Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Apr. 26th to May 2nd

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. The death toll is now 2,200 and climbing. The United States has sent some $ aid, and more importantly, some of their urban search and rescue teams. The first few days will be critical to try to find survivors amidst the rubble.

    It is sad that we often learn more about different regions of the world only when something awful happens. We look at the maps and we see how close we all really are.

  2. I don’t like this “gathering” and haven’t since George W. Bush played a video of himself looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction under his desk. Ha. Not. That war led to the death and maiming of thousands and will end up costing us over a trillion dollars. To have it turned into a joke at a dinner hosting the very people whose lack of journalistic integrity helped him lie us into that war was disgusting.

    However, President Obama is a funny guy and it gives him a chance to riff. Here he has his anger translator:

    I laughed out loud at his Ted Cruz and $6 million wasted joke. And he tore into Fox News which is always pleasant. But catch the end where he does NOT need an anger translator to go after climate deniers.

  3. DeniseVelez

    in the New York Daily News

    Black, white, blue and Freddie Gray: Urgent lessons about race and policing from Baltimore

    This quote is key:

    Now, here is what you probably don’t know about the state of Maryland. In a 2011 analysis, Maryland was named as one of the deadliest states in the country for police killings. This year, the ACLU of Maryland identified 109 people who died in encounters with police in Maryland between 2010 and 2014. Accounting for relative population size, black people died at the hands of Maryland police 10 times as often as white people.

  4. DeniseVelez

    40 here in the Catskills – going up into mid 60’s.

    Was pretty nippy overnight so have the heat turned on – and am bundled up in sweats and sweater. Getting settled into my puter chair for the next few hours of diary tending.

  5. Portlaw

    The stigmatization of blackness presents an enormous obstacle, even to small boys. Last year, for example, the Department of Education reported that black children were far more likely to be suspended from school – even from preschool – than white children. Federal cases also show higher rates of public school suspensions for minority students than for white students for identical behavior, suggesting that racial discrimination against black males starts very early in life.

    The sociologist Devah Pager, a Harvard professor who has meticulously researched the effect of race on hiring policies, has also shown that stereotypes have a powerful effect on job possibilities. In one widely cited study, she sent carefully selected test applicants with equivalent résumés to apply for low-level jobs with hundreds of employers. Ms. Pager found that criminal convictions for black men seeking employment were virtually impossible to overcome in many contexts, partly because convictions reinforced powerful, longstanding stereotypes.

    The stigma of a criminal record was less damaging for white testers. In fact, those who said that they were just out of prison were as likely to be called back for a second interview as black men who had no criminal history at all. “Being black in America today is just about the same as having a felony conviction in terms of one’s chances of finding a job,” she wrote in her book, “Marked: Race, Crime and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration.”

    In recent months, the many grievous cases of unarmed black men and boys who were shot dead by the police – now routinely captured on video – show how the presumption of criminality, poverty and social isolation threatens lives every day in all corners of this country.  bold mine

  6. anotherdemocrat

    Yesterday it got up to the low 90s. Sigh.

    Eating breakfast, watching Up. Tired & sore. Knee & shoulder hurt the most this morning, so they will get the ice. The ride was good yesterday, but I fell at the end. There was a sandy patch on the road in camp & my bike went all cattywampus. I got a handlebar in my ample gut, that’s what hurt the most yesterday & got the ice. Bruise hasn’t developed yet, so it must be deep. My knee is swollen & I must have wrenched my left shoulder. Sigh.

    Can’t wait till I’ve had enough food that I can have my tea. I will try the picture posting thing when I’m more awake. There were superheroes at the finish line — Thor & Black Widow. That was fun.

  7. princesspat

    After the fall of Saigon: When Washington did the right thing for refugees

    FORTY years ago, the people of Washington state came to the aid of thousands of Southeast Asian refugees fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries.

    Gratitude is an important value for the Vietnamese. An oft-quoted adage is: “Eat the fruit, remember who planted the tree. Drink the water, remember the source.”

