Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rear Window

Although these two pictures are not as exciting as from the great Hitchcock movie Rear Window, playing this weekend at the Tivoli, (a movie that I have seen numerous times and am still on the edge of my seat every time I see it; also the first movie I ever watched on video tape) they were taken from my rear window.  The first is looking to the right....the beautifully landscaped yard with a gazebo and pool creates a country club atmosphere and makes a sharp contrast to the view to the left, reminiscent of an industrial park with 3 temporary buildings and a garage in serious need of paint and repair (fortunately the garage is will mostly obscured by the large, out of control tree in the yard, at least until the leaves fall off).  

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Few Updates

A few updates to some prior postings:

Obama Must Defeat McCain (8/31/08):  As of today, the stock market is at exactly the same level that it was on GW Bush's first day in office over 7 1/2 years ago.  Under the "fiscally responsible" leadership of the party that is supposed to be good for the economy, business, etc., you would have been about the same had you invested your savings in cash and storing it at home than  by putting it in the stock market (Unless, of course, you invested in Ford, GM, Enron, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman, Bear Stearnes, AIG, or a bunch of others stocks, in which case you would have little, if anything, left at all).  And isn't Bush's lack of saying anything responsible during this financial crisis reminiscent of his lack of saying anything helpful after Katrina?  We can't be more than a day or two from hearing him tell the head of the SEC, Treasury, or Fed that they are "doing a heckuva job."

What Does a Mayor of Wasilla Do?  (9/7/08):  I came across this quote today that I should have included originally:  Running Wasilla "is not rocket science.  It's six million dollars and 53 employees." (SP, October 1996).
And, when asked about the city's receiving $1.8 million of federal earmarks, Mayor Palin told the Wasilla City Council:  "This does not include our nearly one million dollars from the Feds for our Airport Paving Project.  We did well!"  (SP, June 1999)

Monday, September 15, 2008


This is my foster dog, Rusty, who has lived with us since October, 2007.  The first picture is from a few months ago, the second was earlier today after his haircut.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Didn't Really Mean That....

This is my first try at putting a video up here....I hope it works

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

McCain's Role Model: Richard Nixon?

To see what kind of President McCain will be, it might be helpful to compare his decision of selecting a running mate. Unlike what many Democrats have said, Sarah Palin is not the person with the least experience ever....Forty years ago this year, Richard Nixon picked Spiro Agnew as his running mate. The similarities are amazing:

S. Agnew: Married, 4 children: 3 girls and a boy.
S. Palin: Married, 5 children: 3 girls and 2 boys. Unless Trig really is her grandson.

First political job
S. Agnew: Baltimore county zoning board
S. Palin: Wasliia City Council

First executive job
S. Agnew: Baltimore County executive, 4 years
S. Palin: Wasliia Mayor, 6 years

Election to governor
S. Agnew: 1968, by a margin of 49.5% to 40.6%. Ran on platform of reform and taking on the establishment. Served less than two years.
S. Palin: 2008, by a margin of 48.3% to 40.9%. Ran on platform of reform and taking on the establishment. Served less than two years, so far.

Selection as VP candidate:
S. Agnew: Surprise. Nixon, a moderate, picked him to keep conservatives happy and be energetic attack dog; he was clearly not part of the Washington elite and someone willing to "play second fiddle."
S. Palin: Surprise. McCain, a moderate, picked her to keep conservatives happy and be energetic attack dog; she was clearly a Washington outsider and someone who "knows her place."

Primary alternatives to their selection:
S. Agnew: Nixon preferred John Connaly, a Democrat who later became a Republican. Party base favored George Romney (Mitt's dad), who ran unsuccessfully in the primaries.
S. Palin: McCain preferred Joe Lieberman, a Democrat who likely will become a Republican. Party base favored Mitt Romney (George's son), who ran unsuccessfully in the primaries.

Prior meetings with the presidential candidate:
S. Agnew: Nixon met him twice before the convention: "You look a man in the eye and you know he's got it."
S. Palin: McCain met her once and talked to her on the phone once before the decision. Knew instantly she was "his soulmate and partner."

