The Watering Hole, Monday, April 23rd, 2012: Apple Blossom Time

Old orchard in spring

Snowy Blooms

Apple Blossom Buds

Since our office is situated next to an apple orchard, these days I have the pleasure of watching the opening blossoms, like huge snowflakes, on an entire hillside of apple trees. Combined with all of the other blossoming trees – redbud, lilac, magnolia, dogwood, cherry, plum, etc. – this brief but spectacular show of nature’s beauty should satisfy something in everyone’s soul.

This is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind today?


151 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, April 23rd, 2012: Apple Blossom Time

  1. Study: Obama gets more negative press than GOP

    One reason is the the recent Republican primaries.”In the case of President Obama, the public has been exposed to a mostly negative portrayal,” said the part of the study analyzing the campaign. “That, in substantial part, is a function of the fact that for many months he has been the target of multiple Republican candidates attacking his record and his competence as they sought to take his job.”

    The other reason is it’s not a liberal media. It’s a corporate controlled media. And the right have also made it their mission to do nothing but obstruct and discredit this president.

  2. Common Cause Files IRS Complaint Against ALEC, Seeks Audit

    As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt “charitable” organization, donations to the group are tax-deductible. But IRS rules state that (c)(3)s must “not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests” and “may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities.”

    Yep, ALEC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit aka CHARITY.

    Last time I checked, charities did good in the world; they don’t try to destroy EVERYTHING and EVERYONE.

    • I think it was Rachel who reported how the big money going to superpacs wasn’t ‘trickling down’ to the grass roots level. If the Rove types hog all that cash, and you know they will, we could see it cripple the down-ticket Republicans.

    • Something very similar happened in Oregon. The GOP was so broke they had to abandon their HQ and move into a crappy strip mall. The truth is they haven’t had any real statewide impact here for a long time. They do well enough in the Legislature, because there are a whole lot of red districts in the rural areas but governor, AG, Secretary of State — they haven’t gotten anyone into those positions in ages.

      It’s very simple, actually: urban areas are blue and have the majority population, rural areas (most of the state) have low populations and are completely red. A few cities like Ashland stick out in their county because they’re college towns and full of old hippies.

    • My folks had a 78 rpm recording of Eddy Arnold singing ‘Apple Blossom Time’. I wonder if it’s still over there at the house?

  3. Obama quote embellished, adding fuel to campaign heat

    While speaking to an audience at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Obama said, “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn’t. But somebody gave us a chance — just like these folks up here are looking for a chance,” according to the official White House transcript.The following day, on Thursday, while interviewing Romney, Fox News host Steve Doocy quoted Obama as saying, “Unlike some people, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth,” according to Talking Points Memo. Doocy added the words, “Unlike some people,” the news organization reports.

    Now I thought it was Fox policy that if someone didn’t tell the truth on the air they’d be fired. Is Doocy still there?

    • That quote was then repeated verbatim in th WaPO and off it went….and yes Dooc-bag is still there.

    • That was false chyrons that would get someone the boot. Out-and-out lies told by the hosts are still standard operating procedure.

      And if you listen to the actual video (which I’ve done many times on TV), there is no ambiguity about it, and no need to quote the official White house transcript (which, as we all know from previous administrations, can be altered).

      And there is no need to couch the Doocy quote behind another’s reporting. If the writer of the article listened to what Doocy said for himself (Media Matters has it), there is no need to couch it as if there may be some dispute about it, which is how I take the wording of the “The USA Today” article.

      Obama never said “Unlike some people,” and Doocy clearly said he did. Doocy lied. Why not write it that way?

    • I’d like to quote Doocy as saying “I’m a lying scumbag who’ll do anything to get this black MoFo out of office!”
      Now he may not have said exactly that, but I’m saying he did.

      • Excellent! Now if we can just get the Washington Post to re-print that quote as if it were accurate, we’d be one step closer to “leveling the playing field.”

  4. Proctor and Gamble have dropped ALEC. I was dreading trying to replace their products on my shopping list.

  5. I’m a happy boy. Just got off the phone with Gummitch Jr. He and his gf will have moved back here by the weekend from Eugene. And he’ll be living with his mom, who has the room and lives reasonably close. Yay!

  6. frugal, are you out there?
    You’ve been very quiet hope all is ok in your part of paradise.

  7. Eighty percent of young evangelicals have engaged in premarital sex, according to a new video from the National Association of Evangelicals. and almost a third of evangelicals’ unplanned pregnancies end in abortion.

