Finally, Someone Blames ‘The Gays’ For Hurricane Sandy

I have been waiting for the real cause of Hurricane Sandy to be reported in the news for days.  But you know that ‘damn liberal media’ only wants to paint the monster storm as more evidence of climate change.

But edumacated people know better!

The real cause for Hurricane Sandy is a direct result of those folks with nice shoes and trimmed facial hair who know what temperature to serve brie.

But do you think liberal CNN would cover that fact?


But thankfully Chaplain John McTernan who has a hair cut that proves he goes nowhere near a gay barber is brave enough to venture forth with the truth.

This plump puritan says the storm must be God’s judgment on gays, and punishing President Obama for coming out in support of marriage equality.

But McTernan is more than just a culture warrior, he is also an international prophet.  He believes ever since George Bush Sr. signed the Madrid Peace Process to divide the land of Israel in 1991, America has been under God’s judgment.

That proves how stupid I have been all these years.  I thought God had doomed America back when we had the audacity to add fluoride to the drinking water.

I was not aware that America was under the pro-homosexual agenda given the lack of full civil rights that still impacts all gay couples, but McTernan  knows better.

For all the misguided anger directed at gays from folks like McTernan at least we still have respect for those born without a full frontal lobe, and allow them to have freedom to drool horse-rot in public.

John McTerna is proof of that.

‘Personhood’ Will Not Get Prime Time At Supreme Court

The silly season for conservatives continues with the push for ‘personhood’.

That may be how the mentally dis-located spend their time in Oklahoma but it will not be the way the Supreme Court will spend their time.  And for good reason.

Of all the nutty ideas to emerge in this nation, ‘personhood’ ranks up their with ‘huffing’.

There is a continual drift to the right for some that has so removed them from normal society that they have nowhere else to go but right over the side of the cliff.

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to  take up a lawsuit over an Oklahoma “personhood” amendment that sought to grant  state constitutional protections to human embryos starting at conception, but  pro-life advocates say the issue is far from over.

“We have 40,000 volunteers in Oklahoma who are ready to try again,” said Jennifer Mason, communications director of  Personhood USA.

Opponents, however, said the high  court’s decision not to consider Personhood Oklahoma v. Barber was just the  latest dismissal of measures seeking to give rights and protections to embryos  and fetuses.

“Today’s rejection by the highest court  in the nation is yet another resounding message to the opponents of reproductive  freedom that such extremist assaults on our fundamental rights will not stand,” said Nancy Northup, president and chief  executive of the Center for  Reproductive Rights (CRR), which was one of  several groups that successfully blocked a petition drive for the personhood  amendment in court earlier this year.

In April, the Oklahoma Supreme  Court ruled unanimously that the proposed personhood amendment was “clearly  unconstitutional” under both state and U.S. constitutions.

The Need For Big Government

The must read editorial of the day.

Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of “big government,” which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it. At a Republican primary debate last year, Mr. Romney was asked whether emergency management was a function that should be returned to the states. He not only agreed, he went further.       

“Absolutely,” he said. “Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.” Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job. He said it was “immoral” for the federal government to do all these things if it means increasing the debt.       

It’s an absurd notion, but it’s fully in line with decades of Republican resistance to federal emergency planning. FEMA, created by President Jimmy Carter, was elevated to cabinet rank in the Bill Clinton administration, but was then demoted by President George W. Bush, who neglected it, subsumed it into the Department of Homeland Security, and placed it in the control of political hacks. The disaster of Hurricane Katrina was just waiting to happen.       

The agency was put back in working order by President Obama, but ideology still blinds Republicans to its value. Many don’t like the idea of free aid for poor people, or they think people should pay for their bad decisions, which this week includes living on the East Coast.       

Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness. Representatives Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and other House Republicans have repeatedly tried to refuse FEMA’s budget requests when disasters are more expensive than predicted, or have demanded that other valuable programs be cut to pay for them. The Ryan budget, which Mr. Romney praised as “an excellent piece of work,” would result in severe cutbacks to the agency, as would the Republican-instigated sequester, which would cut disaster relief by 8.2 percent on top of earlier reductions.       

Does Mr. Romney really believe that financially strapped states would do a better job than a properly functioning federal agency? Who would make decisions about where to send federal aid? Or perhaps there would be no federal aid, and every state would bear the burden of billions of dollars in damages. After Mr. Romney’s 2011 remarks recirculated on Monday, his nervous campaign announced that he does not want to abolish FEMA, though he still believes states should be in charge of emergency management. Those in Hurricane Sandy’s path are fortunate that, for now, that ideology has not replaced sound policy.


