Monthly Archives: December 2009

Happy New Year!

And it is good to put this decade behind us.  Even if you are pendant and think the decade starts with 2001, then it is very good to put the first nine years of the decade behind us.  President Obama had to play catch up for most of the past year and still made huge gains.  I expect more in the coming year.  All of the people who started speculating about 2010 or 2012 will still do just that, but most of us average people live day to day.

Today I put together the composter — made in Germany — that I ordered.  It was pretty easy.  I cleaned out the space to seat it — a space that on nonfoggy days gets sun pretty much the whole time the sun is up.  It has a good start with at least four mature earthworms.  (I saved one form the front yard later and put him in the composter.  He fairly quickly slithered out of there under one side into the soft earth.  Perhaps he was angry with me.)  I’ll break down my old chicken wire compost and put the good stuff in it so make a start.

I also finished the pup path with pavers along the fence.  I bought just enough pavers, but one too many bags of sand.  However, I will probably mix in the extra bag with the soil and humus I will buy to start my first vegi bed in the backyard.  I thought I had some time to build the beds, but in reading the book Roberto got me, I need to build them and get the soil in so I can test it before I plant.  I need graph paper!!!!

Things are fairly calm around here.  Pups are sleeping while neighbor is playing music but not so loud.  The yards and everything around them are damp damp damp, so even if some decide to set off fireworks, they will fizzle.  With the fog though, I won’t be able to see the city’s fireworks except on teevee.

I feel pretty certain that this next decade will be President Obama’s.  I have confidence in him.  It’s pretty much a given that what the wingnuts at the Weekly Standard and National Review focus on will not be right and that President Obama has proven them wrong again and again.

Again, happy New Year.  It’s a great thing to look forward to the coming year.  I have this feeling it will be a good one.  One full of hard work, but one well worth living!

From the Administration: Cheney is Just a Chest Beater

True enough.

Here’s the entire entry — copied and pasted without a bit of guilt:

The Same Old Washington Blame Game

Posted by Dan Pfeiffer on December 30, 2009 at 03:34 PM EST

There has been a lot of discussion online and in the mainstream media about our response to various critics of the President, specifically former Vice President Cheney, who have been coming out of the woodwork since the incident on Christmas Day.  I think we all agree that there should be honest debate about these issues, but it is telling that Vice President Cheney and others seem to be more focused on criticizing the Administration than condemning the attackers. Unfortunately too many are engaged in the typical Washington game of pointing fingers and making political hay, instead of working together to find solutions to make our country safer.

First, it’s important that the substantive context be clear: for seven years after 9/11, while our national security was overwhelmingly focused on Iraq – a country that had no al Qaeda presence before our invasion – Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda’s leadership was able to set up camp in the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where they continued to plot attacks against the United States. Meanwhile, al Qaeda also regenerated in places like Yemen and Somalia, establishing new safe-havens that have grown over a period of years.  It was President Obama who finally implemented a strategy of winding down the war in Iraq, and actually focusing our resources on the war against al Qaeda – more than doubling our troops in Afghanistan, and building partnerships to target al Qaeda’s safe-havens in Yemen and Somalia.  And in less than one year, we have already seen many al Qaeda leaders taken out, our alliances strengthened, and the pressure on al Qaeda increased worldwide.

To put it simply: this President is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action. Seven years of bellicose rhetoric failed to reduce the threat from al Qaeda and succeeded in dividing this country. And it seems strangely off-key now, at a time when our country is under attack, for the architect of those policies to be attacking the President.

Second, the former Vice President makes the clearly untrue claim that the President – who is this nation’s Commander-in-Chief – needs to realize we are at War. I don’t think anyone realizes this very hard reality more than President Obama. In his inaugural, the President said “our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.” In a recent speech, Assistant to the President for Terrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan said “Instead, as the president has made clear, we are at war with al-Qaida, which attacked us on 9/11 and killed 3,000 people. We are at war with its violent extremist allies who seek to carry on al-Qaida’s murderous agenda. These are the terrorists we will destroy; these are the extremists we will defeat.” At West Point, the President told the nation why it was “in our vital national interest” to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to fight the war in Afghanistan, adding that as Commander in Chief, “I see firsthand the terrible wages of war.” And at Oslo, in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, the President said, “We are at war, and I am responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land.”

There are numerous other such public statements that explicitly state we are at war. The difference is this: President Obama doesn’t need to beat his chest to prove it, and – unlike the last Administration – we are not at war with a tactic (“terrorism”), we at war with something that is tangible: al Qaeda and its violent extremist allies. And we will prosecute that war as long as the American people are endangered.

Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director


Limbaugh in Hawaii Having a Kelsey Grammer Moment

If not Dick Cheney, then Limbaugh will do.

Both men are poison and worthless.  My neighbor Mike — both father and son have done more to keep this country safe than either of these men.  Neither would be missed except for their families.  If either Mike were gone, it would be a great loss.

Just as Limbaugh had no mercy for addicts even after he was revealed to be one, I have nothing but pity for his family.  That he is in the exotic “Hawaii” while the president is there as well should lead to many good wingnut posts.

I have no empathy for Limbaugh or Cheney.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to be them.  I only have sympathy for their families.  Unfortunately, neither of them found the defense of this nation important enough to hear the call.

We’ll probably have at least a week or more of what a great man Limbaugh is and hopes for his survival.  Much more than we even hear on wingnut radio about the regular men and women who actually put their asses on the line.  Sure they give lip-service, but nothing personal — nothing with names.

Added:  I don’t remember any of the talking types going to Hawaii is years past (Limbaugh, Michael Medved), nor do I remember them coming to Texas.  Weird.

Never Known Anyone Convicted Abroad?

Then you must be a GOP shill like Bill Kristol.

There’s a teevee show in the U.K. called BangedUp Abroad that shows what happens to people who get caught and are tried abroad.  There are any number (thousands) of foreigners in our prisons and jails who were tried in our courts under our rules.  It happens all the time.  Remember Manuel Noriega?  Or the less-well known Jose Medellin?

I once dated a guy who spent time in a Mexican prison.  No one screamed about him getting some sort of special treatment.  No one screamed about Noriega getting special treatment.

Before Bush and Cheney, it seems that our courts were doing an ok job.   But for Bush and Cheney, we wouldn’t have the problem that is Gitmo.  It would only be a setting for a popular movie.

One particularly disturbing thing I find about the GOP and wingnut outrage about this incident is the comparison to 9/11.  There is no comparison, and yet it is ok to make it, again and again.  It should be clear, lots of people died on 9/11, including quite a number of unionized people, and no one died on the flight to Detroit.

All is lost if we give in to DeMint, Kristol, King and the others.

Here’s hoping some more people — of all stripes — start behaving reasonably and stop trying to make every little fucking thing about the elections  in fucking November 2010.

Another Rant

I finally had the crepe myrtles cut down that my neighbor had complained about (and I had problems with as well) and then while I was out working on the pup-run neighbor had the never to 1) tell me yet again that she had at one time lived in my house — my god if I had done that to our next door neighbors for ten years when my parents bought the house next door to to the rent house we had lived in . . . . 2) ask me if I was going to cut down the pecan tree in the back yard, because, you know, it leaves PECANS in their cement yard once every four years.  Any idea about how expensive pecans are?  I would think neighbor would be thanking me.

Neighbor proceeded to ask me to watch their house, because, you know, I am here.

It’s funny how people think that you do something and then they can take advantage of you because they think you are being nice and not doing it because of them (except to get them to STFU.

In Order to Deter Links From Diigo

This blog will now only be about cats. And yards — if I can keep it non-controversial.

I call this cat Big Guy to his face and Sad Grey and White Kitten on this blog.  He showed up a few months ago. Shortly after, he had a hematoma on his right ear.  He was very skinny and I thought he might die.  One way or another, he managed to lance his own ear and then grow into a strong big cat.

At some point I will have to trap him, but for now I am happy that he is happy and that he gets along with my other ferals.

Damn, Kevin will probably concern troll me for not trapping him yesterday.

A Better Mouse Trap

Currently, during the holidays, the only people reading my blog are Cory and Kevin.  While I appreciate the attention :)  neither of them think it’s ok to comment on what I write but rather think it is funny to link and comment on diigo.  What fun!

This is where their links go: Here. Here. And so on.  I always find a way to their diigo thingy.

It’s obnoxious.  But it leads me to something I heard on the News Hour tonight, and that I have thought about for a long time.  There’s some sort of weird idiocy going on here.  I write something that is completely clear and Kevin can’t get it.  One guy uses his shoe to try to blow up a plane and all shoes are inspected.  The shoe thing failed.  Kevin’s weird diigo thing failed.  What to do?  Keep looking at shoes and Kevin’s diigo thing?

