Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Jan. 31st through Feb. 6th

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.



  1. Good morning heading towards afternoon.

    Have been buried in writing and web exploring since about 4AM and forgot to come up for air and more coffee.

    The NY Public Library now has opened its digital images to anyone who wants to use them

    a boon to bloggers!

    • The New York Times opened up their archives also: Unpublished Black History

      Hundreds of stunning images from black history, drawn from old negatives, have long been buried in the musty envelopes and crowded bins of the New York Times archives.

      None of them were published by The Times until now.

  2. Good morning, 39 and cloudy in Bellingham. I had a restless night and then I overslept so I’m going to miss my pool time today. Sometimes my BCH leg needs some time off from activity and the compression stocking, so I’ll stay quiet this morning, keep my leg elevated, and hope the burning pain will ease. It’s not what I want to do though :(

    This editorial at the Seattle Times makes me sad. Education for every person in this nation should be a commonly shared priority, but sadly it isn’t.

    Guest essay: The conversation I’m tired of not having

    I want to tell you a secret: America really doesn’t care what happens to poor people and most black people.

    There I said it.

    In my position as a Teacher of the Year and a teacher leader (an ambiguous term at best), I am supposed to be a voice and hold positions on a host of education policy issues: teaching evaluations, charter schools, test refusal, and (fights over) Common Core come to mind. I am so sick of reading about McCleary (Washington’s ongoing intergovernmental battle for equitable funding for K-12) I don’t know what to do with myself.

    But, increasingly I find myself tuning out of these conversations. As a nation, we’re nibbling around the edges with accountability measures and other reforms, but we’re ignoring the immutable core issue: much of white and wealthy America is perfectly happy with segregated schools and inequity in funding.

    • I hope giving yourself a break helps!

      There are few things sadder than the destruction of public education in our country. Scott Walker took $2.5 billion out of public education in Wisconsin with his last 3 budgets. And now the Republicans are surprised that young people want to leave the state as soon as they graduate from high school and why businesses that depend on an educated workforce are shuttering and moving elsewhere. Kansas schools have been defunded and we know what is going on in Michigan and Louisiana. It simply shows what can happen if you become complacent for even a minute … things that you thought were permanent, like voting rights and civil rights and women’s reproductive rights – and education … are chopped out and discarded.

  3. Paul Waldman in WaPo:

    Some time tonight, we will learn the results of the Iowa caucuses, and for us in the media it will be as though the top was removed from a pressure cooker. After a year or two of speculation and prognostication, at last some Americans will have actually cast something resembling votes. For all this time, Iowa has gotten a ridiculous amount of attention from candidates and journalists alike, for no reason other than that they hold their caucuses before any other state votes. […]

    So before we all lose our minds over-interpreting the caucus results, here are some things to be on your guard against as you watch the coverage.

    snip (list here)

    [When] you see an analyst saying that one candidate is going to struggle to get coverage, or that the media will now shift its attention, or that that “the narrative” will focus on some trivial matter that came up, don’t forget that the person saying it is one of the ones doing the thing they’re describing.

    One pundit on Twitter is Tweeting to cover all the bases:

    Michael Cohen ‏@speechboy71

    “The message tonight from Iowa: Democrats want to stay the course”

    “The message tonight from Iowa: Democrats want change”

    #protip #Iowa


    “Clearly the eligibility issue hurt Cruz”

    “Iowans seem unconcerned about Cruz’s eligibility to be POTUS”
    #protip #Iowa


    “Clinton waited too long to go negative”

    “Clinton went negative at just the right time as voters were making up their mind” #protip #Iowa


    “Clinton’s victory is tempered by concerns abt email issue that won’t go away”

    “Clinton, clearly hurt by the email issue”
    #protip #Iowa


    “Tonight is a [rejection] [endorsement] of President Obama’s record”
    #protip #Iowa


    Michael Cohen ‏@speechboy71

    The person who wins tonight will be the person with the most votes
    #protip #Iowa

  4. Good morning, meese! Tuesday …

    It is 28 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 35. The winter storm watch is now a weather advisory, expected to drop 2-4 inches of snow this morning, becoming a rain/snow mix later this afternoon. The kids will be disappointed that there is no snow day.

    Rubementum will be the news of the day as Marco Rubio officially becomes the establishment darling. Watch the wheels fall off of the Christie Kasich We Are Not Trump bandwagon.

