119 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: August 11

  1. That’s a goldfinch, incidentally. There were also chafinches and greenfinches, IIRC. Beautiful songs, all of them, but the goldfinches were the most willing to stick around for photos, as well as being the most colorful.

  2. Obama’s linking the health insurance problem to the economy and talking about how reform will help people WITH insurance. This was what the Sunday morning pundits were saying he hadn’t done.

    • I loved that, Jane. πŸ˜€

      He said he wanted to do this in a bipartisan way, but that he felt it was importnat to just get it done. Subtle, but clear.

  3. The point to transition to “Medicare for all” is it absorbs the over 65 crowd into a pool with the healthy, thus ending the funding crisis in 8 to 10 years, and eliminates Medicaid problems, which is bankrupting the states, especially in bad economic conditions.

  4. As the racists come out of their closets of shame, racism actually hits me where it hurts – my son.

    Perhaps I’ve mentioned that my son is adopted, that he is Hispanic, 1/2 Mexican, 1/2 El Salvadoran. Spence is currently going to day camp at our local YMCA, and he came home last week in a quiet and subdued mood, which is totally out of character. I was finally able to get him to talk about what was going on with him, and he told me that one of the boys in his group called him “a dirty Mexican.” Needless to say, I was appalled, and angry doesn’t even begin to describe it.

    When an elementary school-aged child uses a racist slur against peer, it comes from home, it’s learned by listening to parents or other adults.

    Racism is real, and it hurts.

    • OMG, that’s horrendous, Mom. I’m so sorry.

      You know, white people never have to be concerned about such things. We never have to worry that someone will hate us, refuse to rent to us, or give us a job, because of the color of our skin. No old lady locks her car door or crosses the street when my sons walk by — even though they are very tall and large, and could inflict all manner of harm, if they weren’t such cuddly puppies.

      There’s a whole world of things white people never have to think of in regard to race, and most of us don’t even appreciate the fact.

      Hugs to you and your son, Mom. I’m sorry there are such ignorant people raising ignorant children, and they inflict themselves on your sweet child.

  5. Sort of OT, one of my coworkers just found out this morning that her mother has stomach cancer. I haven’t heard anything beyond that, i.e., how advanced, etc. I feel terrible for both of them.

    One thing that I’d like to see included in this bill is more coverage for hospice care. Not to act selfish, but I lost a lot of time and pay taking care of my parents, especially towards the end. We had our hospice nurse, Carol, for 4 hours a day at first, then 6 hours a day in the last couple of months. Weekends we were on our own. We were allowed one free night of overnight care, which, ironically, we finally decided to take advantage of the night that mum died. (In fact, mum never even saw the night nurse, she died while my sister and Wayne’s sister were quickly reviewing the situation with the nurse prior to bringing her in to mum’s room.)

    Anyway, it was very hard for Wayne and I to make ends meet due to my constant absences from work, and extended hospice care coverage would help other families in the same situation.

    • Excellent point, Jane. Being a caretaker takes a lot — emotionally, physically and financially.

      I’m sure we would have been in the same boat, if Mom had been able to leave the hospital. Hospice is a wonderful thing, but I think they will be stretched thinner and thinner as the baby boomers age.

      Hugs to you.

    • Obama really needs to do A LOT of these townhalls the rest of this month.

      BTW, I wrote the President suggesting that he do just that just before the August recess. πŸ™‚

  6. Rep. Pete Olson gives the GOP response at 2:15pm. Who says we don’t have the Fairness Doctrine? We seem to have it for the Republicans.

    Thom Hartmann is saying that the screamers feel disempowered.

    Elections have consequences. They ARE disempowered. It’s supposed to be that way. They just got spoiled into thinking they were getting their way under Bush, and were duped into believing the story about a “Permanent Republican Majority”, then overnight, it was gone!

  7. Thanks for the empathy, friends. He’s fine, and it was another “teachable moment” here as Casa de Spencer. The latest name-calling in his age group is “queer” and I keep explaining to him that calling someone “queer” as an insult is just as bigoted as calling someone a “bad” name because of their skin color or their religion or anything else that he or his friends may see as “different”.

    It’s just disgusting that the closet bigots and racists are coming out in droves, slurs blazing. It reminds me of something Mario Cuomo said on a Sunday morning show back in the ’90s. To paraphrase, “The legacy of the Reagan years was it became socially acceptable to lack compassion.” That comment has stuck with me all these years, I think it was in response to the emergence of Newt and his ilk, and it’s more true now than it was even then.

  8. Sorry, Jane, I missed your post. Yes, hospice care needs to be improved, especially the home care component. Medicare will pay for endless hospital days, but won’t pay for the needed care at home, where the patient is most comfortable and able to maintain a certain level of dignity, comfort and access to loved ones.

    McCaskill is doing a fairly good job of keeping the crowd under control, but it’s clear that there are many in the crowd who are there only to yell and boo. What a disgrace, and yet those behind these morons are smiling and patting each other on the back for obstructing.

  9. Wow, I can’t believe how incredibly rude that crowd is being to Senator McCaskill! Too bad she can’t just say “Sit down and shut the fuck up, moron!”

  10. I wish that MSNBC would stop cutting away.

    Damn, I was home these last couple of days to work on painting the computer room. I’m not getting anything done–maybe if I move the TV and the computers out? πŸ˜‰

    I was just taping around the windows, and realized that, even with the stepladder, I can’t reach to tape the ceiling trim! Dammit!

  11. That looks like some sort of hawfinch to me…
    Is this too off to post? I giggle everytime I watch it as we used to do the “hand vagina”when I was that age…

  12. On CNN: Claire McCaskill had Pro-Obama demonstrators thrown out of her town hall because they held up signs, which they were told in advance would not be allowed.

    Spectre is about to hold his second town hall of the day.

  13. i case you missed it…….last night after screaming hot jungle sex, we had chinese carry-out.

    (no taters were harmed in the process)

  14. i’m really pumped about the 230 MPG Volt that GM is rolling out in 2011…….

    my question is: why does it take bankruptcy and a government takeover to develop these efficient vehicles? what technology has changed in a year’s time??

  15. fb, bragging about your Chinese take out….

    ..but the electric car fmro GM was killed back in the 90s, the technology has been around for ages, it was the combined efforts of the oil industry and the car industry that deep-sized the electric car. If California had succeeded in getting the law changed to make the EV-1 possible, we’d be 10 years ahead.

  16. As a self-avowed gear head I am skeptical of the claim of 230 MPG. Is that without charging the batteries, except by using the on-board gas engine? Or is it based on some arbitrary estimate that includes home recharging? I will look at it after work, if no one answers the question.

    If you never run out of electric charge, it gets zero mpg. But you pay your local utility company instead of Exxon. If too many people buy them in one utility district, will the additional consumption force the least environmentally friendly power sources on-line to make up the difference? The sales of these cars needs to be targeted to the greenest areas of the country as far as power generation goes. See y’all!

  17. dba why aren’t you at the Obama townhall?

    Funny you should ask… There is a reason but it is sort of embarassing.
    Zooey if you tell I am gonna be so pissed…

  18. Looks like another fine day in whackadoo land. I was just wondering what these people think the insurance companies are going to do if health care reform doesn’t get passed. They are spending millions to fight it and if they win they are just going to say…’well, that was money well spent. Don’t worry folks, we won’t raise your rates to make it back. You can trust us, we always tell you the truth and treat you right.’?

  19. I remember a solution that involved a razor, lighter fluid, a match and an icepick. Oh, and probably a lot of serious drugs to make it seem like a good solution.

  20. Ah, for the good old days when we were young, foolish and immortal. Back when things healed faster. As one gets older, one should get wiser if for no other reason than you have more time to think about how dumb an action was before it stops hurting.

  21. “dba why aren’t you at the Obama townhall?

    Funny you should ask… There is a reason but it is sort of embarassing.
    Zooey if you tell I am gonna be so pissed… ”

    OK let’s use the voting buttons…. top three reasons why DBA skipped the town hall that Zooey thinks needs to be kept secret:…

  22. Its an open thread, TnT and considering the group, even Monty Python would have trouble keeping track.

    I do have something I would like to share. Don’t know where else to put it so here goes. My niece, a 24 year old young lady who has battled Cerebral Palsy her entire life, had so many surgeries in the past 12 years fighting the physical attacks of the illness has run into the growing lack of empathy and compassion in our system.

    A while back she got a service dog, a Golden Retriever. Shortly after that she was hospitalized because the local in home care failed her and she had to deal with bed sores gone septic. Her husband (himself a double amputee due to a car accident) spent as much time as he could with her in the hospital (100 miles away). The dog went to a local accredited kennel, thanks to the kennel owners big heart.

