Thursday, July 31, 2008

What Amazon Thinks Of Me

So, I am ordering a book to take with me on my "la-la-la!" and when you sign into Amazon they give you recommendations.

Today I got
Stephen King's "The Dead Zone" - which I already have and love, although "The Stand" is my favorite
"Inside the Not So Big House" - good choice, the house is only 900 square feet and every bit is jammed with stuff.
"The Craft of Intelligence" by Allen J. Dulles. No comment

They've got my number.....hopefully they are not passing it on the McLeans.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Am Ridiculously Pleased!!!

Ok, we bloggers have huge egos and we are thrilled to get linky love. Some links are better than others.

Sean Meade who is Thomas Barnett's web guy put up a post about people around the Web discussing Mr. Barnett. I got a nod - probably as the person taking the longest to read "The Pentagon's New Map".

I've been reading it for about 15 years or so.....I'm kidding, but it's been a long time.

Anyway, linked on Barnett's website..........LOL!

I love it!

****please note - nothing tops being called "the goddess of the naval blogger strike group"***

Some Other Stuff I Have Been Holding Out On

Last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster of bad food.....too much good food.....way more drinking than normal.

Now I sit here....still at work and I have a stomach ache. I also haven't been to the gym since July 9th! That's pretty bad.

Tomorrow it's back on and back to the gym.

Because.........I have to pull my shit back together for my next great adventure.

Lest you think my summer has been all about moping and cancer - hang on to your hat!

Princess Crabby is going to sea!

I can hear you now "Oh Maggie, lot's of people take cruises. Pshaw!"

Oh, that's true....but how many take them on a US Navy ship?

LOL, that's right my friend, I am going to sea with the US Navy very soon. This is going to be one of the best vacations eva! So, why would the Navy take me, a civilian, to sea? Well I could BS and say the CNO offered it to me for all the assistance I rendered last summer. LOL

But instead I will tell you that I got it through the DOD New Media Outreach. Thanks Jack, Jennifer and everyone else there.

Proving A Negative

Pretty much everyone I have told about this myeloma business has been great. They are sympathetic but not mushy. They offer stories about people they know to bolster my spirits. They tell me they are there for me and what can they do for me.

One problem - The people who tell me I am calm because I am in denial. First off, that's kinda arrogant. How do *you* know what I am feeling? Why would you argue with me about what I am feeling?

Also, if you took your head out of your ass long enough you might realize that this is not *news* to me. Yes, I am telling you and you are surprised but I have known for six weeks. I've had my weak moments of panic and shock. I have heard it and absorbed it. I am over it.

So think twice before you go all Dr. Phil on me and tell me what *I* am thinking. Do not disparage me by saying that *I* don't know. I know.

I am not afraid. That is not shock. That is a lifetime of Catholic teaching and the genetic code from hundreds of years of black Irish/Druid heritage. That is the combination of unshakable faith and fatalism.

I'm fine...........but don't piss me off.......that hasn't change. I'm not going to get all nice.

It is what it is. I am totally ok with it.

Don't Hate John Kerry Because He's a Party Guy...

******UPDATE****big long-ass update at the bottom*****Hate him because he's a jackass.
This pic and others surfaced on TMZ. You can see the rest here. This nonsense launched THREE articles in the Herald and all kinds of radio coverage. OK, get a grip, some girls spotted him in a public place and asked for pics. Nothing more, nothing less. All this coverage for nonsense!

Boston is buzzing over this while no one cares that our junior Senator does NOTHING for Massachusetts. No one is covering the fact that he has only sponsored 8 bills in the (*please insert the word "last" here*)9.....nine.....NINE years he has been in the Senate (*please insert the words "that went anywhere" here*). Can we get a little coverage of that? (***UPDATE***Turns out I was wrong. Thanks to Charly on the MTA I see it wasn't 8 bills in the last nine years, it was 7 bills in the last nine and a half years. Thanks Charly!)

How about just despising him because he is an incredible liar? How about abhoring him because he is a cheat and a buffoon who diminishes the service of others?

I loathe John Kerry. No one thinks less of John Kerry than I do. But getting worked up about these pics is just nonsense.

This is what's wrong with politics and the media - coverage for this, but nothing serious, balanced and in depth about things that matter. How many more people know that John Kerry was in Nantucket last weekend than know the who their own state rep is????????????
Ok, from the comments.
Charly on the MTA

Maggie, "incredible liar", huh?

You said, "No one is covering the fact that he has only sponsored 8 bills in the 9.....nine.....NINE years he has been in the Senate. Can we get a little coverage of that?"

I'd like to point out that Kerry has been in the Senate since 1984. That's, like, 24 years. Not "nine.....NINE" (repeated for emphasis in case anyone didn't realize how wrong you were the first time.)

And then I'd like you to go to the legislative tracker at, and you will find that Kerry has sponsored *191* bills in *this legislative session alone*.

How about not dishing laughably false info on your site? How about you correct yourself?

My Response
Charley I'll play it your way. It'll take a while, but I don't mind.

My statement wasn't clear enough. Kerry has sponsored and cosponsored many pieces of legislation. But that's deceiving. I only want to count stuff that actually became law and could be considered legislation.

You asked me to go to and see that Kerry has sponsored 191 bills in this session alone. I did. There were *2*.
Pull up the list yourself.
First cut out the ones that were just amendments.
Next the bills that were resolutions or something "expressing our sense" or congratulating the Celtics.
Now cut anything that went into limbo.
And finally, what do you have left?

S.1784 and S.3029


I don't consider my statements to be "laughably false" (although it's my site and I can dish whatever the hell I want).
I think it's "laughably false" to point to "Kerry has sponsored *191* bills in *this legislative session alone*." When in reality *2* count.

OK, so Charly asked me to go to I did.
That was for the current 110th Congress. (2007 - 2008)
Charly's way - 191
Maggie's way - 2

Now here's the 109th Congress (2005 - 2006)
Charly's way - 140 bills sponsored in the 2 year time frame.
Maggie's way - (no amendments, no fluff, no limbo) *1*
S.1999 - some housekeeping to be sure, but it was legitimate legislation.
S.1999 Title: A bill to amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to transfer the YouthBuild program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Department of Labor, to enhance the program, and for other purposes.
Kerry took a working program, changed nothing about it except for the fact that YouthBuild now comes under the purview of Dept. of Labor instead of heart is aflutter.
Back - We are up to the 108th Congress (2003-2004)
Charly's way - 48 bills sponsored
Maggie's way - Zip.
Once again - I can't believe I am still looking, I should be in bed, LOL so much for pulling my shit together.
The 107th Congress (2001 - 2002)
Charly's way - 146 bills sponsored
Maggie's way - 3! He was busy
It's nearly midnight, but I am a here I am perusing and reading John Kerry's legislative record.
We're up to the 106th Congress (1999 - 2000)
*****Wait this reminds me! Charly did have one good point. I did mess up on the post. I do have something to correct. He pointed out that I said "9 years" and I made a big deal of it and Kerry has been in the Senate since 1985. Which is really 24 years (well he really said 1984, but then he came out and corrected himself.). Ok, anyway, he is correct and Kerry has (*sob*) been my Senator for 23 and half years. My mistake was that I left out some words. It was supposed to say "No one is covering the fact that he has only sponsored 8 bills in the last 9.....nine.....NINE years he has been in the Senate that went anywhere." See? I left out the words "last" and "went anywhere". My apologies and in the words of one of my favorite Navy blogger, Phibian, "Me fixie"
Ok, back to the 106th Congress (1999 - 2000)
Charly's way -63
Maggie's way - 1

Tada! For those of you keeping score at home, we are up to 7 bills.....9 and a 1/2 years. My original post said 8 bills in 9 years.....I wasn't counting 2008 but it's in here now.

