Karma

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

 

The shooting of Steve Scalise and three others in Washington DC was the 157th mass shooting in the United States. Followed closely, as in, the same day, by two others.

Now they know, I thought to myself.

Now they know what it’s like to be afraid.

Now they know what it’s like to be afraid where they were never afraid before.

Now they know that they can be shot at at any time.

On a ball field, in a grocery store, in a nightclub, at the movie theatre, in school. Now they know.

And, indeed, there were immediate calls to “tone down the rhetoric” from both the left and the right.

My own piece of shit congressman sent a note out, declaring solidarity with his fellow thugs, and saying “I want to reiterate Speaker Ryan’s statement, an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. In the midst of partisan tension, harsh language and political criticism, the violence we experience made us stop, slow down, and remember that no matter what side of the aisle we are on or what policies we agree or disagree with, we are all Americans working every day to serve those we call friends and neighbors back home.”

Really? I would never, not in a million years, have known that Jason Smith considers liberals as people, much less a friend or neighbor. I like evidence, and I have seen none.

He goes on to say, “As we move forward from this horrific event, we must not forget that what makes America great is that we are all different. We cannot allow those differences to bring anger and violence to our doorstep and threaten our democracy.”

Actually, I would argue that our differences are exactly what is bringing the anger and violence.

In the alternative world the republicans live in, the more guns, the better. The more firepower in the hands of mentally ill or violent people is good. They keep writing laws that say so.

Those of us who abhor violence have protested legally and nonviolently to absolutely no avail. More guns. More guns. No regulations! We hate regulations!

More than a thousand women have died so far this year at the hands of their husbands, or significant others. Not all by gun, but many. This is not considered “an attack on all of us”, though.

And, at this moment, a group of rich white men are writing a new health care bill in a back room in secret. It promises to be even worse than the awful bill that came out of the House.

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Yes, that’s right. That’s one of the many pictures of republicans celebrating taking health care away from 24 million people. My piece of shit congressman is just to the right and behind the religious fanatic that is our VP.  Of course.  Steve Scalise is also smiling and happy and he’s just in front of the monster from Wisconsin.

Frankly, I’m surprised more congress critters haven’t been shot. They have, essentially, declared war on us.

That’s right, I said it. The republicans have declared war on poor people, women, people of color, senior citizens.

They are saying, “die.” We don’t need health care, we don’t need education, we don’t need clean water, clean air.

According to republicans, the only people that matter are rich white men who contribute to their campaigns.

If you don’t fall into that category, you don’t matter. You can die horribly.

I don’t think I’ve fallen off the deep end to believe this. Just look around. Look at the state of Texas, for instance. They are legislating what health care women can have. If you have a problem pregnancy, where something has gone wrong with the fetus, you are almost condemned to die. Sepsis is a bad way to go, but republicans really don’t care about the woman.

And, look at Flint. How long have they been without clean water? Years! I am totally amazed that no one has taken Rick Snyder out. Seriously, it’s absolutely stunning that people have not killed that guy.

Self-defense.

Now, I am aware that this is not a popular opinion. Everybody in power condemns violence. Unless, of course, it’s the police doing the killing or maiming. Then it’s okay. And who do the police protect? Rich white men and their property, for the most part. Just look at North Dakota and what that state did and is doing to people who tried to non-violently protect their water. Please enlighten yourself by checking out Tiger Swan.

It’s open season on Americans who don’t matter. I made the predictions at the beginning of the year and I wasn’t at all wrong. Social security, medicare, medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, food stamps…..all the safety nets are under attack. Here in Missouri, our governor is attempting to take away the $10 an hour minimum wage.

Congress has been “borrowing” from social security for so long that they can’t pay it back. Too bad for all of the people who have paid into the fund for years……screw you, Congress is saying.

It’s nothing short of remarkable. The people we “elect” to represent us, hate us.

I can prove that statement. Just check out the letter my “representative” sent out that I shared with you. He hates liberals. Plain and simple. Hates us.

I feel threatened as hell. I’m 60 years old, on the cusp of retirement, and health care is about to get a whole lot more expensive. My government, my “elected” officials, want me to die as quickly as possible. They don’t care if we go bankrupt. They don’t care.