    When she finally came home, the home assistant assigned by the county stole from them and falsified her time card about when she was there. When confronted with this she claimed the dog was abused. The local authorities have taken the dog to the pound. My niece is devastated. She is subject to seizures and the dog was sensitive to them and would climb in her lap and lick her face, giving her a focus so she could fight the seizures.

    The authorities are saying they were irresponsible because the dog was put in the kennel too much. That the dog had to be tethered when health care providers would come to tend my niece. Due to her condition, she would often experience pain during these sessions and the dog would go nuts because he was being protective, hence the tethering.

    This is causing my niece great distress, as well as my sister and frankly, I’m not to thrilled about it. Her husband has retained a lawyer, we have filed complaints with the agencies concerned but so far everyone is playing dumb. The dog is in jail.

    Our health care system is seriously flawed.

  23. Holy fuck, med, that’s one of the most awful things I’ve ever heard.

    To the best of my knowledge, any kind of in home home health care in the US is treated as a business, just like health insurance.
    There’s minimal qualification, home-health workers are just temp nannies by another name–all that’s required are warm bodies to make an appearance and fill out a time card.
    The decent home-care workers are exploited, others could just as easily be working in a boiler-room phone bank, but this is the job they could get.
    And then there are those who are both desperate and have no conscience.

    Ye gods. I am appalled.


  24. As was I, 5th. My sister was reluctant to call the local head of human services. I talked her into it and if the guy is telling the truth, he knows nothing about it but promised to get back to her by noon tomorrow. The attorney is also filing show cause with the local judge.

    And my niece’s husband is putting together a broadside he is planning on sending to all the local news outlets. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see something on the web in the next day or so.

    Good news is the pound people can’t figure out why the dog is there and have fallen in love with him.

  25. Gum, the police officer who came for the dog threatened to arrest my niece’s husband if he didn’t behave.

    Did I mention the lawyer is also asking for a restraining order against the police for harassment? He even thinks he has a good shot at getting it.

  26. Med, that is a horrible situation. Have you thought about contacting a local service dog group to see if they can help intervene? If anyone understand the important bond between dog and human, it would be them. And perhaps they have media contacts who can help publicize as well.

    How is the word of a temp who is also accused of stealing from the family taken over the word of the dog’s family and extended family? If the dog was abused, wouldn’t the kennel owner and/or animal rescue have noticed?

    I really hope this turns out well, and send best wishes to your niece and family.

  27. Mom, thank you. And I read your post about Spencer’s exposure to the dark side of our society. I am so sorry he had to face that. Good thing he has a mom to talk to.

    And thanks for the suggestion on the support dog group. We all missed that one. Every little bit helps.

  28. med,

    As this is a Service Dog (name? Goldie, by any chance?) and if your niece and her husband don’t have any useful access–or just ordinary emotional access–to him/her , the dog is suffering too.

    BUT, and this would be sneaky but goddammit why not?

    As it seems legal ownership of the dog still resides with your niece and her husband, they surely still have some control over the dog’s disposition.
    Although your niece is obviously being denied practical access to the dog, it doesn’t mean that others can be denied practical access, sooo….

    ….is there a VA in the area?

    If ‘Goldie’ can’t be a Service Dog to your niece, why can’t she (I;m going with she) at least be released to be a Service Dog elsewhere in the meantime, like a VA hospital?

    I’m sure you can grasp the ramifications of this idea.

    Just a suggestion.

    Regards, Simon

  29. Med, I’m glad I could offer something that might help. 5th gives me another idea… if your niece’s dog is being “held”, can she at least go live in a foster home? Say, with someone’s uncle? Or a family friend who isn’t a relative but who could see that the dog/owner are reunited?

    Don’t you worry about Spencer – he has a lionesse for a mother (okay, actually a water-bearer, but you get my point). Kids can be mean but racism can’t be tolerated. Racist kids grow up to be teabaggers and birthers.

    • Med, that is horrifying. Sadly, the word of a home health provider is given more weight than that of the person they allegedly serve — anyone whose body doesn’t function properly can’t possibly have a functioning mind, right? It’s despicable.

      Also, some home health providers are one step away from prison, having been trained as CNAs through probation and parole. Frankly, I wouldn’t have one in my home.

