Saturday, December 04, 2010

Heading into Edaville Railroad

Baking, Pottery Gallery Party, Edaville Railroad

It was a chilly start to the day today so I decided to do a little baking and made that cherry pie you see on the left for my father-in-law. (Shhh... it's a surprise!) It's his favorite pie and I had promised to make one for him for Thanksgiving but I ended up not attending dinner at the in-laws'. I hope he enjoys it. We also have to go to a gallery party and then meet our in-laws at Edaville Railroad to enjoy one last ride on the holiday train before the place closes for good. I think it's going to be a great nostalgic thing to do and I am so looking forward to it. 

Photos to come, I'm sure.

Let the social swirl begin!

From Thanksgiving to January 2nd, our lives become one big dash from one social engagement to another. And how many of us just wish that we could hide in our homes and pull the blankets over our heads and cry "Enough!!"?

Well perhaps that is too harsh. I suppose I should be grateful that I can get around and have friends that throw events around the holidays but when you have two or three events a weekend and a couple during the week I think that one needs to do a little paring down. 

So without any further ado may I say "Thanks for the invitation. I accept." However, if the day of the event comes and I suddenly come down with "the grippe" let me also say "I heard the party was fabulous and I'm sorry I couldn't be there."

Whew! I think this completes my social obligations for the season. That was easier than expected. 

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Things to come...

A bleak and dreary start to a gray, overcast weekend. I suppose that there's only one thing to do in this case: Bake something!!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

10 States That Will Be Hardest Hit By Lapse In Unemployment Benefits

According to 24/7 Wall Street the 10 states that will be hardest hit by a lapse in unemployment benefits are:

Georgia (2 Republican Senators)
Florida (1 Democrat, 1 Republican Senator)
New York (2 Democratic Senators)
California (2 Democratic Senators)
Illinois (1 Democrat, 1 Republican Senator)
Texas  (2 Republican Senators)
Pennsylvania (2 Democratic Senators)
Ohio (1 Democrat, 1 Republican Senator)
Michigan (2 Democratic Senators)
Indiana (1 Democrat, 1 Republican Senator)

You would think that the Senators from the states that will be hit hardest by this lapse in extended benefits would look at these figures and would be concerned, if not for their constituents for their own re-election chances, but I doubt it. The benighted electorates in Georgia and Texas are lost forever to the lies and prevarications of the Republicans and as far as I'm concerned they are getting what they deserve, but in the other states where Democrats have been elected to the Senate you would think that there would be at least a glimmer of hope that the electorate in those states would remember that the Republicans are screwing with their lives just for purely selfish political gain. But then again, the American public has too short an attention span to remember any of this during the next election. By that time the Republicans will be blaming the Democrats for caving on the tax cuts and ringing up a $830 billion addition to the deficit. 

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I have had enough!

Scott Brown Single-Handedly Blocks An Extension Of Unemployment Benefits

 After reading this headline today on I had finally had enough. I called Senator Brown's office and of course I couldn't get to speak with the Senator himself but to a flack who asked how he could help me. I told him that I was appalled, yes appalled by the fact that Senator Brown had blocked the extension of unemployment benefits. The flack said that Senator Brown had offered his own plan last night but that Democrats in the Senate had voted in a strictly partisan way to block his plan. His plan? Take more time to study the matter and to debate it some more. That's a plan? People are broke now! People don't have anyway to feed their families! People are going to lose their homes! The tortured logic of not borrowing money to help the unemployed but borrow big to give these obscene tax breaks to the weathiest of us is monstrous and I told him so. The flack then said "I'll pass on your concerns to the Senator". 

I then went on to say that I was also upset about this letter of Mitch McConnell's that Brown signed saying that he would support the Republican's plan to block all Senate business until the tax cuts are approved. I pointed out that there has been no floor debate on that subject but that the Senate Republicans would be fine spending $830 BILLION on that without debate. I told him that I was absolutely disgusted with the Republicans and their clearly malicious attempts to hold the American people hostage over these tax cuts and the flack said. "I'm sorry sir but we do have other constituents calling so I'm going to have to go. I'll pass along your concerns to the Senator."

So where did this exercise get me? Nowhere. But at least I did make the call and let at least that douche bag flack in Brown (Eye)'s office knows how I feeel about all of this. You should do the same. Brown's office number in Washington is 202-224-4543. Call now and tell that a$$hole off!