And, we are supposed to sit back and just take this?

Really?

Violence is never the answer, according to popular opinion. Self-defense, though, people understand that.

You come to my house and threaten my safety, I’m allowed to kill you.

That is exactly how I feel as I watch these rich white fucks vote to take away everything that life depends upon. You are killing us, legally. Because you make the laws.

Well, fuck that.

Truly, it’s become a war. A war on Americans. A war on anybody who isn’t rich. That isn’t hyperbole, it’s fact.

It’s going to get really interesting, now. As more and more Americans get sick and can’t afford to treat their illnesses, they will have much less to lose. People with nothing to lose are extremely dangerous.

Good luck, Congress. I hope more of you pay for your votes in a really painful way. I don’t offer one thought or prayer to Steve Scalise. I think he got exactly what he deserves.

I can, and do, feel enormous pain whenever there is a shooting of people who don’t have a personal security detail. The men and women at Pulse nightclub. The people at the Aurora movie theatre. The children of Sandy Hook. I feel that pain.

I can’t feel one bit of love or sympathy for a group of people who sit around, taking things away from others. I can’t. Congress has evolved to a gang of bullies who think they are entitled to what the rest of us aren’t. They certainly are doing absolutely nothing to either “insure domestic Tranquility” or to “promote the general Welfare.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Range Update

DSCN2764I’d never seen a bluebird up close until moving to the Missouri Compromise. There are a lot of them around. They’ve got a nice sound.  They seem like the kinder, gentler cousin to the robin.

As I mentioned in the Home on the Range post, there was a nest in the gourd hanging in the front of the house. I was enjoying watching them feed their young.

Then we got the storm. Or, I should say, another storm.  Some storms cause flooding and some don’t.  Since we are on high ground, the flooding doesn’t affect us, but the storms sure do.  Climate change, of course, is causing them to become more intense.

After this storm, I noticed that the bluebird activity stopped. We got the ladder out and checked the gourd. Unfortunately, the smell announced what the cleaning of the gourd confirmed; all four nestlings were dead. There is a drainage hole in the gourd, but the nest material was so tightly packed in there, that I think the water just couldn’t drain.

Not one monarch caterpillar survived the storm, either. I’ve been checking the milkweed ever since, hoping to see eggs or anything. Nope. All gone.

I have seen Mitch, though. Mitch is a three toed box turtle that lives in our woods. I’ve seen he and another box turtle that is has a drab shell, so I’m going to guess that the males are the more brightly colored of the two. I love these critters!  Mr. Nobody thinks he saw an alligator snapping turtle recently as well.  I think they are endangered and wish I had seen it.  But isn’t Mitch just a cutie? The other box turtle made an appearance, too, so I included her.

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DSCN2790Haven’t spotted the ribbon snake lately and that is okay by me. I did see this guy hanging around the front door. It took a lot of encouraging with a broom to get it to move away. I remain in awe of the size of these.

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DSCN2782Butterflies are still fluttering around. They are difficult to photograph, but I got these pictures.

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I like the frogs and toads around the property as well.  They come in many colors  and sizes and species.  I think both of these are tree toads, but I could be wrong.

DSCN2793DSCN2798It’s not a regular occurrence, but on occasion, a bird finds its way into the chimney and thus the wood stove. Recently, a male bluebird found itself stuck. The two indoor cats were thrilled with the show, sitting in front of the stove and watching the bird throw itself at the glass. As I was attempting to free it, it flew out and landed at Spooky’s feet. Fortunately, Spooky was just a startled as the bluebird, because I was able to grab the bird and release it.

Then I got some little nets from the pet store, as backup, just in case.

And today, a female bluebird flew into the chimney and down into the stove. I whipped out my net, caught it neatly, and released it with much less drama. I’m so proud of myself!

I’ve seen the wood thrush as well, finally, although it was sad. Both a Swainson’s Thrush and a wood thrush hit the glass windows and fell to the ground, thoroughly stunned. In both cases, Mr. Nobody picked the birds up and set them on top of our big ass Compostumbler. It’s high enough and awkward enough to dissuade Buddy from attempting to jump it. In both cases, the birds left, apparently under their own power. I always worry about internal injuries to the birds that hit the windows that hard and it happens more than I would like.  Last year, a bluebird was deliberately throwing itself into two specific windows (I also see them attacking the mirror on Godzilla, Mr. Nobody’s vehicle) and I tried soaping them up but that didn’t deter them.

Aggressive bluebirds are maybe a nice problem to have.  I sure like having them and all of the other birds around.  I think there is one lone whip-poor-wil in the woods nearby.  It moves around a bit, but there can’t be only one, right?  The pileated woodie and red bellies are still around and making their presence known.  Chickadees seem scarce this year, but I finally saw and heard one the other day.  Cardinals are nesting somewhere near the house, along with robins, phoebes, and other birds.  I can hear them feeding their young.  I like that sound too.

The little annoyances are in full swing as well.  Have pulled some ticks off of me already and have some mosquito bites as well.  They like me, they really like me!  So I’ve been experimenting with homemade bug repellents and weed killers.  The weed killer recipe is vinegar and a shot of Dawn detergent into a garden sprayer.  Doesn’t hurt the locals, tastes bad to the pets, and does a so-so job on actually killing the weeds.

The bug repellent is a bit more problematic in that it contains epsom salts and you really don’t want to spray that anywhere you want to grow anything, ever.  I’ve only used it in the lanai.  The lanai is just a screened area by the pool, but wasps, flies, spiders, etc were still finding their way in.  I tried diatomaceous earth first, laying it down along all of the walls.  Results weren’t good.

So, this spray.  Found it on the internet, promoted by none other than Paul Harvey; a mixture of epsom salts, beer and mouthwash.  Put it in a garden sprayer and sprayed the whole deck floor, all the corners, etc.  It’s supposed to last for 80 days.  So far, I’m pretty impressed.  It’s been over a week and only one little spider to be seen.  Wasps are gone.  At first, I was worried about it staining the composite deck, because I could see spray marks.  But those faded quickly and are gone.

Haven’t put much into the garden, but everything that was planted is doing well, so far.  Radish, lettuce, beans, onions and carrots are growing.  Still need some tomatoes and a few other things.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bloodsucker

For almost three years now, we’ve called the 8th District of Missouri home.

It’s a big district, land wise. Home to 749,444 people (2010 census), of which 92.36% are white. It’s the poorest district in the state. Median income is a whopping $36,965.

The largest city in the district is Cape Girardeau, with a population of 37,941. Which makes me smile, as that is a pretty small city. But only 38% of the population lives in a city in this district.

So, of course, poor whites vote republican. And they voted overwhelmingly for Jason Smith for Congress. He had 70% of the vote in 2016. This district went solidly for Donald Trump.

I googled Jason Smith and his accomplishments. He was best buddies with Aaron Schock, of Illinois, who is no longer in Congress since his lavish spending became an issue. Aaron’s the guy who decorated his office in Downton Abbey. No wish fulfillment there.

Jason and Aaron went to Brazil together.

So, you might be aware of the flooding that has taken place here in Missouri (or Misery, as I’m learning it could be called). Not that any elected governmental official gives much of a damn, but lots of people lost their homes and property in two separate flooding events in 17 months time.

Jason’s Facebook page has been loaded with pictures of him looking grave and concerned, with sleeves rolled up, at various points along his tour of the devastation. He’s not so grave and concerned to actually do anything, except for pose for pictures and offer prayers. He’s not asking for FEMA help, for instance. And neither is Eric Greitens, our new Navy Seal governor.

Jason is not interested in climate change, of course. He’s a big believer in rebuilding. I love that. He supports his constituency so much he’s urging them to rebuild in flood prone areas. He admires that kind of perseverance, which I call stupidity.

He hasn’t held a town hall since before the election, so I’ve not met the man. I’ve seen one video of him. It’s a suitably snarky one, of his pontification against a proposed tax on tanning salons. Jason uses google, and he found out that more women than men use tanning beds, and he felt that taxing them would be an undue burden on women. He said we might as well tax the sun, since it too, causes skin cancer.

