Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Feb. 18th through Feb. 24th

Welcome to The Moose Pond! The Welcomings posts give the Moose, old and new, a place to visit and share words about the weather, life, the world at large and the small parts of Moosylvania that we each inhabit.

Welcomings will be posted at the start of each week (every Sunday morning). To find the posts, just bookmark this link and Voila! (which is Moose for “I found everyone!!”).

The format is simple: each day, the first moose to arrive on-line will post a comment welcoming the new day and complaining (or bragging!) about their weather. Or mentioning an interesting or thought provoking news item. Or simply checking in.

So … what’s going on in your part of Moosylvania?

NOTE: The comments page will now split off after 20 or so left margin comments with the most recent comments on the current page. To see the older comments, scroll to the bottom of the page and use the link.


– Page One of Comments is HERE!
– Page Two of Comments is HERE!




  1. Good “morning”, Motley Meese! The week begins …

    Morning low of 19 degrees in Madison WI with an expected daytime high of 43. The forecast calls for mostly sunny skies.

    Have a great day, all y’alls!!

  2. I have been watching the reactions to the Parkland shooting closely and it is interesting to see the dam cracking a bit politically. The big news yesterday was that a prominent Florida donor – and former RNC finance chairman – announced that he would not cut checks to anyone until the Republican Party supported an assault weapons ban. Of course, one billionaire’s money versus the NRAs unlimited funds probably doesn’t scare anyone. But this might give them pause: ““I’m going to email every single donor I know in the Republican Party and try to get them on board,” he said.”

    On Twitter yesterday, Alec MacGillis from ProPublica posted a thread suggesting that we gave up too soon in our pushback against the NRA after Sandy Hook, that we were moving the needle and if we had kept up the pressure, we might have had some success. He points out that we didn’t give up easily on health care and haven’t given up on the environment despite enormous setbacks and wonders why we fell into despair so quickly on this issue. He has a point but he is probably sheltered from the virulence of pro-NRA social media and political discourse. Some of the worst fights at DK – and the old open-Moose – were over the issue of guns and they were frightening. If someone disagrees with us over health care funding and protecting the environment, they are probably not going to kill us when we march; I am not sure that the same is true when you argue with a rabid 2A-er. They use their weapons to intimidate. Anyway, it was a thoughtful thread and sparked a lot of discussion.

    Erik Loomis linked to a piece on Vice that made the same point as MacGillis – that gun control might be an issue that is ripe for Democrats.

    In the average DCCC target district, support for closing the gun show loophole (“background checks for all sales, including at gun shows and over the internet” is how the question is worded) is a whopping 88 percent; support for an assault weapon ban (“ban assault weapons”) is 61 percent.

    Now we just need to package it properly – hitting those points – and take our chances. I remember when Democrats were afraid to run on the benefits of the ACA in 2014 and got their asses handed to them. We missed a chance to set the “hands off my health care” narrative that won elections in 2017 and will probably win us back the House.

  3. Good morning, Meese. Dawn is breaking over a snow-covered landscape outside. Yes, we actually received two whole inches! It was enough to make everyone in our area panic. Thankfully, the Transylvanians canceled their date night, so I did not have to leave the house to look after their boys after all. It was really nice to stay at home in front of the fire in the woodstove.

    The gray clouds are moving and breaking up in NoVa; the current temp. is 32 F., going up to 48 F. Miss Pink Cheeks wants to come to dinner and stay overnight tonight.

    Interesting that you mention a turning point, Jan, I’m getting that sense too. If even Rethugs are turning, well…we shall see.

    Another day of laundry and reading lies ahead. Hubby is making some progress on repairing the icemaker on the fridge, but not much.

    Wishing all a good day.

