Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Dec. 3rd through Dec. 9th

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 are HERE!

  • Page Two of Comments are HERE!




  1. Friday Meese
    27 degrees here in Saugerties NY going up to 40.

    Today is my last class till final exams in a week and a half
    – then grading then free!
    Prayers for those in the fire path in CA

    Kudos to John Lewis

    I’m getting soooooo tired

    in response to

    • The White House statement about John Lewis boycotting the Civil Rights museum opening in Mississippi says all you need to know about Trump’s relationship to the black community: “shame on you for not showing up for my photo op!” Well, people need to quit pretending that having a white nationalist in the White House and having his party promote and encourage nazis is just fine.

      Bernie Sanders is digging himself a big hole. To go all “let’s get the white nationalist vote” after the lie of “economic anxiety” has been exposed, is the height of political stupidity. You might be able to make a case that last year he was just being naive about why so many white people were voting for Trump and Republicans but to ignore what has happened since Inauguration Day and continue to champion those who are butthurt over the end of slavery and Jim Crow is deplorable. If he thinks that he can fuel his revolution on “Trump isn’t so bad”, he is in for a big surprise – voters 18 to 29 can see him clearly now.

  2. Good morning, meese! Friday …

    It is 19 degrees in Madison with an expected daytime high of 32. Sunny with scattered clouds throughout the day and then snow this evening. They say we might see our first measurable snow overnight so I will hope to not have to go anywhere tomorrow. First snow brings out first-time snow drivers. Hide the wimmen and children!!

    Al Franken has announced his intention to resign his Senate seat in the next few weeks. I am glad he is working out the timing because we need his vote on the flurry of end of year bills and the tax cut bill if it comes out of conference. I want his replacement standing in front of Mike Pence ready to be sworn in the minute he leaves the Senate floor for the last time.

    This will probably be unpopular but I think his resignation is the right thing. As a party we can’t be put in the position of defending our guy’s groping as “not as bad as” someone else’s or saying “it was a long time ago” or, goddess forbid, “the women are lying, it’s a setup!!” Men should just keep their hands to themselves and once you admit you did it “once or twice” you lose any credibility to push back against the other claims. Yes, I know he did most of his groping before he became Senator but politics ain’t beanbag – you go into it with the full understanding that your past may burble up into your future and make people wonder about the type of person you are that you did those things, ever. The bottom line is, if you listened to his speech, his reason for stepping down is to give the people of Minnesota the best possible representation – he can’t do that if an avalanche of shoes keep falling on him. Gov. Dayton will appoint a Democrat, he or she will serve until January 2019, a replacement will be voted on in November 2018 and, unless the berners wreck stuff (they are very powerful in Minnesota), we will have a Democrat in that seat – and an incumbent for the 2020 election.

    Meanwhile, it looks like the House and Senate voted out a clean Continuing Resolution to fund the government until December 22nd. There was nothing in it to fund CHIP or to protect the DREAMers so I am wondering what the heck the Democrats got to agree to the delay. If they pass the next CR without getting concessions, they will have hell to pay. I will be calling my Senator’s office today to try to find out what is going on.

    See all y’all later!

  3. Good morning, Moosekind! The sky is beginning to lighten a smidgen here in NoVa at 6:50 a.m. Current temp. is 36 F., going up to 42 F.

    Busy day ahead, involving coffee with Darling Niece, a child-tending job in the middle of the day (only about an hour, though), and the usual chores this afternoon and evening. Hoping to be able to visit UPS and the post office.

    Heartsick about the fires in California and the devastation they’re causing. Honestly, 2017 has been a real annus horribilis, with the hurricanes, mass murders, and wildfires. Wish some of the sleet and snow falling on such unlikely places as Austin, Houston, and San Antonio would move to California.

    Time to make the early morning tea. See everyone later!

    • LOL! The online Herndon Patch is bleating happily about “four inches in our area tomorrow”!

      Gotta get bread, milk, chocolate, wine…already have “bathroom tissue,” the third most sought-after item when snow threatens in the DC metro area.

