First Lady Fashion Fumbles”)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Well, we survived Black Friday and now the full-court press is on for Christmas! For me, this is the time of year when I start avoiding stores and try to ignore all that’s going on.  If the economy depended on me for consumption, it would tank even more…I don’t shop!

Quick update on the stray dog…I think she/he was around a few weeks ago, but after I got my cam set up and experimented with the location of the food/water dishes and saw that everything disappeared except the big cookie treats, it was pretty clear that the birds that were hanging around were the ones eating. So, wherever the little dog is these days, I hope she/he is safe and warm.  I wish I could be sure…On the bright side, the neighbors across the street, whose house is visible on the web cam view, adopted another dog quite by chance. They were visiting some people and the neighbors from across the street was in the process of moving and were desperate because they couldn’t take the dog with them. My neighbor decided to take him home, as a buddy for the white boxe named Sugar they already have. A young dog they had had died a couple of months ago and Sugar was very lonely. The new addition, a huge American bulldog named Big, is as sweet as pie and is friendly toward Slick. Sugar was beginning to warm up a bit since she was so lonely, but wasn’t exactly in love with my little guy.  Big makes sure Sugar stays in line and practically climbs over Sugar to nose Slick!

If you”re lucky, you might see Sugar and Big on the cam greeting Slick as we go out for our “mailbox walk” in the early afternoon…

***

Speaking of Christmas, you might want to shop at the site offering fabulous Obama gifts!!! The ad caption for this graphic reads “Capitalism, Democracy, Support Both!! Buy the T-Shirt”!

***

H/T to Make Them Accountable for passing along this clip found at Raw Story…Lewis Black on how cheesy the “Obamabilia” sellers are these days:

Lewis Black rant mocks tacky ‘Obamabilia’

“Just think about it,” said comedian Lewis Black in a recent installment; “two months before he even takes office, Barack Obama has already earned a permanent place on ‘Mount Crapmore.'”

SNIP

Said Black: “The election of Barack Obama has once again demonstrated America’s greatest gift: Our capacity to embrace hope and idealism… and then turn it into worthless, disposable crap!”

The one response is right on target:

As is the load the Obama marketing team sold the huddling lemming-like progressives who lapped up the rhetoric like thirsty dogs. It’s worthless crap. Never, ever, underestimate the ability of human beings to repeat the same mistakes countless times.
Audacity of hope, indeed.

Reminds me of the cartoon I posted back on 11/22…a previous r version of “Mt. Crapmore”…

***

Monday we awoke to this fabulous WaPo report with a it’s ridiculous headline…’H/T to That’s Me on the Left for the find and snark:

Obama Sets Expansive Goal for Jobs
Plan Aims to Create or Save 2.5 Million Positions by 2011

So, if I’m understanding this correctly, if Obama creates zero jobs by 2011, he has achieved his goal, as he “preserved” the 2.5 million jobs not lost.

Indeed, if he loses 2.5 million jobs, he preserved the additional 2.5 million jobs that would have been lost absent his lightworking economic policies.

Unbelievable.

And the WaPo carries this spin as a headline on page one.

So now, job creation is apparently on an equal footing with “job saving” which means not losing any more…Let’s aim high, folks!

***

As the big financial institutions line up for their much-deserved bailout money, how much is really being reported in the mainstream media?  Well, if you want to see where YOUR money is going, check out this great site, Bailout Sleuth.com, which is keeping up with where all the money is going…

***

Here’s another site which is very informative.  If you want to keep up with what black Americans are thinking these days, check out Your Black Politics. The site also provides an EXTENSIVE list of many other blogs related to black political news and other subjects of interest.

***

From Chicago Correspondent Leslie…finally, an article of substance from CNN!!! Thank God, we will have Michelle Obama’s impeccable taste to look to for inspiration and the chance to “break the mold”!  Are the snide remarks about Clinton and Bush absolutely necessary?? I think not…And why the HELL are we being subjected to this fashion crap, anyway?…”18 million cracks” my ass…(When do we get to hear Sarah Palin trashed again??)

Fashion fumbles by first ladies

NEW YORK (AP) — When Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton arrived at the White House, they brought with them styles that suited their hometowns in Texas and Arkansas, but that wouldn’t have held up in any fashion capital.

Laura Bush's Sunday-best peacock blue coat didn't get high ratings in 2001.

Laura Bush’s Sunday-best peacock blue coat didn’t get high ratings in 2001.

Tastemakers have higher hopes for Michelle Obama, who is expected to fill her closet at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with sophisticated styles that match her modern image but maintain the sensibility inherent to Chicago.The image of Obama walking the inaugural parade route in something like the domed, wide-brimmed hat that has haunted Clinton since 1993 seems unlikely. And she probably won’t show up to the inaugural ball in mother-of-the-bride-style gowns with dyed-to-match pumps like Bush has worn — twice.

Over time, both Clinton and Bush did grow more accustomed to their new surroundings, and their wardrobe reflected that. Learn more about inaugural events and history »

For example, Bush wore a Sunday-best peacock blue coat with sensible shoes to the chilly inaugural ceremony in 2001, but chose a chic winter-white coat ensemble with camel-colored high heels — a top pick of fashion insiders — in 2005.

Clinton also chose a modern, luxe gold lace gown by Oscar de la Renta for her second tour of inaugural balls unlike the fussy purple princess number the first go-around. (Remember the sparkly belt buckle?) Video Watch how extravagant should Obama’s inauguration ball be? »

Still, Bush and Clinton fit into the expectations of what earlier generations thought a president’s wife should look like. Obama has the opportunity to break the mold.