    • Well, we kept thinking that surely, a man shooting the faces off 6 year olds would be a turning point and it wasn’t. But MacGillis thinks we missed our chance if we had kept our foot on the gas. I guess no one knows – and it is easy to blame one moment or reaction in hindsight. I would have thought there would be a turning point for the support of a bump stock ban when 500 people who were probably strong Trump supporters were killed and wounded in Las Vegas. Erik Loomis thinks that the difference is that in Florida, the victims are not afraid to speak out and to call out the adults who let someone kill their classmates. They are young and idealistic and maybe that is the infusion we need to energize us again. I see 20 dead children and I want to weep – they see 17 dead classmates and teachers and they want to take to the streets. The least we can do is support them and raise some energy for them.

  4. These photos never fail to make me sad. We went from perhaps one of the most decent people to ever sit in the Oval Office to the current occupant and the whiplash was painful.

    • OMG, that is a heart-wrenching photo. What grace, intellect, and moral probity we’ve lost in the White House.

      The Occupant isn ‘t fit to lick President Obama’s or President Hillary Clinton’s boots.

      • Joy Ann Reid: A President’s Day Without a Real President

        Monday is President’s Day. It will be the second consecutive such holiday without an American president. […]

        So what should we celebrate on President’s Day?

        We can celebrate the coming of change. This November, the American majority has the chance to build a wall around Trumpism, by sending to Washington a Democratic congress willing to insist Russian sanctions be implemented, to hold the Trump White House to account rather than canoodling with them as Devin Nunes has done, and to wave the credible threat of impeachment in front of this benighted president; willing to pass common sense immigration reform and gun safety reform and to shun the bloodthirsty gun lobby and relegate them to the margins of history where they belong.

        We can celebrate the persistence of hope. Despite the daily horror of Donald Trump, people all over America are continuing to speak out, to organize, to march and to withhold their silence and consent.

        And we can celebrate the waves of candidates standing for office all over this country who are bringing a youthful energy and future focus to the campaign trail. We could see a wave of new leaders in America next year—women and people of color, LGBT Americans, Muslims and believers in science and pluralism who can yet give America a future worth cheering, while we await a president who’s actually fit to lead us.

  5. Good Sunday morning Meese
    Now that it is daylight – I can see that we only got about 2-3 inches of snow last night. It is 30 degrees here in Saugerties NY – going up to 45.


    Am heartened by the raised voices of FL students – who are linking outrage to action – and talking about voting.
    Just saw that several of them will be on Meet the Press today – which I don’t watch. Will look for a video later.
    And this

    • This needs to keep getting retweeted:

      I don’t watch Sunday talk shows – too many lying Republicans (is that redundant?) It is nice to see that there might be a counterweight to them today.

      • I’ve been following a few of the students on twitter – it is great to see the impact they are having on other young people
        Will keep an eye on this

      • Here is a nice thread in support of her speech.

        “We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. We are going to be the last mass shooting.” – Emma Gonzalez

  6. Headed to get some more coffee – and then look at twitter.
    This morning’s post at Dkos will continue the Black History Month theme – linked to Puerto Rico.
    Wanted to do something to lift spirits – so part of it is about bomba music – traditional afro-puerto rican drumming song and dance

    It does not just happen on the island – its alive and well in PR communities across the US
    For example Chicago (this made me smile) on the train

  7. Jan, how is it I hardly ever see your tweets except once in a great while? I see tweets from Dee, bfitz, DoReMI, and basket. As far as I know, I’m following you on Twitter.

    • Perhaps we are on different schedules! To start my day, I usually open up tabs for news stories I want to read and then when I am ready to shut down my computer, I read what I have time for and tweet out my thoughts. I usually open Twitter at least once from my computer because it is easier to read my mentions there. After lunch, I am “on” my phone where I read tweets but don’t always retweet – I bookmark some, screen cap others, read linked stories off quite a few.

    • Here is something I learned on Twitter today. The Parkland high school is named after this woman, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. She had an interesting life and made a huge impact on Florida’s environmental laws as a journalist:

      Marjory Stoneman Douglas (April 7, 1890 – May 14, 1998) was an American journalist, writer, feminist, and environmentalist known for her staunch defense of the Everglades against efforts to drain it and reclaim land for development. Moving to Miami as a young woman to work for The Miami Herald, she became a freelance writer, producing over a hundred short stories that were published in popular magazines. Her most influential work was the book The Everglades: River of Grass (1947), which redefined the popular conception of the Everglades as a treasured river instead of a worthless swamp.

