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Posted by: Helen Philpot | December 31, 2013

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 470,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 20 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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  1. cheap hermes bags china 2013 in review | Margaret and Helen

  2. Hey, Lori – Yeah; 38,000 vs 9,000 is good! So far, at least, we can’t buy votes at our polling places like we buy raffle tickets (one for $1; six for $5, and ten for $8), although I’m starting to seriously worry about that possibility coming up in the not-too-distant future… Right after Mike Huckabee stops worrying about the Dems underestimating women’s abilities to control their libidos, and whether or not a four-hour erection is actually achievable…

    Stay warm down there! We in the Northeast should apparently be shipping you all an emergency supply of ice scrapers! (Unfortunately, most of ours have been broken for days…)


  3. JSRI, is there a charity we can donate to in memory of WW? If it’s too personal, would you mind sending it to me privately at delurgergurl@hotmail.com?

  4. jsri
    I am so sorry.
    I am thankful you have your son and daughter-in law to help you through.
    And , yes, those directives are so important.

  5. jsri,

    “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” Roberta Flack

    Maybe it will help.

    Hi UAWtradesman. I have thought of your wife’s death from time to time. I’m glad you are doing as well as could be expected.

  6. Dear jsri,

    No words…

    …just a link:

    PEACE ~ Δ

  7. dear jsri, I have no words right now, only sorrow. Each of us will, in our own way, mourn WW with you and your family.

    With love, from both me and my husband.

    Auntie Jean

  8. jsri,
    So sorry for your loss.

  9. loved the “teabonics”….just look at all of those 1%ers…….

  10. just wondering how many people died do to DeBlasio’s “plowgate”


  11. why’ll we’re at it Lori…

  12. yep Lori…..things never change…open mouth-insert foot….

    Wendy Davis Slams Pro-Life Paraplegic Opponent: He’s “Never Walked In My Shoes”


  13. JSRI….
    Sorry for your loss…..won’t says it gets better but the pain does become a little more bearable after a while……lost my wife 4+ years ago…..

  14. Dear Mikat, and PENOM – My sister-in-law found this wonderful poem many years ago, and we included it in my mother’s memorial service – and I hope it will be included in my own!

    Even all these years later, I can still never EVER read it without crying… But it’s “good” crying, because I think it says something profoundly true.


  15. Thank you Gato,
    Once again you put forth our thoughts and feelings in a meaningful, heartfelt way. You are a treasure.

  16. o, gato that’s beautiful

  17. Gone From My Sight, by Henry Van Dyke

    I am standing by the seashore.
    A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
    and starts for the blue ocean.
    She is an object of beauty and strength,
    and I stand and watch
    until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud
    just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other.

    Then someone at my side says, “There she goes!”
    Gone where? Gone from my sight – that is all.

    She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
    as she was when she left my side,
    and just as able to bear her load of living freight
    to the places of destination.
    Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

    And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
    “There she goes!”,
    there are other eyes watching her coming,
    and other voices ready to take up the glad shout,
    “Here she comes!”

    And it is ever so…


  18. JSRI,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I feel like I have come to know both you and WW, as if you were my neighbors. I know that with you by her side, she slipped peacefully over to the other side. She will always be with you, love like yours never dies. Being prepared for the inevitable saves so much heart ache, you are a great husband and father. Much love, prayers and hugs for you and your son.

  19. I’m so sorry, JSRI. :(

  20. I’d like to thank all contributors here who have expressed their concerns about my wife’s condition and to report that the end came at six am, EST this morning. The hospice was incredibly attuned to her needs as well as our wishes and I can’t say enough about their sensitive handling of her situation. Our son and daughter-in-law are dealing with the aftermath which makes it easier for me in such at such a stressful time.

    But, once more, I’d like to emphasize the use of health care directives and how they serve to lessen the stress and give direction to ones activities in such a trying period. It’s never too late to set one up.

    Again, thank you all for your caring and compassionate comments.

  21. jsri, i wish there were words that could give you comfort and peace.
    I..and all of us here… wish you strength in this very tough time.

  22. ;-)

  23. Jsri, you don’t like me, but it doesn’t matter.I wish I could write something to make it better, but I can’t. Your advice is good. You will set a good example for your children etc when their time comes.

  24. Oh, jsri, I join my voice with your dear, dear friends here in trying to express how I feel about your sad news. I wept as I read it. My heart goes out to you, your WW and family. I know she and you too are very caring and accomplished and people. Even though this is mostly a political blog, we all know you well after these past years. In some respects we hope we have become part of your extended family.

    You are so right about medical directives and keeping our houses in order with regular updates, especially at our ages. We have had those in place for some time. They look so nice and tidy – on paper. But when the sledgehammer falls on us, well…………

    We have some experience with hospice care. They are amazing people. A close friend, a retired nurse, is a volunteer with them. Well trained with expertise in the latest technology, their most endearing attribute is that of kindness not only with their patients but loved ones too. They are truly Angels of Mercy.

    Please keep us posted whenever you can. Just know you are and will be in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.

    With love,

    Auntie Jean

  25. Hey, Lurker – So it seems it is Penny. I’m glad!

    And blessings to JSRI and his family; I think we’re all thinking that.


  26. So sorry to hear about your wonderful wife, jsri. I’ll remember you guys in prayer.

  27. Penny! I knew your ‘voice’ sounded familiar but couldn’t line it up with your penom name. :)

  28. Dear, dear JSRI. I’m so sorry for this rough turn. You have spoken so beautifully of your wife and your children and grandchildren. That says a lot about you both. Your wife will pass after a good long lifetime of loving and being loved, with a wonderful legacy to show for it. We all hope to have that! My prayers are with you both. This will be hard. May the harsh edges be softened, and may there be nothing left unsaid between you. <3

  29. (((jsri and wife)))

  30. jsri – I wish I knew what to say. You are in our thoughts at this time. You have mentioned your wife on many occasions; she is a special woman. You are very fortunate to have found each other and to be able to share life all these many years. We reach a certain age we know this day will come. Yet we are never ready to say goodbye…..just not today…..tomorrow…. maybe.


  31. jsri…my heartfelt condolences on the illness and loss of your life partner and my equally strong congratulations on doing the most humane and loving thing one can do for a life partner. i was in a similar position 14 years ago. its gets more liveable, i promise you. not only do i have my medical and end of life directives at each of my progeny’s homes, it is also with my doc and my attorney AND my final arrangements as well, also paid for us octogenarians must be practical. we’re on borrowed time already, let us make it easier for those we leave behind, and for when that time comes. may god grant u his greatest blessing…of shalom…penny p abrams

  32. Gato not all $ is created equal in today’s politics. For example Wendy Davis has over 38,000 donors . Her opponent 9,000. But yet they have relatively raised the same amount of $ so far .

    It takes a hell of a lot of money to run a campaign these days, especially state and of course nation wide. So you won’t find a candidate turning down money – from anyone . But if you dig just a little bit deeper and look at the number of donors – and $ amount per, BEHOLD the truth comes pouring in…

  33. Jsri,
    Thank you for sharing this. I send best wishes to you, your wife, and your son. And thank you for reminding us what is truly important. Peace.

  34. Jsri , luv you buddy. <3

  35. Dear JSRI – I am incredibly grateful to you for writing and sharing this…

    I intended to say a whole lot of more specific wonderful things about you, and your heart and soul and wisdom, but, hell, you spoke nobly, wisely, courageously, and truly, and that’s all that needs to be said.

    I am confident that you and your family take part in this transition not only with grief, but with all human grace…

    Peace and comfort to you all.


  36. No matter which side of the political wars you position yourself on, life goes on and on, – but not forever. Despite stabs at invincibility, it always ends. But, no matter how carefully you plan for such contingencies, life has a way of slapping you upside the head, bringing a powerful dose of reality. I’ve been on and offline for a number of weeks, going back as far as six months ago simply because my wife’s medical condition took a drastic turn at that point and I suddenly became responsible for her care, feeding and welfare, in addition to my own. However, it was no longer the lymphoma she’s been treated for for almost 15 years. This time it was something new, chronic kidney disease which is an insidious medical condition that too often becomes apparent only after it’s too late to do anything meaningful about it.

    Friday night while our son was visiting, my wife was having trouble focusing and seemed to be a bit vague and indecisive, when she suddenly declared that she needed to go to the hospital. After a 911 call, four burly firemen arrived at our front door outlined against a background of flashing strobe lights and the rumble and clatter of a heavy rescue vehicle. The firemen were unbelievably proficient, exceptionally gentle and truly attentive to her needs. She was carted off to the hospital where, on Saturday, the doctors decided that her kidneys were pretty well shot. 

    The following day when we went to visit her, the doctors said there was little more they could do short of dialysis (and even that would have iffy results as well as negative quality of life issues) so, based on choices previously established in our health care directives, we agreed to have her enter hospice care to which she was transported on her 82nd birthday. Given that she has rarely had a day free of pain for the last six months, we opted for pain relief as the primary hospice guideline, simply because a cure at this point is mostly meaningless and unachievable.

    The only reason I bring this up is that this situation is more typically the sort of reality that we all face at some point in our lives and it is never too early to make plans on how to react, which treatments are to be considered and who is to make the decisions. It’s also imperative that these guidelines be codified in a health care directive and shared with your primary care physician. In fact, our son has a copy of our health care directives and he has been rock steady where I might have faltered because he knew ahead of time what her wishes were.

  37. Hey Whirled,
    The “Teabonics” link was very funny. Thanks for the laugh!

  38. Hi, Penom – I was very moved by your recollections of WWII. It seems that, then, we really WERE a “nation,” and the motto was “Unite and Conquer,” rather than today’s “Divide and Conquer.”

    There was a NATIONAL goal; everyone understood that, and everyone worked together toward that end. I’m sure there was a “1%” even then, but they didn’t control just about everything, as they do now.

    This, to me, is the real downside of unbridled “capitalism.” In a society where money is the god, only those with money – and lots of it – have power. The money buys the power, and the power makes regulations to favor those with the money that just bought them. We have come to believe that “the market” is a real THING – a “thing” capable of “wisdom,” and deserving of “rights,” and very few now question that.

    I believe that our founders set out rights that they meant to be applicable only to living, breathing, human beings (even though, at the time, they left out huge numbers of those humans)… The right to the “pursuit of happiness,” to vote, to enjoy freedom of religion, speech, opportunity, and any number of any other things. Had someone suggested, at the time, that these rights should be granted to some fabricated “entity,” that person would have been laughed out of the room. They probably would have thought that doing so would be as absurd as granting those “rights” to a bolt of calico!

    James makes a very telling statement: “The Tea Party began as much a grass roots organization as is possible today.” Although I don’t entirely agree, the point is that almost EVERY “movement” today is co-opted by the influx of large amounts of cash, whether from its inception, or as it proceeds. And isn’t that a sorry state of affairs…

    As he also pointed out (or someone did – maybe you), much of what the TP has actually “done” has primarily hurt those who are supposedly its core constituency. So far, the 1% has suffered nothing, and it looks like that trend will continue as long as we let ourselves be divided, manipulated, deluded, and used.

    Time for a re-read of Thomas Frank’s prescient 2005 book, “What’s the Matter With Kansas?”


  39. PENOM. I didn’t mean to leave you out. I was also addressing my rant to you.

    I agree with some of what you wrote, but I’m sticking to my only point. The Tea Party began as much a grass roots organization as is possible today. While they have done some good, I think some elements have damaged the Republican Party, and some of their candidates explain why the Democrats still hold a majority in the Senate.

    I was too young to remember WW11, but my parents and others told me stories. My mother knitted sweaters for troops in Alaska etc, and she kept some thank you letters. A weather balloon crashed near our farm, and the neighborhood thought it was a Japanese attack. My father kept the parachute and he brought it out to fly each Easter. My mother kept some of the ration cards.

