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President Obama’s weekly address hit upon one of the more troubling aspects of our government right now: the total failure of the FDA to keep us, our children, and our pets safe in the knowledge that what is consumed will not harm any of us.  He has named a new Commissioner of the Food and Drug Agency, Dr. Margaret Hamburg (go ahead, giggle as I did at her last name being Hamburg(er)–I blame the cold meds I’m taking), and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein (nope, no food-related funny with his last name) as Principal Deputy Commissioner.  Obama is also creating a new Food Safety Working Group which ultimately sounds like it will be making sure that the left hand of government agencies involved with food safety know what the right hand is doing–what a concept!

And as an animal welfare advocate I am THRILLED with the short, but oh-so-important sentence President Obama stated, “As part of our commitment to public health, our Agriculture Department is closing a loophole in the system to ensure that diseased cows don’t find their way into the food supply.”  Please read Wayne Pacelle’s email sent out this afternoon in response to this fantastic decision.  Thank you President Obama, and thank you to everyone who helped put an end to the horribly abusive downer cattle issue!

Great news from President Obama on farm animals

March 14, 2009


Our investigation thrust a global spotlight on abuse of downed cows.

Dear ******,

It’s been a long fight, and today, we closed another chapter on it. Since the mid-1990s, The HSUS has been working hard to stop as a matter of public policy the abuse of downer cattle — animals too sick or injured to walk. And today, President Obama himself announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was officially putting a stop to non-ambulatory cattle being mishandled in order to get them into slaughter plants. He made the announcement along with two top selections for the Food and Drug Administration and a series of other statements about food safety.

I invite you to read my blog post for today about the food safety crises and horrifying investigations that led up to today’s announcement.

The length of time we had to persist and what our investigations revealed are sad, but today I celebrate this news. And I hope that it is a harbinger of a far more serious attitude toward food safety and animal welfare from the new Administration. I am personally looking forward to working with Secretary Vilsack — a man of great integrity — on a wide range of issues. And I express my gratitude to him and his team today for his decisive action.

Many of you joined us in demanding change on this issue, so this is your victory as well as the animals’. Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely,

Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

P.S. Did you know you can easily subscribe to receive my blog daily by email or RSS? Look for the links to subscribe on the right side of my blog, www.waynepacelle.org. I write daily about pressing issues like farm animal abuse, so it’s a great way to stay in touch.

Yes, I realize the title of this quick blog posting is not a news flash to anyone, but I’m just home for a quick lunch, saw the following on Huffington Post and just HAD to post it even though no time right now to REALLY go off on all the reasons Rush is an ass. Can somebody PLEASE permanently place a filter on that disgusting man’s mouth? Ass.

Limbaugh: Kennedy Will Be Dead By The Time Health Care Bill Passes

The Huffington Post | Rachel Weiner | March 6, 2009 02:51 PM

On his radio show Friday, Rush Limbaugh suggested that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) would be dead by the time health care reform legislation passes. “Before it’s all over, it’ll be called the Ted Kennedy memorial health care bill,” the talk show host says. He says President Obama has moved on to health care because he can’t solve the economic crisis. Listen, via Media Matters:

Kennedy was at the Senate Thursday for President Obama’s health care summit, where he made an impassioned plea for universal coverage.

You’re a better person than yours truly if you can really grasp all that is (and hopefully will be) the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Here is President Obama’s weekly address regarding the topic, along with a link to the White House blog discussing it.  I’ve also added a link in my blogroll to Recovery.org, the website which lays out, it all its transparent glory, details of the Recovery Act, the entire bill for your reading pleasure, as well as a timeline of where the money is going.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed on this one, and our politicians held to task.

Yup, it’s me.  I’m really back…well, for the most part.  I moved in early December and was without cable/internet until 1/16.  (Yes, it IS humanly possible to NOT be connected to the internet; I just don’t recommend it.) And a big fat “Screw you AT&T”  for claiming to service my area with U-verse, having me wait WEEKS upon weeks for an installation appointment, then the day of installation notify me that ‘ooops’ you don’t service my area!!!  And Cox isn’t doing much better since for some annoying reason I can’t get the internet to be connected if I’ve got the TV connected…argh!  And I just don’t have the patience to deal with the customer service runaround I get each time I call, so until I do, I have to unscrew the TV cable if I want to connect to the internet.  Obviously very annoying (TV cable is behind a bunch of stuff), so it goes without saying I’m not popping over to the web very often.  (Hmmm, does anyone say web anymore?)

