Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Senate Goes Off the Deep End and I Am Not Jumping In to Rescue My Senator



The snowfall in D.C. must have buried the last ounce of common sense remaining in the hallowed halls of the Capitol. I have lost all faith in my government, and that really depresses me. So, to share my holiday doom-and-gloom, I emailed the following today to my Senator, Mary Landrieu:


I am a registered Independent and resident of New Orleans.


Judging by its actions today in connection with the proposed health care legislation, it is increasingly apparent that the Senate has taken leave of its senses. This proposal (and others) clearly will saddle taxpayers and their progeny with such a massive amount of debt that I fear for the solvency of our nation and its business enterprises.


The "deal-making" in which you and your colleagues in the Senate have engaged is reprehensible. Your strategy to cover your own posterior is crystal clear -- plus it is undeniable that you wish to promote only the best interests of the Democratic Party, not your constituents nor your country.


Congress is out of control when it comes to spending money which we do not have and enacting legislation simply for the purpose of enacting legislation. We are clearly on the fast track to becoming that which we have, in the past, laughed at with great derision: a European-style, statist, bankrupt joke. And that future -- the breakdown of our once great nation -- rests squarely on your shoulders; yours and those of your disingenuous, unscrupulous colleagues on Capitol hill.


I have never been ashamed to be an American, but today I am close to that point. Furthermore, I am deeply ashamed to have voted for you in the past to represent my interests and those of my grandchildren. That is not a mistake I shall commit again. In fact, if you continue down this fiscally and socially reckless and irresponsible path of legislation, I shall do everything in my power to see you and your colleagues unseated and unceremoniously sent home, in coach.


This legislation must fail if we are to survive as a world leader. Wake up, look around at what other countries have experienced, and act responsibly before we become little more than a second-rate world debtor.

P.S. GEAUX SAINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ride dem Cowboys hard and put 'em up wet!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Hurryings


More rain. House is still a disaster, but why clean it when there will be FIVE dogs to track in mud?

Still raining. Spoke to the Board of Volunteers of America and got a Statement of Support signed with Larry Jones, Louisiana's Veteran of the Year for 2009 (and I wrote part of his nomination!)!

It's raining. The kids are still 7 hours away, so I have a little more time to shovel out the top layer of junk before they get here, after the two functions tonight.

Rain. But I don't have to cook or clean up the kitchen tonight!

Ahhhh. I'm so easy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spud's Carol of the Bells


Download Spud's "13-0" Christmas carol>>>

This is just too good! Our local radio personality, Spud McConnell's, "Who Dat" rendition of the "Carol of the Bells." Carol of the Bless-you-Boys?

Geaux Saints! Let's ride dem Cowboys and put 'em up wet!

Visitors and Saintly Christmas Wishes




I'm stealing Elder Daughter's post today -- because I think she's so clever and talented! She came up with "Bark, the Furry Angels Sing," and designed the Christmas card you see above, which is also, obviously, on my refrigerator. The subjects of the card, two of our granddogs Ty and Pippi Lou, will arrive along with Elder Daughter and her Intended tomorrow night for a Saints v. Cowboys battle-cum-victoire/Daddy Birthday Dinner party!

Yay -- five dogs in the house.

At least it stopped raining!

The other pic is a Christmas card I received from a friend -- I'm not posting the second page -- yet! I don't want to jinx the Bless You Boys! But, as a little hint, I plan to post it a little later, once we get past the playoffs!

I'm SO happy my dogs are outside today in actual sunshine -- they were starting to have some serious crankiness (Wendy jumped Rosie and pierced her little forehead) and wet doggy odor!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Science? What Science?


Saw this somewhere. I'm just about ready for those folks in Copenhagen to take a nap, and to take AlGore with them.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Imagine


I'm reading The Shack (by Wm. Paul Young) -- my husband passed it along to me; his sister had passed it to him after she finished it. A lot of it makes my head hurt from thinking too much, but, overall, it's an interesting, and not too difficult, read. Some of its ideas are pretty intriguing. Here's a little taste -- Jesus is speaking of humans:


"You imagine. Such a powerful ability, the imagination! That power alone makes you so like us. But without wisdom, imagination is a cruel taskmaster."


No truer words, those.


Witness the folks in D.C.. And elsewhere.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday Thoughts about Tiger

Sorry -- just couldn't resist. I have been one of Tiger's biggest fans, but now I'm really ticked off at him. Who cares if he's a huge celebrity!? He took a wedding vow just like the gazillion commoners in this world who manage to keep their extra-marital lust in their hearts and their stroke-shaving equipment in their pants.

I'll miss watching him drive, though -- and I'll certainly miss watching him walk away from me. Just like Greg Norman.

Hmmm -- is it getting warm in here?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Unsolicited Advice From the Senate Arrives in Moogie's Inbox


The following is an unsolicited email I received yesterday from one of my busy, busy Senators. I'd rather he spend his time fighting to arrive at a reasonable solution to the healthcare "crisis" or fighting cap and trade, but he felt compelled to school his electorate on safe shopping instead. Egad.


Dear Friend,

With the holidays fast approaching, many families are preparing their homes for visitors and searching for the perfect gifts to give their little ones.

My kids all have Saints gear at the top of their wish lists. And as Wendy and I have shopped for them we've, of course, seen other parents out shopping for their kids.

Since I've heard from many parents over the past year about their concern for toy safety, I wanted to share these safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission with you to keep in mind as you do your holiday shopping.

When shopping for children under 3 years old:


-Avoid buying toys intended for older children. These toys may have small parts that could pose a choking danger to children under 3 who tend to put everything in their mouths.


-Avoid toys that have sharp edges and points, and look for toys that are well-made with tightly secured eyes, noses and other parts that children could pull apart.


-Avoid marbles and games with balls less than 1.75 inches in diameter. These products can also pose a choking hazard to young children.


When shopping for children between 3 and 5 years old:


-Avoid toys that are constructed with thin, brittle plastic that might easily break into small pieces or leave jagged edges.


