For Crying Out Loud, Nancy Pelosi!

I was sorting laundry this morning when I heard Nancy Pelosi’s voice in the background, immediately followed by the nasal drone of Chris Wallace referring to her “liberal Hollywood friends”.  Oh, I thought – there goes FOX News, being “fair and balanced” again! So….how does Chris Wallace know who Ms. Pelosi’s friends are and why are they relevant to an interview about her service as a congresswoman?  In true FOX style, he listed no names and presented no proof that his statement was correct.  He used the phrase 3 or 4 more times in the 5 minutes I listened to the interview; which dealt with 2 topics: taxing the rich – a subject guaranteed to give the average FOX listener hives; and cutting medicare – a subject guaranteed to make the average FOX listener giddy with delight as long as THEIR OWN medicare benefits are unchanged.  And so it goes – another morning in the FOX News how far can I shove my head in the sand paradise. So, yeah, Mr. Wallace’s interview style bugged me.  I hope he does not consider himself to be a real journalist; or even a “news commentator”  because reciting talking points and chanting mantras like “your liberal Hollywood friends” as many times as possible in a 5 minute interview does NOT a journalist or “news commentator” make.  News reader, maybe.  Pre-programmed talking head, for sure! As annoying as Chris Wallace’s whiny interview style is, I was even more annoyed with Ms. Pelosi for doing absolutely nothing to set Mr. Wallace straight.  She let him drone on and on about how unfair it was for the top 1% to be paying 37% of all income taxes and the top 5% to be paying 59% of all income taxes.  Hey – according to the 2010 tax data published on taxfoundation.org, the top 5% earn $161,579 and over.  95% of the filers in the USA earn less than that.  Why not throw that statistic up in Mr. Wallace’s face?  $161,579 is a comfortable living; but it’s hardly luxurious.  Yet that’s all you need in the USA to be in the top 5%. Why not mention that between 1980 and 2010, the combined AGI of the top 1% went from $138 billion to $1,517 billion and the top 5% went from $342 billion to $2,716 billion while the combined AGI for the bottom 50% went from $288 billion to $944 billion? Do the math – the top 1% did fantastically well, even before you consider that their total population did not increase anywhere near as rapidly as the bottom 50% in the same time period. Why tax the top 1% more?  Because they are the only ones in a position to pay more.  Because they broke faith with the rest of us.  They took their tax cuts and, instead of investing in our economy – which is what Ronald Reagan said they would do, they used it to ship jobs overseas so they could get even richer.  They took their tax cuts and invested in lobbyists to deregulate our financial system until it collapsed and to spread propaganda about how “bad” government is for everyone.  They went on a 30 year crusade to stamp out unions and living wages for the working class by harping relentlessly about how lazy and undeserving the working class is.  And they were aided and abetted by many frightened upper middle class taxpayers who firmly believed that if only they gave the 1% everything they asked for, over and over again, good times and financial security would trickle down on their families.  Screw everyone else. Why didn’t you throw some of that into your responses to Mr. Wallace? For crying out loud, Ms. Pelosi and all you public servants who call yourself Democrat! Do the job you were elected to do!  I’m typing this post while I’m cooking Sunday dinner and doing laundry – and I’m doing a better job!  Earn your 5%-er paycheck and FIGHT BACK!!!!!

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What a Deal!

So……Congress finally did something – came up with a plan to avoid the “fiscal cliff” and no one is happy about it.  There are no spending cuts and not enough rich people got a tax increase.  And the can gets kicked down the road once again.  What else is new?

Is anyone else feeling too exhausted to go through the next 90 days, when the debt ceiling and sequestration cliffs rear their ugly little heads yet again?

The plain truth is we need to raise more revenue – more than was just voted on –  and we need to do some thoughtful spending cuts.   It’s going to take a combination of both.   And there is no political will in Washington DC to vote for a plan that does both.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turkey Day is on the Way! What are you cooking?

