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Archive for February 2013

Thursday Coffee Hour: The Art of Mischief

Cross Posted from Street Prophets

Welcome to Thursday Coffee Hour. This is an open topic thread so help yourself to the goodies and sit a spell and let us know what is new in your life. My younger cat, Pixie, has brought mischief up to an art form. I’m surprised she doesn’t teach classes in it.

I have to toss her off the bed a half a dozen times as she insists on helping me make the bed. Walking where I’m trying to pull up covers and scrunching the blanket I just straightened out is her way of “helping.”

I scoop out the litter box every morning. Pixie waits until I’ve cleaned the box and then uses it even if she has to squeeze to get out a couple of drops. I guess it is her way of saying thanks for cleaning the box.

Pixie’s toys keep getting put in Merlin’s water dish and food bowl. It is so strange how they never end up in her dishes. 😉

Pixie loves to help me wrap presents. My presents look good when done but if you look carefully at the ribbons you will see kitty teeth marks.

Pixie is also a little mooch and if that doesn’t get my attention she has been known to try and climb down my arm to get at what I am eating.

Pixie is a mine. In that everything is mine. That lovely quilt you had made for me? Pixie thinks it is hers. The lovely unicorn I bought well Valentine is hers. According to Pixie what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine, and what’s Merlin’s is definitely mine.

I’m glad Mom got voted down in calling the cat Snickerdoodles. Mike said she was more of a Pixie and boy does she live up to her name!

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Midday News Feeds – Thursday, 28 Feb 2013

From the newswires …

Sotomayor Leads Liberal Justices In Defending The Voting Rights Act

Seemingly aware that they were outnumbered and fighting an uphill battle, the four liberal justices on the Supreme Court defended the Voting Rights Act during Supreme Court oral arguments Wednesday with a mix of sharp questions, appeals to history, and indirect rejoinders to the more conservative justices.

All four of them participated actively in oral arguments. None was more emphatic than Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

The Obama-appointed justice asked the first question of the day. She hammered Burt Rein, the lawyer representing the challengers, Shelby County of Alabama, over its record of discrimination. The county contends that Section 5 is unfair to its residents and other jurisdictions that it requires to obtain federal preclearance before changing their voting laws.

Read More: Scalia: Voting Rights Act Is ‘Perpetuation Of Racial Entitlement’

Read More: Jamelle Bouie: Today in Magical Beliefs about Racism

Read More: Josh Marshall: Scalia, Top Democratic Plant?


AFL-CIO Executive Council Calls for Repeal of Sequestration to Disarm the Republican Hostage Takers

The AFL-CIO Executive Council today called on Congress to repeal-not replace-the economically destructive budget cuts that Republicans in Congress are using as leverage to demand Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefit cuts.

Read More: Woodward’s Sequester Spat With The White House (TIMELINE)


Conservatives turn on CPAC

The Conservative Political Action Conference is facing backlash from … conservatives.

It began when it was reported that gay Republican groups like the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud would not be in attendance at this year’s conservative confab in Washington, D.C. GOProud, in fact, was banned before last year’s event and was not welcomed back this year, either.

There was more trouble for CPAC when, this week, the chair of the American Conservative Union, which organizes the conference, explained that CPAC snubbed super-popular New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie because he opted in to the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, and put too much pressure on congressional Republicans who were blocking Hurricane Sandy aid.

Read More: Conservative Group Gets Jump On ‘Primarying’ Republicans In 2014


Syria conflict: John Kerry set to up US aid to rebels

New US Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting Syrian opposition leaders in Rome, as the US prepares to increase its support for rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

He is attending a gathering of the Friends of Syria group of nations that support the Syrian opposition.

Mr Kerry is expected to announce increased “non-lethal” aid for the rebels but not weapons.


Police Chief Embarrasses Lindsey Graham At Gun Hearing

The police chief of Milwaukee called out Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – an opponent of gun safety regulation – for echoing National Rifle Association talking points about the uselessness of expanding background checks for all gun purchases. The organization argues that the government should enforce existing laws instead.