- Look for household art materials, including crayons and paint sets, marked with the designation "ASTM D-4236." This means the product has been reviewed by a toxicologist and, if necessary, labeled with cautionary information.


And when shopping for children ages 6 through 12:


- If you buy a bicycle for any age child, buy a helmet too, and make sure the child wears it.


- For all children, check toys periodically for breakage and potential hazards. Damaged or dangerous toys should be repaired or thrown away.

In general, be a label reader. Look for and heed age recommendations. Last year, an estimated 140,700 children were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms after toy-related incidents. It's important to choose the right toy for the right age child.

When the head of the CPSC went through confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate, I questioned her about actions the CPSC can take to continually improve the safety of toys. The CPSC oversees the safety of toys and many other consumer products. For more information, you can call CPSC's toll-free hotline at 1-800-638-2772 or visit its website at http://www.cpsc.gov/. And I will continue working with the CPSC and on other measures to ensure the safety of the products our children play with.

Sincerely,

David Vitter
U.S. Senator



This is my response to that little bit of nanny-statism:


Dear Senator Vitter:


I am an adult who has raised 3 children to adulthood, mostly intact.


When I need your advice on shopping tips, I'll ask for it; otherwise, keep it to yourself and continue your work to shrink government so that it stays out of the business of we ordinary citizens who mind our own.


Merry Christmas.


Love & kisses,
MoogieP


And, here's a post script for all those parents who contacted Senator Vitter with their concerns about toy safety: IF IT DOESN'T SMELL SAFE, DON'T BUY IT.

Hell, lawn darts looked like they might be fun back in the day, but a cement statue of a frog could figure out that lawn darts weren't particularly safe, even when used as intended (and, of course, you just knew they weren't always going to be used as intended!). Hence, my children neither owned, nor played with, lawn darts, thus producing the startling side effect of growing to adulthood, mostly intact.

Of course I'm of the generation that, as children, rode in cars without seat belts and that sported metal dashboards. We also didn't wear bicycle helmets when riding around the neighborhood and slept in cribs with drop-rails. Come to think of it, we ate honey before we were a year old. We were even given a little warm whiskey with honey and lemon juice to suppress a cough, and had warm cigarette smoke blown into our little ears to soothe an earache. So, our generation just must be sadly out of the loop when it comes to child safety.

Egad -- what our parents must think!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Speaking of Being Easily Entertained . . . .


I listen to an irreverent morning radio show that originates out of Houston (it used to originate from New Orleans!) where 2 guys use 5 voices (the real John Walton, Billy Ed Hatfield the redneck, Mr. Kenneth the gay hairdresser, and Mr. Eaux the New 'Awlins black guy, and occasionally the real Stephen Johnson) to do commentary and interviews and play satiric songs; it's the Walton & Johnson Show. (Caveat: their website is not wholly "family friendly!").

Occasionally, they come up with a jewel and I just need to figure out some way to use it. So, today, I'm posting one from this morning here, just because it gave me such a giggly visual.

They were speaking of Gary Busey and how he's preparing to become a father again at 65 with his 35 year-old girlfriend (if that doesn't make you tired just thinking about it, I don't know what would!), and they were discussing how nicely he "cleaned up" in a picture they found on the 'net.

"Of course," Billy Ed said, "he still has crazy pasted all over him, just like a stain."

HAAA! Just like a stain!

Priceless -- and pretty dang accurate, I'd venture.

Crazy pasted all over him just like a stain! Heh.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Moogie's Fun and Revolutionary Plan for Public Service Reform in D.C.


In a moment of blinding clarity, I have stumbled upon what could be the salvation of our nation and our Republic.

We have to chunk out our system of federal elections and start over from scratch.

The states may continue to do whatever they please for intra-state elections pursuant to the Tenth Amendment, and that'll get the Feds off their backs for a whole lot of stuff, primarily because the Feds will have been forced to acknowledge and abide by the Tenth Amendment. If folks don't like what policies their state is enacting in connection with a particular issue, like, say, same-sex marriage, then they are free either to try to effect change in their state through legislation or move to another state whose laws more closely reflect their beliefs. Hello, Republic! A confederation of independent states who are free to follow the will of their citizens, not the sometime-well-intentioned-but-often-cuckoo citizens of Soviet Socialist Massachusetts or Pelosi-world.

You may not be aware of the fact that I was -- fairly recently -- a strong opponent of term limits. I believed institutional memory to be a very important component of orderly government -- we shouldn't have to re-invent the wheel time after time after time simply because no one was in Congress or the Governor's mansion who could remember what happened the last time someone came up with the same boneheaded idea, or how badly its implementation failed. Today, I simply don't care. There are too many boneheaded ideas floating around this ol' world to prevent their redundancy, so opposing term limits is no longer on my radar.

The notion of needing to devise some reasonable facsimile of term limits brought me to the election of our Republics' representatives in D.C. -- so, let's just get all Constitutional about it and return to the Founding Fathers' notion of true "public servants" in which people are called to serve their fellow citizens for a brief amount of time, not to make a career of meddling in the lives of every citizen.

We can retain the Constitutional requirements for eligibility to serve (e.g., age, natural-born citizenship, residency) -- they're pretty sensible. But as for the actual "election" -- there will be no further federal elections.

We're going to have a National Public Service Lottery.

Every eligible U.S. voter (eligibility to be determined by each state) will be required to purchase two lottery tickets: one each in the POTUS/VPOTUS Scratch-off in which only two tickets have all the magic numbers (indexed to population or voter registration; details and cost to be worked out later), but the Presidential Powerball Number on one ticket wins the White House and the runner-up moves into One Observatory Circle at the U.S. Naval Observatory as VPOTUS, both for the Constitutional term of four years. No one may win the POTUS/VPOTUS Scratch-off more than two terms in a row.

Additionally, the eligible voters of each state and territory will be required to purchase similar lottery tickets for Senator (lotteries to be staggered to accommodate rotating 6-year terms) and Representative: one winner per slot per state.