    Times were hard. One of my earliest memories was of wrapping some of my toys jn newspapers and putting them under the Christmas tree because I was afraid I would get no toys. A neighbor carved a foot long toy grasshopper with wheels and moveable hind legs. They moved when one pulled it across the floor.It was painted green and yellow. I loved that grasshopper.

  40. Funny stuff Peas! Love you to death!

  41. Gato, you’re right that Wendy Davis said “anyone” though the intent was obvious since she was accusing her opponent of planting stories.But you have to admire Joe Biden for attempting to repair a gaff the way he did. He was quick on his feet. In this incident, Wendy was no Joe Biden.

    Most popular movements risk being usurped with time as you know. I agree that oligarchs tried within a year after they realized the Tea Party had staying power, and that many Tea Party members didn’t notice. Part of the reason was that the Tea Party was an amorphous amalgamation of private groups operating semi- independently as Independent Baptist churches do. How else can you explain two competing Tea Party groups in Omaha? Neither liked the other

    .I’ve already told you about when Freedom Works came to Omaha in 2010, I think.It was a slick operation with entertainment and speeches. The local demonstrations reminded me of pep rallies. There was a big difference.

    The same thing happened with English pop music. Industry people denigrated the Beatles because of their origins and long hair. Brian Epstein molded them into something more presentable as some Tea Party organizers did to their movement in the beginning. Setting loose standards of sign content was not unlike telling the Beatles to style their hair.

    Once producers saw the Beatles were developing a grass- roots following they rushed to Liverpool to find the next big star Political oligarchs did the same to the Tea Parties. I don’t know if this applies to the Tea Party or not. Maybe. The British music revolution was not monolithic.
    While working class youth suddenly aspired to be music stars, another form of musical evolution was emerging in and around London.

    Groups of college and art college students congregated in the night club owned by an American black rythmn and blues singer. The dark obscure music fascinated them One, Mick Jagger, who became a star attended the London School of Economics and considered becoming an economist or journalist, but music was his true love.

    The Rolling Stones toured the US around 1964 and had a poor reception in Omaha. They were rude and slovenly compared to the Beatles. Jagger later told a reporter, that they didn’t expect much from the tour. They went to become “known” When they came home “things started happening for us.”Things started happening for the Tea Party in the same way.

    I probably over beat a musical dead horse, but I like music,.

  42. i adore joe biden. is there anything that comes close to that irish smile?

  43. james: u are right when u say the groundswell can create highly successful social movements. i contend that, in this case, the tea party was cleverly (enough so it went unrecognized for too long) taken over by those who don’t give a flying fig for the desires of the originators. not only that, but those (taker-overers) who are very, very good at catch phrases which seem to call for the desired goal but in the long run damage those who stood up and shouted. (example-screaming against the mandate in Obamacare. we have a mandate to get a license to drive. we have a mandate to pay taxes. mandate to put our kids into school til a specified age. mandate to be married if you wish to be able to see him/her in hospital for instance. death panels who decide what medical coverage you get? what does anyone think the private ins. companies have been doing all along?) think about it. closing the government, accomplished by the foot stamping TPs hurt those who could least withstand it…the jobless, the uneducated, the poor, etc. cutting off unemployment, meals on wheels, pre-school funding, the end goal of shutting down social security and medicare/medicaid, help for single parents, food stamps…NOT military spending, NOT government reduction (which they claim as a goal except for your bedroom…they wanna be there), NOT jobs (our infrastructure is in immense peril…look at NYC where the water delivery system is over 200 years old and patched to a faretheewell) and NOT dispensing with the tax breaks for the oil companies and those that take the jobs overseas and the rich (loopholes) who can most afford to kick in another 1-3%. the latter mentioned is what makes a nation, it’s what puts a people in motion, together, taking care of one another. i’m guessing you’re too young to recall WWII when the entire country worked, gave up stuff, saved, volunteered and fought together. no one was left out of that responsibility. even the youngest among us helped close the air raid curtains each night. i was in high school, took war courses, folded bandages at the JWVS, collected tin foil and cooking fat to turn in for use by the military providers. that’s how we build a future. together. we’re forgetting how to do that and the TP is the leader of that…split and conquer…deny ’til the masses are the slaves and the rulers are really few and far between…the 1%. people will do anything to eat and feed their families. to me, it is so clear i wonder how the TP ever got this far. the congress are a bunch of idiots. it’s like dealing with children. a firm no, once, is sufficient. no discussion, no attention paid to threats, no forbearing fits and whimpering…no is no. that’s it. that’s how it was when i grew up and in my own home when raising my kids. it was a peaceful method. no. period. that’s it. finished. done. simple. only two letters. no.

  44. James – A quick fact check here: Wendy Davis did NOT refer specifically to Greg Abbott. She said “Anyone…”

    Does anyone think she should have said something more like, “Anyone who is not a paraplegic…” In THAT case, one could pretty legitimately infer that she was speaking specifically about her opponent. But that’s not what she said. (And, as we all know, “Dirk” is easily excited…)

    It was certainly, to say the least, an unfortunate choice of phrase in her particular situation, but reveals, at the most, that she is a bit naive about how many nits her opponents will find to pick – a number that’s bound to increase as her support grows. So, yes, she needs to be uber-wary. Texas politics is a tough contact sport.

    And nobody is Joe Biden, who, even at his most inadvertently gauche, is way cooler than most of the rest of us. I remember watching the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill “inquiry,” in which Biden took part. My friends and I all referred, then, to our current Vice-President as “Cute Joe Biden”…


  45. I’m glad your eye is better Gato and that you can see the snow.

  46. Gato the Lip’s telling of Wendy Davis’ gaff reminds me of Biden’s classic. He was in Missouri, I think. The leaders honored several notables. Biden said “something like let’s hear it for Joe Blow. Stand up and be recognized.” Joe Blow couldn’t walk,and Biden suddenly realized it. “Oh, bless your heart. Let’s all stand for Joe Blow.”It was hilarious, but I was impressed with how quickly Biden recovered.

    So far, Wendy Davis has not done so. I haven’t seen the news yet, so maybe she has. Another commonality, if my memory is correct is that Biden lied about plagerism and it cost him his 1988 presidential campaign. Wendy Davis also lied about details of her biography.She may have done so under oath in one case..

  47. Thanks PENOM

    Gato, the the Koch brothers are irrelevant to the discussion unless you can prove they started and funded the Tea Party at the beginning. They may have intended to start a movement and may even have spent some money. The tobacco industry also wanted an organization more sympathetic to smoking. The point is they failed. They later spent money and tried to influence the movement after it formed.

    Mass movements sustain themselves from the ground up. Consider the Dave Clark Five and the Beatles. Record producers did what they could to make them famous, and with the band’s talent, they succeeded. However, the Beatles from a back water city named Liverpool influenced the world.Nothing good could come from Liverpool, but the producers didn.t realized that Liverpool Yanks, sailors who brought Rock and Roll records from America after the craze had died here revived it in Liverpool.

    Rush Limbaugh and Air America are two other examples of audiences built from the bottom versus from the top.One more is the Ukrainan protest movement.

  48. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Let’s see. Catching up, it seems that the big political crisis of January is winding down. Last month or so, it was Obamacare. This month it is the Christie scandal with the usual authoritarian sources of all information; amateur snooping, gossip and general busybody-ness. I’ll leave the conjecture to the professional panjandrums. In my humble opinion however, Christie’s presidential ambitions are finished. No matter how much and hard he tries to rehabilitate his image, his creditability is gone. There is too long a pattern on public record of either incompetence and/or abuse of his powers of authority as governor of New Jersey. He can probably get a job and a lucrative contract with Fox News as a “political analyst” though when his current term of office is over.

    Moving right along, for those of us unable to personally attend many of the functions we would like to, PBS and the internet are a God Send for finding them either on TV or on the computer. Did any of you classical music buffs happen to catch the Met’s performance on PBS last week of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” with the famed Valery Gregiev conducting? Wow!!! If not, the opera was based on the story written by Russia’s celebrated poet and author, Alexander Pushkin. Both the music and the poetry are beloved around the world. It starred Anna Trebenko, well known as probably the current most lauded international soprano sensation. She is a beautiful and enormously talented young woman.

    If you missed it, you can catch the finale on YouTube with Dimitri Hvrostovsky in the title role. He is my very favorite baritone right now. Both he and Trebenko are superb singing actors. Their facial expressions and body language tell it all! They are both singing in their native tongue. You don’t need to know the language to pick up on what it is all about. (Uh, my Russian spelling, to say nothing of pronunciation, is a little shaky.)

    On YouTube the outdoor concert version of this work with a full symphony orchestra was filmed in Red Square in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. Most of us have often seen this familiar landmark many times. Sorta like St. Peter’s Square and Cathedral in Rome, London’s Parliament Building and Big Ben or our Capitol Building, The White House and the Washington Memorial.

    Hey, a little “kulcher” never hurt anybody.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

    P.S. BTW, Alexander Pushkin’s great-grandmother, known as “La Belle Creole” was brought from Africa as a slave. She ultimately became an aristocrat. Reportedly, Tchaikovsky was gay. Thought you should know these little tidbits.

  49. A gaffe for the ages: “My paraplegic opponent… ‘hasn’t walked a day in my shoes.’” ~ Wendy Davis

    Man, it’s hilarious to watch this bad witch in meltdown mode. :lol: How’s grassroots rolling, Lori? I’ll bet this gold digger doesn’t make it to the election much less win it – especially when her worn out gig of life story has become an abortion in and of itself.

    Poetic justice, rubes.

  50. Hey, Whirled –



  51. Second, as far as the MeParty TeaParty…

    …it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.


    *Warning: prolonged exposure can cause headache. ;)

    As they continually prove, ignorance runs deep with this crowd. Add in fear, anger and selfishness and you get racism.


  52. it is my firm opinion that racism has reared its ugly head higher than ever; that the arch conservatives are, largely, guilty of blatant racism; that the attempt to limit voting rights is racist; that all the cartoons and snide comments about a black family in the white house is totally racist, and that none, NONE! of the scuffles, signs, rudeness, spitting, name calling that appeared in conservative/tea party town hall meetings and gatherings was planted. jackie wore sleeveless dresses without comment, michele got whapped for wearing sleeveless dresses. only one, simple, ridiculous example racism. what’s more it is NOT an insignificant thing, it is NOT to be disregarded nor is it petty…we must jump on all bias as it occurs, call it what it is and end it. ALL! from being called mrs. john smith instead of ms. betty smith to the outright insult to a person of color because they are not caucasian. if u detect outrage, u r correct. while we are not all equal, we were not created equal, we all deserve equal rights to life, justice and the pursuit of happiness, we are entitled to it, we must make sure it happens.

  53. Hi, Terri – My eye is coming along fine, far as I can tell. It’s a long recovery, but doesn’t require much work after the first (awful) two weeks of face-down living. Just have to use eye drops four times a day for a couple of weeks, and get used to seeing weirdly as the gas bubble is gradually absorbed.

    What’s amazing is how much the “good” eye takes over while this is going on. You end up counting on that one, and not paying much attention to the one that’s recuperating.

    Thanks for asking! I can certainly “see” the snow…!


  54. Hi Gato,
    How is your eye? Better, I hope.

  55. u know this could be a healthy discourse if…1- we actually pay attention to what one another is saying instead of trying to develop a clever come-back…2-if we ignore the insultors altogether…3- if we show respect for all and consider that there are many ways to skin a cat! (where did that come from? who would want to skin a cat? eww) and 4- if we could keep our senses of humor. i am a progressive. james isn’t. but he does have some facts and he is entitled to his own conclusions…just as the rest of us are. the peepee kaka people are best simply left out of any responses or debates. just ignore them. discussion between opposing opinions is often illuminating…if we let it be.

