Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Hug...Have you ever seen a President do this?

I have racked my brain and I can not recall ever seeing a President "hug" anyone, have you? It just pulls at the old heart strings and reaffirms to me that President Obama genuinely has a warm, nurturing spirit.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More on the Northern Trust Crap...

This is an excerpt from AmericablogNews:

"TMZ has photos from LA including the Northern Trust limos for the posh golf outing. They also link to the exclusive menu for the private party they hosted. Somehow they don't get it no matter what is happening around them. The banksters from Northern Trust were rumored to have been handing out gift bags and calling them "stimulus packages." These people have no sense of public responsibility and deserve to be treated accordingly. Enough. Start firing in the executive boardroom. Today. Maybe then they will get a better sense of urgency."

Here's a rundown from TMZ:

"- Wednesday, Northern Trust hosted a fancy dinner at the Ritz followed by a performance by the group Chicago.

- Thursday, Northern Trust rented a private hangar at the Santa Monica Airport for dinner, followed by a performance by Earth, Wind & Fire.

- Saturday, Northern Trust had the entire House of Blues in West Hollywood shut down for its private party. We got the menu -- guests dined on seared salmon and petite Angus filet. Dinner was followed by a performance by none other than Sheryl Crow.

There was also a fabulous cocktail party at the Loews. And how's this for a nice touch: Female guests at the Chicago concert all got trinkets from ... TIFFANY AND CO."

Oh, it goes on and on but just in case you don't get the significance of their arrogance and how it relates....

Northern Trust laid off 450 workers in December, 4% of its workforce.

Oh and here's their close attention to that last would be laughable'

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oh, This is So Cool!

Just got this email:

"For Immediate Release: February 24, 2009

Financial Services Democrats Call on Northern Trust to Repay TARP Funds

Washington, DC - House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, along with 17 Democrats on the committee, sent a letter today to Frederick H. Waddell, the President and CEO of Northern Trust, in response to published media reports that, the company hosted a PGA golf tournament and several related parties. Democratic members of the committee “…insist that you immediately return to the federal government the equivalent of what Northern Trust frittered away on these lavish events”

Below is the text of the letter:

Mr. Frederick H. Waddell

President and Chief Executive Officer

Northern Trust

50 South LaSalle

Chicago, IL 60603

Dear Mr. Waddell:

We are dismayed and angered to learn that Northern Trust recently spent millions of dollars on a PGA golf tournament sponsorship and associated parties at the same time it has taken over $1.5 billion in federal stabilization funding under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. According to published media reports, your bank not only sponsored the Northern Trust tournament at the Riviera Country Club, but also hosted clients and employees at places like the Beverly Wilshire and Ritz Carlton hotels and gave away Tiffany souvenirs. If this is accurate, we are demanding you take corrective action.

At a time when millions of homeowners are facing foreclosure, businesses and consumers are in dire need of credit, and the government is trying to keep financial institutions – including yours – alive with billions in taxpayer funds, this behavior demonstrates extraordinary levels of irresponsibility and arrogance.

We insist that you immediately return to the federal government the equivalent of what Northern Trust frittered away on these lavish events. Federal taxpayers should not and will not stand for such abuses, and we will insist that any future Treasury support for Northern Trust be conditioned on a thorough reform of your company’s policies and practices.

We look forward to your reply and immediate reimbursement of these funds.


Reps. Barney Frank, Carolyn Maloney, Brad Sherman, Dennis Moore, Wm Lacy Clay, Stephen F. Lynch, Brad Miller, Al Green, Gwen Moore, Paul W. Hodes, Keith Ellison, Charles Wilson, Bill Foster, Andre Carson, Mary Jo Kilroy, Steve Driehaus, Alan Grayson, Gary Peters"

Can you say AMEN!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Angry Social Worker :)

Now, this is funny. As usual during my morning routine, yes, even on Sundays, I check my stats. Normally, I just flit through it, unless something catches my eye. Like someone spending 30 minutes and looking at all my pages. That makes me feel like I've made a contribution and I swell with pride. Mostly, people land on my page looking for "fried cornbread" or lately, the stimulus package rehash.

The most enjoyable part of checking the stats is finding out what people type into the search engine to get to my page. This morning they typed in "Angry Social Worker" and, you guessed it, there I was at the very top of the search engine page. Go see for yourself.

It used to worry me when, even if they typed in my entire blog name, they had to wade through several pages to get to the actual link for my site. Now, not so much. Once you have made it in the "fried cornbread" arena what else can you ask for?

Now, I did not consider myself an "angry social worker" at first glance. Then I took another look at my posts. Yep, I guess I am angry or at least I write as though I am. I just feel as though we, as social workers, sometimes get used to the status quo, in a sense. We begin to feel a hopelessness after awhile and think, consciously or subconsciously, wtf? I just refuse to get to that place. So shoot me, I'm angry about all the injustices/abuses in the world and I'm angry about politicians lying to me, even the one's I love and respect and I'm angry that today, or in the next day or two, the cost of the war in Iraq counter will flip over 600 billion dollars and it was basically all for nothing. Just what did we gain with this war? If we wanted to get rid of Saddam, the CIA could have done that, God knows, getting rid of leaders we don't want in power anymore is basically their calling.

Angry Social Worker? Yeah, I have to deal with that label... :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009


You know, this never ceases to amaze me. I had over 400 visitors this week thanks to my posts on the stimulus package. Yep, it was right up there with "Clay Aiken" :) Now, out of those 400 visitors, most just took what they needed and left quietly. This is ok with me because, well, you know, this is what I do...inform. It is my duty to keep you, my readers, informed.

Why is it the one's who feel compelled to call you a pinko, marxist socialist always comment? Oh, and these are the one's who take the time to look at your profile page to find out your email address so they can personally insult if the comment they left weren't enough or that you would not get the point they were trying to make.

No, I'm not going to publish that comment where it was submitted, but since I know you are curious and they did take a good swipe at social workers in general while they were at it I'll publish this excerpt, so you can get pissed too. :)

zendrive says in the comment:

"Your blog should be called pinks list.

This is much bigger than demicans vs. republicrats. I know your entire life as a social worker revolves around taking from those who can to give to those who can't, but I really dont want to pay the mortgage of losers, illegal aliens and the greedy fucks who gave them loans."

zendrive says in the email:

"Nice blog. Way to support the next Marxist, socialist revolution underway in this country."