    For an ethnic group that is now nearly 70,000 strong in Washington, the “who” and the “source” of their success is traced back to Gov. Dan Evans. His exceptional leadership established a lasting legacy of the state helping the world’s oppressed seek refuge.

    The Dan Evan’ Republicans knew how to govern and the Vietnamese community in Bellingham continues to thrive. As I learn more from the women at the nail salon I am deeply impressed with their commitment to building their lives here while caring for their families still in Vietnam.


  8. Portlaw

    Nepal’s unstable political scene is another major obstacle. After a decade of conflict between the government and Maoist insurgents, Nepal’s politicians have been too busy battling one another, most recently over constitutional reform, to treat disaster preparedness as a priority. There have been no elections at the district, village or municipal level for almost two decades, and the committees that run local councils aren’t organized to coordinate emergency assistance.

    And so much of the relief work has fallen on community groups; some, like the one headed by Gopal Awale in Patan, had devised some basic emergency plans in case of a disaster. On Saturday, such groups were helping take people away from the old buildings of Katmandu’s inner city, which were hit especially hard, and putting them up in tents in schools, parks and other designated safe areas.

    Hundreds of thousands of people in Katmandu and surrounding areas spent Saturday night on the streets. My family and I slept in a tent in our backyard. It has now been more than 24 hours since the first quake, and by my count we have since been rocked by more than 50 tremors, some major. Yet there is no sign of overt panic. On Sunday, people in my neighborhood were gathering water bottles and sleeping bags, calmly hunkering down for another night out in the open.

  9. bfitzinAR

    next week we’re back in the 50s for highs (thankfully no lower than 40s for the lows).  Guess I won’t put my quilt away yet after all. :)  It’s laundry day so naturally the sun isn’t out (have my stuff on racks in the spare bedroom with the ceiling fan on) – but yesterday we had a whole day of sunshine!  That generated almost, just a hair away from, 25 KWHs over the day!  Of course having 6 more panels helps.  heh.

    I’m ignoring the troubles of the world right now – but I know they’re out there.  Cats to the vet next week (annual check up, shots, etc) which will set me back 2 Cs but I’ll try to scrape up a little to send to the Shelter Box people.  Not that all the other emergency helping groups aren’t good, but Shelter Box tends to the immediate needs immediately, so I try to send to them first.

    Hope this week is starting well for everybody.  {{{HUGS}}}

  10. It is 38 degrees in Madison on its way up to 62. Sunny skies are in the forecast.

    Busy day here, only time to wave and say PLEASE stay out of trouble!! :)

  11. Portlaw

    Thinking of Nepal. The news is not good. Off to read the rest of the news and coffee and then settle down.

    Hope it’s a good day in Moodeland and Mother Earth.

  12. DeniseVelez

    last week of school for me – almost – have final exams to deal with 2 weeks from now.

    Scanning the news – Joe Biden will swear in Loretta Lynch today in a ceremony at DOJ.

    Article here on what she’ll be facing

    Death toll rising in Nepal…currently 3,700, but several sources say the figure could reach over 5000.

    The toll is likely to rise as rescuers struggle to reach remote regions in the country of 28 million people and as bodies buried under rubble are recovered. Several countries rushed to send aid and personnel.

    India sent helicopters, medical supplies and members of its National Disaster Response Force. China sent a 60-strong emergency team. Pakistan’s army said it was sending four C-130 aircraft with a 30-bed hospital, search and rescue teams and relief supplies.

    A Pentagon spokesman said a U.S. military aircraft with 70 personnel left the United States on Sunday and was due in Kathmandu on Monday. Australia, Britain and New Zealand said they were sending specialist urban search-and-rescue teams to Kathmandu at Nepal’s request.

    Britain, which believes several hundred of its nationals are in Nepal, was also delivering supplies and medics. However, there has been little sign of international assistance on the ground so far, with some aid flights prevented from landing by aftershocks that closed Kathmandu’s airport several times on Sunday.