    On the Democratic side, it looks like Secretary Clinton eked out a win over Senator Sanders, 49.9 to 49.6. A win is a win but in another example of why the Iowa caucuses are an insult to small d democracy, the winner in some precincts was decided by a coin toss. So $500 million and hundreds of clogged arteries later, we have proven one thing: 25% of the voters in one of the least religiously, ethnically, and racially diverse states in the nation has decided who the rest of the country should pay attention to. Meh.

    See all y’all later!

  5. Gooooood mornin’

    Stayed up way past my bedtime.
    27 here in Saugerties – 50 tomorrow – weird.

    Need coffee!

    • I stayed up way too long and got up at my regular time. Coffee is not cutting through my tired.

      And I forgot this: Blessed Imbolc!!!

      Some celebrate on the 1st and others celebrate on the 2nd. For whatever reason, I have always chosen the 2nd.

      It is also Groundhog Day and there will be no sun here today so winter will be over toot suite.

        • We have a groundhog named Jimmy in a town east of Madison who will also not see his shadow today. Last year, the designated Jimmy bit the mayor on the nose and had to be freed back into the wild. This year’s designated Jimmy is an animal actor, a trained groundhog, I guess, who is expected to behave better. I suspect that this year the new mayor will keep his distance, regardless of the promises.

  6. We had a cold front come through, but it’s still going to get up to 70. Supposed to really cool down tonight. Lunch walking group with agency director starts today. He’s a nice guy. I’m always a block or so behind — he walks fast & most people can keep up but not me. I go anyway.

    I don’t know what to make of Iowa. But it’s on to the next thing anyway. And I have to make up my mind about local candidates by Sunday — I’ll run by the endorsement meeting & pick up a ballot to cast, just not stay for any length of time. 7 candidates running for state rep in my district.

    Earworm is California (no end to love)

  7. Good morning, Meese! It’s 32 F. here in NoVa on a lovely sunny day, going up to 41 F. later.A great deal of the snow has melted and I expect the rain tomorrow will finish it off.

    Like our sister anotherdemocrat, I don’t know what to make of the Iowa caucuses either. Glad they’re over. The Poison Pool is still full of green bile, so be careful if you go over there. :)

    Today I’m going back to the gym or ELSE! Have sadly neglected it owing to the snow. Also have to do some more grocery shopping. Think I’ll try to stay off FB and Poison Pool today and concentrate on other things.

    Have a good day, all!

    • Iowa will soon be irrelevant. Let’s just get NH out of the way – where Bernie is slated to win.

      • The DNC should be embarrassed to call Iowa one of their nominating contests. It is undemocratic (only people who can take time to spend 4 hours caucusing can participate) and a ridiculous waste of ink and energy. If there is anyone who thinks it settled anything, they are lying to themselves and you.

        So a pass through New Hampshire to make sure they do not feel disrespected (they have an important Senate race this fall), then on to South Carolina and Nevada when things get serious.

    • In case you missed Hillary’s post-caucus speech, here it is. She was careful not to make too much of her narrow win while still celebrating the victory.

      (p.s. Does Bill not look well or is that how he always looks?)

      • I didn’t notice anything in particular about Bill – I think he’s just getting older, like the rest of us [sigh]

        • She did great. Bill looks better. Yes, older, but now he’s lost weight and is paying more attention to his health, he does look better. I was fascinated by how much he was concentrating on what Hillary was saying. Everyone else, including Chelsea, was grinning and applauding in all the right places but I’m not sure they were actually hearing the work, the promise, and the dream she was outlining. Bill did.

  8. Morning all! Man, I was so glad for the Hillary liveblog at DKos last night – I was frustrated till I found it and there many of you were when I did, so it was like hanging out here almost! lol

    Lysis’s diary at DKos this morning has some great observations and analysis in the comments about where Hillary’s campaign should go from here. I agree she will lose New Hampshire, but that is so expected now that if she can make it close at all, SHE will be the one with the moral victory there, as Sanders is claiming from Iowa. I also agree with commenters who think she can sharpen her critique of Sanders’ proposals – while saying the goal, of, say, single payer, is worthy, she can go after why it’s not feasible. Same with the free tuition plan, and his habit of using middle class tax increases to pay for his plans.

