Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bob Marley is the latest entry on Stuff White People Like While reading this I was feeling a little smug because I always liked Peter Tosh better than Bob Marley. Then I got to this paragraph:

"Since so many people are into Bob Marley, it is only natural for advanced white people to profess to only marginally liking Bob Marley (note: it is impossible for a white person to outright dislike him). Instead, these white people will claim to preferring more obscure artists like Burning Spear or Peter Tosh."

This is my favorite Peter Tosh album.

Here is a link to a great video of Mick Jagger and Peter Tosh singing Walk and Don't Look Back

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Day Off

I spent all morning organizing my garage. I put some shelves together and also put some hooks on the wall so that I could hang up some things. Got to use my power tools! While I was doing this the dogs played outside. Lucy, the Great Pyrenees puppy who is visiting me this weekend played in the mud so she had to have a bath. She was not happy about that. Now we are all resting.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Imaginative Crowd

I'm having a great time watching Obama respond to criticism from the right wing nuts in our country. After being criticised for being too friendly to the evildoer Chavez and even (gasp) shaking his hand, Obama had this to say:
Venezuela is a country whose defense budget is probably 1/600th of the United States’. They own Citgo. It’s unlikely that as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr. Chavez that we are endangering the strategic interests of the United States. I don’t think anybody can find any evidence that that would do so. Even within this imaginative crowd, I think you would be hard-pressed to paint a scenario in which U.S. interests would be damaged as a consequence of us having a more constructive relationship with Venezuela.
Several people on the news have also pointed out the hypocrisy of the RWN's for being critical of Obama for "bowing" to the Saudi King when W held hands with him and even kissed him.
Polls have shown that the majority of people in this country have faith and confidence in Obama and are tired of these ridiculous attacks from people who will do or say anything to see him fail even if it means failure for our country.

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Popular than Republicans

Chris Bowers on his blog Open Left has an "irregular" series of things that are more popular than Republicans. Today, using poll numbers from CNN, he found that Venezuela is more popular than Republicans. In the poll Republicans are viewed 39% favorable, 54% unfavorable and Venezuela 42% favorable, 54% unfavorable. Legalizing marijuana and China are also more popular than Republicans. I love this and I'm planning to add it to my Bloglines account. With the way the R's are acting, it will probably last a long time.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rosie, Ringo and Blue Dog

A Short Citizen's Guide to Kooks, Demagogues, and Right-Wingers On Tax Day

I found this on Huffington Post and thought it worth posting after seeing the tea-baggers at the Fox News sponsored events yesterday. The best part of this whole thing has been watching Keith Olbermann make fun of them on Countdown (MSNBC) for the last few nights.
A Short Citizen's Guide to Kooks, Demagogues, and Right-Wingers On Tax Day
by Robert Reich
No one likes to pay taxes, so tax day typically attracts a range of right-wing Republicans, kooks, and demagogues, all of whom tell us how awful we have it. Here's a short citizen's guide (that is, a citizen's guide that's short rather than a guide for short citizens) responding to the predictable charges:
1. "Americans pay too much in taxes." Wrong: The United States has the lowest taxes of all developed nations.
2. "The rich pay too much! The top ten percent of income earners pay over 72 percent of all income taxes!" Misleading: The main reason the rich pay such a large percent is they've become so much richer than the bottom 90 percent in recent years. If you look at what they pay as individuals -- the percent of their incomes over and above the highest rate below them -- you'll see a steady decline over the years. When Republican Dwight Eisenhower was president, the marginal rate on the highest earners was 91 percent (after deductions and tax credits, closer to 50 percent); by 1980 it was still up there, at 70 percent (an effective rate of closer to 45 percent); under Bill Clinton, it was 38 percent (an effective rate closer to 28 percent).
Look at the after-tax earnings of families and you'll see what's really going on. Between 1980 and 2000, the after-tax earnings of families at the top rose more than 150 percent, while the after-tax earnings of families in the middle rose about 10 percent. The Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 raised the after-tax incomes of most Americans by a bit over 1 percent -- but raised the after-tax incomes of millionaires by 4.4 percent.
3. "The bottom 60 percent pay only 3.3 percent of the taxes!" Misleading again. Most Americans are paying more in sales taxes than they ever have. Property taxes have also been rising at a steady clip. And Social Security taxes have also risen (thanks to the Greenspan Commission), while earnings over about $100,000 aren't subject to Social Security taxes. So-called "sin" taxes (mostly beer and cigarettes) have also skyrocketed. All of these taxes take a bigger bite out of the paychecks of people with lower incomes than they do people with higher incomes.
4. "Obama is raising your taxes!" Wrong. Obama is cutting taxes for 95 percent of Americans, by about $400 per person a year -- not a whopping tax cut, to be sure, but not a tax increase by any stretch. Only the top 2 percent will have a tax increase, but even this tax increase is modest. Basically, they go back to the rates they were paying under Bill Clinton (their deductions will be limited to 28 percent, which is only fair). And they won't start paying this until 2011 anyway.
5. "The huge debts we're wracking up will cause your taxes to rise!" Wrong again. When it comes to the national debt, as I've said before, the relevant statistic is the ratio of debt to the gross domestic product. The only sure way to bring that debt down and make it manageable in future years is to get the economy growing again -- which requires that, in the short term, the government spend a lot of money (because consumers and businesses won't). In the long term, the biggest source of concern is rising health-care costs. And that's something Obama and Congress are aiming to tackle.
6. "We have a patriotic duty to stand up against Washington taxes!" Just the opposite. We have a patriotic duty to pay taxes. As multi-billionaire Warren Buffett put it, "If you stick me down in the middle of Bangladesh or Peru or someplace, you'll find out how much this talent is going to product in the wrong kind of soil. I will be struggling thirty years later." President Teddy Roosevelt made the case in 1906 when he argued in favor of continuing the inheritance tax. "The man of great wealth owes a particular obligation to the state because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government."
An acquaintance from law school, now a partner in one of Washington's biggest and wealthiest law firms, explained to me one day over lunch how he and his partners use tax rules to create offsetting taxable gains and losses, and then allocate the gains to the firm's foreign partners who don't pay taxes in the United States. That way, they keep the losses here and shelter their income abroad. I noticed he had an American flag lapel pin. "You're supporting our troops," I said, referring to his pin. "Yup," he replied, entirely missing my point.
True patriotism isn't cheap. It's about taking on a fair share of the burden of keeping America going. Originally posted on Talking Points Memo