MORE spew….

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This week in the garden:  I have a huge crop of mustard that I can’t eat fast enough!   The pak choi is beginning to become recognizable at about 3″ tall and the arugula is just about ready for first harvest.  I actually picked a few more small banana peppers from the plants in the pots.  Although we’re having brief spells of freezing temperatures overnight, I still have a few figs that I’m hoping to harvest. I cover the bush with plastic and keep it on during the day.  The tree is a bit off schedule because I transplanted it last fall from a big planter and it’s still getting warmth off the wall it’s next to.  I’m real close to having them ripen, but one really bitterly cold night may spoil them.  Fingers crossed!

***

THIS WEEK’S POSTS

We started the live web cam this week! See the tab at the top of the home page!

*By kenosha Marge

**By American Lassie

***Submitted by Grail Guardian

Bill Richardson at Commerce: Scary

*A True Tale: “The Saga of Tom Turkey” by kenosha Marge

**The $700 Billion Bailout Bait and Switch

REMINDER: Free US Now Radio Tonight (11/24)…with Idella Moore, Head of Drive to Ratify the ERA

***CHANGE! …(your expectations)

The Past Week: November 16-22, Recaps & Random Thoughts (Critical Thinking vs. Elation; Pics from “Elation Central”; Drying the Tears of Progressive Groups; Medicare Part D Surprise from the Democrats; Face Reading; Housewives & Ludacris; Stray Dog Update)(UPDATE 1X–Dog)

The Past Week: November 16-22, Recaps & Random Thoughts (Critical Thinking vs. Elation; Pics from “Elation Central”; Drying the Tears of Progressive Groups; Medicare Part D Surprise from the Democrats; Face Reading; Housewives & Ludacris; Stray Dog Update)(UPDATE 1X–Dog)

~~Posted by InsightAnalytical-GRL

What is this, Week 2 of Clinton SOS speculation?  Which now seems to be moving toward a YES, she’s accepting it?

***

Over at the Black Agenda Report, we get to see what thinking citizens are mulling over. They’ve been holding Obama’s feet to the fire for months now, so it is not a sudden shift in their assessment.

Take a look at the piece this week entitled “Critical Thinking Amid the Elation.” Shannon Joyce Prince writes:

Obamist sections of the Left seem to believe it “doesn’t matter who Obama is, what he does, says, or stands for – he represents hope and change and that’s good enough.” Some folks are simply misinformed, and therefore blissful. “Many of the people that danced in the streets haven’t taken the time to do any research on Obama, so part of their euphoria is based on ignorance.” One is expected to partake in the party. “Those who castigate folks for not being appropriately jubilant at Obama’s election are insisting that blacks content themselves, in perpetuity, with symbolism instead of real change.”

MORE

***

But over at “Elation Central” (home office, Chicago) we see that there’s all elation, with not much thinking. Thanks to Chicago Correspondent Leslie for these items. She comments:

Honestly, I don’t think I can take much more of this
The larger picture was the front page of the RedEye today.
The smaller was in the Tribune.  I beg of whatever god(dess) there may be to rescue us from the madness.
(The larger picture shows people wearing tee shirts with a photo of that couple looking like they posed for the cover of vanity fair or glamour magazines)
obamatsredeyechicago1obamasloveytribunechicago

***

We posted this week about how the Organic Consumers Association is already upset with Obama and Leslie sent us another set of messages from groups that are feeling a bit…consternated.  They include:

Peace Action which is upset about any possible “dial back” of Iraq withdrawal plans and the folks over at “The Progressive”:

Dear Progressive Reader:

I imagine you’re feeling somewhere between exultant and ecstatic right now after Obama’s historic triumph. (I know that’s the reaction in my family, with my wife, daughter, and one of my sons all having knocked on doors for Obama.)

I want to take this moment to assure you that The Progressive and progressive.org will give you the crucial news about Obama in the days ahead.

The Obama Administration is taking shape before our eyes, and it is consisting largely of Clinton retreads.

As I point out in one of my postings this week, he has yet to throw a bone to progressives who helped elect him.” (big snip)

Matthew Rothschild
Editor, The Progressive”

Sincerely,

Gee, if this keeps up, I’m going to run out of thosed tissues that I’m using to help all these disappointed Obamacrats dry their tears…

***

Here in the reality-based section of what we call “life,” I had an infuriating moment when I went up to pick up my formerly $4/3 months supply of medication that I was buying “outside” Medicare Part D in a well-thought out plan to avoid the infamous “donut hole.”  Remember how Ted Kennedy et al vowed to change Medicare Part D for the better…then chickened out because it was just too darned hard to let the drug and insurance companies down easy??

Well, I had my 4 bucks out but was informed that it was no longer possible to buy outside Medicare Part D.  About a month ago, apparently, a directive came from on high that ALL prescriptions MUST go through Part D if you’ve got it.  I was entirely aggravated, wondering when all this had changed!  I then focused my hostility on the Democratically-controlled Congress, because who else would have been responsible for this change??  When did they slip it in and what was the deal?  I’ve been too busy to research it, but at this point, maybe it doesn’t matter…Democrats were in charge and approved. And, we pay more as a result…

Does this give you ANY confidence in what they will be doing for to us again in January?

***

Here’s something you might want to try out on all the bright lights now populating the skies of the incoming Obama administration.  It’s a new way to analyze personality, based on “face reading.”  Try it out!!