What exactly is "zen" about that? I'd be willing to bet they have a swastika tatoo somewhere....

Friday, February 20, 2009

An Explanatory Email from My Senator

I got this email from Senator Roger Wicker yesterday, patiently explaining to me why he felt he could not support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"Thank you for contacting me regarding the economic stimulus package recently considered by Congress. I am glad to have the benefit of your views on this issue.

There is no doubt that our nation's economy is in trouble. Just last month, 600,000 Americans lost their jobs, including many Mississippians. However, I have serious concerns that the stimulus legislation neither creates the jobs that we need to emerge from this crisis nor addresses the underlying causes of our present trouble. Instead, this package spends $1 trillion on things that will not create jobs quickly and will take decades to pay off. I have attached a recent column I wrote further detailing my concerns with the stimulus package. For the reasons I outline, I could not support the bill.

Be assured I will continue to work to address our economic troubles. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever assist you.

With best wishes, I am

Sincerely Yours,
Roger F.Wicker"

The attachment:

"For Release Week of February 16, 2009

Report From Congress
By Senator Roger F. Wicker


As our economy has slowed and more Americans have lost their jobs, members of Congress and the Obama Administration have debated a plan to help provide stimulus to our economy.  The recent announcement that 600,000 Americans lost their jobs last month only underscored the need for something to be done quickly to help workers get back on their feet.

Despite an agreement by leading economists that an effective stimulus bill must be targeted, temporary, and timely, Congressional Democrats last week were poised to pass a bill that could better be described as slow, unending, and unfocused.  As this column was written, the House and Senate were on the verge of passing a plan that costs taxpayers at least $1 trillion on things that will do very little to create jobs.  I opposed this poorly-crafted bill because I believe we could have done more to jumpstart the economy while at the same time being better protectors of taxpayers’ dollars.

Rather than being laser-focused on job creation, the Democrats’ plan centers too heavily on welfare spending and other programs that will not create jobs.  In a memo released last week, the Heritage Foundation stated that the Senate-passed version of this stimulus plan would “add nearly $800 billion in new means-tested welfare spending over the next decade.”  The article went on to say that “the cost of the new welfare spending amounts, on average, to over $10,000 for each family paying income tax.” 

                Because of this unfocused spending approach, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that this plan will cost taxpayers between $100,000 to $300,000 per job.  As I shared with my Senate colleagues, it is hard for me to tell hard-working Mississippians that the most efficient use of their tax dollars is to spend up to $300,000 to create just one job. 

In addition to the high per-job cost, this plan represents a bad investment for Mississippi taxpayers in terms of the federal funding we would receive.  It has been reported that this package would mean $1 to $2 billion for our state.  That means as little as one-tenth of one percent of this package would make its way to projects in Mississippi.  A one-tenth of one percent return is not a good investment for Mississippi’s taxpayers, especially when all of this money will be borrowed from China and other foreign governments, adding to our already staggering $10.7 trillion national debt.    

I supported a Republican alternative plan, sponsored by Senator John McCain of Arizona.  Our plan was more focused on the housing problem, tax relief for working families and job creators, and targeted infrastructure investments.  This plan, which was unfortunately defeated on a party-line 57-40 vote, was aimed at providing the boost our economy needs at half the cost of the Democratic stimulus bill. 

By providing a $15,000 credit for homebuyers, our plan went right at the housing problem and would have encouraged home buying, helping stabilize the market.  We also provided immediate tax relief to the working class, and targeted tax cuts to encourage small businesses to start hiring again.  Finally, our alternative called for targeted spending that would have created jobs quickly by putting an emphasis on legitimate government priorities such as early investment in military equipment and facilities.  These are the types of projects we know will need to be funded in the future, but would create jobs immediately if focused on now. 

Almost every member of Congress supports taking action to strengthen our economy.  I certainly would like to see something done.  But the American people understand the stakes, and they expect us to get this right.  Unfortunately, this plan fails to hit that mark by unnecessarily adding to our nation’s debt with little hope of economic gain.  We simply cannot afford to make this large of a mistake."

Senator Wicker, I never cease to be amazed at the thought processes of Republicans. Please explain to me, if a person has lost their job, their medical benefits and their home, due to the economic downturn, how tax cuts on their income, a credit on the purchase of a new home, increased tax cuts for small businesses and increased military spending will benefit said person? Also, I think you need to re-check your figures on the actual monetary benefits Mississippi will receive. I refer you to this page. Personally, I can not in good conscience, believe I am defending this bill, as I will receive absolutely no benefit from it, but to say the Republican alternative would have benefited me more is ludicrous.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's Time to Say Thanks...or Not

The Coalition on Human Needs has great new pages up. Here's their latest email:

"It's time to say thanks.

This is a historic achievement - both because of what it does now and what it means for the future.

This economic recovery legislation will put people to work or keep them at work in jobs the nation needs: teaching, renovating schools, making public buildings and homes more energy efficient, maintaining roads, providing health care, modernizing information systems, caring for children, and much, much more. (See how many jobs in your state: AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT: STATE-BY-STATE JOBS IMPACT)

This legislation will prevent hunger and homelessness. It will help the unemployed, and put income in the hands of the poor and the near poor. It provides a lifeline to states, allowing them to prevent deep cuts in health care and education. It uses the power of the federal government to invest in our future while addressing today's harsh needs.

For more than a year, the Coalition on Human Needs has with your help put forward recommendations for a Shared Recovery. Now the nation has the makings of one. Nearly every component of our proposals has been adopted, and other proposals of great benefit to low-income people in addition to what we called for. Here's a listing of important shared recovery provisions in the new law:

Please thank your Representative and Senators who voted for the bill - and express your disappointment to those who opposed it.
We've made it easy to do - just follow these steps:

1) see how your Representative and Senators voted:

House roll call vote
Senate roll call vote: (Please note: because of his illness, Senator Kennedy missed this vote, knowing there would be enough votes for final passage in his absence. But he heroically interrupted his recuperation to vote for the bill at a critical earlier time. He emphatically deserves our thanks.)

2) If your Representative and Senators voted for the legislation, click here to send a thank you note

3) If they voted against it, click here to tell them you think they made the wrong choice

And while you're at it, send a letter to the editor about the importance of this vote:

Why we're asking you to say thanks (or to express disappointment), and to be public about it:

* The right wing is attacking this vote. They are betting on a continuing severe recession, and will blame those who have taken action to turn the economy around.
* If elected officials think that the only passion around this legislation is among opponents, they may be afraid to cast votes in the future that make similarly historic and far-reaching investments.
* Didn't your mother always tell you to say thanks? And to hold our leaders accountable? (Maybe she forgot to mention that second one - just an oversight.)