Today's Product Review

Soaps. There are so many varieties of soaps on the market today. One only has to go to the supermarket to see the wealth of choices of soaps for you. Body bar or hand soap? Facial soap or deodorant bar? It can be very confusing to say the least. 

For the longest time my favorite all-around soap was a terrific bar sold by Tiffany & Co. called Tiffany for Men. It was scented with the fragrance I use in the cold weather month also called Tiffany for Men. Described by as "oriental spicy" it has
Top notes of lavender, green notes, mandarin orange, bergamot, cardamom and lemon; middle notes are nutmeg, carnation, sandalwood, patchouli, cinnamon, orris root, jasmine, cedar, rose and anise; base notes are tonka bean, amber, oakmoss, vanilla and incense. 

Unfortunately Tiffany & Co are no longer making this soap so I had to scour the Internet for a supply. I have finally gotten down to my last two bars that I found at eBay. I have tucked them away in my  "personal linen" drawer for safe keeping. Consequently I have had to find a new soap to use. 

When I was just a little one, my sainted mother gave me a little boy's shaving kit (like Daddy's) that had a fake safety razor, a little brush and a small cake of soap that was scented with sandalwood. From that day whenever I smell sandalwood I think of that little kit. So I decided to look for a soap that was scented with sandalwood for everyday use. While traveling in Provence I did find some lovely bars of sandalwood soap, but barring a lottery win I doubt that I will be heading to France when I run out of sandalwood soap. I also found some sandalwood soaps made by a Chinese company that did smell of sandalwood but only just. They were also very inexpensive but again, not very fragrant. 

Then I made a discovery. The Contressa di Pomodori and I were in Hingham at the Derby Street Shopping Center recently and dropped into a place called Company C which is a decor shop and they had some soaps made by a manufacturer called Claus Porto (since 1887). I picked up a bar of soap scented with lime and basil. It was a lovely fragrance but not one that I would want to use on a daily basis. I decided to check online for the company and sure enough they make a sandalwood and pear scented soap. I got a bar from them and boy am I pleased. It is a good hard-milled soap that lasts a long time and the fragrance is definitive but not overpowering. It comes in a 12 ounce bar so it is a little cumbersome to use initially but after a bit it gets easier to handle.

Looking for a great soap? Try the products from Claus Porto.

Stupid Bimbo Tweets Another Lie

What this cretina seems to have forgotten, or else doesn't care about because it suits her lie, is that the House and Senate Republicans under President Bush passed these tax cuts with a sunset clause because if they were to go beyond the ten-year mark then they would have to be paid for. So how President Obama has anything to do with these so-called tax-hikes is a ludicrous lie. I say let the tax-rates return to pre-cut levels as they were supposed to do and let the Republicans in the House and Senate try to pass the tax cuts again in the new Congress. The populace will want their middle-class tax cuts done quickly and the President can simply veto any tax legislation that includes tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. President Clinton went to the wall with Republicans in his 1st term, let Barry do the same. It will show these stupid people who support the Republican douchebags in Congress that they are interested in only two things. Enriching their fat friends and making sure the black boy gets only one term in the White House.

Most Outrageous Headline of the Day (So Far...)

"Senate Republicans (read Senate Republican Douchebags) Plan To Block All Democratic-Backed Bills" (My comment in parentheses)

From HuffingtonPost.Com:
Biggest Douchebag in Washington
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans intend to block action on virtually all Democratic-backed legislation unrelated to tax cuts and government spending in the current postelection session of Congress, officials said Tuesday, adding that the leadership has quietly collected signatures on a letter pledging to carry out the strategy.
If carried out, it would doom Democratic-backed attempts to end the Pentagon's practice of discharging openly gay members of the military service and give legal status to young illegal immigrants who join the military or attend college.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has made both measures a priority as Democrats attempt to enact legislation long sought by groups that supported them in the recent midterm elections.
A nuclear arms treaty with Russia that President Barack Obama wants ratified would not be affected, since any debate would take place under different rules than those that apply to legislation. Even so, its passage is not assured as Republicans are seeking concessions from the White House.
Officials who disclosed the new Republican maneuver did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss it.
It was not known how many of the Senate's 42 Republicans had signed the draft letter, which the leadership intends to make public quickly.
Senate Democrats need 60 votes to overcome any delaying tactics, meaning they could be thwarted if 41 Republicans join in the commitment.
Democrats' chances of passing politically charged legislation will dim when the new Congress convenes in January, since Republicans will take control of the House and gain more Senate seats.
The letter comes after comments by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and others in his party that the voters made it clear in the elections they want lawmakers to focus on economic issues.