Mmmmmmm……one of my all time favorite smells is roasting turkey! If I could just sit there and sniff it all day, it would be one of life’s perfect memories.

But I’m either the cook or one of the cooks; so Thanksgiving Day is usually full of hustle and bustle! I love it. If I’m sharing the chef spot, it’s a great opportunity to collaborate with someone else who enjoys cooking as much as I do; it’s also a great opportunity to introduce the younger generation to how to mix cooking and celebration.

So….what are you cooking this Thanksgiving?

So far, I’m having……

  • Winter squash soup.  A first for me.  I don’t have a recipe; suggestions welcome.
  • Roast turkey.  I’m brining it this year.  Also a first.
  • Dressing/stuffing made from the whole grain bread crusts and crumbs I’ve been storing in the freezer.  I cook it in the bird and in a casserole outside the bird.
  • Green bean casserole….yes, I know…..but my family loves it.
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes topped with pecan streusel
  • Shaved brussel sprouts topped with toasted pecans
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Blueberry Pie

I’ll be cooking with my son this year; and actually we won’t be having our home cooked dinner until Saturday.  So even though I’m a little late posting this; let me know what you are having!  I’ll be inspired.

Thanks, y’all!

Posted in Adventures in Whole Grain Baking, Other Good Stuff to Eat | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Worthy Winner at Last!

OK – I know Season 10 of Project Runway ended a while ago…..but I thought it was off topic to publish this during the run up to the election.  And then I had to beat my chest about the outcome of the election.  I’m over it now and able to focus on important stuff like Project Runway!!!!

Soooooo……

Congratulations Dmitry Sholokhov!  It’s about time the contestant with the best tailoring and sewing skills as well as design talent won Project Runway.  I’ve been frustrated in past seasons because it seemed that the best all around contestant was not winning.  I thought Viktor Luna was robbed when he lost to Anya – that whole season has me baffled; I felt the same when Mondo lost to Gretchen.  I really think they had the first All-Stars to right the wrong they did to Mondo.

But getting back to Season 10!  I really thought at the beginning of this season that the competition would be between Dmitry and Ven.  I loved Ven’s origami designs; and only Dmitry had better construction skills.  Personality wise, Ven was my least favorite contestant; and once it became apparent that he was a one trick pony, his elimination came as no surprise.

After Ven’s elimination, I was convinced that Sonjia and Christopher would be joining Dmitry on the runway during fashion week.  Christopher improved with every challenge – and his creative and innovative yet always wearable designs made me a fan.  Sonjia’s designs were all timeless, wearable and well made – I would wear her clothing to work; and many of the pieces, particularly  her jackets, can be work or weekend wear.  Her designs were the most applicable to my lifestyle.   But the judges didn’t think she had the “wow” factor, and she had issues with design vision; so out she went.  I was bummed.  I would have given her the chance to show.

Fabio was another designer who improved as the competition progressed.  I would wear most of his designs, too – but I prefer more structured, tailored items.  Also, to be honest, most of them were a little young and a little short for me.  I was also unimpressed with Fabio’s construction skills; and he was not much of a tailor.  I understood why he made it to fashion week; his final collection was his best work of the competition.  But he would not have been one of my choices.

Melissa as a finalist was totally off my radar.  Did she win any individual challenges?  The tough goth rocker chick look got old for me; and she’s a one trick pony, too.  Her dresses all had the same basic shape and neckline; her sewing skills were unimpressive; tailoring skills nonexistent.  In her final collection, the white hobble skirt dress was a mess – she’s showing at fashion week and she is sending a look down the runway that her model could not walk in.  I was also bothered by the baggy crotch black pants – I gather they were supposed to be harem pants; but a harem pant would have more fabric in the crotch area and would be better draped in the waist/crotch.  Really, those pants looked like she designed them for a man.  And the black and white motorcycle jacket – don’t get me started.  The whole piece looked like it needed a good pressing.  Way too much bulk in the neckline.  It made the whole garment look amateurish to me.  I’m not sure what fabrics she used – it didn’t look like leather to me; though I thought she said it was.  If it wasn’t leather; then I’m even less impressed.  If it was leather, sewing the jacket front and front facing pieces wrong sides together and exposing the raw edges would have reduced the annoying bulk and given the garment more edge.  And we know how Melissa loves edge!  I thought her collection was the most unimpressive of the 4 finalists.

