Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Feb. 8th to Feb. 14th

Welcome to The Moose Pond! The Welcomings diaries give the Moose, old and new, a place to visit and share words about the weather, life, the world at large and the small parts of Moosylvania that we each inhabit.

In lieu of daily check-ins, which have gone on hiatus, Welcomings diaries will be posted at the start of each week (every Sunday morning) and then, if necessary due to a large number of comments, again on Wednesday or Thursday to close out the week. To find the diaries, just bookmark this link and Voila! (which is Moose for “I found everyone!!”).

The format is simple: each day, the first moose to arrive on-line will post a comment welcoming the new day and complaining (or bragging!) about their weather. Or mentioning an interesting or thought provoking news item. Or simply checking in.

So … what’s going on in your part of Moosylvania?


  1. It is 34 degrees in Madison WI, with temperatures dropping to a daytime high of 29. Icy precipitation is in the forecast.

    Have a great day, all y’alls!!

  2. DeniseVelez

    A toasty 26 here in Saugerties.  Might as well have “Winter Storm Warning” permanently posted on my weather home page.

    Loved this news story:

    This video of Ruth Bader Ginsburg talking about feminism is even better than you hoped

    Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke about feminism at a Georgetown law school event this week.

    It was, as you would expect from the Notorious RBG herself, 100 percent delightful

  3. DeniseVelez

    Three South Carolina State students were killed during segregation protests in Orangeburg, SC, on this date in 1968.

    Harry S. McAlpin, National Negro Press Association White House correspondent and journalist with the Atlanta Daily World, became the first Black allowed to attend a White House press conference on this date in 1944.

    Debi Thomas became the first Black to win the Senior U.S. Singles Figure Skating Championship on this date in 1986.

    The “Orangeburg Massacre” is my topic today at orange. Though I was very aware of it, I have found – in conversations and classes over the years that few people of any color know about this – though everyone knows Kent State, and to a lesser extent Jackson State.

    Have been reading some of the running battles on the left over our own U.S. racial history, between those who clearly see the linkages to today, and others who keep talking about it as if it was a zillion years ago and has no relationship to today’s racial climate.

    Some people wish “we” (meaning black writers) would “get over it” and stop forcing our uppity views on the rest of the internet readership :)

    I have no plans to get over anything and am vowing to increase not decrease my attention to the subject.

    If anything the deniers have fueled my zeal.

    Denial – about history – whether it is about things racial, or science (the anti-vaxers and climate change) or sexism is dangerous to the body politic.

    It behooves us to redouble our efforts to educate.

  4. anotherdemocrat

    it’d probably depress y’all if I said what our high is going to be today

    Eating breakfast, watching Up. Slept for a long time, did wake up a couple of times, but got back to sleep. Going to visit my friend and then cook. But for now, just slowly waking up.

  5. princesspat

    Good morning… nice to be starting a new week. I started a new book yesterday, this morning I noticed my hydrangeas are starting to leaf out, and my camellia is starting to bloom. Nature is leading the way to a fresh start!

    I hope the “Winter Storm Warning” eases for everyone this week.

  6. Diana in NoVa

    other chores, on this dull grey but warmish Sunday. Elder Son and pregnant DIL are coming for lunch, so I must make the place look presentable, if possible. Our family room looks like a day care.

    Haven’t had time to really follow up on links and read diaries yet. Oh, BTW–if anyone’s interested, my Web site has now been updated! A new month, a new blog, and a new mini-story in The Fiction CafĂ©! Why not stop by and find out what happened to “Mrs. Allen”?

    Hope everyone will be safe and warm (or cool, in anotherdemocrat’s case), and have a peaceful, relaxing Sunday!

  7. bfitzinAR

    Lodger is gone – as of 6:50 last night.  Well, mostly gone – her W2s somehow got mixed up in my pile of tax stuff and I just found them.  I called her to come by and pick them up.  She thanked me but didn’t say when she’d be by.  (Hopefully not when the cleaning person I used to use comes by to give me an estimate for a “deep clean”.  I won’t be able to use her regularly – at least until July, if then – but among other things there’s a layer of grease all over my kitchen from Lodger’s cooking that my hands are not going to allow me to get rid of.) All of Lodger’s stuff is gone and most of her smell is gone.  A few hours ago I doused the porch with an enzyme-based “odor be gone” spray, which is still doing it’s job (hasn’t completely dried yet) but most of the dog piddle smell is gone, too.  It’s not so much that it’s quieter now, but it is so much less tense and more peaceful.  I no longer feel like there an UB in the other room.  So.  A really excellent way to start the week. :)  

    Hope everybody is safe and warm {{{HUGS}}}  

  8. DeniseVelez

    My school (SUNY) has not closed – but all the public and private schools K-12 in my county are closed.