So basically unless the Republicans get their tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires who neither need or want them they will hold up any work at all in Congress. If Harry Reid  and Nancy Pelosi had any balls (which to date have been missing in action) they would keep the House and Senate in session over the holidays until the douchebags in Congress get busy and do the work they were elected to do, like extending unemployment benefits for millions of out of work Americans, instead of posturing, prevaricating and just plain pissing on the heads of the American people. 

This is what Republicans call bi-partisanship. Disgusting! 

UPDATE: All 42 Republicans signed this offensive screed. Shame on them all. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And another thing...

Extended unemployment benefits will run out today for million of Americans because the Republicans are blocking a bill to extend them because they will add to the deficit. A majority of economists are in agreement that unemployment benefits are a great way, if not the best way, to stimulate the economy by putting money into the hands of people who will spend it rather than squirrel it away.

However the Republicans are also demanding that we extend the Bush-era tax cuts for people earning over $250,000 a year, passed by a Republican majority in 2001 with a "sunset" clause that said that if they are extended past 10 years that they MUST be paid for, adding $700 BILLION to the deficit.

Let's see if I have this straight... No to extending unemployment benefits for 2 million or more people  (approximately 1 percent of the population) struggling to feed and house themselves that would cost $18 billion, but yes to tax cuts for people who make over $250,000 and who don't need them (also approximately 1 percent of the population) that would cost $700 billion. You would have to be a complete moron or a Republican not to see the insanity in this.

Big "Doin's" in DC today

The Pentagon's ridiculous survey of what the military thinks about the repeal of the policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" comes out today and on Sunday we heard from two of the leading proponents of the policy, Senators John McCain (R-Head up Ass) and Lindsay "Down Low" Graham (R-Gay As A Pink Hairnet). I honestly believe that McCain must have some other bee up his ass than just this policy. Apart from anything else, McCain is a politician and all that comes with that moniker. He flips and flops in the breeze like a 150-count percale sheet depending on what the polls say on a subject, lies to suit his political ends, and yet with 70% of the public saying that the DADT policy should go, he adamantly says it should stay. He has it in for the gays is what I think. I'll just bet that sometime in his past (you can guess when), he probably got a good "drilling" from some sadist and that has colored his views on gay persons since. I mean... look at the interview with Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" this past Sunday and you will see a seething hatred of anything that has to do with equality for gays and lesbians. 

Three years ago McCain said he would support ending the ban once the military's top brass told him that they agreed with the change. 
"The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, 'Senator, we ought to change the policy,' then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it," McCain said in October 2006 to an audience of Iowa State University students. 
 Sounds reasonable... yes? 

Fast forward to February of this year. 
From the Washington Post: Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen testifying to senators after President Obama's announcement that he would seek a congressional repeal of the 15-year-old policy. Mullen called repealing the policy, which bans openly gay men and lesbians from serving, "the right thing to do" and said he was personally troubled by effectively forcing service members to "lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens." Gates told the Armed Services Committee, "I fully support the president's decision."

In response, McCain declared himself "disappointed" in the testimony. "At this moment of immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be seeking to overturn the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy," he said bluntly, before describing it as "imperfect but effective." 
Now we have this addled, demented statement on TV Sunday about how this policy is working and that there is no good reason to change it now. Let's face it... John McCain is too old, too stupid, too demented and too bigoted to realize that history will revile him for his complete lack of humanity and respect for the dignity of gay and lesbian military members who only want to serve their country honorably and without lying. 

Now to Lindsay Graham. Tired, self-hating, cracker-queen, closet-case from South Carolina. Need I say more?

Secretary Gates said in a letter to McCain sent in response to one sent to him by McCain and co-signed by Miss Down-Low Graham, "I do not believe that military policy decisions -- on this or any other subject -- should be made through a referendum of Servicemembers." He is of course absolutely correct on that point. 

It will be interesting to see what the report says but from what has leaked out it seems that the military thinks that this will be a non-issue with most service members. The rest will follow orders or they should be cashiered out for insubordination. 

Case closed!