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Apple Blueberry Honey Apple Ginger Tart

I found this recipe on Eat Drink Better

What You Need:
12 organic graham crackers
1/4 cup (or 1 large handful for those disinclined to measure) crystallized ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons soft or melted margarine or butter
1 egg white
1 and 1/2 cups Greek yogurt (you can use coconut milk yogurt here if you want a non-dairy version)
2 tablespoons (or just a good looooong squeeze) of honey
1 and 1/2 cups organic blueberries
1 local McIntosh apple (or whatever kind of fruit you like, really)

What You Do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. Combine the graham crackers, crystallized ginger, sugar, and salt in a food processor until finely ground. You can also do this by hand (if you’re gangsta) by crumbling the graham crackers, which is sort of fun, and dicing the ginger and mixing them all together.
3. Mix in the egg white and butter and press into a greased pan. Bonus if you have the pretty fluted tart kind, but assuming you don’t live in the Food & Wine test kitchen, you can just use any pan around 14×4 inches.
4. Bake the crust until lightly browned, about 20 minutes, and let the crust cool down.
5. Mix the honey and the yogurt in a bowl and spread in the crust.
6. Thinly slice the apples and arrange the fruit over the top. Slice and eat. YUM.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amigo's New Hope

More details are emerging about the new First Puppy Bo. He comes from The Amigo PWD Kennel in the Dallas Fort Worth area which is owned by Art and Martha Stern. He was born on October 9, 2008. Bo's parents are Ch. Amigo's Phor What Its Worth AKA Penny and Ch. Valkyrie's Dr. Watson Is Here AKA Watson.

Here are all the names of the puppies in the litter:

Amigo's Captain Courageous
Amigo's Change To Believe In
Amigo's Great Hope
Amigo's Hope For Tomorrow
Amigo's Hope Of Tomorrow
Amigo's Hope Wilson Will Prevail
Amigo's Hoping For Change
Amigo's Hoping For The Best
Amigo's New Hope
Amigo's Shining Hope
The new First Dog was originally named Amigo's New Hope.
The kennel owners are Obama supporters in case you hadn't figured that out already.

Bo Obama

Saturday, April 11, 2009

First Dog

I just read an article saying that the First Dog, a 6 month old Portuguese Water Dog will be making his debut on Tuesday. He's coming from a kennel in Texas, where he was bred, sold, and then returned, so I guess you you call him a recycled dog. He was named Charlie by the original owner but may get a new name once he is adopted by the First Daughters. This is supposed to be a picture of the actual dog but I'm not sure. UPDATE: This is the new puppy and he has been named Bo after Bo Diddley. Michelle's father's nickname was Diddley and that's why the First Girls picked that name. It's also their dad's initials. Bo Diddley is one of Rosies nicknames too. I often sing the Bob Dylan son that has the lyrics "she walks like Bo Diddley and she don't need no crutch" when we're out walking.