    I just emailed students to let them know I’m not coming in.  Driving conditions near and on my campus are treacherous even in heavy rain – the hills make driving without skidding damn near impossible.

    So I will stay home and work on writing.


  9. It is 19 degrees in Madison on its way up to 21 degrees. Morning clouds and afternoon sun in the forecast.

    I made the mistake of reading two things by authors who I would not normally read and, while it reaffirmed my original decision to not read them, unfortunately it temporarily impaired my ability to have any rational thoughts. Or … I need moar coffee.

    Busy morning, see all y’alls later!

  10. anotherdemocrat

    I hate to tell y’all I’m wearing sandals. Supposed to be sunny & 80 this afternoon.

    Got in my 2 miles – 2.06 to be exact. Coach said walk today & tomorrow, then rest till Sunday. Eating sweet potato/black bean breakfast. Made a cheesy potato salad for lunch. Anyone see a pattern?

    Well, my new guy didn’t win a Grammy last night, but here’s his performance with Annie Lennox from last night:  

  11. Portlaw

    winter precipitation.

    Hope it’s a good day throughout the pond.  Am running late and need more coffee and some good news.

  12. bfitzinAR

    supposed to clear off which would be nice, but at this level of light yesterday my system generated almost 7 KWHs so I’m good with it.  Just about to hit 50 KWHs for the month (remember the whole month of Dec only generated 76 KWHs) – and while the max on a sunny day right now is about 7.5 KWHs, I expect by the end of the month it will be over 8.  It’s surprising how “normal” normal feels with Lodger gone.  The spray I put on the porch has done its job – no dog urine smell left.  Last expected bit of contact is whenever she comes by and picks up her W2s and that will be that.  Stay warm and dry everybody.  {{{HUGS}}}  

  13. Diana in NoVa

    This week hasn’t begun well. Last night I had one of “those nights” in which I remained awake until 3:30 a.m., then fell into a fitful sleep. To make matters worse, Baby is an hour later than usual with his nap. Finally got him to stay in his crib and now I’m going to crawl into bed for a nap of my own. I notice that I’m unsteady on my feet from lack of sleep.

    Haven’t really looked at the news and care less than zero about the Grammy awards. I don’t even know who those people are.

    I hope all the eejits who don’t believe in climate change or global warming are looking at their TVs. The mayor of Boston sounded on the verge of tears when he declared that never in the history of Boston had the city experienced anything like this. Five feet of snow on the ground? Ye gods! And what about California? Floods and forest fires, both at the same time.

    Hope everyone in Mooseland will have a good day! Glad that princesspat’s thinking about flowers, Denise will get to stay home today instead of risking her life driving on those roads, and anotherdemocrat’s having warm weather. And congratulations to bfitz for getting rid of the lodger and the odors she left behind. Hope Jan and Portlaw were able to drink moar coffee!

  14. princesspat

    I finally did sleep last night, but it was an up and down night so I’m even later checking in today. I’ve got real life chores to tend to today, bills to pay, and if I can manage the car door on my own some errands I would like to do. We park on a slight slope and the combo of gravity, the weight of the doors, and the touchy muscles around the surgical incisions has made them (the doors) a surprising obstacle.

    Ron can always drive…he might even learn to enjoy doing errands!

  15. Portlaw

    WASHINGTON – Alfredo Padilla grew up in Texas as a migrant farmworker who followed the harvest with his parents to pick sugar beets in Minnesota each summer. …

    Now an insurance lawyer in Carrizo Springs, Tex., he said he was concerned about global warming.

    “It’s obviously happening, the flooding, the record droughts,” said Mr. Padilla, who agrees with the science that human activities are the leading cause of climate change. “And all this affects poor people harder. The jobs are more based on weather. And when there are hurricanes, when there is flooding, who gets hit the worst? The people on the poor side of town.”

