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. Happy (!) cloudy, chilly – 30 with windchill of 25 – first Wednesday in February. For all the CTs over at GOS, I am just relieved at the Hillary IA win. All the tension ran out of me yesterday and I’m still trying to get some energy back. I’m not visiting anything that has trigger warnings so I don’t know the specifics but, damn sometimes I hate people – usually but not always men. I’ll get over it. There are too many wonderful, kind, caring, and helpful people in the world to stay in that space for long, but still… {{{HUGS}}}

    • Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) won’t listen to the Michigan governor’s bs, hates the emergency manager law, and is angry that the former emergency manager won’t appear. He says Michigan has the money, they need to fix this.

    • Rep. John Mica (R-FL) went there: “to save $30,000 a year, they poisoned the children of Flint”.

      “We have a responsibility, as government, to provide safe clean water”.

        • I will post the pieces I find later. It is powerful. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is tearing into the water guy right now. He’s yelling!!!

    • Rep. Gosar (R-AZ) is angry that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy did not go to Flint to test the water!!!!

    • This Marc Edwards from Virginia Tech is a total ahole. It is not surprising that the committee would dig up the most disgusting anti-EPA slime bucket to put him on TV to lead this witch hunt.

      • Actually he isn’t really- he had major issues with the EPA back when he discovered DC’s drinking water was full of lead.
        He doesn’t like the EPA – true.
        If it was not for Edwards – who loaded up his students and drove 11 hours to Flint to test LeeAnn Walters water – this whole issue would have been shoved under the rug even longer.

        • He is so hostile! If he wants his opinion to be respected, he needs to tone down his vitriol.

          He appears to have a vendetta against the EPA and he does his cause no good being jerky about it.

          • Thanks. I will read up on that and try not to judge him.

            This hearing is really important.

            Chaffetz wants to lay the blame at the feet of the EPA because he knows that the blame is Republican starve-the-beast policies. Or maybe he doesn’t! He seems to be a pretty dim bulb.

  2. Good morning all! Just spent some time preparing my notes for class tomorrow – I’m finally on the payroll so tomorrow is a “real” class where both I and the students have to show up! I think I’m ready for them lol

    I was so horrified at anotherdemocrat’s mention of “pro rape meetups”, I went and looked it up at Google news – how completely revolting. This man leading this ….thing is absolute scum – anti woman in every possible way. ugh.

    I got so sick of looking at the GOS’ diary list yesterday – didn’t read any, it was a litany of conspiracy theories about coin flips and the “establishment”. Seriously, the place truly looks like a RWNJ site now except for a few calmer heads on the FP, and Lysis and others Hillary news diaries. And this stuff started to invade my game space last night – a guild member said something in chat (it’s a text chat box we all use as members of the guild to talk to each other) about 6 coin flips and another one said something about buying an outcome. I didn’t go ballistic, but I did whisper each of them (I’m an officer of our guild, like Dee) and asked them to please not bring primary controversies into guild chat as we have members supporting each of the primary candidates and we don’t want to import divisiveness into the guild. They responded just fine, so I hope they don’t feel “stifled”, but I just can’t stand this stuff any more.

    I can’t wait for primaries to be over – I wish I thought that would also end the nastiness, but I doubt it. Perhaps Bernie will do the right thing, and strongly advocate for Hillary in the general, AND urge his followers to do the same, but somehow I doubt he will be particularly strong or effective with that message.

    Have a great day everyone!

    • There are primary battles all over: on Twitter, on Facebook, on lefty blogs (I guess it is on righty blogs too but I don’t go there).

      You almost have to agree to NOT talk about primaries at all because there is nothing that is safe. If you mention that the odds of flipping heads v tails is 50/50, you are called a Clinton shill!! JHC on a popsicle stick!!

      The good news is that it will be over on March 15th.

    • Glad you did that in Guild chat – I was busy doing garrison chores and then got off to go do battle with some people trashing me at orange. ARGH!

  3. Good morning, 44 and cloudy in Bellingham. I’ll go to the pool this morning, and clean up my desk this afternoon. It’s so much easier when I actually open the mail when it comes in, but old habits persist so I’ve got a desk mess again.

    Sometimes my part of the PNW feels far away from the center of our national politics but apparently Wa State is contributing ……

    State’s donors hot for Bernie Sanders

    “Sure we’re the people’s republic of Seattle, but who a year ago would have predicted the socialist from Vermont would rack up more donations in this state than all the other presidential candidates combined?” Spring said.

    Last year I was talking with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about his battles with Seattle’s vocal progressive left, and he said something then that surprised me. Now it feels prescient.

    “I don’t think the state or national Democrats realize the depth of dissatisfaction of the far left,” Murray said. “It’s like our own version of the tea party.”

    I’m guessing they’re starting to feel it now.

  4. Good morning, meese! Thursday …

    It is 18 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 28. Partly cloudy skies are in the forecast.

    I watched and listened to the Flint water crisis hearing for most of the morning. I found a few CSPAN videos and some commentary and I think I will put it in a separate post as that will help me organize my thoughts. I was told (by several people) that I was too harsh on the VT professor but his “I hate the EPA and they suck” attitude irritated me. Would he prefer we have no EPA? Because that is what the people on the right-hand side of that panel want and his rhetoric fed their blood lust. There are ways to present your case that is productive and ways to come off as jerk. Maybe that is his way to show his passion but he gave ammunition to the enemies of good government … and smirked. Anyway, it was a powerful hearing and I have some Elijah Cummings clips – unless Dee beats me to it. :)

    The good news is that the Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, is sending a Public Health Service Strike Team to Flint:

    A team of specialized officers from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps have traveled to Flint to help conduct medical follow-up visits with children who have tested positive for high lead levels due to the city’s water crisis.

    The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the federal department leading the U.S. government’s support for response efforts in the Flint. The Commissioned Corps is an elite uniformed service with more than 6,700 full-time, highly qualified public health professionals, serving the most underserved and vulnerable populations domestically and abroad.

    Fourteen Commissioned Corps officers, with clinical and public health backgrounds, including nursing and mental health deployed within the past week to provide support and answer questions from Flint residents. Two additional officers will join the Public Health Assistance and Support Taskforce this week.

    “We are committed to helping meet the physical and mental health needs of children, pregnant women, and others in Flint impacted by lead,” said Dr. Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response and a rear admiral in the Commissioned Corps who is heading the federal response to the crisis. “Deploying these officers is one of the many ways we are assisting members of the community so they can begin to recover.” […]

    “The water crisis in Flint is a public health crisis and demands a public health response,” said Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the 19th U.S. Surgeon General, who provides operational command of the Commissioned Corps. “As we have done with natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy and with epidemics like Ebola, the Corps will respond to the situation in Flint in order to provide expert support to the community.”


    I am officially sick of the “who is the best progressive” battle raging on the left. It is the worst of the purity patrol that drove me away from the unmoderated blogs and it is making my PTSD flare up. I am done, though, giving the benefit of the doubt to those who are supporting Bernie Sanders. His supporters are misogynistic, racist, and the worst of the online world. I can find no air between them and those on the right who have so poisoned discourse that “deport 11 million people” is actually a policy suggestion. Senator Sanders could stop it but instead he eggs it on with his “I am the one true progressive” and sets up a litmus test that would exclude not only his opponent but President Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer. He and his campaign (they are one now) are divisive and he literally does not care if he poisons the well for Hillary Clinton, the likely nominee. Meh.

    I will put up President Obama’s speech after the visit to the mosque yesterday as a palate cleanser.

    See all y’all later!

    • Dee will not beat you to it :)

      I am following this closely to see if Elijah Cummings can pull off getting Snyder and his appointed emergency manager to come and testify.

      Am feeling a bit more rested – and pleased to be ahead of my writing schedule at Orange so I am going to take a break today and just relax with some non-political reading and play a little WoW.

      • Enjoy your break from politics. I am going to do the same … at least the bad politics. There is too much negative energy flowing right now and I need to disconnect from it.