Check out this nifty free analysis tool here.  When I get some time I’m going to see how the results for Obama compare to what we wrote about here on Obama’s handwriting and manipulative skills via hypnosis/NLP techniques.

****

Now we enter the hazy depths of “American culture” (or whatever passes for it these days) with the news that the “Housewives of Atlanta” drew huge ratings, even beating the “Housewives of Orange County” series. I glimpsed at some moments of HOA and was rather grossed out by the blatant adoration of really gross bling and the mostly uncouth group of women passing for Atlanta society.  But I see from the previews that HOC is also going to get a lot trashier.  Ah, womanhood!  This is what American seems to accept as normal and admirable, or at the very least, worth wasting a lot of time watching, while Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton get crucified.  We truly are a “trash country,” it seems.  I’m waiting to see what shows up at the White House…If I see Ludacris show up, I’ll want to know if he sleeps in the Lincoln Bedroom.  Clinton had donors in there, but I don’t think any were of the same ilk as Ludacris…

Maybe he’ll do his Obama is Here opus at a State Dinner…

***

For you cooking fans, here’s something that I don’t know quite what to make of.  See what you think about “The Spon.

***

Finally, a garden and stray dog update…

The garden took a few real cold nights and I finally put up my plastic “greenhouse.” Have no pics yet, maybe next week.  I harvested the last peppers, or so I thought. I’ve been covering the plants in the pots and there are actually a few more big enough to be worth harvesting.  The mustard has gone crazy and I’ve spotted a few tiny broccoli heads already!

News on the stray dog….well, I actually went out a cam a couple of days ago and never caught anything although the food disappeared as usual.  I was thinking the dog came in from the side of the house to eat because I didn’t see any activity coming up the driveway.  The dishes weren’t visible, so today I moved them so I can actually see who’s eating the food! I’m wondering if it’s the white doves or crows, but it just doesn’t seem to be their work. And what about that black hair?  Unless it’s a cat who likes dog food?  That would explain a visitor coming up over the wall from the arroyo and visiting the water and food in the front of the house. And, there are cats who roam the nearby streets here and then go home.  But, who knows? I have a bunch of video I have to review, so I may have an answer tomorrow.  I’ll update this when I find out for sure!

UPDATE 1X

Well, it looks like yesterday’s afternoon visit was by…BIRDS!  I think they drank a bit and played around with the kibble!  Hard to tell if they were all doves or grackles…some were definitely dark, but not as big as crows.  I’ve got the camera on this morning so we’ll see if someone else shows up. Yesterday, you could tell from the messy area and one of the kibbles in the water that it was most likely birds.  But in the AM especially, the dish is cleaned with nothing left behind, so we’ll have to see if it’s the birds that are more polite eaters in the AM or whether it is a dog!!!

THIS MORNING…There were birds on the AM video and when I got the paper at 8:30 AM I saw the bowl was completely empty, except for crumbs. The birds were on the video so they may have been pecking at those crumbs. So, if it’s a dog, it is coming before 7:45 when I turned on the cam…I thought originally that it was coming between 6:30 AM and 7:45 (about about 7:45 kids start walking past on the way to the school bus stop).  I’ve been getting up later the last few days, so I haven’t been out to check at 6:30. With Sunrise at about 6:45, I’m  not sure the cam will catch anything because the area where I have the food is in the shadows as well…so, it may be too dark to see anything!  I’ll just have to get very early tomorrow to turn on the cam and see if it’s too dark to be useful…or post myself by the window and do a low-tech observation!!

THIS WEEK’S POSTS

*Submitted by Chicago Correspondent Leslie

**By Grail Guardian

***By Kenosha Marge

*Saturday “Toons” from Our Chicago Correspondent Leslie

**Howard’s Agony: Seems Like We’ve Been Here Before

The Scanner-Politics 11/20/08 (CHANGE?? Daschle at HHS, His Wife and Lobbying; Organic Consumers Org. So Ticked at the Thought of Vilsack at Agriculture That Their Petition is Already Going Strong; Froma Harrop on “Palin’s Next Career Move” Will Raise Your Blood Pressure) (Updated 1X)

Find the Sexism in the Picture, Learn “The Code”

**Attention NeoProgs: You DID NOT Defeat the PUMAs!

***The Rise and Fall of Great Expectations

The Past Week: November 9-15, Recaps & Random Thoughts (Suddenly Soiled Sarah Gets Advice from Katie Couric, Joke “Journalist”; Gov Luv; Sunday Telegraph, UK Previews More Clinton Trashing?; Major Stray Dog Update (Update 1X–Clinton Trashing in Progress in U.S. via AP)

The Past Week: November 9-15, Recaps & Random Thoughts (Suddenly Soiled Sarah Gets Advice from Katie Couric, Joke “Journalist”; Gov Luv; Sunday Telegraph, UK Previews More Clinton Trashing?; Major Stray Dog Update (Update 1X–Clinton Trashing in Progress in U.S. via AP)

UPDATE 1X

Opened up the Sunday rag and there it is…a full page, 6 col. headline from the AP–“Husband’s foreign deals may pose issue for Clinton.”  Accompanied by a picture of Obama and Clinton together at a rally.  See? The magic has begun…Obamas’ uninvestigated donations from foreign sources, Auchi, etc. go unreported…but always time for the Clintons…and, to repeat, it’s most likely set-up by the Obama crowd….float to “show goodwill,”  big story about all that vetting they will do to avoid being “sullied” by the associations potential nominees to posts (what a joke!), story from the foreign press trashing Clinton appears, the next day picked up here. OOPS!!! Can’t nominate Hillary, she’s got ASSOCIATIONS.  RESULT? Trashed Clintons, Obama looks soooo “ethical”!!!!  Ane he’s dispatched the Clintons to the junk pile… MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!!

