Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama stirs controversy -

Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy - Stunning Break with Last Eight Years
by Andy Borowitz

In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the past eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.

Millions of Americans who watched Mr. Obama's appearance on CBS' "Sixty Minutes" on Sunday witnessed the president-elect's unorthodox verbal tic, which had Mr. Obama employing grammatically correct sentences virtually every time he opened his mouth.

But Mr. Obama's decision to use complete sentences in his public pronouncements carries with it certain risks, since after the last eight years many Americans may find his odd speaking style jarring.

According to presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota , some Americans might find it "alienating" to have a President who speaks English as if it were his first language.

"Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement," says Mr. Logsdon. "If he keeps it up, he is running the risk of sounding like an elitist."

The historian said that if Mr. Obama insists on using complete sentences in his speeches, the public may find itself saying, "Okay, subject, predicate, subject predicate - we get it, stop showing off."

The President-elect's stubborn insistence on using complete sentences has already attracted a rebuke from one of his harshest critics, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska . "Talking with complete sentences there and also too talking in a way that ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder can't really do there, I think needing to do that isn't tapping into what Americans are needing also," she said.

The Amazing Race Update - "Nyet, Nyet, Nyet!"

Last Sunday's episode was by far one of the funniest ever on The Amazing Race. I tried so hard to find a picture of Dan trying to march with the soldiers in Russia. It was so embarrassing, he probably bought up all the rights.

If you didn't see it, think Jerry Lewis in "The Nutty Professor" or Elaine trying to dance on Seinfeld. It's an understatement to say the guy struggled and hopefully his 'babe' stock didn't plummet off the charts like it did when he said he's never ironed anything before.

Andrew held his tongue pretty well considering, of course, he's the one that held them up because he couldn't put on a foot wrap. A foot wrap? Huh...You just can't write this stuff. I'm glad they're still in the picture, as the show would be as interesting as bland, butterless toast without them.

I'm also glad the dominating siblings hit a few stumbling blocks in the form of inept taxi drivers. There is justice in the world...

Sarah Palin wishes us a Happy Thanksgiving....I think.

Oh, how prophetic Mike Luchovich was. Beware this video is about three minutes long and is a little graphic. It might make you became a vegetarian like me. It's not a SNL parody. It's totally real and it happened last week.
(****Last comment deleted for fear it might offend someone in the universe....Heaven forbid I say what I want about Sarah Palin on my own blog. We'll unless I use words like 'deplorable' or 'he makes me sick to my stomach'. Apparently those are okay to call Obama, just not anyone else.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Time Traveler's Wife - A Book Review

By Audrey Niffenegger
But don't you think...that it's better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?
A truly original and moving story, The Time Traveler's Wife is a tale about love, life, and loss; the story of Henry and Clare, and their unconventional passionate relationship. His life, one of inconsistency, change and regret. Her's the harbor he anchors himself in, the tether to normal. I felt a myriad of emotions while reading this book. It gripped me, sucked me in, and held me fast to the end, until I was released not lost, but found again.
Isn't that what a good story does? It tastes your skin, chews you up and if done well, spits you out again whole, with a new perspective.
An excellent read.
(Disclaimer: There are a few..descriptive words)

A Step in the Right Direction...

Two trade groups, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, announced their support last week for guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions, in conjunction with an enforceable mandate for individual coverage. In the absence of such a mandate, insurers said, many people will wait until they become sick before they buy insurance.

Members of Congress said Wednesday that they wanted to pass legislation next year, as proposed by Mr. Obama, to expand coverage and rein in health care costs.

The new position taken by the insurance industry — the industry that helped sink the Clinton's plan for universal health coverage in 1994 — could ease the way for passage of such legislation.
This news and that Senator Tom Daschle could be our new Secretary of Health and Human Services is a step in the right direction towards health care accessibility for all in the coming years.
In the October issue of Archives of Surgery, a study done by a John Hopkins trauma surgeon found that overall, uninsured patients were 50% more likely to die from their injuries than insured patients.
I find that to be an alarming statistic. So, now if you don't have insurance you #1) have to pay more if you go to the ER (because you don't get the I HAVE INSURANCE DISCOUNT) and #2) if you're a minority or don't have insurance at all, you're pushed to the back of the emergency treatment line, or worse you receive biased treatment.
I thought emergency care was the great equalizer in our health care system. Apparently not.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Are we really that woefully ignorant?

For the third straight year, the Inter-collegiate Studies Institute has found that a large number of Americans (they surveyed 2,508 from a variety of backgrounds) cannot pass a basic 33 question test on civil literacy that include questions on their country's history and institutions. The average score on the test was 49%. An F.
The test is available online, here. It took about five minutes and I scored a 73%. I will admit, I found some of the questions a little tough. Must be watching too much television, the number one reason American's are dumber these days.

Twilight - makes you want to have s-e-x cake - Recipe of the Week

Although I'm not particularly gaga over the saga, I hear the movie puts you in the mood for a little titillating circus play. So, those of you that have seen it, is that true??? I'm always looking for an excuse to engage my mind...elsewhere, and I guess if I'm not willing to see the movie, I can just rely on this Better than S-E-X Cake recipe. Nothing like chocolate passionately attached to caramel and whipping cream to stir one's blood. If it's not drained from your body that is...