  56. James – So, based on your information, I guess we are supposed to conclude that David Koch was lying (or “misspoke”) when he took credit for funding the founding of the Tea Party, right?

    Like so many things, I’m sure the answer to how it all got started is, “All of the above.” There certainly was some shadow money involved (and plenty of it), AND probably a lot of people got on the TP bandwagon because they liked the TP’s… “principles.” And there’s a lunatic fringe in there, along with the more moderate “believers,” as one can find in just about every group – from Christian evangelicals, to the NRA, to the Left, the Right, comic book fans, and raw food vegans.

    I don’t see much point in arguing any further with you about this; and, no, I’m not backing out of the conversation. I think I’ve made my points, and I’m recalling that very fine definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, and hoping for different results.


  57. Sochi, Russia is located near the Black Sea and Caucasus Mountains. It is near Georgia, and north of Turkey, I think.

  58. Terri, and Gato a group had a web site called Crash the Tea Party, and one of their goals was to discredit the Tea Party with plants.

    A study conducted by a UCLA grad student, Emily Ekins, found that the media concentrated on the nasty signs that it contributed to the perception that the Tea Party was racist. She photographed over 250 signs and found that about 25% expressed anger at Obama, 5% mentioned his race, and 1% questioned his American citizenship
    Think Progress made a video exaggerating racist elements in the Tea Parties. It was so inaccurate, they took it down and used another video instead.

    False protesters were driven from rallies in St Louis, San Francisco.Oceanside and, Greensboro. Brietbart’s web site has a video of one incident.

    A blog called Start Thinking Right has a picture of Tea Party activists holding signs like “infiltrator” near an atypical sign holder.

    The Tea Party knew racist signs were bad public relations, so they discouraged such displays. They told participants to look for objectionable signs and tell the owners to leave. Given their desire for a good press, it was illogical for them to make wide-spread use of such signs. But they didn’t stop them all.

    The Tea Party could have been all members of the Klan or Moveon.org. It is a side issue My only narrow point is that the Tea Party started as a largely grass roots movement.

    Like you, Gato, I never personally saw such signs, but the rallies I attended out of curiosity were in Omaha. I know some bad signs existed though they were atypical.

    As I wrote before, Gov Chrstie reminds me of Obama who is also clueless about what happens in his administration. Assuming the charges are true,either he knew or made the suggestion and he is lying, or he and the president are equally poor administaters and should be fired. The buck stops at the top.

  59. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Bravo!!! Gato for your comment @. 2:58PM today. Also kudos lori, Mageen, Mikat, Terri in NY, Poolman, Peas, NOP. Who’d I miss? And welcome to the porch Penom. You brought some delicious pies of yours to share with us.

    Where the hell is SOCHI in Russia? Does anyone know? We missed it on our extended River Cruise of the Volga River from Moscow to St. Petersburg with stops at all the towns, cities and villages along the way. But that was back in the Dark Ages of 2007 during the misspent youth of our 70’s and one of Putin’s previous terms in office. Like the U.S. it was then a vast and diverse country. Apparently now it is crawling with “Black Widow Boogiewomen” out to mess up the upcoming Olympics. Yikes!

    Later tonight – – -maybe.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  60. Hi, Mikat – And now we have the lovely DC District Court’s smack down of “net neutrality”… Now our ISPs will get to determine what we see on the internet, with what degree of facility, and for how much – just like cable bundling. (I already ranted a bit about this in an earlier post.)

    Of course, the ISPs ALREADY filter what pops up on your home page, in the name of helpfully providing content in which you’ve previously “shown interest.” Even if you were “interested” once, and were totally revolted by what you got, you get it over and over again. (Believe me, I RUE THE DAY I looked up “Kimye”..!)

    Things have been going even more rapidly and steadily downhill ever since the abomination that was the Citizens United ruling… And I’m sure I’m not the only one who notices that WHATEVER new ruling comes along, it is suddenly revealed to “limit choices” and “cost consumers a little more”… And those things are always mentioned as some sort of “oh-gosh-that-was-unexpected” little side-effect, instead of EXACTLY THE REASON THE RULING WAS MADE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!

    Who would object to easy and unmoderated access to the internet, in all its permutations, other than someone with an AGENDA…? It doesn’t matter whether the agenda is moral or fiscal, or both; it’s an attempt at thought control, pure and simple.

    And, as far as the “wisdom of the market” is concerned, we can kiss that fantasy goodbye, too. There IS no “market wisdom,” especially when only one or two products are marketed. Back in the sixties, we used to worry a lot about being “co-opted,” being told that there were only one or two choices available in any situation, when there were often, in reality, dozens…

    And here we are again, and this time people are making money off doing it, and at least one court has said that’s just fine.


  61. Hi All,

    Good to see some old faces returning.

    Three weeks into the new year and so much to talk about.

    So without further ado…

    First, for Mikat:

    Washington and Colorado move into
    the 21st century and what do they get?

    The Toke Bowl

    The moral of the story (at least my take-away): If you want your sports team to have a chance to win the championship…Legalize Pot. ;)

    Peace ~ Δ

  62. Sing it sistars!

    Google Williams, Brunn, Roper.


  63. HI, Terri – Oh, I’m sure all those right-thinking and reasonable Tea Party demonstrators were really upset that signs like that were brought into their midst, by some outside “plants” with a nefarious agenda. And, of course, there wasn’t anything they could do about it, was there…? They certainly couldn’t tell the sign-holders that their signs were “offensive,” or inappropriate, or might damage the sterling reputation of the TP, could they…? Well, no; of course they couldn’t! They just have to rely on the wisdom of the rest of the world to know that such things could NEVER have anything to do with THEM, or any of their positions… Could they?

    (Besides, I, personally have never seen any of those signs myself, so maybe they were just photoshopped in or something like that…)

    And what about poor Governor Christie…? How could he possibly have known that his trusted inner circle could “blindside” him – HIM! CHRIS CHRISTIE!! – so badly by doing anything that might look to the world like the lowest and most petty sort of political retribution? Well, all reasonable people certainly see there’s no way he could have ever dreamed this kind of thing could happen in HIS oh-so-civil and congenial administration, don’t we?

    And shooting someone for texting in a movie theatre…? Well, obviously that had nothing to do with the gun; it was because somehow that mentally ill person was able to get the gun, and the fault lies with the mental illness professionals, and certainly NOT even remotely with the NRA or the gun manufacturers! Anybody can see that!

    Oh, and we certainly don’t need any more “regulations” or inspections of workplaces manufacturing hazardous products, or chemical storage facilities next to rivers… I mean, how could any “regulation” or inspection have prevented some mysterious pointy thing from being pushed upward when the ground froze, and piercing a storage tank? I suppose all the “libs” think we ought to ban all “mysterious pointy things in the ground”!!

    And, finally, we can all be assured that the DC District Court’s ruling against the FCC’s “net neutrality” is really the best thing for all of us, can’t we? I mean, I’ve been waiting for YEARS for Google or Comcast to decide which sites are better for me; it’s about time they took some appropriate responsibility for making sure that I don’t watch anything they don’t want me to watch. It’ll be just like cable television! I, for one, don’t mind paying a little “extra” for seventy-three channels I never so watch so I can Keep Up With The Kardashians… Small price to pay, I say! (Besides, if you don’t have at least a little extra cash to ante up, I don’t think you DESERVE to see the latest photo of baby North West’s head covered by a blanket. If you just spent your last few “discretionary dollars” getting a new photo “Voter ID,” well, that’s just too bad for you.)

    This is America, after all, and we DO have our standards!


  64. James, where is your proof the racist signs at Tea Party rallies were the work of “plants?” There are also plenty of videos of interviews with Tea Party protesters showing their racism and ignorance. I don’t plan to argue this point with you, but your denial of the TP’s racism strikes me as wishful thinking.



  65. *MIOV opps my dyslexia got the best of me . :)

  66. Morning friends!

    My news feed is jammed with dozen of photos & antidotes of last weekends successful voter registration events. Last I heard was an estimate of over 2400 new voters were registered over the weekend! Dozens of new volunteers and many many many “I am all ins” ! Its SOOOO great to see so many fellow Texans fired up and ready to go.

    OMIV, you’re exactly right. Me thinks Wendy Davis’ opponent is getting a little desperate .

    Mikat, believe it or not I was cheering for your Sea Hawks on Sunday. LOL It was a tough choice for me but my dislike for Harbough (sp) proved greater than my dislike of your Hawks . Lol Congratulations.. Was a great game and that corner back you have is sompin special. Good luck!

  67. Hi Friends,
    I am still riding the emotional “high” from the game on Sunday. Our “Hawks” won! I am so excited. We have not had a really great team in years, so to come this far is really, REALLY exciting.
    Waving Hi to Lori, Auntie and Gato!
    The Repubs have using “smoke and Mirrors” down to an art. The deception is beyond belief! Intelligent people know to look behind the screen. People are getting down right sick and tired (literally) of the selfishness, abuse and underhanded illegal tactics of the filty rich. How many homes, cars, vacations, Lawyers, Judges and “things” do you need to make you happy?
    Enough is enough!

  68. Gato, I know more important things get in the way, but we all have free time enough to waste on line. Someone can return to the argument later.

  69. Gato, I’m not complaining about the name calling. I am stating a fact. I learned in high school debate that if one is losing a debate, he/she resorts to trickery and obfuscation to blunt an attack. I am merely noting what people losing an argument are doing.

    If someone takes the trouble to state a position and begins to defend it, but then wilts when the going gets rough, he/she is coping out to dismiss continuing the argument for lack of time or interest. The real reason is lack of evidence or logic to support a weak position. There is nothing wrong with dong that, but it does show who has been forced to retreat from the field of battle.

    I don’t like personal insults or attacks, though I can throw mud with the best if provoked It is a weakness of mine.It is more satisfying to counter an insult with “you lost.” Instead of taking them seriously, I regard these little discussions in the same way as a game of checkers. You lose some, and you win some.

  70. Mageen, your doctor may be right. I also don’t think the Tea Party will ever be a third party in this country. At least I hope not.It would be bad for us.

    Poolman, I agree with you, but what are we going to do about it? Nothing, because “we” don’t care enough to stop the trend as long as we have houses and food. The truly poor who actually suffer, especially in third world countries don’t have the means or ability to change things because they spend most of their time working for their next meal. In the words of the old Bruce Hornsby and the Range song, “That’s just the way it is. Some things will never change” I don’t like it either.

  71. Oh… In my experience, the “last refuge of a person with a weak case” is often indicating that he or she suddenly has something much more important to do than to continue with the discussion at hand – and preferably something “unassailable,” like tending to a grandchild who’s just awakened, for example…

    James, you certainly have a right to your own opinion, and your general restraint from vulgar and direct name-calling is much appreciated. That said, it doesn’t mean that people are going to agree with you, or that anyone else’s “argument” is less convincing if it does not conform to yours.

    You know perfectly well that this is a “progressive” blog, and most people who post here like it that way. I don’t think it’s your job to say what you think this blog “should be,” or what it “could be,” if it were something else. It isn’t, obviously, and, ultimately, you seem to enjoy taking an active part in it, just as it is. (I suspect you’d have much less fun posting on sites where everyone agrees with you; it would be a lot harder, in that context, to point out your superior wisdom and vast experience in every conceivable area!)