I was wrong, it's even more pathetic. Not 8 bills in 9 years............7 in 9 and half years.

Ball's in your court Charly. You go slog through this shit. I'm done. See if you can refute it now. BTW, don't come back with any nonsense like the statue for Rosa Parks, or the honoring of Father Robert Drinan or the Congressional gold medal for Jackie Robinson. I want only real stuff. Some of the links to describe the bills come from Wikipedia because the links at Thomas were hosed. But getting the actual info on which bills he sponsored and what happened to them came from Thomas. I read through all of it and I am consoling myself with M&Ms.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Favorite Redleg

Happy birthday to my good friend John, the Armorer of the Castle of Argghhh!!!This cake was good, but the one I left at the Castle was better.

You can see the high res on this one here.
Army Battlefield Cake
This battlefield cake includes an M1A1 Abrams Tank, a crashed jet, and a burning building

I Am Wiped

Computer problems at work. More emotional phone calls. People catching me off guard.

I finally ditched work and went to get a pedicure.

I got back to work all set to buckle down and get some scut work done when Jen called.

Great! Take off the work hat. Put on the designated driver chauffer cap.

I can't wait to get to bed.

Pat had the line of the day. She was headed across the way to the Office Max. I said "Wait, where are you going? Do they have anything I want?"

"I don't know" she says "Like a cure for cancer?"

I laughed so hard I had to wipe tears away. Rachael was horrified.

It's all good.

WooHoo!!!! The Destroyermen Are Posting Again!

I wasn't paying attention, sorry. I caught a link from Information Dissemination.

Lots of posts, lots of pics.

Get over there.

From My Cousin Chrissie

She doesn't know about me yet - she's always sending this sentimental stuff. I suppose it's going to get much worse, lol.

But anyway, it's a nice thought.

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love.
So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.
Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.


And Another Thing! You People Got Me In Trouble.

My sister Grace called during dinner. I told her I was having dinner with Les. "Hi Les!" says Grace. "Hi Grace" says Les.

Grace says "I won't keep you. I just wanted to give you a heads up. Mum's mad at you."

How can this be?????????

I have cancer.

Isn't this like a "Get out of jail free" card?

It seems my mother got a phone call from my cousin Kathy. She wanted to know what was wrong with me......she read it on the blog. My mother called Grace and said "Is this on the blog???"

Grace laughed and said yes, it was all over the blog. My mother, as you know, doesn't believe in the Internet, so she doesn't let it in the house. Therefore she doesn't read the blog. Grace reads it very sporadically (and wasn't very happy with how she was recently protrayed). Jen reads it when I send her a link to something that will interest her. Otherwise she only comes out to leave messages for SB.

Do I actually need to write the words - What happens on the blog....stays on the blog!!!!

Geez! Don't tell my Mum!

Monday, July 28, 2008

And We End The Day On A High Note......or Not

My knee is killing me!

So I go off to Quincy tonight to attend the wake of my pal Kath's ex-father-in-law. My ex and I actually introduced Kathy and Gerry close to 30 years ago. Their split was not as amicable as ours was.

So I walked outside with her son and we discussed his mother's health; she has her own issues. He mentioned that she has some tests coming up at MGH and asked me why I had a funny look on my face. I said "Well maybe your mother and I could share a room...." He looked skyward and made a noise "What?!" So I explained....laughing nervously...."How's she going to take it?" He just shook his head.

She actually took it pretty well and marveled at my calm. Kath said she has been in a complete panic since the beginning and it's been going on since just after Labor Day. I shrugged "It is what it is." We discussed my possible treatment options, my plans, etc. She is very adamant that she will not do chemo and warned me about people developing lymphoma ten years down the road because of chemo. I laughed. How can I worry about that?

I talked briefly to Gerry. I had arrived late and there wasn't a lot of time.

Afterwards I went to see Les. He is my company's accountant and we have a personal relationship. Les' office is just around the corner from the funeral parlor and he is a workaholic.
My plan was to pop over and demand that he take me to dinner. He knew something was up because he had beeped into a phone call earlier in the day when I was upset.

I walk into his office and kiss him and ask if he's had dinner. He says no, but he isn't going anywhere until I tell him what's wrong. I pick up a brochure off his desk with the Washington monument on it. "What's this?" I ask. He tells me it's from a company they do business with and again asks what's wrong. "Oh, I have cancer." He snatches the magazine away, grabs my arms and forces me to look at him. It's hard to look people in the eye when you are telling them. I look like Stevie Wonder with my gaze wondering all over the place. I don't want to see the pain I am causing.

He hugs me and says my name over and over. I tell him "I am fine! Don't I look fine?" and I do. I was wearing a sleeveless black top which complements my tan and my blond highlights very nicely.

As we walk into the restaurant Les says he doesn't have any words to tell me. I tell him "That's fine. Just tell me that you adore me and you will still think I am marvelous when I am bald." He laughs and holds me and kisses me. I am sure we looked ridiculous right in the middle of the foyer.

We go to dinner and talk about it until he doesn't want to talk about it. He wants to know why I am not angry. He wants to know if I still believe in God. I laugh and tell him, "Of course!" Les and I have had many such discussions. Several years ago, his daughter was murdered and his life has never been the same. Then we talk about other things. Politics. Jokes.

When we are leaving my heel gets caught in four inch deep hole just outside the front door. I went down like a ton of bricks right on the left knee.


My knee was all scraped and it stung. I am such a baby. I went back into the restaurant and asked for the manager. I was snippy. I showed him the hole and pulled up my pant leg to show him my skinned knee.

Then I apologized. I told him it was late and my knee stung and it's not like he dug the hole, lol.

He offerered me a gift certificate. What the hell, I'd be back anyway! I thanked him and he thanked me for pointing it out. He said he usually parks in the back and never walks that way.

Now my knee is stiff and I am cranky.

Another Body Blow

My brother Frankie called. "What's going on with you?" He already sounded upset. My message had only been "Hi, it's me, call me back." No hints. No tone. So I guessed someone had said something. I laughed and asked "Why? What have you heard?" He told me that his wife had called from work. So I ran through all my facts and my funny jokes and made him laugh. He said I seemed really calm about it. I told him that was because the hard part was telling people.

I explained that I have to go to a wake tonight and one of my very best friends from high school will be I will say "Hey, are crying anyway........"