Ingredients -
Chocolate cake mix
Jar of caramel
1 can sweetened condensed milk
A couple of cups of whipped cream
A bag of toffee crumbles

Make the cake as instructed and cool 15 minutes. Poke holes in the top with a fork until it's covered. Mix together the jar of caramel and can of condensed milk. Pour over the cake and completely cool. Top with whipped cream and toffee crumbles.

Pure gooey bliss!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So,THIS is forward thinking? Give me a break!

An unspoiled landmark so iconic it's on Utah's license plates - could one day include a drilling platform under a proposal that environmentalists call a Bush administration "fire sale" for the oil and gas industry.

Late on Election Day, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced a Dec. 19 auction of more than 50,000 acres of oil and gas parcels alongside or within view of Arches National Park and two other redrock national parks in Utah: Dinosaur and Canyonlands. The National Park Service's top official in the state calls it "shocking and disturbing" and says his agency wasn't properly notified. Environmentalists call it a "fire sale" for the oil and gas industry by a departing administration.

Officials of the BLM, which oversees millions of acres of public land in the West, say the sale is nothing unusual, and one is "puzzled" that the Park Service is upset. "We find it shocking and disturbing," said Cordell Roy, the chief Park Service administrator in Utah. "They added 51,000 acres of tracts near Arches, Dinosaur and Canyonlands without telling us about it. That's 40 tracts within four miles of these parks."
To read this entire article click here.

Some of the most beautiful places in the country are now under siege. A final gift is being given to the oil and gas industry from their king, President Bush. Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Dinosaur National Monument contain some of the most spectacular natural wonders ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, and he means to give away to the highest bidder land for drilling that is within site of the Delicate Arch. I am disgusted! Ah, wouldn’t it be the greatest shock of all if we actually had a president who cared about the West.

The geology of this part of the United States is ancient and in some places EXTREMELY DELICATE AND FRAGILE. Let’s take Arches for example. Did you know that to release the gas from the Earth requires a process called HYDRAULIC FRACTURING. It’s a process by which they pump highly pressurized fluids, like diesel fuel, acids, all kinds of toxic stuff (that gets in the groundwater by the way, you know because the arid West needs another problem with their groundwater)in the ground, actually shaking the substrate in order to release the gases. SHAKING THE EARTH. I wonder how all the arches in the parks will handle the below ground earth quakes! Click here to read about the health affects and the process of drilling for natural gas. It’s extremely interesting.

How many places are we going to permanently destroy all in the name of oil independence. Idiocy! Does know one care about what we leave for our ancestors! Apparently not.
I would like to be able to take my grandchildren to one of my favorite places on Earth. Instead of just showing them pictures of what the arches, delicate Indian ruins, dinosaur tracks, looked like (because by then they’ll all just be piles of rubble), I want them to see the real things without the permanent blights and scars left by the drilling fields, who where there for probably a year and left nothing but their toxic waste and destruction in the dirt.

I call that not being selfish and looking ahead. I call that forward thinking. I call that actually caring about something bigger and more important than yourself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Amazing Race Update - So who doesn't want to eat a sheep's bum?

Ah, we must say goodbye to my favorite manic depressive on TV. Terrence and Sarah were eliminated on Sunday night. Things I'll miss about him: his thoughtful nagging, his always wanting to be touched, his psycho hair, his whining. Hmm, what else.
Did you notice what a stoic his girlfriend was? When he screwed up and practically lost the thing for them, did you hear her whining to him about it, like he would have done to her? The woman is a saint.
And so in short, I just don't know if the show will be as entertaining to watch now. If the Superbad boys, Dan and Andrew get eliminated next it might have a hard time maintaining my attention through to the end. Especially if the brother/sister team continue to win. I'm so sick of them. Just a theory...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Stem Cell Debate - Finding a Life-Saving Cure

President-elect Barack Obama could reignite an emotional national debate over the promise and the perils of medical research using cells taken from human embryos. Like previous presidents, Obama is expected to issue a flurry of executive orders after he takes office Jan. 20. Some could reverse Bush administration policies; others could promote his own.

Ending a ban on government funding for research using embryonic stem cells would be among the most controversial. Scientists say cells taken from human embryos offer the most promise of being used to develop therapies for Parkinson's, diabetes and other diseases. Some scientists have found cells taken from adults also have lifesaving potential.

If Obama issues an order reversing the ban, Congress will have to act again — and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has suggested it will. A law on the books since 1996 bans funding of research that harms embryos and would prevent funding for research even on cells from embryos slated to be discarded by fertility clinics.

In the early 1990’s when this proposed ban was being debated on Capital Hill, "Before the U.S. government condones with federal funding research that results in the destruction of living human embryos, we have the moral obligation to explore and exhaust every ethical alternative," Rep. Mark Souder, an Indiana Republican, said at a House subcommittee hearing on the issue.

But the lines aren’t clearing drawn. Anti-abortion politicians such as Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Gordon Smith of Oregon wanted Bush to permit federal funding for research because of the embryonic cells' potential in fighting disease.

Hatch said he decided to support embryonic stem cell research only after studying the legal, medical, religious and ethical issues involved. He has said, "The reality today is that each year thousands of embryos are routinely destroyed. Why shouldn't embryos slated for destruction be used for the benefit of mankind?"

Having a family member with diabetes makes me so inclined to agree with Senator Orrin Hatch for probably the only time in my adult life. I have been weighing this issue for some time and I know that adult stem cells have showed promise, but we cannot say embryonic stem cells have not, even with existing research on old stem cell lines, when more specific and vast research has been stymied by the government.

