Monday, July 20, 2009

Mike Castle and Obama's Birth Certificate

Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) tells his town hall that Obama is a citizen of the U.S. and gets boos and then the crowd forces a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Hilarious.

Birther Watch

Here's an "AP" story being circulated by the Birthers. They really need to try harder if they're going to pull off a fake AP story -- I can't see the news wire actually using the phrase "looking pretty grim." And at the end of the email the sender urges his readers to "pass it along -- because the media won't" -- well, I don't think you get any more MSM than the AP. They are so deluded they lack even the bare amount of internal logic necessary to ever be credible.

AP- WASHINGTON D.C. - In a move certain to fuel the debateover Obama's qualifications for the presidency, the group "Americans forFreedom of Information" has Released copies of President Obama's college transcripts from Occidental College. Released today, the transcript indicates thatObama, under the name Barry Soetoro, received financial aid as a foreignstudent from Indonesia as an undergraduate at the school. The transcript was released by Occidental College in compliance with a court order in a suitbrought by the group in the Superior Court of California.

The transcript shows that Obama (Soetoro) applied for financial aid and was awarded a fellowship for foreign students from the FulbrightFoundation Scholarship program. To qualify, for the scholarship, a student must claim foreign citizenship. This document would seem to provide thesmoking gun that many of Obama's detractors have been seeking. Along withthe evidence that he was first born in Kenya and there is no record of himever applying for US citizenship, this is looking pretty grim. The news hascreated a firestorm at the White House as the release casts increasing doubt about Obama's legitimacy and qualification to serve as president. Whenreached for comment in London, where he has been in meetings with BritishPrime Minister Gordon Brown, Obama smiled but refused comment on the issue.

Britain's Daily Mail has also carried the story in a front-page article titled, "Obama Eligibility Questioned," leading some to speculate that the story may overshadow economic issues on Obama's first official visit to the U.K.

In a related matter, under growing pressure from several groups, Justice Antonin Scalia announced that the Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear arguments concerning Obama's legal eligibility to serve as President in a case brought by Leo Donofrio of New Jersey. This lawsuit claims Obama's dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. Donofrio's case is just one of 18 suits brought by citizens demanding proof of Obama's citizenship or qualification to serve as president.

Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation has released the results of their investigation of Obama's campaign spending. This study estimates that Obama has spent upwards of $950,000 in campaign funds in the past year with eleven law firms in 12 states for legal resources to block disclosure of any of his personal records. Mr. Kreep indicated that the investigation is still ongoing but that the final report will be provided to the U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder. Mr. Holder hasrefused to comment on the matter.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"I'm Praying For You"

I guess it's nice when someone says that to you, it means they care and are thinking of you. It's nice, but not really helpful.

What would be helpful would be if they could share God's response.

Otherwise they might as just as well say "I'm thinking about you."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

DC Metro

I don't ride Metro regularly. Today I did.

I was somewhat amused and alarmed that as we were leaving the Archives station the driver announced that the next stop was Archives. And as we pulled into L'Enfant station the driver repeated his mistake by announcing that we were arriving at Archives.

If Metrorail train operators don't know where they are I doubt they're really paying attention to driving the train.

On this Day in History

Today, in 1790, a swath of land at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers was designated as the seat of the new nation's government.

Marion Barry was arrested the next day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Obama Born Outside US

Right wing whack-job Alan Keyes (I know, you thought I meant Sarah Palin there for a minute) has won a small technical victory in his case declaring Barack Obama an "illegal" president, alleging he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii (via Joe).

But even if we assume for a moment that this were true, Obama would still be eligible to be president because if I read Title 8 of the US code correctly, he is still considered a "natural born citizen" because he had one parent who was a US citizen. According to Title 8, people who are "Citizens of the United States at birth" include this:

Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)

This would describe Obama's situation if he were born in Kenya as Keyes delusionally thinks.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Adopting Dori

UPDATE: She is much improved. She still has diarhea but is eating and is perky and active. Things are looking much, much better and we're hoping for a discharge tonight. (7/13 10 a.m.)

"If it's a congenital heart defect, there is no prognosis. We would have to put her down."

You don't expect to hear those words less than 24 hours after adopting an eight-week-old puppy. Only a few short hours ago we were wrestling with what name to give her and where to put her crate. We didn't expect to be at the Vet with our new puppy, let alone being confronted with this dire possibility.

