Monday, December 29, 2008

Oprah's books =strike 2

Oprah's book recommendation of "Angel at the Fence, The True Story of a Love that Survived" turns out not to be all true.
A publisher has canceled a Holocaust memoir with an amazing love story publicized by Oprah Winfrey after the writer admitted he made up parts, putting the book on a growing list of tall tales.

Berkley Books, an imprint of the Penguin Group, said it was canceling "Angel at the Fence, The True Story of a Love that Survived" after receiving new information from writer Herman Rosenblat's agent...

Hurst said Rosenblat's story about being in the concentration camps and the survival of the writer and his brothers was true but the retired electrical contractor from North Miami Beach, Florida, had made up the love story that had won such attention.
Question is, will she publicly denounce it now that it's part fiction?

See Oprah's previous reaction to "A Million Little Pieces."

Note to Oprah: It's literature. Made up or not, who cares? Books are supposed to be entertaining.

Jennings' butterfingers

Jennings will be a free agent come '09.
Greg Jennings doesn't know if he'll get a contract extension this offseason, but the Green Bay Packers wide receiver knows this much: His three dropped passes early in Sunday's 31-21 victory over the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field didn't help his cause.

"That's one thing I'm afraid of — maybe they saw something today that they did not like," Jennings said with a laugh after catching five passes for 101 yards and finishing his second NFL season by leading the team in receptions (80), receiving yards (1,292) and touchdowns (nine).

Jennings, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2009 season, could joke about his drops and his contract — "I'm going up there (to general manager Ted Thompson's office) right after this," he said — because his early butterfinger routine didn't cost his team the game.
If you ask me, we better try to hang on to him.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Marley and Me, the book

Movie review later. I finished Marley and Me just in time to see the movie tomorrow night.

I can't imagine the box of tissues (or boxes) we'll have between the four women, and maybe even two men in my family at the movie theatre tomorrow night. The book alone was enough to make you want a labrador retreiver if you don't have one, or a dog if you're lucky enough to live the lifestyle able to care for one.

Grogan writes with a tenderness that could only be from a pet owner who truly found more of himself as a dog owner than he did before his adventures with Marley.

It's touching and you will laugh -and cry- along with him.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Song

This is undoubtedly the first Dave song I listened to and immediately, genuinely, loved and appreciated.

Merry Christmas

Frozen dog

Poor Jiffy needed some lube.
SHEBOYGAN -- A Sheboygan woman whose dog froze to the sidewalk while left outside in single-digit temperatures has pleaded not guilty to intentionally mistreating animals.

Fifty-nine-year-old Alice Bigler made her initial court appearance Monday on the misdemeanor charge.

Authorities say Bigler left her 120-pound border collie, Jiffy, outside overnight earlier this month when temperatures dipped into the single digits. Police have speculated the overweight dog survived because it was protected by layers of insulating fat.

A criminal complaint says Bigler tried to bring the dog inside, checked on him repeatedly and brought him a blanket.
He probably didn't want to come inside because she was a nut! I'm glad they took him away!

Packers

Watching yet another spoiled ending after hearing half-time phrases like "the Packers are playing like the professionals they are," and so forth, I'm a little sick to my stomach.

Perhaps if people- fans and critcs alike- spent less time comparing Aaron Rodgers to Brett Favre, they'd have time too focus on Rodgers' stats and see that he's playing damn well this season. 63% pass completion, 25 touchdowns and 3,730 yards -that's pretty good. He threw for 300 yard sand 3 touchdowns against Carolina a few weeks ago, and still we lost.

Seems to me, it's a testament to our O-line for NOT blocking when he gets sacked or doesn't have any time to find an open man and has to scramble. It's a testament to our D-line for NOT stopping when the opponents charge the field at the end of the game for the game-winning kick.

The difference is when we get inside the red zone, we score field goals, not touchdowns, if that (see Mason Crosby, angry face.) Our opponents convert for 7.
Crosby has now failed to connect on two game-winning field goals this season. He missed from 52 yards last month at the Metrodome. "Obviously, I'm frustrated," Crosby said. "I had a chance to help the team win here and it's really disappointing. I don't like doing these interviews and it sucks this has happened twice this year."
Yeah, sucks for the fans too.

Will Crosby be another Longwell or Derrick Frost?

I suppose we can't blame the kicker...I just wish Rodgers didn't have to take all the heat - or should we say frost in this situation.

Gas Station story

Last night just before the Packers botched another game-ending, I found myself in Fargo in the -8 degree weather, filling up my car with gas.

At the Tesoro station, the sticker on the machine said to insert my credit card one way. It proceeded to stick inside the machine where I could not retrieve it.

By accident in my frustration, I hit this green button, thinking it might be some kind of "eject." Alas, this was not to be the case. A friendly woman then appeared on the overhead voice speaker.

"What do you need, now that you've so conveniently hit the green button calling for help." It was laced in sarcasm.

I was so taken aback by her attitude, I merely responded in-kind that I had made a mistake and perhaps she could readjust her attitude. I said my card was stuck and I was simply trying to get it out.

And here glowing response was simply, "You better get it out."

Thank you. You must really love your job. What a B***H.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

President Bush will miss the staff

C-SPAN's interview with President Bush is so telling of his personality.

I can't help but watch his twinkling eye, see how relaxed and genuine he is, and I want to just blow him tons of kisses as if he'll catch them and maybe wink at me.

I love that in response to the question about what he'll miss about the White House, he said the staff. He will miss the cooks and the men who make his coffee at 5:15 AM and the people who clean. And I bet you, he and Laura are not only on a first-name basis with most of them, but they probably ask and know about their families.

You can't help but enjoy his laid back personality.

Bush's portrait

I couldn't love it more.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Duffy - Oh Boy

I can't get this song out of my head from the silly Nivea commercial.

But it's soulful.

Spark loses it's spark

Take the caffeine out, and what's left of the drink?
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- MillerCoors LLC announced Thursday it will remove caffeine and three other ingredients from its Sparks alcoholic energy drink in a deal with 13 states and the city of San Francisco, who had contended the drink targeted young drinkers.

A coalition of state attorneys general had complained the stimulants reduced drinkers' sense of intoxication and were marketed to young drinkers, who were already more likely to have risky behaviors in driving and other activities.

Attorneys general and advocacy groups have long been targeting MillerCoors, a joint venture of SABMiller's U.S. unit and Molson Coors Brewing Co., and market-leader Anheuser-Busch due to the making and marketing of such drinks.

As part of the agreement, MillerCoors agreed to remove caffeine, taurine, guarana and ginseng from Sparks, the leader in the alcoholic energy drink category, and not produce caffeinated alcohol beverages in the future. The company also will pay $550,000 to cover the cost of the investigation into Sparks.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Libby's got a challenge

Challenger for DPI Superintendent. You go girl!

Political advertising

Interesting article on political advertising in Ad Age. Just food for thought.

TIME's Person of the Year

Duh.



Couldn't they have surprised us?

The artistry is really starting to bug me.

You better watch out

If your name is Katie Falk.
The unsolved murder of slain University of Wisconsin-Madison student Brittany Zimmermann will be featured by CNN's Nancy Grace on the national news network at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Grace, a legal analyst who has built a reputation for profiling cold cases, will be casting the ongoing Zimmermann investigation into the national spotlight.

Zimmermann was killed in her downtown Madison apartment more than eight months ago on April 2. Since then, Madison police have interviewed numerous suspects, but no one has been charged with the crime.

When contacted by a producer with CNN, Madison Police Department spokesman Joel DeSpain told the network:

"We are working diligently on this case, have generated significant leads, and are making progress."
I cannot imagine her name won't come up in conjunction with the 911 center and the failings of the Madison police department.

Driving in Madison

After a trip out to Mount Horeb before the sunrise, I drove back in to the city at a snail's pace.

Hitting 151 and Midvale even to University was a nightmare. Something about people forgetting how to drive in the snow...
Sgt. Gary Bauer of the Wisconsin State Patrol said major highways were getting better as of 10:30 a.m., but motorists should be careful because conditions can change quickly with the temperature still in the single digits.

Icy walks are causing big problems for pedestrians, said Lori Wirth, public information officer for the Madison Fire Department.

Wirth said emergency crews were sent out on a dozen calls from 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday to help people who had fallen on slick sidewalks.

The injuries weren't life-threatening, but several people had broken arms or legs or back injuries.

"That's a lot of calls," Wirth said. "We had them all over, east side, west side, in mall shopping areas, wherever people were.

"And considering all the other people who probably fell and didn't call, we want to remind people to be extra-special careful."