Is this legislation perfect? No - what is? But it includes vital help you and we have worked hard for. If more is needed, Congress will be far more likely to vote for it if their constituents applaud their actions."

How the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Addresses Women’s Needs--The National Women's Law Center

Click the title link to be taken to the pdf.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009--Senate Version


Apparently the googlebot is confused. If you landed on this page looking for the stimulus package and how it might impact your life, the best, easiest to understand description (if you can use those words when talking about government-speak) I can find of the actual bill that was signed today is on Nancy Pelosi's site here. The government's site totally devoted to the economic stimulus package has gone live as of today. On
you can view the entire bill. I would not recommend trying to read the entire thing. The last time I checked it was well over 600 pages of dry government-speak. Just go to one of those two sites and hit the high spots. :)


It's that time again. Time to drag out the phones, widgets, or whatever you use to contact your senators and voice your opinion. Let them know that a 100% no vote by the Republicans is totally unacceptable. Tell them if they must vote no to make a statement then to vote no when it comes to the wall street fat cats instead.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Creating Jobs, Cutting Taxes and Investing in Our Country’s Future

The United States is facing its deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression, one that calls for swift, bold action. The goals of this legislation are the same as they have been from day one: to strengthen the economy now and invest in our country’s future.

This legislation will create and save jobs; help state and local governments with their budget shortfalls to prevent deep cuts in basic services such as health, education, and law enforcement; cut taxes for working families and invest in the long-term health of our economy. We do all of this with unprecedented accountability, oversight and transparency so the American people know their money is being invested responsibly.

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 combines two essential ingredients needed to bring our economy back to life,” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii). “We will create four million jobs in the near-term, and invest in America’s future by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure for the long-term. In addition, this bill includes more than $301 billion to aid state and local governments as they struggle to meet increasing demand for social services amidst plummeting tax revenues. As we address this crisis, we must never lose sight of our responsibility to avoid wasteful spending by providing strict accountability and oversight measures. We must invest this money quickly, but also wisely.”

“Millions of Americans will get back to work and our economy will get back on track with the job-creating tax cuts and smart investments in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.). “Working families will get a financial boost, small businesses will finally catch a break, and the whole country will reap the benefits of a growing green energy sector, revitalized schools, and higher-quality health care. This bill has been carefully crafted to produce meaningful improvements to our economy in the short term, and to improve America’s fiscal strength and stability for the future.”

To accomplish these goals, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides $888 billion in investments and tax cuts. Of this total, $694 billion will enter the economy by the end of Fiscal year 2010, meaning that 78 percent of the monies allocated will reach the American people by September 30, 2010, providing an immediate boost to the overall economy and creating an estimated four million jobs.

The Act provides for the following critical investments:

* Tax cuts for Working Families - $247 billion
* Job-creating Investments in Infrastructure and Science - $165 billion
* Job-creating Investments in Health - $153 billion
* Job-creating Investments in Education and Training - $138 billion
* Job-creating Investments for an Energy Independent America - $82 billion
* Job-creating Tax Cuts for Small Businesses - $21 billion
* Helping Americans Hit Hard by the Economic Crisis - $72 billion
* Law Enforcement, Oversight, Other Programs - $10 billion

Tax Cuts for Working Families include:

- $142 billion in Making Work Pay tax credits will provide ninety-five percent of American workers with up to $500 in extra cash in their paychecks; married couples filing jointly can receive up to $1000 total.

- $15 billion in tax cuts for families will give cash back to parents through an expansion of Earned Income Tax Credit for families with three or more children, additional marriage penalty relief for couples, and increased eligibility for the Refundable Child Tax Credit for lower-income families.

- $4 billion in tax cuts for homeowners will facilitate new home purchases with enhancements to the existing $7,500 homebuyer tax credit.

- $17 billion in one-time payments to seniors, disabled veterans and others will provide an immediately usable payment of $300 to seniors on Social Security, low-income recipients of Supplemental Security Income, disabled veterans and veterans on pensions, Railroad Retirement beneficiaries, and others who may not qualify for the Making Work Pay.

- $70 billion in Alternative Minimum Tax relief will protect 24 million working families from thousands of dollars in additional income taxes for 2009

Job-Creating Investments in Infrastructure and Science include:

Infrastructure Improvements

- $16 billion to repair, renovate and construct public schools in ways that will raise energy efficiency and provide greater access to information technology, and $3.5 billion to improve higher education facilities.

- $16 billion in tax credit bonds and tax-exempt bond improvements will finance job-rich projects in the public and private sectors, to build and renovate schools and to make other infrastructure improvements at the state and local level, in national recovery zones and on Native reservations.

- $9 billion for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. This competitive grant funding will increase broadband access and usage in unserved and underserved areas of the Nation, which will better position the U.S. for economic growth, innovation, and job creation.

- $5.1 billion for the Department of Homeland Security to secure the homeland and promote economic activity.

- $4.6 billion in funding for the Corps of Engineers.

- $3.7 billion for VA hospital and medical facility construction and improvements, long-term care facilities for veterans, and improvements at VA national cemeteries.

- $3.4 billion for repair, restoration and improvement of public facilities at parks, forests, refuges and on other public and tribal lands.

- $3.2 billion for Facilities Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization to be used to invest in energy efficiency projects and to improve the repair and modernization of Department of Defense facilities to include Defense Health facilities.

- $2.4 billion for Department of Defense Facilities including quality of life and family-friendly military construction projects such as family housing and child care centers.

- $2.25 Billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program block grant to enable state and local government, in partnership with community-based organizations, to acquire, construct, and rehabilitate affordable housing and provide rental assistance to poor families.

- $110 million in tax incentives to build broadband capacity in rural and underserved areas will grow jobs in the technology sector and create economic opportunities in targeted areas


- $27 billion is included for highway investments

- $8.4 billion for investments in public transportation.

- $5.5 billion for competitive grants to state and local governments for transportation investments.

- $1.3 billion for investments in our air transportation system.

- $3.1 billion for investments in rail transportation, including High Speed Rail.

- $830 million for repair and restoration of roads on park, forest, tribal and other public lands.

