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

Paging Dr. Kildare!!!! Stat!!

Heh. Brains.
No, wait. That really is scary!

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 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!!!

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?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Musings

Finally got Dale's hummingbird sculpture displayed on the front porch. It looks pretty nice if I do say so myself, and so far Bouie hasn't digested the mums. The pics are a little fuzzy looking because it was so dang humid yesterday that my air-conditioned camera lens fogged up when moved outside!

We got this rather unsettling notice in the mail the other day. I'm not sure whether I'm an "ignorance is bliss" or "forewarned is forearmed" kind of gal.

President Barack Obama has gone more than 24 hours without an award or international adulation. He is thought to be sedated, resting comfortably, and expected to make a full recovery from this temporary set-back.

Arkansas Razorbacks 44, Auburn confused-multi-mascots 23! Whooo Pig!!! And War Who?

Friday, October 9, 2009

THE Nobel Prize: Descendants of Vikings Heave a Collective Sigh

I am so embarrassed by the Young President's decision to accept the Nobel Peace Prize that I may just have to throw up.

The whole mess reminds me of the state of children's sports, which I deplore, because the practice fails to teach kids how to be either good winners or good losers. We can't make anyone feel bad because he isn't on the top rung of the competitive ladder -- everyone gets a trophy for "participating." You don't really have to do anything, or excel at anything, or even "pay your dues" to get the chance to excel.

That about sums up the YP's contribution to world peace at the time his nomination was submitted -- he had expressed his deep desire to reach out for hands that had unclenched their fists. He delivered an inaugural speech that offered an olive branch, together with nuclear disarmament/non-proliferation, through very pretty words.

Oslo may have intended to encourage the YP and his America-Can-Be-Your-BFF mission, (whatever that may really be), but in the process it slapped many other legitimate nominees in their collective faces and colored their meager efforts as less than worthwhile. Just a few of those nominees, as posted at Moonbattery, include:

"Chinese Human Rights Activist Hu Jia - imprisoned for campaigning for human rights in the PRC, not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Wei Jingsheng, who spent 17 years in Chinese prisons for urging reforms of China's communist system. -- not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama. (Not to mention the symbolic value of awarding a Chinese dissident on the 20th Anniversary of the Tianenmen Square Massacre.)

Greg Mortenson, founder of the Central Asia Institute has built nearly 80 schools, especially for girls, in remote areas of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past 15 years - not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, a philosophy professor in Jordan who risks his life by advocating interfaith dialogue between Jews and Muslims, also not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Afghan human rights activist Sima Samar. She currently leads the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and serves as the U.N. special envoy to Darfur and is apparently also not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama."

Now, those folks have paid some dues.

I'm thinking about renouncing my husband's Scandinavian heritage as a solitary, but stalwart, protest to the Nobel Committee's decision. Unless, of course, the YP decides to donate his big, fat check to my newly-founded charity that will award cash dollars, as reparation for their mistreatment, to all Viking descendants who didn't receive a Nobel medal, even though they like peace and think about it a lot. In that case, "Ahoy, Valhalla!"** will be my cry, cause we won't be getting anything else from the White House any time soon.

Somewhere, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, and the scorned Dalai Lama must be so -- um -- thrilled. But, you know who has to be really miffed? Bill Clinton.


** "Ahoy. A nautical hail, once the dreaded war cry of the Vikings."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Harry Reid's Sleight of Hand

The Heritage Foundation reported late last month, and confirmed yesterday, that Congress is set to ram health care reform through before Thanksgiving, without detail, and without further public input. Apparently, the Honorable Senator Harry Reid has dug up a technical device that will allow him to fall back on the Bill of Attainder/tax on bonuses that Congress shelved earlier in the year as one means of financing the cloaked beast.

“[A] senior aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told that it is ‘likely’ that Reid will use H.R. 1586—a bill passed by
the House in March to impose a 90-percent tax on bonuses paid to employees of
certain bailed-out financial institutions—as a ‘shell’ for enacting the final version of the Senate’s health care bill, which Reid is responsible for crafting.”

This story confirms the four part scenario that would railroad the bill through the Senate using a very unusual closed door procedure to craft the bill with no input from the American people. The four stage plan to pass Obamacare has been publicly
confirmed and is ready to be implemented. . . .