Letter From Home “Mother And Child Reunion” 10/29/12

The thing that first struck me about Albert Trull was the reason he joined my partner’s college language course.  James came home one night and told me an older student wanted to learn Spanish for the most unique of reasons.    Albert wanted to learn Spanish so when he passed away he could communicate in the native language of his mother who was born in Cuba.  Albert’s mother was Pura (Carrilles) that when translated means ‘pure sounds of the bell’.

One just does not forget a story like that.

Because Albert was unique in all the ways that makes someone truly special he soon became a friend who was invited for lunches at our home, along with political nights of convention watching or ballot counting.  There were long chats on our lawn, one truly grand afternoon of bowling, and wonderful meals at restaurants.  With the inclusion of other friends of his who lived at the Kennedy Manor James and I found ourselves laughing with a whole new group in Madison.

Albert was a most diversified conversationalist who could hold forth on the environment and the need for a green economy which was his favorite topic, or the reasons the nation needed universal health care.  He had a PhD in Urban Planning and worked 37 years at his architectural practice in Tallahassee, Florida.

Albert was simply an amazing man given his scope of interests, and his relaxed southern style of living life.  I never saw him mad at the world, but only at times frustrated with his own lack of abilities.

A couple of years after meeting Albert things started to change as the disease that would become the last chapter of his life started to manifest itself more clearly.

One day Albert asked James for help in setting up easier ways to do some simple everyday tasks.  That morphed into arranging on-line payments for bills.  In time James and I were seeking ways to make sure he was safe where he lived, and when that was no longer an option finding suitable housing for someone suffering with Alzheimer’s.

Along the way we learned enough about the process of how to advocate for someone with Alzheimer’s that we considered writing a book.  The court awarded guardianship of Albert to James, and local Alzheimer’s groups suggested we might think about helping by advising others facing the same issues.

We had moments of drama when we tangled with those who we knew did not provide service for Albert as promised.  But then we found angels who we praised as they understood that respect is something everyone deserves at all stages of life.

Never did we take our eyes off the goal, and that was following through on the promise we made to Albert at our kitchen table that we would look out for him right through the end. We did such a good job that he even referred to James and myself as “Albert’s Mafia”, and I must say at times a couple staff members at a certain facility did seem a bit more attentive to Albert’s needs when he used the term.

Today at 5:00 P.M. Albert passed away after having a rather typical day at the Badger Prairie Health Care Center, a truly exceptional and caring place with amazing staff..  There was no pain, and it was very quick, and as strange as it may sound given all that has happened, rather unexpected.  It looked as if he just fell into a calm sleep.

There was something sad, and yet comforting in the final image that I had of Albert.

James and I spent some time with Albert alone in his room before the funeral home arrived.  After he was placed on a stretcher under a blue quilt that resembled a homemade creation that grandma might have made he was wheeled out the side door behind the building.

I followed a few steps to the door that was held open by a staff member.   The night had fallen heavy and the funeral home worker pushed Albert into the darkness.  I could only make out the sidewalk for a short distance in the dark, and did not see the hearse.  But then I looked up and the hazy full moon shined back.

The thought that came to my mind was that somewhere a son is chatting with his Mom in pretty good Spanish tonight.

The body that had become a prison for Albert had released the soul.

I stepped back from the door, and it shut.  I turned to James and we hugged.

We had kept our promise made to a very special friend.

Wisconsin To Be Impacted By Hurricane Sandy

As the clouds churn on the East Coast….

…Post-tropical cyclone Sandy to generate strong winds in eastern Wisconsin
this week… Wisconsin is expected to be on the western edge of powerful Post-
tropical cyclone Sandy the next few days. Winds over eastern Wisconsin will be
on the increase today and tonight as the storm slams into the mid-Atlantic
coastline. Strong winds will continue Tuesday through Wednesday as the storm
slowly tracks through the eastern United States. A Wind Advisory has already
been posted for the Door Peninsula…where gusts around 50 mph are possible.
There is more uncertainty concerning how strong winds will become across the
rest of eastern Wisconsin…including along the remainder of the Lakeshore…in
the Fox Valley…and at locations adjacent to the Bay of Green Bay. The current
forecast calls for gusts of 40 to 45 mph in these areas. If later data continue
to support winds at least this strong…the Wind Advisory may need to be
expanded into these areas as well. The strongest winds are expected to occur
Tuesday and Tuesday night. The winds will make driving high profile vehicles
difficult. They could also result in isolated power outages…though this threat
will be mitigated somewhat by most trees having lost their leaves.

