My cellphone rings at work, during this brutal 72-hour work week. (If I ever again agree to work this much OT, somebody please slap me upside the head. Please?) I didn't recognize the number, but picked up anyway since I'm waiting on a couple of important calls related to MONEY. This wasn't one of them. "Hello." "Hello. Dolly?" Resisting the impulse to do my best Louis Armstrong imitation, I managed to mumble "Ummmm, sorry, there's nobody here by that name". "Don't you recognize me? This is your sister-in-law! Isn't this 715-xxx-xxxx? " "Yes, the number is right, but there's nobody here by that name. Sorry." "Well, that's funny, this is the number she gave me. Sorry to have bothered you." Five minutes later, the cell rings again. "Dolly?" "Sorry, ma'am, Dolly isn't at this number. The number she gave you is still wrong." Click! Guess I shouldn't have told her that her number was "right" the first time. Sigh.... I swear, it wasn't two minutes later that the phone rang a third time. I let the voicemail pick it up this time, so that she could hear the message. After making a couple of observation rounds, I returned to my booth to find that this woman had called my voicemail not once, not twice, but three more times hoping to find Dolly. I wonder how she does when it comes time to operate a VCR?
Cheney assumes power as Bush undergoes colonoscopy - Yahoo News
WASHINGTON AFP - US Vice President Richard Cheney has taken over the reins of power as President George W. Bush undergoes a "routine colonoscopy" at the Camp David retreat, the White House confirmed Saturday. Cheney assumed the role as acting president at 7:16 am 1116 GMT, when letters from Bush were faxed to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, just behind Cheney in the line of succession to the presidency, and top-ranking senator Robert Byrd, informing them of the handover under the US Constitutions 25th amendment.
Maybe this is why Rudy is so fascinated by the toilet? 130-year-old outhouses yield treasures
130-year-old outhouses yield treasures VENTURA, Calif. - The spot where a pair of outhouses stood 130 years ago is proving to be a treasure trove for archaeologists who braved the lingering smell in the dirt to uncover some 19th Century artifacts — and a mystery. ......... The work has its drawbacks. "The further you go down, the stronger the smell," archaeologist Marisa Solorzano said. "But its not that bad. These privies are archaeological gold mines."And then of course, there is this, for when cats in toilets is a little too graphic for your taste.
Trying out a couple of new themes today, so don't be surprised if things are a little wonky. We will return to our (ab)normal scheduled programming shortly.
I've been buried in too many textbooks lately. So yesterday I searched ebooks till I found one that looked promising. Whoa. This is one of the best stories I've read in a very long time. I'm back to another habit, too--barreling through the first reading in one sitting before settling back to savor the second time. Just can't wait to see how it ends. From the Amazon review:
The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule.I loved this line on how forgiveness comes to us....
"...I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.")
I know I have to buy a new vacuum cleaner, since the hoses and wiring on mine got melted in the fire last week. I wonder if this will be a standard accessory to the new vac. On the other hand, it brings a whole new meaning to the job of housecleaning, as well as to the reason behind the name of the Merry Maids cleaning franchise, doesn't it? Ananova - Vacuum screamer
A US mother-of-three has invented a sex toy that connects to a vacuum cleaner to give an orgasm in just ten seconds. The gadget, called Vortex Vibrations, works by concentrating the air flow to create a rapid and gentle vibration, reports the Sun.
I thought it appropriate since Mad brought up the subject of pardons in her last post that some of Mr. Clintons' Pardons be brought to the forefront to show what sort of characters he associated with either directly of indirectly. Since Scooter Libby is such a horrible criminal to have his sentence commuted by President Bush, I thought it appropriate to show some (140) of the sentences that Mr. Clinton overturned and "made right".
Pardons and commutations signed on final day in officeClinton issued 140 pardons as well as several commutations on his last day of office (January 20, 2001). When a sentence is commuted, the conviction remains intact, but the sentence can be altered in a number of ways. Some controversial actions include the following:
- Carlos A. Vignali had his sentence for cocaine trafficking commuted, after serving 6 of 15 years in federal prison.