      It is wonderful to think that a life like hers would be honored by naming a high school after her. I hope that one effect of this horrific shooting is to make people read about her work. I wonder if the kids in this school seem so tapped into doing the right thing because they know her history – she was certainly no shrinking violet!

  8. Warm this morning — 50s, my friends running the Austin Marathon are going to think it’s too warm. They changed the route this year, wonder how it’s going. Today is church, setting stuff out to thaw, figuring out what groceries I need & clearing out the dvr. For some reason, my brain is playing New Order’s Regret. Sweet, happy ‘90s dance pop. No idea why it popped into my head, but despite the title it’s a poppy, happy song.

  9. Above freezing this morning but windchill wasn’t – heading for mid 50s – sun coming and going. Got less than 5 KWHs yesterday, already have 4 KWHs today with m-t-d at 133 – unless the clouds totally disappear we won’t make 140 today but we’ll get closer. Peanut butter and cocoa muffins making the house smell good. They taste good, too. :) Hung the sheets outside but everything else in front of the fire just in case.

    I think/hope we’re at the right time in history for at least a renewal of the assault weapons ban – these kids aren’t heart-wrenching babies, they’re angry teens fighting back. They’re weapons are social media and they know how to use them at least as well as the Russian bots if not better. We need to have their backs, protect their flanks – but give them point. With our support, the kids can do this.

    Got 137 tweets down a 157 storify on the Clintons and the LBGT community before I accidentally closed my browser – which of course had me cursing like a sailor. Not going to try to find it again but yeah, I remember. Not a member of the community but had friends who are/were and I remember.

    And sorry for the rant folks, but this is the only place I can do it. I’ve been thinking of Trish this morning. Not good thoughts – she shouldn’t be dead. If Disability had approved her SSD claim as every doctor who saw her reported…If NC had accepted expanded Medicaid…If her gee-dee doctor had ever actually looked at her rather than saying to everything (including bronchial pneumonia) “lose weight and stop drinking sodas”…If the gee-dee hospital had paid any attention whatsoever to the actual condition she was in and gotten her something she could eat rather than yelling at her for not eating stuff she couldn’t. She wasn’t diabetic but she died of heart failure due to ketoacidosis. While she was in the hospital. On her last night I called her as I did every night while she was in the hospital. She wasn’t exactly conscious but she managed to knock the phone off the hook so I could hear her crying and moaning. And I had to call the effen nurses station to tell them to get in there to her. They weren’t effen monitoring her. She died 8 hours later. It will be 2 years on March 5th.

    Bright the day, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

    • That is so sad, bfitz, and I am so sorry. I hadn’t know the whole story before you recounted it just now.

      Our health system is a complete, hard-hearted failure. You’re right, she shouldn’t be dead. May she rest in peace.

      • {{{Diana}}} – mostly I’ve dealt with it but every once in a while it just rolls over me. I know she’s OK now – don’t know about peace. Peace and Tricia were only nodding acquaintances. LOL. But she’s no longer trapped in a mostly non-functional and hurting body nor having people look down on her or yell at her for not somehow managing to break out of a downward poverty and health spiral by herself. She’s mostly about whatever folks do once they’ve walked on/crossed the Rainbow Bridge – and she visits folks she loves of course. Pretty sure that’s Franki & Mikayla mostly but every once in a while it’s me. And mostly when it’s me it’s the good memories – Sunday morning phone calls that I did for over 6 years, the pootie diaries, talking about folks I didn’t always even place but she knew and was concerned about. But there’s that frightened and hurt ghost of her last days and especially hours who also sometimes visits.