While roads in southern Wisconsin were improving, reports of accidents and roll-offs were still coming in to the 911 dispatch center as of 10:30 a.m.
Where are all the plows?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bushes to move to Dallas

Where at least their neighbors will welcome them.
Christine Tomasides, a mother of two and corporate contract writer who lives a half-block from the home, said she knew something was up about a month ago when black SUVs began rolling into the neighborhood. Secret Service agents often use such vehicles.

"It all makes sense now," Tomasides said.

She described the neighborhood as peaceful, quiet and a place where people stay out of each other's business. She said she'd never seen as much traffic as there was on the street Thursday. Tomasides welcomed her new neighbors — and the heightened security they'll bring.

"Laura Bush seems like such a fine person, and I can't imagine anyone not wanting her as a neighbor," Tomasides said. "And him, too, regardless of your political affiliation."
Warm and fuzzy.

Ahh, hope for (Climate) change

They're going to band together, the politicians, that is.
After a year in which it nearly lost its compass, the campaign against climate change heads into 2009 needing top-level political commitment, creative thinking and a deep well of money.

Next year holds a big dream: by its end, the world will have forged a treaty in Copenhagen to shrink global warming from mankind-threatening juggernaut to manageable problem.
And make new decisions.

And boy do they seem optimistic:
British economist Nicholas Stern, author of the 2006 Stern Review on the costs of climate change, said 2009 demanded boldness.

The world had the chance to make a historic shift, he argued in Poznan.

"We can actually lay the foundations over the next two years for the low-carbon growth which will be the sustaining growth of the future," Stern said.

But, he added: "I don't take any of this for granted. The human race has an incredibly well developed capacity to screw up, and we may miss this chance."

Talk about Balls

Blagojevich isn't afraid of the law.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich doesn’t plan to resign tomorrow, a spokesman said, contradicting speculation by the state’s attorney general that the governor might quit in response to federal corruption charges.

“Not true -- the Gov has no plans of resigning tomorrow,” Lucio Guerrero, a spokesman for Democrat Blagojevich, said today in an e-mailed statement.

Blagojevich, 52, has ignored calls to resign since his Dec. 9 arrest at his Chicago home for what U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald called “a political corruption crime spree.” The governor and his former chief of staff, John Harris, 46, were accused of attempting to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat, soliciting bribes and trying to pressure the Chicago Tribune to halt critical editorials.

I think this calls for a "I WILL NOT YIELD!"

Pack falls again

We just can't finish strong.
It’s over. Eleven months after they played in the NFC championship game, the Green Bay Packers were eliminated from playoff contention with a 20-16 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon.

The Packers (5-9) will finish third in the NFC North Division. In order to make the NFC playoffs, they needed to win their last three games and have Minnesota lose its last three games and Chicago lose its last two games.
Boo. I suppose I'm glad I wasn't home to witness it.


Translation = Rebuilding year!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My one Grinch moment

I love all things Christmas. Trees, cookies, baking cookies, Christmas music, Christmas movies, snow, cookies, snow angels, snow men, giving, red and green, bells, cookies, and so forth.

But I do have a Grinch moment anytime the Chestnuts song comes on. Yes, it's dubbed "The Christmas Song" and encompasses all things Christmas I suppose and everyone just gushes and "loves" that song- all kids from 1 to 92 - but really people.

Chestnuts? I have yet to meet a real chestnut-roasting person. Sorry Torme and Wells, but your song puts me to sleep.

While I think that may be the only lyric that I dislike, it's also the tune, and it's on EVERY SINGLE CHRISTMAS CD I CAN FIND!! I will praise an artist for leaving that song off their holiday collection, when I do finally find that singer.

For now, I'll skip it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kiefer Sutherland attacks Christmas tree

I find this...very unlike Jack Bauer. And yet, humorous.

Remember: Jack Bauer never retreats, he just attacks in the opposite direction.

Blago

Must they call him "Blago"?

Donald Driver's children's book

Donald Driver: Receiver, touchdown deliverer, philanthropist, family man, eye candy, and now author.



I want to read about Quickie making the team. Check the man out! I mean, the book.

Rising bus fares

If anyone asks, he said 2 "doll-hairs."
In the fall, Cieslewicz proposed raising Metro Transit cash fares 50 cents to $2 and making related increases for ticket packages and passes to raise at least $680,000 in nine months next year to improve service, add security at transfer points, boost marketing, build a reserve and cover shortfalls.

The council last month voted 12-8 to support the proposal in the 2009 budget.

"There's no political advantage to me to raise fares," Cieslewicz said, adding that he and 12 council members want to do so because "it's the best thing to do for Metro in the long-run."

But from the start, many riders opposed the increase and TPC members voiced concern that a fare hike would hurt low-income families and curb ridership. Now, Cieslewicz wants the Metro staff to prepare a list of service cuts for consideration at the TPC's next meeting, and respond to an alternative analysis on the impact of a fare increase presented at Tuesday's meeting by TPC member and Ald. Brian Solomon.

The alternative analysis, based on American Public Transit Association research, said the fare increase might produce far less revenue and hurt ridership more than the Metro staff projected.

But the mayor said the TPC's decision was at least partly based on "very thin data brought in at the last minute." He also sent a memo about his intentions to council members.
Service cuts, my rear! Cieslewicz is right about the no-political advantage thing, but I doubt he's got his trimming shears out.

Those poor curb riders.

Ryan crosses the line

I know I'm chiming in late on this (I've been slow on the uptake in all areas of my life lately), but Congressman Paul Ryan has some 'splaining to do.'
"It is clear that the mounting hardships throughout Southern Wisconsin have been downright gut-wrenching. In addition to the imminent closure of the GM plant in my hometown of Janesville and mass layoffs elsewhere, hard-working Wisconsinites are finding it increasingly difficult during this recession to cope with strained credit markets, rising health care costs, and making their monthly mortgage payments.

"The American automotive industry is under considerable distress, and various proposals have been put forth to provide aid to those in need. I've maintained that any assistance to the domestic auto industry should be drawn from previously approved funds from a U.S. Department of Energy loan package, rather than divert resources from the financial rescue package or rely on additional taxpayer dollars. H.R. 7321 cuts through the bureaucratic red tape and expedites these previously appropriated funds. Because no additional taxpayer dollars were appropriated, I was able to support this legislation.

"At the forefront of my mind are jobs in Southern Wisconsin and the retiree commitments to workers that could be placed in jeopardy under certain bankruptcy scenarios. To be clear, this bill is not intended to save the American auto industry and makes no guarantees that layoffs in this industry will end. Congress must stop overselling what it can do. At the very least, I am hopeful that by extending these loans to the American auto manufacturers, bankruptcy will be avoided in the near term and protections for retirees will remain intact."
Would he be as concerned if the heart of his district, his own hometown, weren't full of GM plant-centered blue collar voters?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Where will the money come from?

Obama's plan:
President-elect Barack Obama said he’ll make the “single largest new investment” in roads, bridges and public buildings since the Eisenhower Administration to lift the sagging economy and create jobs.

Obama, in his weekly radio speech today, said his plan to create or preserve 2.5 million jobs will also include making public buildings more energy efficient, repairing schools and modernizing health care with electronic medical records.

“We won’t just throw money at the problem,” he said. “We’ll measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve -- by the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more competitive in the world.”
Sure sounds like we're just throwing money at the problem.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

Ford to sell Volvo?

I can't say I wouldn't mind this.
Ford Motor Co., which with the rest of the Detroit automakers is readying a plan to take to Congress this week to win a federal loan, said today it "will re-evaluate strategic options for Volvo Car Corp., including the possible sale" of the premium automaker. Ford said it will take several months to review Volvo's options.

Given the unprecedented external challenges facing Ford and the entire industry, it is prudent for Ford to evaluate options for Volvo," President-CEO Alan Mulally said in a prepared statement. "Volvo is a strong global brand with a proud heritage of safety and environmental responsibility and has launched an aggressive plan to right-size its operations and improve its financial results."
Already Volvo's parent company, Ford could benefit from this, I believe. I trust both brands, having grown up in a house eventually acquiring a 11 Ford vehicle history...yes, we even had a Bronco at one point.

Trading in my own Explorer for a Volvo two years ago, I still trust I'm in good hands - even with the Swedes.

But it'd be nice to go to any Ford dealer for an oil change instead of tracking down the rarer Volvo shops (since no one has my stinkin' filter!), and visit with the well-trusted mechanics of Ford. They're good to me, what can I say?