And now we come to my number 2 favorite designer – Christopher!  I love his work.  I thought he was the most creative designer in the competition; and he was better at channelling his creativity into  designs that satisfied the requirements of the challenges than any of the other contestants.  I particularly loved the New York City dress and the flowered little girl’s dress, both challenges he won.  In his fashion week collection, I loved the print he used for his dresses and blouses, the spotted leather treatment on the vest, and the black dress with the black leather motorcycle jacked – so cool.  He has excellent construction skills – everything fit; no odd gapping or bagging on anything.  The only thing that kept him from winning, I think, was his collection was not quite as cohesive as it could have been.  I think he had difficulty editing his ideas.  He continued making garments right up to the end and ran out of time to really think about the collection as a whole.

And now for the winner…..Dmitry!  Is there anyone who did not think he would be at fashion week from the very beginning of the competition?  He was the complete package this season.  Strong design esthetic, strong construction and tailoring skills, strong work ethic, strong focus.  I don’t think he ever wavered or panicked.   No diva behavior, either.  I love his suits and dresses – all flattering, interesting to look at and impeccably made. His design for the Rockette challenge was beautiful. My favorites from his fashion week collection were the jacket with the fringe sleeves, the dress made from the black and white diamond fabric, the white pants, and the gown.

A well deserved win.  I look forward to watching his career post-competition.

Posted in Fashion, Sewing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Contrasting Attitudes of Gratitude

How many of you have seen the video of President Obama wiping away tears as he thanks his staff for sticking with him and working so hard for his reelection?  Among the highlights of the speech the president said “I come here and I look at all of you and what comes to mind is not that you guys actually remind me of myself. It’s the fact that you are so much better than I was in so many ways.”  and “the most important thing you need to know is your journey’s just beginning.  You’re just starting. Whatever good we do over the next four years will pale in comparison to what you guys end up accomplishing for years and years to come.”

Now compare that to Mit Romney’s expression of gratitude to his staffers:  he cancelled their campaign credit cards the very night of the election – and they didn’t find out until they tried to use them to pay for the cab ride back to their hotels after what must have been a real downer of an evening.  Yup……Mit stiffed his workers on cab fare.  Nice guy, huh?????

If he would do that  to his loyal minions because he no longer needed them, imagine what he would have done as president to any American citizen he decided we didn’t need?

Did we elect the right guy?  I think so.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

An Unforgettable Sight

In the aftermath of the election there are several images that have remained with me, imprinted on my mind.

The first was Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and Karl Rove sitting in stunned silence on the set of Fox News immediately after they announced Ohio for Obama, shortly followed by re-election for Obama.

The second was Karl Rove’s epic melt down, again on Fox news.  And Megyn Kelly’s equally epic line  to Rove, “is this just the math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better or is this real?”  Unforgettable!

The third and by far the most powerful is a brief video I saw on TV after I arrived home from work on election day.  It’s of a long line of voters, waiting at their polling place looking tired; yet resigned.  Every day Americans caught in the act of doing their civic duty.  It’s stayed with me because I’ve been following the news stories about the voter registration and polling problems in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and in my own home state of Georgia.  Stories from all 4 states of  people showing up to vote, only to find their names mysteriously missing from the voter rolls – even though they’ve voted for years.  Florida did a mass voter purge, seemingly targeted at voters with hispanic sounding last names or those who lived in poorer neighborhoods.   Ohio severely limited advance voting hours; as did Georgia.  Election day complaints in all 4 states of long lines in minority and low-income neighborhoods, insufficient poll workers and voting machines, phony poll workers and robocalls giving potential voters misleading advice about poll hours and ID requirements.  Shameful in what is supposed to be the greatest nation on earth.