Anyhooch, what amazing things we’ve had happen since I’ve been gone, most notably inaugurating our new President of the good old USA!  Now you just KNOW this big time Obama supporter made damn sure she had cable in time for all the inauguration hoopla.  Heck, I even took a vacation day off of work to plop my fanny in front of the TV all day.  But if that wasn’t enough, I made sure to hang my US flag up in the window AND wear my Obama/Biden shirt.  Yes, I’m a geek, but I don’t care. 🙂  Let’s just say that the tears started when I was watching the Whistle Stop Tour, continued that Sunday with the Inaugural Concert on HBO, and were out in full force on Inauguration Day.  Is it not absolutely INCREDIBLE to actually be (dare I say it?) PROUD to be an American again?!?!  And yes, despite this annoying BS back-and-forth debate about the stimulus package, I AM still proud and thrilled with our country and our democracy.  I do want to kick the majority of the Republicans in their collective stubborn elephant asses, but will try desperately to retain even the slightest of grips on that olive branch Obama really wants us all to extend.  Let’s just say my grip is quickly slipping away and I’m just about ready to use that branch to start knocking some common sense into some noggins, but…

Okay, enough with that–for now.  How about that Adele and her two Grammys on Sunday night?  Who’s Adele you say?  Well gather round my friends, and let me introduce you to one of the most powerful, unique, soulful, and incredible voices I’ve heard in quite some time.  I first became aware of Adele when she appeared on Saturday Night Live mid-October, last year.  Of course I was watching SNL hoping the Sarah Palin appearance would be worth it (read that as Tina Fey really sticking it to her), and wasn’t too interested in the musical performer I’d never heard of before.  But the minute Adele belted out those first notes I stopped what I was doing, turned my attention to the TV and was instantly mesmerized–and hooked!  This girl can sing, and I mean S-I-N-G!  I was so excited when they announced her name as the winner of the Grammy for Best New Artist two nights ago, and was hootin’ and a hollerin’ (did I just go hillbilly on ya?) and making sure Rudy (yes, he’s my dog…told you I’m a geek) was as excited about her win as I was.  This gal has got a powerhouse voice that you just know is going to withstand the test of time.

Catch Adele on her tour which happily begins in my area on 3/9, but sadly is already sold out.  Don’t let that happen to you, so buy your tickets NOW!  Here’s her SNL performance for you to (hopefully!) enjoy as much as I do.

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Okay, so maybe real relief, and the ability to feel the possibility of change and happiness won’t truly arrive until Barack Obama has been declared the winner of that glorious process we have in America called voting, this Tuesday, November 4th.  But darn if it didn’t feel great to experience the teenie-tiniest bit of a smile creeping onto my face while watching Barack’s thirty-minute ad which aired in prime time at 8PM this evening (full video posted below).  I knew this election and all the hate, fear tactics, and outright lies that have been drudged up and thrown about were really starting to get to me, but I honestly didn’t realize just how much until I felt the tingling of a strange sensation occur during the mega-ad and realized it was one I had not really experienced for far too long: the feeling of hope. 

Hope.  Hope that things can change.  Hope that maybe this cloud of increasing stress and strain might be lifted from over most Americans.  Hope that someone (a politician, no less! ;)) was really looking out for us.  Hope that Americans would not fall prey to the same old Republican, Rovian tactics, and that they would see right through them and right into what Barack Obama is offering us.   Hope that someone IS on our side, that someone IS going to move us in the right direction, and hope that THIS TIME (unlike the last two presidential elections)my fellow Americans will put that incredible gift of the democratic process to good use and place their vote for someone who WILL do right by us: Barack Obama.

I’m far from naive about the always-simmering racial tensions that sadly exist in our country, but to see the pot stirred so intensively by the McCain/Palin campaign (and ultimately by some of their wingnut followers) in a constant and unbelievably overt fashion as well as via hidden/code meanings and words, with no concern or acknowledgment on their part of the immediate and long-term ramifications such hate brings about, has just saddened and dismayed me beyond belief and quite often had me embarrassed as a white person.  “Country first”, McCain?  Really?  Hardly, I’d say.  Certainly not MY country that you’re “putting first”, and that’s too bad because contrary to the desires of many of your believers, this country is filled with people from ALL political, religious, economic, and ethnic perspectives out there, and bringing them TOGETHER is what MY country and MY beliefs are about, not dividing the country and instilling unease of anyone who might not look just like you, practice the same religion you do, or believe the same political agenda you do.

Come on, America, now is the time for you to not become complacent and assume “others” will do the job for you.  You MUST get your fannies out to the voting booth on Tuesday (click here to find your polling place), or better yet VOTE EARLY if it’s available in your area.  Let’s elect a president and vice-president that will help us return to a government and a country we can ALL be proud of.