And they’ll do it to Palin, too…..

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In the wake of the election, “Suddenly Soiled Sarah” was getting lots of advice, including some from Katie Couric…yes, the same Katie Couric who has ties top Nicolle Wallace, who was supposed to assist Palin during the campaign. (See story in the roundup of posts below for details).  According to ace reporter-analyst Couric, Palin should “keep her head down.”  H/T to Not Your Sweeting for the scoop early this week:

If the glass ceiling is more intact than ever, thank infotainment news bimbos like Katie Couric for that!

Their contribution to the Year of the Penis has been memorable enough, but she wants to make sure that the stench lingers on.

Revealing her real, personal intentions in her edited, propaganda interview Couric had this jarringly smug and patronizing comment:

“I think she should keep her head down, work really hard and learn about governing.”

After which, surrealistically, she tried to appear humble by saying

But I’m not anyone to give advice to anyone about anything,”

And where did she make those profound statements? To Glamour Magazine – one publication that replaced the news reporters kicked off the Obama campaign plane because their newspapers endorsed the other side. In other words, an accepted source for news in this day and age.

MORE excellent commentary…

***

But, oops, she didn’t follow Couric’s advice at all! Palin had a spate of interviews all over the tube, including a two-parter from her home in Alaska with Greta van Susteren and one with Matt Lauer on NBC.  I didn’t keep track to see if there were any others, but she also had an appearance at the Republican Governor’s Association meeting on November 13 (Thursday).

According to Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire, some Repubs were rather miffed about it all:

“It unfortunately sent a message that she was the de facto leader of the party.”

— A Republican governor, quoted by CNN, on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s three minute press conference earlier today.

Oh, perish the thought!

The AP had a full story which reported some more favorable comments…but had to lard it with spin, of course:

Palin urges GOP governors to keep Democrats honest

MIAMI (AP) — Sarah Palin called on fellow Republican governors to keep the new president and his strengthened Democratic majority in check on issues from taxes to health care as she signaled she’ll take a leadership role in a party searching for a new standard-bearer.

Addressing the Republican Governors Association meeting Thursday, this year’s GOP vice presidential nominee — and an oft-mentioned candidate for 2012 — revisited some aspects of the bitter campaign and talked about the role of the governors in the coming year. After losing the White House and several seats in the Senate and House, the party is engaging in some soul-searching about its direction.

“We are the minority party,” Palin said at a session on “Looking Towards the Future: The GOP in Transition.” “Let us resolve not to be the negative party.”

Still, she took a swipe or two at President-elect Barack Obama. She said with governors, “the buck stops on our desk. … We are not the many voting yea or nay or present.” While an Illinois state lawmaker, Obama often voted “present,” a practice the GOP criticized during the campaign.

Palin noted that Congress is led by the likes of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Rep. Barney Frank, and said it was incumbent upon GOP governors to ensure that the federal government doesn’t take over the health care system. She said if Obama and the new Congress “err on the side of excess taxes, we have to show them the way.”

“Let’s reach out to Barack Obama,” Palin said. “Show him how lower taxes provide opportunity for the private sector to grow.”

Palin also displayed a sense of humor, telling the governors at the beginning of her remarks that she wanted to catch them up on the developments in her life since they last met.

“I had a baby, I did some traveling, I very briefly expanded my wardrobe, I made a few speeches, I met a few VIPs including those who really impact society like Tina Fey,” she said to loud laughter.

(SNIP)

Republican governors acknowledged that Palin would be a party leader.

“She is somebody who is going to be one of the voices in helping to lead the party in the months and years ahead,” Pawlenty said. “We’re going to need a whole team, but she’s clearly going to be one of the voices that people are going to look to for some perspective on various issues.”

In a series of national television interviews, Palin did not rule out seeking the presidency, saying, “It’s crazy to close a door before you know what’s even open in front of you.”

Before briefly taking questions from reporters Thursday morning, Palin said, “I, like all of our governors, we’re focused on the future. The future for us is not the 2012 presidential race. It’s next year and our next budget, and the next reforms in our states and in 2010 we’re going to have 36 governors’ positions open across the U.S. That’s what we’re focused on.”

INTERRUPTING FOR A BULLSHIT ALERT:

Governors showed their support for Palin, who critics have said was ill-prepared to be vice president and may have cost Republican nominee John McCain support from independent and moderate voters. Undermining Palin’s credibility and hockey mom image was her $150,000 wardrobe bought with GOP dollars and her halting interview performances.

A CNN/Opinion Research poll released Wednesday showed that 43 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of Palin.

END OF BULLSHIT ALERT

Twelve of Palin’s peers joined her for the news conference, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry praised before she made her remarks, describing Palin as “a governor who has led her state boldly, inspired a nation with her optimism, her frank talk, her unashamed embrace of bedrock conservative principles. She represents us, Republican governors, as well. And I can assure you, she’s just getting started.”

If Obama and his background had been scrutinized like Palin, he’d be at about 30%.  And, if the truth had been told about who bought the clothes and the rats “managing” her appearance on with Couric (Nicolle Wallace, former CBS News analyst who worked with Couric), she’d be a lot lower than 43%.  After all she took, it’s amazing she’s only at 43%!

