Friday, June 13, 2008

Eat, drink, and be ... Mary?

So, finally, it's Friday. I've got loads of serious topics banging around in my head, but no time today to get them sorted out enough to post them. Besides, as mentioned, it's Friday.

And while I'm still trying to work through the disappointment of Hillary Clinton stepping out of the battle for the Democratic nomination, there is a great wall women did manage to push down this week: For the first time, the Top Chef is a woman! Stephanie, honey, you can cook for me anytime!

But wait! There's more! One of my favorite stops on my Friday blog travels is Dorothy Surrenders, writen by the snarkolicous Dorothy Snarker. She posts a weekly "My Weekend Crush," and who would it be this weekend but the equally adorable Iron Chef Cat Cora! Yay for foodies!

As Dorothy writes:
I particularly love it when Cat competes against the boys. Sometimes she wins, sometimes she loses. But what she proves is that women can go toe-to-toe with the culinary elite. Good food knows no gender. It’s ironic, really, that the rarefied world of haute cuisine should be so dominated by men. Women are, after all, most associated with cooking. But, of course, that’s just home cooking so that doesn’t count. Well, screw that. A woman’s place doesn’t have to be in the kitchen. But that doesn’t mean she can’t run one and be damn good at it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

McCain On Whether Cheney Might Serve In His Administration: ‘Hell, Yeah’

From ThinkProgress:
As Vice President Dick Cheney makes the rounds on “the GOP’s rubber chicken circuit” these days to raise funds for conservative candidates, he always implores his audiences “to make sure that we elect John McCain the 44th President of the United States.” But worried about being labeled a third Bush term, the McCain campaign has made strides to distance the candidate from Cheney by blasting “Vice President Cheney’s energy bill.”

But before Cheney became a political albatross, McCain overflowed with kind things to say about him. In fact, in July 2004, McCain described Cheney as one of the best vice presidents ever:

At a July 15 appearance in Michigan, McCain dampened the speculation by calling Cheney “one of the most capable, experienced, intelligent and steady vice presidents this country has ever had.”

In interviews for Stephen Hayes’ 2007 biography of Cheney, McCain “strongly” asserted that Cheney “has been of enormous help to this president of the United States.” Politico’s Jonathan Martin reports today that in unpublished comments to Hayes, McCain also said that he would consider Cheney for a post in his administration:

Going further, McCain even told Hayes in comments heretofore unpublished that he’d consider Cheney for an administration post.

Asked whether he’d be interested in Cheney had the vice president not already have served under Bush for two terms, McCain said: “I don’t know if I would want him as vice president. He and I have the same strengths. But to serve in other capacities? Hell, yeah.”

Read the rest of the the post here.

Happy Loving Day!

Forty-one years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that it is unconstitutional to outlaw interracial marriages in the United States. As someone who was raised in Virginia, I can tell you that the Supreme Court decision didn't change a whole lot of attitudes in 1967. No, it has taken decades for society as a whole to accept what is right. But finally, it has.

Look around today. I know many interracial couples. I know one young married couple in their mid-twenties who acknowledge that they are still a little unusual, but don't feel the need to explain themselves to anyone. They are the product of a much more accepting society than the one I grew up in.

Oh, yeah, and then there's Barack Obama.

So read a little bit of history about Loving Day, and then join me in the dream that perhaps 41 years from now we'll have a presidential candidate who (gasp!) has two mommies.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Congress: No time for Impeachment. "We're busy, busy, busy!"

From today's Washington Post, a brief story on the introduction of Articles of Impeachment of George W. Bush:
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) suggested yesterday that engaging in a lengthy debate over impeaching Bush in the waning days of his administration is not a productive use of the House's time.
Because all day and night, all Congress does is really important stuff. Stuff that is much more important than holding someone accountable for death and destruction done under false and misleading evidence. Congress does this:
S.159 : A bill to redesignate the White Rocks National Recreation Area in the State of Vermont as the "Robert T. Stafford White Rocks National Recreation Area".

H.R.49 : To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1300 North Frontage Road West in Vail, Colorado, as the "Gerald R. Ford, Jr. Post Office Building".