Of course, we'd have to do away with the Electoral College and replace it with a Commission of Electoral Inspection to determine the qualifications and eligibility of winners. The Commission could be composed of 3 members (to have a tie-breaker), appointed, one apiece, by the President, The Senate, and the House of Representatives. Vacancies occurring in Congressional office could be filled by vote of the vacant office's State Senate; presidential succession would be in effect until the following lottery.

Would there be a chance for cheating or corruption? Of course. Is there now?!?! (Hello, ACORN.) Would some mind-numbingly unqualified folks win the Public Service Lottery? Um, duh -- but what's the difference between that and the current system?

Could the loss of institutional memory be regretted, especially in the House of Representatives? Most probably. But, tinkering with the details could find a reasonable compromise to extend and rotate terms in the House, so let's not throw this idea out without trying it.

It's fun! It's a revenue generator! It's a regular fruit-basket turnover in D.C.!! It's Moogie's Revolutionary Plan for Public Service Reform in D.C.!

I've given you the bones -- now, hammer out the details.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dear Santa, the Saints are on the Path to 13 - 0, so . . . !




Saw this too late for the last Saints - Falcons game. It's perfect for this week.

Our whiz-kid Governor has predicted a 19 - 0 Saints season through the Super Bowl. Let's hope he has a crystal ball stashed somewhere in the Mansion!!

Gotta find me an ample Santa's lap so I can ask him to give the "Bless You Boys" a trip to Miami in February for Christmas!! Bomb those Dirty Birds! Geaux Saints!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

12 - 0! A Saintly Victory!


TWELVEAN'EAUX!!!

Tweren't pretty, but the Saints are 12 - 0 and have clinched their Division!

Now, Beat the Falcons!!! (By a wider margin that won't drive me back to the blood pressure meds, if you please!)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Look Out, Rudolph, Pippi's Gunning For Your Job!


This is just too adorable not to share --

Please allow me to introduce you to the Chi-weenie of the family, Miss Pippi Lou, one of my (many!) granddogs.

She looks just precious in her Christmas finery (and I think she looks really miffed at her Mama, too!)

Snow in Southeast Louisiana!


Well, this doesn't happen here often!

Poor little southeast Louisiana football play-offers are not accustomed to winter weather! Snow fell last night on the northshore of Lake Ponchartrain, and we even had some of what we lovingly refer to as "fat raindrops" plop on the windshield as we drove across the Crescent City Connection (the big bridge over the Mississippi River) to a progressive dinner party aboard the Naval Support Activity. There might even have been a crunching or two of sleet.

Shelters are open and the weather-people are simply beside themselves, warning us all to prepare to protect the "4 Ps" -- plants, pets, pipes, and people. They don't get much opportunity to get all excited in the winter -- hurricane season is usually their "star" time.

Our biggest concern was driving across a big bridge in the company of lots of folks who have no clue about how to drive in winter precipitation. Fortunately, they chose to drive slowly and cautiously.

The surprise arrival of winter certainly did make a festive backdrop for a Christmas gathering -- even if it was a little soggy making the trip between courses. And Bouie got to do a cold weather swim this morning -- his favorite. Pepper said Bouie was really happy to swim once he figured out that the water was probably warmer than the air!

I love winter in the south!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

If Only . . . .



Heh. Party Crashers with,, um, moxie.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thankful . . . And Home.


It's hard to get caught up after a funeral and a family Thanksgiving. And yet more driving. All told, this trip wound up being about 2,000 miles, including one oil change and one nail in a tire.

Life as we have come to know it in the White House rolls along: The Young President telegraphed our offense to the opponent -- at West Point yet. Egad. Who knows what's going on in Honduras!

It's cold in New Orleans, but the Saints are 11 - 0!! (There will be no further discussion of Razorback football until the Liberty Bowl.)

The first hint of Mardi Gras takes place tomorrow night when my new, all-female Krewe, the Krewe of Muses, holds its holiday bazaar. Wine, frivolity, and shopping -- what could be better!

Why, the Saints being 12 - 0 will be better, of course! Beat the Redskins, Who Dat Nation!

I threw in a shot of Bouie hard at work at duck camp last week, decked out appropriately, of course. He's always been the dapper dresser. Steve took the pic -- I think it's calendar quality! Bouie didn't get to fetch any ducks, but he did get two 20+ pound geese, one of which was still alive and flapping! He didn't have to kill it (fortunately!) -- he just managed to get hold of its neck and hauled it back to Pepper for the ultimate dispatch. (I'd post the pics, but . . . you know.)

Duck gumbo will taste pretty darn good on Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tomorrow is Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

I think my rear end has sprouted tendrils that have grown into the car seat. Nonetheless, over the river and through the woods . . . .

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Reluctant Farewell


This has been another week of conflicting emotions.

My sister-in-law Pamela (she graduated to "Pamela" from "Pam" shortly after her marriage), having been born dead some 58 years ago and resuscitated, was saddled thenceforth with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and then grew into diabetes and Crohn's disease, among other unpleasant things.

A few months ago, in August, she had a discussion with God and her husband -- a genuine saint if ever there was one -- and then made the decision to forego any further blood transfusions or hospitalizations. They all peacefully began to make preparations for her transition from this life to the next, beginning with getting her set up with a home hospice service. She was positively giddy when she called to let us know that she had been accepted into the hospice program, and that she really liked the ladies who would be her caregivers. You would have thought she'd won a trip to Disney World.

My other sister-in-law and her daughter traveled to see Pamela in the early fall for the last time -- they had a nice visit.

My husband was not so much at peace with Pam's decision. He and his brother plotted ways to make her continue the fight to stay alive, because, well, that's just what you do -- you stay alive. Or you throw money at problems and they get all better.

They wanted her to continue the fight -- until they came face-to-face with the magnitude of the task of staying alive. Her husband, an R.N., emailed a complete synopsis of her various diagnoses and treatments, together with a list of the medications she had to take daily and their out-of-pocket cost.