    On Monday, an Indian air force relief plane returned to New Delhi because of congestion at the airport, Indian television reported. The disaster has underlined the woeful state of Nepal’s medical facilities.

    Nepal has only 2.1 physicians and 50 hospital beds for every 10,000 people, according to a 2011 World Health Organization report.

    Doctors at one Kathmandu hospital said they needed over 1,000 more beds to treat the patients that were being brought in ambulances and taxis.…  

  13. anotherdemocrat

    We had thunderstorms overnight, I didn’t even hear them. Hurrah for a real night’s sleep! Though my alarm app once again didn’t charge the phone so it turned itself off. Really glad I have a back up alarm.

    The bruises from Saturday are really manifesting now. I may leave early if we’re not super-busy, to put cold compresses on my belly & leg. I swear I will post pictures — from the Ride, not of the bruises.

    Weirdly, my earworm is the Ramones I Wanna Be Sedated, which is in my race day mix, because if the U2 song The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) but I really don’t think I’ve listened to it lately.

  14. Diana in NoVa

    Feeling very sad about Nepal and disgusted with the American media for focusing on the rich white people stranded on Everest. Am going to donate to Shelterbox, since they’re usually first on the scene. People in Nepal are sleeping out in the open.

    Was so tied up with family this weekend did not get a chance to check in, although late last night I did come in to read and find out what everyone is up to.

    Tons of work to do today, since Miss Pink Cheeks and I have to do a presentation at Daisies tomorrow night. I’m so clueless about this stuff! My day in bed on Friday, although enjoyable, has put me far behind with regard to housework, reading, and fiction writing. Must get on with that now.

    Another, I hope you heal quickly from your bruises and that you can go home early today. Rest is best in your situation.

    A good day to all Moosekind and here’s hoping that all the aid workers and supplies can get to where they’re needed in Nepal!

  15. bfitzinAR

    as we’ve got a guest lecturer here and while the secretary deals with the “catering” of the continental breakfast and working lunch I’m covering the office solo while she does it.  In addition to my regular stuff – payroll updates, travel claims, etc.  Which is why I’m posting 2-1/2 hours after I usually do.  :)  Hope everyone has a good day.  At least as good as you can.  {{{HUGS}}}

  16. princesspat

    Ron and our sons will be going to this event tonight….

    Timothy Egan: Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher

    Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Timothy Egan will discuss highlights of “Indiana Jones with a camera” Edward S. Curtis’ quest to document tribes across the nation. The presentation is the signature event of the Museum’s exhibition Mingled Visions: Images from The North American Indian by Edward S. Curtis, on display through May 10, 2015.  Egan’s talk will give context to the exhibition and share background on Curtis’ life and work, which spanned decades and resulted in 20 published volumes of more than 40,000 images.

    Egan’s book, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward S. Curtis, is a riveting biography of the famous photographer. The book is the recipient of many awards and has appeared on many bestseller lists, including The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The Christian Science Monitor.

    And tomorrow our son sees the vascular surgeon. He remains in pain, very swollen, and just miserable so needless to say we are all hoping for some relief for him. I’m sewing   new dog bed covers for Heide…a simple project while I worry and wait.

  17. Portlaw

    n a closed-door meeting with Jewish donors on Saturday night, former President George W. Bush delivered his harshest public criticisms to date against his successor on foreign policy, saying that President Barack Obama is being naïve about Iran and the pending nuclear deal and losing the war against the Islamic State.

    One attendee at the Republican Jewish Coalition session, held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas with owner Sheldon Adelson in attendance, transcribed large portions of Bush’s remarks. The former president, who rarely ever criticizes Obama in public, at first remarked that the idea of re-entering the political arena was something he didn’t want to do. He then proceeded to explain why Obama, in his view, was placing the U.S. in “retreat” around the world. He also said Obama was misreading Iran’s intentions while relaxing sanctions on Tehran too easily.