        I will gather some Flint notes and clips from the hearing because it is an important example of good government versus government by the bean counters. Here is a Rep. Cummings righteous rant about the role of government.

        Gov. Snyder does not care about the kids whose lives are ruined forever or the families who will struggle to care for them. He needs to show up and get an earful of Rep. Cummings … then get frog marched to jail.

  5. Happy Thor’s Day! It’s 47 F. on a dampish gray morning in NoVa, going up to 49 F. today. Happy to report that large swathes of grass are visible today because most of the snow is gone. Only the piled-up snow near the sidewalks remains.

    Like everyone else here I am sick of the primary wars. I forgot there was a Democratic town hall last night, so we watched the Madoff program. I’m completely sick of the vitriol against Hillary. Especially maddening is why they question her speaking fees. Are men the only ones permitted to get large sums for speeches? It reminds me of the screeches years ago when Barbara Walters was offered a million dollars for a TV job.

    Will read Jan’s posts later. Today is yet another early closing so I’ll pick up the girls at 1:30 rather than 3:30. I’m amazed that a school system that just lost 9 school days because of Snowzilla, not to mention hours lost because of delayed starts, now has early closing because of teacher-related work.

    Dee, I’m sorry people were nasty to you at GOS. Which diary was that? I stay out of most of them so I miss a lot. Wishing a good day to all at the Pond!

    • Of course if she were a man they would be touting her speaking fees as a measure of her worth!

      I am sure you saw that Morning Joke had Bob “I Am Irrelevant” Woodward on to complain that Hillary Clinton yells a lot – to contrast her with Bernie!!!! JHC on a popsicle stick!!! She will never get a break. Some days I wonder why she wants this job because she will get nothing but crap from the media, the right-wing and the left-of-the-left for 8 years. It is sexist and I hope that every woman in America realizes that when they disrespect Hillary this way, they are disrespecting all women:

      Journalist Bob Woodward of Watergate fame argued Wednesday that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is struggling to overcome opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) because Clinton “shouts” too much.

      The comment sparked a redux of the sexist media coverage of Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, as MSNBC’s Morning Joe commentators launched into a lengthy discussion that touched on many of the common tropes about Clinton “screaming,” acting “unnatural,” and being “feisty.”

      “There is something unrelaxed about the way she is communicating,” Woodward told the panel Wednesday morning. Joe Scarborough jumped in, asking, “Has nobody told her that the microphone works? Because she always keeps it up here. The genius of Reagan was…Reagan kept it down low.”

      Aside: anyone who says “the genius of Reagan” should be automatically disqualified from weighing in on any subject … at all … forever.

      Clinton has previously discussed her struggle with the sexism she faced from the media during her 2008 campaign, when she was accused of being “shrill” and “nagging.” Commentators openly argued that her menstrual cycle would impact her decisionmaking. Morning Joe was a leader in those discussions; Scarborough often referenced the “Clinton cackle” and another panelist cracked a joke that Clinton reminded everyone of their “first wife in probate court.”

      [bad word redacted]

      I watched Hillary’s part of the town hall last night and she was very good.

  6. 18 when I got to work but sunny and heading for 46 this 1st Thor’s Day in February. Hope somebody posts a video of Hillary at the Town Hall last night as I missed it. GOS is so bad I even have to stay out of some of the community support diaries – Jebus Cluny Frog, do you have to bring Bernie’s miraculous single payer into a fundraiser diary for BFSkinner? I do HVN, check the links therein, and the Pootie diaries. I’m having trouble with even their FP right now. Sigh.

    Thanks again for the safe space of the Moose Pond. {{{HUGS}}}

    • I went looking for the video and can’t find it. I am sure that it will be posted by CNN at some point. I stayed up to watch her (I muted the BS segment) because I needed something positive to get the bad taste out of my mouth from the “Who’s a Progressive?” BS on Twitter.

      When I find it, I will post it.

      Every time I see Secretary Clinton, I am more impressed by her. She is really the right person for the job.