    So I, for one, expect to continue to hear from you, and am sure that we’ll all remember our manners… (Well, with possibly one pitiful exception, who can’t seem to stop trying to rile everybody up with the same “peepee kaka” comments, in one transparent disguise or another…)


  72. James, a doctor friend of mine is totally perplexed by the Tea Party members and their general theme. What he is seeing is a very large population over retirement age who present as depressed. Not oppressed. Just depressed. He also cannot understand that if they were the last group getting a very, very good basic education (spelling, math, history) why their signs do not bear this out or their rhetoric. I think he is really on to something. It may be why there will never really be a third party coming out of the Tea Party.

  73. PHENOM, not just the poor. The 85 richest people on the planet have accumulated as much wealth between them as half of the world’s population (3.5 billion people). And the gap continues to widen.


    Of course, we have seen how government always sides with money, especially nowadays, and continues to bailout the too big to fail money lenders and their corporate buddies, while average Americans and their future children continue to foot the bill.

    But that’s okay. We reap what we sow. And there’s that well known camel threading parable thingie to consider…

  74. The last refuge of a person with a weak case is name calling and personal attacks.That Huffington Post and other sites showing the Koch brothers’ Tea Party page from 2002 and later to prove they started the movement was laughable. If they had so much influence at the beginning, why was there no national Tea Party until about 2009? My version of the early Tea Party history is closer to the truth than others here presented.

    Many of the racist signs credited to the Tea Party were plants or outliers. I saw none at the demonstrations I attended in Omaha, and pictures of large demonstrations in Washington DC and other cities didn’t show them either. That doesn’t mean racism didn’t exist. It means it was not the norm.Even if the organization was racist, it is irrelevant to how the Tea Party came to be.

    Nice to read you again NOP. I’m not writing toward you. I’m aiming for people who lurk and move on. This site needs more than a flock of people copying each other. Instead of lobbing a personal attack, prove me wrong with facts. You won’t, because with my description of the Tea Party’s origins, you can’t do it.

  75. I know you all are aware of the Dos Equis Beer commercials, “The most interesting man in the world,” well, that is not James. Suffice to say, that is why many of us no longer bother to read beyond Helen’s comments. A quick glance, tells me, he, James, still has a captive audience.

  76. Lori, you are right on the mark about the Tea Party and its origins. I also think that the American people, in general, do not have a good opinion of the Tea Party. Hopefully their influence will quickly fade. I, for one, have not forgotten all the racist placards that were on display at the beginning of the “movement.”

  77. Lori shows that she is less knowledgable about the Tea party than she thinks. If this was a moderated blog, she would have gotten a warning. No time for anything else. Our grand daughter is awake,

  78. 85 families own more wealth than half of the entire world’s poor

  79. Must be that I have temporarily misplaced my IQ. What the heck does it matter that Wendy’s husband paid for some of her college tuition? Just do not understand all the sound and fury over a whole lot of nothing. If this is the best her opposition can do, then I will sleep a little better at night.

  80. Hi, Lori – I know… If one Democratic candidate happens to have ever folded a napkin incorrectly it’s MUCH more important than the fact that the 1% owns forty percent of the wealth of this country (or whatever they’ve got in their hands).

    It’s too bad they’re so damned good at this sort of bull… Well, years of practice…


  81. Hi Gato! Nope not a historian in any sense of the word, just knowledgeable on that particular subject.

    I can’t comment on whether or not a troll is right – or wrong headed. I never get past the first sentence of a trolls posts. Frankly I don’t give a damn… I have much more important things to do with my life. :)

    Sooooo on we go …. Happy MLK day all… Love Yinz

    Oh and the bullshit about Wendy? Its another straw mans argument ment to distract us from our mission. Pfffff

  82. Hi, Penom – You’re very welcome; you deserve every word, far as I can tell.

    I’m sure blushing becomes you…!


  83. o, gato, i rarely blush…i did…thank you for your kind words

  84. Thanks Gato. No, I dont think Lori and I are far apart. We were just quibbling over details.I could write more and compare Occupy Wall Street with the Tea Party and other movements, but our addiction is at hand,

    For the first time in over a week, we are back in Omaha with our grand daughter,. She missed us. She can now pull herself into a standing position near a hassock and a coffee table,.

  85. Hi, Cynthia – And peace to you, as well. Thank you for reminding us of that goal, post after post.

    I suspect (…know…) that addicts of whatever stripe have no peace, ever. They can’t even IMAGINE what a peaceful life might be like. Addicts are constantly subject to the demands of their demon(s)… Endless frantic cravings; never feeling that they are “good” enough, or rich enough, or high enough, or whatever enough. They can never rest. Their lives are run by their cravings; even when they think they are making choices, they’re not. The addiction is doing the choosing. I think it was very brave of Sam Polk to write what he did. It will be interesting to see what follow-up may appear.

    There’s a great song by Kenny Chesney called “You and Tequila.” The recurring line is “One is one too many; one more is never enough.”

    To me, that is the very DEFINITION of non-peace!

    Thanks for posting…


  86. gato – I have heard the word “hoarder” used to describe these people . They hoard money the same way people hoard cats or stuff…..or an addiction. I do like the word.


  87. Hi, Penom – You are a force to be reckoned with! Loved your recent posts. I’d hate to get in the your way, even in your electric chair, when you’ve got an agenda. Don’t think that’s likely to happen, since I love your voice, your power, and the strength you’ve kept with you through your first eight decades. You do Margaret and Helen proud (wherever they are).

    There’s no voice worth more attention than that of a wise woman, whatever her age. One of the most revered and respected figures in Greek mythology was the Oracle at Delphi – and she was a woman, of no specified age, attended by honored priestesses. I don’t know why a guy didn’t get that assignment, but none of them did. Those Greeks! I think they might have been on to something there…


  88. Yeah, Penny “Swallows” only in somebody’s (w**) dreams.

    Three really easy clues: the words “misandrist,” “wattles,” and “twisted.” Oh, and maybe “man haters.” The nom de plume may change, but the vocabulary… Not so much. That would take some real thought!


  89. Hi, Lori – Wow! You’re quite the historian! (Or should I say “historienne? Guess I’d say that if we were in France…) I’ll give James some credit, too, since he also did a fair amount of assembling history. I’m not even sure your conclusions are entirely at odds with his – although I lean, with you, toward the idea that a lot of people have been happily duped about the type of “grass” from which the TP has grown. (And I love your peeing/raining analogy!)

    It’s always amazing to me that people will deny to their deaths even the possibility that they might have been conned, to their own detriment, but will, in a heartbeat, get all in a tizzy when they find out that Obama was once in a room with a “subversive,” or – more recently – that Wendy Davis had some of her college tuition paid by her then-husband. (I trust that BGTX will be all over Wayne Slater’s column ASAP… I’m sure it’s already headline material on Fox and their like…)

    There was a very interesting front page article on today’s “Sunday Review” section of the NY Times, written by a former Wall Street guy, Sam Polk, about his “wealth addiction.” It’s his contention that Wall Street, and the constant pursuit of even greater wealth, even when you know you have more than you’ll ever need, is a form of addiction as serious as alcohol or hard drugs. When you wonder why people like the Kochs (or anybody, left or right) keeps at it the way they do, his theory makes about as much sense as anything else.

    And, with any addiction, the lengths to which the addict will go to justify or “explain” or rationalize or deny his/her addiction are truly awesome. (My husband and I are both part of one of the twelve-step programs, so I speak from several years of exposure to the hazards and habits of addiction…) An addict will lie, hide the truth, fabricate “reasons,” blame everybody else, point fingers, and on and on… And, sadly, the codependents around them buy into all of it, because they are constantly told it’s their fault, and continue to think there’s something they can “do” about it.

    The wealth addicts justify their addiction with everything from the “American way of life,” to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” to the “threat” of Communism, or Marxism, or Fascism, and any other “ism” they can think of, or the so-called “wisdom of the market,” or the idea that circumstances have nothing to do with poverty or failure, and if people are poor it’s the result of a lack of moral fiber , to the all-time favorite – the irresistible specter of “FREEEEDOM.” Of course, what they are really after is the “freedom” for them to accumulate as much cash as they want, in any way they want, and everybody else’s “freedoms” be damned if they happen to get in the way.

    Not every society lives like this and, in fact, the most successful societies, through the millennia, have lived really differently. The ones that fail were, and are, more like what we are becoming.

    End of rant for today!!


  90. Penny Swallows = Dirk Diggler = LLD = the stupidest man in the world. Why don’t you go away, you mental case.

  91. Uh oh! Looks like new heroine and abortion on demand cheerleader, independent extraordinaire and misandrist Wendy Davis of Texas, has touted a false narrative – how Lib.

    Old pink shoes has been busted. Reads like a younger, thinner Wattle Jean.

    Dallas Morning News: life story in race for governor, key facts blurred. This “strong independent woman” had her education paid for by a man. Then she divorced him when her education was paid off.

    It’s Potemkin villages all the way down with you man haters. :twisted:

  92. I already mentioned the Koch brothers’ and other’s attempts as early as the 1980′s to create a grass roots political movement. The Huffington Post only shows what I cited. There was no Tea Party movement as we knew it in 2002 or even 2008. Therefore, the early connection to the Koch brothers is specious.

    Santelli was not the founder of course, but his rant was juxitposed with bloggers who were already attracting local attention with their blogs and networks. He was a spark. No one can truly say a single person started the movement just as Rock and Roll had no single founder.

    In a way, the Tea Party’s genesis was similar to the beginning of Rock and Roll music. Much was percolating in gospel, rhythm and blues, pop and hillbilly music. Like Santelli, Bill Haley and the Comets provided the spark.which let Rock and Roll, like the Tea Party explode. Both happened when they did, because their time had come.

    It would have been impossible for the Koch brothers, George Soros or anyone else to fund a grass roots movement from the to down. They would have had to pay participants. Someone would have talked.The Koch brothers efforts were the Dave Clark Five compared to the Beatles.

    Of course, rich, powerful people tried to usurp the Tea Party after it was noticed, just as happened with Rock and Roll.

    I am not trying to equate a small grass roots political movement to a culture changing musical revolution, but such movements do share similarities, and I like music.

  93. yeaaaaaaaaaaaay for that baby!!

  94. The Tea Party movement was the brain child of the Koch brothers. Here is a screen shot of the 2002 doc that proves it.


    Now ,it is true the movement took on many faces as the ” media” ( read Fox News) began to spin its coverage of events. The right wingnut blogger from IL used the TP identity , but she by no means was the ” founder” nor was Santelli. I am sure many people really believed the movement was JUST about small government and low taxes. But as we see from the above ” screen shot” it was always intended to be something very different.

    The early ” spin” 2009 – 2010 was the movement was made up of members of both parties. That this movement had no party identification . Remember that? As we now know the TO movement is the extreme right wing of the GOP. Then they tried to spin the ” TP” was responsible for the 2010 massacre & their agenda will be a MAJOR force in politics for years to come. Welllll 2012 proved that wrong. In fact, the TP movement ( agenda) has proven to be effective in mostly white southern rural house districts. It has yet to shown nothing but a detriment to state wide candidates.

    Look, I know good people who believed the Koch brothers marketing spin, some still do. But the vast majority of people today KNOW exactly what the TP ‘s movement is. Please dont pee on my boots and try to tell me its rainin.

  95. “Sometimes you have to take the $10 on the dollar and run.” I like that one.

    We have been home this week, but our son-in law’s mother is leaving sooner than expected. We have to return later today.

    Our daughter said that yesterday, our grand daughter pulled herself into a standing position next to a hassock. She did it so fast, our daughter didn’t see her do it.

    After all of the fear and heart ache associated with our grand daughter’s pre- birth and first weeks, we are happy. At seven months, she is doing well,

  96. Thanks PENOM…I like what you wrote.

    It is more complicated than what you wrote, Anon. “Only” is a big word. Bush spoke Spanish, and he made a concerted effort to appeal to Hispanics and blacks. Fox News Latino “The GOP’s Best Bet to Finally Win Over Hispanic Voters?”