Public Housing

- $5 billion to the public housing capital fund to enable local public housing agencies to address a $32 billion backlog in capital needs -- especially those improving energy efficiency in aging buildings.

- $2.1 billion for full-year payments to owners receiving Section 8 project-based rental assistance.

- $2.25 billion for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes.

- $1.5 billion for homeless prevention activities, which will be sent out to states, cities and local governments through the emergency shelter grant formula.

Environmental Clean-Up/Clean Water

- $6.4 billion is directed towards environmental cleanup of former weapon production and energy research sites.

- $6 billion for local clean and drinking water infrastructure improvements.

- $1.4 billion for EPA’s nationwide environmental cleanup programs, including Superfund.

- $1.4 billion to support $3.8 billion in loans and grants for needed water and waste disposal facilities in rural areas.


- $1.5 billion total for NASA.

- $1.4 billion total for National Science Foundation (NSF) Research.

- $1.2 billion total for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

Job-Creating Investments in Health include:

- $23.9 billion for investments and incentives in health information technology (IT) will grow jobs in the information technology sector, and will jumpstart efforts to increase the use of health IT in doctors’ offices and other medical facilities. This will reduce health care costs and improve the quality of health care for all Americans.

- $5.8 billion for prevention and wellness programs to fight preventable diseases and conditions with evidence-based strategies.

- $3.5 billion to conduct biomedical research in areas such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and stem cells, and to improve NIH facilities.

- $1.1 billion to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, NIH and the HHS Office of the Secretary to evaluate the relative effectiveness of different health care services and treatment options.

- $870 million to complete funding for pandemic flu preparedness.

Job-Creating Investments in Education and Training include:

- $79 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund includes $39 billion to local school districts and public colleges and universities, distributed through existing State and federal formulas; $15 billion to States as incentive grants as a reward for meeting key education performance measures; and $25 billion to States for other high-priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, which may include education.

- $13 billion in tax cuts for college tuition and education will help students and their families afford four years of college, with a $2,500 tax credit and the ability to purchase computers and computer technology with funds from tax-free 529 Savings Plans.

- $13 billion for Title 1 to help close the achievement gap and enable disadvantaged students to reach their potential.

- $13 billion for Special Education/IDEA to improve educational outcomes for disabled children. This level of funding will increase the Federal share of special education services to its highest level ever.

- $13.9 billion to increase the Pell Grant maximum award and to pay for increases in program costs resulting from increased eligibility and higher Pell Grant awards. The bill supports an increased Pell Grant maximum award of $281 in the 2009-2010 academic year and $400 in the 2010-2011 academic year. This aid will help 7 million students pursue postsecondary education.

- $3.4 billion for job training including State formula grants for adult, dislocated worker, and youth programs (including $1.2 billion to create up to one million summer jobs for youth).

- $108 million in extended Trade Adjustment Assistance will help businesses retool to avoid trade-related layoffs, and provide workers with income support and retraining if international trade causes job losses

Job-Creating Investments and Tax Incentives in Energy include:

- $33 billion in green energy tax incentives will grow jobs in the renewable energy sector by encouraging private-sector investments in research and production of green energy with wind, biomass, hydropower, and other renewable sources

- $6 billion for repair of federal buildings to increase energy efficiency using green technology.

- $5.4 billion in tax incentives for conservation and green energy use will encourage and reward energy efficiency and the building of alternative fueling stations, and facilitate the funding of conservation projects to improve America’s energy independence and grow jobs in these sectors as well.

- $4.6 billion for Fossil Energy research and development.

- $4.5 billion for smart-grid related activities, including work to modernize the electric grid.

- $4.2 billion for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Grants.

- $2.9 billion is available for the Weatherization Assistance Program.

- $2.6 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research.

- $2 billion is provided in grant funding for the manufacturing of advanced batteries systems and components and vehicle batteries that are produced in the United States.

- $1.6 billion is provided for grants to make schools and hospitals, significant users of energy, more energy efficient.

- $10 billion is provided for new loan guarantees aimed at standard renewable projects such as wind or solar projects and for electricity transmission projects.

Job-Creating Tax Cuts and Investments for Small Businesses include:

- Approximately $21 billion in business tax relief and incentives will help businesses survive in growing markets, get financing for expansion, and get the money they need for payroll and expenses. Businesses will be able to more easily write off the cost of new equipment, write off more losses if they’re hard hit economically, delay or reduce some tax payments, and cash in unused tax credits.

- Loans for Small Businesses: $730 million to stimulate lending to small businesses.

- $208 million in Work Opportunity tax incentives will increase the hiring of disabled veterans and disadvantaged youths into the workforce

Help for Workers and Families Hardest Hit by the Economic Crisis includes:

- $87 billion in increased Medicaid funding will help states to respond to rising numbers of Americans seeking health coverage through Medicaid, to balance state budgets, and to deal with other fiscal pressures brought on by the economic crisis.

- $47 billion in unemployment insurance improvements will allow Americans who lose their jobs in the economic downturn to receive an extra $25 in their weekly benefits, receive unemployment insurance longer if needed, pay fewer taxes on unemployment benefits, and get help even if they need to move to part-time work or leave work for family reasons

- $26 billion in COBRA premium assistance will help workers who lose their jobs to keep health coverage longer with a 65% subsidy for COBRA premiums

- $16.5 billion for additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly Food Stamps, benefits.

- $3 billion in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funding will allow programs to better serve the country’s lowest-income families in this time of economic crisis

- $1.8 billion in Medicaid, Medicare, and Indian Health Service funds will allow Americans transitioning into the workforce from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program to keep health coverage through Medicaid longer, will assist low-income seniors and disabled Americans with Medicare premiums, and will help American Indians and Alaska Natives afford health care

- Child Care Development Block Grant: $2 billion to provide quality child care services for an additional 300,000 children in low-income families who increasingly are unable to afford the high cost of day care.

- Head Start & Early Head Start: $2.1 billion to allow an additional 124,000 children to participate in this program, which provides development, educational, health, nutritional, social and other activities that prepare children to succeed in school.

- State and Local Law Enforcement: $3.95 billion total to support law enforcement efforts.

Unprecedented Oversight, Accountability and Transparency

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan provides unprecedented oversight, accountability, and transparency to ensure that taxpayer dollars are invested effectively, efficiently, and as quickly as possible.

- Funds are distributed whenever possible through existing formulas and programs that have proven track records and accountability measures already in place.

