Monday, February 29, 2016

Wealth Re-Distribution, 2.0

Tomorrow is Primary Election Day here in the Natural State, and you know what that means -- lots of robo-calls and bad political ads.

One ad has been running on the local talk radio station featuring Hillary. In it, she affects this nasal, whiny accent and tells supporters how "she loves to brag on Arkansas" because our Legislature was foolhardy clever enough to pass a bi-partisan "Public Option" for health insurance that moves thousands who previously didn't qualify for Medicaid, and whose income was too high to give them premium subsidies, onto the Medicaid rolls and they will now be insured.

(Arkansas is among the states that declined to set up a "State Exchange," opting instead for the "Private Option" which accepts federal funds to allocate to Medicaid and it subsidizes premiums charged by private insurers. So, potay-toh/potah-toh. The Governor purportedly wanted the "Arkansas Works Program"  [Private Option] to focus on encouraging citizens to go to work and enjoy employer-provided insurance rather than relying on government to insure them. I'm not so sure that's working out.)

What the Medicaid expansion advocates don't tell us is that, under Obamacare, once a body has accepted any Medicaid benefits, he's deemed to be a Medicaid participant for life. For-ever!

One might not think that's a problem when he's a twenty-something and hasn't acquired diddly-squat to pass on to his heirs, but it's a different story when he moves on to the next plane of existence and his estate is being probated.

Guess who gets his share first, before any heir or legatee?

How'd you guess?!  Of, course --  it's Uncle Sam!!

Can you say "the ultimate surreptitious re-distribution of wealth?" Of course you can! It's called "asset forfeiture," and it's been around for awhile, but Obamacare gave it a shot of steroids.

A wonderful article from 2013 that Pepper found in Science Decoded boils the issue down to one articulate sentence:
Dr. Jane Orient, the Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, put the risk/reward tradeoff succinctly. “People will think this is wonderful, this is free insurance. They don’t realize it’s really a loan, and is secured by any property they have.”
What an awful thing for your government to do to you. Restoring the Estate Tax was bad enough, but putting these two together is nothing short of confiscatory policy that slaps around the Fourth Amendment.

Don't let Uncle Sam tell you it's raining on you.

Monday, February 22, 2016

I Guess Yap Wins This Round

Remember this picture from a few days ago?

Then tell me -- who is in whose personal space here?

Love my pushy girl dogs!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Jumping the Gun?

March 12, 2015

Our neighbors have been out trimming trees and cleaning out flower beds. I decided to join them.

I pulled some weeds that have been annoying me lately, and pulled out the dead remnants of tomato, pepper, and squash plants in the raised beds, making sure to set aside the stakes so I can re-use them. It will be time to plant soon! Won't it?

May 14, 2015

Then it dawned on me. Daffodils are springing up all over, but I've yet to see a crocus. The juncos haven't left yet. A few trees are budding out and people are starting to prune their roses and Crepe Myrtles back, but waaaay too early! So, I asked my neighbors if they thought we might just be making a late February snow storm head this way. They gave me a nervous little giggle and said they hoped not.

Hmmm. For many years, a columnist for the Demo-zette, the late Richard Allin, published an annual column heralding the arrival of "The Frozen Daffodil and Snow Tire Festival." I hope he's not just finishing up a column in Heaven for 2016!

I think.

One more pretty snow would be nice. And the streets are too warm for it to stick on them much, so why not?

My father would tell me I've lost my mind. But, I didn't move all the way to Little Rock from New Orleans to have to shave my legs so I could wear shorts in February!

Seriously.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Photo by Brian Chilson

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Definitive Explanation of the Obama Administration's Foreign Policy

You might recall that the Young President was out on the left coast earlier this week attending some conference, or summit, or golf outing (The course is "very difficult. My score is classified." He's so very clever, that one.) with a bunch of folks from Asia.

Justice Antonin Scalia had the gall to go and die over the weekend, so most of the headlines focused on Scalia instead of Obama the rest of the week; hence, I had no clear idea what the conference was all about. Pepper, on the other hand, did. He noted it -- and its value -- in a Facebook post:

Well, how about that? Obama is at yet another meaningless summit. The foreign policy of useless meetings. Impressive!

Does that description sum up the Obama foreign policy, or what!  My husband is very clever!

And, this just makes me laugh:

Happy weekend!!

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Love Poem

A friend posted this on Facebook, noting that he always loved Johnny Carson and Brigadier General Jimmy Stewart. Me, too, so I decided to watch to see what the attraction was.

I sort of wish I hadn't.

Then again, I'm glad I did -- I got to have a little bit of a catharsis -- smiling through tears.  See what you think:

I re-posted it. This was my introduction:

"Oh, how I wish that it weren't true. I'll always love a dog named Bou.
And Jimmy Stewart.
I probably shouldn't have watched this."

And, yes I will always love a dog named Bou. And Rosie. And Wendy. And . . . .

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Heart Day 2016!!