In the meantime, other countries, like Iran, make headway in these areas while we fall behind. The United States should be leading the way, by example, on how to do this research ethically and responsibly. Why not put back in place a law similar to one by the Clinton administration that allowed federal money for stem-cell research using embryos if the work is funded by private money and the embryos come from fertility clinics and would otherwise be discarded?

I believe we should be doing something life-affirming with these fertilized eggs that otherwise, will just end up in a landfill. If you had a family member, a child with diabetes, Parkinson’s, a spinal cord injury, or other disease that could be treated, what would you say? I say yes. I hope Obama does too.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Search for the Dog that will dig up the White House lawn continues...

What exactly is a "goldendoodle"?

An insult to the breed of Golden Retreiver

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Keep Your Enemies Closer....

Secretary of State Clinton?
All seems to be evening out on the Democratic political playground. Surprise, surprise, the Alpha male and female are playing nice on the jungle gym. Everyone has probably heard that Senator Clinton has made a secret trip to Chicago and refuses to discuss what went on there. Hmm...

I think it's probably safe to say she has the job, in that I'd be very surprised her name would be leaked for no reason other than to embarrass her when she doesn't get the job. That wouldn't please too many of her 18 million supporters Obama is continually trying to woo. But I guess you never know.

Obama seems to be adhering to the old adage, Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer. Unlike the the Bush Administration's policy which was, Keep your friends close and your extremely best, brown nosing friends who only tell you what you want to hear even closer.

As for me, I think she'd do well at it, and her choice might please some conservatives because her position is sometimes in contrast to his on foreign policy, i.e., during her primary campaign, she refused to discuss a timeline on withdrawal from Iraq, and let's face it, the two really don't appear to like each other much.

There's someone else who might be pleased if she gets the job. How often is the Secretary of State out of the country?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Halloween and Thanksgiving - May You Rest In Peace

Like this poor turkey is about to be killed off , so are the holiday's of Thanksgiving and Halloween. Instead of the Christmas holiday gluttony beginning on December 1st, or of years late on November 1st. This year I noticed the decorations, the music playing in stores, the general merriment before Halloween. One place I frequented a week before that spookiest of holidays, had already replaced their Halloween ghosts, goblins, and witches with Santa's, reindeer, and snowmen. I looked out the window at the red and yellow leaves still clinging to their branches, the hazy, warm weather, and wondered if a splinter had just occurred in the space time continuum and I'd been fast forward to somewhere further ahead of myself.
Pretty soon we'll be shopping for our Santa's and Christmas gingerbread houses in September and our Halloween costumes in July. And what about that great American holiday wedged in between the celebration's of birth and death? Thanksgiving; the heavenly aroma's, the inevitable leftovers, the turkey soup, the turkey sandwiches, the casseroles and creamy mashed potatoes that feed our families for weeks on end?
I only know that I plan on wearing earplugs in Walmart to deafen Santa Claus in coming to town while I shop for my turkey. If I can even afford one that is...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Easily Recognizable Political Satire

Democrats versus Republicans
1. Democrats buy most of the books that have been banned somewhere. Republicans form censorship committees and read them as a group.

2. Republicans consume three-fourths of all the rutabaga produced in this country. The remainder is thrown out.

3. Republicans usually wear hats and always clean their paint brushes.

4. Democrats give their worn-out clothes to those less fortunate. Republicans wear theirs.

5. Republicans employ exterminators. Democrats step on the bugs.

6. Democrats name their children after currently-popular sports figures, politicians, and entertainers. Republican children are named after their parents or grandparents, according to where the money is.

7. Democrats keep trying to cut down on smoking but are not successful. Neither are Republicans.

8. Republicans tend to keep their shades drawn, although there is seldom any reason why they should. Democrats ought to, but don't.

9. Republicans study the financial pages of the newspaper. Democrats put them in the bottom of the bird cage.

10. Most of the stuff alongside the road has been thrown out of car windows by Democrats.

11. Republicans raise dahlias, Dalmatians, and eyebrows. Democrats raise Airedales, kids, and taxes.

12. Democrats eat the fish they catch. Republicans hang them on the wall.

13. Republican boys date Democratic girls. They plan to marry Republican girls, but feel that they're entitled to a little fun first.

14. Democrats make plans and then do something else. Republicans follow the plans their grandfathers made.

15. Republicans sleep in twin beds--some even in separate rooms. That is why there are more Democrats.

"If there's an open door in '12 or 4 years later..."