    Mr. Padilla’s concern is echoed by other Hispanics across the country, according to a poll conducted last month by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future. The survey, in which Mr. Padilla was a respondent, found that Hispanics are far more likely than whites to view global warming as a problem that affects them personally. It also found that they are far more likely to support policies, such as taxes and regulations on greenhouse gas pollution, aimed at curbing it

    . bold mine

  16. Portlaw

    quest for world peace


    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Monday he would skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress next month……

    During a Monday press conference at the White House, Obama declined to weigh in on Democrats boycotting Netanyahu’s speech. But he reiterated that international talks over stemming Iran’s nuclear plans are delicate, and said it won’t help if Netanyahu calls for more sanctions against Iran in the midst of those talks.

    “I don’t want to be coy, the prime minister and I have a very real difference around Iran sanctions,” Obama said. “What’s the rush?”

  17. It is 10 degrees in Madison on its way up to 30. Partly cloudy with a chance of wintry precipitation later tonight.

    I just decided that it is too soon to be talking about the 2016 presidential election. You wonder if the white hot light is going to winnow the fields more quickly than normal or if it will just be so much meh. And if anti-Democratic ad campaigns this early will backfire. The biggest question, for me, is if the early missteps and bad polling of Bush 3, the Sequel, will result in a draft Romney movement. Will the establishment Republicans really let Senator Shutdown, Ted Cruz, or the libertarian Rand Paul win the nomination? psst, Bush!! A person can delete Tweets but you can’t delete the bigger problem: that your new CTO Ethan Czahor thinks that those Tweets belonged in the public realm much less in a person’s thought bubble.

    Busy day here … see all y’alls later!

  18. DeniseVelez

    in the Hudson Valley region of NY.

    Looks like more is forecast for tomorrow and Thurs.

    In the News:

    This article in The NY Times:

    Climate Is Big Issue for Hispanics, and Personal

    …according to a poll conducted last month by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future. The survey, in which Mr. Padilla was a respondent, found that Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to view global warming as a problem that affects them personally. It also found that they are more likely to support policies, such as taxes and regulations on greenhouse gas pollution, aimed at curbing it.

    heh. Latinos only care about immigration – WRONG.

    The findings in the poll could have significant implications for the 2016 presidential campaign as both parties seek to win votes from Hispanics, particularly in states like Florida and Colorado that will be influential in determining the outcome of the election. The poll also shows the challenge for the potential Republican presidential candidates – including two Hispanics – many of whom question or deny the scientific basis for the finding that humans caused global warming.

    Among Hispanic respondents to the poll, 54 percent rated global warming as extremely or very important to them personally, compared with 37 percent of whites. Sixty-seven percent of Hispanics said they would be hurt personally to a significant degree if nothing was done to reduce global warming, compared with half of whites.

    And 63 percent of Hispanics said the federal government should act broadly to address global warming, compared with 49 percent of whites. A greater percentage of Hispanics than whites identify as Democrats, and Democrats are more likely than Republicans and independents to say that the government should fight climate change. In the poll, 48 percent of Hispanics identified as Democrats, 31 percent as independents and 15 percent as Republicans. Among whites, 23 percent identified as Democrats, 41 percent as independents and 27 percent as Republicans.

    In the past – surveys of Latinos from a wide swath of ethnic backgrounds have shown they are not averse to the “Big Gubbmint” which Republicans decry.

    Health, education, housing, jobs – are all on the Latino agenda but rarely do you see climate change, and environmental issues associated with Latino populations – though frankly there have been environmental justice movements in those communities for decades.

  19. DeniseVelez

    Happy Birthday to Roberta Flack, born in 1939 in NC – who I got to watch live – frequently in Washington DC in small clubs when I was in school there.

    For opera fans, Leontyne Price was born in 1927 in in Jackson, MS.

    LBJ awarded her the Medal of Freedom in 1964

    Great interview with her here (at age 81!):

  20. Diana in NoVa

    If Babylicious takes a nap, I’ll come back later. Six feet of snow in Boston. They’ve got the 16 inches of snow we were hoping to get for Presidents’ Day. On that day in 1979 and in 2004 we had Snow Days off from work. Loved it.

    Hope all in Moosylvania will stay warm and have a good day!  

  21. bfitzinAR

    Yesterday produced 7.774 KWHs – the highest since 10/5 (which was over 8) – and have a monthly so far of 57.  We’ll crest 60 KWHs today!