Read More: Mark Kelly Says NRA Trying ‘To Make It Easier’ For Criminals And Mentally Ill To Get Guns


Quick Takes …

Photos: Rosa Parks Statue Unveiled On Capitol Hill: Civil Rights Leader Honored

Panic in Greek pharmacies as hundreds of medicines run short

“Pharmaceutical companies accused of cutting supplies because of low profits and unpaid bills”

Shell to suspend Arctic offshore drilling program over safety fears

“Oil company will ‘pause’ exploration off Alaska’s northern coasts over concerns for equipment and employees”

Are NFL hopefuls being vetted for their sexuality?

“The Player’s Association has called for an investigation into interview practices at the NFL combine”

EU agrees to cap bankers’ bonuses

“European Union officials have struck a provisional deal on new financial rules, including capping bank bonuses.”

Climate-Changed Coastlines Need New Maps

Mississippi Republicans Would Prohibit Towns From Establishing A Minimum Wage


The Daily F Bomb, Thursday 2/28/13

Good morning, bombshells!  I hear silks is highly drugged on really good stuff, but is not yet ready for calls or visitors, being a wee bit out of sorts, but is otherwise doing well. In a few weeks time he should be tap dancing again.


We’ve all probably said at one time or another, “If I had a [insert monetary amount here] for every time [insert person or group here] said/did [insert word or action here]. If you actually could receive a dollar for every time [name of person or group] said [word/phrase], how would you choose to fill in those blanks? If commercial space travel was available, would you be up for it? What Star Trek invention (think holodeck, transporter, replicator, phaser, tricorder) do you wish was real and available now? What is your favorite fabric to wear? To sleep on? To sit on? Long hair or short hair (humans, that is)?

The Twitter Emitter

Twitter went on a regret binge last night.

Thursday Morning Check In: There’s No Snoozin’ for the Moozin’

Good Morning Purple People!


It’s time to wake yourselves up.

There’s no snoozin’ for the Moozin’.

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cassandracarolina and I will be hosting the

Thursday thread so scribble a few thoughts and

Make Sure Your Peeps Know Where You Are!

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We would like to welcome you if you are new to the

Moose. Feel free to walk around and check out your brand new purpleiscious digs. You can post a comment, continue lurking,

(We see you out there)

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or try your hand at penning a diary,

it couldn’t possibly be any worse than this.

Diary Templates can be a little challenging,

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so we’ve listed some helpful hints below.

Before we get started JanFab has  

some instructions that should help.

The Big Stuff:


Comments do not Auto-Refresh.

Click the Refresh/Reload on

your tab to see new ones.

To check for replies to your comments, click the

“My Comments” link in the right-hand column

(or go to “My Moose”). Comments will be listed

and a link to Recent Replies will be shown.

(Note: Tending comments builds community)

This is a great link to have open in a tab:

Motley Moose Recent Comments


‘Fierce’ means Thumbs Up,

‘Fail’ means Thumbs Down,

‘Meh’ means one of three things:

I am un’Failing’ you but I can’t ‘Fierce’ you,

I am un’Fiercing’ after a mistaken ‘Fierce’

or ‘Meh’. Just ‘Meh’.


When creating a new diary, remember to choose the

Draft option while you are working on it.

Choose the Public option when you want to publish.

(located at bottom of template)

If you are an established Moose, you know the drill

so pull up a chair, get yourself comfy and a cuppa

whatever it that gets the motor running.

The Rulz

The most important rule around here is;

Be Kind to Each Other… or else.

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Seriously though, if you don’t want it said to you, then don’t say it to someone else. Respect is an important thing. If you feel the need to not be respectful, then step away and take a breather. Political debate can be both spirited and respectful.  

For those of you lurking and being shy, no reason to be nervous. If a perpetual corner dweller like me can publish a diary like this, you can feel safe too. Drop us a comment and start making your own Moose Tracks, there’s no time like the present.