Yet despite their state’s efforts to get them to give up and go away,  these beleaguered voters refused.  In Georgia, some waited in line for 8 full hours to vote on the one Saturday polls were open for early voting.  On election day, reports of 3-4 hour waits were not uncommon.  I heard one polling place actually ran out of ballots and had to print more while voters waited.

I think their determination was a direct result of the deep insult they felt at the barrage of lies told about them.  According to Mitt Romney, Bill O’Reilly, Carl Rove, and a host of other Republicans, they are lazy moochers looking for a hand out from the almighty Republican tax payer.   They were supposed to be stupid enough to fall for the robocalls, and too lazy to even get to the polls, much less be willing to stand in line.  Yet they showed up in the right place, at the right time, with proper ID, and they waited.

Yes, they were exhilarated about Barack Obama as a candidate; not because they believe he wants to rob Republicans to give them free stuff; but because they want to live in a society where they have a chance to excel as far as their hard work and determination  will carry them.  They want their chance at the American Dream.

The American Dream still must be worth fighting for because on election day, despite the obstacles thrown in their paths, these hard-working, civic-minded Americans responded with heart, they responded with dignity, and they responded with determination.  They didn’t fight, they didn’t whine, they didn’t complain.  They went to the polls, got in line, and waited as long as it took.  And for me, it was unforgettable.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Doomed by the Gender Gap

Todd Akin – defeated

Richard Mourdock – defeated

Joe Walsh – defeated

John Koster – defeated

Roscoe Bartlett – defeated

Rick Berg – defeated

Allen West – defeated

In case you don’t recognize these names, they all lost congressional races on Tuesday.  And they are all part of that zany group of conservative Republicans who have a genuine problem understanding what being a woman is all about.  They are the “pregnancy from rape is a gift from God; but if it’s a legitimate rape, women can just shut that whole thing down” crowd.  They are the  birth control encourages promiscuity crowd.  They are the so-called pro-life vanguard.

And at the risk of repeating myself, they all lost.  They came out on the wrong end of the 18 point gender gap in this election.  It was no shock to me; but just in case anyone is wondering why, here is what the women I know were thinking:

Yes, we care about the economy; but we also know family planning is an economic issue.  We can tell you exactly how much each of our children cost us daily in food, clothing and medical care.  And we know how to multiply it out into weekly, monthly and annual amounts.  So stop telling us birth control, which is key to good family planning, is not an economic issue.  We are not stupid.

And if we decide on abortion, we’ve agonized over it and decided it is our best or only option.  We don’t need a vaginal probe and  a condescending, legally mandated pep talk to know that we carry babies with the potential to be human beings when we are pregnant.  We value life; we just want all of our children to be planned for and wanted and to have the best chance possible at a happy life.  So keep out of it.

Stop talking about us like we are breeding cattle.  We are human beings and we are entitled to privacy and dignity in our lives; and that includes our sex lives.  And that does not change when we become pregnant.  Our wombs and the fertilized eggs they may carry are not public property.  They are not yours to discuss; and they are certainly not yours to legislate.

And getting back to sex….again, it’s none of your business; but most of us have sex, regularly.  And even though we are having “all that sex”, we still manage to hold down jobs and raise our children.  We are not sluts if we take birth control.  We are taking responsibility for our actions; and we should not have to jump through hoops to be responsible.  We don’t need you to scold and belittle us every time the subject of contraception comes up.  It’s condescending.

We tried to tell all you losers this before the election; but every time we opened our mouths, we were met with a slut shaming tirade accusing us of being lazy, unemployed, baby killing welfare queens.  No academic or employment credential presented by any of us could convince you otherwise.