    Lodger came by last night to get her W2s.  She also asked for some stuff she’d left in my freezer.  Too bad.  I threw it away Sunday morning when I was cleaning my fridge.  So she stomped off pissed.  Probably almost as pissed as I was when I found her stuff in my freezer.  (She had her own chest freezer in the carport closet.  All the freezer space I have is the small cabinet as part of my fridge.)  So hopefully, that will be the end of that.  Close the book and put it in the Library donation box.

    Haven’t really looked at the news and it’s probably just as well.  I’ve a pile of stuff on my desk I’d hoped to get done yesterday but you can’t do travel authorizations if the travelers give you the basic dates but don’t tell you where they’re going and how they plan to get there much less what, if anything, they want to do via the departmental travel card (early registration or airfare) or how much, if any, they want in travel advance.  OK.  Rant over.  I’ll grab them today as they come in for coffee or something.  :)  Stay safe and comfortable, whatever you’re up to this Tuesday.  {{{HUGS}}}

  22. DeniseVelez

    Sill following Bibi news from Israel:

    Scorched earth created by Netanyahu’s Congress speech is spreading

    And now the prime minister’s loyalists plan to pour even more high-octane fuel on the burning fires of U.S.-Israeli relations.

    There’s a famous scene in Monty Python’s immortal film “Life of Brian” in which an alien spaceship suddenly swoops down on first century Jerusalem to save Brian from imminent death, seconds after he jumps off a tower to flee the Roman soldiers pursuing him.

    After the one-eyed monster-pilots crash the spaceship and Brian escapes unscathed, a jealous bystander calls him a lucky bastard. From that point on, the spaceship and aliens are mentioned no more.

    That’s what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu really needs now: a miracle from heaven, no matter how ludicrous, a deus ex machina that will extricate him from the deep hole he dug for himself when he accepted House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to speak before the U.S. Congress in early March.

  23. DeniseVelez

    is a piece of work.

    I have not forgotten Nafissatou Diallo,the maid he assaulted. The case was dismissed (which I expected) but he settled out of court with her – and she now has a restaurant in the Bronx – which I plan to visit.

    A new restaurant opened in the Bronx recently. It’s called ‘Chez Amina’ and the diners who sit on the red faux leather banquettes watching the flat-screen TVs can sample an eclectic cuisine with influences from America, Africa and Spain.

    The restaurant is run by Nafissatou Diallo, the 36-year-old Guinean immigrant who in May 2011 found herself at the centre of one of the biggest political scandals of the 21st Century.

    Diallo was the chambermaid at Manhattan’s Sofitel Hotel who alleged she’d been sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn [DSK], at the time the head of the International Monetary Fund [IMF]. Arrested and charged by New York Police, DSK later saw the case against him dismissed when doubts emerged about his accuser’s credibility. Nonetheless the Frenchman subsequently settled a civil action with Diallo in December 2012, one which allegedly earned her $1.4m.

    “This restaurant, it’s my new life,” Diallo told the French press last week. “I’m trying to do the best I can so I can offer my daughter the best life possible here.” Diallo added that she wants to give New York City “a good Afro-American restaurant”.

    Read more:

    Another sleazy dude:

    David Vitter is being endorsed by Rand Paul for Louisiana governor.…  

  24. It is 29 degrees in Madison on its way up to 31. Cloudy skies with a chance for precipitation. Yesterday we got a dusting of snow which fortunately did not coincide with my travel day.

    I feel sorry for Boston; they are talking about having to cancel the spring break to make up for missed school which has parents livid. School districts need to rethink the number of snow days they build-in based on the New Climate Reality. Five days is not enough for a northern coastal city when human activities are super-heating the ocean.

    The news this morning is dominated by word of a celebrity news reader being suspended for 6 months and a trusted reporter of the news announcing his retirement. Jon Stewart, you will be missed.

    There is other news but I got distracted replying to Diana in my Alabama marriage ban post. Now I am out of time!

    See all y’all later!!

  25. DeniseVelez

    This is a day in history I won’t forget – so many of us who are activists were not just working on issues here in the States – we were also engaged in fighting the apartheid system in S.A and demanding freedom for Madiba.

    This was probably the most upbeat protest song ever:

  26. anotherdemocrat

    cold front tonight, though – highs tomorrow only in the 50s (hey, after a week of 80s & 70s, that will feel cold)

    No walk this morning, brought shoes so I can do the lunch walk though.