      Mom’s idea is a great one — foster the dog with assistance dog people, if possible. Of course, it sounds like the people at the shelter have fallen in love, so they might do a good job with the dog.

      And set that lawyer on the bastards. The civil rights of the disabled are constantly violated, and it needs to stop. I’d love to post your niece’s husband’s story here, if the other Critters agree.

      There’s more than one lioness around here. πŸ™‚

  30. 5th, I like the suggestion but hopefully he won’t be in the slammer for long. The lawyer is presenting the show cause petition tomorrow morning and he has the testimony of the pound people that the dog is healthy and well adjusted so…

    ‘Goldie’ (sorry to say I don’t even know the dog’s real name) is a he. AKC registered. In his own right he is an economic asset as well as a service dog. The only reason he has not been put out to stud yet is due to the nature of the medical problems they have faced in the past 6 months.

    But if the system gets porky, your suggestion may come in handy. The nearest VA facility is 100 miles away but I’m sure there are other possibilities nearer.

    And thanks for the personal touch.

  31. Mom, we tried to get him released on parole but the police have a hold due to a continuing investigation on him. With a little luck, tomorrows court date will get him returned pending further investigation. My niece’s doctor has signed on to the complaint stating as a service dog only gross negligence or abuse should warrant removal. And there is no evidence of it.

    Fingers will be crossed.

  32. Thanks, Zooey. I’ll be working with him on it as I am sure his anger will be running high. I appreciate the offer. The actions of the agencies so far has been pitiful and it will be interesting to see what happens as the higher ups get involved. I really want to see these clowns twist for taking advantage of two young people, both in wheel chairs. There is a cop I want to see fired.

  33. mom…

    I am also disgusted that your son Spencer is being faced with bigotry.

    And it’s disconcerting for you that you had to winkle that kind of thing out of him, because it make’s a person wonder what instances might have occurred that he hasn’t told you about, that you perhaps weren’t able to pick-up on.

    BUT, if that thought has occurred to you, I’d suggest you don’t fret about what other cruelties he might have experienced. He is your son and you are his mom and I’ve no doubt. from knowing you through your writing, that he’s a strong character because assuredly you brought him up that way.

    I’d suggest any reluctance to look to you for help or comfort is probably largely a function of his age and his sex. The fact that he did tell you about it, after prodding, is the most important thing–not the fact that you had to cajole him.

    I’m offering this perspective not as a parent (because I’m not one) but as a boy who often was picked-on for a variety of reasons (none as bad as Spence’s experience but still hurtful) by fellow students.

    My parents imbued me with the notion that I should and could stick-up for myself, and to recognize bigotry and bullshit for what it was and thus deny the power bullying and insults were intended to impose on me.

    But being young a philosophical approach doesn’t always come so easily, no matter how well one has been taught.

    If there are instances that have gone unreported, I;d suggest its because Spencer has been able to cope with them pretty well. But I guess you picked up the signals that in this case he couldn’t help but be affected. He also I guess can’t help but feel he shouldn’t look for help , that he should STILL be able to cope on his own, so he’s reluctant to be open about his feelings and the event.

    I think that’s natural, from my perspective (and recollections). Such experiences are a test, but there’s no obvious pass-fail score and grasping that at that age is unavoidably tricky.

    He shouldn’t feel less capable for opening up to you, and you shouldn’t feel like you should watch-out for him any more than you already have done and already. If you are the mom I;m sure you are, he;’s pretty well-equipped to handle almost anything, and any reluctance on his part I;d argue is not a sign of psychological ‘damage’, but of a will to handle such hurdles on his own.

    And the fact that you sensed he had a problem may have as much to do with his own instinct that this event was something he was having a hard time coping with, as much as you being attuned to him.
    i.e. consciously he was loathe to seek you help, but subconciously, through his attitude, he was actually asking for your help.

    It’s just my perspective–maybe useful, maybe not.

    But it’s absolutely true that this kind of shit is taught.
    I grew up in the whitest neighborhood you can imagine, in the most privileged part of the UK there is. Stereotypically I should have grown up as a “white imperialist”–but I didn’t because my parents experienced the ‘white imperial’ world in countries where they weren’t the majority and could see the difference between assumed superiority and the realities of jingoism and self-satisfied ignorance and they taught me by design and by example that empathy is what makes a human being worthwhile and deserving, and nothing else..

