Monthly Archives: September 2012

Baby Sophia Update!

Back in the middle of September, I asked for your help in this post:  Good Karma Needed.  Sophia, the granddaughter of my friend, colleague and right arm Yenny, had been diagnosed with meningitis shortly after birth.  That is not a nice diagnosis.

Lots of you responded with “Likes” and good wishes in comments.  Thank you.

And it worked!  Because today Sophia is at home with her mom and grandma Yenny.  A beautiful, happy, healthy little baby girl.


It turns out, Sophia got a false-positive reading of meningitis.  She never had it, but it took over a week to be sure.  Sophia was given antibiotics for 14 days, because once you start antibiotics you must keep taking the full course — whether you are a child or an adult — you can’t stop mid-course or antibiotic resistance can develop.  Sophia was released showing no ill effects whatsoever.

Thank you all for your good thoughts.  I am often impressed by the big hearts of my blogging buddies, and you guys really came through this time.  Now it’s my turn; I’m sending good karma your way.


Filed under Family, Health and Medicine

Politics Free — Yeah, Me!

John-Paul of Man of Errors wrote a brilliant post today.  You should go read it, but wait a minute.  I’ll be quick.

JP writes beautifully, always, and it is a joy to read him.  But today’s post struck a chord and brought back something I wanted to share with him and everybody else but had forgotten.

First, here is what JP says about how he is making a difference:

As it happens, over the last two years I have been trying to think what I could do to make my society a better place.  I thought about donating food to a foodbank, and I started on the process of volunteering to help refugees, but then I stopped.  I was dissatisfied with both of these responses.  Just last week I realised that I don’t need to find something to do.  I am already doing it.  I am a teacher, and I have the potential to help 100 people a day.  In some ways I can’t believe I was so stupid that I didn’t see what my opportunity was before, but in another way I am not surprised.

Unfortunately, over the last few years I have felt attacked by the government.  I have felt that my opinion was not important, and that for some reason the government wanted to label teachers and schools as failures.  They certainly didn’t want to talk to us.  We have been sneered at and diminished.  Teachers are not above criticism.  We listen to it everyday.  Our working environment is not one that encourages arrogance or complacency.  You don’t get into teaching to develop a big head.  You also don’t get into teaching to be a doormat to political agendas which have little proven worth to education, or to give up on things like your internationally admired curriculum.  When we defend education we usually do it for the students and the community, and not out of self-interest.  And yet we are sneered at and diminished.  How does this benefit society?

JP and 99.9% of teachers make a huge difference in the lives of those they touch.  And education matters enormously.  It influences everything — how you approach the world, how you think, what you do when you grow up.

As someone who didn’t manage to finish college (yet), I know first-hand the value of education and the cost of its absence.  I recognize it each payday.  I’m not complaining.  Not only do I have a paycheck, but  I have been incredibly lucky and have a great job and the respect and friendship of an office full of high school grads as well as MDs and PhDs.  I often get to boss them around which is nice, too.

And JP’s piece made me think of this monologue by Taylor Mali.  A teacher.  I thought that anybody who hadn’t seen it should.  So here you go:

Now please go read JP’s post here.  I really hope I can be in JP’s class when I go back to school.


Filed under Humor

WAIT! I was wrong!

Laura of Unlikely Explanations let me know that Mitt was joking when he said:

When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem.

She gave me a link to a NY Magazine article that quoted folks who were actually there when Romney made the comment.  Thanks, Laura.

So I wanted to correct the record.  Believe it or not, I do try to be accurate.  Unless I’m making stuff up that is.  This time it was supposed to be a news scoop.  My bad.

But now I have a different take on this.  I think the real story is that within one week, Mitt Romney actually told TWO jokes — he made another funny at the UN just yesterday.

Mitt told two jokes within a week.  Wow.  That’s news.




Filed under Campaigning, Elections, Humor, Politics, Voting

That Sucking Sound You Hear

Remember the 1970 movie Airport?  I saw it with my friend Vickie.  It was so good that even “break no rules” Vickie hid out with me in the theater so we could see the next showing.

Of course it was good.  The cast was amazing.  Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Helen Hayes (who got an Oscar for her performance), Jacquelin Bisset, Maureen Stapleton, George Kennedy and Van Heflin as the desperate man with the bomb and a life insurance policy.


Spoiler alert!  The bomb goes off, Van Heflin is sucked out of the airplane through the hole he made.  Stuff from all over the airplane flies out the opening too, because as you know that’s what happens when an airplane’s hull is breached.  Luckily, Jacquelin Bisset (pregnant with Dean Martin’s baby, natch), just barely manages to hold on and not join the bomber outside the aircraft at 30,000 feet.

Seriously cool movie.

I was 13 when it came out.  I still watch the re-runs.  It’s still on TV a lot.

Now why do I mention this?

Because no one on the news has as far as I can tell.  And I do feel obligated to keep you guys informed of important current events.  I’ve been waiting to see this on the news, only nobody’s talking about it.  I have a scoop!  (Well, unless you read Dailykos, that is.)