- Numerous provisions in the bill provide for expedited but effective obligation of funds so that dollars are invested in the economy as quickly as possible.

- The Government Accountability Office and the Inspectors General are provided additional funding for auditing and investigating recovery spending.

- A new Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board will coordinate and conduct oversight of recovery spending and provide early warning of problems.

- A special website will provide transparency by posting information about recovery spending, including grants, contracts, and all oversight activities.

- State and local whistleblowers who report fraud and abuse are protected.

- There are no earmarks in this bill.

Posted by Ezra Klein on February 2, 2009 3:02 PM

The Obameter

Personally I think it should be The Obamameter but what do I know....

Today I'm feeling pretty screwed when it comes to the stimulus package so I've looked up Obama's campaign promises and how he is doing on them. This is when I ran across the PolitiFact Site sponsored by The St. Petersburg Times. The title link will take you to the page that lists all of Obama's campaign promises. There are 510 promises and 26 pages in the list. This page has a nice little chart/scorecard that I wish they had a widget for. It looks like this only nicer:

The Obameter Scorecard

* Promise Kept 7

* Compromise 1

* Promise Broken 1

* Stalled 1

* In the Works 22

* No Action 478

I really want someone to tell me where a fully trained but apparently unemployable 54 year old white woman with no personal income, no health insurance and no assets fits into this new stimulus package? It appears upon reading that the same income levels that have always gotten help have received even more help this time around. I could have sworn during the campaign that Obama promised help for the rest of us. All I see are tax cuts, albeit expanded, for those with an income and increased benefits for those who qualify for state aid. What about those of us smack in the middle? I thought that was what all the campaign promises were about... Did I miss something? Was I having a senior moment throughout the campaign? Or am I just being to impatient? Frustrated?

I swear I'm to the point that if I can't find a job then I believe I will go on out to DHS and apply for services. Maybe when they find out I have a degree and a license, rather than give me food stamps they will give me a job...It's just an idea...they sure aren't listing those jobs on the state personnel board.

Oh, and don't think that "Making Work Pay" part of the package is anything to write home's a measly $400 bucks phased in, or out, depending on how you look at it, over the course of the entire year as a tax reduction.

Ok, that's my rant for the day...

Monday, February 16, 2009

This is so Cool! The Black Cab Sessions

If you feel like a little music and you are not quite sure what you're in the mood for the Black Cab Sessions Page is a great place to go to start clicking randomly. Musicians are clamboring into the back of a cab, stripped down to the basics to have one go at a song while riding around the countryside. As a big fan of acoustic music I wallowed in it :) Go on, try it, get out of your comfort zone :) Here's the about page where you can join their mailing list to be informed when there are new artists.

Tiny Cat Pants

Go read Aunt B's post "I Almost Wish My Vagina Were as Mysterious and Powerful as Campfield Thinks It Is"'s hilarious!

Another Conversation with the Boy...

Yesterday, I finally had enough strength to go brave Wal-Mart to get that $107 dollar inhaler I was prescribed. I took a shower, got dressed, picked up the boy from work knowing he had worked 7 days straight and there was no amount of pleading that would talk him into going with me, so resigned to the fact I had to go I dropped him off at home and braved it. It was amazingly not too crowded and considering I was psychotic on prednisone all went amazingly well.

So I get home, the boy meets me at the door to help me unload the stuff....kind of unusual but I didn't think anything of it at the time. Start supper and sit down at the computer...

ticktickticktick...cursor is freaking out and explorer is coming up on it's own telling me it can't find s**t...not a good sign.

Me: What's wrong with the computer?

Him: I don't know it just started doing that

Major fight with all the pages coming up, trying to get the virus scan to come up. Start the scan.

Twenty minutes later...

Me: Where did you go on the internet?

Him: I just typed the stuff in google and it started doing that.

Me: What?


Results of the scan...Trojan, virus, recycler and a bunch of other low risk stuff.

By this time a friend of the boy's has come over to hang out.


Him: I found this bug at the hotel today and I wanted to make sure it wasn't a bed bug. (A little explanation is necessary...The Dixie National Rodeo has been in town for two or three weeks...we refer to these people as "the horse people" but that's a different story) So I looked up "horse bugs"

Me: horse bugs?

Him: yep (oh, so innocently)

Me: and where did that take you?

Those innocent eyes crinkled up at me and he laughingly said


Me: HORSE PORN??? What in the hell is horse porn? you didn't click on it did you?

Him: (still laughing) yes I did, I couldn't help it (rolling off the bed onto the floor) (friend starts mocking and making fun of him)It's a site showing horses having sex.

Me: Why didn't you just say that?

Him: I didn't want to admit it...I knew I would never live it down

At this point I had to laugh too, even though I knew I would be working on getting rid of whatever "Horse Porn" put on my computer for days to come, because, you know what? I probably would have clicked on it myself mainly because friggin "Horse Porn" would have never in a million years crossed my mind....some people are just really twisted, huh?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Use Dogpile for Your Search. Help Animals in Need!

Now See...

After having my rear end chewed royally, about my weight, smoking, coffee and everything else I do, I run across this picture and after days of chicken soup, yogurt and saltines it looks really good...I know it would kill me but still... The only problem with it is that it needs to be on a bed of crispy fries covered with spicy chili and the whole thing covered in cheese with a side of ice cold beer :)

Hot dog surrounded by ground beef surrounded by bacon

Oh well, I can dream....

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Economic Stimulus Package

I just spent hours reading the full bill. Yes, my brain is mush. Typically, it's 647 pages, 1.10MB, half of which are stipulations (hoops to jump through) for getting this illustrious, much touted economic stimulus money. It's very dry reading to be sure, but if you are bored and have the time to kill....

Now, if you are like me and your primary concern is a stimulus check like we got last year, when and how much...nope, it ain't gonna happen. Oh, unless you already receive social security benefits, then the powers that be have deigned to give you a measly additional $250 bucks. Granted your unemployment benefits will be extended. You are eligible to be retrained for other employment. Your WIC and child-tax credits have been expanded. Your food stamps might be increased, depending on the state's actions. But basically, if you are not employed, already re-trained, under 65 without a dependent child under 18 you are screwed, in more ways than one.