He voted for Trumpcare, so that tells you how much he cares about women. Or children. Or poor people. Or people with disabilities. Or veterans (despite his strong strong strong words about vets…he loves vets, he admires vets, he regularly goes on and on about their sacrifice for our freedom. He just doesn’t care enough to make sure they can get health care).

I think I’ve mentioned that his mother is a puppy miller and that Jason’s name was on the business early in his career. Frankly, that alone is enough to make me hate the man with a passion. I hate anyone who hurts animals. That tells me he has no compassion or empathy at all. His mother isn’t an average puppy miller. She was selected by the Humane Society as one of the Dirty Dozen…the worst of the worse. Mary Ann Smith sued for defamation of character and lost.

When he was a member of Missouri’s state house, he lead a repeal of Proposition B. Proposition B passed, was voted on by the citizens of Missouri, to offer some minimal protections to dogs being bred. Awful regulations like, being allowed to leave a cage for a few minutes a day. Jason made sure it got repealed, because he hates regulations and government. He doesn’t care about conflicts of interest, though.

Of course, he’s been a member of government pretty much since graduating from law school.

So, I’ve been giving him some thought. Is he stupid or venal? Is he an ideologue?

He loves Trump. He’s featured in the various selfies taken at the GOP celebration of passing Trumpcare, and has video of shaking Trump’s hand. He went on television to support Trump after the pussy grabbing video came out.

Eeuw. I wouldn’t touch that guy with gloves on.

I don’t think Jason Smith is stupid. He graduated from college early. He’s one of the youngest members in the House.

He’s well funded by the Koch Brothers, of course, and every other extreme “conservative” group. FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Campaign for Working Families, Eagle Forum, National Taxpayers Union, Club for Growth, the John Birch Society and Heritage Action for America all give him high ratings.

The ACLU, on the other hand, doesn’t. They rate him 11% out of a possible 100. Think about that. The Bill of Rights, our Constitution….he doesn’t support that so much.

He gets a big fat 0 from both NARAL and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

None of this is unusual. People all around the country have “representatives” who vote against their constituents and then hide from them. They think they don’t have to engage or explain, that people are going to continue to vote for them because that is what they’ve always done. And, you know, they could be right. That’s what is so downright depressing.

So, that’s our “representative”. As far as I can find, he has offered absolutely nothing concrete to the 8th district. No jobs, for sure. He’s full of words, very short on action, unless it’s reducing taxes and regulations that protect people from corporations.

Embedded like a tick and just as useful.

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Home on the Range

There are a lot of things I like about Missouri, having lived here for almost three years.  It’s a pretty state.  I live in the foothills of the Ozarks; I like rolling land, I like rock, I like hardwood forests and rivers.  Many of the things I loved about Kentucky are present in Missouri.

Bluebirds have babies in the gourd out front.  When I went out with Bambi the other morning, I heard lots of noise.  Buddy was in the tree, right above the gourd, and the parent bluebirds were not happy.  He came when I called him, and everybody settled down.

I learned that Mr. Nobody refers to me, in his head, as Dr. Doolittle.  He went to remove a leaf from the driveway and found it was a bat.  So he came to get me.  I grabbed the camera, took some pictures, and eventually, the red bat flew away under its own power.  Red bats don’t hibernate in caves, like others do, I learned later.  I know nothing about bats, other than they freak me out a little, and they are beneficial to the earth.  I have no idea why this one was taking a nap on the driveway.DSCN2726DSCN2727 (1)It makes me smile, though, to be thought of as Dr. Doolittle.  If I could have a superpower, it would be to be able to experience life through other species bodies.  I spend some time thinking about what it must be like to be any number of creatures I see around the property.

Frequently, I get surprised by toads and frogs.  I was doing some spring cleaning and this guy jumped out.

DSCN2734DSCN2732Not very big, almost iridescent. Lovely creature.

Another nice surprise has been the number of butterfly visitors we’ve had.  Monarchs are very early this year, almost beating the emergence of the milkweed they depend upon to lay their eggs.  This is the only plant their caterpillars will eat.

DSCN2737The little white dots on the leaves are eggs.

These are very young caterpillars.  It makes me so happy to see them.

DSCN2739Milkweed is emerging in other spots around the property, and I’ve added some.  I’ve seen a variety of butterflies….some in the swallowtail family, some red admirals, and some very small butterflies that I can’t yet identify.  They do tend to move quickly!