As for her very diplomatic statement about “keeping Democrats honest”–well, it’s VERY diplomatic considering how incredibly dishonest they were during their own primaries…and how the crap continues to unfold as the Obama campers start to reveal their true selves.

A video of presser featuring Palin and the others governors is here.

***

With all the rumors swirling about Hillary Clinton being in the running for Secretary of State, I thought I’d post this story from the Sunday Telegraph in the UK, as a preview to what would transpire if she, indeed, was name and she accepted:

Hillary Clinton would face tough questions about Bill’s finances if chosen for Secretary of State

Hillary Clinton will face awkward questions about her husband’s financial ties with Arab sheikhs and Central Asian oligarchs if Barack Obama nominates her as Secretary of State.

***

The President-Elect has reportedly sounded out his former bitter rival to be the international face for his new administration – just months after she mocked his foreign policy inexperience and criticised his plans to talk to America’s enemies.

But the ex-First Lady would first have to go through a gruelling confirmation process on Capitol Hill at which, The Sunday Telegraph has learned, Republican senators will raise her husband’s secrecy-shrouded business deals and fund-raising for his glitzy presidential library and foundation.

Former President Bill Clinton has consistently refused to provide the names of the donors, but newspaper investigations have identified a slew of foreign contributors, many from oil-rich Gulf states. His lucrative consultancy work for a friend’s investment group has also involved dealings with Arab partners.

Republican strategists are dusting off plans to expose Mr Clinton’s financial ties, which they will argue represent a serious conflict of interest for his wife as the country’s top diplomat.

“Bill’s multi-million dollar deals to fund his foundation and make the family rich were always going to be a profitable source of attack for us if Hillary was the candidate,” said a Republican strategist. “Now it looks like we’re going to get the chance to have a go at her over this, thanks to President-Elect Obama. How can Hillary represent our interests when Bill is Bill is said to have close financial ties with some oil sheikhs?”

Some of their themes will echo persistent lines of attack by the Obama campaign during the tough primary battle.

OK, let’s see if all the speculation about Clinton has been generated by the Obama crowd…a further trashing, once this story makes it to the media here.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all…

Check out the picture with the story…all smiles between the two of them, Obama and Hillary, But is the knife is being sharpened again?

***

STRAY DOG UPDATE–I’ve been feeding the mystery dog steadily for 4 days now…he/she seems to come between 6:30 and 7:45 AM; if the all the food isn’t eaten, there’s a return visit.  I saw a black hair in the food bowl yesterday, so I’m still assuming it’s the little black and white stray I first saw about two weeks ago. I’ve moved the bowls up the driveway and they are now sitting at the lip of the garage, just outside the door. Let’s see if the food is eaten Sunday morning. If it is, the garage door will be opened on Monday morning and the bowls place just INSIDE the garage for a few days. Then I will put up a chair and sit there and see if the dog comes. If he does and seems shy, I will disappear inside….Let’s see how it goes this week!

THIS WEEK’S POSTS

*By American Lassie

The Scanner-International Edition, 11/14/08 (Insight into Obama’s Background, the Luo of East Africa; The Unrecognized Foreign Policy Work by Bush that Will Help Obama; How the Occupation of Iraq May Look in the Future)

“Project Foreign Policy—Style!” Introducing This Season’s Newest Look–Obama’s Magic Foreign Policy Shoes!

The Scanner–Readers’ Edition:Top Comments/Reader Suggested Links Edition 11/12/08 (Some Choice Words on the “Post-Racial” Atmosphere at Work; Young Women & Misogyny; The Penis Code; George Soros)(UPDATE: Favorite Hate Mail Post Just Arrived!)

*Dollars and Cents, Dirty Hands and Obamanomics

Did You See Sarah Palin Live with Greta? WOW!! In the Kitchen, Meal Prep and Policy…(UPDATE 1X–Video Up)

REMINDER: “Ladies’ Night” on the Radio Tonight! MONDAY, 10/10…FULL LINEUP Starts 8 PM ET

The Scanner-Politics 11/10/08 (FOX Self-Censoring?; OBAMA DAY???; An Upside-Down Flag in My Town)

The Past Week, November 2-8: Recaps & Random Thoughts (Chicago Trib’s “RedEye” Pic of “Royalty”; Frightening Treatment of McCain Supporter in Philly on Election Night; The Price Paid Due to Non-Voters (Deals with Ministers); Help “Free Us Now Mavericks” Hosted by Betty Jean Kling; Stray Dog Update

The Past Week, November 2-8: Recaps & Random Thoughts (Chicago Trib’s “RedEye” Pic of “Royalty”; Frightening Treatment of McCain Supporter in Philly on Election Night; The Price Paid Due to Non-Voters (Deals with Ministers); Help “Free Us Now Mavericks” Hosted by Betty Jean Kling; Stray Dog Update

Well, it was such a disappointing week, but on Friday, Obama’s Nancy Reagan faux pas brightened my day. Keep it up, Obama!  Now, onto the roundup:

***

From regular reader Leslie in Chicago…this GEM. She writes:

This is the photo on the front page of the Tribune’s “RedEye” free daily newspaper.
Beneath the photo in HUGE type reads:

AMERICAN ROYALTY

PS: Saturday’s web edition is more simple: just has a pic labeled just “Royalty.”

Camelot already??  Well, about the Royal Couple’s subjects …What happens when Obama doesn’t deliver whatever it is they expect to be delivered?