The cost was pretty staggering, but the cost was not what helped them accept Pamela's decision. The fact that she would be faced with transfusions every single month and still hurt and be worn out; that she no longer had the strength to sew the blankets that she had lovingly stitched and donated to babies the world over; that she couldn't sit long enough to attend worship services; that she could no longer make her fingers work well enough to play the organ their beloved aunt had given her -- those things helped them find the peace in her decision.

But when the call came Monday evening from her weary husband, my strong, brave man still wept for the loss of his baby sister. We both shed hot, bitter tears for our loss.

For Pamela, we rejoiced.

I told Pepper that Pamela was probably playing the organ -- or even the oboe, if she chose -- or dancing with Aunt Del. He sniffed and said, "No one can really play the oboe. But, I can picture them dancing."

She never could really move the way she would have liked to here on Earth. Now, I'll bet she's in the Top 20 of "So You Think You Can Dance -- Heavenly Edition."

We lay her to rest in a few days, even though she's already found her way to eternity. And I seriously doubt whether she'll rest at all -- there's too much dancing to catch up on.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Uppity Computer

I am not a big fan of computers on Mondays who try to be smarter than I am. See the (incomplete) post below. I'll fix it somehow.

A Thanksgiving Before Healthcare Reform: From the Land of the Pilgrims



I have a cousin who lives just outside of Boston. He's a very bright guy -- an architect -- who is less than pleased with the Massachusetts plan for healthcare. He hints that having to file an additional form with one's tax return (to assure that you're contributing your appropriate, fair share) is about as much fun as a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as my Mama used to say, and just about as useful.


The following are excerpts from the weekend's email correspondence:

"Following up on earlier emails re: the health-care mess, I thought you might be interested in this excerpt from a fairly recent Boston Herald article:


Wading into the contentious national health-care debate...[Massachusetts State] Treasurer Timothy Cahill blasted the state's landmark plan and warned President Obama that a similar scheme could bankrupt the country.


"If universal health care is breaking us, what's it going to do to the federal government?" Cahill told the Herald yesterday.


The treasurer...said the state's universal health-care plan...focused on insuring all state residents first and controlling costs second. As a result, Cahill said, the plan has been a major drag on the state budget.


"Health-care spending has exploded, and unless the federal government continues to reimburse us, we cannot afford it," Cahill said. "But who's going to bail the federal government out? Probably us, the taxpayers."


A report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers
Foundation, a business-based organization that supported health-care reform,
found that Bay State spending on the health-care overhaul has increased by about
$88 million annually since the law was passed.


Out of the $10 billion spent on health care in the state's fiscal 2010 budget, $1.7 billion is spent on health-care reform.


It reminds me of a quote by Thomas Jefferson: "If I could not go to heaven but with a [political] party, I would not go there at all."

I replied:

"Thanks for the update. I shudder to think what's to become of you in Massachusetts if this debacle passes at the national level. You might just as well open a vein with a direct line going into the tax coffers."


His observation:

"People will continue leaving the state in droves -- but once the feds wade in, there'll be nowhere to run to."


Giving the IRS yet more responsibility and authority, plus ineffective actual healthcare delivery. How's that for an uplifting start to the week before Thanksgiving.

"Nowhere to run to." New Zealand, maybe? 1981?


UPDATE: I'm going to have to try to figure out what happened to the quote. I hate computers on Mondays.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saints, Baby!!


Game Day, Baby!! Kickoff, T-90 minutes, give or take a few.

Who dat!! Ain't dem Rams, Baby!!


Thank God for a diversion from Washington.

UPDATE: 9 - 0, baby!! It weren't purty, but it's a W!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bearing a New Moniker, "Jailbird Bill" Will Take Extended Junket to Federal Penal Facility


That man wearing the deer in the headlights expression is "Dollar Bill" Jefferson, my former Congressman (the one who preceded Anh "Joseph the Turncoat" Cao), and he's going to have a new nickname from here on out: "Jailbird Jefferson."

Thirteen years worth of new nickname.

In passing sentence on Jailbird Bill yesterday, federal Judge T.S. Ellis, III, stated:

"Public corruption is a cancer that needs to be surgically removed. . . . I have no doubt you have led an extraordinary life; you have accomplished a great deal. . . . It makes this even all that much sadder for me and many others. Obviously you are a man of great gifts. It is a tragedy these gifts have been squandered."

Jefferson's attorneys have asked that he remain free pending appeal, which will probably take up to three years, because he's not a flight risk (translation: he has surrendered his passport) and is a "strong family man." In other words, William Jefferson could be described as an honorable man, worthy of retaining his freedom until the last possible moment.

Wasn't the same said of Brutus and the gang before their little -- forgive me -- tea party at The Forum? But, then again, was not Brutus fighting corruption rather than living it? Whither lives, "honor?" Not, I would suggest, in the Jefferson household. (Nor in the White House, but we won't go there today).

He'll probably do his time in a minimum security federal "camp," but he will be incarcerated and he will actually be doing penance for abusing the public's trust. Though short of the maximum requested by the prosecution, Jefferson's sentence is the longest imposed to date for Congressional shenanigans. Judge Ellis also warned that Jefferson's sentence would serve as a "beacon" that abuse of the public's trust will carry a price. A dear price -- at least a baker's dozen of years in our short time on this Earth for one miscreant.

Someone needs to poke Charley Rangel and point out that Jailbird Jefferson once thought himself bulletproof, too. Run and dodge, Congressman Rangel -- run and dodge.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Watch Beck Tomorrow!!


Blog buddy, Maria (pictured at 6 o'clock above), from My Voice on the Wings of Change will finally be on the Glenn Beck show tomorrow together with other conservative black bloggers!

At least that's the plan. But it was also the plan last week when the Left managed to burst Glenn's appendix, so I'm holding my breath until air time.

Go get 'em, feisty lady!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To All Our U.S. Vets -- Thank You! Love, Moogie





This morning a grateful France rang and donated a beautiful, precisely measured replica of the Liberty Bell, cast in Normandy, to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. The bell sang in E Flat to commemorate the liberation of France and Europe from the Nazi yoke by the Allied Forces. Such a lovely ceremony -- 5 American WWII Vets were also awarded the French Legion of Honor medal, 2 posthumously, by French diplomats and military brass.
Happy Veterans Day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fort Hood, Remembered and Held in Honor


The roll call goes unanswered.