Hearing the wood thrush in the woods.  I’ve never seen one, but their sound is one of my favorites.  I’m also hopeful that a pileated woodie has taken up residence nearby. Been hearing and seeing one recently.  Turkeys are around as well (and I hope they take cover on the property during hunting season).  Hummingbirds are back.

Then you have the disturbing encounters.  Once again, I was outside with Bambi, this time in the back, where I’ve been converting lawn into habitat for critters.  Well, I’m getting what I wanted.  I could hear the leaves moving, then I saw the leaves moving, then I saw this.

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The toad was a goner.  The western ribbon snake had a meal.  I watched some of it.  It took less time than when I watched an alligator eat a bird the size of a duck.

DSCN2748I like toads and frogs, so this bothered me some.  Had it been a rodent of some kind, I probably would have had a different reaction.  Still, as much as I don’t like snakes (or bats), they play a role on earth.

There are lots of things I don’t like about Missouri.

Today, for instance.  Buddy lives outside (he has the barn at night, with water, food, and heat lamps for cold).  I put bug repellent on him religiously, once a month.  But I still find ticks on him.  They seem to really like his neck and his anus.  I can tweeze the neck ticks by myself, no problem.  When they are on his butt, though, that requires the help of Mr. Nobody.

Mr. Nobody is the material handler in our marriage.  He lugs, hauls, packs.  Today, he  put on long pants, long sleeves, and gloves and held Buddy while I tweezed three big ticks off the Budderbutt.  I hate to lose any karmic points, but I admit, I love to light those boogers up!

And, it might be time to admit that Missouri isn’t the most welcoming place I’ve ever lived.  I only have Michigan, Florida, and Kentucky (kind of) to compare it to, as in, I’ve spent some concentrated time in those places.  Missouri would be at the bottom of the list in the people category.  People here are not particularly warm and welcoming.  They tend not to do what they say they are going to do (my measure for trustworthiness).  It’s a pretty backward state politically, and it’s therefore a poor one.  Politicians here are openly corrupt.  My “representative” in Congress, Jason Smith, owned, with his mother, a puppy mill (his mother still owns it).  Missouri is a huge puppy mill state, and Jason made sure it would stay that way when he lead the fight to repeal Proposition B, as a member of the Missouri State Legislature.  Prop B would have imposed some regulations upon breeders. Not onerous ones, really.  People who love animals, those that breed responsibly, are already exceeding what Prop B required.  No, having clean cages, allowing dogs to have time outside of those cages, and so forth, was too much.  No conflict of interest there.

People who rail most against regulations are generally the ones who need it most.  Greedy, amoral, cowardly, disgusting people.  And why is it that they are all “christians”?  Oh yeah, that whole dominion thing….the biblical equivalent to might makes right.  God said, you own the earth, go forth and fuck it up.  Lotta that thinking ’round these parts.

As someone living with a dog that was used as a breeder, I can only look at puppy millers with hatred.  I despise them.

I exchanged a suburban lifestyle for a rural one on purpose and I have few regrets. People, though, can’t be avoided, even though I give it a good try.

 

 

 

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Dark Ages

One of the first things I did upon turning 16 and getting my driver’s license was to make an appointment at Planned Parenthood for birth control. This is called taking personal responsibility, something those “conservatives” are yakking about all of the time.

Obviously, this was a long time ago. Lifetimes. The 1970’s. Well before I knew I was a malfunctioning human female.

I was attending an all girl, private Catholic academy. Very small and intimate class sizes. There were 20 of us in my class; there were less than 100 in the high school.

In this small sample size, two of my classmates got pregnant. I can’t remember if my trip to Planned Parenthood was before or after that. Both girls gave birth and came back to school. We didn’t discuss their absence.

I have good memories of my visit. I remember being in a group of people, learning about the pill, condoms, foam, IUDs, everything….with the statistics on effectiveness for each, the pros and cons of each. I remember no judgment. No agenda. Just helpful information.

I remember I was examined. I was given six months of birth control pills, and I left with a feeling of relief and gratitude.