    • Hugs back at ya, bfitz! {{{}}}

      Guess what, yesterday I went looking for my copy of the comment you posted about what’s in the office fridge because several of the people in your office were old. Of course, Apple’s stinky software ensured that I couldn’t find the file I saved of the comment.

      Can you tell me what it was, again?

      • I don’t remember the comment. Sigh. But right now several people seem to be on an Atkins kick – sort of. As in they buy the stuff and put it in the fridge but never get around to actually ingesting it. There are also fruit cups, fruit juices, and various “complete nutrition” drinks in there – all of which will probably be tossed the next time we do a clean out of the fridge/defrost the freezer. The only things in there that are consistently ingested are my milk for my coffee and my homemade soups, which are ingested by me. :)

        • Thanks, bfitz. I think it was ice packs for painful joints—something like that—but, annoyingly, I can’t remember and I lost the file somewhere. Take it from me, people, what you gain in speed and sleekness from a MacBook Air is negated by the totally lousy software. “Finder,” the Apple equivalent of Windows Explorer, manages to lose most things.

          • Ah. Yes, we keep ice packs in the freezer for a variety of things – mostly low back pain. I wish we had a couple of those dual purpose things – cherry pits or buckwheat – that if frozen work as an ice pack but if microwaved for a minute work as heat wraps.

            I’m hoping to check out from the office stash a laptop of some sort (which I’ll have to be trained on first LL) to take with me to NN. Thank goddess the primaries will be over, but I’d hate to miss the pootie diaries :)

          • In July – I’ve got a hotel room tentatively reserved for 7/12 – 7/18 although I may leave a little earlier than that since that’s a Monday and I probably ought t be back to work by then. :)

          • Ha! You can take comfort in the knowledge that as Windows has “progressed” it now has a nearly useless Search function as well. There used to be a nice popup that gave you a chance to tell the system what you were looking for: words, documents, photos – maybe a date range. Now you just type something into a little box and then you get EVERYTHING with no rhyme or reason. So by making it “user friendly” (get rid of all that technical stuff!!!), they have made it next to useless.

          • Jan, they did the same thing to the extremely useful “Spotlight” in Safari. I didn’t want to search the entire dam’ Internet and outer planets, just my hard drive for the files that Safari attempts to hide from me.

            So I Googled my complaint and found someone in London who was screaming about the same thing and provided a detailed fix for the problem. I loved it! Now I have Google for the Internet and Spotlight for MY files.

  7. Slept in because I didn’t even get home until my normal bedtime. The lecture was very interesting, from a professor of English & Drama at University College Dublin. He is one of the editors of Handbook of the Irish Revival: An Anthology of Irish Cultural and Political Writings 1891 – 1922. He spoke about how the plays & poems of the time did — or didn’t — feed into the rebellion. (He said that he doubts people took up arms because they saw a play). Yeats, Joyce, and more women writers than I expected. One cool thing — literature was more integrated into everyday life than it is now — there was a farm journal, the Irish Homestead, that published Joyce and other literature as well as the latest scientific farming methods. The Proclamation that was issued in 1916 was very progressive — equal rights for men & women for one thing. I’m so glad I went. Got to even have a short chat with the Consul. He had run the Dublin Marathon a couple of times before moving to Austin.

    • Thanks for your account of the evening, another! Fascinating, and it confirms what I read in a novel called “1949,” which was the year that Ireland became a republic.

  8. Good morning, 43 and cloudy in Bellingham. Old houses (1910) are charming, but old plumbing isn’t! I’m waiting for the plumber again and hoping the fix won’t require accessing the pipes under the basement floor :(

    I found myself being drawn into the primary wars yesterday and that’s not a good place to be, so we watched general tv last night instead of the debate. And then I fell asleep reading an interview with Steven Erickson re the theme of compassion he weaves through the Malazan books. The one I’m reading now, Reapers Gale, was written in 2008 and reflects the torture disgrace our country was experiencing. It’s rather grim reading so I needed some encouragement to continue. The thoughtful interview re how he creates his characters and how he makes the reading experience feel “real” gives me the intellectual insight I need to continue.