    According to the attendee’s transcription, Bush noted that Iran has a new president, Hassan Rouhani. “He’s smooth,” Bush said. “And you’ve got to ask yourself, is there a new policy or did they just change the spokesman?”

    Bush said that Obama’s plan to lift sanctions on Iran with a promise that they could snap back in place at any time was not plausible. He also said the deal would be bad for American national security in the long term: “You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren. That’s how Americans should view the deal.”  

      bold mine

  18. It is 38 degrees in Madison on its way up to 66. Mostly sunny skies in the forecast.

    Loretta Lynch did not even have time to put her briefcase down and check the view from her office window before she was thrust into the situation in Baltimore.

    The White House @WhiteHouse

    President Obama meets with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the situation in Baltimore:

    I was mostly out of the loop yesterday but followed the Baltimore story on Twitter. Police on citizen crime is not new there. Here’s a smidgeon:

    There are so many good reasons for locals to be outraged.

    The Baltimore Sun‘s article shows why in detail. And a few choice excerpts are the best beginning in this attempt to contextualize the ongoing protests within recent history.

    Let’s start with the money.

    $5.7 million is the amount the city paid to victims of brutality between 2011 and 2014. And as huge as that figure is, the more staggering number in the article is this one: “Over the past four years, more than 100 people have won court judgments or settlements related to allegations of brutality and civil-rights violations.” What tiny percentage of the unjustly beaten win formal legal judgments?

    The same-sex marriage case will be heard in SCOTUS today. One of my peeps will be there and I will post a link to his blog after he writes it up.

    Meanwhile, the GOP presidential candidates are running on preserving anti-gay discrimination as a religious right. Good luck with that with 60% of Republicans supporting marriage equality. I worry more, though, about the terrible messages these daily barrages of anti-gay jesus-hates-you rhetoric is having on young people worried about their own sexuality. Matthew Shepard is not just the name on an anti-hate crime bill … he was a young man killed by anti-gay sentiment, sentiment that is now promoted by one of our major political parties. :(

    Yesterday was busy and today will be also. I will try to catch up on yesterdays mooserings in a while.

    See y’all later!!

  19. Diana in NoVa

    Grieving for the people of Baltimore, which is just an hour away by road from here. And for the people of Nepal and the surrounding countries that were affected by the earthquake. No good news anywhere this morning.

    Terribly busy day for me with Babylicious here during the day, DC niece coming back from California (I hope) to pick up her little pink doggy, presentation to tIhe Daisy troop tonight, Australian niece arriving to stay a few days, and Miss Pink Cheeks staying overnight.

    Hope it’s a good day for meese everywhere–will try to come back later in the day to visit.

  20. anotherdemocrat

    Sad news all over today. Baltimore – where the mayor talks about zero tolerance for property damage, but not for police officers who repeatedly deliberately hurt citizens; Nepal, where the news just gets worse & worse; and here in Austin, a Star Flight nurse died rescuing a woman from the greenbelt. Not much info yet, but she fell off the rescue hoist. The patient is expected to recover, but she must be devastated that the woman who helped her died doing so.

    I got some pineapple last night, brought some to work today, will see if the bromelain helps the bruises. For now, eating breakfast & drinking tea.  

  21. Portlaw

    What a sad day it is throughout the world.  Hoping for better days.

    Will check in later. Running late.

  22. bfitzinAR

    I wouldn’t mind the cloudy so much if it brought rain with it – lake levels are still low (although nowhere near as low as in Austin and points west) and most of the small rivers haven’t had enough water in them for even tubing in years – but cloudy is depressing and no rain also means the pollen doesn’t get washed away, so add sore/swollen eyes to the misery.  sigh.  Got lots of stuff that didn’t get done yesterday and a meeting of Administrative Specialists – at least a lunch meeting – taco bar – so free food I can actually eat :) – starting in a few hours.  I might even be able to get most of it done if I can just get my eyes to focus.  Found TexMex’s diary on teh Orange with the link to Shelter Box and set up a $10/month ongoing contribution.  That doesn’t pay for even one box over the course of the entire year, but it’s like the good our taxes can (not necessarily will) do when combined together.  {{{HUGS}}}

  23. princesspat

    I went looking for good news this morning and found this whimsical and creative story. The photos make me smile.