Of course, things haven't gone exactly as expected for us, dog-wise. Two weeks ago today while hiking in the Shenandoah National Park, Dave and I spoke about the waning days of our 12 year old dog Buster while one-year-old Dixie darted back and forth on the trail beneath our feet.

And then she vanished into the underbrush -- the scent of a deer luring away our expected 12-15 years with this sweet dog.

I wasn't sure I was ready to adopt another dog so soon after Dixie's disappearance but when Dave started e-mailing me links to adoptable puppies, I knew I wouldn't have a choice. And when I came home last Wednesday and found the profiles of three puppies printed out and sitting on the dining room table, I gave in.

We settled on the puppy named "Mallory." She was a lab/retriever mix from South Carolina, being rescued by Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. LDAR is an amazing organization. They rescue dogs from "high-kill" shelters in the South, bring them to the DC area and place them in foster homes until they can be adopted. A transport of dogs from South Carolina was scheduled for Saturday at 4:30 and Mallory -- and her 5 siblings -- were heading North.

Because we had successfully adopted from LDAR before Dave was able to arrange for Mallory to skip the foster step and go right into adoption with us.

Saturday we began getting ready for having a puppy in the house -- our first in 12 years. A neighbor gave us a crate. We secured the back yard. In keeping with the times we went to Green Pets on 14th Street to get supplies. Nothing but organic, non-pesticided foods for this pooch. We were determined she have small carbon pawprint.

At 4 pm, we nervously made the trip to a parking lot in NW DC (yes, there are parking lots in NW, who knew?) where the transports were arriving.

This sounds simple but it's actually a complex, hectic task. There are 40-50 dogs in crates in a large cargo van arriving. Meanwhile a crowd about twice that size of humans is standing around, waiting for their foster dog. The dogs arrive and we crowd around the van. The LDAR volunteers somehow sort the dogs out, calling the name of the dog so their temporary humans can claim them. While the humans take the dogs for a much needed walk, the LDAR folks sort out the dogs medical records which have also arrived in the van. Only then can the dogs go to their temporary homes.

They gave us special instructions because we were dealing with a pup who hadn't had all her shots yet. Parvo is a nasty dog tummy disease that is hard and costly to treat and it's very contagious. No touching other dogs. Don't put her on the ground where other dogs have been. She'll need a drink of water but only let her drink out of her own bowl.

We teamed up with Susan, a saint who is fostering Mallory's five siblings (How many people do you know would open up their home to five un-housebroken puppies covered in dog-yuck? But because of her these animals will not die and will go to good homes, probably with kids who will have happy, lifelong memories of their childhood dogs. Because of this woman -- and all the volunteers at LDAR) We got the dogs sorted out and I picked Mallory up.

She was tiny, clearly the runt of the litter. I could see fleas crawling through her thin mat of fur. She smelled of urine and feces and vomit and had puppy breath.

And I thought she was the cutest thing I'd ever seen.

She has a white face with beautiful olive eyes. And she lifted her face to my chin and licked my beard.

We got the paperwork done, gave her a drink and finally we were off taking her to her "forever home."

We let her walk around the back yard a bit and then gave her a much needed bath. Actually, by this time we all needed a bath and so the humans showered and all flea-contaminated clothes were quickly washed.

She ate.

And then puked. And pooped. Pooped nasty watery foul smelling slime.

But she seemed fine enough before bed time and again in the middle of the night when we checked on her.

But this morning her crate floor blanket was covered in puke and diarrhea. I cleaned her and fed her. And the whole process started again. I thought she seemed lethargic and less lively than she had been the night before. And then we saw blood in the stool.

That's when the fear hit: Parvo.

Parvo is a virus that attacks the cells of the digestive system and can invade the heart, causing sudden death. It is difficult and expensive to treat. And it's common in dogs from the South.

At 10 AM this morning we were on the front stairs of our Vet's office waiting for them to open. We had no appointment, but they were able to take us in. By this time it was clear that "Mallory" was literally one sick puppy.

They first tested for Parvo. While we were waiting for the results, she got a thorough exam.

She was pale. I didn't know dogs could be pale, but they can be. You look at the gums. The Doc thought this meant she was anemic. She had a heart murmur. Could be because of the anemia, the Doctor guessed. She's dehydrated from the vomiting and pooping. And she's malnourished.