He was fine with being the last to know. I teased him about my bedroom that he is supposed to come and drywall.

Then I asked him the part I was afraid to ask. Had our father called Frank's wife? No My father had come by and told her. She's the manager of the local supermarket near their house. I got all choked up as I pictured my Dad walking into the supermarket and my sister-in-law asking how things were....................
So I choked out "Was he ok?" Frankie said yes.

I want to call and tell them I am sorry.

So......It's Day 14

It's going to need to be discussed and interpreted and clarified.....yada....yada..........

But it's real and it appears to be stage 1.

My primary called with the raw results. I asked for the number. Based on what I have read, below 10 might not be myeloma and they have to look further (trust me the alternatives are equally unpleasant). 10 to 30 means "smoldering" and they just watch you and half of all "smoldering" cases never progress. 30 and above is stage 1.

So my PCC is reading the raw data to me, there is one part she doesn't quite get in the alphabet soup, so there are lots of disclaimers. But it does clearly say the results are consistent with a diagnosis of multiple myeloma. She tells me that Dr. Hochstin will clarify all this.

So I say "What's the percentage?"


"Bummer. I was rooting for 11."

She burst out laughing. "You are so funny."

So I call Grace. I tell her first. You see she was peeved about not being first last time. She tells me about someone she works with having a brother who had it recently and went to Dana Farber. I tell her to get a name. This reminds me that Bette was worried that I would be closed off to other opinions. I'm not. I was just trying not to get ahead of myself.

Then I call Jen, she reminds me that we see her MS guy on Monday and he is a big muckety muck at BI Deaconess. Since MS is a stress driven disease we can tell him that my MM is stressing Jen and he should take care of it. LOL I can be treated like Jen's other symptoms.

I call my Dad, he'll tell my Mum. I'm getting tired of saying it.

I call my brother, he's not home. I leave a message to call me. He knows nothing.

Grace calls back "Did you call Frankie (our brother, as opposed to my son, my father, my uncle, my cousin, my nephew.....well you get the idea.)?" I tell her "Yeah, I said hey, I have cancer. Talk to you later." Grace laughs and says at least now he will pay attention to my half ripped apart bedroom and get down here to drywall it.

I have to go to work. That will be harder because people are looking in my face.

They will be looking for fear. There is none. Just this something I can't explain. I can't get over the fact that I need to apologize. Especially to my parents.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Does Obama Support the Troops? - Give Me Your Eyes

Happy Birthday Fuzzy!

Today is Fuzzy Bear Lioness' birthday. Go over and wish her Happy Birthday!

No Beach For Me

It's warm enough but no sun and they are promising thunderstorms later.

Bummer, after I don't have to worry about skin cancer.

July 27, 1953

Is Afghanistan a Narco-State?

From the NYT, a very interesting article. I have known small bits and pieces of this story and I see this as the new focus for us. The author is Thomas Schweich. This link will take you to his "cached" bio at State. I don't know why his bio is currently unavailable at State......but I'm guessing this article hasn't won him a lot of friends.

Is Afghanistan a Narco-State?
Published: July 27, 2008

On March 1, 2006, I met Hamid Karzai for the first time. It was a clear, crisp day in Kabul. The Afghan president joined President and Mrs. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Ambassador Ronald Neumann to dedicate the new United States Embassy. He thanked the American people for all they had done for Afghanistan. I was a senior counternarcotics official recently arrived in a country that supplied 90 percent of the world’s heroin. I took to heart Karzai’s strong statements against the Afghan drug trade. That was my first mistake

Over the next two years I would discover how deeply the Afghan government was involved in protecting the opium trade — by shielding it from American-designed policies. While it is true that Karzai’s Taliban enemies finance themselves from the drug trade, so do many of his supporters. At the same time, some of our NATO allies have resisted the anti-opium offensive, as has our own Defense Department, which tends to see counternarcotics as other people’s business to be settled once the war-fighting is over. The trouble is that the fighting is unlikely to end as long as the Taliban can finance themselves through drugs — and as long as the Kabul government is dependent on opium to sustain its own hold on power.
Even before she got to the bureau of international narcotics, Anne Patterson knew that the Pentagon was hostile to the antidrug mission. A couple of weeks into the job, she got the story firsthand from Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, who commanded all U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He made it clear: drugs are bad, but his orders were that drugs were not a priority of the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Patterson explained to Eikenberry that, when she was ambassador to Colombia, she saw the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) finance their insurgency with profits from the cocaine trade, and she warned Eikenberry that the risk of a narco-insurgency in Afghanistan was very high. Eikenberry was familiar with the Colombian situation, but the Pentagon strategy was “sequencing” — defeat the Taliban, then have someone else clean up the drug business.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime was arriving at the same conclusion. Later that year, they issued a report linking the drug trade to the insurgency and made a controversial statement: “Opium cultivation in Afghanistan is no longer associated with poverty — quite the opposite.” The office convincingly demonstrated that poor farmers were abandoning the crop and that poppy growth was largely confined to some of the wealthiest parts of Afghanistan. The report recommended that eradication efforts be pursued “more honestly and more vigorously,” along with stronger anticorruption measures. Earlier this year, the U.N. published an even more detailed paper titled “Is Poverty Driving the Afghan Opium Boom?” It rejected the idea that farmers would starve without the poppy, concluding that “poverty does not appear to have been the main driving factor in the expansion of opium poppy cultivation in recent years.”

The U.N. reports shattered the myth that poppies are grown by destitute farmers who have no other source of income. They demonstrated that approximately 80 percent of the land under poppy cultivation in the south had been planted with it only in the last two years. It was not a matter of “tradition,” and these farmers did not need an alternative livelihood. They had abandoned their previous livelihoods — mainly vegetables, cotton and wheat (which was in severely short supply) — to take advantage of the security vacuum to grow a more profitable crop: opium.
(This addresses what I thought was one of the biggest roadblocks.)
In the area of agricultural incentives, since most farmers already had an alternative crop, we agreed to improve access to markets not only in Afghanistan but also in Pakistan and the wider region. USAid would establish more cold-storage facilities, build roads and establish buying cooperatives that could guarantee prices for legal crops.
You really need to read the whole thing. If even part of what this guy says is true......we need to make some big changes. The author's conclusions are below.
The solution remains a simple one: execute the policy developed in 2007. It requires the following steps:

1. Inform President Karzai that he must stop protecting drug lords and narco-farmers or he will lose U.S. support. Karzai should issue a new decree of zero tolerance for poppy cultivation during the coming growing season. He should order farmers to plant wheat, and guarantee today’s high wheat prices. Karzai must simultaneously authorize aggressive force-protected manual and aerial eradication of poppies in Helmand and Kandahar Provinces for those farmers who do not plant legal crops.

2. Order the Pentagon to support this strategy. Position allied and Afghan troops in places that create security pockets so that Afghan counternarcotics police can arrest powerful drug lords. Enable force-protected eradication with the Afghan-set goal of eradicating 50,000 hectares as the benchmark.