Rest In Peace, valiant fallen of Fort Hood, and may God's peace comfort your loved ones.

May the wounded have a full and swift recovery.

And may we -- all of those left behind -- never take a single member of our uniformed services, nor a moment in time, for granted.



If I hear one more television commentator refer to First "Calvary" or an Army "Base" I may have to scream.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Congressional Blue Dogs Double Down on Tyranny


On this day that we observe the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's collapse, my mind keeps mulling over and over the concept of "tyranny." And the light bulb in my head keeps popping to life over one word: Congress.

The Constitution has become to Congress what stoplights are to New Orleans drivers: no more than a mild suggestion; and the first pavers of the yellow-plated brick road to the EmeraldGreen City of communism were laid last weekend by 220 members of the House of Representatives. Including mine.

Where is a Wizard when we need him?


(The cartoon was stolen from a Facebook buddy -- we can't lose all sense of humor now can we. At least, not yet.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Health Care Reform Vote and the Slow-Learners in Congress


I obviously have not forgiven him for uttering it, because I certainly haven't forgotten it, but my husband made an observation a number of years ago that I think has particular applicability to Congress's vote last night on the House health care reform bill.

When I was first learning to play at golf (I still haven't learned to "play" it, just "play at" it), Pepper and I started playing "Twilight Couples" rounds in which we were paired with another couple and assigned some bizarre format designed to produce a divorce or two per round. On one of those blissful Friday evenings, I blew a putt. Actually, I had blown several putts on several different holes in one of those formats that, in addition to boosting the bottom line at the divorce lawyer's firm, had the added benefit of torturing the weaker player in a twosome.

The "weaker player" -- that would be me.

Anyway, after I blew the third or fourth putt, my precious soulmate turned red in the face as that vein in his forehead popped out, stared me down, and in a measured tone a few octaves higher than his normal speaking voice that turned the surrounding air a little blue, spat out the words: "G.D., Moogie! Even a monkey learns after watching other monkeys for a little while!!!"

For some reason that I still fail to understand to this day, I chose to finish the round and not leave him. And a few days later, I got a really nice gift -- it may even have been sparkly. That's kinda how my precious soulmate apologizes when he knows he's really screwed up.

So, when that memory floated to the top of my consciousness this morning as I dissected yesterday's House vote in my cozy bed, a whole bunch of monkeys and apes sprang to life right before my eyes. Monkeys named Canada, Sweden, England, Massachusetts, Tennessee. Apes that had played with socialized healthcare and figured out that it doesn't work; monkeys that watched its citizens losing way too many balls in a bottomless rough without boundaries; apes that were living the old joke about how to play a really long round with the partner who had a heart attack on the course: hit the ball, drag Fred; hit the ball, drag Fred.

Next, I realized that I'm Fred. You'll be Fred. Our grandkids will have to pay Fred's greens fees and drag us around without so much as being able to tee one up. And then I realized that those monkeys we've been watching have given up on this game because the rules aren't fair, the game is way too confusing and expensive, and there aren't enough tee times to go around.

Damn, Congress! Even monkeys can learn after watching other monkeys for awhile!

Those apes on Capitol Hill must be a little slow. We'll have to use very small words while explaining the error of their way. And take away their bananas.

Somehow I don't think we'll be getting a nice gift, though -- sparkly or otherwise. Maybe just a little more monkey poo flung in our direction.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fort Hood's Fallen: Please Accord Them Dignity and Honor


Oh no.

The slaughter on Ft. Hood is tragic; it's too hard to think about and I can't really express all the conflicting, raw emotions I'm feeling, or even wrap my mind around the circumstances.

But, after replaying in my head the White House's reaction to June's slaughter of an Army Private in Little Rock, a worse thought has just hit me smack between the eyes.

The Young President and Michelle, after his inexcusable gaffe that passed for a press statement yesterday, will most certainly show up at the services intended to confer military honors to the fallen. Then, the somber ceremonies will become nothing more than "The Obama Circus Show."

I may have to throw up.

UPDATE: Although W was not my most favorite CinC of all times, he -- and especially Laura -- understood what it meant to wear the uniform and/or love someone who does. Class will tell every time, and it did yesterday when the Bushes went to visit the wounded and families at Ft. Hood, without fanfare.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dear Congress: It Won't Work, no Matter How Clandestine Your Behavior




Emailed this morning to my Congressman, Anh "Joseph" Cao, and Pelosi, plus to Vic Snyder and Mike Ross of Arkansas:

Congressman Cao:
I called your office this morning concerning the pending health care reform bill. I'm following up that call with an email to reiterate my position that your publicly announced refusal to comment on the bill until after a vote is wholly unacceptable. It is your job to comment -- not to keep your constituents guessing what actions you may take. Please take note that my opinion about your duties doesn't exist in a vacuum -- I venture that the vast majority of your constituents share my thoughts.

I also emailed the following to Speaker Pelosi this morning; please take my comments to heart:

Speaker Pelosi:
My husband and I are opposed to the healthcare reform bill you announced on October 29th.

(1) The Bill demands an unprecedented expansion of the federal government -- that expansion, both in the Executive branch and via the Legislative branch, is beyond unacceptable, it is intolerable; (2) The Bill is overreaching and overbroad -- vast improvements in the delivery of health care and reining in its costs could be achieved incrementally instead of attempting to eat the elephant in one gulp; (3) The Bill is too expensive and will result in irreparable damage to small business, and will soon require dramatic increases in the middle class tax burden (how you characterize what you snatch out of a taxpayer's pocket doesn't matter -- a "fee," a "penalty," a "tax" -- they're all exactions, and they'll all wind up in government coffers); (4) The Bill's efficacy is, without doubt, unsustainable. Period.

I am a registered Independent, but I intend to dedicate my time, talents, and resources to the defeat of all Members of Congress -- regardless of party affiliation -- who vote in favor of your merged mark-up of HB 3200. This Bill represents the very worst of Government, the antithesis of our Representative Republic.