    I also think Sanders is just toast at this point – khyber900 observes in a comment that he should have won Iowa by 4-6 points, given the big turnout he got in his strongholds, as well as in rural counties. It may be too soon to start talking about when he should withdraw – not that he would listen to any calls for that now anyway – but I can’t see why he should pursue this much past South Carolina if Hillary wins big there. However, unlike his ardent supporters who view him as the Principled One pursuing change, I think he’s in this as much for his own ego as for pursuit of policy and I don’t know if he can bring himself to step down as soon as he should. Ego is not a bad thing, mind you, it’s as necessary for politicians as it is for surgeons, as you’ve got to be totally sure of yourself to essentially expose yourself in front of the voters (or, in the case of surgeons, cut into a living body). What I worry about in his case is that since he’s NAD (Not A Democrat), his ego needs may trump any concerns about damage to the Democratic Party a protracted campaign from him, attacking Hillary and inflating the right-wing narrative about her that’s been percolating for 20 years, would do.

    I’m also worried about pretty boy Rubio being pushed by the Republican establishment into the nomination by hook or by crook – he’s a cipher, but he could be propped up to give Hillary a run. We’ll see.

    All that aside, it WAS a win for Hillary, she got the most delegates and that’s what matters.

    Have a great day everyone!

    • Bernie’s NADness is a big concern for many of us. I think that right now he is basking in the attention that his economic philosophy of the last 30 years is getting. And it deserves an airing as it is based in fairness and economic equality, Democratic Party values. But it does not rise to the level of policy and for those of us grounded in reality, we need something more attainable. It will be interesting to see how the debates change now that it will be just the two of them, Sanders and Clinton. The forum tomorrow night is a town hall on CNN and will not be face to face so we will have to wait until next week.

      Marco Rubio!! Geordie, the Republican establishment thinks that he is the answer to their prayers because he is the empty vessel George W. Bush prototype they prefer PLUS he has Hispanic names!!! Republicans are all about messaging and PR and will blow right past the inconvenient truth that Rubio’s Hispanic creds are attractive to the old grampuses in the Cuban-American community and don’t resonate with most Latino voters. He may look young but he is stuck in the 50s.

    • I want to store this here because in terms of sheer numbers “deciding” who the Republican nominee should be, one can’t help but feel that the weight given to the Iowa caucuses is out of proportion to its grassrootiness:

      Ted Cruz 27.7% 51,649 votes
      Donald Trump 24.3% 45,416 votes
      Marco Rubio 23.1% 43,132 votes
      Ben Carson 9.3% 17,393 votes
      Rand Paul 4.5% 8,478 votes
      Jeb Bush 2.8% 5,235 votes
      Carly Fiorina 1.9% 3,483 votes
      John Kasich 1.9% 3,473 votes
      Mike Huckabee 1.8% 3,344 votes
      Chris Christie 1.8% 3,278 votes
      Rick Santorum 1.0% 1,783 votes
      Other 0.1% 119 votes
      Jim Gilmore 0.0% 12 votes

      Charlie Pierce:

      I got back from Haysville in time to listen to Marco Rubio declare his magnificent victory as the show horse in the Republican field. I will grant you that he surpassed everyone’s expectations—including my own—by clearing the 20 percent mark on Monday night. I even will grant you that he is probably the choice now of every Republican terrified of He, Trump and utterly skeeved out by Tailgunner Ted Cruz. Some of the others might get some run in New Hampshire. (Not Jeb-!-, please god. That would be cruel.) But this looks like a three-man race now, and the Rubio campaign did a masterful job pitching that notion over the last four days before the caucuses, and much of the elite political press bit for it. Now, Rubio was up there, defining himself as The Alternative in a political environment already primed by his campaign to believe it.

    • One thing to remember, from Ed Kilgore:

      … it also became clear in Iowa that [Hillary Clinton’s] status as the potential first woman to serve as president is as emotionally powerful as the “political revolution” offered by Bernie.

      Post NH analysis from Ed:

      After New Hampshire, states quickly get less honkified and progressive. In the rest of February, there’s Nevada at 29 percent white liberal and South Carolina at 19 percent. And on March 1, you have the so-called SEC primary of Alabama (17 percent white liberal), Arkansas (29 percent), Georgia (20 percent), Tennessee (27 percent), Texas (17 percent), and Virginia (31 percent). Vermont votes on March 1, too, so Sanders will win at least one state then.

      • was looking at some census data – which though is from 2000 I doubt it has changed much

        The 10 Whitest States

        In all, 10 states are more than 90 percent white, including the three northern New England states, West Virginia, Iowa, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Kentucky and North Dakota.