3. Increase the number of D.E.A. agents in Kabul and assist the Afghan attorney general in prosecuting key traffickers and corrupt government officials from all ethnic groups, including southern Pashtuns.

4. Get new development projects quickly to the provinces that become poppy-free or stay poppy free. The north should see significant rewards for its successful anticultivation efforts. Do not, however, provide cash to farmers for eradication.

5. Ask the allies either to help in this effort or stand down and let us do the job.

There are other initiatives that could help as well: better engagement of Afghanistan’s neighbors, more drug-treatment centers in Afghanistan, stopping the flow into Afghanistan of precursor chemicals needed to make heroin and increased demand-reduction programs. But if we — the Afghans and the U.S. — do just the five items listed above, we will bring the rule of law to a lawless country; and we will cut off a key source of financing to the Taliban.
The author cites the relevant experience of certain people being ignored by DOD because their attitude is fight the insurgency then have someone else clean up the drug trade. If we are going to "Surge" into Afghanistan....we might as well go all out.

I am also peeved by the allegations that NATO allies undermine this effort. Everyone is always screaming at us for not acting in concert with out allies. I know there is plenty of blame to go around......but you know, I don't see that most of our allies have been all that helpful in this endeavor.

I wish the author success. He has certainly changed my mind on several key points. I was falling for the "poor farmers" myth hook, line and sinker.

The Swine of the IOC

From Abu Maquwamu

The Swine of the IOC

For a decade, the International Olympic Committee allowed Saddam Hussein's son Uday to imprison, torture, and kill Iraq's Olympic athletes without a word.

Meanwhile, the IOC, much like it did Germany in 1936, gives China a free ride despite the imprisonment, torture, and execution of political prisoners and asks that nobody politicize the Olympics.

It is fascinating then that the IOC decided that the current Iraqi Olympic committee has suffered political interference and therefore Iraqi athletes were banned from participating in the Beijing Olympics.

Kip is certain that Chinese dissenters are able to participate in the Chinese Olympic committee.

Apolitical my a**. So, to all you athletes out there, the IOC has now given you the green light to wear your save Tibet t-shirts whether or not you know where it is on a map.

Posted by Kip at 7:35 AM

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Microphone Picks Up Private Conversation Between Obama and British Leader on Need for Vacations and 'Thinking' Time

From Jake Tapper at the ABC political blog Political Punch

Microphone Picks Up Private Conversation Between Obama and British Leader on Need for Vacations and 'Thinking' Time

July 26, 2008 8:40 AM
Jennifer Parker-->

At British Parliament today, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, met with Tory Leader David Cameron.

Seemingly unaware of an enormous fuzzy boom mike held by ABC News' Eric Kerchner, the two chatted casually -- and privately.

"You should be on the beach," Cameron told Obama. "You need a break. Well, you need to be able to keep your head together."

"You've got to refresh yourself," agreed Obama.

"Do you have a break at all?" asked Cameron.

"I have not," said Obama. "I am going to take a week in August. But I agree with you that somebody, somebody who had worked in the White House who -- not Clinton himself, but somebody who had been close to the process -- said that, should we be successful, that actually the most important thing you need to do is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you're doing is thinking. And the biggest mistake that a lot of these folks make is just feeling as if you have to be -- "

"These guys just chalk your diary up," said Cameron, referring to a packed schedule.

"Right," Obama said. "In 15 minute increments …"

"We call it the dentist's waiting room," Cameron said. "You have to scrap that because you've got to have time."

"And, well, and you start making mistakes," Obama said, "or you lose the big picture. Or you lose a sense of, I think you lose a feel-- "

"Your feeling," interrupted Cameron. "And that is exactly what politics is all about. The judgment you bring to make decisions."

"That's exactly right," Obama said. "And the truth is that we've got a bunch of smart people, I think, who know ten times more than we do about the specifics of the topics. And so if what you're trying to do is micromanage and solve everything then you end up being a dilettante but you have to have enough knowledge to make good judgments about the choices that are presented to you."-- Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller
Yeah........."the most important thing you need to do is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you're doing is thinking."............I couldn't agree more, Obama needs to take lots of time to think. Maybe then he could work in some reading. some history maybe. Start with the real history of the Berlin Airlift. LOL

Barb Rocks!

We sent up the BatSignal for an assist from Barb of Righty in a Lefty State and she came through!

The donate button for the Kendra Johnson Fund is at the top of the sidebar. Sometimes on blogger the sidebar drifts down. If you can't see it, scroll down.

Thanks a million Barb.

Obama Talks the Talk....McCain Walks the Walk

This is excellent! The Phibian points us to a great post by Gateway Pundit.

Obama Talks About Lifting a Child In Bangladesh From Poverty... John McCain Already Did

Barack Obama talks.
Barack Obama talks about lifting the child from Bangladesh from poverty.
John McCain already did it.

Go read the whole thing.

Great stuff!

The Phibian's take is here.

He ventured forth to bring light to the world

Gerard Baker reading his column on Fox

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mike Moran

Tonight on Joe & Huggy, Huggy mentioned that his favorite part of "The Concert for New York" was The Who performing for the firefighters.

I disagree.

It was Mike Moran.

Click here and see if you agree. It's not the whole cut, but it's most of it.

I think this was The Who song Huggy meant.

Why Does No One Like or Trust the MSM?

Gee! I don't know. Could it be because they pull crap like this?

Israeli newspaper publishes Obama's private prayer

Some little snot pulled it out of the Western Wall and ran to the papers with it. Some of the papers declined to print it.......but not all of them. You'll never be disappointed if you expect the press to sink to some new low point in order to scoop a rival.

That was private. It was shameful that someone grabbed it and worse that a newspaper published it.

We rejected the audacity of hopelessness, and we were right," McCain said

McCain rejects 'audacity of hopelessness' for Iraq
Jul 25, 7:21 PM (ET)
Republican presidential candidate John McCain, ridiculing Barack Obama for "the audacity of hopelessness" in his policies on Iraq, said Friday that the entire Middle East could have plunged into war had U.S. troops been withdrawn as his rival advocated.

Speaking to an audience of Hispanic military veterans, McCain stepped up his criticism of Obama while the Illinois senator continued his headline-grabbing tour of the Middle East and Europe. The Arizona Republican contended that Obama's policies - he opposed sending more troops to Iraq in the "surge" that McCain supported - would have led to defeat there and in Afghanistan.

"We rejected the audacity of hopelessness, and we were right," McCain said, a play on the title of Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope."

McCain laid out a near-apocalyptic chain of events he said could have resulted had Obama managed to stop the troop buildup ordered by President Bush: U.S. forces retreating under fire, the Iraqi army collapsing, civilian casualties increasing dramatically, al-Qaida killing cooperative Sunni sheiks and finding safe havens to train fighters and launch attacks on Americans, and civil war, genocide and a wider conflict.

"Above all, America would have been humiliated and weakened," he said. "Terrorists would have seen our defeat as evidence America lacked the resolve to defeat them. As Iraq descended into chaos, other countries in the Middle East would have come to the aid of their favored factions, and the entire region might have erupted in war."