        Our healthcare system stopped being health care some decades back – it’s now the for-profit medical industry. And since it became the for-profit medical industry, well, you’d best have money AND insurance AND an advocate with you at all times to survive. Tricia didn’t have any of the three.

        moar {{{HUGS}}}

  10. Good morning, 32, wind and light snow in Bellingham. I’m sleepy and slow today and reading my local papers makes me want to pull the covers over my head :::sigh:::

    According to this woman I’m one of the “malcontent mobsters” bothering the R’s re gun control…..

    King County Republican chair criticized after telling gun-control advocate ‘Do not ever contact me again’

    No words for this one……

    Third-graders are selling AR-15 raffle tickets in Missouri

    Time to turn the music on and the news off. Take care everyone.

    • It is incredible what snowflakes Republicans are turning out to be. Scott Pruitt gets sad because people tell him that he is fking up the environment – spoiler, he is! – and has to fly in first class to avoid the rabble. Elected officials run away – literally! – from town halls, Republican Party officials block political discourse.

      It will be very sweet revenge when Washington state’s Republican Party becomes like California’s – a shriveled husk, a group whose only meaningful job is keeping mean people from posting on their Facebook page.

  11. Good morning, meeses! Monday …

    It is 36 degrees in Madison with an expected daytime high of 39. Looks like we will have rain all day. We are keeping an eye on a system that the weatherfolks say may give us freezing rain and ice overnight and into tomorrow.

    Stay away, bad weather! We have an election tomorrow, 2/20, which includes a primary for Supreme Court. Two Democrats and a Republican mouthbreather, a guy who, as a lawyer at a Wisconsin law firm, helped draw the illegal district maps that the Supreme Court is looking at right now are running; the field will be narrowed to 2 for the April 3rd general election. Technically, the position is non-partisan but HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Even if we win, we will still be two away from a majority and next years judge facing reelection will be one of ours. But the journey begins with a single step. It will be interesting to see if the berners get their people to the polls to vote for the guy running under their banner. They blew off the judicial election that would have made a big difference in April of 2016 by not even bothering to cast a vote when they were at the polls.

    A lot of think pieces about the Mueller indictments hit the Internets over the weekend and I have been reading a few of them. Yes, the Russian trolls sowed discord but I am not sure that their ratfking is what led to Trump’s win, at least in Wisconsin. We should not look for exotic reasons – possible one-time occurrences – but look at the ratfking that the Republican Party did here with their voter id bill and shortened early voting. Long-time voters, every-election voters, were turned away because they could not pass the new poll tests put in place. THAT should be what we focus on. The Russia indictments are good because they reinforce the narrative that Trump is illegitimate but really, any Republican president would be illegitimate, the product of epic voter suppression.

    The NRA has an interesting public relations problem right now. The victims in the latest massacre are old enough – yet innocent enough – to fight back and the NRA has been lashed to the Orange Orshole and his low approval ratings. My sense is that they will get dinged up by this and that some legislators in safe seats will get challengers – and some will lose – but that in the long run it will make little difference. I hope I am wrong. I would love to see commonsense gun control become an issue that people can run on and win and they change the laws.

    Busy day here. I let myself get distracted by the news and wasted two quiet weekend mornings that I should have been using for accounting work.

    See all y’all later!

    • Clint Smith is great!

      “When you sing that this country was founded on freedom, don’t forget the duet of shackles dragging against the ground my entire life. I had been taught how perfect this country was, but no one ever told me about the pages torn out of my textbooks. How black and brown bodies have been bludgeoned for three centuries and find no place in the curriculum. Oppression doesn’t disappear just because you decided not to teach us that chapter.”

      It should be embarrassing for Republicans – the Party of Lincoln – to now be the party of white supremacy and longing for the days before The North took away their “property.”

        • I wish there were a way to make them stop! I guess we will just have to crush their party, grind it into dust, and bury it forever. Let them rise from the ashes as something else – leaving Lincoln out of it. Maybe the Party of Romney-Ryan, the perfect icon for self-deluded men who speak of honor but work tirelessly to destroy every shred of decency they come across.