I think it's an interesting option.

Condi tickles the ivories

Yes, for the Queen of England.
Top US diplomat Condoleezza Rice took time out from her busy diplomatic schedule Monday to play a little piano -- in the form of a recital at Buckingham Palace for Queen Elizabeth II, royal officials said.
The secretary of state, in London for talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, was accompanied in her performance of Brahms by Foreign Secretary David Miliband's wife Louise, and three members of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Rice is an accomplished pianist who started playing when she was a child.

A palace spokeswoman told AFP that Rice "expressed a wish to play at Buckingham Palace and the queen offered her to play in the music room."

The queen listened to part of the private performance and afterwards, presented Rice with a recording of the recital as a present.
Can you say "Bad ass!!!"

Trees for Troops

We need more do-gooders in the world.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- About 16,000 Christmas trees are headed for military bases around the country beginning Tuesday - hundreds of them donated by Wisconsin growers.

Six northeastern Wisconsin growers loaded a FedEx van with about 250 balsam firs, Douglas firs, white pines and other evergreens at Lambeau Field Monday. The trees are headed for Fort Campbell, Kentucky, home to the 101st Airborne Division.

From there, the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation will distribute the trees to troops stationed overseas. Most will be sent to bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wisconsin growers donate a total of about 500 trees. About 750 growers nationwide participate in the Trees for Troops program.
Green Bay story here.

Brittany Zimmerman and family deserve more personal apology

Sad.
Forty-eight minutes.

That's how much time passed between the mishandled 911 call from Brittany Zimmermann's phone and when Madison police were sent to her West Doty Street apartment to find her brutally murdered on April 2, investigators reveal in previously sealed court documents obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal.

The length of the delay wasn't publicly known before because officials have refused to provide specifics.

The new details focus the spotlight once again on the questions Dane County officials haven't answered, despite months of controversy over errors at the 911 center.
Read the rest. But I'd say it was sorely mishandled.

No regrets

I wish President Bush wouldn't feel pressure to say things like this.
On the war in Iraq, Bush said the biggest regret of his presidency was the "intelligence failure" regarding the extent of the Saddam Hussein threat to the United States. With the support of Congress, Bush ordered the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 — a decision largely justified on grounds — later proved false — that Saddam was building weapons of mass destruction.

Asked if he would have ordered the U.S.-led invasion if intelligence reports had accurately indicated that Saddam did not have the weapons, Bush replied: "You know, that's an interesting question. That is a do-over that I can't do. It's hard for me to speculate."
We'll never know for sure if he didn't have WMD. And why would we take any chances with that crazy lunatic?

To quote Beauty and the Beast, "If you're not with us, you're against us!"

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Robert Pattinson; Never Think

Who knew the man could sing and play too?

Moving lyrics.

PARAMORE: Decode

My Twilight Review

I chose to forgo the Midnight showing last Friday, but was just as excited Sunday evening to see Twilight hit the big screen.

A tried and true fan of the written series, I've managed to get two friends, mom, sister, hair dresser, and coworker hooked. Disclaimer: I cannot help if those friends get overly excited and purchase the subsequent books before I can loan them out.

Needless to say, the movie was a smash hit. Disappointments hit only after when I realized the parts of the book that get left out. But it's hard in Hollywood,and on a $37 million budget, to get a 500 page book and all it's high-school romance glory, to translate to the big screen.

Well done, screenwriter and director. Each major scene was hit in some way, and dialogue was true to the book. Moving to Forks, car scene, first encounter, lunchtime, evenings in her room, meeting the vampire family, the hunt, etc. Pattinson was exactly as I pictured Edward, to a tee. Stewart, in trailers left me wanting more, but did very well to the character of Bella.

Soundtrack was especially moving.

My favorite part was the feeling of a school girl, giggling quietly in the parts where the actors' faces somehow wink at the fans of the books more so than to a simple movie viewer in the audience. We know exactly what the intention of a glance or a smirk might mean, knowing the backstories and the future of these characters.

For what could have flopped, and with only a few semi-cheesey effects, is a much applauded movie. It was funny. I was pleased.

And for the males in awe of this sudden mayhem, the first may be a little too lovey dovey, but the idea of these vampires that live among humans is fascinating. The second book is often the favorite for male readers, so I'm told. New Moon should make for an even better movie, with motorcycle tricks, cliff-diving, scenes in Italy, and more.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Music in nature

Literally, a piano in the woods.
Discovered by a woman who was walking a trail, the Baldwin Acrosonic piano, model number 987, is intact -- and, apparently, in tune.

Sgt. Adam Hutton of the Harwich Police Department said information has been broadcast to all the other police departments in the Cape Cod area in hopes of drumming up a clue, however minor it may be.

But so far, the investigation is flat.

Also of note: Near the mystery piano -- serial number 733746 -- was a bench, positioned as though someone was about to play.

The piano was at the end of a dirt road, near a walking path to a footbridge in the middle of conservation land near the Cape.

It took a handful of police to move the piano into a vehicle to transport it to storage, so it would appear that putting it into the woods took more than one person.
Why would you tell the police? I would have sat down and played.

(Props to the author for the musical references throughout this story.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Obama & Babbs

Barbara Walters asked a lot of questions. I truly did like the banter between Michelle and President-Elect Obama. But I dislike the way he's always starting with "Look."

Don't talk down to us, please.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stronger

So long, Colmes

Hannity will have to do it on his own, now?
Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity is losing his liberal half. Alan Colmes of the network's "Hannity & Colmes" said Monday that he'll be leaving the prime-time show after 12 years. He'll continue as a commentator on Fox programs, keep doing his radio show and is developing a weekend show at Fox.

"We have a Democratic House, Senate and president," Colmes said in an interview. "My work is done."
Ha! That better have been a joke.

Vick gets probation...

Michael Vick pleas guilty.
SUSSEX, Va. -- Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty Tuesday to a state dogfighting charge, a necessary step to make him eligible for early release from prison and potentially speed a return to the NFL.

Vick, 28, pleaded guilty to one charge and not guilty to a second count that was then dropped. The former Atlanta Falcons star was given a three-year suspended sentence.

"I want to apologize to the court, my family, and to all the kids who looked up to me as a role model," Vick told the judge.

Vick already is serving a 23-month sentence in Leavenworth, Kan. for a federal dogfighting conviction. He's scheduled for release on July 20, 2009, and will serve three years' probation.

Vick was convicted of the federal charges in August 2007 when he admitted bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in eastern Virginia's rural Surry County, southeast of Richmond. He also admitted to participating in the killing of several underperforming dogs.
It's not enough to those puppies.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ho-ho-so Greedy

Audience guests at Oprah's Favorite Things show are probably the most coveted tickets for females aged 33-72 since George Clooney broke up with that model.

Strike that, they're the most coveted tickets in the history of talk shows, anytime, ever.

And people are complaining that they're not getting enough free stuff?!
Oprah's "Favorite Things" episode is one of the best tickets in town every year. The lucky members of the studio audience usually walk away with some very expensive gifts as the host talks up things to buy on the show. Last year it was a $3,800 HDTV refrigerator. This year? Coal. Or maybe, hugs?

Well, not exactly. A leak about the highly secretive show, which airs next Wednesday on the day before Thanksgiving, has made it to Perez Hilton, who reports that one audience member was sorely disappointed by the price tag of her swag. The Oprah Blog confirms that the gift list will be toned down this year, and that some of the gifts will even be free.
Wow, what a greedy bitch.

Some people would be happy if Oprah handed them a wad of her used toilet paper. And some, would just be grateful to be in the audience and see her.

Let's be Thankful, shall we?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Because the Bush admin. is so dangerous..

Risky business.
"Despite the hopes of many human-rights advocates, the new Obama Justice Department is not likely to launch major new criminal probes of harsh interrogations and other alleged abuses by the Bush administration," Newsweek's Michael Isikoff reports. "But one idea that has currency among some top Obama advisers is setting up a 9/11-style commission that would investigate counterterrorism policies and make public as many details as possible."

"At a minimum, the American people have to be able to see and judge what happened," said one senior adviser, who asked not to be identified talking about policy matters. The commission would be empowered to order the U.S. intelligence agencies to open their files for review and question senior officials who approved "waterboarding" and other controversial practices.

Obama aides are wary of taking any steps that would smack of political retribution.
They should be.

If they are talking about quitting the Patriot Act (because heaven forbid people are bitching unnecessarily about the possibility that their phone records might be accessed -OH MY!), I'd say grow up and choose something else to talk about. Our rights are not being taken away, our freedom is being protected.