    Saddened by the death of the aid worker, and the 3 students in Chapel Hill. What is wrong with humanity?

    Playing Jackie & Wilson very loud in my head because that song makes me smile.

  27. bfitzinAR

    That cold front anotherdemocrat mentioned will hit us tonight, too – won’t see an overnight low above freezing for the next 10 days or so and daytime highs will rollercoaster between 30s and 40s – no precipitation of any kind until early Monday morning though so I’ve got a chance of getting to over 90 KWHs by then (maybe even within touching distance of 100) – I’m at 64 as of last night.

    The world is currently in such a state – on practically all levels – that concentrating on my electricity generation, checking in here, and playing in the pootie diaries at teh Orange is pretty much the only things that don’t piss me off or make my tummy hurt.  C.C. bless those of you who manage to wade through the muck and figure out something to do about it.  Stay safe and warm/comfortable.  {{{HUGS}}}

  28. princesspat

    We were in Seattle yesterday for my post surgery checkup, followed by a birthday lunch for Ron at The Dahlia Lounge Our daughter was working downtown so she joined us for lunch.

    Receiving the pathology report was more sobering than I hoped it would be. The tumor was renal cancer, but the good news is it was contained, had not spread to my lymph nodes or any other organs, and is not in my blood. Due to some other ratings on various scales that measure such things I will have another  exam and renal tests with the Seattle Dr. in three months, and then a yearly CT scan and/or x ray for 10 years.

    The statistical odds of this not reoccurring are very good, it was found early, it was contained and removed with safe margins, and I’ve got a cautious and proactive follow up plan, so I am a very fortunate woman. I am very relieved too, even though I was hoping it would be just a cyst with no scary cancer at all!

    So now I can just focus on recovery, let go of the worry as best I can, and start thinking of being in the garden again.  

  29. Portlaw

    The NYTimes had an editorial today with that as it’s headline. Here are few horrifying snippets,

    It is important to remember that the hangings, burnings and dismemberments of black American men, women and children that were relatively common in this country between the Civil War and World War II were often public events. They were sometimes advertised in newspapers and drew hundreds and even thousands of white spectators, including elected officials and leading citizens who were so swept up in the carnivals of death that they posed with their children for keepsake photographs within arm’s length of mutilated black corpses.

    These episodes of horrific, communitywide violence have been erased from civic memory in lynching-belt states like Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. But that will change if Bryan Stevenson, a civil rights attorney, succeeds in his mission to build markers and memorials at lynching sites throughout the South as a way of forcing communities and the country to confront an era of racial terror directly and recognize the role that it played in shaping the current racial landscape….

    The report is the result of five years of hard work. Researchers reviewed local newspapers, historical archives and court records; interviewed local historians, survivors and victims’ descendants; and scrutinized contemporaneously published articles in African-American newspapers, which took a closer interest in these matters than the white press. In the end, researchers found at least 700 more lynchings in the 12 states than were previously reported, suggesting that “racial terror lynching” was far more common than was generally believed.

    The report argues compellingly that the threat of death by lynching was far more influential in shaping present-day racial reality than contemporary Americans typically understand. It argues that The Great Migration from the South, in which millions of African-Americans moved North and West, was partly a forced migration in which black people fled the threat of murder at the hands of white mobs.

  30. It is 8 degrees in Madison on its way up to 11. Mostly sunny skies in the forecast.

    I am trying to make sense of the news today. Apparently, a Montana lawmaker bothered by his own reaction to women wearing yoga pants, wants to make them illegal. In Alabama, at least 2/3rds of the counties are still defying a federal court order to allow same-sex couples to marry. There will be a hearing in Mobile today to try to get a federal judge to issue an order so that there is no ambiguity regarding what the federal courts, including SCOTUS, have done (friend of the Moose, Scottie Thomaston will be there). President Obama has asked for authorization to do … something. Go to war? Threaten war? I sincerely hope it is the latter. And finally Congress has passed the XL Pipeline Job Creation Bill that would create a handful of jobs in exchange for endangering the lives and livelihood of Nebraska farmers. I hope that the president follows through on his veto threat although unless the State Department revises its latest report, the pipeline will likely be approved. At this point, the veto will simply be to preserve the administration’s prerogative to approve or deny these sorts of projects.