    It’s time to speak honestly about sex because abstinence campaigns and anti-abortion crusades often aren’t resonating in their own pews, evangelical leaders say.


    • I’m afraid that their minds are so warped by myths and lies that mere facts have little hope of making an impact. The complete inability to recognize irony and hypocrisy doesn’t help either.

    • SEX???!!! EEEEwwwwww! Nasty filthy, dirty! Jesus and Mary never had sex, so why should anyone want to!?

    • The interesting thing about these groups that demonize sex is that once a person reaches the age of about 13 they figure out they are either lying out their asses or very weird.

    • That’s a huge conflict in South Carolina then:

      “Before you can join the Laurens County Republican Party in South Carolina and get on the primary ballot, they ask that you pledge that you’ve never ever had pre-marital sex — and that you will never ever look at porn again.”

      • “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“hard-core pornography”]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it”

        Supreme Court Justice Stewart, 1964

        So if *he* doesn’t know what porn is until he sees it, how will I know what to watch out for?

  8. It was a glorious day for flying a sailplane. I got in 4X13 minute flights and two of them were on a single motor run of around 1 minute. The only downside is that I didn’t get to soar with birds

    • Bet he blames it on the culture of ‘gotcha’ brought in by Bill Clinton’s presidency.

      • It’s all the damn Democrats fault! They made him drool and splutter with all their elitist contortions and such.
        Gptta wonder if Doocy’s religion is moronism.

    • There is speculation that Doocy got his “Unlike some people” addition from hot air-dot-com.

      Allahpundit had written
      Obama: Unlike some people, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth

      He says:

      I didn’t mean to suggest that the “unlike some people” part was a direct quote, though; that’s why I didn’t use quotation marks and why I embedded video of Obama uttering the line, so that people could watch it for themselves and decide what he meant.

      This is just someone’s speculation about where Doocy got the words he added, but if true, Doocy was still irresponsible in not observing the lack of quote marks, in not playing the video for himself, and in automatically believing what a right-wing website says the president they all hate says. I mean, Doocy knows how the right wing plays the game, and he should have known that this was, if not an out-and-out lie, a major distortion of reality.

      Doocy owes an apology not just to his viewers (who won’t believe he was wrong), but to the president, too. I’d be surprised if he does the latter.

  9. What killed the bees? New studies connect Colony Collapse Disorder to neonicotinoids, a class of pesticide:

    “Neonicotinoids, which were introduced in the nineteen-nineties, are neurotoxins that, as the name suggests, chemically resemble nicotine. They’re what are known as systemic pesticides: seeds are treated with the chemicals, which then are taken up by the vascular systems of the growing plants. According to the Pesticide Action Network, at least a hundred and forty million acres were planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds in 2010. This is an area larger than California and Florida combined.”

  10. You got to hand it to Eliot Spitzer. The WalMart FCPA story breaks and he’s got Robert Greenwald (WalMart, The High Cost Of Low Prices) on his show along with Mike Koehker, Asst. Prof. of Business Law, Butler University, to discuss how big this crime really is.

    • Doesn’t look as if WalMart will be able to “make this go away” any time soon.
      They did try the “police ourselves”/”were investigating” before attempting to sweep it away.

    • Notice how many major cases are starting against large corporations and Republicans? DoJ against WalMart, Arpaio running out of time, Walker aides indicted, BP still on the hook for the Gulf, Common Cause against ALEC, phone hacking scandal against Murdoch, and more I forget.
      What’s the big legal case against a Democrat? Campaign finance allegations against John Edwards, over off-the-books payments to his pregnant mistress, by third parties
      I get the idea that most of these have been delayed for maximum effect at election time.

  11. The iPad cover turned out pretty well! The only thing I need to change is the inside contrasting fabric — it’s too light to stand up to the handling it needs to take, and ended up with a teeny tear near one of the seams. Boo.

    It’s not the kind of project I’m used to doing, but it really went together nicely. Thank goodness the fabrics I used were on clearance sale. 🙂

      • Meh, sales are not what I’d hoped. The iPad cover is a special request, so naturally a guaranteed sale — actually two! 🙂

        I’m glad your kitties like their new bed. I really enjoy making them!