Noting that the buildup was unpopular with most Americans, McCain said: "Sen. Obama told the American people what he thought you wanted to hear. I told you the truth."

Obama has called for a withdrawal over 16 months. McCain again criticized him for advocating "a politically expedient timetable" and for voting against funding for troops.

McCain had raised eyebrows earlier this week by charging that Obama "would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign."

There was more, it's here.

Donating to the Kendra Johnson Fund

*****UPDATE - Kendra's long road to recovery continues and her Dad updates us here.*****
I have several posts on this and I want to tie them together.

Supporting a Friend I Haven't Met Yet

Compounding A Tragedy

I Am Techno-capped

If you read them, you will see why you should seriously consider donating to the Kendra Johnson Fund.

Here's how -

Do you have a PayPal account?
Go and sign in.
Then click on the tab labeled "Send Money".
You will see a box labelled "To (email or mobile phone)", in that box type
Next, fill in an amount of money (Princess Crabby says "The bigger, the better!" Ok, just give what you can).
Under "Send money for" I choose "Services/Other", but I don't know that it wouldn't work anyway.
Then you hit "Continue".
The next screen is a review of what you want. It will show that your donation is going to and the address is listed as a "Business Partner".
Once you determine that everything is as you want it, hit "Send Money"
You can print the next screen for a receipt, but an email receipt will be sent to you anyway.

See? That was easy.

What if you don't have PayPal? Well you could consider signing up, but there are other options.

Navy Federal Credit Union.
You can go into any branch of the NFCU and tell them that you want to make a deposit into the "Kendra Johnson Fund" You can donate in this way even if you do not have an account with Navy Federal Credit Union. Just find a location near you at this link, walk in and fork over the money. The tellers will know what you mean when you tell them that you want to make a deposit/donation to the "Kendra Johnson Fund".

If you can't go in person, but you do online banking with NFCU, you can go online and transfer funds. The account number is 3014797462.

What if you don't have PayPal or NFCU? Well you can go to your own bank and they can help you wire the money into the NFCU account. Again, you will need the account number 3014797462 but you will also need NFCU's routing number 2560-7497-4. Print this page and bring it into the bank.

Ok? I can't make it much easier for you. Go, donate. And don't forget to keep Kendra and her family and those who love her in your prayers.

Off With Their Heads!!

One of my favorite Disney characters was the Red Queen in "Alice in Wonderland". I aspire to be that despotic.

As I is the tenth day.

First, Grace called this morning -
G - "Where are you?"
M - "In the shower."
G - "Ack! Visual!"
M - "You asked."
G - "Never mind. What's the timeline? When will the doctor call?"
M - "Probably not today."
G - "Will you call aggressively?"
M - "No. They said ten to fourteen days. Today is the tenth, plus it's a Friday in July. If I haven't heard by Tuesday, I will call."
G - Sounds of exasperation.

Then I get into work and field the same questions with the same answers.

We get a call from my favorite connection at the Jordan Hospital. She is aware of my situation and is going to "keep an eye out" for my test results. However, today she has called on another matter. Rachael hears her name and comes up to me......"What did she say?" I laugh and explain that she was ordering equipment for someone else......"Calm down Grace!" Rachael laughs.

My boss comes in and asks when I am going to call the doctor. I tell her Tuesday. She says she wants to call my doctor's office and pretend to be me.

Next up is a series of emails from Jen
J - "When will you hear from her today?"
M - "It may not be today. Grace called this morning. Everyone in the office has asked, lol. Bette wants to call and pretend to be me. It is far more likely to be Monday."
J - "I realize I was just wondering if she was more likely to call you in the afternoon?"
M - "I think getting the call today is highly unlikely, period. However, she makes her calls in the 1700 to 1900 range."
J - "Keeps your cranky pants on!! Serves us right for caring about cranky Mary…………"
M - "*You* people are bothering me. Not vice versa."
J - "I’m your people?? I don’t know if I want to be in the category."
M - "You are. Deal with it."

Look, I know I waited to tell some people. But you know now. I will tell you any further info as soon as I know it. However, I am not going to crawl up the ass of my medical care team.

It's not helping the state of my mental health if you all call.

The End of the Affair?

Thanks to Sid in the Phibian's comments

The New Republic
End of the Affair
by Gabriel Sherman
Barack Obama and the press break up.
Post Date Thursday, July 24, 2008

Around midnight on July 16, New York Times chief political correspondent Adam Nagourney received a terse e-mail from Barack Obama's press office. The campaign was irked by the Times' latest poll and Nagourney and Megan Thee's accompanying front-page piece titled "Poll Finds Obama Isn't Closing Divide on Race," which was running in the morning's paper. Nagourney answered the query, the substance of which he says was minor, and went to bed, thinking the matter resolved.

But, the next morning, Nagourney awoke to an e-mail from Talking Points Memo writer Greg Sargent asking him to comment on an eight-point rebuttal trashing his piece that the Obama campaign had released to reporters and bloggers like The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder and Politico's Ben Smith. Nagourney had not heard the complaints from the Obama camp and had no idea they were so steamed. "I'm looking at this thing, and I'm like, 'What the hell is this?' " Nagourney recently recalled. "I really flipped out."

Later that afternoon, Nagourney got permission from Times editors to e-mail Sargent a response to the Obama memo. But the episode still grates. "I've never had an experience like this, with this campaign or others," Nagourney tells me. "I thought they crossed the line. If you have a problem with a story I write, call me first. I'm a big boy. I can handle it. But they never called. They attacked me like I'm a political opponent."

There's more, go read it.
Hehehe! My other favorite line is "So much for "Obama Love."

I'm In No Mood

Today is the tenth day since the bone marrow biopsy. That means today is the first possible day my test results can be back. It's a Friday, so I think that it's highly unlikely that I will get a call.

I'm not afraid. It will be what it will be. But I hate not knowing.

Joe & Huggy

Joe & Huggy are a radio team on WTKK. Their regular gig is Saturdays between 11 am and 1 pm. Joe is "The Guy From Boston". Huggy is a guy from Phili and a little more liberal than Joe and they play off each other well.

Tonight they were discussing Obama's trip and his address in Berlin. Someone called in to explain that it was an important and historic moment for America that a black man could possibly be President. Joe interupts the guy gushing on about Obama to ask "Excuse me Yan (sp?), are you a naturalized citizen?" The caller spoke very heavily accented English. He admitted that no, he was not. Joe followed up with "Well, no offense Yan.....but I really don't care what you think!"

ROFLMAO!!!!! Excellent! I don't care either.

That rocked! Keep it up baby.

BeerGirl Brings It!

Resolve in the face of hardship

Go read it. You won't be sorry.

The Armorer mentioned it in this post and I was very happy I followed the link.