  4. The school district canceled classes, so my agency is closed, too — we follow them for weather closures/delays. Was nice to go back to bed, set a new alarm, and doze. There have been a lot of accidents, so I’m glad to be home. Watching Stephanie Ruhle, I like her.

    my snow pictures from last night, at DK

    and one of my tweets from the #inners discussion (shockingly, we don’t stick to what Chris Hayes is covering)
    <blockquoteclass=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”>

    You'd barely consider this snow but it's so rare here that this totally freaks us out pic.twitter.com/2jHy1wsQP0

    — Becky (@beckythecyclist) December 8, 2017

  5. Good morning, 37 and frosty in Bellingham. So the good thing about a partially decorated tree is that when it falls over in the night there’s less to pick up! Yes, our tree is now leaning against a column, secured with a dog leash :) Apparently our formerly trustworthy tree stand needs some adjustment and we need to keep our sense of humor.

    Time for coffee. Take care everyone!

    • Ha! Sorry about your tree. We got ours into the house last night and it is acclimating to the indoor temperature. Once the tree is settled in at room temperature and the boughs are as flat as they will be, we will rotate it to find its best “side” and point that at our most common view of it. Decorating will take place tomorrow.

  6. 12 at dawn and not much higher when I came to work (actually wind chill was lower). That’s the lowest projected for at least the next 10 days. Clear and sunny which is good although we could use some rain (or snow). (Snow always shuts down Austin. Houston too for that matter. It’s just not not cost effective for cities that get snow once every 3 years or so to buy and maintain snow removal equipment. You’re lucky if they’ve got sand trucks for dealing with ice. Fayetteville actually bought some about 20 years ago – and i think we’re still using the same equipment. LOL) Got 7.9 KWHs yesterday and at this point the m-t-d is 44.9 which is good for December. Still on track to reach 200 for the month.

    Not happy about the way the Franken thing is being addressed on a couple of counts. Franken asked for an Ethics investigation – essentially he asked for a trial by a jury of his peers. His peers found him guilty without a trial and pressured him to resign. Guilty until proved innocent is not an American value. Read your Bill of Rights. It also seems to say “we don’t care if you have matured, see the error of your ways, no long do those bad things, and seek to atone for them. If you ever did anything at any time we don’t approve of no matter what you’ve done since, you are guilty, damned , and will be punished.” Sort makes it not worthwhile to grow, mature, change your ways, and try to make amends.

    That said, we must go the high road – must. We cannot be that “lessor of two evils” others have called us. I respect Franken for the choice he made – country and party before self. I do not defend his actions in the past that have come to light. I appreciate his apology. I appreciate his realization that what he did was wrong. I appreciate his work in the Senate to make things safer for women (among others). And I appreciate his decision to both accept the decision of his peers even without trial and to plan his resignation around what is best for country and the people in it. He is going the high road and I hope any other Dems who have issues of whatever nature the Rs with their Russian help find and publicize whenever they need to divert attention from one of their candidates or elected manage to figure out a way to go high and still remain in office to continue the good works they’ve been doing there.

    I’ve been trying to get this email out since 8:30 this morning. I’m giving up and posting – and ask forgiveness for any errors or omissions that I might have made in the above. Bright the day, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

    • I like Franken a lot and I am heartbroken that we will be losing his passionate progressive voice in the Senate. I have written posts with his speeches and his support for our candidates, about his commitment to taking back the Paul Wellstone seat for our party. I will miss the Al Franken that made me proud to be a Democrat.

      What I am not sad about is not having to twist myself into a pretzel to make the case that this Really Good Guy should be given a mulligan – or 2 or 8 or 18 or 108 because he is one of ours, that the rather disgusting person he was in 2006 can be airbrushed away because he has behaved himself since he got elected. Yes, people should be allowed to change and grow but maybe you really can’t when seeking elective office. We can complain about that but lets not complain that a guy who admitted groping and who used women as props for his jokes is being treated unfairly.

      This piece has some good points about overlooking transgressions on our side. When is the greater good more important than the flawed individual? I remember when a guy who was a crook was running against David Duke for governor of Louisiana and the bumper stickers said “Vote for the crook, it’s important”. This:

      Every vote counts. If saving insurance for millions of people — and thus avoiding thousands of preventable deaths — could only be achieved by overlooking some past incidents of sexual misconduct, then I think it would be entirely reasonable to have some serious concerns about the relevant balance of considerations.

      The Moore campaign, conversely, is trying hard to remind people that he and Jones disagree on the issue of abortion and that most Alabamians side with Moore. It doesn’t really seem plausible to me that this disagreement is going to matter in a concrete way between now and 2020. But if abortion rights really did hang in the balance and you really did believe abortion was murder, that would be a pretty good reason to overlook Moore’s serious personal misconduct.