    • On a related note:

    • {{{Denise}}} – public school American history is – or at least was when I was taking it & when I was teaching it – is a collection of factoids, dates of wars, and idolization of famous (white) men. There’s the occasional token person of color or female so they can pretend we were there, as we obviously were, but didn’t do much or it would of course be covered. The white men who write the text books and design the curriculum use children’s ages and ability to understand complex data as their excuse for not presenting the complete picture – with it’s cognitive dissonance on our “founding fathers” and flat out evil our society did and in some cases is still doing. My attempts to make connections and find the missing fragments – which are more than half the puzzle – are part of the reason I was not popular with the administrations and didn’t last long in teaching. And back then I wasn’t within lightyears of the knowledge, the pieces, you and Aji have taught me. I’m not sure even if this can be changed but to a certain extent it starts with winning back the school boards that chose the textbooks – and with having more honest textbooks to choose.

  12. Good Monday morning, Meese! It’s still dark here and the streets are shiny with rain in the lamplight. The current temp. here in NoVa is 39 F., going up to 52 F. today.

    In the old days it was colder on Presidents’ Day and a couple of times we had spectacular snowfalls—29 inches in 1979 and 12 in 2004. Loved it because offices had to close, even though we didn’t officially have those days as holidays. Speaking of snow, what we had on Saturday melted entirely on Sunday. You’d never know it happened now.

    Miss Pink Cheeks wants eggs and Canadian bacon for breakfast so presently I’ll go down and start preparing it. We’ll drop her off at home on our way to Lowe’s to buy a new washing machine. Ours has been making sinister noises for a few months now. When we called a repair person, he came out and said he couldn’t even discern the model number, so hail, just buy a new one. We didn’t at the time but now I think we’d better.

    Have promised someone I’d say “Not my president” on Twitter today and attach a photo of a real president, but I don’t know how to do that. I’m not very clued in on Twitter.

    Wishing all a quiet day at the Pond.

    • The washing machine I had before my last one gave me about 25 years and I think I am on year 19 of my current one – my dryer is nearly 40 years old! You will find that the newer washers have some features that are nice for energy saving and the like.

      Your Twitter app should have an Attach Photo button or link. After you click it, it generally gives you a chance to navigate to somewhere on your device where you store photos and allows you to choose it. So you begin by selecting a photo you would like to use, download it to your device and then launch Twitter. Good luck! I have an idea who I would choose for a photo but there are so many good ones it will be difficult to choose just one.

  13. Nice to sleep in again. Warm today — will be in the 70s, and rain all week with some scary sounding weather on Wednesday. I have a 1 o’clock visit with Min, need to stretch the 1 tub of oatmeal I found in the freezer — maybe a package of berries & some quinoa (high protein so I don’t have to toast more walnuts to add). Have to laugh — when I open a tab to youtube, it keeps suggesting David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid of Americans”

    • Trump really does just have to make every single thing about him:
      <blockquoteclass=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”>

      17 of my classmates are gone. That’s 17 futures, 17 children, and 17 friends stolen. But you’re right, it always has to be about you. How silly of me to forget. #neveragain https://t.co/i6Hldlo0Aq

      — AlySheehy (@Aly_Sheehy) February 18, 2018

  14. It’s 59 heading for mid 60s, overcast and misting – may or may not get some real rain, which we need. Got 9 KWHs yesterday and the m-t-d is 138. Hoping we’ll get enough sunlight to get over 140 but it’s going to have to at least lighten up if not clear off to do it.