BZ BeerGirl!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Am Techno-capped

*****UPDATE******07/25/08 @ 2010 The scoop on making a donation****
****UPDATE*****07/25/08 @ 0935 Barb can't get to me until tonight. I tried to just cut and paste it into a post (at least that way I am not messing with the sidebar), but Blogger wouldn't accept it. So we have to wait*******
When it comes to blogrolls and sidebar issues, I am on the Blogger short bus. The few things I have are thanks to Barb. I email and beg her to help me......I will owe her big time in Vegas. I have sent up the Bat Signal so I can once again be rescued.

There should be a PayPal button here soon so you can pop in and donate to the "Kendra Johnson Fund".

Meanwhile, remember you can still donate by going into any NFCU and telling them you want to make a deposit into the "Kendra Johnson Fund". You can also go into your own bank and ask them to help you wire a donation. The account number is 3014797462. NFCU routing # is 2560-7497-4. It can be done online, but again I will be no help with that!

You can also email

Compounding A Tragedy

*****UPDATE***** 07/25/08 @ 2010 The scoop on making a donation*****
We will never know the difference this could have made. According to the news story below Kendra Johnson's coworkers called the police on Thursday the 17th to report a possible problem. The police went to the residence but even though they could hear the children inside and no adult came to the door, they left a note and went away!

What? YGTBFKM! Maybe she hadn't been shot yet? Maybe she had been shot and quicker medical attention could have meant her injuries would not be so severe.

Jesus wept.

Husband Charged In Attempted Murder-Suicide

Police have arrested Jacob Johnson, husband to Kendra Johnson, whom he shot before turning the gun on himself. The 24 year-old is charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding and Use of a Firearm during a felony.

Police charged Johnson Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. while he was in the hospital. He was also given a bond hearing at that time.

On Friday, July 18, 2008, at 8:38 a.m., Police and EMS responded to a call for two people who had been shot in a residence in the 3300 block of Springbreeze Court, in The Lakes section of Virginia Beach.

Officers found a female and male victim inside the house upon their arrival. The couples's two preschool children were located in a bedroom by a family member who had come to check on the welfare of the family after not hearing from them for several days. The children were not injured and are in the care of family members.

We're told as of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, 21 year-old Kendra Johnson is still in critical condition and on life support. Kendra's father tells News Channel 3 that his Navy daughter was Jacob's high school sweetheart. They were married right after graduating from Landstowne High School. Kendra graduated from Norfolk State and was working as a nurse at Norfolk Sentara.

According to father Dale Fuller, his daughters co-workers called police and told them she didn't show up for work on Wednesday. The family says Virginia Beach Police stopped by the home on Thursday, knocked on the door, heard the two children inside, but just left a notice on the door and went away.

Fuller thinks police should have went into the home when they heard the children simply because no adult came to the door. He says he's "highly disappointed" in the police department's response to the incident.
Please pray for Kendra and her family and if you can make a donation to the Kendra Johnson Fund - details here.

Supporting a Friend I Haven't Met Yet

****UPDATE*****07/25/08 @ 2010 The scoop on making a donation
****UPDATE*****An update on the legal aspects of the case****
At the super secret Navy place where I can hang but not post, I have read and enjoyed and learned from Swosanity. Now, he needs a hand. His fellow Sailors and we in the extended Navy blogosphere want to step up and offer what help we can.

Police: Double-shooting may be 'domestic situation'
9:02 AM EDT, July 21, 2008

VIRGINIA BEACH - A double-shooting last week at a home in Virginia Beach could have stemmed from a "domestic situation" between the husband and wife who were seriously injured, police say.
Jacob and Kendra Johnson were found shot in their home on Springbreeze Court on Friday morning.
A relative had come to check on them after being unable to contact them for several days, and he found the two adults suffering from gunshot wounds and their two children - ages 2 and 4 - unharmed in a bedroom. Police spokesman Jimmy Barnes said detectives have not yet determined when the two people were shot.
Both gunshot victims are at Sentara VIrginia Beach General Hospital. A hospital spokesman said Jacob Johnson has been upgraded to serious condition, but Kendra Johnson remains in critical condition.
The children are in the care of a family member.
Swosanity is Kendra's father.

Kendra's injuries are very serious. She will be blind and paralyzed. There is a long road ahead for her and her family. Right now there are basically two things most of us can do to help - pray for Kendra and those who love her...........and donate money to help defray what will most certainly be enormous medical expenses.

Right now donations may be made through the Navy Federal Credit Union. You may go directly to a branch or wire money to the account. The savings account is named "Kendra Johnson Fund" and if you go in person you can make a deposit into the account by name. For wire transfers, the account number is 3014797462. NFCU routing # is 2560-7497-4.

There will be a way to donate via paypal soon and I will update this as soon as I have the info.

For now, give what you can. Remember the family in your prayers.

Thanks, I appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Life Is Not My Own

As I explained earlier, I was relieved that my father offered to tell Grace when they got back to the city.

That meant a short reprieve from being yelled at.

You think it's a bed of roses being me? No. Jennifer yelled at me. My boss has been telling me I *should* do this and I *should* do that. I knew Grace would be just as upset and critical.

Everyone seems to know what's best. Very few people are happy to just defer to my judgement in how *I* handle my own shit. I don't mean people out here. My fellow bloggers and my Navy coterie have been EXCELLENT. SB has been a rock.

So I left the front porch this morning and went to work confident that I had a day or two to prepare for the next round of yelling, finger pointing and questions.

I worked for a little bit.....and I mean a *little* bit. Then I went to get my hair colored. Then it was back to work for a while before I met my parents and Jen for dinner. No sooner did I get the cell phone onto the charger before walking back to the kitchen to get a drink.....than the girls were yelling that it was ringing.

I picked it up and looked.



I also saw a text from Jen, "I told Grace, she's calling you." I sent back "Wench!", she responded "Yes".

I called Grace. "Who is with you?" I told her I was in the office and that Bette and Nicole were in the room, Pat and Rachael were out front. She asked me to have Bette slap me because she was sure that Bette could slap me pretty hard.

Thanks Jen.

I got through the phone call and the rest of the afternoon and then it was back to the cottage. I said to my Dad "I thought you were taking care of Grace?" He explained "I was going to but Mummy (again, this slays me, we never called her Mummy and I am 47!) told Jennifer (he will not refer to her as Jen or allow us to either) to do it." He held his hands out, palms up to signify his powerlessness and innocence.

I explained to my mother that I liked it the way it was. She said too bad. I explained that Grace and Jen were angry with me and she asked why, it was my cancer and my decision. I said yes, except when you make the decisions..............she said "Yes".

I am exhausted.

Princess Crabby Self Medicates

So after SB told Jennifer last night and she scolded me for a half hour....complete with gestures (finger pointing and "talk to the hand")....she determined that my parents would be told sooner rather than later. I was advocating that we just keep this between us for the time being and when the bone marrow biopsy results were known next week. Jennifer shot that down as lethally and effectively as any Hellcat pilot in WWII.

My parents are still at the cottage, so up to the porch we went this morning. I got there first so I just made myself breakfast and hung out. My mother was relaxing on the porch and we were talking about nothing in particular. My father was doing prepacking. They are leaving Friday morning, so he is getting ready. There are plans and lists and decisions to be made, schedules to think of. He is extremely orderly. He is always trying to explain this stuff to me. My father is eternally hopeful that at some point I will see the light and become organized. HA!