There was another time I needed them; the details are gone, but I needed a morning after pill. They provided that. They provided privacy. They provided safety.

I had occasion to use the information they gave me more than once. My younger sister came to me one day, with questions about pregnancy and how to avoid it. I went down the list with her.

One of the classmates that got pregnant came to me a couple of years after she had given birth, and given the child up for adoption, asking for birth control information. I shared what I knew and assured her that Planned Parenthood was there for her.

My stepdaughters were told that I would take them to Planned Parenthood no questions asked if they ever wanted to go.

I’ve served on a local board.

I’ve donated to them over the years, most recently in the name of Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Two assholes who should never have been born.

Planned Parenthood is a national treasure. It should be honored instead of reviled. If we didn’t have so many shriveled old rich white men in Congress, it would be.

Even the so-called libertarian politicians, the ones who decry government regulations constantly and want small government apparently want it only small enough to fit into a woman’s vagina.

Study after study after study shows that readily available contraception reduces the number of abortions. This is one of those facts that is backed up by evidence. Not feelings, not opinions, not religion. Fact. Those that say they are pro-life but hate Planned Parenthood are not dealing in objective reality. Period.

So now, our Leader, the Liar and Pussy Grabber in Chief has rescinded Obama’s protection of Planned Parenthood and states can now defund them if they want.

Doesn’t matter that federal funds cannot be used for abortion. Doesn’t matter if Planned Parenthood is the sole source of medical care for low income women totally apart from contraception or abortion.

The Dark Ages are coming back with a vengeance.

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Hate

We haven’t lived in Missouri very long, and it took me awhile to figure out what congressional district we live in.  Unfortunately, we live in the Eighth, and are “represented” by a man named Jason Smith, republican.

It’s funny, but I’ve only ever lived in republican districts.  Justin Amash was my previous “representative”,  he of the “freedom caucus” that shuts down the government whenever they are pissed.

I have, of course, googled Mr. Smith and learned that he’s only ever worked for the government he despises, other than owning a puppy mill with his mother.  He’s 37 and single (read closeted and self-hating gay man).  A truly marvelous human being.

Because I like to know what is going on in our hallowed oligarchy, I signed up for his weekly letters.  This one is the most recent, but by no means unique.

Psychiatrists could have a field day with this.

I consider this hate speech and will eventually unsubscribe from him and his hatred.

 

Dear Friend,

On Friday, with the confirmation of our newest Supreme Court member, Justice Neil Gorsuch, the American people were finally able to claim victory over liberal obstructionists in the United States Senate. With Gorsuch behind the bench, we have a Justice who respects personal freedom and liberty. He knows our Constitution is a document that defers power from the federal government to the states, and puts the rights of individuals ahead of the interests of bureaucrats in Washington.

Throughout his career, Judge Gorsuch has consistently stood on the side of religious freedom and the right to life of the unborn. One of his most notable decisions came in the 2014 Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, in which Gorsuch upheld that the federal government could not force businesses to offer coverage for abortion services.

Judge Gorsuch echoes the qualities of Justice Scalia, making him the perfect replacement to restore conservatism and balance back to the Supreme Court. Justice Scalia’s seat on the court does not belong to any president or any political party, but to the American people.

But if you’ve watched the news over the past week, you already know that liberals in the Senate have treated Justice Scalia’s vacant seat as an opportunity to put politics ahead of what the American people rightfully asked and voted for in November when they elected President Trump.

The Senate’s work on everything from Trump’s Cabinet to filling Justice Scalia’s seat has been halted by the actions of liberal obstructionists. And you know who loses in that situation? The American people.

Unfortunately, obstructionism is a pattern of behavior from the left. Instead of investing in an agenda that’s best for the American people, liberals in the Senate have given us the longest Cabinet nomination and confirmation process in the history of an administration. President Trump still does not have an Agriculture or Labor Secretary and it’s because the left is continuing to obstruct the process. Right now, President Trump only has 22 of his nominees confirmed. At the same time in the last administration, Obama had a whopping 54 nominees confirmed – more than TWICE the amount President Trump has.