    “The Viva Bush’ campaign,which covered 32 states succeeded in getting Bush one of the largest margins–44% – of Latino voter support for a Republican presidential candidate.” The strategy was to send as many volunteers as possible to Hispanic communities.

    The “Viva Bush” campaign began about 18 months before the election and campaigned on Hispanic issues. Bush also supported an “amnesty program. Many Hispanics are natural Republicans, especially on social issues like abortion, Volunteers made that point.

    I know you didn’t mean it that way but to write that Hispanics supported Bush because of brother Jeb insults Hispanics by implying they are so shallow they would forsake political beliefs and vote because someone had a Hispanic family connection.

  97. james, sometimes u have to take the ten cents on the dollar and run…or f’get the 47% and bet on the rest…which is a majority.

  98. gato, u r right. even if we have to throw rocks against cannons we cannot remain sheep. i am proud that at 14 i was responsible for a petition which resulted in a playground for our neighborhood; that i was in the initial group against school prayer (it was our school district which brought the suit); that i chained myself to the fence at the UN (w/about 20 others), prepared to be arrested in a protest; that i was one of a small group who successfully fought for 3 years to get the voting machines changed in my state; that i went to a town hall meeting and challenged the head of the carter’s union, announcing my name and address as insurance; that i have never backed own on my few principles. we must all do that or keep our mouths shut. fight the fight or shut up. i have a needlepoint done by my mom which says…”lead, follow or get out of the way”. i feel entitled to scold and to explain, at 83 years of age. i walked the walk. unfortunately i am now in a power wheelchair as i can no longer walk more than a few steps. with all of that, with all of the passion i still feel, if we don’t listen to others and genuinely consider what they say, we defeat ourselves. i rarely agree w/james…but this time he’s making sense. i will never agree w/those who call names, make snide comments, can only point and sneer without having stuck their own necks out; those who make ridiculous statements and have nothing to back them up. boy i’ll do anything to avoid preparing my tax return, it seems. lol. thank u all for ur patience.

  99. i know i’m looking for major kick-back, which i don’t really want but i must put in my nickel’s worth. the tea party started, with success, because as james said it was time. i bleev it was a simple group of people (not complicated by hot shot politicians and would be rulers) who had had enough…enough lying, enough obscene inequities in wealth and life style, enough slaving to try to hang onto their homes and pay medical bills, enough struggle with education…plain enough crap. good for them. that’s the way a country lives and develops…when the people finally say, “ok, we hired you, we’ll fire you, do your job for US, not for your own personal agrandizement.” then came the complications. clever would be rulers grabbed the reins. with money. with support. with “yeah, go get ‘em” kind of selling one’s soul to the devil. i understand all that. i don’t like it. i don’t condone it, forgive it…i do understand it. now comes the big question. IF, indeed, the republican party found this contrary to what the republican party believes in, why would that same party dance to the tune of a very tiny, lunatic minority who are hell bent on destroying what good there is along with what bad there is in government. IF you’re a libertarian, that’s a good way to go. IF you are a republican (or a democrat), you have other goals than to take down the government, like…o, say, getting control of the white house AND the senate AND the house, AND the electorate, thereby guaranteeing future control so your principles are the ones by which we all live. those who call themselves tea partiers are…i don’t know if there is one word…they are…bent. that’s it, they are bent. they don’t see tomorrow, only NOW. they don’t understand compromise. the opportunity the republicans had to teach them compromise came and went. instead of simply saying “no” the republican party danced to the tea party song. it’s like giving the kid one more cookie to shut him up and he winds up screaming so loud you give him the whole box so when he gets sick from it, it’s all gonna be all over you! but now it’s gonna be all over all of us, republicans, democrats, independents, libertarians (they suffer the least actually), non affiliated, poor, minorities, everyone…including the children and elderly with whom we are charged (Judeo-Christian values) to care for. there are two essentials for all successful life. all. one is education, as close to a panacea as may exist. the other is compromise, without which we will always have wars and crimes against one another. btw: both are flatly refused by the Tea Party. argggh (getting down off my soap box. remember i am a ole lady, don’t throw things at me)

  100. GB’s success “stretching out” to Hispanic voters is a stretch of the truth. It was only because brother Jeb is married to a Mexican woman and any “successes” would be no more than an accident of family loyalty.

  101. Bush tried to reach out to non-traditional voters, and he had some success with Hispanics.

    I think Romney was thinking as you suggested that the 47% wouldn’t vote for him under any circumstance, so they should concentrate their resources on people who could be persuaded to vote for him. He could have done more outreach, but when he made his comment, it was too late. He was suggesting triage.

  102. Hi Gato, I agree with your general theme, We both know what happens if people are pushed too far and judged inconsequential. Oligarchs will over step and eventually force a revolt as the Tea Party did The Tea Party’s reacting to”primary” anyone who disagreed with them produced good and bad results.

    As we know, they supported some good candidates, but they also unwittingly gave control of the Senate to Democrats during the last election. Harry Reid, for example, jwould have lost had a better, less pure candidate run against him.

    As you know the Oligarchs of both parties regard us more like tools than people. Right now, they keep us quiet with a strong safety net of welfare and subsidies,. ,the Roman bread and circuses. Other countries like Ukraine and France experience civil unrest which could evolve into true insurrection. It could happen here too..

  103. HI, James (again) – Nobody likes to be called a hick, or uninformed, or inconsequential.

    The thing that pisses me off THE MOST about the oligarchs is that they seem to act on the basis of the idea that people can – and should – be “used” for their own ends. They don’t seem to care one whit about anything that matters to an “ordinary” Joe or Jane (or James, in your case).

    I think the most important thing we can do is to look very carefully to see who benefits, and who suffers, from every damned thing that is done.

    When Romney made those infamous “47%” remarks (and I’m not sure he was wrong to do so to that audience), his only concern was whether or not they might vote for him. He was correct; they wouldn’t have. And they didn’t.

    But did he say, “We ought to try to connect with them”? Or, “We ought to address what matters to them”? No; he did not. He just wrote them off, as irrelevant, meaningless, and not worth consideration. Just not his voting block; no problem.

    If we are considered irrelevant and unimportant, we will pick up rocks and throw them at cannons; we will stand and scream in the streets until we are heard; we will demand acknowledgement.


  104. Hi Gato.Its just a disclaimer.

    Back when the Tea Party started some here dismissed it as an inconsequential band of hicks. I argued it was much more than that. Some called me a Tea related sex act. One person later appologised for calling me that name because she finally realized I was not a member.

    No offense taken. I know what your were doing.

    I only reported what I read about the Koch brothers and the Tea Party. You might be right, but we don’t know that. We do know that the Tea Party is an amorphous group still with many independent elements who don’t all agree with one another. If the Koch brothers wanted to control the movement, they would be frustrated. Others are also helping fund the Tea Party.

    I didn’t write that I approved of the laws, but as long as our system permits their behavior I don’t see anything wrong as long as both sides have an equal opportunity to buy movements.I,m not going to argue about your other comments, because my only point is that the history of the Tea Party is more complex than the image presented in that video.

    Did you know that Tea Party clones are springing up in Europe? Some are far to the left while others are conservative. Some are fascists. Their main theme is control of immigration and more local freedom. For many, that means loosening ties with the European Union. In Britain, the movement threatens Conservatives with a possible third party. Like our Tea Party, they seem to have grass roots origins, though they have been communicating with Tea Party people, I don’t know who is funding them now that their numbers are growing.

    Happy anniversary.

  105. Hi, Auntie Jean – I love your deep and wide-ranging thoughtfulness about all that’s going on these days! And it would be so much better if we didn’t have to make absolutely EVERYTHING into an adversarial confrontation.

    (But, hellfire and damnation, what are we supposed to do when “they” are so absolutely wrong and harmful…?? That’s my homework, as a good friend likes to say…)

    Husband and I indulge ourselves with two anniversaries a year. The first is on the Ides of January, when a mutual eye-lock across an airport reception lounge in a foreign country seemed to indicate to both of us that there was “no going back,” figuratively speaking. The second is at the end of May, commemorating when we actually, officially, tied the knot after ten years of just futzing around about it. It’s all good…

    Our place has looked like the inside of a just-shaken snow globe for most of the day today. Time for a big pot of stew, which is what those of us who can’t, at the moment, go and gather flowers, do this time of year.

    Always great to hear from you!


  106. Hi, James – Did I ever say that you were a member of the Tea Party, or are you just making a general disclaimer here?

    If the Kochs are currently “pulling back” from the TP, it’s just as likely because they’ve been found out to be its progenitors, as much as it is that the TP is diverging from their personal goals. (I will not digress on how amusing I find it that “TP” is also the abbreviation for toilet paper…)

    As for nobody breaking any laws, as long as it’s so easy to buy lawmakers who will essentially “legalize” whatever it is that they’re doing, they’ll NEVER have any difficulties along those lines!

    Want slaves? Legalize slavery. Don’t want poor people and minorities to vote? Change the voting laws! Think that abortion is a moral abomination? Spend lots of money supporting laws that make getting one difficult or next to impossible. Want to continue to have your products made by underpaid and overworked third-world workers for next to nothing? Support the Trans-Pacific Partnership! Want to make sure your corporation can funnel unlimited amounts of “shadow money” into promoting laws that amp up the profits for you and your shareholders? Do your damnedest to stock the Supreme Court with justices who will decide that your corporation is really a “person,” all of a sudden, instead of the arbitrarily-constructed paper fabrication it really is.

    See how easy it is…? All you need is lots and LOTS of $$$$$$$, and plenty of “FREEEEEEDOM,” as Charlie Pierce would say.

    And, while you’re at it, make sure your “constituents” have as many guns, and as much ammo, as they want, so they can feel all strong and powerful, while you and your corporate cohorts continue to work anonymously, behind the scenes, on stripping away every right and opportunity they ever had. Sparkling illusion is often much more seductive than grey and dismal reality… As Dorothy, Toto, the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man, eventually discovered, there was just a little tiny guy behind the curtain, making all that smoke and pulling all those levers…

    And, James, the “you” to which I’m referring here is NOT you personally. It’s just so much more fluid to use that pronoun instead of the rather formal “one”… So no need to take any personal offense.


  107. Gato, I do not and never have belonged to the Tea Party. I did attend rallies in 2009 as I attended anti- war protests and riots in the late 1960′s and 1970′s. The Tea Party demonstrations I attended had no Hitler or communist signs. The people also cleaned up after themselves. They were concerned about the over reach of government and our national debt, not smoking or global warming. I wrote on this blog that they could be a threat to both parties.

    Info Please tells us that Rick Santelli is credited with inspiring the Tea Party while attacking Obama’s proposal to help home owners facing foreclosure to refinance their mortgages.

    However, Keli Carender, a Seattle mother had already begun an on line “porkulus protest.” After Santelli’s rant she held a gathering which 100 people attended. Thanks to the internet, news spread, and on February 27, 2009, the first nation-wide Tea Party demonstrations were held in over 40 cities. These and other groups of demonstrators were largely self-funded, and they were independent entities who’s members provided coordination.

    Meanwhile, conservative groups including the Koch brothers were trying to build astro- turfed organizations as early as the 1980′s. I believe a Koch Brothers web site was titled “Tea Party” as early as 2002. none of those groups were THE Tea Party. USNews Opinion “Can Start ups Learn Something from the Tea Party adds more prospective.

    The writer compared the early Tea Party to a small business in some one’s garage. It succeeded because like Apple, its time had come. The Koch brothers and no one else could start the organization earlier because the conditions were wrong.