S. Agnew: Elected twice. Due to his lack of legislative experience he was ineffective in his role in the Senate, due to Nixon's lack of trust he was never a key player in the White House, making him one of the least effective VPs in US history. In 1973 he became the only VP to resign due to scandal-- he admitted to taking bribes, tax evasion, and money laundering while governor of Maryland. And for anyone who says a VP is meaningless--had this scandal come public only a year later, he would already have been President because Nixon had resigned in 1974 as a result of Watergate.
S. Palin: Undetermined. Allegations of scandal while governor of Alaska have not been resolved.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mayor Palin Leaves Wasilla

After she had served 6 years as mayor of Wasilla, what was Sarah Palin going to do? She tried to run for lieutenant governor of Alaska, but lost. Then a U.S. Senate seat opened up for which she was on the short list, and had expressed interest in. But she didn't get it; in December 2002, after the Governor appointed his daughter to the seat over former mayor Palin she said, according to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman:

"It took me about seven seconds to get over my disappointment," Palin said from her Wasilla home. "I mean, look at where we live and look at where I'm able to raise my family -- there's so many things to do that are positive." Where she lives played a big role in other decisions Palin has made this week. In her conversation with the governor, Palin said he asked her whether she had her eye on any commissioner jobs that were still open. She said she asked if he was requiring commissioners to live in Juneau, and the governor said he was. Palin said she turned the commissioner positions down, preferring instead to live in Wasilla. "You weigh a lifestyle in Juneau and a lifestyle in the Valley and, hands down, the Valley is a better place to raise my kids," Palin said. She added that the position of lieutenant governor or U.S. Senator were worth the sacrifice of leaving the home she loves, but not a commissioner position.

But she changed her mind two months later when she accepted an appointment as a commissioner to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission with a salary of $110,000. Its responsibilities include regulating drilling and production of oil and gas to ensure that physical waste does not occur, protecting rights of mineral interest owners and ensuring greater ultimate resource recovery. Palin's husband, Todd, works on the North Slope as a production operator for British Petroleum. In taking the position she was excited that her service on the board may help her relationship with Todd: "Maybe by the time this is all through, I can have an intelligent conversation with my husband about work," Palin said. She quit less than a year later.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What Does a Mayor of Wasilla Do?

Anyone watching the Republican convention last week heard all of those speakers say with a straight face that Sarah Palin has more experience from her time as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than either Obama or Biden. What did she do?

As reported in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, the bi-weekly paper that serves Wasilla, one of the first actions taken by Palin upon taking charge of the town was to ask the Library Director whether she would have a problem with censorship of objectionable books in the library. The director stood up to Palin and said that she could not live with the suggested censorship, indicating that she would get the ACLU involved to protect the constitutional free speech rights that she was responsible for by running the library system.

Her biggest accomplishment was pushing through a $14.7 million sports arena and a corresponding sales-tax increase, raising the sales tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent. The special election drew a 14-percent voter turnout, and the arena bond package and associated tax hike passed by just 20 votes, 306 to 286 (it's not exactly a big town). During the dedication ceremony after she left office, she was given credit: "This would not be possible if it weren't for the vision of Mayor Palin, and that due to Palin's efforts, a traffic light would be installed to relieve congestion at the intersection of Church Road and the Parks Highway."

Palin's time as mayor was not without recognition: "MAYORAL AWARD -- Wasilla's Mayor Sarah Palin is receiving an honor for the "Longest Sentence Award." Her recent Spectrum article showcased an incredibly complex 85-word sentence. This is a feat deserving of reward. Adjectives were plentiful, along with a complete collection of commas, verbs and nouns. The MOUTH would love to quote it again but it would take up half the paper."

Palin was also earning her $68,000 annual mayoral salary by passing out frequent awards to local sports teams, and by recognizing a 9 year old boy for saving his family from an unsafe electrical problem in their home.

What was Joe Biden doing during this time?

Palin believes Ike was a founding father

We all know the facts about Sarah Palin killing and eating moose, the rumors about who is the mother of her son Trig, the fact that if Trig is hers she actually named the poor kid after a high school math class, her role in a group whose goal was to secure the independence of Alaska from the rest of the United States, her questionable ethics, and the fact that Republicans believe it is fine to include the time served on the PTA and local positions in Wasilla, Alaska to prove that she is more qualified that a man that has served 4 years in the US Senate and has already won over 18 million votes. But here is one I haven't heard before....When running for governor Sarah Palin answered the following question given to all candidates (it appears to be a written question that she could go home, think about, and research if she wasn't comfortable with her answer at first):

11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

Answer: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

Too bad she doesn't know about the history of our country....the pledge was written in 1892....well after all of the founding fathers were long gone. The original wording was "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Several changes were made to this over the years, including "United States of America" and the LAST of such alterations was the addition of "under God" in the mid 1950s. I guess she is elevating Ike to status of a founding father. But since Eisenhower was president when Alaska was admitted as a state, maybe she really believes that he was one.