Anyway, Jen shows and sits on the porch with my mother. I ask my father to come out to the porch so I can talk to him. I have a nervous smile that I can't squelch. Like I am going to tell him that we hit the number. I know it's inappropriate.....but I can't stop it. He smiles back and comes out to the porch. Jen and my mother are in the big easy chairs with thick cushions that Grace and I would fight over when we were kids. If our grandmother was there she got one of the two, no question......Grace and I would fight over the remaining one.

Anyway, my father smiles at me and says "Yes, yes?"

I look at Jennifer. She say "What? I have to tell them?" I can't even croke out the appropriate response of "No duh!" so I just nod. What the hell does she think I wanted her there for?

She starts talking and I want to run! LOL But I am also frozen.

Then it's over. It's all said. They have a few questions, but I can talk now. We are in the details and not the big picture. We are discussing the actual cancer and I am not afraid of the actual cancer. LOL, not at all. We discuss symptoms and staging and treatment options and alternative diagnoses that would explain the presence of Bence-Jones proteins in my urine. I am not longer frightened. I have a very "it is what it is" attitude about this part. I am on solid ground with this part. The nuns taught us to pray not to avoid death, but the pray for a happy and peaceful death. I am completely certain of the afterlife. I have no fear in that regard. None.

However, upsetting my parents................that is completely different. Had they cried in front of me I would have dissolved into a puddle.

They didn't. Whew! So I came into work and treated my stress. I picked up some Coke, some M&Ms and mixed them appropriately. When you add M&Ms to the Coke and mix or stir the Coke becomes cloudy as the candy coating begins to dissolve. This is different than casually eating M&Ms while you sip Coke. It's sort of like mainlining.

It's all good now.

My parents have several hours to digest this news before we go to dinner tonight. My father has announced he will tell Grace - whew! and my brother Frankie.

After they leave on Friday morning, I will go back on Atkins and start up the gym again.

But for now......the sugar and caffeine feel really good coursing through my system.

A Somewhat Serious Note

As most of you know if you come here on any kind of regular basis, blogging is an important outlet for me. It's a great place to blow off steam. I guess I hadn't realized how important it was until I couldn't do it.

I've been going through a little personal stress that I couldn't write about here.

One reason I couldn't write about it was that I hadn't told my family and I had to hold my tongue. Now you know how close I am to my parents and sisters and sons so that was hugely stressful too.

But now I can vent here because SB helped me tell my sister Jen, his BFF. Tomorrow morning we will tell my parents, they are still in the cottage and by the weekend I will tell Grace. (Deb & Gen - if you are here, zip your lips!)

About six weeks ago during a routine physical I was found to have some strange test results. Further testing has produced a preliminary diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma. There is still further testing taking place to confirm the diagnosis and stage the disease.

Right now they are quite hopeful that my case is asymptomatic and we will just watch it. This is known as a smoldering case and half of all smoldering cases never go any further. However, there is the chance that it is Stage 1 and my doctor likes to go at these cases aggressively. I am relatively young (only 1/3 of MM cases are diagnosed in people under 65 and I am 47) and otherwise healthy. If he seeks treatment it will likely be a bone marrow harvest, followed by a round of chemo and then my pheresed bone marrow will be given back to me.

This changes some things and some things remain the same. Should you be lucky enough to see me, I will expect you to act no differently than any other time that the goddess of the Naval Blogging Strike Force graces you with her presence.

I am young and healthy. Boston is the center of the medical world as well as the hub of the universe. I will be fine.

I am relieved to be able to vent here. Boy did I want to come out here and whine about the bone marrow biopsy last Tuesday! I told the Armorer and SWWBO that I had never been on a farm, but I knew what it felt like to be kicked in the ass by a mule!

So I will still scream and yell about my Bad Boyfriend. I will still profess my adoration for Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch and the CNO and Admiral Keating. I will still try to help you all understand that Boston is the most important place on earth. But for a while I will actually be more self-absorbed than usual. I know, you didn't think that was possible....but it is.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Bad Boyfriend Has a Sense of Humor!

Rudy Giuliani On CNN

Rudy Giuliani addresses Obama's trip, his "16 months", his statements on The Surge and "The Grey Lady" spreading her legs for Obama (sorry....was that coarse? Don't tell my Mum.)

Click here.


My ex-husband, John, had a strategy back in the days when we played Trivial Pursuit. If there was a geography question he didn't know the answer to.....he would just say "Ecuador!". He knew it was a possible answer and he figured.....eventually he'd be right. He had a similar strategy for Nightly News - Walter Cronkite and History - Winston Churchill.

So one night he gets a question to which he had no response. John was pretty good at geography, so was I and our oldest son was phenomenal! Anyway, after answering lots of questions, he hits one he doesn't know. It's geography, he doesn't know and he trots out "Ecuador!". Son of a gun! He's right. We killed ourselves laughing.

What's my point?

I'm glad you asked.

"16 months!" is Barak Obama's "Ecuador!" He has been saying it since time out of mind. Now that we have slogged through all the shit of getting Iraq right. Now that the Surge has worked. Now people are saying "Ok, let's look at a drawdown. Yeah, maybe a year and half or so, maybe sooner."

LOL - you know what this means, right? Obama, his supporters, and the sycophants in the media get to say Obama was right all along!!!!




This is how you answer Obama and his pixie dust solutions.

"When you win wars, troops come home," said McCain, who disparaged Obama as "someone who has no military experience whatsoever."
"He's been completely wrong on the issue. . . . I have been steadfast in my position."

By any definition, Mac clear on Iraq

The Boston Herald has gleefully offered to run the Op-Ed the NYT declined.

By any definition, Mac clear on Iraq
By John McCain Tuesday, July 22, 2008 Op-Ed

The following is the op-ed originally offered by Sen. John McCain to The New York Times [NYT]. The Times rejected it, demanding that, “The article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Sen. McCain defines victory in Iraq.” The Times published an op-ed on Iraq by Sen. Barack Obama on July 14. This piece has been edited slightly for space.

In January 2007, when Gen. David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, violence has fallen by up to 80 percent to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling. The situation is full of hope, but hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Sen. Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on Jan. 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

Now Sen. Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies any political progress there.
Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s newfound willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists.

The success of the surge has not changed Sen. Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and speech, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact-finding” trip there in three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been.

Now he thinks Iraqis no longer need our help.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Sen. Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military’s readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Sen. Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Sen. Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any drawdowns must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Sen. Obama.

He has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for Iraq.” During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: That leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by al-Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback. I find it ironic that Sen. Obama is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war - only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy, not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan, with the goal of creating self-sustaining democratic allies.

All The News That's Fit To Print - As Long As We Agree With It

The New York Times, while always in the tank for liberals, Democrats, anti-war types, and snobs has finally given up all pretense of impartiality.