I can't believe I'm talking about this woman one more time. She refuses to go away. Initially I was going to call this post Republican Cannibalism at its Finest because I felt Sarah Palin was getting a bad rap this last week from John McCain's camp. Leaking probably untruthful information about her, complaining about her, what's the point of doing all that now, when she's home doing all she can for her "great State of Alaska" other than to pass blame for the loss in her direction?
We'll she stayed in her governor's office for about half a day and is now back on the mainland already campaigning for 2012, with unashamed personal promotion. This with her 43 percent unapproval rating. Every day, in every interview, her outlook on her political future changes.
She said at the Republican Governor's meeting this week how she thought a woman would be good for the next ticket, but denied self-promoting. Ya. Right. "I don't think it's me personally, I think it's what I represent. Everyday hardworking American families - a woman on the ticket perhaps represents that. It would be good for the ticket. It would be good for the party. I would be happy to get to do whatever is asked of me to help progress this nation."
First, she's Governor of Alaska only, then she's governor running for the Senate, then she's governor who nominates herself as Senator, then if it's the presidential nomination, she'll "plow through that door," even though she say's she doesn't mean her personally.
The election's over. They lost. Yet she's still running for office. What do the "great people of Alaska" say about all this I wonder? Hasn't she been away since August? Doesn't she need to be doing some governing of her great state? Saying you're going to get back to work and actually doing it are two different things. Someone should explain that to her. Perhaps she'll make a good president after all. She's definitely got the skills.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama's Real Birthplace Haystacks - Recipe of the Week

Normally I would call these Hawaiian Haystacks in honor of President-Elect Obama's birthplace, but I hear conservative talk radio is on the prowl for his REAL birthplace (outerspace) because they believe his birth certificate from Hawaii is a forgery. What? The likes of Rush and Hannity think there's a conspiracy? How odd. I'm so surprised.

Apparently it matter's not that his mother, Ann Dunham is a naturally born American citizen, and the law could be interpreted as such that technically she could give birth on Mars and he'd still be an American.
So, whether you call them Hawaiian or Martian Haystacks, they are definitely a family fav.

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups cooked chicken, cut up
4 cups cooked rice
1 can chow mein noodles
3 med tomatoes, diced
2 cups grated cheese
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup coconut

Combine soup and broth in medium saucepan to make gravy. Stir to blend. Simmer. Then it's time to pile all the other ingredients in a haystack fashion starting with the rice, then the gravy onto your plate. Use your imagination to fill in the rest. Makes about 8 servings.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A War's Legacy

A special thanks to my grandfather who fought in WWI, my uncle who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam, and to those that have given everything, their health, their homes, their jobs, precious time away from family, even their very lives for this country. We've asked a lot of you, and apparently offer very little in return. We hope you can be with your families again soon.

I Can Eat A Whole Box....

I finally found one of my all time favorite cookies in Walmart yesterday. Limited Edition Candy Cane Oreos. Seriously, I love these, and they are only around for two months. Dipping them in milk or mixing them crushed with vanilla bean ice cream, is I don't know (almost as good as S-E-X) but don't tell anybody. They run out quickly. So if you see them, buy more than one. You'll thank me later. Trust me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Some Interesting Factoids....

In case you don't know who this is, his name is Adam Smith - still don't have a clue? Neither did I. He was a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of the political economy (whatever that means but it sounds good) that lived towards the end of the 1700's. Since I've been feeling somewhat outclassed in the quotes from the founding father's department, I found a a good one from Mr. Smith on the blogsite, ThinkingorSitting, that I found interesting.

The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
Sounds like Obama wasn't the first to want to 'spread the dreaded wealth'.... Hmm.

Also from a post on that site, a dcmagoo, no relation to a mrmagoo, offered up a statistic containing some interesting breakdowns of exit polls. Those who reported an income of over $200,000 (basically those who will pay more under Obama's intended tax plan) voted for him 52-48. Apparently, those who make the money aren't as worried about paying a bit more in taxes as those who wish they made that much money.


Left To Tell - Let's Not Repeat History

Left toTell
Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust
by Immaculee Ilibagiza

I tried to swallow, but my throat closed up. I had no saliva, and my mouth was drier than sand. I closed my eyes and tried to make myself disappear, but their voices grew louder. I knew that they would show no mercy, and my mind echoed one thought: If they catch me me, they will kill me. If they catch me, they will kill me...

I don't normally read autobiographies, but this one, although sad and gut-wrenching to read, was an inspiring first person account of one refugee's struggle to survive and through the will of God, did.

In 1994, in the country of Rwanda one ethnic group, the Hutus, went about cleansing the country of the Tutsi minority, neighbors turned on neighbors, in a six month rash of such brutal killings, such debauchery, that I can't believe this all went on the year my first son was born. The United States, and many other countries looked the other way. Finally the French helped them but not before 100's of thousands of Tutsi were killed. Families completely wiped off the face of the Earth.

Immaculee's family was one of them. Before the genocide, as she calls it, their family did well. They had their own house, a car, a motorcycle. Her father owned land, was a farmer and businessman. She and her three brothers all went to university, were all educated and were doing well when this began. She was nineteen. Her story is an inspiring one of undaunted courage and faith in God. I recommend it to anyone interested in obtaining a world view of how an abuse of power can lead to the justified annihilation of almost an entire race and how even one person can defy the odds.

Racism and hate is still alive and well in the world, festering in the sores of the disenchanted; the angry. It even lives in our own country. While I am proud that our next president is an African American (according to some that's the only reason I voted for him), I am concerned for his safety. Even the editor of our local paper discussed it yesterday.

Some conservative blogs have compared Obama to Osama bin Laden, a Nazi, Hitler, even. He's not my President, they say. One site was encouraging people to hang their flags upside down in response to his winning. Text messages were sent telling everyone to wear black to signify the death of our nation. I found the horrific picture below.

All this from people who probably claim to love our country. It disgusts me. If McCain had won, while I would have been disappointed, I would still be proud of the great country we live in. A country that allows free speech even in the form of what I consider racist, anti-American rants from sore losers, who if they aren't careful, are going to incite just enough rage to fuel another skinhead out there with a plan.

