Sunday, February 28, 2010
He looks as if he had some sort of 'invasive procedure' done, doesn't he?
President Barack Obama got a physical examination this morning at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
He arrived there by helicopter at about 6:40 am EST. The physical was performed by Dr. Jeff Kuhlman, a Navy captain and head of the White House medical unit, according to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
Some preliminary testing had taken place earlier, and the physical lasted about an hour and a half.
Kuhlman had this recommendation for Obama, according to Gibbs: Come back for another physical in August 2011 -- when the president turns 50.
At Bethesda, Obama also met with 12 service members who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to the spokesman.
Obama was home with Marine One by 9:30 am -- asked about how his checkup went, the president signaled a thumbs-up.
The promotion of Julianna Smoot to White House Social Secretary is good news for wealthy donors to President Obama's campaign, for whom Smoot -- the chief campaign fundraiser -- is friend and point of contact.
Smoot, who had been working in the relative obscurity of the U.S. Trade Representative's office, will now be the key gatekeeper to the kind of social functions from which donors have complained that this administration, unlike President Clinton's, has barred them.
But the choice to unite money and access in the person of Smoot -- a career political fundraiser whose efforts were downplayed by a campaign eager to focus on small donors -- cuts against both President Obama's broader message of change and against the talking points of her departing predecessor, Desiree Rogers.
Rogers told Lynn Sweet that she saw her role as turning the White House into the "people's house," and Michelle Obama praised her in a statement for "welcoming scores of everyday Americans through its doors, from wounded warriors to local schoolchildren to NASCAR drivers."
Smoot may have the same goal, but her credentials and relationships point in the opposite direction: To ensuring access and satisfaction for the ultra-wealthy elite who will, incidentally, be called on to finance President Obama's next campaign.
A White House official says appointing a fundraising staffer Social Secretary isn't "outside the norm" because one of President George W. Bush's Social Secretaries, Lea Berman, had been such a staffer, though not one of Smoot's centrality.
'Nuff said? Yet?
The body of actor Andrew Koenig was found in Vancouver’s Stanley Park yesterday. His father, Walter Koenig, said that his son “took his own life, and was in a lot of pain.”
Like most of my generation, I grew up with Walter Koenig as Chekhov on Star Trek, and he played a superb villain much later, on Babylon 5.
Until his press conference yesterday, I didn’t realize he was a man of such incredible strength and dignity.
He asked for his family to be left in peace to mourn their loss.
I hope he won’t mind if I take this sad occasion to address others who might be following the road that ended in Stanley Park for Andrew.
No matter how far you have gone down that road, there is always a path that leads away.
I could offer no greater tribute to Andrew and his family than trying to help you take it, or at least see it.
You won’t find the beginning of that path in your house, or your room, or any other private place where you torment yourself, and wonder why a world you’re hiding from can no longer see you.
You’ll have to step outside, and take a walk through your town.
You’ll pass hospitals where the gift of life is unwrapped and presented to the universe.
In another wing, life is held as precious treasure by families gathered around quiet beds, surrounded by tireless machines and their tired, but determined, keepers.
Perhaps you’ll find a hospice, where the dying embrace their last opportunity to share their lives with all who receive the blessing of a seat beside them.
You’ll pass churches and temples, filled with the sworn enemies of despair.
You may find yourself wishing you could give the unwanted years of your future to the clients of those hospitals and hospices.
I did, years ago, when I stood where you are standing now.
I was on my knees at the time, offering that trade with all my heart.
It doesn’t work that way.
Those who tend the hospices can tell you why, and the people in the churches and temples can explain why it shouldn’t.
Stroll past your local police station, where the noble calling to risk your life in the service of others is answered… and the worship of death as a solution to problems meets its humiliating end.
Maybe you’ll spot a recruiting station, where men and women who love their friends and families accept a duty that could take them away forever… because they know others love their families too, and there is no safe way to build and protect the future for them.
If your walk takes you past sunset, watch the cars rolling into the driveways of apartments and houses.
If you walk from night into morning, watch the people reluctantly leaving their homes, to provide for their families.
Those people are not wasting their lives, but fulfilling them.
They return home to enjoy their reward, and renew their inspiration.
Every day, they write new pages in the human story.
None of us will see the end of that tale… but I know you share my appetite to read another chapter, and then one more after that.
You may have convinced yourself to ignore it, but it’s still there.
Step into a convenience store for a cup of coffee or chocolate, and take a look at the newspapers.
They are filled with pleas for help that you could answer.