Obama submits an Op-Ed and it is published in it's entirety. Fine. He has stuff to say and better or worse America needs to hear it. You know, the plan Obama came up with for Iraq *before* he went to Iraq

Then they tell McCain to submit one. So far so good. Sounds fair, right?

But the Times rejected it.

From ABC's blog "Political Radar"
According to McCain campaign staffers, the rejection came Friday night from New York Times oped editorial page editor David Shipley via email:
"I'd be very eager to publish the Senator on the oped page. However I'm not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written," Shipley writes, according to a copy of the message provided to ABC News.
"It would be terrific to have an article from Sen. McCain that mirrors Sen. Obama's piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms how Sen. McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory -- with troop levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate."

Excuse me!!!!!!! Why don't they just say "We love Obama and as soon as *you* love Obama too....we will publish your opinion."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Just Another Example of Al Gore's Hypocrisy

It's silly to keep pointing it out. Gore makes repeated requests for sacrifice on the part of the American people as he jets around in private planes and motors around in gas guzzlers. Watching someone nail him on it amuses me to no end.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I Have Reviewed The Post Below

And considering the amount of vodka I have consumed......I did pretty good!

FoxNews Sunday

You know I love it! I love the panel.
So it started at 1800 but so did the Red Sox. I was watching with my favorite Sailor. The first segment was Admiral Mullen. He was wearing the new khaki uniform, my father commented unfavorably on the shoulder boards. SB referred to Nimitz. Doesn't matter, my Dad favors service dress blues. Anyway when Senator Evan Bayh came on, my father decided watching the Red Sox was a higher priority.

I popped down to Jennifer's to watch the rest of the show. After all that's where the Cold River vodka was anyway. Usually I watch the panel and shut it off. I'm glad I didn't this week. I would have missed this.

Honor Flight Network
You can watch Chris Wallace's interview with Earl Morse here.
I highly recommend it.
After you watch it, if you want to make a donation, you can do it via PayPal here.

It Was Perfect

My father made us poached eggs on toast after the requisite game of pretending he was busy and unwilling.

Grace, Deb, Gen & I went to the beach. It was too hot for Jen. The sun, the swimming, the reading........

It was perfect.

I left a few minutes early and snuck into's Jen's for a Cape Codder or two.

I am off in search of dinner.

It's A Beach Day

As the Ogre once described the average summer day in New's hotter than the hinges on the gates of hell. OK, maybe not quite, but it is to this New Englander. It's 81 already and headed up.

Grace and my nieces have joined my parents at the cottage. So I am headed up. I am already in my bathing suit even though we will not head down to the beach for a few hours. The high tide is around one and in this heat I will not last long.

I should go to work or clean the house. But I will go to the cottage and hang. I should have spent more of my life hanging with parents. I am not the daughter I should have been. As far as Grace goes, I am not the sister I should have been. I am better with Jen. We won't discuss my brother Frank. But I am the aunt I always wanted to be. I am fun and generous and spontaneous and outrageous and excessive and interesting.

Last night after we picked up Gen at the train station, Debbie confessed to polishing off the cheez doodles. I told Grace to pull up to Stop&Shop. Gen and I went in. Gen had mentioned wanting a sundae and I knew there was only ice cream, so I got add-ons. Then I picked up danish for the morning. We got back to the car and Grace yelled "I thought you went in for a bag of cheez doodles!" I looked at her quizzically, then the overflowing shopping bag, then back to Grace. "We did, can't you see them sticking up?" She sighed. I make Grace sigh a lot. I make a lot of people sigh.

Life is short - go be a good (fill in the role that applies). Be funny and generous and spontaneous and outrageous and excessive. Make the serious people sigh.....they need the extra oxygen.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

You Be My Fantasy...........

.......and I'll be yours!

I saw a certain flyboy in the ME in Sitemeter and I dashed off a quick note

"Getting ready for bed? Peeking at me means I'll be the last thing on your mind when you drift off............I like that!"

And so he replied.

"Probably in a half hour or so -- right now, it's shower time.
Even when the water heater craps out, the water's *hot*
...So, now you can think about me walking to the stall with a cammy towel, my soap dish and shampoo."

It's a deal!

Gary Sinise in Iraq

Keeping An Eye On The IRGC

Galrahn keeps us up to speed.

Go read this.

5th Fleet Focus: IRGC Troublemaking with British, Australian Frigates

If Bush Pardons Anyone.....

.... I hope it's Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.

Blogs for their supporters are here and here.

The NYT reports that while there is a record number of petitions, few can expect clemency.

".....Mr. Bush has made little use of his clemency powers, granting just 44 pardons and two commutations. By comparison, over eight years in office President Ronald Reagan granted clemency 409 times and Mr. Clinton 459 times. More than half of Mr. Clinton’s grants came in his final three months."

What's the Plural of Jackass?

Answer - the staff at the NYT

Bush, in a Shift, Accepts Concept of Iraq Timeline

Bush must feel like a Dad driving the rest of the nation on a cross country trip. "Are we there yet?" "Are we there yet?" "I have to go to the bathroom!" "Billy's touching me!" "Susie's looking at me!"

NYT - "Can we get a timeline?"
"W" - "When the situation is secure."
Dems - "Can we get a timeline?"
"W" - "When the commanders on the ground feel it's safe to do so."
NYT - "Can we get a timeline?"
"W" - "When we have made sufficient progress."
Dems - "Can we get a timeline?"
"W" - "When doing so won't endanger all the hard work we have done."

When? I don't know. When? When the time is right.

"W" - "The surge was a success. 15 of 18 benchmarks have been met or are being met. Things are rolling along. Let's start looking at drawdowns, etc."

HOUSTON — President Bush agreed to “a general time horizon” for withdrawing American troops in Iraq, the White House announced Friday, in a concession that reflected both progress in stabilizing Iraq and the depth of political opposition to an open-ended military presence in Iraq and at home.

CONCESSION????? What. The. Fuck?

People Who Want To Bury Me In Books

So I have mentioned before that I am overwhelmed by my reading list. Still, it does nothing to stop me from buying new books or having people recommend/send new books.
Now I have a new problem. People who think they are important enough to have their book bumped to the top of the list.
Currently I am still reading "The Pentagon's New Map". I pick it up, I read it, it causes me to go get other things to read, I come back to it. I am listening to "The World is Flat", I am having a tough time with the narrator's voice. "The World is Flat" bumped "1776" which I was enjoying enormously but I felt that I needed "The World Is Flat" while I was reading "The Pentagon's New Map".
This did not stop me from buying and peeking at "Eating Soup With A Knife".
Last night Grace, Jen, Deb and I were on the porch of the cottage. It is my parent's time down here and Grace arrived last night. She was discussing her son's summer reading list. One of the books is "Guns, Germs and Steel". I exclaimed that I want to read that. Grace smiled. Apparently, someone had already thought of that. Greg thinks I should read it for him - note: no one is serious, Grace does not cheat, she does not allow her children to cheat. I replied that I'd be happy to if he could wait until I get to it in 2012.
Jennifer replied that blood should be able to cut the line.

Tomorrow I am going to the beach and I am only bringing Cosmo.