You know, fellas, most women expect men to be insensitive.  We are used to it.   But what really pisses us off is being talked down to.  We work too hard and contribute too much to put up with that.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

This Woman’s Choice

I just don’t understand women who are planning to vote for former Governor Romney because they think his business skills give him an edge over President Obama as far as job creation and the economy are concerned.

It’s one thing to be concerned about the economy and jobs; I am, too.  It’s another thing entirely to play Russian Roulette with your civil rights.

The Republican Party wants to give employers the right to deny health insurance coverage for any medical procedure due to moral or religious objections. They are OK with the idea of you losing your job if your employer opposes birth control and you insist on using it.  They want health care professionals to have the right to refuse a patient any medical treatment due to moral or religious objections.  As of 2011, Pharmacists in 18 states can refuse to fill any prescription if they morally object to how that medication will be used.  And please don’t forget about the 2012 Republican party platform, which declares an intent to overturn Roe V Wade and ban abortion with no exception.  That’s no exception for ANY REASON, ladies.  That’s how important you are to the Republican party.

I don’t think it’s biased to say that the main reason the Republican leadership supports moral or religious objection clauses  in legislation is to make it harder for women, and women alone,  to obtain reproductive health care in the form of abortion and birth control.  Have you ever heard of a man being denied a Viagra prescription?  I haven’t.  But I’ve heard of women having difficulty getting birth control prescriptions filled.  How do you feel about driving from pharmacy to pharmacy, hoping to find a pharmacist who does not object to your birth control method?  There is nothing equal about the intent of these laws.

Ladies, if you choose to gamble with the right to choose for yourself how many children you have and what method of family planning you use, it really won’t matter how many jobs are out there.  It won’t matter how qualified you are, how hard a worker you are or how well-educated you are.  It’s hard to take advantage of the job market if your access to it is restricted or complicated by the inability to rely on consistent family planning and the resulting  unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. How many children do you think you can effectively parent before you have to give up on the job market entirely?  How many children can you support before your family budget is busted?

If whether or not you have easy access to birth control is up to the religious beliefs of your employer,  pharmacist, or state legislature, you don’t have reproductive freedom, religious freedom or equal rights.

Stop fooling yourselves.

Don’t sell your rights for a tax cut our nation cannot afford or a vague promise to create jobs.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who to vote for – in a Nutshell

Who to vote for?

It’s a vision thing.

Obama sees a unified nation where we are strong because we support each other. His policies invest in all of us. He sees the forest and understands that it is made up of an infinite variety of vegetation – ground foliage holding the soil in place; mature trees good for lumber; saplings that require nurturing – all essential to the long-term health of the forest.  He wants the forest to remain viable indefinitely because he plans to live there.  He’s in it for the long haul.  If that’s your vision, Obama’s your guy.

Romney sees a nation of winners and losers. His policies favor the winners and emphasize the short-term. He’s going to sell off as much of the forest as he can, split the profits with the winners, and insist that the ground foliage and remaining saplings need to reseed the forest on their own, plus continue to pay interest on the money he borrowed to buy the equipment he used to strip the forest. He’s all about getting the most he can as quickly as he can and hitting the road just before the crap hits the fan.  That’s what he did as an investment banker; that’s what he knows.  If that’s what you want, Romney’s your guy.

That’s it – in a nutshell.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Project Runway Season 10 Episode 10 “I Get a Kick out of Fashion”

So, I know this post is a little untimely…..I’m a couple episodes behind on Project Runway.  But here is my thought……I loved the winning dress from the Radio City Music Hall challenge.  The design was one of the most original ever on the show, perfect for the challenge, beautifully executed and Christopher deserved to win.  Big time.

But am I the only one who thought the New York City skyline would have been much more striking if he had used black opaque fabric with sparkles for the sleeves and neckline instead of the nude?  Or would it have been too much?

Keep in mind I’m just a home sewer with delusions of style…..

So what do you think?  Daytime New York skyline or nighttime?

Posted in Fashion, Sewing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment