Saturday, April 30, 2011

Obama shines at White House correspondents' dinner

The White House Correspondents' Dinner is, for the media, a thoroughly self-aggrandizing affair, a disgustingly smarmy occasion for self-important media insiders to hobnob even more openly with the people they cover. (Consider Politico's obsessive coverage.) Nonetheless, it can also be the scene of some fairly remarkable speaking-truth-to-power comedy. (Think back to Colbert's hilarious appearance in 2006.) 

A lot depends on who's there and who's telling the jokes. At the 2011 event last night, SNL's Seth Meyers was funny, if not quite Colbert-level poignant, and President Obama got in some great zingers. For example:

-- "Donald Trump is here tonight. Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately but no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like, 'Did we fake the moon landing?' 'What really happened in Roswell?' And 'Where are Biggie and Tupac?'"

-- "Michele Bachmann is here. She is thinking about running for president, which is weird because I hear she was born in Canada. Yes, Michele, this is how it starts."

The man can tell a joke. Though it certainly helps that his opponents are such easy targets.


     I met with some folks who work in a variety of non-profit community organizations today, talking with them about getting publicity for their issues.

     Lots of good conversation, questions and (I hope) answers. We discussed both MSM and New Media like Twitter. (or should that be "Newer" Media?).

    Theses are especially hard times for people in their situation. The media has been downsized, so getting attention is more difficult, and at the same time, the Great Recession has created a greater need for non-profit services.

     Alabama Arise sponsored the meeting in Montgomery, and I thank them for the inviting me to take part..

Hot Senate races in 2012

By Richard K. Barry

If we are counting correctly, the next general election in the United States will take place in about eighteen months on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Between now and then there will be a great many nomination races not only to see who the Republicans put up against President Obama but also for House and Senate seats in both parties.

And then comes the general election itself, which will determine the composition of the executive and legislative branches of our government. In other words, many, many contests to think about.

It's occurred to us here at The Reaction that it might be useful to begin wrapping our heads around some of the more important or, to put it differently, more hotly-contested races.

As a starting point, we thought we would look at the United States Senate, which, as any grade school child knows, elects a third of its membership of 100 every two years, who then get to serve six-year terms. In other words, those 33 who will be elected on November 6, 2012 will serve from January 3, 2013 to January 2, 2019.

At the moment, Democrats control the Upper House by a margin of 53-47, which means that the GOP would need to win 3 or 4 seats to take control, depending on who wins the White House because the President of the Senate, who is also Vice President of the United States, gets to break a tie.

Unless something changes, Democrats are expected to have 23 seats up for election, which include two independents, who caucus with the Democrats, while the Republicans have only 10 seats up for election.

Predicting what things will look like in a year and a half can be dodgy business, but the simple fact that far more Democratic seats need to be contested might suggest that there is greater potential for Republicans to win back the Senate. It may also be true that some Senate seats currently held by Democrats are in states which are more traditionally Republican.

In any case, our goal here is to have a look at some of these races to see how things are developing and to provide some background to educate ourselves and to perhaps solicit some comments from those who may be closer, both geographically and in terms of intimate knowledge, to some of these races. That would be fine too.

Just to have a starting point, here are 17 of the 33 Senate races that could bare some scrutiny, either because they could flip to the other party or because they could be seriously contested in nomination battles. Others, of course, may be interesting for all sorts of reasons.

Listed is the incumbent and his or her status:

Republicans who are retiring (or have resigned):
Republicans who are running again:

Democrats who are retiring:
Democrats who are running again:
So, that'll keep us busy for a while and along the way we fully expect to get to some of the more interesting House and gubernatorial races -- in fact, we've already started. It will be, we are sure, a very interesting year and a half.

(Cross-posted to Lippmann's Ghost)

Rocky Mountains, paper dolls and deviled egg recipes (more!)

Hi y'all!
Mt. Evans, Rocky Mountains

Today I am off to the Women's Retreat our church is having in Idaho Springs, CO.  Idaho Springs is an old mining town in the Rocky Mountains.  We will be meeting in the BeauJo's Pizza conference room.  If you don't have a BeauJo's pizza around, I am sad for you. Their pizzas are YUM! You don't order by the diameter size, you order by the pound!