    See all y’alls later!!

  31. DeniseVelez

    26 here in the Catskills

    drinking coffee and procrastinating – have class today, and snow in the forecast.  Democratic Committee meeting this evening…still haven’t heard from anyone who is volunteering to drive me.

    Black History

    Congress enacted the first fugitive slave law on this date in 1793. This law made it illegal to harbor slaves or to perform any actions preventing their arrests.

    One of the historical side notes to this law is George Washington’s pursuit of Oney Judge Staines (Washington signed the bill)who escaped Mount Vernon to freedom.

    Washington didn’t use the law (he instead tried to have her kidnapped)


  32. Diana in NoVa

    to last all day–33 F. going up to 38 F.

    Feeling sad about the three Muslim students and also about Robert Simon of “60 Minutes” fame. I really liked him. He was killed in a car crash last night, it seems. The taxi in which he was a passenger was crushed. Ironic that a man who survived being captured and tortured in Gulf War I succumbed to a car crash.

    Yikes–time to get dressed and go! Lately I’ve been reminded of Margaret Drabble’s remark, “Only those with small children know how much and how little they occupy the mind and the day.” Problem is, no matter how much one loves a baby, looking after him is tedious. And he doesn’t sleep long enough during naps for one to accomplish anything.

    This evening will be spent wrapping Miss Pink Cheeks’ birthday present and decorating the Valentine’s cookies we’ll make this afternoon for the kindergarten Valentine’s party tomorrow.

  33. anotherdemocrat

    What a difference a day makes – 46 now with a high in the 50s. After sandals all week. So the low Saturday night will be 50. Got to remember to get a toss-able sweater/jacket at Goodwill tomorrow. The weather for the next week is super-rollercoaster-y even for Texas.

    Must change earworm away from drifty, mellow Rise Up

  34. Portlaw

    the present or from the past that is being revealed. Will have some coffee, go to the eye doctor, and at some point will try to find something cheerful to post and then do it!  Hope all the news in your own lives will be good.

  35. bfitzinAR

    It’s supposed to get up in the 50s the next 2 days then highs in the 30s for next week – what’s worse lows in the teens and single digits which will take out some already-blooming forsythia.  Got precipitation of one sort or another early next week in the forecast which we need but I’ll believe when it hits me in the head. :)

    If today stays sunny, electricity production should meet December’s total (76 KWHs) sometime this afternoon.  When I first got the system I knew but it didn’t really register with me the difference both number of daylight hours and angle of the sun makes over the course of the year.  December’s best on a sunny day is just over 5 KWHs.  July’s is just over 15.  So a full 10 KWH-difference depending which solstice we’re close to.  Everybody stay warm and dry – body type dry – if your area needs water, I hope you get it, just aren’t out in it.  {{{HUGS}}}

  36. princesspat

    I finally relaxed into sleep yesterday afternoon, and after a long nap and then 10 hrs of deep sleep last night I’m feeling rested!

    I don’t know what today will bring, but it’s nice to feel some energy as I think about the possibilities.

  37. Portlaw

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today introduced a Senate resolution welcoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the United States …

    “During this time of such great instability and danger in the Middle East, the United States should be unequivocal about our commitment to one of our closest and most important allies. I hope all my colleagues will join me in welcoming Prime Minister Netanyahu to Washington so we can continue to work together to advance our common security interests.”…   I saw this on the Orange.

    I do not like having President Obama snubbed but even more I do NOT want war with Iran.

  38. It is 0 degrees in Madison on its way up to 26. Morning snow in the forecast. We plunge into the deep freeze tonight with overnight lows of -11.

    Ashton Carter was confirmed as Defense Secretary. The reason he looks like a nerdy academic is because he is one! A physicist and a Rhodes Scholar, he was a post-doctorate fellow at MIT. And, as far as I can tell, a Democrat.

    A federal judge in Mobile, Alabama ordered the probate judge to start issuing licenses to same-sex couples. Word is that the judge will comply with the order.

    I guess I don’t understand poping. Last month the pope said that Catholics should not breed like rabbits … now he says it is selfish for couples to choose not to have children. Perhaps a man who has no familial obligations should not weigh in on this topic at all!

    And the FBI director looked around and found … racial profiling by police! I am stunned. Not that he found it but that he thinks that is a relevation. Cue the right-wing outrage “FBI director hates America” in 3…2…1.