Please withdraw this ignominious and unabashed power-grab disguised as legislation, and return the healthcare debate to where it belongs -- in the open Democratic process under the watchful eye of reason.

Most sincerely,

MoogieP

My husband and I think we heard something about healthcare for pets yesterday. Although that would make Bouie happy, I hope we were just having a "senior moment" and made that up.

I'm gearing up for either the Gulag or Gitmo! Send cookies.





Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Roosevelt Rises From the Flood Waters


We experienced another of those New Orleans "recovery" moments last night, and I get a pleasant case of goose bumps just thinking about it, even this afternoon.

Yesterday was the 60th birthday of the Navy League, a major observance of "Fleet Week." The New Orleans celebration was meticulously planned down to the last detail, even bringing in five crew members from the USS New Orleans as special guests. Impressive young men they were. Impressive, indeed.

But, as strong and handsome as those young sailors were in their spotless white uniforms, and as tasty as the food was, and as nice as the open bar was (don't you just love an open bar!), nothing about the evening could hold a candle to the venue.

The Navy League celebration was held in the lovingly restored and newly re-opened "Blue Room" of the Roosevelt Hotel, now a Waldorf Astoria property.

Having regained her former name -- the name of her glory days -- she was, yesterday evening, elegant, dripping in history, and a magnet for memories: a grand lady, properly courted and attended to by an adoring throng. I thrilled as a sharply uniformed doorman greeted us and welcomed us to enter the door he held open with pride and a genuine smile.

Four years ago, in August of 2005, this hotel was the Fairmont New Orleans. Her guests were permitted to hunker down and engage in "vertical evacuation" for Hurricane Katrina -- a formerly common practice of checking into a high-rise downtown hotel to ride out approaching storms. (You'll notice I said "formerly" -- not any more. If the order to get out of Dodge is issued today, then everyone must get the hell out of Dodge, hotel employees and all.) After the storm passed, the hotel's management brought in chartered buses to transport the guests to safety in their Dallas property, then it set about assessing the damage sustained by the luxury hotel.

And the Fairmont sat vacant.

It sat abandoned and vacant for years, its intricate mosaic tile floors filthy, its traditionally gleaming brass handrails dull and lackluster, its artfully detailed frescoes fading in the humidity, plywood boards blocking out people and sunlight. No floor shows in the Blue Room, no "Angel Hair" Christmas decorations in the lobby that stretches an entire city block.

No celebrities to take up an entire floor and order specially-made peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches from room service, as Elvis did while filming "King Creole." No elected "royalty" to enjoy a cocktail and tryst with his Bourbon Street scarlet lady, as Governor Huey Long did during his reign, later cut short by an assassin's bullet. No Sazerac Bar to break the gender barrier, allowing women to belly up to the bar alongside their male counterparts (to which the ladies took as a duck to water!).

But, two weeks ago, the Roosevelt re-emerged to fanfare and jazz and revelry.

Last night as we prepared to leave, we decided to make "the promenade" down the long lobby and back to the entrance. Holding hands, we silently took it all in --the artistry, the amazing clock that keeps time according to the movements of the Earth, the towering displays of fresh flowers. We listened to echoed memories of our first New Orleans Mardi Gras ball held in the ballroom on the mezzanine, and imagined my parents as a young couple enjoying cocktails and a show featuring comic Brother Dave Gardner in the Blue Room. And we smiled.

Strolling to the parking deck, we passed the still-shuttered Orpheum Theater, deserted former home of the Louisiana Philharmonic, and our reverie was tarnished just a whit. But then, as we approached Canal Street in the car, we saw the lights on the art deco Saenger Theater marquee, illuminated last Thursday for the first time since the Storm. Another thrill, another restored pleasure promised for 2011.

We've learned not to open our hearts to too much relief about our adopted City's recovery -- there's always something around the block to shatter that satisfaction. But today, the return of New Orleans takes mostly giant steps, not just itty-bitty baby steps. And new lights brighten the night sky in the City That Care Forgot more and more often, brighter than before.

I can't wait to see what's next. Or to see the Roosevelt decked out in her Christmas finery!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Forget the Henhouse -- Let's Keep the Fox in the Press Room


The White House's cagey mistreatment of FOXNews has been telling in more than one respect, and it takes me back to the first time I was privileged to cast a ballot in a presidential election.

Yep . . . the first vote I ever cast was for "tricky Dick" Nixon in 1972 -- the first of many votes that I cavalierly tossed away.

I don't really know why I voted for Nixon -- probably because my friends voted for him, and I just couldn't bring myself to vote for George Wallace. I couldn't even think about George McGovern. I suspect, even today, the influence of those near and dear to us is the same impetus for many a ballot cast by doe-eyed youngsters out to save the world. And it's just as much a mistake today as it was in the days of bell-bottom jeans and pre-medicinal marijuana.

I'm proud to say that, even though they typically and ultimately don't cancel out our votes (although not always!), all three of our children make up their own minds about which candidate will best serve the overall interests of the United States in the White House. They research, they watch, and they listen to the candidates and their spokesmen. Our kids are the generation that lived the evolution of the 24-hour news cycle and the never-ending campaign; they must research, watch, and listen or be left so far behind the machinations of today's political dynasties as to be engulfed, digested, and abandoned in the cattle yard awaiting slaughter.

They are all outraged at the White House's cagey mistreatment of FOXNews, and they all appreciate the amount of courage (and foresight!) it took for the remainder of the "Big Five" to stand up for their "poolmate" when the White House began its mission to ostracize the lone voice crying out against a movement that would, admittedly, "fundamentally transform" our nation and its role in the world.

Smart kids.

Nixon tried the same thing -- to gag the press. At his end, however, he was revealed to be, as he truly was, the naked Quaker Emperor who could turn the air blue with impunity -- when behind closed doors.

The doors still close at the White House. And in the Capitol. The "pool" had better keep a battalion of lifeguards on duty.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Home Again as Halloween Looms!