- Almon Glenn Braswell was pardoned of his mail fraud and perjury convictions, even while a federal investigation was underway regarding additional money laundering and tax evasion charges. Braswell and Carlos Vignali each paid approximately $200,000 to Hillary Clinton's brother, Hugh Rodham, to represent their respective cases for clemency. Hugh Rodham returned the payments after they were disclosed to the public. Braswell would later invoke the Fifth Amendment at a Senate Committee hearing in 2001, when questioned about allegations of his having systematically defrauded senior citizens of millions of dollars.
- Marc Rich, a fugitive, was pardoned of tax evasion, after clemency pleas from Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, among many other international luminaries. He was required to pay a $100 million dollar fine and waive any use of the pardon as a defense against any future civil charges that were filed against him in the same case. Critics complained that Denise Rich, his former wife, had made substantial donations to the Clinton library and to Mrs. Clinton's senate campaign. Emails uncovered during the course of the investigation revealed that her final donation was provided a year before Scooter Libby requested that she approach Clinton for a pardon. According to Paul Volcker's independent investigation of Iraqi Oil-for-Food kickback schemes, Marc Rich was a middleman for several suspect Iraqi oil deals involving over 4 million barrels of oil.
- Susan McDougal, who had already completed her sentence, was pardoned for her role in the Whitewater scandal; McDougal had served 18 months on contempt charges for refusing to testify about Clinton's role.
- Dan Rostenkowski, a former Democratic Congressman convicted in the Congressional Post Office Scandal. Rostenkowski had served his entire sentence.
- Melvin J. Reynolds, a Democratic Congressman from Illinois, who was convicted of bank fraud, 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice, and solicitation of child pornography had his sentence commuted on the bank fraud charged and was allowed to serve the final months under the auspices of a half way house. He had served his entire sentence on child sex abuse charges before the commutation of the later convictions.
- Roger Clinton, the president's half-brother, on drug charges after having served the entire sentence more than a decade before. Roger Clinton would be charged with drunk driving and disorderly conduct in an unrelated incident within a year of the pardon. He was also briefly alleged to have been utilized in lobbying for the Braswell pardon, among others. However, no wrongdoing was uncovered.
Remember "I quit."? Never mind. Sheehan considers challenge to Pelosi
CRAWFORD, Texas - Cindy Sheehan, the soldier's mother who galvanized the anti-war movement, said Sunday that she plans to seek House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's congressional seat unless she introduces articles of impeachment against President Bush in the next two weeks. Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as an independent if Pelosi does not seek by July 23 to impeach Bush. That's when Sheehan and her supporters are to arrive in Washington, D.C., after a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting next week from the group's war protest site near Bush's Crawford ranch. "Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership," Sheehan told The Associated Press. "We hired them to bring an end to the war. I'm not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn't be too big of a move for me. I would give her a run for her money." Sheehan announced in late May that she was leaving the anti-war movement. She said that she felt her efforts had been in vain and that she had endured smear tactics and hatred from the left, as well as the right. She said she wanted to change course. Sheehan, who has never held political office, recently said that she was leaving the Democratic Party because it "caved" in to the president. Last week, she announced her caravan to Washington, an undertaking she calls the "people's accountability movement." "I didn't expect to be back so soon, but the focus is different than it was before," Sheehan said Sunday. "Instead of talking and making accusations, we're going into communities and talking to the people who've been hurt by the Bush regime. We're finding out how we can help people.""I didn't expect to be back so soon"??? That "course change" didn't work out so hot, eh, Cin? Didn't you write this back on Memorial Day?
"George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself in perpetuity."Pretty good course change there, too, I'd say.
Sheehan, who will turn 50 on Tuesday, said Bush should be impeached because she believes he misled the public about the reasons for going to war, violated the Geneva Convention by torturing detainees, and crossed the line by commuting the prison sentence of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. She said other grounds for impeachment are the domestic spying program and the "inadequate and tragic" response to Hurricane Katrina.Geez, no mention of the fact that he was a party animal in college? That he can't pronounce the word "nuclear"? Let's see, didn't he also know about 9/11 beforehand if he didn't in fact cause 9/11? About that "line-crossing".... Cindy, ya gotta check your Constitution occasionally. You may not like it and you certainly may not like who he pardons, but the Pres does have the right to pardon or commute sentences. Article II, section 2. Check it out.
Sheehan said she hopes Pelosi files the articles of impeachment so Sheehan can move onto her next projects, including overseas trips for humanitarian work. But if not, Sheehan said she is ready to run for office.