    See all y’all later!

  39. I thought I had written a post about Friday the 13th but it appears that I once started a post which I never finished. That happens a lot.

    So I will share part of this post that someone else wrote reminding us that Friday the 13th is a very lucky day:

    … up until the patriarchal revolution, both Fridays and 13s were held in the very highest esteem. Both the day and the number were associated with the Great Goddesses, and therefore, regarded as the sacred essence of luck and good fortune. […]

    Friday was associated with the early Mother Creation Goddesses for whom that day was named. In Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, Icelandic, and Teutonic cultures She was called variously, Freya, Freia, Freyja, Fir, Frea and Frig. Friday is Frig’s Day, Frigedaeg, in Old English, Fredag in Danish, Freitag in Dutch. In Mediterranean lands, She reigned as Venus. In Latin, Friday is the Day of Venus, Dies Veneris; Vendredi in French, Venerdi in Italian and Viernes in Spanish.

    Friday the 13th is ultimately the celebration of the lives and loves of Lady Luck. On this, Her doubly-dedicated day, let us consider what fortuitous coincidences constitute our fate. The lucky blend of just the right conditions, chemistries, elements, and energies that comprise our universe. The way it all works. The way we are. That we are at all.

    That, despite whatever major or minor matters we might think are unlucky, we have somehow managed to remain alive and aware. This Friday the 13th, let us stand in full consciousness of the miraculousness of existence and count our blessings. Thank Goddess! Knock on wood!

  40. DeniseVelez

    it is bitterly cold here outside (5 degrees – wind chill well below zero) – and my drafty downstairs is not bearable – so will not be on the puter much.

    Have to find 5 or 6 layers of clothing to wear to walk across campus later.  Am feeling under the weather with upset stomach but will drag myself to school.

    Was investigating “Fusion” earlier – looking at their “Massive Millenial poll”

    will wade through cross tabs later when I’m warmer – here are some of the findings

  41. DeniseVelez

    See the Republicans in disarray…

    The “defunding” of Dept. of Homeland Security mess – spearheaded by Ted Knucklehead Cruz has got Republicans in a mess

    I realized I really didn’t know how many agencies are currently part of HS

    so did a quick wiki

    Hmmm…more than 200,000 employees.  All those wingnuts screaming about building border fences – now want the border patrol to go unpaid?


    I can understand them not wanting the Secret Service paid – why pay for anyone to protect the POTUS (this POTUS)

    but …umm.. the Coast Guard? FEMA?

    Can’t imagine this playing well with average folks – and their efforts to blame this on Democrats are not getting traction.

  42. anotherdemocrat

    Rollercoaster: cold today, but by Sunday the low will be in the 50s, then Mon-Tues really cold – like maybe snow, but by Thursday it’ll be back to 70.

    Did I mention I took today off? Slept in, got an eye doc appointment, then going to the expo & packet pick up.

    Earworm is California

  43. bfitzinAR

    a bit hazy so far – not really sure it will clear off, but hoping.  Yesterday’s generation was 8.3 (still hasn’t reached 10/5/14’s 8.4) and the monthly total is 80.98 KHWs at this moment, so we’ve passed December’s 76 and are heading for November’s 114 :)

    The weather forecast is all over the place – and changes dang-near hourly – but the next 10 days has lows below freezing (none in single digits) and highs ranging from 30 to 50.  The precipitation projected has dropped significantly and shifted back from Tuesday to Sunday evening.  I’ll still believe in precipitation when it hits me on the head.  Stay safe and warm everybody.  {{{HUGS}}}

  44. princesspat

    It’s still a winter sky, but the light is changing and the early spring bulbs are coming up. I have an idea for a red twig dogwood planting to screen my neighbor’s new satellite dish so as soon as I can I’ll find the plants. If I do it right he’ll have his tv of choice, and I’ll see green leaves in the summer and red branches in the winter.

    He mounted it on the side of his house where he can reach it easily, but it’s not  the feature I want to see from my dining room bay window!

  45. It is 16 degrees in Madison with an expected daytime high of 12 degrees. The winds will be kicking up soon and bringing with it 20 to 30 below wind chill. I don’t have to go anywhere today and am grateful for that. My cell phone has a mechanical problem, though, and I have to find out if it is covered by my insurance or if I need to buy a new one. Since I will be traveling later in the month, I don’t want it to completely die when I am not near my phone store.