        Maine tops the nation with 96.9 percent of its population described as white, while 96.7 percent of Vermont and 96 percent of New Hampshire are white, according to the census. All three were at least 98 percent white in the 1990 census.

        Hawaii, Mississippi, Louisiana, Maryland and Georgia had the smallest percentage of whites, according to the census


        The Democratic Party is 40% people of color. The Sanders campaign is only just beginning to “get it “- but I think it is too late.

  9. Happy Imbolc Week (I celebrate the whole week, LOL) – we had rain last night and it was still cloudy (and 50) when I got up but the sun is shining now and we’re heading for 55. Tonight we slide back in Winter even though it isn’t – heh – and finish out the week in 40s and 20s. SO relieved by the IA results. I was pretty sure she was going to do it, but pretty sure and $5 will get you a latte at Starbucks (presupposing you go to Starbucks). I don’t particularly trust Bernie for pretty much the same reasons Geordie doesn’t but I’m still glad he’s in there and hope he hangs on until it is very clear to his supporters that he’s lost, no CTs, no gaming, just plain ol’ doesn’t have the delegates. Partly that’s to bring the bring-able back to the Party and partly that’s because as long as there’s a “horse race” the media will concentrate on it at least 50% of the time – once he’s out of the race, it will be “smear Hillary” 100% of the time.

    Hope everyone has a lovely day {{{HUGS}}}

    • That story made me so angry. That is the kind of “Great” America Trump and his ilk want, where an angry white man can terrorize a black woman with impunity.

  10. Good morning, meese! Wednesday …

    It is 33 degrees in Madison and that will also be the daytime high. We are in a dense fog advisory right now and that will be followed by some snow showers.

    The emergency manager who was in charge of the Flint water system and then Detroit public schools is stepping down. I hope the FBI, who was just brought into the investigation, puts a GPS monitoring device on him. I would be shocked if he were not found criminally liable. I know the investigation won’t touch the governor … that’s not how these things work.

    There are so many things I am shaking my head over regarding the post-Iowa commentary. I think the craziest one is the coin-toss conspiracy theory. NPR does a pretty good job of debunking it. Turns out that there is a 50/50 chance of either heads or tails on any flip!!! Wut? Curse you mathematical principles of probabilities!!!! Also, to “cheat” (what, DWS giving Iowa caucus organizers special Hillary coins???) and pick up 2 delegates, the coin toss would not have required winning 6 flips in row but 47. Sheesh.

    Don’t miss this hilarious bit of plagiarism by Marco Rubio:

    … clearly thrilled with the narrative that he had pulled off a political upset…by coming in third… Rubio delivered a tone-deaf “victory” speech about how no one thought he could do it… come in third, that is.

    “So this is the moment they said would never happen. For months, for months they told us we had no chance. For months they told us because we offer too much optimism in a time of anger, we had no chance. For months they told us because we didn’t have the right endorsements or the right political connections, we had no chance. They told me that we have no chance because my hair wasn’t gray enough and my boots were too high.”

    To political insiders watching the speech, there was growing bafflement. Anyone with any familiarity with one of Obama’s most iconic speeches – when he won the Iowa caucus in 2008, a very real upset – noticed immediately that Rubio was pretty much plagiarizing the sitting-president almost verbatim.

    Here’s Obama’s:

    “They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high. They said this country was too divided, too disillusioned to ever come together around a common purpose. But on this January night, at this defining moment in history, you have done what the cynics said we couldn’t do.”

    Like any copy-cat, Rubio’s version paled in comparison to the original. Obama’s speech was forceful, aspirational, and concise. I

    Something I saw made me angry so I am going to have to pick up the motley megaphone in a bit.

    See all y’all later!!

    • And the author of this comment really hit the nail on the head:

      For all our lives black people have been told that in order to change the system you must do it from the inside, which is what President Obama has done. And now here comes Bernie Sanders preaching revolution, President Obama didn’t need a revolution to bring about Obamacare, he didn’t need a revolution to get Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions and give up its nuclear material. President Obama didn’t need a revolution to end DADT and to usher in marriage equality, nor did he need a revolution to change our disastrous policy against Cuba. I don’t recall any speech that President Obama has made that he has used the word “revolution.” So now you can throw the phrase “revolution” onto the same pile of trash that “make America great again” rests on.

      People are noticing that there is little difference between the slogans on the far-left and the slogans on the right but that both of them disrespect what President Obama has done in his 7 years in office.