No, the next person will build a better mouse trap.  Like hiding the bomb in his pants — where the upper-end security is going toward.  Make us — all of us — spend more money on machines.  A waste of time and money.  I could also worry about Cory and Kevin and continue to waste my time trying to comment on their diigo thingy.

A simple solution for me is to laugh at them.  A simple solution to the hysteria over a guy setting his pants on fire is to communicate better and use the information at hand to make better decisions.

I’ll probably get a handful of hits from both Cory and Kevin.  Thanks in advance.

Let’s be Honest, This is a Rant

(Without links for tonight)

First off, I woke up to Mike Gallagher going on about political correctness — like that is new.  He wants to screen every person with a Muslim name who wants to get on a plane.  I find it odd that there isn’t more outrage about how the guy got on the plane in Africa or Europe.  Do the TSA have people in Amsterdam?  Another disappointment is that Janet Napolitano felt that she had to answer the screamers.

(Obvious parenthetical — the city was supposed to start requiring biodegradable bags for yard waste, but the new bags are not available widely enough yet.  I was able to get all but one bag out for the latest pickup.  I will switch to the other bags, but having ordered my composter, I may only need to purchase one package.)

Back to the would be bomber — given that I went on an international flight less than a month after 9/11, I’m not one of the people who gets worked up about this.  It’s always been the case that traveling by car is much more dangerous and wouldn’t it be novel for the American public and our officials (in that order) figure that out?   The solution to the current issue would be for international airports to wonder and stop someone who doesn’t live in the U.S. buying a one way ticket here.  But that’s not what the criticism is about.  It will be conflated to 9/11 and be very afraid to fly and everyone will lose some of their freedoms — or not.

Part of me wonders how families and people in general endured continental flights before there were laptops, cell phones, DS’s etc.  How did they survive it?  And to get back to Mike Gallagher, he pointed to how the Israeli airline deters terrorists:  they basically profile Palestinians.  As he claims, no one complains.  That would make sense.  Palestinians live in world where they are suspected no matter what.  They are made to wait and wait, often in the sun, just to get to their jobs.  Yes, let’s be just like Israel, where you have to be a Jew to get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time.

I know, Gallagher is just looking to get blog hits at this point.  For the last week his sub has admitted as much.  He is promoting a link on his blog that gives an 800 number to D.C.  Either one of them could have given the number on the air, but no.  You must go to the website — oh and sign yet another petition.  About Health Insurance Reform.  The first one, delivered via ambulance, didn’t work, and so you must do it again.

The same station delivered a ridiculous “best of” Bill Bennett this morning.  Why should we let these people be in charge again?  It also advertises the USJF — no, not the Judo thing, but the wingnutty thing that supports not only the birthers, but seems to be run by a Dickensian named KREEP, and wants to erect a monument to Saint Ronnnie in Berlin.

I’ve run out of steam.  I’ve tried to be humorous.  I’ll add links tomorrow.

I had wanted to take picks of what I have been doing, the process, but I didn’t.  If there is no rain in the morning, I will capture the work in progress.

And speaking of progress, and the end of the year, I, for one, think our President and Vice President are doing a very good job.  I’m relieved that they are the ones in charge.  I’m also extremely happy about our Mayor.  Except for the governorship, I’ve got the representation that I have always wanted.

So which is it?

Either she can spell her own name or not:

Kathleen McKinley
Houston

RIGHTWINGSPARKLE HAS MOVED!!! I WILL BE BLOGGING UNDER MY OWN NAME AT KATHLEENMCKINLY.COM !!!!

I guess she finally got an allowance for hosting fees or maybe she got it for Christmas.  I haven’t decided if I have the desire or energy to follow the link.  While in years past it has been fun messing with her, I’ve got other things on my mind.  I enjoy blogging, but the political side — especially wingnuts — has gotten more tedious than ever.  Wingnuts are very touchy people in general.

We’ll see.

Important Dates for 2010

In the order I found out about them:

On August 28, 2010, Glenn Beck will have a rally at the Lincoln Memorial.   It’s something about his 100 year plan.  Does that date sound familiar?  I look forward to the debate over attendance that will follow this display of Beck’s.

Another, earlier date to look for:  “The Tea Party Patriots group is planning a ‘National Day of Strike’ for Jan. 20.”  We all know what that day is.

MLK, Jr. Day is still open, as is President’s Day.  I’m sure that TAX DAY will be another protest date.  The olds and unemployed and libertarians have way too much time on their hands.  Why aren’t they buying gold or seeds or freeze-dried food?