Obama for America web site

Barack Obama’s 30 minute ad: American Stories, American Solutions

Nice to read some good news after just watching my boys (San Diego Chargers)lose another game, this time about as far away from home as possible: the UK (Saints 37-Chargers 32) .  So the good news is that the Anchorage Daily News has endorsed Barack Obama over the ticket which boasts their own governor, Sarah Palin.  The editorial brings up many valid points, most especially who will best handle the monumental task of getting our country back on the road to recovery after the incredible economic mess we are all enduring.  But perhaps what should really ring loud and long for anyone considering a vote for the McCain/Palin ticket is in the last paragraph, which I’m copying below. (Emphasis added by me. ;))

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

Truly “MUST SEE TV” was to be had on NBC’s Meet the Press  today, as Colin Powell did as many were murmuring he would: he officially endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States of America, over his fellow Republican and friend, John McCain.  I don’t think I have been as captivated by a speaker as I was while watching Powell, in a very long time, perhaps since Obama’s stirring keynote speech in 2004 (video) at the Democratic National Convention.  While that speech by Obama made me stand up and take notice of this newcomer, mostly by mere virtue of having no clue who this charismatic speaker was, in Powell’s case today it was the sheer common sense and eloquent, calm, measured way in which he put forth his thoughts (including concern of John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate and possible future president) and my wondering what the outcome would be that had my eyes and ears glued to the set.  Truly, nearly twenty-five minutes of not wanting to even take a breath for fear of missing something momentous.  Terribly sad that I have to categorize common sense as momentous, but the way this election campaign has gone–toward the unbelievably negative, ridiculous, racist and bigoted side–has me grabbing onto any and all shreds of common sense as if they were bits of fresh air amongst the putrid stagnation of negativity and hate.

While I have had intense misgivings about the role Mr. Powell had in our involvement in the horrific continuing disaster known as the Iraq war, I have always continued to harbor feelings of respect for most everything else he has done, especially on the charitable front.  This is a highly intelligent, compassionate man, with foreign policy and military experience matched by few, so to discount anything he might say by mere fact of my disgust with the hand he had in our involvement in Iraq would be shortsighted.  I am hoping that others who will vehemently disagree with the stance Powell took today, will not be shortsighted as well (not holding my breath), and will see that the points he laid out to explain his decision are points that bode well for our country, and for the drastic, immediate change we need at home AND abroad.

Below is a video clip (just over 7 minutes) of the lead up to Colin’s endorsement of Barack on Meet the Press, but I would also highly suggest reading this article on Huffington Post which discusses Powell’s endorsement, and has video of Powell speaking with reporters after the Meet the Press show.

And lastly, I’m sure it’s not just me, but did anyone else sorely miss Tim Russert being the one sitting in that Meet the Press chair and being the one to land this momentous interview?  What a lasting impact Tim has had on so many of us who never knew the man personally, but who miss his gentle, intelligent, and persistent style of being America’s truth-seeker and cheerleader for our political process.  You are sorely missed, Mr. Russert.

I’ve never been a patient one, so of course I just couldn’t wait another three hours for Saturday Night Live to air here on the west coast and had to scour the internet for snippets of tonight’s show with rumored guest, Sarah (cough, gag, puke)Palin.  Huffington Post had the entire opening skit and the “Alaska Rap” on Weekend Update.

So I’m not really sure if it’s just that I despise far too much of what Sarah Palin represents, or if her parts in the skits truly WERE snoozeville, but man they bored me to tears.  The best part of the opening skit was Tina Fey (no surprise there),and the best part of Weekend Update was the line in the song “I can see Russia from my porch, and such” being rapped by the very pregnant Amy Poehler. Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks to VodPod, here’s NBC’s video of last night’s SNL send-up of the VP debate. Tina Fey did ANOTHER dead-on “winky-folksy-question avoiding-makes me want to gag” version of Sarah Palin, while SNL cast member Jason Sudeikis portrayed Sen. Joe Biden. Having Gwen Ifill “do” Gwen Ifill would have been sheer perfection, but I will say that Queen Latifah did a great job putting forth some “what the heck are you doing” looks toward Fey/Palin which I’m sure the majority of America was making while watching the actual debate last Thursday. (And I use the term “debate” loosely. ;))

SNL also did a skit regarding the bailout–I mean “rescue” plan–, and while it had some good moments (Fred Armisen as Barney Frank), it dragged on far too long.

Also, PLEASE make sure to REGISTER TO VOTE!! The deadline for my fellow Californians is 10/20, but in some places it’s today. Head over to Declare Yourself to find out information for your state.

Enjoy the SNL VP debate video!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Once again, I’m sending major thanks out to the Randi Rhodes MySpace page for posting this video of tonight’s SNL show featuring this fantastically nailed performance by Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton.  Best line of the skit (and there were many) was Poehler/Clinton saying, “In conclusion, I invite the media to grow a pair, and if you can’t I will lend you mine.”  (Heck, I’ll loan them mine if they’ll step up their pressure on getting to the truth. ;))  Enjoy the video!