Easter Pictures

Here are some old Easter pictures of me and my sister. My mother, her sister, and her parents are in some of the pictures too. Some were taken in Raymondville, some in Robstown, and some at our home on Drummond in Houston. I'm pretty sure my mother made all of the dresses my sister and I are wearing and also the ones she is wearing. She probably made the hats too.

This picture of my mother was taken in 1947 in Calallen on the Nueces River. She was sitting in a field of bluebonnets.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bill O'Reilly and Squeaky the Chicago Mouse

Keith Olbermann read part of Roger Ebert's letter to Bill O'Reilly on Countdown tonight. Here is the complete letter:

Thoughts on Bill O'Reilly and Squeaky the Chicago Mouse
By Roger Ebert

To: Bill O'Reilly
From: Roger Ebert
Dear Bill:
Thanks for including the Chicago Sun-Times on your exclusive list of newspapers on your "Hall of Shame." To be in an O'Reilly Hall of Fame would be a cruel blow to any newspaper. It would place us in the favor of a man who turns red and starts screaming when anyone disagrees with him. My grade-school teacher, wise Sister Nathan, would have called in your parents and recommended counseling with Father Hogben.
Yes, the Sun-Times is liberal, having recently endorsed our first Democrat for President since LBJ. We were founded by Marshall Field one week before Pearl Harbor to provide a liberal voice in Chicago to counter the Tribune, which opposed an American war against Hitler. I'm sure you would have sided with the Trib at the time.I understand you believe one of the Sun-Times misdemeanors was dropping your syndicated column. My editor informs me that "very few" readers complained about the disappearance of your column, adding, "many more complained about Nancy." I know I did. That was the famous Ernie Bushmiller comic strip in which Sluggo explained that "wow" was "mom" spelled upside-down.Your column ran in our paper while it was owned by the right-wing polemicists Conrad Black (Baron Black of Coldharbour) and David Radler. We dropped it to save a little money after they looted the paper of millions. Now you call for an advertising boycott. It is unusual to observe a journalist cheering for a newspaper to fail. At present the Sun-Times has no bank debt, but labors under the weight of millions of dollars in tax penalties incurred by Lord Black, who is serving an eight-year stretch for mail fraud and obstruction of justice. We also had to pay for his legal expenses.There is a major difference between Conrad Black and you: Lord Black is a much better writer and thinker, and authored a respected biography about Roosevelt, who we were founded to defend. That newspapers continue to run your column is a mystery to me, since it is composed of knee-jerk frothings and ravings. If I were an editor searching for a conservative, I wouldn't choose a mad dog. My recommendation: The admirable Charles Krauthammer.Bill, I am concerned that you have been losing touch with reality recently. Did you really say you are more powerful than any politician?That reminds me of the famous story about Squeaky the Chicago Mouse. It seems that Squeaky was floating on his back along the Chicago River one day. Approaching the Michigan Avenue lift bridge, he called out: Raise the bridge! I have an erection!
On Monday an earthquake destroyed the city of L'Aquila, Italy, killing 260 and leaving 17,000 homeless. With the exception of about 200 people, tents have been provided, as well as food and medication. Not too bad, right? Well, between Monday and Tuesday there was driving rain, hail, and temperatures as low as 39 degrees. Not very nice conditions by most peoples standards, even if you aren't in a tent. In an effort to reassure the public, Prime Minister Berlusconi said that the earthquake victims should think of themselves as being on a "camping weekend." Needless to say, his remarks didn't go over to well with the "campers" and rescue workers who are still searching for survivors in the rubble, and dealing with aftershocks.
This sounds like something dubya, or his insensitive and stupid, rhymes with witch, mother would have said.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing

I've always thought this was true, at least for me, but now a study by The University of Melbourne has found that people who engage in Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing (WILB) are about 9% more productive than those who don't. According to Brent Coker, the author of the study, Internet browsing helps sharpen worker's concentration and that a "quick surf of the Internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days' work, and as a result, increased productivity." The study only looked at people who browse in moderation (20% of the workday) and not at those who might be described as Internet addicts.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I subscribed to a new blog today which follows the fashion and style of Michelle Obama. It's so nice having a president we know won't embarrass us when he goes overseas. Now I can concentrate on fun things like Michelle's beautiful clothes. This is what she wore to meet the British Prime Minister.