“What are you talking about, Elyse?” you might ask.  Or you might just click that little “X” in the upper right corner.

You see, yesterday I read that Mitt was worried about Ann.   Now don’t worry.  Ann is alright.  I know how you all adore her.

But Ann’s plane was forced to make an unexpected landing on Friday, when there was an electrical fire.  Scary!  Now remember, Ann is just fine.  She will continue to annoy us with her tuna talk all through the election, and then hopefully we will have some peace.

But Mitt was especially worried.  Here’s what he said:

When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound. [Emphasis added.  I think.  It might just be the way Mitt talks.]

Remember Van Heflin who got sucked out of the window.  Remember all the stuff that also went flying out that window.  Remember Jacquelin Bisset’s near miss.

And remember that this whole incident has given Mitt a whole new group of supporters:

Suckers for Mitt

 *     *     *

Now in spite of 12,021 posts on Mitt doing and saying stupid things, I actually don’t think Mitt is stupid.  I read somewhere that one of his Harvard Business School professors famously said of his two most famous students around 2008 or 2009:  “I had two students; one of them was brilliant, the other became President.”  Yup, Mitt and Dubya were classmates.  And you saw how our last CEO president did.

But no, I don’t think Mitt is stupid.  He just does and says stupid things.  A lot.   In public.  On tape.

And you know, I’d really like to be able to write about things other than politics.  But there is waaaaay too much fodder.

Courtesy of



Filed under Campaigning, Criminal Activity, Elections, Family, Humor, Politics, Stupidity, Voting

National Voter Registration Day, Tuesday, Sept. 25

Reblogged from Dailykos.

Tomorrow is National Voter Registration Day.  If you need to register or check on your current registration, this website contains a widget that will help you.

Elections matter.


Open thread for night owls: National Voter Registration Day, happens Tuesday, Sept. 25.


Filed under Campaigning, Elections, Law, Politics, Voting

Political silliness

This video is NOT work friendly, but it is really funny.  But only if you read the subtitles.

I simply couldn’t resist posting it for anyone who hasn’t seen it.



Filed under Campaigning, Elections, History, Humor, Hypocrisy, Politics, Voting

It’s Spreading!

Just the other day, I told you about the epidemic of folks waking up dead in Texas.  But it’s spreading.  Yes, last night I learned that it is also happening in North Carolina.  A swing state where President Obama won by 14,177 votes.

Rachel Maddow told me just last night that a group of folks had sent the NC Elections Board a list of 30,000 voters in NC (of 6 million voters) who the group claims are dead.

Yes, a group called “The Voter Integrity Project,” a group that is following in the footsteps of the folks in Texas who started this epidemic, “True the Vote”  found its way to North Carolina.  You will, of course, find it shocking that these groups are affiliated with the Tea Party.

And according to Rachel Maddow, this is also happening in Ohio. where the group claims that over 700,000 should be stripped off the voting lists because those folks are dead.  The group is also playing this game in California, Illinois and Arizona.

Here is the link (sorry I cannot figure out how to embed an MSNBC video)

Now back to North Carolina.  This list forced the Election Board, using due diligence, to use up manpower to check into this claim.  Before the election.  They have revealed 0 dead people on the list of 30,000 provided by The Voter Integrity Project.

They are doing it in part to strike it lucky, and in part to use up valuable Election Board resources that might be better used.

But I have a theory.  And this combines two of my faux talents — lawyer and medical person.

You see, in 2004 I volunteered to help with voter fraud allegations at the polls here in Virginia.  To help folks who call up and say they were prevented from voting, or they were intimidated or told that the election is next Tuesday for Democrats not today.  Things like that.  And boy oh boy did I get an earful.

But by far, the most impressive maneuver of the Virginia GOP was to outlaw the color yellow.  Yes, it’s true.  I actually saw the legislative language.  No fliers printed on yellow paper may be given out at polling stations in the state of Virginia.

Now you say, “Elyse, Why does this matter?”  And I’ll tell you.

In Spanish-speaking communities, it has been traditional for the Democrats to print illustrations of the straight Democratic Ticket on yellow paper.  Spanish speakers came to depend on them.  They also came to vote overwhelmingly for those Democratic tickets.  So the Republicans outlawed yellow fliers at polling stations.   [Fortunately, the Dems were smarter.  They got a law passed specifically permitting fliers printed on Goldenrod-colored paper.

And in 2006 when I was at my polling station handing out fliers, well, we’d all forgotten.  But about 15 minutes after the polls opened, all of our fliers were taken away because they were printed on plain old yellow.

My theory?  These folks on these Tea Party lists all suffer from Yellow Fever.

*     *     *

The GOP can’t win because of its ideas or its candidates.  But they can — AND WILL — cheat.


Filed under Campaigning, Criminal Activity, Elections, History, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Politics, Stupidity