Too easily said? If Obama attacks the Bush administration's oversight of our military in a time of war and the methods they may have used to obtain vital information to keep Americans safe from terrorism, we know the press will happily perform for him, but it will harm our resolve.

Some soldiers partaking in activities demoralizing other human beings should be punished, yes. But there are some things best left off of the American public's radar screen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

2 in the Morning -New Kids On the Block

Yes, watching this takes me back - 8 and 11 year old sisters watching the Hangin' Tough video tape in my sister's NKOTB sheets.

Ah, memories.

Obama's mug is everywhere

Now on D.C. Metrocards.
The subway system in Washington, D.C., is making fare cards featuring President-elect Barack Obama's image to commemorate his inauguration as the 44th president.

SmarTrip cards with Obama's smiling face will be available in January, Metro spokesman Stephen Taubenkibel told DCist. Regular fare cards marking the Jan. 20 inauguration will be available in late December.
Im sort of nonplussed about all this love.



Frankly, if I were Metro, I'd feel a tad embarrassed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Boot-y Camp

AOL changed their headline from "Man loses weight for ODD reason" to "Man Dropped 140 Lbs. in 11 Months" in the same day. And rightfully so.
Army and Navy recruiters took one look at 330-pound Ulysses Milana and told him to forget about joining.

"'You've got to lose weight,'" Milana remembers them saying.

But Marine recruiters were willing to work with him as he began his weight-loss journey in December 2007.

Now, 11 months later, Milana is 140 pounds lighter as he leaves Monday for Parris Island, S.C., to begin boot camp.

It wasn't easy, Milana said, but he managed to slim down through exercise, healthier eating habits and forgoing an occasional beer after work. The 23-year-old said he even refused a beer at his going-away party Saturday night.

Milana said he always wanted to follow in his family's footsteps by serving his country. His wife, Latoya, also comes from a military family.
It's not odd. It's admirable.

We need more men like Ulysses.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Obama

Obama is, according to Marisa Guthrie, "a Historically transformative figure."

I'm sorry, yes he's the first black president. But what has he DONE to transform the path of history?

Can we wait a little until he's actually sworn in?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nights in Rodanthe, the book

I'm feeling anti-politics lately...so a book review:
Nights in Rodanthe had me crying on page...ahem...13. It was beautifully written, although sometimes Sparks reveals emotions so quickly you wonder if he could have led in a little slower.

Nonetheless, the somewhat predictable ending and yet familiarly cozy sandwich effect of the "present" around the "past," is a no-fail strategy for selling love-story books.

Sweet. Touching. Aching. Empowering.
Now I can't wait to see the movie.

High school student dead from prop-gun

What is a kid doing with a prop-gun at a school play to begin with?
A 17-year-old Washington County high school student died Saturday after firing a blank-shooting prop pistol used for a play.

Authorities say the Desert Hills student died from head injuries. The pistol was found in the student's hands shortly before the play "Oklahoma!" was scheduled to begin.

St. George Police Captain Bruce Graham says there were no bullets in the gun, but the gas in it has the same energy that a bullet does.
A prop gun? "Prop guns" should be water guns painted black, or anything not able to cause fatal injuries. This is all on the adult who allowed that prop to even enter the stage area.

Aiding China in the Space race

This is just great.
Chinese-born U.S. physicist and businessman pleaded guilty Monday to bribing Chinese space program officials and illegally providing U.S. space launch data to the Beijing government.

Shu Quan-Sheng, 68, of Newport News, Virginia, admitted his role before a federal judge in Norfolk. Authorities said the naturalized citizen had been the subject of a FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2003 to 2007.

Under the plea deal, Shu admitted he had on three occasions offered bribes totaling nearly $200,000 on behalf of a client firm that ultimately won a $4 million contract.

Federal prosecutors in Virginia said Shu faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $1 million for the export control violations, and up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the bribery conviction.
Let's just export him to China where, without his "inside scoop," they'll see how helpful he really is.

Bad letter

Ease up, wing-nut.
Dear Editor:
I wholeheartedly agree with your opinions on J.B. Van Hollen! I've long been wondering if somebody might start a recall petition to oust him from his office. He's done a string of things, including pushing out career employees (who even had great reviews of job performance), but this lawsuit filed before the election was nothing but a tool to suppress the vote. It's the only way Republicans can win, so that's become their mantra -- "voter fraud." But for an attorney general of a state -- the top officer of the state Justice Department, which SHOULD stand for justice for ALL (not just for Republicans!) -- to try at the last minute to suppress the vote for political reasons is unconscionable!

And where does he get off being co-chair of John McCain's campaign anyway? That sends the wrong message -- that he is only fighting for one side, just like the federal Justice Department. So who can trust anything the Justice Department does now?

It's time to RECALL Van Hollen! Can someone PLEASE start a recall petition?

Lynn Brethouwer, Madison.
That this was even published, citing "a string of things," leaves me wanting an explanation from the Cap Times. And furthermore, hey Lynn, why don't you get off your ass and do something about it if you're so upset.

This is why I can't handle liberal Madison's "activists." Whine, whine, complain, complain. But when you're really upset, you're still asking for someone else to do the work or pay for the cost.

In the meantime, I'd like to say that 1) Van Hollen in no way attempted or was able of suppressing your precious vote for Obama (who won Dane county 3-1), 2)has made decisions that have alienated his own Republican party members when he's chosen NOT to make the office one of political moves, but of upholding the LAW, and 3)look at who was pulling for Obama- our GOVERNOR.

Get a clue.

SC Race begins

Just when we thought we could take a breath...
A Jefferson County circuit court judge is expected to announce he is running against Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

Judge Randy Koschnick planned a news conference for Monday afternoon in the state Capitol to discuss the race. His press release was paid for by a committee called Koschnick for Justice.

The 48-year-old Koschnick said in October that he was leaning toward running and if he did, it would be as a "traditional judicial conservative."

The 74-year-old Abrahamson is running for a fourth 10-year term on the court she joined in 1976. She has served as chief justice since 1996.
It's likely she'll win, handily. But I'm always up for a surprising Election night. I'll be watching the media vultures, who I expect will continue in top form, even tired from the past November race.

They wouldn't want a new, or returning member, of the court to actually enjoy their victory.

Love

1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because in love there is forgiveness for sins without number.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Packers tied up at top of NFC North

I missed this 37-3 whooping, but was grateful for game-time updates.
Grant and Rodgers both benefited from much-improved play by the Packers offensive line, which pushed around a Bears defense that had been strong against the run but vulnerable to the pass.

The Packers also protected Rodgers far better than they did in last week's loss at Minnesota. A week after taking four sacks and giving up two safeties, Rodgers wasn't sacked and barely was touched by the Bears' pass rush.

Rodgers completed his first seven passes, including a 3-yard slant to Greg Jennings for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead.
Feels good to get a win.

GO PACK!

Founding Farmers

A new restaurant, owned by the North Dakota Farmers Union, has opened in Washington, D.C.

A modern, contemporary twist on rustic with faux clouds, the atmosphere was much enjoyed and the food, even more so.

I highly recommend it. OH, and it's green too.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gymnast headed for Hollywood

Alicia Sacramone is done with the beam and moving on to TV.
Twenty-one-year-old Alicia Sacramone, who became a fan favorite at the Olympics for her "never give up" mentality that came after falling in both the beam and floor competition for Team USA, has been in talks with MTV, Bravo, A&E and Style for a television show about her fashion sense.
Please. Does anyone else realize leotards and scrunchies are on the "out" list?

At least give her something more substantial than fashion.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mo Rocca & Cindy McCain

I laughable tale.
I had broken through to Cindy, yes, but she was in total control of this conversation. Perhaps this was the only kind of conversation we could have -- and it was better than nothing. But I had something to add, something I suspected she didn't know.

"Well, Caesar's still serves a great salad. But it's also partly a strip joint," I blurted.

Cindy reared back, a hand to her chest. "Oh my goodness, I won't tell my mother-in-law that."
Whole account, here. A guaranteed chuckle.

Inhumane!



Poor little guy.

Why I am a Reagan Conservative

Why I am a Reagan Conservative. I'm reading this collection of essays, to remind myself more or less.

So far, each essay author has spoken to me in some way.
Michael Medved: "I embrace conservative ideas because they work. The values emphasized by right-wing thingers and leaders -values of individual responsibility, fair competition, optimism, rewards for hard work, family, fidelity, religious faith, peace through strength and patriotism -maximize any individual's chances of achieving personal success and satisfaction.