I have been losing hope for this stimulus package for quite awhile now, but when I read it, it hit me...same ole, same ole--at least in rhetoric and the sheer volume of paperwork required to receive the benefits and to justify receiving the benefits and to prove you used to money like you said you would. Crap, all I could think of while reading the bill was how those less schooled in reading and writing government-speak could screw this up for those depending on the benefits. All I can think of is a poor old social worker, head of a community center in po-dunk Mississippi, knowing her center is eligible for benefits, wracking her brain well into the night trying to write up a suitable proposal for her center and the people she helps, knowing that they will be coming in soon wanting to know where said help is and when they can get it.

If you want the gist of the plan you can visit Nancy Pelosi's website here. She has it all laid out with bullet points and everything :) If you just want to skip the hype and want an itemized list of who gets what go here.

After my disastrous visit to the doctor's office yesterday and then four hours at the emergency room because said doctor basically would not treat me and would rather I was admitted for a $10,000 hospital stay. Luckily when my uninsured self arrived to be admitted, said hospital was sensible enough to allow me to get my breathing treatments though the emergency room, where I proceeded to beg them not to admit me. That little trip probably only cost me 3 or 4 thousand. I'm sicker today than I was yesterday....mentally I'm taking to my bed for a minute.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Need a Laugh?

Go check this out :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Republicans are Gutting the Stimulus Bill

Click the title link for CNN's review of the cuts...In the words of jurrassicpork over at Brilliant at Breakfast:

"Trillions for the Iraq war, Wall Street and tax cuts for the already bloated? Priceless.

Fuck getting a handle on crime, fuck overhauling the criminal justice system, fuck the sick and poor, fuck our children, fuck the farmers, fuck the environment, fuck science, fuck national security, essentially fuck any and every program and foundation dedicated to anything remotely akin to a progressive or even a pragmatic cause. The minority, I repeat, the minority Republican party screamed their heads off demanding this "pork" got hacked out of the bill. The Democrats caved in to them because they cannot do shit unless they have a 60% majority in the Senate. Vote them out. Vote their fat bipartisan asses out of Congress at the earliest available opportunity before they kill you in one way or another."

An email from Helen Updike:

A good discussion of the issue is in today's NYTimes by Paul Krugman. You can go onto, register, it's free, and search in the window at the top left for "The Destructive Center."

Call your Congressperson. Call both your Senators. Democrat or Republican, it doesn't matter. Every call will help. Calls to Republicans will help more, but let everyone on Capitol Hill know that we are Obama supporters, we care, we are paying attention, and we will remember.

House main number: 202 225 3121
Senate main number: 202 224 3121

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let's talk about paper today...

As I sit here trying to get ready to pay off that line forming at the rear waiting for the tax return to arrive, I'm looking at a very ominous looking mountain of paper.

I haven't actually purchased anything paper related in over a year...probably closer to two years. Not that I'm diligently trying to be environmentally conscious, mainly it's because I get tired of shoveling it to the road for the garbage person, so I don't buy magazines, newspapers and such.

My desk is covered in it, with only space for my elbows, keyboard, dictionary, monitor and one speaker. There is a garbage can right beside my desk. I have, believe it or not, been diligent about putting all junk mail, food wrappers, empty cigarette packs, old phone books, etc. in that for months now. Yet I still have the lurking pile.

Every single garbage day there is at least one full bag I have to put out totally made up of paper. Right now on the other, unused side of my bed, the paper pile is at least a foot deep and about four or five feet long. This pile consists of stuff I decided I would read instead of immediately chunking it in the trash. After reading it I casually put it on left side of the bed not giving it another thought.

Of coarse it eventually ends up on the floor and well, out of sight, out of mind. Occasionally, the boy will come in there looking for something and make fun of me for my pile and every now and then when he gets that rare spurt of energy that wants to clean something he will go in there and clean it all up for me. I suspect it's really because it makes his stomach cringe just to think about it, or simply, he gets tired of wading through it to get to what he needs.

Does it bother me? Nope, not in the least. Well, maybe a little or I wouldn't be writing about it, right?

My question is...Where does it all come from? I believe the higher being for paper told it to go forth and multiply, because I swear, the little amount I get out of my mailbox each day could not possibly become the mountain I put at the road on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

We have two of those great big wheeled garbage cans. That was the greatest invention known to modern man, right? wheeled garbage cans :) This past Wednesday I put both of them out filled to capacity and yet still have the pile on my desk and the one on the other side of my bed.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the large underbed type container that sits neatly under my desk (footrest) that is filled with unused "pretty" paper left over from my desktop publishing days, resume paper, business card paper, etc.

You see, this is what gets me...we had a major house cleaning not very long ago when I packed up most of my books and we threw everything out then, even the side of the bed stuff. So all this has accumulated, despite my diligence, in the course of about two or three months...geez....

Amen, Ms Morrison...Me Too!

Isn't this a great idea for the CEO's?

"Oh, I want it. I want it bad.

Next week, when Barney Frank starts hauling fat-cat CEOs before his House Financial Services Committee, I want him wearing a barbecue apron. Instead of a gavel, I want him wielding a barbecue fork the size of a trident. By the time the grilling's over, I want ... I want a lot.

I want groveling. I want show-trial sweating and stammering. I want their nine-figure bonus checks endorsed over to the rest of us. I want my 401(k) money back. I want blood; I'm a vegetarian, but I'd make an exception for a smoking plate of CEO en brochette.

Political scientists call this a "public mood" moment, when a focal incident like the Olympics or 9/11 fuses a nation of hundreds of millions of identities into one public identity.

UCLA political scientist Lynn Vavreck tells me that, in this case, the public mood is outrage on the part of good citizens -- that's us -- over the misdeeds of bad citizens.

It's embarrassing to think that we share a country with these rich dimwits. As Frank told the bankers: "People really hate you. ... You have to help us deal with that. You have to avoid being stupid."

I don't begin to understand the complicated financial stratagems these men engineered. Even the SEC couldn't keep up.

But we all understand perfectly the flagrant arrogance of Citigroup planning to spend $50 million on a new corporate jet -- and a French-made jet, to boot -- after taking billions in bailout money from taxpayers who are getting pink-slipped. Citigroup backed away from the plane; now, can it still be serious about spending $400 million for naming rights for the New York Mets' field? Mets fans -- resist!

Collateralized debt obligations are beyond me, but I get the dunderheadedness of Wells Fargo booking a 12-night corporate bash in Vegas. The smartest person at Wells Fargo was the one who realized that a big party was itself a moral hazard and canceled the shindig.

