Thursday, March 30, 2006

After speaking with a local bird expert, as well as Wellstone's vet, I've decided to give Little Bird back to her former owners.

The risk is too large to take.

Tom isn't going to be happy, but Wellstone's health is my priority. Maybe someday we'll have another little bird, but next time we'll do it right with a 30 day quarantine & the whole bit.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Newest member of the family

I was watching our next door neighbor's budgie while they were in Florida for the winter. When they got back, they asked me to keep her permanently. Being the animal lover I am, I accepted.

They called her "ditto," but Wellstone knows her as "little bird" her new name is Little Bird.

I plan on bringing in one more bird after our basement is remodeled, but that's it! (maybe)

Friday, March 24, 2006

He's very into greetings

After another week of Bush follies, it's time to lighten things up.

My parrot, Wellstone, is now 14 months old. He is going to be a excellent talker. He already says:

Hello Bird
Hello Little Bird
Hello Wellstone
Hello Liz
Nornie /Nornie-Boy (our pet names for our Frenchie, Norman)
Woubie (one of many pet names for our pug, Stella)

Other fun facts:
Whenever the phone rings, he says hello.
He imitates the microwave.
He says "hello bird" to the birds outside.

He is also working on sentences, but will only practice them when I'm out of the room.

More to come in the upcoming months, and years...

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Unabashedly copied from Snave's site:


J. Marquis has started a new weblog, entitled "Major Conflict". This replaces the now-departed "Are We There Yet?", a much beloved blog for all time.

Stop by and check out "Major Conflict"! It's great!


So, in the spirit of blog camaraderie, I've joined Snave in changing my blog name -- but just for tonight.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Feingold on Daily Show tonight

Quick "heads up" to all my blogger buddies:

Senator Russ Feingold will be on The Daily Show tonight.

Comedy Central
10PM CST / 11PM EST (Repeated 2 hours later)

The silence of the rest of them is deafening.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The 5 Point Plan that nobody knows about

I'm the one that always defends Howard Dean, but it's getting increasingly hard. What is he doing for our party? He's a good fundraiser, but what we really need right now is to get our agenda out there.

Repubs like to say that while their own ideas are wrong, at least they have ideas. Ok, maybe they don't put it like that, but you get my drift. They say that we Dems are only united by our hatred of Bush, and that we don't have any of our own ideas. You & I know that couldn't be further from the truth, but why isn't anyone on this?

We have a great agenda. The DNC calls it the "Five-Point Plan for 2006," but if the average Jane & Joe doesn't go to, how would they know about it?

With Dubya's poll numbers falling fast, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to increase our party. If the Dems don't grab the bull by the horns (or elephants by the tusks) then we'll deserve what we get -- more of the same.

It's time to think outside the box. What's the best way to get our message across? Advertise!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

If the election was today, Feingold would have my vote

From Think

Feingold Accuses Senate Democrats of “Cowering” To Bush

Sen. Feingold said the following to Fox News’ Trish Turner:

I’m amazed at Democrats, cowering with this president’s numbers so low. The administration just has to raise the specter of the war and the Democrats run and hide. … Too many Democrats are going to do the same thing they did in 2000 and 2004. In the face of this, they’ll say we’d better just focus on domestic issues. … [Democrats shouldn’t] cower to the argument, that whatever you do, if you question the administration, you’re helping the terrorists.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Hey Karl, Isn't it time the terror alert level went up?

Iraq drives Bush's rating to new low

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Growing dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq has driven President Bush's approval rating to a new low of 36 percent, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.

Only 38 percent said they believe the nearly 3-year-old war was going well for the United States, down from 46 percent in January, while 60 percent said they believed the war was going poorly.

Nearly half of those polled said they believe Democrats would do a better job of managing the war -- even though only a quarter of them said the opposition party has a clear plan for resolving the situation.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

We need more Dems like him

The more I learn about Russ Feingold, the more I like him. Is he the one?

Feingold wants Bush censured for spying


WASHINGTON -- A liberal Democratic senator who is considering a White House bid in 2008 said Sunday he is seeking to censure President Bush over his domestic eavesdropping program.

Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, a longtime critic of the Bush administration, said he hoped a censure would cause Bush to apologize for the warrantless surveillance that he put in place on his own after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"What the president did, by consciously and intentionally violating the Constitution and the laws of this country with this illegal wiretapping, has to be answered," Feingold said on ABC's "This Week."

The resolution Feingold planned to introduce on Monday would have the Senate condemn Bush's "unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans within the United States" and "his efforts to mislead the American people about the authorities relied upon by his administration to conduct wiretaps and about the legality of the program."

"The idea that the president can just make up the law in violation of his oath of office has to be answered," Feingold said.

Feingold was the first senator to urge a withdrawal timetable for U.S. troops in Iraq and was the only senator to vote in 2001 against the USA Patriot Act, the post-Sept. 11 law that expanded the government's surveillance and prosecutorial powers. Feingold also voted against the 2002 resolution authorizing Bush to use force in Iraq.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I wonder what he took

You just can't make this stuff up, folks.


Bush hit by new blow as aide is charged with shoplifting
Tony Allen-Mills, New York

PRESIDENT George Bush’s battered image suffered another damaging blow yesterday with reports that his former top domestic policy adviser had been arrested by Maryland police for allegedly swindling two large department stores in a bizarre shoplifting scam.