From the inner cities of America, to the broken streets of Haiti, and around the world, there are places where the clocks are filled with nothing but desperate hours.
Another pair of hands, or another few dollars of support, are always needed.
The years ahead, which you regard as a painful burden, can be given to them.
t will take effort, and courage… but along the way, I can promise that your life would stop feeling like a burden.
You may view suicide as your last chance to shake the pillars of a world that has turned its back on you.
The world doesn’t need any more shaking.
If you’ve been telling yourself that no one will miss you when you’re gone, you are wrong.
Your suicide would tear a hole through the future, and nothing could ever fill the space where you used to be.
You might think you’re alone, but you don’t have to walk more than a couple of miles from your house to see a building full of people who would be delighted to meet you.
There are places like Suicide Hotlines, staffed by men and women who have spent their entire lives preparing to hear the sound of your voice, and greet every day hoping to learn your name.
You may be afraid to face the years ahead.
You’re not the only one, and if you extinguish the light of your faith and wisdom, you consign others to darkness.
You might see death by your own hand as the end of unbearable pain… but I ask you to think about Walter Koenig, facing a wall of cameras with quiet grace in the hours after finding his son’s body, and understand that it’s only the beginning of agony.
You might have decided your fellow men are rotten to the core, and you’re weary of their company.
Listen to the music of Mozart, or look upon the work of Michelangelo, and consider the argument of those who profoundly disagree.
Maybe part of your problem is that you’ve been listening to the wrong music, or looking at the wrong pictures.
Dark waters are easy to drown in.
The judgment of the human race will not lack witnesses for the defense, and they will make their case to you, if you give them a chance.
Now, take the last few steps back to your home, and set aside one sorrow or terror with every footfall, until your mind is clear.
If you’re thinking of incinerating the remaining years of your life, surely you can spare a few minutes for quiet reflection, and hear this prayer from the living world:
Please don’t leave us.
We need you.
It is a quiet prayer, spoken in a soft voice, but it’s never too late to listen.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Mayor Richard Daley today defended White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, who's leaving the job after being criticized for an incident where two uninvited guests crashed a state dinner in November.
It wasn't Rogers' job to keep President Barack Obama safe, Daley said.
"There's only one group responsible for the security of the White House and the president. There's only one person, that's the Secret Service," the mayor said.
"Let's stop blaming her for anybody walking in there, because no one can stop anyone with the exception of the Secret Service," he said.
While the Secret Service accepted much of the blame after a Virginia couple made their way into a Nov. 24 dinner for the prime minister of India, Rogers was criticized because her staff failed to keep a checklist of guests entering the White House.
Daley called Rogers, a Chicagoan who has worked as the Illinois Lottery director and People's Gas, "a great friend of mine." (Yeah, I bet!--RP)
The mayor's remarks came at as he joined U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and others to dedicate a new community health center in the South Austin neighborhood.
Responding to Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman's announcement this week that the system will face a deficit of up to $1 billion next year, Daley also called on the school system's employees to be prepared to make sacrifices like those forced on the private sector and workers in other areas of government.
Though Daley cited his own acceptance of 24 unpaid furlough days this year as an example of that sacrifice, he insisted he was not suggesting unionized Chicago teachers make similar concessions.
"I'm not talking about that. I'm just talking about in general. We have negotiations in regards to the teachers," he said. "But I'll tell you one thing. All over America this is happening, every community in America. This is not the exception."
An increase in the state income tax to cope with the yawning state budget deficit is only acceptable if it is coupled with a reduction in real estate taxes, the primary funding source for schools, the mayor said. "You can't one way increase the income tax and then not help real estate taxes," he said.
Daley also said it makes sense to end blanket free rides for seniors on the CTA, a proposal Gov. Pat Quinn said this week has little chance of making it out of the General Assembly.
"Seniors who are struggling, yes, need help. But those who are not struggling, they have to be part of the solution, and that's part of the cost," Daley said.
Erm...I am a speaker of English and several other languages.
I do not speak Daley.
Our love story:
On May 27, 2009, my fiancé Densey, a Chicago Police Officer, was paralyzed in a head-on collision while responding to a burglary call. He was in a coma for four weeks, but we were married in the hospital when he awoke.
Almost a year later, Densey grows stronger daily, but our lives are forever changed. With mounting medical bills, we can't think about our dream wedding on a beach in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
Densey has a machine that helps him stand for 30 minutes. To see him waiting for me, words cannot describe the feeling that would give me.
Vote for them here.
And do it NOW!