Not a lot of time to devote to my growing and unrelenting mistrust of and anger toward Congress, but I'm sure to explode at some point in the very near future.

Successful road trip completed, recovery continues, being punished by dogs-left-behind is about over. Houseguests arrive Thursday night (well, early-early Friday morning) for bridal portrait shoot. On Halloween. In the French Quarter. What do you want to bet that the full-out bridal regalia won't turn a single head!

Speaking of Halloween -- the above is a double blast from the past. The dress dates back to 1972 (high school "Masque Ball" in the gym!); photo is vintage 1987.

The little Go-Go Girl is the bride-to-be. Time really does fly.

No. I can't get into the dress these days.

But I'm making progress!

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Porch Without Pumpkins


I'm back after another round of goofy fun with the gi doc -- and all is well!

One-third of the dogs and I are loading up the car to do a solo road trip to Arkansas for FUN WEDDING STUFF!!!! So, I may be absent for a few days. Don't panic, I'll be back.

As a parting thought, the above photo pictures what greeted me as I pulled up in front of the house on October 16, 2008. It also explains why there are no pumpkins on Moogie's front porch this year.

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Health in a Bottle -- Bend Over . . .

. . . and say ay-yi-yi! I'm afraid to ask about the co-pay. Via the husband and Right Condition (Click to enlarge).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Moogie's Got Mail! And It's From the White House!


You may recall that I've penned a few epistles to our Young President since his inauguration to express my opinion about his opinion of the Tea Party movement, and to express my dismay at his official response to the murder of a young Army soldier in Little Rock, Arkansas, by a convert to Islam.

Last week, I received a letter from him on stationery with an embossed White House logo and "recycled symbol" watermark!

My fingers trembled as I slit open the envelope -- would the Young President chastise me for my effrontery in criticizing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ? Would he posit rational alternatives to my suggestions? Would he offer sincere condolences for the senseless loss of a young soldier whose adult life had barely begun? Would he invite me to have a glass of chardonnay on the White House lawn as we debate the relative merits of health care reform with our shirt sleeves rolled up? After all, the envelope appeared to have been hand-written -- surely this letter came directly from the big desk in the Oval Office!

That would be a big negatory, good buddy.

In his endearingly personal missive, he expresses appreciation of "hearing from" me and tells me he values my "input." He trumpets the need for "swift, deliberate action," and repeats his clarion call for (1) health care reform "--this year--", (2) a clean energy economy [jobs, energy independence, global warming], and (3) complete and competitive education. Not much new there --that's pretty much the standard holy trinity held over from the campaign.

But, since he's actually been in office, he has apparently learned that there are other pressing matters in this uncertain world that also need urgent, swift, and deliberate action. Wonder of wonders, he has added new "to do" tasks to his agenda that he felt comfortable enough to share with little ol' me (since he obviously knows me well enough to assume I'd jump right up off the couch to get to work and help him check these tasks off his list)!

Ready for this?

"We need to secure our homeland against threats by preventing terrorist attacks and planning for and responding soundly to emergencies." [Translation: remove more clothing at airports and go into quarantine if you don't take your Swine Flu shot.]

"We also have an obligation to rein in our budget by cutting wasteful spending and ineffective programs." [Translation: Turn loose of that Medicare Advantage and get ready for "Money For Major Appliances!"]

Here's the best part -- I swear it says this, verbatim:

"We can do all this, and change the way business is done in Washington, by building the most open, transparent, and accountable government in our history."

Openness, transparency and accountability will arrive at some point, I suppose, after Harry Reid and Rahm Emanuel emerge from behind the Senate vault doors to announce how we are to approach health care -- and like it.

The Young President closes by sincerely thanking me once again for my "involvement," and encourages me to explore http://www.whitehouse.gov/ which is "regularly updated and more interactive than ever before."

My mind is so much more at ease to learn that another "inherited" mess -- a sloppy White House website -- has been mopped up!

I know, I know. What did I expect out of a communication from an elected official inside the beltway? Did I expect a reply that had some connection -- no matter how slight -- with the topic I took the time to write about and spent nearly half-a-dollar to mail?

Not really. But I did briefly get the pleasure of one twisted chuckle: the envelope seriously appears to be handwritten, in a slightly shaky script, until you hold it up to the light and discern that there are no pressure indentations on the paper. It's ink-jetted. And the deceptive use of that little modern process totally killed my buzz.

See, I had mental images of Michelle's aging mother addressing hundreds of envelopes by candlelight once the girls had been put to bed so she could earn her room and board. After all, it may not be lonely under the bus anymore, but it definitely has to be uncomfortable!

But, no. She's probably sitting on the White House lawn sipping my glass of wine.

Maybe I should write a letter complaining about that. Maybe Michelle would reply about the virtues of gardening in mid-calf boots, and horizontal stripes! Heh.




Sunday, October 18, 2009

Football Weather!!!!!!


I'm wearing sweat pants, sweatshirt and socks (this is significant because I hardly ever wear socks!!)! It's football weather in New Orleans!!!

GEAUX SAINTS!!!
UPDATE: SAINTS 48 - Giants 27!!! WHO DAT!!!!!!! Not dem Giants!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ramirez gives Us a Form 1040 to Love!


Drat! I mailed the 2008 returns just yesterday (after our customary extensions), moments before this new Form 1040 came out.

Is it too early to file an amended return?!?!


[h/t to Buck.]

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Venezuela in Jeopardy


I've tried to keep it from him for as long as I can, but my husband may now be painting camo on his face and dusting off his jungle BDUs for a covert invasion of Venezuela.

He can sort of tolerate the state taking over television and radio stations. He can barely tolerate Chavez sucking up to the Castro brothers and demonizing Honduras. He can even kind of tolerate the newest cozy relationship among Venezuela and other OPEC nations.

But this he cannot tolerate: Hugo Chavez has declared golf to be a bourgeois non-sport played by lazy elitists, and anything but a "peoples' sport." Nine courses have been nationalized and closed so far.