On the other hand, the tendencies of contemporary liberalism -whining, politically correct conformity, competitive victimization, dependence on government, sexual and social experimentation, emphasis on group identity over individualism, justification of criminality, militant secularism, and utopian pacifism -increase the likelihood of disaster and despair on both a national and individual basis."
The distinction, at it's most basic level.

Doyle, of possible use to Obama

He's been "contacted."
It is unknown what potential positions Doyle might be offered or would be interested in within the Obama administration.

Given Doyle's law background, there is some speculation that he could be offered the attorney general job, but so far his name hasn't shown up on any circulated lists.

Doyle has said numerous times in the last few weeks that he "intends to remain the governor of Wisconsin" but would have to consider the possibility of an appointment if asked by the president.
Well, he's certainly...articulate?
WISC-TV asked Doyle following Obama's election about how hard it would be to turn down an appointment.

"I've never had a president call me up and say, 'This what I'd like you to do,' and if that call were to come -- and I don't think it's going to come, I wouldn't expect that it would come, I'm not trying to have it come -- if that call were to come, I think I, just like anyone, would have to take it very seriously," said Doyle.
Some nerves there?
If Doyle was interested in a possible appointment, he would have to complete a 63-item questionnaire.

Obama's team is asking each possible selection for an administration appointment to complete the questionnaire, which includes questions about everything from Internet aliases to prior gifts worth more than $50 from people other than friends and family.

It also asks candidates to identify all speeches they have given and to provide text or recordings of each.

It is unknown if Doyle is currently compiling that information.
He better weigh his answers to those 63 questions carefully... it could determine the shape of Obama's cabinet.

And not to mention his departure would leave us with Governor Lawton. Awesome, a governor who supports, like, arts, and stuff.

Palin tells it like she sees it

Sarah Palin is set in her convictions. She does not allow others to tell her what to think. She doesn't apologize for her beliefs or her statements.
Palin was more conciliatory in an interview with CNN. Asked by Wolf Blitzer if she was prepared to work with the new president, she replied: "It would be my honor to assist and support our new president and the new administration, yes. And I speak for other Republicans, other Republican governors also, they being willing also to, again, seize this opportunity that we have to progress this nation together, a united front."

But the governor, who had accused Obama during the campaign of "palling around with terrorists," repeated her criticism of his one-time relationship with William Ayers, a founder of a radical political group in the 1960s.

"I still am concerned about that association with Bill Ayers," Palin told CNN. "And if anybody still wants to talk about it, I will, because this is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who had campaigned to blow up, to destroy our Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol. That's an association that still bothers me."
I will continue to watch her (along with the world) and cheer!

Facebook

Facebook should still remain a college-student tool. And if you're a few years out of college, that's ok too.

But what's with all the older people getting on? Parents and grandparents... it's awkward and weird.

random thoughts

about airports: They should all have rocking chairs, like in St. Louis.

And microwaves, to reheat my coffee in since it takes me so long to drink it and it gets cold.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What, Obama's going to raise taxes?

His own read my lips crap is already a topic of discussion.
For investors, especially wealthier Americans, the victory of Barack Obama's Presidential campaign has raised the fear of higher taxes.

Obama actually proposes tax cuts on middle- and lower-income Americans, but he also campaigned on higher taxes on the wealthy—generally defined as couples earning more than $250,000 per year. Income-tax rates could be affected, as well as estate taxes and tax rates on capital gains and stock dividends (BusinessWeek, 6/11/08).

Many economists cringe at the idea that the government could raise taxes during a recession, but Washington experts say it has happened several times in the past, when recessions and falling revenue often inflate deficits. The best hope for tax-fearing investors may be that Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress will delay tax increases.
Let's hope.

Veterans, we salute you.

Bush graceful in transition

I'd expect nothing less.
And on that front, Bush is going well beyond the minimum. He has embraced the role of statesman with such gusto that it has been hard to miss.

The result is that Bush's last image at the White House will be one of a magnanimous leader. Whether it will improve his legacy is another matter.

"This has been a very good moment late in his presidency, and, I think it's fair to say, much appreciated by the nation," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, the home of Bush's planned presidential library.

On Monday at the White House, Bush warmly welcomed Obama, whose dominant win last week was largely seen as a referendum on the Bush years.

The two leaders spent more than an hour discussing domestic and foreign policy in the Oval Office. And then Bush gave Obama a personal tour all around.

The world saw video images that were replayed all day and night: Bush and first lady Laura Bush greeting Obama and his wife, Michelle, as if they were old friends; Bush strolling with the president-elect along the famous Colonnade adjacent to the Rose Garden, both men waving and smiling.

Translation: Smooth transition.
I don't think he gives a rat's A** if it "improves his legacy."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Harry Reid's a jerk

Get your head out of your rear.
Obama is working to build a diverse Cabinet. That includes reaching out to Republicans and independents — part of the broad coalition that supported Obama during the race against Republican John McCain. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been mentioned as a possible holdover.

"He's not even a Republican," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said. "Why wouldn't we want to keep him? He's never been a registered Republican."
Why does it matter, Reid? If he's competent, and in a time of war, it might be smart to keep the top level folks in place at the Department of Defense, no matter your politics. If he HAD been a registered Republican, at some time in his life, would you consider keeping him or put him out with tomorrow's trash?

May I remind you, there had to be quite a few Republicans voting for the President-Elect, even though they weren't "Registered Democrats."

You want to talk non-partisan White House-Congressional alliances? Bite me.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Good idea

Gotta stock up now.
...Gun enthusiasts nationwide are stocking up on firearms out of fears that the combination of an Obama administration and a Democrat-dominated Congress will result in tough new gun laws.

"I think they're going to really try to crack down on guns and make it harder for people to try to purchase them," said Smith, 32, who taught all five of her children — ages 4 to 10 — to shoot because the family relies on game for food.

Last month, as an Obama win looked increasingly inevitable, there were more than 108,000 more background checks for gun purchases than in October 2007, a 15 percent increase. And they were up about 8 percent for the year as of Oct. 26, according to the FBI.

No data was available for gun purchases this week, but gun shops from suburban Virginia to the Rockies report record sales since Tuesday's election.

They're scared to death of losing their rights," said David Hancock, manager of Bob Moates, where sales have nearly doubled in the past week and are up 15 percent for the year. On Election Day, salespeople were called in on their day off because of the crowd.

Obama has said he respects Americans' Second Amendment right to bear arms, but that he favors "common sense" gun laws. Gun rights advocates interpret that as meaning he'll at least enact curbs on ownership of assault and concealed weapons.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Gas prices dropping

Saweet.
Gas prices in Madison are closing in on $2.29 per gallon. It has been almost two years since prices have been that low, and prices could get even lower.

"It's really a perfect storm for low gas prices," Roth said. "Right now, consumers are enjoying the benefit of basically a recession, which is sad in terms of employment. But for those consumers who have to drive, it's a good thing right now."

The drops have been significant -- almost $1.47 per gallon since July. AAA spokesman Larry Kamholz said prices are not done falling yet.

"We still anticipate that our gas prices are probably going to continue to drop until the end of the year," Kamholz said.
A break is a break. We'll take it.

Where was coverage of this before 11/4?

Dog-companies weigh in on Obama's promise

"Sasha and Malia ... I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us ...to the new White House." Obama said it. Now dog-loving companies are putting a paw in.

The Pedigree pups are writing direct letters.
Text: Dear President-Elect Obama, We'd love to help you fulfil your first campaign promise. We are thrilled that you are celebrating your victory by adopting a dog into your family. We think you'll find that shelter dogs are among the most loyal, loving and special dogs in the world. And no dog is more in need of a little hope. You can find a great dog and learn more about responsible adoption at www.DogsRule.com.
And for whomever the new First Family will choose, Milkbone's got the goods all promised and ready. Free bones.
"Milk-Bone, the iconic pet snack brand that is celebrating its 100th anniversary by recognizing Milk-Bone Moments, wishes to congratulate the new first family on the historic moment that occurred Tuesday night and their commitment to future pet parenthood by offering to supply the family with a LIFETIME supply of Milk-Bone dog biscuits. The Milk-Bone brand takes an oath to keep the presidential pooch-elect stocked with as many dog biscuits as he or she could wish for!"
Barney got the shaft. But then again so did Buddy.

Woof. Woof.

Grateful for migraines

Never thought I'd say this, but if it's true, I'm grateful for headaches where I usually want to rip out my eyeballs.
Migraine sufferers who likely have no kind words about the condition may take comfort in news that women who get the extra-strength headaches have a 30-percent lower breast cancer risk, according to a new US study.