      • I am so through with Obama haters.
        And a whole slew of them are on the hatin’ on Hillary bandwagon.

      • President Obama didn’t have to say the word revolution – electing him was a revolution. The peaceful voting kind we get a chance at every 2 years for local, state, and Congress and 4 years for president. The kind that was laid out in the Constitution. Anybody who has to use the word isn’t doing it right.

  11. Good morning, Moosekind! It’s 40 F. now, going up to 61 F. in NoVa on a rainy day. Right now it’s a gentle rain, but “they” say it will become fierce at noon.

    Not sure how I feel this morning—weary of fights, I do know that. Got into a time-consuming Facebook fracas yesterday morning. I didn’t choose to get into it, but I found myself in it anyway. It was about whether the Zika virus is carried by GM mosquitoes. I shared an item that said GM mosquitoes were the vector; an FB friend went into a rant and said it was not, and to please stop spreading misinfo; etc., etc. Think I’ll stay off FB for a while.

    Haven’t read the item about Melissa Harris-Perry yet, but will do that next. It sounds terrible! Someone seems to have diaried it at GOS, but I don’t want to go there.

    Today might be a good day to work on my next story. Jan, thanks for putting “Collette” in “Featured Posts”! Much appreciated.

    Wishing a good day to all at the Pond and Beyond.

    • The Crooks and Liars article covers the MHP assault pretty well. I believe it links to her own account.

      The Zika virus, because it is an emerging story, has a lot of misinformation. I spent about 5 minutes in anguish a few days ago, paging through the slideshow on Reuters of the babies with microcephaly. If the virus is causing an increase in that, we need to find a way to help stop it. It made me think of the babies in Flint … young persons who by circumstances of their birth will face an uncertain future. As the threads of the safety net are plucked out to weave $10,000 suits for the have-mores, money to care for the developmentally disabled will become more and more scarce.

      You are welcome for the Featured Post “promotion” … thank you for sharing! I have not had a chance to read yet but will do so later today.

    • Staying off Facebook is a good idea but as to the Zika virus – GM mosquitoes are one of the ways they hope to stop it. They’re talking about GM’ing a mosquito that will be sterile but more “appealing” to the Zika vector mosquito than the “normal” males. The good side of that is no poison (they are also, as usual, talking about bringing back DDT). The bad side is that GM anything has “unintended” consequences that may be worse than what we’re trying to fix – and we won’t know what they are until they happen. IMO human beings just do not have a broad enough understanding of the entire system to be messing around with genes. But DDT almost wiped out predator birds so… And we have to do something.

      Again, really enjoyed “Collette” – as much on the 2nd reading as the first. :)

      • You are right, bfitz. That’s the point the dissenter was making—that GM mosquitoes are a way to stop the Zika virus, and the alternative is to use the dreaded DDT. However, she made her point in a very rude way; my daughter took offense and jumped into the fray; and the upshot was that the dissenter apologized to me by private message.

        Just read in the WaPo that Zika is in Colombia, too, yet none of the babies has been born with microcephaly! Wonder what the problem really is? Perhaps it’s lead in the water in Brazil, too.

        • One of the reasons I just don’t do Facebook is that it’s even worse than GOS as far as some people feeling that anonymity is a good cover for bad manners at best and verbal assault at worst. The GM issue is just as emotional as any other – I mostly side with scientists on most stuff, but I really don’t like the “unintended consequences” future possibilities of mucking with genes in a way that isn’t part of the “established system”. Sure the more CT/outrageous fears have been debunked and I accept that no problem – but the poster you were having trouble with is like the nuke supporters. They say fossil fuels are evil and only by building more nukes can we save the world. No, there are lots of things we can do that are safer. As far as the mosquito issue is concerned, I don’t like either of those choices (GM mosquitoes or DDT), so lets see if we can come up with a 3rd, 4th, or 5th choice, please. Mosquitoes, like wolves and wetlands, have a necessary place in the ecosystem. We don’t know the damage we could be doing by eliminating them and I don’t think it’s worth the risk, as much as I hate mosquitoes.

  12. Eating breakfast, drinking tea. So many upsetting stories this morning. The one about MHP, and the one about the “pro-rape” meet ups — seriously, what is wrong with humans???

    Looking forward to the lecture tonight. It’s on literature & the 1916 Uprising. Should be fun, and meeting the people at the Irish Consulate will be cool, too.

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