Claude Allen, a prominent conservative who had become the highest-ranking African-American on the White House staff, resigned his post last month after telling the president that he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Yesterday it emerged that Allen had been interviewed by police in early January after he allegedly left a Maryland shop with goods he had not paid for. He was arrested last week and charged with two counts of theft that carry maximum sentences of 15 years in jail.

Bush said he was “shocked” by the arrest. “If the allegations are true, something went wrong in Claude Allen’s life, and that is really sad,” he said.

The arrest is the latest in a series of embarrassing mishaps for the White House, which is beginning to appear dangerously accident-prone. Bush’s approval ratings have fallen to 37% in one poll and to 34% in another. Only Richard Nixon, the disgraced former president, had lower ratings at this stage of his second term.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Open letter to Bill Maher

On the off-off-off-off hand chance that Bill Maher's people read the liberal blogs, I have a suggestion for his show:

Dear Bill,

Before the show starts, please take a moment to tell your guest panel to make sure that everyone gets equal time. Tell them that taking turns to speak is a good thing, and to not dominate the conversation - no matter who they are.

Bill, maybe you could have a secret symbol to signal to your guests when they are over-talking. You could tug your ear or something. That would have been helpful two weeks ago with Eddie Griffin and last week with DL Hughley. Hughley was alright, but the editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter, hardly got a word in edgewise...and he was extremely interesting.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Kirby Puckett RIP

My brother, Paul, & I at Game 6 of the 1987 World Series when Kirby led the Twins in hits as they rallied from a 3-2 deficit against the St. Louis Cardinals. After seven games, the Twins won their first World Series title.

Kirby, you were the greatest. The last of your kind - a loyal team player that was in it for the love of the game, not the love of money.

Challenging the mainstream

Jon Stewart did a great job hosting the Oscars. He should definitely be asked to host again next year.

The best speech of the night came from George Clooney. While accepting the award for Best Supporting Actor for Syriana, he acknowledged critics who accuse the film industry of being out of touch with the American mainstream -- but he said, "It's probably a good thing."

"We're the ones who were talking about AIDS when it was just being whispered, and we talked about civil rights when it wasn't really popular ... I'm proud to be a part of this academy, proud to be a part of this community and proud to be out of touch," he said.

We agree, George. Thank you.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Real actors

Philip Seymour Hoffman

I haven't seen any of the Oscar nominated films this year, however I do have all of them on my Netflix Queue.

I think this year's telecast will be a good one. Jon Stewart (hopefully) won't pull any punches.

The person I'm rooting for the most tonight is Philip Seymour Hoffman. I think he's one of the very best actors working today. From playing Scotty in Boogie Nights to the creepy Allen in Happiness to Truman Capote, he is a true chameleon. He is a real actor...not a movie star.

I would also like to see Felicity Huffman win for Transamerica, and George Clooney win for any or all of his three nominations.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

2 years, 8 months to go

Bush job approval at all-time low

By William Douglas
Knight Ridder News Service

WASHINGTON - President Bush's job-approval rating fell to an all-time low - 34 percent - in a poll published Tuesday. That puts him not far above Richard Nixon's Watergate-era nadir and raises questions about how effectively he can govern in his remaining years in office.

The poll, conducted nationwide by CBS News between last Wednesday and Saturday, found that 59 percent of U.S. adults disapproved of Bush's job performance. His 34 percent approval rating was the lowest since he took office in 2001, eight points lower than in January.

''Bush is in trouble,'' said Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. ''One would tend to think the dip is the Dubai ports issue, which has meant a spate of bad news. But there's been a collection of bad news.''

A politically toxic mix of messes has dragged Bush down, such as his handling of Hurricane Katrina, the ill-fated Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination, the upsurge of violence in Iraq, and the deal to let a state-owned Arab company manage terminals at six U.S. ports.

Bush's approval rating is far below those registered by three of the past four two-term presidents in February of their sixth year: Dwight Eisenhower (64 percent), Ronald Reagan (63.50 percent) and Bill Clinton (57 percent). Only Nixon, at 27.5 percent in February 1974 - six months before he resigned - was less popular than Bush is now.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Reason #57 to Impeach

Bush Knew Of Katrina's Wrath Day Prior
WASHINGTON, March 1, 2006

(CBS/AP) In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage. The tapes of video teleconferences were recorded over two days: the Sunday before Katrina hit and the Monday it stormed ashore along the Gulf Coast.

Mr. Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."

The footage, along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by The Associated Press, show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.

Linked by secure video, Mr. Bush's confidence on Aug. 28 starkly contrasts with the dire warnings his disaster chief and a cacophony of federal, state and local officials provided during the four days before the storm.

A top hurricane expert voiced "grave concerns" about the levees and then-Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown told the president and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that he feared there weren't enough disaster teams to help evacuees at the Superdome.

"I'm concerned about ... their ability to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe," Brown told his bosses the afternoon before Katrina made landfall.

Some of the footage and transcripts from briefings Aug. 25-31 conflicts with the defenses that federal, state and local officials have made in trying to deflect blame and minimize the political fallout from the failed Katrina response:

Homeland Security officials have said the "fog of war" blinded them early on to the magnitude of the disaster. But the video and transcripts show federal and local officials discussed threats clearly, reviewed long-made plans and understood Katrina would wreak devastation of historic proportions. "I'm sure it will be the top 10 or 15 when all is said and done," National Hurricane Center's Max Mayfield warned the day Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast.

"I don't buy the `fog of war' defense," Brown told the AP in an interview Wednesday. "It was a fog of bureaucracy."


Note from Lizzy: All of a sudden, Michael Brown doesn't look so bad.