I will be leading a small devotional on prayer, and teaching the napkin decoupage on glass technique later.  You can find the tutorial in an earlier blog.
yeah, I still don't know why this one is sideways!
We are also building time in the schedule for chatting and getting to know one another. Really, you can't have a Women's Retreat without coming into it knowing that we like to talk!

There will also be things to do if you finish your projects early. Among other things, we are going to play with paper dolls! Cathy has the most wonderful magnetic paper dolls. I have never seen anything like them. The clothes are like magnetic fiber paper or something. I am looking forward to researching this further at a later time.

I will be bringing my big Barbie dress up folder, with re-usable stickers. Way fun. Of course I have a Barbie one? Did you doubt it?

Golden Angel Barbie, c.2006
and no, I don't have this one. Boo hoo.

Since I will be playing with paper dolls, I thought you might like to also!
Here is a great Twiggy paperdoll, courtesy of OrigamiBears.
I picked her because of the bright colors in her costumes!

"Educating the mind without educating the heart
is no education at all."
- Aristotle


Here is another fun paper doll for you to play with:

"Hobbit House" by MyGardenRocks, etsy.
She does wonderful rock painting!
Mountain lamb, Denver Zoo


I realized that I have not given out any more deviled egg recipes!
My oops.
So, here are a couple more,
just in case you are still wading your way
 through mountains of hard boiled Easter eggs!

From Ladies Home Journal '100 Great Appetizer and Snack Recipes' :

Curried Stuffed Eggs

8 large hard cooked eggs, halved
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs sour cream
1 Tbs chutney
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Paprika for garnish

Place the egg yolks, mayonnaise, sour cream, chutney, curry, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor.
Process until mixture is smooth.
With a pastry bag or spoon, fill egg white halves.
Sprinkle with paprika to garnish.
Makes 16 half eggs.

>I never let the lack of a food processor stop me. I can cream most things with my hand mixer.
>No pastry bag? Put everything into a Baggie. Snip a hole in one bottom corner. Squeeze out through hole for a controled piping of contents.
>>This also works GREAT for piping chocolate as a decoration,
or drizzling glaze/frosting onto a baked goodie.

I picked this next one because it had celery seed, and some other tweaked ingredients from previous deviled egg recipes:
Mustard Stuffed Eggs

8 large hard cooked eggs, halved
1/3 Cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs sour cream
1 tsp grated onion
14 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
Snipped fresh chives or parsley sprigs, for garnish

Place the egg yolks, mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, mustard, salt, celery seed, and red pepper in a blender or food processor.
Process mixture until smooth.
With a pastry bag or spoon, fill egg white halves.

Garnish with chives or parsley, if desired.
Makes 16 half eggs.
Time for me to say goodbye for now.

Updated Death Toll

     The number of people killed in Wednesday's tornado outbreak has risen to 254, 249*  250** including increases in Tuscaloosa. Read the EMA news release here.

     I liked The President's comment Friday about not forgetting...even after the media have moved on...:

"We will not forget you. I am confident that all the resources of our country and your state will be brought to bear to help you," Obama said.

(*The EMA corrected the total downward by 5 this afternoon, **and it climed back up by one later in the afternoon.)

Obama Crushing Free Press To Hide Dissent

SF Chronicle.

Not allowed to record dissent against Obama.

Filming dissent prohibited.

Under Obama's dictatorship.

In America.

"Free Press" my ass.  In OBAMA'S America.

Welcome to the Union of Obammunist Socialist Republics.

Obama "Marxist, Brownshirt": Black Chamber of Commerce Head

 " Obama is Marxist, Brownshirt, fanatical, might as well wear a swastika!"

No kidding!

Harry Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, blasted President Obama's anti-business administration in an explosive interview. Alford, a 2008 Obama supporter, labeled the administration "Marxist" and "fanatical." "They might as well put on the brown shirts and swastikas," he said.
 Oh, this guy is just a racist who doesn't want a Black man in the White House... right?  All dissidents are.  Right?

High-In-Polls Socialist NDP Head Layton Hit With Sex Scandal

...on eve of election...

Jack Layton was found laying naked on a bed by Toronto Police at a suspected Chinatown bawdy house in 1996, a retired Toronto police officer told the Toronto Sun.

The stunning revelation about the current leader of the New Democratic Party comes days before the federal election at a time when his popularity is soaring.

When the policeman and his partner walked into a second-floor room at the Toronto massage parlour, they saw an attractive 5-foot-10 Asian woman who was in her mid-20s and the married, then-Metro councillor, lying on his back in bed.
If it was just a "massage", then why was he completely naked in the house where sexual activity was known to occur, and why did the cop observe the massuese toss "wet kleenex" into the trash?

Yup.  That's John Jackoff Lay-it-on.  Potential Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Elephant Dung #28: Is NY-26 the new NY-23?

Tracking the GOP Civil War

By Michael J.W. Stickings

(For an explanation of this ongoing series, see
here. For previous entries, see here.)

Earlier today, R.K. Barry posted on the goings on in NY-23, the district that in 2009 saw one of the very first Tea Party uprisings.

As you may recall, Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman emerged to challenge moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava in a special election to replace John McHugh, who resigned to become secretary of the Army. With lackluster backing from the party that nominated her and some high-profile Republicans switching their support to Hoffman, Scozzafava pulled out of the race, endorsing Democrat Bill Owens, who ended up winning the seat narrowly over Hoffman. Owens won again in 2012, even more narrowly over Republican Matthew Doheney. But it was Hoffman who made the difference. He took just enough support away from Doheney to allow Owens to pull it out.

Well, what happened in NY-23 may also be happening in NY-26, where a rich Teabagger, Jack Davis, is dividing Republican/conservative support just the way Hoffman did. The seat is currently vacant, following the resignation of Republican Chris Lee (of Craigslist scandal fame) earlier this year, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo called a special election for May 24.

There's little doubt that it's a Republican seat to lose. Republican Jane Corwin is ahead in the polls, but not by much. Democrat Kathy Hochul is just a few points behind. But Davis is running a strong third, and he's clearly draining support from Corwin. If his support holds up, Hochul could squeak through. Indeed, what should be a slam dunk for the Republicans has been turned into a toss-up by Davis, and the only way the Democrat can win is if the Republican/conservative vote is split, if Davis, like Hoffman, makes just enough of a difference.

What's interesting, though, is that Davis is an ex-Democrat. He even ran for the seat as a Democrat in 2006 and 2008, losing both times. And his views are hardly mainstream (conservative) Republican. He's opposed to the Republicans' budget proposals and is generally isolationist/protectionist. In that latter regard, he's more Buchananite paleo-conservative than business-oriented Republican. He appears to be a right-wing populist, and is certainly trying to appeal to the Tea Party, but he's certainly less of a Teabagger than Hoffman. And, indeed, the Tea Party itself is split between Corwin, something of a Scozzafava-like moderate, and Davis.

It looks to be a brutal campaign, with the right bitterly divided. The district may be Republican enough that Corwin can pull it out, but it's certainly going to be a lot closer than it otherwise should have been. And, once again, we see conservatives turning a safe Republican seat into an opportunity for the Democrats, and all because the Tea Party and its allies on the right are waging a campaign to control the Republican Party by narrowing its ideological scope and purging it of insufficiently conservative (in Tea Party terms) elements. So determined are they, so convinced of their righteousness, that they're apparently willing to commit political suicide in the process.

We'll have to see if NY-26 is indeed the new NY-23. I suspect that Davis has peaked and that Corwin, who has some Tea Party support, will pull it out. But what's going on there is instructive, and what we're seeing is a preview of much more to come in 2012.

9,970 Years To Go

     The inmate serving the longest sentence imposed in American History turned 70 years old yesterday.

     He's in the St. Clair County Correctional facility here in Alabama, if you care to send a belated card.

     Dudley Wayne Kyzer was sentenced to 10,000 years in 1981 for a triple homicide after his original death penalty was overturned.

     He was up for parole last year. Not a prayer.

     But how can he be up for parole after serving just .00008% of his time?

125 Years Ago Today

Photo of the Day: Royal Wedding insanity 2

Following up on my PotD post from yesterday...