    A seriously doubt we’re going to get actual follow-the-Amendment laws ever – which would be “you wanna bear arms, join the National Guard or some other official military organization” – the nutjobs argue that the “militia” mentioned in both the constitution itself and the 2nd Amendment are not the National Guard. But I have a friend whose grandfather was an officer in the AR Militia at the time it became the AR National Guard – that was 1916 and it was so they could be sent into Mexico under Gen. J. J. “Blackjack” Pershing during the Pancho Villa affair. They were next best thing to directly shipped from Mexico to France when we got into WWI. So there’s another part of history and civics “ordinary” white Americans don’t know and/or deny. I do think we’re going to get a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban out of this. We’ll have to get Congress back first – which the kids at least appear to know – but even if we can’t get anything else in the way of “sensible” gun safety laws I think we will get this one.

    Gonna do my “tour of the internets” and then do a few things around the house. Definitely not going anywhere today unless the weather clears off. Bright the day, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

  15. Good morning, 26 and sunny in Bellingham. The snow is gone but the arctic air blowing from the Fraser River Valley in Canada and the deep snow on the mountains around us means it’s a cold winter day. RonK and Ava are going to bundle up and take their camera’s outside but I’m staying cozy in my sewing room today. I seem to be more interested in starting projects than I am in finishing them so I’ve got lots to choose from!

    Best Monday wishes to all.

  16. Good morning, meese! Tuesday …

    It is 34 degrees in Madison with an expected daytime high of 43. It is raining right now and will be all day. Points north, where the temperatures are at or below freezing will be getting a coating of ice – some have already cancelled school. It will be a challenge for election officials who are required by law to open polling places by 7am with 3 certified poll workers. We have no statutes that allow for postponing elections. Election turnout should not depend on the weather (the infamous Republican Bounce that comes from rainy days keeping Democrats at home) – and certainly putting little old ladies lives in danger should be avoided. My friends who live in mail-in-ballot states like Colorado and Washington remind me of this often! This is just a primary for the Supreme Court race and we are guaranteed to get one of the more progressive candidates on the ballot so I suspect there will be a lot of staying at home today.

    Great news out of Pennsylvania where their Supreme Court drew new congressional maps. Analysts say it will likely add from 3 to 5 Democratic seats in Congress. Since the state had been 13-5 R – and split 50-50 in the 2016 presidential election – ending up at 10-8 R or D (or 9-9) could hardly be called “judicial overreach”. It seems rather more like “sensible”. The map was drawn by an expert from Stanford and I am sure it will be challenged but it is unlikely to go far – the U.S. Supreme Court has already declared that they have no interest in getting involved.

    Fox News is attacking the Parkland students saying they are “paid agitators”. Welcome to our world, young people. I hope your treatment by the right-wing noise machine creates in you a lifelong disgust for Fox News and the Republican Party that buries both.

    See all y’all later!

  17. Good Tuesday Morning Meese
    More weather madness here in Saugerties NY – it will be 63 today, then 72 tomorrow – followed by a drop to snow on Thursday – yikes.
    There are a number of events celebrating WEB Du Bois across the country – who will be my topic in today’s Black Kos

    Lots of great articles here

    Have to get ready for school – have a good day folks

  18. Really, really warm today — 70s already at 6am. They say it’s because there’s a cold front coming & it compresses the air… Anyway, warm & somewhat rainy today, cooler & 100% chance of rain tomorrow. I meant to call in sick today, the day back after a long weekend is so busy, and some people decide to stretch out the long weekend even longer, not bothering to show up till 8:30 or 9. But I’m here. I am going to leave early, though. I need to go to the tax office & pay my car tag, which was due last month….. Now I’m eating oatmeal & drinking tea. Brain is playing The Little Things That Give You Away. Beautiful, soaring melody (Edge is really, really good at the “soaring” thing, while my beautiful Adam gives him a bass line to soar over); somber, almost depressing lyrics:

    Sometimes I can’t believe my existence
    See myself from a distance
    I can’t get back inside
    Sometimes the air is so anxious
    All my thoughts are so reckless
    And all of my innocence has died
    Sometimes I wake at four in the morning
    Where all the darkness is swarming
    And it covers me in fear
    Sometimes I’m full of anger and grieving
    So far away from believing
    That any sun will reappear
    The end is not coming
    It’s not coming
    The end is here

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