It's the day for sweethearts!  Happy Valentine's Day!!  These are for my very own sweetheart:

Got to go start the Valentine's Day feast. Yep, we learned years ago never to plan a celebration dinner on Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or New Year's Eve. So, scallops and White Chocolate Creme Brulee it is!


Friday, February 12, 2016

In Today's Sports News

The good news for (Mr. Pouty-face Mc-Cry Baby) Cam Newton?  He was paid a bonus of $51,000 for losing the Super Bowl!

The bad news?  Since The Big Game was played there, and based on its convoluted, confiscatory tax system, Newton will owe the state of Kalifornia $137, 900 in taxes on that little bonus. That's an effective tax rate of freaking 172.2%!!! Plus 40.5% to the IRS!!

Hardly seems worth the effort, does it?  Think again. If he had led his team to victory, he would have owed only 86.3% of the winners' bonus. Kinda makes you want to re-think that decision not to go after the fumble, doesn't it, Cam?

One must live with the consequences of his choices, young man. Take a lesson.


The oddly-named new Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, who apparently lied his way into office, addressed the State last night on this year's proposed budget. Louisiana's fiscal condition is kinda in quicksand right about now, and the Gov came up with an interesting idea for getting the citizenry on board with his plans for new taxes (after he had done a "Read my lips -- no new taxes" number on the voters before his election).

He let it slip that, theoretically, without an infusion of new funding, LSU would have to shut down before this spring semester is over, and, ultimately, that could result in no LSU Tigers football in the fall!!

I think that, rather than getting taxpayers on board, his suggestion is more likely to lead to what ultimately took out another populist governor, Huey P. Long. It is the SEC, after all.

And, unbelievably, Grandson #1 turns 16 today!  How can he be 16? He was just crawling yesterday! His father wished him a happy birthday on Facebook thusly: "Lookout, everyone! This young man is about to head out into the world in a 3,000 4x4. If you were scared very afraid now.
Proud of you, buddy. I love you. Happy 16th!"

But, The Son sent this text to our family: "No big party or anything, but if you guys want to drop by tonight to see Will, he will be home around 7. I'll be here drinking whiskey and trying not to think about what I just turned loose in the world." Ah, parenthood.

Happy birthday, Will!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ringing in the New Year, Just a Titch Late

So much to weigh in on; so little time.

Moogie's Manor witnessed happy times and sad times in 2015. So many of both that I was overwhelmed and decided not to do a newsletter to accompany the Christmas Cards. I just couldn't bring myself to re-hash the birth of Grandbaby #6, the death of the son's marriage, two new homes for daughters, my Daddy's fight against lung cancer, and the loss of our precious pup.

So, Happy belated 2016!!!

We're slowly adjusting to life at Moogie's Manor without Bouie. And just when the pain seems to be dulling, someone, like Elder Daughter, will go and do something sweet that brings a new lump to the throat. Like giving this to us for Christmas:

A friend of hers did the sketch of Bouie from a photo. He was looking at a decoy that Pepper was getting ready to throw for him to fetch. Can you see the eagerness on his face? And, Elder Daughter wrote "Bouie's Prayer" on the side.

We had such a mild fall and early winter that my massive crops produced well into December! Of course, I didn't always get to harvest the fruits of my labors.

Mardi Gras is really early this year!  Like a week from today!  Pepper and I won't be able to make the trek this year because we were just in New Orleans for the CAMAN Ball so we could visit with friends (and so I could wear my crown and throw cheap plastic trinkets into a crowd!), and that's just too quick of a turnaround (and too expensive to board the dogs!). But, the day after the Christmas decorations came down (January 6th -- Epiphany/Twelfth Night), Mardi Gras decorations went up, including outdoor purple, green, and gold icicle twinkle-lights (that don't photograph very well). There are lots of memories on that table and sideboard, The mask in the lower pic was the one I wore to conceal my identity as I entered the ballroom in 2013 as Queen CAMAN XL.

Our neighbors still aren't very sure about us. But they do enjoy the lights!

While we were in NOLA, we stopped by Rouse's! Here are King Cakes for Super Bowl Sunday! They've been in the freezer for a few weeks. Krogerville carries King Cakes, but they're not made in-house, and they're plain, not filled. Moogie is a bit of a King Cake snob.

This is what it looked like on January 22nd! Then, the next day the high was in the 60s and most of the pretty snow was gone. Today we will hit close to 80. Tomorrow we'll plunge again, hitting lows in the 20s. At least we can get the fireplace going again. *Sigh*

Early in January we got an ark-full of rain. Days and days of rain! When it finally stopped, I spied this in the side flower bed:

Now, that was a lot of rain! Heh. 'Twasn't fit for man nor beast! Nor rubber duckies.

New Year's Eve was welcomed by most of the family at the Manor. We ate and drank and played board games ("Cards Against Humanity" -- what a hoot!) and threw birdseed into the air off the deck at midnight, instead of fireworks. We used to do that with the girls when they were little, and they wanted their boys to pick up the tradition. It's good for life to go on, and for one's children to appreciate their past.

So, Cheers to 2016!!! May we all be happy, healthy, and prosperous! Especially that happy part.

Especially those happy and healthy parts.