***Added 9/14/08:  Well, it looks like NBC Universal pulled a copyright claim (yes, I know, it’s their right, their property, but…) on all the SNL videos that were posted to YouTube last night.  I hope those of you who headed over here to see it DID get to see it before they were pulled down.  Here’s the SNL web site link to the video where you get to sit through a commercial before watching the skit.  Upside is that it’s high quality and fairly large.  I think I’ve watched the skit about 10 times now, and find something new each time.  I don’t think Fey and Poehler could have possibly done a better job than they did, with their impeccable timing, nuanced looks, and overall out Palining and Clintoning the actual women! 😉 

And for those of you wondering what the heck flerg, flirg (or however you want to spell it) means, here’s what I found, but take it all with a grain of salt, or with… (shame on me ;)).

Again, enjoy the video!

MySpace Democrats just posted a bulletin with a great video from an organization I was previously unfamiliar with, truthandhope.org, but one of which I’m now a fan.  This video does a fantastic job of pointing out the important history of community organizing Sarah Failin’ Palin and other GOP folks disgustingly mocked at their liars convention last week.  THANKFULLY someone is out there responding to the BS the repugs, I mean repubs, are dishing out; BS which, sadly, folks with no interest in discovering the truth are lapping up.  Truthandhope.org needs help getting this ad on TV, so if you can muster up some dinero, please help them out.  Just click on this link to find out more.

Read the rest of this entry »

Time to haul my fanny back over here to blog.  This extremely important election is no time for me to sit back, relax on the writing, and not do my best to make sure our country takes that MUCH NEEDED turn toward change.  Mind you, I can be pretty lazy on my days off, so I’ll just start this trek copying today’s email from MoveOn.  Also have to share one of the great quotes to come out of some fantastic speeches at the Democratic National Convention.

“John McCain may pay hundreds of dollars for his shoes, but we’re the ones who’ll pay for his flip-flops.”  ~Gov. Bill Richardson Read the rest of this entry »

Just finishing up making some Louisiana-style french toast (to die for!) before taking my youngest nephew to the doctor. Don’t Auntie Lala’s come in handy? Don’t you wish you had one? I’m afraid we’ve all been hit with those heebie-jeebies everyone is coming down with lately; the headache (or as said nephew reports “My brain hurts!”, hence the band-aid on the forehead in the picture), the achiness, the overall feeling of crappiness (my highly technical term ;)). He was down with it last week, rebounded, then it made its triumphant return, as it seems to be doing with all of us. Ick.

Keep your fingers crossed I don’t pick it back up again, too, because yours truly is starting work again on Thursday…woo-hoo! Nothing like NOT working to make you feel totally unproductive. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the past couple months have BEYOND sucked, so working again is definitely a step in the right direction, especially since I’ll be getting to work with one of my very good buds.

And another situation which affected me and my life in ways I can’t even begin to describe over the last few months has THANKFULLY had a surprising positive twist this past weekend, one which I could NOT be happier about–very happy heart, VERY happy heart. But with the good usually comes some bad, as was the case here. It really hurts to find out that someone you didn’t really know very well, but someone you had high regard for and who had interacted with you in only the most positive manner before, ends up doing something you still can’t wrap your brain around, and something that you just can’t imagine anyone with a heart or even an ounce of compassion doing under any circumstances, especially knowing the ones I was in. I know I need to let it go, and I will, but right now I’m extremely hurt, disappointed, and shocked, since I know full well I was in no way deserving of the action on his part, nor of the consequences. That being said, the good ultimately outweighs the bad in the entire scenario because I have a really important part of my life back, and he knows who he is. 😉

On the political front I have to say that I really enjoyed the portions I saw of the Democratic debate in Nevada, since I felt it actually gave us a chance to hear what the candidates had to say without all the snarkiness. The flare-up with the racial comments over the past days in the Obama and Clinton camps have been very disturbing and frustrating to see take place in the Democratic Party; the party that is supposed to be not only inclusive of all but a champion for all. (Yes, I quite often wear rose-colored glasses.) I’ve read some really interesting discussions over on Skeptical Brotha‘s blog, and elsewhere, so I do understand both sides of the story. It’s just sad to see that racial divisiveness still has such a firm hold in our country. Call me naive but I just don’t get it, I just don’t. It takes so much more energy to hate someone than to live with and learn from the diversity that surrounds us. I hope the democrats can get their act together because I would truly be happy with any of the main democratic candidates running, and know that we need to come together as a party to prepare for the attack on our candidate in the general election by the Republican Party. Got your armor ready?

Speaking of the republicans, what in the heck is Michigan (or anyone voting for Romney!) thinking by allowing even the remotest possibility of this man becoming president? Who on earth is going to want some man who, with forethought, did this? ARGH!

Guess that’s it for now. I don’t have a laptop so having any puter access until the weekend will probably be slim-to-none, so just thought I’d post this little catch-up until then. Have a great week everyone, and STAY HEALTHY! 🙂

Sniffin’ out the info

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