H.R.2309 : To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3916 Milgen Road in Columbus, Georgia, as the "Frank G. Lumpkin, Jr. Post Office Building".

H.R.1808 : To designate the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, as the "Charlie Norwood Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center".

H.R.3315 : To provide that the great hall of the Capitol Visitor Center shall be known as Emancipation Hall.

H.R.2408 : To designate the Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Green Bay, Wisconsin, as the "Milo C. Huempfner Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic".
See, it turns out there are just loads and loads of Federal buildings out there that ... gasp! don't have names!

So the House of Representatives can't just drop what they're doing to and start dealing with something that starts out like this:
Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of
Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.
They're too busy.

Wednesday poetry break

I think we'll stay with the "animal" theme today. Here's a short little poem by Dorothy Parker, in which, as always, she has several layers to enjoy .....

Ornithology For Beginners

The bird that feeds from off my palm
Is sleek, affectionate, and calm,
But double, to me, is worth the thrush
A-flickering in the elder-bush.

— Dorothy Parker

The dog poop dilemma

Or, perhaps I should use the more generic "Pet poop dilemma." Dogs, cats, bunnies, ferrets. They all poop. (Yes, I know, everybody poops.) And as a good environmentalist, what do you do with the poop?

Back when I was a kid in the late '60s early/'70s we had a big back yard with English ivy down the side of the yard. That's where the dogs pooped. We didn't even train them -- they just kind of knew to go over there and keep the rest of the yard clean for us kids. And the cats, well I don't know where they went, but we sure didn't have a litter box.

But now I live within the city limits, so the 2 cats are strictly indoor, and the dog can't just poop in the yard. A rather nasty fact about rats is that they just love dog poop. Ugh.

So when I walk the dog, I responsibly clean up after him when he poops in one of his favorite spots in the neighborhood, as well as when he poops in the middle of the yard. And thus begins the dilemma: What to do with the poop?

Where I live, the trash goes to a landfill. I try to be especially mindful of what I throw in the trashcan, because it's going to go sit in that landfill. So although those newspaper bags are seemingly perfect for picking up poop, when I toss that bag in the trash can it's now organic materials encased in plastic, and will take decades to break down. I've also tried using poop bags that are made out of gluten so they will break down, but the trash guys won't deal with those if they're in the big can by themselves -- they have to go into the larger kitchen trash bag when that goes out. So again, the decomposable material is wrapped in plastic.

I have read about these "Doggie Dooley" things that you put in the back yard to decompose the poop, but I don't know anyone who has one, and they're not cheap. If you use one, please let me know. I'd be curious to know what you think.

Meantime, I try to "make up" for our poop wherever I can, taking home all my lunch recyclables from work, bringing home beer bottles from a party where the hosts don't recycle (gasp!).

But the poop. What to do with the poop?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Write your own caption ....

Really. How many horse's asses can we get in one picture?

From the AP: US President George W. Bush, center, applauds as he attends the Lipizzaner riding school with EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, left, Slovenia's Prime Minister Janez Jansa, right, and his partner Urska Bacovnic, second right, at the end of an EU-US summit in Brdo Pri Kranju, Slovenia, Tuesday, June 10, 2008. U.S. President George W. Bush said Tuesday the U.S. and Europe must rally to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, calling the threat an incredible danger to world peace.

Rep. Kucinich introduces 35 Articles of Impeachment against President Bush: Will the media bother to cover?

Last night, Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced 35 Articles of Impeachment against President George W. Bush. Congress has 72 hours to table it, send it to committee, pass it, or reject it.

This is important, but did you hear anything about it on your way in to work today? In the morning paper? No? Go read the full text of the articles here:

And then email your congress member. They have 72 hours in which to act upon these articles of impeachment. Find your Congress member's email address here.

I believe in dog

And I think you do, too. I'm fortunate in that a co-worker of mine spends many hours helping out with the local SPCA -- the foster pups she often brings to work with her have gotten me through many a rough day. So I'm pleased to be able to let all you dog lovers out there know about a great way to help dog rescue programs around the country -- and get some pretty cool dog paraphernalia. Because goodness knows, our dogs just don't have enough "stuff," do they?