    Hearthstone’s rooftop ‘farm’ yields bumper crop of fun

    Imagine a farm in the city. Not one that grows crops, but one that provides space for a couple dozen animals to bask on beach towels, play baseball, drive cars, roast marshmallows on a campfire and watch the Seahawks on TV.

    That’s the scene, complete with colorful country cottage and chicken coop, that residents at the Hearthstone at Green Lake see when they look out on the roof of the retirement home’s one-story Health Center.

    “We wanted to do something fun with it,” said Hearthstone CEO Mary Lou Stuenzi.

    Our son sees the vascular surgeon this afternoon, so it will be a big relief to know what happens next. It’s been a long month of pain and uncertainty for all of us, especially for him.

  24. DeniseVelez

    but was up almost all night – following Baltimore and Nepal.

    I’m pooped and still have a local Democrats meeting to attend this evening.

  25. It is 43 degrees in Madison on its way up to 65. Partly cloudy skies are in the forecast.

    GOP 2016 candidate Rand Paul has decided that the unrest in Baltimore is due to “no fathers”, not “no justice”. This was Rand Paul last year:

    “There is a systemic problem with today’s law enforcement,” he argued … shortly after Michael Brown’s death.

    “Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them,” he wrote. “Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention.”

    This is Rand Paul, running for president after realizing that he cannot win the nomination unless he gets in line with his party on racism, homophobia, misogyny (well, he already had the misogyny part down):

    … when addressing the protests in Baltimore over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray caused by injuries he sustained in police custody, Paul said he is sympathetic to the police … “the police have to do what they have to do.”

    Bernie Sanders may become a Democrat and run for president, tea leaf readers think that SCOTUS will strike down the state marriage bans and the rest of DOMA, and the death toll in Nepal has reached 5,000. :(

    I am going to try to find the president’s speech and reports on something I saw on Twitter about a Maryland state senator. If I find them, I will post them in Dee’s diary.

    See all y’all later!

  26. Portlaw

    good, heading up to 71. As for the news…. Nepal, Baltimore, SCOTUS… not good.  Very interesting, however, about Bernie Sanders. He’s an honest, decent guy and might shake things up.

    Hope it’s a good day for Meese and their kin and all creatures great and small on our planet,

  27. anotherdemocrat

    It’s really chilly this morning – 50, which is the coolest it has been in a month. Bizarre for the end of April.

    I’m out early today for that annual appointment to get squished, tomorrow is the quarterly meeting where I get a mug for being here 15 years, then Friday I’m off because Avengers. Opening day (no, I’m not going at midnight Thursday, just middle of the day Friday), 3D, theater chain that has real food & will kick your ass out if you text during the movie. This is one of their older “no talking no texting” announcements, but it is, of course, the best:

  28. bfitzinAR

    Have a pile of stuff to get to that I thought I’d have done yesterday except the 2-hour meeting and lunch ran 4.  Oh well.  Lunch wasn’t bad and getting together with the other Admin Specialist/office managers and discussing the newest nimrod rules the Powers That Be are pushing on us to prove how “on top of things” they are – and how best to deal with those new time-consuming rules without shorting our other work was a good thing.

    When I see the news, I just get tired.  I can’t stop the evils happening.  I can’t even redress the issues.  I apparently can’t even convince others holding different opinions to give poor or black or gay or… people an even break although I’ve tried whenever I come up against prejudice.  And I’ll keep trying.  But I’m tired – even though I know what I’m feeling is nowhere near what Denise is feeling.  But sending what healing energy I can scrape up out there to do whatever good it can do.  {{{HUGS}}}

  29. princesspat

    Our meeting with the surgeon yesterday was very sobering….clots have continued to form and now extend from the Vena Cava Filter down into his legs. The conservative approach is “medical management” but he will remain in pain and unable to walk or work for an unknown time. So he as opted for surgery and clot busting drugs which are very risky.

    Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow and if it goes as planned he will be be in the ICU overnight, with another procedure on Friday. Once the surgery starts, the surgeon may decide the risks of clots going to his lungs are to great and he’ll stop. Then medical management will be the only option.

    Needless to say we are deeply worried.

  30. It is 37 degrees in Madison on its way up to 62. Partly cloudy skies in the forecast. Yesterday’s forecast was the same and we got some freak rainstorms in the late afternoon, early evening.

    Today Bernie Sanders will announce his candidacy. He says he is “in to win”. I look forward to a lively debate about Democratic Party principles and progressive values. And maybe the first campaign in history where the two candidates are routinely referred to by they first names. What I am most pleased about is that Martin O’Malley, is no longer the “alternative to Hillary”. And if HRC flames out, Joe Biden can run as the young guy. :)

    Ted Cruz says that President Obama is inflaming racial tensions: while he is claiming that Hispanics are hard working NOT panhandlers. You know, not like the blah people. Sigh.

    So the smearing of the victim begins in Baltimore. Double sigh.

    See all y’alls later!

  31. anotherdemocrat

    50s again, which is totally weird this late in the year, but I wore sandals because it is supposed to get up to 80

    I feel stupid wearing a skirt. I’ve been sitting in my chair for 10 minutes and…… it’s gonna be a long day. Also, how can I have worked here for 15 years?

    This time tomorrow, I’ll still be asleep, ’cause I took the whole day off for the Avengers movie. But today, I need more caffeine.

  32. DeniseVelez

    here in the Hudson Valley – headed to school later.

    Looking at news items getting lost in the sauce this caught my eye:

    House to vote on disapproving DC’s reproductive health law

    The House plans to vote Friday on a resolution disapproving of the District of Columbia’s law preventing employment discrimination based on reproductive health decisions.

    Congress has the power to stop laws passed by the D.C. council, but it must have the support of both chambers and the president’s signature.

    Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), the District’s non-voting representative in Congress, blasted the House GOP Wednesday for allowing a floor vote on the measure. She warned that D.C. workers could be fired for having abortions after being raped, or even for buying birth control.

  33. princesspat

    Good morning everyone and thank you for your supportive thoughts. We’ll be at the hospital at 10:00 am and his surgery is scheduled for 12:30 pm, pacific time. If all goes well we’ll have a long wait today and another one tomorrow, so please consider no news as good news.

    I’ll post an update as soon as I can.

  34. bfitzinAR

    I could get used to this :)

    I walked in the door to insanity – terminate the deputy we’d hired to teach a class/don’t terminate him/wait til you hear back from Legal to terminate him – how to get large truck with massive furniture actually to this building since they closed the main access with a ceremonial gate several years ago – find the ad/job description for the professor who’s leaving so we can start a Search to replace him…  I haven’t finished my 1st cup of coffee yet!  But it looks like it isn’t going to get much better today so I just stopped what I was doing to check in.  Hold the fort or something.  {{{HUGS}}}

  35. anotherdemocrat

    in case anyone doesn’t follow the White House account on twitter:

    The White House ‏@WhiteHouse 2m2 minutes ago

    Young student: “What kind of technology did you have when you were in school?” Obama: “We had pencils”

  36. It is 41 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 69. Sunny skies are in the forecast.

    Baltimore is quiet now, the police are starting their white(!)wash and the community is cleaning up:

    Community members came out in droves towing brooms, trash bags, and trash cans – maneuvering around the flurry of protestors, fully armored police officers, and a bevy of news cameras – to clean up and restore order to their community after Monday night’s melee. Church and community groups served food to kids who wouldn’t get free lunch with schools closed.

