Archive for family

Needle In A Haystack Found -- On Google Earth


needle in a haystack

During this holiday season family plays a great part in our lives. Both our loved ones around us and those we've lost. For the "feel good" story of one lucky soul, a man named Saroo Brierley, his tale is made of the magic fairy dust which abounds this time of year. Abandoned at 5, adopted and raised in a foreign country, he had but a few precious memories of the time before his separation from his birth family -- a mother, and two siblings.

He never gave up hope, nor should we. He was filled with desire to someday find that needle in a haystack. Watch how he found the greatest treasure of all, thanks to modern technology, desire and a great memory:


Sen. Grinch McConnell Spreads War On Christmas


Grinch McConnell

Mitch McConnell isn't making any friends on either side of the aisle lately. By definition of his obstructionist policies, the Democrats don't like the minority leader's determined actions to hold up nominees and bills facing full floor votes in the senate. It's that obstructionism that led Harry Reid to invoke the nuclear option  And plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.

Someone please explain to the minority leader how things work. We elect a President and he gets to make certain appointments. Then it's up to the Senate to decide if there's valid reason to not allow the chief executive to have his people. It's not for the opposing party (the losers) to deny the selections without a valid reason. Just not liking the President isn't one of those.

So now Obama's picks are sailing through the Senate. In the last ten days, more nominations have been approved than in the first 11 months of the session. The reason is simple. It's not the quality of the nominees. It's the lack of necessary votes by the minority to stop the elected President from doing his job and doing it the way he wants.

Now Mitch McConnell doesn't like Obama's selection of John Koskinen as IRS commissioner,. Notice I didn't say he objected to the nominee's qualifications, just this man's personality. Thus, we have a limited filibuster on the floor. This isn't going down well with Democrats who want to vote and go home, but it's also making the Republicans angry. Senators like Jim Inhofe.


Sen. Jim Inhofe (Okla.), the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, went so far s to display an enlarged picture of his family on the Senate floor and plead with colleagues to let him get out of town in time to celebrate his 54th wedding anniversary.

“I would sure like those 20 kids and grand kids [who] are waiting for me for a big dinner on our 54th wedding anniversary tomorrow night,” he said motioning to the photo of his family behind me.

“So have mercy, give us a break and let’s try to get this thing voted on and go home,” he added, referring to the Defense authorization bill, which has been held up as part of the year-end gridlock.

So Mitch has his hands full, even with his own people. But interestingly, look at the self-serving reasons Inhofe gives in wanting to go home. He wants to party with his family. He wants to celebrate his anniversary. He wants mercy -- a break -- so he can just get things going and go home.

Where was that kind of thinking when it came to shutting down the government? How about voting on the unemployment insurance extension? Wouldn't those effected people like to get going with their lives, too? Where was your compassion then?

It's easy to put the blame on Mitch. He deserves it. But there's enough to spread around. I hope Harry keeps the GOP obstructionists as long as it takes to do what the President was elected to do -- run a government with the people he wants doing it. News flash to Republicans, Obama won. It's over a year now and you're still making believe it didn't happen. Well that'll give you something to talk about when you're still in session over the weekend instead of sipping your toddies and singing carols with the family. Obstructionism's a bitch, or should I say, a Grinch.


McConnell, threatened with desertions from his GOP cohorts and Reid got together and with both sides wanting to go home for the holidays (how trite) an agreement was reached. The Republicans dropped their demand to use all of their allowed time to hold up votes and by mid-day today, all of the nominations and official business will be concluded. The last vote is scheduled for 1 PM EST.

The only casualty of this rush to the exits is the vote on the nomination of Janet Yellen to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve Board. A final vote on her confirmation is now planned for January 6, instead of this Saturday evening.


You Say Tomato And I Say 'You're Stupid'


tomato tomahto

Tomato, tomahto, potato, potahto, let's call the whole thing off. Thank you Gershwin brothers. Great song and so appropriate for this little expose.

Well, when we're talking about the Affordable Care Act, we're not going to call anything off. We'll tweek, fix, expand and provide coverage to all, but it's not now nor will it in the future be going away. And to borrow from another Gershwin classic, "our ACA's here to stay."

It's with nothing short of amazement that I've read the recent outrageous claims the Republican party are making about the ACA law. First they didn't like it despite it being their own plan. They they voted against it 45 or so times. After that they shut the government down over it. They followed that up with criticism and obstruction on the faulty rollout -- like none of their plans (like they've had any) have never faced a rocky start. Okay, give them this one -- the rollout was a disaster -- but the rollout wasn't the law. It was the delivery service.

That argument about the rollout is like blaming UPS when a package you were expecting didn't arrive or came damaged or late. It wasn't the fault of the contents of the package. It was the delivery service. Who you hired for the delivery service may have been a mistake, but your product didn't change. It was still as strong as when it was shipped.

After figuring that out once the website started running relatively well, the GOP nay-sayers needed another argument. So this one became, Obamacare is part of the war on women.

Oh yes, the pot calling the kettle black. The misogynist party went to some genius Republican strategist to concoct this one. Fight fire with fire, so to speak. Only the Democrats have flame throwers to the GOP's flicking their bic in this argument.

Here's the GOP's new take on the Democratic ACA law as voiced by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), a nurse who serves as the chairwoman of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee. (Somewhat surprising that the GOP didn't pick a male nurse, so let's give them points for trying with dear, sweet but used, Renee.)


“If you want to talk about a ‘war on women,’ look no further than this healthcare law,” Ellmers countered in the weekly address. “After all, it’s often women who make the healthcare decisions for our families.  We put a lot of time and thought into these choices and how they’ll affect our budgets. So by canceling your insurance – despite a promise to let you keep your plan – the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family.”

Let that digest a moment. Okay, that's long enough. No reason to wallow in the stupidity of those remarks very long.

This inanity drew a rather pointed and fact-based response from Ashley Etienne, Nancy Pelosi's spokesperson. Nancy undoubtedly was too dumbfounded to even utter a reply.

"This pathetic attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act is a profound insult to the intelligence of women across this country," she said.

"Under the Affordable Care Act insurance companies cannot charge women more than men for health insurance coverage, and hundreds of thousands of women are now enjoying access to preventive care, like breast and cervical screenings. The question before House Republicans is why they're trying so desperately to take these benefits away from women?," she continued.

There you have it. The GOP leaves no stone unturned, even if it's a rock that rolls back over and crushes them. The fact that women are covered without the stigma or expanded expense of being childbearing and therefore falling under the scrutiny of having a preexisting condition hasn't registered with GOP numbnut Renee Ellmers. Perhaps she forgot everything she learned in nursing school. I guess we should be glad she's in congress. They don't do anything there and in a hospital, who knows what harm a fool like herself could be doing to others.


Cartoons of the Day- Happy Thanksgiving



Scott Stantis


Chan Lowe

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

Clay Bennett


Dave Granlund