"We found that, overall, women who had a history of migraines had a 30 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who did not have a history of such headaches," said Christopher Li, a breast-cancer epidemiologist and associate member of the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division in Seattle, Washington.

While the biological mechanism behind the association between migraines and breast cancer is not entirely understood Li and colleagues suspect that it has to do with hormone fluctuations.

"Migraines seem to have a hormonal component in that they occur more frequently in women than in men, and some of their known triggers are associated with hormones," Li said.
I'll endure them for now.

Thoughts on the election

I wish President Obama well. I honestly do. It is imperative that he learn some quick lessons and get his handle on the job as soon as possible.

If you look at the WI map, McCain was crushed here. He barely won Walworth county, which having gone for Bush 60%-40% in 2004, is simply stunning. But at that point, there was nothing any campaign could really have done. Campaigns can't move the nation on their own, when its mindset is already determined. Change.

This is worse on the state level for Republicans than 2006, but on the national level 2006 was worse. With a few new GOP Govs across the state, and holding on to give the Dems only a 54-seat Senate majority, we'll look ahead to a new leader.

Four years ago the Democrats felt as we did, after re-electing Bush and making congressional gains. And they chose a 4-year state senator to lead them out... anything can happen.

Chatting with a Dem operative from the 70's and 80's, he mentioned that Obama's election is very reminiscent of the Carter election in '76. Following the Nixon years, an embarrassing scandal under a Republican, and impeachment, Americans were looking for something else - no matter the package. They saw in Carter whatever they wanted to see and made him their leader. Perhaps that is what they see in Obama. To me, this election was more a referendum on Bush and his last 4 years (if not more) than it was an election for Obama.

I do not want to discredit the Obama camp or the man himself for achieving a movement and a pro-Obama vote. He did. But now comes the hard part.

Obama appears to have a socialist mandate and now, a full Democrat congress backing. He will have to exercise discipline on Congress. I hope he leaves the 2011 Iraq timeline alone. I hope he's smart enough not to push through a socialist agenda, though Americans seem to be ready for it so what's stopping him? But Obama is even more of a political animal than Clinton was. He gave up most of his votes to the older Liberal establishment. My real fear is that he doesn't really have a plan...

Final thought: It wasn't the McCain campaign. McCain was the underdog from the start. Even after the surge in September, the shock of the economic turmoil was too much to bear. Seen as a problem under a Republican President watching a failing economy, during a time of an unwanted war (to some)- are only issues at the tip of the iceberg.

I do feel McCain was the only one who could have been taken seriously and give Obama even the smallest run for his money. As a "maverick" type, he bucked the system which people respect. He swayed more moderates and likely expanded the outreach of the GOP in directions it could not have gone under a Romney or a Huckabee, of that I have no doubt. America was not looking for a Bush, Jr., no matter how many times we could argue McCain is a leader, an individual, a separate thinker. He is a courageous hero, a class act, and a man of integrity. McCain staffers should be proud to have worked for the man, despite the campaign's outcome.

Perhaps we'll have 8 years, and Obama will get lucky and ride the wave of our economic rebound that is bound to happen. Perhaps the GOP will find its way back to the Reagan Conservative years and make Obama a one-termer like Carter. I only think we can't "wait to see." We must start now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Unbelievable

And unacceptable.
For the second time this year, the Dane County 911 center apparently violated policy before a homicide, raising concerns again about the public safety agency's operations.

In the latest case, the center didn't dispatch Madison police on two noise complaints made to the center Monday night about a dispute in Lake Edge Park about 90 minutes before a man was found dead there, 911 officials said Tuesday.

Madison Police Chief Noble Wray said, based on the information he has, the center violated policy. The 911 board last month codified the center's dispatch policies for Madison police, clarifying that "noise complaints should not be dropped if multiple calls are received reporting the same problem."

"The bottom line is if there's a noise complaint, and if officers are available, they should be sent," Wray said. He said he believed officers were available Monday night, but regardless, police should have been notified by the center.
If a tree falls in the forest...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

May we remember

This is how the Democrats were feeling four years ago- and rallied two years later with a State Senator as their leader.

Who knows what the next cycle will bring.

He's not missing

I know right where President Bush is.

4 years ago we worked to re-elect him. And tonight he's off the ballot for the first time in 14 years. He's doing the right thing to make this about the future- as the Obama/Biden campaign should have done from the get-go.

But anywho... I'll stand by our work in 2004 and the President's record. Blame Karl Rove all you want and Congress for hijacking spending- and Bush for not using his veto power - but at the end of the day, it's not about what America thinks. America is moving on.
Perino blamed the President's low 28 percent approval ratings in part on unpopular actions he's taken like proposing the 700 billion dollar financial rescue plan.

"And often when you do big things and you make tough decisions, they're not popular. President Bush understands that," said Perino. "When he goes home to Texas, President Bush will be able to look in the mirror and know that he was true to his values and true to his principles. And that's what keeps him going."
History will judge a lot of things. The Bush legacy, and tonight. We'll just have to wait and see.

Oh the fun of Election Day

Sleepy Librarian
At one precinct in Richmond, hundreds of people encircled a branch library by 6 a.m., the scheduled opening of the polls. But the line grew for another 25 minutes before the poll workers opened the doors. They said the librarian who had a key to the polling place had overslept. Despite the delay under a steady drizzle, voters cheered as the doors opened at 6:25 a.m.

Power Outage
Perhaps the most bizarre barrier to voting was a car which hit a utility pole in St. Paul's Merriam Park neighborhood. The accident knocked power out for over an hour to two polling locations. Ramsey County officials said voting continued at those sites, and the ballots were kept secure until the power was restored and the ballots could be run through an electronic machine.

and more.

Democracy

Nothing like watching democracy in action. As I mirrored the Obama door-walkers today in Madison, I must have been pitied for even attempting to find conservative voters off Nakoma Road.

Alas, the work of democracy is never complete.

Regardless of the outcome tonight, let us remember one of the first and most famous acts of democracy was "Give us Barrabas!"

The crowd asked to release Barrabas and crucify Jesus. They spoke and their desire was met. While no one is talking about crucifying anyone, it is merely a notion of perspective.

We shall ask and we shall receive. If Barack Obama wins, we'll be on the edge of our seats for hope and change - a rightful position after his promises. It will be time for people to see that Democrats' plans are disastrous for our economy, our livelihood and our values. If McCain wins, he will have to work hard to shift the bitch-and-blame-Bush attitude toward a plan of progress. I wish either of them well.

The state of our nation depends on their success.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nostradamus, anyone?

An interesting idea.
"Conventional wisdom picks Obama. Nostradamus, four and a half centuries ago, picked John McCain," said Dr. Hubert Evans, professor of Renaissance Studies at Yale University and author of the best-selling "Nostradamus: Prophesize This!"

"Quatrain 78, Century X in particular seems to indicate that Obama had better not be measuring the White House windows for curtains quite yet, at least by my interpretation," said Dr. Evans.

The quatrain to which Dr. Evans refers - Quatrain 78 - is located in the grouping of stanzas known as Century X. Originally published in 1555 in Nostradamus' still-popular Les Prophecies, Quatrain 78 reads in full:

At the war's end:
The Feeble Kept One will strike down the Night
And his Imbecile Queen will rise from the snow
Bedecked in finery and the pelt of a wolf.

Eat for free on E-day

If you have a Krispy Kreme and a Starbucks, you could have yourself a pretty sweet breakfast tomorrow. Well, lunch by the time you finish waiting in line to actually vote.


Krispy Kreme wants your vote! Actually, the company doesn't care who you vote for as long as you vote. On November 4, locations around the country will be handing out free star-shaped donuts with red, white and blue sprinkles to anyone with an "I Voted" sticker (we're guessing other proof may be allowed, in case your polling place is out of stickers).
Starbucks just needs an "I voted" for a free cup o' joe. Awesome.

Palin cancels interview w/ Fox News

Not smart. Megyn Kelly delivered an angry "apology on behalf of the McCain campaign" this morning, as they broke their word on having Palin sit down for a ten minute interview with Kelly.

Fox News' "Viewers deserved better," she said.

Never a good thing.

Friday, October 31, 2008

5 more years

Well, he is the future.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ impressive performance in seven starts was enough for the Green Bay Packers to sign him Friday to a lucrative contract through the 2014 season.

Rodgers signed the deal after practice at about 1 p.m. Terms were not disclosed.