    But it turns out these efforts may be more than a stopgap to address the immediate needs of residents adversely affected by around-the-clock police presence. Slowly but surely, a movement has been coalescing in Baltimore through the collaborative efforts of clergy people, educators, youth advocates, and members of street gangs – key players who have the clout to unite their groups around the pressing needs of the community and start the long-term planning to address the city’s long-ignored plight.

    “This is ongoing because we in Baltimore are in this for the long haul. People under their own initiative and creativity have brought supplies that have transformed Baltimore beyond what the city has seen,” Reverend Eric King of United Methodist Church told ThinkProgress.

    More at the link.

    The Republican House of Representatives, with no Democratic votes, passed one of the most draconian budgets in decades. $5 trillion in cuts to “discretionary” spending, ie stuff that keeps people alive, big boosts in military spending and SURPRISE! no new taxes. It will pass the Senate next week, probably on a party line vote there as well. So this will be the guideline for the funding bills that will be needed to get a budget passed for Fiscal Year 2016 and will be the budget that the Republican presidential nominee will run on in the general election. If everyone harmed by this bill voted against the GOP next year, the Democrats would win in a landslide because the only people helped are the .1% and their bought-and-paid-for legislators.

    Meanwhile, the Texas National Guard is being called out because military maneuvers being conducted by the U.S. Army are scaring the locals into thinking that the gubmint is planning to take over Texas. JHC … they are truly insane.

    See all y’alls later!

  37. Portlaw

    The news continues to be awful and now there is this tragic, shocking, horrifying and every sorrowful adjective,  news from Pine Ridge

    Two teenagers hanged themselves in December. In the next three months, seven more young people were found dead, including Alanie Martin, 14, who was known for her love of basketball, cheerleading and traditional Indian hand games. When Santana killed herself in February, she followed another recent suicide of a boy who attended her school, Wounded Knee, so named for the 1890 massacre that occurred where the reservation stands today.

    Many more youths on the reservation have tried, but failed, to kill themselves in the past several months: at least 103 attempts by people ages 12 to 24 occurred from December to March, according to the federal Indian Health Service. Grim-faced emergency medical workers on the reservation, which is the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined, say they have been called to the scenes of suicide attempts sometimes several times a da

    Tribe officials, clergy members and social workers say they cannot remember such a high rate of suicides and attempts in such a short period of time on the reservation, which is already overwhelmed with high rates of unemployment, poverty, domestic abuse and alcohol addiction.

    bold mine

  38. DeniseVelez

    brings back memories for me of workers marches in other parts of the world.

    Headed off to school this morning for my last cultural anthro class before finals.

    It will be a lovely spring day.

    Alert for Texas Meese – an ill wind is blowing your way

    World class bigot and Islamophobe from The Netherlands, Geert Wilders is headed to Garland Texas for an event mocking Islam.

  39. anotherdemocrat

    Slept late — and actually slept  most of it, leisurely eating breakfast on the couch. Going to the movie later, then will swing by the library to see if my book is in. Pretty much a perfect day. Toughest thing will be deciding which geeky t-shirt to wear – Firefly, or my Buzz Aldrin “Get Your Ass To Mars” shirt

  40. bfitzinAR

    another crazy day – undo what we told you to do yesterday then do it again with a later effective date, faculty meeting, still trying to get summer salary information… – but as long as the sun is shining it’s a good day, right? :)

    Hope everyone’s Friday and weekend go well – still holding the good thought for princesspat & family – enjoy the flowers blooming – my irises are starting to, also the peonies.  {{{HUGS}}}

  41. It is 54 degrees in Madison on its way up to 76. Sunny skies are in the forecast.

    I missed May Day!! I was so busy yesterday I did not come up for air again until late afternoon. The good news is that the pagan holidays are somewhat flexible and celebrating Beltane a few days into May is perfectly acceptable. I think one year I posted my Beltane P&W diary on May 10 and claimed as much.