In the 1830's, Andrew Jackson meant to squelch an uprising by an unruly state of South Carolina who meant to nullify some federal laws. "Disunion by armed force is treason," he said. "Are you really ready to incur its guilt?"

And so, to some of you out there I ask, Are you?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bloggers Anonymous

The top 10 list of "symptoms" that you are addicted to blogging
In the "spirit" of education and awareness, we must tackle this issue head on. The first step to self help is acknowledging you have a problem. Personally, I refuse to acknowledge it! Where does that leave me I wonder? Hmm...
10. You check your blog stats a LOT. You occasionally get up in the middle of the night and sneak a peak.

9. Your significant other suspects you are having an affair with your blog. Even when you’re alone with your special person, you do find yourself thinking what your blog might be doing right then…

8. You “mental blog” while driving or on the train, and sometimes even when you are alone in the shower.

7. You filter everything through your post-writing. You can’t watch a movie, see a play, read an article, or share a sweet moment with your child without thinking of whether it’s blog-worthy.

6. You suffer from “blog envy” when another blogger posts something juicy before you do. You suffer “comment envy” when said post gets 40-something comments – the jerk!

5. You “binge blog” 3 or 4 posts at once—only to feel guilty and empty afterward.

4. You ditched all your real friends for blog friends, because, well, “they understand.”

3. You think, “I can stop at any time.”

2. Your lunch hour has become your “blog hour.” You keep a few posts tucked in your desk in case you need them during the day.

1. After 5 minutes of meeting someone really interesting you ask, “So - do you blog?”
How many got all 10? = A Blogger Maniac, probably needs an intervention soon from her non computer friends.
5-8? = Seriously neglecting the children by this stage
3-5? = Probably only neglecting the housework, the laundry is piling up, the dishes lay undone.
1-3? = Scrapbooking is still your favorite hobby.
How many did you check off ladies???

Friday, November 7, 2008

Amazing Race Update - "Please hold while I singe my skull."

Dallas wanted to make the moves on Starr, but found it difficult. He explained, "Starr's a cool girl, but to find that alone time just to be able to hang out…it's tough. My mom's with me. My mom’s the worst wingman ever." Starr added, "Dallas and I have a great friendship that has formed which will probably continue after the race. There is an attraction there."
Eewwww! Head band, Rocky Balboa kid is falling for the evil twin sister! Nothing like looking in on young love in action. You, me, and that kid's mother.
Double eewww!
But hey, it's made for some great television. I enjoyed this last episode immensely. Ken and Tina finally came in last. And he cried! I swear does it get any better than this? So is their relationship still headed down the porcelain potty? Do we really care?
Terrence and Sarah - newly dating couple - were also in rare form. While she tried to quickly paint the yellow auto rickshaw green, he definitely offered words of encouragement. Let me paraphrase, "Nag, nag, naggedy-nag, let me me please nag you some more, because boy it's really working." As much as I hate to say it, he's almost like a woman. Even the frat boys called him on it. If I was her, I'd be heading for the hills.
The frat boys, Andrew and Dan definitely had the most depressing line of the episode. He joked, “I’ve never ironed in my life. That’s my mom’s department. There was never any ironing going on in the frat house."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yard Sale Sali Takes a Hit - Hallelujah!

Just have to give a shout out to Walt Minnick, our new Idaho Congressman who happens to be a Democrat (38 of the last 42 years have been held by a Republican).
Minnick, a former board member of the Wilderness Society and the Idaho Conservation League will hopefully use his connections to bridge the gap between Western Democrats and national environmentalists, especially with the upcoming vote for Southern Idaho Owyhee Canyonlands legislation that protects wilderness, wild rivers and ranchers.
He beat out incumbent Republican Bill Sali, who as far as I'm concerned is a fruitcake. I think I'm more happy that he lost than I am that Obama won!
So how did Sali lose is such a GOP friendly environment as Idaho? Oh, let me have a fantastic time telling you the ways. The guys is nuts! While serving in the Legislature for 16 years and Congress for the past two he's alienated so many Republican's by, here I will list: claimed abortion caused breast cancer, was in a tiny minority on some embarrassing votes, made national news when he said the founding fathers never imagined laying your hand to swear oaths on the Koran.
After a ridiculously mean Republican primary two years ago, in which he barely won, instead of mending fences he led the way in ousting the current GOP Chairman. It's no wonder rank-and-file Republicans are saying "I voted against Bill Sali because I think he's an idiot and I think he's ineffective."
In this race with Minnick, he has come across as nothing but a cocky, arrogant, jack @#$@#. (Can you tell which one he is in the picture? Which one looks like a jerk? It's not hard to tell.)
During their debate last month, he pulled faces while Minnick talked and at one time used his fingers as bunny ears behind his opponents head. After all the precincts reported in yesterday morning, he refused to concede, then refused to talk to reporters. Huh?
Will someone please tell this guy he wasn't running for president of his senior class, but for a seat in the Congress of the United States of America. Let's act like it please.
Good luck Walt!

Why did so much Red turn Blue?

What went wrong for McCain?

McCain's life has been defined by tight squeezes. But with two-thirds of voters saying the economy was their top issue, inevitably being the final nail in his political coffin, not even his bold, slightly crazy moves could save the Republicans campaign. Because of his military experience, he symbolized the claim that he could be trusted on issues of national security, but most of the country is tired of the Iraq war and especially the possibility of being over there for 100 years.