“I’m very excited knowing that my future is going to be here in Green Bay,” Rodgers said. “I appreciate the commitment they’ve made to me. Hopefully, I can prove to them that they made the correct decision to give me this extension.”

Rodgers, 24, signed a five-year, $7.66 million contract in August 2005 after being the 24th selection in the first round. He was playing under his existing contract, which included a base salary of $1.052 million in both 2008 and ’09, although his ’09 base salary would have increased substantially because of an escalator clause.
Solid.
Is Rodgers a worthy successor to Brett Favre?

“I don’t know if I’m going to compare him to anybody,” said Thompson. “We just think he’s going to be a very good NFL quarterback.

“We’re looking at it from a longer view rather than just the last two months. I do think he’s gone in and played the games well. He’s had good command of the huddle. He has handled the chaos of an NFL game pretty well.

“We think he will continue to develop in his craft.”
Now it's official.

Dear Mr. Obama

Peggy Joseph Thinks Obama Is Going To Pay For Her Gas And Mortgage

Wow.

NPR

I got fired up this morning on my drive to Green Bay. NPR and the ridiculous Joy Cardin had the Political Science professor from UW-River Falls on the show.

Kudos to the completely ignorant caller for asking why Sarah Palin keeps attacking Barack Obama and when are people going to stop asking "Who is Barack Obama?"

How about when Barack Obama stops hiding his citizenship record, or when Barack Obama stops fist-pumping his just-now-proud-of-America wife, or when Barack Obama makes it known that he actually renounces terrorists like Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright.

From all I know, and it's not a lot, I have no idea what Barack Obama, a four-year State Senator, is doing running for President of the United States. Even Clinton recognizes he needs the help of others because he doesn't understand. Translation = Obama is not ready to lead.

And another thing - Sarah Palin has endured nothing but vicious attack after vicious attack and has held her own among a liberal media elite who have backtracked every rule they put in the book about female leaders and press coverage. They're taking us backward, and Sarah Palin is only doing her job.

Who is Barack Obama?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Race in the movies

Bradley effect hits hollywood?
LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- Is there a "Bradley Effect" when it comes to the box office?

For those perhaps not paying close attention to the presidential election, with Sen. Barack Obama ahead in every national poll, political pundits have been feverishly inserting the words "Bradley Effect" into articles and sound bites in an effort to ratchet up the election-eve drama.

The expression explains in racial terms the 1982 defeat of Tom Bradley, a black Democrat who was at the time the mayor of Los Angeles, by his white Republican rival, George Deukmejian, in their quest for the governorship of California: The theory goes that despite polls predicting a Bradley win, white voters pulled the lever for Mr. Deukmejian.
If Obama wins, it's all moot!

When will we recognize a film for it's actors and not actors for the color of their skin?

I voted!

and I didn't even get a crappy sticker! Thus a rant is in order...

Having gone Tuesday to the Madison City Clerk's office to check it out, I saw the lines around the building's first floor and realized I'd have to come back at a time when I could actually wait. But who actually has a time of their day allotted to "waiting in line" for whatever task needs to be accomplished? Ah yes, the guilt of one's "civic duty."

Anyway, I arrived a few minutes before the office opened today at 8, little did I know people had been gathering inside for an hour to form the line. Already 80 people back, if not more, I settled in for the long wait.

Indimidation set in. Every second person had to be wearing an Obama button, or three. Fine, deep breaths, these people don't know what they're doing.

And while you can call me whatever you like, liberals scream their political identity. They don't quietly disclose it, or keep their beliefs to themselves, nose in their Time magazine or Isthmus paper. Rather, they scream it. By how often they wash their hair, the number of buttons on their purses slung across their bodies, Birkenstock sandals, a nose tipped in the air. Whathaveyou. Am I stereotyping? Absolutely! Is it more often than not, true? Absolutely!!

A rather liberal-appearing lady came in and observed the line, a shocked look on her face as most of us had. She mentioned to the Obama-button wearer near me "oh this looks great for us!" "For us." Yes, it sure does. Students who wouldn't get up at noon if you paid them, and teachers off from school this week, also parents with their young, impressionable youth in tow. It looks great for you who want a Universal health care, irresponsible O-bomb-us attitude, white-hating, inexperienced, tax-raising, one-party-government loving..sigh...community organizer in the White House.

I can only hope there were a few quiet folks in line with the same fears as I, minding their own business and calmly waiting to cast their vote for John McCain today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Biden interview - Are you joking?

Biden better be joking. What a phoney. What a jerk.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Deanna Favre and family are bloggers

And I will always love Brett Favre.

Check out their new blog.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Which way will the cookie crumble?

Two cookie contests claim they predict the winner of the Presidency. The "Busken" contest - never heard of it!
The Busken Cookie Poll, in which the chain of Cincinnati-area retail bakeries sells cookies bearing cartoon images of each candidate, as of Thursday morning had Mr. Obama ahead 6,477 to 3,090 -- a 68% to 32% margin. Daily updates can be found at www.busken.com.

Unscientific? Perhaps. But Brian Busken, VP-marketing of the family business, said that since the poll's inception in 1984, it has accurately predicted the winner of the presidential election every four years and never been further than 4 percentage points from the final popular vote tally nationwide. (Note: While the website shows a smiling Obama cookie and a frowning McCain cookie, the cookies sold in stores have both smiling.)
Making McCain frown on the website cookie? How rude!

However, Cindy McCain may be her husband's saving grace with Oatmeal Butterscotch.
For the last four presidential elections, Family Circle has asked the candidates’ spouses to share their favorite cookie recipe. Then they asked readers to vote for the best. Since that 1992 election, the ballots have been accurate predictors of who’ll end up in the White House.

So when the votes were counted in the latest cookie election, Cindy McCain’s Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies garnered 4,123 votes while Michelle Obama’s Shortbread Cookies earned 3,440. That’s a vote of 54 percent to 44 percent.
That's 54% of Family Circle readers who said so.

McCain voted with Bush

I'm getting pretty sick that this ad is the only Obama ad I have seen in three days. And I've seen it multiple times.

Are we trying to move backwards, or forward?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Headbutts

You gotta love a head-butt expression of "good morning, friend."

Right on, Coach

Eyes on the prize, boys.
Mike McCarthy during his weekly visit with Fox Sports Radio today said he does not want talk of Brett Favre to be part of the Packers' locker room.

McCarthy was asked about the report that Favre shared information with the Detroit Lions before the Packers played them in Week 2.

"You know, it's really a conversation that I really don't want to be part of," McCarthy said. "I really don't want it to be part of our locker room. I think as an organization we've moved past that situation. I thought we've answered the questions forthright throughout the whole process and training camp. And we really just want to move on with our season. So I really don't have any comment on any of the stuff that's out there."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sick of Tina Fey Palin

I'm tired of Tina's version. It's just redundant now. This review of Palin's latest Pennsylvania appearance, is to say the least, refreshing.
"Isn't She Lovely?" That's the Stevie Wonder song that introduced vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin to Lancaster, Pa., early this past Saturday morning.

And no one blinked. Don't get me wrong, she is lovely, but isn't that a beauty pageant anthem? Of course, it is the same song that escorted Michelle Obama off stage at the Democratic National Convention. But she's the wife, not the candidate.

It was an odd start to an oddly tame political rally. Certainly, most of the 8,000 or so Pennsylvanians gathered at the minor-league baseball stadium were on their feet and cheering or clapping much of the time. But the rally was fairly devoid of shout-outs or extremely boisterous behavior. Maybe that was a reflection of the swing-state crowd, which included more large families with toddlers and retired servicepeople than super-amped lifelong Republicans. One mom whose baby rode on her hip in a sling pinned a sign to the outside that read, "Sling vote for Palin." (The Amish farmers in attendance -- more than a dozen that I saw -- also failed to contribute to the din.)

That doesn't mean she wasn't a hit, of course. ..

Now, you big-city cynics may not get the God and country all rolled up into one, but it is still an ingrained truth in the middle states. (Full disclosure: I am a registered Independent now living in the swing state of Pennsylvania, after eight years of living in New York City. And yes, I get a lot of mail.)

And that's what Sarah Palin gets about the conservative middle in America. They do put a lot of stock in family and faith, and voting on one issue is a way of life. Literally. (Just as large numbers of the opposing viewpoint base their vote on one issue.) And, by the way, just because they're not knee-deep in irony doesn't mean they're stupid sheep. When Ms. Palin said she and Sen. John McCain would balance the budget in one term, the retired serviceman sitting behind me said, "That's ambitious." (He later told me that he was voting for Mr. McCain, saying "I could never vote for Obama," because of what he perceived as a lack of support for the military.)