    After the movement was noticed growing economic and political carnivores attempted to take over. I noticed the difference with a traveling Freedom Works Tea Party demonstration. Those folks were from out of town and offered entertainment as well as speeches. Some money was behind them.

    I read that the Koch brothers are puling back from the Tea Party because the brothers are more libertarian than conservative. I don’t think they are any more evil than George Soros who finances liberal causes. Neither group seems to be breaking any laws.

  108. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Glad to see some of you coming out of winter’s hibernation! I’ve missed you.!!! But beware of Hawaiians bearing leis. We can be disgustingly cheerful.

    I hope you had a lovely, relaxing anniversary evening with your hubby, Gato. Celebrating how many years of Marital Bliss? (Or in the case of most of us, sometimes Marital Blitz.)

    I have liked the writings of Michael Sherman for a long time. A recent article of his defined several terms in ways that make sense to me. “Motivated reasoning” is one. It has to do with our way of coming up with reasons to support what we want to be true based on our personal beliefs and experience. What follows of course, is “confirmation bias”, in which we seek out people and circumstances to support them, or – - – if we are in a combative mode, to confront and challenge them.

    Here are just a few of my random observations. Which brings us to the clash of ideologies. In the classic literary sense it is the “heroes vs. the villains”. In religion, it boils down to proselytizing. One example I remember from the historical sense was that of the Ghibellines vs. the Guelphs, when invariably, religious and political beliefs joined forces. Somewhat like the Shiites vs. the Sunnis. And then there were always the Christians vs. the Pagan Lions, the Christians vs. the Muslims; the Catholics vs. the Protestants.

    The usual Protagonists vs. the Antagonists; Yankees vs. the Rebels; Liberals vs. the Conservatives; Democrats vs. the Republicans; GOP vs. Teabaggers, the Cowboys vs. the Patriots; the Packers vs. the 49’ers and on and on.

    In antiquity it resulted in Monarchies and/or Oligarchies. In modern times, it seems to be more in OLIGOPOLIES. That is a fairly new word for me. It describes a collusion to control an economic market or industry. Such as “Big Oil”, especially in Texas. Well, that is until the public became aware of some of the possible health and environmental damage caused by the burrning of fossil fuels. Oops! Little things like anthropogenic warming of the stratospheric and vice versa. (I can’t say I really understand the dynamic of the ins-and-outs of climate change. But occasionally, I’ll take the word of those who know more about it than I do.)

    Right now the Oligopolies seem to be more along the lines of the Big Pharmaceutical and Insurance Corporations.

    Gee, you don’t suppose my progressive partisan bias is showing, do ya?

    On a personal note, I finished the Valentine Guys favors for our grandkids. My blistered fingers are healing nicely. Maybe I’ll go out back in what I call our Pitiful Little Patch garden where we live now to pick some Plumeria and Ti Leaves and make Leis for my porch dwelling pals. The gals prefer the Plumeria because of their delicate fragrance. The guys like the Ti leaf leis. Of course, they both also like the Maile leis for formal occasions. But I would have to go hiking up in the mountains to get them. The Maile vine only grows wild and cannot be cultivated so the leis are very expensive. So naw, forget it.

    Aloha!    Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  109. Hi, Lori – Isn’t it amazing that the “best” the GOP seems able to do is keep looking for the “least damaged” candidate for anything…?

    “Warning: May Be Hazardous to Your Health. Continuous acceptance of funds from so-called corporate ‘people’ may cause bruising, corruption, lapses of judgement, moral destruction, reduction of overall competency, and increased reliance on such funds. Particularly hazardous to ambitious, middle-aged white men exposed to delusions of power and self-importance.”


  110. Hi, Cynthia –

    Hard to determine whether or not the proposed development would have been “good” for Hoboken, or not… In whatever case, it sounds like the Mayor, for whatever reason, hadn’t yet come to a decision on it, and was being pressured to approve it (by the threatened withholding of relief funds).

    I am (sadly) sure that this kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME. At its best, it might be considered looking for a “win win situation.” At it’s worst, it’s shameless threatening and abuse of power. What perpetually astonishes me is that we have become so accustomed to learning of this kind of thing that we’re hardly even shocked any more when it happens – and, knowing that, public officials often have no compunction whatsoever about mentioning it very specifically in ways that are immediately traceable: Letters, emails, tweets, phone calls, whatever. They could care less about being “caught” doing it, because they can be pretty sure nothing will ever happen to them.

    For some interesting info about the alleged “grass roots” nature of the Tea Party, check out http://www.astroturfwars.org. One of their video clips features one of the Koch brothers clearly stating how they funded the start-up of the organization. You won’t see that everywhere!


  111. There is a lot of talk on #uppers this morning on whether or not bridge gate still has legs. Many say there is more to come . We will see how much $ he can pull in the next couple of weeks as the head of GOP Govoners. That will determine how damaged he is as a 2016 candidate .

  112. Happy anniversary, Gato! I hope it was a great meal and a lovely evening.

    Poor Chris Christie. Victimized by his own staff and now mocked by Bruce. I’m sure he’s still a fan, though. Hard to turn your back on the Boss!

    Jimmy Fallon is getting better and better. This wans’t his best Bruce impersonation but he sure has done some good stuff in the past few years.

  113. gato – Yes – I am following CC’s adventures. Also have some connections to Hoboken and NJ. Have you seen this?



  114. No MLK events in your area Gato? Well thats poopy! Good thing we already turned most of NE blue! LOL

    Re: your Austin friends. Yes please suggest to them, if the are leary about how to get started, to attend a neighborhood house party. That is a good way to get a toe in the waters without committing to anything. The worst that can happen is they meet some new neighbors! I know there were a dozen or so scheduled for this past week – not sure about the coming week. But have them check the website. Austin is gearing up for a special election coming up in a couple of weeks so there is a lot of activity in the Capitol right now . :)

    Thanks again for all the support… you too my sweet Mikat . Love Yinz all.

  115. You know at first I thought what a rude bore you are, DD…but now I laugh right out loud. You know…lol? You remind me of the child (depending on his fluency) from two years of age to about four, and again in his early teens. I saw it/see it now as a matter of fact with other generations of children. Such angry, confused, irritable, frustrated lashing out at the adults. That’s ok…I’ll ‘listen’ now and then and give you the chance to get your ya-yas out Ready for your cookie or time out now?

  116. You classless shrews are now defiling MLK Day – personal testimony to abortion day? Are you out of your twisted, frickin minds? Good lawd, you’re everything MLK preached against, you ignorant demons from hell. You’re even worse than I imagined, and I pictured fork-tongued Medusa.

    I guess God really did make someone for everyone if he found somebody for you, Gato. You had to look that up, dimwit? :lol:

    Mikat, you’re too helpless to make fun of – hapless.

  117. 470,000? Yikes! Thats how many oxycontin pills Sarah Palin, former part-time half-term governor, took in 2013.

  118. Hey Gato,
    Happy Anniversary! Hope the dinner is fab.

  119. Hi, Terri – Don’t be bummed! Seems all Dicky Dingbat is really able to do is to provide some of us Dorothy Parker wannabes with a great springboard for some momentary snarking… (Every now and then I have to see what Kim & Kanye are doing, too; it’s not my favorite part of myself, but I usually get over it pretty quickly!)

    Have a good evening… My husband and I are heading out for a fancy-schmancy anniversary dinner, and I’m ravenous!


  120. Hi, Mikat – I just looked up “The Dirk Diggler Story” on Wikipedia. Do you know it? I didn’t. It’s a “mockumentary” film about some dude working in a falafel stand who finds some temporary fame as a porn star. The money leads him to addiction and then, of course, to some “difficulties” in performing his filmic duties. (Sooo sad, so far, isn’t it?) He then tries some other “careers,” is an abject failure at all of them, and finally finds himself doing low budget homosexual porn films to support his drug habit. He eventually dies of a drug overdose.

    A life story to which few of us here would care to aspire… But there’s no accounting for taste!


  121. Oh boy, what a downer to drop by and see that pathetic old creep back. Let’s do our best to ignore him and maybe he’ll slither back to wherever he comes from.

  122. Hi, Lori – Nothing planned for my area in New England, but I keep nudging my transplant friends in Austin to get with the program. And, like Mikat, I’ll keep sending a few bucks when I can. You’re doin’ great!!


  123. Gato,
    Yes, Tex is at the “head of the class” when it comes to being a play ground bully. I find it really amusing that he some how thinks we give a Sh&t when he calls us “ugly” or picks on our spelling. My, my I think I will just cry my self to sleep…NOT. There is something *truly* wrong with that *man*.
    Hey Lori, I am very excited about Wendy and how well she is doing. Almost makes me wish I could vote in Texas. I will support her from a distance and keep donating my hard earned dollars. Yes, Tex, I work for a living, always have, I am a Vet and I have a beautiful family! Full and happy life… you should try it sometime!

  124. Ignore him he is truely a sociopath. And rude name calling attack in 3..2..1….

    That would be ‘truly’, honey. No name calling required on this blog of memaw arms and wrinkled bums, lest it be toward the collective.

    I actually come over for the “intellectual stimulation” and to read Gato speak.

    Come on, Gato. Got to give some credit where credit is due. My one comment generated more slithering snakes back to the den than a week’s worth of your insipid talk.

    You gals look exactly how I would picture you to look in those selfie avatars – spaced out and long in the tooth, probably with an Obama silhouette plastered on your lower back, now more resembling Helen Philpot’s deflated uterus.

    Usually you come up with one that is at least funny…

    :smile: I have to be inspired, Pi. You’re the one old horse I actually found half sane. Maybe you’ll inspire me next go around. Figured you had left this honey pot by now.

    And I hope mageeninoldvirginny’s surgery went well. She was actually kind of a hoot too.

    The lefty boys are total, effete bores. But some of you misandrists insanely jealous of the brickhouse Palin amuse me.

  125. Hi friends!

    There are 100s of events across TX planed for MLK weekend. Go to battlegroundtexas.com plop in your zip code and find an event near you.

    There is still time to volunteer for one ( or more) of the shift still available at an event near you! If you are a voter registrar or even if you just want to hang out with lots of fun people sign up!

    Also if you know anyone interested in a spring fellowship , team leaders are still accepting apical ions. Just go to Team Wendy or BGTX websites and apply.

    See you this weekend ! Fired up and ready to go!!!!

  126. Hi, Mikat – I always love hearing from someone who selects his posting name from something he saw scrawled in crayon above a urinal in some public men’s room, don’t you…?

    Adds a lot of – how shall I say? – “oomph” to his remarks.


  127. Hi Gato,
    I am a very long time reader, lurker. Love your stuff. I don’t comment much because you, Alaska Pi, Lori, JSRI and Auntie Jean say just what I am thinking far better then I could.Tex comes around when ever he gets bored to try and “stir” things up. Ignore him he is truely a sociopath. And rude name calling attack in 3..2..1….

  128. Oh for the love of Gawd, Tex, you are so friggin BORING!

  129. dirk, i have one question. y r u on this blog? clearly u think we’re all dead wrong and miserable idiots…y would u willingly associate with/subject urself to such wastes of air and space? curious.

  130. Dirk Diggler? Jeez, Tex.
    Usually you come up with one that is at least funny…

  131. Evidently well enough for you to type, but not well enough to make you matter.
    :twisted: Maybe so. But Is that what you believe you’re doing here, Ms. Gato Butthead? Mattering?

    Woman, this blog is an eternal granite monument to irrelevance. The lowest caste of the lowest dreg; perhaps the most vacuous blog of millions of vacuous blogs. Lib airheads of room temperature IQ, still bowing to the Cult of Obama with wet pants. Hope & Change!