***

This benign title masks a VERY disturbing video which might answer the question just asked. I haven’t been to Philly in a long time…I’m glad I didn’t show up in the middle of this…see Minute 3:15

Man Arrested for Wearing McCain Shirt at Obama Victory Rally

***

Over the past week, we’ve had some excellent analyses of the election.  Texas Hill Country (note the new address) sent out a letter to mailing list members which think I speaks for many of us:

The American public rejected the hard right swing that was part and parcel with the Bush Administration and, blinded by rhetoric, swung far to the left…  but not the traditional Democratic left.  This is a new Democratic Party.
In the wake of this election cycle, people should remember that:

  • It was Democrats that voted against GLBT rights in 4 states
  • It was Democrats that voted against two very strong and capable women
  • It was Democrats that attacked two very strong women with vicious sexism
  • It was Democrats that found the attacks on freedom of speech acceptable (truth squads)
  • It was Democrats that applauded unfair and unethical election practices (primaries)
  • It was Democrats that abandoned campaign finance reform
  • It was Democrats that conducted a questionable war on the sanctity of the vote (acorn, ohio)

And also that

  • It was evangelicals that failed to come out for the Republican Party
  • It was the evangelicals that turned out in higher numbers for the Democrats

No matter what the rhetoric, no matter what the politicians say, the Democratic Party has abandoned two of its’ key constituencies…  women and gays.  I shudder to thing what will happen when little bites begin to be taken out of Roe v Wade.  I no longer have any confidence that the Democratic Party will protect women’s right to choose.
It is time for the Republican party to abandon the Neo-Conservatives.  It is time for the Republicans to recapture the center and to become the party of Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Barry Goldwater once again.
It is time to remake the face of the Republican Party as the party of small government, both in business and in our daily lives.
It is time for the Republican Party to become the party of equal rights and freedoms for all.
It is time for the Republican Party to become the party that it once was.  The party that fought to give African Americans the right to vote.  The party that fought to give women the right to vote.  The party that helped the first woman get elected to Congress.  The party that fought for the individual against the crushing weight of the society and the government.
It is time for the Republican Party to abandon the path set forth by John Sears and Karl Rove and get back to its’ roots.
I am calling on the Republican Party to abandon the “Religious Right” that abandoned you.
I am calling on the Republican Party to abandon its attack on a woman’s right to choose.
I am calling on the Republican Party to abandon the attacks on the division between church and state.
I am calling on the Republican Party to abandon the injection of religion into social policy
I am calling on the Republican Party to allow people of any race, creed, color or sexual preference to associate in any way they deem appropriate…  including marriage.
I am calling on the Republican Party to defend my rights as a citizen to live my life without interference from the government as long as my actions are not harming others.
I am calling on the Republican Party to stop being a RINO and start being Republican once again.

Over at Not Your Sweetie, Edge wrote a piece with some hard numbers that summarizes what happened on Election Day succinctly, with a focus on who stayed home and the price we’re all going to pay for it. Edge points out that evangelicals ministers kept their flocks home on the promise of Obama’s support for money and “their ability to hire and fire based on faith. For more background on what Obama was up to during the campaign, see these pieces:

6/11: So, What’s Obama Going to Give Away to Conservative Religious Leaders and Constitutional Law Profs Who Work with Ken Starr??(Just Say No Deal)

6/26: Part 1: Obama’s Conservative Meeting Guests–Non-Pastors (UPDATED 1x)

6/28: Part 2: Obama’s Conservative Meeting Guests–The Pastors

***

Ministers weren’t the only problem. I heard Rush Limbaugh way just days before the election that “”we don’t want any moderate Republicans…social moderates”…in the Republican Party.”  According to him, it has to be a purely “Conservative” party.  What effect did THAT have on his listeners?

***

I can’t let go of the “racial” crap…

How come when Rice and Powell were elevated to very powerful positions I didn’t see endless blather about how they were “post-racial”?…I didn’t see the GOP making it a big selling point, either.  The editor of the “Pulse” section of the local paper (entertainment section) is a young woman who wrote that “Pulse” never got political..BUT she was so happy to see what she didn’t think she’d ever see in her lifetime…a BLACK president…Well, I zipped off GG’s post and challenged her to think about why that image was more important than seeing a woman in the presidency and why she seemed so oblivious/willing to accept as the norm the misogyny of this campaign??

Young women, wake up!!

***

And this should help them…FROM BETTY JEAN KLING, THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE. She needs some people to give her radio show site some hits. SEE BELOW. I listened and she’s GREAT and she needs our support! Play the archived 11/3 show for a few minutes…the guest is Dr. Lynette Long at about the 15:00 Minute mark…Betty Jean is great and will keep your fighting spirit up! From her Friday email:

Please do me a very big favor- go to this link http://www.blogtalkradio.com/FreeMeNow and download 11/3 show – don’t have to listen but I need 50 downloads – I changed from 6PM to 8 PM and NO One and I mean not one person showed up and I could lose my show so please I need 50 downloads to save my show. Every download helps please help.