People everywhere are fuming about their dismal fiscal futures at the hands of unregulated markets and firms run by chief executive officers who even now seem to be shining their shoes with hundred-dollar bills. President Obama used the word "shameful." Nice try, but words will never hurt them. Federal regulators are looking into Angelo R. Mozilo, the genius who made and unmade Countrywide Financial with its time-bomb subprime mortgages. But in the meantime, I'm thinking of giving myself the pleasure of driving to Thousand Oaks and TP-ing Mozilo's house. Single-ply -- I can't afford the good stuff anymore.

In 1991, Charles H. Keating Jr. was on trial in Los Angeles. His freewheeling savings and loan conned thousands of elderly depositors into investing in risky bonds. They lost millions. A few ruined investors committed suicide.

Outside the courtroom, one elderly woman grabbed Keating by his lapels and screamed at him to give her her money back; some Arizona politicians set aside a whole month in her honor.

This time, the CEOs will probably never see the inside of a courtroom. What they've been up to with the bailout money only breaks the spirit of the law.

Psychologically, perp walks and prison time aren't necessary, says UCLA's Vavreck. Our anger "has a value in itself -- being part of the community of people who hold this attitude is in itself some kind of benefit." In other words, forget it Jake, it's just catharsis.

I do feel consoled that Obama wants to cap the income of bank-bailout CEOs at half a million dollars. At the end of last year, as taxpayer money was being trundled to banks by the wheelbarrow-full, some CEOs turned down their annual bonuses. But they dealt out $18.4-billion worth to staff further down the food chain who, fail or prosper, had come to regard bonuses not as, well, bonuses but as a birthright.

What else can we get out of this?

I like the idea of a Fair Fair, a carnival roaming the country, bringing big-name, big-headed CEOs to a fairgrounds near you. For $10, you get three baseball throws, three chances to dunk the CEO into a big, cold, wet tank. For $5, you get a foam bat and a swat at CEOs running a gantlet of the newly poor. Half-price tickets for the unemployed.

No, wait. Let's put the CEOs in charge of that new "bad bank" being proposed to corral toxic assets. If they're as talented as they tell us they are, they can prove it by turning all that junk around.

No paychecks, let alone bonuses, until they do.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hurry...Go Sign the Petition!!!

Click the title link to be taken to the petition page.

"Limit Salaries at All Banks Taking Taxpayer Dollars

Wall Street banks distributed $18.4 billion in year-end bonuses in 2008. $18.4 billion to the people who crippled our economy with their recklessness and greed and then took $700 billion of our money.

President Obama took an important first step, limiting pay at companies taking bailouts going forward. But Congress is considering going even further.

Congress can apply the limits retroactively, and might even take back some of the most extravagant bonuses at firms that take taxpayer money. A huge public outcry will put them over the edge.

A compiled petition with your individual comment will be presented to your senators and representative."

Postcards from Amerah...

LOL! I wish I'd thought of this :)

The Sweetness of Married Life

The newly weds were only married two weeks, when the husband said to
the wife, 'Honey I'm going to Hank's Tavern to have a beer, I'll be
right back.

'Where are you going, Coochy Coo?' asked the wife.

'I'm going to the bar, Pretty Face,' he answered. 'I'm going to have a beer.'

'You want a beer, my love?' She opened the door to the refrigerator and showed him 25 different kinds of beer, brands from 12 different countries: Germany , Holland , Japan , India , etc.

'Yes, Lollipop, But at the bar..You know..they have frozen glasses..'

'You want a frozen glass, Puppy Face?' She took a huge beer mug out of the freezer, so frozen that she was getting chills just holding it.

'Yes, Tootsie Roll, but at the bar they have those hors d'oeuvres that are really delicious... I won't be long. I'll be right back. I promise. OK?'

'You want hors d'oeuvres, Poochie Pooh?' She opened the oven and took out 5 dishes of different hors d'oeuvres: chicken wings, pigs in blankets, mushroom cap s, and little quiches.

'But my sweet honey... At the bar... You know there's swearing, dirty words and all that...'

'You want dirty words, Cutie Pie?


And..they lived happily ever after.

Finally!!! Obama Caps Executive Pay Tied To Bailout Money

What we've all been waiting excerpt from President Obama's speech

"in order to restore our financial system, we've got to restore trust. And in order to restore trust, we've got to make certain that taxpayer funds are not subsidizing excessive compensation packages on Wall Street.

We all need to take responsibility. And this includes executives at major financial firms who turned to the American people, hat in hand, when they were in trouble, even as they paid themselves their customary lavish bonuses. As I said last week, that's the height of irresponsibility. That's shameful. And that's exactly the kind of disregard for the costs and consequences of their actions that brought about this crisis: a culture of narrow self-interest and short-term gain at the expense of everything else.

This is America. We don't disparage wealth. We don't begrudge anybody for achieving success. And we believe that success should be rewarded. But what gets people upset - and rightfully so - are executives being rewarded for failure. Especially when those rewards are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.

For top executives to award themselves these kinds of compensation packages in the midst of this economic crisis is not only in bad taste - it's a bad strategy - and I will not tolerate it as President. We're going to be demanding some restraint in exchange for federal aid - so that when firms seek new federal dollars, we won't find them up to the same old tricks.

As part of the reforms we are announcing today, top executives at firms receiving extraordinary help from U.S. taxpayers will have their compensation capped at $500,000 - a fraction of the salaries that have been reported recently. And if these executives receive any additional compensation, it will come in the form of stock that can't be paid up until taxpayers are paid back for their assistance.

Companies receiving federal aid are going to have to disclose publicly all the perks and luxuries bestowed upon senior executives and provide an explanation to the taxpayers and to shareholders as to why these expenses are justified. And we're putting a stop to these kinds of massive severance packages we've all read about with disgust; we're taking the air out of the golden parachute.

We're asking these firms to take responsibility, to recognize the nature of this crisis and their role in it. We believe that what we've laid out should be viewed as fair and embraced as basic common sense.

Finally, these guidelines we're putting in place are only the beginning of a long-term effort. We're going to examine the ways in which the means and manner of executive compensation have contributed to a reckless culture and quarter-by-quarter mentality that in turn have wrought havoc in our financial system. We're going to be taking a look at broader reforms so that executives are compensated for sound risk management and rewarded for growth measured over years, not just days or weeks.