Comparing Mitt Romney To Richard Nixon

This certainly caught my eye this morning.

Because he’s refused to release more than two years of tax returns, and has rooted his entire campaign in tax, spending, and economic growth plans that lack critical details and defy logical scrutiny, Mitt Romney’s critics, starting with senior Obama advisers, have assailed him as the least transparent candidate since Richard Nixon.

It’s a catchy attack — one that recalls not just Nixon’s candidacies, but his scandal-plagued presidency and ignominious resignation. Which is no doubt why “least transparent candidate since Nixon” has become one of Chicago’s favorite phrases.

But setting aside the Obama campaign’s partisan desire to make voters think of Watergate when they hear the name Mitt Romney, there’s something to the notion that Romney is unusually opaque compared to presidential candidates in the modern era, according to some presidential historians.

“I think the comparison to Nixon is not a very good one, because … Nixon may have been a shadier character in some respects — the Southern strategy, laundering campaign money — but he abided by the norms of the time in terms of disclosure,” said Norm Ornstein, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute.

To Bruce Buchanan, a presidential historian at the University of Texas at Austin, Romney’s drawn attention to himself in a unique way.

“Just the fact of avoiding specifics is not all that unusual,” he said. “The fact of doing it in the context of claims that other analysts conclude don’t add up and not being willing to address those concerns, is a little less common in my memory at least.”

Romney’s fiscal policies remind Buchanan of Nixon’s 1968 campaign, in which he pledged to end the war in Vietnam without providing details — what came to be known as his “secret plan.” Likewise, after winning his first election in 1980 on fairly specific pledges to reduce deficits, cut social programs, and increase defense spending, Ronald Reagan glided to re-election in 1984 largely on the winds of an improving economy.

Not all historians place Romney in historically uncharted territory.

“I feel that Romney has disclosed a bit less than usual, but again, I’m not sure we are in unprecedented territory,” says Edward Widmer, a historian and one time speechwriter for Bill Clinton. “You mention Nixon’s secret plan for Vietnam was an interesting example of a vague promise that sounded good, without many details offered.  Eisenhower also hit a good way of talking about the Korean War in 1952 when he simply said, ‘I will go to Korea,’ though no one knew exactly what that meant.”

America Needs To Update Weather Satellites As Hurricane Sandy Howls Off-Shore

This should concern everyone.

Saturday I read an article in The New York Times about aging weather satellites, and as the weather reports grow more ominous about Hurricane Sandy I thought a link to the report was needed.

The United States is facing a year or more without crucial satellites that provide invaluable data for predicting storm tracks, a result of years of mismanagement, lack of financing and delays in launching replacements, according to several recent official reviews.

The looming gap in satellite coverage, which some experts view as almost certain within the next few years, could result in shaky forecasts about storms like Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to hit the East Coast.  

The endangered satellites fly pole-to-pole orbits and cross the Equator in the afternoon, scanning the entire planet one strip at a time. Along with orbiters on other timetables, they are among the most effective tools used to pin down the paths of major storms about five days ahead.

Experts have grown increasingly alarmed in the past two years because the existing polar satellites are nearing or beyond their life expectancies, and the launch of the next replacement, known as J.P.S.S.-1, has slipped to 2017, probably too late to avoid a coverage gap of at least a year.       

Prodded by lawmakers and auditors, the satellite program’s managers are just beginning to think through alternatives when the gap occurs, but these are unlikely to avoid it.       

This summer, three independent reviews of the $13 billion program — by the Commerce Department’s inspector general, the Government Accountability Office, and a team of outside experts — each questioned the cost estimates for the program, criticized managers for not pinning down the designs and called for urgent remedies. The project is run by the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA.

Up-To-Date Satellite Image Of Hurricane Sandy, Latest Current Radar

This is one of those weather events we will talk about for the rest of our lives.

As America enters the final week of a most intense and highly charged presidential election comes what can only be termed, ‘The October Surprise.”

With perfect timing Hurricane Sandy is making headlines for meteorologists, along with headaches for politicians, and potential catastrophic consquences awaiting many who live along the eastern shoreline.

There are many ways to keep up to date on the storm, and have a great time doing it too.

First is the water vapor loop.

Second is the latest radar.