The wedding is done. Over. But it's been hard to escape it today.

Even in Canada...

We have a federal election on Monday and yet our media have been swept up in the insanity across the pond, and all because this country is too pathetically servile, too disrespectful of our liberty, to cast off the British Monarchy for good, to toss it in the dustbin of our history, where it belongs. Even our most prominent journalist, CBC news anchor Peter Mansbridge, has been reporting from London. I find it all utterly revolting.

You can find photos all over the place. (Or you can just turn on the TV.) But here's another pre-wedding one. The insanity is palpable.

(Photo from The Globe and Mail: "Royal fans wait outside Westminster Abbey Thursday. The marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton takes place Friday in London, England.)

I'm embarrassed today even to have anything to do with Britain, even though my family lives there and I'm a British (and Canadian) citizen. It's a wonderful place, in many ways, a country I love.

And yet...

Iris, Iris, where are you?

I am looking at all the bright green leaves crowded together.
Tall, flat, spiky leaves.
But where, oh where are the lovely iris?
Goddess of Spring Barbie, classical, 2000

The people that owned our house before us had tons of iris bulbs planted.
They then let them grow undisturbed for a couple of years.
When we moved in we were treated to the most beautiful display of iris blooms in the late spring.
These photos were taken previous years, of my garden:
I didn't know that iris came in so many different colors!

This is the color that I get the most requests to have a couple of tubers from:
So now I am waiting for this year's display!
Last fall my husband tried to divide some of them. We gave quite a few tubers to neighbors. He didn't pay attention however of what color he put where. So this year will be a surprise!

"Nature does not hurry,
yet everything is accomplished."
- Lao Tzu

Iris Barbie, c.2001

The following mermaid costume of Liana's will fit
Grace from yesterday, or Ivy from the day before:

Liana has a series of "Monday Mermaids" on her blog.
Check it out, addy to the right of my blog.

Here is another Monday Mermaid.
This one reminds me of the varying colors and stripes some of my iris have:
Oh, and here is the doll that fits it:
Her name is Sylvia.
Let's give her another outfit for today, to honor the Royal Wedding in England:

from, their home section:
"The Iris flower is named after Iris, the Goddess of the Rainbow. The Iris flower can come in shades of blue, purple, white, yellow, pink, orange, brown, red and black. The Iris flower is in a genus by itself with between 200 and 300 different varieties and can be found around the world. The Iris flower is hardy from zone 3 to 9 or 10 depending on the variety."

Evil Queen, from Disney's Flower Pin series.

Spring Sun

On the Day of Cold Food
I go out to smell the perfume of the flowers,
Along the bank of the river.
Happy and at ease,
I let the soft East wind bathe my face.
Everywhere the Spring is blazing
With ten thousand shades of blue
And ten thousand colors of red.

by Chu Hsi,
 from 'One Hundred Poems from the Chinese'

Vincent Van Gogh painted several pictures of iris.
Here are three of them:

"Still Life with Iris", 1889

"View of Arles with Iris"

"The flowers are smiling again,
The winter is past and gone,
The dandelions are nodding,
And dew is on the lawn."

-vintage verse

Mary Cicely Barker is one of my all time favorite fairy artists.
She is a classic.
She used the faces of children from her sister's pre-school as her fairy faces,
so each is unique!
Her Flower Fairies are charming,
with botanically accurate clothing!
Here is her Iris Fairy:
"Come fairies, take me out of this dull world,
for I would ride with you upon the wind
and dance upon the mountains like a flame!"
- W.B. Yeats

a vintage vase

Here is Alphonse Mucha's Art Nouveau Iris Lady:
from H. Jackson Brown, Jr.'s
'Life's Little Instruction Book, Volume II':

1. Pay as much attention to the things that are working positively in your life
as you do to those that are giving you trouble.

I'm off to admire my ONE tulip that is blooming!
Have you been outside today?


Chris Brown Spray Painting a Pig....Why?

Uhh.....Why?! Atleast its not a "What If..." painting...Or is it?

Provided by RobinRazzi of 92Q Baltimore

He does have some "talent" tho. We can all see that.