We've all got to pull together and take our share of responsibility. That's true here in Washington. That's true on Wall Street. The American people are carrying a huge burden as a result of this economic crisis: bearing the brunt of its effects as well as the costs of extraordinary measures we're taking to address it. The American people expect and demand that we pursue policies that reflect the reality of this crisis - and that will prevent these kinds of crises in the future."

So, I was all excited...then I read this:

Pay Caps Will Probably Apply Only To A Few Execs, Many Will Find Loopholes

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


This site explains how to use Track any bill you are interested in with a cool widget like the one over there in the sidebar ------------->

Oh, to get it to fit in the sidebar of blogger I had to alter the code to 220px and font size to 95%. It was easy :)

Fluggie and Rose--Part One--rough draft....


I was born in Arcola, Mississippi, Washington County, USA September 25, 1938 to Sterling and Gertrude Jordan. As I recall that time, it was a confusing, scary and sometimes happy time for me. I remember Mildred, Baby-mel, and Junior – they were my very best friends. I remember Ms. Lucille, Junior’s mom. She was one of three good friends to my mom…she was my other mom. The most important people to me during this time was my Aunt Dump and my Uncle Henry. Aunt Dump and Uncle Henry raised my dad, his twin brother and their sister. She also raised my father’s sister’s child. I never heard anyone discuss how Aunt Dump and Uncle Henry came to be their caretakers. Some of my bestest memories were when I visited my Aunt Dump and Uncle Henry. She was short in stature, but she would sit in her favorite rocking chair, holding me as my legs dragged the floor, rocking me until I went to sleep. She tried to teach me unsuccessfully how to churn butter…oh, I could watch her all day as she sat with the churn between her knees, churning the milk that she had gotten from the cows after she had let it “keep” until it became sour (or until it was ready). I walked along side her as she gathered eggs to sell along with the butter. And, boy could she cook. My favorite meal was a stewed roaster with dumplings or rice and her good old buttermilk cornbread. I remember on one of my visits one of her many dogs were going to have puppies. Aunt dump gave me an old blanket and told me to put it under the house for the dog to lie on – it was cold. I would go out every 5 minutes to see if I could see the puppies being born…I would peek – no puppy; go back in the house, wait 5 mins or so before I went back and low and behold there would 1 or 2 puppies…never got to see the actual birth, but my Aunt Dump would say “…baby, better go and check on the puppies…” and when I would come back in all excited that there had been an additional puppy she would just smile and encourage me to keep looking “…you’ll get to see the puppy being born, Sugar…”


When most people think of "country eggs" they think of brown, farm-raised or free-range eggs. The kind that are "gathered" daily from the hen house. Not me. When I think of "country eggs" it reminds me of spending summers down on the farm my mother was raised on. Breakfast was basically the feast of the day. We all ate in shifts according to when we got up. My aunt and grandmother would have been up for hours making "syrup-soppin'" biscuits from scratch with churned butter and fresh non-pasteurized milk. The baking sheet was iron and so huge it would take up the entire oven shelf, filled with biscuits. Depending on how many there were going to be to eat, sometimes there would be an iron skillet or two full of biscuits too. I fail biscuits to this day and thank God for Mary B or I would never have another biscuit in my life.

There was always a plate of some kind of meat, bacon or country ham, but not very much...or at least there never was by the time I got to the table. The men-folk always got to eat first because they had things to do before going to the fields to plow or plant or whatever. They lived on a dairy farm so the cows had to be milked before anything else. There was also a big plate of fresh eggs, fried in whatever meat drippings were left after the meat was fried. They were always of different stages. Some were hard fried, some were runny and some were medium and they might or might not be warm. Oh, I almost forgot, there was usually a small bowl of red-eye gravy on the table too.

I had to learn how to eat this breakfast, you understand, because there is an art to it. First you pour some syrup on your plate. I would like to say here that it was home made molasses but by the time I came around they had long since given up making their own from sugar cane, even though you could still find it growing everywhere and we used it for a snack in the afternoons, peeling it and chewing it until all the sweetness was gone. Then you would put a dollop of fresh churned butter in the middle of the syrup and blend it all through with your fork. Get an egg or some meat or whatever else you wanted and commence to soppin' those biscuits in the syrup, with a bite of egg or meat in between. If there ever was heaven on earth it was those breakfasts!

My aunt and uncle moved in with my grandfather and grandmother when they first got married. I suspect it was because my uncle was basically worthless and my grandfather wanted to keep an eye on him, but I was told it was to look out after my grandmother after my grandfather was gone and to run the farm, which they did. They had six kids. My aunt looked after my grandmother and my uncle ran the farm. My mother had twelve brothers and sisters. Two died. One before she was born and one when she was little. She was the "the baby" and no one ever let her forget it. There's a whole long story that goes along with that maybe I will get to on another day. There were five boys and eight girls, I think.

I never knew the real reason I ended up spending my summers on the farm but I suspect it was party time in the big city the whole summer while us kids were gone. Three of the sisters had moved away from the farm to the city to go to school and never left. One aunt was an "old maid" who spoiled us kids but made us work for it too. The other aunt that lived here in the city with us had four boys and they were the closest I ever had to siblings. I guess that's why I was a tomboy, I had to be to survive...

So you can probably tell this started out to be a very different post :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 :)

I've been meaning to tell you about this site for awhile. This is one for the bookmarks. If you want to know how to cook something/anything southern you can find it on this site. there are also links to other great southern cookbooks here and here. Join the mailing list, it's great for daily inspiration.

"Welcome Friend,

I'm Willie Crawford, and I created this website back in 1997 to share with you soul food recipes I learned while growing up on the farm in North Carolina. Recipes like: Collard Greens, Sweet Potato Pie, Southern Pound Cake, Homemade Biscuits, Banana Pudding, North Carolina-style Pulled Pork Barbecue, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Hush Puppies, Southern Fried Chicken, Fried Catfish, Pinto Beans With Ham Hocks, and tons of others.

When I first built this site I started out by posting about 20 of these great recipes right on the website. Then I invited all website visitors to join our mailing list and share their favorite recipes with each other. Since then, literally thousand of soul food and old-family recipes have been shared by website visitors.

Now we're inviting YOU to join the fun. To become a part of our online family, just click here and fill in the box to receive free recipes via email.

Every day, list members email in their request for hard to find recipes to list members.

Everyday, other list members share favorite recipes with the thousands of list members."

mmm mmm, I'm hungry now...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Vatican Channel

Seems as though the Vatican has decided to come into the new bad they didn't decide to bring policy along with them.