      • Wow. I just saw this on Keith: A guy was arrested in the Portsmouth gym for carrying a knife, then they later found a loaded gun in his car. He’s being investigated by the Secret Service.

        I hope they’re investigating that other doofus on Hardball. He thought the townhall meeting would have been a VERY safe place if everyone were carrying loaded weapons.

  34. med…

    the VA idea is highly political in its implications:

    Local Headline:
    Authorities Refuse Veterans the Comfort of Service Dog !

    …and then your niece’s circumstances would be revealed from that etc.
    But the local hospital would do, too. It’s shamelessly manipulative of course, but it;s in a good cause and ‘Goldie’ isn’t benefiting from being in the pound, no matter how well-cared for.

    But as you suggest, it probably shouldn’t come to that.
    But if if it;s a really stupid idea, it’s better to have someone else suggest a stupid idea because it;s easier to shoot down as stupid. If you think of a stupid idea, it doesn’t seem so stupid. πŸ˜€

    So, anytime you need a stupid idea, you can count on me!:D

    best regards,


  35. Zooey….

    A hard-hitting blog post? Dammit, now I’ll have to! Yeah, actually I owe you–and myself–a kick-ass post. I’ve been lazy. Not good.
    I shall consider myself ‘served’! :D.

  36. Zooey, I have to confess that I do not understansd this mindset some people have, that the nation would be safer if everybody carried a gun. By that logic, wouldn’t the entire globe be a safer place if all countries had nuclear weapons?

  37. Stupid ideas are :your territory, Wayne?
    What’s your metric for stupid ideas?

    a) Pet Rock
    b) Health-care= Nazi death camps
    c) Sarah Palin

    Just so I know….:D

  38. Oh, I dream up crazy Rube Goldberg ideas.

    For example, I’ve always dreamed of taking a truck, say a tanker truck that delivers heating oil to your home, but with a clean, empty tank. Now, we get a lot of ice build-up on the roads, so I thought: Why not put something at the front end of the truck to heat up the ice and then use a wet-dry vac-type thing to suck up the just-melted water?

    Doesn’t have to be mounted on the front, it can be an all-in-a-row thing under the carriage of the truck and put a regular snow plow on the front. Heat up the ice that doesn’t get plowed to melt it, then suck it up (as opposed to trying to plow it to the sides). I never actually tried to make one, so I don’t know if it would work. Obviously the tank would have to be emptied periodically.

    B & C would be good examples, too. The guy who marketed Pet Rocks made money on his follow-up: Pet Rock Food. Just pour some dry food powder on your rock, add water, and watch your rock grow. πŸ™‚

  39. And Wayne wins the Stupid-Cage challenge in five seconds flat! What an upset!!! What gave him the winning edge, Bob?

    “Well Bob, it had to be that devastating attempt to apply a logical conclusion to the bumper-sticker arguments of gun-porn enthusiasts who incidentally think that grits is good eatin’! Wayne just out-stupided the stoopids! He took a wild swing and that logic just went over his opponent’s head like a cow-pat omelet stand-in for a UFO! Back to you Bob!”


  40. Actually Wayne, that’s not such a crazy idea, in principle.
    But rather than suck up and contain the melted ice, the water could be ejected to the side, just like a snow plow does.

  41. Let me know when someone has an answer to that one, 5th. Because I have a feeling that any reason you can give why you wouldn’t want other countries to have nuclear weapons would work as a reason not to have everyone in your neighborhood packing heat. Maybe that’s just me.

    In the meantime, I must prepare for bed. Good night, Everyone. See you tomorrow.

  42. Thanks, 5th. My ever-supportive father, when I described this idea to him said (and I quote), “Wayne, if it was such a good idea, somebody would have invented it already.”

    My father and I do not talk to each other much these days. Oh, well. Good night.

  43. I feel I’ve been seeing the ball good lately…

    ROFL! I looove the prep and post game/match sports interviews!

    Q “So do you think you can win this thing?”
    Q “So what have you got to do to win this thing?”
    Q:”Well for a while there it looked like you weren’t going to win this thing”
    Q: “Just talk us through how you scored the winning goal/point”

    I mean really, how does one respond?

  44. My teacher Miss Zooey gave me homework and I think she’s going to give me a pop-quiz too, so I’d better hit the sack too and then study-up tomorrow.

    Goodnight all! And remember, Jesus loves you, but he’s kind of busy appearing in toast and assorted vegetables at the moment, so leave a message.

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