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Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 12:25 PM PDT

An ordinary dog

by geordie

My beloved Sophie, 15 year old Border Terrier, died today - dilated esophagus that led to aspiration of food into her lungs that led to pneumonia.  She did not suffer long, I wouldn't let that happen.  The vet tried to bring her back with antibiotics to treat the pneumonia, and I saw her this morning before things went further down hill, for which I'm very thankful.  But when i got the call this afternoon that she was getting worse, I said I would come in and say goodbye and then let her go to sleep and not suffer any more.  A bit more of memories below the orange squiggle - she wasn't an extraordinary dog, but she was a good and loving and funny companion and she loved me as I loved her.  And always will. She will be greatly missed by her dog companions, my big rescue Max and my younger Border Terrier Jasper.

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Ernie Els, South African golfer, just won the British Open for the second time at the age of 42.  It was a stunning collapse by Adam Scott, accompanied by steady play by Els, that got him the win, a decade after his last British Open win.  But it is not the win itself that caught my attention here - it is Ernie Els's acceptance remarks in which he thanked President Mandela for all he has done for "our country", and how he expanded on that thought when asked about it at the press conference afterwards.  I have long admired Els for his work for autism research and awareness in the wake of his own young son's autism, and for his consistently classy behavior (he first paid tribute to Adam Scott in his acceptance speech, saying he felt very badly for him and that Scott would win this championship in the future, he was sure).  But it is the way he talked about Nelson Mandela that truly made me admire him today, a day when the ugly and tawdry side of sports is epitomized by the removal of the statue of Joe Paterno at Penn State.  

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This is hardly a diary, but I did not see this reported elsewhere here, and forgive me if it is repetitive.  Penn State removed the Paterno statue overnight, apparently, and the NCAA is announcing that it will issue sanctions.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

I hope this will help the healing on all sides.

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There will be much hysteria and flapping of gums today about what CNN and other news outlets will undoubtedly label "the coming insolvency of Social Security" or the equivalent, as the annual Social Security and Medicare Trustees' reports are relased this afternoon. You will hear the word "unsustainable" a lot.  Here's the truth, though - while Medicare needs some action soon, and will get it as part of health care reform, the retirement system is NOT in immediate trouble, and may not be in long term trouble.  And the right-wing's definition - and I include Pete Peterson and David Walker in that category because they have both been campaigning against Social Security for 30 years - of "trouble" for Social Security should not be accepted as any actual version of the truth.  The truth about Social Security follows below the fold - and there is an excellent post by John Lind at Salon that says many of the same things, so here's a link to that as well - http://www.salon.com/...

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I'm appalled that Obama stated yesterday that reducing spending on Social Security and Medicare would be a feature of his budget and spending plan when it is unveiled next month.  Another diarist has said he thinks this is "smart politics" - I think it's only smart if what Obama is trying to do is co-opt the most mouthy base out there - Republican and conservative Democratic pundits.  If that's his goal, it will work.  On the other hand, millions of baby boomers who have seen their retirement savings eviscerated by the stock market crash over the last few years, and who are realizing that Social Security is the only secure source of old income they will have, might start to have serious second thoughts about having voted for this guy.  I know I am starting to.  More below the fold.

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I posted a diary the other night about how annoying Rachel Maddow's constant concern trolling about the campaign is getting to be:"Obama's not winning in {x}!  The early voting is light!" Etc.  Tonight, right now EDT, she's airing her interview with Obama today, and I think he's ALSO annoyed with her constant second-guessing and harping.  Evidence?  Below the fold.

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I just heard Rachel Maddow say early voting has been "light", not up to expectations, no higher than 2004, citing Indiana and Colorado as examples, and then grilling Howard Dean on whether this is a problem.  WTF is she talking about?  Is this a ploy to get people to vote?  Or is she just wrong?  More below the fold.

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The audience numbers are in from last night - 37.2 million viewed Palin, pretty close to Barack's historic 38.4 million last week.  The questions are first, what did they see, and second what did they think of what they saw?
Link goes to source.

http://www.thrfeed.com/...

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Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 04:49 PM PDT

The Obama Effect on Athletics

by geordie

I've been wondering whether Obama's candidacy might have an effect on athletes, not just African American athletes but their fellow players as well as coaches, at all levels of athletics.  I heard something today on ESPN that made me think something might be going on to dent the traditional, overwhelmingly Republican conservative world of U.S. athletics, particularly football.

And yes, this is partly a desperate attempt to put more Obama diaries up to crowd out the "P" stuff, but there may be something happening here, as Steven Stills once sang.

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Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 10:46 AM PDT

What John McCain Really Thinks of Women

by geordie

I've not been in much doubt about McCain's essential mysogyny - calling his wife disgusting names in public, jokes about rape, dumping his first wife when her looks were affected by an accident and picking up his [first] beauty queen as his second wife.  But this VP pick takes the cake - John McCain sees women as a collection of biological parts to be exploited in any way possible.  Any Hillary Clinton supporter who is swayed by the Palin pick as a reason to vote for McCain is as mysoginistic as he is, regardless of their gender.

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I've written several times here about how I have never been a Hillary Clinton advocate, and how I really didn't want to have to vote for her (but I absolutely will, if she's the nominee.)  I also have written about being captivated by Obama the first time I heard him speak, as so many others were, at the convention in 2004, and that I remember saying out loud, to no one in particular, "I am watching the first black President of the United States."  So why am I not yet an avid Obama supporter, like so many around here?  Well, I'm hesitant because I'm not really sure he's actually what many seem to think he is - and I'm hesitant because I think it's possible Obama is receptive to ideas that are personally repugnant to me and that I think are not at all progressive.  Why?  See below.

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Robert Ball has died at age 93, and with him goes the most effective public servant I have ever seen and worked with, and the most tenacious and brilliant protector of Social Security over the last 60 years.  I miss him already, and as we enter a probable new round of battles over Social Security in the next few years, the American people will miss him dreadfully without having any idea who he was or what he did for them.  I explain below.

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