Don’t make us come looking for you.

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Chuck Hagel and Fringe Disappointment

Yesterday after much Republican grandstanding, chest thumping and generally wasting everyone’s time, Former Senator Chuck Hagel was voted through the Senate as Secretary of Defense. Immediately the fringe blogosphere went nuts.

We saw commentary from the fringe right like this:

And now, due to American Jewish progressive-left ideological blindness, we have the first openly anti-Semitic Secretary of Defense in modern times; a man who favors Iran and Hamas and Hezbollah over the Jews in the Middle East.

or like this:

Hagel is a whore for sale to the highest Arab and Persian bidder. Always has been. He’s a narcissist who’d rather be hated than ignored. And of course he’s that perfect mix of stupid leftist progressive and right wing Pat Buchanan racist.

and from the Fringe Left we get this:

Hagel now stands in the place of George Marshall, except that where Truman’s Secretary of State warned of fanaticism, now fanaticism has become internal to the US government as well as spreading over the Middle Eastern zones of the empire. Obama, freed from Truman’s burden of facing election, is also free to settle scores, including with his nemesis, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who was dumb enough to have blatantly favored Mitt Romney for President-or was he rewarding the Republican for reaching new depths of servility when Romney pledged that on any matter involving Israel, he would phone Netanyahu and do whatever the PM told him to?

Now, personally I am not a big fan of Chuck Hagel, in this article, I explained that in my opinion Chuck Hagel won’t really affect anything with regards to Israel or the Jewish People. My objection to Hagel comes from the fact that the President felt he needed to push a Conservative Republican into a fairly high level post when there were plenty of liberal Democrats (Joe Sestak, Jim Webb, Bob Kerrey, Wesley Clark, Michele Flournoy, to name a few) that were well qualified. As a Democrat, I didn’t vote to see a person who had complained about the “Jewish Lobby” or who had made very problematic statements regarding the LGBT community, or who had an overall extremely conservative voting record, placed into high office in a Democratic Presidency.

The fact of the matter (to be blunt) is that the fringes on both sides will be very disappointed. Hagel is not going to commence the bombing of Israel today, tomorrow, or any other day. U.S. policy towards Israel is what it is, and this President has committed us in both words and action to higher levels of security coordination with Israel than ever before. Whether he wants to or not, (and frankly I don’t think he cares), Hagel is not going to, and doesn’t have the power to change that. That is a policy decision made by the President. The Secretary of Defense doesn’t get to make that policy. All he (or she) would get to do is carry out the orders of the President.

If one looks at Hagels record with regards to voting on issues concerning Israel, Hagel’s record is certainly not indicative that he will be either the masked avenger on the Jews that the Hard Left wants, or that he will be ready to start shipping arms to Hamas next week like the Lunatic Right Fringe wants. In fact Hagel’s voting record on Israel is pretty much standard fare for most American politicians.

Here are the actual facts regarding Sen. Hagels voting record  Some of which include:

* As a United States Senator, Chuck Hagel voted time and time again to provide $37.8 billion dollars of military and security assistance for Israel.

* Hagel cosponsored resolutions with Sen. Dianne Feinstein including “commitment[s] to a true and lasting solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, based on the establishment of two states, living side by side in peace and security and with recognized borders” and calls on “Hamas… to recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist.”

* Chuck Hagel voted in favor of the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act of 19984, the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 20005, and the Iran Freedom Support Act of 20066. He is skeptical of unilateral sanctions, but supports multilateral sanctions which we have seen, in concert with allies, put tremendeous pressure on Iran

But… that doesn’t really matter. The overriding fact is that the Secretary of Defense simply does not make policy regarding our alliances or support for foreign nations or groups. That is the White House in conjunction with State. Hagel as Sec. Def. has to do what Pres. Obama tells him to do, and any policy decisions have to clear the White House. Simple fact.