"The most essential elements of success in life are a purpose, increasing industry, temperate habits, scrupulous regard for one's word ... courteous manners, a generous regard for the rights of others, and, above all, integrity which admits of no qualification or variation."
And...don't be pickin' your nose in public!
He digs in, intercepts, then watches it drop.
This crass idiot would not be welcome in my home!
Trainers won't be allowed to enter the water with the whales pending a review of the park's safety practices.
Dawn Brancheau, 40, was killed Wednesday at the close of the lunchtime show by the killer whale Tilikum in front of a horrified audience.
She should not have done what she did--lie down in front of a male orca.
He is not a pet, and I feel Sea World will eventually 'go under', because of their greed for profit from these wondrous animals.
And, of course, you cannot 'punish' an orca. They are whom they are, and we, as humans, should study them, but make NO PROFIT from them.
☁ I Am Loving Loved Ones… Now… In the Windy City… ☂
♡ So Blue… ☔ Today… My 6th Funeral in this chapter… ✧
♥ My Chicago is Blue Today… And… “Our ✞ Al…” I Am
Holding Your four best girls and All Of Your BeLoved Ones,
In Love. ☯ God’s Grace, Sufficient and Eternal… ∞ IS NOW
Flowing Through Our Lives… ∞ weaving It’s tapestry… And
AvailAble… Now… as we are Able to Open to the Source Of
All That Is… I Am now Surrendering to My Own Grief and
Willing to Surrender to some Time to Let Go of the Sorrow…
And I Am Willing to Be a conduit of the Light and the Love
Seeking out the Blue Chicago… Where the Sun will Shine…
Again… And I Am Choosing to Expand My ☯Connection
To the Source… My Chicago will be – again – one day…
Sunny and Purple… underneath a Sky of Blue…
And Blue is Beautiful… Because the Sky
CHOSE a Perfect Color to BE…
In Love… Chicago Blue
Who Said “Good Grief?”
Friday, February 26, 2010
Below are some glass rocks which I partially gilded with variegated gold leaf. They're small, less than 2" life size, but they did come out quite well, don't you think?
These are available in 8.5" x 11" borderless prints. If you're interested, e-mail me at:
The president issued a statement about Ms. Rogers, saying, "She organized hundreds of fun and creative events during her time here, and we will miss her. We thank her again for her service and wish her all teh best in her future endeavors."
Where are the proofreaders?
And, why not use SpellCheck first?
I give Crain's an 'F'.
A 'tennis' accident'? She might have done this at her FIRST tennis lesson with Martina Navratilova!
B: if she were really trying to support that right foot, she is showing no pain!
C: she is just another dipshit in the Obama administration!
D: all of the above!
"When she took this position, we asked Desiree to help make sure that the White House truly is the People's House, and she did that by welcoming scores of everyday Americans through its doors, from wounded warriors to local schoolchildren to NASCAR drivers. She organized hundreds of fun and creative events during her time here, and we will miss her. We thank her again for her service and wish her all the best in her future endeavors."
Sounds like an obituary to me! So much for BFF!
Participants throw oranges at rival teams during an annual Carnival battle in the northern Italian town of Ivrea...
...The battle, which every year turns the small town into a mass of fruit-flinging madness, commemorates a local revolt when a medieval count tried to exercise his right to sleep with a newly wedded girl on her wedding night.
Lori Ziganto posted the video at www.iowntheworld.com complete with SLO-MO!
Dear "Nose-picker on LIVE TV" concluded his sham summit with this:
Sooo...the future health needs of the American people isn't worth his time? Incredible!!
Thomas Lifton points out:
Obama's Summit Posture
"Why is Obama calling everyone by their first name while they all address him as Mr. President?
Does anyone remember the hissy fit Barbara Boxer had when a distinguished military leader addressed her as "ma'am"?
Obama is behaving arrogantly in this and other ways. Nothing unusual for him. But I don't think he is helping to reverse the growing public perception of his arrogance.
I have had the sound off on C-SPAN's live coverage as I work on my computer, but have been checking out the body language all along, especially Obama's while others are talking. He did not expect this, and does not like it. He looks cool and collected, of course - that's his specialty. But when I really study close ups of his face, he looks worried to me. The eyes are the key. He shows annoyance too, but more in his posture. I definitely detect a hint of fear beneath the polished coolness of his veneer.
He is not elevated above them on a podium, as he was on the retreat meeting, and that greatly reduces his control. He is one seat at a big table. I presume that the GOP insisted on this.
His claque will praise a masterful performance, no doubt. But I think the body language so far says otherwise."