      But in this case, there is no moral dilemma because Al Franken will be replaced by a Democrat through January 2019. Is it possible that a Democrat won’t win that seat next year? Yes, and that would suck. Is it also possible that Al Franken would not have won re-election in 2020? Yes. Is it possible that the Democratic Party would be punished (even if he did not seek re-election) for him not stepping down now and making people suffer through the optics of shoes dropping for 3 more years? Yes to that also. Before he resigned a poll showed that the majority of Democrats in Minnesota wanted him to resign over the allegations.

      In the end, we are a better party when we expect our representatives to represent our personal values as well as our policy priorities. I hope people can quickly move past this because I see it as pretty divisive. Some of the things being said about the women who called for his resignation are pretty horrifying. Let’s not be those people or be with those people.

      • My issues on this are also principles. He requested an investigation – essentially a trial. He was denied that. He was accused and assumed guilty. That is so open to abuse I don’t have to think twice to condemn it. It is also assumed that once a criminal always a criminal – the excuse for permanently disenfranchising people convicted of crimes, for making them harder to hire, harder to house, and totally blowing off any rehabilitation efforts. Again, so very open to abuse I don’t have to think twice about it to condemn it. And it is basically saying that we, the very imperfect masses, can only be represented by the totally perfect – by people who’ve never made mistakes or even made choices that can be portrayed as and condemned as willful mistakes. Incredibly open to abuse as watching the witch hunts after Hillary for 30-odd years shows so very well.

        I am not talking about Al Franken as a person I like or dislike here. I’m saying assuming guilt without trial is something very unAmerican. That assuming the guilty are always to be punished no matter what changes they may have made in their lives is very unAmerican. That assuming someone who is being attacked non-stop must be guilty of something is unAmerican. (The opposites – the American principles of innocent until proven guilty and no witch hunts – are to be equally applied to accused and accusers.)

        As to specifics – if I can say “My person regrets and is trying to atone for that. Yours is not” – that’s good enough for me. Not “my person isn’t as guilty” or “my person isn’t as bad” or any “lessor of two evils” crap – is actively doing something to atone for what he did. That’s good enough for me.

    • There were reports of black ice, and even treated overpasses were troublesome. That big hill on 360….. I’m glad they closed, though a 2 hour delay would have been reasonable.

      • This was tweeted out by the NWS Milwaukee account and depicts a chain reaction accident from 2013 caught on video (with the warning to NOT be like these people). It was amazing watching people slam into the pile – then some approaching it and driving past it not realizing how dangerous that was.

  7. Good morning, meese! Saturday …

    It is 28 degrees in Madison with an expected daytime high of 30. Mostly cloudy skies are in the forecast. We have snow on the ground but not a lot; probably enough to make it slick. The weather tweet last night said that the snowfall accumulations will not be “impressive”. Wut?!? Now weather events that do not result in death and destruction are boring?

    The New York Times published an analysis of the death toll in Puerto Rico and came to the same conclusion that others did a month ago: the death toll is likely over a thousand, not the “just 62” that the orange dotard is claiming. Most of the deaths are reported as “preventable” – not the direct result of getting swept away in the storm but from a slow response and neglect. I hope there is a political price to pay because it is obvious that appeals to decency fall on deaf ears in the Republican Congress and the Republican administration.

    So Michigan will not hold a special election to replace John Conyers but will just roll it into the primary and general election and have two winners (they could be the same person) – the special election winner to finish the last two months of the term and the general election winner who will be sworn in for their own term in January 2019. Another reminder that Republicans simply refuse to play fair. Every opportunity they get, they choose to take power away from Democratic voters, whether it is stealing a Supreme Court seat, keeping our voters from the polls, or, now, denying most of a major city representation in Congress.

    This week’s Democratic Party address is by Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware) talking about the government shutdown looming. There is no video and no transcript because Senate Democrats can’t be bothered getting that info posted to their official accounts. When they appear, I will update and publish the Fighting Back post.

    I am hoping a quiet morning in my office will get me caught up on projects. I am feeling a bit panicky about the end of the calendar year and its hard deadlines.

    See all y’all later!

    • Now that the NYT has reported it perhaps people will pay attention – or maybe they just don’t care
      We’ve known these numbers since soon after the hurricane left :(

      • Exactly! When I saw it reported as “BREAKING NEWS” I thought it was a timeline warp. Apparently until the nearly useless NY Times reports it, it is not credible. :(

    • For some reason, the Democratic Party in Wayne County agreed to Snyder’s timeline for the special election.