Frankly, (and again I don’t particularly support the choice of Hagel not that it matters now but….) is that Hagel was brought in to do two things and two things only. The first is to stand up for U.S. veterans and their rights. Hagel has done a good job of that throughout his career. The second is that the Pentagon is going to be and frankly needs to be cut to help with budget concerns. Hagel is a reasonable choice for that job. Hagel is not the Secretary of Defense for Israel, nor is he the Sec. Def. for only the Jewish People. Some people really need to understand that.Hagel IS  the Sec. Def. of all American People and as such he is responsible to the entire nation, not just one part of it.

OH and is Hagel the “worstest, most ebilz, Sec. of State ever for Israel”, I think not.

How about Harry S. Truman’s Sec. Def. James Forrestal who urged President to Truman to reject Partition in 1947 because it might “infuriate” the Arabs and then saying that Jews were too influential in pressing the American Gov’t. Remind me again how that stopped the U.S. from voting for Partition.

Or what about Casper Weinberger of President Reagan’s admin. You know, the REPUBLICAN administration where the President actually went to present honors on German SS unit graves, that administration. Here is a little something about Weinberger:

In contrast to other members of the Reagan cabinet known for their sympathy toward the Jewish state, including Secretary of State George Shultz and the president himself, Weinberger developed a reputation not only for opposing Israel’s interests directly but for seeking to prevent any action, including counter-terrorist operations, that might upset Arab allies of the United States (vb1 emphasis).  Until the Iran-Contra scandal broke in 1986, Weinberger was perhaps best known for orchestrating the sale of AWACS jets – the highly advanced airborne surveillance, command, and control system built by Boeing – to Saudi Arabia. Opposed by Israel and much of the American Jewish community, the Saudi AWACS deal generated enormous controversy.

So, I am not sure how we can really take the fringe seriously on either side as to their objections regarding Hagel.

Either way, he was not my pick but now that he is in office, I say we judge him by what he actually does, NOT by what we think he may or may not do. Either way, the fanatics are going to be bummed out because their shrill cries (in support of or against) that he will be bombing Israel or sending gift baskets to open up our friendship with Hamas and Hizbollah simply won’t come true and really have no basis in fact. As I said previously, Hagel’s job is to watch over the U.S. Military in time when we will be paring it down and have a great deal of soldiers coming home from war.

How he does that will tell us what kind of American Secretary of Defense he will be.  

The Lounge: Racer Sez Meet teh Family!

My name is Racer and I sit on my hoomin Mom’s lap every morning, unless Atticus beats me to it, while Mom reads the herd check in.

This morning some folks said Mom should post my picture but she didn’t know how on her iPad.  So I talked her into using her regular ‘puter and here I am reading the sports page of the paper…

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Woozle Wednesdai

Those of you who already either know me or know of me know that I am a massive pootie person. We  moved into an apartment and now have a pootie, named Jenny; however I grew up with both cats & dogs and I love both. I do not discriminate against any animal & love animal photos of all kinds. Please enjoy the following and add any photos that you think the community would like to see. Now, enjoy the photos & have some fun.

Update: Pootie Advice?

Update:Had the appointment this morning; in and out relatively quickly.  They took blood/urine samples and are testing for many of the things listed by Jk2003 & Nurse Kelley.  Should have results tomorrow AM.  The vet agreed with daily wet food & adding in the lysine supplement (that should arrive sometime tomorrow, along with the scale).  So that’s where we’re at for now; waiting.  Thanks everyone for your advice & encouragement; I’ll keep you updated.  

Hoping for some pootie advice from the wonderful Meese here.  I have two cats, now almost 11 years old, who I rescued when they were two months old.  This is the female, Fudge:

And this is her brother, Dark Chocolate:

DarkChocolate has always been bigger and heavier (and quieter, he usually doesn’t vocalize unless he thinks we’re sleeping in too late on the weekend).  Fudge has always been an attention hog – she seems to have a sixth sense to let her know when her brother is getting attention, and she comes running from wherever she was in the house to demand her share of the pettings.  They usually get along, aside from occasional squabbles about a toy or sleeping spot; usual sibling stuff (they’re not actually from the same litter, but since we got them from the same shelter at the same time, we call them brother/sister).  