. . . has confirmed that “the actual final text of the
legislation will be determined by Reid himself, who will consolidate the
legislation approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Committee and the still-unapproved legislation from the Senate Finance
Committee. Reid will be able to draft and insert textual language that was not
expressly approved by either committee.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will
write the final version of Obamacare to be considered in the Senate with no
input from the American people. This is an extremely complex procedure that will not be done in public, or in the form of a hearing, or a public conference committee, and only Senator Harry Reid, some other Senators chosen by Reid and Obama Administration officials will be allowed to read the bill before the Senate debate starts.

If the foregoing is true, we are in a world of so much hurt that there may not be enough band-aids in the world to stanch the bleeding in the public's trust of its elected officials.

Regardless of the substance of Reid's bill, the process through which he plans to get a "fill-in-the-blanks contract," if you will, to the President is so contrary to representative democracy -- especially concerning so large a percentage of our economy -- that a bloodbath at the 2010 ballot box is inevitable (although that's not necessarily a bad thing).

A federal mandate requiring every American to purchase a product (health insurance) that is not tied to any government-issued privilege such as driving, or face a penalty (including potential imprisonment in one House version!), is not only unconscionable, it's constitutionally suspect in so many respects that it certainly cannot withstand a court challenge.

And the smoke-and-mirrors plan to fund the whole debacle is another matter entirely. Even the CBO, while declaring the Senate Finance version deficit-neutral, noted that it didn't have the requisite legislative details to calculate the bill's actual cost or effect on the deficit.

It's time to fire off a few more letters and melt the phone lines again. We must not go gently into this good nightmare.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Easter: A Preview

This will probably make a re-appearance next spring, but a friend sent it yesterday and it's too funny not to share.

Just don't give Bouie any big ideas!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Halloween Brings Visitors!

Too much heavy-duty housework today to expect much in the gray matter department, and waaaaay too much action going on in D.C. to digest. Sometimes I do miss the days when I would go to work and come home to a clean house!

Our girls, and at least one of their precious friends, are coming for a visit at the end of the month so that Shay's bridal portrait can be shot in New Orleans! Yep -- on Halloween. What a hoot. I asked Shay if she was going to dress up as a bride to go Trick-or-Treating; can't you just picture how widely she rolled her eyes on the other end of the phone conversation?

Anyway, it turns out that Halloween was the only open date the photographer had, so she jumped on it. Odd -- you'd think that someone in New Orleans would want to get married on Halloween!

So, we get a lagniappe visit from the girls!! That calls for some good old-fashioned Halloween decorations, and Moogie isn't one to let down the kids when it comes to holiday over-adornment! The glowing ghosties haven't been hung on the side porch yet because it's been a bit too rainy to mess around with electrically-powered things outdoors, but I'm making progress inside.

A fun menu is next on the agenda -- but there will definitely be a big pot of traditional Chicken Chili using JB's recipe (sometime in the late 80s when the fathers took the kids on their rounds while we cooked, somewhere between the pre-drinking and precise spicing of the Chicken Chili, we came up with the enactment and imposition of the infamous "Halloween Candy Parent Tax," in which the parents, under the auspices of inspecting Halloween treats for razor blades or strychnine or some such devilment, get first pick of the really good stuff!).

I love Halloween!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

(Stolen) Olympic Moment

Couldn't resist.

Besides -- it's a football Saturday and the Razorbacks are coming up after the LSU game, so I deserve a little time off courtesy of "borrowing!"

Whoo Pig Sooooiiiieeee!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Moogie's Thoughts on the 2016 Olympic Games

You only have seven years to work up the courage to get a Brazilian Wax!

Denizens of Ipanema Beach will probably be a little easier on the eyes than a bunch of Bears fans lolling around the Lakeshore, anyway.

Buck up, Chicago -- on the whole, you will save a boatload of money by losing out on the Olympics bid.

A comment following a British analysis of Obama's speech in support of Chicago's bid suggests that the YP really had no chance of winning over the Committee -- that giving emerging nations and regions a chance holds more sway with the IOC than the amenities and experience western powers have to offer. The commenter ventures an opinion that Africa or the Arab nations are most likely to win the 2020 Games. Hmmm. Women's Water Sports and Beach Volleyball in an Arab nation -- what could possibly be wrong with this picture?

There is some good news on the homefront that spins out of Denmark -- I've only heard one interview so far that suggests Chicago's loss is George W. Bush's fault! Plus, Oprah's star must be dimming -- and that's waaaaay overdue!

And, an upside for the White House did emerge from the IOC meeting -- Michelle and the Young President got to have yet another lovely date night, this time in Copenhagen! Ahh -- the simple moments of young love!