        • Perhaps setting up at a flea market in the summer months when all the tourists are in town will help with sales. You do really nice work. How about some wine carrying bags??? Would the local wineries carry these bags on consignment? I’m full of ideas 🙂

  12. When Dinosaurs walked with Man

    A Texas town that’s home to 113-million-year-old fossilized dino tracks:

    “In the beginning, God created dinosaurs and humans, and they walked together in Texas. At least, according to many people in Glen Rose. The small town about 40 miles southwest of Fort Worth is home to some of the best-preserved dinosaur tracks in the world; it’s also a heavily Christian community where many locals interpret the book of Genesis literally. Their belief is bolstered by a phenomenon in the riverbed. Alongside the dinosaur tracks are what resident R.C. McFall and others call “man tracks”—tangible proof of biblical creation accounts and a refutation of the theory of evolution.

    … According to geologists, the rock layer near Glen Rose containing fossilized dinosaur footprints is 113 million years old. Dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, about 60 million years before the earliest humans appeared. So what are the riverbed man tracks? The answer comes from amateur paleontologist Glen Kuban, who’s studied those tracks since the ’80s. They’re actually more dinosaur tracks, Kuban says.”

    What do you do when people use religion to perpetuate lies? On this kind of issue, Christopher Hitchens was right. These people need to be mocked mercilessly for ignorance and stupidity. This isn’t faith. It’s bullshit. And yet in this advanced country, it’s everywhere – and one political party panders to it.

      • Yep, it’s kind of the reverse image of your gravatar — except with an indoor cat peering over the other’s shoulder.

    • Seriously, the number of hoops these people have to go through to convince themselves that there’s a Sky Wizard just for them…..

    • “I believe in the Bible,” McFall says. “I don’t believe the world’s over 6,000 or 7,000 years old. Course, everybody’s got their own interpretation.”

      The brillance is overwhelming//

    • I do still have it — packed with the stuff in Idaho. Boo.

      I still have the posters, too. I’ll keep them forever!

      • Me, too. I have a box with all my Obama stuff along with the Christmas cards from the Obama’s. This box also has “Richardson for President” window signs.

  13. The fall of the Iron Curtain is going to cost me money!

    I just found a site that imports hand-built, contest grade, RC sailplanes from the Czech Republic. Their prices are very reasonable, shipping is cheap, and they will split payment into three installments. Despite charging about a third of what one would pay for a German, American, or Japanese sailplane; they have a very good reputation. And the best part is that they ship the planes “ready to cover” so I can personalize it without having to build the basic structure.

  14. A cool site to checked out is They feature stuff like this every once in a while, part 9 in a series of images you won’t believe aren’t Photoshopped.

    It counts down from 18 to 1. The clouds in #15 are awesome. The giant flying fox in #7 is frightening. (And it’s not the largest species of such things.) Then there’s the two-faced cat in #1.

  15. Sorry I’ve been mostly missing. Son missed 4 days of school and we’re making up the missed work. Tomorrow 1200 little baby plants will arrive and I must plant them by Thursday when rain will return. We just had 3 days of rain so It looks like a mud wallow. No wonder I identify with pigs.
    I know many of you do not approve of church, but I want to share this anyway. Son served as acolyte and read the psalm Sunday, perfectly, in front of people. If you know an autistic child, you know what an accomplishment that is. He was so proud of himself.
    Anyway, I’m still here and still read and count on you folks to keep me informed.

    • Congratulations to your son, Outstanding!

      I have a lot of problems with church, but I have more probelms with religious hypocrites — you, by walking the talk, aren’t in that population. 🙂

      • Thanks Z. You of all folks do understand. My child is blossoming, and will be a teenager (shudder) on May 17th.

        • I love teenagers. There were a few blips when my men were in their teens, but overall, I really enjoyed those years.

    • Outstanding, thoroughly enjoy reading about the accomplishments of OIMF, jr. No matter that church isn’t for some of us – it is for him. The fact he felt comfortable enough to read in front of a group is wonderful to know!

      He was so proud of himself.

      I picture Mom bursting her buttons!

  16. Watching Rachel this evening, and she reported that 4000 people showed up today in a driving rain storm in PA to hear Ron Paul speak. That’s a lot of people, but still, he won’t be getting the nomination.

    The thing that bothers me is that 4000 people showed up to grovel and slobber over Ron Paul, a man who will never be president, but whose followers — people who are the most selfish people on the planet, if they’re real Libertarians — are so many and so loud, and so very certain of the rightness of their ideas. And they are a rabid bunch. Rabidly “I’ve got mine, so fuck all of you.” People who have no idea of what it means to be Americans, and long after Ron Paul starts his dirt nap, his followers will still walk among us.

    I weep for this country.

    • “There’s no accounting for taste.”

      A bothersome aspect about the Paulbots: they are the younger generation. Feeling of militancy in that group for grandad Ron.

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