Political tactics from the far left were meant to prevent one of the most qualified judges of all time from being confirmed to the Supreme Court. For purely partisan purposes, they tried to stop the guy who in 2006 had zero opposition from the Senate and the support of senators like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Gorsuch’s nomination should come as no surprise to the left, but they seem to forget that during the campaign, Trump shared a list of people he would nominate to the Supreme Court if he won. The American people took this into consideration, and voted for Trump’s plan when they elected him in November.

The left threw up roadblocks at every turn throughout Gorsuch’s confirmation process. Before this week, there had never been a successful partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in American history. But the liberals tried this anyway, using a filibuster to prevent a vote. I applaud conservatives in the Senate for showing leadership and changing the rules to go around the liberal’s filibuster and bring Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation up for a simple majority vote.

It is time for liberals to move on from obstructing the government and work to advance the agenda Americans voted for in November. With the election of President Trump, Americans proclaimed their desire for a smaller government and less intrusion. They want a healthcare system that actually works, not one with premiums that are higher than their mortgage. They want the IRS scaled back and their tax returns to fit on a single postcard. Most importantly, they want the government out of their business and out of their pocketbook. We must deliver on what the American people have asked.

 

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Profile in Courage

DSCN2729I’m just going to say it: Bambi has a strange little body. She’s built sort of like a swimmer. Her chest is the widest point. Her front legs are bowed and her feet are pigeon toed. She has a long neck and long back. Her feet are tiny.

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Her ears are quite expressive. When she’s alert, they stand up straight and tall. If she’s confused or suspicious, they go back. My favorite is when they go sideways. I have no idea what it means, but she resembles a donkey or Yoda, and it makes me laugh.

She is quite yogic. She stretches and stretches, usually ending with downward dog.

The Chippet does not like storms one bit. The Thundershirt helps (and I would like a full length one for myself) but she still will pace and fret. With our last storm, she approached Mr. Nobody for some soothing. Big step for the little one, to trust a man. She consistently shows more courage than many members of Congress.

We are surrounded by macho male dickheads that are constantly shooting or shooting off fireworks. This stresses her, but a little less these days. I have explained MMDs to her, apologized for them, and she seems a bit more accepting.

She has more good days than bad days now, I think. She has utterly conformed to the system whereby we go outside, she produces some kind of waste product, and gets rewarded. There have been no accidents for months. And, if I have somehow forgotten the schedule, she reminds me now.

Often when we go outside (and Bambi must have a human bodyguard), Buddy will stalk her. He’s about twice her size. She resembles a teeny deer, and he resembles (at least in his own mind) a tiger. He’ll get flat, his tail will twitch while Bambi is innocently sniffing something. Then he pounces. And Bambi just sidles out of the way. I don’t think Buddy has much concept of a dog this small.

There are two different happy dances. One is sort of just wild running in circles or figure eights, and the other is a series of twirls. She does the best twirls. I get to see these more than once a day. Sometimes, she twirls down the hallway when we get up in the morning because she’s so excited to get breakfast. And she loves bed time and will dance on the bed.

I still haven’t figured out all of the shades of meaning in her shivers. Some shivers are fear. Some are of excitement or anticipation. There is a cold shiver. I think she has a nightmare shiver.

She sleeps up against me. It varies from night to night exactly where she will curl up….sometimes it’s against my chest, or head or shoulders. I’m not certain what all her requirements are from night to night, but we’ve learned through experimentation that she doesn’t like being under the covers with me. She needs an escape hatch. Her flight response has been finely honed over the years. So I cover her lightly and trust that my body heat will keep her warm all night and usually it does.

She loves to sunbathe. She loves riding in the car. The best is to sunbathe while riding in the car. And she knows when I’m going out. Right now, the weather is cool enough that taking her along is a pleasure for me as well as her. But I know from last summer that soon enough, I’m going to have to trick her to get out of the house without her. I hate doing that, but I cannot quite justify leaving the car running with the air conditioning on while I grocery shop or whatever. Maybe I’ll get there yet. But the car lulls her, soothes her. It’s when she is most relaxed.

I marvel at this dog. That she can love me, mostly trust me, after all she has been through is amazing enough. But that she’s extending that to Mr. Nobody (who has been very patient and kind and gentle with her) is more than most could expect.

People can learn a lot from animals.

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