Join BettyJean at the new Prime Time Slot 8 pm est.
Tune in Monday Night 8 PM EST- FreeUsNow Mavericks
As promised launching FreeUsNow Mavericks


Just in case you think we do not need a new woman’s movement
Think Again!
We cannot let what happened during this year’s election cycle—rampant sexism and misogyny—continue or ever happen again. I fear women might stop running for the highest offices. Why wouldn’t they stop trying? It’s dangerous and devastating for our daughters to see. Join us as we go straight at all that is wrong with the way women were treated by our party, our media, our opponents, and other women.
***
Obama was talking dogs at his press conference and I have my own UPDATE on the stray that I talked about in my Election Day post on my miracle rescue dog, Slick. (See below.)  I had just put out food and water in the hope of attracting him/her.  A couple of days went by without any indication that he had passed by…then, on Thursday morning, I noticed that all the food had been eaten, but a treat I also set out had been left behind. On my dog walk in the afternoon, the treat was gone!  Friday, night, I moved the dishes and once again the food was gone as well as the little treats I had left!  Saturday morning I moved the dishes again to a sunnier spot on the opposite side of the driveway because the water had frozen in the other location.  So, let’s see if the food is gone Sunday!  This is the pattern I saw with Slick…probably an early morning visit. So far, the wanderer hasn’t returned in the afternoon like Slick did, but we’ll see. If the the dog finds the food in the new place overnight/in the morning, then I’ll start moving it further up the driveway.  Stay tuned!

And in the garden: It turned very cold at night a couple of nights ago, reaching the freezing point so I’ve started covering up the plants with the sunshade material.  I set up the mini-greenhouse and I’ll be transferring the geraniums into that any day now.  Tonight I had a sweet potato pizza crust topped with swiss chard picked from the garden and drizzled with olive oil.  Scrumptious!

THE PAST WEEK

*By Kenosha Marge

**By Grail Guardian

***With American Lassie

Obama Humor: Get Used to It! The Jerk Makes a “Careless and Offhanded” Joke About Nancy Reagan

***The SCANNER-Politics 11/7/08: Newsweek Editors on Charlie Rose in the SCARIEST Description of Obama So Far…(Video/Partially Transcripted); Sharia Hits the Treasury Department/HARVARD Alert!; Hill the Shill (UPDATE 1X)

*The Incredible Shrinking Democratic Party

Introducing…THE SCANNERS!

Testing…Do you like this design? Comments Welcomed…UPDATE…TEST OVER

THE SCANNER-Politics, 11/06/08: NM Elections; PUMA Integrity; LA Times Crapola on Post-Racial Promise; Class; Movie–”Rope”

REGROUPING: The Morning After the Day Before (A Joint Post with kenosha Marge & American Lassie (GG Will Be Posting Separately) (UPDATED 2X)

Today, A Stress-Free Post! What Could Be Better Than a TRUE Story About a November MIRACLE DOG!! (With Pics)

Obama–A Look at the Personality Behind the Handwriting

The Past Week, October 26-November 1: Recaps and Random Thoughts (A Mindblower of a Piece at Logistics Monster on “Obama’s American Socialism”; The Illegal Aunt/Donation Problem; 1995 Video of Obama Praising Rev. Wright; Zogby Polling Race; “A Face in the Crowd”–How Timely!; Fall Harvesting)



Today, A Stress-Free Post! What Could Be Better Than a TRUE Story About a November MIRACLE DOG!! (With Pics)

Today, IA is a “safe-haven,” a place for heartwarming thoughts, inspiration, and love!  We will NOT ALLOW any negative thoughts about the campaign or the election intrude on this shelter from the media hysteria today. It is a place of comfort being provided for all PUMAs today!

Let me take you back EXACTLY 6 years ago to November 4, 2002.  It was the day before Election Day that year, an off-year, of course, from Presidential politics.  The weather here in Southern New Mexico had been getting very cold at night for a few weeks.  It was the time for everyone to start getting cozy as the sun set. It became a very special day….

Toro and Tico, both chihuahuas,  were happily ruling the roost here. We had adopted Tico in February of 2002 as a companion for Toro, who had come with us from New Jersey to New Mexico a couple of years before. Everything was proceeding nicely, except for one thing.

I had had back surgery two years before in 2000 and had spent Thanksgiving in the hospital. It went smoothly, but recovery was slow.  Two years later in October 2002, I was still in severe pain, drugged to the gills, hardly moving and depressed.

Over the summer my mother, who was doing the dog walking, started talking about a little black dog that was roaming the neighborhood.  As I tried to walk down the block, I would run into neighbors who also reported on the little dog.  One woman told me she thought he slept on a house porch on another street…that turned out to be untrue.  Another woman told me he would drink from her bird bath. Yet another neighbor told me he was in his garage sitting on a stool cleaning his car wheels when the dog came into the garage. The man reached for him and fell off the stool…and the little dog ran off.

The reports kept coming. Finally, I called Animal Control, only to be told that they had been trying to catch the little guy for 8 months. Cages, traps…they couldn’t get him. Doing the math that October, I figured he had been “on the road” since February. That means he had been without a home through the cold spring, the extremely hot summer, and now was heading into another season of cold nights.

He was seen in the arroyo, near the highway and under cars.  In fact, a man a block away told me he was sleeping some nights under his mothballed Corvette.  New construction was starting next door to our house and I began seeing him resting underneath the construction trailer. Occasionally, I saw him with other strays, but he was usually alone.

One day as we were driving out of the development I saw a man sitting on an electrical box with a big dog biscuit in his hand.  I stopped the car and asked him what was going on.  He told me that he was trying to feed the little dog. Just then, at the corner, we saw him. He was licking the sidewalk. He ran off when I approached the spot…and I saw that he had been licking a smashed egg that had dried. Then, a few days later, my mother saw him in the middle of main street out of the development in the morning during the rush hour…he appeared confused and cars had stopped but he managed to escape unharmed.

Something snapped right then. I knew I couldn’t let this little guy continue like this. It was getting bitterly cold at night as we headed into the last couple of weeks of October. My mother said he was limping.  I was afraid a coyote would catch him if he was down in the arroyo. Something had to be done. He actually began trailing after my mother and our two clannish chis, who took an immediate dislike to him!