    But I like you. You’re so deluded, you still think you’re significant. And I guess around here, you probably are. Mainly, because no one is left.



  132. How are the drugs doin’ for ya, DD? Evidently well enough for you to type, but not well enough to make you matter.


  133. Hey Beavis’ and Buttheads! Welcome to the New Year of our upcoming 6th recovery winter under the magnificent leadership of Dear Leader Kim Obama Un, whose ratings during this tragic period of American History now rival Richard Nixon. :smile:

    Ms. Philpot, better spin another Sarah Palin thread to mask the stench of Prog Failure.

    Looks like for all intents and purposes, mission accomplished here.

    Carry on, Lefty Ladies! It was fun while it lasted….Yes We Can!

  134. Yes, Old Grumpy! PLEASE!!


  135. Dear ladies, PLEASE write something for the new year! I don’t know how many more days I can come here just to look at that stupid “statistics” page. Write something! Anything!

  136. I should have written “against Republicans and Democrats.”

  137. I agree with Terri about Christie’s press conference . For one thing he sounded like the president when he said this scandal was a total surprise. Maybe it was, but it says something about his abilities as an administrator as it does about Obama’s if they are to be believed that they are innocent bystanders. At least Christie quickly fired people.

    Political traffic jams have happened at least once before. Patrick Howley of the Daily Caller wrote that Bob Shrum described in his memoirs that in 2000 Michael Whouley who is now tied to Hillary’s possible 2016 presidential campaign engineered a traffic jam to help Al Gore win the 2000 New Hampshire primary. Gore was “irate” when he learned of it, but then Whouley explained the traffic jam prevented mostly Bradly voters from reaching the poling places on time.

    These people are politicians, and regardless of what they say, they enjoy power and the benefits which are attached to it. Its why we need to watch them. They are untrustworthy.

    Gates wrote complementary things about Obama and Clinton, but his derogatory comments were not a surprise. Politicians use wars as well as traffic jams if they will help preserver their power so they could win the next election against the Republicans. News stories of violence and dead people looked like a winner for the Democrats. They wanted to preserve the status quo.

    The term “Slow Bleed” itself became a political device. Media Matters wrote that John F. Harris editor of CNS wrote that he was the source of the “Slow Bleed” description, Republicans jumped on it and though slow bleed described the Democratic plan, Democrats apparently didn’t name it. “Slow bleed” was an awful public relations problem for the Democrats.

    Therefore, I think Gates was accurate. Politicians will do anything to preserve their power. This is not the “Greatest Generation.” Besides, “what at this point does it matter?” I have a hard time thinking the Gates memoir will influence the next election.

  138. That “I am not a bully” thing, didn’t it remind you of “I am not a crook” followed by a resignation and a pathetic “V” hand jive from the entry to a helicopter? Deja vu always gets me!

  139. Oh, and I should have mentioned Joe B, too, among the no-bull people I really like. Foot in his own mouth every now and then, but, Lordy, he’s cool!


  140. HI, Cynthia – It just gets slimier and slimier, doesn’t it? I used to love “The Sopranos,” but, HTG, I’m not sure I could watch it these days… Too close to reality. It’s almost a joke that it’s New Jersey…

    I’m all for a no bull-doody guy or lady (I’m talkin’ Elizabeth Warren here and, of course, our own Margaret and Helen), but when it’s all in service of one’s own political career and “position,” all that “candor” somehow almost magically turns into bulls**t! A remarkable transformation…

    Watching and listening to someone who loves to pride himself on his straightforwardness, and his no-holds-barred approach to almost everything, trying to generate a sob-fest over how much he’s suffered, is just, as the NY Post said, “pathetic.” I don’t know how the press managed to hang in there for almost two hours.

    And Rob Ford is running for re-election in Canada, too, so I guess it ain’t just us… Although we certainly do seem to be the benchmark by which everything else is measured.


  141. My interest in CC is a bit deeper than his possible presidential run. CC is just a Mafia wannabe. He is not helping NJ, IMO. Rachel Maddow has an interesting opinion on the “pay back” is about.



  142. I agree Gato the money is definitely ” red” , and you could very well be right about Wisconsin GOP. Although I THINK he went to work for a powerful K street lobby. If so that explains a lot.

    Obama went into this with eyes wide open and high hopes. He knew what he was up against. He went in anyway. Its the Joe loyalists who are pissed. Joe HATED Gates and the Afganastan strategy . He knew he couldn’t trust him as far as he could throw him. Ohhhh welllll on we go!

  143. Hey, Terri – No real disagreement from here. (Take a look at the Daily News editorial; they call the whole “press conference” “pathetic,” among other things.) As for anybody (including, sadly, someone much beloved by myself) who is inclined to think that Big Chicken was actually “blindsided,” “betrayed,” and truly… “sad”… I’ve got a bridge to sell him or her – and it ain’t the GWB!

    It IS a (nauseatingly) fascinating tale… How do people get to the place where they think they can pull this sort of “revenge” crap and GET AWAY WITH IT? Of course, Goldman Sachs is still percolating along very nicely, isn’t it…?

    And, Lori – It will be interesting to find out who put the money behind Gates to write his book. Why does “Wisconsin” keep coming to mind…? For Democrats to be angry at Obama for putting Gates in is pretty much like a parent being mad at a kid who accidentally rescues a wounded skunk, and then is surprised at the smell… (“But the skunk promised it wouldn’t spray me if I helped it…!”) It’s the old saying, “No good deed goes unpunished,” especially if you’re dealing with terrified and enraged ideologues.

    These people are crazed with desperation… And they oughtta be.


  144. Hey Gato, Sorry, but I find the Chris Christie story fascinating for two reasons. First, he was/is considered a leading contender to be the GOP presidential candidate in ’16, and second, as a character study of him. His vainglorious, self-pitying press conference was devoid of facts and I think it showed he either doesn’t know what the facts are, or he is hiding from them. I think there is a lot more to learn about this story.

  145. Oh and Gato RE the Gates book has many Dems hopping mad. Not necessarily at Gates however at Obama! People were FURIOUS when Obama didnt put a Democrat at the DOD to begin with. They warned him this whole bi partisan thing would come back to bite him in the ass – and here we are!

  146. Opps that was me ..

  147. That is me down there …. lori

  148. Happy New Year M&H – friends!

    So sorry to learn that a couple of our friends are having some health issues. Healing vibes being sent your way. What a crappy way to ring in the New Year.

    I can promise you The Govoner of NJ knew the ” lane closures” were political retribution . Retribution for WHAT remains a mystery. I doubt it was for a Mayors refusal to endorse however. That just seems pretty small potatoes to me.

    Honestly , anyone who believes this kind of stuff doesnt go on everyday in the world of politics is extremely naive . Politics is a blood sport- . Some of you might recall my story about a particularly nasty incident my Uncle (Congressman) was the victim of when he was in office. It happens – a lot. It does appear the Govoner of NJ has an extra penchant for it. Time will tell if his Party ” forgives ” him, or cuts him loose.

    Waving to all- I can’t wait for the SOTU!

  149. Hey, Cynthia, and Terri, and Auntie Jean (I know you’re out there!)…

    Why are we spending even one nanosecond wondering why this big guy did what he did, huh? This is like taking seriously those Democrats who keep talking about “compromise,” and “bipartisan consensus,” as the Republicans laugh their asses off, knowing they have no intention of EVER taking part in any such thing, as long as that uppity black guy is the Commander in Chief.

    And then there’s the Gates book… “Former Republican”… Right. Sure.

    And why the hell are all the “pundits” talking 2016 already? Is EVERYTHING about who’s going to run, and when?

    Well, if you run out of Kim and Kanye, I guess this is what’s left.

    C’mon, ladies; let’s get serious. Let’s get with Lori and Battleground Texas, and Emily’s list, and any number of other groups who are focused on poverty, genocide, and the like.

    BTW, this is a memo to myself, as much as to you.


  150. There were several puzzling moments. He doesn’t know the mayor of Fort Lee? Why not? He’s still questioning whether there might have been a “traffic study”? He didn’t speak to his staffer before he fired her? He’s “sad”? That’s his major emotion? WTF? It doesn’t ring true.

  151. Terri – Perhaps CC should have answered the Ft. Lee mayor’s calls for help. It went on for four days and not something one would not notice. Okay, NJ is always one big traffic jam but one lane on the incoming GWB would have made the news. Why didn’t he at least inquire as to such a huge traffic jam? Isn’t this part of his job as the governor of NJ? I am glad I don’t live there anymore! I don’t believe we know the truth yet.



  152. Hi, Terri – I didn’t see the press conference, but one of my favorite bloggers, the indomitable Charlie Pierce, came to the same conclusion you did, and what I’ve read leads me in the same direction.

    Of course, if anyone within fifty miles of Obama does ANYTHING out of line, Obama “should have known about it,” and it was his fault… SOP for manipulators: Whatever happens, he/she is the greatest “victim.” (“We’re not going to talk about what YOU DID, we’re going to talk about how much you made ME suffer…”) Crock of s**t, IMHO.

    I especially love all the protestations of not being a bully (so reminiscent of Nixon’s “not being a criminal,” or whatever the hell it was he said), all the while insisting that, even if the Mayor of Fort Lee didn’t want to see him, he was going, anyway. Oh, no… THAT’s not “bullying,” is it?

    Keep in mind, folks, this is “the best” the GOP has to offer… The same bunch who brought you Sarah Palin…


  153. I was not very impressed with Chris Christie’s press conference today. Somehow he made it sound as if he was the injured party, not the thousands of people affected by the traffic jams on the GW Bridge. He also still seems clueless about what actually happened. Not very impressive at all.

  154. Jsri makes some good points.

  155. A somewhat late New Years greeting to all.

    Cataract removal and lens implants have become astonishingly commonplace in recent years but eye surgery can be a horror show or a new beginning all at the same time. A few years ago when I had my first cataract removal and lens replacement for the right eye it worked like a charm. The second one was not so hot. When I couldn’t focus the second one the eye surgeon determined that the lens implant had not been centered correctly and I had to undergo a complicated removal and replacement procedure (by a different surgeon) that left the ability to focus still a bit bothersome. One of the oddities of this procedure was the reversal of my normal (but defective) vision. I had always been able to read the newspaper or computer screen without corrective glasses but after the lens implants everything was reversed. Though I could now see clearly in a distance, close vision requires eyeglasses. I get headaches trying to refocus all the time when reading newspaper text or doing computer work. I don’t know if it’s always this way but if you are planning such a procedure (and there’s little reason to delay) it might be useful to determine if the corrective lenses are in agreement with your current natural ones.

  156. Being forced to be face down sounds hard. The only thing comparable I experienced was after the train hit us in August. I had to stay off my right side for awhile and that was bad enough.

  157. Best wishes, Gato.

    it has been cold here too. Our low last night was -16, and the wind chill reached to about -54.. I stayed home to watch the water pipes and our dog while my wife drove back to Omaha. Our grand daughter recognized my voice on the phone and began to laugh and smile when I said “hi.”

    Warmer weather is almost here.

  158. carolyn…how does one remain face down unless ur laying on ur belly? in which case there’s nothing u can do. o, wait, ur puter could be on the floor i guess. that does suck. sorry, really. what carib paradise would you have been in? i lived on st. thomas for 20 years…20 years of heaven…i still miss it a big bunch and i’m away from there for 21 years now.

  159. Hi Gato,
    So sorry to hear about your retina surgery. I have a friend who went through that so I know how difficult the lying face down recovery can be. You’re almost halfway there so I hope the next week flies by. Feel better soon!

  160. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Welcome to 2014! It’s good to see some familiar names here at M&H’s again. There is always something of a thud after the festivities of the holidays, isn’t there? So January is not a fun month, huh.