His reputation as being an independent maverick was tested when he changed his mind on oil drilling, picked a very conservative vice president, and embraced President Bush's tax cuts that he had earlier opposed. All to try and win over traditional Republicans. Is it any wonder Obama compared him so much to Bush?

The problem with this tactic is evident on the map above. The moderates and independents who initially liked him, were turned off by this move to the extreme right. This prompted the Daily Show to describe his transformation from a "maverick reformer" to a "reformed maverick."

This plan backfired in that the youth and Hispanic vote leaned heavily towards Obama. Why? Because the demographics of the country are changing. If I was a staunch Republican, I'd be worried. Times are not what they were in the early 1980's. Like how Reagan energized a generation of younger voters, who for decades now have dominated the political landscape, so will the young Obama voters do the same for hopefully decades more. So in other words, what was once red, may now be purple and at some point, maybe blue.

The older Republicans say a return to the old conservative way is the answer to revitalize the party. To get back to the basics of long ago. Embracing someone like Palin galvanizes the super conservative base, but does nothing to bring in moderates or independents, a base they need to win. That's a backward way of thinking. Times are different now. They must move forward and evolve, as much as they hate that word. I've talked with several Republicans who have admitted to not being as conservative as their parents. As a Democrat I would say it's the same for me.

A generation of young people just elected a black man to president of the United States! Times are changing. How do we keep moving forward? It's not by embracing the past. How about with two women on the next presidential ticket. I would look forward immensely to Hillary Clinton squashing Sarah Palin like a bug! (I am a bug lover after all.)

The Celebratory Purple Cow - Recipe of the Week

This cow looks like she did alittle too much celebrating last night. Please try not to do the same, whether you're drowning your sorrows and think this country's headed down the blankety-blank or your joy is at its zenith and Utopia is right around the bend. Either way, enjoy.

Kids love this drink. It turns their tongue's purple and gives them a violet mustache. But you must recite this poem while drinking it:

I NEVER saw a Purple Cow
I never hope to See One
But I can Tell you, Anyhow
I'd rather See than Be One.
Purple Cow # 1
1 1/2 cups cold skim or reduced fat milk
3 Tablespoons frozen grape juice concentrate
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt or ice milk
5 medium ice cubes or the same amount of crushed ice
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Enjoy!

Purple Cow # 2
3/4 C. 1 percent low-fat milk
1 1/2 T. frozen grape juice concentrate
1/4 C. fat-free vanilla yogurt
Combine ingredients in a container with lid and shake until well blended. Pour into a tall glass.

Welch's Purple Cow
Welch's Purple Grape Juice
Vanilla ice cream
In a 12 oz. glass, combine two scoops of vanilla ice cream with chilled Welch's Purple Grape Juice.
Frozen Purple Cow
1 cup milk
3/4 cup grape juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
Whisk together milk, grape juice and sugar. Add lemon juice. Pour into molds and freeze.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

No longer are we a nation scarred by racism." John McCain

"A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States." John McCain in his gracious concession speech on the night of November 4th, 2008

Well said.
The 44th President of the United States
Barack Obama

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An Iconic Legend Speaks From the Grave

A previously unreleased recitation by the late Johnny Cash came out last week on a DVD/CD titled Johnny Cash's America. I heard it on the radio this morning and felt it appropriate for today. To hear it in his own words, in his raspy twangy voice, is very moving. Here's the link I used: people.com. Take a listen. If not, just read the words.

by Johnny Cash

I was born on July 4, 1776, and the Declaration of Independence is my birth certificate.

The bloodlines of the world run in my veins, because I offered freedom to the oppressed. I am the nation!

I am 281 million living souls and the ghosts of those who have lived and fought and died for me.I am Nathan Hale and Paul Revere. I stood at Lexington and fired the shot heard around the world. I am Washington, Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. I am John Paul Jones, the Green Mountain Boys and Davy Crockett. I am Lee, Grant, Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Pershing, Eisenhower, MacArthur, Patton, and Colin Powell.

I remember the Alamo, the Maine, Pearl Harbor and September 11, 2001. When freedom called, I answered and stayed until it was over, over there. I left my heroic dead in Flanders Fields, the rock of Corregidor, on the bleak slopes of Korea, in the steaming jungle of Vietnam and the desert sands of Kuwait.

I am the Statue of Liberty, the wheat fields of Kansas, the granite hills of Vermont, and Tennessee the Volunteer State. I am the coalfields of the Virginias and Pennsylvania, the fertile lands of the west, the Golden Gate, Brooklyn Bridge and the Grand Canyon. I am Independence Hall, the Monitor, the Merrimac and the Challenger. I am the Liberty Bell that first rang for freedom.

I am big. I sprawl from the Atlantic to the Pacific - three million square miles of land throbbing with industry. I am two million farms. I am forest, field, mountain and desert. I am quiet villages and cities that never sleep. You can look at me and see Ben Franklin walking down the streets of Philadelphia with his breadloaf under his arm. You can see the lights of Christmas and hear the strains of "Auld Land Syne" as the calendar turns.

I am Babe Ruth and the World Series. I am more than 170,000 schools and colleges and more than 300,000 churches where my people worship God as they choose. I am a ballot dropped into a box, the roar of a crowd in a stadium, the voice of a choir in a cathedral. I am an editorial in a newspaper and a letter to Congress. I am John Glenn and Neil Armstrong and their fellow astronauts who whirl above my head.