  9. Good morning, meese! Friday …

    It is 23 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 27. Mostly cloudy skies in the forecast.

    I “watched” the first hour of the debate on Twitter and will catch up on commentary later. I don’t like watching people on our side arguing, it gives me a sick feeling. I will say this, based on the real time Tweets, Bernie is not going to let go of his “Who Is The One True Progressive” meme. He sounds like a left wing Ted Cruz. I don’t care what you are called. I take that back. I want the Democratic nominee to be a Democrat, not someone who runs as a Democrat to gain access to email lists, debates, media attention … then taps the donation ATM and refuses to share money with down ticket races. There will be no coattails and we badly need the Senate and more seats in the House.

    Can’t linger this morning.

    See all y’all later!

  10. Charles Blow: White America’s “Broken Heart”

    Much of the energy on both the left and the right this cycle is coming from white Americans who are rejecting the direction of America and its institutions. There is a profound disappointment. On one hand, it’s about fear of dislocation of supremacy, and the surrendering of power and the security it provides. On the other hand, it’s about disillusionment that the game is rigged and the turf is tilted. It is about defining who created this country’s bounty and who has most benefited from it. […]

    America has a gauzy, romanticized version of its history that is largely fiction. According to that mythology, America rose to greatness by sheer ruggedness, ingenuity and hard work. It ignores or sidelines the tremendous human suffering of African slaves that fueled that financial growth, and the blood spilled and dubious treaties signed with Native Americans that fueled its geographic growth. It ignores that the prosperity of some Americans always hinged on the oppression of other Americans.

    Much of America’s past is the story of white people benefiting from a system that white people designed and maintained, which increased their chances of success as it suppressed those same chances in other groups. […]

    Indeed, the current urgency about inequality as an issue is really about how some white Americans are coming to live an experience that many minorities in this country have long lived — structural inequity has leapt the racial barrier — and that the legacy to which they fully assumed they were heirs is increasingly beyond their grasp.

    Inequality has been a feature of the African-American condition in this country since the first black feet touched this ground.


      • Charles Blow’s explanation is right on the nose. When inequality was just a problem for people of color, few cared. Now that white America is feeling up close and personal the effects of the starve-the-beast trickle-down economy, it is a BHD. There is a way to fix this and a way to make it worse. I hope our fellow citizens choose wisely.

  11. Wow this morning felt early after sleeping in yesterday. I didn’t watch all of the debate last night, it got too contentious for me. Also went past my bedtime. Doing my usual of eating baked oatmeal & stinking strong tea. My head is playing U2’s California for me.

    • Ok, I don’t know how “drinking” became “stinking”…. guess I’m sleepier than I thought

  12. Good Freya’s Day, Moosepeeps! It’s 36 F. here on another gray day in NoVa, going up to 41 F. It’s raining a little but I don’t see any of the “wintery” mix, as the weather wenches mistakenly pronounce it.

    Watched the first hour of the Dem debate last night, was too tired to watch the rest. Like Jan, I don’t enjoy the sight of people on our side arguing. Bernie seemed irascible as usual, and moreover did not appear to answer the questions he was asked. He just went off on rants.

    Loved the good one Hillary got in by saying as a candidate to be the first woman president in the White House, she is not exactly the “Establishment”!

    She appeared presidential to me. More and more I have to admire this woman, who by rights should be cuddling her grandchildren but who is convinced she can help her compatriots by serving in the country’s executive branch. I also noticed this morning on the so-called news that Bernie’s 20-point lead over her in New Hampshire has been cut to a 15-point lead. I really admire the fact that she’s not conceding New Hampshire but is digging in there and making her case despite the odds!

    Nice day ahead, lunch with the Circle sisters. Wondering what to serve on Super Bore Sunday with the barbecued spare ribs. We rarely have them, so I’m not sure what side dishes go with them. Thoughts?

    Wishing everyone a good day!

    • Since it’s for the Super Bore :) – practically any finger food works. If it were a dinner, it would be baked beans, potato salad, and cole slaw.

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