    I feel for much of the country that’s in this brutal deep freeze. We have our weather related problems from time to time, (little things like hurricanes and tsunamis) but we never have to shovel after them! It makes all of us grateful to have a warm home and enough food to tide us over as we ride it out. Too many other people do not.

    Yikes Gato! Retinal eye stuff!!! My husband and I have both had cataract removal back when; a common thing for Old Timers like us, but a walk in the park really as long as there were no complications. Well worth it to see well again and preserve our vision.

    Mageen, I join our other porch dwelling friends in wishing your well with your upcoming surgery. That’s a scary word – surgery. It conjures up all kinds of horror stories – from dental surgery (a tooth extraction) to open heart surgery. I’m sure with your attitude you will sail right through it and be back at your keyboard in no time.

    gurl, a knitted cowl? Sounds like AMGDLS (a million goddam little stitches.) Sorta like the red and white yarn Valentine Guys favors I am traditionally up to my ears in this time of year. Some of you long time pals here may remember I started making them for our grandkids when the oldest were in kindergarten to take to their friends, classmates and teachers. (I created a monster for myself!) I’m sorta off the hook this year with two of them in college now. Ten each is all they get! How many girlfriends can a couple of college freshman have anyhow. Our high schooler still gets her 50 though. (My fingers won’t be so blistered, bloody and bandaged by the time I finish them.)

    Love to everyone!

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  161. Gato, I am truly surprised your eye surgeon used the old bubble gambit. My late husband had eye surgery so often I lost count. He also had the retina thing but the surgeon opted not to go for the bubble. Seems as how it is in the same class as using a “harness” on someone who has a broken jaw.

  162. Hi, Terri, and all –

    Here I am, in the cold NE US, and likely to remain so! A belated Happy New Year to all, although I may have already said that…

    I spent New Year’s Eve having unexpected surgery for a detached retina… Hoo hah; bring on the hats and noisemakers… NOT! Retinal surgeons don’t like to dawdle with this sort of thing, and I’m glad she didn’t. The recovery period sucks, frankly – since one of the things she did was to put a gas bubble in my eye (to encourage the retina to “stick” back where it belongs), I have to spend two weeks face down 24/7. Tonight is Night #6, and, yes, I’m counting…

    Other restriction is no flying for eight weeks, since the low cabin pressure in a plane causes the bubble to expand, and basically blind you. So, dammit, no warm getaway this winter… Somehow driving to Florida just doesn’t cut it for us. Oh, well… Interestingly, had we gone to our little Caribbean paradise (where there is basically no medical service beyond bandaids, aspirin, and an extra rum punch), I could have been in serious doodoo…

    So sweet of you to ask about me! Hope all is well with everybody else – except for Mageen’s carpal tunnel, but I’m sure that’ll be fine.

    I should be back snarking on the keyboard in a week or so!


  163. Wondering where Gato is these days. Hope she’s relaxing somewhere warm.

  164. Happy new year! check out this product standthesmartway.com

  165. Happy New Year Helen, Margaret, and friends!
    May it be the most blessed yet, I pray!

  166. Happy New Year Helen and Margaret and all who visit here!
    Very best wishes for speedy recovery and total success dealing with carpal tunnel Mageen!

  167. i know two people who had carpel tunnel surgery, and like Penny, they are fine now. An Omaha doctor advertises such surgery with mild discomfort for a day or so and use of the hand within a day as Penny wrote. If you are still unsure, you could get a second opinion or research through Google. I found Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery AAOS Informed Patient Tutorial

    Good luck, whatever you decide.

  168. mageen…not to worry. i had carpal tunnel surgery and the same day i was back at my keyboard. the only problem i had was keeping the area dry for 10 days. we tried the newspaper wrappers, duct tape, saran, and finally had to have the dressing redone to get another dry one on there. i never needed anything more than a couple of excedrin for discomfort, there is no visible scar and i’d do
    it again in a second! not to worry. as surgeries go, this is a snap.

  169. Good luck with your procedure, Mageen. Very nice to see you here today. :)

  170. Greetings of a whole New Year to all those pie eaters gathered on the front porch! Hope your 2014 will be a healthy one. I am starting off with carpel tunnel procedure and I am unsure about this, but will keep soldiering on. This may mean I can no longer use a keyboard! Drat!!!

  171. You have a point, penny abrams. It does seem sadistic to counter attack someone with a possible emotional problem who is unable to effectively defend himself. “new year could bring a whole new attitude yanno?” I agree.

  172. i don’t know who u addressed ur diatribe to…but, if u r correct in ur diagnosis i would also think u would know better than to attack someone with a psychological disorder. how counterproductive that is! see…this is the kind of tripe that caused me to leave this blog before. new year could bring new attitudes yanno.

  173. I meant to write there was no attack on you as a person. Sorry about that. By the way, I really do own some river front property.

  174. Yeah right, jsri, and I have some river property you should buy.

    A recent study showed an effective method of treating survivors of trauma including rape, accidents, storms, and service connected stress. It involves frequent re- telling and placing oneself in a non- threatening situation wherein one can re- live the trauma. I only repeated what applied to reminders this forum gave me. The rest was irrelevant. I did it from instinct, not knowledge of the study.

    I repaired myself a long time ago, but I still hated liberals as a class, not as individuals. People like you gave me a chance to relive something which happened years ago .and maybe change my mind.It was like putting an old race horse back on the track You don’t need to know the details. Nor do you need to believe me. I warned you. It doesn’t matter because here I am.

    Watching your obsession with me and inability to form coherent thoughts from the information I gave you was fun. You haven’t yet answered my question.” What happened to you?” You display little of the exacting thought and attention to details one would expect of a writer of articles about technology or whatever you did. A case in point:

    If you re-read what I wrote, you will see I merely said that unlike you, I could suffer fools. There was attack on you as a person or defense of an attack from you.You imagined it all and added further support to my concept of you as an obsessed person.

    You should talk to someone. You are spending too much time on me.

    We will be home for a day and a half,and we have a lot to do, so if you decide to answer, my response will have to wait.

  175. Happy new year, ladies, and may 2014 be one of the best years ever for you! Now sit down and write something, for heaven’s sake.

  176. James on January 3, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    I’m sorry that you have an obvious reading disability. In my recent posting I was merely making a New Year’s generalization as to where I am at my age and I judiciously avoided making making any comment to or about you. Therefore, I fail to see a need for you to drag me into your pitiful, self-aggrandizing complaint. On the other hand, I’m aware of your prediliction for doing that and then I recalled that a poster on this blog made a recent reference to your narcissism. However, after minimal research, I realized that such a general description doesn’t go quite far enough. Then I found an assortment of discussions about NPD, (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) also known as Megalomania, that fit you like a spandex bodysuit.

    It’s time for you to give up constantly trying to shift blame to others and get some help. And find something more definitive and more recent than being a “Perfect Storm for PTSD”. That one is getting repetitive and tiresome. You might even consider that this site might be inappropriate for you and perhaps you can find for one that is more in line with your blinkered ideas. I’m sure your absence will bring a sigh of relief from most posters here. Henceforth, I’ll try to refrain from reading your fulminations. They only lead to yawns, additional boring comments and to the purchase of more Rolaids.

    You can thank me and start seeking help by checking out Psychology Today – Diagnosis Dictionary


  177. Good to see you Sidney! I hope you will stick around. Let’s try to ignore the pests.

  178. No nastiness comes from me, Sidney unless someone else starts it. If I prove some one wrong, he/she has the right to do the same to me. For example, some found it hard to accept that Obama lied or that he has been a poor president. Proving them wrong is not nasty unless the truth inflicts pain.

    Unlike jsri, I still have a tolerance for ignorant people, fools and simpletons. They occupy little of my time.

  179. Ladies,you are the best.. Happy New Year.. Rita

    Sent from my iPad


  180. I SOOOOOO love your columns!! They keep me laughing, grounded, and still yearning for some common sense to be found in the government representatives contained in our dysfunctional Congress!!

  181. HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR! I hope this year finds everyone in the porch doing better then ever.

    I haven’t been here for a while, but I lurk. The asshat trolls….(we KNOW who they are) really got to me with their pointless nastiness to a bunch of ladies just trying to shoot the shit with each other and sip some lemonaid.

  182. Dear H&M: I look forward to your continuing take on upcoming events and like the last six plus years, I know I won’t be disappointed. Each New Year I make no resolutions because, to paraphrase the late English theater critic James Agate, I try to tolerate fools more gladly but it only seems to encourage them to take up more of my time and, at an age where simply keeping ahead of the latest medical obstacle is a major thief of my attention, I quickly lose patience. Or, to borrow a line from the quotable feminist writer Anaïs Nin “I made no resolutions for the new year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.”

    It’s all just part of aging in America.

  183. I love reading your blog. Keep up the good work. Happy New Year.

  184. Helen and Margaret, thank you for your candor! I always enjoy your writing.

  185. Happy New Year M&H ! Thank you for the great year of amazing blogs and allowing us to occupy your porch! Cheers for a successful 2014! #turnTXblue

    Happy New Year my friends! Hope this is your best one yet! Love you muchest … ❤❤❤❤❤

  186. Happy New Year, ladies! As long as you allow us to read what you say, we’ll continue to show up and enjoy. Here’s to health and happiness for both of you and all those near and dear.

  187. Margaret and Helen, you are a joy to read. This reader will be with you as long as you continue your journey. Keep up the good work on behalf of us that agree with your commitments. Happy 2014.

  188. I can’t wait to read this

    Linda Santee


  189. You sugar the bitter truth with humor & wisdom and inspire the rest of us to speak out and stand up….what fresh air it is to read your blog, Girls, wishing you Happiness and Continued Spunkiness…..

  190. Thank the Universe for people like you who have a sense of humor as well as a hugh amount of common sense. Keep us laughing and thinking in 2014.

  191. I have enjoyed reading your blog, Margaret & Helen !
    It is so refreshing to read (through you) that there is some sanity amongst the populace.
    Everyone else is thinking the same, but are too afraid to say so … you are not afraid … see/read you in the New Year !
    America needs your voice !

  192. Would love to read a year end wrap up!

  193. I always look forward to your posts Margaret and Helen. I hope you continue to keep us laughing while you skewer the idiot politicians! May 2014 be an excellent year for you both.

  194. It is so refreshing to read your blog and to realize that not everyone in this country is blind to what is happening – that there is some sanity…how can reasonably intelligent people swallow all the crap that the Republicans produce. Now we are going to lose the Senate…Lord help us!What a testament to what lots of money can buy.
    Keep up the good work!

  195. Happy new year, Helen and Margaret! Can’t wait to see what you write about in 2014. Thanks for having us in.

  196. i nod thru everything u write, murmuring ‘yes’ to it all. i am 83 and have come to the conclusion that if everyone agreed w/the native american…’when the world listens to the grandmothers, there will be peace’, we’d all be much better off. which brings up one more thing. politically correct language. what toropoopoo that is. it implies that there is something wrong w/people who are crippled, deaf, blind, need assistance to walk, need a closer place to park,etc. why can’t we use the words we all learned for these difficulties, offer help when we can, make adjustments for those who need them and go about our business…all of us.
    the town i live in has a huge older population but the sidewalks are still perilous for anyone in a wheelchair, powerdriven or not. the ramps off the sidewalks are impossible to navigate. but no one will use the term crippled.

  197. Thank you ladies, I really enjoy your words of wisdom.

  198. Look forward to every blog. You witty insightful comments give me hope for the thinking people among us. thank you from the bottom of my pea picking heart.

  199. Happy New Year Margaret and Helen!! Your words of wisdom and sense of humor inspire me! I hope 2014 brings much happiness and health! Thanks for your commitment to keeping it real!

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