I am Eli Whitney and Stephen Foster, Tom Edison, Albert Einstein and Billy Graham. I am Horace Greeley, Will Rogers and the Wright brothers. I am George Washington Carver, Jonas Salk and Martin Luther King Jr. I am Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Walt Whitman and Thomas Paine.

Yes, I am the nation and these are the things I am. I was conceived in freedom and God willing, in freedom I shall spend the rest of my days.

May I always possess the integrity, the courage and the strength to keep myself unshackled, to remain a citadel of freedom and a beacon of hope to the world.

Its Been Fun Ladies.....

Just wanted to give a shout out to everyone that's been contributing to this blog. It takes a lot of guts to let your voice be heard in a public way and I appreciate all the comments and fun we've been having over the past few months. Election Day is finally here! No matter the outcome, I believe a purpose has been served. Women have raised their voices and proclaimed what they believed. Wonderful! Hopefully we've all learned something new. How we are all different, yet the same. Let it continue!
So a toast ladies, to better days.
Thank you!

Election Hummus - Recipe of the Week

Chickpea Slather - Sit down and enjoy something fat - free, yet tasty and good for you on this historic election day! But beware, environmentalists love this stuff. I might make you all tree-huggers yet!

1 15 oz can garbanzos beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup tahini (sesame-seed paste, usually found in health food section of the store)
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
3 tablespoons warm water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth, pausing once or twice to scrape the sides. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Serve with cut tortillas, crackers, or chips.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Our Condolenses -

Senator Obama's grandmother passed away of cancer today in Hawaii. Win or lose, how frightfully sad she didn't get to see it through to the end. How proud she must have been. Good for him, for taking time away and getting to see her one last time. Bittersweet.

Health Care - Right vs. Responsibility

Health care ranks third among worries on the minds of registered voters, after the economy and Iraq, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report last month. By party affiliation, it remains third among Democrats (Right), but Republican (Responsibility) voters put it at worry No. 6, after the economy, gas prices, Iraq, terrorism and taxes.

I’m trying to figure out why.

People in America pay more for healthcare per capita than people in any other country in the world, yet the quality of care is seriously lacking. Some 46 million Americans are without health insurance, and another 25 million are underinsured. Meanwhile the costs keep rising. We’re spending $800 billion more for health care than we did eight years ago! Forty percent of working adults are either paying off medical debt or having trouble paying medical bills.

Differing plans –
Obama’s plan would require employers to offer health insurance or contribute to the payroll tax. Children would be required to have coverage under his plan. No one would be denied because of a pre-existing condition. It will cost 1.17 trillion and reduce the uninsured by 26.6 million.
McCain’s plan would end the income tax break that workers currently get who have insurance through their work. Instead, he would offer up to $5000 in tax credits to buy coverage on your own. People denied coverage could buy insurance through a federally supported Guaranteed Access Plans, with income-based financial assistance available. It will cost 2.05 trillion and reduce number of uninsured by 21.1 million.

McCain’s plan costs more and ensures coverage for the least amount of people.

Rights vs. responsibility reeks of class warfare to me, another fight between the have’s and the have not’s. Why should only those with money – a lot of it in some cases, be able to have quality medical care? If you don’t have insurance and your child is very ill on the weekend, are you going to take him to the emergency room or try to save money by waiting until Monday to go to your private physician? Just because someone doesn’t have insurance does not mean they are irresponsible as that common comparison insinuates; that those who don’t have it are somehow lazy or incompetent.

A member of my family has a pre-existing condition – diabetes. His job does not offer health insurance (something that would be required under Obama’s plan) so I and my kids are on a personal family plan that doesn’t include him, because he is uninsurable. His previous job did offer insurance, but wouldn’t cover anything that had to do with his diabetes for two years – and those devil insurance companies can turn even the breaking of an arm into being diabetes related. But at least he would have had something, eventually.

Getting insurance through your work offers cheaper premiums and lower deductibles (I’m paying through the nose right now with a really high deductible on my personal plan, currently paying out way more than $5000 a year.) McCain’s plan would push more people into the private sector, and what’s going to keep those with pre-existing conditions (those that need it the most!) from paying a fortune for coverage again? Keeping costs down and helping smaller businesses provide coverage for their employees seems like a better answer to me.

Everyone should be able to have equal access to something as life and death as quality health care. Because for a lot of people, it really is life – or – death.

Where Memories Lie - A Book Review

Where Memories Lie
by Deborah Crombie
"First they came for the Jews."
- Attributed to German anti-Nazi activist and former U-boat captain Pastor Martin Neimoller
This is the twelfth book in the great Scotland Yard mystery series with detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. A priceless diamond brooch and a long ago hidden murder involving an elderly Jewish neighbor who survived World War II, wraps around the two detectives as they try to deal with their own lives together and a ruthless killer bound to keep the past hidden at all costs. I was generally pleased with the book. Crombie can deftly intertwine decades, sucking you into the layered stories as effortlessly as any historian.
If you like a good mystery series with complex stories and a good sexual dynamic between it's main characters, then I highly recommend this one. If you can get past the first two, A Share in Death, and All Shall Be Well, the series takes off like a racehorse and you won't be able to quit until you're taking in the last sentence.
Wrap yourself in a blanket during a rainstorm (or sit on the heat vent like I do), sip some hot cocoa, and dive in.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

QVC at its finest - The Reverse Maverick pulls a funny

John McCain appeared on SNL last night - see transcript for the opening skit below - where he and Palin (Tina Fey) hosted a QVC event to sell off some of his campaign mementos. I thought he was hysterical. Alot more so than when Sarah Palin was on a few weeks ago, but that's just me. Kudos to the guy for being a good sport. He's alot better at being funny than Obama, but then so's George Bush. He's funny without even trying. Check out the video on nbc.com .