Fudge had feline herpes as a kitten; as a result she does tend to be permanently sniffly/stuffy (she sneezes a lot) and has one eye that’s cloudy (although she seems to see fine out of it for now).  Over the years, DarkChocolate become heftier, but lately Fudge is feeling thinner and smaller than before (she looks puffy but most of it is fluffy fur, she’s actually fairly light), which has me worried.

Here’s where the needed advice comes in – they’ve always been raised with dry food only (wet food maybe 3x a year as a treat), in one of those auto-feeder things where as the bowl empties, it refills from the reservoir, so they can eat on their own schedule, etc.  I’m planning on switching their food to a different brand, to see if that encourages Fudge to eat more, but I was also thinking maybe I should get rid of the auto-feeder and just put them on a regular feeding schedule, possibly including wet food.  My theory is that part of the issue may be that Fudge, with her respiratory issues, just doesn’t smell the food as much and so she’s not interested, so wet food might spark her interest (she is definitely interested in food in general; she eats up the treats pretty quickly, but either she doesn’t like or can’t really smell the regular dry food they’re on).  She isn’t acting abnormally otherwise, just seems to not be eating as much.  

The two main concerns I have are a) how to transition them from having food available all the time to being fed on a regular basis, and b) whether switching to a combo of wet/dry food will end up increasing DarkChocolate’s weight too (if anything, I’d like him to lose some, but Fudge I think needs to gain more).  Also, when you do feeding on a schedule, what sort of gap is OK?  I’m usually up around 8am, but I don’t get home until around 8pm or later; is that alright?

Evolving, Thread By Thread

There comes a time in the life of many or us realize that we must evolve in order to survive and thrive in the days, months, and years ahead. The skills and coping mechanisms that propelled  us to our present crossroads will not suffice for the rigors of the road ahead. Ideally, we realize this before someone beats us upside the head with our deficiencies, and advises us to evolve, now, or else. With the benefit of time, we enjoy the luxury of introspection and self-direction.

For some of us, this realization comes in childhood when we begin to understand that the world for which our parents prepared us is a much nicer and simpler place than the world we actually inhabit. My parents, for example, felt that most challenges in life could be overcome by intellect and critical thinking, grounded in a solid appreciation of music, literature, and art.

All that’s of very little use, however, when the schoolyard bully extorts your milk money, day after day, or when the high-school bully demands that you orient your exam paper so that they can cheat off it. It’s also of little use when the demons of depression take hold of your youthful spirit and fill you with suicidal thoughts.

When we’re old enough to see where our life is headed, we’re also old enough to begin our own preparations. Under the critical eye of a strict and controlling parent, however, we learn to be circumspect in our evolution. One by one, we pull the threads from the tapestry woven by our parents and teachers, replacing it with more utilitarian or decorative that better suits our character and our destiny.

Over time, the entire tapestry evolves to something vastly different. On any given day, though, there’s little evidence of any change at all. Our machinations go undiscovered. Yet we’ve slipped our collars, shaken the dust out of our fur, and left that back yard far behind. We’re off on our own now, and ready for the scary world out there.

In my case, the evolution was from book smarts to street smarts, from sadness and fear to wit and grit, from follower to leader. It has taken  quite a long time, half a century so far. admittedly not long in geologic time, but certainly a slow transition in human time. I’m still a work in progress…  I hope. I’m still learning how to be a grandparent, a business owner, a southerner, and a retiree.

I’m grateful to whatever people and forces sparked my desire to make the changes that have brought me this far inspired me to continue the journey of self actualization. If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, surely we owe some credit to anyone who helped us to take that step.