    Hopeful news this morning about the Keystone XL pipeline! A judge in Nebraska has enjoined TransCanada from taking land via eminent domain for its pipeline.

    TransCanada filed eminent domain claims for the landowners who still hadn’t agreed to turn their land over to the company – a group TransCanada estimates at about 90 people. After that, some of the landowners filed their own lawsuits against TransCanada, challenging its right to eminent domain. The group represents the last landowners along Keystone XL’s route that have yet to turn over their land to the pipeline.

    That ruling will surely be appealed but it starts the clock ticking on another round of judicial hearings that will at least put a temporary halt to the pipeline. Nebraskans who are fighting fiercely against this are hoping that TransCanada gives up and goes home.

    And in a bitter reminder to people buoyed by the striking down of same-sex marriage bans across the country: laws granting rights don’t mean that you can exercise them. Just ask black Americans about the 15th Amendment added to the constitution in 1870 granting them the right to vote; 95 years later they were still getting beaten in the streets trying to exercise that right. In Arkansas, the state legislature passed a law “that will block cities and counties from enacting antidiscrimination laws that protect LGBT people”:

    “I am a Christian in the United States of America,” [Rep. Mary Bentley] continued. “It’s time to stand up and say enough is enough. They can do what they want to do, but we don’t have to destroy a business. I think it’s time that business owners have rights as well.”

    As the bill’s sponsor, Hester told BuzzFeed News earlier this week that religious business owners should be allowed to fire employees for being gay. […]

    Also on Friday, the Arkansas House passed a religious freedom bill, which now advances to the state Senate. The act would prevent any state action, including a law, from burdening a person’s religious belief, even if that belief is indirectly connected to the person’s faith.

    Don’t bother trying to unpack all that. You will end up with a bunch of random scraps of fear, loathing, and stupidity. I hope that large corporations who may have been considering expanding or relocating to Arkansas rethink it.

    See all y’alls later!!


  46. Portlaw

    check in later to see what’s happening. Until then, Valentines for all!  I still, after decades and decades, get Valentines from my two best friends in first grade. Old habits die hard. Were any of you even in Scouts? We used to sing a song called ?Make new friends, but keep the old…..”  

  47. Diana in NoVa

    Going to be bitterly cold with howling winds, starting this afternoon. Today we are going to Miss Pink Cheeks’ and her cousin’s combined birthday party. Luckily it’s only an hour and a half long.

    It’s also lucky that I’m here to attend it. On Thursday at lunch time I suffered a TIA. My husband called Kaiser Permanente, our HMO, who yelled “Get her to the Emergency Room at Reston Hospital pronto! She has three hours before she dies”–or words to that effect. I yelled back into the phone that I couldn’t go, I had to take care of the baby, and she shouted, “Take the baby with you!”

    So we jumped into the car and went as fast as legally permissible down the road to the hospital. When I had first experienced the severe headache I grabbed a couple of aspirin and wolfed them down (I was in the middle of preparing the baby’s bottle). The admitting room doctor informed me that taking those two aspirin right away probably saved my life. Gad.

    So after staying in the hospital for 24 hours, being subjected to all sorts of tests, I was finally allowed out. Must see my regular doctor on Tuesday and am not allowed to drive until then. It was only a TIA, for which I now have to take something called Lipitor as well as aspirin. Breakfast time, so must go–hope everyone at Moose Pond will have a good day!

  48. DeniseVelez

    is scary for tomorrow and Monday – some areas here will be 50 below zero.

    I can’t sit at puter – too cold

    stay warm – those of you in cold climes

  49. anotherdemocrat

    Up early but not ungodly so, for the last walk before the race. I got my packet yesterday so I don’t have to go to the expo today. Just doing the short walk with my team, and the breakfast tacos. Because of course breakfast tacos. And super early dinner & bedtime. We’re meeting to carpool at 5:15. I don’t want to talk about the hour my alarm is set for.

    earworm is the happy, bouncy Jackie & Wilson

  50. princesspat

    We’ll enjoy some Valentine fun with the family today. Ron (and my flower shop friends) surprised me with a big beautiful bouquet yesterday, we’ll go to lunch, and if energy permits maybe to a live music performance tonight. The surgery pain has thankfully eased, but fatigue is still overwhelming at the end of the day so I’ll have to be careful.

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