      Snyder’s office said it consulted with Wayne County leaders before making a decision. The 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization backed the decision, too.

      “In order to allow several months for that to take place and to reduce the financial burden on local taxpayers, the primary and general elections will be held when regularly scheduled elections are already occurring,” Snyder said in a statement.

      The filing deadline is April 24 for both elections. Whoever wins the special election will serve next November and December, and — if he or she also wins the regular race — will serve a two-year term starting in 2019. A Snyder spokeswoman said it could have cost up to $2 million if the special elections were scheduled on non-regular election dates.

      Detroit, a city of about 680,000, currently does not have any resident serving in Congress.

      Former Michigan Department Party Chairman Mark Brewer tweeted that Snyder “continues to give the back of his hand to urban areas whether it’s emergency managers, poisoned water, and now being denied representation in Congress for nearly a year.”

      But Jonathan Kinloch, chairman of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization, said earlier this week that having the elections on the regular dates would avoid the typical low turnouts associated with special elections.

      “We want as many voters as possible to participate in the filling of the seat,” he said.

      That’s pretty dumb. You need a representative and you can have an election in early March with interested voters to fill the seat and still have lots of voters in November to choose who should be there for the following two years. The 2018 legislative session is going to be of enormous importance to the people of Detroit.

  8. The news this morning is that the orange orshole will skip the public ceremony and meet with local leaders in private where they will pine for the good ol’ days when blacks knew their place.

    This man, John Lewis, deserves a better America than the one that 62 million Americans voted for:

    • Medgar Evers’ widow will appear as scheduled:

      Myrlie Evers-Williams, a civil rights activist and wife of activist Medgar Evers until his assassination by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith in 1963, is one of the noted speakers who still plans to attend the public event, despite Trump’s announcement. A source close to the Evers family told NBC News that Evers will attend the public ceremony, but will not take part in Trump’s private event.

      It is unclear whether she will address the controversy surrounding Trump’s presence.

      “Her intention is to speak from her heart about what the museum means to her, particularly during this period in American history,” the source said.

      I am glad she does not have to stand on the stage with the white nationalist president. It will be interesting to see if/how she addresses the controversy. Certainly the boycott will be giving her a bigger stage to make a point if she so chooses.

      Apparently the invitation from the Republican governor to the KKK’s biggest fan blindsided the committee organizing the event, both because of the security upgrades needed and the reaction of the other speakers. They were not told of it until 3 days ago.

    • More from some of the residents:

      Some blacks in Jackson see the museum, however, not as a reconciliation but as another in a long series of slights. “I won’t ever set foot in it,” said Burrell Brooks, a taxi driver who views the museum as an effort by whites to excuse the crimes of the past and the inequalities of the present.

      “It’s getting worse, not better, not just for black Americans but for poor whites, too,” Brooks said. “You see the Confederate banner back up, the whole Confederate monuments thing. This country is going back to more segregation, and a museum makes people think that’s all history, that’s all fixed.

      The first thing many African Americans in Jackson mention about the museum is the admission price, which is $8. “They charge us to see our own history,” Brooks said.

      “Don’t holler about Trump coming,” said Dorothy Benford, 75, a retired teacher who as a young college student worked with civil rights activists in Jackson. “Let him come. Maybe he’ll learn something. If you’re going to holler, holler about the fee, making black people pay to see our own people kidnapped, hung, beaten, killed. Holler about what we have to lose — medical care, day care. Holler about the racist things people are saying about blacks that you did not hear before Trump.” […]

      Jackson’s longest-serving city councilman, Kenneth Stokes, isn’t buying that [it’s to highlight “things in this museum that we do not want to see repeated” per Haley Barbour]. He drives through his center-city ward and pronounces that he will never enter the museum. “It’s a statement of white control of history,” he said. “In the blackest state in the United States of America, you don’t have one black elected official statewide. Look at these houses, gutted, falling down, it’s like it’s a hundred years ago. How can you have a museum that says this is in the past? It’s not a museum for poor black people, not if they’re charging that high fee. It’s for whites to make themselves feel better.”

  9. Good morning, Moosekind! It’s 34 F. here in NoVa at the moment, going up one whole degree later.

    Had to laugh when I woke up at 6:30 this morning and instead of the 6 inches of snow gleefully forecast by weirdo weatherpersons, looked out onto a bone-dry landscape. At 10 to 7, which is 20 minutes ago, the first flakes started falling. In my view, 8 a.m. is substantially different from midnight! It requires even more imagination to be a weather forecaster than a novelist.