Ms. Palin toted baby Trig on her arm as she made her way to the podium, bundled in bunting (it was about 40 degrees and very windy, although she charmingly declared the weather "toasty warm to me") and reminded us that special-needs children "inspire a special love." (One of my friends, who was not at the rally and whose first cousin is an adult with Down's Syndrome, observed that anyone who might be inclined to comment about why the baby is on display so often instead of napping and having his needs more carefully attended wouldn't or couldn't because of the perception they'd be attacking special-needs children.)

Ms. Palin's other hits were other Ronald Reagan references, promises for no tax increases and several mentions of Mr. McCain's war record.

She did bring up "Joe the Plumber" (six references) and ACORN. She talked about renewed drilling in the U.S., but that only prompted a scant crowd chant of "Drill Baby Drill." By my count, there were only two mentions of "maverick." There were zero uses of the phrase "doggone it" and the only "you betcha" to be seen or heard was on a protest sign out front ("Pitbulls make poor diplomats. You Betcha.").

And so she left the stage again to the strains of "Isn't She Lovely?" -- and so she was.

Gavin Rossdale - Love Remains The Same

Looking forward to seeing Nights in Rodanthe and this song. Who knew it was Gavin Rossdale?

Yes, I'm a total girl some days.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Flirting Favre

Favre denies talking to Detroit. Some say he did, some say he didn't. Rumors, in general, blow.
Did Brett Favre -- T.O.'ed at his old team -- give the Lions a helping hand against Green Bay in Week 2?

Ask the dueling NFL insiders.

Fox's Jay Glazer says he did. NBC/Sports Illustrated's Peter King says he didn't.

Said Glazer, on Fox's pregame show Sunday: "Brett Favre called the Detroit Lions, starting off with Matt Millen and then the coaching staff, and gave them a 90-minute dissertation on every single thing that the Green Bay Packers do on offense."

Countered King later: "Favre text-messaged me before he went out to play the Oakland Raiders and said that was 'total BS.'

"He vehemently denied the story. I also spoke to the Lions COO and he said, 'Our coaches are perplexed. There was no coaching of our coaching staff by Brett Favre.' "

Asked about the report by the Associated Press, the Packers had mixed reactions.

Said Charles Woodson: "I know he's been the greatest player around here for a long time, but there's no honor in that."

And Donald Driver, one of Brett's buds: "I'd rather not know what it is and not comment on it."
Who doesn't love double D- Donald Driver?

But here's the bottom line. Let's stop trying to make Brett Favre the news in Green Bay and Wisconsin. He's not. He plays for the Jets now and should be New York news, grace ESPN, and get his kicks from Sports Illustrated and SportsCenter. Text message or no text message, Packer fans are concerned with Aaron Rodgers and our guys.

And another thing: Charles- focus on your job, and you can beat any team regardless of the inside scoop they may or may not be getting.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

PACK IN THE GREEN!

4-3 Feels good.

Obama's already history

This is here in Wisconsin, people!
The Racine school district’s use of an eighth grade textbook that includes a chapter on Democrat Barack Obama but nothing on his opponent John McCain is unfair and troubling, the Wisconsin Republican Party argued Thursday.

A parent complained on an Internet blog about the textbook that includes a chapter on Obama called ‘‘Dreams from My Father.’’

The school district said in a statement that it has received no complaints about the book, which it first used last school year. Even so, the 21,000-student district said it was reviewing its policies regarding the book’s use in a literature class.

The textbook, ‘‘McDougal Littell Literature,’’ is published by an arm of Houghton Mifflin Co. A spokesman for the publisher, Richard Blake, said the book was compiled in 2005 before Obama ran for president.

The latest version of the textbook, with a 2009 copyright, and all future versions will not include the Obama chapter to avoid any appearance that the publisher supports one political campaign over another, Blake said.

Wisconsin Republican Party executive director Mark Jefferson accused the Racine district of being a ‘‘satellite campaign office’’ for Obama. Deciding to use the textbook was at best very poor judgment and at worst intentional indoctrination of students in Democratic politics, he said.

‘‘That offends a lot of people in our party and justifiably so,’’ Jefferson said. ‘‘You don’t have to look very far outside of the Democratic presidential nominee to come up with other stories of inspiration as well.’’
Maybe this is out of the hands of the Obama campaign, but honestly.
Phil Walzak, spokesman for Obama’s campaign in Wisconsin, declined immediate comment. The chapter in question includes an excerpt from Obama’s 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention and a portion of his 1995 autobiography.
I don't mind the speech excerpt. It was a beautifully delivered speech. But that was in 2004 when the world believed Obama could be a moderate figure for unity.

No comment?

Yard Sign

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Frightening mentality

Comments like these, aren't safe for America:
I hope everyone knows that Barack's idea to have a government be larger part of your life is only to help. He wants to be there for people in crisis. And honestly, he DOES want to spread the wealth. He wants to take some money from people who can afford to give something and give it to people who have nothing.
He's a regular Robin Hood, ain't he? Well, I'd rather the so-called "rich" people have a chance to employ more of the "people in crisis," and they'll still pay more than 50% of the tax burden for the rest of us.

But with a candidate making statements like "we're going to change the world," it's no wonder the 17 year old is excited.
The supremely confident demeanour and exalted rhetoric of the Democratic nominee at a New Hampshire event betrayed that he is a man convinced he is poised to make history.

"I want you to believe," said the candidate, clad in an open-necked shirt and barn jacket. "Not so much believe just in me but believe in yourselves. Believe in the future. Believe in the future we can build together. I'm confident together we can't fail."

There was a carnival atmosphere among the crowd of some 4,000, who almost drowned Mr Obama out as he reached his crescendo and said: "I promise you. We won't just win New Hampshire. We will win this election and, you and I together, we're going to change the country and change the world."
Change the country, that's for sure. And not for the better.

On the verge of socialism

McCain is just calling a spade, a spade.
CONCORD, N.C. – Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Saturday accused Democratic rival Barack Obama of favoring a socialistic economic approach by supporting tax cuts and tax credits McCain says would merely shuffle wealth rather than creating it.

"At least in Europe, the Socialist leaders who so admire my opponent are upfront about their objectives," McCain said in a radio address. "They use real numbers and honest language. And we should demand equal candor from Sen. Obama. Raising taxes on some in order to give checks to others is not a tax cut; it's just another government giveaway."

McCain stoked the crowd by accusing Obama and his fellow Democrats of assuming they will not only win the White House but expand their congressional majority.

"Did you happen to see that Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi anticipates a 250-seat majority" in the House, the senator asked. "My friends, we can't let that happen. My friends, taxes will increase, spending and they'll concede defeat in Iraq."
We can't let that happen.

Sly's for McCain

The script for reality is pretty brutal...yes, Sly, it is.

Awesome.

W

Who's going to see this? I'm still debating...but probably will.
The short and snappy title W. reflects the style and focus of this entertaining but superficial biopic. Don't "misunderestimate" us, to paraphrase President Bush: The performances are good (some scarily realistic), and the movie is enjoyable to watch. But as a probing analysis of the 43rd president, it falls short.

Though the comic moments are broadly funny, sometimes bordering on campy, the focus on George W. Bush's evolution into a politician leaves questions unanswered. Perhaps director Oliver Stone didn't intend W. to be a serious biopic. But enough moments of melodrama are juxtaposed with the comedy to make you wonder what tone he did want to strike.

It's not enough to go for the easy laugh by highlighting Bush's mangled syntax and malapropisms. Neither is it sufficient to rely on facile pop psychology to explain his motivations and actions.

One is left wondering how much armchair analysis was derived from research and how much was based on the suppositions and speculation of Stone and screenwriter Stanley Weiser. This is not to say it's not good fun, but how close does it come to accuracy?

W. could have benefited from the perspective that comes with time. It might have been a better film had it come out later, when shading and context could have been added. To assess his true character requires knowledge of Bush's final few months in office and how his decisions spill over onto the next presidency.

Stone paints him as the family's black sheep and tries to inspire empathy, or at least understanding, for the man. The younger Bush is portrayed as hellbent on gaining the approval and love of his father, former president George H.W. Bush.

It's entertaining to identify the recognizable Bush administration movers, shakers and advisers and see how accurately they are portrayed, in speech and demeanor. Josh Brolin gives a strong and credible impersonation of George W. and brings the man to life. He nails the vocal cadence and absorbs his look and mannerisms. Richard Dreyfuss does a great Dick Cheney.
If not for the Dick Cheney...