For the month of June, I Believe in Dog will donate 40 percent of the profit from every purchase to the Prince George's County (MD) SPCA. Yes, 40 percent! Each month, the proceeds are donated to a different dog rescue group around the country. Other recipients have included FOR Greyhounds, Fort Collins, CO; Mid Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League; Husky Haven, Inc., Houston TX; Collie Rescue, Inc., Chantilly, VA; Westie rescue, Inc., Bluemont, VA; Duchess County SPCA, Hyde Park, NY. Here's the complete list of recipients.

So, check out I Believe in Dog, and get your 4-footed canine best-friend/co-worker/ companion/ protector/hoovering beast of burden something special today -- and help other dogs in need. Fritz (a former SPCA dog himself) highly endorses this good cause!

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm thinking of becoming a Luddite

I don't know who these guys are, but after you watch this video you might want to put that cell phone down.

Popcorn on the stove, anyone? h/t to AfterDowningStreet

4094 US deaths in Iraq: Let's put a Democrat in the White House and end this madness

For about the past twelve months, we Democrats have allowed ourselves to be distracted by the mainstream media, who has done nothing more than promote and exaggerate minor political points -- all the while ignoring the war, death, poverty and corruption that is "Operation Iraqi Freedom."

I'm sure I'm going to get some angry commenters who question my patriotism for this statement above. But does patriotism mean blind faith in political leaders who have a proven business interest in the outcome of war? Does it honor the men and women in uniform who serve us? Is it justice for the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire?

Two stories caught my eye this morning. First, this from Think Progress:
Bush administration blackmailing Iraq over long-term military agreement

Yesterday, the UK Independent reported that the Bush administration is trying to push a secret deal to “perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely.” Today, the paper has more troubling details about the Bush administration’s shady tactics:

The US is holding hostage some $50bn (£25bn) of Iraq’s money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement seen by many Iraqis as prolonging the US occupation indefinitely, according to information leaked to The Independent.

US negotiators are using the existence of $20bn in outstanding court judgments against Iraq in the US, to pressure their Iraqi counterparts into accepting the terms of the military deal.

The Bush administration is arguing that some of the Iraqi funds would lose immunity protection if the U.N. mandate “is not replaced by the new agreement.” But the Washington Post reports today that the Iraqi government may request an extension of the mandate. Juan Cole and Spencer Ackerman have more.

Next, from, please read
Sunday: 2 US Soldiers, 28 Iraqis Killed; 18 Americans, 58 Iraqis Wounded

A suicide bomber killed a U.S. soldier and wounded 18 more Americans in northern Iraq. Anoother U.S. soldier was killed during a roadside bomb blast in Baghdad yesterday. At least 28 people were killed and 58 were injured across Iraq. Meanwhile, Turkey reported striking suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq.

In al-Rashad, a suicide car bomber attacked a U.S. base, killing one soldier and wounding 18 more. Two Iraqis were wounded as well when the bomber drove a bomb hidden under a pile of animal skins into blast walls protecting the base. Police added five civilians to the tally of wounded. A conflicting report said that more soldiers were killed.

So, while the media tries to distract us with stories about Hillary Clinton's cleavage and Barack Obama's lapel pin, it is our duty as citizens of this most powerful and fortunate nation to filter out this detritus. Already we see shoddy reporting on the rising cost of gas -- stories that address neither our dangerous oil dependence nor the fact that supplies of oil are actually quite high, with the rising cost mostly a reflection of speculators and investors -- have we learned nothing from the housing crisis?

I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am in the outcome of the Democratic primary race. And if you've read this blog much, you know how I feel about how unfair the crowning nominating process in the Democratic Party was this year. But I do believe this debacle will bring about major changes in the DNC rules regarding primaries, caucuses, delegates, and superdelegates. Next time. But at this point, we must all get behind the presumptive nominee Barack Obama and work to end the war in Iraq. The worst case scenario at this point is John McCain in the White House, and you will surely help him get there by either voting for him, or by not voting at all in the fall.