    Going to concentrate on Barky Manor, our home, today. Have a 1 p.m. date with a virtual Task Rabbit to put a button on my website for my latest book. I just can’t seem to manage it by myself. Although I did get some Christmas cards mailed yesterday, I need to start wrapping presents today.

    Wishing all a good, peaceful day.

  10. Saturday and snowing here in Saugerties NY – we may get about 6 inches by the later tonight – which is not much by our upstate standards.
    Was glad to see this

    • I saw that Rep. Terri Sewell wanted Booker and Patrick to meet with her constituents and other black residents to make sure that turnout was high. Black voters + decent white people are about 40% of the electorate in Alabama and they absolutely need to show up. If 10% of the Republicans write in Luther Strange (or Nick Saban!), they may be able to win with 40% of the vote. I am not holding my breath – the anti-choice crowd is making this about abortion and we know how rabid their voters are. They got my own mother, a decent person in every respect but her blind allegiance to the Republican Party, to vote for a deplorable man who disgusts her because of the promise of an anti-choice Supreme Court justice.

  11. It is still cold — dry, but cold. This many days in a row is unusual (why we always whine so much around here when it does get cold, we don’t get a chance to get used to it, it goes away then comes back in a week or so). 30s last night & again tonight. Last week — Sunday was too warm for tights, and I wore sandals on Monday. Today I’ve got to make oatmeal, because my Dem club decided for some reason to have our holiday party tomorrow. And visit my friend, time to start thinking logistics for Star Wars next weekend.

  12. 26 at dawn – which after yesterday’s 12 at dawn felt almost balmy – at least until the wind picked up and dropped the “feels like” back to 18. LOL. Heading for 40 they say. We’ll see. Sunny again which is good for electricity generation – and most of the growing things around here are dormant so have reduced water needs – otherwise we’d be hurting for precip of some sort. Got 7.6 KWHs yesterday and the m-t-d is 51. If this keeps up the rest of the month 200 is very possible, likely even. That would be a nice “bright spot” at the end of a rather deplorable year.

    Be really nice if Conyers could take back his resignation until the end of his term now that we all know the Rs in apparent collusion with the Dem Party in MI aren’t going to actually replace him. Holding the Good Thought for AL – be really nice in all this business of Dems who are or have been assumed guilty of sexual abuse removing themselves from office if we didn’t elect a sexual predator. Call it bad optics. Also call it why should anyone in either party bother to 1) not be a sexual predator and 2) give up their offices when caught or even just accused. Evil Ones doing Evil is not new. Good people assisting them because their own good people aren’t good enough is stupid. Nail our own when we are off the battle lines, please. Don’t help the enemy by taking down points in the Shield Wall. Seriously clean house when we aren’t being bracketed by enemy shell fire. And I do mean seriously – start covert investigations now, vet everybody stepping up to run – have a plan in place to do it. When the enemy’s at least pushed back far enough they aren’t on our home territory. I’ve been talking about our situation in war terms since 11/9/16 because that’s pretty much what’s going on. War terms because people would die, will die, have already died due to the Rs getting complete control. Under war conditions you use what tools you have not the tools you wish you had – especially when the choice may be no tools at all.

    I didn’t really start counting down to retirement until Thursday when I realized I only had 2 weeks to go. Exactly 2 weeks as the last day is a Thursday. This past week and next week will be insane as we got the OK to interview for the open tenure-track position last Wednesday and it’s been a dead run on that – we were late leaving yesterday finishing up getting plane and hotel reservations for all 4 candidates who will be coming, one per day, next week. I’ll cover the front office while my co-worker and soon to be replacement deals with all the meetings and presentations next week. The faculty have agreed to stay another week for those meetings and presentations – and the vote next Friday. The following “short” and final week of the year (and my job there) will be processing the choice, getting permission/approval for the offer letter, and hopefully the acceptance by the 21st. Interesting way to end my career at the university. :) – and then for the first time since my younger son was born I will become voluntarily unemployed. That’s going to take some getting used to. :::chuckle::: Bright the day, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

  13. Good morning, 38 and cloudy in Bellingham. Our tree is upright and back to it’s partially decorated state, my quilt is pin basted and ready for quilting, my desk needs attention, and our granddaughter’s Christmas dance performance is this afternoon. Another busy day!

    Take care everyone.

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