I noticed that he seemed to come down our street in the morning and the late afternoon. I got some food and water and put it down near our front wall that was next to the lot next to us where the new house was going up.  That was in the morning. It was gone almost immediately.

I then moved the food and water bowls to the end of our driveway. And then a short way up the side of the driveway.  He’d come by around 4 o’clock every day. I got into the routine of getting up early and putting out the food in the morning at around 6 AM.  Sometimes he’d come down the street from the direction of the arroyo around that time and would eat. Other times he would come from the opposite direction, from the  main road.

This went on for about a week. Then, I started opening the garage door and placing the food just outside the lip of the garage.  Sometimes I’d leave a treat.  One day I left tuna fish in the morning. He ate it, but when I left it in the afternoon, he skipped it. Not a tuna fan, apparently!

After a few days, I set up a folding chair. I put the food down outside the garage, but sat in the chair.  He was tentative, but he was hungry, so he ate but he left immediately.  Then, he got to the point where he ate but would take a treat and bury it across the street.  Then he started sitting in the driveway in the sun for awhile.  All this time I sat quietly and talked to him.

When he wanted more, he would stand by the dish. I calmly got up and went inside and brought out more food.  He would dart away, but return and eat.

One morning I didn’t see him around. Worried, I got myself down to the corner and called, “Sweet-ie”!  Down the hill he came and he followed me home.   This became a ritual over the next few days. One day, he didn’t return at 4 P.M. and I was worried that something had happened to him.  Not only was he limping, but I could see that he had patches on his coat. He seemed tired and run down.  I thought he was ready to get picked up.

By this time I had moved the food bowls into the garage a few feet away from where I sat.  On Saturday, November 2, I moved the bowl right next to me.  He ate without a problem.  But the next day, he didn’t show up in the morning and I was panicked.  Had I waited too long? Had he wanted me to pick him up but had given up on me because I hadn’t moved then? Was he hurt? Or worse?

On Monday, November 4, I set up the chair and the food and went down to the corner. I called “Sweet-tie” but he didn’t come! Upset, I turned to go home…and there he was , coming toward me down the sidewalk from the other direction!

I sat in the chair, and he came up right next to me.  Before he took a bite, I quickly scooped him up and ran into the house! I had set up a baby gate so that he would stay in the kitchen. Toro and Tico, the clannish chihuahuas, were going nuts.  The little black dog jumped over the gate and promptly deposited a gift under the piano bench.  I put a halter on him and put him outside and he immediately went over the wall! I fished him up and knew I couldn’t take my eyes off him for a second!

Things settled down as I took him for a walk. He did fine. And then we came home and he went to sleep on the couch. That night and for several nights after, he howled at the back door. But during the day he slept like he hadn’t slept in a long while.  He was under the covers, warm, well-fed and safe.

I scheduled a vet appointment to have his limp and skin checked out. In the meantime, I called the no-kill shelter, Safe Haven, but they had no room for him.  A man in the neighborhood who had tried to catch him once and failed said he wanted him…but he went out to work everyday. I couldn’t see the little guy thrown into a yard…he’d get away somehow.  And I refused to bring him to the shelter because I figured he’d be adopted…but would wind up roaming again! He could jump any wall and walk it with ease!

I wasn’t really sure what he was, but the vet confirmed he was a fairly big miniature pinscher!  His limp was going to be fine and we got started on clearing up his skin.  The vet thought he was about a year old.  Still not sure what to do with him at the “logical” level of thinking, I scheduled an appointment to get him fixed.  Of course, by the time he went in for that a week or so later, my heart had made the decision. We were going to keep him!  Toro and Tico weren’t too happy about it, either!

What to name him?  We went through a couple of names until I looked at him and commented that since he had roamed everywhere around the development, he was really a “city slicker.”  The name stuck–from then on he was SLICKER (Slick for short)!

Then came the problem of walking him! My mother couldn’t handle all three, so I took charge of Slicker. I started to walk, painfully, down the block with him.  At the corner we started getting into some hilliness.  Slick wanted to go there, so we’d go a short distance. Everyday I’d huff and puff a short way up that low grade hill.  Gradually, the huffing and puffing disappeared and my weak leg and back started to get stronger. Soon, I could walk up that hill!!

As I started walking with Slick, my energy came back and I started doing more. Instead of sitting around in pain and depression, I as now getting out and about. My little MIRACLE DOG had restored my interest in life and had started healing me, physically and mentally!

Six years later, Slick and I are celebrating our anniversary together tomorrow, November 4th. No matter what happens on Election Day, we’ll be happy about being together!  Toro and Tico have made an uneasy peace with “the intruder” and Slick has matured into the most loving, appreciative dog one could hope for!

Now, you won’t believe this, but a week or so ago I saw a little black and white dog with something draped around him/her in the street. I stopped the car, but he ran way down the road.  A couple of days ago, a neighbor about a block away told me he had seen the little dog and what he was dragging along was a plastic bag with ties that had been caught on his neck! The little dog probably got tangled up while searching for food in the bag that was set out on garbage day. I’m keeping an eye out to see if he comes this way again…

So what have I done? Yesterday I put out a bowl of water and a bowl of food near the wall at the side of the driveway near the sidewalk. Maybe it’s time for another November miracle…in more ways than one!

****

Here are some pictures of my darling, sweet boy…SLICKER!

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And waiting for another November miracle….

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