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN - "Good evening, my fellow Americans, I'm John McCain.
TINA FEY AS GOV. SARAH PALIN - "And, you know, I'm just Sarah Palin."
MCCAIN - "The final days of any election are the most essential. This past Wednesday, Barack Obama purchased airtime on three major networks. We, however, can only afford QVC."
FEY AS PALIN - "These campaigns sure are expensive. (She strokes the rich fabric of her jacket's lapel)
MCCAIN - "They sure are. So tonight, we come before you to give you some final remarks on our campaign."
FEY AS PALIN - "And, as part of our agreement with the QVC folks, we're gonna try and sell you some stuff."
MCCAIN - "This has been an historic campaign, so why not remember it with our line of collectible products. Such as ten commemorative plates that celebrates the ten Town Hall debates between Senator Obama and myself. They're blank, he wouldn't agree to those debates. Too bad. They're still nice plates.
FEY AS PALIN - "And who wouldn't want the complete set of limited edition 'Joe' action figures? There's 'Joe the Plumber,' 'Joe Six-Pack,' and my personal favorite, 'Joe Biden.' If you pull this cord, he talks for forty-five minutes.
(SHE pulls cord)
JASON SUDEIKIS AS SEN. BIDEN (O.C.) -- "I take the Amtrak to work every day. Then -- after work -- I take it home. Let me tell you something about Joe Biden..."
MCCAIN - "It's great if you want to clear out a party."
FEY AS PALIN - "Or keep deer out of your yard."
MCCAIN - "But we're not just here to sell products. We're here with a message. We are at a crossroads in American history. The leadership of the next four years will have many challenges and I believe my experience and my leadership will make a difference.
FEY AS PALIN - "Also too - sorry -- I need to remind you that there are just two minutes left in our 'Washington outsider jewelry extravaganza.'"
MCCAIN - "Are you someone who likes fine jewelry and also respects a politician who can reach across the aisle? If so, you can't go wrong with McCain Fine Gold.
(CINDY MCCAIN displays the "McCain Fine Gold" like a game show model)
MCCAIN (CONT'D) - "It commemorates the McCain Feingold Act -- and also looks great with evening wear. Thank you, Cindy."
FEY AS PALIN - "And what busy hockey mom wouldn't want to freshen up her home with Sarah Palin's 'Ayers Fresheners.' You plug these into the wall when something doesn't quite smell quite right. Also too, it's good because it reminds people about William Ayers."
MCCAIN - "Having trouble cutting through a tough piece of pork? Not anymore, with John McCain's complete set of pork knives. 'They Cut The Pork Out!'"
FEY AS PALIN - "So instead of going to one of those elite department stores with their liberal agendas and over-priced items and their gotcha return policies that violate your First Amendment rights, why not do your holiday shopping with us? (SHE turns to a different camera) Okay, listen up everybody, I am goin' rogue right now so keep your voices down. Available now, we got a buncha' these 'Palin in 2012' T-shirts. Just try and wait until after Tuesday to wear 'em okay? Because I'm not goin' anywhere. And I'm certainly not goin' back to Alaska. If I'm not goin' to the White House, I'm either runnin' in four years or I'm gonna be a white Oprah so, you know, I'm good either way."
MCCAIN - "What's going on over there, Sarah?"
FEY AS PALIN - "Oh...just talkin' about taxes." (SHE winks)
MCCAIN - "Look, would I rather be on three major networks? Of course, but I'm a true maverick -- a Republican without money. And I'm not like my opponent; my only showbiz connections are Jon Voight and Heidi from 'The Hills.' So, I'm here on QVC, and like QVC, this campaign promises you three things: quality, value and convenience."
FEY AS PALIN - "And great deals on juicers."
MCCAIN - "So when you go to the polls on Tuesday remember, 'Country First,' as a reminder all undergarments are non-refundable and Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Joe Wurzelbacher - The King of Thrones

Joe Wurzelbacher is apparently making the most of his - only until election day (hasn't anyone told him that?) - time in the spotlight by hiring a Nashville PR firm. What's in the works for this - America's unlicensed everyman? Some possibilities: a career as a country singer, penning a memoir, political aspirations, and now I read on another blog that Home Depot's considering him as a new spokesperson....

I can imagine the poster on the sliding glass door as I enter to buy cheap plumbing supplies from store employees that can't tell the difference between a pretty chamber pot or a glazed terra cotta one. Some possible slogans I've seen below:

Got a crack in your pipes? Let this crack fix yours. Call Home Depot.
If I can flush the McCain/Palin ticket down the toilet, I can certainly flush yours.
I'm a tool, and I like to be around other tools.
If I learned how to be a plumber from watching This Old House all day, so can you.
License, schmicense. Who needs a piece of paper to tell us we're smart?

Ah, I'll be so sad when election day comes and goes....