The Parvo text came back. Negative. That was a relief - - but we knew at this point Mallory was going to need more intensive care than we could give her. An hour later, when the blood work came back, the doctor's guess of anemia was confirmed.

This is where the Doctor starts speculating. The anemia was likely due to blood loss from intestinal worms and fleas feeding off her. Fleas can literally kill a dog or cat through blood loss. Fleas can bleed a dog to death. I did not know that. could be a congenital heart defect causing her to bleed into her intestines.

I know which theory I'm going with.

So, we took her to the Friendship Heights Animal Hospital where she is getting IV fluids and nutrition as well as meds to get her digestive system in order. We're hoping this will correct the anemia which could also end the heart murmur.

Her little crate is here, empty. Her blanket -- which she spent just a few short hours on -- is clean, soft and waiting. While we wait for the hospital to call with an update.

As we were about to walk into the hospital earlier today, Dave stopped and turned to me and, with tears in his eyes said, "We have to name her. We can't leave her here without a name."

I looked at her and knew. "Her name is Dori," I said.

Get well, little Dori.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A New Puppy

Dave is pushing for a new dog after Dixie disappeared two weeks ago.
I think it's a little soon, but admit the chances of her re-emerging at this point are slim. Working theory -- someone found her, liked her and kept her. At least until she decides to take another walkabout and plop into someone else's life.

So, Dave contacted the pet rescue people and found this pup -- "Mallory," a lab/retriever mix.

So, the name "Mallory" has to go. The Pet Rescue people, we think, give the dogs names because it's probably easier to adopt a dog with a name than a number. Dixie came to us as "Selena."

Mallory makes me think of Alex P. Keaton's sister. So we talked about a new name last night.

Dave: How about "Pooka dog."

Me: What?

Dave: It's Hawaiian for "hot dog." Isn't that clever?

Me: I'm not going, "Here Pooka Dog!" That's too gay.

Dave: Well, how about a regular girl name. [he thinks for a minute] How about Bonnie?

Me: We have a friend named Bonnie. We can't name her Bonnie

Dave: But she's moving.

Me: [knowing I need to come up with an acceptable alternative or I'm going to be stuck with "Pooka Dog" -- which means why not just get a poodle and groom her and tie pink ribbons in her fur] How about "Betty?"

So we're thinking about "Betty." Feminine, yet kind of working class girl. And we don't have any friends named Betty.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Tortured Quote for the Day

Sarah Palin:

"I’ve never thought I needed a title before one’s name to forge progress in America."

She gets lost in one sentence. It starts out about her and ends up about everyone. She should have more properly said, "I never thought I needed a title before my name to forge progress in America." Or, more modestly, "I never thought a title was required to forge progress in America." And the "forge progress" part is clunky -- "forge" makes me think of a blacksmith or something large and bulky from a time when trains belched steam. I don't sense "progress" in the forging. "Spark, spur," or even a simple "create" would have sufficed.

But perhaps I expect too much from someone the Republican Party said was qualified to be leader of the free world.

I doubt there is a scandal coming. This smells like a temper-tantrum.

I don't think she needed a scandal to force one's resignation.

See, she's got me doing it.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Marion Barry

You know, we should just forgive his tax debts in light of the entertainment value he keeps providing year after year.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

At the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Summer is here and that means the Smithsonian has erected tents on the mall and invited folk singers and tellers and craft makers from far and near to come sing their songs, tell their stories and make their wares. This is done for the entertainment of tourists and today, for me on my way home from an early closing at work for the holiday.

I love the musical acts they bring to these things. A few years ago a sister duo from the Orkney Islands reduced me to sobs with a violin duet written by a man mourning the passing of his lifelong wife.

Today I listened to a Welsh duo singing about beheading horses. They said it was a Christmas song.

I did not stick around for the Halloween set.

Next I witnessed a beautiful, young African American woman and an elderly Asian man spontaneously (and actually somewhat sensuously) dance together to the music of a Colombian dance band. They were soon joined by dancers from every creed, race and walk of life.

I mean, does anyone do this anywhere else? America: a place where everyone, no matter who they are, can stand up and make complete fools of themselves.

(That was the point of the George W. Bush presidency, was it not?)

I took a picture of the dancers on my iPhone, which I will add to this post later. I'm too lazy right now.