    So Happy Beltane!

    Bealtain “is the celebration of life, the land, the union of mankind with the mother earth and the purification and rebirth of all things”.

    We should commit ourselves to goals and plans for the rest of the year. Our commitment can also be within a family or community. This would be a time to recommit support to those things we believe to be important.

    This advice for Beltane should sound familiar to progressives:

       “Being on a spiritual path of any kind is not a part time thing. It is a way of life, and that is an everyday thing. It is not enough to make a commitment to spirit if you don’t carry that through all your thoughts and actions for the rest of the year.

    So go out and enjoy the day, leap a bonfire (carefully), dance around a maypole. But end your evening reflecting on your day and rededicate yourself to the work that clearly needs to be done.

    Big news day yesterday, I could hardly keep up with the Tweets: Gov. Bully’s bullies were indicted, 6 Baltimore policemen charged with the murder of Freddie Gray, Republican GOP candidates acting badly. Oh, wait, that last one is NOT news.

    See all y’all later!!

  42. DeniseVelez

    Going to be a lovely day here in the mountains.

    Relaxing most of the day – this evening going to see “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” documentary on 2nd wave feminism, and speaking after the film

  43. anotherdemocrat

    50s up to 70s, big blue sky

    Eating breakfast, watching Up. The Republican is actually well-spoken & polite. Wrong, of course, but at least not yelling.

    I have no plans for today. Need to make food for next week. But that isn’t that much work. I really should work out, if I want to lose some weight & get to that August triathlon.

  44. I am not sure when she will make it online so I will post this now. It sounds like it was a long night:

    10:00 pm and I’m finally home…..a very long day. His surgery was 4 hrs today and was better than I feared but not as good as I hoped. The big clot headed for his lungs couldn’t be completely removed so he now has extensive stents and the filter had to be disabled. He has good blood flow to his heart and lungs, but not so good in his legs….too many pieces of clots were adhered to the walls of his veins. So he will need aggressive coumadin management for the rest of his life, and elevation and compression will be his ticket out of his BCH journey. He’s younger and stronger than I am so with a determined effort to control swelling he should be able to be fairly active, but it’s going to be a challenge for him. He’s still in ICU until his blood levels are where they need to be, and now that it’s safe to get the blood moving again has wraps and pumps on his legs. He’s exhausted and so am I.

  45. Diana in NoVa

    Good morning, Moosekind! Have missed chatting with you this past week, which has been the most labor-intensive week I’ve had since before Christmas.

    Just read princesspat’s sobering report of what happened–hope her son recovers well and surprises everyone with the speed and excellence of his recovery. Prayers and healing vibes still going in his direction from here.

    Going to do very little besides watch the Kentucky Derby at 5:45 or so this afternoon. The family, including Australian niece Champagne Rose but not including DIL Mindy, will be coming over for a spaghetti dinner at six. Rose “hoovered” the whole downstairs and tidied the living room for the Beltane celebration here yesterday, so I don’t have to do anything except sit and stare until about 5 p.m. today. Am exhausted after this week, but happy.

    Was also very happy and relieved to read on FB this morning that all six police sociopaths in Baltimore are going to be prosecuted. This time they won’t get off!

    On a lighter note, if you want a fast lunchtime read, do stop by the Web site at This month’s blurb: “Tamika bought a used smartphone–and got more than she bargained for. Read ‘Unseen’ in the Fiction Cafe, new this month!”

    Was too busy to write the May blog but will do that this weekend. My Web guy, bless him, uploaded “Unseen” immediately yesterday morning even though I didn’t finish writing it until 10:30 Thursday night!

    Wishing all at the Moose Pond a good day!

  46. anotherdemocrat

    so I have some left over sauce – yogurt, tahini, cumin & cilantro from last week that I want to use, thinking what to make….. lentils, kale & zucchini? That sounds like something I could eat cold (there’s usually such a line for the microwave in our tiny little break room).

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