I've done all that I can, people of Venezuela; I can't restrain him any longer. You'd better follow Cuba's lead of wooing golf tourists, get rid of Chavez, or prepare to face the consequences wrought by the Golf Avenger. You're on your own.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Orleans Gives the U.S.S. New York a Send-off Befitting Her Heritage


The master shipbuilders at Avondale, Louisiana, have crafted an emotional work of art and might: the U.S.S. New York.

In a labor of love, the artisans began construction in 2004 on the 684-foot amphibious transport dock ship. This morning -- on a fog-shrouded Mississippi River -- she began her maiden voyage to her namesake City for commissioning into the United States Navy. Thousands of southeast Louisianians lined the River to bid her "fair winds and following seas;" she was saluted with two separate 21-gun salutes, hundreds of fluttering American flags, and musical tributes.

Northrup-Grumman's Avondale shipyard has produced countless ships for our mighty military over the years, so what makes this particular transport vessel so remarkable?

She has already known adversity, this gray beauty -- during her construction, she weathered Hurricanes Katrina (and its aftermath), Ike, and Gustav. But she's also a survivor -- incorporated into her bow stem are about 7 1/2 tons of steel from the New York World Trade Center, felled during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on our nation.

As an unofficial Honor Guard, near the starting line of her voyage a swarm of police and emergency vehicles flashed their lights in honor of the 343 firefighters and police officers who died in the World Trade Center. Through the steel in her bow, commemorating the thousands of innocents and heroes who unexpectedly lost their lives on that clear September morn, she's already blessed by scores of Guardian Angels. Even so, we add our blessing to theirs.

Bon voyage, New York; may you know fair winds and following seas indeed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kinda Like What the Mainstream Media Spoon-feeds Us



I overheated my brain over the weekend, so today's post will be fluffish. Plus, my future son-in-law just cracks up every time he sees this box -- he even took a picture of it once so he can crack himself up at home -- so I thought the photo on the box might crack up other folks, too.

We have a geriatric beagle who, despite her age, is constantly on the hunt. The hunt is for food. "Food," in Wendy Whiner's mind, needn't necessarily be edible, and she'll take it where she can get it.

Hence, she is known, for polite discourse, as a poop eater. That is not precisely the phrase my husband uses, but you get the general idea.

Yes, you read that correctly -- she eats poop. Often. With gusto.

Since the consumption of one's own -- or someone else's -- poop can be detrimental to one's health (and, observing the process can be detrimental to the observer's gag reflex), the practice is one that is to be discouraged. "Scooping" is not the answer -- a wily beagle can always find a way to beat the scoop.

So, the product pictured above has been stocked in our house for some time and used according to package instructions to try to break Wendy of her between-meal snacking habits. It claims to "help stop your ... dog from consuming its own feces." How is this miracle product supposed to work, you may wonder? Once consumed, it moves through the digestive system and discourages the dog from wanting to re-eat the by-product because it makes the poop taste bad.

Yep -- it makes the poop taste bad.

Foolish me -- it never occurred to me that poop could taste any way but bad.

For all the unpleasant imagery that it evokes, does the product work well?

Not when one lives with a determined beagle who has a poop monkey on her back.

I'm with the chihuahua on the box, however. Is that a great face, or what! Kinda the same expression I had on my face last week when the Nobel Peace Prize was announced.

Aw, come on -- you knew I had to get in at least one political dig, didn't you? And the dig is pretty much about the same subject matter as the rest of this post -- the knee-jerk reaction to both is "Ewwwww."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Primary is Over in the Race for Anti-Christ




Deadenders wonders today "why" Barry is President instead of Hillary, and comes to the conclusion that the only thing they really share is the "Y."

I have a little different theory.

For years, I feared that Hillary was the anti-Christ.

From the time she joined Bill in Fayetteville after his unsuccessful run for Congress, through his term as Attorney General, and throughout the Clinton-as-Governor years (including the brief two years when the voters kicked him out of the Governor's mansion for housing too many Vietnamese boat people at Ft. Chaffee and raising the cost of "car tags" -- translation for folks not living in the heartland: car tags = registration and license plates), I was an Arkansas resident and voter. I was also a member of the Arkansas legal community, so I had the chance to watch her work. Believe me, the lady became a master at power-broking, and that was no easy mark for a woman to make in the "good ol' boy" days of Arkansas politics.

While Bill was in the gubernatorial doghouse, Hillary changed her name -- she took the surname "Clinton" -- and gave birth to baby Chelsea (the best thing the Clintons ever accomplished, IMHO). He regained the Governor's office by a landslide in the next race.

Then, came the White House years, and, much to my husband's amusement, I swore up and down that she had a contract with the devil.

I mean, first, Bill is elected -- a southern Governor within easy memory of Jimmy Carter. Then Bill's presidency survives Bosnia, adultery, Vince Foster, and impeachment. Then, with no discernible ties to the state, Hill decides to move to NY (NY?!?!) and run for the Senate, and her main competition -- "America's Mayor" -- conveniently comes down with prostate cancer and has to drop out of the race?!?!

Then came her own no-last-name presidential campaign. She stayed true to her fairly progressive dogma, and I was still certain that she might sprout horns. (Plus, the timbre of her voice could still make me cringe and my dog howl.)

But . . . .

Then came ACORN in Iowa, followed in short order by Florida, Michigan, and the pillorying of Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin.

Then came the "fundamentally transforming the United State of America" speech by then-nominee Young President Obama.

Then, at lightspeed, came the election, the YP's Apology Tour of Europe and the Middle East, drooling adoration at the U.N., and this week's "humbling" notification that the Nobel *choke* Prize was coming to roost on his mantle in the private quarters of the White House.

So, today I have been forced to come to the inevitable conclusion that Hillary, as anti-Christ wannabe, is a rank amateur. She's a handmaiden at best, and trapped on the outside of "the transformation" as Secretary of State, while Nancy Pelosi poofs up her hair to hide her own emerging devil horns.

My illusions are shattered.

Believe me -- I have no illusions left about who might be the anti-Christ.

Can you say Left Behind?